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Insular Scots comprises varieties of Lowland Scots generally subdivided into:

Both dialects share much Norn vocabulary, Shetland dialect more so, than does any other Scots dialect, perhaps because they were both under strong Norwegian[1][2] influence in their recent past.[3] In ancient times, Pictish was spoken in the islands. With Viking settlement of the islands came the establishment of Norn-speaking communities. Although the islands thereafter owed allegiance to Norway, they became politically involved with Scotland. Scotland then annexed the islands in 1472, after which Scots replaced Norwegian as the dominant language.[2]

It should not be confused with the vernacular of the Islands of the Clyde.


  1. ^ " - Shetland". Retrieved 2 January 2024.
  2. ^ a b " - Insular". Retrieved 2 January 2024.
  3. ^ McColl Millar. 2007. Northern and Insular Scots. Edinburgh: University Press Ltd. p.5