Weird Scottish Words


For your delectation and delight today, I have a couple of weird words from north of the border. I expect that like myself, many of you can only listen in gawping amazement at the exuberant gloominess of many Scottish words. They hold a drama all of their own. So…
Withershins or widdershins. This is an adverb and describes things moving in a contrary direction to the course of the sun, so by association can be applied to anything moving the wrong or unnatural way. It could be applied to many current governments, or civilization in general. Its antonym is deasil, which is of course much more difficult to use.
Wanchancy is an adjective meaning unlucky, dangerous or uncanny. Again, lots of opportunities to use it: as the Scottish character Private Frazer in Dad’s Army was fond of reminding us, “We’re all doomed!” He could have easily have said, “Aye, it’s wanchancy times we’re living in.”

Fashion Week in Edinburgh circa 1700s.

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