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Dreich to drookit: Top Scottish words to describe weather

From feefle to flindrikin how many of these great words do you know?

Forest Wet Transparent Nature Rain Umbrella Woman Creative Commons
Forest Wet Transparent Nature Rain Umbrella Woman

Us Scots love to talk about the weather. It’s almost like a hobby.

Perhaps that’s why we have more than 400 words for snow.

Although ‘dreich’ will forever be the nation’s favourite here are some of our other fabulous Scottish weather-related words.

Bonus points if you know or have used more than five of them in the last year!


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


A very large snowflake.


Covering a wide variety of weather conditions in one simple and expressive word, including bleak, miserable, grey, dreary, gloomy, depressing etc


Steady but light rainfall.


A gusty wind great for kite flying.


Unsettled weather. The kind that refuses to commit.


A lovely fair day. Rare but bonnie.


A soft breeze.


A super chilly and damp mist that comes in off the sea.


When everything feels a bit clammy and oppressive. That feeling you get on those odd, damp, humid days the midges love.


Totally and utterly soaked. When you’re so sodden from being caught in the rain, you could literally wring out your socks.


Brr! To feel ‘fair jeelit’ is to feel as cold as ice.


When the rain comes down like a waterfall without warning – a sudden very heavy burst of rainfall. You can also use the word ‘Plype’.


That lovely time at dusk when the light is all moody and full of blues and purples. Gloaming dates back to the fifteenth-century in an old Scots text which records: ‘the glomyng of the nycht’.


Coming from the Scots word ‘greet’, which means to cry tears, ‘greetie’ means showery rain.


The beautifully haunting mist that comes in of the North Sea on the east coast, especially noted around Aberdeenshire.


Probably the messiest weather there is, when it’s all a bit rainy, grey and miserable outside. It’s fun to say though.


A word not used nearly enough which includes a hearty mix of damp, nippy, cold and chilly weather all in one go. A bit like weather soup.


A kind of lazy rain. The rain that doesn’t drench you but manages to soak you slowly nonetheless through sheer persistence. 


A magical, happy kind of snow shower with swirling snowflakes in the air. The kind that makes you want to dance to Frozen songs.


A baby snow shower. Aww.


Small icy droplets or snowflakes that are blown in on the wind.


The beginning of a thaw. That magic moment as the ice begins to melt.

Simmer cowt

A heat haze. Nice and shimmery.


A sudden thunderstorm accompanied by thunder and lightning.


A squall. A sudden violent gust of wind usually bringing rain or sleet.


Scottish puddles.


Snow drifts. Massive deposits of snow created by wind that shapes them into a mound.

*A Creative Commons image was used in this article.

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