I have always known a Canadian the minute I hear them talk. I am sure it is because I grew up with Canadian parents and relatives. It used to be when I would call someone in Canada it just made me feel so good to listen to them talking. Warm fuzzies. It’s not just because they say eh! although I love that … It is also intonation and the rhythm of their speech. I have teased my Canadian friends and family about eh! …They swear they don’t say it …then in the next minute I will catch them saying it. Funny!
Well in Scotland it was another word…ay!(I) Over and over again at every breathe I would hear ay!(I) Well I love listening to the Scots …I also grew up with that.
For a few years while my Dad was in the Navy we lived with my grandparents. They were both born in Scotland and never lost their Scottish brogue. Listening to the phrases were sometimes tough to understand. I saw a sign that said, “mind your step”. I remember my Grandmother always telling me to “mind… meaning to look out for”. So many phrases that were fun to hear and see. “Haste ye back.”
Then I got a new perspective on the Gaelic and it’s relation to my family. No one in my family ever uttered a Gaelic word that I heard but apparently it’s influence was there. My Highlander Scots were the ones. Gordon and I went to the Isle of Islay the most Southern of the Hebrides. Gaelic has been and is spoken there. One of my great uncle’s was raised there. He traveled with the family to Canada and became the town post master. So I am sure my Grandmother heard it. It apparently is why my family has always called me Peggy for my actual name Margaret. I was told it was my grandmother who started calling me that. I have also been told it is Gaelic for Margaret. Many times people ask how on earth did you get Peggy from Margaret? Well there you go. It sure was fun hearing the older woman on Islay share her Gaelic with me. How we speak English certainly does define us. I wonder if we Americans have an utterance we say all the time like Canadians say eh! and Scots say ay!