Page last updated at 09:25 GMT, Tuesday, 5 May 2009 10:25 UK

Rare fisherfolk dialect recorded

Fishing boats in Cromarty

A dialect known and used by a dwindling number of people in Cromarty has been recorded in a new booklet.

Researcher Janine Donald, from Highland Council's history and culture website Am Baile, has compiled a booklet of words and phrases.

The initiative is part of an effort by Am Baile to preserve the community's fisherfolk dialect.

The 40-page publication also has weather lore, biblical expressions and local tales and customs.

Included is the word "tumblers" for dolphins and harbour porpoises and phrases such as "At now kucka" for a friendly greeting.

'Most threatened'

Conversations between local brothers Bobby and Gordon Hogg were recorded as part of the project.

Bobby's late wife Helen and another speaker Clem Watson also provided material for the booklet, not only on the dialect but also on the history of the town's fisherfolk.

Help was also provided on the research by Maggie Scott of Scottish Language Dictionaries in Edinburgh.

Highland Council's education, culture and sport committee chairman Bill Fernie applauded Am Baile's work to record the dialect.

Cromarty-based historian and Black Isle councillor David Alston said: "The dialect was part of a way of life which has now gone.

"We cannot bring it back but it is important that we record it as fully as possible, not least in recognition of the hardy men and women who, for centuries, have baited lines, fished these waters and sold the catch."

Researcher Ms Donald thanked those who contributed to the project to preserve what has been described as "the most threatened dialect in Scotland".

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