Mhairi Black interviewer learns what being ‘at it’ means

SNP MP Mhairi Black. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
SNP MP Mhairi Black. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
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SCOTTISH readers of The Guardian may have cracked a smile over the weekend as journalist Zoe Williams was given a brief lesson in Glasgow slang from Mhairi Black.

Williams asked for clarification over a phrase the SNP MP made repeated reference to: “at it”.

Black’s friend and assistant, Declan, stepped in to explain: “If you’re at it, you’re deliberately doing it, and fully aware, but you’re pretending not to be aware. You get a lot of this in Glasgow”.

Before any Glasgow residents feel the need to defend themselves, in the interview Black uses the phrase to describe her feelings towards the Conservative Party, among other political players.

Black became an MP earlier this year while still working towards her undergraduate degree at the University of Glasgow. She was just 20 years old at the time, and is the youngest MP in the House of Commons since 1880.