Scottish word of the week: Tartle

'She looks so familiar.' Picture: AFP/Getty

'She looks so familiar.' Picture: AFP/Getty

Share this article
1
Have your say

WE’VE all been there. You’re minding your own business, walking down the street, when suddenly you look up and catch the eye of someone familiar.

But wait, you know the face, but you can’t remember the name. At least not initially. They say hello, include your name in the greeting, and you respond with:

“Hi... Um... Erm... Steve!”

This is known as a tartle, a completely unique word to the Scots language that defines the hesitation shown in trying to remember someone’s name.

When confronted with the above scenario, you can excuse your apparent rudeness by saying:

“Sorry for my tartle.”

What makes the word so special is that it doesn’t apply when you forget the person’s name entirely. Oh no. It’s exists only to encapsulate the brief awkwardness while you rummage around your brain for the answer.

Tartle has frequently appeared in lists around the world of perfect words that don’t translate to other nations. Word envy!

Have you visited our new Scottish food and drink site?

Back to the top of the page