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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Auld Wee Scottie's Eve

Tis' Robert Burns Night in old Caledonia (or Scotland) this evening, or it was given that at the time I'm writing this, it's about 5:30 in the morning there. Always late for the party, that's me.

Robert Burns Night is the celebration of the beloved Scots poet's birthday, and an excuse to indulge in all things Scots. All over the world, Scots and those who appreciate Scotland will be happily feeding on haggis, oatcakes, shortbread, bridies, Scotch eggs, sausage rolls, mince, and downing Tennant's lager, Glenfiddich, and Irn Bru by the caskful. They shall sit by a roaring fire, hiking up their kilts to warm the loins, fondly embracing their bonnie lassies, and reading favourite lines from Burns' poetry, which are rich and mellifluous, if indecipherable to anyone living south of Gretna.

For those of us in the humour business though, this is just another welcome excuse for lame jokes about Scotland, and I don't mean standard fare such as the "real" meaning of the term "the caber toss".

No, I believe in educating the masses. Given that this is The Dictionary of Unfortunate Ideas, I thought it would be appropriate to offer some useful, and somewhat less bawdy definitions of terms you likely heard, and were baffled by, on this day. For humourous purposes, this list will of course be highly inaccurate.


A Primer of Scots Terminology
by Earl of the Clan MacFando

aye - The lil' round things you see out of. Most blokes have two. Some pirates have one.
bairn - The thing the sheep go in on a rainy day, because nothing smells so bad as wet wool.
bonny - A rabbit. (ex. There goes the Easter Bonny!)
bridie - The lassie the groom gets hitched up wi'.
caber - Erm... we said we'd skip this one. Suffice to say that Scottish ones are enormous.
cannae - The thing Scotty says on Star Trek: "I cannae get the power!" No one knows what this means.
dinnae - The meal after lunch and before whiskey.
haggis - Sheep sweetbreads stuffed in the stomach and roasted in the oven with oats and oatcake. Sometimes, truth is funnier than fiction. Modern opinions of this dish range from "absolutely delicious" to "could not respond to survey due to repeated wretching".
ken - Barbie's friend. He doesn't capitalise his name because he's a pretentious git.
kilt - Past tense of "kill".
laddie - The thing you can climb to change lightbulbs or paint your flat. A small one is a step-laddie. Do not attempt to fight Jackie Chan if he is wielding one of these, as he will knock you flat on your caber.
lassie - Many people insist that this is the term used to refer to a lovely Scots woman. A certain collie would disagree. Also known as the "most obvious Scottish joke known to mankind."
loch - What you put a key into. Also, the second most obvious Scottish joke known to mankind.
Nessie - A really big lizard that hides in doorknobs. Also "untidy".
tartan - A spice. Short for Cream of Tartan.
wee - A quick leak.
wee-wee - A longer leak.
wee-wee-wee - Something the little pig said all the way home, or a leak taken after Robert Burns Night. Pass the Tennant's, please.


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