Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Parliamo Glasgow

A company in Glasgow is recruiting ‘Glaswegian translators’ to help out visiting business men and women to understand the local lingo and the wee nuances of being Scottish. Top of the tasks they are expected to do is to attend business meetings. I can just hear the dialogue now.

Visiting business person: “So, what kind of revenue are we talking here?”

Scottish person: “Aw aboot a hunnerrrrr million, gie or take a tenner here an’ rer. Bit of courrrse, it’s aw subject tae auld Jimmy, oor high-heed-yin, geein us ra go aheeed”.

Translator: “We’ll be talking your proposal over with our CEO Sir James Farquahar before we give you the final figures, but we expect it to be in the region of one million pounds”.

Visiting Business person: “Great so we’ll wait for you to get in touch then. Now, how about joining us for a few drinks and dinner, we can talk over the fine details over a snort or two and perhaps get a feel for the local culture?”.

Scottish person: “Oh aye, nae borra there son, we like a wee bevvy noo an’ again. There’s a rare wee place doon the Barra’s; the place gits full o’ baw-bags frae time tae time, but therrrrr harrrmless rrreaally, as long as you don’t make eye coantact an’ hang oan tae yer wallet. The pub dae a great line in pints o’ heavy and Bucky cocktails, bit mind ye take care drinking them, ye can get fair stocious an’ fine yersel’ face doon in the gutter afore chuckin’ oot time. But ye’ll no git a finer intrrroduction tae Glesca culture, no surr.

Translator: “Thank you, that would be lovely, we enjoy an aperitif or two now and then. Perhaps you’d enjoy visiting a quaint and typically Scottish venue situated in our famous market area, the Barra’s. It’s patronised by some colourful local characters that you might find entertaining; apparently they collect money after their performances so you might like to donate a pound or two. Seems they also specialise in local beer and cocktails made from Buckfast, a glorious concoction made by Benedictine monks and now responsible for 80% of all alcohol sales within the Strathclyde area. But a word to the wise, two or three of these little numbers can leave you rather squishy by the end of the evening".

Scottish person; “Aye an’ you’ll no be wantin’ tae gie yersel’ a bagie-heed fur yer flight hame the morra mornin’. See, ma wee pal Hamish, pished as a fart efter ten aw those wee beauties, stoated oot only tae huv a hughie right oan a polis man’s boots. He wis fair near blind, whit wae him fallin’ doon three flights of stairs and the polis geein’ him a kick in the heed fur his troubles but fair play to him, wae the help of the polis, it didnae take Hamish mair than a few minutes tae find his wallies afore he could head aff hame fur his deep fried haggis and chip supper. Man, ah wis fair black-affrontit wae that wee effort and ma face wis beamin’ fur a week. And mind whit a say aboot the baggie-heed; Hamish wis fair crabbit fur at least a week and said he was getting home fine until someone stepped oan his fingers so we’ll no be wantin’ that tae happen to youse yin’s, seen as yer oor guests an’ all that. So, seen as ye’ve been brought up tae speed aboot whit a great night oot it can be, and ye don’t mind a wee heed injury here and there, we’ll meet ye aw there aboot 7 okay?

Translator: “Well ladies and gents, it seems an acquaintance of Mr Scottish Person had a tipple or two too many and found himself, temporarily myopic, rather disoriented and had some difficulty negotiating his way home. Luckily for him, the local constabulary were most helpful and after a short stumble on leaving the hostelry, pulled him upright and brushed him down. Wishing to maintain their well deserved reputation as a sharing caring police service, they went to great pains to check he had no head injuries and helped him to locate and refit his false teeth which had inadvertently been displaced rather conveniently onto the policeman’s boots when he was somewhat sick at the shock of tripping and being unable to right himself in time. Thankfully, there was no lasting damage and the man was on his way home in no time for a light supper of haggis and French-fries. And while Mr Scottish person was somewhat embarrassed for his friend, he empathised totally with the following day’s crushing hangover and why his friend seemed to have experienced a personality bypass and sense of humour failure for several days following their jolly jape. So, there you have it, a salutatory tale of overindulgence for you to consider but forewarned being forearmed and if you’re sure you’re up for it, we’ll rendezvous there around 7, shall we?

Visiting business person: Well, that’s certainly fine by us, and perhaps we can try a spot of haggis too?

Scottish Person: Oh aye, nae danger ranger. It’s shootin’ season, so there’ll be plenty of haggis tae be had and the beauty of it is, that if ye find yersel’ huving a wee chunder, it looks nae different on the pavement to when it was oan yer plate.

So, for a £140 a day, I think I’m more than qualified for the job. Only problem is, I’d have to relocate back home and a’m unrny gonnae dae that jist yet!

But as a wee taster and an introduction to Scottish culture, have a wee read of some jokes below. You’d have to go a long way to find a nation more self deprecating than the Scots and we’re all the better for being like that.

The Scots have the [unjustified] reputation of being stingy.
But what they do have is the ability to laugh at themselves.
Here are few examples
Double glazing is doing great business in Scotland in hope that the children cannot hear the icecream van when it comes round.
Angus called in to see his friend Donald to find he was stripping the wallpaper from the walls. Rather obviously, he remarked "You're decorating, I see." to which Donald replied "Naw. I'm moving house."
Old Tam, who had lost all his teeth, had a visit from the minister who noted that Tam had a bowl of almonds. "My brother gave me those, but I don't want them, you can have them" said Old Tam. The minister tucked into them and the said "That was a funny present to give a man with no teeth." To which Old Tam replied "Not really, they had chocolate on them..."
Callum decided to call his father-in-law the "Exorcist" because every time he came to visit he made the spirits disappear
A farmer's wife, who was rather stingy with her whisky, was giving her shepherd a drink. As she handed him his glass, she said it was extra good whisky, being fourteen years old. "Weel, mistress," said the shepherd regarding his glass sorrowfully, "It's very small for its age."
At an auction in Glasgow a wealthy American announced that he had lost his wallet containing £10,000 and would give a reward of £100 to the person who found it.
From the back of the hall a Scottish voice shouted, "I'll give £150!"
Jock was out working the field when a barnstormer landed.
"I'll give you an airplane ride for £5," said the pilot.
"Sorry, cannae afford it," replied Jock.
"Tell you what," said the pilot, "I'll give you and your wife a free ride if you promise not to yell. Otherwise it'll be £10."
So up they went and the pilot rolled, looped, stalled and did all he could to scare Jock. Nothing worked and the defeated pilot finally landed the plane. Turning around to the rear seat he said, "Gotta hand it to you. For country folk you sure are brave!"
"Aye," said Jock "But ye nearly had me there when the wife fell oot!"
Jock's nephew came to him with a problem. "I have my choice of two women," he said, "a beautiful, penniless young girl whom I love dearly, and a rich old widow whom I can't stand."
"Follow your heart; marry the girl you love," Jock counseled.
"Very well, Uncle Jock," said the nephew, "that's sound advice."
"By the way," asked Jock "where does the widow live?"
"I hear Maggie and yourself settled your difficulties and decided to get married after all," Jock said to Sandy.
"That's right," said Sandy, "Maggie's put on so much weight that we couldn't get the engagement ring off her finger."
Have you heard about the lecherous Jock who lured a girl up to his attic to see his etchings?
He sold her four of them.
A Scotsman took a girl for a ride in a taxi. She was so beautiful he could hardly keep his eye on the meter
A Scottish newspaper ad "Lost - a £5 note. Sentimental value.
Scottish telephone directories make ideal personal address books. Simply cross out the names and address of people you don't know.
SAVE petrol by pushing your car to your destination. Invariably passers-by will think you've broken down and help.
HOUSEWIVES: I find the best way to get two bottles of washing-up liquid for the price of one is by putting one in your shopping trolley and the other in your coat pocket.
INCREASE the life of your carpets by rolling them up and keeping them in the garage.
One day Jock bought a bottle of fine whiskey and while walking home he fell.
Getting up he felt something wet on his pants.
He looked up at the sky and said,"Oh lord please I beg you let it be blood!"
A Scotsmen and a Jewish man were having a magnificent meal at one of the finest restaurants in New York .At the end of the evening the waiter came over to present the check and a Scottish voice said "that's all right laddie just gae the check to me". The headlines in the local newspaper next day proclaimed "Jewish ventriloquist found beaten to death".


Maggie May said...

Those jokes are really funny!

I think I's definitely need a translator if I was to try to understand a really broad Scottish accent. Maybe you are qualified to do the job!
I do love the Scottish accent though.

Nuts in May

Sandi McBride said...

OMG I think I may have wet was so like hearing Grammy Douglas that if it were recorded I could have gone off to sleep giggling like a hyena! You do make me're a national treasure, what say we get a statue up in the park?
laughing still

Lori E said...

One of my coffee buddies, from Scotland, just celebrated his 70th birthday. He has been in Canada for over 50 years and half the time I can't understand a thing he is saying and I have known him for 8 years.
You will have to come to coffee group and translate for us.

wendyytb said...

Thank you! I needed a laugh! My grandparents were Scottish... I was almost able to interpret some of what was written. LOL!

Jennyta said...

Brilliant post. I'm very impressed that you speak Glaswegian!

Martin H. said...

Hi (MOB)

Great post to start the day with. I chuckled out loud at the jokes.

Nice one!

auntiegwen said...

Aw ya dancer

A job fur yer auntie,

Where do I apply ?????


Carol said...

Hahahaha, brilliant!!

Although I have to say that I could have done with a translator when I moved to Manchester!! I couldn't understand a bloody word they said...I got there eventually!!

C x

Reasons said...

Very funny. Shows more than just a difference in accents me thinks!!

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Maggie May – I have seen a few T.V. interviews with Glaswegians in my time where translations were used on the bottom of the screen! To be fair some of them were needed but on other’s I just thought for the love of god, they are speaking the Queen’s English but just with a light Scottish accent!

Sandi – I am a bit of old treasure alright, Himself often wonders who dug me up! I know - the old ones are not always the best! Your granny Douglas sounds like a great character. As for a statue – it would be about as popular as Saddam’s!

Lori E – part of the problem isn’t just the accent or the colloquialisms, it’s the fact that the Scots speak very fast indeed! Get him to slow down a bit, you might pick up more meanings that way! I’d gladly join your crowd for coffee, it sounds great fun.

Wendyytb – Scottish grandparents – then no wonder you had an insight already!

Jennyta – aye, a Glaswegian through and through. 5 minutes back with the old crowd and the accent comes racing back.

Martin H – glad you had a laugh, the jokes are typical of us Scots but the funniest thing is the humour of the people in everyday life. They are naturally funny and not just joke tellers. The weather might be bad up there but the humour makes up for it!

Auntiegwen – click on the link, you might get some details there! If it was being advertised down here I’d have gone for it myself!

Carol – aye us ‘oop north’ baffle the life oot of the southernere’s! Mind you, a Brummie accent can leave you scratching your head half the time! There’s nothing like having a second language under your belt!


DJan said...

I've missed your funny posts! And I want to say thank you for all the comment you make on my blog. I think the joke about the toothless old man and the almonds was funny! I loved them, but making my way through the dialog was tough, but worth it! Thanks, MOB! Glad to be your friend.

Keri said...

So Funny, what a terrific read. You need nominating for a Kreativ Blogging Award. Life is good here. Hope you're well. Hey, I've got scotch running thru my veins too. err I mean Scot... i was born a Kirkpatrick.

Dottie said...

Haw missus, rat wiz rare soitwiz! DEfinATEly! Ah neerly laffed me'erse aff attit!
How interesting that the English does not need to be translated for the Glaswegian. I do wonder if Mr Scottish Person might be offended at being translated at all... And wasn't it great to hear from Stanley Baxter again: ZaramarahinyerbaraClara? lol

Brighton Mum-Teenage Angst said...

Haha...what a wonderfully funny post! And I actually understood quite a lot of it. My old grandad was from Dundee, and when I was naughty (we lived with them for a while) he would threaten to 'put yer in the midden' which used to scare the bejesus out of me! I'm still not quite sure what it is? but it sounded horrific & usually did the trick.

Flowerpot said...

Brilliant jokes, MOB! I heard a piece on Radio 4 the other day about someone trying to deconstruct the Glaswegian accent!

Mo said...

hahahaha so funny.
I need the translator every time I call my bank. They have moved their help desk to the north of Scotland and I can't understand a single thing they say.

Casdok said...

Brillient! You are definetly the one for the job!

Lorna F said...

Good to have you back, MOB, and loved the lingo, as usual. I particularly liked the joke where the wife fell out of the plane! By the way, I've been meaning to ask for a while if you've read Anne Donovan's 'Buddha Da', which I just love. The Glasgow dialogue in it is brilliant! And I also wanted to let you know I've set up my own website now, at, if ye'd fancy nippin' ower for a bit o' a shuftie at it. X

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Love the jokes. I remember my first visit to Glasgow. I felt like I'd landed on another planet.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Djan – och hen, you are too gracious and generous in your comments! I love reading your posts.

Keri – Scotch! Now that is something I’m none too fond of – it’s fighting water to a lot of people!

Dottie – izzatamarrainyerbarraclara is pur genius! I LOVED Stanley’s Parliamo Glasgow – a rare treat! I wish I really could laugh my erse aff!

BMTA – a Middin is a bin! Big concrete things that used to be outside the back yard to put all yer rubbish in. You’d have hated it!

Flowerpot – deconstructing the Glasgow accent? Some things should just be left alone!

Mo – all it is is that they speak quickly so if you just listen quickly – bingo! You’ll understand every word!

Casdoc – I agree and I could teach the translation classes too!

Lorna F – hiya hen. On your recommendation I’ve ordered Buddah Da and look forward to reading it. I’ll pop over to your new site to see what you are up to. Hopefully it has something to do with your next novel?!

Coffee – oh Glasgow is certainly a world of its own! I love it with all my heart and would live there tomorrow but the weather is garbage!

Lena said...

That was Pure Dead Brilliant! Even for a fellow user of the vernacular!

I can't get the--- "as long as you don’t make eye coantact an’ hang oan tae yer wallet"--- bit oot ma heed! That's hilariously true!

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Lena - aye hen, the eld Scottish patter is great stuff alright! I do miss the place enormously.

PhilipH said...

Came across you via Rot Watch; glad I did - you have a great way with blogging!

So, you're one of the Scots who had it on their toes to neighbouring Engerland eh? Well, I'm the same as you, only in reverse, having escaped the noisy sarf of the UK to live in the Scottish Borders.

And what a wise move that has been.

Nice to meet yer Mobby.

Eddie Bluelights said...

Hi MOB - great jokes and loved them. I'll be back for another chuckle.
Two things first - have you read I am Maggie May's brother!! WHAT!!!!! I can hear you say!!! Yes, little Eddie Bluelights is her baby brother (2 years younger).
Second. Have you heard I am looking after the Sunday Roast?
I would be very honoured if you would agree to be roasted. I wonder if you would email me with your decision, hopefully yes.

If you agree I will send a list of all the things wanted plus questions. See you ~ Eddie x

Eddie Bluelights said...

Hi MOB - great jokes and loved them. I'll be back for another chuckle.
Two things first - have you read I am Maggie May's brother!! WHAT!!!!! I can hear you say!!! Yes, little Eddie Bluelights is her baby brother (2 years younger).
Second. Have you heard I am looking after the Sunday Roast?
I would be very honoured if you would agree to be roasted. I wonder if you would email me with your decision, hopefully yes.

If you agree I will send a list of all the things wanted plus questions. See you ~ Eddie x

i beati said...

hilarious !!

Virginia said...

I came from Daryl's NYC blog because I love your blog name! Hilarious blog. Thanks to you, I can now count mindless wandering in search of misplaced items as part of my exercise program. Hot damn!!

Robynn's Ravings said...

Okay, I can't say LOL because it would be far too insufficient. So maybe I'll try that you made me laugh out loud, rePEATedly on a day I thought NOTHING would strike me funny.

I will be back later when the DH gets home so I can read these jokes to him and laugh all over again. Thank you for giving us Craig Ferguson. "It's a great day for America" each time we watch him. I don't think anyone's as funny as a Scot! That's why I come to see YOU!! :)

Robynn's Ravings said...

Okay, I'm back as threatened and you now have the DH in stitches! He laughed too long and hard at the wife falling out of the plane. I think he REALLY enjoyed that one......I'm frightened......!

Tattie Weasle said...

I'm giggling away here - you'd deserve far more than £140 a day!

Robynn's Ravings said...

Thank you for all your kind words and loving support during this week of rough waters. It means a great deal. (((hug)))

GooseBreeder said...

Love it!!!

DJan said...

MOB, I also want to say thank you for the comments you are leaving on my blog. You are the ONLY person I know who says "crikey" -- what a GREAT word.

Sandy Kessler said...

spirits disappear hilarious sandy

Sandi McBride said...

What in the world is wrong with Blogger! It will not let me read your new post!!!
But I'll keep trying!

aims said...

Thanks MOB - needed this this morning. I'm starting off a big foggy.....

Maggie May said...

Have been trying to open your new post but Blogger won't let me. I had this happen to me a couple of times but it eventually righted itself.

Password *sucks * REALLY!

Nuts in May

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

PhilipH – oh yes I love Rotwatch too. Just a fabulous blogger. Thanks for dropping by and leaving such a nice comment. Living by the Scottish borders – priceless.

Eddie – I would be delighted to do the Sunday Roast as soon as I have recovered from my bout of flu. Feeling a bit rough at the moment but I am honoured that you asked me.

Ibeati – ta hen!

Virgina – I guess you mean an earlier post about the mindless wandering! Glad you came by and had a chuckle. I’ll pop by your blog too.

Robyn – ach hen, you are too generous. Most of the humour is in the jokes so I cannae take the credit for them. Glad you and the hubby had a laugh. Glad things are getting better for you.

Tattie – thanks, I’ll use you as a reference for that 140 spondooliks!

Goosebreeder – good enough that you understood it! Not bad for an Auzzie!

Djan – you write a great blog and you always elicit a comment from me as I feel I am just sitting down having a chat with you. Thanks.

Sandy – yup the spirits disappear in oor hoose too!

Sandi – blogger wouldn’t let me embed a video – it got barked at me so I had to delete the post and try again with just a link.

Aims – we aim to please!

Maggie – just blogger messing about!

Chris said...

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