Scotland Times

Sunday, Apr 14, 2024

Taking TikTok by storm with the Scots language

Taking TikTok by storm with the Scots language

Poet Len Pennie has amassed millions of views and hundreds of thousands of followers for her Scots language videos on social media.

The 22-year-old linguistics student began posting a Scots word of the day on TikTok and Twitter in an attempt to stave off boredom during lockdown in 2020.

Some of her most popular videos - which have been a particular hit with American women - feature her poetry, such as The Hurcheon and Little Girls.

When comments first started coming in, she found that they were largely positive.

"At first there was a lovely range of people - people who knew Scots and people who didn't - and it felt nice to be a part of something," she said.

"It's no longer a boys club. It's not just Burns texts being passed about, there's a lot of women involved now too."

Len said she was surprised when she learned that the vast majority of her audience were women from America.

"I thought: 'That's great, because they're engaging in the culture' - but I wish I could engage the Scottish audience more."

Len can still remember her mother telling her that Scots words were not "slang".

"I really credit my mum for reassuring me that it was a real way of speaking. Some people get bullied for speaking that way," she said.

At the last census in 2011, more than 1.2 million people in Scotland said they could speaks, read and write in Scots.

Singer-songwriter Iona Fyfe, who has previously highlighted instances of abuse in the Scottish folk scene, is also part of the online community of Scots enthusiasts.

Iona says more and more young people are speaking the Scots language

"When I was growing up, I didn't see myself on TV, on the radio, in other situations," she said.

"Generally, I was told at school to speak 'proper'."

But she has stuck to her roots, and last September she released The Cauld - a pop song written in Scots.

"In music, if you didn't like folk music or Bothy Ballads you wouldn't hear Scots - until now," she said.

"That's why I wanted to write The Cauld. It's a pop song with all the pop formations, but it's in Scots.

"I didn't write it in English and translate it, I wrote it directly into Scots."

She has also translated Taylor Swift's Love Story into Scots, which proved to be a hit at this year's Celtic Connections.

"Love Story's not released yet but has been performed at gigs - the reaction's been great," she said.

"Someone even asked for the studio recording, so they could walk down the aisle to it."

Despite the positive response they have received on social media, Len and Iona say there has also been some abuse.

"Some people have a vested interested in destroying Scots. I really wasn't prepared for any of that," said Len.

"I always thought it would be a positive thing, I really thought people would be respectful.

"Anyone should be allowed to speak Scots."

The woman taking TikTok by storm with the Scots language


Related Articles

Scotland Times
UK Island Orkney council to look at proposals to become territory of Norway
Woman Awarded Over £100,000 After Being Fired for Transgender Tweet
A provocative study suggests: Left-Wing Extremism and its Unsettling Connection to Psychopathy and Narcissism
A Real woman
Brand new security footage has just been released to the public showing the Active shooter Audrey Elizabeth Hale drove to Covenant Church School in her Honda Fit this morning, parked, and shot her way into the building
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
Double standards: UK lawmakers attack EU chief over Ireland claims
Democracy? Not for UK. UK PM rejects Scottish independence referendum, cancel democracy in BVI
UK urged to brace for economic storm
Women's own body dissatisfaction appears to influence their judgment of other women's body sizes
Prince William To Move Family Into Cottage Near Queen Elizabeth II
BOOOOOOS: Tony Blair receives royal honour
Captured Britons sentenced to death in Ukraine
Barbados PM Mia A. Mottley among Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People
Today's headlines
"Just One Of the Boys In School:" Years That Shaped Prince Charles
BVI Premier Rubbishes Claim Of Causing COI Delay
Comments on "Human Intelligence in a Digital Age" - A brilliant Speech by MI6 Chief Richard Moore, and the elephants neglected in the room
Bitcoin: BoE Deputy Gov wants to cancel democracy and protect the banks with regulations which infringe on people’s freedom, independence and benefits they get from their own money.
What are the Pandora Papers?
Taiwan-China relations at their 'worst in 40 years'
The attempt to hold accountable for the content of its clients' websites is like blaming Gutenberg for the NYT's fake news that dragged the US into the pointless war against the nuclear weapons Iraq never had