A Crack Guide to Anti-Gaelic Trolls

1. The Deeply Unloved 100% FYOOMIN. This is your base level vanilla troll. Inhabits the Scotsman comments section. Externalises their inner pain by ranting about how Gaelic was never spoken in *insert Gaelic placename*


2. The Russian Bot Generated by the Motherland to shitpost about literally everything, including Gaelic. 60 tweets per minute, and none of them make sense. The true workhorses of arsehole Twitter.


3. Defender of the UNION The Union is in peril and some random fanbelt (often from Ayrshire) is here to save it. Believes an ancient language was invented by the SNP in the 50s to separate us from our English friends. Personally fought in both world wars.


4. Rangers Da The shocktroops of the Orange Order online. Convinced the existence of Scottish Gaelic is a ploy to unite Ireland. Blissfully unaware that the world’s biggest Rangers supporters club is in Lewis. More gammon pink, than red and blue.


5. Fake Gael (Fael) Usually starts “my father was a Gaelic speaker from Auchterbollocks”. “He never passed it on, so me and my 12 raging sisters could learn English and get on in life.” Thinks Gaelic died out because Gaelic speakers loved English so much. Doesn’t exist.


6. Jackson Carlaw Famously invented the ridiculous rumour that Gaelic road signs cost the taxpayer £26 million a year. In reality it is only £24 million. The other 2 mil is spent on hats for Dòtaman and buses to the Mòd.


7. Pro-Mandarin Zealots Would turn blue with rage if they heard Mandarin in “BRITUHN” yet demand Gaelic speakers learn a useful language like Mandarin. Plan to make us bilingual, by harassing all the bilinguals. Just so they can say “Mandarin was never spoken in Nairn”.



Comments (17)

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  1. Graeme Purves says:

    Last summer on the top deck of a number 14 bus I found myself sitting behind two chubby lads on an excursion from Lanarkshire who had a cracking rant about Gaelic being a sinister plot by Nicola Sturgeon when they spotted ‘Poileas’ emblazoned on a passing polis car. It fairly brought the colour to their cheeks.

  2. Micheal MacGilleRuadh says:

    One reason for this sort of attitude is that Lowland Scotland’s Gaelic heritage is never mentioned in school. I was raised in Galloway (GallGhàidhealaibh) and we were crammed with knowledge about General Wolfe and Clive of India, Henry VIII and Hitler but nothing of Galloway’s fairly recent Gaelic past. I remember being amazed to find the place-names all around were a kind of bastardised Gaelic and that when pronounced it was as were from the mouths of Gaelic native speakers (almost!).
    This cover allows the thick and the devious amongst us to be Gaelic deniers.
    In saying that we should not be Gaelic zealots either (I have seen examples of the pendulum swinging the other way) and we should rejoice in the historic linguistic complexity of the whole of Scotland. However Gaelic is a very important part of being a Lowland or any other kind of Scot, in my view.

    1. Stuart Douglas says:

      spot on, much of Ayrshire too ironically…. had nuggets at work going on about how gaelic was never spoken here…when I corrected them their temples pumped rage and they corrected me “naw that wis aw they irish immigrants”. But even “academics” deny, saw a post stating that Galloway had lost it’s gaelic by the 16thC…. eh had they never heard of Quintin Kennedy and how Dunbar (or was it Henryson??) mocked him for being a gael…. or the Elizabethan survey that clearly states “the people for the most part speak irish(sic)” too many scots are utterly clueless about their own country and culture, and willingly so unfortunately : (

      1. Lorna Campbell says:

        SD: Gaelic was, more or less, everywhere spoken in Scotland at one time, and it was transplanted by Scots and English in different areas at different times in our history, except the Highlands (utterly very recently) and Islands. It needs to be supported, as does Scots, which has many Gaelic derivatives, especially the Scots dialect spoken in the North-east, Doric, with hard cash and educational applications, and screw the philistines. I believe there is a school of thought now that thinks that the Pictish inhabitants of Scotland, might have spoken a Pictish ‘Gaelic’, (for want of a better word) that was understood, at least to an extent, by the Irish monks who came to Scotland, and vice versa, making the spread of Celtic Christianity a little easier, and, as a side effect, Gaelic itself, albeit Scots Gaelic does differ a little from Irish Gaelic, certainly in some pronunciations.

        1. Lorna [email protected] says:

          Second line: that should read ‘UNTIL’…very recently, of course, not ‘UTTERLY’.

  3. SleepingDog says:

    And you’d think world war veterans would be keen on baffling Jerry with mysterious subaltern tongues:
    Funnily enough, in his recent book on the Market Garden campaign, Arnhem: The Battle for the Bridges, 1944, historian Antony Beevor writes (p158):
    “British officers believed that their veiled speech, mostly using nicknames, cricketing metaphors and schoolboy slang, was impenetrable to German listening stations. All too often this was not the case.”

  4. Fay Kennedy says:

    The loss of that beautiful language made it easy for the conquerers to impose theres. Some folk must believe that English is the language of God and anything different is some kind of aberration. It’s so good to hear that there is growing interest in Gaelic for it will be of great benefit to the new Scotland when it eventually achieves its rightful independence. I am so envious of those who can already express themselves in it’s beauty.

    1. Kenneth G Coutts says:

      Me to.
      It’s part of the rich tapestry Fay.

    2. Clare Galloway says:

      It’s so worth putting in the time to learn, Fay – it takes some effort to retrain the head and mouth into the shape of it – but it’s profoundly nourishing and empowering to make even really basic progress… Duolingo really does make it possible! 😀

  5. Malky Mack says:

    Ibrox is a Gaelic place name. It means Badger Sett or place of badgers. Rangers should give Broxi Bear a badger suit me thinks

  6. Clare Galloway says:

    Wonderful article 😀 thank you Bella!

    I just reached day 100 of learning Gàidhlig on Duolingo… It’s pretty crude and I haven’t learned much that I’d ever use in real life 😉 BUT I’ve been having a profound experience fitting the language to my tongue and throat that my accent was made for. I’ve a passionate interest in the indigenous, embodied wisdom that comes through native languages, dialects and regional variations.

    It is astonishing the extent of the collective fear of Gàidhlig – but it makes sense in the context of the global psychosis around the natural, the holistic, the deeply felt and the sacred feminine: it feels like a time where that fear and toxic aggression against our identity (and the natural, etc) is coming to the surface – very healthy from a homeopathic perspective! It’s positive to call it out, especially when the toxicity is institutional or from people in power/ media.

    Tha mi cho toilichte to be part of a movement of reclaiming our sense of whole self as a Scottish nation.

      1. Clare Galloway says:

        I adored this article about identity and language – absolutely inspiring

      2. Kenneth G Coutts says:

        The Ginger dug is a big proponent of the Gaelic bought one of his wall maps in Gaelic.

        1. Yeah his maps are great. I’ve heard him talk about when I’ve spoken with him.

          Although he doesn’t have a whole gaelic section like us though does he? : )

  7. Kenneth G Coutts says:

    Brilliant, I remember Carlaw bumping his gums
    About road signs.
    Didn’t realise all this other bullshit was going on.
    They trolls and bots must be burly for burly
    Is it just Scots Gaelic they’re attacking.
    Cos there is Irish, Welsh, Cornish, Doric
    Shetland accents etc,
    You must point out where I can read these tools online.
    Looking for a laugh in addition to knowing the enemy.
    Whit nasty tubes that they are.
    Onwards and upwards
    Would love to learn Gaelic, however still struggling with French at the moment, but getting there.

  8. Angus says:

    My heritage is Highland, my Lowland (ish) home is full of Gaelic place names, most of the people names are also Gaelic. Gaelic is Scottish, and Scotland is Gaelic.

    Translate the Runrig song, Fichead Bliadhna. The words sum it up. Gaelic scares the unionists and their masters in the Brit establishment.

    During the lockdown I’m achieving something I always wanted to do, I am learning Gaelic, the language of my ancestors that was denied to me.

    Tha e uile math mo charaidean

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