Video: 12 words and phrases from Orkney Islands

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You could listen to an Orcadian talk all day long.

Today’s Orkney dialect is full of Norse words and turns of speech and for almost a thousand years the language of the Orkney Islands was a variant of Norse known as Norroena, or Norn in Scots.

The Scots dialect of Orkney is underpinned by the Norse heritage of the islands. PIC: Paul Stephenson/Flickr/Creative Commons.

The Scots dialect of Orkney is underpinned by the Norse heritage of the islands. PIC: Paul Stephenson/Flickr/Creative Commons.

According to experts at the Scots Language Centre, the unique qualities of the Orkney dialect spoken in the islands today derive from this sister language of Faroese, which too developed from Norse brought in by settlers in the 9th century, and from Icelandic.

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Direct Scots influence on Orkney really began from the 1330’s with Norn steadily eroding as a language of governance. The pledging of Orkney to Scotland as part of the dowry of Margaret of Denmark in 1468 accelerated the changes.

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The Scots Language Centre said records in Scots began to appear in Orkney from the 1430’s with very few documents written in Norwegian left.

There are indications that Orkney began developing its own dialect of Scots from an early period.

Here we look at 12 words and phrases you’ll hear on Orkney today.