Archive for the Category: Scots


One interesting word I’ve heard people using in Shetland is shoogle [ʃogl; ʃugl; ʃʌgl; ʃʌugl], which means; – to sway, move unsteadily, to rock, wobble, swing; – to shake, joggle, to cause to totter or rock, to swing backwards and forwards; – to jog along, move with little unsteady jerks; to shuffle in walking It […]

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Staying, stopping and living

I noticed recently that in Scottish English and Scots people use the word stay to mean that you live in a place, i.e. that you live there on a permanent or long-term basis. When I hear this I usually know what is meant from the context, but it can be ambiguous at times, as to […]

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Cromarty fisher dialect

According to a report I found today in the Herald Scotland, the last fluent speaker of the Cromarty fisher dialect of Scots, Bobby Hogg, died recently. It was a dialect spoken by fisherfolk in the northeast of Scotland. According to experts, it was “the first ever linguistic demise to be so exactly recorded in Scotland.” […]

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An interesting Scots word I came across this week was cuddy which means coalfish or donkey and featured in the English translation of a Gaelic song. From the context I knew it was some kind of creature, but which one I wasn’t sure. According to the Scots Language Centre website cuddy is a Scots word […]

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Scottish adventures

I’ve been in Scotland since last Saturday, mainly at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the Gaelic college on the Isle of Skye. I’m doing a course in Gaelic mouth music (puirt à beul) and waulking songs (òrain luaidh) with Christine Primrose, and am having a wonderful time. There are eight of us in the singing class – […]

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Stookies, stucco and stalks

I heard the word stookie on the radio the other day as was mystyfied as the it’s meaning – the context didn’t help. Forunately the person who mentioned it explained that it’s a Scottish word for plaster cast – the kind of thing you might have on a limb if you facture a bone. It’s […]

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Stooshie [ˈstɑʃi, ˈstɪʃi, ˈstʌʃi] is a Scots word I came across recently that means an uproar, a commotion, a fuss, a row, a brawl, a fight, a fuss, commotion or to-do. It is often crops up in relation to protests and complaints – people might create a stooshie about something they don’t like or which […]

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Last night I went to a fascinating talk by Cass Meurig about the history of the crwth (a type of medieval bowed lyre) and its place in Welsh music and tradition, which included songs in Welsh. After the talk there was a very enjoyable ‘Come-all-ye’ singing session lead by Clare Kilgallon and members of Cliogaree […]

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Mawdelit is one of the Scots words discussed in a programme I watched last night called Blethering Scots. It was described as an illness you pretend to have to get time off work, and comes from the French mal de lit, which is related to the medieval Latin malum lecti – an illness that confines […]

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Word of the day – spurtle

I came across today’s word, spurtle, in a book I’m reading at the moment. It’s described as “a wooden utensil for stirring porridge” in the book, while according to Wikipedia it is: a Scots kitchen tool, dating from at least the fifteenth century. It was originally a flat, wooden, spatula-like utensil, used for flipping oatcakes […]

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