A guide to Scottish rhyming slang

Andy Murray has a new claim to fame - his own rhyming slang Picture: Jane Barlow
Andy Murray has a new claim to fame - his own rhyming slang Picture: Jane Barlow
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PEOPLE all over the world have heard of Cockney rhyming slang, but did you know there is a Scottish version?

Slowly making its way into colloquial speech, a book has already been published and even academic research has been carried out into this way of speaking.

Gordon Strachan is absolutely cracking Picture: Jane Barlow

Gordon Strachan is absolutely cracking Picture: Jane Barlow

What makes it more unique is that Scottish rhyming slang is based on pronunciation, and not written language.

So for example “corned beef”, is rhyming slang for “deaf”. Except that doesn’t rhyme - what it does rhyme with is the Scottish pronunciation of “deif”.

Here are some more examples of this unique type of rhyming slang:

Andy Murray - curry

You might soon be asking for a Mick Jagger in pubs across the country

You might soon be asking for a Mick Jagger in pubs across the country

The Scottish tennis champion has officially made it. “Fancy gettin’ an Andy Murray the night?”

Corned beef - deif (deaf)

“Open yir lugs, urr ye corned beef?”

Alan Rough - guff (awful/ terrible)

Alan Rough is a former Scottish international goalkeeper, who won over 50 caps. “That’s pure Alan Rough”

Alan Wells - smells

Allan Wells is a former British track and field sprinter. “Dinnae go oot wi’ him - he’s Alan Wells”

Potted heid - deid (dead)

“You hear about Betty? Found potted heid last night.”

Arthur’s Seat - feet

Edinburgh’s famous extinct volcano, near the Scottish Parliament. “Haud on, I wantae rest mah Arthur’s seat.”

Auld Reekie - freaky

An old nickname for Edinburgh. “That’s a bit auld reekie, eh?”

Berwick-upon-Tweed - heid (head)

An English town just over two miles from the Scottish border. “Ooh ya! I jist dunted mah Berwick.”

Cumbernauld - bald

A Scottish town on the west coast. “He’s only 28, but he’s gaun Cumbernauld.”

A right collie dug - mug (a fool)

Dug being the Scottish pronunciation for dog. “Aye, he wiz bein’ taken fir a right collie dug.”

Mick Jagger - lager

Either the Rolling Stones frontman or, in Scotland, a pint of Tennent’s. “Get us a Mick Jagger, pal?”

Hampden roar - score

Stemming from a Scotland v England international in 1929 when Scottish international Alex Jackson - who was taken to hospital with an injury - reportedly heard Scotland equalise from a mile away because of the roar from the national stadium. And so the ‘Hampden Roar’ became a commonly-used phrase for asking how someone is, or wanting to know a scoreline. “Davie, whit’s the Hampden?”

Gordon Strachan - cracking (brilliant)

Scotland football manager and former player. “That wiz pure Strachan.”

Lorraine Kelly - telly (television)

Scottish television presenter, journalist and actress. “Goan turn oan the Lorraine Kelly?”

READ MORE - Words only heard in an Edinburgh school playground

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