Like other urban dialects Dundonian also
suffers from a loss of much traditional agricultural and
countryside vocabulary. Dundee lies just inside the south
northern dialect 'border' subsequently the pronunciation
of Dundee Scots shares some features with north
east central Scots.
Consonants usually have the same phonetic
in as in Standard English.
Words that traditionally have Medial and
Final <ch> /x/
now generally take the pronunciation of their Standard
English cognates i.e. bought (bocht), draught (draucht),
enough (eneuch), laugh (lauch), night (nicht), right (richt),
rough (roch), sight (sicht) and tight (ticht) etc. /x/
remains in words with no Standard English cognates like
Initial <wh> is pronounced
/ʍ/ in common
east central Scots.
The initial <th> in words
like thing, naething and think is often pronounced /h/.
His is often rendered [(h)i:z].
Vowels and diphthongs are usually similar to those
of the surrounding dialects but note the following:
A final glide /-(j)əl/
or epenthetic vowel may occur in words like
spyle, byle, birl and [e:rʌm]
<a>, <au> and <aw>
have the northern pronunciation /a/
aff, alang, crabbit, drap,
shak, tak, tap, twa, awa,
wha, faw, awbody, baw,
waw, awfu, blaw, braw and
<ai> and <a(consonant)e>
are usually pronounced /e/
but /ɛ/ may
and in some words like gaither, jaiket,
maiter and skail.
<ea> is usually /e/
in words like beast, cheap, cheat, fear, leave, neat and
<ei> is usually /e/
in words like deif, heid, leid (metal), reid and seiven
<ie> is usually /i/
in words like gie, hie and piece etc.
<i> is usually /ɪ/
also occurs i.e. brither, cliver, finger, girn, hing,
iver, wir and wis etc. with /ɪ/
but birl, fit, lift, lip, whit and will etc. with
The well-known Dundee marker is the pronunciation
/ɛ/ in words
like by, buy, ay, forby, fry,
cry, pie, sky, drive, five,
size and diary etc. This also occurs where
Standard English cognates have replaced the Scots words
i.e. eye (ee), I (A), lie (lee) and my (ma) etc.
The <ui> generally takes
the pronunciation /e/
but is often /u/
before <v>, <th> and <z>
in words like buith (booth), muive (move), suithe (sooth),
ruise, and in many common words with Standard English
Note daena (dinna), didna, juist and tae (to) with /ɪ/
In words with Standard English cognates
the <eu> is usually pronounced /u/
i.e. beuk (book), heuk (hook), leuk (look) and teuk (took)
etc. in particularly Scots words e.g. speugie /ju/
may also occur.
Glottal stops are often seen as the hallmark of urban Scots dialects especially for final /t/
and /k/ and medial
/t/ in words like
bat, night, bottle, watter and
Adverbial and adjectival <(l)y>
varies between /e/
and /i/. Similarly
with final <-(a)e> in words like
borrae, nairae, orra, swallae
and windae etc. <-fu> is /fi/
The negative <-na> is /na/
e.g. canna, daena (dinna), didna, isna, needna and winna
The past tense <-it> is usually
/ɪt/ e.g. barkit,
crabbit, dytit, glaikit, hackit, hallockit, nakit, pentit
and sleekit etc. but final <-t> e.g. clypt
etc. may also be /d/
e.g. couart and drount etc.
McCluskey, Mick (1990) Dundonian
for Beginners, Edinburgh: Mainstream.