Scottish Quotations - Page 3

Earl Haig

Statue of Earl Haig on Edinburgh Castle Esplanade

"The shout of the welder in the din of the great Clyde shipyards; the speak of the Mearns with its soul in the land; the discourse of the Enlightenment, when Edinburgh and Glasgow were a light held to the intellectual life of Europe; the wild cry of the pipes; and back to the distant noise of the battles of Bruce and Wallace."

First Minister, Donald Dewar, at the opening of the Scottish Parliament, on 1 July 1999.


With his mind on other things, First Minister Donald Dewar commented:


"I know heaps of quotations, so I can always make a fair show of knowledge"

Author, O Douglas (1877-1948)


"Do try to sound the "r" although not with the exaggerated trill usually given to it by so-called Scots comedians. But, again this to my English readers, don't even attempt to get the guttural sounds of "ach" and "loch". You will only strangle yourselves. To say "ach!" correctly you need generations of Scots blood behind you and you must have been born with the peat-reek in your nostrils and the sight of the hills as the first thing ever you clapped your eyes on."

Ronald MacDonald Douglas (1889-1987) writer - and nationalist.


"I understand that perfectly. We feel very much the same in Scotland".

Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, speaking to a Boer in South Africa who told her that he could not forgive the British for having conquered his country. The Queen Mother, daughter of Lord Strathmore and Kinghorne, was born in 1900 and spent much of her childhood in Glamis Castle, Scotland.


"Behind every great man is an exhausted woman."

Lady Sam Fairbairn, wife of Sir Nicholas Fairbairn, the colourful Member of Parliament for Perth and Kinross.


"Did not strong connections draw me elsewhere, I believe Scotland would be the country I would choose to end my days in."

Benjamin Franklin


There are a number of variations of this Gaelic blessing:

"May the road rise to meet you;
May the wind always be at your back,
The sunshine warm upon your face,
The rainfall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of his hand."


"It's going to be a happy ending - though he still gets hung, drawn and quartered."

Mel Gibson previewing the film "Braveheart"


"He has all the qualifications for a great Liberal Prime Minister. He wears spats and he has a beautiful set of false teeth."

Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham (1852-1936), scholar, politician, first President of the Scottish Labour Party and friend of Buffalo Bill Cody, speaking about Henry Campbell-Bannerman, the Prime Minister.


"Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall, and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight to the end."

Field Marshall Earl Haig, Order of the Day, 12 April 1918. Douglas Haig was born in Edinburgh in 1861.


When Keir Hardie, founder of the Scottish Labour Party, was elected to Parliament in 1892, the former miner turned up at the House of Commons dressed in ordinary working clothes and a cloth cap. The following conversation is reputed to have been held between Hardie and the policeman on duty:

"Are you working here?" said the policeman
"Yes" replied Hardie
"On the roof?"
"No. On the floor"


"His worst is better than any other person's best".

William Hazlitt (1778-1830) the essayist praising the work of Sir Walter Scott


"That action is best, which procures the greatest happiness for the greatest numbers."

Philosopher Frances Hutcheson (1694-1746)


"The result of our present enquiry is that we find no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end"

James Hutton (1726 -97) who is often regarded as the founder of modern geology, commenting on the immensity of geological time at the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1788.


"I would hate to die with a heart attack and have a good liver, kidneys and brains. When I die, I want everything to be knackered."

Folksinger Hamish Imlach (1940-1996)


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