Tag Archives: Scottish Slang

Word of the Week


A shy is a throw-in in a game of football:
“The big donkey’s last shot was that far off the mark it went out for a shy on the other side.”

To shy the ball is to use it in a throw-in:

“He shied it right inty the goalmouth.”   Hear it.


Word of the Week


Any of a wide range of things seen as exceptionally good, excellent or cool:

“The baw landit at his feet an’ he hit it a belter.”
“Who was that wee belter ye were chattin’ up there?”
“Yer new motorbike’s a belter!”
“Ah landed tickets tae the concert fur cheap! Ya pure belter!”

Hear it.

See last week’s (posted late) edition, it’s a pure belter.

Thanks to a new reader, Laura K. for the suggestion!

Word of the Week


Used to introduce the subject of remarks that immediately follow:
“See that wummin doon the stair? Talk aboot ignorant!”

This is a useful device for people who like to break in a subject gradually rather than breenge straight to the point:
“See that guy wi’ the baseball hat? See his dug? See where it does its business? Shouldny be allowed.”

See if is used to introduce a question seeking information:
“See if Ah ask yer pal fur a len a his lawnmower, with he gie it tae me?”
“See if Ah’ve tae tell you again, Ah’ll tan yer arse.”

Hear it.

Word of the Week


From a Scots word for jump, this is used to mean extremely painful: “Ah bet yer heid’s lupin efter last night.”

It can also mean infested (as in “Look at that wean clawin’ her heid.  She must be loupin.”) or very busy with, full of:  “The toon’s loupin wi’ Welsh rugby supporters.”

Hear it.

Word of the Week


This can mean bin: “The bucket is all that’s good for.”

To bucket something is to throw it out, reject it as not good enough: “Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t just bucket this essay?”

A bucket can also mean a large amount of alcohol: “You must’ve had a right bucket last night to end up in a state like this.” Someone who regularly drinks heavily may have it said of him that he takes a good bucket.

If the weather is said to be bucketing it down (or bucketing down) it’s forcefully inclement; like the sky is pouring down buckets of water (on Scotland, typically).

If something or someone has kicked the bucket it means it has died or the gadget no longer works: “Would ye look at that! My radio just kicked the bucket.”

If someone asks, “What’s wrong with his bucket?” Rather than enquiring about the state and upkeep of his garden and household instruments he means what’s wrong with his dour face. Dour (rhyming with moor) means gloomy or sullen. This question is usually taken to be rhetorical.

Hear it (as my youngest interrupts me).

Word of the Week


Used where others would say gone.

“He hisnae went back since.”

If someone says “The door went” this doesn’t mean that it has independently parted company with its hinges and disappeared, but that there has been a knock at the door.  The same applies to telephones, bells, sirens etc.:

“We’ll make it.  The bell hasnae went yet.”*

*school bell, that is.

Hear it.

P.S. I totally love how utterz.com gives me a bloody lisp.  It’s fantastic!

Word of the Week


This is used to mean senior or most important. The big school is Secondary School (as apposed to Primary school) or High School:

“Ah’m goin’ tae the big school in August.”

Big lassie is a child’s term of address to an older girl or young woman:

“Hey big lassie, gonnae gie’s ma baw back?” (baw->ball->football)

Big man is a friendly term of address used to someone the speaker regards as being taller than himself:

“Can Ah get a swatch at yer paper*, big man?”

*swatch at yer paper = can I have a wee look at your newspaper?

Hear me.

Word of the Week


To get or take a red neck is to be embarrassed to the point of blushing:

“Ah get a red neck every time that wean opens his mouth.”

In a bar, if a customer asks for a bottle of beer by the neck this means he doesn’t want it poured into a glass, whether because he intends to use a glass he already has or because he intends to drink straight from the bottle:

“Gie’s two pints of Seventy an’ a Sol by the neck.”

To go on one’s neck means to fall heavily, especially flat on one’s back:

“She walked onty the flerr (floor) and went on her neck, the soul.”

To brassneck it to try and get away with something by a show of sheer confidence and nerve:

“if they ask ye fir yer ticket, jist brassneck it and say yer with the band.”

Hear me say it.

Word of the Week

In lieu of my no-show last week (we were driving back from Missoula to Spokane and I didn’t have time to get online…)  I’ll share two this week.
sore hand:
A large jam sandwich.  The joke is in comparing the combination of white bread and red jam with a bloodstained bandage.
Used where others would say gone.
“He hasnae went back since.”
If someone says ‘the door went’ this doesn’t mean that it has independently parted company with its hinges and disappeared but that there was a knock or ring at the door.  The same applies to telephones, bells, sirens etc.:
“We’ll make it, the bell hasnae went yet.”