Anent a Scotsman's self-complacency, it is told that on one occasion an
Irishman thus addressed a Scotsman: "Shure ye needn't be thinkin' so
much of yirself! Hasn't Mr Darwin tould us that we're all descended from
the monkeys?" "Weel, "said the unruffled Scotsman
solemnly, "that may be true o' you Irish, but I assure you it's no' true o'
us Scotch; for we've a-scended frae the monkeys."
I once asked a worthy old man how his son was getting on in London. "He's getting on fine!" was the pleased reply. "Ane
o' the heids o' s' firm is an American, an' his a great notion o' oor
Robert. Jist the ither day he was sair needin' somebody to clerk for 'm in
a hurry, so he rang his bell and shouted oot, 'Sen' me aither the Scotsman or
Another old man, in telling me about his son, was delightfully fluent:
"He's gettin' on fine. He's ower in America. He's mairrit noo,
an' we hinna been hearin' sae muckle fae him since. Bit he's gettin' on
fine. He's a coachman tae ane o' thae million-aires, an' his a big
wage. ye see, thae Americans are awfa' parteekler. Fin they get
the hud o' a Scotsman, they like tae keep him."
An American, being shown things in
Scotland by a Glasgow man, hurt him by repeatedly saying that they had
bigger and better in the United States. When they came to Loch Katrine,
the American was for the first time impressed and said, "Yes, it's a
mighty fine lake: I like it." "Well," said the Scot, gaining some
confidence, "do you know that in the year 1886 we put down pipes and laid
this water on to Glasgow?" "That gives me and idea," said the American: "I
guess we've gat engineers on the other side who could put pipes acrass the
Atlantic and lay this water on to Noo Yark: do you think the water would
come through?" "Weel," said the Scot, "if you chaps ower there are as guid
at sookin' as ye are at blawin', ye'll get the water a'richt."
An Englisman candidating in a Scottish
constituency, when submitting to heckling, was confronted by a voter who
said in a rather contemptuous tone, "Ye're and Englishman, aren't ye?" The
candidate was stung and replied, with spirit, "Yes, sir, I am an
Englishman: I was born and Englishman and I hope to die an Englishman."
"Man," said the Scot, "hiv' ye nae ambeetion?"
A minister, preaching in a strange
church, before the morning service asked the beadle, "At what point in the
service do I give out the intimations?" "O," said the beadle, "we only
give out the intimations at the evening service here." During the singing
after the sermon the beadle came up the pulpit steps, handed the minister
some papers and whispered, "Ye'd better gie oot the intimations." "But,"
whispered back the minister, "you said that you only gave out the
intimations at the evening service." "Ay," replied the beadle, "but A doot
there'll no be much o' an evenin' service the nicht."
Another story of the crushing of a
minister is of a "candidate" who after the first service was anxious to
find out what sort of impression he had made and asked the beadle. "Nae
yiss ava," (no use at all), was the reply. "Dear me," said the discomfited
candidate, "do you mind telling me what was wrong with my sermon?" "Weel,
in the furst place, it was read; secondly, it was badly read; and in the
thurd place, it wisna worth readin'."
In the old days ministers did not mince
matters. One in the course of a sermon said, "A've kent o' better folk
than you, efter they were deed, in the place where the wurm dieth not and
the fire is not quenched, callin' out tae the Lord in their agony, 'O
Lord, A niver kent it wud be as bad as this.' And the Lord, out of His
love and tender mercy vouchsafed the answer, 'Weel, ye ken noo.'
Hotel Porter, expecting a tip - "Hope you'll have a nice
Tammas McDougal - "Verra sorry, ma laddie, but I've gi'en a' ma' sma'
change tae th' chambermaid."
Porter - "She told me you didn't give her anything."
Tammas - "A' weel, if I didna gie yon bonnie lassie onything, fit sort
o' chance dae you think ye've got?"
"Hoo are ye gettin' on wi' the wife?"
"Fine. We're nae speakin'."
"Michty me, man!" exclaimed MacPherson. "Hoo did ye get
that awfu' black e'e?"
"I got it fae a man at whose marriage I wis best man," explained the
other, "jist because I kissed th' bride."
"Whit a jealous craitur" cried MacPherson indignantly. "But its th'
custom for th' best man tae kiss th' bride."
"Aye, I ken that, bit ye see - this was five 'eers aifter th' marriage!"
Customer - "Fit dae ye chairge for a haircut?"
Barber - "Eightpence."
Customer - "And foo muckle for a shave?"
Barber - "Fourpence."
Customer - "Weel, gie ma heid a shave."
Representing an Aberdeen house, a commercial traveller
found himself delayed in the Highlands by snow. Local folk said that
there was little chance of him getting away for two or three days.
Accordingly he wired his firm - "Marooned here by bad weather.
Conditions impossible. Wire instructions."
In the shortest time came the reply - "Commence summer holidays as from
The proprietor of a Ross-shire hotel, which was popular
with travellers, sent this wire -
"Simpson & Timson, Aberdeen.
Your Traveller, William MacFootes, died here today. What shall we do?"
And the following reply was received - "Search his pockets for orders."
Landlady - "Mr MacAlister, come out here and look at
this marvellous rainbow."
MacAlister - "Hoo much extra is it?"
You can always tell an Aberdeen motorist. He takes every
corner on two wheels to save wear on the tyres.
You can always tell an Aberdonian - but you can't tell him much.
At a fire in an Aberdeen tobacconist's shop the police had great trouble
in dispersing the crowd which gathered to inhale the free smoke.
Aberdonians are a very inventive set. They have found a new use for
worn-out razor blades - they shave with them.
A tourist passenger in a train going north, observing
Kintore did not seem to be a very busy place, asked (in a way which
tourists are apt to do) a porter who was standing on the platform, "Why
are we stopping here?"
The porter replied, "ye maun stop here; it's a junction ye ken;
and forbye Kintore's a Royal Burgh."
"Indeed," said the tourist, becoming interested, "and is there a Provost
"Ay," said the porter.
"And does your Provost go about with a chain?"
"Na, na, he jist gangs aboot louse." [loose]
It is said that an American, visiting Scotland for the
first time, was somewhat puzzled by the dialect of a railway porter, and
taking him for a foreigner, asked what country he came from.
"I belong to Scotland, bonnie Scotland," said the porter, and then
added, "And far d'ye cam frae?"
To which the American replied, "I come from the greatest country the
world has ever known".
On which the porter exclaimed, "Man, what an awfa peety ye've lost your
A Company of Americans were touring Scotland and lost
their way in the north. Presently they found themselves in the outskirts
of a large city. Stopping the car they asked a boy the name of the town.
"I'll tell ye if ye gie me saxpence," replied the youth. "Drive on!"
said the American - "I guess this is Aberdeen."
An Aberdeen Proverb -
Keep yer auld Flag for the new Flag Day.
Whilst paying a visit to Dundee recently, an Aberdonian
was deeply interested in the number of gulls he saw flying about. "Whit
kind o' birds are thae?" he asked his friend. "These are gulls," was the
reply. "Gulls!" said the Aberdonian - "Whit dae they live on ?"
"On odds and ends of fish in the river and scraps of food lying about
the town." "That's strange," he replied, "We've nae birds like
thae in Aiberdeen!"
An Aberdonian butcher received a note the other day. It
read as follows: "Please don't send the pennyworth of liver today. The
cat has caught a mouse."
A tramp stopping an Aberdonian in Union Street enquired
- "Can ye spare a copper?" "D'ye ken whaur ye are, man? replied
the pedestrian, "This is Aiberdeen."
An Aberdonian told a friend of his intention to pay a
visit to London. His friend told him it was very lucky to throw a
halfpenny out of the carriage as he crossed the bridges on the way
south. On his return he was asked how he got on. "Weel enough," was his
reply. "I got on fine crossin' the Dee and managed a' richt at the Tay
Bridge, but when I came to the Forth Bridge the string to mixed up with
the girders and I lost my ha'penny."
"Jokin' aside," said the Aberdonian, "How much whusky
dae ye think an Aberdonian can drink?" "Any given
quantity!" replied his English friend.
A keen golfer with an Aberdonian accent who on being
asked what he thought of the course, replied "It's no' that bad. I lost
four ba's but found six."
Of course, everybody knows about the great hold-up of
traffic in Union Street. It was caused by a horse that wouldn't move and
when by gentle coaxing it at last raised one foot a sixpence was found
An Aberdonian and a Yorkshireman foregathered in Hull.
They discovered they were both thirsty, but naturally neither of them
had any money. A bright thought struck the Yorkshireman. "I know a
barmaid who is very forgetful. If you engage her in conversation, she
can't remember being paid or not. I'll go in and see if it'll work." In
he went and in a short time he came out to find Jock patiently waiting "Weel,
hoo died ye get on?" "Fine, Jock, you try it on." In Jock went, and
after ordering his glass of whisky, he engaged the barmaid in an
interesting conversation, and after ten minutes had passed he casually
remarked, "Ah weel, I'll hae to be going. Whit aboot my change?"
There was great excitement on Deeside. A boy had fallen
into the river and been rescued just in time by a passer by. When things
has calmed down a bit, the hero was approached by the boy's father and
questioned:- "Are you the man that saved my laddie?" "Yes!"
"Whaur's his bonnet?"
A few Aberdonians on their way home for the Christmas
holidays changed trains at a certain Railway Junction. Whilst waiting
for their train they observed a porter standing about with a wistful and
expectant Xmas look on his face. "Come on, boys!" exclaimed one of them
- "We must give the Porter something - let's give him three hearty
An Aberdonian went to the Dentist to get a tooth
extracted. He got gas and when he came to himself, discovered that all
his teeth were out.
"Whit wey did ye dae that?" he asked.
"Oh," replied the Dentist. "I gave ye ower much gas and didna want to
On the occasion of a Flag Day in Aberdeen there was a
great exodus from the city. Thirteen passengers were in one compartment
and, being superstitious, they decided to toss a sixpence in order to
determine which one should leave the carriage at the next stop. While
tossing the sixpence, it unfortunately fell out of the window, with the
result that the thirteen passengers were killed by a train coming in the
A Question of Brains - An Aberdonian, resident in
London, had a conversation with a Londoner regarding the large number of
Scotsmen holding responsible positions in the Metropolis.
"Why is it?" asked the Londoner.
"Weel," replied the Aberdonian, "it's a question of brains. The Scotsmen
have the brains."
"Yes, yes, but why do they have the brains?"
"Oh, that's easily explained. They live on fish and fish make brains.
You could get brains too if you lived on fish. Suppose I send you a
pound's worth from Aberdeen!"
"All right," replied the Londoner, "I'll try it." So he handed over the
pound. In due course one haddock arrived from Aberdeen. Some days after,
the friends met again.
"Weel," asked the Aberdonian, "and how did the fish work - notice any
"I can't say I do."
"Oh but you must persevere. May I send you another pounds worth?"
"All right, I'll try it."
So another pound passed into the Aberdonian's keeping. Again one haddock
arrived at its London destination. The friends met again:
"Weel," asked the Aberdonian, "how are you getting on - notice any
"I can't say that I do."
"Oh, but you mustn't give up now. You must take the whole course.
Suppose I send you another pounds worth?"
"Oh, but I say," replied the Londoner, "that's a fearful price for one
haddock: surely there's something wrong!"
"Ah, now I've got you," replied the Aberdonian, "the fish are beginning
An Aberdonian on a visit to a friend in London
overstayed his welcome. It was getting towards Christmas and his host
thought a kindly hint might have the desired result.
"Don't you think," he said, "that your wife and family will want you to
be with them at Christmas?"
"Man," replied the Aberdonian, "I believe you're richt. It's rale
thochtfu' o' you. I'll just send for them."
An Aberdonian died and went to Heaven. He could not find
the Golden gates; a fellow-townsmen had been there before him.
Donald hadn't come across his friend Sandy since the
Wedding Day, now six months past, and at last they met in Union Street.
"Weel, Sandy," said Donald, "and hoo are ye likin' merried life?"
"No' bad," replied Sandy, "but she's aye ask, ask, askin' for money!"
"Hoo much hae ye gi'en her?"
"Nane as yet."
An Aberdonian, spying a threepenny bit in Piccadilly,
stepped forward to pick it up and was run over by a passing bus.
The coroner's verdict was - "Death through natural
"And what happened tae ye, Donald?"
"Weel, it was like this. I wis teachin' the wife tae
drive, when we cam' doon the hill and the brakes failed."
"Aye, and what did ye dae then?"
"Keep your heid!" I says tae her, "and try and hit
Dead Man's Shoes
Daughter: "Faither, noo that yer business partner is
deid, could my boyfriend no' tak' his place?"
Father: "Ay, that's a' richt wi' me if you can fix it
up wi' the undertaker."
An American in a London hotel was introduced to a
Scotsman who asked him:
"An' what country dae you belang tae?"
"The greatest country in the world!" replied the
"Man, so dae I!" answered Sandy, "but ye dinna speak
like a Scotsman!"
"Dae ye ken, Geordie, I'm the happiest man in the
world. I've got the best wife in the country."
"Wha wadna be happy wi' his wife in the country?"
Mrs Macnab rushed into the house in a state of terror.
"John! John!" she cried, "there's a cow in the
"Weel, dinna stand there wastin' precious time," said
John. "Get back to the garden and milk it afore it gets oot."
"Wad ye love my Jeannie as muckle if she had nae
"I would that, sir."
"Then ye'd better gang hame - I dinna want anither
fool in the family."
"Mary, my lassie," said an Aberdonian to his daughter.
"I've just had a visit fae Tam and I've consented to your weddin'."
"Oh, but faither," she cried out, "I dinna want to
leave ma mither!"
"Hoots, lassie," said the father. "Dinna let that
worry ye. Ye can tak' her wi' ye."
Maggie had put "Rest in Peace" on the tombstone of her
departed husband's grave; but when she found he had left her nothing,
she hastened to the mason and told him to add the words "Till I come."
A woman and a man from Aberdeen were the only
survivors from a shipwreck. By the end of a few weeks on a desert island
their clothes were in rags, their provisions finished, - the future
"It couldn't be worse!" sighed the woman.
"Och ay it could!" said the Aberdonian. "I micht hae
bocht a return ticket!"
I'll be adding a few
more of these from time to time - so keep checking!