Learn Glaswegian Slang

This article was updated by the Great British Mag content team on 9 June 2021.

Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland. The locals are called “Glaswegians” and they speak in a very distinctive way. It is called Glaswegian or Glasgow patter.

Glaswegian is a form of Scots, which is one of Scotland’s three indigenous languages. The other two are English and Scottish Gaelic.

Scots is very similar to English. For a taste of the language, try watching this video. You should be able to figure out what is being said, even if the words sound different. If you turn on the closed captioning, you will see many words that you recognise.

Origins of Glaswegian

Like the Scouse accent, Glaswegian evolved into its own unique thing because of its location. Glasgow is a port city in the western Lowlands of Scotland, near the River Clyde.

Like Liverpool, Glasgow traded heavily with Ireland. Many Irish people came to Glasgow for work. They spoke English and Irish Gaelic.

However, unlike Liverpudlian, Glaswegian is strongly influenced by Scottish languages and accents. Scottish Gaelic, different dialects of Scots, and English have all contributed to Glaswegian as we know it today.

Because of all these influences, Glaswegian sounds different from other Scots dialects.

Glaswegian slang words

If you go to Glasgow you will hear many words that are unique to the area. Here are some popular ones:

  • Scunnered – Tired or exhausted
  • Dafty/whalloper – An idiotic or stupid person
  • Stoater – Something or someone that is fantastic or excellent
  • Winch/nip – To kiss
  • Gingie/ginger – Bottle of juice or soda pop
  • Piece – Sandwich or slice of bread
  • Square go – A fight
  • Steamin’/reekin’/ mad wae it/oot ma nut – Drunk
  • Boak – Disgusting or sick
  • Haud yer wheesht – Shut up
  • Greet – To cry
  • Coupon – Face
  • Minted – Rich
  • Roaster/rocket – Annoying person
  • Dinghy – To ignore someone

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