Tik Tok Scots

What’s happening on Scottish TikTok feels like a continuation of how Twitter has helped to preserve and update Scots’ language and identity. In 2019 Scottish journalist Eve Livingston wrote about how, for the first time, Twitter provided Scots with a platform to express themselves both casually and publicly. Before this, there had been a disconnect between how many Scots spoke at home or to their friends in real life, and how they had been taught to write. The informal yet public nature of Twitter, she wrote, gave Scots a “new and unique opportunity to write in the same way as they speak.” On “Scottish Twitter”, just like TikTok, words like ​“oor”, ​“yersel”, “yer da”, or ​“bairns” – which form part of Scots Language, a dialect that was officially recognised as a minority language in 2001 – are common. And there’s a particularly Scottish brand of humour (“patter”) too, which Livingston aptly describes as “observational, self-deprecating, and playful with language.”

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