Scottish Culture/scottish words


Kaye McAlpine wrote at 2008-07-09 09:46:36
Got it! well, a very helpful researcher at the Dictionary of the Scottish Tongue got it and I'm happily  passing it on.

Here's the DST reference:

DSL - SND1   DEY, n.2 [dei Sh.; di ne.Sc.; de: Fif.]      1. A father (Abd. 1900 E.D.D.; Fif. 1825 Jam.2; Fif.10 1940; Rnf. 1875 (per Abd.27)); hence grand-dey, a  grandfather  (Fif. 1825 Jam.2). A child's word.

  2. A  grandfather  (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.; Mry.1 1925; Bnff., Fif. 1947 (per Abd.27)); used as a term of respect when speaking to an old man. A grandmother (Bnff. 1927 Mr Milne W.-L.).

  *Clc. 1889 F. Barnard in Poets and Poetry Lnlsh. (ed. Bisset 1896) 195:

  Eh! there's dey up frae the raw, Come to tak' my bairn awa'.

  [A shortened form of daidie (see DADDY), DEYD, n.]  

Margaret McGarvey wrote at 2010-07-26 15:27:56
Hi Peter and Kaye

The word you are looking for is spelt.... Di.  It is the scottish word for grandfather and is used primarily in the North and South Lanarkshire area.  I and my sister have used this for our Di and Great Di for many years.  Hope this helps

anne wrote at 2010-10-21 18:32:45

        Some of the fishing villages of Buchan

        they tend to use the name dide for a


Catherine wrote at 2014-01-26 20:31:58
It's mainly used in the West of Fife and is spelt Dey.

soots wrote at 2015-04-22 23:54:21
All of my late husbands family came from Fife, as do my fathers family and they all called a grandfather 'Dey' and spelled it Dey, but pronounced with short vowel sound 'Di'.

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Kaye McAlpine


Lifecycle (birth, marriage, death) customs in Scotland, Early Modern Scottish social customs, modern Scottish social customs, Border March laws and procedures, criminal processes and judicial execution practices, social history in Early Modern Scotland, ephemera printing in Scotland. While I have some knowledge of the clan system and function of the clan society (Highland and Lowland), I am not a an expert in clan genealogy. Having traced back my own family over a couple of centuries, and traced others due to academic research, I do know how the system works, however. This doesn't mean that I'm a genealogist. Please note that I do not speak Gaelic.


Research Fellow (University of Edinburgh). Contributer to various books and journals on ballads, including Scottish Life and Society: A Compendium of Scottish Ethnology, The Ballad and History and The Harris Repertoire. Freelance tutor in outreach courses from Edinburgh University on Scottish Culture and Tradition, including lifecycle customs, broadsheet ballads in Scotland, the traditional ballad and history. Freelance writer, guest presenter on Ch4 History Hunters programme, contributor to BBC Radio Scotland's 'Songlines' series on 'The Dowie Dens of Yarrow'. Currently co-director of a media production company

Books: Forthcoming: The Gallows and The Stake Published: Compendium of Scottish Ethnology, vol. 10, chapter on The Traditional and the Border Ballad; The Harris Repertoire (2000, Scottish Text Society, co-editor), The Ballad in History (chapter on Border ballads). Journals include Folklore, The Review of Scottish Culture,Sottish Studies, and The Scottish Literary Journal

Ph D, M. Phil, BA (hons)

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