10 Phrases to Know Before Visiting Scotland

By Briana Seftel


Scotland - land of tartan, tweed, and whisky – may have English as its official language, but any traveler from the United States would attest to the challenging Scottish accent and unique phrases. Learn these ten phrases before you embark on a Scotland adventure and you’ll “keep the heid” (stay calm).


1. Ah dinnae ken

Translation: I don’t know.

"What's the score between Aberdeen and Celtic?"
- "Ah dinnae ken, the pub didn't have a telly."

2. I'm getting the messages

Translation: I’m getting groceries.

"I'm getting the messages at Tesco!"

3. Whit’s fur ye’ll no go past ye

Translation: What’s meant to happen will happen.

"I was going to buy tickets to the Edinburgh Book Festival and now they've sold out!"
- "Eh, it's okay Susan, whit's fur ye'll no go past ye."

4. Yer bum’s oot the windae

Translation: You’re talking nonsense.

"It's gonna be 30 Celsius in Edinburgh tomorrow!"
- "Yer bum's oot the windae, Dave!"


5. Black as the Earl of Hell’s Waistcoat

Translation: Pitch black.

"I was driving near Loch Ness at 22:00 last night, it was black as the Earl of Hell's Waistcoat!"

6. Lang may yer lum reek

Translation: Long may your chimney smoke (good luck)

"Samantha is moving to Rome for a year to a study abroad."
- "Ah, lang may yer lum reek!"

7. Haste Ye Back

Translation: Return soon.

"Haste Ye Back, I'm almost out of petrol and I need to get home."


8. Dinnae fash yersel

Translation: Don’t worry.

"Dinnae fash yersel, there'll be more haggis in the morning."

9. Yer oot yer face

Translation: You’re very drunk.

"Irish whiskey is better than Scotch? Yer must be oot yer face."

10. Haud your wheest

Translation: Be quiet.

"Haud your wheest, I'm trying to hear the bagpipes!"

Ah yes, the Scottish will make you laugh with their traditional Gaelic language. There's other travel tips for Scotland that will help your vacation be smooth and very enjoyable.

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