The Drinkard's Aberdoniensis

The DRINKARD's Aberdoniensus




The Combined Technical Jargon of Bev


These are all words and phrase which we have picked up from researches into the Scottish-Aberdonian way of speaking. We are three American students from New York who are in Scotland because of the unique words which they use here, and the Peter Burnett Website has let us publish what we have collected so far.


We hope that you enjoy the words and that you send us more if you hear any while you are in Aberdeen!

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Christmas Service

This is the actual text of the sermon I delivered in church this year:

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I Got This from my Employers

Dear Peter

We have based the following appraisal on reports made by our clients on your habits of work, co-operation, ability to perform repetitive tasks, the quantity of work you achieve and your suitability for business.

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Peter Burnett Pure Babel


Yes that was Peter Burnett. Including recent problems in publication and remorse this moo based website has made my Peter soggy. He's sorry. Heard one sermon too many and ended up feeling foggy. I'm bored with time and choosing my next word. 'Oatcake' is not in the Microsoft spell-checker so why should I not try and make computing better? Poor education means damn there goes another kid. Hence : I've given up on copyright. Look at your cancer. You don't need a specialist answer. I came to bring it and I brought it. Nobody will reply to my telescopic type topics cause my argument's too simple. Your argument is complex but I squeeze it and it bleeds like a red pimple. My trips to Inverness locked it and a further ninety-seven times I went to Fraserburgh, my teachers spoke shit but I blocked it, now a grown man, I proved it, I superseded their average line and I blew it, I combine a scholar with a shock caller, I still want to convert my poetry to pounds and dollars, but typically speaking, I BAKE like a Mohican, I'm not writing like they say for myself but for flip's sake writing for someone else. Now don't that make a change? Not to hate? I'm drunk enough to stay up late, drunker in my stature than a bull, but not drunk enough to catch you if you fall. I don't need to count my friends cause we're still starving artists, that's starving not hungry. I want to see the whole of Africa come and live in this country. I'd get out of bed for that. I can still spit out enough to end a four year drought, with my first line outs, and my second line shouts it out again. Written words of mouth flowing til my ink cartridge runs out. In the meantime I got Scots slang teachers and human internet creatures, broken pencils and scribble pad poets, dudes equipped with routers and dial tones, pimping mobile phones, none of that shit features, not in any advanced society. I'm obliged to live as I can be, that is to the same tune that could be a symphony. I mean to say : look at what the bastard petty Bourgeoisie did to me!


The River Ythan and the Crown of Scotland

Buchan — Ythan — Forgue — the Kirkhill of Logie — and the Soorick Burn — the source of the pearl that is found in the Crown of Scotland.

The Ythan — or Ituna as it was known to the Romans — rises in the upper parish of Forgue, from three springs which are collectively known as the Wells of Ythan.  Half a mile from these springs, the Ythan receives its first tributary, the burn of the Sorrel — in Doric known as the Soorick Burn.  This is near the base of the Kirkhill of Logie, at the summit of which are the final remains of three druidical circles.

It is perhaps surprising to some people that in this remote area of North East Scotland, there were both Romans and Druids — but there were.  Both Romans and Druids in their ways were in the business of setting boundaries, and near this spot at the Mill of Knockleith is where the Ythan begins to form that for which it is still known — the boundary of Buchan.

At one time, the Ythan was known for its mussels — called pearl oysters — and in the list of unpublished Acts of Parliament of Charles I, there is one “for repeating the patent for the pearl-fishery in the Ythan, granted to Robert Buchan.”



There is a tradition in fact that large pearl in the crown of Scotland was procured in the Ythan, the story being that it was found at the junction of the Water of Kelly (spit, spit) and the Ythan, and was presented to James IV in 1620 by Sir Thomas Menzies of Cults.

Skene, in his Succinct View of Aberdeen, says that it was “for beauty and bigness, the best that was at any time found in Scotland.”

On account of these pearls which were found in the Ythan, the river was once called “the rich rig of Scotland” and although pearls are still found there, there is no regular fishery for them.

A Note on the Crown of Scotland

The Crown of Scotland is very old indeed.  The Crown was remade in its current form for King James V of Scotland  in 1540. It is part of the Honours of Scotland which is the oldest set of royal regalia in the United Kingdom. 

In 1540, the bonnet of velvet and ermine was added to the crown, but an earlier form of the crown is shown in the portrait of James IV of Scotland  in the Book of Hours, done for his marriage to Margaret Tudor in 1503. 

This 1503 date is the earliest known reference to the crown and so 1503 is thus the latest date of original manufacture of the crown.

The Crown of Scotland on Wikipedia

To Humanise

Another word that has changed its meaning is the verb to humanise.

To humanise now means to turn into a machine, but this definition has become a matter of balance. Life on Earth is the fact of a brick wall neatly stacked, all the same colour and interlocked so that it does not fall down. When an object is humanised then it is fitted into the technosphere, rather than brought into the human mode.

Does it have a commercial application?

Yes, it is a bumble bee, and therefore we  may enslave it for Honey Breakfast Flakes. Can it be used as a lubricant? Yes it is an essential oil can be sold to violinists to help their grip. Can we re-manufacture it on a mass scale? Yes we can, no matter what it is, even if it isa plastic or a chicken. The word humanise applies to every fowl we have so far come across, they can be bred as often as taste requires, andironic as it may sound, humanised in farms.

More Lambs!

From The Golden Bough

"In some parts of Amboyna, when the state of the clove plantations indicate that the crop is likely to be scanty, the men go naked to the plantations by night, and there seek to fertilise the trees precisely as they would impregnate women, while at the same time they call out for "More Cloves!" This is supposed to make the trees bear more fruit."

Which explains no doubt the desperate, guttural cries of "More Lambs!" heard throughout the Spring in Scotland.


More at Gimcrack Hospital

The Black Death in Alba

I have always been drawn to this description of the Black Plague in Scotland from Andrew of Wyntoun.  Wyntoun was a Scottish poet, a canon and prior of Loch Leven on St Serf's Inch and later, a canon of St. Andrews.

Andrew Wyntoun is most famous for his Orygynale Cronykil of Scotland, which contains an early mention of Robin Hood. A striking feature in this description of the plague is the reiteration of the fact that every historian and chronicler repeats about the Black Death, that when it raged, a third of the population died from it.  Actually, chroniclers in other countries have stated that anywhere between fifty and ninety percent of the population died.

Though the plague definitely hit Scotland in 1349, it seems to have been less damaging here than elsewhere, perhaps due to the harshness of the winter.  Although this changed in 1350, the plague does also seem to have had an effect on English and Scottish relations.

I think I am most drawn in this to the cute word 'barnys' - 'bairns' to you and me.  The Book of Pluscarden (Liber Pluscardensis) also talks of a third of the population being wiped out, so the figure must be fair.


In Scotland, the fyrst Pestilens
Begouth, off sa gret wyolens,
That it was sayd, off lywandf men
The thyrd part it destroyid then
Efftyr that in till Scotland
A yhere or more it was wedand
Before that tyme was never sene
A pestilens in our land sda kene:
Bathe men and barnys and women
It sparred noucht for to kille them.


Sleep Nears

Falling asleep, and cortical vigilance doesn't fall at a uniform rate, it shifts up and down, tending to becoming lower in steps.  Alpha rhythms rise in bursts but less often and with longer periods of slow waves, and little by little ideas escape us.  In intervals we return to attention realising that we've just had some weird thoughts about something that weren't even related to the thoughts previous to them, and we feel we are talking inwardly to ourselves and that we've just said something that doesn't make sense, or is a made up word or phrase. The voice is accompanied by an equally unfamiliar but striking display of visual imagination.  Faces are common, sometimes moving.  Abstract forms, patterns, nature scenes, becoming more complex, until they are brought to an abrupt end . . .

Another Call to Legalise Shoplifting

I ask you: you cannot really want to read Sir Philip Sidney?

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Office Talk

This is still no on print.   I know I’m trying to do it on here.   That thing’s is still no on.   Just remind me are you in the morrow?   I don’t know if you need to sign this or not because that toss has fucked my computer.   See now you ask me I’ve forgotten.   Mine’s isnae working either.   This is nae dialling out.   Is yours a Samsung N four hundreds?   Will that get to Debbie by the morrow?   I never thought on a coffee til you said it.  Garry’s just came into next door’s.  It was strange it was two cheques came cause it was through the Enterprise.   Is that client away working anyway?   When I leave here the morrow lunchtime I’m in the town all afternoon.  He’s a fucking monkey – that offer’s up five hundred pound.   Why is nothing going to the printer?   I know those solicitors have got those offer papers so that means those clients are holding this up.   They’ve done other stuff after their mortgage.   I spoke to him a few times so that’s how I thought maybe I knew his number.   Ah bugger right up my nail — I’m going to go on holiday with a sore finger.   I’m just away to phone the furniture place so how long do you want to wait for this chair?  

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Favourite Photo of Marcel Duchamp

This is my favourite photograph of Marcel Duchamp.  It sometimes goes under the title of 'Marchel Duchamp's Departure for America'.  An artist like Duchamp is unique in everything, and sometimes that comes down to the pure ephemera such as this photograph represents.

Let us look at it in detail.

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Are the Scottish Documentary Film Institute Cheating Us?

I don't always want to be the one harping on about how public money is wasted on the arts, but it seems that the 2016 work of the Scottish Documentary Film Institute is going to drag my knuckles across the desk to the keyboard so I can commence with another rant.

Yet - - the fact that public money can fund these guys to the tune of about £17,000 for each one minute video is troubling, but when you see the work the questions arise thick and fast.  Having searched for the Scottish Documentary Film Institute (SDFI) I can also say they seem to be pretty well hidden, too, often hiding behind claims that their work 'needs to be secret to be effective.'

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Mutter Küsters' Fahrt zum Himmel

Mutter Küsters' Fahrt zum Himmel (1975).  Rainer Werner Fassbinder, starring  Brigitte Mira, Ingrid Caven, Karlheinz Böhm and Margit Carstensen.

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Spare Them The Sport

In Byzantium, in the middle centuries of the First Millenium, the passion for chariot racing and the competition between (savour the irony!) the Blues and the Greens, ran so high that the Empire was decided on the predominance of Chariot Factions - jobs in the state, and ultimately with Justinian, the Emperor's position itself, being decided by the Colour of your favour.  More than religion (itself, eventually split between the Blues and the Greens), racing filled the hearts of the populace with the necessary adrenalin to slaughter each other, to carve their slogans of hate on each other's chests, to rape and torture.

So omnivorous was the Racing Cancer that, on two occasions, The Empire almost fell to the Barbarians as the army was riven and useless to defend the city.  Luck and bad weather alone saved it.  Seeing at last the folly of the Racing Mania, after a particularly grueseome week of riots during which most of the faction leaders were murdered, this 'sport' was extirpated for once and for all.  RENOUNCE SPORT AND ITS WAYS.  Pull down this god of inanity, this art whose best creation is a tongue-tied teenage moron with an expensive haircut...


Aberdeen City Chambers

At the head of King Street, at the Mercat Cross on Union Street, where several co-extensive granite buildings were built tomatch the grey tone, there is space to consider the forward thinking of our Enlightened C18th forebears, whose work we prize so much that it is still in daily use.

The greatest of these buildings, at the head of Union Street, is the Town House, which is shored to the sky, to be without doubt, the grandest sight for miles. It's here in the Townhouse where the knobs and spangles meet to celebrate whatever's new in Administrative Aberdeen, and most weeks there will be some event or other in the upper chambers which as the Provost's own showcase for his town, is without doubt, the nicest place in The City.

The City Chambers are likely the nicest place in all the North of Scotland and are civic red and plush, because it's here the Councillors receive the best of their public duties. It stands to reason that the Townhouse should be so grand, and so, from the soft corona of light about the chandelier, to the red pile carpet, the City Chambers as they are known, are the height of excellence …. and not just in décor, for there are Council waiters standing by, non-resistive with the treats, all of which have come from the Council kitchens don ih stair.

In between the basement and the City Chambers there is a food lift, a dumb-waiter, an ever open windpipe shooting skyward all that is ejected from the kitchen. Monster plates of pastries ascend from the kitchen in twenty seconds on the dumb-waiter, so upward is the food.

Behind the walls of the lower floors in the Town House pass these putties, and so the puffs and soft cake cases, wallowing in the upward rush of air, are transported from wall to wall, arrive still warm and at the relative density intended by the chefs.

It happens each week. The clerks on the lower floors are sat close to their computers, making coherence of the accounting, and knocking out a touch of desk-top publishing .... while shoots past, metres from their desks, the levitational foods for those using the best room in town: the Aberdeen City Chambers.

Why My Books May Require Viewers

Realists polish their lenses to capture the multifarious aspects of the external world. They pride themselves upon the soundness and the sanity of their vision. Realist writers never doubt the totality of the objective world.

But there are others! These writers are not so well appreciated, it is true, but they cultivate the inner vision, abandon the paved highway of standardised points of view, brave the quick-sands of non-conformity, and seek their own path through the quagmires of subjectivity.

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