Now we've got some words about the "bairns".
- "Bairn" "Wean" or "Cheil" are used to describe children, particularly when they are very young. The last child of a large family is referred to as "poke-shakkins" (crumbs shaken from a bag!). But we are all "Jock Tamson's Bairns" - God's children.
- "Grannie's Bairn" is reared by a grandmother and is usually regarded as spoilt as a result.
- Many babies would "Girn" (complain fretfully) and "Bubble" (cry in a sniveling, blubbery way) and no doubt would "Guddle" (play messily).
- A "Hippin" is a baby's nappie (diaper).
- "Karriewhitchit" is a term of endearment for a child in Aberdeenshire and Angus in particular.
- A "Knee Hicht" is a small child who is no higher than your knee.
- A "Limmer"is a rascal or a rogue (usually a boy!) while a "Lintie" is a sprightly, merry girl. On the other hand a "Clippie" is a sharp tongued girl (and was also the term used for tram and bus conductresses, but probably because they clipped the tickets!).
- "Quine", "Callan" and "Lassie" are words for a girl while "Loun" is a boy.
- "Speug" is a sparrow but can also be a word for a child while "MacWachle" is usually a toddler.
- A "Wee Cutty" is mischievous and disobedient and a "Sonsie" lass is chubby and sturdy.
Now we're going to play some children's games...
- "Beds" - the boxes chalked on the ground for playing "peever" where a small object is flicked by one foot from box to box by children standing on one leg. Try it!
- "Bee-baw Babbetie" - a kissing game.
- "Chap" - tap on the table in dominoes to show you cannot play a turn as in "I'm chappin".
- "Cry barley" - rhyming slang for calling for a "parley" or truce.
- "Cuddy-lowp-the-dykes" - literally "horse jump the wall" is the name given to leapfrog.
- "Dook for aipples" - get hold of apples floating in a tub with your teeth - and without using your hands.
- "English and Scots" - a children's game imitating the old Border Raids; younger children tended to be the "English" so they could get "duffed up" (beaten).
- "The gemme's a bogie" - a call to cancel the game and start again because there has been a fault.
- "Glim-glam" - blind man's bluff.
- "Hampden Roar" - the score (rhyming slang).
- "Heezie-hozie" - a game in which two players stand back to back, interlock arms and, stooping alternately, raise each other from the ground.
- "Hitchie-koo" - a ball game from North-East Scotland.
- "Keepie-uppie" - keeping a football in the air for as long as possible.
- "Londoners" - a skipping game with two ropes as distinct from "pavey-waveys" - jumping over a waving rope while "bumps" is fast turns of the skipping rope.
- "Nievie-nievie-nicknack, which hand will ye tak, the left or the right?" - a guessing game in which both hands are held behind the back and the person guessing selects left or right.
- "Skiffer" - a flat stone which is good for skimming across water.
- "Tig" - a game of chases where the person who is "het" tries to "tig" (touch) the others. If someone says they are "keys" they are calling for a temporary suspension of the game.
This time, we're going to "learn the scuil"
While the word "Dominie" (schoolmaster) is not often used these days, there is still often a "Rector" (head teacher in a secondary school). Since the 1960s there is no longer a "Quallie" or qualifying exam at the end of the "wee scuil" ("primary" school, ages 5 to 11) to decide which type of "secondary" school the pupil was to go to. At the end of the fourth year of secondary education pupils gain "Standard Grade" certificates and many will go on to study for the "Highers" (short for "Higher Leaving Certificate"). Not everyone will be "Dux" (best pupil in the school in the final year) and indeed some may "plug the scuil" (play truant) despite the efforts of the "whipper-in" (school attendance officer). Errant pupils no longer "get the belt" since "the strap" or "tawse" (leather straps with thongs, struck across the hands of pupils as punishment) are no longer allowed - much to the disappointment of the people of Lochgelly in Fife where most of the best "straps" were made. So punishments these days are restricted to "punnie eccies" (punishment exercises) and "keepie-in" (kept in school after normal clases).
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