15 words that have a different meaning in Scotland

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)

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

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.

A woman with her 'poke' of chips

A woman with her 'poke' of chips

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.

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.

Messages has a different meaning to Scots

Messages has a different meaning to Scots

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.

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.

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.

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