Wednesday, 7 January 2009


And so we come to lesson three. (If you haven't already, check out parts one and two . . . )

By now you're hopefully familiar with a few of our traditions, Glaswegian football, and how we speak. In other words, you might be able to work out what we are saying once in a while. I hope. So what else do you need to know? Well, there's some more stuff. Some of it is important. Some of it not so much. Some of it, you might not THINK is important, but you could make a major social faux pas if you DON'T know it. My first lesson of the day proves my point . . .


The third Irn Bru advert I featured in part one referred to this. When I was a kid, I believed that my lunch was called just that - "lunch". And my evening meal was my "dinner". Also, because my family were good like that, we had additional meals. On the days we were off school, we got "morning coffee" at about eleven in the morning. It wasn't usually coffee, just a biscuit and juice. When we got home from school in the afternoon - we had "afternoon tea". This was basically the same as "morning coffee".

Until I was about nine, I didn't realise most of my contemporaries didn't actually name their meals the same as I did. Until I invited my best friend "at the time" (best friends only lasted a couple of weeks when we were kids - it operated on a sort of rota system. Is that just a Scottish thing too?) for "tea". I obviously meant "come over after school for a biscuit. Or possibly cake if my mum remembers you are coming." I didn't realise that in MY world, lunch was actually called "dinner". And "dinner" was called "tea". Therefore my friend thought she was invited for an actual proper MEAL! Of course, we didn't realise that until the day itself when she ate her cake and then asked us "So what's for tea?"


We had to go along with it because otherwise it would have been pretty embarrassing. At least she didn't end up with my favourite meal at the time - spaghetti hoops with coconut on it. (Which is NOT a traditional Scottish delicacy, by the way. Although it leads us neatly onto the next point . . . )


Here are some of the things Scots have been known to eat. Other than haggis.
  • Square sausage. (Who needs a traditional sausage-shape when you can have a square one, right? Hmmm. Give me a links sausage anyday, square sausages are EXTREMELY over-rated and if you ask for a roll and sausage without specifying around here, you usually end up with the square one. Boo . . . )
  • Potato scones. (Amazing. I absolutely LOVE totty scones. Especially fried and sandwiched up nearly in a roll and butter.)
  • Pretty much anything from the "chippy". (Chips and cheese. A blaggis - a mix of black pudding and haggis - supper. Deep fried pizza. And . . . the piece de resistance . . . Deep Fried Mars Bar. Don't ask me what it tastes like - I can only imagine!)
  • Tablet (I guess this is a Scottish twist on fudge. Oh, it is DELICIOUS! All that sugar and condensed milk would probably make a non-Scot's teeth hurt. We're okay though, cos we have no teeth left. Mainly thanks to tablet . . .)
  • Shortbread (a national treasure. Apparently. Weirdly, me and my flatmate were talking about this earlier. "It's popular here, right?" she said. "I guess so," I replied slowly, as something dawned on me. "I just don't see anyone EATING it very often." That being said, I do LOVE shortbread. I just always somehow forget it exists. Mental note to self : eat more shortbread.)
  • A "Greggs" (Yum yum yum. I'm not referring to a guy called Gregg, in case you were worrying that we are cannibals. Greggs is a bakers over here and it does all these amazing pastry things for ridiculously low prices. Cheese and onion pasties. Steak bakes. Chicken bakes. Sausage rolls. Scotch pies. If you ate lunch from there everyday - and lots of Scots do, there's a branch of it on practically every street in Glasgow city centre- it probably wouldn't be long before you stopped being able to fit through your front door. Seriously!)
  • Tunnock's Teacakes. Not to mention the snowballs and caramel wafers. (By the way, Elle, did you happen to be a member of the Caramel Wafer Appreciation Society at St. Andrews? According to Wikipedia, there WAS one!)

Andy seems pretty determined to get me to talk about Scottish Terriers for some reason. Why, you ask? I'm not sure. The trouble is, I know less about dogs than I know about Scotland. Which may explain why I really didn't have much to say about them. But I like to oblige my audience.
Some random facts about Scottish terriers. Mostly nicked from wikipedia.
1) The only type of dog that has occupied the White House on three occasions is a Scottish terrier
2) The dog thingummy in Monopoly is also a Scottie dog
3) Apparently, although they are sporty, they don't require a lot of exercise.
Is that enough, Andy? :) (Here is a link to a very cute picture, especially for you!)
Now, I'm sure I have mentioned Neds before, but probably not in much detail. They are a strange breed of people who scare and amuse me in equal measures.
NED is apparently an acronym for "Non-Educated Delinquent". I wouldn't say this necessarily applies to all neds, but it seems accurate in a lot of cases. There is a stereotyped image, which is also fairly accurate. Basically, if you DON'T want to be seen as a ned, avoid Burberry (it's been adopted as their national dress), don't tuck your trackie bottoms into your socks, and try to speak in a relatively normal voice. The thing that I find oddest about some neds is the way they speak - they combine many of the words I mentioned in the previous post (and many much worse words) with this really weird nasal voice. I mean, the voice? It really CAN'T be natural. They must just keep talking and talking like that, forcing themselves, until it eventually becomes second nature!
Back between my parent's house and my current flatshare, I spent six months living in a village called Halfway - ironically this was halfway between my hometown and Glasgow. I thought it was a really pretty village - but in actuality, beneath the prettiness, it was apparently a breeding ground for neds. The kids were HORRIBLE. I nearly came to blows with a mixed group of neds one night while walking home from my bus-stop because one of the girls just decided I must love myself. I also felt forced to buy a group of underage ned girls alcohol one day - I was worried they would beat me up if they didn't. (In FACT, they actually didn't give me enough money and I had to pay a quid of it out of my own pocket - and was too scared to ask for it back!) One Saturday morning, as I struggled to get out of bed for work at seven in the morning, all I could hear out in the street was screaming - apparently every kid in the village had been up all night and were rioting! I have no idea what they were rioting about, but apparently all the parents must have had ear-plugs in that night!
You've probably guessed from my previous paragraph that I'm more intimidated by girl neds than guy ones. I find guy ones easier to handle. Girl ones seem a bit more determined to prove themselves "mental" for some reason. Plus, since the baby neds come out of them ultimately, they are obviously evil!
A guy I once knew told me he thought the only way to rid the world of neds was to kill them all, otherwise they'd keep breeding and take over. In fact, a FEW people have expounded this theory to me. It's a bit mean actually as some neds are in reality quite nice. I just haven't came across a massive number of them . . .
There's still a little bit more to come. Unbelievably. This was actually meant to be all one post. It's not quite worked out that way, it's practically a week-long post now! Oh well. Tomorrow . . . we will discuss Scottish music, tv . . . and anything else you want me to discuss? This really will be your last chance . . .

{And on an unrelated note . . . here is my quote of the day. "Have you seen a lot of trampolining lesbians?" I'm not explaining it, because it's more fun without the explanation. That's all.}


  1. I think i'm more scared of girl 'neds' as well.... well we call them 'chavs' but yes, the girls are horrible!
    I agree with your friend that the only possible way to get rid of them is to kill them all, well kill the really bad ones, the others might be re-educated!

  2. I have an Irish friend who calls every meal "dinner." When he went to school with me it was so annoying/confusing when he'd want to grab dinner at 12 in the afternoon.

    And FUDGE! I'd love to try the Scottish kind!

  3. Ooooh. I want to know more about Scottish music.

    And I am really digging this series of posts.

  4. Yes, that was lovely!!!

    Well, I OWN a Scottie and she's adorable. Just as every other living being on Scottland, right?

  5. I don't think I could get through the day without a Tunnocks Teacake. Head to their factory for a tour and you can even get a teacake or other Tunnocks delight for free!

  6. I swear deep fried chocolate bars is just pure heaven...oh my gosh its sooo good.

  7. so a NED is basically a chav??

    I soo need to go to scotland, the food sounds delish! I havent even heard of most of it... The main things I can relate too are "the chippy" but the menus are different.. and Greggs, I have one just down the road :o)

  8. That was very enlightening ;)

    Thanks for sharing! I'll be coming back again!

  9. Awesome info, although I am Canadian my family (mom& dad's side) is very proud born and raised Scottish so it's nice to see some of the familiarities on here.

    I like where your head is at ie; mental note to eat more shortbread :)

  10. Awesome info, although I am Canadian my family (mom& dad's side) is very proud born and raised Scottish so it's nice to see some of the familiarities on here.

    I like where your head is at ie; mental note to eat more shortbread :)

  11. I have been racking my brain for about an hour trying to think where you asked me a question that I know I've not answered ... I've now I've found it on this post (hurrah - it was driving me mad)!!

    By the way, Elle, did you happen to be a member of the Caramel Wafer Appreciation Society at St. Andrews? According to Wikipedia, there WAS one!)

    The society does (did) exist, but I'm afraid I was never a member!

    We did order a chocolate pizza though once from a takeaway - we thought it would be the base filled with various chocolate and choc sauce for the topping ... nope, it had chocolate, normal toppings and cheese. *pukes* That was the same takeaway where everything came fried, including of course the Mars Bar! :p

  12. I really have a craving for chips cheese & gravy followed now... Mmm... Might pop to the chipper later.


  13. Rather nice site you've got here. Thanx for it. I like such topics and anything that is connected to this matter. I definitely want to read more soon.

    Hilary Swenson


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