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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...

Pree

In the Scots language, pree means “to taste” or “sample.” If you pree someone’s mouth, then you give them a kiss on the lips. It’s a variant of the word prove, and cognate with Spanish probar, to “taste...

Duffifie

The verb duffifie is defined in the Scots National Dictionary as “to lay down a bottle on its side for some time, after its contents have been poured out, that it may be completely drained of the few drops remaining in it.” This is part...

To Briggle

Tommy from Carlsbad, California, wonders about an expression his mother used when he would be busily fastidious about cleaning to the point of overdoing it. She would say he was briggling. The verb to briggle is defined in the Dictionary of American...

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.

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...