Pining for the West

Scottish Words. | November 30, 2009


In Scotland if you are – as my mother would have put it – living in sin with someone, then they are described as being your bidey-in. I really like this wee phrase as it describes the relationship perfectly and it is the same whether it is a man or a woman. They are the person that you stay in with, rather than just someone that you go out with.

I don’t like this modern thing nowadays where everyone is described as someone’s ‘partner’. I’ve even heard the ‘p’ word being used to describe wives and husbands, which I really can’t understand. I wouldn’t be at all chuffed to be described in that way, seeing that we went to the bother of actually getting married and paying £7.50 for the marriage licence.

We had a family meal out last night and our youngest son and his lovely ‘bidey-in’ managed to come through from Dundee for it, but I’ve got a horrible feeling that they describe themselves as partners on Facebook.

It would be great if everyone would adopt that lovely non-sexist term of bidey-in. It just sounds so homely to me.

I’m scunnered by partners. They should all have their bahoukies skelped, and become bidey-ins.



  1. hehheh! Cracking post! Bidey-in eh! I’m really enjoying this Scottish words category a lot, and learning all sorts! Not keen on the ‘partner’ business myself, it’s a bit Welles Fargo’ or Waggon Train to me (God, how old am I?) I also hate THE wife or THE husband, changing a human being into an object or a pocession. So, I suppose a Bidey-in is like a ‘hobby’ before he becomes a ‘hubby’ (I’ve got my own lingo lol!) I’ve already started using ‘scunnered’ to discribe myself – such a discriptive word. When I use it people sort of get the gist of what it means without asking……(that may be because it’s accompanied by a scunnered face) lol!

    Comment by echostains — December 1, 2009 @ 12:11 am

    • I like the ‘hobby’ before ‘hubby’ idea. Not keen on THE wife/husband either. I remember in the 70s some people used to introduce people to their ‘lover’ Pass the bucket time!

      Comment by piningforthewest — December 1, 2009 @ 9:27 pm

  2. Bidey-in sounds so much less judgemental than living in sin and is somehow less coarse than shacked up. Plus it sums up the relationship perfectly.

    Comment by Jack D Stephen — December 1, 2009 @ 10:17 pm

    • Yes, I think bidey-in is one which should definitely be adopted by everyone, if only to save us from ‘partner’. It always sounds as though it should have a ‘howdy’ in front of it.

      Comment by piningforthewest — December 2, 2009 @ 5:12 pm

  3. ‘Lover’ lol! ‘Oh by the way – have I introduced you to my lover?’ lol! That so stinks of medallions, the GREAT SMELL OF BRUT and Sabrini cocktail cigarettes…… not that I was actually THERE you understand….. I did watch Hammer Horror film though and the majority of those ‘young things’ (before becoming vampire fodder) were living THE life

    Comment by echostains — December 2, 2009 @ 12:38 am

    • The smell of Brut, forever linked with the New Years Day football match, mingled with whisky. Sabrini cocktail cigarettes – I only remember the posers with fags in shades of pastels – maybe that was them. I’ve never seen a Hammer horror but it sounds like I may have lived one!

      Comment by piningforthewest — December 3, 2009 @ 11:51 pm

      • Lol! Hammer Horror films were legendary. The actors hammed it up, they always included a few undressed women. If it was a vampire one, it usually had Christopher Lee or Peter Cushing in it, though my fave one had Alfie Bass as a vampire…… They were always set in Transelveynia, wolves howling, lots of snow and simple village girls dieing to be bitten. Great fun! Oh and lots of blood!

        Comment by echostains — December 4, 2009 @ 3:39 pm

  4. Oh you had whisky did you? we had ‘whisky Mac’ ‘Clan Dew’ (a mixture of …don’t ask?) and party Seven, a large tin that held 7 pints of the most obnoxious liquid possible, so I am led to believe. Those were the days…..

    Comment by echostains — December 4, 2009 @ 3:42 pm

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