The Essential Scots Phrasebook

A blog post by Albert Semple

14 Oct 2022

"Scotstober" is a month-long Twitter event where a calendar of daily words is produced in advance, and people then produce art, poetry, or share pre-existing content that references that word.

On October 14, the word is "clap" which means to pat or smooth an animal, such as a dog or cat.

It made may think of other Scotticisms that might be confusing to visitors, and so I pulled together this not-so-handy phrasebook, which only really tells you what the Scotticisms don't mean.

A bairn who has a play piece
 disnae huv himsel a toy.
A loon is no a crazy man,
 it's just a Doric boy.
You wouldnae catch an oxter
 like an oyster or a troot.
You're no suspending footwear
 if you're juist hingin a boot.
We dinnae think you're Kenneth
 if we ask you if ye ken.
And if yer pal is greeting
 they're no saying "hello!" again.
A coupon's no a voucher
 on the front a someone's heid.
A coo is no a pigeon
 that you'd feed on nuts and seed.
If children ask tae clap your dug
 applause it willnae get.
And if you're gettin steamin
 you're no getting hot and wet.
Accessible version

For non-Scots speakers who want in on the joke: