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Words and Sayings From Scotland

Look closely.  Even one of the contestants at the World Pipe Band Championships 2014 thinks they're funny..........
Credit: VisitScotland / Grant Paterson

Compiled by Neil McPherson

Last updated November 2020

English hasn't always been the predominant language used in Scotland. Two other languages still in use today are Gaelic and Scots. Some "interesting" Scots words and phrases inlcude:

 Old (eg) Auld Lang Syne “Old Long Since” or “in days gone by…”

Aye right Yeah right - said with disbelief.

Bahookie Buttocks, backside, bum

 baby or small child

Baltic extremely cold (weather) "freezing cold"

Baw Ball

Bawface someone with a round face

Belter  Amazing - "she's a wee belter" a small amazing female (eg) high praise for a baby girl...

Blate Shy or backward

 chat, a catch-up

Boggin Muddy, dirty

Bonnie beautiful

Braw good or nice, good-looking

Crabbit Moany

Dookit Soaking wet

Dour Moody, serious, someone who “trips over their own face”

Cludgie Toilet

Coorie in To snuggle or nestle

Dinnae don't

Dreich Dull or bleak (weather)

Eegit Idiot

Fankle tangled or confused

 Fidget with something

Gallus Bold, daring, reckless

Gie it laldy give it everything you've got

Glaikit stupid or gullible

Haggis a savoury pudding containing sheep’s offal minced with onions, spices and oatmeal. Traditionally boiled in a casing made from the animal’s cleaned stomach.

Haud yer wheesht Hold your tongue - be quiet

Haver talk nonsense

Hunners Hundreds, a lot…

Jobby excrement

Keek A quick look or peek

Keich excrement

Ken to know (eg) Ah dinnae ken - I don't know

Kilt Traditional Scottish garment worn by males. Uses at least 7 yards of material of a tartan pattern. Also what happened to the last person that called one a "skirt". 😊

Lang may yer lum reek a toast "long may your chimney smoke" = live long and prosper

Lassie a young girl

Loch lake

Louping sore, throbbing

Lum chimney

Ma heid's mince I am confused

(the) Morra tomorrow, the morrow

Neeps mashed turnips - a traditional dish is haggis, neeps and tatties.

Numpty Idiot

Oxter Armpit

Pants Undergarment. Worn under trousers, but not under a kilt. 😉

Peely Wally Pale, sickly looking person

Piece sandwich (eg a piece and ham)

Rannoch bracken, fern

Scud Naked

Scunner Nuisance (eg) yer a wee scunner = you're a nuisance

Scunnered bored, annoyed  or fed up

Shoogle to shake or wobble

 A sneaky person

Stoater anything of high quality

Taps Aff (Glasgow) Figuratively, so hot that men take all their "Tops off" (ie) used whenever the temperature is over 20 degrees celsius.

Tattie mashed potato

Uggit Disgusted or annoyed

Up tae high doh Really riled or worked up - up to high doh on the notes scale (ie) as high as can be.

Virr Force, strength

Whit what

Wee Small

Yaldie woo hoo!

Yer a chancer You're pushing your luck.

Yer aff yer heid You're off your head- you're crazy.

Yin One (wee yin or wean = child)