Scotland's dreich climate has produced a torrent of Scots words to describe it: black weet. blashy, blay bye - dreep, drowie, feechie, peuch and plowtery, to name but a few. Who said what about Scotland’s crappy weather?
DREICH - Dreich - is Scotland's favorite weather word. This Scots word suggest any weather from merely overcast to ferociously damp - but the word always carries a burden of utter joylessness!
Scots is the language of Lowland Scotland and the Northern Isles, one of Scotland's indigenous languages, descended from Northern Old English, greatly influenced by Norn - old Scandinavian. Scots was once the language of government, spoken by Scottish kings and poets, and it has its own dialects - Glaswegian, Syrshire, Shetland, Doric, Border Scots among them.
A French writer mentions, as proof of Shakespeare’s attention to particulars, his allusion to the climate of Scotland in the words: “Hail, hail, all hail!” —-Thomas Moore Journal, 16 April, 1821
In Wick I have never heard any one greet his neighbour with the usual ‘Fine day’ or ‘Good morning.’ Both come shaking their heads, and both say, ‘Breezy, breezy!’ And such is the atrocious quality of the climate, that the remark is almost invariably justified by the fact. ——Robert Louis Stevenson, in a letter to his mother the summer of 1868.
In one very important respect Scotland is physically inferior to most similar countries, and that is in climate. Most of the great Greek ideas came naturally from her sunshine and mild sea breezes. The philosophers were men who sat in the open air under trees, drinking wine. They were encouraged thus to think fruitfully...Scotland's climate has never been temperate enough to produce that ease of mind which suddenly erupts in the world-shattering ideas, nor has it been hard enough, such as that of Scandinavia and Russia, to transform men into ravening wild beasts, like the Viking and other hoards. —-SCOTLAND: THE LAND AND THE PEOPLE, © Donald Cowie, 1973 by A.S. Barnes and Company, Cranbury, NJ and London: Thomas Yoseloff Ltd., London ISBN 0-498-01169-0
A Scottish mist may wet an Englishman to the skin - that is, ‘small mischiefs in the beginning, if not seasonably prevented, may prove very dangerous. —-Thomas Fuller, History of the Worthies of England, 1662
Some Highland witches are said to control the weather. They are called Storm Witches and are capable of raising great hurricanes and snow storms, or of calming the waves at will. Such a witch lived at Scourie, and made a good living by selling favorable winds to mariners, few of whom would set sail without first consulting her. She would stand on a rock above Scourie Bay, pointing her staff in the direction of the wind she wanted to invoke. Then she would chant a geasan (a Gaelic spell) and the tempest would commence - or cease, according to her wish. —-SCOTLAND Myths and Legends, by Beryl Beare, © Parragon. London 1996, ISBN 0-94778-294-x
The climate is strangely un-Scottish, due to some geographical freak. There can be continuous days of sunshine in the early spring, and the soft fruits grow as lushly as in California and with better flavor. the place names are poetically beautiful, from New Pitsligo to Fyvie and from Strichen to the Muir of Fowlis. Craigellachie, Fochabers, Dufftown and the original Dallas compete with Keig and Clatt and Waterton and Echt.
Not only the climate but also the people are outlandish even for Scotland...They are not at all Scottish, these descendants of Vikings, and, lacking both "Celtic" and Saxon blood, they display red hair predominantly and sea-blue eyes...they can frequently go mad with frustration in a regimented world. (Just as their forefathers went suitably berserk.) —-SCOTLAND: THE LAND AND THE PEOPLE, © Donald Cowie, 1973 by A.S. Barnes and Company, Cranbury, NJ and London: Thomas Yoseloff Ltd., London ISBN 0-498-01169-0