Learn the Lingo: Scottish slang glossary

Most countries around the world have their own variety of slang words. In Scotland, it could be argued that we use our own slang a lot more than we use proper English dialect, which is why we’ve created this Scottish slang glossary


Meaning: Old

Example: ‘Yer getting auld noo’

Translation: ‘You are getting old now’


Meaning: Baby

Example: ‘Aw, look et the wee bairn’

Translation: ‘Aw, look at the little baby’


Meaning: Face

Example: ‘Wit’s rang wae yer coupon?’

Translations: ‘What is wrong with your face?’ (Usually used when asking someone why they are in a bad mood)


Meaning: Extremely wet/soaked

Example: ‘Take that drookit jaikit aff’

Translation: ‘Take that soaked jacket off’


Meaning: Idiot

Example: ‘Wit an eejit’

Translation: ‘What an idiot’


Meaning: Scared

Example: ‘I wis awfa feart!’

Translation: ‘I was very scared!’


Meaning: Stupid/thoughtless

Example: ‘Don’t be so glaikit’

Translation: ‘Don’t be so stupid’


Meaning: Very busy

Example: ‘The shopping centre was absolutely hoachin the day’

Translation: ‘The shopping centre was very busy today’


Meaning: Isn’t

Example: ‘That isnae right’

Translation: ‘That isn’t right’


Meaning: Jacket

Example: ‘Pit yer jaikit oan’

Translation: ‘Put your jacket on’


Meaning: To know

Example: ‘Dae you ken wit a mean?’

Translation: ‘Do you know what I mean?’


Meaning: Very sore

Example: ‘My heid is absolutely loupin!’

Translation: ‘My head is very sore’


Meaning: Verydirty

Example: ‘Yer troosers are mawkit’

Translation: ‘Your trousers are very dirty’


Meaning: Turnip

Example: ‘Am huvin haggis, neeps n tattie for ma tea’

Translation: I’m having haggis, turnip and potato for my dinner’


Meaning: Out

Example: ‘Am gawn oot the night’

Translation: ‘I’m going out tonight’

Peely Wally

Meaning: Pale

Example: ‘Yer face is looking quite peely wally’

Translation: ‘You face is looking quite pale’


Meaning: A young woman

Example: ‘She’s a braw lookin’ quine’

Translation: ‘She’s a good-looking young woman’


Meaning: Very drunk

Example: ‘We’re gawn oot to get rubbered the night’

Translation: ‘We’re going out to get very drunk tonight’


Meaning: Sly/untrustworthy

Example: ‘There’s something sleekit aboot him’

Translation: ‘There’s something untrustworthy about him’


Meaning: Town

Example: ‘We’re gawn into toon for some shopping’

Translation: ‘We’re going into town for some shopping’


Meaning: Quiet

Example: ‘Haud yer wheesht!’

Translation: ‘Be quiet!’


Meaning: Excitement or joy

Example: ‘It’s Friday, yaldi!’

Translation: ‘It’s Friday, yay!’

Scottish sayings to remember

Visiting Scotland? You might want to remember some of these popular Scottish slang phrases.  

‘Pure dead brilliant’ – Very good

‘Yer budgies deed’ – Your trousers are too short

‘Gonnae no dae that’ – Don’t do that

‘Yer aff yer heid!’ – You’re crazy!

‘Where dae ye cum fae?’ – Where do you come from?

‘Whit’s fur ye’ll no go past ye’ – What’s for you won’t go by you (If it’s meant to be, it’ll happen)

‘That’s geein me the boak’ – That is making me feel sick

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