Thursday 23 December 2010


Christmas being Christmas and Scotland being Scotland, I thought that the following reminders might come in handy for some of my friends here...

WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may make you think you are whispering when you are not.

WARNING: Consumption of alcohol is a major factor in dancing like an ass.

WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may cause you to tell the same boring story over and over again until your friends want to SMASH YOUR HEAD IN.

WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may cause you to thay shings like thish.

WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may lead you to believe that ex-lovers are really dying for you to telephone them at four in the morning.

WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may leave you wondering what the hell happened to your pants.

WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may make you think you can logically converse with other members of the opposite sex without spitting.

WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may make you think you have mystical Kung Fu powers.

WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may cause you to roll over in the morning and see something really scary (whose species and or name you can't remember).

WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may create the illusion that you are tougher, smarter and more handsome than some really, really big guy in the pub.

WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may lead you to believe you are invisible.

WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may lead you to think people are laughing WITH you.

WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may cause an influx in the time-space continuum, whereby small (and sometimes large) gaps of time may seem to literally disappear.

WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may actually CAUSE pregnancy.

Don't say I didn't warn you...


  1. Hum, CH... I think cutting people in half probably SHOULD be a health and safety matter... but then I'm an trendly lefty (!!!)... so that explains it all!!

  2. I warned you last year Niko. If you didn't pay attention then, that's your fault... :)

  3. The wife with the rolling pin and the question of conversing without spitting reminded me of the "wee wifey waiting" and the "braw bricht moonlicht nicht" of Sir Harry's great old song.

  4. LOL @ Danny...

    You know more about Scottish "culture" than most Scots, Danny.

    Mind, sometimes on a Saturday night when "Glasgow belongs to me", the inebriates would ahve a job getting past the "braw" of that Scots tongue twister...

    I think you should learn another couple. I’m not sure about this one’s origins, but I have a notion it was in some comedy song...

    “There’s a moose loose aboot the hoose: Pit it ooot”

    Of course that moose is a different one from the kind that Sister Sarah blows apart from the air. It’s the “wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie” of Burns famous poem.

    And so now to a local tongue twister. You’ll need to know some facts before you try this one. Dundee is famous for its meat pies. They come in two varieties: ‘Plain’ (an anagram of Palin interestingly), which is meat, gravy and pastry, and 'Onion', which is meat, onion, gravy and pastry.

    You also need to know that the local newspaper is called the “Evening Telegraph and Post” shortened to the “Tele”, pronounced “tully”

    So, armed with that information, can you translate the following order to the local corner shop (store) assistant (clerk)

    'Ell tak twa pehs, uh plen aine an an ingin aine an ah... an ell tak uh tully tae!'

    Better still can you say it quickly?

  5. Piece of cake. "I'll take two pieces, a plain one and an onion one....and I'll take a Tele too." Now saying it properly and quickly will take some practice.

    I definitely needed the help about plen, ingin, and tully. Although I could have managed "shop assistant" on my own....LOL. I love the "moose loose aboot the hoose."

  6. You're clearly a linguist Danny.

    I'll take two "pies".. (but other than that it was fine).

    You know you always say to me there's no quiz, well, I'm sorry, I've put you through this in public!!!

    And yes, sorry about the slightly patronising "shop assistant" / "store clerk" translation on my part. It's just that I've heard you talking about clerks, and it did occur to me that an "assistant" is often a "deputy"... oh well...

    9/10, go to the top of the class!

  7. OH...fool that I am! "pehs" is "pie" of course! It even has one syllable, not two! I don't deserve more than a "B" on the test.

    As for "shop assistant," in fact, years ago, I was completely stumped by the abbreviated form "SA", when I first saw it used by someone from the UK. Finally, in context, (and confirmed when I first saw it written out), I discovered "shop assistant." We do have shops of course. But these (at least here in the midwest) normally describe smaller stores....probably implying "mom and pop" operations. And traditionally, a man gets a haircut in a barber SHOP. But the old barber shops are disappearing now in favor of hair styling salons. Of course a man can always have his hair cut where women go for hair styling, which is traditionally called a "beauty SHOP." LOL!

    I had a simple one here on the blog a while back. I puzzled over whether or not I should write "(pub)" after the word "bar." (I was talking about a "bar bet.") Americans generally drink in bars of course, unless they go to a more upscale "cocktail lounge." I thought that the word would likely be recognized in Scotland, but wasn't absolutely sure, since there are other, entirely different meanings for the word "bar" in English usage generally.

    I had the confusion about telly/TV, lift/elevator, torch/flashlight, biscuit/cookie, holiday/vacation figured out long ago of course, but was stopped when I first saw "bank holiday" commonly used. Our banks do observe official holidays of course, but this term seemed to have a more generic meaning in Scotland and the UK. With your help Tris, it came clear. A "bank holiday" in Britain is pretty much a "national holiday"....or just more simply a "holiday" in America. But then "holiday" used in this context would invite confusion in the UK with a personal "vacation".....LOL. Two people separated by a common language indeed!

    Och such confusion! ("OCH"....a Scots Gaelic exclamation of regret....or so Wikipedia told me after I first saw it used here.) Lovely word! A bit of "roamin' in the gloamin' on the banks o' Clyde", with Sir Harry; that's what's needed.

    Or perhaps a trip to Glasgow with Dundee's own Will Fyffe.

  8. Danny.. what can I say?

    You are one super cool dude!