A mad beer-mat flicker loose in a wine bar.
The Scottish Word:

Heid the baw.

“Hoi – heid the baw! Cut that oot or yer claimed.”


heid the baw: (head the ball) madman, pest, irritating person, idiot. (also: bawheid).

“Hey – you annoying person! Stop that immediately or you and I will definitely be having a fight and you will lose.”

The Scottish Word: heid the baw with its definition and its meaning illustrated and captioned with the word used in context in the Scots language and in English.

9 thoughts on “Heid the baw.

  1. Heid the baw came from the saying bigheaded its just evolved into bawheid among others basically its used in Glasgow usually only when shouting at someone you are angry or annoyed with. But its not used in normal conversations

    1. yes, when as a kid i headed a brick hard heavy ball and could feel my brain rattle inside my skull i figured i just experienced some damage that may limit my brain capacity. Since then i started describing idiots i encountered as “heid the baws” and i guess it caught on with my contemporaries without my realising, as a friend pointed out some 10 years later he had never heard it before but now 30 years since i started using it, here it is on the internet described as a fairly common scots phrase. An outlandish claim to its origin i can hear you think but i am no stranger to truthfullness 🙂

      1. From the National Scottish Dictionary:
        m.Sc. 1979 Ian Bowman in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4
        I’ll blouter their nebs on the clean close wa’
        an’ gie them a taste o’ heid the ba’,
        I’ll gar them swidder tae chap ma door
        when ma bristly besom dings their splore.

        I’ll slam flatten their noses on the clean passage wall
        and give them a feel for ‘head the ball’
        I’ll grant them pause to knock on my door
        when my bristly broom dents their spree.

        1. Looks like those are the thoughts of a madman and what they would do to someone they are annoyed with (possibly chap-door-run kids?). Its the only definition that i can see above that’ll fit the quote and i am having a hard time finding the full article in the dictionary to examine exactly what it’s about.

          1. You’ll find the quotes under the word heid in the Dictionary of the Scots Language: I aye defer tae them.

            I. 2. Phrs. Add: I. 2. Phr. heid-the-baw, (i) A game involving bouncing a ball off a wall using one’s head.

            w.Lth. 2000 Davie Kerr A Puckle Poems 61:
            “Ti keep his like fae oot oor hair,
            train, keepie-uppie aff the flair,
            or heid-the-ba agen the stair,
            fae morn ti nicht, … “

            I. 2. Phrs. Add: I. 2. Phr. heid-the-baw, (ii) Nickname for an unnamed person, sometimes affectionate, sometimes referring to a stupid person.

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