Life in Edinburgh

Things I’ve Learned

Though Scotland is an English speaking country, many words differ from American English. I’ve started making a list of ones I hear regularly and will continue to add to it as time goes on.

  • Queue – line
  • Jumper – sweater
  • Trousers – pants
  • Pants – underwear
  • Knackered – tired
  • Football aka “Footie” – soccer
  • Flat – apartment
  • Let – rent
  • Chuffed – happy
  • Biscuit – cookie
  • Wee – small sized or pee
  • Chips – fries
  • Crisps – chips
  • Sorted – situated, figured out
  • Peckish – hungry
  • Midgies – gnats
  • Parcels – packages
  • Bin – trash can
  • Jobby – poop
  • Fanny – vagina (see where fanny pack comes from 😉 also don’t sing The Weight by The Band!)
  • High Street – the street with all the main shops
  • Smart – professional
  • Yob – loud, obnoxious youth
  • Diary – calendar, schedule
  • Row – argument or fight
  • Cakes – sweets
  • Ta – thanks
  • Trainers – Sneakers
  • Tank top – sweater vest
  • Yonks – ages ago
  • Fringe – bangs
  • Trainers – sneakers
  • Lorry – 16 wheeler

A few other things I’ve learned from living in Edinburgh:


You don’t have to follow the lights when crossing at crosswalks. When you catch a break in traffic, many people run across. If you’re a little nervous, just follow the people with walkers and prams. If they are willing to take the risk, it’s likely a safe cross.

On bigger intersections the lights will turn at the same time. This means, you can walk diagonally across the street without any traffic. You can typically tell if an intersection will have this function because it will have a diamond lattice over the pavement.

Zebra striped crosswalks mean walkers have the right away. They tell you to check, just in case a car isn’t paying attention, but most people just walk blindly across and expect the cars to know the rules.


As I mentioned in my previous post, the weather here is really not that bad. Most days you’ll get a glimpse of sun, even if it rains or gets cloudy later in the day. Clouds move very quickly, so the weather is constantly changing. In general, it’s quite mild. My blood has really thickened and 70 degrees now feels really hot! Last week, I started sweating in the sun when the temperature read 63! You definitely get used to the weather being mild and your body adjusts to be able to feel the slight differences. It can be extremely windy though! The wind can make it feel much colder than it is. I’m constantly looking windblown. I still don’t understand how Scottish women look so put together despite all the wind!

This is my hair on a daily basis.


As with many European countries, there are many more smokers in Edinburgh than the cities I lived in the States. I’m always baffled by people standing out in the rain smoking. It just doesn’t seem worth it to me. But for whatever reason, people are constantly smoking on the streets, so it’s definitely been something to get used to. Luckily, smoking is prohibited indoors, so there is always a way to escape it.

One O’Clock Gun

I was sitting at home, when we first moved here, and heard a large bang. I turned to Simon and asked what he thought it was. He said, “It’s the one o’clock gun.” That sounded ridiculous, so I thought he was joking with me. Since then, I’ve learned it’s a real thing! Every day at 1pm, a gun is fired off from the top of the castle. If you are sitting in the park or walking down Prince’s Street, it’s always a surprise. I love being in a tourist area whenever it goes off, because everyone jumps and looks alarmed. It’s hilarious to witness. So if you come to visit, don’t be alarmed by the sound of a gun midday in the city.

I’m sure I’ll learn more as time goes on, but I’ll leave you with that for now!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *