They say Scotland is a land of immeasurable beauty, inspiring history, and immense wit. To get a glimpse of the first two, you can watch Braveheart. But to experience the third, you can simply go on Twitter—some people even say Scottish Twitter is arguably the nation's finest export. I know, you think it's scotch, but scroll through this list and then we'll talk.
The subreddit r/ScottishPeopleTwitter has been making headlines online since its creation in 2015. It started by collecting tweets like "maw bought aldi shower gel that smells like fairy liquid so I've been cutting about all day smelling like a f**ing plate" and "Can live wi paying 5p for one but am sick of having to f**in light the beacons of Gondor to summon someone anytime I want a bag in Asda" and quickly grew into a 700K-member community, enjoying a good laugh when they see one.
Bored Panda spoke with Reddit user Veloglasgow, one of the moderators of r/ScottishPeopleTwitter, to get a better understanding of the content on the subreddit. "Scots generally have a dark, dry, and direct sense of humor," they said. "Observational comedy where someone points out something that everyone accepts as day to day reality but which would be absurd to an outside observer also goes down well."
Veloglasgow said that posts, where people are sarcastically replying to other tweets, are probably most representative of real-world humor.
"Most posts that make it through the mod queue are representative, any posts that use 'fooken' or 'fecking' for fu*ken/fu*king are generally removed as no Scot hears how we say those words as that way phonetically," the moderator explained.
Examining the many social and cultural features of Scottish Twitter, journalist Eve Livingston said it has provided a medium for the written Scots language to evolve in a way that wasn't possible before the advent of social media.
"Scots was the national language of a country that doesn’t exist anymore," writer and presenter Alistair Heather, who writes a Scots column in Scotland's The National newspaper, explained. "As Scotland was amalgamated into Great Britain, Scots fell away from being a national language because it didn’t have a nation anymore.
Heather said that until relatively recently Scottish opinion-formers in news and media were [mostly] based in England and not plugged into working-class or rural Scotland at all, so they didn't see Scots language as a contemporary issue in Scotland.
"[But] it's gaining a lot of legitimacy and validity through social media as a private expression [while] finding a public sphere."