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Your Scottish Slang Word O’ The Day: Wheesht

This entry is part 25 of 28 in the series Your Scottish Slang Word Of The Day

Twenty-fifth in a series

(whee·sht) Dialect, chiefly Scot. ~v.
1. a call for quiet or silence; used as an interjection Wheesht! to bring about or continue, the silence of others. ~esp. children (often in “Will ye wheesht, you pair! Ma heid’s loupin!“).
2. quiet, hushed [haud yer wheesht is to hold one’s tongue].

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Published in Humor


  1. wm. paterson wm. paterson

    I urge you to reconsider the label of ‘slang’. While English is spoken in Scotland, in a Scots tune, there is also another, intimately related language – Scots. The relationship, linguistically, is much like those between Danish and Norwegian, or French and Provencial. These words above are, for the most part, not slang, but proper words of the Scots tongue, with long attestation, sometimes going back hundreds of years, and appearing in the most illustrious Anglic literature of the Middle Ages. I get that this is supposed to be humorous, but it is disrespectful to label words as slang when they are not.

  2. neil macowan neil macowan

    Totally agree, the only 2 words I can see on the list on the left that I’d class as slang are “fitba” and “eejit”, which are really just phonetic representations of the spoken word.
    For the sake of integrity, I propose the extirpation of the offending component forthwith :)

  3. Ahhh, but you all are missing a critical point: this is a reference for non-Scot-speaking folk. If they’re to adopt any of these words in their daily speech, it would qualify as “slang”, would it not?


  4. wm. paterson wm. paterson

    Perhaps a loan-word? :)

    • Hey Guys! Lighten up. It’s just a bit of fun. I suppose you know what dour means…?

      • Enid Anderson Enid Anderson

        Are you American, Peter McGhee? Sounds like it when you use phrases like ‘lighten up’!

  5. paula winkler paula winkler

    No, adopting words from other cultures does not make them slang! That makes no sense. The words are what they are and mean what they mean regardless of who is using them.
    How is it okay to use another cultures word because you claim to admire them, then disregard its significance to them?

  6. Hamerdoon Hamerdoon

    Scots is NOT slang. or

    This is about much, much more than a proposition that we lighten up – we get this nonsense endlessly as part of the Scottish cultural cringe. The slang description has been and is used to diminish our proud and ancient linguistic heritage to be considered little more than a dialect of English, spoken only by uneducated peasants. There is a reason for this – Americans might think of the native American analogy – once considered uncivilised barbarians by the colonialists. You may also wish to consider the past English perception of Irishness and of their culture and language. It keeps us in our place, our own people unaware of its history, beauty and meaning. So unfortunately, describing our language as slang is hugely insulting as well as being ignorant (uneducated in fact – oh the irony). No offence intended, and I do know your uninformed description wasn’t meant to be offensive to over a million Scots speakers.

  7. Iain Stevenson Iain Stevenson

    My mum used to say wheesht to me as a lad, that and stop yer bletherin.

    50 years or so later I now use wheesht on variously; my (english) wife, (welsh) dog and (welsh) sheep, from time to time.

    It works 9 times out of 10,except on hungry pet lambs.

    Perhaps its due to confusion and or trying to work out what it means.

    Hungry lambs don’t get confused apparently.

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