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TITLE
Cromarty Fisher Folk (3 of 20)
EXTERNAL ID
AB_CROMARTYFISHER_AUDIO_03
PLACENAME
Cromarty
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS: Cromarty
DATE OF RECORDING
2 April 2007
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Bobby Hogg & Gordon Hogg
SOURCE
Am Baile
ASSET ID
1122
KEYWORDS
language
linguistics
audio

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The former royal burgh of Cromarty lies on the northern tip of the Black Isle peninsula, at the mouth of the Cromarty Firth in northeast Scotland. It is home to brothers Bobby and Gordon Hogg, descendants of a long line of local fisher folk. They can trace their ancestry back for centuries in the small coastal port. In the 1861 census there were no less than 96 Hoggs living in the Cromarty district and an entry for the family name in the Old Parish Register dates back as early as 1698.

Bobby and Gordon believe they are the last two fluent speakers of the 'Cromarty fisher dialect', a unique Scots dialect identified in Robert McColl Millar's study of 'Northern and Insular Scots' as 'North Northern A', mainly associated with the fishing communities of the Black Isle (Cromarty and Avoch) and other small towns and villages on the Cromarty Firth. It is said that at one time there were at least two, if not three, dialects in the Cromarty area - fisher, town, and farmer. While several Cromarty residents retain aspects of the fisher vocabulary, when Bobby and Gordon get together they converse fluently in the dialect.

[N.B. Gordon Hogg passed away in 2011, aged 86. Bobby Hogg died a year later, aged 92.]


In this audio extract from March 2007, Bobby and Gordon discuss the roots of their local dialect.

Interviewer: One of the papers said it was picked up from the English soldiers?

Bobby & Gordon: Naw, naw, naw, naw, naw.

Bobby: Ah don't think so. There have been certain cases right, where they could trace, they could trace an illness back a long time, ye know, to the soldiers, right? Far as talkin's concerned - Ah mean, they tell ye too though, ye know, a lot o people in Avoch called Patience, right? Came from the - supposedly come from no-, from the north of France, right, an they were called 'Pecheur' in France, right? They'll tell you that, but Ah don't know what truth is in that.

Interviewer: So do you use the words 'thee', 'thou' and - ?

Gordon: Thee an thou, aye.

Bobby: Oh, all the time.

Gordon: All the time.

Bobby: Never any other time.

Gordon: That's all - we use that words all the time.

Bobby: See, as Ah say, we were brought up in a very biblical background. Right?

Gordon: Aye, true enough.

Bobby. Right? A lot of people would say it was expletives they used. It was not expletives. There was - my aunt would say, 'Oh the Lord be aboot wi me the day'.

Gordon: That's richt, aye.

Bobby: An she would say tae ye, 'Did thee put the Lord afore thee?

Gordon: Aye, that's right.

Bobby: Did thee put the Lord afore thee the day?'

Gordon: Aye. That's it.

Bobby: An Ah used to say to her - Ah used to took her in the car now an again - Ah'd say, 'We'll nae be there before the Lord, aunt.' 'Oh, Lord!' [Laughter]. No. They're all biblical like, 'Oh, Holy One of Israel!', one - a common one, 'Oh, Great Redeemer!', 'Oh, Michty One!', 'Oh, Jacob!'. Right? All these things, they're all come up all the time. Right?

Gordon: That's right, aye.

Bobby: Right? An ye niver forgot it. Ye niver talk about 'somebody', no, they would talk about 'no man', like e bible, like. This sort o thing. All the fisher folk, right? Now, there's two kirks in Cromarty. Two kirks - East Kirk an e West Kirk; one was the parish kirk an one was the United Free Kirk. Both o these kirks on a Sunday would be full o fisher folk especially, ye know, because o their background. Now they no longer exist. It just shows ye, ye know, as the people die out, the language dies out. The bibli-, biblical side came in very strong.

Gordon: Aye.

Bobby: Mmm. Ah was just thinking yesterday I'd an uncle - he was an elder, for over sixty years an elder. Over sixty years. He'd have been an elder when he was in his twenties. See what Ah mean? An he'd a brother an elder too. See what Ah mean? All the background

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Cromarty Fisher Folk (3 of 20)

ROSS: Cromarty

2000s

language; linguistics; audio

Am Baile

Am Baile: Cromarty Fisher Folk

The former royal burgh of Cromarty lies on the northern tip of the Black Isle peninsula, at the mouth of the Cromarty Firth in northeast Scotland. It is home to brothers Bobby and Gordon Hogg, descendants of a long line of local fisher folk. They can trace their ancestry back for centuries in the small coastal port. In the 1861 census there were no less than 96 Hoggs living in the Cromarty district and an entry for the family name in the Old Parish Register dates back as early as 1698. <br /> <br /> Bobby and Gordon believe they are the last two fluent speakers of the 'Cromarty fisher dialect', a unique Scots dialect identified in Robert McColl Millar's study of 'Northern and Insular Scots' as 'North Northern A', mainly associated with the fishing communities of the Black Isle (Cromarty and Avoch) and other small towns and villages on the Cromarty Firth. It is said that at one time there were at least two, if not three, dialects in the Cromarty area - fisher, town, and farmer. While several Cromarty residents retain aspects of the fisher vocabulary, when Bobby and Gordon get together they converse fluently in the dialect.<br /> <br /> [N.B. Gordon Hogg passed away in 2011, aged 86. Bobby Hogg died a year later, aged 92.]<br /> <br /> <br /> In this audio extract from March 2007, Bobby and Gordon discuss the roots of their local dialect.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: One of the papers said it was picked up from the English soldiers?<br /> <br /> Bobby & Gordon: Naw, naw, naw, naw, naw.<br /> <br /> Bobby: Ah don't think so. There have been certain cases right, where they could trace, they could trace an illness back a long time, ye know, to the soldiers, right? Far as talkin's concerned - Ah mean, they tell ye too though, ye know, a lot o people in Avoch called Patience, right? Came from the - supposedly come from no-, from the north of France, right, an they were called 'Pecheur' in France, right? They'll tell you that, but Ah don't know what truth is in that.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: So do you use the words 'thee', 'thou' and - ?<br /> <br /> Gordon: Thee an thou, aye.<br /> <br /> Bobby: Oh, all the time. <br /> <br /> Gordon: All the time.<br /> <br /> Bobby: Never any other time. <br /> <br /> Gordon: That's all - we use that words all the time. <br /> <br /> Bobby: See, as Ah say, we were brought up in a very biblical background. Right?<br /> <br /> Gordon: Aye, true enough.<br /> <br /> Bobby. Right? A lot of people would say it was expletives they used. It was not expletives. There was - my aunt would say, 'Oh the Lord be aboot wi me the day'. <br /> <br /> Gordon: That's richt, aye.<br /> <br /> Bobby: An she would say tae ye, 'Did thee put the Lord afore thee? <br /> <br /> Gordon: Aye, that's right.<br /> <br /> Bobby: Did thee put the Lord afore thee the day?'<br /> <br /> Gordon: Aye. That's it.<br /> <br /> Bobby: An Ah used to say to her - Ah used to took her in the car now an again - Ah'd say, 'We'll nae be there before the Lord, aunt.' 'Oh, Lord!' [Laughter]. No. They're all biblical like, 'Oh, Holy One of Israel!', one - a common one, 'Oh, Great Redeemer!', 'Oh, Michty One!', 'Oh, Jacob!'. Right? All these things, they're all come up all the time. Right? <br /> <br /> Gordon: That's right, aye.<br /> <br /> Bobby: Right? An ye niver forgot it. Ye niver talk about 'somebody', no, they would talk about 'no man', like e bible, like. This sort o thing. All the fisher folk, right? Now, there's two kirks in Cromarty. Two kirks - East Kirk an e West Kirk; one was the parish kirk an one was the United Free Kirk. Both o these kirks on a Sunday would be full o fisher folk especially, ye know, because o their background. Now they no longer exist. It just shows ye, ye know, as the people die out, the language dies out. The bibli-, biblical side came in very strong. <br /> <br /> Gordon: Aye.<br /> <br /> Bobby: Mmm. Ah was just thinking yesterday I'd an uncle - he was an elder, for over sixty years an elder. Over sixty years. He'd have been an elder when he was in his twenties. See what Ah mean? An he'd a brother an elder too. See what Ah mean? All the background