If you’re visiting Scotland and want to avoid being told to ‘haud yer wheesht’ (shut up) or ‘get tae’ (go away), here are 13 things we recommend never to say to Scottish people...
By all means, you should banter with Scots and learn a few of our colourful expressions, but other times it’s better that you ‘dinnae’ i.e., don’t. Especially when some stereotypes, like the fiery Scottish temperament, may occasionally hold true.
So to help you out, here’s the list of 13 things you should NEVER say to someone from Scotland.
1. 'I just love this part of England!'
Surprisingly, many tourists visiting Scotland aren’t aware of the border separating Scotland from England. Or, believe that Britain is “just England.” You’ll find most Scots are proud of their identity and heritage, and while we are indeed a part of the United Kingdom, we are definitely not England.
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2. "I’m Scottish too! My great, great, great, granny’s friend's ex-wife’s second cousin once removed was Scottish."
So, you check out ancestry.com and found your DNA is 5% Scottish and could be from Robert the Bruce? It's cool to explore your heritage. However, locals here tend to assert that you need to either be born and bred in, or have lived in Scotland for a long time in order to be considered “Scottish.”
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3. “Oh, you live in Glasgow, do you know my friend Jack?”
Yes, Scotland is a ‘wee’ country but not quite that wee. The likelihood of a Scot knowing the exact person you’re referring to, especially on a first-name basis, is strikingly small. What’s more, “Jack” is the most popular name choice for boys in Scotland, and Glasgow has well over 1.5 million people. It’s a small country, but not a village.
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4. “What are you wearing underneath your kilt?”
This shouldn’t come as a news flash to most, but asking people about what their underwear is or if they’re using any at all is not considered good etiquette. If you really must know, then make sure to consult a responsible source and not walk up to the first kilt-adorned individual you see around Edinburgh.
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