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).

Series NavigationYour Scottish Slang Word O’ The Day: WabbitYour Scottish Slang Word O’ The Day: Bourach


  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.


    1. @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.


  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?


  3. 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.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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