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Andrew Christie May 18, 2022 3:18:50 PM 3 min read

Glaswegian Slang: 40 Glaswegian sayings you’ll only hear in Glasgow

In Glasgow, we are renowned for our unique sense of humour. We will shorten, change or straight up invent our own sayings, which alongside our inimitable accents can often make us somewhat difficult to understand for friends elsewhere in the world.

Fear not. We are here to help you.

We’ve translated 40 need-to-know phrases that’ll take you from “WHIT?!?” to “aw aye” in no time!


1. Awrite?

A greeting. A hello, how are you doing? Rarely requires or seeks more in depth a reply than a fellow “awrite?” in response.

2. Aye.

Yes. Affirmative.

3. Naw.

No. Negative.

4. Did ye, aye?

Did you, yes? A condescending, dismissive statement to infer that you believe a person to be talking pish.

5. Pish.

Used to describe anything that is generally not good.

6. Wean.

A child.

7. How?

Used in place of why? In the words of Glaswegian comedian Kevin Bridges “In Glasgow, 'how' means 'why?' You do not ponder why, you demand HOW?”

8. Greetin'

Not a hello, as you may think. Greeting means to cry or to moan.

9. Giein' it Laldy!

To have a great time. To give it your all, with enthusiasm and vigour.

10. Gaun Yersel!

“Go on yourself”. Nothing screams encouragement or shows support like hearing the words 'gaun yersel’.

11. Bampot.

A foolish, unpleasant, or obnoxious person.

12. Roaster.

See: bampot.

13. Bawbag.

The scrotum, or ‘ballbag’. More typically used to describe a bampot or a roaster.

14. Bolt ya rocket!

Be on your way. What you might say to implore a bampot or a roaster to leave you alone.

15. Buzzin’

The feeling of being happy or excited. Pure buzzin’, mate.

16. Baltic.

Cold. Typically used when describing the weather.

17. Upty?

A friendly greeting. ‘What have you been up to’? ‘What have you been doing?’

18. Happenin’?

‘What’s happening’? See: Upty?

19. Hee-Haw.

Absolutely nothing. An entirely acceptable response to the previous two questions.

20. Steamin’.

Drunk. Under the influence. Glaswegians have a somewhat unique talent for making almost any adjective a synonym for this. See also: honking, minging, blooterd, burst and around a million others.

21. Check the nick.

‘Look at the state (of that person)’. Often used to describe someone who has got a bit too steamin’.

22. Pelters.

Abuse. Insults. Banter. What a person can expect to receive the morning after being steamin’.

23. Riddy.

Shortened from “a red (rid) neck”. An embarrassment. Used to describe a humiliating situation.

24. Beamer.

Not a smile as you might assume, but the red face of embarrassment a person gets when suffering a ‘riddy’.

25. Class!

Good. Feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.

26. Quality!

See: class

27. Belter!

See: Class and quality.

28. Braw!

See class, quality and belter. We are a happy bunch in Glasgow.

29. Ginger.

Not the hair colour, as you may assume, but rather another word for fizzy drinks. Learn about taking back your ‘gingies’ to the shop to supplement your income today!

30. Gallus.

Most often used to describe an act of boldness or daring. The fine line between confidence and arrogance.

31. Glaikit.

To call someone glaikit is to describe them as stupid, foolish, or thoughtless, but ultimately in a harmless, endearing way.

32. Coupon.

A person’s face.

33. Piece.

A sandwich. I.e. A piece and chips. Not to be confused with “peace”. Hearing the phrase “gies peace” has confused many a tourist who are unsure if they’re being asked to provide lunch or to be quiet.

34. Nae Bother.

‘No bother’. No worries. Why not try it in your email sign off today?

35. Dinghied.

To be dinghied is to be ignored, as you may find yourself should you use ‘nae bother’ in your email sign off.

36. Crabbit.

Ill-tempered. Grumpy.

37. Scunnered.

To feel disgust, discontent or strong dislike towards a situation.

38. Gubbed.

See: scunnered.

39. Taps Aff

‘Tops off’. When the temperature in Glasgow moves above 13 degrees, you will generally see the inhabitants of the city lose their shirts to green the strange yellow ball in the sky - usually with a bag of cans in tow.

40. Peely-Wally

The pale complexion of the average Scot’s skin. And main reason we shouldn’t go Taps Aff. Not that it stops us...