Overview of the Scotstext Site

Poetry and Proverbs

Much poetry in Scots is of the sometimes sentimental, sometimes quaintly humorous, 'kailyaird' variety. This isn't to say it's all dull, much of the humour is excellent, much of the sentimentality passionate, but there's no point in listing the authors of such works here, since an exploration of the works in the index will turn up large amounts of the stuff.

There are, however, some exceptional collections of poetry on the site. Two poets I'd particularly recommend for sharp observation, humour and philosophy are Dr David Rorie and W L Ferguson.

A very special collection of poems is the Rev T Whyte Paterson's Auld Saws in New Scots Sangs where a selection of traditional Scots proverbs is illustrated in poetry. For those who enjoy these, we also have a comprehensive list of Scots proverbs on the site.

Another special collection is the translations and original poems of Margaret Winefride Simpson, who, as well as writing poetry of her own, has made translations of poems from the Gaelic, German, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian and has produced an especially large collection of translations from the French.


I'm planning to put up a huge collection of traditional songs, but these take a lot of editing as the originals are usually very poor quality with respect to orthography. I do have Volume I of the collection up, however, with many more volumes to follow.

Short Stories

Currently my main representative of the short story form is Joe Corrie. I especially enjoyed Paperin the Room and A Paecefu Sabbath Walk.

Amongst the works of Robert Louis Stevenson you'll find Thrawn Janet.

We are also building a collection of traditional Scots fairy tales. Many of these are recognisable as counterparts of other stories in the European tradition. Whuppity Stourie, for example, is clearly a variant of Rumpelstiltskin.

Longer Prose Works

Contrary to popular belief, there are a fair number of novels, novelettes, essay collections and so forth written entirely in Scots. An example of a novel covering a serious subject is P Hay Hunter's James Inwick, about a Scottish ploughman who is made an elder of the Kirk and soon finds himself in over his head in the politics of disestablishmentarianism.

We also have two excellently observed humorous novelettes in Betty's Trip tae Edinbury and Mrs Goudie's Tea Pairty.


Allan Ramsay's The Gentle Shepherd is a really excellent five-act play in a pleasant rural setting. Full of gentle wit and humour, it makes for most enjoyable reading.

Biblical and Religious Works

The Proverbs of Solomon has been translated into Scots by the Rev T Whyte Paterson whose book of poetry we also recommended above. We also have Waddell's translation of The Psalms of David and a collection of sermons. Other books of the Bible have been translated into Scots, which I'll be putting up in due course.

I still have many more texts to transfer from the old Scotstext site. If you can't find a text you're looking for, you can select 'archives' from the menu, where you will be able to access all the texts on the old site.