No swear words, please (sorry). It's for a YA fantasy that takes place on Skye (modern day), and has to be something a teenager might say (again, yeah, I know. Swearing. But surely there's something?).

CLARIFICATION: by "swear" I mean "four-letter-type curse words." I've had some people very concerned with semantics on another board point out (so helpfully) that "holy crap" and "Jesus Christ" ARE swear words. =/

Also, I'd like it to be uniquely Scottish. This is for a story, and it's meant to differentiate Scottish characters from American and Irish characters. So something universal that anyone would use as an exclamation won't serve to differentiate.

Thank you!

  • youtube.com/watch?v=ssme-8fnTPM – Hot Licks Nov 10 '17 at 2:16
  • Present day, or period? If the latter, what century? (I'm not saying I have answers.) – Mick Nov 10 '17 at 2:27
  • Mick, good point - I added clarification to the question (it's modern day). – BodieOConnor Nov 10 '17 at 2:48
  • Does it have to be unique to Scotland, or just something that might be said by Scottish youth? – John TerMaat Nov 10 '17 at 3:57
  • I guess... something unique to Scotland? Counterquestion: what's something that might be said by a Scottish youth that isn't unique to Scotland nor is it any of the things I listed in my question above? – BodieOConnor Nov 10 '17 at 7:10

Maybe something to consider first is that generally people from Scotland (and other English speaking countries) don't express surprise in the same tone as for example the USA. People are by nature a bit more sarcastic in their speech, and so rather than an exclamation like those (though "Jesus Christ" does get a fair bit of use, and "Oh My God" with younger people), maybe it would be more appropriate to use a dryer phrase like "You've got to be joking / You can't be serious / etc."

How about as an alternative taking one of those phrases but rewriting it as would be said in a Scottish accent / slang now and again, while keeping it readable for other audiences? e.g. can't/isn't -> "I cannae believe it." "This cannae be happening." "This isnae real."

Also Scotland has a particular rhyming slang, similar to Cockney, which may be of use: http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/a-guide-to-scottish-rhyming-slang-1-4018992

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