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Ep. 2 | Scottish Slang Words and Phrases

Ep. 2 | Scottish Slang Words and Phrases


In our second episode of the Life in Scotland Podcast, we talk all about the often weird yet wonderful Scottish words and slang.

We talk about our favourite Scottish words, have a go at reading Scottish tweets and have some laughs deciphering Scottish slang. Yvette also gets Craig back by making him pronounce some New Zealand place names. I don’t think we’ve laughed this much in a while…

In this episode we discuss…

  • Our 3 favourite Scottish words
  • Craig makes Yvette reads Scottish tweets
  • Craig makes Yvette guess the meaning of some Scottish words
  • What Scottish people call every day things
  • Yvette makes Craig pronounce the name of some New Zealand towns

Scottish slang words we mention:

  • Coorie to stoop, bend, cringe, crouch for protection and to snuggle/nestle: ”Come and coorie in”
  • Hen an endearing way to refer to a female: ”Would you like a cup of tea, hen?”
  • Pish/pished when someone is drunk: ”he’s pished” [or ”I’m going for a pish” means ”I’m going for a piss”]
  • Bawbag the male scrotum, but also used to describe a low, disreputable character: ”He stole from his granny, he’s a total bawbag.”
  • Dreich grey, miserable weather: ”it’s dreich outside.”
  • Outwith outside of: ”outwith is not a term used outwith of Scotland.”
  • Torn-faced Having an unhappy or disgruntled look: ”She wis aye a torn-faced besom.”
  • Ceilidh traditional Scottish dancing: ”shall we go to the ceilidh?”
  • Deek to take a look at: ”Take a deek at that tree over there.”
  • Rammy to get into a fight: ”He got into a rammy on the weekend.”
  • Stramash conflict, scramble or chaotic fight: ”they got into a stramash.”
  • First foot the first visitor over the threshold after the bells at Hogmanay; traditionally a tall, dark male bearing a gift, sometimes of coal or black bun.
  • Wee small: ”Aye, just a wee bit of cake for me.”
  • Dug dog
  • Maw mother
  • Da father
  • Shite poo: ”I’m just going for a shite.”
  • Meltit drunk: ”He’s meltit.”
  • Ken I know or know: ”Aye, ken what you mean.”
  • Coo Cow
  • Wain baby
  • Bairn child
  • Gantin disgusting: ”Yuck, that’s gantin.”
  • Bowfing disgusting: ”Yuck, that’s bowfing.”

Three places in New Zealand:

  • Whakatane a town in the eastern Bay of Plenty region in the North Island of New Zealand.
  • Motueka a town of Motueka in the South Island of New Zealand.
  • Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu is a hill near Porangahau, south of Waipukurau in southern Hawke’s Bay. Yup- seriously! Yvette referred to it as a town, but it’s actually a hill- sorry!!

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