A glossary of Scottish insults


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The people of Scotland — well, 55 percent of them — have voted to remain a part of the United Kingdom.

The majority are relieved not to have gained independence from Britain, a decision that would have ended a 307-year marriage. But don't forget the 45 percent who voted for it — and the 85 percent voter turnout — in a place where even 16-year-olds got to cast ballots.

The country is still split and passions are high. When passions are high, people tend to start insulting each other, and Scots have some amazing insults at their disposal.

So here are some of the words and phrases that might help you understand what everyone's saying.

Spoiler: there are a lot of words for "idiot" and "dirty."

Awa' n bile your head (Away and boil your head): Get lost

Bampot: Idiot

Bassa: Bastard

Baw: Testicle; the root of many general insults including "bawjaws," "bawbag," and "bawface"

Clipe: tattle-tale, snitch; as in , "Don't be a wee clipe"

Doaty: Stupid

Dobber: Idiot, jerk

Erse like a bag o' washin (Ass like a bag of laundry): A negative assessment of a woman's attractiveness

Face like a skelped erse (Face like a slapped ass): Describes a person's face that's red with rage or blushing

Hackit: Ugly 

Howlin: Smelly

I wouldnae ride her in tae battle (I wouldn't ride her into battle): An negative assesment of a woman's attractiveness

Jakey: Alcoholic, or 

Jessie: An epheminate man

Jobby: Feces, also used to refer to something as trash or junk

Lavvy heid: Toilet head

Mince: Rubbish, as in, "You're talking mince"

Numpty: Idiot

Nyaff: Irrirating person

Roaster: Idiot

Rocket: Idiot

Scabby: Dirty

Scrote: Scrotum, literally, but a general insult

Shut ye geggie: Shut up, shut your mouth

Tube: Idiot

Yer aff yer heid: You're crazy

Yer bum's oot the windae (You're bum is out the window): You're talking nonsense, not making sense

Yer maw's git balls n yer da' loves it (Your mother has testicles and your father loves it): And example of a genre of insult involving accustations against a person's "maw" or "da"

Walloper: Idiot

If you'd like to hear how these sound when a Scot says them, watch this video.

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