Scottish Slang

25 terms


to bandy words.—Scotch.


a silk pocket-handkerchief.—Scotch.See wipe.
a policeman's staff. Also stolen metal of any kind. Billy-hunting  is buying old metal. A Billy-fencer  is a marine-store dealer.


breeches.—Scotch, now common.


a turkey, or silly boasting fellow; a prig.—Scottish. In the north of England the bird is called a bobble-cock. Both names, no doubt, from its cry, which is supposed by imaginative persons to consist of the two words exactly.

Bubbly Jock

A turkey cock. SCOTCH.


a short chemise.—Scotch. A scantily-draped lady is so called by Burns.

“‘Weel done, cutty-sark !'And in an instant all was dark.”


adj. spotted —see Foh

rather more than slightly intoxicated.—Scotch.

“We are na' fou , we are na' fou.”

Cela lui a coûté un argent fou (fam.) = That cost him a heap of money.

Combattre un fou est temps perdu = Fools are not to be convinced.

[Schiller says: “Heaven and Earth fight in vain against a dunce” (“Mit der Dummheit fechten Götter selbst vergebens.”--Jungfrau von Orleans ), and the Chinese say: “One never needs his wit so much as when one argues with a fool.”]

Ne faites pas messagers des fous = “He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off the feet and drinketh damage.” Prov. xxvi. 6.

Un fol ou bête Fait bien conquête, Mais bon ménage C'est fait du sage =

A fool may meet with good fortune, but the wise only profit by it.

Plus on est de fous plus on rit = The more the merrier.

Qui ne sait pas être fou n'est pas sage = He is not wise who does not sometimes make merry; It takes a wise man to make a fool.

Les fous sont aux échecs les plus proches des rois = In chess the fool stands next to the king. (RÉGNIER, Sat. xiv.)

[This implies that it is not only at chess that the king is surrounded by fools, but at court too. It must not be forgotten that le fou is called the bishop in the English game.]

Il est fou à lier (or, fou furieux ) = He is raving mad.

Il vaut mieux être fou avec tous que sage tout seul = “One had as good be out of the world as out of the fashion.” [COLLEY CIBBER, Love's Last Shift, Act ii.]

La Folle du Logis = Fancy, imagination.

Gourock ham

a salt herring. Gourock , on the Clyde, about twenty-five miles from Glasgow, was formerly a great fishing village.—Scotch.


a cellaret.—Scotch.

Gutter blood

a low or vulgar man.—Scotch.