Great Scots! Scots Gaelic and English Stay Together

Great Scots!

Scots Gaelic and English Stay Together, Despite the Vote

Today, 18th of September, all Scottish people head to the polling stations to cast their utmost important votes. Their votes will decide the future of the United Kingdom as a whole. Will Scotland become an independent state?

Regardless or the result of the vote today #indyref, #voteyes, #voteno, both the English and Scottish languages will stay together! There will always be a Scots legacy in England.

With a media frenzy gathering pace throughout and all eyes on Scotland, we decided to look at some peculiar words in the English language that have their origins in Scottish Gaelic and Scots.

Scots Gaelic

Before we proceed, you probably noticed that we mentioned Scottish Gaelic and Scots. Aren’t they the same? Not at all. Scottish Gaelic or Gàidhlig is in the Goidelic branch of Celtic languages. It’s indigenous to Scotland. Scottish Gaelic derived from Middle Irish during the 10th to 12th centuries and thus, is descended from Old Irish. Other notable languages in the Goidelic family are Manx and Irish (no surprise there!).


Scots or Scots language is a variety of Gaelic spoken in the lowlands of Scotland and parts of Ulster (Northern Ireland). Scholars and linguistic experts have been debating over the linguistic status and social significance of Scots. Is it a language or a dialect? There is no universally accepted criteria to distinguish a language from a dialect so they’ll be arguing about it for some time to come.

The Words

ScotsEnglish Meaning
Clan (also clann)originally from Gaelic: “family”; children, progeny, offspring, even tribe
Haver / Haiverto talk in a foolish manner, to talk nonsense
Bonnie (also bonny)originally from French: “bon” meaning good; attractive, pretty, applies to both genders
Laddiea young boy; adolescent male
Lassiea young girl; adolescent female
Plaid (also plaide)originally from Gaelic: “blanket”; to fold [past participle of ply, giving to ‘plied’ based on Scots’ pronunciation]
Tweeda cloth woven in a twilled pattern

Of course, there are many other Scots words in use in English. You might even be using some of them without knowing it. Do you know any other Scots or Scots Gaelic words in English?