About us

Dictionaries of the Scots Language is Scotland’s independent lexicographical body for the Scots language. We are responsible for the major dictionaries of the Scots language – see Our Publications for details.

Our organisation came into being in its present form in 2021, but we have a long and distinguished history under a number of guises. We began as two separate organisations: A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (founded in the early 1920s and becoming the Scottish Dictionaries Joint Council in 1953) and the Scottish National Dictionary Association (founded in 1929). These joined forces in 2002 to became Scottish Language Dictionaries, a name that reflected our (then) wider linguistic interests. The establishment of Faclair na Gàidhlig in 2003 enabled our renewed focus on Scots, but the broader scope of our name persisted until January 2021, when we adopted our current name to more accurately reflect the work that we do.

Dictionaries of the Scots Language is a registered charity. Most of our activities are funded by the Scottish Government, but we rely heavily on private donations and bequests to continue to extend and improve the great dictionaries of Scots. Information about ways to donate is available here.