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'Auch aye, the Noooo!'

"Auch Aye, the Nooo!" yells Ken Waring, the sheep trader and landowner who hosts the Penton Discussion Group Annual Sheep Dog Trials on one of his fields.

"Auch Aye, the Nooo!" yells Ken Waring, the sheep trader and landowner who hosts the Penton Discussion Group Annual Sheep Dog Trials on one of his fields.

What's that expression, you ask?

Oh, it's a common expression, often voiced by someone on the English side of the border, as a kind of friendly parody of their Scottish neighbors, perpetuating centuries-old, cross-border pride and rivalry that spans the ages. People claim not to know exactly what the expression means, he says, but loosely translates to, "Ah yes, just now."

"It's like 'How're you getting on?'" says Waring, with the audacious charm of a sheep dealer and farm owner.

Waring, an Englishman, can't resist good-natured jokes at the Scots: "It's more or less a greeting, just -- before they kill you." He watches for shock on an American visitor's face, and then explodes in a big grin and laugh.

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"Auch Aye, the Nooo!," to you too, Ken.

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Mikkel Pates is an agricultural journalist, creating print, online and television stories for Agweek magazine and Agweek TV.
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