Scottish Slang: Common Terms From Endearments to Insults

, Staff Writer
Updated May 13, 2021
scottish slang wee yins little ones
    scottish slang wee yins little ones
    Tatiana Shaposhnikova / Getty
    Used under Getty Images license

Looking to boost your vocabulary with some Scottish slang? Check out these fun words and phrases, with options for casual communication on just about every sentiment you can imagine. Whether you're looking for a new way to express an endearment or an insult — or something entirely different — you'll find a Scottish slang option that meets your needs here.

Scottish Slang Endearments

Looking for a creative term of endearment? Spice up your affectionate expressions with a wee bit 'o Scottish slang.

  • a chuilein - my laddie
  • a sheòid - my hero
  • big yin - endearing term for a mature loved one
  • hen - a woman
  • mo leanbh - my young child
  • wee bairn - little baby
  • wee barra - fair-haired little boy
  • wee yin - little one

Scottish Slang for Money

You'll need to know more than just what a pound is to engage in commerce in Scotland. The country's slang includes some unusual terms for money.

  • bawbee - coins; loose change
  • black money - counterfeit coins
  • bobee - coins; loose change
  • lowie - cash money
  • poon - pound coins
  • spoondoolies - money in general
  • tap - to borrow money from someone
  • white money - silver coins

Scottish Slang for Idiot or Dumb

Looking for a creative way to refer to someone who is not very bright? There are a ton of options in Scottish slang! You'll never run out of ways to convey that someone is an idiot or fool, or otherwise dumb, stupid and/or simple.

  • bampot - idiotic person
  • choob - a stupid person
  • dafty - stupid, idiot
  • doaty - stupid; simple-minded
  • dobber - jerky idiot
  • eejit - an idiot
  • gommy - an idiot
  • gowk - a fool
  • numpty - a lovable moron
  • rocket - a daft idiot
  • stoter - idiotic person
  • tube - a stupid person

More Scottish Slang Insults

Insults don't have to be directed at a person's intellect, nor do they have to be boring. No matter what someone has done that's earned you're ire, you're sure to find a perfect derogatory term in the Scottish vernacular.

  • clatty - disgusting, revolting
  • clipe - snitch, tattle-tale
  • doolally - crazy; having lost one's mind
  • feartie – a person who is afraid of a lot of things
  • howlin’ – smelly
  • jakie - chronic drunk
  • lavvy heid - toilet head
  • midden - messy, in chaos
  • nyaff – irritating person of little significance
  • roaster - a person who is making a fool of him or herself
  • scabby – dirty; unclean
  • wopper- person who is embarrassing to be around

Scottish Slang for Appearance

When you're looking to describe something with a beautiful or hideous appearance, you don't have to stick with formal terminology. One of these Scottish slang words is sure to paint a vivid picture.

  • boggin' - dirty or disgusting
  • bonnie - pretty, beautiful
  • bonny - pretty, beautiful
  • boot - an unattractive woman
  • bowfin - horrible or unsightly
  • braw - good-looking; pretty
  • hackit – ugly; a haggard-looking woman
  • minger - an unattractive person
  • munter - an unattractive individual
  • stoater - a beautiful female

There's tipsy and then there's all-out drunk. You can clearly communicate one's level of intoxication by choosing the most suitable slang word for getting drunk, as well as what happens after the fact.

  • bevied - drunk, inebriated
  • blootered - extremely intoxicated; very drunk
  • fu' - full of alcohol
  • jaked - drunk, inebriated
  • mad wae it - drunk with alcohol
  • malkied - got very drunk
  • on the whitey - sick from having consumed too much alcohol
  • oot yer nut - drunk out of your mind
  • pished - drunk, intoxicated
  • rat arsed - drunk, inebriated
  • steamin' - very drunk

General Scottish Slang Sayings

Not every occasion suitable for Scottish slang fits cleanly into a category. Discover some Scottish slang sayings for general phrases and commonly used expressions.

  • failing means yer playing - at least you're trying
  • good craic - good fun
  • haste ye back - come back soon
  • I’m fair puckled - I'm out of breath
  • ma heid’s mince - I'm very confused
  • pure dead brilliant - absolutely amazing
  • shut yer pus - be quiet; shut your mouth
  • what's the craic - what is happening
  • yer aff yer heid - you've gone crazy; you've lost your mind
  • yer bum’s oot the windae - what you're saying isn't making sense
  • yer lookin’ a bit peely-wally - you appear to be unwell

Expand Your UK Slang Vocabulary

Now that you've mastered some Scottish slang, don't stop there. Expand your U.K. slang vocabulary by learning some key British slang words and what they mean. Then, build your vocabulary even more by mastering some Irish slang terms. Finally, perfect your slang expertise by mastering some Welsh slang terms. You'll be using casual lingo like a local in no time at all.