Suddenly, Granny’s Words Ring True

June 24, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Posted in Writing, Reading | 3 Comments

As if it weren’t hard enough to write in one language, I am about to attempt to write in two. This may not be pretty, so bear with me. I am fluent in two languages; English and Scottish. Isn’t Scottish just English with an accent, I hear you say. Well, yes and no. Have you ever been to Scotland and tried to understand a word the natives say? It’s no easy feat. The cadence, the speed, the colloquialisms (there’s a braw word, eh?), the slang, everything about it is just foreign; even its clichés.

Many people have asked me (that’s a fib, by the way) what my favorite Scottish cliché is. My answer is, and always will be, There’s guid gear in sma’ bulk. I heard these words often when I was growing up. They were said to me empathetically by my wee Scottish Granny who, like me, was vertically challenged. She stood slightly less than my five foot even, and there is no question where I inherited my  height, or lack thereof.  My three younger siblings, however, towered above me leading to comments from other family members .. “Well, what happened to you?” or “What’s the weather like down there?”

I was never amused.

My Granny, though, would always return with her mantra, often preceded by, Dinnae listen tae whit they say. Take it fae me. And then, always the reassurance that there’s guid gear in sma’ bulk. What she was essentially telling me through her thick Scots brogue and chosen words of her mother tongue was that good things come in small packages. Her words have stayed with me partly because I did not grow another inch, but almost certainly because they are absolutely true. Countless times over the years, I have recalled her words as life’s little gifts appeared. The best things were indeed often the little things.

Now, as Suddenly Lost In Words takes shape, I hear her words again as we, the Suddenly team, give a place to short stories for young adults and group them in small packages for all to enjoy.  Granny, you were right, there’s guid gear in sma’ bulk!



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  1. Oh my, a Scottish speaker! Fantastic! You’re going on my list of important people to know, because I may need to ask you for hlep sometime in the future. After I finish the third book in my Texas Druids series, I hope to return to a project I’ve had on the back curner for several years. It’s set in Ireland but includes a secondary character who happens to be a big brawny Scot. It would be marvelous to have your help with dialect. If you’re willing, of course. You can contact me at if you’d like to discuss this.

    • Lynda, I am a native Scot and would be more than happy to help you out with your Big Brawny Scot when the time comes. I will email you. Thanks for your interest in the braw Scot’s language 🙂

      • Terrific! I’ll watch for your email.

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