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Lochearnhead | Scotland
Lochearnhead | Scotland
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13 Habits You Can't Help Picking Up Living in Scotland

Picture of Tori Chalmers
Updated: 1 October 2017
Some inevitable, others tailored to specific regions, the cultural idiosyncrasies of a place add distinct flair. Not to mention charm! And it’s only a matter of time before these become second nature. From weekly fish suppers to popping out for ‘just a wee while’, let us enlighten you with just 13 habits you can’t help picking up when you live in Scotland.

Using the word ‘wee’ multiple times a day

Whether off for a wee wander around the park, enjoying a cheeky wee tipple or having a wee gander for cool documentaries to watch, let’s face it — the Scots have an affinity for the word ‘wee’.

And aye…

There’s something undeniably soothing about the word ‘aye’, especially when uttered in a sing-songy Scottish accent. Besides, you know you’ve been in Scotland for a wee while when you respond with ‘aye, that would be grand pal, cheers’. Just you wait.

Hogmanay Fireworks
Hogmanay Fireworks | © This Is Edinburgh / Flickr

Taking the absolute piss out of yourself!

No question about it, the Scots, in general, have this way when it comes to humour. Witty beyond belief, much of the banter owes credit to their ability as a culture, to take the piss out of themselves. This self-deprecating trait is an essential ingredient in Scottish society.

Scottish International Storytelling Festival
Scottish International Storytelling Festival

Turning to Irn-Bru as a remedy for many of life’s woes

A life-hack backed up by the ‘Big Yin’ Billy Connolly, every Scot knows that Irn-Bru works a charm as a hangover cure. With each sip, all sluggish thoughts of self-pity and last night’s shocking dance moves evaporate into thin air. In all seriousness, Irn-Bru is the best-selling soft drink and Scotland’s other national drink for a reason. And yes, we use it as a mixer too. Phenomenal.

Irn-Bru
Irn-Bru | Irn-Bru

Referring to NYE as Hogmanay

You don’t need to be a full-fledged Scot to know that New Year’s Eve is Hogmanay in Scotland. Speaking of which, one taste of a Scottish Hogmanay shindig and you’ll never go back. The buzz is unrivaled and you’ll be first-footing away with the rest of them.

Midnight Fireworks
Midnight Fireworks | Edinburgh Hogmanay

Genuinely enjoying a good old blether about the weather

A place notorious for dramatic shifts in weather, Scotland endures snippets of all the seasons most days. Whether pure baltic or infused with sunbeams, blethering about the weather (to anyone with an ear) is common practice. When you start referring to the day as ‘dreich’, you know Scotland holds a space in your heart.

Buachaille Etive Mòr | Scotland
Buachaille Etive Mòr | Scotland

Admitting that the sound of bagpipes gives you goosebumps

Otherworldly and life-affirming, the bagpipes are Scotland in sound. That is to Scottish people of course! Otherwise, the distinct tones can be misconstrued as obnoxiously grating and shrill. Point being, it may grind your gears upon arrival, but it only takes one nostalgic mood and a lone bagpiper to change your mind.

Finding yourself craving a chippy at least once a week

An unbeatable taste, a proper fish supper from the local chippy is a bite of paradise. Like eating a fluffy cloud, the chips are perfect and the fish is crisp and wonderfully flaky. When you start defending the battered Mars Bar and deep-fried pizza to non-Scots, you know you’re right at home!

Fish and Chips
Fish and Chips | Fish and Chips

Mastering the art of layering

A fine art, knowing how to layer properly is everything in Scotland. Going all out and wearing a puffy skiing jacket won’t get you anywhere, thanks to unbearable hot sweats if you so much as lift a finger. Like riding a bike, once you master it, perfect layering stays with you forever!

Winter Layering
Winter Layering | Winter Layering

Craving Tunnock’s Teacakes with your ‘wee cup of tea’

Whether with a surprise guest, friendly neighbour or best pal, stopping for a wee cup of tea multiple times a day (and thinking nothing of it) is a daily rite of passage in Scotland. And what goes with tea? Tunnock’s Teacakes. And yes, you guessed it — these delightfully addictive chocolate marshmallow delights are Scotland born and bred.

Tunnock's Teacakes
Tunnock's Teacakes | Tunnock’s Teacakes

Disowning anyone who drinks whisky with anything but whisky

Just don’t. Unbeknown to many, not all Scots drink whisky like it’s water. But when we do, we certainly don’t mix it with anything other than itself. That’s just shocking manners.

Islay Whisky
Islay Whisky | Islay Whisky

Making banter with anyone and everyone

Waiting for a bus, walking down the street on the way to the pub, at the chippy — you get the drift. Scots couldn’t care less about airs and graces, let alone the socially constructed status quo. When you find yourself well accustomed to making a wee joke to the person in the queue next to you (or standing your ground if they have the nerve to skip in front) you’re officially an honorary Scot.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Taking endless selfies with the Scottish scenery because it really is that magical

‘I’ll never be that person. That shameless serial selfie taker’, they said. Move to Scotland. Take an unfathomable amounts of selfies with the scenery. Visitor or local, the magic never wears off!

Scottish Seascape
Scottish Seascape | Scottish Seascape