Photo courtesy of The Bookseller.

Today we are going to talk about Scots, and one particular lass who has made it her goal to educate people about Scots. 

Scots is a distinct language native to Scotland. Scottish TikToker and poet, Len Pennie from Airtie, Scotland goes by the name Miss PunnyPennie on TikTok. She uses her platform to educate her audience about Scots. The 23-year-old sat down with us for an interview. 

What inspired you to teach about Scots? 

Pennie: I grew up in a household that spoke a lot of Scots and used a lot of Scots words, then when I went to school Scots wasn’t used a lot in the school setting and a lot of families didn’t like or know scots, it’s a minoritized language, and that means people have actually tried to eradicate it. People would receive corporal punishment from teachers for speaking scots. It wasn’t considered cultured.

Despite Scots not being encouraged in schools, Pennie has filled in the gap of misinformation about Scots and made those who do speak Scots feel heard.

Pennie told us that she’s always wanted to teach about Scots though it was a friend who pointed her towards TikTok. 

And despite thinking that it was an app for children she followed the advice.

If i’m not much mistaken you have had some people tell you that scots isn’t a language, what do you say to them? 

Pennie: For me it’s interesting because it’s recognised as a language by the Scottish government as a language as well as the UK government and Oxford, and I always question the motivations of someone who says Scots isn’t a language, cause like what do they gain from that.

Pennie educates people on Scots through a series called “Scots Word of the Day” where she will say a word in Scots, give her viewers its meaning and then use it in a sentence which often includes other Scots words.

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When did you get the idea to do Scots word of the day?

Pennie: I got the idea because I had seen a lot of word of the day type content for other languages and i thought it would be cool, I wanted to do it for Scots because I didn’t see people calling it the right thing, they would say English Scottish and I just wanted it to be a well researched thing.

And with over half a million followers and over seven million likes, Pennie has been able to teach them the Scots language as she says “one word at a time.”

But it’s not only educating her audience about Scots that her channel is known for, Pennie is also a poet. Her channel has many of her poems such as “A’m no havin children” and “The Dragon,” to name a few.  

She has been doing poetry professionally for three years, but says poetry has always been a part of her life. Her favorite poet is Dorothy Parker.

Pennie’s poems cover multiple topics. She expressed her surprise at her poems being such a big draw, saying it was weird as she believed that her poetry was something people would be uninterested in hearing. 

Pennie also makes comedy videos on her channel.

What do you hope people take away from your videos? 

Pennie: I’d say the overall goal of my channel is to get people excited about Scots, and to know that the way that they express themselves is valid.

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