Scottish word of the week: Heid

The Big Heids sculpture at Eurocentral, Lanarkshire, by the A8. Picture: TSPL
The Big Heids sculpture at Eurocentral, Lanarkshire, by the A8. Picture: TSPL
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No need for an explanation as to this word’s meaning - just use the heid. Trouble is, most people whose nicknames begin or end with this oft-used term tend not to.

A heid the baw, for example, refers to an irritating, idiotic, dim-witted person - a right daftie, basically (though the term also applies to football, where a player heads the ball).

Similarly, a heid-banger can encompass qualities similar to that of a heid the baw, but such individuals have the added trait of aggressiveness. Think Begbie of Trainspotting fame on a 12-pint bender, and you’ll get the idea.

Then there’s baw heid, an outburst usually heard after a bout of idiocy of some kind, though it also refers to a bald head.

In October last year, a man who managed to get his head stuck in a litter bin was given the ignominious nickname of ‘bucket heid’. The applications are endless, and perhaps too numerous to cover comprehensively here.

Away from the joshing and ribbing, heid is also indicative of someone in a position of authority. A heidie is a school headmaster; a head yin could mean to a chief executive of an organisation.

But, as mentioned earlier, football is now the social sphere in which heid is most often heard. Fans urge their players to use the heid, or their star striker to heid the ball as a cross zips into the six-yard box.