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Scots used in Midlothian and Edinburgh

Words and phrases I’ve heard back home where I’m from. Part of the dialect region of Scots formally called central Scots or south east central Scots or east central Scots. A relatively short list I made. There’s probably loads more.
Some words included here may be used in other parts of Scotland but these are ones common to Midlothian I’ve heard or know are used. There’s commonalities between Glaswegian vocabulary, some Fife words and some borders scots.The accent varies somewhat from place to place enough that if you’re from Midlothian or Edinburgh, you can notice it.


Cunt – Cunt is generally considered offensive most places but in my admittedly limited experience in Scotland,within the Lothians and Edinburgh it is not offensive in general to most people in an informal setting. We often use it as a greeting, as a joke or to just mean ‘people’.

Basically the ‘g’ off any ‘ING’ word goes.

It’s ‘an’ Not and.This is a traditional word and spelling not just a recent invention.
nuhin =nothing
hyeh!- here!= trying to get attention of someone.
Ayep=yep.Uses Aye as basis.
Nup=nope. Uses nut as basis.
im sometimes shown as ‘M =him
imsel himself.
E or ay or eh = a variant of “O” pronounced like “Eh” meaning “Of”.
‘e= he e.g. e wis going to the shops. soft e like E in Eel.
um= I’m or I am
is/iz= as.
Bucket Motor or Bin Motor = bin lorry. This is what my family always called it I don’t know what anyone else’s did.

Radge= mental/crazy.In the good sense means a rebel, an innovator,an eccentric, unconventional,outwith the crowd.In the bad sense it means crazy,unhinged,psychopath.
Thote instead of Thocht for thought.
Tend not to say Nicht.
Wey or Wiey =Way.
Awiey or Awey instead of Awa.
Cheesin=well chuffed with yourself or doing a fake smile.
Lavvy/bog/cludgy or cludgie= toilet.
goat/gote=got .This is a good place to mention we change words like that alot so Shop becomes Shoap, box becomes Boax etc.This seems like a corruption of english but things like Shoap,stoap are traditional scots spellings/pronounciations dating back to the 15th century.We are just following the convention.
Laldy/laldie= go all out/ give maximum effort.
caw yer pan(or cunt etc) in= give maximum effort
Caw canny=take it easy. Also a kind of protest otherwise known as a slowdown.
Jambos/jam tarts/ the Tarts= Hearts Football club.
Lose the heid= go mental/ get fucking angry.
Keep the heid=keep calm.
Dinger or dingied =ignored.

Skoosh= spray.
Take the michael instead of take the mikey.
Dookin=apple bobbing.
Guisin= going round in a costume on Halloween.
gottae=got to.
Kinna also kinnae=kind of.
we tend to say bairn rather than wean.
Ballop = fly on trousers.
Beamer=red face from embarrassment.
in’t it= isn’t it
Coupon=face.Not pronounced like Coo-pon but Coopin.
cream puff=huff.
Keggs= pants/underwear.
Chokin=desperate e.g. chokin on a pish.
boak=vomit (either doing it or seeing it etc)
Ees= us singluar so therefore refers to Me i.e. the speaker . E.g. Gies Ees peace eh.However it could be used in a plural sense too.
Bowfin= boggin/disgusting/horrible.
Skankin=dirty smelly gross.
Howk or sometimes Hoik . Howk is a general countrywide scots term I think but has other meanings other than I’ve often seen it used .In a wider area it means dig .But I’ve heard it used in Midlothian to mean yank or pull.
Randan= outing/night out/ a fun time/ a wild time.
shooder(pronounced shoo-der) or shoder(show-der)= shoulder.
tolly/tollie – poo,crap.
chuff= vagina/pussy or used vaguely means something like shite or fuck
Shan= harsh or unfair or cruel.

the phrase ,That will be right or that’ll be right(meant sarcastically)
Jag= Injection.
yon time= unspecified time. Eg. He’ll be up till yon time.
mind= e.g. do you mind. As can you remember or can you think about.
Back of .. e.g. Back of 5. In terms of time anytime before 5:30.Varies depending on place and person.
Clap=pet e.g. clap the dug.
Claes hoarse=clothes horse.

snotter= bogie.
snottery beak=runny nose.
Spraff=talk shite.
Slaister = make a mess esp when eating.
slitter= spill.
Slaiver= drool.
Spale or Speil = splinter.
stoater=bruise etc.
Stookie=plaster cast.
Torn faced=miserable/gurnie.
Wide-o= smart arse.

square goes= something you say as you try to start a fight like saying “lets go one on one”

Well Skelped Erse= horrible looking face or shocked or surprised etc.
Winchin=going with someone of the opposite sex.
Yass= as in Yesss or yeah ,excited exclamation like fuck yeah.

plook=spot or zit.
rare= especially good e.g. it was a rare day.
Hefty= large,alot ,very,quite,intense.Apparently used in glasgae tae.
We’d more likely say say Glesgae or glasgae instead of Glesga or glasgca or glesca.
heid the baw = literally would mean header the ball but it’s figurative for an idiot.
shope =shop.
rare e.g. rare fun
i’n’t e.g. i’n’t it.
deek =look.
whae instead of wha. twae instead of twa. We do this to alot of things, Borrae,brolly/brollae, umbrelly/umbrellae.However it’s no modern invention, this is a traditional scots suffix -ae.
Yin =one.
We have Yin,Yaise,Yaist compared to Ain, Aince,Aist or Uist.
thaise =those.
fair e.g. fair nice the day means Quite.
gey e.g. gey hot today
likes e.g. wisnae too happy likes. Can serve a function in a sentence or not do anything depends alot on context,likes! 😛
No bad= means pretty good.Classic Scottish understatement.
words for negatives- Nut/Nae/Nah/Naw
grun/grund/groon/groond= ground.
rammie =noisy rabble,commotion.
Barnie= a row, an argument,a disagreement.
Hyeist= hoist.
the stair instead of the stairs e.g. going up the stair I.e. Singular not plural.
stookie= plaster cast on arm etc.
boggin= horrible,awful,gross.
Doss=stupid,idiot.Apparently in the North East of Scotland it has a positive meaning.
“Git tae france”=get to fuck.
“Winnae greet aboot it”- won’t cry about it.Used to say I won’t let myself be bothered by it.
Clipshear= Ear wig.


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This entry was posted on August 26, 2012 by in Linguistics and tagged , , .
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