Scottish Culture: Something worth preserving?

Guest   Sun Sep 17, 2006 8:42 am GMT

There is a Glasgow Gang called the 'Tongs'

What a pleasant place with an interesting culture.

Glasgow’s gangs - the Toi, Fleet, Cumbie, Tong, Govan Team, Derry, Pak et al, names reaching back 200 years into a violent past - have entered the 21st century, creating their own websites with chatrooms where threats of death and violence are thrown out at the click of a mouse.

Some interesting new words for you....

Jamie C, a member of the Gorbals team, explained: "The main people we fight with are the Brig’ton [Bridgeton] team, but the Gorbals will fight with every c***!"

On the web, they adopt a vernacular speaking style, and insane poetry, such as Johnny’s, is prevalent in sites such as the Maryhill Fleeto Mad Sqwad which promises that it will be "Slashin’ jaws; kickin baws; puntin’ jellies [temazepam] and stabbin’ bellies".

Not called "Tim" by any chance.......

GANGS have fought over their turf in and around Glasgow since the 1700s, when factions from north and south of the Clyde battled on an island lying between Calton and Gorbals.

It would be another 100 years before the gangs made headlines with the formation in the East End of the Protestant Calton San Toy, a name that survives today as Toi. Their enemy was the Catholic Tim Malloys (slang for Bhoys). A Glasgow Catholic is still known as a Tim.

In the Sixties, they were the scourge of inner-city slums and the relatively new peripheral schemes such as Castlemilk, Drumchapel and Easterhouse. "Tongs, ya bass," became Glasgow’s unofficial motto, but while many thought "bass" was short for bastard, it was, in fact, a corruption of the ancient Gaelic expression for "battle and die".

Some more new words .....

The media presented Britain with images of youths discarding "chibs" - bladed weapons - unaware that minutes before they had probably been filched from their mothers’ kitchen drawers.

Customised expressions used by the gangs include:

"plunge" - stab;

"puntin’" - . sell drugs;

"sumbuzz" - excitement;

"buckets" - pipe for smoking cannabis;

"heavystunna" - good looking girl;

"ho" - tart, as the expression applied to women;

"M8" - mate;

"mukka" - friend;

"shoutoot" - message to friends and allies;

"burdz" - girlfriends;

"skeem" - a gang turf;

"jiggy" - the dancing;

"swatch" - . take a look;

"rapid c****" - gang members who run from fights.
Guest   Sun Sep 17, 2006 12:19 pm GMT
Are you suggesting a nuke or something. There is scum in every city who would be better off at the bottom of a pit lined with lime.
Robin   Sun Sep 17, 2006 8:28 pm GMT
I live in Scotland, and I tend to think of Scottish people as being basically unpleasant. (You might wonder about my mental health) I have recently entered several postings expressing this view, and nobody has really taken me up on it.

I feel a tangible sense of relief when I leave Scotland on the train. I gradually let go of a lot a stress.

Back to what I was saying. If no one comments on a post, it just sinks out of sight, rather than staying on the top of the pile, attracting a lot of interest.

There are some Topics that I deliberately avoid commenting on, and some Posts that I essentially ignore, because I feel that they are in bad taste. But I like to think that my comments are of interest to people.
Guest   Mon Sep 18, 2006 12:35 am GMT
People are not born as unpleasant by nature but cirucmstances yeah bad circumstances make them just like that bad people..Before commenting your comentary on the history of scotland scots on general you British people should have a peek at their past actions of invading other countries and killing a hell of them ... so much so showing disgust for Scotland.
Robin   Mon Sep 18, 2006 1:54 am GMT
I appreciate that I have raised a topic which is not strictly about the English language. One of the things that you could discuss is the reason why English has such a prominent position in the world.

In terms of having a look at past actions, I think that you should be more specific.

What past action?

Who was at fault?

How did it come about?

Increasingly Britain is inhabited by a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural society. So the target, ie the people that you are trying to blame are very difficult to pin down.

The 7th July bombings in London in 2005, killed 52 people. Many of whom, were not what you might normally think of as being 'British'. The just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

That Web Page gives the obituaries of all the victims. Their names include:

(I have picked out 14 of the 26 killed in Russell Square, who according to me, have foreign sounding names.) Anna Brandt sounds German, I will have a look. Anna Brandt, a 41-year-old Pole, had been living in London for three years after leaving her hometown of Wagrowiec.
One that I haven't included is: Elizabeth Daplyn: Ms Daplyn was born in Leicester but spent her early years abroad before attending schools in Rochester, Kent. Ok, I missed on that one, but I will try: Ciaran Cassidy: His parents were from Ireland: Sean Cassidy had moved to the UK from rural Ireland at a time when work was short in the Republic, and married Veronica, a nurse, from Enniskillen in Northern Ireland. )

Anna Brandt

Rachelle Chung For Yuen

Arthur Frederick

Karolina Gluck

Gamze Gunoral

Ojara Ikeagwu

Michael Matsushita

Behnaz Mozakka

Mihaela Otto

Atique Sharifi

Ihab Slimane

Christian Small

Monika Suchocka

Mala Trivedi
Damian in London E16   Mon Sep 18, 2006 2:03 pm GMT
There is no denying the fact that Glasgow has had a "tairrible" reputation in the past, and the image of the Gorbals took a long time to eradicate. It's true that some areas of this large city (the largest city in Scotland...but NOT it's capital!) are still problematical with regard to gang "warfare" and the mindless violence that comes of drugs, alcohol, family breakdowns, unemployment - much of it self induced because of these substance addictions, you could say voluntary - and single motherhood - again you could say voluntary because our "nice munificent" Government chucks money at them hand over fist like there's no tomorrow, with priority status for council flats and a range of concessions, and the male offspring of such a background eventually become the next generation of scumbags and the females the next generations of single mothers producing the next production line of social scallies.

There is not a single large city in the world that does not have a seamy and unwholesome side...many of them are far worse than Glasgow, with crime rates infinitely higher and more dangerous and social deprivation on a more scary scale. Los Angeles and Chicago are just two examples.

Glasgow, like Liverpool in England, saw a huge rise in immigration from Ireland during the 19th century famines over there, and the religious divide took shape between the Catholics and the Proddies (Protestants) and this had quite an influence on the social fabric of both cities. Glasgow saw two league football teams develop which were clearly based on religious adherence......Celtic (Catholic) and Rangers (Protestant) and this sort of segregation was more or less confined to these two cities. This obviously has some bearing on the social divide between certain groups.

The drugs and alcohol situation bedevils much of western society, and is the biggest challenge to social life in many countries.

The majority of Glaswegians are decent hardworking people, and in 1990 Glasgow was the European City of Culture after a massive rejuvenation of the city and wholescale redevelopment of the city centre while the original beautiful architecture was preserved and enhanced.

Fortunately the city centre largely escaped heavy German bombing during WW2, the Luftwaffe mainly reserving it's destruction for the docks and industrial areas at Clydebank, to the west of the city. Most of Glasgow's magnificent Victorian buildings in the city centre were left unscathed, and after all the post 1980s redevelopment and re-planning the whole city centre is one of the most attractive in Europe, and with the many cultural attractions the city has always had...museums, theatres, art galleries etc. ....Glasgow became the European City of Culture in 1990.

Much of the city centre is is pedestrianised, from around George Square and the Buchanan Street / Sauchiehall Street areas, and the shopping facilities are great. If you like cool open air restaurants in pleasant surroundings (and if the weather behaves itself....nothing as yet can control the vicissitudes of the UK climate)....then a nice sunny evening can see to that.

I like the Glasgow night life very much, and if you know where to go, it's one great fun place. Like any other large city, you have to know the areas and types of people to avoid, that's all.

Reply to a post above:

***I live in Scotland... I tend to think of Scottish people as being basically unpleasant......You might wonder about my mental health....
.....I feel a tangible sense of relief when I leave Scotland on the train. I gradually let go of a lot a stress.......***

Your mental health may well vastly improve - along with your tangible sense of relief - if the train ticket taking you out of Scotland is for a single journey? Why not try that solution? Nip down to Glasgow Central Station at any time and the guys behind the glass screens in the Ticket Office there will be happy to oblige. They do sell single tickets to destinations way beyond the Scottish border you know! :-)

Sounds like something out of The Night Mail but in reverse direction...south instead of north........."train travels on and over the border, taking the cheque and the postal order......."

I can't wait for my next trip home to Edinburgh for a wee stay....train travels north and over the border (with or without a postal order, whatever that is)......who cares as long as Waverley Station hoves into view 4 hours after leaving King's Cross.
Cheers! :-)
Robin   Mon Sep 18, 2006 9:39 pm GMT
Hello Damian in London E16

Your reply was the one I was waiting for. There is someone called Aif, who also seems to have a Scottish connection.

I will not (is 'wont' a word) go into details in a Public Forum, but I am pretty much stuck in this Hell Hole for the time being. (Only Joking!) Seriously, where I live is not a very nice area, but it is not as bad as people make out. This very evening I took the Corporate Director of Neighbourhood Services (Central) Aberdeen City Council, to have a look at the tunnel underneath the railway line, which is know as Mugger's Brae, or Mugger's Brig.

He asked how long the graffitti message about "Smack" had been there. I replied: "Years".

He is newly appointed, and he said that there will be a few changes.

(See you on the "Clockwork Orange")

Bye for now

Robin Michael
Benjamin   Mon Sep 18, 2006 10:41 pm GMT
*wonders if I'm making a huge mistake by wanting to go to university in Scotland*
Damian in London N2   Mon Sep 18, 2006 10:41 pm GMT
***(See you on the "Clockwork Orange") ***

Some Penguin   Wed Sep 20, 2006 8:25 pm GMT
I don't know about Glasgow,

But Edinburgh's the nicest, prettiest place I've ever come across. That applies to both the city and its people. So very happy to be studying here. (Well, I'd better be. I'll be stuck here for the next 3 years! Not that I'm complaning...)

Loving the weather here too ^^

P.S. The taxi drivers here seem to have the strongest accents. Everyone else is perfectly understandable. Within the university, English students seem to outnumber Scots... well, everyone in my Pollock Halls corridor is from somewhere near London and they've all got Estuary going on =p.
Some Penguin   Wed Sep 20, 2006 8:35 pm GMT
To Benjamin:

No, you're not making a mistake. Come to the University of Edinburgh!! (Well it's the only one you should consider, really. All the rest are cr*p, especially Napier =p)
Damian in London N2   Wed Sep 20, 2006 9:58 pm GMT
Quotes by Some Penguin:

***But Edinburgh's the nicest, prettiest place I've ever come across. That applies to both the city and its people***Loving the weather here too***
The taxi drivers here seem to have the strongest accents. Everyone else is perfectly understandable. Within the university, English students seem to outnumber Scots... well, everyone in my Pollock Halls corridor is from somewhere near London and they've all got Estuary going on***

I'm so glad you like my home city....I share your sentiments but I am just a wee bit biased! Edinburgh First ..Pollock Halls...lovely site and I know it like the back of my hand (although I went to Leeds!)

Which particular Hall are in at Pollock? It's supposed to be one of the best uni sites in Scotland and it's a great magnet for students from all over the UK hence the predominance of English students. The large number of English accents you hear among staff in stores, pubs and restaurants further indicate this.

I suppose you've climbed to the top of the Salisbury Crags above Holyrood Park and up to Arthur's Seat behind the site?.....from up there you really can see how beautiful a city Edinburgh truly is and your post has made me feel VERY homesick, but I'm off home for the weekend in a weeks' time anyway, and back home in Edinburgh for good in a month's time although I'm having a fantastic time in London. :-)

I'm living with Estuary right now and you know what...I quite like it now....familiarity breeds affection.

There's no comparison between the Edinburgh and Glasgow accents.....non Scots have very little bother with Edinburgh, but Glasgow does seem unintelliible to many, but do go to Glasgow even if it's just for the's really a nice city...about an hour's train journey from Waverley to Queen Street, unless you have a car that is in which case just bomb all the way down the M8.

You like our weather? Well, it has been a lovely summer on the whole, and Edinburgh is a lot drier than Glasgow on average. Have you spent a winter in Edinburgh yet? Your enthusiasm may wane rapidly....

PS: In your opinion what's wrong with Napier then?
Some Penguin   Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:20 pm GMT
I'm at Holland House in Pollock Halls. Yep, I've climbed up to Arthur'ss Seat. Magnificent =p (Oh, my room window faces Arthur's Seat. w00t!)

I went to Glasgow by train a few days ago with some friends, just to see what it was like. Wasn't too impressed, really. It reminded me of certain parts of San Francisco. Edinburgh >>>> Glasgow.

Haven't spent a winter here. I'm actually looking forward to winter! But of course, I can't comment until I've been through it. (I don't mind rain too much. I don't mind wind at all. Wind + rain, hmm, an umbrella won't work so I'd better hop down to Princes St sometime and buy myself a raincoat.)

Napier? Well, it's got a horrific drop-out rate and its graduate employment prospects aren't too bright either, y'know... definitely not a university I'd recommend. I mean, really, think of a good reason to go to Napier. Well, here's one: your marks aren't good enough for Edinburgh Uni or Leeds or Manchester, and you just desperately want to get into SOME university so you choose Napier =p (Well all right, I suppose Napier is good for certain subjects, but these are far fewer in number than what most other universities are good for.)
Some Penguin   Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:22 pm GMT
By the way, does it ever snow in Edinburgh? =)
Robin   Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:21 pm GMT
The place that really catches the snow is Kent. It is close enough to the continent, to have continental weather.

I live in Aberdeen, and some years there is a lot of snow, some years none at all. Generally, when there is snow, it does not stay on the ground very long.

You have to have some sympathy for the Scottish Ski Resorts. Very much a victim of global warming. But then if you are an American, you will not believe in Global Warming.