|Native to||United Kingdom|
|(4,000 in Scotland cited 1990?)|
It is uncertain whether Scottish Cant is the result of Scottish Lowland Romani Travellers transitioning from speaking Romani to speaking a mixed language (like what happened to Romanichal Travellers in England with Angloromani and Romanisæl Travellers in Sweden and Norway with Scandoromani), or whether it is the result of Romani in Lowland Scotland merging with an indigenous Lowland Traveller group. The large number of Scots derived words and archaic Scots words within Scottish Cant vocabulary suggests that merging with another group, although it could just be that Lowland Scottish Travellers are fully Romani in their roots and they just picked up these words, similar to how Angloromani has picked up words such as ken and mort which are derived from English.
Up to 50% of Scottish Cant originates from Romani-derived lexicon. This is because it is spoken by the Scottish Lowland Travellers/Gypsies, a traditionally itinerant group of Romani heritage.
Lowland Scottish Travellers/Gypsies are not to be confused with indigenous Highland Travellers, who are an entirely indigenous group of travelling people. They have their own language, distinct From Scottish Cant.
Scottish Cant is considered para-Romani language, like Angloromani and Scandoromani for example.
Use of archaic ScotsEdit
Scottish Cant uses numerous terms derived from Scots which are no longer current in Modern Scots as spoken by non-Travellers, such as mowdit "buried", mools "earth", both from muild(s), and gellie, from gailey (galley), "a bothy".
Loans from Gaelic include words like:
- cluishes "ears" (Gaelic cluasan or cluais, a dative form of cluas "ear")
- shain "bad" (Gaelic sean "old")
- gadgie "man" (Romani gadžó "a non-Romani person")
- pannie "water" (Romani paní)
- not clear if date applies to population in Scotland
- Scottish Cant at Ethnologue (12th ed., 1992).
- Kirk, J. & Ó Baoill, D. Travellers and their Language (2002) Queen's University Belfast ISBN 0-85389-832-4
- Wilde 1889, cited in Not just lucky white heather and clothes pegs: putting European Gypsies and Traveller economic niches in context. In: Ethnicity and Economy:Race and class revisited. C. Clark (2002). Strathclyde University.