Please note that as of 25th June 2015 this site is no longer being updated, as I'm taking a wee break from it for a while to focus on other projects. Thanks for your interest and I'll post up as & when it's all back up and running.

Glasgow sayings & words
and how to speak them

Glasgow sayings old & new that
barge their way into many conversations
and jokes you'll hear on the street...

The Lowdown | Descriptions etc. | General Guff

The Lowdown

This list is by no means exhaustive and complete. If you've any other Glasgow Patter or Glasgow Banter you want to add, feel free to send them my way in the Contact Form, and I'll add them in as soon as I get round to it.

A huge point to bear in mind when you're trying to learn Glasgow Patter, all the old tenement sayings, is that a lot of the time when you hear Glaswegians speak, you'll hear us put words together to form one-word sentences. For example,whitzatawabootbyraway? (what is that all about, by the way?), so if you want to learn how to understand Glasgow sayings, start listening to your favourite music at double speed and in time you'll catch up!

You'll also note when you hear Glasgow sayings, people talking in the street, that we tend to change i's to u's (flirt to flurt), l's to w's (full up to feww up), th's to r's (the to re), and with words ending in 'air' or 'are' (like stair or fare) we'll change the ending to 'err' (as in sterr or ferr).


Our regular use of the glottal stop in Glasgow sayings also confuses most non-Glaswegians, in other words missing out the 't' in words which contain it, and I can only really describe it by asking you to speak a word like patter, by breaking it into two parts & not pronouncing the t's (so it would sound like pah-ur, and you'd have to say both parts of that very quickly together to get the correct effect).

I'll stop there though because I could go on and on about this - it's like being back in class! Just click back to my page on Glasgow Patter & you'll see a link to a brilliant article that goes into more detail about our dialect, and so without further ado...

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Some descriptions about how you feel or how others look

Braw Great, brilliant
Stoater Either fantastic (she's a wee stoater so she is), or to stagger (he stoatered up the road)
Ya beauty! Exclamation of glee or happiness, eg. when your team scores a goal (you can also use "ya dancer!")
Peely Wally Pale, sickly, average skin tone of Glaswegians (he looks affy peely wally)
Mawkit Dirty
Crabbit Bad-tempered, in a bad mood (check oot the crabbit face)
Greetin-faced To look miserable, disgruntled (also torn face can be used)
Scunnered Annoyed, weighed down (ah'm pure scunnered so ah um)
Wheesht! Shut up, be quiet (haud yer wheesht pal!)
Byraway By the way, normally added at end of sentences where point being made (haw that's ma parkin space byraway)
Awayyego Away you go, used when you don't believe something (awayyego, that's never your parkin space byraway!)
Lose the rag Lose my temper (ah'm beginnin tae lose the rag wi you)
Jings Crivvens help ma boab! Exclamation of distress (Jesus Christ, help me God!)
Ah huvnae a scooby I really don't know (scooby being short for Scooby Doo, rhyming slang for clue - I don't have a clue)
Ya Bampot You idiot!
It's baltic in here It's very cold in here
Toaty Small, wee, tiny
Yer bum's oot ra windae Your bum is out of the window, ie. you have no chance of succeeding

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General Glasgow sayings & words commonly spoken

Gaun yersel Go on yourself, a motivating comment
Midgie-raker Someone who raids bins & trash for things people have thrown away
Arrabacka At the back of, as in ah'll get ye arrabacka six - at some point after 6 o'clock
Cludgie Toilet, restroom (whaursyercludgieweefulla?), refers to old tenements where the toilet was in the common garden outside your flat!
Wean Child, pronounced waine, also called bairn
Stank Drain hole with cast iron cover
Bools Marbles
Stoorie Game of marbles using the holes in the stank lid
Clype Tell-tale, someone who tells someone's secrets
Ra baw's up the slates The ball is up on the roof, ie. you cannot reach something - an unattainable goal
Tank Beat, win (we'll tank yous re night)
Steamin Drunk, also known as blootered or bevvied (unsurprisingly, we've got legions of words related to drink!)
Lads & Lassies Boys & Girls, Men and Women
Jimmy & Hen Where you don't know someone's name, men are called Jimmy (or Mac), women are called Hen
Dinnae teach yer grannie tae suck eggs Don't teach something to someone who already knows it
Natter Discussion, as in have a natter, a blether
Canny Wise, clever (aye, he's a canny lad mind)
Boost Head off, move away (ah pure boostit oota ther pronto)
Hee Haw Nothing (that's worth hee haw byraway!)
Maw & Paw Mum and Dad
Midden Rubbish tip / bin, also used to describe what state a place is in (yer room's a pure midden - clean it noo afore ah skelp ye!)
Messages Shopping (I'm awa fur ma messages)
Shoot the craw Leave in a hurry, also describes drivers who race to beat the red light (look at that numpty shootin the craw)
Laldy / Welly Put your heart & soul into it, used when you're encouraging someone to try their best (gie it laldy son, gie it some welly)
Lang may yer lum reek Long may your chimney smoke - salutation of prosperity & long life
Awa an bile yer heid Go away and boil your head!
Wur aw Jock Tamson's bairns We're all God's children, born equal

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So if you've any more Glasgow sayings, phrases or words you'd like me to include here, please send them to me and I'll get them up as quickly as I can. There aren't too many Glasgow sayings here at the moment because I've just not had the time, so any assistance would be much appreciated.


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