The Orcadians - the people of Orkney
"What are the characteristics
of the Orcadian? We are basically survivors. In spite of having
to exist and thrive on an economy based on agriculture in a
climate that is far from conducive to it we are still here.
Bullied, moulded, perhaps even coaxed into being what we are;
we have stood the test of time, bent but not broken. Recognised
for the warmth of our welcome, yet understandably wary of incomers;
inclined to be a bit of a plodder, patient, dogged, easy to
provoke, slow to react, Orcadians are complex characters. The
more you try to analyse, the deeper you try to diagnose, the
less sure you are of what you have found. An Orcadian is an
David Tinch - "Shoal and Sheaf"
The natives of Orkney are
referred to as "Orcadians".
The author J. Gunn summarised
the typical native Orcadian perfectly when he wrote in Orkney - The
"In general terms the visitor
will find Orkney folk to be a well grown, well-nourished folk,
deliberate but purposeful in their movements, kindly and good
humoured, willing to meet half way, though somewhat shy and
reserved, and glad to accept as a friend one who shows his appreciation
of the glamour of the islands, for the natives are strongly
patriotic in this respect. Their language is English, but in
the pronunciation of this English every district differs from
every other. Many of the words still in the Orkney vernacular
also speaks deliberately, and is not given to overmuch speaking
of any kind. He seems to believe the saying that 'a man can't
learn much by hearing himself talk' "