15 words that have a different meaning in Scotland

IF you live in Scotland - or have Scottish relatives - then you probably know the alternative meaning behind these everyday words.

Wednesday, 13th April 2016, 8:00 am
The Scots language has an alternative meaning for some everyday words (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
The Scots language has an alternative meaning for some everyday words (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Also known as ‘false friends’, these are words which look and read the same no matter where you are, but have a completely different meaning in different languages or places.

We take a look at fifteen words that might confuse non-Scottish speakers:

Hen - To most of the world, a hen is a female chicken, but in Scots the word is used to mean a woman or girl.

A woman with her 'poke' of chips

Example: Gie us a kiss hen / you aright hen?

Mind - Refers to a person’s ability to think and reason, but in Scots the word can also mean remember.

Example: Mind and no forget the milk when you go tae the shops.

Pudding - A cake or other dessert? Nope in Scots this word is also used to describe a certain type of sausage, such as black pudding or white pudding. Both often savoured after being battered and served up with chips.

Messages has a different meaning to Scots

Example: A black pudding supper thanks pal.

Slogan - Something for advertisers to ponder and debate, or in past times in Scotland, a word that meant Battle Cry and a way to identify your comrades during a fight.

Greeting - A polite way to welcome someone when you see them, or in Scotland another way to describe crying (often used in a derogatory fashion).

Example: They were pure greetin’ after the results last night.

A woman with her 'poke' of chips

Poke - To prod, or in Scotland referring to a cone-shaped container often used to serve fish and chips.

Example: A poke o’ chips thanks miss.

Away / awa - This is often used as a replacement for the verb ‘to go’.

Example: That’s me awa for the night mum.

Messages has a different meaning to Scots

Beamer - A slang word for a BMW car, or in Scotland it means a red face due to embarrassment.

Example: He had a beamer after she asked him out.

Fair - Light, or in Scots meaning very.

Example: She was a fair bonnie lass / she was fair confused.

Hill - A hill is a word normally used to describe a mountain, but in Scotland can be used to describe even the slightest slope.

Example: The shops are just up the hill.

Messages - a verbal, written, or recorded communication, or in Scotland a name for your grocery shopping.

Example: Am just stepping out for ma messages.

Stand - in Scotland stand can be another way to describe a set of bagpipes.

Tan - A darker skin tone caused by the sun, or in Scotland to drink something fast.

Example: He just tanned that Buckfast.

Body - The physical structure, including the bones, flesh, and organs, of a person. Or in Scotland it can also just mean ‘person’.

Example: There’s a body in the bath

Mince - Finely chopped meat, or in Scotland, that something is terrible.

Example: They were pure mince last night