Parliamo Scots

villier Member Posts: 4,426
edited 29. Nov 2012, 18:24 in Community Chit-chat archive
Just in case you need them :lol:

"He looks like a half shut knife" - describing someone who looks depressed.
"Am Ah right, am Ah wrang" - literally "Am I right or am I wrong" but usually said in a rhetorical fashion which is really expecting agreement.
"Punny eccy" - used by school children to describe a punishment exercise or written piece of work for wrong-doing in class.
"Polomint city" - the slang name for East Kilbride, one of the first "new towns" built outside of Glasgow. The planners provided many, many traffic roundabouts - which looked like a well known circular, mint "sweetie"
"Hameldaeme" - at first sight, not a phrase, but pronounce it more slowly and you will see/hear it stands for "Hame will do me" - once a popular response to the question "where are you going for your summer holidays?" before half of Scotland went to Spain for their holidays (sorry, "vacation").
"Mak a kirk or a mill o' it" - make a kirk/church or a mill of it, or "the choice is yours".
"Steps and stairs" - a large family, evenly spaced out, so that when a family photo is taken with the children sequenced by age, they look like a set of stairs.
"Doon the Dee on a digestive" - this is the Abedonian equivalent of "Do you think I came up the River Clyde on a banana boat?" in other words, do you think I'm daft?
"Auld claes and cauld porritch" - when you are out of money, particularly after spending a lot on Christmas or a holiday, it's back to basics with "old clothes and cold porridge".
"Days here and there" - people who could not afford to go away on their summer holiday/vacation would often have odd days here and there.
"Dinna droon the miller" - don't put too much water in the whisky (the miller being the supplier of the grain which went in the whisky).
"By-the-way" - Billy Connolly has made this Glaswegian addendum to sentences well known around the world. "That wis a right stupid thing tae dae, by-the-way" or indeed any other comment or observation can have this phrase added to it. So much so that other parts of Scotland sometimes refer to Glaswegians as "By-the-ways."
"Furryboots are ye fae?" - this is an Aberdonian phrase, by-the-way. Translated, it means "Where abouts are you from?" It is so identified with Aberdeen that Aberdonians have been known to be called "Furryboots."
"Keep a calm sooch" - the 'ch' in sooch is pronounced as in 'loch' and the word "sooch" means "wind". So the phrase is used to encourage someone to keep calm or hold their tongue.
"Away in a dwalm" - a 'dwalm' is a daydream so someone who is away in a dwalm is certainly not concentrating on the job in hand!
"He's awa on the ran-dan" - having a riotous night out on the town.
"Twa bubbles aff the centre" - derived from the bubbles on a spirit level, someone who is "twa bubbles aff the centre" is regarded as a bit simple or stupid.
"He wis fairly gaun his dinger" - he lost his temper
"Ahm spewin' feathers" - I'm very thirsty
"He's goat mair degrees than a thermometer" - he's very clever (and has the "varsity" or university degrees to prove it)
"You're at yer auntie's hoose" - help yourself and tuck in
"Whit are ye mollachin aboot" - why are you wandering about aimlessly? Said to derive in the North-East of Scotland from the mole, the animal whose mole-hills pop up in random places.
"Haud up yer heid like a thistle" - hold up your head like a thistle - and be a proud Scot!
"Ah couldnae care a docken" - although a docken (a broad-leaved weed) is useful for reducing the effect of stinging nettles, anything which is "nae worth a docken" is said to be worthless.
"It's not worth a tinker's curse" is another phrase describing something which is of no value.
"A tongue that would clip clouts" - literally speech which would leave a cloth in tatters, describes someone who is very abrasive and gives a good account of themselves in an arguement.
"Awa ye go" - not really telling someone to go away but used to register disbelief.
"Hale jing bang" - everything, the whole lot.
"A fly cup of tea" - in this case "fly" means illicit or surreptitious. On the other hand, if you are "fly for" someone, you are too wise to be taken in by them. Occasionally, the word reverts to its meaning as an insect as in "Let that fly stick tae the wa'" - say no more about a topic.
"There's aye a something" - a phrase which is frequently used in the North-East and indicates an acceptance of adversity. Recount a catalogue of disasters and tragedy to someone in that part of Scotland and a response of "There's aye a something" is quite likely


  • joanlawson
    joanlawson Member Posts: 8,681
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Wow, I could have done with this years ago when I taught a lot of Scottish children :!: Their dads had been redeployed from the pits which closed down in Scotland and moved to ones in Notts. I ended up with three quarters of my class made up of Scots kids, many of whom had such broad accents that I often struggled to understand them.
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 28,206
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00

    what an excellent 'dictionary' here Villier even better to have some history, pronuciation and definitions all in one :)

    I am going to 'borrow' some of these :wink:


    Toni xx
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,279
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    This is brilliant....we were on holiday a few years ago just off Glasgow...and we met a few god I could not tell a word they were this the strongest accent in Scotland i wonder..we have friends in Leith and Hamilton and I can understand them.. :lol:
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,219
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Brilliant, Marie. I shall try some out next time I'm up there though, in the genteel world of Edinburgh....... :wink:

    I'm afraid the only one I can add is 'getting off at Haymarket' and I'm not prepared to give an explanation :oops:
  • villier
    villier Member Posts: 4,426
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Ladies glad they were to your amusement and able to reuse sometime,. sorry Joan they were a bit late in coming, Toni borrow away :) ............Barbara the Aberdonians are worse, I, can't even understand them, :lol: Sticky no need for explanations :wink: hope you all have a reasonable evening..........Marie xx
  • phoenixoxo
    phoenixoxo Member Posts: 625
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Marie,

    Love these :lol:

    I've got a fair bit of Irish in me, but not enough to attempt this sort of catalogue, unfortunately.

    I think my favourite is 'Doon the Dee on a digestive' – brilliant!

    Best wishes,
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,219
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I love the 'tongue that would clip clouts' (Probably got one :oops: ) and I must certainly remember 'dinna droon the miller' although, when drinking the 'proper stuff', I leave the miller to his own devices :wink:
  • elainebadknee
    elainebadknee Bots Posts: 3,703
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00

    Must show me mum n dad this list...Also as i was born in east kilbride why didnt I know it was/is called Polo Mint City!!??

  • lululu
    lululu Member Posts: 486
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I used to work in Carlisle with someone from over the border and she seemed to end every sentance with 'KEN' it was quite some time before I realised she was not calling me Ken she was actually saying 'DO YOU UNDERSTAND' .
  • PamieAFC1903
    PamieAFC1903 Member Posts: 899
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I speak in pure Doric..... But that's my upbringings fault, I have learned and kept using the language.....

    except when I am typing then its proper Scots or English, depending on my mood haha.