Anita learnt 30 different ways of describing Scottish weather as part of Mamie Martin Fund’s #Birthday30 challenge
1. Bleeter-it’s raining, then it’s not then it is… its unreliable
2. Dag of rain- a slightly misty shower
3. Goselet- a soaking, drenching, downpour.
4. Greetie-Coming from ‘greet’, the Scots for ‘cry’, ‘greetie’ means raining and showering down.
5. Jeelit-A great sounding word meaning absolutely bloody freezing.
6. A muckle-Very large snowflake
7. Mochy weather-i.e. mild and humid
8. Oorlich-The word ‘oorlich’, meaning undesirably damp, nippy, cold and chilly.
9. Snell- Frightfully freezing to the point that it feels like the weather is piercing your skin.
10. Stottin-heavy rain that bounces
11. Yillen- a shower of rain, especially with wind
12. Pure Baltic- It’s absolutely (insert swear word) freezing to the point that you will probably be chitterin’ (shivering) away.
13. Fret -Dinnae fret for a ‘fret’ is a piercingly chilly and damp mist hurtling in from the sea.
14. Drookit -Totally and utterly soaked to the bone, drenched, sodden, soaking. If your clothes are ‘drookit’ then you clearly didnae hae a brolly (umbrella) or perhaps the rain was so torrential that the brolly couldn’t stop your clothes fae being drookit!
15. Sump- When the rain comes down with gusto and great strength.
16. Gloaming- That alluring and evocative twilight dusk that descends upon a place in the early hours of the evening. Dates back to the fifteenth-century in an old Scots text: ‘the glomyng of the nycht’.
17. Haar- If you can spy the haar venturing in then you are witnessing that notable wispy mist gliding in from the East.
18. Plowetery- If it’s plowetery, then it’s all a bit of a shambles really. Rainy, showery, grimy and damp.
19. Smirr – That annoying, drizzling kind of rain that ruins your day. It’s not epic enough to have a lazy ‘rain day’ indoors but still manages to soak you slowly but surely.
20. Feefle- A word used to describe that magical swirling, twirling, dancing kind of snow that makes you want to build a snowman.
21. Flindrikin- Just a wee bout of snow here and there.
22. Stermm- The stuff of stars!
23. Spitters- The kind of slushy, chilly snowflakes or icy raindrops that touch your skin during a firm gust of wind.
24. Unbrak- Used to describe moments when a thaw is on its way.
See Scottish poet Hugh McDiarmid’s poem ‘The Watergaw’ for an in-depth description. You know when you see a rainbow but then realise it’s not a full rainbow, rather a hypnotic snippet of a rainbow with no pot of gold at the end? That potion of colours is a ‘watergaw’ and emerges after a hefty bout of rain. Do not confuse it with a rainbow.
26. Auld wives and pike staves
In other words, ‘it’s raining cats and dogs’!
27. ‘The rain is God’s way o’ cleanin’ the coos’
Every cloud has a silver lining!
28. ‘Cast not a clout till May is oot’
Words of wisdom. Basically, you don’t want to look like ‘mutton dressed as lamb’ going about the place like a dafty, wearing sandals exposing your toes when the weather isn’t even in full summer swing yet! Wait until the blossoms of May reveal themselves.
29. Dreich — This is the most common word to describe Scottish weather. And it tends to top polls about favorite Scots words. The Scotsman explains it as: “Wet, dull, gloomy, dismal, dreary or any combination of these. Scottish weather at its most miserable.”
30. Leesome- A lovely fair day. Rare but bonnie.