A blog about life in London

Useful Scottish Slang Words and Phrases Such as Fit Like Min, Aye And Ya Bas

Useful Scottish Slang Words and Phrases  Such as Fit Like Min, Aye And Ya Bas

I have put together a wee list of useful Scottish slang words and phrases, which I feel will be of benefit to anybody that has got any Scottish friends or is planning on travelling to Scotland.

I have heard it said from a few different sources that when I’m in the company of or on the phone with another Scottish person we talk funny! Even though I was born only 500 or so miles  from London, our accents and local slang words are almost like a foreign language in comparison to the so called Queens English.

I must admit when I’m in a shop, café or restaurant and the person serving is from Poland, India or Outer Mongolia I like to confuse them by using as much Scottish slang words as possible.

I personally only use a few Scottish slang in my normal vocabulary. I also have never talked broad Scots or with a really heavy Scottish accents, I come from Aberdeen, which is mostly more refined than many places in Scotland!

Useful Scottish Slang Words & Phrases

  • Aberdonian – “someone from Aberdeen”
  • Auld – “old” it is often used to refer to old people, such as “ye auld bastard”.
  • Aye – this is one that I use on a regular basis, it means, “yes”. I have read somewhere that it also means, “always”. I’m born and bred Scottish and I have never once in my life used the word aye, to mean always.
  • Bam – “uneducated delinquent”.
  • Bairn – “little child”
  • Blether – “is to have a long talk”.
  • Bonnie – “beautiful”.
  • Bide – “ where you live”, such as “ I bide in Kilburn”
  • Cannae – “cant”, such as you cannae make it to the pub for pint, because your wife wont let you out.
  • Deid – “dead”.
  • Dyke – this one will confuse you all, it is a “wall”. Not an ugly lesbian that looks like a man.
  • Fae – “from” such as in “faur you fae”, “I’m fae Aberdeen”.
  • Faur – “where”.
  • Fit like min – this phrase basically means, “how are you”.
  • Hogmanay – “New Years Eve”.
  • Havering – “to talk a load of rubbish or nonsense”
  • Neap – has two meanings, firstly it is what  we call a “turnip” or “swede”. As well as someone who is an “idiot”.
  • Rammy, Is what seems to happen when the youths of London have had a couple of shandies, “a fight”.
  • Quine – this one is used a fair bit back in certain parts of Aberdeen, it means “girl” or “lass” and not just young girls. I have even heard old strong Doric speakers use quine to refer to auld grannies.
  • Wee – “small” or “little”
  • Ya Bas – “you Bastard”
  • Ye – “you” such as “Freedom Come All Ye”

I have tried to use in my list of words or phrases, ones that are more commonly used. I could have created a list with thousands of words, “but I hinae got a day min”.

I have also for obvious reason included some words from my part of Scotland, which will differ from words used in places like Glasgow or the Highlands.


  1. LOL – good to find this. I recall a Scotsman trying to to tell me he was reading “The Firm”. Took him about 5 tries before he finally spoke without the rolling R and dropping the U (Fearum). Both of us laughed out loud over it. I love Scotch humor – was the straight guy to several Scots in Edinburgh while on vacation there. One episode went like this:

    Me talking to a guard of the crown jewels in 1990 or so:
    Me – “Has anyone ever tried to take them?”
    Guard – “Oh, Yes! Just in May they did”
    Me – “REALLY? Wow!”
    Guard – “Ya, May 15th, 1215.” (or some other incredibly long time ago) .

    I do have a question – my mother in law had a great grandfather from the Shetlands, who lived in a “bin and butt” ? What the heck is that?


  2. Hmmm, I think it is time you followed up this post with a vlog so we can learn the correct pronunciation!!
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  3. Ken from Texas, a But n Ben is a little 2 roomed cottage. Butt is the kitchen and the Ben is the sleeping/living area.

    Us Scots do have a great sense of humour, we have to, for all the dissapointment our football team puts ous through!

  4. Emm, one of these days I may put together a video, in fact when I finally make it back home to Aberdeen I will get my dad to do it, he would be so much better than me…

  5. Bide really translates to stay. Not live. As in, bide fuar ye are or bide oot oh there

  6. You missed of
    lass = girl
    burn = river / stream
    And I’m English
    Thanks for the list

  7. Jimmy, thanks for your help…

  8. Paul, I have always been meaning to do another blog post on Scottish slang, and I will probably get around to it one day. And there is many, many more…

  9. Lol im fae aberdeen to

  10. Ginge, hello fellow Aberdonian…

  11. In terms of the ‘aye’ meaning always, I’ve heard it used in that sense all my life.

    As in “He’s aye in that pub gettin’ pished”
    “She aye says that tae get a laugh”

    Maybe it’s a west coast thing.

  12. Martin, I think each different part of Scotland has their own interpertation of some words.

  13. eedjit…Idiot
    Away ye go ya eedjit

  14. Dave, yes indeed…!

  15. i wish i had looked for a list before coming here… life wod hav bin much much easier!!!

  16. Umair, you will know next time…

  17. Good Site William! check oot this quine who comes fae Lossie and bides in London

  18. lossie quine, Lossie a place I have visited a few times on my travels… I like the Doric shopping baggie, it looks fantastic.

  19. What about boaby meaning pen*s?, sorry I know that’s quite rude!
    Or sook meaning always wanting a hug/attension or snuggling up to someone?
    Teuchters for the Highlands? Neds for errr chavs? non educated delinquenst?, Ben for mountain? beastie for bugs? tatties for potatoes?
    Tinkers tartan for if you’ve been satnding to close to a fire and your legs go all red?. Just some suggetions!.
    I’m from the Highlands 😀

  20. Ally, I think I could write a book or 2 on this subject…

    I could do with some of that fresh Highland air in my lungs…

  21. Fit like min… super cool list!
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  22. John, I’m good…

  23. what about wee loon? little boy

  24. brocher, the list is endless…

  25. “fit like min” “quine” and “Bairn” are almost exclusive to Tayside/Aberdeenshire, and the rest are hardly used in everyday conversing.
    I’m fae Ayrshire and while we have one of the more vulgar sounding accents, we don’t say hawf ae they words. Y’Ken?
    My granny is from Arbroath and she still uses most of these though.
    I now live in Canada so I gave up on using most slang words, but a few sometimes trickle oot, especially after a couple of “import” Scottish beers!

  26. SaskScottish, even back home in Aberdeen, slang or Doric isn’t used very much which is a pity… living in London I seldom use any Scots words, apart from aye!

  27. u also missed “boggin” which means dirty, and “stoater” meaning great (thing) “yer hoose is a stoater” 🙂

  28. Jax, another one to the getting longer list…

  29. It’s so refreshing coming across your page.. I lived and studied in Aberdeen for 5 year and enjoyed the culture and all of the slang and became somewhat fluent.

    I’d never forget after landing in Aberdeen got home then walked down Union Street and a guy said to me Fit Like Min? and I turned to my partner and said what is he saying? Why didn’t you tell me the Scots didn’t speak English? He turned to me and belted out laughing.. It took me at least six months to understand the accent but believe it or not what helped me understand more was working as a bartender. It was sink or swim as the accent and slang got even heavier when the Scots drank and so I just immerse myself into it all and even bought a book of poems by June Imray which I still do have and read to my now fellow Londoners. I’m happy to say I now speak, 3 languages lol

  30. Really found this helpful. I’m transcribing some heavily spiked UK English and it’s nice to know that “dyke” also means lesbo, although that wasn’t your main definition. On that point, we do have this thing in Central Luzon called the “Megadike”….

  31. The Aberdeen accent can be a wee bit trick to understand, especially under the influence of booze. In fact my girlfriend can hardly understand a word I say when I talk to family and friends back home and I’m totally sober!

    June Imray that is a name I haven’t heard mentioned for a long, long time… The Quine fa diz the strip at Inverurie.

  32. Karl, the Megadike… I seen one of those just the other day!

  33. There is a well known Aberdeen phrase which I cannot translate because it is extremely rude.

    You must have heard that one,William.

  34. In terms of “aye” meaning always, I had no idea what you were talking about until someone posted “he’s aye in the pub”. Perhaps that would be pronounced like that In Aberdeen, but in Glasgow it has a completely different sound to it. If we used accented letters in English, I’d say in that context it’d be more of an accented “I” rather than the more familiar “aye” which most certainly means yes.
    Think along the lines of the how you pronounce the name “Ina”. That I is just short for Iways, ie always.
    Lost in translation somewhere I think!

  35. Andy, Lost in translation is quite probably the best way to summarize things!

  36. Eric,I forgot about that one… I have indeed heard that phrase quite a few times… in fact I have had it said to me once or twice.

  37. i love scotland, i wish i was scottish!!!! go scotland!!!!i want to live in scotland, not america(it sucks arse) lool

  38. haw yous um fae glesga and just tae clarafy this patter is no used everywhere like if you come tae glesga and talk a load ay pish youll probably get chibed so ayye 😉

  39. Mums favourites were “nae mowze” “wee quinnie or loonie” ” “ach tae pot” “gang awa” its hard to convert Scottish words into “English. From a Brocher down under.