10 of the best Glaswegian insults and compliments
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Glasgow is well known for its unique vocabulary. It’s undoubtedly one of the best accents to deliver an insult, or receive a compliment in.

Here are ten of our favourites:

1. Check the nick ‘o that

The ‘that’ here generally refers to a person. The idea is that the person in question is so utterly repulsive that they don’t even deserve the privilege of a human pronoun.

Use it in a sentence: *While gesturing towards a drunk man vomiting on himself on Sauchiehall Street* “Check the nick ‘o that by the way.”

2. Hacket

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To be described as hacket is just the worst. A term generally reserved for the female species.

Use it in a sentence: “That bird fae the other night was pure hacket.”

3. Away take yir face furra sh*te

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What else could be more dismissive than to be told to take your actual face to the toilet. Basically, what you are saying is that unbearable to me, you should go and defecate out of your mouth instead.

Use it in a sentence: Well, basically you would say. “Away and take yir face furra sh*te.” Simple.

4. Gallus

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Finally, a compliment. There does seem to be a running theme that most of the great Glaswegian phrases err more on the side of insult than compliment. Meaning bold, daring or reckless.

Use it in a sentence: “Here he comes, the gallus Rab!”

5. A waste eh claes

This is used in reference to someone who has annoyed you so much that them getting dressed to leave the house in the morning is nothing more than a waste of clothes. Brutal.

Use it in a sentence: “See that Mary? She’s nuthin but a waste eh claes.”

6. Face like a *well-skelped arse

Well, this is quite self-explanatory. If someone throws this your way, you’re not looking your happiest pal. Cheer up.

Use it in a sentence: “He’s no happy. He’s got a face like a well skelped arse.”

*”welder’s bench” can also be used here.

 7. Belter


In classic Glasgow style, to be described as a belter can either be a great thing, or the worst. It really depends on the context.

Use it in a sentence: “We had a pure brilliant night, he’s a pure belter!” is good.

“We have a pure sh*te night, he’s a f*ckin’ belter by the way” is bad.

8. Gaun yersel big man

Phew, finally some positivity with no alter-ego. This is a straight forward compliment, meaning that someone is very pleased for you and you’ve done well. Note: it may be followed by “wee man” depending on the stature of the recipient.

Use it in a sentence: “You popped the question to yer missus? Gaun yersel big man.”

9. Did ye, aye?

Glasgwegian dismissal at its finest. Local comedian Kevin Bridges popularised this effective put down and it is usually used to put someone in their place, when they’re getting a little bit worked up. Or telling bare faced porky pies. Always said in the same tone, and with the same eyebrow raise and knowing smirk.

Use it in a sentence: “I went on a gap year to South America after finishing my English course at Glasgow University and I totally, like, found myself.”

“Did ye, aye?”

10. Hairy


Pron. Herry.

This is usually used to describe a female ned. Particularly one who is loud and aggressive. Generally, it carries connotations of being unattractive. Not necessarily related to excess body hair.

Use it in a sentence: “Did ye see the nick o that lassie by the way? She’s a pure herry.”

Now challenge yourself to decipher some classic Glasgow phrases

Liked this? Try these:

22 phrases you’ll only hear in Glasgow
18 weird things you (probably) won’t believe happened in Glasgow
15 things you should know before dating someone from Edinburgh

Main image: BBC Scotland