Celebrating traditional Scots words about nature

Posted on September 10, 2018

In A Scots Dictionary of Nature, published on 20 September 2018, artist Amanda Thomson curates and preserves for posterity those wonderful words of the Scots language relating to the world around us.

The dictionary brings together – for the first time – the deeply expressive vocabulary customarily used to describe land, wood, weather, birds, water and walking in Scotland.

They are “found” words and archaic definitions which reveal ways of seeing and being in the world that are in danger of disappearing forever: a uniquely Scottish lexicon shaped by the very environment itself.

Amanda says: “This Scots Dictionary of Nature has been a long time in the making. I’ve mined old dictionaries for words that are rarely heard, no longer in use or perhaps largely forgotten.

“These words reveal so much about our history, natural history and our changing ways of life. They are indicative of the depth, richness and variety of the Scots language and its unique relationship to nature and the Scottish landscapes of Lowlands, Highlands and islands.”

What emerges from the dictionary is a vivid evocation of the nature and people of Scotland, past and present; of lives lived between the mountains and the sky.

Amanda will be launching A Scots Dictionary of Nature in Grantown-on-Spey on Thursday 11 October