No matter what happens in the referendum over Scottish independence this week, the wit, expressive depth and wisdom of the Scottish people is something to be cherished. They know a thing or two about stoicism in the face of poor fortune, and there’s a clear knack for cutting through airs and graces too.
So here are are few expressions and truisms that should come in handy when everything turns as black as the Earl of Hell’s waistcoat.
Note: Where absolutely necessary we’ve also provided a brief translation from Scots dialect into English:
• Failing means you’re playing.
Translation: It’s better to be doing badly than not taking part.
• Mony a mickle maks a muckle.
(mickle = small thing, muckle = big thing)
Translation: Look after the pennies and the dollars look after themselves.
• You’re all bum and parsley.
Translation: You’re all mouth and trousers. You’re a blowhard.
• Keep the heid.
Translation: Don’t lose your head. Stay calm.
• We’re a’ Jock Tamson’s bairns.
(bairn = child)
Translation: We are all equal in the eyes of God. Or Jock Tamson.
• Heid doon arse up!
Translation: Get on with it!
• Whit’s fur ye’ll no go past ye.
Translation: Que sera sera. What ever will be, will be. The future’s not ours to see.
• Don’t be a wee clipe.
Translation: Don’t be a tattle-tale.
• Yer bum’s oot the windae.
Translation: You’re talking nonsense. Continue reading