Glaswegian ·

The Glasgow Patter

a Scots dialect spoken in and around Glasgow, Scotland.

Glaswegian & Glossary

Below is a list of words, phrases and expressions audiences of Fibres may be unfamiliar with if they are not from Glasgow, Scotland or it's surrounding regions. The specific dialect spoken in this area is called "Glaswegian."

In addition, find explanations of some of the medical jargon, contextual information, and references in the text.



Considered the national dish of Scotland, Haggis is a traditional dish containing sheep's offal (heart, liver and lungs). While it is eaten all year round, haggis is particularly associated with Burns Night, when it is traditionally served with "neeps and tatties" (Scots: swede, yellow turnip or rutabaga and potatoes, boiled and mashed separately) and a "dram" (i.e. a glass of Scotch whisky). Mashed together, "neeps and tatties" is also known as "clapshot". 


Robert Burns-- “After his death he became a great source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism, and a cultural icon in Scotland and among the Scottish diaspora around the world.” 

(Learn more about Burns Night here)


"Haggis & neeps"

Sectarianism in Glasgow takes the form of religious and political rivalry between Roman Catholics and Protestants. It is reinforced by the fierce rivalry between Celtic F.C. and Rangers F.C., the two Old Firm football clubs whose support is traditionally predominantly Catholic and Protestant respectively.


"Celtic & Rangers"

To continue talking about something that is not interesting to the person you are talking to.


"Rabbiting on"

Bullitt Mustang, a version of the pony car that holds a special place in the hearts of car lovers, primarily because it was featured in one of the most famous chase scenes ever in a movie. "Bullitt," starring Steve McQueen, came out in 1968.


"The car Steve McQueen was driving in the picture”

To continue trying or working diligently (at something).


“Pegging it away”

Row means a noisy argument, but when you use it this way, it rhymes with cow, rather than toe. The origin of this meaning is uncertain, but it probably came from the word carousal, or "drinking bout," as a kind of British university slang.



To make a promise of marriage- Put together, this sentence is a magical formula. In the right circumstances, the simple act of utterance of it effects a state change: said in turn by two people, it turns two single persons into two married persons.


“I plight thee my troth”

The chest tube is connected to a closed chest drainage system, which allows for air or fluid to be drained, and prevents air or fluid from entering the pleural space. The system is airtight to prevent the inflow of atmospheric pressure. Because the pleural cavity normally has negative pressure, which allows for lung expansion, any tube connected to it must be sealed so that air or liquid cannot enter the space where the tube is inserted (Bauman & Handley, 2011; Rajan, 2013).


"I’m not squeamish about the dressings or the yellow fluid draining from Jack’s Chest"

“Asbestos” - from the Ancient Greek meaning inextinguishable. Ancient Greeks wrapped their dead in asbestos shrouds to keep their ashes separate from the pyre.


“Asbestos fibres are phagocytized by the cells and when the cell undergoes mitosis, the fibers interfere with chromosome segregation which results in anaphase abnormalities.”


"asbestos, methoselioma, dyspnea, metastasis"

A place where you pay to use machines that wash and dry clothes.



The term for the school years between age eleven or twelve followed by a compulsory four years with the following two years being optional. Qualifications are taken in the final three years of secondary school, which qualify pupils for further or higher education.


Secondary modern

Billy Connolly is a Scottish stand-up comedian, musician, presenter, actor and artist. He is sometimes known, especially in his homeland, by the Scots nickname "The Big Yin" ("The Big One")  


A welder (specifically, a boilermaker) in the Glasgow shipyards, but he gave it up towards the end of the decade to pursue a career as a folk singer. In the early 1970s, Connolly made the transition from folk-singer with a comedic persona to fully fledged comedian, for which he has received numerous awards.


Billy Connolly

Take a Break is a weekly magazine aimed at women, currently published in the United Kingdom. It retails at 96 pence and a new issue is published every Thursday. Take a Break is the most circulated women's magazine in the United Kingdom, and the 12th most circulated overall. 

Hello! is a weekly magazine specializing in celebrity news and human-interest stories, published in the United Kingdom since 1988. It is the United Kingdom local edition of ¡Hola!, the Spanish weekly magazine.


Take a Break / Hello!

To make a promise of marriage- Put together, this sentence is a magical formula. In the right circumstances, the simple act of utterance of it effects a state change: said in turn by two people, it turns two single persons into two married persons.


Serpentine, amosite, crocidolite, Tremolite, anthophyllite and actinolite

In 1898, Lucy Deane Streatfield wrote a report on the adverse health effects of working with asbestos in factories. Her report was the first of its kind in the United Kingdom — and among the first in the world — to uncover the risks of asbestos exposure. 


Streatfield’s work to reveal the dangers of asbestos were the humble beginnings of the workers’ rights revolution. Her bravery paved the way for other inspectors to advocate for safer working conditions.


Lucy Deane

“That was in 1898, Doctor. 73 years before Jack walked into the shipyard with asbestos dust falling like snow.” 

Derived from wee, meaning little, and ane meaning one, wean is a word most commonly used in the West of Scotland to refer to a young child, and is sometimes also spoken as wee yin or “little one” 


Hooses - houses


“We were wains, eighteen-year olds in our new home, playing at “wee hooses”

Garbage collector/ sanitation worker


Bin man

"The shipyards." In this case, the famous Clydeside shipyards near Glasgow, Scotland.


"The yards"

The Barrowland Ballroom was opened in the heart of the Barras market in Glasgow in 1934. Resident band Billy MacGregor and the Gaybirds entertained large crowds of dancers with music, jokes and stunts. During the Second World War it was especially popular with American servicemen, who introduced the Jive and the Jitterbug to the city's dancers. The dance hall suffered a disastrous fire in 1958 but was rebuilt and re-opened on Christmas Eve 1960, with the distinctive neon sign above the door which remains its trademark. Barrowland adapted to new dances like the Twist in the 1960s and hosted the only appearance in Scotland of Bill Haley and his Comets in 1964. Ballroom dancing ended in 1973, but at the beginning of the 21st century it remains the city's premier rock concert venue.


Barrowland dances

Bevvy - short for beverage. Usually refers to an alcoholic beverage "Ye havin' a bevvy the nite?” 



Jimmy Airlie was a leading Scottish trade unionist. While a shop steward, along with Sammy Gilmore, Sammy Barr and Jimmy Reid he was particularly remembered for his role as chairman of the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders work-in committee of 1971. 


The Scottish trade unionist Jimmy Reid will forever be associated in labour history with the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders (UCS) occupation and work-in of 1971-72. It was an event that galvanized working-class consciousness, challenged political moralities and haunted the premiership of Edward Heath. It is difficult to overstate the status that Reid achieved at this time. One of the last great platform orators, he had the ability to convey trade union demands in terms that invoked ethical values and Christian imperatives. This rewarded him with a galaxy of admirers who were more than willing to overlook the fact that he was also an executive member of the British Communist party.


 "Jimmy Early and Jimmy Reid"

Edward Heath's government had ruled that shipbuilding had to survive without state subsidies and refused to keep the UCS yards open. Reid was determined to prove the businesses were still viable. 


The campaign, which became a model for trade unionists, won celebrity support from John Lennon and Billy Connolly before Heath's government backed down in February 1972. The government kept two yards and sold a third, injecting £35m into yards at Govan, Scotstoun and Linthouse.


“Heath says “fuck you” and both Clydebank and Scotstoun yards are done in the same stroke.”

Fool/gullible/impressionable/idiot, etc.



A work-in is a form of direct action under which workers whose jobs are under threat resolve to remain in their place of employment and to continue producing, without pay. Their intention is usually to show that their place of work still has long-term viability or that it can be effectively self-managed by the workers. Historical examples of the work-in include the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders work-in and the Harco Steel work-in, both in 1971.


“We’re staging a “work-in”

To get one's jotters means to be sacked from a job.


“I’ll give you your fucking jotters.”

“A wayleave is an annual agreement with the land owner granting us permission to.” (15)


“I need that wayleave for Hall Farm” 

To get one's jotters means to be sacked from a job.


“I’ll give you your fucking jotters.”

Stand By Me - cover by John Lennon 


“The campaign, which became a model for trade unionists, won celebrity support from John Lennon and Billy Connolly before Heath's government backed down in February 1972.”


JACK sings a little Lennon: 

When the night has come/ 

And the land is dark/ 

And the moon is the only light we see/

No I won't be

Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) involves running fibre optic cables from the telephone exchange or distribution point to the street cabinets which then connect to a standard phone line to provide broadband. 


Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP), also often referred to as Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) provides and end-to-end fibre optic connection the full distance from the exchange to the building and can deliver faster speeds than FTTC as there is no copper leg at all.



“Bean Nighe’s a washer woman alright, oh aye. She’s often seen crouching by a stream or a loch washing clothes but she’s washing them in blood and if you see’d better say your prayers for death will follow soon. Bean Nighe. She’s an omen of death.” (17)


Bean Nighe- The Washerwoman

A traditional Scottish children’s folk song. The author of this short poem is unknown but he/she certainly struck a chord with many people, especially in Glasgow. "Granny" has of course a special place in the structure of families, whether she's "yer mammy's mammy" or "yer daddy's mammy"! Full Lyrics Here.


“Ye cannae shove your granny off a bus”/ “I will if you will so will I."

Biddy- A woman, especially an elderly one, regarded as annoying or interfering. 


Steamie- (early version of a laundrette)- Women went to the steamie once a week. The week's dirty laundry was wrapped up in a sheet and carried in a basket, a tin bath or an old pram. The washing was done by hand and was extremely hard work, but many women enjoyed the occasion as it gave them a chance to see their friends and catch up with the local gossip.


“Like some tough old biddie in a 1950s Steamie.”

Rainbow was a British children's television series which ran from 1972 to 1997. It was intended to develop language and social skills for pre-school children. 


ThunderCats is an American media franchise, featuring a fictional group of catlike humanoid aliens. 


Teletubbies is a British pre-school children's television series which focuses on four multi-colored creatures known as "Teletubbies" named after the television screens implanted in their abdomens. Recognized for the uniquely shaped antenna protruding from the head of each character, the Teletubbies communicate through gibberish and were designed to bear resemblance to toddlers.


“Rainbow or Thunder Cats or...”/ A programme that’s actually made this decade. Telly tubbies?”

Postman Pat is a British stop-motion animated children's television series aimed at pre-school children, and concerns the adventures of Pat Clifton, a postman in the fictional village of Greendale. 


Lego Ninjago is a Lego theme introduced in 2011 based on ninjas. The TV show, Masters of Spinjtzu centers on the fictional world of Ninjago, telling the story of a group of young Ninjas and their battles against the forces of evil.


Postman Pat/ Ninjango

Alien (film) 1979 


The success of Alien spawned a media franchise of films, novels, comic books, video games, and toys. It also launched Weaver's acting career, providing her with her first lead role. The story of her character's encounters with the Alien creatures became the thematic and narrative core of the sequels.


“Like an Alien baby pushing out of the chest of that Zigourney Weaver.”