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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.

136 Comments

  1. Looking for the correct spelling for the word “you” in scots slang. is it Ye

    Expression used is “Ye gonny fix the tappets”

    You going to fix the tappets.

  2. Trevor, Ye is ineed the word your looking for…

  3. Hi

    Thanks for this

    Trevor

  4. Did you know the Norwegian word for “where” is “hvor”? You Aberdonians are clearly harking back to Johnny Viking’s time with your vocabulary…

    Stuart

  5. I have heard “aye” used to mean always. Its not pronounced like [eye] to mean yes, but [iyey/eyey] as a double syllable word.

  6. What does it mean when a guy calls a girl “poofy”?

  7. I have never heard of a guy calling a girl poofy. Normally it is a slur directed towards gay guys…

  8. I was at university in Aberdeen, so feel really nostalgic for Aberdonian!
    My son was on an orchestra course a few years ago with some people from Aberdeen. He learned a new text abbreviation which we now use all the time in our family. “Far R U” – shorter than texting “where R U”!

  9. Linda, that is a phrase I haven’t heard for such a long time, but it is used a hell of lot back home. Aberdeen sure has got a lot of good sides to it…

  10. awesome one good to information.thankyou

  11. Brilliant! Ye forget te mention Eejit!

  12. A Daft Scots Lass, I have forgotten a few, maybe I will have to do another list at some point in the future.

  13. Hello,

    Is there Scottish slang for the profession of a Welder or Metal Fabricator?

  14. Corinne, that I do not know.

  15. Great article.

    I’m trying to build up Scotranslate, a community English to Scottish translator.

    It would be great if any of you could help out or spread the word.

    It’s non-profit and “just for fun” and there’s also an app for BlackBerry PlayBook which you can download.

  16. Spread the word people…

  17. aye does mean yes I am scottish and use regularly. never have I once heard anyone use aye for always and I have relatives who live in the highlands.

  18. How do you spell ‘yous’ as in the Scottish term “will yous two hurry up”. I could not decide whether ti should have an ‘e’ on the end.
    Brian

  19. teehee, I have to agree with you on this one. In my part of Scotland, the North East, I have only ever heard it used as yes. But the Scots Dictionary states that Aye, pronounced iy can also means always or constantly. Not sure if this is used in a specific area of Scotland or what?

  20. Brian, I have seen it spelt youse and yous. I think both spelling are correct.

  21. Hey. I just wanted to point out that most of your examples of Scottish slang are actually words in Scots language which is considered as one of the three official languages of Scotland, and it not actually slang.

    I’m also a proud Scot and a keen supporter of the use of the words we call our own but we also need to learn that many are not merely slang, which is somewhat derogatory an offensive to many Scots, and that they constitute a language in its own right.

    See the Scottish Goverment official webpage:http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/vli/language/scots/index.htm

  22. nice list you have there, i live in scotland and i actually feel sorry for people outside it as they must have no clue what we say half the time. I think you should make a master list as theres tones more like Jucked and Dingeed you could add. love confusing people from different countries too lol

  23. This poud Scot right here, doesn’t find it offensive nor any Scots that I know! And the clincher if I want people to actually read my article, and find it in Google I have to describe it the way I have…

    Oh boy I think I need to take some lessons to understand the Scottish Governmet Official Web Page…

  24. Shopa, I don’t think most people form outside Scotland have many problems when they visit as most Scots speak pretty good English, most of the time…when sober!

    One these days I’m going to do a purely Doric list…as soon as I get home…and get my Da to help me oot!

  25. hey as fgor aye being used as always ..i am form dundee and aye pronounces ( iy )is used constantly ……..ie.( yiv lost yir specks yi numpty..am iy dain that )

  26. What about:

    Stoor (dust in the air)

    Weans (Children)

    Greetin (Crying)

    Ah-mur (I am) Ah-murny (I am not)

    Haud yer wheesht (Be quiet)

    Scunnered (sickened)

    I’m from the South West (Lesmahagow) and some of the slang I grew up with might be local colloquialisms as opposed to old Scots but I’m sure most of these are correct.

  27. Wee Scunner, I’m familiar with all of them, apart from stoor, which is a new one on me. Being away from Scotland for over 3 years now it is good to be reminded of slang that I have forgotten about.

  28. All you guys have forgot the “Fash” Heckor Brogglebank, google him you will PUSL believe me I did. Peace.

  29. Aye is used quite often here in Lanarkshire. For example:

    Jimmy: “That’s Charlie gone and lost his shoes.”
    Jean: “No again. He’s aye dain that.”

    And whereas you would normally pronounce aye similar to eye (ah-ee), we pronounce it like the igh in the Scottish pronunciation of flight (which is more like eh-ee).

    And apart from that, this is all Aberdonian (which is actually an English demonym) words and I’d imagineit would be useless to most people who come to Scotland as they would probably go to Glasgow or Edinburgh. Also, a lot of this isn’t even slang. It’s Scots. Which is a language, not a dialect. You don’t think Burns wrote in slang, do you?

  30. Ok…I hope to travel to Scotland for Christmas vacation this year but I’m TERRIBLY confused…how do you pronounce the word “aye”?? Like ‘eh’ or ‘eye’ or ‘a’?

  31. March, I wanted this article to be found on Google, hence how I have described. And most people seem to have found what they were looking for!

    And quite a few people regard Doric as a laungage! And believe it or not many hundreds of thousands of tourists travel up noth every year. I know it’s hard to believe for some people in Scotland who seem to only think that there are two cities…YAWN!

  32. Simone Stewart, go for eye…

  33. Doric English

    Aabody Everybody
    Aathing Everything
    Aff Off
    Affa Awfully
    Aifter After
    Aneth Underneath or below
    Anither Another
    Atween Between
    Aye Yes
    Aye-aye min Hello
    Baith Both
    Bairn A baby or young child
    Banter To gossip or chat away or have a friendly tease
    Bawbee The old Scots word for a half penny
    Ben Down or through
    Bide Stay
    Biodag Dagger or dirk
    Birl Spin
    Birling Drinking Match
    Bitcallant Lad
    Black Affrontit Embarrassed
    Bleeter To talk aimlessly
    Bogle Wark Ghosly action
    Bosie A cuddle or hug
    Brakk Break
    Bratch Female Dog
    Braw Good, great
    Brawly Well
    Bydand Steadfast (The motto for the Gordon Highlanders)
    Cantrips Magic spells and incantations
    Caul Cold
    Clachneart Putting stone
    Claik Gossip
    Claes clothes
    Clamjamfry Company or a mob
    Clarsach Harp
    Clart To put too much on something (also farm manure)
    Clarty Dirty
    Clype A Grass or Tell Tale
    Coorse Coarse, to bully, be bad, difficult or nasty or to torment someone
    Corrie Fister A left handed person
    Craiter Creature
    Deid Dead
    Deray Uproar
    Dhe God
    Dinna Don’t
    Dinna Fash Yersel Do not fuss yourself
    Dirdum Tumult
    Dirled Vibrated
    Div Do
    Doited Foolish
    Doon aboot the mou Fed up, depressed
    Douche Kind or gentle
    Dreich Cold, wet and windy
    Drookit Drenched, soaking
    Dyvour Bankrupt or debtor
    Eese Use
    Eneuch Enough
    Fa’s Who
    Far Hiv Ye Bin? Where have you been?
    Fash Trouble
    Feadan The chanter which pipers practice with before playing the bagpipes
    Feart Afraid
    Feel Daft
    Ficher Fumble
    Fin When
    Fit How
    Fitbaa Football
    Fit Like Hello, how are you?
    Fit Wye Why
    Fitya dee’in? What are you doing?
    Fizzenless Feeble
    Fleg Fright
    Flitt To Remove
    Flitting To move home
    Foostie Stale or Rancid
    Foo’s yer doos How are you doing
    Forfauchan/Forfochan Exhausted
    Futtret or Futret Weasel or Stoat (But Not Ferret)
    Gads Horrible, Yucky
    Galshiks and Smacherry (Sma-herry) both referred to the practice of buying lots of little sweets like Sports Mixtures, Bananas, Milk Mice, Milky or Caramel Chews, Aniseed Balls etc. from the local paper “shoppy”
    Gangrel A tramp or vagrant
    Ganzie Sweater, Jumper or Cardigan
    Gash Grim or dismal
    Gaun Going
    Ging Go
    Gipe Stupid (also spelt Gype)
    Glisk Passing Glance
    Glunching Frowning
    Graned Groaned
    Grat Wept
    Guddle Mess
    Gunkit Looking sulking or hostile
    Gyan Going
    Hale Whole
    Hech Cry of surprise
    Heid Head
    Hirpling Limping
    Ill Tricket Up to tricks
    Ingins Onions
    Jaloused Suspected
    Jis Just
    Joco Happy, Pleased with oneself
    Ken Know
    Leesome Lane Quite Alone (also Lee-lane)
    Loanings Bypaths
    Loon Boy
    Lugs Ears
    Maist Most
    Mare more
    Mear A Mare
    Messages Shopping
    Mettle Spirited
    Min Man
    Mockit Needs a good wash (In Dundee it is called Barkit)
    Mony Many
    Moulds Graves
    Nae No
    Nae Wye Nowhere
    Neuk Corner
    Neen None
    Neep Turnip
    Nivver Never
    Nivver fash Do not worry
    Orra A person who is considered a fool and dirty
    Piobaireachad Bagpipe lament
    Plat Plot of ground
    Puckle A few
    Pucklie A small amount
    Quine Girl (sometimes spelt Quean)
    Richt Right
    Rikkin Smoking or steaming
    Riped Searched
    Riving Raging
    Routh Abundance
    Rudas Carlines Witches
    Sair Sore
    Scaffie A binman, collector of rubbish and trash
    Scowp Run
    Scunnered Fed Up
    Scutter Delay
    Semmitt and draa’ers Vest and pants
    Siller Silver coin
    Skail School
    Skelloch Shriek
    Skelpit Slapped or smacked
    Sotter Mess
    Spik Speak
    Spikin Speaking
    Sotter Mess
    Speerings Inquiry
    Spew Vomit
    Stammygaster Astonishment
    Steen Stone
    Stelled Stuck
    Stocious Drunk
    Stooshie A fuss
    Stot To bounce
    Stotter Beautiful
    Sup A small amount of liquid
    Swicking Cheating
    Telt Told
    Teuchter Someone who lives in the countryside – Though some say this Doric word of Teuchter means son of a piper
    The Morn Tomorrow, In the morning
    Thirled Under obligation
    Thocht Thought
    Thole Suffer or tolerate
    Thrapple Windpipe
    Thrawn Distorted
    Toon Town
    Toonser Someone who lives in the town such as Aberdeen City
    Toom Empty
    Tumshie An Idiot
    Tossue Ruffle
    Trachled Exhausted
    Trig Active
    Twaa Two
    Un’erstn Understand
    Waabit Tired
    Wanchancy Wicked
    Weegie or Weegies What people from Aiberdeen (Aberdeen) call people from Glesga (Glasgow)
    Whilk Mair Which more
    Wifie Woman
    Wintit Wanted
    Yersel Yourself
    Yett A gate, commonly for castles

  34. Im born and bread scottish and have lived in many places throughout scottish, and have therfore heard lots from different areas off scotland. Around Elgin area, aye is used for always on many occasions however is usually followed by ways. as in ayeways. that said proper teuchters and farmers will commonly say aye for allways. as in that is aye dirty, or dubby! just from my own experiences.

  35. Raised in Glasgow, I frequently heard aye used as “always”, as in ma mither yelling at me, “No again, ya wee midden, yer aye a mess. Get these manky claiths aff and get intae the bath. And dinna play in yon burn again!”
    Lived in Australia for the last 10 years and enjoy teaching my 11 year old some slang from the homeland. Here’s a couple more I was reminded of recently….
    Squoosh (no idea how to spell it), which means to soak, as in “squoosh him with the hose”
    Skelf, which in Oz is called a splinter. I always (ayeways) need to explain…. when it snaps off the bit of wood it’s a splinter; when it embeds itself in your finger, it’s a skelf!

  36. So then, how do you pronounce heid and deid?

  37. Mary…pronounce to rhyme with seed…

  38. aye used as always is a completely different word.. hes iy doing that!

    it sounds nothing like aye its more like dunno how to explain but aye its iy not aye

  39. Fit like loon…

  40. Tim, fit like loon…

  41. I’m fae glasgae, I’ve lived there aw meh lifee and i’ve never heard a wee aberdeen person call meh a weegie!LoL
    Most of these r rigght but.
    “Aye” in Glasgow means yes.

    I like this Website

  42. I plan on spending a month in Scotland next summer studying abroad, and this website was very insightful. Thanks, it was just what I was looking for. Now that I know you guys play around with the accents and Scottish words I’ll play along.

  43. Hey Bonnie Lassie, I must admit I have never used the term weegie, but I have heard a few Aberdonians use the term in the past, but not often. Aye, aye, aye…

  44. Tarra, you might as well get into the Scottish vibe and speak some of the lingo the locals will love it…

  45. William, I will be sure to try out some of the lingo. Practice makes perfect, and I’ve a feeling my southern-American accent will take awhile to get the pronunciation just right. Should be good for a few laughs, if I don’t murder the words too horribly.

  46. Tarra, your accent will sound great with the Scottish lingo, the locals will love it. You will have fun that’s for sure…

  47. You forgot “Didnae” and “wide-o” :3 Didnae is did now and wido-o is like a person who doesn’t care about other people’s feelings.

  48. *I’m sorry, didnae is did NOT

  49. Elle, thannks for your additions to the list. I never forgot, but ran out of energy when I was writing the list…

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