Scotland's small towns and the nicknames of their people

Up and down the country, Scotland's small towns boast some great nicknames for their people.

Thursday, 3rd May 2018, 11:16 am
Updated Thursday, 3rd May 2018, 11:35 am
Those from the Angus town of Arbroath are called Red Lichties.
Those from the Angus town of Arbroath are called Red Lichties.

Rooted in historic events, geography, landscape and sometimes sheer mischief, here we look at how the identities of townsfolk have been shaped over time.

Blue Mogganers -Peterhead

After the coarse blue socks - moggans - that fishermen used to wear over their boots. Townsfolk generally referred to now as Blue Tooners

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Red Lichties - Arbroath

A round window high in the ruins Arbroath Abbey was originally lit up at night as a beacon to guide the fishermen in to harbour. Later, it is said lanterns in the harbour were painted red.

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Gable Endies - Montrose

Names after the style of building, best seen in the High Street, which was trumpeted by wealthy continental traders and merchants. Land used to be leased for building in meagre lots called twelve-foot rigs, with large houses set with their gable-ends to the street.

Langtonians - Kirkcaldy

After Kirkcaldy’s “lang toon” layout which includes one of the longest seafronts in Europe

Black Bitches - Linlithgow

The town’s coat of arms features a black bitch dog against an oak tree after a legend of a black greyhound whose master was sentenced to starve to death on an island in Linlithgow loch.

Bairns - Falkirk

The town motto “Better meddle with the deil than the bairns of Falkirk” dates from the 18th Century. Legend suggest Bairns was first adopted in the in the mid 1600s following the opening of the town’s first water supply. At the official opening, a toast was made to “the wives and bairns of Falkirk”.

Belters - Tranent

Suggestions that it relates to the area’s agricultural heritage and the men who belted horses. Others say its because Tranent folk fancied themselves as fighters.

Buddies - Paisley

Simply thought to come from the old Scots for people

Gutterbluids - Peebles

Scots for a low-born person, it was used in the town to refer to someone whose family were born and bred there.

Stooriefoots - Peebles

Used to describe folk who have moved into the town. Stoor in Scots can mean to stir or move quickly.

Doonhamers - Dumfries

Because people from the town would have to travel “doon hame” given its southerly location

Terries - Hawick

In honour of a war cry chanted at Battle of Flodden by Hawick men: Teribus ye teri odin/Sons of heroes slain at Flodden.