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LALLANS. A name for the VERNACULAR speech of Lowland Scotland from the 18c to the present day, adopted after the Second World War by poets of the Scottish Renaissance movement in preference to Synthetic Scots, a term coined in the 1920s for eclectic literary SCOTS. Following Hugh MACDIARMID's aim of restoring dignity and copiousness to Scots, they composed much of their poetry in this form, which hostile critics ridiculed as Plastic Scots. The following excerpt from MacDiarmid's ‘The Eemis Stane’ (Sangschaw, 1925) demonstrates its eclecticism: the entire first line, and the archaic words eemis and yowdendrift, are lifted from John Jamieson's early 19c Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language:I' the how-dumb-deid o' the cauld hairst nicht
The warl' like an eemis stane
Wags i' the lift;
An' my eerie memories fa'
Like a yowdendrift.

[how-dumb-deid (Jamieson) ‘the middle of the night, when silence reigns; Ayrshire’; cauld (general) cold; hairst (general) autumn; nicht (general) night; warl' (general) world; eemis (Jamieson) insecurely balanced, toppling; stane (general) stone; lift (archaic) sky; fa' (general) fall; yowdendrift (Jamieson) ‘snow driven by the wind’]Literary Lallans remains viable alongside other kinds of Scots verse and prose. It is the principal medium in Lallans, the journal of the Scots Language Society (1973– ). See DORIC, LOWLAND SCOTS.

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Lallans a distinctive Scottish literary form of English, based on standard older Scots. The name comes (as an adjective in the early 18th century) from a Scots variant of Lowlands, with reference to a central Lowlands dialect.

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