Och, na! a’m mair than hauf scots noo!

You say I’m 53 percent WHAT?!?

I got that from this “English to Scottish translator” I just found. See, back when I was mostly English and Welsh, the headline might have said, “Oh, no! I’m more than half Scottish now!”

But I suppose I must change the way I say things.

You know how Ancestry — using the very same sample of my DNA, mind you — keeps changing my ethnicity, and with each change, I get more and more Scottish?

It’s gone like this:

  • When I first had my DNA tested (in 2016, I think): 45 percent Western European; 20+ percent from England, Wales and Scotland; 20+ percent Irish.
  • Late 2019: England, 65 percent Wales and Northwestern Europe; 29 percent Ireland & Scotland
  • September 2020: 40 percent Scotland; 24 percent Ireland; 17 percent England & Northwestern Europe
  • September 2021: 48 percent Scotland; 17 percent England & Northwestern Europe; 13 percent Ireland; 11 percent Wales

And now… drumroll… here’s what they say:

Aye, more than half. Mathematically speaking, accordingly to these folks, I am now mostly Scottish. I can’t feel it though. I still prefer wearing pants. I don’t know or care how Rangers F. C. are doing. Still less do I feel like busting somebody’s head because he supports Celtic. I have never liked the movie “Braveheart.” I don’t even want to hear a description of haggis, much less eat it.

And if I can think of any more stupid ethnic stereotypes that describe the way I don’t feel — like, being tight with money or some such — I’ll come back and add them.

More to the point, while I know I have some ancestors who were from north of Hadrian’s Wall — the Moffatts, the Presslys, a few others here and there — they don’t make up anywhere close to half the 8,998 people on my tree.

But I’m now coming to accept that within a couple more years, Ancestry will be telling me I’m 100 percent Scottish, no doubt about it. I suppose I should try to get used to it. Maybe I should give “Braveheart” another try. I’ve gotta start getting my mind right…

O, wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as Ancestry sees us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us,
An’ foolish notion.

I thought Photoshop would be handier than flying to the Highlands to have a new portrait taken.

5 thoughts on “Och, na! a’m mair than hauf scots noo!

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    Wait a sec… I just remembered that Denzel Washington is now Scottish, too.

    And he’s pretty cool.

    So maybe I should stop squawking about it like a wee bairn.

    I tried to watch that, by the way, but I stopped because, dang it, it looked like they were going to go ahead and kill Duncan again, and that has always creeped me out. Also, Frances McDormand was being kind of scary. I think I liked her better in “Fargo.”

    It had some great bits, though. The witches were presented in a really innovative (also creepy, but they’re supposed to be) way. Impressive.

    But as I said, it looked like they were going to kill Duncan in this one, too — Denzel had done the “Is this a dagger which I see before me” speech and everything.

    And I really kinda liked the Brendan Gleeson version of Duncan. Of course, I always like the Brendan Gleeson version of whomever.

    I wonder whether Ancestry’s going to start trying to tell Brendan Gleeson he’s Scottish, too…

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      I had to memorize and deliver that “dagger” speech in junior high. I don’t fully remember it now, but I had it down pat then.

      Main thing I remember now, though, was the typo in the mimeograph version the teacher gave me.

      Is this a dagger which I see before me,
      The handle towarkd my hand? Come, let me clutch thee….

      You know how Shakespeare throws a lot of unfamiliar words at kids? So did that teacher. But hey, at least I learned who Hecate and Tarquin were.

      Know, whenever I see that speech written, I think “toward” is misspelled, because I stared at that piece of paper so much back then…

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        I didn’t make much of an impression with my speech. But the girl who had drawn the “out, damned spot!” speech was a big hit. The teacher sent her to other classes to perform it.

        She kinda overdid it, really chewing up the scenery. But I think that’s what the teacher liked — the rest of us were more reserved, I guess.

        But however much she hammed it up, she still didn’t make me want to kill Duncan…

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