Are Scots The World’s Crudest Men?

Are Scots The World’s Crudest Men?

It’s almost impossible to find a good clean “Scottish” joke and the popular Scots “comics” just can’t seem to get through a sentence without using the “F” word, and other crude language.  This was a matter of embarrassment to me when I lived in England and found myself apologising for various foul-mouthed Scots, and not just celebrities.   I still feel the same nausea when I see the “jokes” online, and I just wouldn’t dream of watching the standard TV shows which pass for Scottish humour. About as funny as a sore head.  But, why am I writing about this now?  Well…

For a number of weeks, I’ve been refreshing my cooking and baking skills; if there’s one area of expertise in which I am tragically lacking, it’s cooking and baking.  So, realising that time is running out, companies are folding – think: Toys R Us –  and who knows for how much longer the ready-made meals industry will last.  I might well starve to death, I thought, so I took to YouTube to see if I could learn to cook and bake properly, albeit late in the day (I’m almost 29).  As an aside, I will admit that I’ve thrown out more inedible fairy-cakes in the past couple of weeks than Greggs have sold in any six-months period you care to name, but, hey, I’m sticking with it.  I’ll get there. 

However, when I decided to give the attempted murder of my eggs and self-raising flour stock a break and turn to red meat cooking, I was reminded of my contempt for alleged Scottish humour.  You see, having watched a string of YouTube videos, some on baking, some on cooking beef stew and the like, I saw, listed on my sidebar, “Scottish mince and tatties” (M & T) and curiosity got the better of me so I clicked to watch.  Don’t misunderstand. I’m a dumpling in the kitchen (so to speak) but one of the few things I can make is mince and potatoes.  Not well, but I can eat it without having to visit Accident & Emergency which, for me, is a clear sign of success. And having watched so many videos from various parts of the world, all very professionally executed, both male and female cooks sharing their expertise politely,  I thought it would be interesting to watch a fellow Scot explaining to the world how to make M & T.   Despite my long experience to the contrary, as outlined above, I thought this might be OK, good clean fun and maybe a tip or two on how to cook what some regard as a national dish (it’s not, of course – there were plenty of videos on the sidebar with well known English cooks advertising their mince recipes.)  Anyway, I settled down to watch the young man share his recipe and then, disappointingly, within a few minutes, he’d used the “F” word.   I switched off.  I’ll never been able to look at a plate of mince and potatoes again without thinking of that so & so on blankety blank YouTube. 

So, what has this to do with the mission of Catholic Truth to contribute to the restoration of the Catholic Faith in Scotland?  Well, I wondered if I am being prudish, if this is nothing to worry about, even if Catholic Scotsmen and women are as uncouth as their non-Catholic neighbours, so what?  I made a deal with myself.  I decided to Google variations of the title of this thread and if I could find the topic covered anywhere else, I’d stick the link on the General Discussion thread and leave it at that.  But no – I could not find any articles, reports, conversations anywhere. Indeed, the search threw up umpteen links headlined – for example – “Scots the most macho men….” and similar.

So, the question for discussion is this: if, as seems to be the case, a significant number of Scots – certainly the men –  are very crude people, filthy mouths, unable to express themselves in conversation or comedy without resorting to expletives, what can be done about it? Do Scots Catholic have a particular role to play, a particular responsibility to correct this disgusting behaviour?  If so, how?  Or is highlighting the issue here sufficient, raising the importance of modesty of speech and decrying the widespread bad example to the young etc.  Vote in the poll below, and then share your thoughts…

PS if you hear that I’ve been charged with a hate crime, please club together to get me released. If that fails,  bribe the judge – whatever it takes. I mean, if push comes to shove, I’m not that bothered really… Scotsmen will be Scotsmen, after all…  And people all over the world are still keen to claim Scottish heritage… Really, with the rattle of handcuffs ringing in my ears, I have to admit that I could be way out of line here and anyway… who am I to judge?  😀

Comments (43)

  • Margaret USA


    March 22, 2018 at 12:04 am
    • editor

      Margaret USA,

      Er… right.

      March 22, 2018 at 7:31 pm
      • Margaret USA

        I’m sensing “Doubting Thomas” vibes here across the pond.

        Let me put it this way: I will take a Scotsman over an American.

        Plus, one should spread Devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus. The late, great John Vennari published these prayers in leaflet form from Catholic Family News:

        Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Adorable Face of Thy Beloved Son for the honor and glory of Thy Holy Name and for the salvation of all men.

        Prayer to Defeat Communists & all Revolutionary Men

        Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ and all the instruments of His Holy Passion, that Thou mayest put division in the camp of Thine enemies, for as Thy Beloved Son hath said: “A kingdom divided against itself shall fall.”.

        The Golden Arrow

        May the Most Holy, Most Sacred, Most Adorable, Most Mysterious and Unutterable Name of God be praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified, in Heaven, on earth and in the hells, by all God’s creatures, and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

        Every Catholic should pray these prayers.

        In Christ the King,

        Margaret 🇺🇸

        March 22, 2018 at 10:50 pm
  • Fidelis

    If Scotsmen aren’t the world’s crudest men, they’re pretty close. I detest the so-called celebrities like Billy Connelly and the actor who plays Rab C Nesbitt – foul mouthed doesn’t begin to describe their talk.

    In my experience, men who are in the presence of women will hold back on using bad language or if they do, will apologise, but not the Scots I know. They just spew whatever they want to say, without regard for the company they’re in, without respect for women.

    It IS embarrassing to listen to them (or watch their drunken antics) but what any individual can do about it, is another matter. I can’t answer that one, except to say parents should be very careful to teach their sons not to use filthy language at any time.

    March 22, 2018 at 1:27 am
    • editor


      I couldn’t agree more about Billy Connelly and Rab C Nesbitt – awful; nothing funny about their crudity. The first series of Rab was innocent enough and a huge success – clearly the writers/producers think that to keep the ratings high they need to descend into the muck. Doesn’t work for some of us.

      March 22, 2018 at 7:34 pm
    • Faith of Our Fathers

      Am a Man well I think I am what with all of this Gender Bender Garbage it’s maybe Hate Speech to even say so . First off am not a Saint. Secondly I do swear ( on occasion) but NEVER take the Lords name in vain . I certainly cannot go Billy Connelly or R.C Nisbet and as I really only watch sport on TV there’s not much chance of seeing them . Personally the taking of Our Lords Name in Vain is number one on my list and I personally wouldn’t watch any of the so called comedians who are about as Funny as a day at the Dentist. As for Scots men being uncouth I wish I had a £1 for every time I was called a Fenian closely followed by Bas….. Once I was in a Hut on a Building Site and was getting it Stinking from nearly 20 Non Catholics . The one who stood up and said enough was enough came from Larkhall . It sometimes happens that the environment your in depends a lot on your Language. I would rather someone called a spade a spade than Pussyfoot around the edges . If that means the odd swear word so be it .

      March 23, 2018 at 10:11 pm
  • Biff Sock Pow

    Great post!

    I don’t know any Scots personally (at least, not that I know of), but I have found that culture in general (and I am speaking primarily of the US since that is where I live) has been growing increasingly courser and cruder over time. I suppose it started in the 1960s with the hippy generation or maybe even in the 50s with the beatniks, but it seems to have gone into hyperdrive with the advent of the internet and cable TV. I hear F-bombs pretty much everywhere I go. And women seem to be just as likely as men to use such profanity.

    I’m not sure we can get the toothpaste back into the tube, but it is heartbreaking to see how crude our culture has become.

    March 22, 2018 at 3:20 am
    • editor

      Biff Sock Pow,

      I agree that there is a general coarsening of the culture in both the US and UK, but, where I live – in Glasgow – there is a definite type of Glaswegian who thinks it’s a mark of his “Scottish-ness” to use bad and crude language. This is reflected in TV programmes, especially those classed as “comedy”.

      In fact, when I lived in England, I remember having a telephone conversation with a priest from another part of England. I had never met him, still haven’t met him – the telephone conversation was a one-off, on a Church matter.

      At one point, the subject of the vulgarity now commonplace in our UK culture arose, and he broke off to say, apologetically, that he particularly disliked Scottish humour, that he just would not watch a TV comedy if it came from Scotland and featured Scots “comics”. I totally agreed, and this was some years ago. Things have not improved since then.

      So, I do believe that, while there is a coarsening of the culture across the so-called “liberal” societies of the west, there is a particularly unattractive version of it here in Scotland. As a Scot, born and bred, I take no pleasure in saying so, but that has been my experience of living on both sides of the English/Scottish border.

      You are right to highlight the apparent impossibility of getting the “toothpaste back into the tube”, but I thought I’d launch this thread because knowledge being power, if we’re more aware of the issue, it might help us to fight it by whatever means we have at our disposal.

      March 22, 2018 at 10:31 am
  • crofterlady

    I don’t think so. I never hear our men folk using bad language, not in front of me anyway. Sometime the odd misuse of the Lord’s name occurs and I always object and receive an immediate contrite apology.

    March 22, 2018 at 8:19 am
    • editor


      Your username and your references to rural life in previous comments, makes me wonder if you are blessed in having your home in a pleasant part of Scotland outside of the central belt, where most of the crudity appears to reside…

      Just a thought!

      March 22, 2018 at 7:31 pm
  • gabriel syme

    No, I don’t think Scotsmen are any more crude than men or women from anywhere else.

    I strongly agree that certain brands of comedy (especially “stand-up”) can be very crude both in its content and language used – accordingly I find it very unappealing. In modern times, there have been prominent Scottish stand-up comics and so perhaps this is where the association has come from.

    The comic talent of Billy Connolly, who has been mentioned already, waned in the 1980s and so since then his act has been mainly based on swearing and profanity.

    Other comics, such as the late Robin Williams, stereotyped Scotsmen as profanity-spewing drunkards – but this itself was the joke, whereas with Connolly his swearing was how he expressed himself, rather than part of the joke.

    I would say, Editor, that while I entirely agree with you that we should have a high standard of speech, avoiding profanity, at times you do seem to take offence extremely easily. I think there is a risk of appearing excessively prudish rather than just as an advocate of high standards, which might lead people to be dismissive.

    For example, recently I shared (what I genuinely thought was a funny) story of my 2 year old saying she “needed a pee” as part of her efforts to co-operate with her potty training and it seemed you thought this was an example of offensive crudity.

    She had learned the word “pee” (and indeed its analogue “poo”) from children’s library books we had got to teach her about using her pot. We have never gone through potty training with a child before and so thought library books might be a useful teaching resource. These are the terms which are commonly used when trying to teach small children about the concept of moving from using nappies to the pot. They are terms pitched at a small child’s level of understanding (and speech), rather than crudities. Of course, an older child or adult would not use them.

    Now I find that, having previously been confident about my daughter’s normally very good behaviour at Church, I now feel very awkward incase anyone takes offense at a 2 yr old trying to tell her father she wants to use her pot. I do find this quite unfair.

    March 22, 2018 at 8:53 am
    • editor

      Gabriel Syme,

      To begin at the end, please do not feel awkward at Mass with your gorgeous 2 year old – nobody in their right mind would take offence at her baby way of explaining why she wants “to use her pot”. If you recall, I began my comment on this subject on the other thread – General Discussion (16) – by remarking that the incident you recounted was “comical”. For those who either missed that exchange or have forgotten it, click here

      I went on to express my own dislike of such graphic descriptions in older children and even adults, but, as you say, that might well be a reflection of my own “excessive prudishness” – I am an old maid, remember, and so I probably do tend to be over-sensitive in these matters. I would only correct your comment that I “take offence extremely easily” – it’s not really about offending me, but, more, my difficulty in trying to reconcile Catholic modesty with expressions of speech and behaviour which, today, are commonplace and about which nobody else seems to have a problem! As I say, I think it is probably due to the fact that I’m an old maid of the fuddy duddy sort. No parents commented, if I remember correctly, during the original exchange, so I accept that my expressed opinion on the subject is likely to be widely regarded as OTT.

      I apologise, sincerely, for causing you any concern over this, so please, I repeat, do not feel awkward in the slightest if your beautiful and perfectly behaved little daughter announces to the congregation the reason why she wishes to visit the loo. For those who hear her, the most common reaction, I imagine, would be a grin!

      And on the wider topic of the thread – it seems, judging by the comments so far, that I’m prudish there too, that the routine use of the F word and other crudities, which I believe is commonplace among Scotsmen is no big deal (not all Scotsmen, obviously, but it’s definitely now a normalised part of Scottish culture). I’m really going to have to go on some diversity training, sooner rather than later!

      March 22, 2018 at 10:13 am
      • Margaret USA

        Dear Madame Editor,

        First, you are NOT a prude. You are a Catholic lady who does not deserve the indignity of hearing blasphemy and profanity.

        Second, you do NOT need diversity training – not now, not ever.

        Third, I am “an old maid” too (remember, you have my birthday!), so consider yourself in good company. 😊

        Yours in Christ the King,

        Margaret. 🇺🇸

        March 22, 2018 at 11:04 pm
      • editor

        Margaret USA,

        You are very kind – and we will celebrate your landmark birthday when it comes, in June, I promise!

        March 23, 2018 at 9:36 am
      • gabriel syme


        In retrospect I think I was perhaps feeling a bit sorry for myself – “tired and emotional”, as they say (!) – when posting above and I hope I didn’t make you feel bad – my apologies if so.

        You make an excellent point in that this subject is not about any one person, but rather standards in general. I think I had fallen into the trap of making the topic about “me” and hence my silly bleating about “feeling awkward”.

        Perhaps, too, I was wondering if my own radar for crudity was “on the blink” if I seemed to be tolerant of what others considered inappropriate.

        I agree entirely with what MargaretUSA says about you not being a prude or “old maid”.

        In truth there had been another matter, wholly unrelated to you, which had contributed to my feeling awkward regarding this “potty training” while at Church, but in truth I probably blew it out of proportion. Its not common, but I can be quite the drama queen haha!

        March 23, 2018 at 9:03 am
      • editor

        Gabriel Syme,

        Thank you for your generous comment, but please, there’s really no need to apologise. Not at all – you didn’t make me feel bad. I genuinely welcome constructive criticism, especially in an area where I’m obviously lacking expertise. I wouldn’t know where to begin with training toddlers in the basics (I’ve witnessed baby nieces/nephews, and great nieces/nephews throwing food around at table and beyond an indulgent “O, naughty, let’s not do that…” I’m stuck! Giving teenagers detention is more my style! So, honestly, I think I conflated two issues (toddler “talk” and older children “talk”) possibly without making my meaning clear. Thinking about it later, I’m sure I remembered that my own five year old Great-Niece who comes to Mass would express herself more graphically when she was a toddler, and then grew out of it to ask for “the toilet”.

        Which brings me to your concluding remark about another matter in the “potty training” sphere, wholly unrelated to me – I’m guessing that you may have experienced a certain impatience in certain circles where we attend Mass – it’s there, and not just with children but in general. To be frank, I find myself wondering why certain people go to Mass at all, they seem to do nothing but complain about everything, and I do mean everything.

        So, when I heard one of these moaners remark some weeks ago about children going to the toilet during Mass, I gave my niece a strong hint that better to try to keep her daughter – who sometimes asks to go out – in the pew, and maybe she is just playing games to get out of Mass. It’s only now that I’m realising that appeasing this sort of person doesn’t work. My Great Niece doesn’t always ask, but next time she did, my niece refused. In a little while she asked again, so my niece took her out and then, a while later, she asked again. My niece, aware that she would be criticised by this (anything but) soul of charity, felt she had to take her as last time it was a genuine request. Second time, too, there was no doubt about it, she did need to go. People who do not have children or are not around children a lot, tend not to be knowledgeable or understanding about children, present company excepted of course 😀

        So, you relax, and take your daughter out when she asks, because they have very small organs and if there are people in the congregation (not many, be assured, a fractious fraction!) who don’t like it, let them go back to the novus ordo where there are very few, if any children, in any given parish.

        Only one thing disappoints me about Margaret USA’s comment and yours. That, instead of just saying I’m not an “old maid” you’d said, on the contrary, that I am a very slim, glamorous, if not stunning, witty, highly intelligent, fashionable, old maid! 😀

        March 23, 2018 at 9:57 am
    • Laura

      Gabriel Syme,

      “Other comics, such as the late Robin Williams, stereotyped Scotsmen as profanity-spewing drunkards – but this itself was the joke.”

      I don’t get that – why would Robin Williams, who was an American, “stereotype” Scotsmen in that way if there wasn’t some truth in it? Unfortunately, there is truth in it. I’ve been mortified at the behaviour of Scotsmen when on holiday abroad. They seem to go out of their way to be loud and crass, as if that makes them more Scottish.

      As Fidelis says, what we can do about it, is something else. If we all made it plain that we don’t like that sort of behaviour, didn’t laugh at their crude jokes etc, then maybe that would make a different. I’m not sure, but I definitely do feel that there is a type of Scot who is crude for the sake of it, as if it’s some kind of “Scottish badge of honour”.

      March 22, 2018 at 5:14 pm
      • editor


        “… there is a type of Scot who is crude for the sake of it, as if it’s some kind of “Scottish badge of honour”.”

        Unfortunately, I think there is something in what you say. Sad.

        March 22, 2018 at 7:36 pm
      • gabriel syme


        You make interesting points.

        Stereotypes are over simplifications and often unfair – for example, Scots are also said to be miserly, according to traditional stereotypes, while the Irish are portrayed as simple people.

        But these are surely individual traits, rather than national ones. But they do gain traction as comedy vehicles. Look at the infamous, “A Scotsman, An Englishman and an Irishman” style of joke.

        I do recognise the type of character you refer to meeting on holiday. Perhaps this is down to people playing up to stereotypes, consciously or otherwise?

        But equally I am sure there must be many quiet and mild-mannered Scotsmen around, who go unnoticed due to these precise qualities.

        March 23, 2018 at 9:13 am
      • editor

        “But equally I am sure there must be many quiet and mild-mannered Scotsmen around, who go unnoticed due to these precise qualities.

        Enter, Gabriel Syme!

        March 23, 2018 at 11:00 am
  • PL Catholic

    I am probably not following the thread of the discussion here so maybe I count as a bit of a Troll. Being a bit of a troll seems to be a terrible offence on the wonderful world wide web but I think that being a bit of a rapist, or a bit of a murderer, or a bit of a liar, or a bit of a paedophile or a bit of an obstinate sinner in any other way is eternally worse than being a bit of a troll.

    Let’s not get distracted by sideshows, many of them which are now deliberately created for the devil’s hellevision box. We are all now living in a worldwide Hollywood. Call it Hollyworld. We can believe absolutely nothing of what we see and hear. The reason for this is that even well meaning people are being fooled.

    The only way to survive in this devil dominated world is by Divine Catholic faith. This faith is nearly gone from the world just as Our Blessed Lady foretold at La Salette.

    Editor: La Salette is not a fully approved apparition so we stick with our policy of not discussing those which are unapproved or about which there is some confusion, such as La Salette. Our Lady of Fatima is the key apparition, the most important event of the 20th century. Let’s stick with that one, fully approved, two out of three seers already canonised.

    Our Chief Catholic priest Jesus Christ asked would he find faith on earth when he returns. He did not ask would he find mass, or the Blessed Sacrament, or popes, or priests or nuns. He asked would he find faith. What faith would he look for except the faith that persuaded him to become incarnate – the Divine Catholic faith of his Immaculate Mother. Only immaculate souls can enter heaven.

    Our Blessed Lady is the Supreme Pro-Life Catholic who wishes all souls should avoid hell. That is not possible without her Holy Sacrament of Baptism.
    Lucifer’s war against human souls begins now at conception. The womb and the tomb now is not uncommonly the same place. Yes, from the womb to the tomb now without taking a breath.

    Who will God hold responsible for the Baby Holocaust? The six million had their chance at eternal life. The 50 million got no chance at all.

    Be sure of this much. God will blame the New Order Catholics. Call them JohnPaulists! Identify the enemy within as our Infallible Popes warned us. Start fighting back now.

    Editor: you are not a troll, but you’ve chosen the wrong thread to post this comment – we have a dedicated pro-life thread, if you check it out. Anyway, thank you for your comment which is obviously well-meant. We’ll pass on your suggestion to “start fighting back now” though, because we’ve been fighting for many years now, with the Catholic Truth newsletter launched in 1999, website and blog following thereafter… You are welcome to join us in the ongoing battle!

    March 22, 2018 at 10:26 am
  • Frankier


    I agree with a lot of what you say but I think the Irish have surpassed the Scots, on TV anyway.

    The odious Dave Allen was at it almost fifty years ago.

    You just need to look at the never-ending, horrible, horrible programme, Father Ted. What an embarrassment, especially to the sad person who scripted it.

    Another programme which even surpassed that was, if I recall correctly, The Derry Girls. Even the nun who, I assumed , was the headmistress of the Catholic girls’ school was at it too.

    It was even more cringeworthy than Fr T.

    I think the Scots accent can sounds cruder than any other. At least Americans sound polite when they are “cussing”.

    March 22, 2018 at 2:21 pm
    • Laura


      I agree that the Scots accent can sound cruder than others – really course at times, so that is a good point.

      However, I think Scotsmen do tend to swear unnecessarily. Other people might slip up in annoyance or frustration but with central belt men it’s just part of their everyday conversation.

      March 22, 2018 at 5:09 pm
    • editor


      You are right about Dave Allen – and I think you make a very interesting point about accent. He could get away with a lot due to his pleasant Irish accent. That’s a very interesting point. I still did not like his anti-Catholic cracks, and would avoid watching him – once I got the fact that he was anti-Catholic, and I just didn’t want to hear his final wish: “May your god go with you”. Shocking.

      I have to admit, though, that I’ve never watched “Father Ted” at all – strange as it may seem, I’m never attracted to any comedy or film which features a priest(s). I just suspect that somehow there will be an undermining of the Faith – either through illicit romantic entanglements or by questioning the seal of Confession, so I routinely do not tape any films with clergy in the storyline.

      Never heard of “The Derry Girls” so I’ll take your word for its undesirability.

      Again, you do make a good point about the impact of the Scots accent, or, more accurately, the Glasgow accent, which I can’t stand in its raw, ungrammatical, slangy version. And when crudity is added to the mix, it’s dreadful. Why couldn’t I have been born in the Highlands, I often mused. Then again, in all my years living in England (and even when I lived in Aberdeen) most people did not realise that I am a Glaswegian. On my way back from the USA some years ago, when I entered into conversation with someone at the airport, he asked me from which part of Ireland I hailed! So, I’m a posh Glaswegian, world, take note 😀 Actually, I was taught to speak plain, standard English, so I don’t think I’ve got any kind of accent at all. I do confess, however, that on occasion I have slipped into that “….slangy Glaswegian” to which I refer above – long story, don’t ask 😀

      It’s definitely not an attractive accent, though, no hiding the fact. Indeed, I remember when the pop-singer Lulu first hit the headlines, and we, as schoolgirls were delighted that a girl from Glasgow was becoming famous, one of our teachers said that we wouldn’t be able to tell, for long, that she was from Glasgow because “the first thing they’ll do is send her for elocution lessons” – and so it came to pass! I remember her saying in a documentary interview that that is exactly what happened in the early days of her fame.

      Anyway, Frankier, nobody could accuse thee of being a crude Scotsman – always the soul of charity and good manners, not remotely uncouth or vulgar. (Don’t worry, I’m due at Confession this week 😀 )

      March 22, 2018 at 7:25 pm
    • Vianney


      I would agree with you regarding the Irish surpassing the Scots. Any time I have been in Ireland I was shocked to hear the F word being used liberally by male and female alike. Even old ladies in their 80s seem to think nothing of using it and they don’t care who hears them.

      March 23, 2018 at 7:08 pm
      • Petrus


        I agree. The Irish are also particularly bad at taking the Lord’s name in vain.

        March 23, 2018 at 10:30 pm
  • RCAVictor

    I’ve had only one brief opportunity to observe Scottish Catholic men – 10 years ago at a CT Conference – and I must say they were exceptionally well-behaved, esp. Athanasius, Petrus and Gerald Warner! On the other hand, the fellow rooming directly below me at my bed and breakfast kept me up half the night banging on the wall and cursing loudly at whoever was on the other end of his phone. So I’d say, from my very limited experience, that the amount of crudity depends on which social sector of Scotland you hail from. If your father worked on the docks, in the mines or the steel mills, then….? Glasgow struck me as essentially an old industrial town, which would bring with it the coarseness of industrial life.

    And no, Editor, I don’t think you are in the slightest bit prudish. Stumped by questions like “What is the population of Glasgow?” – yes. Prudish – no.

    I tend to think that the ballooning of vulgarity goes with the diabolical infestation of what used to be known as Western Civilization. As “PL Catholic” noted above, it seemed to start with the beatniks in the 1950s (e.g. one of their spokesmen, the “poet” Allen Ginsburg), and turned into a tidal wave during the 1960s. My solution would be to turn off the TV, the radio and the computer – i.e. the crudity industry – and reflect on the silence that ensues. That “still, small voice” can only be found in such silence.

    This interesting article connects vulgarity with atheism:

    March 22, 2018 at 2:48 pm
    • Laura

      RCA Victor,

      “the amount of crudity depends on which social sector of Scotland you hail from.”

      I think you’re right about that, no question. It’s the kind of “hard man – I’m from Glesca” image that some men like to portray. It’s a shame because there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being working class (like me, LOL!) but I get the feeling that is why so many of them put on this “hard man” face, as if to compensate for not being better off, living in a better area etc.

      March 22, 2018 at 5:19 pm
      • Nicky

        I agree about the “hard man” image. It’s so stupid.

        March 22, 2018 at 9:17 pm
    • Fidelis

      RCA Victor,

      That is a marvellous article. I found it really helpful. Every Scotsman should read it!

      March 22, 2018 at 5:24 pm
    • editor

      RCA Victor,

      I remember the hassle you experienced at that city centre hotel – I still feel bad about that. Still, who could have guessed that the experience would turn out to be useful 10 years later on this blog! One has to laugh, does one not?

      And yes, there is something in what you say about social class – as Laura has pointed out, there does seem to be a “hard man” image that certain working class Glasgow men feel compelled to portray. I can never understand Catholics who are social class conscious. After all, if a stable in Bethlehem and a foster-father who earned his living by carpentry were good enough for the King of Kings, why should anyone feel inferior just because they are not brain surgeons living in one of the “socially desirable” suburbs? Truth to tell, none of the “socially desirable” suburbs of Glasgow appeal to me. They’re very nice, don’t get me wrong, but I wouldn’t lose a minute’s sleep wishing to reside in any of them. I mean, when a gal needs her beauty sleep as much as I need mine, there’s every reason to treasure every minute of said sleep… Trust me!

      Have read the article you posted and it is very good indeed.I note the author converted from atheism to Baptist so we’ll need to pray him onto the next stage of his conversion experience – Catholicism! I get the feeling he’d be the real thing.

      Above all, though, RCA Victor, Bingo! That “…no Editor I don’t think you are in the slightest bit prudish… ” has shot you to the top of the pay-scale – cheque/check in tomorrow’s post!

      March 22, 2018 at 6:59 pm
  • Nicky

    Sorry to say I have to agree – there is a case for mandatory washing out of Scotsmen’s mouths with soap and water on a weekly basis!

    I don’t know whether or not they’re the crudest in the world, but there’s no question that there is a sizeable population of men in the central belt who say the F word more often than the G (God) word.

    March 22, 2018 at 9:16 pm
  • Lionel

    Not more than any others!…

    March 22, 2018 at 9:43 pm
  • RCAVictor

    Here’s a thought that will no doubt get me in deep trouble: the bagpipes are not exactly what you would call a refined instrument. In fact, the sound of one sort of reminds me of the bellowing of a wounded rhinoceros. So….could it be that the pervasive association of Scotsmen with raucous bagpipes is partially responsible for all this crudity?

    On the other side of the coin, though, those same crude bagpipe-playing Scotsmen do wear kilts…..hmmm…..

    March 23, 2018 at 12:46 am
    • editor

      RCA Victor,

      You’re not alone in your views about bagpipes. I used to have to walk past a house where there was a boy practising them, when I was a primary school pupil and I couldn’t get past quickly enough! Reminds me of a joke, where a child asks his father why bagpipes marched so much, and his dad replies: “to get away from the noise!” No, “refined instrument” the bagpipes are NOT.

      March 23, 2018 at 9:34 am
      • Theresa Rose

        The amount of vulgarity and profanity amongst men is awful. It seems endemic in Glasgow in particular, though Nicky does mention the central belt of Scotland. What I find horrifying too is the amount of women who also indulge in such offensive language. Does the use of such language demean women more in comparison with men? Or is there no difference?

        Being a Glasgow lass myself, I too, Editor, dislike the Glaswegian accent. Like you I worked further afield, the Channel Islands and the south west of England, Somerset, in particular, I seemed to lose to an extent “Glasgow’s accent”.

        RCA Victor, I remember the time you attended the Conference here in Glasgow. And as our Editor agrees with your views about bagpipes, I thought I would remind both you about the trip to the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens. It’s Glasgow’s museum showing the city’s past and the lives of its citizens.

        Now I lived a 10 minute walk from Glasgow Green, in which above museum resides. Every August is held annual event, just imagine Pipe and Drum bands competing against each other to determine which is the best in the world. So you can pity me that. No wonder I got out of town if could and go on holiday to avoid it.

        March 23, 2018 at 11:28 am
      • Lionel

        I LOVE BAGPIPE; at breakfast, I listen to it…

        March 23, 2018 at 9:28 pm
      • editor

        BREAKFAST, Lionel? You kidding! Even when it’s not Lent? 😀

        March 23, 2018 at 10:52 pm
      • Lionel

        I do for the best!

        March 24, 2018 at 8:53 pm
      • editor


        You are one very strong soul!

        Have a peaceful Holy Week!

        March 24, 2018 at 9:10 pm
  • Therese

    I don’t find that Scotsmen are any more crude than Englishmen. They may even be more genteel than English women. On picking up my car after repair, (for the second time in 2 weeks!!!) I was waiting in the garage with a youngish couple. I won’t repeat what the female said in casual conversation, and this was not an isolated incident by any means – I hear young “ladies” using the worst kind of language just passing them in the street. So sad.

    March 23, 2018 at 11:31 am
  • Pat McKay

    I often think the very names of some Glasgow districts suggest they have a macho, ‘hard-ticket’ ethos about them, e.g. harsh-sounding places like Carnwadric, Barlanark, Bolornock, Barrachnie. I could go on.

    March 23, 2018 at 11:48 am
  • Aquinas

    As a young Scotsman from Glasgow, I believe that it is the slang Glasgow accent that is particularly unpleasant and adding bad language to that makes it sound especially offensive.

    March 23, 2018 at 4:27 pm

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