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Like more poetic and descriptive language? You'll LOVE Auld Scots.
The POETIC and DESCRIPTIVE Language of "Auld Scots".

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Scotland, the country residing in the Northernmost one third of the British Isles, currently uses English as its "official" language. But any visitor to these parts will confirm that the proper form of the "Queens' English" is rarely spoken here.

There are actually two languages which have become synonymous with Scotland (outside of English) and these are Auld Scots and Gaelic.

Historically, "Auld Scots" is a language largely associated with lowland Scotland, with Gaelic being predominantly restricted to the Highlands and Islands.

The Gaelic language was spread throughout the upper and out-lying regions of (what would become) Scotland, by Celts arriving by sea, from what would later become Ireland (Eire).

Whereas Auld Scots has the same roots as Olde English, spreading from peoples in the South. Sharing the same structures (and the majority of the same words and phrases) with English, but with some more descriptive and poetic equivalents in place!

This thread is intended to act as a brief introduction to some of the more interesting Scots words and phrases, with a view to sparking future conversations about different languages and their own distinctive, unique and interesting words & phrases.


Let's begin with a few choice Scots' phrases!

"Mony a meikle maks a muckle!"

The Scots' word "Meikle" usually means "an amount of" in English, and "Muckle" means large/big/important!
So this phrase literally translates as "Many amounts of a thing make a large thing" or "lots of small things make a large thing".
It is the direct equivalent of the English phrase:
"If you look after the pennies, the pounds will take care of themselves".

"It's a braw bricht moonlicht nicht the nicht!"
*N.B. The "-ch" sound in Scot's is the same as the sound at the end of the famous classical composer's name: Bach, most commonly heard (in Scotland) in the Scots' word for a Lake... "Loch".

Braw = Fine/Grand/Handsome
Bricht = Bright
Licht = Light/Lit
Nicht = Night

And so we get the expression:
"It's a fine bright moonlit night tonight!"

"Awa an' tummel yer wulkies!"

Now THIS is an unusual one!
Awa = Away
An' = And
Tummel = Tumble (Forward Roll)
Wulkies = derives from an old word for Wildcat! and refers to leaping or bounding away!

"Go and tumble yourself away like a Wildcat!!"

In practice, it is often used as a derisory way of telling someone that you don't believe them.
It's a more elaborate and playful way of saying "Away you go!"
e.g. "You say that you saw a Bigfoot in the supermarket? Awa an'  tummel yer wulkies!"


Now, some of my favourite Scots words:

Ach / Ocht = An expression of disgust or contempt! ("Ocht awa an chase yersel'!")
Ah = I
Ay = Always / Forever  ("Ah will ay be yours!")
Bachle/Bauchle = A worn out slipper, but more commonly used for a Useless Person!
Bairn = A child. (Common to some Norse/Scandinavian languages too!)
Bannock = a round flat type of small cake
Bawbee = a Half-penny (Bawbees = money, usually a childs pocket money) As used in a famous poem/song Coulters Candy (or Ally Bally Bee):

"Ally bally, ally bally bee,
Sittin' on yer mammy's knee,

Greetin' for a wee bawbee,
Tae buy some Coulter's candy...."

Bing = A heap of slag/crumbled rock i.e. a Coal Bing is a heap of slag/waste from a coal mine.
Blether = Gossip / Talk / One who talks too much!
Breeks = Trousers
Carnaptious = Bad tempered
Claes = Clothes
Clap = To Pet e.g. "I gie'd his dug a clap" = "I petted his dog"
Clype = A teller of Tales / Snitch
Craitor = Creature (especially if it is in poor condition/neglected)
Daftie = An idiot / Mentally sub-normal
Doo = A Dove or Pigeon
Dook = Bathe / Duck into water
Dour = Dull, Stern, Lacking Humour
Dreich = Dreary, Bleak
Droukit = Drenched / Soaking wet
Drouthy = Thirsty
Fash = Annoy / Bother (i.e. "Dinnae fash yersel' " = "Don't bother yourself with that"
Gallus = Bold / tough / cocky
Glaikit = Stupid / Foolish

Greet = To cry or weep
Guff = To give off an unpleasant smell!
Haiver = To talk nonsense.... uhm, no further comment here about this!! LOL
Jouk = To dodge or avoid
Keek = Peep / Take a quick/sneaky look
Ken = To Know
Lowp/Loup = To Jump
Messages = Shopping ("Ah'm awa tae get the messages" = "I'm away to get the shopping"!!)
Nyaff = A small, insignificant, annoying person
Peelie Wally = Pale / ill looking
Plook = Pimple / Spot
Rammy = A disturbance / Fight / Rampage
Reek = Smoke/Smoky
Sassenach = English person

Scunner/Scunnered = To sicken/Be sickened or disgusted, Forlorn
Sheuch = A Ditch, drain or trench
Shoogle = to Shake, rock or make unsteady

Skelf = A Splinter (especially in the skin) can refer to a small, thin person!
Skelp = Smack or Slap
Sleekit = Sly, Cunning, Hypocritical
Sneck = The Latch or Catch of a door
Stookie = A Plaster cast (for broken limbs)
Stramash = An uproar or disturbance
Teuchter = Derogatory word for a Highlander
Tumshie = Turnip or vacant looking person/idiot
Wean = Wee One (A small child)
Wee = Small
Wheesht = Be Quiet

Try having a go at making up your own Scot's phrases by placing some of the words from above into a normal English sentence and you'll see how it brightens up the descriptive tone of the sentence!

"Now, Wheesht! You Sleekit Wee Skelf, Awa and Skelp a Peelie-Wally Sassenach !"


Who knows of a language with more colourful, poetic and descriptive turns of phrase?

Share yours in this thread!

tinybighuh Being Rogue is WEIRD, But I LIKE IT!tinyfunny 
Okay, that is Very Interesting.
In China we have 6 or more different forms of Language spoken.
The two most common that people know of are Mandarin and Cantonese.
But I won't go into them here, to hard to explain with over 30,000 words in just Mandarin alone having different meaning depending on how they are used in a sentence.
Once A Rogue, Always A Rogue!
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