Dundonian Small Talk

We’ve all experienced the eventual bane of any fresher, which is the seemingly endless strain of introductions made during fresher’s week. By the first class of the semester, you will have your entire life’s history and degree details poised on the tip of your tongue, so why not spice up this period somewhat and apply some Dundee flair to your fresher’s week introductions?

A standard greeting in Dundee is the humble – yet no less effective – “Ahriyt?”

Literally “Alright?” this little word doubles as both greeting and quite frankly a less awkward and cumbersome version of “how are you?” Alternatively, throw a ‘Y’ in front to create a slightly more personal, “Yahriyt?”.

Once you’ve greeted your new acquaintance, the next step in the tried and tested ‘fresher’s guide to making friends’ is to probe them about their past: “Whar ji cum fay?” The natural flow of the conversation will likely then take you to, “Whar ji biyd?” wherein you will discuss the highs and lows of student accommodation. Perhaps you have a nice view of the “Tiy” (River Tay), or a “palay neebir” (friendly neighbour), or if you’re unfortunate, your flat will smell of “toaly” (excrement).

Up until this point, your conversation has been going great; the questions and answers snap back and forward and you think you’ve found a friend for life. Or not. When the typical fresher’s questions have all been used up, you find yourself stuck. It’s now time to fall back on the old reliable topic of conversation.

The weather.

It is fortunate indeed that Scotland is blessed with such colourful weather that one is never at a loss for something to say:

“Brah day iy?” (Isn’t it a lovely day?)

“‘sbiylin iy?” (Isn’t it hot?)

“‘sbaltic” (It’s cold)

“Ji hink itull rehn thi moarn tay?” (Do you think it will rain again tomorrow?)

Once you’ve established whether the weather is braw or naw, your conversation will at last draw to a close. Should you wish to pursue this friendship further, you can say, “See yi thi moarn” (“see you tomorrow” – not to be conused with “see you in the morning”) or, if their company wasn’t quite up to scratch, a simple “Cheerio!” will cut it.

(Inspired by and written with reference to a random and mysterious book at the back of my cupboard called “Dundonian for Beginners” by Mick McCluskey)

Written by:

Hello! I'm a 20 year old English and Creative Writing student from Dundee - most likely to be found in a coffee shop.

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