Scottish Words Translated!

Translating Scottish Words and Phrases

Some explanation of everyday Scot’s Words

Thomson Tartan

Aboot – About.
Ain – Own.
Am – I am.
Auld – Old
Aye – Yes.

Bahooky – Backside, bum.
Bairn – Baby.
Baw – Ball. As in “fitbaw” = football.
Bawface – Describes someone with a big round face.
Ben – Mountain, or through (ben the hoose – through the house).
Bide – Depending on the context, means wait, or stay. Blether – Talkative, when referred to a person. To “have a blether” is to have a chat.
Bonnie – Beautiful.
Bowfin’ – Smelly, horrible.
Braw – Good, or brilliant.
Breeks – Trousers.

Tossing the Caber
Tossing the Caber

Chee-chee – noise made to attract a pet cat.
Coo – Cow.
Clap – to stroke or pat usually an animal, as in “clap the dug”.
Clype – To tell tales on someone, as in “yer a wee clype!” = Tell tale!Crabbit – Bad tempered, grumpy.
Cry – Call, as in what do you call him?
Dae – Do.
Dauner – Walk, stroll – “I’m away for a dauner” .
Didnae – Didn’t.
Dicht – To dust, or wipe.
Dinnae – Don’t.
Drap – Drop.
Dreep – Drip.
Drookit – Soaking wet.
Dug – Dog.
Dunderheid, Eejit, Galoot, Numptie – All mean idiot.
Dunt – Bump.


Fankle – all in a mess, as in “Am in a right fankle” = I am all tied up in a mess. Often refers to a rope/string.
Feart – Afraid.
Fearty – term of scorn, as in “awa’ ye go ya big fearty” = coward.
Frae ( or sometimes Fae) – From.
Fur – for.

Galoot – idiot, often said as “Ya big Galoot”.
Gallus – Bravado, over-confident.
Gang – Go.
Gaunnae – Going to.
Geggie – Mouth, as in “shut your geggie”.
Glaikit – Stupid, slow on the uptake.
Goonie – Nightgown.
Greet – Cry “greetin’ wean” = crying child.
Gumption – Common sense, initiative.
The Big Yin
Billy Connolly Cartoon

Hae – Have.
Hame – Home.
Haud – Hold.
Haver – Talk rubbish.
Hen – term of endearment towards a woman, as in “Hiya Hen!”
Hing – Hang as in “hing oan a minute” = wait a moment.
Hoachin’ – Very busy as in “the street wiz fair hoachin’” Honkin’, Hummin’, Howlin’ – Bad smell.
Hoose – House.
How – why. In answer to a question its either “How?” – why? Or “How no?” – why not.
Hunner – Hundred as in “hunners o’ weans” = lots of children.
Huvnae – Haven’t.

Bonnie Prince Chalie
Charles Edward Stuart

Keek – A little look.
Ken – Know.
Lum – Chimney.
Mair – More.
Merrit – Married.
Mockit, Manky, Mingin’, Boggin’ – All mean dirty.
Moose – Mouse.

Naw – No.
Neep, Tumshie – Turnip.
Noo – Now.

Oot – Out.

Peely Wally – Pale as in “yer gae peely wally” = you don’t look well.
Piece – A sandwich.
Poke – (to poke – to prod) (a poke – a paper bag).
Reek – Smell, emit smoke.
Rid Oot – tidy up, have a clear out.
Riddy – A red face, embarrassed.
Screwball – Unhinged, mad.
Scullery – Kitchen.
Scunner – Describes someone as being irritating as in: “oh you’re a right scunner”.
Scunnered – Bored, fed up.
Shoogle – Shake.
Shoogly – Shaky, wobbly.
Simmet – Gents singlet.
Skelf – small piece of wood (or similar) lodged under the skin. Or a thin person, as in “she’s a pure skelf”.
Skelp – Slap.
Skoosh – Lemonade (or fizzy drink).
Sleekit – Sly.
Slitter – To spill food stuff down yourself.
Stookie – Plaster cast (for a broken bone).
Stour – Dust, pronounced stoor.

Tattie – Potato.
Telt – Told.
Thon – That.

Wallies – False teeth.
Wean – Child.
Wee – small.
Weegie – a person from Glasgow.
Wellies – Wellington boots.
Whit – What.
Willnae – Will not.
Widnae – Would not.
Windae – Window.
Wheesht – be quiet, shhhh.
Wummin – Women.
Ye – You.
Yer – Your.
Yin – One.
Yow (plural Yoos) – female sheep.
Yooz – (plural) you all, as in “Yooz yins”.

Now, here’s a few Scottish phrases to get you going.

Am pure done in – I’m feeling very tired.
Ah umnae, also Ah umnae hauf – I am not/ I certainly am not!
Away an’ gee-iz piece – leave me alone.
Aye, Right!! – expression of disbelief.
Black as the Earl of Hell’s Waistcoat! – Pitch black.
Dinnae teach yer Granny tae suck eggs! – Don’t try to teach someone something they already know.
Do yer dinger. – Loudly express disapproval. Gie it laldy. – Do something with gusto.
Gonnae no’ dae that! – Going to not do that.
Haud yer wheesht! – Be quiet.
Heed the baw – stupid person.
Is the cat deid? – Has the cat died? Means your trousers are a bit short – like a flag flying at half mast.
It’s a dreich day! – Said in reference to the weather, when it’s cold, damp and miserable.
Keep the heid! – Stay calm, don’t get upset.
Lang may yer lum reek! – May you live long and stay well. Ma heid’s mince – My head’s a bit mixed up.
Noo jist haud on! – Now just hold it, slow down, take your time.
Pure dead brilliant – Exceptionally good. Skinny Malinky Longlegs! – A tall thin person.
We’re a’ Jock Tamson’s bairns! – We’re all God’s children, nobody is better than anybody else – we’re all equal.
Whit dae ye cry thon yin? = What do you call that one? Whit’s fur ye’ll no go by ye! – What’s meant to happen will happen.
Yer aff yer heid – You’re off your head – a little bit daft. Yer bum’s oot the windae – You’re talking rubbish.

Some Points to Note

Pure is often used to emphasise a point e.g. “Am done in” means” I am tired”. Whereas “Am pure done in” means “I am exhausted.”
Commonly used phrases are often abbreviated as the speaker expects the listener to understand, example “Gaunnea no dae that” becomes “Gaunnea no”. The correct response is “How”, and not “why”.

Now you’ve got an idea of the language, try this song and see how much you understand.
Jeely Piece Song

Self Catering in Scenic South Lanarkshire