Also known as ‘false friends’, these are words which look and read the same no matter where you are, but have a completely different meaning in different languages or places.
We take a look at fifteen words that might confuse non-Scottish speakers:
Hen - To most of the world, a hen is a female chicken, but in Scots the word is used to mean a woman or girl.
Example: Gie us a kiss hen / you aright hen?
Mind - Refers to a person’s ability to think and reason, but in Scots the word can also mean remember.
Example: Mind and no forget the milk when you go tae the shops
Pudding - A cake or other dessert? Nope in Scots this word is also used to describe a certain type of sausage, such as black pudding or white pudding. Both often savoured after being battered and served up with chips.
Example: A black pudding supper thanks pal
Slogan - Something for advertisers to ponder and debate, or in past times in Scotland, a word that meant Battle Cry and a way to identify your comrades during a fight.
Greeting - A polite way to welcome someone when you see them, or in Scotland another way to describe crying (often used in a derogatory fashion)
Example: They were pure greetin’ after the results last night.
Poke - To prod, or in Scotland referring to a cone-shaped container often used to serve fish and chips
Example: A poke o’ chips thanks miss
Away / awa - This is often used as a replacement for the verb ‘to go’
Example: That’s me awa for the night mum.
Beamer - A slang word for a BMW car, or in Scotland it means a red face due to embarrassment
Example: He had a beamer after she asked him out
Fair - Light, or in Scots meaning very
Example: She was a fair bonnie lass / she was fair confused
Hill - A hill is a word normally used to describe a mountain, but in Scotland can be used to describe even the slightest of slopes.
Example: The shops are just up the hill.
Messages - A verbal, written, or recorded communication, or in Scotland a name for your grocery shopping.
Example: Am just stepping out for ma messages.
Stand - In Scotland stand can be another way to describe a set of bagpipes.
Tan - A darker skin tone caused by the sun, or in Scotland to drink something fast.
Example: He just tanned that Buckfast
Body - The physical structure, including the bones, flesh, and organs, of a person. Or in Scotland it can also just mean ‘person’
Example: There’s a body in the bath
Mince - Finely chopped meat, or in Scotland, that something is terrible
Example: They were pure mince last night