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Useful Scots phrases

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.

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See these phrases in any combination of two languages in the Phrase Finder. If you can provide recordings, corrections or additional translations, please contact me.

English Scots Leid (Scots)
Welcome Wylcome
Hello (General greeting) Hullo
How are you? Whit like?
Whit like are ye?
Hoo are ye?
Hou'r 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 morning
(Morning greeting)
Guid mornin
Good afternoon
(Afternoon greeting)
Guid efternuin
Good evening
(Evening greeting)
Guid evenin
Good night Guid nicht
Goodbye
(Parting phrases)
Guidbye
Bye
Bye for noo
See ye efter
Good luck! Guid luck!
Cheers! Good Health!
(Toasts used when drinking)
Cheers!
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
A forstaw
I don't understand A dinnae unnerstaun
A dinnae forstaw
Yes Ay
No Naw
Maybe Eblins
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?
Sorry Sorry
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!
Help! Help!
Fire! Fire!
Stop! Stop!
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 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)

Sources

- 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.

Information about Scots | Phrases | Numbers | Time | Family words | Learning materials

Links

Collections of Scots phrases
http://www.linguanaut.com/english_scots.htm
http://www.scots-online.org/grammar/goamins.htm

Phrases in Germanic languages

Afrikaans, Alsatian, American Norwegian, Bavarian, Cimbrian, Danish, Dutch, Elfdalian, English (British), Faroese, Flemish (West), Frisian (North), Frisian (Saterland), 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), Värmlandic, Westrobothnian, Yiddish

Phrases in other languages


If you need to type in many different languages, the Q International Keyboard can help. It enables you to type almost any language that uses the Latin, Cyrillic or Greek alphabets, and is free.

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