Ep. 2 | Scottish Slang Words and Phrases

life in scotland podcast

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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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Hello, I’m Yvette and I’m from New Zealand. In 2016 I left home to travel the world; I met my husband after hiking the length of Scotland, and now we live in a wee Scottish village with our pup, Angus. I’m a full-time blogger and travel Scotland for a living! Read more about me here.



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