Dreich revealed as the ‘most iconic Scots word’ - but whit's yer ain favourite?

Dreich has beaten braw, glaikit and scunnered to be named as the “most iconic Scottish word".

It got 259 of the 1,895 votes cast in a poll as part of Book Week Scotland which hopes to get people talking around well-loved and well-used words over the Border.

The word originally meant “enduring” or “slow, tedious”, but over time dreich has come to be defined as “dreary, hard to bear” and “dull, gloomy”.

Braw, meaning “fine, good, or pleasing”, came eighth in the poll with just 77 votes, while glaikit – another word for “stupid, foolish; thoughtless, irresponsible” – received 225 votes for second place.

Here's the top ten words - do you know what they mean? Find the English meanings below!

  • Dreich – 259 votes

  • Glaikit – 225 votes

  • Scunnered – 199 votes

  • Shoogle – 125 votes

  • Wheest – 114 votes

  • Fankle – 93 votes

  • Outwith – 80 votes

  • Braw – 77 votes

  • Beastie – 76 votes

  • Bumfle – 59 votes

Scottish Book Trust chief executive Marc Lambert said: “We were overwhelmed by the many submissions for our iconic Scots words vote – it’s certainly a subject close to people’s hearts.

“Dreich is such an evocative word with the ability to sum up the Scottish weather – or mood – perfectly. It’s also a word that is very well used here in Scotland and beyond.

“It’s fantastic to see the vibrant conversation around Scots language as we celebrate Book Week Scotland.”

Horse riders crossing in West Linton in the Borders during the adult ride-out. Credit: PA

What do they all mean?

  • Dreich – dreary, hard to bear and dull, gloomy

  • Glaikit – stupid, foolish, or thoughtless

  • Scunnered – disgust or strong dislike

  • Shoogle – to shake, sway, or rock back and forth

  • Wheest – shut up

  • Fankle – tangle or entangle

  • Outwith – outside or beyond

  • Braw – fine, good, or pleasing

  • Beastie – insect or other small animal

  • Bumfle – a wrinkle in clothing, an unsightly bulge

  • What's your favourite Scottish word? Get in touch!