These are 15 of the funniest Scottish phrases - and what they mean

Thursday, 9th April 2020, 5:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th April 2020, 5:00 pm
Have you heard these phrases before? (Photo: Shutterstock)

Scotland has a certain way when it comes to words - there’s no shortage of wise sayings to give you perspective and inspirational phrases to keep you going when times get tough.

Also in the Scottish handbook are a huge wealth of hilarious sayings - these are some of the best around, and what they mean.

Awa’ an bile yer heid

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You would use this particular phrase if someone was really starting to get on your nerves. In plain English, it means: “Go and boil your head.” In short - get lost.

Geein me the boak

This is the perfect phrase for when something is starting to turn your stomach - from a couple displaying too much affection in public or if the hangover from the night before is starting to kick in, ‘geein me the boak’ means you’re feeling sick.

Mad wae it

“Mad wae it” is the perfect phrase to describe someone who is way too drunk and acting silly, or when you’re looking forward to a party because you’re going to get drunk.

Example: “At Hogmanay I’m gonnae get mad wae it.”

Up to high doh

You would use this for someone who’s feeling nervous, or is all worked up.

Ma heid’s mince

For Love Island fans, “ma heid’s mince” is the Scots equivalent of someone saying “my head is scrambled”.

Gonnae no’ dae that

This one doesn’t need as much translation, as the message is pretty clear: please don’t do that.

Skinny Malinky Longlegs

This would be a fun, somewhat affectionate nickname you’d give to someone who is tall and skinny.

Failing means yer playin’

Equal measures wise and funny, “failing means yer playin’” means that even if you’re failing at something, at least you’re taking part and trying.

Mony a mickle maks a muckle

Some good financial advice in this one - it means that saving a small amount soon builds up to a larger amount.

Dinnae teach yer Granny tae suck eggs

This phrase means that you shouldn’t try to teach someone something that they already have a lot of knowledge about.

Has yer cat died?

This phrase doesn’t actually have anything to do with cats - it’s actually a comment you’d say referring to someone’s trousers you thought were too short.

The phrase likely comes from trousers being described as “half mast”, and a flag flying at half mast signifies the death of someone.

I’m fair puckled

If you said: “I’m fair puckled!” It would mean that you’re out of breath.

Gie it laldy

To ‘gie it laldy’ means to do something with lots of gusto.

If your friend was heading out for a football match, you might tell him “gie it laldy!” as some words of encouragement.

Yer bum’s oot the windae

If someone was talking absolute rubbish, you’d tell them: “Yer bum’s oot the windae!”

Yer aff yer heid

“Yer aff yer heid” which translates to “you are off your head” can be used in many situations. You can use it to describe someone acting stupid, someone that’s too drunk or someone that’s just plain talking nonsense.