Scottish Words Illustrated.

Scottish Words Glossary: B from A-Z

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Scottish Words Glossary: B from A-Z
Scottish Word  Phonetic  Meaning  Word in Context
Scottish Word  Phonetic  Meaning  Word in Context
ba | baa | baw ball in context
babbity bowster ˈbabətɪˈbʌustər children's singing game, dance  
babby baby  
baccie | bakkie ˈbakɪ tobacco in context
bachle | bauchle ˈbaxl old, worn or twisted shoe, a person of no account in context
back back  
back-end autumn  
backarts backwards  
backet bakət bucket in context
back-faulds fields behind the farmhouse  
backgroond background in context
backie baki a piggy back ride, carry one on ones back or back of bicycle  
backie | bawkie bɑkɪ bat in context
backin bakɪn directions on a letter  
backit backed  
backlins backwards  
backlins-comin coming back  
backspang reversing a bargain or agreenent  
back-yett gate at the back  
bad | baud bɑd bad, unwell  
badderlock edible seaweed  
baddock young of the coalfish  
bade | baud bed endured, stayed, asked  
badrons | baudrons pet cat  
baff a blow - esp with something soft  
baffie | baffies comfy slippers in context
baggie a swede (root vegetable)  
baggie fat belly  
baggie-mennen a kind of large minow  
baggity greedy  
bags | bagpipes bagpipes - better than drums to stir the warlike blood of soldiers in battle  
bagpippean things to do with the nature of bagpipes (made up) in context
bahookie | bahouchie | behouchie bəˈhuxı  bottom, backside (applied to children) in context
bahuif chest with arched lid  
baible drink clumsily  
baignet bayonet  
baillie magistrate of a Scots burgh  
bain | bane ˈben bone in context
baird bard  
bairge barge  
baring clearing top soil and loose rocks or strata (quarrying) in context
bairn a child, baby in context
bairn | bairnie little child, small baby in context
bairnheid childhood  
bairn ˈbern child, baby in context
we’re a’ Jock Tamson’s bairns we're all equal at the end of the day  
bairntime brood of children  
baisies ˈbezɪz rounders  
baist to beat, strike  
baith beθ both in context
bak | byaak bek bake  
bakes biscuits  
bakken | bakkit baked  
balderrie ˈbɛlderɪ wild orchid  
ballant ballad  
go ballistic become extemely angry in context
balloch | bealach baləx narrow mountain pass  
ballop opening in trousers  
balou | baloo balu lullaby  
bam an idiot, a fool in context
bampot a bigger idiot, a fool in context
bamstick a destructive idiot, a fool in context
ban swear  
bananae banana  
band | baun | baund bound  
bandie stickleback  
bandster | banster one who binds sheaves after reapers  
bang baŋ an effort, a blow, a large number, to thump  
banis | beneis banish  
banjie a rowdy mob  
bannet | bunnet bonnet, flat cloth cap in context
bannock | bonnok a round flat cake made on a girdle in context
bannock nicht Shrove Tuesday  
banshee ˈbanˈʃi a femal spirit whose wail was thought to forecast one's death in context
banstickle stickleback  
bap bread roll  
bapteese | bapteise baptise  
bar | baur bar of wood  
barbulyie barˈbølji confuse, besmear  
bard a poet - if 'The Bard' then it's Robert Burns, or perhaps sometimes just possibly William Shakespeare in context
bardach ˈbardəx stout, fearless  
bardy scolding  
bare | ber ber bare  
barefit | barefut barefooted  
barket | barkit barked, tanned - of leather, dirty, encrusted in context
barley-brie barlɪˈbri whisky  
barm yeast  
barn-yaird stackyard  
barrae | barra | borra | borrie | barrie barrow  
barrie fine, excellent, big and smart in appearance  
bartie the Devil  
bash baʃ a heavy blow so as to smash, a dint in context
on the bash a heavy drinking bout, on a heavy drinking spree in context
baslar a dagger  
bass a mat of fibre, coarse straw, rushes, etc. doormat  
bastardin devilish  
bass cock puffin  
bastart | bystart bastard  
batch a crew, a number  
bather bother  
batie | bawtie plump, portly  
battard a kind of small cannon in context
batters book cover, to paste  
batts the botts; the colic  
baubee | bawbee ˈbɑˈbi old Scots sixpenny copper coin = old UK halfpenny in context
bauch ˈbɑx poor, sorry, blows from a cudgel as opposed to a sharp blade  
bauchle | bachle | bauchil ˈbɑxl denounce, cause trouble or harm, shamble about, old shoe  
bauckie-bird | bauken the bat  
baudkin a richly embroidered cloth  
baudrons affectionate name for a cat in context
bauk balk, wooden beam, unploughed ridge in a ploughed field  
bauk-hicht ˈbɑkhɪxt as high as the rafters  
baukie razor bill, the black guillemot  
bauld bold, fierce - of animals  
a bauld fae is better than a couardly freend a bold foe is better than a cowardly friend  
baumy balmy  
baur joke, bar  
baurber barber  
baurley | baurlie barley  
bausy ˈbɑsɪ large, fat, coarse  
bawcan ghost, hobgoblin  
baurrel barrel  
bawdrons | baud ˈbɑd a hare  
bawheid fool, idiot in context
bawlin crying loudly in context
bawk a field path  
bawsant white-streaked on hair or face, piebald of a horse  
bawtie | bawty generic affectionate name for a dog in context
bawties rabbit, hare  
baxter baker in context
be-north to the northward of  
be-south to the southward of  
beadle church officer  
beal | bele fester, swell with rage, fill with rancour  
bealin festering, raging in context
bear barley  
beard | baird beard  
beardie | bairdi ˈbirdɪ rubbing of a mans rough chin against another's cheek or chin  
beardie lotchie stone loach  
beast | beste | beist farm animals, any animal  
beastie insect, a small animal in context
beat beat  
beat | bait beaten  
beb bɛb drink drunkenly  
beck curtsey  
become | becum become  
bed flat base for construction, foundation  
bedrite bɪˈdrəit foul with excrement or dirt  
bedriten dirty in context
bee baw babbery kissing game  
beef any butchers meat  
beek | beik bik warm oneself, bask  
been beam  
beenge bindʒ binge  
beet | biet amend, lessen, relieve - of distress need etc  
beezer a thing better or worse than usual, exclamation to same effect in context
begeck | begeik bɪˈgɛk deceive, disappoint, trick  
begesserant sparkling  
beglamour bewitch in context
begoud | begude began  
begowk | begeck bɪˈgʌuk befool, deceive, stupify  
begoyt | begyte foolish, mad  
begrutten tearstained  
behauden obliged, behold, suspend action  
beheid behead  
behuve | behuive behove  
beil | biel | beel | bield go off, suppurate, fester with rage  
bein being in context
belang belong  
beld | baul | bauld bald  
belike probably, probably, likely  
bellaes | bellas | bellies ˈbɛlɪz bellows  
bellibucht ˈbɛlɪbʌxt a hollow in a hill running crossways  
bellum ˈbɛlʌm assault.  
belly stomach in context
belli-hooin ˈbɛlɪˈhuɪn riotousness  
bellox ˈbɑloks testicles  
Beltane Mayday  
belter a heavy blow, an awsome experience  
beltin beating in context
belyve ˈbəˈlaɪv soon, quickly, at once  
Ben mountain (the bigger ones)  
ben in or towards the inner part or towards the workings  
ben the hoose in the best room in context
bend a band, sash  
beneth beneath  
benicht bɪnɪxt benighted  
benmaist innermost, furthest  
benorth north of  
bent common hair-grass  
bere barley  
berk ˈbɛrk bark  
berm ferment  
bern barn  
Berrick Berwick  
besaunt canonise  
beseek | beseik beseech  
besmerten | besmairten smarten up, tidy up  
besom | bizzom ˈbɪzəm a broom, a hussy in context
best best  
best-aucht bɛstɑxt the best thing of a kind that one possesses - claimed  
bestmaid bridesmaid  
beswackit | beswakkit bɪˈswakɪt soaked, drenched in context
betak hand over  
beteach to entrust  
bethankit grace after meat  
betterfaured better featured  
betterlike better looking  
betterment improvement  
beuch bough  
bewaur beware  
bewave lay in wait  
beyont above, more than, yonder  
bi fegs by faith, truly  
bick bitch  
bicker skirmish  
bicker bɪkr a wooden cup  
bicker a short run  
bicker to flow swiftly and with a slight noise  
bickerin noisy contention  
bickering hurrying  
bid to bid, to ask  
bidden | biddin ˈbɪdn endured, stayed, required to, invite  
bide | byde await, endure, dwell, stay in context
bide a wee stay a while  
bidie-in bɪdiˈɪn a partner who has moved in to stay but without getting married in context
biel | beild bild protection, comfort, shelter  
bien | bene in good condition, well stocked  
big | bigg build, construct, make a home  
biggen built, swollen, pregnant  
biggin building, a cluster of cottages in context
biggit built  
biggen swell  
bike nest of wild bees or wasps, unexpected luck  
bile bəil boil  
bill the bull  
billibue a hullabaloo  
billie | billy bɪlɪ companion, friend, lover  
bilsh speak angrily and loudly  
bin bɪn been in context
bing ˈbɪŋ heap, waste heap  
Bingrie Ballingry  
bink | bank shelf by a sink or fire  
binna don't be, unless, except, be not (negative of to be)  
binnd | bin bind, alliance  
binner move noisily  
birdie | burdie a small bird, a golfing term in context
birk bɪrk birch tree, cheer  
birk bɪrk move energetically, a stout well built boy in context
birken birchen  
birkenshaw birch wood  
birkie lively young fellow, spirited  
birk knowe bɪrknʌu knoll covered in birches  
birl | burl turn, spin in context
birlin spinning  
birr | bir force, energy, enthusiasm, whirring sound  
birse | birss | burs bristles, shaft of bristles, hackles  
his birse's up angry in context
birsie hairy, stubbly, hot tempered in context
birsle scorch, broil  
birth berth  
birstle bustle  
birze to press, bruise  
biss | bizz bustle, flurry, hissing noise  
bit piece of food, a mouthful, a small part in context
by-bit a snack between meals in context
bittie fragmented, a short distance or time  
bit a potato picker's part of the length of a drill to pick from, children got half a bit, usually next to their mum who often ended up picking most of their half bit too  
canni get oot o the bit stuck, can't make any progress - from the olden days when the potato digger comes and goes and you're not finished picking your bit and you're not keeping up - dismissal looms  
aff the bit off the mark, wrong  
nae a bit expressing incredulity  
bit but  
bitch-fou completely drunk  
bizz a flurry  
bizzard ˈbɪzərd the buzzard  
blab drink excessively, gossip, blister  
blabber babble  
black dooker cormorant  
black frost icy without rime or snow - dangerous slippiness  
black-nebbit black-beaked  
blacken my door darken my door, unwelcome  
blad blade, a leaf, a portfolio  
blae blue grey, livid  
blae-bunnet blue tit  
blaff blast, bang  
blaiken | blakyn become pale  
blain | blane scar from a wound, weal, bare patch in a crop  
blairt outburst  
blaister to blow with violence  
blash splash  
blashie windy, rainy  
blaster bleester blastərˈblistər wind blowing in blasts  
blastie grumpy unmanageable child or animal  
blate bashful, shy  
blather | blether babble, idle talk, to talk nonsense, the bladder  
blatter talk loud and fast, rattle, beat heavily  
blaud spoil by mishandling  
blaud a large quantity, strip or lump  
blaw | blaa | bla blɑ blowing, to blow, to brag in context
blaw blossom  
blaw oot puncture in context
bleach strike, beat  
bleb tipple, to sip  
bleck leather blacking, smut  
bleckie blackbird  
bleer make the eyes water, blear the vision  
bleize | bleaze | bleeze bliz blaze, fire brand, beacon fire  
blellum a babbler; a railer, a blusterer  
blenk a moment, blink, to shine, glimmer, to wink  
blenker | blinker eye-lash  
blether | bleather talk foolishly, idle talk, blather  
blether bladder  
bletherin gossiping, talking a lot in context
bletherskite ˈblɛðərˈskəit silly talker, one who talks too much  
blin blɪn blind in context
blin brose brose without the butter  
blin drift sharp blinding driving snow  
blin' oors hours of darkness  
blink a glance  
blinkers eyes  
blinnd | blin' blind  
blin fou very very drunk  
blinter | blenter boisterous gusty wind in context
blinterer short sighted person  
blinterin glimmering, short sighted  
blinterin eed weak eyed  
blirt weep, burst into tears  
bliss bless  
blitter the snipe, thin watery mess  
blocher coughing with a gurgling noise  
blomaist | blowmaist lowest  
bloust | blost blʌust a boast  
blouster ˈblʌustər a violent wind with gusts  
blowder | blowther ˈblʌudər  a sudden gust of wind in context
blowst brag, boast  
bluffert | bliffert a squall of wind  
bluid | blude | blid blud bleed, blood in context
bluidshed bloodshot  
bluim | blume | blim to bloom  
bluiter | blooter | bluter obliterate, strike excessively hard in context
blunner blunder  
bluntie a stupid person, sniveller  
blybe large quantity of spirits  
blypes | blithe shreds of skin  
boak | boke | bowk bok retch, vomit in context
gi the dry boke cause given to make one retch in context
boakie | bogie a piece of hard matter in the nose or freshly removed, a snot picked, or ready for picking from the nose in context
boatie small boat  
a bob one shilling = 12 copper pennies = 5 New Pence Decimal  
twa bob two shillings = 24 copper pennies = 10 New Pence Decimal in context
ten bob note

ten shilling note = 120 copper pennies = 50 New Pence coin Decimal, - 20 shillings was one pound of which Scottish D

ecimal pound notes (100 New Pence) were still in circulation (rare to find) in Scotland as of 2016

 
bobbed curtsied  
bobbin-qwaw quaking bog, quagmire in context
bocht | boucht ˈboxt bought in context
bodach ˈboˈdəx old man, small insignificant person (contemptuously)  
boddam | boddom bottom  
boddam breadth gap required for a person to fit to sit  
boddle | bodle old Scots copper 2p coin = sixth of an old UK penny  
bode look for, portend  
boden supplied with kit for fighting in a war  
weel bodenned well supplied, the aim of arms dealers everywhere, the bastards  
bodie | boddy | bothie | buddy ˈbodɪ a human being, person, (some) one in context
a bodie someone  
nae bodie nobody in context
bodkin tailor's needle  
boggle eyes - bulge with fear, pain or interest in context
bogie shout to cancel the game and start again  
bogle | bogle | boggil ugly or terrifying ghost, a scarecrow  
bogly an area frequented by goblins and their pals  
bogshaivelt bogˈʃevlt distort  
bole | bolie hole recess in the wall, small cupboard in the wall  
boll | bow dry weight, amount or capacity of meal which is about 140lbs = 63.5kg. But the value of the term varies on what the commodity measured is and where you ask.  
bonnaccord friendly agreement  
bonailie bonˈelɪ a toast to a departing friend  
bone bon pester for moneys due  
bonie | bonnie | bonny nice looking, pretty, handsome in context
bonilie prettily  
bonspiel | bonspeil ˈbonˈspil a large scale match or contest - curling  
boo | bou bend in respect, bow, curve  
bool | boo bul a rounded object, a bowling ball, a glass marble, a round sweet, a glass eye in context
a bool in the mou speaking in an affected way  
bool a curve, curved handle, rounded  
boolie backit | bool backed hump backed

in context

boolie leggit bow legged  
boond bound, boundary  
boorach ˈburəx untidy heap, unruly crowd, mess or grub about in context
boord board  
boost shoo off  
boot | buit a boot, an assistance  
boozin ˈbuzən drinking an excessive (usually) amount of alcohol in context
tae boot | tae buit teˈbut in addition to the agreed deal or prize, thrown in in context
bore a chink, hole  
borrae | borra borrow  
bosie embrace, a bosom  
boss hollow, concave, lacking means or brains  
bossie wooden basin  
bothan ˈboθən unlicenced drinking bothie - the pub shack built at same time as the whisky still along with the collection of hut shelters (sheilings) up on the summer hill-pasture - what a party - except I believe it was just women and children that manned the sheilings all summer.  
botherer an annoyance - god botherers - the ones who give religion a bad name  
bothie | bothy rough hut used temporarily by shepherds, mountaineers and hillwalkers see the Mountain Bothies Association mountainbothies.org.uk  
bottle ˈboʔl bottle  
bou | boo bow, bend  
bou-backit hump-backed  
boucht | bowcht | bucht bʌxt sheepfold  
boud | boo'd |bou'd bowed, bent  
bouer | booer bower  
bouff | bowf dog wowf, contemptuous term for a big person  
bouk the human torso, bulk, a carcass, a buck in context
bourie | burrae a burrow, lair in context
muckle boukit big built, a stout fellow in context
Bourshaa Bowershall  
bouls | bools The game of bowls or marbles  
bourtree | boortree elder tree  
bow't bent  
bow-hough'd bandy-thighed  
bow-kail cabbage  
bowder a heavy squall  
bowe bow (weapon), arch  
bowf bark, also to smell awful in context
bowl | bowel bowl  
bowlie bow-legged  
bowlt bent  
bowsie ˈbʌusɪ a hump, a bogeyman, fat, puffed up, corpulant in context
bowster | bolster double length pillow, a bearing post for support - a fit Nordic looking girl I knew from Orkney insisted we slept with a bolster between us for the first night, said it was a tradition, it was worth it - looking back I'm surprised I owned a bolster  
bowt bolt  
brabblach too small to be worth anything  
brae slope, hill in context
brae-head top of the slope  
braid broad  
braiggle useless and unsafe thing due to age or condition  
braik a harrow  
brainwode ˈbrenˈwød mad, furious in context
brainsh | brainch branch  
brainyell outburst, uproar  
braird first sproutings  
braisant brazen impudent  
braith | braeth breath  
brak | brek break, broken in context
brak | brek brake in context
brakfast | brakefast | brakwast breakfast in context
brammle | bramble blackberry  
brander a grid iron  
branderin scaffolding  
brang brought  
brank behave without restraint, strut  
branks halter with wooden side bits  
brash short severe illness, burst of rain, an attack  
brast burst  
brat ragged garment, pinafore  
brats small pieces, unruly children  
brattle loud clatter, sudden assault, short rush, sudden blast of wind  
braw | bra brɑ fine, good, well done, handsome in context
brawlie finely, elegantly, splendidly  
brawlike fine  
brawlins berries of the cowberry or cranberry  
braxie, braxy ˈbraksɪ intestinal sheep's disease  
braxies sheep that have died of braxie  
breard | brerd the top surface  
breastit sprang forward  
brecham horse collar  
brechan bracken  
breckens bracken  
bree | brie the water left when something has been boiled; stock, gravy in context
bree consequences, the brunt, eyebrow  
breeks | breiks briks a bag for the bum and tubes for the legs - trousers - not a kilt in context
breekums very short trousers  
breem broom plants  
breenge | breinge brindʒ lunge, rush forward recklessly, barge  
breer | breer brier  
hing by the breers a precarious position  
breeshle | breeshle ˈbriʃl rush  
breest | breist brist breast  
breid | breed brid bread in context
brent smooth, steep, spring forward  
bress brass  
brew | broo | brou liquid, beer, tea  
brewster brewer  
bricht brɪxt bright in context
brickle brittle  
bridie sausage meat wrapped in a folded over circular pastry - baked in context
bridle wedding  
brief brif writ  
brierie covered in briars  
Stourie, stouchie, gaudie brierie! Dinging a' things tapsalteerie bustling, fussing, prankish, prickly! Knocking all things up and over in the air  
brig bridge  
brig o Dee Bridge of Dee  
brinkie comely person  
briskie chaffinch  
brither ˈbrɪðər brother in context
broch burgh, sone built circular towet from prehistory with thick hollow walls  
The Broch Fraserburgh  
Brochheid ˈbroxhid Burghhead [ˈbɪrkhɛd]  
brocht broxt brought  
brochten brought  
Brochtoun broxtun Broughtown  
brock badger, broken/small pieces of rubbish, leftovers  
brockit having black and white spots or stripes  
brod something with a point, goad, braddle etc, board, cover  
brog spike, pierce  
brogart drink of ale and honey  
broggle bungle  
brogue a trick, a type of heavy leather shoe with distinctive pierced pattern which I'm fond of myself but the one's worth buying are expensive  
brollie ˈbrolɪ umbrella in context
broo | brou bru forehead, brow of a hill, water in which something has been boiled, eyebrow in context
brooses wedding races from the church to the home of the bride  
brose ˈbros instant oatmeal dish of boiling water added to oatmeal with some salt and butter - the course oatmeal was my preference - I once added vegetables which I hated but my flatmates lapped it up when they came in from playing football in context
fat brose ˈfaʔˈbros brose made with hot stock or fat instead of water.  
broth thick winter soup  
brouk | brook make dirty with soot  
broun | broon brown in context
brousle | broosle crush  
browden ˈbrʌudən embroidered, extremely fond of, pamper  
brucken ˈbrʌkl brittle, easily broken, morally weak  
bruckle in a weak state  
bruim | brume brum Scots broom a leguminous shrub - often accompanied on the hillsides, on golf courses, and on dunes by whins (the spiky one leguminous shrub), both with riots of yellow flowers, and both great for wildlife, fodder and improvement of the soil  
bruind flare, a burning piece of wood, brand, to emit sparks  
bruit | breet brøt brute  
brulyie | brulzie broil, brawl, quarrel  
brung brought  
brunstane brimstone  
brunt burned burnt - of a curling stone illegally touched and no longer counts, keen, ardent  
Brunteelan | Brunteilan Burntisland  
brust burst  
bruntie blacksmith  
brush | brusche brʌs a violent impetus  
bubbliejock | bubbly jock turkey (male) in context
bucht sheep pen, bay  
bucket pail  
tak a bucket consume a large quantity of alcohol  
Buckhyne | Buckhine Buckhaven  
buckie fruit of the wild rose, the whelk, oversmart youngster  
bucksturdie ˈbʌkˈstʌrdɪ obstinate in context
bud a bribe  
buff puff out, strike with suft substance, dull soporific sound  
buffits mumps  
bughtin folding  
buik | beuk book, the body in context
beuk-lare ˈbukler book learning, half baked knowledge  
buird | burd table, board for meal or a corpse  
buirdlie | burdly stalwart  
buirdly stalwart, rough  
buit | bute | bit boot, help, remedy  
bul | bull kind of fish  
buller | bulder a bubble, whirlpool, a roar  
bullie bʌlɪ bullfinch  
bum drone, go on vigorously  
bum bottom, the buttocks  
bum-clock beetle  
bumbaze, bambaize ˈbʌmˈbəz confuse, perplex in context
bumbee bumble-bee  
bummer bumble bee, insects that buzz in context
bummle hum, a wild bee  
bummle a drone  
bund bund bound  
bunker bʌnkɪr a seat, kitchen worktop  
bunnel cow parsnip  
burd bʌrd bird in context
bure | buir bore  
burn | burnie stream, brook  
burnewin the blacksmith (fire on the wind)  
Burns nicht 25th January  
burr-thistle spear-thistle  
bursour bursar in context
bursten | bursen burst  
bushok hedge sparrow  
busk with haste - to get ready, to garb, to dress up, to adorn  
buss bʌs bush, dress  
bussle bustle  
but | bit bit but, except, outer  
but without  
but an ben two roomed cottage  
butch bʌtʃ butcher, slaughter in context
butt ridge or strip of ploughed land  
buttery-lippit smooth talking  
by | bi apart from, contrary to, out of, except  
by | bi beside, nearby  
by an aboon over and above  
by an gane | by wi completely over, done  
by himsel beside himself  
by my feggs! goodness! by my oath!  
by wi't done for, as good as  
bye'attour | by an out owre in addition to, besides  
bygae pass by  
bygane passed time in the past - period of  
bygate byway, side path, indirect way in context
bygaun passing by  
b'wye by the way  
byke | bike an ant, wasp or bees' nest, a hive, a swarm, a crowd  
byle | bile boil  
byne | bine bowl, washtub  
byordinar | byordnar unusual, extraordinary  
byous special  
bypassit elapsed, of time, a specific date  
byre bəir cow shed in context
byspale wonderful  
bysyn | bysin | bysint ˈbaɪzən a monster, a marvel in context

Scottish Words illustrated

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