This is how you can tell if someone is from Fife

No, we’re not from Edinburgh


Fife must be appreciated as its own entity. It is completely different to the rest of Scotland and the people there, so here is how you can tell if you have caught the Fife bug (and it’s not chlamydia).

You really under appreciate the place

One thing you will be really good at if you are a Fifer is to tell everyone how the place is a total shit hole, but it’s not really, it’s a wonderful place, just look at it.

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Ken like eh

Ken like when you’re talking to like a Fifer like and they cannae stop saying ken like and eh do you ken what I’m on about like eh?

The language of a Fifer also means adding words which have no contribution to the sentence. Ken is, like Barry, not talking to a man called Ken. When ‘like’ is used, it is not to describe something, but merely to acknowledge you are thinking about making a point. ‘Eh’ is used not to question a point someone has made or to tell someone you have not heard them properly, but is simply Fife’s version of a full stop. When someone says ‘eh’ at the end of a sentence then that is the indication that their point has been made and you can now make yours. The Fife language demonstrates how wonderful us Fifers are as we have managed to create words that are totally useless, but mean something to everyone.

We are not from Edinburgh

One way to instantly tell if you are a true Fifer is to be offended at the suggestion that you are from Edinburgh. Yes, we have connections to Edinburgh via a bridge, but our differences are as wide as the Forth.

Suggest to a Fifer that they are from ‘basically Edinburgh’ and a demonstration will commence about how there is a bridge which keeps us 8,000 feet away from the teuchters and then a story will be told of how their grandfather has a terrible life in Edinburgh, then came to work in the linoleum factory in Kirkcaldy and have never looked back. Our reluctance to be associated with Edinburgh is due to the fact that we are proud Fifers and we don’t want to be associated with a class which is hated by the rest of Scotland.

However, we are just over the bridge

Describing Fife to Manuel, the taxi driver who has just picked you up from Palma airport, is a difficult task. You have to tell him “you know Edinburgh? Well, over the water”. The message doesn’t get through to Manuel however, and you’re back in the same argument about how you’re not from Edinburgh. It’s easier describing Fife to Americans, you just tell them St. Andrews, but that’s another issue.

Forth Bridge

Just over here

Respect the borders

Having now lived in Fife, learnt the language and where you are, you will now discover there are two Fifes- the East and the West. Straying from the West to the East and you move from industrial, working man’s Fife, to a world of ice cream, golf and a group of lost Americans wondering where Phil Mickelson is staying. Accidentally ending up from East to West and you discover there is such a thing as a working class person and also the occasional Communist, you had heard of them in The Scotsman, but weren’t sure if they were real people.

Ice cream

It is good ice cream though

Who’s Barry?

When talking to a Fifer, you may notice we have a different vocabulary to others. The most common phrase used by Fifers is ‘Barry’. This phrase leaves many non-Fifers looking over their shoulders and wondering who the person they are talking to is addressing and then asking the question- “Who’s Barry?” Barry is used when describing something that is exceptionally good or someone has come about some good fortune. For example: “Did you see the Scotland game last night? We were Barry”, or “Pay rise. Barry!”