Scotland’s Favourite Scottish Sayings: 40 well-loved Scottish sayings you should know

Scots have the gift of the gab when it comes to our unique phrases, some are insightful and offer much-needed perspective while others like “yer bum’s oot the windae” are just plain funny.

Scottish words and sayings, combined with a world-famous thick accent, can easily make the English used here sound like a totally separate language. While this may be novel to some, it aptly reflects the fact that Scotland historically never had one uniform language spoken by all its ancestors - so some colourful lingual variety is to be expected.

For example, in the northern areas of Scotland you were more likely to encounter Gaelic once upon a time while in the southern areas it was the Scots language that was used. Regardless, we asked our Scotsman readers what “their favourite Scottish saying is” and they offered a wealth of fabulous answers from “yer lookin’ peely wally” (you look sick) to the classic “whit’s fur ye’ll no go by ye” (what’s meant to be will be!)

Here are 40 of Scotland’s favourite Scottish sayings and phrases as voted by our Scotsman readers.

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