A language of United Kingdom

Alternate Names
Braid Scots, Scotch

1,589,200 in United Kingdom, all users. L1 users: 89,200 in United Kingdom (2011 census). 55,800 in Scotland, 33,400 in Northern Ireland. L2 users: 1,500,000 (2001 census). Total users in all countries: 1,599,200 (as L1: 99,200; as L2: 1,500,000).


Scotland: Aberdeen City; Aberdeenshire; Angus, Argyll and Bute; Scottish Borders, The county: Doric (northeast Scotland dialect); Clackmannanshire; Dumfries and Galloway; East Ayrshire; East Dunbartonshire; East Lothian; East Renfrewshire; Edinburgh, City of; Falkirk; Fife; Glasgow City; Highland; Inverclyde; Midlothian; Moray; North Ayrshire; North Lanarkshire; Orkney Islands; Perth and Kinross; Renfrewshire; Shetland Islands; South Ayrshire; South Lanarkshire; Stirling; West Dunbartonshire; West Lothian; Lallans (south and central Scotland dialect); Northern Ireland (Ulster dialect): Antrim and Newtownabbey; Ards and North Down; Causeway Coast and Glens; Derry City and Strabane; Mid and East Antrim; Mid-Ulster; Newry, Mourne and Down.

Language Status

5 (Developing).


Doric, Lallans, Ulster. Difficult intelligibility among dialects. Northern Scots on the Scottish Islands is considered by some a different language (Shetlandic or Orcadian). Lallans is main literary dialect. Scots is reportedly most similar to English [eng] and Frisian [fry].


SVO; prepositions; genitives, articles, adjectives, numerals before noun heads; relatives without noun heads; question word initial; 2 prefixes, 1 suffix; word order distinguishes subjects, objects, indirect objects, given and new information, topic and comment; affixes indicate genitive case of noun phrase; passives; comparatives; CVC; nontonal.

Language Use

Home, community. Used by all. Also use English [eng].

Language Development

Literacy rate in L2: 97% in English [eng]. Ulster Scots has a development group. Literature. Periodicals. Dictionary. NT: 1901–1984.


Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments


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