1. You know Irn-Bru is the ultimate hangover cure.
That fluorescent orange glow. The tangy, sickly sweet taste. There’s a reason Scotland is the only country in the world that sells more Irn-Bru than Coca-Cola, and it’s because we know about its magical headache removing properties. If only it would take away the cringe-y memories too.
2. You know what a ceilidh is and how to pronounce it.
And understand exactly what’s being asked of you when you’re summoned to do the Gay Gordons or Strip the Willow…mainly because of the endless years of torture and humiliation you faced in primary school learning those moves.
3. You expect free prescription drugs and university degrees.
You think it’s crazy how much people have to pay for them in other countries. It’s your right to free healthcare, so you can’t imagine living in a country where such a basic human right is denied. Nevertheless, you could spend hours moaning about the NHS.
4. You know how to pronounce Edinburgh.
It can be either Edin-burra or Edin-bra (or, if said quickly / intoxicated, Embra or Enbra). It is never Edinborrow or Edinbuurg.
5. You’re either an Edinburgh person or a Glasgow person.
This can range from a little lighthearted jesting and fun-poking at the opposing city, to a full-on ranting rage about the other’s obvious flaws.
6. You’re mentally prepared for rain at all times.
You know fine well that just because the sun is blazing this morning, it doesn’t rule out a thunderstorm in three hours’ time. However, you gave up on umbrellas a long time ago and now just grumpily succumb to the skies.
7. You know that as soon as the sun comes out men will take their tops off.
It may only be 19°C outside, but every summer as soon as the skies clear, men of all ages throughout the country will be stripping off their t-shirts in gardens, towns, and parks, baring hairy chests for all to see.
8. Your people are obsessed with the weather.
The weather is the ultimate conversation starter for all awkward situations. Any time you meet someone new, the weather will be discussed first — especially if you’re talking to a cab driver, a stranger at a bus station, or anyone working on a checkout.
9. You let tourists believe all the legends are true.
Sure, Greyfriars Bobby totally happened. What a heroic little dog. Haggis? Yup that’s a small creature running ’round the Highlands. Oh yeah, I’ve definitely seen the Loch Ness Monster.
10. You smile and nod when tourists tell you about their Scottish roots.
You understand they’re telling you out of pride, and you honestly do appreciate the sentiment, but you’ve heard it so many times now you’re not really paying attention anymore.
11. You suppress your annoyance when people judge your accent.
Whether it’s, “Sorry, I have no idea what you’re saying. Speak English please,” or, “Why don’t you sound Scottish?!” both are equally annoying.
12. You’ll support any football team that plays against the English.
This is done with just as much passion as if Scotland were actually playing. But you know really it’s just a fun, long-standing tradition and doesn’t mean you actually hate the English. I mean, we need something to be excited about — Scotland rarely goes far in international football events.
13. You know Scottish pounds are legal tender.
And feel rightfully disgusted whenever you’re in a shop in England and are subjected to having your money scrutinised by the cashier for five minutes before they finally accept it.
14. No one’s tap water can begin to compare.
Except Switzerland’s, but we’ll just pretend that’s not true and happily gulp ours down anyway.
15. Planned BBQs will rarely work out, but you still try.
These failed attempts often result in a makeshift BBQ in the kitchen, trying to drown your sorrows in *insert alcohol of choice here* while torrential rain floods the patio.
16. Men dressed in kilts don’t seem weird.
It’s the standard dress code for all formal events including prom, graduation balls, and weddings. It’s also totally fine to be a True Scotsman and forgo any underwear, usually resulting in much hilarity and some interesting up-the-kilt shots once everyone is drunk enough to happily flash.
17. You know how insulting terms like “scabby,” “scaffy,” “jakey,” and “minger” are.
All are words that get thrown around the playground on a daily basis to insult and demean your fellow students by essentially calling them ugly thieves. You also know that one of the greatest comebacks to any of these statements is “Yer Maw.”
18. Chips and cheese are a drunken ritual.
For some inexplicable reason, you’ll need vast quantities of grease the moment you step out of a nightclub. Luckily, there will be many a chippie waiting to cater to your drunken needs. If you can’t get chips and cheese, a kebab will probably do the job.
19. You add an S to the end of supermarkets.
For no logical reason, Asda is Asda’s and Tesco is Tesco’s.
20. You don’t want to talk about the Independence debate.
Like most people in the country you have an opinion, either for or against, but it’s got to the stage where you just want it all to be over so you never have to listen to another drunken screaming match in the pub ever again.
Photo: Hamish Irvine