• Travel English Classes: A Guide To The English Spoken in The Scottish Highlands

    The English spoken in the Scottish highlands is often quite different to the English spoken in the rest of the country. It is very influenced by Scotts Gaelic yet has it’s own particular vocabularly.

    Here is a guide to the English spoken in the Scottish Highlands if you are planning a trip there.


    If you hear the word alba it is the gaelic name for Scotland.

    If you’re told to shut yer gub you might want to be quiet because it means to keep your mouth closed.

    If someone says gettae it means go away.

    To keep stum is to keep quiet.

    Food and drink

    Tottie scones are scones made with flour and mashed potatoes.

    A soda is called a ginger.

    An illegal drinking den is often referred to as a bothan.

    A bottle of beer is called a screw tap.

    One more drink for the road is referred to as deoch-an-doras.

    If you’re thirsty the word you need is druther.

    You might want to watch how many you have though because if people think you like one too many you will be called a wino meaning alcoholic.


    You might hear an old man called bodach.

    Cailleach is the word used for an old woman.

    A child is called a bairn.

    A glen is a river valley.

    A mull is a headland.

    A strath is a valley.

    A firth is an estuary.

    To tell a whopper is to lie.

    A teuchter is anyone living outside Scotland’s central belt.

    A ceilidh is an event of traditional scottish dancing.

    A westie is a West Highland terrier.

    An English person is called a sassanach.

    A white settler is someone from outside Scotland who settles in the country.

    A stupid person is referred to as a dunderheid.

    A fight is called fistie cuffs.

    The bagpipes of the Scottish Highlands are famous worldwide. Let’s enjoy a taster of them now.

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