In honour of Burns Night (the celebration of Scotland’s national poet) here are some of our favourite Scots words. By the way yes it’s Burns Night, not day; after all (especially at this time of year in the UK) you’ll do most of your celebrating after dark. Burns Night is the 25th of January, Yes another not entirely timely post. Sorry. Since we’re writing reports and making at the moment I must do better next time.
Scots is a variety of English but not always mutually intelligible with the rest of Britain. It is more different than an accent, at least a dialect but perhaps a separate language in many regards. The line is vague. This is not to be confused with Galic, (or Scots Galic) the now endangered Celtic language of Scotland.
Dreich: Adjective: for weather (mainly) wet, grey, miserable and drizzling then it’s a dreich day.
Snell: Adjective: A bitter cold wind idiomatically one that goes right through you, especially nasty in combination with the above.
Blether: Noun and Verb: Chat or talk, (or the person that does it) often derogatory in usage. He just blethers till you agree with him.
Glaikit: Adjective: Stupid, daft.
Dram: Noun: Defined by Iain (M) Banks as a measure of spirit pleasing to both host and recipient. (A shot’s worth or so but sipped to appreciate it not chucked down in one.) Often “wee dram” in usage.
Agley: Adjective/Preposition: Off line or out of order in some way. Don’t lay the table with the forks agley, do it properly.
Haggis: Noun: A uniquely Scottish dish. It’s a sheep’s stomach stuffed with sausage like meat, oats and some seasonings; not unlike oatmeal and sausage at the same time. But this description falls short of the delicious treat that a good Haggis is.
Uggin: Adjective: Disgusting, revolting unpleasant. I’m not eating there again; the food’s uggin.
Sleekit: Adjective: Prone to hiding, hidden, perhaps shy.
Bampot: Noun: mad/crazy person.