In the spirit of transparency, I’m a Californian by birth and honorary Scot by choice. I’ve officially lived longer in Scotland than I have in America (and no I’ve not lost my accent). In any event, I feel I am perfectly within my rights to share some of my best Scottish words and Phrases – in no particular order.
Understand that I am defining them from my own perspective or interpretation, and they may not be the textbook definition. Please share your top Scots words or phrases in the comments below and any constructive feedback on my definitions.
Five Fave Top Scots Sayings As Follows:
- “Whatever’s for ye won’t go by ye”.
This one is actually my number one Scottish saying of all time. It essentially means if something is meant to be or happen, it will. If it’s not for you, it will not happen. Que sera sera. It’s words to live by. It’s written and said in a number of ways, sometimes you will hear it as “whit’s for ye’ll no go past ye”.
Also seen as”Whit’s fur ye’ll no go by ye!“ (or even “past ye”). As it’s said a number of different ways I’ve made this design a lot. Well, I did say I loved it most!
- “Away ye go” – Away You Go.
Sometimes it’s said in its entirety “away ye go ya mug ye”. This is a fantastic Scottish phrase to say to the person to stop talking nonsense, rubbish, or even crazy. To me it literally means go away and stop being so silly.I also love the similarly sounding slang “Awa’ and bile yer heid”…Which translates as “Away and boil your head”. Sounds terrible but it just means you’re a bit cheesed off at listening to someone talk utter nonsense.
- “Yer a long time deid” – You’re a long time dead.
Some sound advice here from the Scots. As a Scottish proverb it translates as: “Be happy while you’re living, for you’re a long time dead”. It’s a sort of ode to the Latin phrase carpe diem.
- Gonnae No’ Dae That – Going to not do that.
Gonnae no do that sort of means “please stop doing that”, you’re bugging me.To me this is a rather funny way to stay just stop it. The Scots saying rose to prominence courtesy of Chewin the Fat – as you can see from this somewhat disgusting clip uttering the phrase:
- “Whatever’s for ye won’t go by ye”.
5.“Geein’ it Laldy” (Also Giein’ it Laldy) – Giving it Gusto
I would translate this as belting something out like a song. So a band could be geein’ it laldy or maybe someone singing some karaoke in the pub. I used it in a tweet the other day about a concert on in Bellahouston Park.
A Few Final Scottish Phrases
The hardest thing about doing these designs for my online shops is the variations in spelling and phrases. I already mentioned the different ways of saying “whatever’s for ye’ll no by ye” but there are many. I had a discussion on my Facebook profile a few months back about “Away the Messages” and “Gaun the messages”. It carried on to about a hundred comments. Some people saying it without the word “the” in it and some people writing “for” as “fur” or “fir”. It can all be terribly confusing to be honest. So I often try to make a few different versions to cover my bases.
Share Your Top Scottish Phrases
I have been reading, researching, writing, creating all kinds of Scottish phrases and words content…Even after living here for a few decades I learn new phrases all the time. I never tire of hearing some of these Scots phrases though I would rarely if ever use them myself. I can’t pull it off with a Californian accent.
What’s your Top Scottish phrase (or phrases) to use or that you’ve heard? Please feel free to share with me in the comments below. I’d love to hear yours.
Before you go, please visit my TeePublic collection of Scottish Phrases, words and gifts. I’d be happy to make any text-based design for you for FREE, just reach out to me.