23 Words That Have A Totally Different Meaning In Scotland

“I can’t come into work today, there’s a seal on my dashboard.”

1. “Pub.”

Channel Four Films / Via youtube.com

What it usually means: a place you stop off for a quick drink on your way home from work.

What it means in Scotland: rent free accommodation.

2. “Poke.”

mangosage/Thinkstock / Via lifestoriesinfood.com

What it usually means: that incredibly irritating, pointless thing everyone used to do on Facebook.

What it means in Scotland: a handy container for chips. As in ‘ah need a poke of chips. I’m pure scunnered.’

3. “Seagull.”

What it usually means: grey and white seabird.

What it means in Scotland: thieving wee bastard.

4. “International Airport.”

Canthusus / Wikimedia / Via commons.wikimedia.org

What it usually means: one of the few places in the UK where it’s socially acceptable to drink in the morning.

What it means in Scotland: a beach.

5. “Midge.”

What it usually means: the lead singer of Ultravox.

What it means in Scotland: Scotland’s most ferocious predator.

6. “Traffic cone.”

Keith Edkins/ Creative Commons / Via geograph.org.uk

What it usually means: something that gets in your way when you’re trying to drive to Chessington World of Adventures on a bank holiday.

What it means in Scotland:
stylish headgear.

7. “Crowded.”

Channel Four Films / Via youtube.com

What it usually means: being made into human jam on the tube.

What it means in Scotland: passing more than one other person while out for a walk.

8. “Trams.”

Robin Scott / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: 50576141@N03

What it usually means: a quiet, clean system of transportation used in many cities around the world.

What it means in Scotland: the aftermath of a Kaiju attack.

9. “Greeting.”

BBC / Via wordpress.com

What it usually means: a friendly acknowledgement or welcome.

What it means in Scotland: crying, as in ‘Chantelle wiz heavy greeting when she caught hur man winchin’ Audrey.’

10. “Seal.”

SPCA / Via scottishspca.org

What it usually means: that bloke who used to be married to Heidi Klum.

What it means in Scotland: common household pest.

11. “Winter.”

What it usually means: a time of year when you occasionally have to put on an extra jumper.

What it means in Scotland: SNOWPOCALYPSE.

12. “Commute.”

Wojsyl / Wikimedia / Via en.wikipedia.org

What it usually means: sitting in traffic on some godforsaken bypass while weeping silently onto your steering wheel.

What it means in Scotland: severe seasickness.

13. “Ginger.”

Walt Disney Pictures / Via youtube.com

What it usually means: flavourful root often used as a cure for bottom upsets.

What it means in Scotland: state sanctioned hair colour.

What it means in Scotland II: fizzy drink. (as in ‘I’m fair gaspin’ after that poke of chips. Gonnae get me a can of ginger?’)

14. “Ned.”

Surkov Dimitri/Shutterstock

What it usually means: Flanders (diddly).

What it means in Scotland: An outdoorsy, trendsetting young man who enjoys picnicking with large groups of friends. See also: Buckfast.

15. “Pandas.”

What it usually means: big, adorable, endangered black and white bear things.

What it means in Scotland:
constant disappointment.

16. “Heatwave.”

REX USA/Peter Brooker

What it usually means: a prolonged period of excessively hot weather.

What it means in Scotland: two consecutive 15 degree days.

17. “Swatch.”

BBC Scotland / Via youtube.com

What it usually means: a supercool, multicoloured, water resistant, occasionally fruit flavoured watch

What it means in Scotland: a quick look, as in ‘gies a swatch at that 1980s ad fae fruit flavoured watches.’

18. “Chimney.”

Sunday Sport / Via beforeitsnews.com

What it usually means: chimney.

What it means in Scotland: toilet.

19. “New Year.”

What it usually means: an evening in December where you swear you’ll go out but end up sitting in front of the telly watching Jools Holland’s Hootenanny. Again.

What it means in Scotland: an epic, awesome three day festival, occasionally involving mild drowning and hypothermia.

20. “Soft drinks.”

What it usually means: cans of ginger.

What it means in Scotland: any form of booze that’s less than 15% proof.

21. “Baltic.”

REX USA/FLPA / Rex

What it usually means: a group of fairly chilly Northern European countries (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania).

What it means in Scotland: brain-freezingly cold temperatures. Often used to describe the weather in August.

22. “Tattoo.”

What it usually means: an image that you get permanently inked onto your skin and frequently come to regret.

What it means in Scotland: extremely noisy military drumming and motorcycles-jumping-through-flaming-hoops display. Warning: contains bagpipes.

23. “Mince.”

Creative Commons / Via en.wikipedia.org

What it usually means: finely chopped pieces of beef, pork or turkey.

What it means in Scotland: something that’s comically bad. As in: ‘sake man, that BuzzFeed post about Scottish words was a load of mince.’

Check out more articles on BuzzFeed.com!

Hilary Mitchell is the Scotland editor for BuzzFeed and is based in Edinburgh.
 
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