Gie's a break, ya wee bampot ya! *

The "Patter" is the language you will hear in the streets, bars and shops of Glasgow, Scotland. Compiled by Michael Munro, this glossary has the rare quality within its genre of being faithful to genuine usage, serious in its approach and entertaining.

Few big cities have preserved a sense of pride and belonging such as Glasgow. The "Second City" of the British Empire, it used to build many of the world's ships and train engines, before industrial decline led to hard times. Always a tough, hard-working city, it acquired a reputation for violence with few redeeming features. From the eighties onwards, a new sense of hope has fuelled Glasgow and the city has gained a much more positive image.

But its everyday dialect of English has been durably marked by this heritage of industrial life, where men and women had to rely on their guts and wits, where social graces were confined in a few well-off districts but replaced elsewhere by a hearty, direct, sometimes agressive approach.

Enjoy this week's blast of Glasgow patter!

read the preface



Michael Munro first captured the living language of Glasgow in "The Patter", published in 1985, with a sequel in 1988 ("The Patter, Another Blast"). A new, updated edition was published in 1996: "The Complete Patter". All extracts are © Michael Munro, the selection and comments are © Lexicon Planet.
*Header translation: Would you please leave us alone, you feeble-minded individual!

Return to Word of the Week introduction