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a'

all

aboot about agin

against

Aberdonian of/from Aberdeen -ae

‘have’ as a suffix to a verb (widae = would have)

Ah

I

aff

off

ain

own

aglae awry ain

own

an

and

ane

one

Athol brose sweet oatmeal dessert auld

old

Auld Reekie nickname for Edinburgh aw

all

awa

away

awfu, awfy

awfully

bairn child bannock

biscuit or scone

(The) Barras bauchle baw

outdoor shopping market in Glasgow (‘The Barrows’) worn-out shoe (literally), an old and dishevelled man (figuratively)

ball

baw heid

bald head

bawbee

an old penny

ben

mountain

ben

inside (e.g. ‘cam ben the hoose’)

besom

difficult woman


bile

boil (e.g. ‘Awa an bile yer heid!’ = ‘Get lost!’)

birl

spin

blae

blue

blether

(idle) chatter

boak vomit body person (e.g. ‘Whit's a body tae dae?’) bonnie, bonny

beautiful

brae slope braw fine bridie meat in pastry pie brose broth (e.g. made using oatmeal) bumfle

bump or raised area (in cloth)

burn stream but and ben cottage ca(w) call ca(w) canny be careful caber a log used in the traditional game of ‘tossing the caber’ cam

came

canny

careful

cauld cold caw

drive, turn (e.g. rope, wheel)

chust (Highland)

just

claes clothes claymore the traditional Scottish broad sword (‘Gaelic claidheamh mhor’ great sword) cloot cloth, clothing (‘ne'er cast a cloot till May be oot’ - do not discard clothing until May has past) clootie dumpling clype telltale

a pudding (like Christmas pudding) steamed in a cloth


cock-a-leekie coo

chicken and leek soup

cow

cootie

louse, nit

coup, cowp tumble crabbit

ill-tempered

croft(er)

small-scale farm(er)

crowdie

curd cheese

cud

could

dae

do

deid

dead

de'il

devil

doo

dove (or pigeon)

dook duck (in the sense of wetting - ‘dooking for apples’ is a Halloween game involving placing your face into a basin of water to retrieve a floating apple by biting on it) doon down (‘doon the water’ is a trip down the Clyde) dram small quantity of whisky dreep drip (also used of dropping off a wall) dreich

miserable, cold and wet (weather)

drookit

dripping wet

dug

dog

Dundonian

of/from Dundee

dunt bump dyke wall een

eyes

eejit

idiot

efter after fair

somewhat (e.g. ‘fair taken wi’)


fair (fortnight) traditional summer holiday period in Glasgow (the second two weeks of July, e.g. ‘where are ye gaun fur the fair?’) faither

father

fankle

(twisted) mess

fash

bother (‘dinnae fash yersel’ = don't bother yourself)

feart afraid first foot the first visitor in the New Year (who, for good luck, should be handsome and bring a gift) firth

estuary

footer

fiddle, nuisance

footer about forby(e)

mess about besides

fowk folk frae

from

frein friend fu

full (also, drunk)

fur

for

gae, gang

go

gallus

daring

(stupid) galoot

idiot

gaun going get het up

become agitated

gey

rather

girn

complain, cry (e.g. of child)

glaikit

stupid, glazed (expression)

Glescae

Glasgow

Glaswegian of/from Glasgow glaur mire gloaming

dusk


glen

valley

gonny

(are you) going to (e.g. ‘Gonny no shout sae loud?’)

gowk fool greet weep guid

good

hae

have

haggis

pudding made from minced meat (offal) and oatmeal

hame home hauf half haver talk nonsense Havers!

Nonsense!

haud hold (‘Haud yer wheesht!’ = ‘Shut up!’) hauf half haugh

meadow by a river

heavy

dark beer

heid

head

hen vocative term for a woman (e.g. ‘It's aw richt, hen’), or a general term of endearment for anyone hert

heart

het

heated

Hielan

Highland

high heid yin hing

high-up person in organisation

hang (‘hingin oot the windae’ is street-watching from one's window)

Hogmanay

New Year's Eve

hoose

house

Hoots!

Well then!

hough

shank of meat

howf(f)

inn

howk dig


huv

have

-icht

-ight (e.g. nicht, richt)

ilka

every

intae into -it

-ed (e.g. ‘wantit’ = ‘wanted’)

ither other Jimmy, Jock generic term for a man (e.g. ‘Hey there, Jimmy!’) Jings! Gosh! keek look ken

know

kirk

church

laddie

boy

laldy thrashing lang

long

lassie girl loch

lake

loup

leap

lum chimney (e.g. ‘lang may your lum reek’ = may you always be prosperous enough to have fuel) ma

my

mair more merrit

married

midden

rubbish heap

mind remember (e.g. ‘dae ye mind him?’) mither mon

mother

vocative term for a man (e.g. ‘Whit're ye daeing, mon?’)

Mon! My! mony many moose

mouse


mooth

mouth

-na, -nae

‘no’, or ‘not’ as a suffix to a verb (dinna = don't, wisnae = wasn't)

neep turnip ne'er never Ne'erday

New Year's Day

neuk corner no

not

noo

now (e.g. ‘Ah'm gaun oot the noo’)

o

of

Och! Well! -ocht -ought (e.g. bocht, thocht) ony

any

oor

our

oot(side)

out(side)

ower over, rather oxter armpit palaver

fuss

pairt part peely-wally pale piece slide of bread with jam, etc. puddin

pudding

puggle

tire out (e.g. ‘fair puggled’ = ‘rather worn out’

pun(d)

pound

ra

the

rammy

noisy fight

rid

red

sae

so

sair

sore (‘a sair fecht’ = ‘a sore fight’ means something problematic)


Sassenach

an Englishman (‘Saxon’)

scratcher

bed

scunner

nuisance

see consider (e.g. ‘see they computers’, prior to making some negative remark); pass (e.g. ‘sees us ower thae book’) -sel

-self (e.g. ‘hissel’ = ‘himself’)

sgian dubh a knife often worn decoratively with Highland dress (Gaelic for ‘black knife’) shoogle

shake

skelp smack slater woodlouse smirr fine rain (noun and verb) snaw snow Special

a commercial beer

spurtle

wooden spoon

stank drain stane stone stoat bounce (heavy rain is said to stoat off the ground) stoor dust stramash

commotion

stravaig

wander about

stushie

commotion

-t

-ed

tae

to

tak

take

Tartan

a commercial beer

tattie potato telt

told

Teuchter

Highlander (often pejorative)


thae, they

that, those (e.g. ‘see they computers’)

toun town tak

take

thirl

bind, pierce

thole endure thrawn

perverse

toon/toun

town

toty

tiny

(Edinburgh) trades first two weeks of July) trauchle twa

traditional summer holiday period in Edinburgh (the

trouble

two

verra very wabbit

pale and weak (as after illness or exertion)

wain child wally china? (a ‘wally dug’ is a china dog book-end) wan

one

wean child wee

small

Wee Free

Free Church of Scotland

wee heavy

strong beer (barley wine)

wha

who

wham

whom

whaur

where

Wheesht!

Quiet!

whit

what

wi'

with

wid, wud

would

wifie (old) woman


wis, wus wull

will

ye

you

yer

your

yin

one

was

Scottish Terms  

List of Scottish terms

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