Friday, April 13, 2007

Say What? GPP Crusade

Numpty was recently voted Scotland's favourite word, according to the BBC. This Scots word means a fool or an idiot and is often used to describe politicians. There are several Scots words for foolish, how about dippit or glaekit? These are words that even Sassanachs (English people like me) use on a regular basis. Other Scots words and expressions I use include:

in a fankle - in a tangle, a mess
crabbit - bad tempered, grumpy
dour - miserable (person or weather)
drookit - soaking wet (from the rain)
peely wally - pale and sickly
blether - talk, chatter, ramble on and on or to describe someone who talks a lot
puggled - too exhausted to do anything
bumfle - creased, wrinkled
shoogle - to shake from side to side

For more Scots words and phrases, visit here.

There are various dialects of Scots spoken in various parts of the country but the most telling difference between the two main cities is said in English rather than Scots:

You arrive at someone's house in Glasgow to be greeted with: 'You'll be wanting your tea, then?' whereas in Edinburgh it will be: 'You'll have had your tea then?'.

These types of small differences can be fascinating. For example, my partner's family, when they say they're going to 'stretch their legs' mean they're going to sit down, whereas my family mean they're going for a walk when they say exactly the same thing.

I remember a wonderful phrase of my Grandmother's 'I'm off to see my aunt' she'd say as she went off to the bathroom.

There are so many weird word usages! I know several people who will say 'what a wombat!' when someone does something silly (hey come on we're in Scotland, what's wrong with numpty!!).

I spent two years in Malawi and there are a couple of Chichewa words I will still use:

Zikomo - thank you, excuse me, look out there's a lion behind you (admittedly this last usage has declined since I returned to Scotland.)
Osoandola - don't worry
Chabwino - Okay, fine
Tikupita - let's go! My partner has corrupted this into chick pea pizza for some reason.

I grew up in Lancashire and for lots of regional words from that area, please see Sue Berry's entry for this prompt.


Nia said...

this makes me so nostalgic! My pronunciation of "sorry" was for years very Glaswegian, although now I'm losing practice because I don't listen to the language that much. I have to control myself to to talk of a wee this or a wee that with Americans.

carlene federer said...

Loved the Scottish words, they're so descriptive...I feel like even if I didn't understand the words, I'd still "get it" because they sound like what they mean! Thanx for sharing, very fun!

daisies said...

this is so cool ~ i think i'm going to start using 'numpty' ~ love the way it sounds and also really enjoy 'in a fankle' and 'puggled'.

i don't think us canadians have any interesting words, except the use of 'eh' which drives me crazy (though i apparently say it without thinking, eep) and the 'double double' refering to two creams and two sugars in coffee which also drives me a little bit nutty ;-) I blame tim hortons and the roll up the rim to win campaign ...

Inconsequential said...

we use numpty at work...Lincolnshire...though I suspect it came down on a lorry...

Verity said...

I used to have a Scottish boyfriend, and I could never be upset when he called me a numpty, or a tube, or crabbit. He liked to have a good coorie in too. Weekends up in Ayrshire were a delight to my ears!!

Sid Simpson said...

My Appalachian relatives still use some versions of these words.


Penny said...

Wow, these were great! I especially love: crabbit! But them we have a crabbit rabbit! LOL Wow, I've got to go check out the other Scot phrases, I'm sure my hubby will recognize some of them.

Laura said...

I love the tea part. Maybe it isn't meant that way, but "you'll have had your tea then" sounds like, "goodbye".

Carolina said...

Hi there, I use the word shoogle and didn't even realise it was due to my scotish heritage, being brought up amongst sasanachs in London :)

I'm not sure if my family use the you'll be wanting or you'll have had greeting....I'll have to think about that.