Scots Language – Scots and Twitter Usage

Researchers at McMaster University have produced an interactive map recording word usage on Twitter. The map shows how often various words were used, from Northern England up to the Central Belt. You can sort for dozens of different words, and it gives a clear picture of where these are used, along with a rating for how well-defined the split is between Scotland and England.

While the map is intended to show differences between Scotland and England, you can also see marked differences internally in Scotland, with words from different varieties of Scots. For example, the difference between “cani”, “canna”, “cannae”, “canni” and “canny” is quite pronounced within Scotland. These differences could inform discussions around the formation of Scots in the History and Development Unit.

A word of warning: some of the available words are particularly rude, so this may not be the best resource to use with younger classes. We’d encourage you to review the full list before sharing with any classes –SQA can’t be held responsible for any new words they learn!



What a super possibility! Your words of warning are well said. But great for the right class! Nice way in to social media and the linguistic reality of how Scots is being used today. Heritage is all well and good, but Scots is vibrant (sweaty words and all).


It’s interesting to surf for a Scots language site and I rest on this one which promises to be apposite to my quest only to find its written in English.
Fit’s that a’ aboot?

Malcolm Wilson

Oor blog’s no jist for Scots Leid but – it’s got information oan the Scottish Studies Award which his Gaelic an English alang wi Scots.

A Scots walcome though, an we’ll look tae use mair o it as the blog develops.


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