In a country where the principle of "Look after the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves" is deeply ingrained, here are some words and phrases about being thrifty...
- "Canny" - the classic description of the "careful" and prudent Scot, the word is used in many parts of the world. The word can also be used to describe someone who is good or nice - as in the Burns song "Bonnie wee thing, cannie wee thing"
- "He can aye tell his groats in ither folks kail" - used to describe someone who is good at recognising their own property or interests. Groats were Scots coins and kail was a commonly grown vegetable.
- "He never even said 'Collie will ye lick'" - he never invited me to have something to eat.
- "We'll need to haud in about" - we'll need to economise.
- "Glamshach" - greedy or grasping. Another name for a greedy person is a "Lick penny".
- "He kens the richt side o' a shilling" - literally, he knows the right side of a shilling (coin), in other words he knows the value of money. Such people are likely to become "Weel foggit" - well off as a result of being thrifty.
- "Keep your ain fish guts for your ain sea maws" - a North-East Scotland proverb advocating that charity begins at home!
Where else would you like to go in Scotland?
News & Views>
All Features Index>
Search This Site>
Scottish Pictorial Calendar>
Places to Visit>