T13: You Might Be Scottish If…

1. You drive on the left side of the road and shift with your left too. You stop at red lights (even if nobody’s around), and often have to stop at green lights too. If you’re a pedestrian and cars are stopped at a red light, you will fearlessly cross the street in front of them – except in Glasgow, where the colour of the lights is of no importance.

2. You know how to use the 24-hour clock and can read train, tube and bus timetables shamelessly. And you still commute, even if you have a car.

3. Three straight weeks of horizontal rain is nothing; and a brolly (umbrella) is completely optional but generally required all year.

4. You only wear tartan at weddings, a Ceilidh, and special occasions (or even Boy Scouts), but certainly not the High Street in Edinburgh.

5. You know real men wear kilts, and if they wear anything underneath it, it becomes a skirt.

Ian in his kilt, Dec 2004

6. You know what jumble sales, wellies, pantomimes, a 99, clockwork orange, a skelf, balaclavas, Oor Wullie, midgies and a tea cosy are.

7. You’ve eaten a different meat pie for every meal. Or, you’ve had pizzas and calzones, curries, kebabs and chinese all delivered to your door. But you have to go get a chippy yourself.

You butter your sandwiches or butties, biscuits don’t come with gravy, you eat scones with jam, ask for gravy on your chips, eat French toast with ketchup, your back bacon and sausages don’t get smeared in syrup, have been known to eat a plethora of things on toast; eggs, beans, etc. and pudding is any kind of dessert.

8. You show up on a beach in Ibiza, Lanzarote, Turkey or Greece, and not only are you spankin white, you’re pale blue.

9. You know how to pronounce Crianlarach, Autermuchty, Inverary, Kirkcudbright, Wemyss Bay, Loch, Milngavie, Sauchiehall Street, Penicuik, and Ecclefechan – not to mention Glasgow and Edinburgh.

My spell check just exploded.

10. You blatantly misuse the words “how” and “they” and end sentences with “but”.
“How no? They ones? I don’t like those, but.”

11. You save your spare change in a huge water (cooler) bottle.

12. You still enjoy and watch Braveheart even though it’s more Hollywood than historical.

13. A hundred miles is a long way, but 100 years is nothing. You walk past buildings that are 200 years+ every day and think nothing of it, but have to plan a week or so ahead if you need to drive 75 miles or more.

This isn’t a complete list of course, so any Scots out there feel free to add your thoughts in the comments.


20 responses to “T13: You Might Be Scottish If…

  1. You spellt (you like that? Spellt) “Inverary” wrong. Look at me! I’m Scottish!

    Here’s one for you: We’re Scots/Scottish not Scotch. Scotch is an alcoholic beverage.

  2. Fixed it. I miss spelling it spelt or burnt.

  3. LOL! Excellent list. I had to look skelf up, but then, I’m English. My mother was born in Scotland, but grew up in England from the age of 8 or so, and my grandmother still had the accent after most of her life away from Glasgow, but had lost the really ‘Scottish’ words.

    Eggy bread with ketchup is much better than French toast with syrup!

  4. GREAT GREAT list. How about you know you’re Scottish if you know the ingredients in Haggis but still love to eat it.

  5. Fabulous list! So incredibly interesting and funny!

  6. Brilliant list! LOL about eating a different meat pie for every meal! So true!

  7. Skelf threw me. The first time I phoned British Rail asking for a ticket to Leuchars I said
    ‘Loy-co-hars’ – they must have had a right laugh at me!

  8. I’m from the north of England so I can pretty much relate to most of these, though I had a struggle getting my tongue round most of #9.

    Up north (England) we call a skelf a spell, for some obscure reason. Great post. You always make me nostalgic.

  9. Not Scottish, so nothing to add to the list.

    My SIL and her hubby came from Scotland for my daughter’s wedding and he did wear the kilt. And we couldn’t have called it a skirt.

    I made my kids their first 99s the other day. Oh, memories of childhood summers spent in England.

  10. Oh and ketchup with French toast? Yuck! My mother is of the opinion that only North Americans use ketchup on foods other than hamburgers , hotdogs and fries. I’ll have to enlighten her that this is not so.

  11. It might be prudent of me (I only use that word to sound posh and well-versed) to mention that the eggy goop used for french toast dissnae contain vanilla essence. For the record: I’ve tried it with syrup and icing sugar, it was nasty.

  12. The post is great – but the comments are just as great. Having been to England and Ireland (like most of the US, I claim Irish ancestry – but many generations back) I can understand the longing for home. But the food there makes me crazy.

  13. Shoot! I was hoping to be Scottish. But apparently I’m just a wanna-be. 😉

  14. Can I still claim my half-Scottishness if I barely qualify according to this list? I’m starting to tear up here…

  15. I know your spell checker exploded — Sauchiehall Street is missing an a.

    you might also be Scottish if you can sing, or at least recognize, at least three completely different songs named Caledonia.

  16. You might be Scottish if you insist on making black bun for Hogmanay when you KNOW that none of your family will eat it and it’ll still be in the hoose for Burns’ Night!

  17. You might be Scottish if you live in the US and the primary reason you go to the big Irish musical festival is to beg to buy a flat of Irn Bru from a food vendor because you can’t purchase it anywhere else locally.

  18. Hiya
    I am french and my BF is from your hometown where I spend 3 years of my life and OMG that post is so true. I love the green light stuff, now we live in France and he gets upset when the pedestrian light is green but drivers still cross!!
    Anyway your blog is fabulous…
    I would add myself “you are scottish if you say in the shop/street/buses : taaaaa, thanks mate/pal/hen/pet and you are scottish if you are always polite and never jump the queue !!

  19. That is a pure brilliant list…made me smile:)

    Here is one ….You know you are from scotland when you learned how tae swear before you learned how tae count 🙂

  20. Ye ken yer Scots when ye can say ” it’s a braw bricht moonlicht nicht the nicht” and ken whit it means! Onyway, am awa oot fur a bevvy in Embra cheery 🙂

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