As I mentioned yesterday, I was on the radio a couple of weeks ago to inform Orcadians about what I've unofficially dubbed the "Orcadian Gordon Highlanders Accountability Project". Several people back in the States listened to the program via the Listen Again function, and essentially all of them remarked about the accents of both the woman who introduced my segment, and the guy who interviewed me. Lady Jaye couldn't understand a word either of them said, and Windshield Ninja said she loved the musical quality of the woman's voice, but could only understand about eighty percent of what she was saying by concentrating really hard. I've spoken to several people (including Gus, who thinks he knows everything) who figured it was just Doric, but I've mentioned it to folk who actually speak Doric, and it's not Doric. Doric is different.
I sort of accidentally familiarized myself with the Orcadian Dialect by reading Alex Leonard's comic, The Giddy Limit, in which four of the five principal characters speak in a phoneticized Orcadian dialect, with the fifth character (the wife/mother, Liz, being regularly confused by both Orcadian speech and local customs). A little over a year ago, while chatting with Gray 2, I stopped her and remarked about how, if I hadn't gone through all of those comics, I'd have been completely confused by what she was saying.
On Wednesday night, and apparently on a regular basis, Radio Orkney features a program called Whassigo, which the BBC Radio Scotland website describes as an "Orcadian version of Call My Bluff". If you're reading this before 06 November 2013, you can listen to the program here. I picked up a number of other words from the Orcadian dialect that aren't really in common usage, but the show was pretty entertaining.
So, what are some of the words I've picked up over the years? The ones I picked up on the Whassigo program are marked with "(W)", and the rest aren't.
So now, if you show up in Orkney, you'll be able to make out some of what they're saying. Take it from me, it requires a bit of practice, and it's much tougher on the telephone.