Here are some words relating to various varieties of food - Drink> is on another page. And if you want some pointers to food recipes, you will find them at the Traditional Scottish Recipes> section.
- Arbroath Smokie is a haddock which is cured by being salted and then smoked over a fire. This style of preserving fish originated in Arbroath on the east coast of Scotland.
- Bried Pronounced "breed" this is "bread" in plain English. Not to be confused with "bridie" (often a "Forfar Bridie") which is a pie made of a circle of pastry folded over with a filling of meat and onions etc. (The "etc" can be very important!). On the other hand "Bree" is soup stock. Another item with bread is a "Jeely piece" which is bread and jam.
- Butterie or Rowie is a bread roll made of a high fat, croissant-like dough. Popular in the north-east and can be referred to as an "Aberdeen Morning Roll". Delicious warm with even more butter but likely to fur up the arteries!
- "Caledonian Cream" - a dessert of whipped cream plus marmalade and brandy etc (your choice of what "etc" means!)
- Chappit or Champit is the same as mashed - as in chappit neeps (mashed turnip) an essential accompaniment to haggis.
- "Clootie Dumpling" - a dumpling wrapped in a cloth (clootie) and boiled.
- "Corstorphine Cream" - thickened milk and sugar.
- Cullen skink This is a thick soup made from smoked haddock, potatoes, onions and milk which originated in Cullen on the Moray Firth.
- Cranachan A delicious dessert made from whipped cream, honey, toasted oatmeal and soft fruit (such as raspberries). Gallus! (Sorry, this is a Glasgow expression indicating that something is impressive!)
- "Dumpling" - a rich, boiled or steamed fruit pudding.
- Dundee Cake is a rich fruit cake decorated with almonds.
- "Edinburgh Fog" - whipped cream, sugar and nuts etc.
- Partan bree Partan is a crab and partan bree is crab soup.
- Pokey hat An ice cream cone!
- Refreshment Refreshment? A Scots word? Yes, in the context of "Will ye no huv a wee refreshment" is a euphemistic way of saying "Will you not have a small alcoholic drink?" At least you are unlikely to get blootered...(See Drink>!)
- "Scotch Flummery" - a kind of steamed custard.
- "Trimmlin Tam" - a table jelly (well, they do "trimmle" or tremble, don't they?).
Here are some cooking utensils:
- "Ashet" - this is a large oval, shallow dish used for serving food. The word comes from the French "assiette" meaning plate.
- "Bannock stane" - a flat stoneplaced in the fire and on which bannocks (oatcakes) were cooked.
- "Cutty spoon" - a short handled spoon ("cutty" means short as in "cutty sark" or short shirt), often made of horn. A "gebbie" is also a horn spoon - which has become a surname too in Scotland.
- "Froh stick" - a whisk which is made out of a wooden stick and cow's hair.
- "Gallows" - an apparatus for suspending the pot over an open fire. Quite appropriate, really!
- "Jeelie pan" - the large pan (often made of brass) in which "jeelie" (jelly) or jam is made.
- "Luggie" - since "lug" is the Scots word for an ear, a luggie was used to describe a wooden bowl which had handles at each side.
- "Pottinger" - a bowl for soup or porridge. There is also a surname "Pottinger".
- "Quaich" - pronounced "qwaich" this is a shallow drinking cup with two handles or ears at each side. Nowadays, they are mainly ornamental or used as a presentation or a prize.
- "Spurtle" - a short stick for stirring porridge or a long-handled implement with a flat blade used for turning oatcakes on the "girdle" (a round, thick iron plate on which oatcakes, scones and pancakes were cooked over the fire.
- "Tattie champer" - a utensil for mashing (champing) potatoes (tatties).
Here are some words related to bread and oatcakes:
- "Bannock" - a round, flat cake made from oatmeal or barley meal which has been baked on a "girdle" or flat iron plate, over the fire. A "Selkirk bannock" however, is a rich fruit loaf which originated in the Border town of Selkirk.
- "Cookie" - this is a round, plain, glazed bun made from yeast dough. A "Cream Cookie" is cut open and filled with whipped cream and a "Fruit Cookie" has currants or other dried fruit added.
- "Dropped Scone" - the traditional round flat pancake made by dropping the batter onto the girdle. Variations include "Brown Scone" made with wholemeal flour, "Bran Scone" or "Wheaten Scone" with bran added, "Sour Scone" a coarse oat scone made at Christmas and "Treacle Scone" with treacle added.
- "Pan Loaf" - a loaf of bread baked in a tin so that only the top is fired. If you speak with a "pan loaf" accent then you are thought to be speaking in an affected, posh voice.
Here's a recipe for clootie dumplin' (see above) using "a punna self raisin' floor, punna currants an' a hauf o' raisins," sugar, spice and milk. Translations are at the end!
"Rummle up the hale jing-bang . . . cowp it oot oan tae a cloot. . . dinnae tie the string too tight or the dumplin' micht burst efter swellin, and ye'll be in a helluva mess . . . simmer fur mair than three and a hauf hoors. Efter that, wheech it oot oan tae a plate, peel aff the cloot and therr ye huv a dish fit tee set afore a dizzen Egon Thingmys."
Not Delia Smith, more the woman who described her minimalist technique with a cooker as: "If it's broon it's cooked and if it's black it's buggert." For those of you not too familiar with Scots (despite all the coaching above) -
"punna" is "pound of"
- "hauf" is "half"
- "rummle" is "mix"
- "hale jing-bang" is "whole lot"
- "cowp" is "turn out"
- "wheech" is "move quickly"
- "Egon Thingmys" is "Egon Ronay"
Here are some "sweeties" (confectionary/candy) to put in your "poke" (paper bag).
- "Bachelors Buttons", "Grannie's Sookers", "Auld Wifie's Soukers", "Mint Imperials" and "Pan Drops" are all varieties of round, hard peppermint sweeties. A "Strippit Ba'" is a peppermint with black and white stripes.
- "Clack" and "Claggum"are varieties of treacle toffee while "Strap" is a black treacle toffee.
- "Conversation Lozenge", "Luve Lozenge" and "Reader Sweetie" are all sweeties of various shapes with a motto etched or printed in them.
- "Edinburgh Rock" is a soft, stick-shaped sweetie made from sugar, cream of tartar, water and various flavourings. It was originally made in Edinburgh and is still sold in large quantities to tourists in tartan boxes with a picture of Edinburgh Castle.
- "Gob Stopper" is a very large, round, hard sweetie which stops up your "gob" (mouth).
- "Slim Jim" is long strips of coconut or liquorice.
- "Soor Drap" or "Soor Ploom" is a sharp flavoured, round, green boiled sweetie which was originally associated with Galashiels. Nearby Jedburgh is ass ociated with "Jeddart Snails", a kind of toffee.
- "Tablet" is made from butter, sugar and flavourings, usually with the consistency of friable fudge.
- "Toffee Apple" is an apple dipped and coated in slightly candied sugar and held on a stick to make it easier to eat.
Now, let's see what we can cook up....
- "The bishop's foot's been in the broth" - the broth (or any other cooking) has been burnt!
- "Chappit" or "Champit" - mashed. The traditional accompaniment to haggis is "chappit tatties" (potatoes) and "chappit neeps" (turnip).
- "Cheerie pike" - a tasty morsel.
- "Dinner" - lunch or the mid-day meal, rather than in the evening.
- "A dish o' want" - no food at all.
- "Drammlicks" - the small pieces of oatmeal which are left in the bowl when making oatcakes.
- "Fired" - baked. Rolls which are "well fired" are nearly black on top from being in the oven longer than usual.
- "Fish supper" - deep fried fish and chips (French fries/chipped potatoes). There are many other varieties of "supper" ranging from black pudding to chicken, all deep fried. A "single fish" is without the chips.
- "Fu' as a puggie" - bloated from over-eating. A puggie is the bank, kitty jackpot or pool in a game of cards!
- "Gas on a peep" - turn the gas down to the lowest level before it goes out.
- "Haun roon tea" - a meal at which food was handed round and often eaten standing up. "Buffet" is now more usually used to describe such a meal.
- "It's either a hunger or a burst" - either feast or famine.
- "Mismak" - cook food badly.
- "Piece" - a packed lunch or snack, usually bread with a filling. A "jeelly piece" is a jam sandwich. A "play piece" is a mid morning snack at school, eaten at the "play time" break in lessons. A "chit" or "nacket" are other names for a packed lunch.
- "Plout" - immerse in boiling water.
- "Push-past" - a light, hastily prepared meal, also known as a "run round the table. "Pick and dab" is also a light snack, often of potatoes - with a dish of salt to dab at.
- "Reekit" - smoked.
- "Pickie" who is someone who picks at their food.
- "Rab Ha" - a voracious eater, quite the opposite of a "pickie". The original Rab Ha was a legendary glutton who died in Glasgow in 1843.
- "Tatties and point" - a basic meal of potatoes with no meat - which was symbolically pointed at!
- "Tea" - not just the beverage, but a meal taken in the early evening. Usually it is a "high tea" with a cooked dish followed by cakes, bread and cups of tea.
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