Although the majority of people living in Scotland speak English, there are certain words and phrases that have entered the Scottish dialect that are not used in other English-speaking countries. 'Auld', meaning 'old', is one example, which famously appears in the poem 'Auld Lang Syne' by Robert Burns. The poem is often sung at midnight on New Year's Day and literally means ‘old long since’.

According to the 'Dictionary of Scots Language' (DSL), Scots English is a member of the West Germanic family of languages that includes Afrikaans, Dutch and German. Both English and Scots English derive from Anglo-Saxon English, and the differences between the two languages began to appear around the 14th century AD.

Different regions in Scotland have their own distinct accents and dialect words, some of which have begun to be incorporated, or at least understood, by other English speakers. Examples include 'bairn' (child), 'hootenanny' (celebration), 'laddie' (boy), 'lassie' (girl), 'loch' (lake), 'palaver' (fuss), 'tattie' (potato), and 'wee' (small).

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