I first noticed it not long after my daughter had started at her new nursery.
“Are there lots of nice boys and girls at your new nursery?” I asked.
“Yes. Lots of nice boys and ger-uls.”
Well, it’s official, I thought. My kid is developing a Scottish accent.
Her Scottishness has started slipping into her speech in all sorts of places. “Arm” becomes “ar-um,” “do” becomes “dae” and “to” becomes “tae.” This should hardly surprise me, given that she’s spent most of her life in Glasgow, but sometimes it throws me a bit, for one simple reason:
My daughter doesn’t sound like me.
This is no bad thing, since my accent is weird. I grew up in New York, but after more than a decade in Scotland my accent has morphed into something that often gets mistaken for Irish, Canadian or Australian. Once someone complimented me on how good my English was, assuming that it was my second language.
“It had better be good,” I said.
My daughter’s Scottish brogue is a sign that she’s developing into her own little person independent of me. My voice may be the most important one in her life, but it’s only one voice of many. Me and my husband’s American(ish) accents will inevitably get drowned out by the Glaswegian ones she hears every day.
And what an accent it is.
Voted by Americans as the sexiest British accent, Glaswegian is really more of a dialect. A great one. An often hilarious one. Here are some of the my favourite Glaswegian phrases:
Gonnae no dae that
Definition: Please stop doing that.
Definition: The one day in summer when it’s actually warm enough to sit outside without your coat on.
Definition: The pale, sun-deprived skin colour that most Glaswegians have.
Definition: Scrotum. Also generally used as an insult. Also used to describe the windiest of all storms. Hurricane Bawbag, you’re a legend.
Definition: Very cold. Which is the state of the weather most of the time, really.
Havnae a scooby
Definition: I don’t have a clue. Not to be confused with the scooby snack, a Glaswegian, err…treat consisting of a burger, sliced sausage, bacon, potato scone, fried egg and cheese on a bun. Best to not consume it sober.
Mad wi’ it
Oot yer face
Glesga can be a mad toon, but ma wean is pure lucky to grow up here, wi’ so many brilliant words an’ aw that. I cannae wait to hear what comes oot her mouth next.