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The Scots Lingo

The Scot language has evolved greatly over the years, we can understand that it may seem like a forigien language to some people who do not hail from bonnie Scotland. To accomodate everyone we have utilised a mouse over system on the life stories pages that will explain the meaning of the colliqual termonology. We have also put together this glossory to try and explain the lexigography of the language.



A've: (a-v) I have or I've, can also be written A hiv, for instance: A've dun it awe( I have done every thing)

aboot: (a-boot) about; for instance: Fur aboots i ye fae (Where about do you come from)

ah: (A) I for instance Ah hail yin (I will have one)

ah'd (a-d) I had, for instance: Ah'd a dram wi the lads (I had a drink with the men)

ah wis (I was) for instance: Ah was at ma ma's (I was at my mother's)

airm (A-rm) Arm for instance: Ma airms gie sair ( my arm is very sore)

ain (a-ne) own for instance: It's ma ain hame (It is my own home)

am (am) I am for instance: Am awa noo (I am away now)

am goin' (am go-in') I am going for instance: am goin' tae ma ma's ( I am going to my mother

am no (am no)I am not for instance: Am no dain thon ( I am not doing that)

ataw (a-t-aw) at all for instance: am nae doin nout ataw ( I am not doing nothing at all)

auld (A-ld) old for instance: she's gie auld (She is very old)

awe (A-e) all for instance: We awe hid a gied time (We all had a good time)

aye (eye) Yes for instance: aye it wis braw (Yes it was good)


bailed (Ba-l-ed) all your time and resourses for instance: she bailed herself tae thon kirk (she gave all her time to church activities)

bairn (ba-rin) Young Children for instance: yon bairn's aye greetin' (That child is always crying)

Barras (Ba- ras) A market area in Glasgow where everything is available

barry (barry) wheelbarrow or borrow for instance: gae and get yon barry (go and get that wheelbarrow) or Can a barry some dough af ye (can I borrow some money off of you)

ben (ben) through for instance: let's gae ben here (let's go through here)

bi(bi) by for instance Bi yon corner (by the corner)

bit (bit) but for instance: Bit ah didnae da it (But I did not do it )

blether (bl-eth-er) talk continuously for instance whit a blether (what we talked continuously)

brae (brae) Hill or Sloop for instance A slid doon the brae (I slid down the hill)

brew (Brew) unemployment for instance A've tae sign on the brew (I have to sign on the unemployment)

bogey (bow-ga) hand built by children wooden cart with four wheels and rope for steering it, used for going down hills It's a bogey race (it is childrens wooden cart race)

Buggery to get deloused (bug-ge-ray) a council building to get all the mites or lice by physical or chemical means (degradding) For instance Ah cannae let you till ye get tae the buggery (I can not let you in until you go and get deloused)

bum (bu-m) To sit down and watch other people working for instance: She's sat on her bum aw day (she sat down all day and done nothing)

But ‘n’ Bens (but-n ben) two roomed house in Scotland (but) the living room (ben) the bedroom


cannae or canny (ca-na-e) can not for instance: A cannae da yon (I can not do that)

cawed (ca-ed) called, For instance: Ah cawed in fir a blether (I called in for a talk)

couldnae (coo-d-nae) could not for instance Ah couldnae lift it (I could not lift it)

carter ( car-ter) a person that loads merchandise onto a horse drawn cart and delivers product

crabbit auld bugger (cra-bit) contemptible, unpleasant, difficult, ill-tempered elderly person for instanve he's aye crabbbit (he is always ill-tempered)


da (da) dad for instance: Yon's ma da's hoose (that's my dad's house)

dae ( day ) do for instance: I'll nae get done the dae (I will not get done today)

dancin'(da-n-cin ) dancing for instance: A'm awa dancin' (I am away dancing)

darnie ( da-r-na ) dare not for instance: A'h darnie tell ye (I dare not tell you)

dinnae ( di-n-a ) do not for instance: A'h dinnae hae thon (I do not have that)

didnae ( did-n-a ) did not for instance: Bit ah didnae da it (But I did not do it )

did ah no ( did-a-no ) did I not for instance: did ah no tell ye (Did I not tell you)

dillydallying ( dil-a-dal-a-ing ) To go slowly and waste time for instance: goan stop dillydallying (Go and stop going so slow)

dithered ( di-the-red ) carry on living in a confused state of mind for instance: she dithered aboot aw day (She has been confused all day)

doin ( doo-in ) get beaten up for instance: a got a doin (I got beaten up)

doon ( doo-n) down for instance: A fell doon (I fell down)


eerie ( ee-ray ) affected by a fear of the supernatural which gives rise to feelings of uneasiness or loneliness for instance: it's gie eerie (it is very frightening)

efter ( ef-ter) after for instance: efter a' (after all)


faither ( fay-the-r ) father for instance: Ma faither's hame (My father's home) put grand in from for grand father

fawin ( faw-in ) falling for instance: Fawin doon (falling down)

falsers ( fal-se-rs ) false teeth for instance: ye seen ma falsers (Have you seen my false teeth)

fi ( fi ) from for instance: am fi Nitten (I am from Newtongrange)

fitba ( fit-ba ) football for instance: a'm goan oot ta the fitba (I am going out to the football)

fond ( fon-d ) affectionate for instance: Am fond I yer Lassie (I am very affectonate towards your daughter)

fur ( fur ) for for instance: Whit fur (what for)

furrit ( fur-rit ) forward for instance: a'm goan furrit (I am going forward)


gallivanter ( gal-ivan-ter ) to go about in search of amusement or excitement for instance: She's aye been a gallivanter (she always searching for excitement)

gammy ( gam-ma ) A deformed or lame leg for instance: He' git a gammy leg (Ha has a lame leg)

gawn ( ga-on ) going for instance: ah'm gawn awa (I am going away)

galluses ( gall-osh-is ) Suspenders for trousers for instance: Ma breeks i'll faw doon withoot ma galluses (my trousers will fall down if I don't have my suspenders

geis ( geis ) Give me for instance: geis a punt of butter for ma muther (please give me a pound of butter for my mother )

goan ( go-an) go and also can mean going for instance:goan stop dillydallying (Go and stop going so slow) ah'm goan to the shops (I am going to the shops)

gid ( gid ) good for instance: That's a gid lass (That is a good girl)

git ( git ) get for instance: Goan an git peice n jam (go and get a Jam sandwich)

gither ( g-the-er ) together for instance: hud it the noo and I'll tye it the gither (Hold it just now and I will tie it together)

gimmie ( g-me ) give me for instance: Hey misses goan and gimmie a bob (Excuse me kind lady please could you give me some money)

Guildry ( g-l-dre ) Girl Guides or womans guild

gonnae ( go-nay) going too for instance: Ah'm gonnae kick the ba' (I am going to kick the ball)

goonie( goo-ne ) Female nightdress looks like a gown for instance: That's ma sexy goonie (That is my sexy nightdress)

greetin (gre-tin ) crying for instance: yon bairn's aye greetin' (That child is always crying)

greet (gre-t ) cry for instance: Ah needed a guid greet (I needed a good cry)


hadnae ( had-nae ) did not have for instance: ah hadnea a chance (I did not have a chance)

hame ( ha-m ) home for instance: am awa hame (I am away home)

heed ( he-d ) head for instance: A hae a gid heed on ma shudders ( I have a good head on my shoulders)

headie ( he-di ) headmaster for instance: ma da's the headie ( My father is the headmaster )

heave ( he-v ) dismissed for instance: am fur the heave ( I am going to ge dismiised from this job )

hen ( hen ) a term of endearment for a female for instance: Hi hen am hame ( Hello darling I am home from a male))

Hibs ( Hi-bees ) Hibernian Football club for instance: goan the hibs ( go on the hibernian football team)

hoose (who-se ) house for instance: I dinnae like ma new hoose ( I do not like my new house)

hooses ( who-ses )row of houses for instance: That's a gid row of hooses ( That is a good row of houses )

hoosekeeper ( who-s-keep-er ) Housekeeper for instance: That's ma hoosekeeper ( That is my housekeeper)

Hud ( hud ) Had for instance: a've hud it awe ( I have had it all )

hummin' ( hum-in ) Very dirty and smelly for instance: that hoose is hummin' ( That house is very dirty and smelly )


jannie ( jan-ae) school janitor for instance: I he's the jannie ( Yes he is the janitor)


kapperin ( ka-per-in ) playful jumping about for instance: The bairns a fair kapperin on (the children are playing and jumping about)

keely ( Ke-ly ) A tough, rough person especially from a city for instance: He's a keely (he is a bit rough)

ken ( ken ) know for instance: Ye ken whit a mean (you know what I mean)

kybosh ( ky-bo-sh ) to put a stop to; prevent from continuing; halt for instance: I'll pit a kybosh on they bairns ( I will stop the children from playing)


laddie( lad-e ) boy man for instance: he's a braw laddie (He is a noice boy) plural Laddies

Lala ( la-la ) somebaody a little stupid for instance: she's lala (she is a bit stupid)

lassie ( las-e ) Girl for instance: she's a guid lassie ( she is a good girl ) plurals Lassies

leatherin( le-there-in ) Beat or thrash someone until they are black and blue for instance: He's hid a guid leatherin ( he has been well beaten up )

linty ( lin-ty ) sing like a songbird for instance: she sings like a linty (She sings like a songbird)

lottae( lot-aa ) lot of for instance: that's a lottae o tatties (That is a lot of potatoes)


ma( ma )my for instance: This is ma ma (this is my mother)

ma( ma )mother for instance: This is ma ma (this is my mother)

maself/masel( ma-self )myself for instance: Ah git it masel ( I got it myself)

mair/ mar( ma-r )more for instance: a want mair ( I want more)

mither( mi-the-r )mother for instance: it's ma mither's tongue ( it is our mothers language)

moothie( moo-th-e)mooth organr (Harmonica) for instance: He fair gid on that moothie (He can play that harmonica good


nae( No )no for instance: Nae the noo (No not Just now)

noseien( No-sin )looking about for instance: Am noseien aboot for ma man( I am looking about for my husband)(

noo( Noo )now for instance: Nae the noo (No not Just now)


o( O )of for instance: O them awe (Of them all)

oan( on )on for instance: Oan yin occasion (On one occasion)

oanybody( On-a-body )anybody for instance: Oanybody seen ma laddie (Has anybody seen my son)

Oanywae( On-e-way )anyway for instance: Oanywae oh'a us ended up steamin (Anyway all of us ended up drunk)

oanythin'( on-a-th-in ) anything for instance: Di yea oanythin' tae drink (Do you have anything to drink)

Oh aye( 0-i )oh yes for instance: Oh aye a remember noo( Oh yes I remember now)

oor( oo-r )our for instance:

oot(oo-t )out for instance: Ah'm gain oot wi a sudjer (I am going oot with a soldier)

oorsel(oo-r-sel )ourself for instance:

oot wi(oo-t w-i )out with for instance: Ah'm gain oot wi a taury-breeks (I am going oot with a Sailor)

ower( oo-er)over for instance: The grass is aye greener ower the wa' (The grass is always greener over the wall)


Pally( Pal- aa)Palace dance hall for instance: Am gain tae the pally ( I am going to the Palace dance hall)

prefab( pre-fab )Prefabricated homes, popular after the second world war. for instance: Wir gettin in'a they new prefabs ( We are getting one of these new prefabricated homes

pit( p-it )put also a coal mine for instance: 1. Am goany pit on ma new claes ( I am going to put on my new clothes) 2. Ma man works in the pit ( My husbad works in the coalmine)

polis( Po-lis)police for instance: Here come's the polis (Here comes the police)

pug( p-ug )a small steam train ised in coalmines for instance: Ma man drives thoan pugs (My husband drives a small steam train and coalmine)


rattled( Rat-tel-ed )hit around the face with an open hand for instance: Ma da rattled ma jaw for yon ( My dad hit me across the jaw for doing that)

roarin and greetin ( )laughing and crying with delight so I cried also for instance: aw the wean's were roarin and greetin (All the children were laughing and crying)

roarin( Ro-ar-in )shouting for instance: 1. Stop Roarin (Stop Shouting) 2. in ye come the fire's roarin ( In you come the coal fire is on and it very hot)

Rose's( Ro-ses )Bonnyrigg Rose football Club , short name for the Bonnyrigg Rose Football club


sair (say-r)sore for instance: ma arims gie sair (My arms very sore)

Sassenachs ( sa-sen-a-ch-s )a word used chiefly by the Scots to designate an Englishman. It derives from the Scottish Gaelic Sasunnach meaning, originally, "Saxon", from the Latin "Saxones";

scaffy( sca-fa )a refuse collector for instance: yoan scaffy's hummin (That refuse collector is very smelly)

schuill( sk-ul)school for instance: Ah left schuill at 14 ( I left the school at 14 years of age)

scullery( sk-ul-lar-y )a small area used for washing and cleaning for instance: Take the dishes ben the scullary (the the dishes through to the washing area)

shouldnae( sh-oo-d-na)should not for instance: Yi shouldnae da that (You should not do that)

skelp( sk-el-p )hit around the face with an open hand for instance: A got a skelp fi ma da ( I was hit on the face by my father)

skived( Sk-i-v-ed )stayed away from for instance: Ah skived the schuill ( I stayed away from school )

SMT( S-M-T ) local Bus company in Midlothian and Scotland dark green buses, now called First bus

staed( st-a-ed)stayed for instance: Ah staed hame (I styed at home)

stain( staa-n )stone for instance: yon's a muckle stain (That is a big stone)

stoot( st-oo-t )Stout for instance: Yon lassie's stoot (That girl is stout)


tae(t-aa) too for instance: am goin ti gay tae Nitten (I am goint to go too Newtongrange)

tarter( t-ar-t-er )someone who is a bit sour for instance: she's aye been a tarter( she has always been sour )

ti( t-a )to for instance:

tatties( ta-ta-es )potatoes for instance: am dain tattie hawkin (I am working at getting the potatoe crop in)

telt(te-l-t )told for instance: ave telt yea afore they arnie in ( I have told you before they are not in)

tinney(ti-n-a)Metal drinking cup usually tied to a peice of string and hung round the necks of children at gala days to get a drink with.


wa'( wa )wall for instance: 3 craws sat upon a wa (3 crows sat upon a wall)

wee( wee )small for instance: Just a wee dram (Just a small drink of whisky)

weekly( wee-k-la )not strong for instance: she looks weekly (she does not look strong)

wee croft(wee cr-of-t )very small house for instance: we bide in the wee croft (We live in the small house)

wee toorie( wee too-ray )Small hat for instance: di yi like ma wee toorie (Do you like my small hat)

wi(wi )with for instance: am wi him (I am with him)

winchen( win-sh-en )To court, to keep company with one of the opposite sex. for instance: am winchen jock (my boyfirend is jock)

wid( wi-d )would or wood for instance:1. I wid if a could (I would if I could)2. pit sum wid on the fire (Put some wood on the fire)

wid've( wi-d-av )would have for instance: Course a wid've (Of course I would have)

widdnae(wi-d-na )would not also spelled wouldnae and widnae for instance: A widdnea da thon if a wis yi (I would not do that if I was you)

wis or wiz(wi-s )was for instance: I wis there waiting (I was there waiting)

wisnae( wis-na )was not for instance: it wasnae ma bairn (It was not my child)

windae ( win-da )window or windy for instance:1. Fell oot the windae (fell out the window). 2. It’s gie windae (a strong wind)

wur(wurr )we're for instance: wur awa on oor holidays (we're away on our holidays)

wurnae or wurnie (wu-r-na )were not also wurnie for instance: we wurnae tolt (We were not told)


ye or yae( Ye )you for instance: Where are ye alex (Where are you alex)

yer( ye-r )your for instance: yer the yin for me (your the one for me)

yin( yi-n )one for instance: yer the yin for me (your the one for me)

yon or thon( y-on )that for instance: yon man's an ejit (that man is a fool)


Aw richts is pitten by. Nae pairt o this darg shuid be doobelt, hained in ony kin o seestem, or furthset in ony shape or by ony gate whitsomeiver, 'ithoot haein leave frae the writer afore-haund.
A hae nae pleens whan the abuin is duin for tae fordle the Scots leed in eddication, sae lang's naebody is makkin siller oot o't. Ony speirins write us.

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Adapted by Iain Tait