35 Scottish Sayings That Confuse Americans

| © Kate Williams/Flickr
Tori Chalmers

The Scots are expert purveyors of words. When in doubt, they always have this uncanny ability to talk the hind legs off a donkey. They say a picture is worth a thousand words; in Scotland, the opposite reigns true. A few simple words can result in the most in-depth image being imprinted into the mind for all eternity. So that yer heid isnae full o mince, haud yer wheesht, and tak a wee gander at some braw Scottish sayings that you need to start using.

Ye look like wan o’clock half struck.

Translation: You only look half awake. Inject yourself with caffeine.

Yer heid’s in a fankle.

Translation: You seem awfully confused.

That’s Jock’s news.

Translation: Tell me something new. That’s so last season.

Ye look like the cat’s elbow.

Translation: My word, you are far too skinny. Eat a pie.

Wheesht yer puss.

Translation: Be quiet, shut up, and stop talking. Do you not know that silence is golden?

Face Palm

Twelve herrings an’ a bagpipe mak a rebellion.

Translation: That is an over exaggeration.

Ye look like something the cat dragged in.

Translation: What on earth are you wearing? Did you sleep last night? You look like a disheveled mess.

Ye’ve goat a face like cake left oot in the rain.

Translation: Your face is getting wrinkled and worn. Invest in some good anti-ageing cream.

He’s a tattie-lugged loon.

Translation: That boy has rather large ears bestowed upon him.

A lie is half-way roon Scotland afore the truth has its boots oan.

Translation: News travels fast. Be careful what you say.

Aye Right!

Translation: I simply don’t believe it. Yeah, right.

Wur youse vaccinated wi’ a gramophone needle?

Translation: Wow. You really don’t stop talking. Ever.

Yer doin’ ma heid in!

Translation: Shut up. Stop talking. You are the epitome of annoying.

Haud Yer Wheesht.

Translation: Please stop talking ASAP.

Yer aw bum an’ parsley.

Translation: You are rather big headed and hold yourself in high regard.

Wur tearin’ the tartan.

Translation: We are having a right old gossip and chatting the day away.

Hit that wi’ a tattie.

Translation: My word, that is quite posh.

Yon’s twa-faced an’ nane of them’s pretty.

Translation: That two-faced so-and-so has some nerve. They cannot be trusted one bit.

Yer heid’s full o’ mince.

Translation: You are talking a load of nonsense. Your head is in the clouds.

Ah’m fair scunnered.

Translation: I am totally fed up.

Birds an’ blethers baith fly.

Translation: News travels fast.

Better tae bust oot than rust oot.

Translation: Live every moment of life to the absolute fullest before you die.

When the dram’s inside the sense is ootside.

Translation: Alcohol loosens you up and sheds all inhibitions.

Gae’s a wee swally.

Translation. Please may I have a small sip of your drink?

Is the cat deid?

Translation: Why are your trousers so short?

Help ma boab.

Translation: I am rather surprised right now.

That maks ye look like a tattiebogle.

Translation: Wow — you look like a scarecrow when you wear that outfit.

It’s awfa difficult choosin’ between twa clean coos.

Translation: They all look the same.

Who stole yer scone?

Translation: Why are you so upset?

It’ll be a skoosh.

Translation: Don’t worry. It will be so easy.

Yer talkin’ mince withoot a tattie in sight.

Translation: Are you serious? Every word uttered from your mouth is nonsense.

Ya muckle gype.

Translation: You are a massive idiot. You tool.

Yer a half-melted welly?

Translation: You aren’t the sharpest tool in the shed, are you?

Yer ma wee chookie hen.

Translation: You are the apple of my eye and so special to me.

Clerty clerty.

Translation: Goodness me.

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