Denseman on the Rattis

Formerly known as the Widmann Blog


Dialects of Scots

Scots dialects
Dialects of Scots.
The fact that the 2011 Census provides figures for the number of Scots speakers in each council area makes it possible to estimate speaker numbers for each dialect (if we assume that people speak their local dialect, which of course won’t always be the case).

In some cases there’s a perfect overlap (e.g., between Orkney and Shetland and the Insular Scots dialect), but in many cases I’ve had to split a council area in half, so the numbers won’t be very precise.

Bearing those caveats in mind, the numbers I came up with are as follows: West Central 551,984; South East Central 277,836; Mid Northern 230,380; North East Central 221,027; South Northern 101,913; South West Central 75,501; Southern 34,873; North Northern 24,226; Insular 19,266.

It’s interesting that the Central dialects (roughly the ones spoken in the Central Belt) account for nearly three quarters of all Scots speakers.

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