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To answer the phrase Whit’s the time? (What time is it?):
|Fower (o’ clock) or fower oors juist efter fower
the back o fower
ten efter fower
a quarter efter fower
a quarter til/tae five
ten til/tae/frae five
juist afore five.
Until a few generations ago Scots hauf fower would have meant 3.30 (as still in Flemish/Dutch). Units are saicant, meenit, oor (remember no plural forms immediately after numbers).
Some common expressions of time:
|morn morning twalours/nuin midday
weeoors early morning
keek o day sunrise
nuin or twal-oors noon
gloamin just after sunset
|nicht nightday day
the day today
the morn tomorrow
the morn’s morn tomorrow morning
the nicht tonight
The modern forms of the days of the week are:
Sunday is also the Sawbath, and Friday is, if you’re lucky, Peyday ! As usual you will see some spelling differences, sometimes the older forms Monanday and Tyseday.
Nixt/neist is used differently for days of the week. This Seturday is the equivalent of English ‘next Saturday;, while nixt Seturday is the next Saturday but one.
The months of the year are
The last five months are of course similar in many European languages.
Laist, referring to time, is used like English ‘last’ (but ‘last year’ can be fernyear). (When ‘last’ refers to position, use hin(ner) or hinnermaist).
The Fower Saisons:
|Spring /Ware SpringSimmer Summer
A few important days in the Scottish calendar are
|Ne’erday New Year’s DayBurns’ Nicht 25 Jan
Fastern’s een Shrove Tuesday
Gowk’s Day or Huntigowk 1 April
Beltane 1 or 3 May
Guy Fawkes Nicht 5 November
Sanct Andra’s Day 30 November
Yuil Een 24 December
Yuil Day Christmas
Hogmanay New Year’s Eve.
The autumn half term school holiday is still sometimes called the tattie holiday – a time when traditionally children were needed to help with bringing in the potato harvest.
The Scots Quarter Days (still used at some Universities) are Cannlemas (2 Feb), Lammas (1 Aug), Michelmas (29 Sep) and Mairtinmas (11 November).