The Scottish Brogue Wins Many Merry Souls

Portrait of Robert Burns by Alexander Nasmyth, 1787, Scottish National Portrait Gallery. (

Someone – ironically, a good friend with a pronounced British accent – sent me this tongue-in-cheek article from the Babylon Bee: Study Finds Preaching With A Scottish Accent Results In 300% More Salvations 

I do have something of a bias and attachment to the Scotch brogue, which I consider – and pardon my provincialism – the most perfect way to speak English, and please do hear me out. Like Latin, in Scottish – at least, proper Scotch – every, single syllable is pronounced, the clarity and meaning of one’s diction unmistakable, the very lilt adding to the tone and phrasing.

Oh, you can say what you like about Irish, Aussie and the aforementioned British – never mind French. As for which is the more pleasant, well, to paraphrase Saint Thomas, beauty is quod auditum placet – that which pleases upon being heard, and we all like what is familiar to our ears. But just ponder how one might say the word ‘car’ in England versus Scotland. In the former, its ‘cah‘, which could mean a vehicle, or the sound a crow makes; while in the latter it’s ‘carrr‘ – undeniably a motor carrr. Test any other word, phrase, sentence or paragraph ye like. I read once that in Shakespeare’s time, the accent was much closer to Scotch than to modern British, which makes recitation all that more intelligible. Tomorrow, and tomorrow and tomorrow… Ian Fleming even added a Scottish ancestry to James Bond, once Sean Connerrrrry took on the role. And jokes are usually funnier when told in Scotch, from Billy Connolly, to Craig Ferguson to Shrek.

Now, I say this, even though, when friends back in high school came over, and heard my dear mother – God rest her soul – address them in her own unmistakable Dumbarton brogue, they would turn to me and ask what language she was speaking.

Ah, well, they’d probably say the same of Latin and Rabbie Burns, those Philistines. But, still, a man’s a man, for a’ that.