Word of the Week


A versatile term. Used on its own as an exclamation it indicates that the speaker doesn’t believe what he has just been told:

“I see Aileen won the lottery.” “Away!”

A longer version of this is away ye go!

Away is also used in commenting on situations where something occurs that has been expected or is seen as likely to lead to further developments:

“That’s her next door comin out[side] to put her penny’s worth in. We’re away now!”

It can also mean leaving or going:

“She’s away to her bed.”
“Right, I’ll away then.”
“If yer no comin Ah’ll be away masel.” (myself)

Someone who is drunk or not right in the head may be described as away wi it:

“You were away wi it before we even got there last night.”

This is sometimes shortened to the first word alone:

“There’s nae talking tae the bam; he’s away.”

Away a place is a delicate euphemism for dead:

When Ah seen that lorry* wisny gauny stoap Ah thought Ah wis away a place.”


It can also be used as a polite way of saying that someone has gone to the toilet:

“She’ll be back in a minute. She’s just away a place.”

Several phrases of rude dismissal begin with away an. Many are much too offensive to appear here but some milder examples are: Away an bile yer heid, away an pap (toss) peas at yer granny, away an play in the traffic, away an lie on yer ribs, away an peddle yer arse, away an raffle yer doughnut, away an play wi yersel, away an get yer heid looked.

Hear it.


19 responses to “Word of the Week

  1. I wanna heaarrr it. I sound stupid sitting her reading all the quotes out loud. *lol*

  2. Sorry Maria, I could have sworn I’d added the link. I am running between the Mac and the PC here like an idiot!

  3. my head! that was confusing. you explained it intricately, as usual so don’t blame yourself! i’ll be back later to gift it a listen. can’t wait to hear your fab accent!

  4. I never realised how much we used it though. Amazing.
    Stuart used to be so confused when I’d exclaim “Away!” after he’d speak. It’s kind of like the american version of “Shut up!”

    “Away ye silly beggar!”

  5. Jameil: Go listen, it’ll make more sense!

    Laura: I should go back to using “Away!” then again, I might sound a bit like a wee sweetie wumin.

  6. anglophilefootballfanatic

    I had to concentrate on a few of those…reading carefully to fully translate. I think I got most of them. And, I feel a bit proud of my BritComs for having taught me a few uses of away.

    I LOVE Wednesdays now. One of the first things I say when I wake up is how I can’t wait to hear the Scottish word of the week.

  7. That was wonderful! Americans are so much more dull in their language.

  8. I love “away and raffle yer doughnut”. I don’t know what it means, but I’m going to try to use it.

  9. Whyyyyyy can’t I hear it? It’s giving me an error message! Wah. I’ll be back later! 😉

  10. “away an play in the traffic,” that is so funny. Of course, with my luck, my kids would take me literally.

  11. The podcast is cool. What a deep voice you have! At least your readers don’t have to sit through a silly movie trailer to hear your voice like they do on my blog. I’m gonna have to figure out a reason to try this on site.

  12. Deep-cool…or deep-scary?? Enquiring minds want to know.

  13. I love that you are doing this! VERY COOL! I had a friend on another board (ironically, called Davey) and he was Scottish. He used the best descriptive language out of anyone I’ve ever read online. I need to find him.

  14. I apparently was ‘away wi it’ last night. Ah, good times…good times!

  15. Another great contribution to what has become a very popular feature, it seems.

    It’s good to read first, then listen. I’m not sure my ear is good enough to pick up every word as you’re saying it. I guess I still need the subtitles.

  16. If memory serves me well, the Irish use ‘away’ in some colorful ways, as well. But it is so grand to HEAR you say those things as well as read them.

    Now, if I was on the Scottish Tourism Board, I would consider paying you to do what you’re doing. Personally, I hadn’t thought so much about Scotland as I have England and Ireland (my maternal ancestors are Irish), but now I think I’d like to go there – very much.

  17. I love this! How fun! And to think I just thought it meant “gone”. hehe
    Great lesson!

  18. ‘Away an’ fly a kite!’… another one.

    The deep voice thing: I think my voice is deeper. Maybe it’s a Scottish thing. I need to go listen to your pod cast thingy now.

  19. Maybe it would be better to say deeper than I would have thought and definitely cool.

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