Famous Ayrshire Scots speakers

Robert Burns

Alexander Fleming

Bill Shankly

William McIlvanney

Sir Tom Hunter

This dialect of Scots is spoken across Ayrshire from Girvan in the south to Kilbirnie in the north and Cumnock and Muirkirk in the east. Its sounds and vocabulary vary depending on where you are in Ayrshire. Rich and expressive, its most famous speaker was Robert Burns, who chose to write Scots poetry in his own native dialect.

Ayrshire folk are still writing in the dialect today. This is a poem by Douglas Bell, a P7 pupil at Greenmill Primary School in Cumnock, read by Ayrshire poet Rab Wilson.

Soacks by Douglas Bell

Plain soacks, fancy soacks,

Multi-coloured weans’ soacks.
Guid soacks, din soacks,
Fit for the bin soacks.

Haill soacks, torn soacks,
Cannae fin its neebor soacks.
Mither’s soacks, faither’s soacks,
Sisters’ and brithers’ soacks.

Nike soacks, umbro soacks,
Cacket wi muck soacks.
Soapy soacks, dreepin soacks,
Wavin fae the line soacks.

Holey soacks, schule soacks,
Rollin doon ma leg soacks.
Spottit soacks, strippit soacks,
Kept aside ma drawers soacks.


Listen to the poem read by Rab Wilson.

  Download Soacks (1 MB)

  PDF File: Soacks (10 KB)

Ayrshire voices

Listen to Cynthia Sim talking about how her Ayrshire Scots fits in with her role as headteacher of a busy primary school in Irvine.

  Download Cynthia Sim (4.7 MB)

Enjoy Allan McMillan’s excellent biography of Leonardo Da Vinci in braw Ayrshire dialect.

  Download Allan McMillan - Leonardo (3.4 MB)

  PDF file: Leonardo, A clever chiel (16 KB)