Monday, August 07, 2017

It's Not What You Say It's The Way That You Say It

I enjoyed Sybil's post about popular sayings on both sides of the Atlantic, and I thought it might amuse you to hear a few Scots ones.  The Scots have a rich vein of humor and vocabulary and I've chosen a few of my favorites - with translations where necessary!

Who stole your scone? What's the matter with you?  Said to someone looking annoyed. (A scone - to rhyme with 'gone' - is something between a biscuit and a muffin, recipe on request!)

You make a better door than a window  You're blocking my view

She's up to high doh  She's wound up to the top of the scale.

You look like something the cat's dragged in  A bad hair day plus.

You never died a winter yet  Even if things are bad, you'll come through it as you always have

He got his head in his hands and his lugs to play with  He got into serious trouble.

You're a long time dead  Or as the Romans put it, rather more elegantly, Carpe diem.

What's for you will not go by you  Don't worry, what's meant to happen will happen.

Your head's full of mince and not a tattie in sight  You're talking complete rubbish.  (Mince - hamburger - and tatties - potatoes - is a basic Scottish dish)

It's no aye the loudest bummer's the best bee  My favorite, this one!  The Scots word for bees buzzing is 'bumming' and this means it's not always that the person who makes the most noise is the best.

And now the American idioms I fell in love with when I first came to the States at the age of twenty, spoken by my Californian hostess:  'Well, I'll be a son of a gun!'; 'If that was a snake, it would have bitten me' ; 'This town is for the birds.'

How rich we all are in colorful language!


Sybil Johnson said...

Ah, what fun expressions. My mom said "You make a better door than a window." to me a lot when I was growing up. Always in the way! And "You look like something the cat dragged in" is pretty common here as well. Love the "Your head's full of..." and "Who stole your scone?" Hmm, do you think I might be hungry?

Vicki Delany said...

My father said the second one all the time (door vs. window). I haven't heard it in a long time.

Anonymous said...

Farm animals seem to provide rich fodder for idiomatic expressions as in "May as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb" or looking like "mutton dressed as lamb" or even the well-known "wolf in sheep's clothing". Then there's "can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear", "like putting lipstick on pigs", "like feeding strawberries to a donkey", "could argue the hind leg off a donkey" and so forth.

Rick Blechta said...

Great post(s)! Thanks.

Donis Casey said...

My Arkansas-born mother said "door than window" a lot, too, which goes to show you. I don't know what, but something. I could fill volumes with the colorful idioms I grew up hearing. On that sticks in my head comes from when I was a teenager and heard my uncle say, "I haven't had so much fun since the hogs ate my little brother.

Aline Templeton said...

Donis, I love that last one! very typical American sardonic humor.