Monday, December 7, 2015

Aye, Lassie. Scottish or Irish or both? Oh My

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I’ve done an Irish character before. I’ve done Mexican caballeros. I’ve done Native Americans who speak English but accented and who use the occasional word in their native language.

I did a Russian once. He had a very SMALL part.

The thing is, it’s like I’m having trouble throwing the switch for some reason.

My little heroine for the next Seeker Novella Collection is first generation American. She speaks English but with an Irish accent. And I wrote for a while before discovering her Irish ancestry.

Then I went and re-wrote to give her an accent.

Then I decided maybe, um…I’d given her a Scottish accent instead. I kept hearing Scottie from Star Trek shout, “Aye Cap'n.”

Someone told me to go watch The Quiet Man. Or Darby O’Gill and the Little People. I haven’t done that yet but it’s a great idea.

I also found a book set in Ireland and found some good phrases there.
What do you think? Are Scottish and Irish accents so similar that it doesn’t matter? Am I over thinking this?
I’d like advice. AND I’d like you to toss any Irish phrases you can think of into the comment section so I can harvest them.

Today I’m giving away two prizes.

One is a signed copy of With This Ring along with a $25 Amazon egift card available to all commenters.

And the second is a signed copy of With This Ring, a novella collection written by me, Karen Witemeyer, Regina Jennings and Melissa Jagears. I’ll draw from people who came up with an Irish accent phrase or some good advice of where I should go to work on this. Any suggestions? Books? Movies? Or advice on the difference between Scottish and Irish phrases.

Ay caramba, I’ve got a lot of chutzpah to ask but I could use il responso pronto. Ciao and Auf Wiedersehen

John Wayne looks so calm
And Maureen O’Hara looks like a crazy person.
That doesn’t seem fair

I just need to hear a little of it and my apparently atrophied brain will thaw and release the power of the accent. 

How do we change from a woman to a man (you KNOW they talk differently)?

How we change from city to country, cowboy to farmer, maid to lady of the manor?

Giving characters their own voice is a huge part of defining who they are. I think the right voice can shift a readers perception, help them visualize a character, and give that character an education level, a work history, a temperament, a faith--and many other things that go much deeper than hair and eye color. 

So let's talk about the ways we make characters individual through their spoken words. 
And feel free to give me examples from your own work if you've given characters unusual voices or accents.
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  1. Oh my...I'm the girl who insists Canadians don't have accents, well, Manitobans do, as do maritimers and those from Ontario, and Quebec has their own language, not just an accent. But not Canadians. People have said I have an Irish accent. It turns out that all of us from Alberta, do.
    Great post, Mary. And I'd LOVE to have the novella collection, thank you very much.

  2. Hi Marianne! You're up late. (Me too)
    Well, you've just defined why accents are so tricky because simply saying Canadian doesn't do it. You've just named four or five variations in one comment.

    I found a list of 'the greatest Irish movies of all time.' Guess what? No Quiet Man, no Darby O'Gill. A whole lot about war and bombing and Catholic vs Protestant.

    I did think of Far and Away. Now those folks should be poor Irish, right? Except we're talking about Nicole Kidman from Australia and Tom Cruise from America. I'm not sure I trust their accents.

  3. by the way A Canadian is aboot the finest accent there is, eh?


  4. One way I recognize an Irish accent is when the author uses the word "Sure" to start a sentence; and they'll call Mom & Dad "Mam & Da":

    "Sure, and that's a fine way t' speak t' yer mam." :-)

    I've always enjoyed reading your books and "hearing" the characters' voices. I look forward to this next one!!

  5. Ok Mary, I typed in "Irish Phrases" on my internet browser and it took me to Irish Central(dot com)where it lists 35 Irish sayings and phrases you need to learn before you visit. I like #11:"Put the heart crossways" in someone or in English, to give someone a fright. Or #35: "That's a fret" or in English "An expression of disbelief. Usually said in a calm way, though". I don't know if you can incorporate those in your writing or not, but those are ones I liked anyway.

    All I can advise you on is to type Irish or Scottish culture into your web browser and I'm sure you'd find many links that would be helpful. Or maybe check out your local library for books on both cultures. I'm sure they are many, many differences between the two....take music for one, I think of bagpipes for Scotland and Celtic music for Irish. I could be wrong & they may have very similar things that could intertwine. But I'm no expert & doubtful I'd be of much! I'm just telling you what I'd do if I had to research the two cultures :-)

    I don't know if I helped or hindered :-) But, I do pray the Lord will give you wisdom in your research and help you in your writing endeavor!

  6. ha! I've written one accent, the character has very few lines because of it, but I am TERRIBLE at even faking an accent in real life, I can't even imitate well....except maybe the Swedish Chef from the Muppets, I am pretty good at him, but I doubt anyone needs my expertise on that! Anywho, I have a degree in Languages, I had to study accents, when I listen to them, I can even write them out phonetically, but for me to just wing a southern accent? Yeah....that's why I don't find the idea of writing it fun.

    In a pass, I single out the dialog of that person in a separate doc. Then I go look up websites.

    Like this one for Scottish:

    And then flip out words if possible. Then I try to find something to listen to, a movie or a person with the accent off a dialect database (And who WOULDN'T want to go listen to Christy's Neil MacNeill for an hour as he talks!)

    Anyway for the Irish:

    Here's an article for you that should help:

    And here is a Linguistics/Dialect site with recordings of people with Irish accents talking. Listen to all those and then go over your dialog while it's in your head:

  7. Sorry, I'll hyperlink those

    Here's an article for you that should help

    And here is a Linguistics/Dialect site with recordings of people with Irish accents talking. Listen to all those and then go over your dialog while it's in your head:

  8. Hi Mary:

    I have found that with the written word, as opposed to the spoken word that actors have to worry about, the actual phonetic accent is not all that important. What counts most is the word order a foreign speaker uses. Often the word order is different in a foreign language yet the foreign speaker keeps that word order while trying to use the correct English words. Also some of the prepositions work differently in another language. To an Italian saying, "I'm on the phone" using the Italian for our word 'on' means you are sitting on the phone -- not speaking on it. The correct use of prepositions is one of the most maddening things to learn when studying a foreign language!

    My advice is to find the best examples of misused word order and vocabulary. You don't really have to worry about 'sounding' like a real Irish person. Also, just a little accent goes a long way. You don't need it all the time. Just every now and then.


  9. Nicole, I did come up with, Sure and it's a fine day.
    Now I'm laughing as I imagine myself starting every sentence my heroine speaks with the word, "Sure....

    Now would I do think like that?

  10. Trixi, thank you. I've never heard these two examples and I'm 'hearing' my heroine say them. I think I can make them work.

    You know all of this helps bend my mind in the right direction.

    I HOPE

  11. Wow, Melissa, thank you for those links.
    I will use them.
    I spent some time tonight on YouTube listening to movie trailers for Far and Away, and Darby O'Gill, did you know Sean Connery was in Darby O'Gill and the Little People?

    He was very young.

    But what I came away with was accent not words.

  12. Vince you're so right about a little going a long way.

    If it's too overused I think it becomes hard to read.

    I read a...I can't remember the book now...but it was historical set in Scotland and they used so many difficult words, "Do not fass yourself."

    Or some word like 'fass' I think I'm spelling it wrong.

    But it just became annoying to read it was so clunky.

    So yes, the words I can drop in.

    1. Fash yourself. :) from a Scotswoman that is addicted to all things Scottish, let me say the Scots DO Not consider Irish/Scottish culture or accents interchangeable. Lol. If you're told someone is Scotch-Irish it means their a Scotsman that moved to Ireland. They do have some shared culture due to immigration, mixing of clans and such. Not that this probably helps much, but I thought I would toss my two cents in. :)

  13. Hey, is 'bonnie' an Irish word? It seems like it is, but then I think it's more Scottish.

    I'm unable to decide.

    And yes it is 3 a.m. The time on each comment says 4 but the blog must be set to Eastern Time.

    I haven't gotten to sleep yet and now I suppose Ruthy is already up and writing.

    This might be what they mean in Ghost Busters when they 'cross the streams'.

  14. Hi Mary! Here is a link to video trailers of ten movies that may help a little.

    I would love the gift card. Thank you for your generosity.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  15. CINDY! More Links! I am going to immerse myself in them.

    And now, I am going to bed whether I sleep or not.

    I feel pretty sorry for myself.


  16. A brogue, Scottish or Irish, isn't hard... Think Boston. Drop the rounder sounds. And in this case less is more as far as the accent, but more is more as far as the wording.

    You don't have to do the whole thing in brogue (did you know I can do a brogue? It's more historic because today's brogue is softer and more Americanized, but it's fun. My mother used to love hearing it!)

    So here's a standard question from Will to Kate as he calls on her:

    "Will you come to church with me, Kate Mary?"

    "Will ye come with, Kate Mary? Will ye be on my arm this day as I walk into church, to show the whole blasted town ye belong with me and only me?"

    Irish aren't like cowboys. WE TALK A LOT. Not all, but it's a lyrical language passed down, and while less is more as far as the accent goes, it's more the lyricism of the words you use that sets the tone. Don't think like a cowboy. Think like a Julie Lessman heroine! :)

    Old school Scottish would be harder to understand, the church could be "kirk" and so much is dropped... stay simple and use the wording to make the character seem truly Irish/Celtic.

    "I can't go." Well, an Irish lass who's been insulted isn't going to leave it at that, that's far too proper and short! So here's what Kate Mary might really say:

    "I canno' go." She folded her arms across her chest and set a fierce gaze on him. "You know why, Will Daniels. I'm not needin' to spell it out for you. The whole town is talkin' of ye being at Cora Ingham's two nights runnin'. I'll not be the excuse you take on to cover your bad habits, nor am I desirin' to be played the fool again. Take your cheap talk of love and longin' and leave, and I'd be pleased to have you never darken my door again."

    We Irish never use a sentence when a paragraph or two will do!!!!

  17. Vince is right....

    Vince you're so stinkin' smart!!!!!!!

  18. Read some Grace Livingston Hill books ...there was usually a maid or nanny that was Irish. Something that has been handed down through my Scotch Irish family: idgit. For idiot...I'm not sure of the spelling but it sounds like something your characters might use.

    1. Many of Grace's nannies were Scots too.

  19. Ah, accents! As others have mentioned -- as far as Irish an Scots written on the page, it's about the differences in word usage, order of usage, the cadence.

  20. HELLO MARY! Utilize YOUTUBE for your accent research. Also, I have a wee bit o Irish in me from my Daddy's side of the family..... May you find a four leave clover along the research trail.

    Please put me in for today's drawing.

  21. Hi Mary,

    I'm 5th generation Scottish, and what I've noticed my family (and me) do is drop ending consonants, like 'g'. We're always goin instead of going somewhere.

    I think other commenters gave you better advice!

  22. I've yet to give my characters accents, so I'm learning from all of the good advice here. That said, I do agree with Vince's comment.

  23. I couldn't even get across the pond to Scotland, all I could think about was the difference between the North and the South. RUTHY'S youse to the South's ya'll for example, LOL.

    Everyone has given some great advice and links.

    Ruthy's dialect sounded really authentic to me.

    I'm looking forward to this novella, I can see how much research you're putting into it, but I'll be reading With This Ring? first since it's your next release. Please enter me in the drawing.

  24. Oh, Mary, I absolutely adore a Scottish burr! Please do that one. Here is a phrase that popped into my mind. "I dinna ken what ye be aboot."

    I canna wait fer ye next book, me lassie!

  25. Hi Mary,

    Irish and Scottish accents are blurred to me. Maybe if we visited those countries we'd be less confused, right?

    Leap Year was a fun movie set in Ireland.

    Here's what I think I know. Like people in Alabama say, "Roll Tide" to everything, people in Ireland say, "Aw, sure look it."

    We say, "Who all's there?" and I think it's an Irish expression.

    I hope that helps a bit. Thanks for the reminder about our characters' voices, and please enter me in the drawing. Thanks!

  26. Hi Mary Best wishes on finding your Irish idioms and what a clever way to do it. smile

    Thankfully, we are advised not to overdo an accent because then it becomes tiresome and slows down the reader. So you only need a few gems.

  27. Right on Vince and Ruthy, Word order is great because then you don't have to have all these foreign words.

    Clever folk.

  28. Hi Mary,
    Irish characters have found their way into every book I've ever written. And almost every book I've read. I love the way B.J. Hoff does her Irish people, she gets really deep into the soul of what it means to be Irish. Also, and these are old, but Brock and Bodie Thoene did an Irish series that was rich in idiom and the Irish "soul."
    My favorite Irish phrase is "pogue ma hone," or "the back of my hand to you," but I still haven't used it in a book. My favorite Irish word that I use is "Acushla," which is a term of endearment. Michael uses it with Caroline in "Trail."
    It's really easy to fall into "Cartoon Irish."
    Scottish is subtly different, and Scots get mad if you mix them up. I am married to one. Then again, you don't want to go into cartoon Scottish.
    I go back beyond Darby O'Gill to the plays of Synge, who really captured what it means to be Irish.
    They have very sharp wits and like to banter, sometimes at the other person's expense, like you and Ruthy, ha ha, but like you and Ruthy they don't mean any harm. But they do it to cover up the hurt of being Irish. As it was said of Yeats, "Mad Ireland hurt him into poetry." And as I said of my character Michael, "No woman alive could erase the scars Ireland had carved on him."
    You will figure out your own Irish idioms and it will be great.
    PLEASE enter me in the drawing.
    Kathy Bailey

  29. Ruthy that is so helpful!
    Pardon me while I get past the shock!!!
    Yes, I thought of Julie's books, too.

    JULIE! what character has the best accent in your books??? The second book is partially set in Ireland isn't it?
    The heroine is the one with the accent and, I suppose her little brothers, too. Poor Silas Harden, Jr. He thought he was marrying one woman, but it looks like he's stuck with her whole family.

  30. Bettie, I can hear that spoken in a brogue. Idgit.
    Irish insults. With little brothers to work on I probably need a LOT of those.

  31. Growing up I was always told that I am part Scotch Irish so that must mean they are alike but what do I know. I listened to a book in audio. I told my mom about it and how good it was. She borrowed the book from the library but she couldn't get into the book because there was too much Irish dialogue. It tired her out to read it all and try to understand what was being said.

  32. Thanks Glynna. I think most of my Native American accents boil down to not using any contractions.

    No, I do not wish to come with you.

    It's surprisingly hard to be conscious of contracts. It's and don't just roll off the fingertips while typing.

  33. Well now, Mary , I'm in Ireland right now on a seven week holiday.

    So many accents here- some easy to understand, others need great concentration to get the gist of what the speaker is saying and still others of which I don't understand a word!

    One interesting, and I think this is widespread, idiom is the usage of the word "himself" when a woman refers to her husband e.g. "I bought the paper for himself."

    I've spent a fair amount of time in County Roscommon. Here are some things I would use in giving my character an accent if she was from this county.

    Instead of using "didn't you", my character would say "Did you not see the Christmas tree?"

    When offered a cup of tea, my character would refuse at first and when offered again, she would ask for a "half a cup" but the locals would know she actually meant a full cup.

    The use of the word promise for the weather. e.g. Rain is promised this afternoon.

    Hope this helps.

  34. I'm thinking that 'eh' is not used much by Albertans. At least some that's what Americans say. Huh?

  35. squiresj, thank you. That is so true! God bless you for the reminder of what's really important!

  36. My granddaddy was half Irish & half Cherokee. I never heard him utter a word that was not pure Texan. So I'm no help. But I would sure like to win your book!

  37. Caryl Kane, that made me smile. A wee bit 'o the Irish.

    That's a nice solid foundation for a sentence once in a while,
    Meghan McCray said, "Sure and that's a wee bit of the Irish I'm hearing in your voice."

  38. Me da was runnin' from trouble when he left the Old Country.

    How's that Rose.

    You know I feel like I'm starting to get the hang of this!

    It's sort of starting to ring in me noggin.

  39. Jill if we ever disagree with Vince we'd better have a really good reason, 'cuz he's usually right.

    Except about plotters and pantsters off course!!!! :D

  40. You're in the drawing, Tracey. That was a book I was just itching for a chance to write, in With This Ring.

  41. Susan, I don't know if I've ever done a wee Scottish lassie.

    I really should.

    Now I'm sort of excited to try that.

    I think it's a little late in the game to change Meghan McCray, although heaven knows I'm still revising her....

    And it's be Meghan MacCray right? If she was Scotts.

  42. Jackie, I like this.

    "Aw, sure look it didn't take ye long to find me quiet spot and make it noisy."

    What do you think? is the YE overkill? Hmmmm

  43. Connie, LOL, me too. Now I'm afraid next time I see one of my grandchildren, I'll say, "Sure and it's a fine mess, you've made here, wee laddie."

  44. Sandra isn't using Seekerville for guidance and inspiration a cool idea?

    I think I'll dedicate the book to all the generous, wise Seekervillagers.

    Sure, and I'll be doing that, me friends!

  45. Kathy Bailey, thank you, that's really helpful. What it means to be Irish.

    You know what was jiggled loose from my mind on that? Gone with the Wind, particularly Scarlett's father.

    okay that took some googling!

    Gerald O'Hara: It will come to you, this love of the land. There's no gettin' away from it if you're Irish.

    Gerald O'Hara: Do you mean to tell me, Katie Scarlett O'Hara, that Tara, that land doesn't mean anything to you? Why, land is the only thing in the world worth workin' for, worth fightin' for, worth dyin' for, because it's the only thing that lasts.

  46. Fun predicament, MARY! I may have to go back through all these comments and copy the linguistic links!

    I do agree with VINCE, though, about focusing more on word choices and syntax in written dialogue. Too much of dialectic spellings, dropped letters, strange contractions, etc., gets very, very hard for a reader to follow.

    So with just enough of the flavor of the dialect, the reader starts to naturally "hear" the character speaking in that accent.

    Like, before I actually met RUTHY in person, when I read her emails and blog posts, I always heard a British accent in my head!

  47. Hi Mary. Nice post! Yes, Irish and Scottish, hard to distinguish sometimes unless I read more about the characters ' background. I can't think of any phrases off the top of my head, but one book and one series comes to mind in terms of Irish cultural references and dialogue.

    Book is Alexander Ripley's Scarlett, sequel to Gone With the Wind. Scarlett meets her family from her father's side which is Irish and she eventually moves there for the latter half (maybe even more) of the story. That was the first book I've read that has so much Irish culture in it. I think you'll get quite a few references and dialogue help from reading Scarlett.

    Next, I think of Julie's series featuring the O'Connors. You know what I mean. :)

    I look forward to With This Ring with so many years great authors! Blurb for each of these stories sounds quite interesting too! Thanks for the giveaway! Annie

  48. Wilani, My grandfather was first generation American, his family came here from Scotland. But he died before I can remember him, though there's a picture of me with him. But no accent memories and my mom certainly had no accent.

    And my husband's family name is Irish, Connealy, but the Connealy's had been here several generations. But My Cowboy's grandmother was either born in Germany and came here as a child, or maybe her older brothers and sisters were. I can't remember now.

    And they spoke German in her home and she still spoke it as an adult. I never met her. She was long dead before I came into the family.


    Well, I'm seriously impressed, girl! Thank you for posting. You gave me several phrases I hadn't thought of.
    I really like 'himself'. I love it!

    The other's too.

    My gosh you are all so nice!

  50. Katy McKenna commented on my Facebook post and said she's having trouble getting her comment to post so I told her I'd add it here.

  51. Hmmm Nancy Show Hyink said the same thing.

    If you come over to read the comments you'll see I added you.

    Nancy said:
    We have two son-in-laws that have Irish blood in the is 1/2 Irish and the other 3/4 Irish. Interestingly enough, they speak the accent or speak sentences as from where they grew grew up in Bemidji MN (close to Canada) so he has some Canadian word phrases and the other son-in-law is from mid IL near the Mississippi River. He definitely has more of a southern accent and language, it really depends upon where you want your Scottish or Irish lad or lass to be from in their country that will distinguish their accent. Google different Irish/Scottish phrases generally used and look up the geography of the countries as to their language usages. Hope this may help AND I hope this is an entry into winning your contest!!!!!

  52. Lynna Reed sent me this:
    Phooey! I tried to post at Seekerville but when I hit the "submit" button it took me off to one of my email addys! So, will just give you a page to read, if you haven't already:

    Difference Between Scottish and Irish


  53. Katy sent me advice and a cute poem. :)

    I'm equal parts Scottish and Irish, raised by a Scotland-born father whose mother was from Scotland and his father from Ireland.

    "Well it is the biggest mix-up that you have ever seen; me mother she was Orange and me father he was green." Etc. Or, as my father always said, "To be Scots-Irish is to always be beating yourself up coming and gong."

  54. Besides the Quiet Man, the only other movie I can remember with an Irish character is the 3rd Back to the Future movie. Maggie McFly has a great accent. ("That's Missis McFly to you, and don't be forgettin' the missis.")

  55. Katy's advice is more like an accurate word of warning! That mix of Irish and Scots Irish with a splash of more Irish and a dose of Swarthout going back to the 1600's....

    I've often said being a mix of my parents was like waging war on myself!

  56. Great post, Mary, and a lot to think about. I know it is important to have characters sound different, but not sure how well I do that. I need to work on it. I visited Ireland in 1978 when I was in college, so am trying to remember any particular Irish phrases but having trouble coming up with any.

    As for movies, I actually came up with such a list last spring when my niece was doing a project in school in which she was writing about an Irish author and had to watch a movie set in Ireland. I had suggested The Quiet Man which you already mentioned. She ended up watching Leap Year (with Amy Adams) which is a fun contemporary Irish movie. Waking Ned Devine is another fun movie set in Ireland.

    Please enter me for the prizes.

  57. Mary, I don't know the difference between Irish and Scottish. But I wrote an Irish heroine and had fun with it. I didn't use the speech pattern in her thoughts as I didn't want to wear out readers but I did in her prayers.

    Love Ruthy's examples! When appropriate I ended sentences with now or besides. Used aye, nay, ach, 'tis, mam, da. Early on I used me instead of my, as in "me dog" and be with ing as in: “I won’t be disappointing you.” “You’d not be daring!” I also added that in front of dialogue when it wasn't necessary, as in: “That I will.” I thought it gave a lyrical quality "I will" didn't have.

    Here's examples of Vince's excellent reminder that words are often out of order. “By all the Saints, telling the truth, I am.” “’Tis hungry I am, Meg.”

    Know you'll do a great job with this, Mary! Can't wait to read it.


  58. In my previous comment, what I mean by early on is early in the story before the heroine's attempt to "improve" her speech to fit into American society.


  59. Soupie, I love your comment.
    You know in the current series I'm writing the grandfather of my heroine is born French Canadian, turned American mountain man, turned Mexican land grant owner in New Mexico. So how would he talk?

    I made him sound like most every other western man, though the French was in his name. Still he was older and I figured he'd turned into a regular western cowboy by the time I got to him. But that stumped me for a while, too.

  60. Myra thanks. This is good advice, and it doesn't hurt to remind me.

    Don't overdo it.
    Less is more.
    Use just enough to remind the reader and hopefully get them to 'hearing' her accent and NO MORE.

  61. April ... Do not Fash yourself?


    Okay. LOL

    I didn't know that about Scots/Irish I just figured an American with a Scot in their ancestry and an Irishman. But what you're saying makes sense.

    1. Lol, yeah, kind of the Scots equivalent to "don't get your panties in a bunch" or get yourself worked into a lather. Funny how every culture has sayings that only sound normal to them. :)

  62. Annie, I've read Scarlett but it was years ago. But I could get it from the library and at least read the back half again, or at least skim to pick up cultural points and phrases.


    This is all helping,

  63. I watched movies galore as I wrote The Wedding Journey and then had the brogue stuck in my head. Less is more with accents "in my book." I just love Far and Away, one of my favorite movies.

  64. Michelle I had to think about it for a while. The third Back to the Future movie???

    Then I remembered it's in the past, long in the past.

    I could do that. I wonder if I can find it on Netflix or Amazon Prime?

  65. I really love reading about authors' research work, thanks for sharing! For a main character, I think a few phrases and general wording choices is sufficient. A secondary, comic relief type character would be fun to see "over the top" with their accent. The only Irish characters I can think of other than Julie Lessman's O'Connors are all men!

  66. Swarthout? Ruthy????

    That sounds more like something from the Harry Potter books. Slithering, Gryffindor, Hogwart and Swarthout.

  67. I feel your pain, Mary! My character of Kate O'Brien had to find an Irish voice without putting off an editor. One of my critiques said I used her accent too liberally. So I pared it way down and used what I thought an Irish equivalent of a contraction would be. Of course, it may also be more Scottish than Irish. My mother was a McKinnon and thought she was Irish. Turns out they were a poor Scottish clan...lots of churchmen...on the Isle of Skye. She used the word "idgit" a LOT. :) Anyway, here's some of what I came up with:

    “I’ll not be sellin’ this land..." (Dropping the "g" in "ing") Works for a Texas accent too. LOL

    "dinna" for "don't"

    "canna" for "can't"

    Please throw my name into the horse trough for a chance to win WITH THIS RING and a $25 Amazon gift card!


    We're holding a giveaway for FOUR books to FOUR people who leave comments today! One copy each of:
    * Hope for the Holidays Historical
    * Hope for the Holidays Contemporary Collection
    * Home for Christmas Historical Collection
    * A Heart Full of Christmas Contemporary Collection
    to four drawing winners.

    GO THERE, Leave a comment ON Cheryl's blog To be eligible for the drawing.

  69. SANDY SMITH! Thank you. I hadn't heard of those movies. Leap Year and Waking Ned Divine. that sounds great.

    Hey are you coming to the NWG program in ... I think it's March in Omaha?

    Chip MacGregor a literary agent who reps a lot of Christian fiction is doing a session to teach pitching, then he's coming back for the Nebraska Writer's Guild spring conference and TAKING PITCHES!

    I wonder if he knows Scottish phrases???? Pretty good chance, right?

  70. I'm no help with Scottish and Irish accents. My ear is buried in Amish dialects and phrases!

    But I can tell the different between Scottish and Irish when I hear them. Irish is more lilting, like the green hillsides of Ireland, while Scottish is gruff, like the Highlands of Scotland.

    A good show to watch to get an ear for the Scottish accent is "Monarch of the Glen." I start thinking in a Scottish accent after I've watched an episode or two!

    I have a character in my upcoming trilogy from Revell who is Amish, but has recently emigrated to Lancaster County from Germany (the trilogy takes place in the 1840's). So here's the problem: All of my Amish characters speak Pennsylvania Dutch when they're conversing with each other, but of course, I write their dialogue in English. I'll put in a "ja" or "ne" here and there to remind the readers that they are really Amish.

    But then this guy shows up whose original language is German rather than Pennsylvania Dutch. There isn't much of a difference between the two languages - kind of like the difference between American English and British English. So how do I differentiate his dialogue? I ended up switching the word order of his sentences around occasionally, and once in a while someone will comment on his accent.

    It is tricky to give someone a dialect or accent without making your readers feel like they're watching a movie with subtitles. I'm with Myra - you have to use a light hand.

  71. Janet I hadn't thought about her THOUGHTS. (which is ironic when you think of it)

    So no accent in her thoughts? Huh? I think you're right. I wonder if I did that???

  72. Beth S, I hope Julie checks in her. I've got her books. I should skim it, especially A Passion Redeemed. They travel to Ireland in that. And isn't Mitch from Ireland?

    So does he have an accent? I can't even remember now as I sit typing. I mainly remember how drawn he was to Charity and what a SCAMP she is.

  73. Ooh, Barbara those are good ones!!!!

  74. Jan you made me laugh with 'a movie with subtitles'. Wow I can't wait to read this, Jan. What a tricky think to figure out and execute.


  75. Okay, I'm obviously late to the party, so I'm hoping what I share isn't already shared. If it is, I'm sorry. Here goes: Leap Year is one of my favorite movies. You'll catch some good Irish phrases in there. You also gain a little of the history of certain aspects of Ireland, and some of the modern day traditions and tales. "Going My Way" has a great secondary character (the good older Father), and some phrases may come up in there.

    This link (Sorry I don''t know how to make it go live for clicking on) may be helpful for getting a little into the mindset of someone from Ireland.

    And I thought this quote might be a glimpse into the mindset as well. :) ""The Irish do not want anyone to wish them well; they want everyone to wish their enemies ill."
    - Harold Nicolson

    I'm blanking on specific phrases, but I'll keep thinking. :)

  76. I married an Irishman but every Irish saying somehow is done with an Italian accent. I can't seem to cross over those lines. I'm of no use to you on this one. You've gotten good links from others that I will check out!

  77. Hi Myra:

    Indeed, I can't wait to learn how you view your writing method given that you've used Scrivener for a long time now. In the past you've described what I consider to be many of the preplanning techniques used by plotters.

    I must say that when I read your books, I am not able to confirm that you are a pantser from your writing. Things like loose ends, odd plot twists that don't seem to serve a real purpose (other than perhaps creating a way out of a sagging middle), and most importantly: missing opportunities to multiply the emotional impact of the HEA by weaving in seemingly dormant threads at the end of the story.

    I told one author that I loved her book but that I could not believe that she missed the opportunity to double the impact of the HEA by tying up an obvious loose end. She agreed at once saying, "I just never thought of that."

    It's these lost opportunities to delight the reader that dampen my enthusiasm for pantsering. I don't believe that plotters miss as many of these opportunities as pantsers since they are always plotting! So it is not pantsers that I don't like, it's all the reading enjoyment that I am missing because the book was pantsered. : (

    Of course, I do get the benefit of the wonderful spontaneity that only pantsers can arise to and which makes fiction such an unexpected joy to read. That's why I'd love to get to enjoy the benefits of a skilled pantser who uses the power of Scrivener to produce the most perfect reading experience possible.

    Loved your comment about meeting Ruth. Before meeting Ruth in person, I always thought she was very tall, fashionably thin and that she was, of course, a retired college professor.

    That's why I like your idea of syntax. If the word order makes the English words being used seem like those of an Irish person, then the reader will 'hear' the accent in her head as being just what she expected to hear. You can't miss getting it right in this way.

    It seems to me the Irish are very fond of ending a sentence with a sly question as in:

    "What's this? Feeling a wee bit sorry for ourselves, now are we?"

    I can almost hear the brogue and yet no words were spoken out loud. I just know that an Irishman had to be the one speaking.

    Glad your post is next. I'll be reading it at 11 pm Tulsa time.


  78. Mary,

    Julie has the O'Connor family travel to Ireland in A Passion Most Pure, and then Charity is still there in the second novel. Mitch is from Ireland, as is the staff of the newspaper in Dublin where he and Faith work in APMP. (Just re-read that one, so it's fresh in my mind :) )

    I'd recommend sticking with phrases/dialogue style rather than typing dialogue with lots of dropped sounds or odd spellings. It's easier to read, and if done well, the reader will start to read the character as Irish. Plus, if the character's attitude and values reflect Irish ones, that'll reinforce his/her identity.

    Those links look interesting! I may have to write an Irish character someday...

    I'd love the gift card! Lots of bookworms in my family to Christmas shop for :) And that novella collection looks good!

  79. Jeanne T you really did make me laugh out loud with that last quote.
    I love the mindset.

    These are great suggestions. THANK YOU.

    I can make a live link but I'm not FAST.

    Irish Fun Facts and Irish Quotes

  80. MRW it's just like me fading into Scottish. I AM FIGHTING THE URGE TO HAVE HER SOUND LIKE SCOTTY ON STAR TREK!!!

  81. VINCE as always you add such thoughtful comments to the Seekerville conversation. THANK YOU so much for THINKING about all of this so deeply. It really helps me explore my writing more deeply.

  82. Raisin' me hand along wi' you, Mary, me' are!

    My next series for Tyndale is set in 1790s Natchez Territory. Not only do I have Irish, Spanish-Americans, and British, but my 3 hero brothers from Ireland have been away from their homeland in different stages ranging from 10-15 years to one year.

    Ach! Wait, that Scottish, isn't it?

    Oh boy!

  83. Sarah, I remember how hard Julie worked to get her characters across the ocean during war time. But I think that was in the first book.

    Maybe I'd better re-read the whole set! :D

  84. Sure and it's a fine mess ye've made for yourself, Pammy, me girl.

  85. I might skip the 'ye've' word. Kind of clumsy. But mostly, now I'm excited to go write through this book and see if I can bring her more to life as a classic, poor, Irish potato famine immigrant.

  86. I love Soupie's response! Because that's how it should be!

    You know, it's generally gone by 2nd generation, and yet there are turns of phrase that identify with the history.

    So the accent would be gone but the way of phrasing sentences and words are passed down.

    In my husband's German family, the olders rarely use "doesn't".

    He don't know.

    She don't think so.

    Esther don't generally go to those things.

    So the colloquialisms linger while the accents disappear.

    Although if you look at Boston and the South, you see the speech patterns that became ingrained, and that's pretty cool!

  87. Mary, I may or may not have made fun of you and Pam on Cheryl St. John's blog.

    I'm not saying I DID.

    I'm just saying it's a distinct possibility.

  88. You will enjoy those movies, Mary.

    I am planning at this point to go to the conference in Omaha in April. Not sure yet about the day in March, but that sounds like a good one, too. I will have to consider it. And yes, he might very well know some Scottish phrases. :)

  89. Accents *are* SO hard. I write a 1st generation Irish family in my WIP set in the 1860's. The parents have brogues but immigrated early...and to me, in writing accents, I don't want to make it SO thick it makes it difficult to read. Irish and Scottish accents are waaaay too easy to mix up. Oy vey. LOL
    Opening my document now to see how an important (albeit) secondary character speaks in a soft, feminine brogue...
    A lot of och, me, 'tis, other words that Janet Dean shared above...and I try to remember how Mrs. Peru in The Music Man spoke. LOL Her Irish accent was *very* pronounced but her phrasing was spot-on and since I grew up with that movie, how she speaks/her phraseology is kind of imbedded in my brain. LOL

  90. Hmmm, I'm thinking I might have been channeling a Scotch-Irish 3-year-old in my last comment. "Me do it, ya ken?" lol

  91. I appreciate when an author can give a character an accent without making it hokey or cliche. It really can enhance the vibrancy of their mannerisms. Can't wait to read With This Ring? :) A collection of four of my favorite authors? Yes please!

  92. Ruthy I may or may not have made fun of you back.

    Or maybe I made fun of myself.

    Sometimes that's a fine line!

  93. MEGHAN I'm spelling my heroine's name just like yours.

    And The Music Man, I'm going to hunt that up, too!!!!!!!!!!!

    I've got some good stuff here.

  94. Sandy, come if you can. I really don't know what the pitch training day is like but I thought I'd go. I know Chip and I'd love to see him. It's fun to have familiar industry professionals show up locally and I like to support them.

  95. PAM LOL now that can be your next character, a three year old Scots Irish girl

  96. Heidi that's what I'm going for. As the heroine's character develops I haven't decided if she was born in Ireland and came with her parents to America or if they came and she was born here.
    She has three little brothers and spaced about 3 or 4 years apart. And by rights, an Irish family should have 10 kids in this era not four. But I thought if they were traveling around, across the ocean between child 1 and 2. From New York to Omaha between child 2 or 3, etc.

    btw I'm from a family with 8 kids so I totally respect big families. It worked out well for us. For example, none of us starved to death.

  97. PAM LOL now that can be your next character, a three year old Scots Irish girl

    Well, I'm sure her baby-talk-with-a-brogue would take readers' attention away from mistakes I make in the adult dialects... BRILLIANT! :)

  98. Well, there is definitely a difference between Irish and Scottish. Will most Americans be able to tell in print? Probably not, but some will still catch it. Old Scottish ballads, like Thomas the Rhymer, Tam Lin, and Barbara Allan, are a pretty good place to look for thick Scottish accents, assuming one can understand them enough to pick out the important bits.

    Traditional Scottish, as I in my American ignorance have heard it, often uses 'ken' for know, 'dinna' for don't/didn't, and some others people have mentioned above, like 'kirk' for church and 'fash yourself' for worry.

    Mary, you maun gae to the store today. Ye dinna ha' any butter in the house, and your husband maun ha' butter on his pancakes, ye ken. Perhaps you should mount your milk-white steed and be gaeing now. But dinna fash yourself, I'll take care of the dishes.

    Translation: Mary, you must go to the store today. You don't have any butter in the house, and your husband must have butter* for his pancakes, you know. Maybe you should hop on your white horse and get going now. But don't worry, I'll take care of the dishes.

    *Just an example; I'm not presuming to know your husband or your larder. But when butter runs out, it's like the end of the world here.

  99. Wow -- you have a hundred comments so far. Have read some, not all, but gotta run. So let me answer your question emphatically. YES -- it matters. There are distinct differences between Irish and Scottish accents. I should know, I'm Irish. In fact, I read a lovely historical book about an Irish lass with a Scottish accent and I had to make a comment about the Scottish accent in my review because it really pulled me out of the story!

    And be careful over using 'sure and' at the beginning of a sentence. And since I'm assuming you are writing historical just be aware that most of the Irish slang you'll find on the internet is modern slang.

    Something common for an Irish Catholic to say would be "Saints preserve us!" But if your character is Protestant than it's likely she's from an English family who moved to Ireland to be land even though she might be third generation Irish with English ancestors, her accent, or at least her phrasing, would be closer to proper English. The Irish accent more cultured.

    Um -- let's see common differences across is pronounced cam. Mam and Da. Using 'me' instead of 'I' Like 'Me Da said..." And 'th' is pronounced more like a thick t...not quite thhhhh Thinking of me own Da's accent now. :-)

  100. Can't help with the accent thing. German-Polish person here. Well, more Polish by birth - German by who raised me. Had a Canadian roommate during a mission trip once, she was impressed that I knew Manitoba was a Province and not a city. She had a heavy, stereotypical Canadian accent. I spent one evening entertaining her with the different geographical accents of the U.S.

    I know enough about Irish and Scottish to know that THEY ARE NOT THE SAME!!!! And you'd best to remember that, thank you very much. (sorta like Chinese, Korean, and Japanese - for the love of God, do NOT lump them all together as the same if you want to live)

    All this to say. Sorry, Mary - I'm no help, but I do so covet a copy of With This Ring.

    It amazes me when the comment section is more informative than the posts here at Seekerville. That's tough to do.

  101. you have been given plenty of advice and it is probable better than I could give. I tend to look to Dr. Who for accents. Some of the actors give great accents besides their natural ones. The 13th doctor, Peter Capaldi, uses his natural accent which is Scottish. The 10th doctor's companion, Amy Pond,(can't remember her real name) used her natural Scottish accent. If you hear the 10th Doctor, David Tennant, his natural accent is Scottish but he is very good at accents. Can't be of more help but would like to be in the drawing.

  102. I love reading these comments! Ireland is one of my most favorite places in the world. I can't wait to go back...not sure when that will happen, but I know it will! And I'm so jealous of Ruth Mary Dell, and I'll be singing Katy's song for the rest of day. (The orange and green one).
    I don't know about writing Irish accents, but you can tell a lot about the way they phrase things. One thing I noticed when I was there, was that they never answer a question with just yes or no. Are you going to the store? I am. (Of course, as Ruthy pointed out, you much more likely to get a long response). I always think of "wee" as being more Scottish, but I think the Irish use it to. I heard a lot of other slang while I was there...some of it I'm not able to repeat. LOL!

  103. Mary, here's a site that might help, though it doesn't necessarily give specific phrases. It gives a lot of interesting bits about how they communicate that might help.

    I love the "ay caramba, I've got a lot of chutzpah" line!

  104. " top of the mornin to ya, Mary". I love reading books that the characters have an Irish brogue. You will do just fine in the Irish speech, I am confident.

  105. Some Irish words that were around in the 19th century:

    bog -- wetland or marshy area
    peat -- dried bricks for a fire -- cut from a bog and dried out. The smell of a peat fire is divine.
    boreen -- a narrow road in the country
    brogues -- a pair of shoes...clog type not to be confused with
    brogue -- which is the accent
    ceilidh - pronounced kaylee - a house party with dancing
    clabber -- curdled milk used in any recipe that requires for Irish soda bread
    colleen -- young woman
    drum -- ridge
    drumlin -- a small rounded hill
    gob - slang for mouth as in "shut your gob"
    hooligan - rowdy person
    keening - wailing lament
    lough (pronounced loch) - lake

    This post called to the inner reference librarian in me. Plus I had this list in some old, old notes from a story I was writing a decade ago. :-)

  106. Hi Mary!! I love reading books where characters have strong accents. I know it's not deep reading, but my favorite children's books are the Skippy Jon Jones. I do a great accent. Giggle.

    One of my books has several Korean women speaking to Americans. In one part, my character is trying to Henry and it comes out Hen--er--ee.

    At any rate, I can't offer a lot of advice on the Irish vs Scottish accents. If all else fails, youtube?

  107. Wow, the book looks so terrific....can't wait to read it. Thanks for the giveaway, are so generous...count me in.

  108. Mary, I'm so glad you asked these questions. I love putting accents in my own stories. I had fun with the accents of the former slaves in my recent release, and there's a Hispanic couple in my next novel that I'm editing. So much fun! I'm sure there will be a Scottish/Irish accent emerge someday.

    For a Scottish accent, you might try listening to Sheila Walsh. I love it when she lets that brogue come through. :)

    This link also might be useful--
    They list some actors that have proper accents for both Scottish and Irish.

    You might also look up some Irish blessings and some such. :)

    Happy Hunting,
    Crystal L Barnes

  109. My suggestions for an Irish submergence-
    Go to you tube! If you want to hear the brogue and learn phrases of all kinds check out a few of the videos on youtube. I just watched one about trainers (sneakers), trousers,and bums . There were several others that looked helpful.

    And listen to Irish music- my favorite is Gaelic Storm- Bring Yer Wellies (rubber boots because. . . ) or if you like safer tunes The Chieftains.

    Or watch the movie P.S.I Love You

    And please no Scottish accent- it doesn't use the freedom and joy of a good brogue!

    Please enter me :-)

  110. Scots tend to roll their 'r's more than Irish. They also use the words "wee","lassie", "bonnie", "ye cannae", and "aye". Listen to Sean Connery. ;) Irish like to have a bit of craic. I like both accents.

  111. Congrats, Mary, on your RT Top Pick! Woot! Doubt you need advice on anything writing related! :)

    I've been playing Santa's Elf all day, in other words shopping 'til I dropped! So I'm just checking in to say hello!

    Must make chicken salad sandwiches for a church event this evening. No rest for the weary, right?


  112. Mary, here's the link I used to look up the 35 Irish phrases. I wasn't sure I could post that, but I see others have posted links as well. Sorry to bombard you with more information, I see you've had quite a few chime in since last night. I'm hoping you can glean enough from all this to be able to write more accurately for the time period & culture of your story.
    And I wanted to add, please throw my name in the tam (Irish hat) for the prizes you are offering. Thanks for your generosity!


    I don't know how to "live" link it (??) but am hoping you can do a copy & paste into your browser so it will direct you to the website where I got this.

  113. What fun, Mary! I can't wait to see the comments you've had. And also to see how the story turns out!

    Trixi, that's a great link!

  114. I'm really looking forward to reading this novella collection since it features works by four of my favorite authors.
    I'm certainly not an expert on accents. The only phrase that comes to mind, that may or may not be Irish, is "top of the morning to ye." (Ya, you, I'm not sure about that last word).
    Watching movies that feature Irish actors sounds like a good way to get a handle on the accents. I'm sure you will figure it out!

  115. Stars but you've had a grand bit of help here, Mary Connealy! Tis a fine group, these Seekers and Villagers. A fine group indeed.

    Sure and it's looking forward to your next story I am :-)

    Nancy C

  116. Rachael, thank you for your concern about butter. We stocked up. :)

    Now what you've written is a very heavy accent to the point that you nearly needed that translation you included.

    I don't want to go that far but I drop bits of what you said in and make it work.

    Saying it for Scots heroine.


  117. KAV you are Irish? Really? Like you are FROM Ireland right now?
    Or you came from there?
    Or Irish is your heritage.

    It's very good advice to remember to keep things historical. I read some Irish slang lists and I think quite of bit of it is modern, plus way to much of it is profane. Which is annoying. You know they have non-profane slang.

  118. Deborah, this is really the day for great educational comments.

    It's been great!

    And I will carefully mind the difference between Irish and Scottish.

  119. Dr. Who. Okay, Connie I will write this down and remember it. It'll come in handy!

  120. LeAnne that's a good reminder, they rarely say one word answers.
    I like that.

    And wee? That's Scottish?

    No wonder I'm struggling with this.

  121. Debra, thank you for the link. I really appreciate all of this.
    I'm going to read all of these at least for a while and read a few books and hopefully I'll have it all fully formed in my head by the time I'm ready to revise her voice.

  122. Oh JUDY, this is perfect. " top of the mornin to ya, Mary". Is this the first time someone's posted it?

    Every time one of you hits on something new I just want to slap myself in the head and ask, "Why didn't I think of that one???"

  123. KAV this is a fantastic list and YAY FOR SEEKERVILLE THAT WE HAVE A LIBRARIAN ON CALL!!!



    I'll see you Wednesday right?

  125. JACKIE you're in the drawing.

    The book was a lot of fun, I think you'll really enjoy every story!

  126. Crystal thank you!

    Great suggestions!

    It sounds like you've really tackled some HARD accents! Brave lady!

  127. BARBARA you guys are really putting on the PRESSURE! What if I slip?

    What if I don't quite keep them separated?

    I will now continue to type with my fingernails gnawed to the QUICK!!!

  128. Becky so you think Lassie and Bonnie are SCOTTISH?

    UH OH. I need to go revise. RATS.

  129. Debby, good for you!
    Get that shopping done!

    I'm doing a lot online. Then I can just keep my backside planted at the computer all day everyday!

  130. Trixi thank you for the link. Really I'm going to go through all of these and have a look, who said submerge myself? That's what'll do it.
    I appreciate all the work you've done finding these things!

  131. Missy I'm definitely saving this. A lot of these links also give you a choice to learn other languages and phrases.

    So this is a nice collection of research links to add to my library!

  132. Pam thank you, yes someone else said that one but only recently. Then I hear it and wonder why it wasn't first!
    You have all been inspiring to me.

  133. LOL Nancy C, you did it all right there in those few words!

  134. Speaking of Irish Speaking About Being Irish...

    From Julie Lessman's Contiuation of "The Daughters of Boston" Book 3 "A Passion Denied".

    Deeply hidden away in the novella collection: "Home For Christmas" where thousands of readers of the Boston series may never see it.

    Luke tickled her waist. “Tell me about it,” Charity said with an exaggerated roll of eyes, shimmying into Mitch’s lap with an imp of a grin. “Hard heads are the hallmark of Irish men.”

    “A God-given mode of defense for dealing with Irish women, little girl,” Mitch returned, making her squeak and giggle when he nibbled the crook of her neck.

    Indie Marketing?

  135. Ah, Charity and Mitch, my favorites. I loved Julie's novella! Best ending ever. Talk about rewards per page, Vince!

  136. I looked up and found all kinds of info! I bet you could do some great research there! Good luck! I would love to win either prize :)

    Merry Christmas to everyone! I love this time!!!!

  137. Yep, Valri that's the site I got the Irish phrases from :-) Lot's 'O information there, one could get bogged down in...:-D

  138. Stopping by late today - - but I'm no help with accents (unless it's a southern accent - which I've been told I have, but I don't really hear it, LOL).
    It will be fun to check out some of those sites with differences between the Irish and Scottish terms, etc.
    Hugs, Patti Jo

  139. OH MY GOSH!!! Of ALL days to be late to check in -- Mary I am soooooo sorry!! I have been out of commission all week, I'm afraid, so I apologize.

    One thing I figured out RIGHT OFF THE BAT, Mary, was EXACTLY what Sarah very wisely mentioned. She said: "I'd recommend sticking with phrases/dialogue style rather than typing dialogue with lots of dropped sounds or odd spellings. It's easier to read, and if done well, the reader will start to read the character as Irish."

    Sarah, you are ONE smart cookie, my friend, because that is EXACTLY what I discovered in APMP. I started out having Patrick talk Irish and it got on my nerves, so like Sarah said, I discovered a trademark Irish word (i.e. "darlin'" for Patrick) gave an Irish flavor without overkill. Of course, I did throw in lots of Irish sayings, some I made up like "Sweet saints in heaven" or "Sweet Mother of Joy," but others were used way back when like "The saints be praised."

    So my advice is -- like Sarah's -- no accent for main characters because it's just too hard to do and to irritating to the reader. But in my Heart of San Fran series, I gave Rosie the Irish housekeeper/cook more of an accent since she wasn't on stage enough to irritate the reader. For instance, in her first scene, I have her say, "The divil, you say!” Mrs. Rosie O’Brien stood at the door, her brogue as thick as her disdain. Aunt Cait’s notorious housekeeper and nanny scowled. “The only pa-rusin’ you’ll be doing, Mister ‘Beware’, is in that dining room for a welcome supper."

    Fun post today, Mare -- if I'd known you were going to talk Irish, I would have been here at the top o' the mornin', my friend!


  140. HI Mary. It's late. That's all I have to say today. It's the cough. I'm tired. Yuns are so lucky to not be around me. Lest yuns all get sick. Nightee night.

  141. Love this post! As for the accents I don't have a preference. I am sure each have different sayings and such, but for as for me I love listening to them both when spoken! Whatever you choose would be a win in my book! No pun intended. :)

  142. MARY ASKED: "JULIE! what character has the best accent in your books??? The second book is partially set in Ireland isn't it?

    Actually, none of my main characters have strong Irish accents, just pet phrases that are Irish, which I highly recommend.

    I did start out giving Emma Malloy a strong Irish accent in A Passion Redeemed as you can see from one of her first lines in the book:

    “Aye, and too rich as well. But that won’t be stopping Mr. High-and-Mighty once he sets his eyes on the likes of you, I’ll bet me firstborn.”

    But I wanted her to be softer and higher class despite her poor station in life, so I dropped the accent except for a few pet phrases.

    And, yes, Mary, the second book was half set in Dublin. :)


  143. LOL, VINCE, "Indie Marketing?" indeed! ;)

    MARY SAID: "I loved Julie's novella! Best ending ever. Talk about rewards per page, Vince!"

    Aw, Mary, you just made me day, my friend, THANK YOU!!



  144. Hi Mary:

    If your favorites are Charity and Mitch, I'd like to add that in this novella, "The Best Gift of All", Charity totally redeems herself, from what she was in Book I to who she is now: my favorite sister!

    I'd still marry Emma but Charity is now the O'Connor prima donna!

    BTW: I think a man may well think "The Best Gift of All" has the greatest ending ever but I'd like to hear from some modern women on how they liked it. : )

  145. Valri,, I'll add it to my list. This is great. I did some googling but I didn't find much that seemed useful, you guys are GREAT!!!

    (but we knew that!)


  146. Trixi, ALL OF YOU, thanks for hunting around like this.

    NOW EVERYONW Go and create an Irish character. LOL

  147. Hi Patti Jo even with nothing to add, thanks for stopping in. You help make every day a party at Seekerville!

  148. Julie I'm going to spend some time with your books and just look at those small phrases to help ignite my creativity. Thanks for mentioning the housekeeper in the San Fran books. She might be a better one because my heroine is a poor little thing. :) Her language might be more similar to a maids.

  149. Lyndee, I'm so sorry you're sick, poor baby. Frowning as I type and contemplate God's design as in.....what was He thinking when he created the common cold. :( There must be a point, right?


    Appreciation of good health by comparison?

    I wish I could think of something. :(

    Get well soon. Drink hot tea.

  150. Vince and Julie both in love with great characters and great romance.

    Me too!

  151. Mary, did I mention I'm of German background and speak the low German (or plautdeitsch) dialect?

  152. One funny Irish slang saying is that someone is "acting the maggot," which is a humorous way to say that someone is messing or fooling around. If someone says that something is "bang on," it means that it is accurate or correct, while calling someone a "boyo" is a way of saying the person is a male juvenile delinquent.

    When something is terrible or awful, the Irish say it is "brutal." To make "bags of something" is to do a botched job. When someone wants a little bit of something, they want a "biteen." When it's raining, it's said to be "bucketing down."
    Children are known as "chiselers," while left-handed people are "ciotogs" and people from the country are known as "culchies." To ask for the latest gossip, someone asks "How's the craic?" A lazy person who is not working while on the job is a "dosser," while something that is wonderful or fantastic is "deadly." To say "Hi," the Irish say "How's she cutting?"
    A tough guy in Ireland is a "hardchaw," while an unliked male is a "langer." To get "locked" is to get very drunk. A "sleeveen" is a sly and devious person, while a person who is as "weak as a kitten" is someone who is very tired.

  153. Marianne, you are a woman of the world!

  154. Deanne this is so great. These are some a bit familiar but a lot of them are brand new~!


  155. VINCE SAID: "If your favorites are Charity and Mitch, I'd like to add that in this novella, "The Best Gift of All", Charity totally redeems herself, from what she was in Book I to who she is now: my favorite sister!"

    YAY, VINCE -- FINALLY someone agrees with me about Charity!!! She's been my favorite sister for a long, long time. :)

    VINCE ALSO SAID: "BTW: I think a man may well think "The Best Gift of All" has the greatest ending ever but I'd like to hear from some modern women on how they liked it."

    Mmmm, Vince, now you have me curious. WHY do you think that? Because it's a romantic ending?? And I'll admit to being a wee bit worried of reactions from the female sector regarding corporal punishment, so I'd be interested in responses too! : )


  156. Mary, if you've never watched Waking Ned Devine, treat yourself and do. It's such a funny Irish movie. I would avoid using "top of the morning'" because it's kind of stereotypical, and the Irish I know don't use it. They do, however, say, "thanks a million," in place of "thank you." I love all things Irish and look forward to your story!

  157. Mary,
    My ancestors are Scott-Irish. During the reign of William and Mary those Scots who fought with the Britihs against Ireland were presented with land as their reward. Why not have your character Scot-Irish The Scots had a huge influence on Ireland over time. Probably why things are similar. In some old family letters my several great- grandmother exhorted her children who had immigrated here to avoid those Methodists. She was a staunch Presbyterian. Of course her Scottish ancesters influences her religious preference.
    Cindy Huff

  158. Hope I'll see what I can find on Waking Ned Devine. I know I can start by watching movie trailers on YouTube.

    You love Irish, huh? Well, this is set in Montana on a cattle ranch, but other than that it's sort of Irish. :)

  159. Hi Cindy. I'd better go do a bit of reading on Irish history to try and figure out where in the world my heroine and her family came from!

    This has been a wonderful post for comments. It's so FUN!

  160. Hi Julie:


    Do you not see it?

    Faith (the sweetest sister -- as was the oldest Bennett sister) told Lizzie that the solution to their marriage problem and John's jealousy of his daughter, Molly, (she was getting his wife's full attention to the point he was sleeping alone because Molly was afraid to sleep by herself) was for her to submit to her husband as the Bible commands. Lizzie needed to do things God's way and not Lizzie's way. Wow!

    What man would not want a sister-in-law like Faith? I'd be tempted to call the story, "The Greatest Sister-in-Law Ever".

    BTW: I tried to alert the thousands of "Boston" fans to their need to read this story by my review on Amazon last night.

    The Greatest Observation!

    Finally, after reading all the Boston books, and reading your hallmark "Romance-ology 101", the light went on: you are the best, most passionate, author when dealing with 'edgy' love between married couples. Bar none! It's the passionate romance between married couples which is probably the most neglected topic in romances. My favorite Lessman scene of all is the bedroom scene between Patrick and Marcy in their old age. But in "The Greatest Gift of All" you have shown that the passionate love between married couples is your trump suit!

    I think "The Greatest Gift of All" is a landmark 'Boston' statement. It really needs its own separate release one day and be tied-into a revival of the whole 'Boston' series -- maybe a 10th anniversary. All the other loose 'Boston' novellas could be rounded up for the celebration.

    J. A. Jance's marketing people work her novella releases expertly to enhance the marketing of all her books -- even to the point of a novella bridging two of her series to combine the fans of each into an expanded base. And as Ruth will tell you, "It's all about the bass". : )

    Hint: Get on J.A. Jance's newsletter list. Your husband will enjoy the layout and artwork of her newsletter. It is very much his style.


  161. The only 2 Irish movies I can think of are Far and Away, and Waking Ned Devine - lots of Irish phrases in both! I am of Norwegian, German, Polish & Luxembourg descent so I am no help with Irish phrases - LOL
    Please enter me in the drawings, & Merry Christmas

  162. MARY SAID: "So does he (Mitch) have an accent? I can't even remember now as I sit typing. I mainly remember how drawn he was to Charity and what a SCAMP she is."

    LOL ... no, Mitch didn't have any accent. :)


  163. As soon as Nicole Sager suggested "sure", I could hear the Irish accent! Irish has a gentler, more lilting, musical tone while Scottish is more brusque.

  164. well top o' the mornin' to ye!! Irish-Scottish and British accents are in me head and i can turn them on like a spigot!!! (funny thing, it's harder to stop once it starts!) i canna say for certain but seems to me Irish and Scottish are basically the same. Irish is lighter while Scottish is the thicker accent of the two, don't'cha know. if ye've not seen Brigadoon, it's a good movie, might help ye out a wee bit.
    ps, me brain is "in accent" now i've read your post!
    pss, i'm actually learning Irish!!! (squeeee) (check out Duolingo) as with any language sentence structure is different, and a native Irishman might transpose their grammar when speaking English. think of other non-native English speaking people, how their speech seems tumbled.
    now, of course, i'm wantin' a copy of your book, as i'm intrigued—and always look forward to readin' anythin' from Great Britain!!

  165. I would love to be in the drawing. . maybe listening to Celtic Women would help, or my wonderful contractor, Mr. McGee, from Ireland? That is all I have. :-)
    Good Luck!
    Becky B

  166. I don't know if you've already seen this, but YouTube has some great videos on accents.

  167. Mary, I love cowboys, too, especially the ones you write!

  168. Hello! I would love to be in your drawing! I'm third generation Irish and growing up had the classic fair skin, blue eyes, and untamed red hair. My mother always told me my "fire" came with the hair from birth! I have friends directly from Ireland and they use a phrase when speaking about someone, "himself," or "herself." For example, when someone is prideful or thinking highly of themselves you might say, "Well, aren't you just Himself!?" Or watching your new toddler take her first steps, "My, you are just 'herself,' now aren't ya!" Anyway, good luck to you and happy writing!

  169. I bet Irish and Scottish accents are different, but I'm no help. Would love to read the new book! Are you working on longer ones, too? I love the books that you have space to really develop the characters and the storyline. :)

  170. Scottish and Irish accents are different. I think of brogue when I think of Scottish ... I don't know how to describe Irish except to maybe listen to Irish actors/actresses interviews such as Colin Morgan or Katie McGrath? Irish accents seem to have a more lilting feel?

    As an American, because it's on page, IDK if I'd see or notice the difference ... Can't wait to see what you end up doing! =)

    In Brian Jacques' Redwall series, different woodland creatures would have different accents that would be written out. E.g. Moles would have a "Burr, hoi thur Marthen." "Hi there Martin." There were squirrel characters with Scottish accents too. I didn't mind it growing up (I found them fun), but it can be distracting as a reading sometimes ...

  171. I wouldn't be able to tell the difference.. I like them all :)

  172. What a fun post, Mary! The Scottish/Irish debate is one I've always found thrilling, and though I'm no expert I believe there's a distinct difference. How that comes through in fiction is hard to say.

    I recently read Liz Curtis Higgs' Mine Is the Night and Tamera Alexander's To Win Her Favor back to back. I could definitely hear them both in my head and they were different. Youtube may help. That's always my go to for accent research. :) Hope this helps!

    Can't wait to read With This Ring?. I'm on the list for an influencer copy from Karen. Thanks for a fun post!

  173. Hi, Mary!!

    I enjoyed your post - although I know little about Scottish/Irish accents, my mind must be working in the same vein as that of Natalie Monk, based on her comments. Liz Curtis Higgs' historical fiction series, based in Scotland, was the first Christian Fiction I read - I wasn't sure if I would enjoy it, because of the accent and wording, however, I not only thoroughly enjoyed it and felt it to be authentic and the words easy to understand; it opened my eyes to the world of Christian Fiction as a whole, and compelled me to read the works of other Christian Fiction authors. The next being, each of the books of your very own Julie Lessman - guess I should thank Liz for turning me into the obsessed Christian Fiction fan I now am, lol!!

    Please enter my name in the drawing for the novella collection and gift card!! Thank you!!