An Explanation For YSSWotD

This entry is part 28 of 29 in the series Your Scots Word Of The Day

I began the Your Scottish Slang Word O’ The Day series a month ago primarily as an exercise in motivating myself to blog daily with the potentially beneficial side effect of amusing [all?] my reader[s?] out there. I believe that it has been a resounding success, at least insofar as it has gotten me to blog daily for a whole month.
Sadly, it must draw to a close at 27 entries, as I believe it has fulfilled its purpose.
Also, I’m out of words.

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The love of my life and I will be heading for Scotland this September to see my Aunt. This will be Sandy’s first time in God’s country, and my first since 1969. I was born in Edinburgh back in 1944, and of course I do keep up my heritage. I have been educating Sandy in the nuances of our Scottish slang so that she may acquit herself honourably when we go to the pub down in the West Bow upon our arrival. Me? A wee deoch and doris, or one or two (maybe more).

I take mild issue with the definition of these words as “slang”. They are proper words of the language called Lallans, or Braid Scots. Despite what the English may say, Scots is not a corrupt form of English, but rather a separate language with common roots. Rather like the Swedish and Norwegian languages. Therefore, these are foreign words used by an English speaker, and proper words to a Scotsman. But not slang in either case.

I first heard the word Gallus after a move to Glasgow in 1970. I’m not sure that the “gallows ” has much to do with it. Perhaps this has more to do with the auld alliance with France where Scots words like ashet (large serving plate) are derived from the French word assiette, and bonny from the french word bon.
The latin for the French national symbol is gallus, meaning a cockerel, there are other words like gaul, gauloise etc , denoting Frenchness.
So I think gallus means: one who swaggers or struts like a French cockerel, a dandy, or “macaroni”

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