Launch for Doric New Testament

LABOUR OF LOVE:  Solicitor Gordon Hay has spent the past six years translating the New Testament into Doric.
LABOUR OF LOVE: Solicitor Gordon Hay has spent the past six years translating the New Testament into Doric.
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Following six years’ work, Peterhead Solicitor, Gordon M. Hay will be officially launching his rendition of the New Testament in Doric later this week.

The launch will take place at a public event in Longside Parish Church on Friday, November 2, at 7.30pm.

In 2006 Gordon was asked by the committee of Buchan Heritage Society to translate two biblical passages into Doric for use at their Doric Service that year.

For his own amusement he then started to translate further biblical passages into Doric and has now completed the New Testament in the dialect of North-east Scotland.

This is the first time that the whole New Testament has been translated into the Buchan dialect.

Gordon was brought up on the family farm in the Parish of Inverkeithny in rural Banffshire and educated at Turriff Academy and Aberdeen University where he attained degrees in Arts and Law.

Speaking to the Buchanie about the launch, Gordon said: “Doric is a very fluid and changing language. The words used in New Deer vary greatly from those used in Peterhead or Alford or Elgin.

“I have tried to use the everyday speech which I heard around the farm where I was brought up and in the school playgrounds as a child.

“There are one or two interpolations of words which were new to me when I came to work in Peterhead 30 years ago and which certainly were never heard in the Turriff area.”

Considerable interest has already been shown in the work and Gordon has had many invitations to read passages of his translation at church services and other events, including an invitation to read the New Testament lesson in Doric at a service at Crathie Church earlier this month in the presence of members of the Royal Family.

This week’s launch will be preceded by a short concert with bothy ballad singer, Hector Riddle and fiddler, Kathryn Matthews introduced by Robbie Shepherd.

There will be an opportunity during the evening to buy copies of The Doric New Testament in paperback (£12) or hardback (£25).

Gordon will also be on hand for book signing for those who require.

All proceeds from the sales will be divided between Longside Parish Church and Invekeithny Kirk Preservation Trust.

Further enquiries should be sent to