Scottish accent and lingo

For about a year or so, I’ve been exposing myself to the Scottish accent and lingo. If ye dinnae already ken, there are many kinds of Scottish accents. Some are more heavy than others. Plus, there are words that Scottish people use that I don’t understand even when spoken in context. I don’t want to come off as being daft when I get over there so I am exercising my ears to recognize and understand the Scottish accent as well as some words.

One of the ways I am doing this is listening to BBC Radio Scotland online where I tune into the MacAulay and Co Show, which I highly recommend!

Kettle on, feet up and have a laugh as Fred tries to make some sense out of modern life.

I pulled this image from

The host is comedian, Fred MacAulay. I’ve learned a few words like “numpty”, which means “idiot”. “Cracking!”, which means “Great!” And Fred usually ends the show with something I haven’t quite figured out how to say but I think it means “good-bye”.

YouTube is a great resource not only for entertainment but education as well. If you want to hear and/or learn about Scottish accents. This guy below who goes by the handle ScottMcK9 has a bunch of videos about the Scottish accent/dialect, particularly a Glaswegian accent. Check out his video:

You can also view his other videos about Scottish accents here.

Here’s one that is really funny about the Scottish accent from a Scottish comedy duo, Burnistoun.

I find it helpful to see Scottish words so I can understand how they speak. I read Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh, and is mostly written using many Scottish lingo. There’s even a little glossary in the back to help you understand some of the word usages that may not make sense in the story’s context. I have heard there are other Scottish novels written using the Scottish language. Unfortunately, I don’t have information of which ones they are. I’m hoping to find them when I get over there.

Below is the trailer for the movie, Trainspotting.
Note: The book is way better than the movie!

I also came upon a TV show that takes place in Glasgow called The Book Group, which I enjoyed. It’s an interesting show though it isn’t particularly Scottish. However, three of the actors are from Glasgow so there’s definitely exposure to some Glaswegian dialog.

Clare, a neurotic American, moves to Glasgow and starts a book group to meet new, interesting people. But Kenny, Dirka, Rab, Fist and Janice turn out to be rather more interesting than she bargained for…

(quote from here)

You can watch all the episodes here (US only).

Another great resource for learning Scots is on Twitter! Though I am following several Scots-people, two people come to mind who I think are worth a mention and follow.

Snort McGulp aka @snortmcgulp who I imagine tweets as he speaks. His tweets are hilarious. They don’t make any sense to me because I don’t understand his motivation but aside from that, you will easily pick up some form of the Scottish lingo.

Sandy Stevenson aka @tourscotland who has been tweeting Scottish phrases, sayings, and words. Here are a few examples with the last one being my favorite:

All this preparation is gearing up for a cracking visit! If you have other suggestions that you’d like to share, please leave comments.


2 responses to “Scottish accent and lingo

  1. I once had to loan the tall guy from the book group my shoes so he could get into a casino. I then went to a party dressed all in black except for the guys bright white trainers. I looked liked a plonker and no one belived my story about the shoes until 3am when there was a knock on the door and the guy was there to swap shoes back.

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