Talk:Scotland/Archive 13

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Royal burgh status

I believe it is still possible to apply for and get a royal burgh coat of arms. Wick Community Council (full title Royal Burgh of Wick Community Council) has such a coat of arms. Royal burgh status is very similar to city status (but, perhaps, at a lower ranking). However, burghs as defined by legislation for local government purposes were in deed abolished in 1975. Laurel Bush 15:44, 20 October 2006 (UTC).

I listed the community councils I could find, that use Royal burgh in their title in Royal burgh. Lord Lyon has allowed some of them to rematriculate the arms of the former royal burgh, sometimes with heraldic "differences", and always with one important change: the addition of the community council coronet in place of the old royal burgh mural crown. Lanark had the mural crown added to the shield for good measure. I have no idea if anyone can approve or dissaprove of a community council including "royal burgh" in its name. Lozleader 19:12, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
Just reading the entry on the arms of the Royal Burgh of Lanark Community Council in Urquhart's Scottish Civic Heraldry 2 (2001), it states that "the burghal coronet was included at the special request of the community council, as a reminder that Lanark had been a royal burgh." note tense. Some community councils use the royal burgh tag, some don't bother: For instance Dornoch Area Community Council, Dingwall Community Council, Forres Community Council, Forfar Community Council, all include former royal burghs, all received rematriculation of roal burgh arms. Lozleader 19:23, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
Interestingly, the website of Scottish Borders Council talks about the "creation of Burgesses and Honorary Burgesses of former Royal Burghs and Burghs" [1] which would imply that some rights of the burgh charters passed to the new councils in 1975/96
The Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994 talks about "former burghs" [2] as does this order made in 2006 [3] The area councils administer "Common Good Funds" relating to "former burghs" [4] [5] [6] The Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland mentions "former royal burghs" [7] [8] North Ayrshire council talk about the "former royal burgh of Irvine" [9], Highland Council about the "former royal burgh of Fortrose and Rosemarkie" [10], and Dumfries and Galloway refer to Sanquhar as a "former royal burgh" Lozleader 20:04, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Cheers. Does look like former royal burgh is generally appropriate (but I guess some community councils might tend to disagree). Laurel Bush 10:51, 21 October 2006 (UTC).

Just noticed that there is a "City of Brechin and District Community Council": Brechin, however, does not have official city status. This seems to suggest that a community council can itself whatever it wants, and the use of "royal burgh" or "city" in its title does not imply any such status Lozleader 10:01, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
The short answer is someone changed the rules. Perth, Elgin and Brechin used to be known as Cities. But quite recently, there was a review and the definition made tighter. In the past, there was no official recognition of what was and was not a city. It was a customary title. So recently, many places that were know as Cities were no longer officially recognised as such. Though they still carry the title in their names, they don't have the status in officialdom. A comparison might be taken with the hereditary piers who were removed form the house of lords a few years back. They do no have the authority and power of Lords any more, but they still can use the name Lord and you still have to call them Sir. Rincewind42 15:12, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Can you provide a citation for this claim? The change in custom that you describe as "recent" in actuality happened many decades ago for the case of England and Wales. Morwen - Talk 23:57, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Well since we are talking history, "many decades ago," is recent. Especially when talking about cities like Perth that claim City status from time immorial (i.e. Perth was a city before Scotland was a country). But if you want one example of very recent,
Each time the local government bounderies change, Cities have to re-apply. So the abolition of the district councils would mark one point, and the abolition of the Regions to form Local Council areas would be another time of review. The City status in the United Kingdom page has some more information. Including some interesting points about Glasgow and Edinburgh. They are royal burghs, but "city status has never been formally granted". I don't have a referance for that, only the other wiki page. It's a difficult one to research, you can't proove "never".Rincewind42 11:31, 15 November 2006 (UTC)


Surely the Scottish are a nation, whereas Scotland is a country (or whatever division is deemed appropriate in this instance - division, constituent part etc). Jhamez84 00:50, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Schools of Scotland by Anthony J. C. Kerr - 1962 - Page 7
"...fought to ensure that Scotland should endure for all time as a Nation and not..."
Scotland: The Story of a Nation By Magnus Magnusson - Title page, Page 2 and others e.g.
"Edinburgh Castle, at the heart of what became the nation of Scotland..."
There are numerous other examples of the nation of Scotland rather than the Scottish Nation. So in common use, Scotland is a nation. --unsigned
No, not surely. Every defenition of Nation I've ever read is sure to include a mention of a homeland. Yes, the Scottish people are an integral part of the Nation, but the Nation of Scotland, the Scottish Nation, are one and the same, and Scotland is not simply the land which the Scottish occupy. File:Icons-flag-scotland.png Canæn File:Icons-flag-scotland.png 01:10, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

This is precisely the problem with everyday definitions and why a place like Wikipedia is so important. The concept of "nation" came to be because France and ( at the time) England had a culturally distinct population of people that resided within a definite territory and had a sense of identity. This concept did not exist before ( Rome, Athens, etc were not "nations".This gave birth to the "nation-state"- a non-technical non-legal term used to describe every state, of which very few qualify.

So based on the last two comments, did the Scottish nation cease to exist once it was subsumed with the UK? NO. Nor will the Scottish nation ease to exist if Scotland (as a territory) does. The national identity resides in the people, not the territory. There are plenty of national groups that are "homeless" and do not have a legal terriroty ( Kurds, Saami, etc.)Gary Joseph 03:01, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

RTFQ - The question is the first post was not asking whither or not there is or was a "Scottish nation" or "Scotland the nation". It's a question of format of words not a question of existance. In the first sentence of the article, "Scotland is a Nation..." should technically be "The Scottish are a nation..." or "The Scots are a nation...".
Scotland is the noun and Scottish and Scots are the adjectives. However it is common, as shown with the referances above, to use Scotland in place of Scottish when talking about the nation. So Scotland, Scottish, Scots; any of these forms would be accepted.Rincewind42 08:52, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
First, my response dealt with format, not existence. I only used that to show the invalidity of the current format (which you deemed acceptable. Secondly, my response was directed to Canaen's comments. So screw you. Respectfully...Gary Joseph 01:54, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Rincewind42 is right - as someone who is unlucky enough to be an Anglo-Scot, I naturally recognise the divine stateship of these two destinct regions/countries. Scotland exists just as England does (...of course). What I'm more concerned about is the Scottish looking rather foolish in global terms when the opening line is (rightly or wrongly) inaccurate. No other country based article (I can find) adopts this method of calling their soil as their nation.

As for the quotes, referring to Scotland directly as a nation is just as inaccurate. The word nation means the people who occupy the land.[11]

Just to make it absolutely clear here, my motivations are to improve the article as a definitive encyclopedia article on Scotland, so it is absolutely watertight. I'm not challenging whether Scotland exists or not or all that kind of non-sense. So with respect, can this line be changed? Jhamez84 22:57, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

scotland is not as country though so what do you suggest we call it?

Scotland is a country, or at least a Constituent country, its just not a state (i.e total political independance). There is some useful info here that might help explain the difference between nation (a cultural grouping), country (a geographical term) and state (a political grouping) which are terms that are often used interchangeably in everyday parlance, but actually have very specific and different defined meanings. Note State in this context means sovereign state (the government who writes the treaties and run the country) not the American or Australian usage meaning a subdivision of the country Mammal4 11:48, 14 December 2006 (UTC)


Given the fact that Scotland is considered "The sick man" of Europe and leads the continent (and often the world) in various different cancers, heart conditions and debilitating illnesses - isn't that at least worth some kind of mention?

Yes, it is probably notable enough to merit a brief mention here in the main article, although I am pretty sure that it derves a more comprehensive treatment in one of the sub-articles. Hard to know where though? No country has a "Health in foo" subarticle (as far as I am aware), but several do have a "Healthcare in foo". We probably ought to start up our Healthcare in Scotland article pretty soon anyway. Only obvious alternative is the Demographics of Scotland article, which has a Social problems section. Feel free to add some sourced material to that section, re. health stats, and a brief mention in this main article (please apply WP:CITE); or, if you are feeling dead keen, please start up the full Healthcare in Scotland article! Cheers. --Mais oui! 14:38, 30 October 2006 (UTC)


Why do you need a consitutition in order to have an official language? Surely the monarchy can declare anything "official"? Malathos 17:47, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

I argree. The line "Since the United Kingdom lacks a codified constitution, there is no official language." is nonsence. The UK does have a constitution - it's metioned three times in the politial section of this page. Also it is codified. It is the enitre acts of parliarment writen over hundereds of years form the codification of our constitution. What the UK lacks is a single document that can be pointed at as "The Constitution"; but that does not mean there is no constitution or codified or otherwise.
A better sentance would be "The Scottish Parliarment has not set and official language for the country." But that's a bit woolly as the Parliarment hasn't done alot of things. Better just state that "There is no official language." We don't need to concoct a reason why, it's just a fact that there is no official language. There doesn't have to be a reason. Rincewind42 05:49, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
It is a fact that the United Kingdom does not have an official language and lacks a codified constitution precisley because there is no "The Constitution" document in which it is formally codified. English is clearly the dominant language in de facto terms, however. Benarty 08:34, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
The is not complaint over "[In the UK...]there is no official language." that is true. There is a minor nit pick about "the United Kingdom lacks a codified constitution" should realy be "the United Kingdom lacks single a codified constitution document". Ther is a big no way hosey about the word "Since". The word since is wrong. One is not dependant on the other.
Lastly, who cares about the UK, lets cut the line and start with "Scotland has three officially recognised languages: English, Scottish Gaelic and Scots. De facto English is the main language, and almost all Scots speak Scottish Standard English." The bit about the UK is only trivia on the Scotland page. Rincewind42 10:38, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
The UK is highly relevant in this context, because Scotland is only a devolved part of a larger sovereign state. Although many would prefer that were not the case this basic constitutional fact has to be acknowledged throughout this wikipedia entry if a NPOV is to be achieved. It was the UK that signed on to the EU's European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages after all because only EU member states can do that not constitutional regions like Scotland, Flanders and Wallonia etc. Benarty 01:14, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

S or Z

There is repeated reversions of the spellings of the words "recognised" and "Civilisation". Is the general consensus that English English or Scottish English is the language of this page and not American English or other dilates? Hense the spelling should be with a S not a Z. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rincewind42 (talkcontribs) 10:27, 4 November 2006

There is a general consensus that English English should be applied to any articles which deal with European topics. However, you will find that Americanisation of spellings is fairly common throughout Wikipedia, probably more due to ignorance than malice. In Europe we are very familiar with US spellings, but it would seem that many, many American readers simply are not aware that other parts of the planet do things differently. Eg. you will not find random IP addresses changing "ize" to "ise" in US-related articles!
In articles about English-speaking countries other than England itself (eg. Scotland, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, Jamaica etc) it is accepted that vocab, grammer etc of the standard national variants of the English language may be used. Thus we can use "outwith" in Scottish articles if we like, because it is an accepted element of Scottish Standard English, but we need to maintain an academic tone, so slang should be avoided.
(Please remember to sign your posts with ~~~~.) --Mais oui! 11:36, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

Wha daur meddle wi me

(Originally posted at Talk:Mais oui!)

This is not the motto of Scotland. It is the motto of the Black Watch Regiment. I cite your own source.

'It is perhaps inevitable that during the last three centuries of bludgeoning Britain's foes the Black Watch has... ...Their motto is Nemo me impune lacessit - which translates as, "touch me not with impunity," or more commonly, "wha daur meddle wi' me".', [The Daily Telegraph, 25 October 2004]

More research needs to be done.

Besides, the Scots translation should be on the [Scots Language version of Wikipedia], not the English language version. We don't have the Gaelic translation of the Latin either. The Scots language version gives a slightly different translation too: "Naebodie chaws me wi impunity" which would be closer to the Latin. Though not referenced. Rincewind42 12:01, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

Mmmm... you really are splitting hairs there!!! The Black Watch uses the motto of Scotland and Scotland uses the motto of the Black Watch: they are identical, inseperable and one and the very same thing!
I thoroughly agree when you say "more research needs to be done", however there is zero doubt that "Wha daur meddle wi me" is the standard traditional rendition in Scots (there does not appear to be a single traditional standard rendition in either Gaelic or English - just modern translations, which vary quite a bit, as translations of any phrase/expression tend to do). Google gives 513 exact hits, and 1490 general hits.
Incidentally, you cannot cite Wikipedia (of any language edition) as a source, per WP:CITE. Lots and lots of things "should be on" the Scots language edition of Wikipedia, as I am absolutely certain that User:Derek Ross and User:Mendor will confirm! - but that is a different issue. :) --Mais oui! 12:17, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
Incidentally, I did not cite Wikipedia as the source to an fact in an article. I pointed to a Wikipedia page as a source of additional information. There is a big difference. Citing other wiki pages as sources of addition information of the same or related topics is encouraged and commonplace.
While it might be obvious to you or I, being Native Scots, that the Black Watch and Scotland are very closely connected; It is not, however, obvious to a non expert. So the reference you cited is not valid.
Here is one source that backs up the use of "Wha daur..." as a "freely translated" Motto of Scotland.
Memoirs of Sir Robert Strange, Knt., Engraver ... and of His Brother-in-law, Andrew Lumisden ... - by James Dennistoun - Published 1855 - See page Page 269: 'The old heraldic motto which Scotland inscribed around her prickly thistle, — “Nemo me impune lacessit,” which has been freely translated, “Wha daur meddle wi' me ?”.'
Many other references to the phrase are in connection to an old Borders poem which is contemporary with the above.
Wha daur meddle wi' me?
And wha daur meddle wi' me?
My name is Little Jock Elleot.
And wha daur meddle wi' me?
As for sources of the alternative translation - there are non that I have found. I must, however, muddy the water still further as I did find reference to yet another variation of the motto translation into Scots tongue.
British Phænogamous Botany; by William Baxter 1843 on page says that 'The motto used by the Knights of the thistle, or of St. Andrew, is particularly appropriate to their floral badge, Nemo me impune lacessit; " No one touches me with impunity;" or in plain Scots, "Ye maunt meddle wi' me." See The Nat. Poetical Companion, p.p. 64 & 272.'
But the correct translation into Scots is irrelevant on the English language page. This page should have the motto, in Latin, since that is the motto. Next it should follow with a translation into English for the English language version of wikipedia. Rincewind42 14:59, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
"'Ye maunt meddle wi' me." Should that perhaps be Ye maunna meddle wi me? 09:54, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

I agree that the English Wikipedia should first and foremost have English translations on it. In fact take a look at Talk:Doric dialect (Scotland) for a case where I remonstrate with someone who thinks otherwise. However I think that there s a slight case for adding the Scots translation here based on the fact that English-speakers may come across it in English language publications. It's a similar case to Auld Lang Syne in that it may not be English but it is part of the common culture of the English-speaking world and so deserves mention in an English-language encyclopedia. Having said that it's just a slight case and I don't feel like pressing it against all odds, <grin>. -- Derek Ross | Talk 19:38, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

Are you unwilling to "do or die" Derek?
Personally it seems pretty clear cut that it should be included, for the same reasons that the Gaelic name Alba is given in the intro. Although I am almost entitled to copyright the "pressing it against all odds"-methodology here at Wikipedia, I am going through a sustained phase of "couldn't give a toss", so I advise that we just use common sense. --Mais oui! 20:01, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
Of course the Scots version should be included. See [12] if you want further independent verification (from Australia). This states "In Latin this is ‘Nemo me impune lacessit’ which translates as ‘No one attacks me with impunity’. The Scots have a stronger way of putting it ‘Wha daur meddle wi me’..." whilst also noting that it is the motto of the Order of the Thistle too. Arguing that a well-known Scots phrase should only appear on a specialist Scots language site is akin to arguing that 'deja vu' belongs in a French dictionary or that quotations from Chaucer should be limited to the forthcoming medieval saxon language wikipedia. Ben MacDui 20:27, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
Do or Die ? I think I'm already "done". That Yoghurt's not as good for you as it's cracked up to be, <grin>. Derek Ross | Talk 23:33, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
A yoghurt's a yogurt for a' that.<grin> Ben MacDui 12:34, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
Linguistically Scots is English so there shouldn't be any problem including it in an English Wikipedia. The Wikipedia Manual of Style says If there is a strong tie to a specific region/dialect, use that dialect. 09:54, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
Linguistically, Scots is a distinct Germanic language which grew out of Middle English, and resembles Danish more closely than it does English. File:Icons-flag-scotland.png Canæn File:Icons-flag-scotland.png 19:07, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
I think that Scots is more closely related to English and Frisian than it is to any of the North Germanic languages, although as a student of Swedish (and to a far lesser extent Danish and Norwegian) I never cease to be amazed at the common vocabulary, and even expressions, verb conjugation, pronunciation etc., with Scots - I come across new examples frequently. Ages ago I started compiling a word/expressions list, but I found too many examples that I couldn't keep up. From what I have learnt, it does appear that Norwegian is the NG lang with most common vocab with Scots, followed by Danish, then Swedish. This of course should not surprise students of history. It seems to be a common misinterpretation that we inherited words like bairn from the vikings, but I strongly suspect that it comes from an older common Germanic root. Eg, how on earth could we have inherited the word kirk from the pagan vikings, when we were converted centuries before they even arrived? Far more likely that they took that word from us, or we both took it from the Germans. (Kirk actually derives from the Greek κυριακόν, but variants of kirk are used in nearly all Germanic languages.) One word that the Swedes definitely got from us is pläd, from the Scots plaid. --Mais oui! 20:01, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
I say Danish, because somewhere there's a research paper some student put together, which compared English, Scots, and Danish. He came to that conclusion; I've never actually studied any of the north Germanic languages myself. I'll see if I can find that link; you might be interested in it. File:Icons-flag-scotland.png Canæn File:Icons-flag-scotland.png 22:35, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
Well, this isn't it, but it does make similar comparisons vocabulary-wise. File:Icons-flag-scotland.png Canæn File:Icons-flag-scotland.png 22:45, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
Did you miss the sentence In the North of Europe there is a family of languages all of which bear certain resemblances to one another. English is closest, if you decided that Scots not part of English. Such "Danish" influence can be found in northern varieties of English (Northumbria, Yorkshire, Cumbria) are they now no longer English? 10:53, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

I think it's important to mention that "Wha daur meddle wi me" is not a direct translation into Scots. It's what's used, but it's not a direct translation. A direct translation would be that used on the Scots wikipedia, "Naebodie chaws me wi impunity." "Who dare meddle with me?" would be the english version of "Wha daur meddle wi me." Anyway, I hope most of you knew that, just pointin' it out. File:Icons-flag-scotland.png Canæn File:Icons-flag-scotland.png 19:07, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Well at least Canaen gets it. "Wha daur meddle wi me." might be the popular rendition, but it's not the translation. Anyone reading Latin would spot difference. Where as the English is a actual translation. I've found quite allot about the phrase "Wha daur meddle wi me." If I have time someday I'll do a quick article on it, though I'm no expert in heraldry.
Broadly, with the current wording using rendered in Scots as apposed to the previous, translated, I can live with it. I'd prefer the English translation went before the rendition. Not cause of any Angelic tendencies, but because it is a translation of the actual Latin. I also think we should find a better reference. The current one points to a page about the Blackwatch who's motto is the same as the Scottish motto. But it is not, as Mais oui! thinks obvious that the link exists. Why would an outsider assume the Blackwatch's Motto to be also the Motto of Scotland. The reference need to state Scotland, not imply Scotland. Rincewind42 15:36, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Lede section problems

I've nothing factually against the current lead section. However, it's not really up to mustard. Problems that were highlighted in the Peer review still exist. The text is trying to be overly detailed and precise. Trying to prove the facts in the lead rather. The lead is supposed to be a summery of the rest of the article. It's not supposed to contain more detail than the article. At the same time it must be comprehensive, covering all the topics.

For example, the first paragraph deals mainly with Geography. The country is defined as "It is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the southwest." That seems rather precise and detailed for a summery. I checked the Geography section, it's says "Scotland lies between the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea." This is a much more general statement than the lead. Things are back to front. I'd suggest a simplification for the lead to say just "Surrounded by sea on three sides, Scotland shares it's Southern land boundary with England." The precise details of which seas are were should be left to the detailed Geography section.

I pick only one example, but the general theme of too much detail and lack of comprehensive coverage continues throughout the rest of the section. Some work needs done here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rincewind42 (talkcontribs) 16:09, 13 November 2006

I think there could be a few minor amendments to the lead section, as it is, I don't think the problems are anywhere near as significant as you suggest. There are a few weasel words in it, that need to be dealt with - "approximately" and "consist of a large sector....) Largely the lead section is stable, and has taken a long time to get that way, it covers elements of history, geography, demographics, etymology and culture, as the peer review suggests it should and the over emphasis on the Military aspects has been dealt with. With respect to your criticism of the Geography paragraph being too specific - I don't think it is compared to the Geography section, which goes into more detail than the lead. If you look at the lead sections of the Libya and Australia pages (both Featured Articles) they seem fairly comprehensive in defining the countries and their boundaries and no/more or less so than we have on this article. Thanks Globaltraveller 21:25, 13 November 2006 (UTC)


This section points to Politics of Scotland as the main article which in turn refers the reader to Scottish Parliament, so, is there not scope for reducing the size of the Politics section in this article? (I'm not volunteering to re-write it, mind you!)--Billreid 12:07, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

I think the oposite. Why should Politics of Scotland equate only to the Scottish Pariarment. An article on or section on Politics should be comprehensive and cover Scotlands representation in the UK and also EU parliaments. It would also make some metion of the local government level and community councils. There is currently too much emphasis on just one area of politics. Rincewind42 13:45, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
Well, the two links above take you to all of the information that the Politics section covers in the Scotland article (including the local goverment information) --Billreid 15:05, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Border country, a hive of scum and villainy

Border country currently contains the line "This made the Borders into a hive of thieves, outlaws, robbers, cattle plunderers, and the like." - 17:27, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Proposed re-draft of Scotland: Geography sub-section

I have created a proposed revision for the Geography sub-section of the Scotland page at User:Ben MacDui/Scotland/Geography redraft. Constructive comments are welcome on the associated Talk page. Ben MacDui (Talk) 08:42, 29 November 2006 (UTC)