The language of Scots is still spoken in Scotland however is unfortunately dying out but before we go into the reason why and what relationship this has to whisky we need to understand what Scots is. Many assume it is Gaelic, but Scots in reality this was only ever really spoken in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland however was used as the language of the Scottish Court. But Gaelic was not widely used in the central belt where a mix of Northumbrian old English (mainly), French, Viking languages, and Dutch were mixed together creating what the Irish referred to as ‘scottis’. The language survives to this day as any Englishman trying to understand a conversation in a Glasgow pub will testify. But languages evolve over time, English is the perfect example where it has changed massively since Shakepearen time and has recently been heavily influenced by American English. America also provides another example where native Indian language has almost completely been lost.
So how does all this affect whisky drinkers? Well there are some scots words which you as whisky drinkers must have correct, the most controversial is whisky or whiskey. Neither is incorrect but if you are referring to whisky which comes from Scotland then it is essential you spell without the ‘e’. I.E. There is no such thing as scotch whiskey! Furthermore there is no such thing as a scotch person. We are either Scots or Scottish never scotch. The only time Scots use the word Scotch is for a soup called Scotch Broth. Scotch is generally a term used by our American friends. Another term you must learn is from scots Gaelic which is uisge beatha (whisky) which means ‘water of life’. Complicated after a few drams too many.