First of her family to go to university. MA from Edinburgh. PhD from Glasgow, based on recordings in the East End of Glasgow. Taught Scots language at University of Glasgow. Moved into lexicography and was one of the editors of 'The Scots Thesaurus', then editor of 'A Concise Ulster Dictionary'. Taught Scots language at University of Aberdeen. Family break (married, one daughter). Postgraduate study followed by research and teaching in Information Studies at Robert Gordon University. Several years as Scots language cataloguer, data editor and indexer with Tobar an Dualchais (University of the Highlands and Islands). Literary executor for A. J. Aitken. Consultant to the Oxford English Dictionary.