Podcast #9: The Glasgow Nickname Game
I don’t know why, but Glaswegians (people from Glasgow, Scotland) love giving nicknames to official places. These could be monuments, buildings, statues, or even other towns nearby. The point is that these names are light-hearted: they’re chose for fun and to make you laugh.
Glasgow is my birthplace so it holds a special place in my heart. I only lived there as a baby, but most of my family are there, including my parents. That’s why I wanted to share these 5 Glaswegian nicknames with you and play a little guessing game. Get started with the listening activities below.
Before You Listen
Let’s play a Glaswegian guessing game.
In this episode, I’m going to talk about 5 nicknames for official places in and around Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city and also the friendliest and most fun!
Here they are:
- Squinty Bridge
- Luss Vegas
- The Clockwork Orange
- The Death Star
- The Armadillo
Before listening, for each nickname on the list, I want you to guess which one could be…
- …a place where there are lots of weddings?
- …a public transport system?
- …a way to get across the River Clyde, the river that runs through Glasgow?
- …a place where you can see concerts?
- …a hospital?
I will also ask you to do this in the podcast, but have a think before! The answers will be revealed in the episode so make sure you listen.
Just a few words you may find difficult:
Nickname = this is an informal name that you give to a person or place
Made-up name = a name that you make up (=invent)
Loch Lomond = a beautiful lake not far from Glasgow that looks like this
Vicar = an important job in protestant churches. Vicars give services every Sunday as well as weddings, funerals and baptisms.
Grim = used to describe something unpleasant, depressing
Sydney Opera House = this really iconic building in Sydney Harbour bay
loop = a circular shape that curves back on itself
As usual, I’ve picked out some sections for you to transcribe. Listen to them several times and write down what you hear. The answers are underneath. Good luck!
Here are the transcribed sections of each dictation. Which words or expressions did you find difficult to catch? Let me know in the comments.
Dictation 1: So I thought we could turn this into kind of a game.
Dictation 2: lots of people go to Loch Lomond to get married. I went to a wedding there last year.
Dictation 3: basically, that’s why the nickname umm was chosen for this hospital, because in fact, this hospital is gigantic and it’s in a kind of star shape
The Big Reveal
The answers are of course in the podcast, so make sure you listen. I’ve also added some pictures to help you visualize the places I mention and understand the nicknames a little better.
If you paid attention to the last couple of podcast posts, then hopefully you remember we discussed the word ‘squinty’. If not, here’s Glasgow’s Squinty Bridge.
The Clockwork Orange
Named for its colour and shape, not after the Stanley Kubrick film.
Thanks to these pictures you should understand how the Clyde Auditorium got its name.
The Death Star
Here’s what the South Glasgow University Hospital actually looks like – would you have nicknamed it the Death Star?
Over To You
Thanks for listening. I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode. I’d love to hear from you in the comments – Where in the world do you live? Do you give nicknames to places in your town or city? What are they? What do they mean?
Blog post image photo: By Macieklew – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24738088By
Loch Lomond: By Peter Barr, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14261954
Sydney Opera House: Christian Mehlführer, User:Chmehl – Own work, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3378013
Squinty bridge : By AndrewJGallacher, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=43250632
Armadillo : By Guérin Nicolas (messages) – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4342935
Glasgow subway: By calflier001 – GLASGOW SUBWAY BUCHANAN STREET SCOTLAND SEP 2013Uploaded by MainFrame, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28882328
SECC : By dalbera from Paris, France – The Clyde Auditorium (SECC), CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24672188
Southern General : By MrGRA – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41264875
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Cara, I loved this one! I’m so desperately in love with Scotland that I hope you’ll continue this series. I was wondering if you could recommend any contemporary Scottish fiction writers who write about Scotland so I can kind of travel on my couch. I’ve ready several novels by Maeve Binchy, but she was Irish. Her writing was great. I was wondering if there’s somebody like that whom you might recommend. Thank you!
Hi Elena. The podcast will actually be on a different topic next time, but maybe I could come back to Scotland! For Scottish contemporary fiction, I will need to ask my friends and family, because I don’t read much by Scottish writers funnily enough. I’ll let you know once I have a couple of names. I have an Irish friend who’s recommended Maeve Binchy to me, but I’ve still never read any of her books – maybe you could give me a couple of titles to get started.
this podcast is a kind of travel in Glasgow… thanks
So I thought we could turn this into kind of a game. has been incomprehensible for me even after reading the transcript.
So I thought I heard so so
have a nice day
Hi Martine. Yes, in a way – it’s an auditory voyage! I am speaking quite fast. For the game part, take a look at the “before you listen” part of this post. I explain how to play – the aim is to match the real places with their nicknames. You take a guess first and then listen to check. Does that make it any clearer? How did you do with the dictations?