Artist explaining zombie portrait to a potential customer.
The Scottish Word:

Wantin an Erm.

Thon giant zombie took me by surprise ye ken. I managed tae bash its brains oot wi my machete afore I realised I wiz wantin an erm.

Guid job ah’m corrie fisted.

It wisni till I toppled oer ah kent ah wis wantin a leg anaw.

Mind. Ah hud tae pent its muckle fizzog frae memory as I’d made sic a richt proper job o bashin its heid in.

It’s a guid job ah’ve goat a guid memory ah’n I heal quick.

It’s no easy pentin frae real life – or rather real undeid, har har.


wantin an erm: describing a one armed man etc. missing something.

That giant zombie there took me by surprise you know. I managed to bash its brains out with my machete before I realised I had lost an arm.

It was of good fortune that I am left handed.

It wasn’t until I toppled over that I knew that I had lost a leg also.

Bear in mind that I had to paint its great big face from memory as I had made such an thorough job of bashing its head in.

Good job I have a good memory and heal quickly.

It’s not easy painting from real life – or rather real undead, har har.

′wɑntɪn ən ɛrm
The Scottish Word/s: Wantin an Erm with its definition and its meaning illustrated and captioned with the words used in context in the Scots language and in English.


I stayed all over Scotland by the time I became an art student and I could understand most of the dialects – even (a bit) the super fast speak of the travelers that I used to pick tatties with.

For some reason my friends’ parents from the North East came to visit in my flat and they were impressed I could follow what they were saying as most of their daughters’ other friend’s couldn’t.

It was Doric from up near Ellon, Aberdeenshire. I was chuffed and swelled with young student pride.

Her dad told some great stories but one phrase in a story about a diver recovering a body I couldn’t get and had to swallow my pride and ask.

It was ‘wantinanerm’ spoken quickly, which I thought was a word I didn’t know. But all it was, is that the body being recovered from underwater had lost an arm. A phrase not a word.

I’d been thinking it was some technical diver speak that I wasn’t getting.

Live and learn.

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