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Parliamo Glasgow




This description of Glasgow speech has stood the test of time. The Dictionaries of the Scots Language (DSL) describes it as a


“Jocular way of referring to Glasgow speech, coined by Stanley Baxter as the title of a 1960s sketch”.



The first citation in DSL comes from Howard Purdie in Chapman magazine (1983):


“I have to admit to being seik tae daith of listening to 'Parliamo-Glasgow'. Glaswegians, in their native habitat, have succeeded in debasing both the English language and the guid Scots tongue”.



The Herald of November 1998 was more positive:


“Always available for pathos — the ballads, or bathos, parliamo Glasgow, Scotland The What, Scots is now being reinstated as the medium for ordinary discourse. Sure it's more studied than used, more romanticised than rooted in daily life, but Scots has stopped apologising”.



In some cases, the term has come to mean simply speaking Glaswegian Scots, as in this review of Crieff Drama Group from the Strathallan Times (October 2016):


“It would be unfair to single out any of the cast for praise, they all exhibited talent beyond expectations of an amateur troupe and their mastery of accents from New York Bronx to parliamo Glasgow delighted their audience”.



Stanley Baxter, the originator of the term, was honoured in November 2020 with an outstanding contribution award at the Scottish Baftas the Glasgow Times, which noted:


“In his decades-long career in showbiz, Baxter has built a fanbase including fellow comedians such as Sir Billy Connolly ... He is also known for his Parliamo Glasgow sketches sending up his native city”.


This Scots Word of the Week was written by Pauline Cairns Speitel. Visit DSL Online at