Scots' speech for the glaikit
July 21, 2006 5:46 PM   Subscribe

persona non grata , Beezer! Thanks.
posted by nickyskye at 5:58 PM on July 21, 2006

I guess your 24 hours were up.

Nae bad.
posted by caddis at 6:03 PM on July 21, 2006

"Back" - when someone says they will see you "at the back of five" they mean roughly 5.15. There is no equivalent "front of five" for 4.45!

That still confuses me, after living in Scotland for more than a decade.
posted by jack_mo at 6:12 PM on July 21, 2006

My Scottish grandmother always used to say "In the name of the big house!" I always she meant a prison. Didn't know it might refer to a large manor.

My mom sometimes says "geezeit!" instead of "give me that." She refers to food as "foosty" when it's stale and often says "no it's no" instead of "no it's not."
posted by Kronoss at 6:15 PM on July 21, 2006

Ach, I always thought she meant a prison. I'm affy glaikit tonight (to use another word I learned from my mom).
posted by Kronoss at 6:21 PM on July 21, 2006

I dinna ken.
posted by ericb at 6:30 PM on July 21, 2006

I guess your 24 hours were up.

Nae bad.
Aye. The irony is that what I had been so eager to post in the first place would have been a double.
posted by persona non grata at 6:58 PM on July 21, 2006

No, please do go on. This is the least interesting conversation I've had all day.
posted by hal9k at 7:12 PM on July 21, 2006

And thanks to languagehat for the tags (in part).
posted by persona non grata at 7:18 PM on July 21, 2006

I had a bit of a hunt, but sadly there seems to be no mention of one of the handiest words in the Scots language, beel. One can be beelin' (if things are serious, totally beelin'), or one might be "in the beel", or "in a total beel" (or, if things are very serious indeed, one might find oneself "in the beelmobile"). Any attempt to deny the fact that one is either beelin', or is in the beel is final and total confirmation that one is, in fact, beelin', or in the beel.

Generally, if one is beelin', one is dissatisfied with the current state of affairs, most probably without good reason. This is very important to the concept of "the beel"; one is never truly beelin' if there is a justified reason for being displeased with the current state of affairs; if there is sufficient reason for one to be in a state akin to either beelin' or being in the beel, one would most definitely not be either beelin' or in the beel.

The beel is a Borders term; those from the north east (specifically northern Perthshire and most of Angus) have a similar concept, where one can be thran (or thrawn; there are arguments over its spelling, as there are with the beel/biel), though thran/thrawn does not have the flexibility that beel/biel does, being strictly an adjective.
posted by Len at 8:32 PM on July 21, 2006

The beel is a Borders term

And a Glesca term, to judge by the fact that it's included in The Patter, a book any lover of Scots should acquire (see Wikipedia for more):

beelin Absolutely furious: 'Mind the aul man dizny get ye — he's beelin the night.' Also used to describe a spot, boil, etc., that is full of pus.

Nice post!
posted by languagehat at 6:56 AM on July 22, 2006

And a Glesca term, to judge by the fact that it's included in The Patter

How strange, At the very time you made that post, me and my dad were wandering through Kelvingrove park in the sun, and I thought to ask him about it. (He grew up round here, but had moved north by the time I came into the world.) He knew exactly what I was talking about, though the idea that beelin' is always without good reason either seems to have arisen after he moved, or was more popular in the Borders than in the Glasgow environs – as is the word itself it; beelin' seems to have fallen out of use in the last couple of generations of Weegies, though moves are being made by Borders incomers to re-popularise it.

Thanks for the link to The Patter, too; been meaning to pick it up for years but somehow never got round to it (being lazy and forgetful); you've finally reminded me that I should buy a copy.
posted by Len at 9:49 AM on July 22, 2006

Hmmm. A lot of these seem to phrases seen only in The Broons or Oor Wullie*. I've never heard anyone say Hoots Mon! unless they are wearing one of those hilarious tartan bunnets with the ginger hair coming out the side.

*Don't get me wrong I still like to read my Broons or Oor Wullie annual on xmas night.
posted by bouncebounce at 9:53 AM on July 22, 2006

"D'ya ken Ken" was one of my favourite Scottishisms.

The link says
When asked "what language do you speak in Scotland?" some of us reply "American!"

Which I would query - I lived in Scotland for about 8 years and never heard that although there was a postcard seller in Princes St Gardens in Edinburgh who had a sign saying something like 'English spoken, American understood'.
posted by jamespake at 10:05 AM on July 22, 2006

Ye'se ar a' bams, ye're takin the mince. Dinnae mess. By the way.
posted by aisforal at 2:10 PM on July 22, 2006 [1 favorite]

Great stuff PNG. Thanks.
posted by snsranch at 3:51 PM on July 22, 2006

aisforal: that's braw. I should also recommend – for anyone who loves regional dialect, and fantastical Borgesian stories set on Scotland's east coast, Bill Duncan's The Smiling School For Calvinists, probably about the best book I've ever read set in Dundee and the surrounding area. I've never read anyone who nails that area's peculiarities so well, or with the perfect sense of humour.
posted by Len at 4:07 PM on July 22, 2006

Sounds great—I just added it to my Wish List. Thanks.
posted by languagehat at 4:59 PM on July 22, 2006

Len -- thanks for the pointer to Bill Duncan's The Smiling School For Calvinists. I notice from the Amazon description that one of the locations profiled in the novel is Broughty Ferry. As I child I lived there (before returning to the States in my teens). I, too, have added it to my Wish List.
posted by ericb at 5:32 PM on July 22, 2006

Beelin just means boiling, doesn't it? As in boiling over, on the boil etc.

Lists like this always take me by surprise because I have no terms of reference as to what words are particularly Scottish, until I use one and someone goes "eh?". Sometimes I get totally surprised by this, as when some American friends had no idea when "a fortnight's time" was, but I would have thought "this is no getting the twins intae thur kilts" was obvious enough.
posted by bonaldi at 5:08 PM on July 23, 2006

« Older Cheesed off   |   yoga Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments