Recently I was asked why I love the Glasgow dialect or ‘weegie’ as it’s called. Well, I suppose I’m fascinated at how it sounds. It’s bright and lively and can be very colourful!
I remember, as a kid, watching Jack Milroy and Rikki Fulton on TV, portraying the wonderful characters, Francie and Josie. Pure genius. You can watch their farewell stage performance on youtube! Real feel good stuff!
Also try to catch Rikki Fulton’s last TV performance of his character, ‘The Reverend I M Jolly’. Hysterical.
I loved the long-running BBC Scotland sketch show, Scotch and Wry and now, if I need a pick-me-up, I’ll watch a few back episodes of ‘Still Game’ or ‘Rab C Nesbitt’.
So… when I started writing, it felt natural to write in the Glasgow dialect as all my poetry and short stories were humorous! That’s why my characters in ‘The Bobby Muldoon Trilogy’ use ‘weegie’. For me, Scottish comedy, written and performed in the Glaswegian dialect is so entertaining. Reading and understanding it takes a bit of practice but, if it’s well written, it really works! You only have to read Anne Donovan’s ‘Buddha Da’ or James Kelman’s ‘How Late it Was, How Late’ to really appreciate how well constructed Scottish dialogue can work beautifully!
I have had huge learning curves when writing my trilogy in ‘weegie’ but have done my best to stick to one rule… consistency. That piece of advice was given to me by Mark McNicol, author of ‘Coconut Badger’. He advised that there aren’t really any set ‘rules’ but if I spell a word a certain way on page 5 then it should be the same on page 55! Sounds like common sense but it can be a bit of an editing nightmare if you don’t keep your eye on the ball! ‘Bobby’ has been read by many nationalities and the feedback is great so it seems to be working!