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TITLE
Cromarty Fisher Folk (8 of 20)
EXTERNAL ID
AB_CROMARTYFISHER_AUDIO_08
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
1130
KEYWORDS
language
linguistics
schoolchildren
education
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 talk about their early school days.

Interviewer: Did you use that in the classroom?

Bobby & Gordon: Oh, no, no, no, no, no. Never spoke it.

Bobby: When Ah went to, when Ah went to school - they sent me to school - an the first thing they said, the teacher says to me, 'Shut your eyes'. Right? Shut your eyes? 'Shut your eyes.' No, no she says, 'Close your eyes. Close your eyes. Close your - .' Whit the hell's she sayin? Right? Somebody says, 'Shut thee een. Shut thee een.' Right? Close yer -

Gordon: That's it. Shut thee een, aye. No bother then.

Bobby: Ah went home an Ah telt ma mother, 'That wifie teacher she canna spick richt', Ah says, [?] She canna spick it.' [Laughter]. Oh aye no, oh it was never allowed in school.

Gordon: Never allowed out.

Bobby: No, no, no, no, no.

Gordon: No in school, no.

Bobby: Teachers wouldnae understand, wouldnae understand anyway.

Gordon: Ach the teachers - we'd all different names for the teachers. Teachers were all different names.

Bobby: Miss Linklater.

Gordon: Miss Linklater, she -

Bobby: Kate, Kate Bog, eh 'White Bog'.

Gordon; White Bog.

Bobby: Aye. All different names, right?

Gordon: Different names, all bye-names.

Bobby: These names Ah'm given tae ye are not their true names, right? White Bog, for example's where she came from, right?

Interviewer: Mm-hmm.

Gordon: There were teachers there, Jessie Mun-, Jessie Munro, an Ah remember seeing her wi a, one o the Easter times, oh they're all fancy bo- hats, an I'd said to - Ah said, 'At a perty hat at thee. At a perty hat at thee.' [Laughter]

Bobby: A lot o folk were uneducated. They weren't, they weren't foolish, like, Ah don't mean bit stupid, but a lot o them - my aunt, for example, never went to school. Right? She, she couldn't read or write. A lot o them could- but a lot o them could read an write, there no doubt about it. A lot o them left school at a very early age from ten, eleven, twelve years old, right?

Interviewer: And what about yerself? When did you leave?

Bobby: Ah never went to school. [Laughter] Ye ken that spickel at me! [Laughter]. Ah went to school, aye.

Gordon: Ah went, well that's second year higher grade. Did thee go til Fortrose? Thee'll ave til Fortrose did thee no?

Bobby: Eh?

Gordon: Did thee go to Fortrose?

Bobby: No, cos you should've gone, aye.

Gordon: You should have gone but ye never went to Fortrose.

Bobby: Naw, naw.

Gordon: Nor a me. Just Cromarty Second - but mind ye there were three languages taught there in Cromarty. It was a secondary school at that time - education at that time - an there was French, Latin, an Science an everything. It was a good - very good school, Bobby. There were good teachers in it.

Bobby: Ah was unfortunate at the time. Ma mother died when Ah was about twelve years old, right?

Gordon: Ah was seven years old.

Bobby: My father he, he, he didn't pay the same attention, right? So Ah was just left to drift on like, left the school at fourteen

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Cromarty Fisher Folk (8 of 20)

ROSS: Cromarty

2000s

language; linguistics; schoolchildren; education; 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 talk about their early school days.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Did you use that in the classroom?<br /> <br /> Bobby & Gordon: Oh, no, no, no, no, no. Never spoke it.<br /> <br /> Bobby: When Ah went to, when Ah went to school - they sent me to school - an the first thing they said, the teacher says to me, 'Shut your eyes'. Right? Shut your eyes? 'Shut your eyes.' No, no she says, 'Close your eyes. Close your eyes. Close your - .' Whit the hell's she sayin? Right? Somebody says, 'Shut thee een. Shut thee een.' Right? Close yer - <br /> <br /> Gordon: That's it. Shut thee een, aye. No bother then. <br /> <br /> Bobby: Ah went home an Ah telt ma mother, 'That wifie teacher she canna spick richt', Ah says, [?] She canna spick it.' [Laughter]. Oh aye no, oh it was never allowed in school.<br /> <br /> Gordon: Never allowed out.<br /> <br /> Bobby: No, no, no, no, no.<br /> <br /> Gordon: No in school, no.<br /> <br /> Bobby: Teachers wouldnae understand, wouldnae understand anyway.<br /> <br /> Gordon: Ach the teachers - we'd all different names for the teachers. Teachers were all different names. <br /> <br /> Bobby: Miss Linklater.<br /> <br /> Gordon: Miss Linklater, she - <br /> <br /> Bobby: Kate, Kate Bog, eh 'White Bog'.<br /> <br /> Gordon; White Bog.<br /> <br /> Bobby: Aye. All different names, right? <br /> <br /> Gordon: Different names, all bye-names.<br /> <br /> Bobby: These names Ah'm given tae ye are not their true names, right? White Bog, for example's where she came from, right?<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Mm-hmm.<br /> <br /> Gordon: There were teachers there, Jessie Mun-, Jessie Munro, an Ah remember seeing her wi a, one o the Easter times, oh they're all fancy bo- hats, an I'd said to - Ah said, 'At a perty hat at thee. At a perty hat at thee.' [Laughter]<br /> <br /> Bobby: A lot o folk were uneducated. They weren't, they weren't foolish, like, Ah don't mean bit stupid, but a lot o them - my aunt, for example, never went to school. Right? She, she couldn't read or write. A lot o them could- but a lot o them could read an write, there no doubt about it. A lot o them left school at a very early age from ten, eleven, twelve years old, right?<br /> <br /> Interviewer: And what about yerself? When did you leave?<br /> <br /> Bobby: Ah never went to school. [Laughter] Ye ken that spickel at me! [Laughter]. Ah went to school, aye. <br /> <br /> Gordon: Ah went, well that's second year higher grade. Did thee go til Fortrose? Thee'll ave til Fortrose did thee no? <br /> <br /> Bobby: Eh?<br /> <br /> Gordon: Did thee go to Fortrose? <br /> <br /> Bobby: No, cos you should've gone, aye.<br /> <br /> Gordon: You should have gone but ye never went to Fortrose.<br /> <br /> Bobby: Naw, naw.<br /> <br /> Gordon: Nor a me. Just Cromarty Second - but mind ye there were three languages taught there in Cromarty. It was a secondary school at that time - education at that time - an there was French, Latin, an Science an everything. It was a good - very good school, Bobby. There were good teachers in it.<br /> <br /> Bobby: Ah was unfortunate at the time. Ma mother died when Ah was about twelve years old, right?<br /> <br /> Gordon: Ah was seven years old.<br /> <br /> Bobby: My father he, he, he didn't pay the same attention, right? So Ah was just left to drift on like, left the school at fourteen