As a visitor to the UK you may well be shocked at how many dialects there are. Even if you’re from the UK these dialects can be hard to understand and at times down-right unintelligible. In the films you tend to be exposed to just one or two types of British. You have the Hugh Grant-esque received pronunciation or Queen’s English. At entirely the other end of the spectrum you get your Bob Hoskins or Ray Winstones who are "ye propa cockney geezas". But between Windsor Castle and the East End there are all manner of regional accents and dialects to be found.
The video below gives an overview of regional British accents:
But today we’re going to focus on Glasgow, for the benefit of those of you who intend to visit our Glasgow Hotel. Glaswegian (as the accent is known) or the Glasgow patter, is fairly distinct from other parts of Scottish and comes with a whole host of words and phrases you won’t hear much further than a couple of miles from the city centre.
Below are a selection of words and phrases indigenous to the city that you may never have heard of. We’ve also included the context in which they can be used.
Aw-right – Hi/Hello
Usually coupled with:
Wee man/Big man – Mate/Pal/Buddy, an endearing term based on the recipient’s stature. Wee is little.
Darlin’ – An endearing term for a female
"Aw-right wee/big man/darlin’"
Dolly – Foolish or idiotic
"Ya seen John walkin in, what’s he wearin? He’s pure dolly man."
Boggin – Messy or horrible
"Sort out yir room man, it’s boggin in ‘ere."
Radge/Radgin – To be extremely angry
"The Hoops (Celtic FC) lost last night, ya shoulda seen the manager, wis heavy radgin."
Clatty – Dirty
"Ah cannae [can’t] wear this t-shirt oot [out], it’s clatty man."
Scunnered – To be exhausted
"Been runnin roond [round] toon [town] all dae, Ah’m scunnered man."
Belter – Something good or impressive
"Ya seen John’s new car? It’s a pure belter."
Gaun yersel! –To encourage someone or show your support for someone
The Hoops’ diminutive striker has just scored the match-winning goal:
"Gaun yersel wee man!"
A piece – A sandwich
Bobby: "John, what ya doing fir lunch?"
John: "Ah got me a piece frim hoom [home]."
A Scooby – A clue. Rhyming slang derived from Scooby Doo.
Bobby: "What ya do’n tonight?"
John: "Ah havnae [don’t have] a scooby man."
Ya dancer! – An exclamation on one’s luck
On winning the lottery, John’s friend, Bobby, exclaims:
"Oh, ya dancer!"
Swally – An alcoholic beverage or two (or three or four), can also mean a night out
John: "Bobby man, we gaun toon [going into town] for a swally tonight?"
Bobby: "Aye, man"
And with that we have a quick guide to some of the key phrases you will need for a weekend in Scotland’s largest city.
Play your cards right and you’ll be having a belter of a "swally wi’ yir darlins in noo time". Just be sure to use your terminology wisely, "you wouldnae want ta see a radgin Glesweejin".
October 2017 | Insider’s Guide
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