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Questions tagged [scottish-english]

Questions about Scottish English as used in Scotland, not to be confused with either the Scots language or which Scottish Gaelic.

14
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5answers
2k views

What is the meaning of 'clusterbourach'?

In recent days I've seen the word 'clusterbourach' come up to describe the Brexit process. For example, in the National: The deal was, he said later, not just a bourach, but a “clusterbourach”. I'...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

Glaswegian Scottish English: What does Limmy say at 01:01?

Binging on Limmy's sketches has given me quite an ear for Glaswegian, but I still can't make out what he says at 01:01 in the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uH0hikcwjIA Kinda sounds ...
3
votes
1answer
165 views

The pronunciation of Burns' “I wad gie a' Knockhaspie's land”

I wad gie a' Knockhaspie's land (Highland Harry Back Again) What is the best way to phoneticize this sentence? /aɪ ˈwɑ(ː ?)d ɡi(ː ?) ??? lɑn/
3
votes
1answer
89 views

Scottish idiom meaning to enter a deal which turns out differently than agreed

I'm looking for a specific phrase that I didn't manage to catch in a phone call with my estate agent, a Scottish lady. The conversation topic was me informing her that my ex has moved out of the ...
6
votes
2answers
803 views

Is “cute” used sarcastically in Scottish English?

In American English, "cute" is sometimes used sarcastically or to mean "clever." An example of the latter is the recent headline "Donald Trump tells Harley Davidson: 'Don't get cute with us'". I've ...
1
vote
0answers
113 views

How to pronounce “her”, “hers” and “myrtle” with a Scottish accent?

In Scotland the words "fern", "fir" and "fur" have different vowels in them while in most other accents the vowels are the same (and "fir" and "fur" are therefore homophones in most English accents). ...
4
votes
1answer
122 views

Has 'dreich' surreptitiously crossed the pond and does it lurk, somewhere, in AmE?

The word dreich has only made one appearance on EL&U, that I can find, and it was a questionably brief appearance in answer to a single word request. This unassuming word did, however, top the ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

What does “snug” mean in Edinburgh- Realtor-Speak?

This week's Economist has an advertisement for a house in a suburb of Edinburgh, Scotland. The house has, on the First Floor: Sitting Room, Snug, Study, Kitchen, Family Room/Dining Room, Utility ...
1
vote
1answer
948 views

What's the Scottish equivalent of “holy crap!” “oh my God!” “Jesus Christ!”, etc?

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
218 views

What does “Inahent the coonter she's no' near sic a nochtie, shilpit, wee thingie” mean?

About a month ago, I looked up the definition of thingy with a thought to answering this question. The following example sentence from 1947 appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary. It seems to be ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Letter 'Z' pronounced as 'Izzard' : how widespread and where?

I read at Which is the correct way to refer to the letter "Z" — "Zee" or "Zed"? that the letter Z is pronounced : 'Izzard' (/ˈɪzərd/) in Scottish English. as opposed ...
4
votes
4answers
7k views

You'll have had your tea

Okay, so I've become aware of the phrase "you'll have had your tea", which is something of a cliché of a Scottish dialect. I'm not actually sure if it's currently in common usage or not. But I have ...
3
votes
1answer
247 views

Playing duffie lassie?

I remember when I was in Edinburgh my English teacher taught me an expression that was supposed to be Scottish. It was something like play the duffie lassie which should mean "that a girl plays dumb". ...
4
votes
2answers
211 views

Scottish English: “what-e-ver” (Literary Realism)

I’m reading a book, The Eagle Cliff, written in 1894, set in the western isles of Scotland. The author, R. M. Ballantyne, tends toward 19th century realism. Characters’ dialogue is written (and ...
3
votes
2answers
944 views

Are there any cases where the Scottish English “outwith” has unique meaning?

It seems that the Scottish English word outwith can be replaced in (almost?) all contexts by one of the following: outside outside of However, to ears familiar with the word, the meaning of outwith ...
4
votes
2answers
128 views

“Enter the Fairies” after a sudden clatter or crash?

In my family, who originate from Scotalnd, people cry "enter the fairies!" if something has caused a sudden crash, smash or clatter. I am guessing it comes from a stage direction, such as from ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Scottish English: past participle instead of gerund or infinitive?

A few years ago I moved to North-eastern Scotland. I've noticed that people from all backgrounds and levels of education frequently use the past participle instead of the gerund or infinitive forms, ...
5
votes
2answers
179 views

What did James V mean by “afferandly”?

In this letter from 1536, King James V of Scotland wrote in 1536: Veilbelouit frend, we grete yow. Forsamekill as we ar of pourpas to pas to Kelso, and to vesy owr Bordouris for ordoneng of the ...
21
votes
6answers
15k views

“I'm on the brew”

A conversation between two Scots: — What do you do for a living? — I'm on the brew. Assuming that I have the phrase right, what exactly does "on the brew" mean here? Based on the context, I ...
19
votes
5answers
2k views

What was going on with “quha”, “quhat” and the like in Scots and English?

From the Dictionar o the Scots Leid: Quha, Quhay, interrog. and rel. pron. Also: qwha, qha, qua, qwa, wha, vha, hua; qhaa; quhaw; quhai qwhay, whay, quay; quhae, whae; quhe, quhey, qwhey. [...
5
votes
2answers
396 views

Dialectal and historical usage of “not care” in the meaning of “not mind”

In standard Present-day English, "I don't care to be there" means the same as "I don't wish to be there." Apparently, this is not the case in some present and historical dialects. Wylene P. Dial ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Why is a Scot's accent so difficult for Americans to understand? [closed]

When I was in Edinburgh, Scotland, the locals could understand me just fine, but I was flummoxed by their accent, which did not remotely sound like English to me. Necessity forced me to request that ...
7
votes
3answers
11k views

Pronunciation of “loch”

How does one pronounce loch? I understand this is a term borrowed from the Scots. Dictionaries are not very helpful with the last syllable. What is the closest English mapping of ch?
19
votes
9answers
11k views

What is the origin of “summat”?

In Scottish English, I know that the word summat is used in place of standard something. But what's the etymology of this pronoun? It seems unlikely to me that summat could be merely a variant ...