The Queen and the Doric (Again)

Still seeme awfie unlikely tae me. But Emma Guinness looks into it.

Scots language expert Billy Kay told me that the Queen’s fluency in Scots ‘may have been exaggerated’, but he asserted that the Queen would have had ‘a good passive knowledge of Scots, being surrounded by people in Tayside and Aberdeenshire.’ He explained that from her servants and those who worked on the estate, as well as possibly from the Queen Mother, ‘She would have heard quite a bit of Doric around her, and she might well have used some expressions back to them.’ In terms of her own usage, Kay imagined she would ‘play with’ Scots words, adding: ‘I don’t think [she] would speak them fluently or regularly.’

But reasonably enough…

Scots folk singer and Doric speaker Iona Fyfe told me: ‘The Queen speaking the Doric dialect of the Scots language gives a big boost to the credibility of the language, especially within a community of practice who tend to disregard and deny the language exists.’

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