Scottish word of the day: Besom

A couple of wee besoms. Picture TSPL
A couple of wee besoms. Picture TSPL
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Have you ever had a daughter talk back to you? Or a friend who promised to return your belongings weeks ago, and has yet to do so? Congratulations: you’ve just encountered a besom.

A Scots term whose definition has grown broader over time, it initially referred to immoral women.

Contemporary usage of the term tends to be more lighthearted, and is more synonymous with someone with a bit of attitude, ie. “ya cheeky wee besom.”

More archaic uses of besom may also refer to traditional broomsticks, or someone of poor hygiene.