How to Say Happy Birthday in Scottish

How to Say Happy Birthday in Scottish

Birthdays are special occasions celebrated all around the world, and Scotland is no exception. If you have Scottish friends or family members, you might want to surprise them wishing them a happy birthday in Scottish Gaelic, or even in Scots, which is a dialect spoken in certain parts of Scotland. In this article, we will guide you through the different ways to say happy birthday in Scottish, along with some FAQs to help you understand the language better.

Saying Happy Birthday in Scottish Gaelic:
1. “Là breith sona dhuibh!” (pronounced: lah breh sona ghooiv) – This is the most common way to say happy birthday in Scottish Gaelic. It translates directly to “Happy birthday to you!”

2. “Co-là-breith sona dhut!” (pronounced: koh-lah breh sona ghoot) – This phrase is used to wish a happy birthday to one person. It translates to “Happy birthday to you!”

3. “Co-là-breith sona dhuit!” (pronounced: koh-lah breh sona ghwich) – This is another way to wish a happy birthday to one person. It translates to “Happy birthday to you!”

4. “Là breith sona!” (pronounced: lah breh sona) – If you want to keep it simple and just say “Happy birthday!” without mentioning the recipient, you can use this phrase.

Saying Happy Birthday in Scots:
1. “Happie Birthda!” – In Scots, the phrase for happy birthday is quite similar to English, with a slight variation in spelling. This is the most commonly used phrase.

2. “Lang may yer lum reek!” (pronounced: lang may yer lum reek) – This phrase is a traditional Scottish birthday greeting, which means “Long may your chimney smoke!” It is a way to wish the person a long and prosperous life.

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3. “Mony happie returns!” (pronounced: mony happie returns) – This phrase is used to wish the person many happy returns of their birthday.


Q: Is Scottish Gaelic the same as Scots?
A: No, Scottish Gaelic and Scots are two different languages. Scottish Gaelic is a Celtic language, while Scots is a Germanic language with close ties to English.

Q: Are these phrases commonly used in Scotland?
A: Yes, these phrases are commonly used in Scotland, especially in areas where Scottish Gaelic or Scots dialects are spoken. However, English is the most widely spoken language in Scotland.

Q: Can I use these phrases to wish someone a happy birthday in English?
A: Yes, of course! While these phrases are specific to Scottish languages, it can be a unique and thoughtful gesture to use them, even if English is the primary language of communication.

Q: Are there any other birthday traditions in Scotland?
A: Yes, there are various traditions associated with birthdays in Scotland. One popular tradition is the “birthday bumps,” where the person celebrating their birthday is lifted off the ground and gently bumped on the floor for each year of their age.

Q: Are there any Scottish Gaelic or Scots language courses available?
A: Yes, there are language courses and resources available for learning Scottish Gaelic and Scots. Online platforms, books, and local community centers often offer classes and materials for those interested in learning these languages.

In conclusion, saying happy birthday in Scottish can be a delightful surprise for your Scottish friends or family members. Whether you choose to use Scottish Gaelic phrases or Scots dialects, your effort to embrace their language and culture will be greatly appreciated.

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