Scottish word of the week: Gubbed

WITH the Scottish football season coming to a close this weekend with the Scottish Cup final, there’s one word that fans of Celtic and Hibs won’t want to hear used to describe their team - ‘gubbed’.
Evidence of the classic 'gubbing'. Picture: Neil HannaEvidence of the classic 'gubbing'. Picture: Neil Hanna
Evidence of the classic 'gubbing'. Picture: Neil Hanna

Derived from ‘gub’, the Scots word for mouth, ‘gubbing’ someone originally meant halting whatever was coming out of their mouth by force.

However, over time the word’s meaning has changed to encompass anything, or anyone, that has fallen into an irretrievable state of disrepair or damage. A person is also gubbed if they have simply run out of steam, and can go no further.

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In addition to describing a whole range of civilian scenarios, the word has even made it into political chatter.

Labour MP Douglas Alexander told delegates at a speech in Stirling in 2011 that the party had been “well and truly gubbed” in that year’s Holyrood election.

And the country’s recent sporting record has given Scots sports fans plenty of chances to give this week’s word an airing.


Bonnie- the quintissentially Scottish word with the French origin

Guddle- a teenager’s room, or a confusing situation