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Edinburgh V Glasgow Sayings

Visiting a new place can often bring new culture, new food and new language. And while Scotland is an English-speaking country, its strong accents and unique Scottish phrases can often leave visitors a little baffled.

So first, lets take a look at the Scottish accent. This video from voice coach, Gareth Jameson, gives a good introduction …

Scottish Phrases in Edinburgh and Glasgow

And now, here are a few meanings behind some of our favourite phrases in Scotland heard in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Then, you’ll be prepared if you hear these sayings during your stay at Parliament House Hotel in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Sayings

Our historic city is steeped in history, heritage, culture and fantastic attractions. But, there’s no better way to enjoy our city than mingling with the locals and learning the local lingo and Scottish slang. So, here are a few phrases and words often said in Edinburgh:

“Wur Tearin’ The Tartan”
This is when someone is engrossed in a great conversation, and actually has nothing to do with wearing tartan.

“Face Lang as Leith Walk”
Referring to Leith Walk, one of the longest streets in Edinburgh, this usually means someone has a miserable expression on their face.

“Salt ‘n’ sauce”
This is a mixture of brown sauce and brown vinegar that is put on chips in Edinburgh chippys.

“Ken and Barry” 
You’d be forgiven for thinking these are people. Instead, in Edinburgh, Ken means to know, and Barry means fantastic and great.

Strangely enough, this doesn’t mean anything about a message between people. It’s local meaning is groceries or supermarket items.

Glaswegian Phrases

Many Scottish phrases differ from region to region, and you’ll notice the difference between Edinburgh phrases and Glaswegian sayings. The Scottish dialect also differs in these two different cities. So, if you’re combining your stay at Parliament House with a trip to Glasgow, here are some local sayings to help you along:

If something is hoachin’ it’s busy or heaving.

“Bottle o Ginger” 
Some Glaswegians refer to this as a ginger fizzy drink, but it’s often used for a general carbonated drink or soda.

“Pure Baltic” 
This phrase has travelled to many other parts of the UK and it means very cold.

Derived from wee (little)-ane (one), wean combines these and refers to a small child.

“Gie’in It Laldy” 
This means dancing enthusiastically and enjoying it.

“Away An Bile Yer Heid” 
This translates to leave and boil your head. When someone is talking nonsense, it’s often a great response.


Now you know some common Scottish phrases, you’ll be able to understand the locals during your visit. So, why not take a look at our special offers at Parliament House and book a central stay in Edinburgh?

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