An old man: a bodach

Useful Scots word: Bodach

When I was a child my father often used to refer to our neighbour as the bodach. I see that the pronunciation of this is given...

Useful Scots word: Hurl

Confusion can occur when a Scots word and an English word have the same form and pronunciation, but different meanings. Take, for example, the...
Dumbbells

Useful Scots word: Humph

The word humph in English dictionaries is usually defined as an interjection indicating annoyance, dissatisfaction, disgust or doubt. I am not sure that I...
Dour skies

Useful Scots word: dour

Many Scots nowadays are stay-at-homes at heart, not venturing forth much to other countries except for the odd business trip, weekend break or the...

Useful Scots word: scart

By Betty Kirkpatrick It has been said frequently, by myself among others, that Scots words are often more descriptive than their English equivalents. Somehow, some...

Useful Scots word: Barrie

  I was taken back to the late 1980s the other day—not literally, you understand. Alas, I do not have access to a time machine....

Useful Scots word: couthie

By Betty Kirkpatrick A friend was recently showing some foreign visitors round parts of northern Scotland and encountered the usual problem of finding somewhere to...

Useful Scots word: skail

By Betty Kirkpatrick When I think of kail (last week’s Scots offering), I think of skail. This is not because the words rhyme, as I...

Useful Scots word: kale/kail

By Betty Kirkpatrick I have just returned from a short trip to London where I happened to eat in various so-called gastropubs – I have...

Useful Scots word: doot

By Betty Kirkpatrick The talk at the bus stop the other day was, as it often is, about the weather. The conversation centred on the...