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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).

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Published in Humor


  1. Linda Dove (nee Duguid) 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.

  2. Richard Richard

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

    • wellimjustnottellingyou 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.

  3. Iain Macmillan Iain Macmillan

    Scots is a language, not a “dialect”!

    • Tim McNeill Tim McNeill

      Mon the fish!

    • Jym Dyer Jym Dyer

      @Iain Macmillan – I believe the indication is that the word is dialect (for gallows), not that Scots is dialect. It is also considered dialect in American English, for example.

  4. peter lynch peter lynch

    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?

  5. Peter Findlay Peter Findlay

    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.

  6. Andy W M Andy W M

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

  7. El cid El cid

    These comments are pure dead gallus

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