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Have you ever wondered what the locals are talking about? You know you speak the same language, but there’s the odd word or sentence here and then that makes no sense at all. The Scott’s are probably one nation that comes to mind with their colourful array of different words and phrases. You could easily take offence at something that was actually a complement. About 1.5million people in Scotland are still speaking Scottish and are often swapping English and Scots without realising it.

To confuse matters further, there are many regional and dialects, so someone from Edinburgh might not necessarily understand what a person from Glasgow is going on about.


Here are some common Scottish-isms:

Ahm away up the toon for some messages – d’ye want tae chum wi mi? - I’m going to the town for some groceries, do you want to come with me?

Ahm spewin’/spitin’feathers – I’m very thirsty.

Ah’ve done heehaw the day - I’ve got nothing done today.

Awa ye go! – Go away, but actually this means you don’t believe someone.

A face like a skeplt erse - A face like a smacked bottom.

Awa’n bile yer heid – Get lost.

Aw right, pal/hen? - Hows it going?

(A popular retort, if a woman objects to being called a “hen”- If ahm a hen you’re a duck. Ah leye eggs and you lay muck)

Dinnae fash yersel – Don’t trouble yourself.

Away and raffle yourself – “Get knotted” - Go away.

A dinnieken – I don’t know.

Aff – Off

Ah’ament – I’m not

Amur – I am

Amurny – I am not

Awfy Pelly-Wally – Sick

Aye - Yes

Cheerio – Bye.

She’s a rightnippy sweetie – She’s an oversensitive female.

Dinnae forget yer (play) piece - Don’t forget your sandwich.

D’ye think I’m buttoned/ zipped up the back? - Do yo think I’m stupid.

Yer a lang time deid – Enjoy life while it lasts.

Fanny Toosh - A name used to describe a woman who is getting above herself.

He’d take the sugar oot yer tea - Don’t trust him.

She’s got a fur coat and nae nickers – people would say this about ladies from Morningside who kept up the appearance of being well off when they were in fact poor. It now more widely used to describe someone pretentious – and is sometimes used to describe Edinburgh itself.

You’ll hav hud yer tea? – You will have eaten already.

Whit’s the score or Whits the Hampden (roar)? – What’s happening?

Lang mey yer lum reek – Live long and happy.

D’ya wan ta swally? – Do you want to drink?

Gies a skoosh ae yer botil ea ginger? Can I have a drink of your juice please?

Gonnae no dae that? – Please stop doing that.

He was giein it lalldie – He was giving it all he had.

It’s Baltic, by the way – It’s freezing cold.

That’s pure gantin’, by the way – That’s disgusting.

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