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Aberdeenshire

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Aberdeenshire is a county in the north east of Scotland.

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Map of Aberdeenshire

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Aberdeenshire is the home of the unique Doric dialect - or 'mither tongue' as it is known. Doric is found throughout Aberdeenshire and in some areas of North-Eastern Angus (although most Angus speakers of Doric are now elderly). Doric has noticeable variations depending on where you are, with some areas such as "The Broch" (Fraserburgh) having a particularly broad accent and other areas like "The Mearns" (Laurencekirk) having a more subtle accent.

Still widely spoken in rural areas, you are unlikely to hear it in major population centres like Aberdeen due to migration or tourist areas like Stonehaven as most locals realise how difficult it can be for an outsider to understand the accent and so will stick to speaking in a 'standard' Scottish accent. However, most people from Aberdeenshire are fiercely proud of Doric and so will happily discuss it with any traveller who is interested.

Native speakers often consider Doric to be more expressive than English and so many writers and poets use the dialect in their work. Doric also has a strong musical tradition in the form of 'bothy ballads' which were orignally sung by farmworkers about farm work or aspects of the countryside. Due to the strong military tradition of the North East - most prominent in the history of the local regiment, the Gordon Highlanders - it is common for bothy ballads to have military themes, with some songs like, "The Bonnie Lass o' Fyvie" becoming well known internationally.

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