Eskimos use 50 different words for “snow,” runs a much-debated cliché. The idea behind it is that constant proximity to something alerts one to its many nuanced forms and makes it necessary to distinguish between them.
Scottish people, on the other hand, have at least 30 different terms for drunkenness, as assembled by Sofiane Kennouche at The Scotsman. Some of these (“plastered,” “rat-arsed”) are shared with the rest of the UK. Others (“pished,” “oot the game”) have small adaptations of accent. Others still (“foutered,” “minkit,” “toteroo”) are surely incomprehensible to non-Scots.
The serious side of this verbal exuberance is that Scotland—the booziest part of the boozier-than-average UK—does have some very significant alcohol-related problems. Still, it’s equally important to remember that just as most overall drug use is non-problematic, so is most Scottish drinking. And in the land that invented Laphroaig, it’s understandable if resistance is difficult.
Here are the 30 terms:
Oot yer tree
Oot the game