Yer Granny’s Sayin’s


Scotia-biased tweets and posts on social site and Twitter often resort to auld Scots sayings to make a point, or outwit their English opponent who can’t understand basic English let alone written Scots.

‘Hud yer wheesht’ is a granny saying, meaning: keep quiet, or sometimes, be diplomatic. There is a suggestion the SNP conformists have adopted it as a slogan; any discussion about a second referendum thought of as destabilising the party’s public image.

In more modern parlance there is the evergreen ‘Dae yi think Ah cam up the Clyde oan a bike?’ means, do you think I’m daft?

Here is a few more, a quiz to idle a few minutes while there’s a lull in the battle for Scotland’s soul, while politicians rest in their second home with their mistress or rent boy, and crooked financiers thank Mammon for a life above law and taxes.

What do these sayings mean?

  1. A scabbit sheep will smit a hail hersel’.
  2. A nod’s as guid as a wink tae a blind horse.
  3. You could gang faur an’ fare waur.
  4.  A vaunter an’ a liar are muckle aboot aw’ thing.
  5.  Better the heid o’ the commons than the tail o’ the gentry.
  6.  Better marry ower the midden than ower the muir.
  7.  Mony a mickle maks a muckle.
  8. Patience is mair important than sugar.
  9. Aw’s welcome than come wi’ a crookit oxster.
  10. There’s mair tae ploughin’ than whistlin’.
  11. and one more for Lib-Dem Alistair Carmichael…
  12. They that gets the name o’ early risin, may lie in bed a’day.

Answers below:

  1. One evil person can infect the whole lot.
  2. Be sure to make your meaning clear.
  3. You could travel a lot further but do worse than now
  4. There’s no difference between those who exaggerate and liars.
  5. Better to be top of your league than bottom of the top league.
  6. Avoid marrying above your station.
  7. Little savings made regularly soon mount up.
  8. Patience is a better virtue than flattery.
  9. Everybody is welcome who bring a gift.
  10. Some simple tasks require considerable expertise.

11.  And the one for Lib-Dem Alistair Carmichael…

     12.        Liars often hide behind a good but fraudulent reputation.



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4 Responses to Yer Granny’s Sayin’s

  1. seanair says:

    A person from Musselburgh once said to me , “You cannae see green cheese but your een reel”. Always thought that was a cracker. Yours are good too.

  2. Grouse Beater says:

    Hello Seanair.
    Good to hear from you, and that’s a new one for my book! Thank you. Cheese and crackers go well together!

  3. My favourite, from the North East, is “tatties o’er the side”. Meaning big trouble, it’s over, finito. Comes from the trawling.

    I’ve heard two stories about its origins. 1. If the boat was sinking then the last thing to be thrown over the side to lighten the load was the tatties, i.e. no hope left. 2. The cook was draining the tatties over the side of boat when it was hit by a wave and he lost the tatties too. I was taught the first one.

    It can be used for a person or an inanimate object, just about anything really. e.g. “It was tatties o’er the side for Jim Murphy the minute he stepped over the border”.

    It is mostly used in it’s shortened form these days, e.g. “The minute the crack was found it was tatties for the Forth Road Bridge”. Labour are tatties in Scotland.

    Hopefully it will soon be tatties o’er the side for the union.

  4. Grouse Beater says:

    Good title for a movie: ‘Tatties Over the Side’ starring Jacques Tati

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