Scots – a wowf in dug’s claes?

A’m a biologist by tred an in 1983 A mind readin an ootsaunin airticle* in the “New Scientist” that haes aye stickit in ma mind as a kinna orra metaphor.

It wis aboot Italian wowfs. Noo Italian wowfs is raither rerr noo, no bein gey faur ben wi the local fowk that hae a tendencie, nae surpreese-like, tae shuit at thaim. But the wowfs haes stairtit inbreedin wi wull or ‘feral’ dugs wi an orra ootcam. Accordin tae ae researcher, “the offspring behave like wolves and look like dogs…this ‘camouflage’ give them a tremendous competitive advantage because, as ‘dogs’ they can approach garbage dumps in populated areas or herds of sheep whithout anyone taking special notice, much less reaching for a rifle“.

Syne the wowfs may weel survive aifter aw – but as dugs!

Whit’s the pynt? Weel whan A think o Scots a think o thae Italian wowfs, survivin in a ill-wullie enviornment by luikin like somethin a bit mair couthie. Like a language that jouks gettin stamped oot by soonin jist a bittie like a hamit dialeck.

[Vocabular: tred – trade, wowf – wolf (also ‘oof’), faur ben – popular, ill-wullie – hostile, couthie (here) – benign, hamit (here)-  innocuous]

* Hansen, J. (1983) The wild dogs of italy, New Scientist, 3 March 1983,590-591

Image: New Scientist

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