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Doric dialect

Doric is the name given to the dialect of Scots spoken in the North East of Scotland. For an example of Doric literature, see the poetry of Charles Murray. For example, Murray's short poem, Gin I was God

GIN I was God, sittin' up there abeen,
Weariet nae doot noo a' my darg was deen,
Deaved wi' the harps an' hymns oonendin' ringin',
Tired o' the flockin' angels hairse wi' singin',
To some clood-edge I'd daunder furth an', feth,
Look ower an' watch hoo things were gyaun aneth.
Syne, gin I saw hoo men I'd made mysel'
Had startit in to pooshan, sheet an' fell,
To reive an' rape, an' fairly mak' a hell
O' my braw birlin' Earth,--a hale week's wark--
I'd cast my coat again, rowe up my sark,
An' or they'd time to lench a second ark,
Tak' back my word an' sen' anither spate,
Droon oot the hale hypothec, dicht the sklate,
Own my mistak', an, aince I cleared the brod,
Start a'thing ower again, gin I was God.
IF I were God, sitting up there above,
Wearied no doubt, now all my work was done,
Deafened by the harps and hymns unending ringing,
Tired of the flocking angels hoarse with singing,
To some cloud edge I'd saunter forth and, faith,
Look over and watch how things were going beneath.
Then if I saw how men, I'd made myself
Had started out to poison, shoot and fell,
To steal and rape and fairly make a hell
Of my fine spinning Earth -- a whole week's work --
I'd drop my coat again, roll up my shirt,
And, ere they'd time to launch a second ark,
Take back my word and send another flood,
Drown out the whole shebang, wipe the slate,
Admit my mistake, and once I'd cleared the board,
Start everything over again, if I were God.

The main phonetic differences between Doric and other Scots dialects are that 'wh' is pronounced /f/ -- fit meaning what instead of whit, fa meaning who instead of wha, 'aw', 'au' and 'aa' are pronounced /a/ -- a' , or aa meaning all instead of 'aw', 'oo' (normally written as 'ui') is pronounced 'ee' -- abeen meaning above instead of abuin.

The term, "Doric", was used to refer to all dialects of Scots as a jocular reference to the Dorian dialect of Greek. The Greek Dorians lived in Sparta, and were supposed by the ancient Greeks to have spoken laconically, and in a language that was thought harsher in tone and more phonetically conservative than the Attic spoken in Athens. Doric Greek was used for the verses spoken by the chorus in Greek tragedy. Now it is usually used for North East Scots.

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