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The Fringe and a slew of summer festivals light up the area with music, comedy, theatre and a creative vibe unparalleled in the world

Get Schooled in Scottish Slang

First time in Scotland? Don’t be a daftie, a creeping Jesus or a bam or you might take a dunt to the head. Say what? Scotland has a rich linguistic history with three languages, an arsenal of vibrant slang and good olde Rabbie Burns. Brush up on your Scottish slang before your trip, so you’re not caught wondering whether you were just insulted or complimented.



‘Ah’ (ah) – I. For example, “Ah am called Cat.”
‘Aff’ (ahff) – Off. When the weather is above 8 degrees, you might hear, “taps aff” which means, “tops off.”
‘Ah’mno’ (Am-no) – I’m not. As in, Ah’mno sure where the train station is.
‘Alba’ (Alba) – Scotland, in the native tongue Gaelic.
‘Auld’ (A-W-Ld) – Old. Auld Reekie is a term used to mean Edinburgh.
‘Auldjin’ (A-W-Ldgin) – Old One. Anyone older than the person speaking.
‘Awfy’ (Aw-fi) – Awfully, extremely or really. “You look awfy nice!”
‘Aye’ (Eye) – Yes.


‘Ba’-heid’ (Baw-heed ) – Ball head. Someone who has a big head. Does ‘Bawbag’ sound familiar? It is the name of the famous Scottish hurricane.
‘Bairn’ (Bae-r-n) – Child, bairn or wean (wee yin) mean the same thing.
‘Bam’ (Bam) – Someone who is acting up, uneducated or being silly. Can be a term of endearment, but mostly a derogatory term. Bampot is the more extreme version.
‘Barry’ (Barry) – Great, fantastic, amazing.
‘Belter(s)’ (Bel-ter) – Can mean great, amazing, brilliant or disgusting, smelly, horrible.
‘Blether’ (Ble-ther) – Gossip, talk, share. Can mean to catch up with friends, also a derogatory term that means you have a big mouth and can’t keep a secret.
‘Blootered’ (Blue-Turd) – Drunk.
‘Bog’ (Bog) – Toilet, rest, roll. If something is unpleasant or smells you could say it was ‘Boggin’ ‘Bowfin’ or ‘Mockit’.
‘Buckie’ (Buckie) – Buckfast. Tonic. Caffeinated wine drunk by those hoping to get drunk easily.


‘Cannae / Canny’ (Can-nae) – Can’t.
‘Chav’ (Chav) – Anti-social youths. Ned. Gadgie or Schemie can also be used.
‘Chore’ (Chore) – Steal. Chore or five-fingered discount will both be used to mean stealing.
‘Clipe’ (C-lipe) – Someone who tells tales or a snitch. Being a clipe or a grass is the same thing.
‘Collie-buckie’ (Collie-Buckie) – A piggy bag.
‘Coupon’ (Coupon) – Face.
‘Coo’ (Coo) – Cow. A farm animal. To call a woman a coo/cow is the height of rudeness.
‘Crabbit‘ (Crab-Bit) – Grumpy, Angry.
‘Creeping Jesus’ – Someone who is odd.
‘Cry’ – Name or called.


‘Dae’ (Day) – Do.
‘Daftie’ (Daft-y) –An idiot, a harmless idiot. Can also use Nugget or Numptie.
‘Dancer’ (Dancer) – Someone who moves their body to music, but the term ‘ya dancer’ means something brilliant, exciting.
‘Dingy’ – Ignored.
‘Dook’ – To dip. Either to dip your biscuit in your mug of tea or to bob for apples at Halloween. The comment dooking fur chips means a person’s face looks like it was dunked in a deep fat fryer of burning oil.
‘Dreich’ (Dre-ck) – Foggy, cloudy, overcast.
‘Druthy’ (Droothy) – Thirsty.
‘Dunt’ – Hit, blow, force inflected.

‘Fag’ – Cigarette.
‘Fanny’ – Can be a lady’s name, someone who is acting silly or female body parts.
‘Fartin aboot’ – Acting up, not focused.
‘Fisty Cuffs’ – Fight, brawl.
‘Foosty’ – Out of date, mouldy.


‘Gaun’ (Go-ne) – Go. ‘Gaune yursel’ means, “well done you.”
‘Gettae’ (Get-Tay) – ‘Go To’ meaning ‘go away’ or ‘get out of here’.
‘Gies’ (Geez) – Give me.
‘Glesca Kiss’ (Glas-Gay Kiss) – Glasgow Kiss – A head butt.
‘Gob’ – 1) Mouth (Gub can also mean mouth) 2) Spittle, saliva or mucus.
‘Goosed’ – Tired.
‘Green’ – 1) A colour 2) a large space of grass usually shared by neighbours where wet washing is hung up to dry and/or where children will play.
‘Greet(ing)’ – Cry(ing)
‘Gutties’ – Soft, rubber shoes usually used for gym class.


‘Hame’ – Home.
‘Haud yer wheesht’ (Hud Yer Whee-shee-D) – Hold Your Noise. Be quiet, shut up.
‘Haver’ – To talk, converse for a long time about a lot of things.
‘Hee Haw’ – Nothing.
‘Heid’ (Heed) – Head. Napper will also be use instead of heid.
‘Hen’ – Reference a nice/kind lady.
‘Hing’ – Hang.
‘Hooter’ – Nose.
‘Hoy’ – To throw.
‘Hunners’ – An amount usually more than a dozen. Loads of them.


‘Irn Bru’ (Iron Brew) – An orange carbonated drink with a magical, secret recipe which will cure any hangover. Basically, it saves lives.


‘Jacksey’ – Rear end.
‘Jam Piece’ – Jam/Jelly Sandwich.
‘Jammy’ – Lucky.
‘Jammies’ – Nightwear.
‘Jessy, Jessie’ – A wimp.
‘Jobby’ – The ‘No2’ bathroom activity. Also as an insult if someone is ‘being a jobby’ it means they are misbehaving.


‘Keek’ – A little look. Rubbish, unfair. Eg. A wee keek at the picture on Facebook. Or, I wish you were coming, it will be keek without you.
‘Ken’ – Know.


‘Laldy’ (Lal-Day) – Loud, Big both physically and verbally.
‘Lug’ – Ear or to tiredly carry something.


‘Manky‘ – Dirty.
‘Maw’ – Mum, Mother. May also drop the w and call your Mother ‘Ma’.
Messages’ – Shopping.
‘Midden’ – A mess, dirt. Dirty place or a dirty person.
‘Midgie’ – Teeny, tiny, annoying, blood sucking,flying insect.
‘Mince’ – Rubbish, nonsense.
‘Mind’ – Remember.
‘Mingin’ ‘Minger’ ‘Mink’ – Dirty, smelly, unrespectable.
Morns Mornin’ – Tomorrow morning.
‘Muckin’ aboot’ – Playing around.


‘Naw’– No.
‘Neep’– Turnips.
‘Nippin’ – Annoying, as in, “yir nippin’ ma heid.” Or French kiss.
‘Nookie Badge’ – Love bite.


‘Oan’ – On.
‘Oxter’ – Armpit.


‘Pan’ – To break.
‘Pee-the-Bed’ – Dandelion.
‘Peely-Wally’ – Looking pale, usually unwell but can also mean skin has not seen sunshine.
‘Pelter’ – To give an abusive remark.
‘Poke’ – A cone made from paper that holds chips/fries.
‘Pit’– Bed. Scratcher can also mean bed.
‘Plook’– A spot/zit.
‘Polis’ – Police.
‘Puggy’ – A fruit/gambling machine usually found in bars.
‘Pus’ – Face.

‘Radge/Rajworks/Raj’ – A crazy person/act.
‘Rammy’ – Argument, Brawl, Fight.
‘Reek’ – Horrible smell. Wonder why Edinburgh’s nickname is Auld Reekie?
‘Rerr’ – Rare. Lovely, good, nice.

‘Scran’ – Meal.
‘Scud’– Bare, Naked.
‘Shattered’ – Exhausted.
‘Skelp’ – Hit, Slap.
‘Sleekit’ – Sly.
‘Sliced Sausage/Slicing’ – Square-shaped sausage.
‘Snib’ – The lock of a door.
‘Square-go’ – A fair unarmed fight. If you are asked if you fancy a “square-go” politely decline and leave!
‘Steamin’ – Really intoxicated/drunk.
‘Stookie’ – Plaster cast.
‘Swally’ – Swallow. To drink an alcoholic drink.

‘Tatties’ – Potatoes.
‘Tea Time’– Dinnertime, usually around 4-7pm-ish.
‘Toerag’ – Rascal, joker.
‘Totty’ – Small, wee, tiny.
‘Tube’ (Tube/Ch-Oob) – Tube. Means someone who is not too bright. Dobber, eeejit and muppet mean the same.

‘Wellies’ – Wellington boots, waterproof boots.
‘Winchin’ – Courtship, dating.
‘Windae’ – Window.

‘Ya/Yi/Ye’ – You.

‘Zoomer’ – Someone of a nervous disposition.