1. Don’t ask who “Ken” and “Barry” are.
They are not two incredibly popular men that everyone in Scotland is friends with.
“Ken” means “know” — e.g. I dinnae ken (I don’t know).
“Barry” means “good” — e.g. I went to Glasgow, it was fucking Barry.
2. Erase “Yes” from your vocabulary.
Instead, use “Aye” (pronounced “I”) to your heart’s content.
3. Remember where you are when you order chips.
Salt and vinegar in the west; salt and sauce in the east. Stray beyond these boundaries and you’re in serious danger of exposing yourself as an outsider.
4. Go to the “chippy” (fish and chip shop) prepared.
“Supper” means “with chips”. “Link roll” is a sausage in a roll, “sausage roll” is a sausage pastry, and “roll on sausage” is a square sausage on a roll. Got it?
Try peppering your speech with it at a ratio of roughly 2:1 non-swears to swears. And be specific. There is an extra versatility to the word “cunt” for example. It can be divided into “good cunt” and “bad cunt.” “Good cunt” being your mum or your oldest friend. “Bad cunt” being someone with the capacity to burn down a primary school. Don’t worry about people getting offended, call an elderly lady a “good cunt” and prepare to make a friend for life.
6. Read between the lines.
- “Moan fur a wee drink”
Literal: Let’s go for a small drink.
Actual: Let’s down eight pints in three hours.
- “Did ye aye?”
Literal: Did you really?
Actual: I don’t believe a word of what you’re saying.
- “Aye, right”
Actual: You’re full of shit.
7. It’s a “loch,” not a “lake.”
And its pronounced Loch (“loccch”) not “Lock.”
8. If someone asks “how?” what they really mean is “why?”
9. Don’t even try to understand people from Aberdeen.
“Fit fit fits fit fit?” (Which foot fits which foot?)
10. It’s Whisky, not Scotch.
And it’s spelled “Whisky”, not “Whiskey”.
11. Never use a run-of-the-mill insult.
Instead of calling someone an idiot, take your pick of the following:
- Lavvy Heid
12. Never talk about getting “drunk.”
Say this instead:
- Oot yer tree
- Oot the game
14. Don’t call our country “England.”
This might seem obvious but this mistake has been made before, and those people have never been seen since.
15. Don’t say “Happy New Year”.
It’s “Hogmanay” up here, and we take it very seriously.
16. Replace all these words by their Scottish equivalents:
- Small = Wee
- Shopping = Messages
- Disgusting = Bowfin
- Crazy = Radge
- Car = Motor
- Girl = Lassie, hen
- Remember = Mind
- Crying = Greeting
- Cool = Sound
- Busy = Hoachin
- Unfair = Shan
- Good = Braw
- Food = Scran
17. Understand the importance of the accent.
Proper Scottish pronunciation is a stumbling block for anyone trying to blend in with the locals. Here are some tips:
- Remember to roll your R’s. Practice with the words “Purple” and “Murder.”
- Don’t pronounce your T’s. Any self-respecting Scot would never dream of uttering (u-erring) a T in the middle of a word. See Butter (Bu-er) Water (Wa-er).
- Don’t confuse your nots and naes.
Can’t = Cannae
Don’t = Dinnae
Won’t = Willnae
Shouldn’t = Shouldnae