Archiver > SCT-WIGTOWNSHIRE > 2004-01 > 1075206540

From: "bill.copland" <>
Subject: [WIG LIST] pronunciation of McGeoch
Date: Tue, 27 Jan 2004 12:29:00 +0000

Hi there

The pronunciation of the surname McGeoch as M'G-yoch is not 'slang'. It is
the way it has been traditionally pronounced in Galloway for generations,
and it is still the way that the older residents of Galloway pronounce it.
There was an article in the newsletter of the D&G FHS concerning a very
eminent and respectable dynasty of Galloway McGeochs in Glasgow, and they
still insist on using the traditional pronounciation.

Sadly, an increasing number of the younger generation in Galloway use the
pronunciatin M'Gee-uch.

Readers will thus realise that Ian McClumpha and I come from the older
generation, while Diana is obviously just a wee young thing.

This is not the only example of traditional pronunciation dying out. As a
wee boy I spent my summer holidays with my grandfathers in Stranraer and
Wigtown, and everybody I met pronounced the names McDowall and McKeand as
Ma-Dole and M'K-yand, but now they have become Mc-Dow-al and M'Keend.

This co-incided with a period in the 1950's and 60's when it was considered
socially uncouth and educationally unacceptable for people to use
traditional scots words in polite society or in schools and universites.
Sadly, it was our schools and schoolteachers that caused the greatest
undermining of the traditional scots tongue. The novelist McIlvanney often
recounts how he was belted by a primary teacher in the 1950's for using the
scots word 'sheuch' in the classroom. One of my own primary teachers would
go apopleptic if any of the pupils used such common scots words as 'aye' or

One unfortunate result of this is that most scots under the age of 40 have
trouble understanding the works of Robert Burns and other Scottish writers.
Ironically, our educationalists have now realised that the traditional
language of the Scottish Lowlands is under serious threat, and
schoolteachers are now being encouraged to include aspects of what is called
'Lallans' into the curriculum in primary schools and in secondary school
english departments.



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