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.
|English||Scots Leid (Scots)|
|Hello (General greeting)||Hullo|
|How are you?||Whit like?
Whit like are ye?
Hoo are ye?
Hoo's it gaun?
How ye daein?
|Reply to 'How are you?'||No bad, hou's yersel?
Nae baud, yersel?
A'm daein fine, whit aboot yersel?
|Long time no see||Lang time nae see
It's been dunky's since a last saw ye
|What's your name?||Whit's yer name?
Whit ye cawit?
Whit dae they cry ye?
|My name is ...||Ma name's ...|
|Where are you from?||Whaur ye fae?
Whaur ar ye fae?
Whaur dae ye come fae?
|I'm from ...||A'm fae ...|
|Pleased to meet you||Gled tae meet ye
A'm gled 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? Gey few, an' they're a' deid
|Have a nice day||Hae a guid day|
|Bon voyage /
Have a good journey
|Hae a guid journey|
|I understand||A unnerstaun
|I don't understand||A dinnae unnerstaun
A dinnae forstaw
|I don't know||A dinnae ken|
|Please speak more slowly||Can ye talk mair slow?|
|Please write it down||E, want tae write it doon fur iz|
|Do you speak English?||Dae ye talk English?|
|Do you speak Scots?||Dae ye talk Scots?|
|Yes, a little
(reply to 'Do you speak ...?')
|Ay, a wee bit|
|Do you speak a language
other than Scots?
|Dar ye knapp ony leid ither than Scots Leid?
Dar ye knapp ony leid ither than yer ain?
|Speak to me in Scots?||Talk 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/hou muckle is this?|
|Thank you||Thank ye|
|Reply to thank you||Nae problem|
|Where's the toilet / bathroom?||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!||Lea iz alane!
Lea me alane!
|Call the police!||Phone the polis!
Get the polis!
|Christmas greetings||Blythe yuil|
|New Year greetings||A Blythe Hogmanay (tae ye)|
|Birthday greetings||Happy birthday|
|One language is never enough||Ane leid is neer/ne'er 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 ma hovercraft? See eels? Hit's pure hoachin wi them. (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
Download the audio files (Zip format, 1.74MB)
Corrections, additions and recordings by Michael Dempster of Mind Yer Language, and John Goldberg
If you would like to make any corrections or additions to this page, or if you can provide recordings, please contact me.
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