Here are a few examples of interactions that you may experience during your stay…
Q. What is the time?
A. Back a nine.
Translation: It’s near nine o’ clock (anywhere between 8.55 – 9.05)
Q. What’s the weather going to be like today?
A. It’s gonnae be baltic!
Translation: It is going to be very cold today.
Q. Have you seen the waiter?
A. (waiter walks in) Speak o’ the Devil!
Translation: There they are. (Usually said when someone appears just after speaking about them).
Q. (Angrily) I want to make a formal complaint!
A. Okay, keep the heid!
Translation: Please calm down, don’t be upset.
Q. Can I try haggis for the first time?
A. Gie it laldy!
Translation: Do it with gusto.
Q. Do you know where I can get the bus to the airport?
A. Ah dinnae ken.
Translation: I do not know.
Q. Are you okay sir?
A. Am pure done in!
Translation: I am very tired.
Sometimes though you may find yourself in a situation where you may want to blend in with the local population, if so, then here are some phrases to use for conversing.
- It’s a dreich day.
Translation: It’s not a very nice day weather-wise is it.
- That fella’s meal was pure honkin, a think the guy went radge aboot it.
Translation: That person’s meal smelt very bad, I don’t think they were too happy about it either.
- He’s aff his heid
Translation: This man is very daft.
- It’s fair hotchin in here.
Translation: It is very busy in here.
Now in Scotland we have several slang terms to describe two different types of people – drunks and idiots, though the two aren’t mutually exclusive. Here are a few examples for your repertoire…
Idiot/Stupid: Eejit, Numptie, Dunderheid, Galoot, Glaikit,
Drunk: Mad wi’ it, Steamin, Bladdered, Hammered, Smashed, Blootered.
Although you may feel that this summary should cater to all your Scottish language needs, we have included a list of words that should help you along the way just in case…
Auld – old
Aye – yes/affirmative
Bairn – baby
Bide – wait
Bonnie – beautiful
Coo – cow
Crabbit – bad tempered
Dinnae – don’t
Feart – scared
Hame – hold
Ken – know
Mair – more
Neep - turnip
Piece – sandwich
Reek – smell
Skelp – slap
Tattie – potato
Whit – what
Yin - one
So there you go, a perfect beginner kit into the world of linguistics in Scotland, you’ll sound just like a local in no time… please remember though that not everyone speaks like this though.