Scottish Words

Discussion in 'Evolution of Language' started by Tom Locke, Aug 3, 2015.

  1. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
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    I like words that have a lot of meaning, single words that sum up something very neatly. The German language is quite good for that kind of thing. Take schadenfreude, for example, pleasure derived by someone from another person's misfortune.

    There are quite a few Scottish words that serve a similar purpose. The following are my personal favourites.

    Dreich - an adjective used to describe the sort of weather we get frequently in Scotland. A dreich day is one that is grey, chilly, damp and miserable.

    Stramash - a noun that is often used to describe an undignified scramble, possibly involving a certain amount of foul play, particularly in rugby or football (soccer, that is).

    Gallus - another adjective, usually applied to a person. If one is gallus, that means that they have a bit of a brash swagger about them without necessarily being arrogant.
     
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  2. John Donovan

    John Donovan Active Member
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    Oh, I just love the usual Scottish vocabulary. I also love how just about every scotsman I've ever met knew a wider range of curses than I did.
     
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  3. Brittany Houser

    Brittany Houser Well-Known Member
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    Tom, I love this word: " Dreich - an adjective used to describe the sort of weather we get frequently in Scotland. A dreich day is one that is grey, chilly, damp and miserable."
    This is my favorite kind of weather, and one of the reasons I want to live in Scotland so badly! :D I am NOT kidding. This is the best weather for reading and dreaming. I envy you Scots! I can only look to my heritage to feel a connection.:D
     
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  4. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
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    Another adjective I should have included is "glaikit."

    It is best used to describe the expression on someone's face. I used to work with a chap for whom the word could have been invented. He was a huge fellow, about six feet ten and while he wasn't thick, he was not blessed with an ounce of common sense. He wore an expression of almost permanent bewilderment, as though the entire world was incomprehensible to him. His expression was, without doubt, glaikit.
     
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  5. Jennifer Graves

    Jennifer Graves Active Member
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    I know very little Scottish words. I love the accent, though. Is "bonnie" scottish or irish?
     
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  6. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
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    "Bonnie" or "bonny" is Scottish, as in Bonnie Prince Charlie (who was actually born in Italy, but of the Stuart line).
     
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  7. Jennifer Graves

    Jennifer Graves Active Member
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    Thank you! Am I right about it meaning "pretty"? Pretty Prince Charlie :p
     
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  8. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
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    I think one could define the word as meaning anything (or anybody) attractive, handsome or appealing to the eye. There is also the song The Bonnie Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond. You still hear the word now and then, usually from older people. Someone might describe a baby or toddler as a "bonnie wee bairn" (an attractive little child).

    Incidentally, there are separate words for children in the east and west of Scotland. In the east, the word is bairn. In the west, it is wean (pronounced "wain").
     
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  9. Jennifer Graves

    Jennifer Graves Active Member
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    I want to go there so bad! Is that where you're from, or do you just know the dialect?
     
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  10. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
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    I've lived in Scotland since 1992 (apart from a couple of years in Africa). I wasn't born in Scotland, though.
     
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  11. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
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    The flooding of our flat reminded me of another good Scottish word, one that describes perfectly the person that caused the flood.

    Numpty (noun): a very stupid person.
     
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  12. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    Is a Bampot worse than a Numpty?:confused:
     
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  13. Ruby Begonia

    Ruby Begonia Veteran Member
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    I can't wait for the answer!
     
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  14. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    A Bampot is an idiot.
     
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  15. Ruby Begonia

    Ruby Begonia Veteran Member
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    Well now, that's a good question.
     
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