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. 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.


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


  2. 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?


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