Thursday, April 24, 2008

Glasgow patter or Glaswegian is a dialect spoken in and around Glasgow, Scotland. Glasgow patter has evolved over the centuries amongst the working classes, Irish immigrants and passing seamen in the dockyards. The dialect is anglicised west central lowland Scots or Scottish English depending on viewpoint, and features a varied mix of typical Scots expressions and vocabulary, as well as some examples of rhyming slang, local cultural references and street slang.
The Patter is used widely in everyday speech in Glasgow, even occasionally in broadcasting and print. It often reflects the Glasgow sense of humour. 'The Patter', as with all dialects, is constantly evolving and updating itself, forever generating new euphemisms, as well as nicknames for well-known local figures and buildings.

Glasgow patterGlasgow patter Reference books
Michael Munro wrote a light-hearted yet accurate and informative guide to Glasgow Patter entitled The Patter, first published in 1985. With humorous illustrations by David Neilson, and later by Paisley-born artist and playwright John Byrne, the book became very popular in Glasgow and the rest of Scotland, and was followed up by The Patter - Another Blast in 1988, with The Complete Patter, an updated compendium of the first and second books, being published in 1996.
In the 1970s, Glasgow-born comedian Stanley Baxter famously parodied the patter on his television sketch show. "Parliamo Glasgow" was a spoof language teaching programme where Baxter played a language coach, with various scenarios using Glaswegian dialogue were played out for humorous effect.
In 1997, Jamie Stuart, a Church of Scotland elder from the High Carntyne Church, produced "A Glasgow Bible", relating some of the biblical tales in the Glaswegian vernacular.
Popular Scottish television comedies like Rab C. Nesbitt, Chewin' the Fat and Still Game also provide reference material, as well as having contributed popular new expressions to 'The Patter' themselves.