Your Scottish Slang Word O’ The Day: Gallus

Fourteenth in a series

(ga·luss) Dialect, chiefly Scot ~adj.
1. self-confident, daring, cheeky.
2. stylish, impressive (esp. Glasgow “He’s pure gallus, by the way“).
3. Orig. derogatory, meaning wild; a rascal; deserving to be hanged (from the gallows).

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12 thoughts on “Your Scottish Slang Word O’ The Day: Gallus

  1. […] weeks ago I had the ironic pleasure of seeing three very hip bands in a very unhip locale. This gallus trifecta of Scottish indie rock was almost too good to be true: Frightened Rabbit, The Twilight Sad […]

  2. […] a helpful explanation and I found myself wallowing in nostalgia over childhood words like besom and gallus, and have been able to prove to my husband that the word mauchit, which I often apply to my […]

  3. Linda Dove (nee Duguid)

    thansk for not only a trip down memory lane but laughs…many thanks – these were words I heard growing up, used daily, and still discussed over dinner with the family.

  4. I think it much more likely that “gallus” is from the French word “gallante” meaning fashionable.

    • wellimjustnottellingyou

      Gallus is from ”gallows” – to describe a low person in the mob who yelled and shouted humourous or abusive remarks when viewing public hangings.

  5. Scots is a language, not a “dialect”!

  6. Interestingly enough, ” gallus ” is Latin for cock, a male hen. Could this perhaps be linked to the cocky nature of a person, usually male, who is described as gallus in Central Scotland?

  7. Slang words? These words are part of the Scots leid. Be it Lallans, Doric or other dialects commonly used in all parts of Scotland today. To call them slang is to ignore a unique cultural language which is also being taught and learned by thousands of Scots at present. Very disrespectful.

  8. Gallus almost exactly translates as bling, with the same implied suggestion of cheap bad taste.

  9. These comments are pure dead gallus

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