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Dinna Fash

Catherine in Battle Creek, Michigan, saw a bumper sticker with the Scots phrase Dinna fash, meaning “Don’t worry.” Dinna in this phrase means “don’t” and fash incomes from a French verb fâcher, meaning “to...

Groak

To groak is an obscure verb that means “to look longingly at something, as a dog begging for food. In the Scots language, it’s more commonly spelled growk. This is part of a complete episode.

Streely

A listener in Cambridge, Wisconsin, says her mother, who is of Irish descent, used to tell her children to wash their hair so it wouldn’t be streely. This word derives from Irish for “unkempt,” and perhaps ultimately from a Gaelic...

Nebby

The phrase to be nebby is heard particularly in Western Pennsylvania, and means to be “picky” or “gossipy.” Originally, it meant “nosy” or “snooping.” Nebby is a vestige of Scots-Irish, where the word...

Positive Anymore

An Omaha, Nebraska man wonders about starting a sentence with the word anymore, meaning “nowadays.” Linguists refer to this usage as positive anymore, which is common in much of the Midwest and stems from Scots-Irish syntax. This is part...

Wee Man

When Scots use the term wee man, they’re referring to the devil. The Dictionary of the Scots Language is a fantastic and free resource for all terms Scottish, including blethering skite or bladderskate, which is a great thing to call a chatty...