50 Scottish slang words translated: funniest and best sayings and slang phrases from Scotland - and what they mean in English

Scotland is a melting pot of unique dialects resulting in some truly special examples of slang

Though English is the first language in Scotland, Scots and Gaelic have both played a vital part in shaping everyday language often used by citizens of Scotland up and down the country.

From everyday turns of phrase to cutting insults, Scottish slang is capable of being both poetic and humorous.

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Here’s a starter glossary of essentials for anyone new to Scotland or anyone looking to reacquaint themselves with Caledonian colloquialisms


Bonnie – beautiful

Braw – good looking

Failing means yer playin! – it’s the taking part that counts

Gallus – bold, daring, bordering on arrogant

Gie it laldy – Give it your best

Lang may yer lum reek – long may you live

Pure dead brilliant – very good

Tidy – beautiful

Every day objects and body parts

Claes – clothes

Geggi – mouth

Geks – glasses

Gutties – shoes

Heid – head

Lugs – ears

Tassie – cup

Yaks – eyes


All his eggs are double-yoakit – he’s full of rubbish

Awa’ an bile yer heid – translating as away and boil your head, this simply means ‘get lost’

Bampot – a mad idiot

Dafty – fool

Eejit – idiot

Fandan – pretentious idiot

Get tae – go away

Glaikit – stupid

Haud yer wheesht – be quiet

Heid-the-baw – idiot

Mink – dirty person

Roaster – someone being an idiot

Rocket – annoying or crazy person

Sook – soft

Walloper – idiot


Bahookie – one’s backside

Bawbag – scrotum

Bawhair – a pubic hair; typically used to indicate a very short distance

Cludgie – toilet

Bowfin’ – used for something that makes you want to be sick

Terms for being drunk


Mad wae it

Oot yer nut


Rat arsed



Hoachin’ – very busy

It’s a sair ficht for half a loaf – life is difficult

Jings – wow

Ken – to know

Nae danger – no chance

Patch – to ignore

Scunnert – bored, fed up.

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