Your Scottish Slang Word O’ The Day: Gallus

This entry is part 14 of 28 in the series Your Scottish Slang Word Of The Day

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).


  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) Friday, June 18, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    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.


    1. wellimjustnottellingyou Sunday, November 30, 2014 at 3:01 pm

      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”!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *