Scottish Sayings – English Translation for the Sasenachs

Anyone who knows me knows that I have been a teacher for over 40 years.  English grammar and literature are high on my agenda. Some could say that I tend to sound a little posh.

Some say we are headed for Scottish Independence in 2014.  My opinions on that matter are my own.  However, regardless of the fact whether we may be part of the UK or an independent Scotland, I have always considered myself as Scottish first and British second.  I have always loved the lilt and phrases of the real Scots language.  Even although I may speak and teach proper English, when I hear the Scots word abroad, I always delight in hearing it and even become more Scots in talking to strangers just for the fun of it.

For a bit of fun, I wanted to post some Scottish sayings (traditional and modern) and their meanings for those who are not Scottish.  Firstly, please watch the Scottish expert on local sayings, Mr Stanley Baxter who is the expert.

Haud yer wheesht! Be quiet
Ah’m up to high doh! I’m worried
Y’er on tae plums No chance that is happening
Yer heid’s full o’ wee men You’re a bit scatter brained
Yer aff yer heid Are you crazy?
Awa an bile yer heid Don’t be daft
I’ll gie ye a skellpit lug! I’ll give you a slap on the ear
In the name o the wee man! For goodness Sake!
Yer bum’s oot the windae No chance
What’s fur you ‘ll no go by ye What’s meant to happen will
Skinny malinky long legs Tall skinny person
Skinny malinky long legs big banana feet Tall skinny person after Billy Connolly
Ah dinnae ken I don’t know
Gonnae nae dae that Please don’t do that
That’s pure dead brilliant by the way That’s good
Ah’m scunnered I’m fed up
Ah’m blootered I’m a bit drunk
See him – he’s burlin by the way He’s drunk
Get it up yae!  Ha ha!!

Yer talkin mince

 Your talking rubbish
I was sae hungert I coulda ate a scabby heided horse  I was very hungry
 Ah’m goin fir a swally  I fancy a wee drink
 Ah’m gonnae gie it laldy the nicht  I’m going to have a good night tonight
 Yer a bawbag!!  Made famous by “Hurricane Bawbag”
 Yer a numpty  You’re a no hope waste of space
 Ah don’t have a scooby  I don’t have a clue
 I’m Scotch! No no no!!! !Scotch is a drink (whisky).  If someone is from Scotland you call them Scottish or Scots – never Scotch.

Ones that We missed!!

Yer affy peely wally -You’re a bit pale


4 comments on “Scottish Sayings – English Translation for the Sasenachs

  1. Loved reading this, as an exiled Geordie (from the age of 6 months) I love when our GCSE pupils come to Kip talking about dialects. My favourites are “ah divvent knaa” (similar to Scottish, I don’t know) “How man mutha man” ( please mum don’t embarrass me!) and “gannin” for going. I also spend many an hour to football friends explaining that ‘haway toon” just means come on newcastle!

    This is a great link from the British Library all about dialects

  2. I have enjoyed it Kip but, sorry ‘Skinny Malinky Lang Legs, UMBERELLA Feet’ wis on the go fin I wis jist a loon an’ I’m 73 years young noo! So, it had naethin’ tae dae wi’ the Big Yin. Love tae yae and a yir faimilly. xx Harry. Incidentally, I’m also an avid fan o’ Billy (Big Yin) Connolly.

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