Ten Scottish proverbs on truth and honesty

Children playing in Edinburgh in the 1960s
Children playing in Edinburgh in the 1960s
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UNLESS you were an angelic child growing up in Scotland there is a fair chance you’ve heard at lease one of these.

Auld saws speak truths

There’s a lot of truth in old sayings

A fu’ heart never lied

People are more likely to tell the truth when they are in the grip of emotion

Craft maun hae claes but truth gangs nakit

Cunning may be disguised, but truth does not need any cover or embellishment

Facts are chiels that winna ding

Facts, and therfore truth, cannot be denied

He never lies, but when the holly’s green

Since holly is an evergreen tree, this saying indicates that the person in question never tells the truth

Truth will stand when a’thing’s failin’

Truth can be relied upon when everything else fails

It’s a sin to lee on the diel

You should always speak the truth, even where wicked people are concerned

Truth and honesty keep the croon on the causey

People who are honest and truthful stay out of trouble. The ‘croon o’ the causey’ or the crown of the causeway was the highest part of the street which was the farthest away from the gutter where rubbish gathered

If a’thing’s true, that’s nae lee

A saying used to express disbelief in what has just been said

As the auld cock craws the yung ane lairns

We should learn truth and virtue from our elders