Let’s face it, the Brits have a way with words. They have some of the most unique slang ever. And as a writer, I’ve got to say, I love it.
And as you move north into Scotland, you’ll encounter another sort of English, one that is mixed with Gaelic, and oftentimes impossible to understand.
On one of my journeys into Scotland, I asked a porter at the train station in the town of Dundee how to get to the bus station from there. What followed was a litany of words of which I understood—nothing. While I’m sure this was just a nice joke to play on the American tourist, it surprised me that what was coming out of his mouth was actually a form of English.
Aside from the laddies, lassies, dinna fash, and dinna ken, you get strange sayings like:
Yer heids in a fankle, which means you seem confused. Or how about,
Wheesht yer puss, meaning be quiet.
You might even be called a scunner or a clipe (a nuisance or a tattletale).
When I wrote my first novel, which is set in the Scottish Highlands, I foolishly had my Scottish characters speaking Scots-English. I researched it diligently giving thick brogues, especially to the older characters.
You can image what happened. My beta readers, people who read our pre-published novels to give feedback, coudna be bathered, so I had to go through line by line and translate my Scots back into English.
What a knobhead. I was knackered.