The Orkney Dictionary View larger

The Orkney Dictionary


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A detailed account of Orkney dialect words and sayings, their origins and meanings.

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By Margaret Flaws and Gregor Lamb

Throughout the twentieth century it has been observed that the Orcadian dialect is in decline. the reasons for this are several and interconnected - the increased mobility of people to and from the islands, and importantly within them, the tendancy towards centralisation and the all-pervasiveness of the media, nationally and internationally - all these factors have tended to promote standardisation and the suppression of individuality.

In Orkney our uniqueness is exemplified by our dialict. Unfortunately standard English has become locally the preferred form of the written word.


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