Scottish Words and Their Meanings

We know many of you are looking forward to being able to travel again and visit Scotland to see our amazing scenery, visit our vibrant City and meet the characters of our Country.

To help you to prepare for your visit, we have put together this list of Scottish words, terms and ‘slang’ words that are often used by locals around the country so you can understand what everyone is saying and perhaps even try a few yourself while you are here.

  • Aboot – About
  • Ain – Own
  • Auld – Old
  • Aye – Yes
  • Bahooky – Backside, bum
  • Bairn – Baby
  • Baw – Ball
  • Bawface – Describes someone with a big round face.
  • Ben – Mountain, or through
  • Bide – Depending on the context, means wait, or stay.
  • Blether – Talkative, when referred to a person. To “have a blether” is to have a chat.
  • Bonnie – Beautiful
  • Braw – Good, or brilliant
  • Breeks – Trousers
  • Chap – Knock (the door)
  • Coo – Cow
  • Crabbit – Bad tempered
  • Dae – Do
  • Dauner – Walk – “I’m away for a dauner”
  • Didnae – Didn’t
  • Dinnae – Don’t
  • Drap – Drop
  • Drookit – Soaking wet
  • Dug – Dog
  • Dunderheid, Eejit, Galoot, Numptie – All mean idiot
  • Fae (or Frae) – From
  • Feart – Afraid
  • Gallus – Bravado, over-confident
  • Gaunnae – Going to
  • Geeza haun – Give me a hand (help me).
  • Geggie – Mouth, as in “shut your geggie”
  • Glaikit – Stupid, slow on the uptake
  • Goonie – Nightgown
  • Greet – Cry
  • Gumption – Common sense, initiative
  • Hae – Have
  • Hame – Home
  • Haud – Hold
  • Haver – Talk rubbish
  • Hing – Hang
  • Hoachin’ – Very busy
  • Hokin’ – Rummaging
  • Honkin’, Hummin’, Howlin’ – Bad smell
  • Hoose – House
  • How no – Why not
  • Hunner – Hundred
  • Huvnae – Haven’t
  • Keek – A little look
  • Ken – Know
  • Lum – Chimney
  • Ma – My or Mum
  • Mair – More
  • Merrit – Married
  • Mon – Come on
  • Moose – Mouse
  • Naw – No
  • Neep, Tumshie – Turnip
  • Noo – Now
  • Oot – Out
  • Peely Wally – Pale
  • Piece – A sandwich
  • Poke – (to poke – to prod) (a poke – a paper bag)
  • Reek – Smell
  • Riddy – A red face, embarrassed
  • Screwball – Crazy mad
  • Scullery – Kitchen
  • Scunnered – Bored, fed up
  • Shoogle – Shake
  • Shoogly – Shaky, wobbly
  • Simmet – A man’s vest
  • Skelp – Slap
  • Sleekit – Sly, sneaky
  • Stookie – Plaster cast (for a broken bone)
  • Stour – Dust
  • Tae – To
  • Tattie – Potato
  • Telt – Toldt
  • Toon – Town
  • Totie – Very small
  • Wan – One
  • Wance – Once
  • Wean – Child
  • Wellies – Wellington boots
  • Wha – Who
  • Wheesht – Quiet
  • Whit – What
  • Widnae – Would not
  • Willnae – Will not
  • Windae – Window
  • Wummin – Women
  • Yappy dug – Wee barking dog
  • Ye – You
  • Yer – Your
  • Yin – One