A collection of useful phrases in Scots, a West Germanic language spoken in Scotland. Scots is considered a separate language from Scottish English and from the English of England, and is recognised as such by the Scottish and UK governments.
Note: These phrases come mainly from the sources listed below, especially from L Colin Wilson's Luath Scots Language Learner, which focuses particularly on the Scots of North East Scotland, or Doric. There are other dialects of Scots, and other ways of writing Scots.
Cick on any of the phrases that are links to hear them spoken. If you can provide recordings, corrections or additional translations, please contact me.
To see these phrases in many other languages click on the English versions. If you'd like to see these phrases in any combination of two languages, try the Phrase Finder.
|English||Scots Leid (Scots)|
|Hello (General greeting)||Hello|
|How are you?||Whit like?
Whit like are ye?
Hoo are ye?
Hoo's it gaun?
|Reply to 'How are you?'||Naw baud at aw, an whit like yersel?
Nae baud, yersel?
A'm daein fine, whit aboot yersel?
|Long time no see||Lang time nae see
It's been donkies since a last saw ye
|What's your name?||Whit's yer name?|
|My name is ...||Ma name's ...|
|Where are you from?||Whaur ar ye fae?
Whaur dae ye come fae?
|I'm from ...||A'm fae ...|
|Pleased to meet you||Pleased tae meet ye
A'm pleased tae meet ye
|Good night||Guid nicht|
Bye for noo
See ye efter
|Good luck||Guid luck!|
|Cheers! Good Health!
(Toasts used when drinking)
Here's tae ye!
Here's tae us, wha's like us?
Damned few an' they're a' deid
(classic Scottish toast)
|Have a nice day||Hae a guid day|
|Bon voyage /
Have a good journey
|Hae a guid journey|
|I understand||A onerstaun|
|I don't understand||A dinna onerstaun|
|I don't know||A dinna ken|
|Please speak more slowly||Can ye speik mair slowly?|
|Please write it down||Write it doon please|
|Do you speak English?||Dae ye speik English?|
|Do you speak Scots?||Dae ye speik Scots?|
|Yes, a little
(reply to 'Do you speak ...?')
|Ay, a wee bit|
|Speak to me in Scots?||Speik tae me in Scots|
|How do you say ... in Scots?||Hoo dae ye say ... in Scots?|
|Excuse me||Excuise me|
|How much is this?||Hoo much is this?|
|Thank you||Thank ye|
|Reply to thank you||Nae problem|
|Where's the toilet?||Whaur's the toilet?
Whaur's the lavvy?
Whaur's the wattrie?
|This gentleman will pay for everything||This gentleman will pey for awthing|
|This lady will pay for everything||This leddy will pey for awthing|
|Would you like to dance with me?||Will ye dance wi me?|
|I miss you||A miss ye|
|I love you||A love ye|
|Get well soon||Get weel soon|
|Leave me alone!||Leave me alane!|
|Call the police!||Caw the polis!|
|Christmas and New Year greetings||Merry Christmas an a Happy New Year|
|Birthday greetings||Happy birthday|
|One language is never enough||Ane leid is nivver eneuch
Ane language is nivver eneuch
|My hovercraft is full of eels
Why this phrase?
|Ma hovercraft's full o eels
Ma hovercraft's lippin-fou wi eels
Ma hovercraft's lippit wi eels
Ma hovercraft's breemin' ower wi eels
See me? See eels? Mah hoavercraft's pure hoachin (Glaswegian)
- Robinson, Mairi, Concise Scots Dictionary (Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 1985)
- Wilson, L Colin, Luath Scots Language Learner (Edinburgh, Luath Press, 2012)
- DSL - Dictionary of the Scots Language / Dictionar o the Scots Leid
- The Online Scots Dictionary
If you would like to make any corrections or additions to this page, or if you can provide recordings, please contact me.
Afrikaans, Alsatian, Bavarian, Cimbrian, Danish, Dutch, Elfdalian, English (British), Faroese, Flemish (West), Frisian (North), Frisian (West), German, Gothic, Icelandic, Limburgish, Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, Norwegian, Old English, Scots, Stellingwarfs, Swedish, Swiss German (Basel dialect), Swiss German (Chur dialect), Swiss German (Lucerne dialect), Yiddish