The Scots phrases that leave English and Americans baffled


A HILARIOUS experiment has proved that our English and American cousins have absolutely no idea what Scots are talking about.

Staff at website Buzzfeed in London, Los Angeles, New York, Washington DC and San Francisco were given famous Scottish sayings and ask to translate them.

“Lang may yer lum reek”, is a traditional Hogmanay greeting meaning literally, “Long may your chimney smoke”, with a more general sense of “long may you be prosperous.”

But a member of the site’s LA staff was far wide of the mark, guessing: “I think my brain is kind of reading it as “long may your bum reek.”

London may be closer to Scotland, but a Buzzfeed worker there proved to be just as wide of the mark.

Her guess was: “Long may your flat smell like hangover and regret.”

“Yer bum’s oot the windae”, meaning you’re talking nonsense, was translated by a Londoner as: “You think you’ve farted, but actually you’ve s*** yourself.”

Even the word “jobby” caused confusion. A San Francisco contributor defined the word as “a drunk naked fat guy”.

“Haud yer wheesht”, which means “hold your breath” or “be quiet”, proved particularly difficult.

A Londoner took a bizarre stab with :“You are small and I want to hold you like a hamster.”

“Gie it laldy”, meaning to do something loudly or with gusto was also lost in translation.

Participants guessed variously that it meant: “WATCH IT LADDY”, “go crazy”, “do your Scottish best” and “you go, girl.”

Meanwhile “Boaby” was little understood with a Londoner reckoning it meant a “a baby conceived on a boat”.

An imaginative New Yorker ventured: “It’s a monster that lives in certain lakes that comes out at night and eats all the livestock.”

“Dinghied”, meaning ignored, and “Mony a mickle maks a muckle” also caused widespread confusion.