How to Talk with a Scottish Accent

by Culture & Society Editor
Share some nursery rhymes with your students and allow them to add their own creative spin.

Share some nursery rhymes with your students and allow them to add their own creative spin.

Polls reveal that people believe those with Scottish accents are trustworthy and honest. It also sounds pretty cool. Mastering this distinct way of speaking takes some practice. Here are some basics.

Familiarize yourself with Scottish slang and vocabulary. Always use the word "wee" when describing something small or young. "Aye," "bonny" and "lassie" are also commonly used and makes your accent seem authentic. Pick up a book of words that are distinctive to the Scottish dialect.

Learn to roll your Rs. Scots are the only English speakers to employ the rolled R sound and do it regularly, particularly following the letters D, G and T.

Pay attention to your vowels. Analyses have shown that Scottish English speakers use five fewer vowel sounds than any other English speakers. Use the shortened version of vowels. The words "cot" and "caught" should sound the same. Pronounce E as though it has been cut off in the middle, creating an "eh" sound. Use only one form of the letter I, so everything rhymes with "might."

Collapse words into as few syllables as possible and drop the G from words ending in "-ing." Replace "not" with "nee." When you are speaking with a Scottish accent, tell someone that you "didnee do anythin' in Ednbrah" instead of saying you "didn't do anything in Edinburgh."

Listen to Scottish accents. Watch Scottish films like "Trainspotting" or films that prominently feature Scottish actors using their native accent. Sean Connery, Ewan McGregor, Billy Boyd and John Hannah are distinctly Scottish.

Tip

  • Visit Scotland for at least a few weeks and talk to the locals.

Photo Credits

  • Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images