Div ye mine?
It Is strange that when the
colloquial language known widely as Doric is written down by its fluent speakers the
spelling interpretation is
wide and differing but 'ye get the gist'.
Div Y' Min'? (Do You Remember?)
Div y' min' on
'n' his junk on Castle Hill?
Div y' min' on
Reid & Pearsons, Watt & Milne?
Cocky Hunters set his stall out
Monday to Saturday just off the Castlegate at the top of
Castle Terrace in front of the Maternity
and this was a cornucopia of relics from many lives as he did house clearances
and resold anything from old Punch Magazines, to Wardrobes, Washstand and
the like. Some were much sought after by antique dealers looking to turn a
shilling on a bargain. Similar things would appear on the Tuesday regular
markets salvaged from bins and town waste dumps which were normally abandoned
Colonel James 'Soapy' Ogston's Victorian soap factory was on the
Div y' min' on cha'k an' inkwells,
at th' school?
Div y' min' on Copie Divis,
'n' checks ties up wi' wool?
My first writing was with slate pencil and slate pad in
Commerce Street Infants School
- a stinking wet rag would be wet to clear the
slate of attempted scribbles and sums - all copied laboriously from the Chalk
Board. Mrs Christie was my first teacher and she seemed in her 60's then
but went on to look quite regal when recognising you outside the same school
some years since I went up to Hanover School. Inkwells were full of
strange and wonderous articles dropped into your dip by fellow pupils to
encourage blots - they were
filled overcautiously from an air syphon corked bottle by a trusted steady
handed Prefect. Co-op Receipts were tied up in £1 rolls with a bit of
spare wool to indicate the level of Dividend anticipated. Co-opie Check Number - 56098
yielded dividends of up to 12.5% some 2s-6d in the £1
Div y' min' on
Crown & Anchor
at the Links?
Black-leeded grates an' ovens,
Brass taps in cast iron sinks?
Illegal Crown and Anchor schools were rife on Sunday
mornings and oft raided by the police the lookouts would chase us away for fear
of giving away their position to the Bobbies. Murcar and old block houses
on the King and Queens Links were favoured spots for illegal gambling with high
stakes. Bookies runners would stand in strategic places in outer
suburbs all afternoon taking small bets for Bookies and ringing them through on
the phone for their non-de-plumed punters - 6d Yankees, Roll ups and each way
bets - all illegal in those days - but tolerated by the police. Black
leading was an awesome job on a cast iron range but had to be done to maintain
or you would be 'black affronted'.
Div y' min' on
sair tae ca'?
An' squares o' P&J hung wi' string
On a reed-ochered lavvy wa'?
The wash hoose biler was a copper surrounded by a kiln
like fire with a wooden lid and a long stick as 'white as leprosy' after
exposure to multiple boilings. This was used to transfer scalding washing
at more than arms length to a rubbing Board for finishing off and rinsing in
'wooden' sinks of a communal wash house that served the tenants as a laundry.
Aberdeen toilet paper was quartered newspapers and the the Radio Times was more
favoured for size and texture than the broad sheets. Why the drains never
blocked every day was a mystery. Toilet paper was a luxury and was more
valued as tracing paper by the children. Red ochre wa's - were normally
distempered white which came off if you rubbed against it.
The watch an' chain that Gran-dad wore
Div y' min' on a' these things?
By God……….yer getting' aul'!
The Ubiquitous waistcoat with Gold Watch and Albert chain and various amusing fobs
to adorn a mans paunch. The black crocheted woollen shawlie was a universal
garment that served to shroud the head and shoulders of the mature wimmen in
their short duration trips to the local shops for instant purchases. The younger
female element were more at home with Turbans and Pinafores and kept their
stockings loose round their ankles to allow ease of circulation of blood from
formerly tightly gartered thighs
Div y' min' on
Fin y' whiles got back y'r maik?
Div y' min' on
Solid tires 'n' just one brake?
flavoured with cassia,
and steamed and covered with cinnamon
These gave way to lucky dips - to encourage one to gamble away ones pocket money
on a chance edible or whimsical find.
Two Wheeler Fairy Bicycle with Missing Mudguards, Parcel
Shelf and Chainguard
Div y' min' on
'n' message loons on bikes?
'n Bantam Sodgers on parade -
W'd never seen the likes!
The famed Wordies Horses - Fa's 'ere - Ina - Ina Fa - Ina Wordie's Horses.
Long forgotten but there was a team of Shetland ponies stabled 'doon in the 'unks'
of Virginia Street below Castle Terrace Tenement building foundations which were
for beach rides and operated by gypsy Families often further related to the
funfair operators. A closed family cash business.
were less than average recruitment height.
once had 2000 horses all over Scotland!
Div y' min' on
boots wi' tackets,
Itchin' combs an' han' me doons?
Fin naebody at a' had trouble -
Tellin th' quines fae th' loons?
Parish Boots were provided for the poorer children (The
Barrackers) who would have been otherwise barefoot - these were heavily
segged and tacked with added steel toe and heel pieces to make them last for
generations without possible sole wear. Alas this was circumvented by a
line of loons dragging this booted child round the playground sitting on his
haunches and heels while the lads wore out the steel studs in a single play
session just to make a shower of parks come out of his arse as he skited along.
Loons and Quins were segregated beyond infant school as regards playing sessions
for fear of feelies or futile attempts at fornication with inadequate equipment
or knowledge. Itching Combs or 'Bean' Combs fine toothed double sided combs designed
for catching nits' if ye were aye scratchen yer heid'. A wide centre
section would allow the comber a chance to 'crack' the insect or eggs with a
nail - before chemicals and shampoos.
Div y' min' on gas-lit lamp-posts,
'n' the leery wi' his licht?
Like moths aroon a cun'le -
Kids a' githered there at nicht!
Gas lit lamps had permanent pilot lights in my era and
timed gas supply perfect for shinning up for a wee peek with cross arms we could
hang our enemies from. The mantle was surrounded by a double crest of mirrors to
reflect the light outwards and off the upper white painted reflector - just
enough light to eat your chips by but not for reading or warming hands
Div y' min fin chunties 'neath the bed
Saved journeys in the caul'?
If ye admit t' minin' 'at,
Like me……….yer getting' aul'!
Chunties were more likely a seated flushing toilet bowl
but Po's and Pails were ever present as were thrown clay hot water bottles before
rubber was rife. In one of my homes was a magnificent victorian heavily
crazed toilet bowl - my mother said on sight of it - hey eddie! Kin
ye nae get a new chuntie!
Div y' min' fin Woolies were busy shops,
On' a Seterday aifterneen?
'n' ye couldna walk on the pavement,
Fae Loch Street tae th' Queen?
Little Woolies were in George Street - emergency exit only to Loch St and also
Big Woolies in Union
Street in fact but very busty with most things priced at a tanner while you
walked on expensive Teak Herringbone block flooring.
Div y' min' on th' games we played,
Wi' twa three yards o' rope?
'n' tellin' y'r ma ye'd seen Jesus -
On a screen - at Band o' Hope?
Lundies - Double ropes ca'd each way - only Quines
could leap in and keep step without stopping the rhythm of the ropes and the
chants, Single ropes were easier for the boys to cope with but inevitably
their lack of rhythm stopped that too. The band of Hope were street
evengelists always preaching on a Saturday night on a soap box.
Div y' min' on collar'd jerseys,
Worn wi' a strippet tie?
'n' jam jars fu' o' tadpoles,
That ye'd gaither'd fae Cairncry?
Knitted woollen Long sleeved Collared Shirts with
yellow and blue striped horizontal bar ties and inevitably an indian elastic
belt with a snake hasp link 'tae hud up yer troosers'
Div y' min' fan a pal wis a loon wi' an aipple
That aye gave you the core?
Div y' min' on the smell o' coffee,
Passin' Andrew Collie's door?
See's a bite o yer apple - no ye can hae the core tho' -- an older coffee
house stood opposite the Citadel on the Castlegate at the top of Justice Street
dispensing exotic smells. Andrew Collie's was the upmarket West End Wine
Spirits and Provision merchants backing on to Bon Accord Square. Then
there was Chivas's for the even richer community. Chivas Regal a fine Blend
Div y' min' on the things we used tae eat,
Like skirlie, skink an' spaul?
Will the youngster gaun aboot the day,
Min on junk food when THEY'RE aul?
Stovies and Mince and Tatties were my fare - Skirlie - Fried Onion and Oatmeal
done in dripping.
My mother, Charlotte (Lottie) Sinclair, who died last year
at age 97, wrote poems, some of which were in the Doric and published in the
local press. This poem was found among her papers and I assumed she must have
written it. Ann B
Div ye myn o’ Andrew Collies
Wi’ its waft o’ tea an’ coffee
Div ye myn o’ Thomson’s sweetie shop
Faar ye bocht aa kinds o’ toffee
Div ye myn o’ Cocky Hunter
Faar ye got maist onything
Div ye myn o’ Reid and Pearson
Weemin’s fashions they did bring
Div ye myn o’ Ledingham the bakers
Wi’ their restaurant up abeen
Div ye myn o’ the Princess Cafe
Faar ye looked oot ower the Green
Div ye myn o’ Aberdeen Motors
Faar ye bocht an Austin “Devon”
Div ye myn o’ Isaac Benzie
Faar yer mither wis in heaven
Div ye myn o’ Pat McGee the tailors
Faa kept ye weel turned oot
Div ye myn o’ Milne an’ Munro
Faar ye bocht a leather shoe or boot
Div ye myn o’ Matheson the butcher
Wi’ his shops aa ower the city
Div ye myn o’ the Aberdeen Savings Bank
If ye hid money in the kitty
myn o’ Paterson Sons & Marr
Faar ye got a piano or an organ
Div ye myn o’ Gordon & Smith,
Faa selt spirits named Sandeman or Morgan
Div ye myn o’ yon Alexanders
Faar ye bocht bikes or radio sets
Div ye myn o’ Browns in Belmont Street
Faar ye got fishin’ rods an’ nets
Div ye myn o’ the weekly Bon-Accord
Wi’ its pages printed in green
Div ye myn o’ The Rubber Shop
Faa selt fitba’ beets an bowlers’ sheen
Div ye myn’ o’ aa the ither shops
We’ve lost — mair is the pity
Div ye myn o’ aa the pleasure
Fit wis in the centre o’ the city
©Bob Smith “The Poetry Mannie”
Meaning of unusual words: probably Mutton
Div Y' Min' - Do you remember
Black-leeded - black leaded
mungles sair tae ca' - mangles hard to turn
P&J - Aberdeen Press and Journal newspaper
lavvy - lavatory/toilet
crooshied - crocheted
fin - when
maik - half penny
message loons - message boys
tackets - boot studs
quines - girls
loons - boys
leery - lamp lighter
cun'le - candle
chunties - chamber pots
strippet tie - striped necktie
skirlie - oatmeal and onions fried together
skink - fish soup
spaul - shoulder of meat