Parliamo Edinburgo?

As a life-long resident of Edinburgh with a spell of study and work in London, I am always amazed by the words and local sayings we use here and take for granted, that leave the good visitors to our Fair City baffled as to their meaning, wondering whether we do indeed share a common language. Here’s a little story….

brawA mother talking to her child one day said, “Yer looking a wee bit peele-wally, Hen. I know it’s a dreich day, but there’s no need to greet. If you go on that way, you’ll make me crabbit and I won’t be minded to get the messages in so you can have a jeely-piece later.”

Short translation: “You are looking a little bit pale, dear. I know it’s a miserable day, but there’s no need to cry. If you go on like that you will make me grumpy and I won’t want to go to the shops so you can have a jam sandwich later.”

There are numerous words that perhaps need translation for the visitor to Edinburgh to understand the locals and maybe have a wee laugh at our expense!

Haud yer wheesht – Be quiet

Greet – Cry

Dreich – Miserable weather

A piece – A sandwich

Messages – Shopping

Bairn – Child

Crabbit – Grumpy

Clout – Cloth

Burl – Spin

Clipe – Tell-tale

Heid – Head

Skelp – Spank

Flit – Move house

Blether – Natter

Glaekit – Stupid

Haver – Dawdle

Muckle – Very big


And just for good measure some local sayings too!

Whit’s for ye’ll no go past ye – What’s meant to be is meant to be

Dinnae fash yersel! – Don’t get upset

Ye mak a better door than a windae – Get out of the way, I can’t see through you

We’re a’ Jock Thomson’s Bairns – We’re all the same in God’s eyes.

Lang may yer lum reek – May you always have good health!


(P.S.  No one ever says “Och aye the noo”!!)