A guide to Glaswegian slang

Because in Scotland, hen is not just a reference to chicken


The native tongue of a Glaswegian can be a hard language to grasp. If you’ve ever been stumped at a word or phrase that you’ve heard from a weegie, this brief guide may help you to determine what they actually meant.

BURD

This word is used to generally describe a girl or someones girlfriend.

“You’ll never guess who’s got a new burd”

STEAMIN

One of the most popular Scottish slang words used to describe a state of drunkenness.

“Who’s up fur gettin pure steamin the morra”

'who isny?'

‘who isny?’

OOT MA NUT

A phrase used to explain how extremely drunk or high one’s self is.

“Listen mate I need a taxi I’m absolutely oot ma nut”

GRASS

A grass is someone who tells on someone to get them in trouble . For example, if Paul was to graffiti a wall and Mark told the police he did it – Mark would be seen as a ‘grass’

‘I canny believe you grassed me in tae the polis man’

WINCHED

The standard Scottish word for kissed.

“I winched about ten folk last night”

NIP

Another common but perhaps less popular word for kissed.

“Me and Julie nipped at the dancin”

classic disco nip

classic disco nip

REEKIN

There are two different meanings for this term. Initially, the word was used to describe a strong and unpleasant stench. Nowadays the term can also be used as –  yet another – describing word for how drunk one is or had been.

“Somedy’s shat in the library toilet it’s reekin man”

“Mind that time I was pure reekin after tingle and ate a chip aff the ground”

PIECE

This is a traditional word used in Scotland for a sandwich.

“I’m gonnie make a piece for work the mawra”

WHITEY

When an individual’s face appears to change colour (normally a lighter, whiter shade) as a result of feeling sick from drug or alcohol use. This term has developed into a very vague phrase that could be used to describe almost any incident which involves an individual feeling nauseous, uncomfortable or dissatisfied. Furthermore, the word could also be a way to simply describe the action of vomiting.

“I’m gonnie whitey after than exam”

“Aye, Amy whitied in the taxi last night it wis stinkin”

poor unfortunate whitey victim

Poor unfortunate whitey victim

OAN A STEADY

This phrase refers to the early stages of a relationship between two people where they may be seeing each other but are not in an official relationship.

“Are yous gawn out now?”

“Naw, we’re just nippin oan a steady”

ROASTED

This is a term used to describe an individual being mocked and tormented by a group.

“Did ye see John’s new haircut, aye he got absolutely roasted in the group chat last night”

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IM GEM

Literally translates to – “I’m up for it”

DAFTY

Used to describe an idiotic/stupid person.

“He missed his exam the day he’s a pure dafty”

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DUG

Simply – dog.

THE FEAR

A term used to define the worried feeling one has – usually after a night out drinking. This feeling may arise due to excessive alcohol intake resulting in loss of memory of the night before.

“I’ve just woke up and canny mind how i got home, I’ve got the fear”

NAE DANGER

This phrase can mean either “no way” or “not a chance.”

“Wanty pick me up fae the toon?”

“nae danger mate”

SCUNNERED

This word means to be tired or exhausted – basically knackered.

“I’m absolutely scunnered after that shift”

struggling

struggling

BUZZIN

Generally describes being happy or excited.

“Mate I am absolutely buzzin for a takeaway the night”

MESSAGES

Take note that this word in Scotland does not usually refer to text messages. It is a word used for groceries or grocery shopping.

“Maw, when are you goin’ tae get the messages”

SCRATCHER

Literally translates to “bed.”

no moving from ma scratcher the day

no moving from ma scratcher the day

MAD WAE IT

Often abbreviated to “MWI” – this is another one of the many phrases used in Scotland to describe being really drunk.

“Don’t git me another skittle bomb I’m awready mad wae it”

SQUARE GO

And finally, if someone asks you for a “square go” it is not a friendly invitation. In Scotland, a “square go” is more or less a fight.

“Your pissin me right aff, SQUARE GO THE NOW”