A Tourist's Guide

Glaswegian friendliness, courtesy and helpfulness proffered to visitors from abroad is legendary.

However, the visitor requesting detailed directions to a specific venue is occasionally confused by the subtle nuances of the Glaswegian Native's dialect.

The following Glaswegian phrases are among the most common responses offered in reply to a request for directions.

We hope you find them helpful.

"Sower-Err" Pronounced: Sour err
  The venue requested is in such close proximity as to be visible from your present location.
   
"Isini-Toon" Your excursion has taken you to the farthest bounds of Glasgow's environs and the building you are trying to locate is in the City Centre.
   
"Haw Jim" You may have misunderstood the lengthy directions dictated to you and you have set off again towards the wrong point of the compass.Your attention is being attracted by a native who wishes to correct your deviation.
   
"Gerra-Bus" Due to the distance between your present position and the object of your desires you are encouraged to travel by public transport.

This is a fascinating use of the ancient Celtic verb "erra" which was extensively researched by Prof. Stanley Baxter in the 1960's. At precisely 5 past 8 one evening he was performing a routine operation in the theatre at King's when he stumbled upon the full conjugation of the verb which is as follows.

  • Gerra-Bus
  • No Ris Bus
  • Anura Bus
  • Oh - Eerra Bus
   
"C'Moan-Get-Aff" You have been requested to alight from the conveyance due to one or more of the following circumstances:

a) This is as far as the purchase price of your ticket permits

b) You have reached the terminus or depot of the vehicle

c) The plume of black smoke issuing from the engine compartment should have been sufficient warning of impending mechanical failure

or in exceptional circumstances

d) You have reached your desired destination.

   
"Suppa-Cloas" Your puzzlement concerning failure to find the designated address on the shop frontage is explained by the fact that it is located on an upper level of a tenement building.
   
"Nae-Borra" Your kind felicitations are agreeably accepted.
   
"Huv a nice day" A polite attempt to bid a fond farewell to an American tourist in his or her own language.
   
  From Gerry McKay, Wellington, New Zealand. An ex-patriate Scot.
   
"GEESA"
This request from a native glaswegian has a number of grammatical uses. eg
  • geesa light - I appear to have run out of matches
  • geesa break - I seem to be running out of patience with the lack of logic in your argument
  • geesa time - I do not have a watch and need to know if I am late for an appointment
  • geesa fag - I have left my cigarettes at home and have a strong craving for this drug which you could satisfy.
  • geesa nurra - I would like to experience that sensation again.
   
  From Christina Forbes in Canada
   
"Geiswanoyerfagsahvranoot" Continuing in the same vane as above, the verb is sometimes shortened even further as a result of desperation. In this phrase, the Native's addiction to cigarettes is compounded by the fact that they are temporarily bereft of the required materials.
   
"Arerrterratraferr" The jubilation of 14 days holidays in the month of July
   
  .......and from "Shuggy" in Connecticut
   
"Howzitgaun" How are things going for you on this fine day.
   
"Smashin-intit" That really is very nice, wouldn't you say.
   
"Stoatin Aff The Grun" It's raining really hard and it's bouncing
off the ground.
   
  .......and from John C Neill in Australia
   
"Maheidsburstin" I have celebrated too well last night and I have an excruciating pain in my head.
   
"Kinyegeemesumthinfurrit?" Apropos the above ----- Could you possibly supply me with a suitable pain killer?
   
  .......and from David Norwood M.A. LL.B.
   
"Whitasmasher" Would you not agree that the lady is of delectable appearance?
   
"Geesacheeperhen" How about a kiss, lassie, to seal our fond affection.
   
  .......and from Elda Quinton in Australia
   
"Gerruptheweansgreetin" Darling, I can hear the baby crying, could you go and check what's wrong, please.
   
  ......and from Iain Cummings
   
"Awnaw-snaw" Oh dear. Wintry conditions are upon us.
   
"Soanahoose" Your attempt to pay is appreciated but this is my shout.
   
"Gonnaegeeratclownadunt" Please wake up my husband, our taxi has arrived.
   
"Gonnaepirritinapoke" I'd appreciate it if you supplied a carrier bag.
   
  ...and from Frank Roselli in Canada
   
"Watchooterrapolis" We had best move on, we are being approached by a member of the local constabulary.
   
"Geeza tanner" Could I have a sixpence
   
"Geezaboattlaskoosh" May I have a bottle of carbonated beverage
   
  ...and from Mary Curran in Australia
   
"Awayan'boilyirheid" I'd appreciate it if you'd stop talking nonsense.
   
"Dae ye think ma heid
buttons up the back?"
Ditto
   
  ...and from Dorothy Larocque in Canada
   
"awayyagoyamugya" Ditto
   
  ...and from "Francie" in the States
   
"Ah'venogoteanymerr
thenoomibbyefter"
I do not have any more for now, maybe I'll have some later
   
  ...and from Jean Lucas in Canada
   
"Hawmawthrowmedoonapiece" A wean asking his loving mother for lunch
   
  ...and from John in Texas
   
"Amfairscunnert!" I am somewhat upset!
   
  ..and from John Shearer in Edinburgh
(a small hamlet to the east of Glasgow)
   
"Izzatsatetook ?" Is this seat taken?
   
"Nawzatsatesnotook" No.
   
  ..and from Alan McDougall in West Sussex
   
"Ahthinkwuvhudwursummur" Often exclaimed in the rain after 3 consecutive sunny days during the months of June, July or August.
   
If you've read as far as this you can work the next wan oot fur yirsels!!  
   
"Aipplesapunpearsahaufpun
stanbackfraerabarraanletthe
wummanseethecaurspassin"
Street vendors cry
   

 

 

We'd like to hear from You!

Natives are encouraged to submit their helpful phrases to the native webmaster.

Selected responses will feature on our web site!

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