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A Scottish Haar

If you spy a haar closing in, then you are witnessing a cold wet sea fog, like the one above, recently captured by local photographer Alan Cawley. The Scots love to blether about the weather. It's a Scottish pastime. Scotland has many unique words to describe its winter weather, especially when it’s cold, damp and wet.

Here are some of the best Scottish weather-related words.


Meaning dreary, gloomy, bleak, miserable, grey, depressing, devoid of sunshine, dreich was voted in a poll as the nation’s favourite word. Drookit

Totally and utterly soaked to the bone, drenched, sodden, soaking. If your clothes are ‘drookit’ then you clearly “didnae hae a brolly” (umbrella) or perhaps the rain was so torrential that the brolly couldn’t stop your clothes “fae being drookit”!


Inspired by the chilly Baltic Sea, and commonly used across Scotland, Baltic means freezing cold.


So bitterly cold it feels as though the air is piercing your skin with lots of tiny needles.


“It’s blowing a hoolie,” is a phrase that is supposedly derived from the Orkney Scots word ‘hoolan’. Hoolan describes a strong gale wind.

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