What Does That Mean? The “Brave” Dictionary

We used to slip a lot passed our daughter — talking about things that were over her head or speaking in code, but the day she turned four it was like she flipped a switch. Suddenly she wants to know everything we are talking about and what everything means (nosey much!). And it has put us in an odd spot on more than a few occasions!

While we are adjusting to life as human dictionaries, I thought I would share this fun Scottish/Brave dictionary. If you have inquisitive kids like I do, keep this dictionary handy when you see Brave in theaters June 22, 2012. I know my girl will be asking me what all these fancy words mean when we see Brave. 

Hint – saying these words out loud with your best (or worst) Scottish accent makes reviewing this dictionary even more fun!


AUTOCHTHONOUS – Indigenous, native Taught to filmmakers by Emma Thompson (voice of Queen Elinor), who used it to
describe “Brave’s” Castle Dunbroch because it appears to have grown right out of the earth.

BLUE WODE – A blue dye extracted from a cabbage-type plant used by inhabitants of ancient Scotland to paint their bodies. Lord MacGuffin and Young MacGuffin paint their bodies in blue wode to proclaim that they are ready for battle at any moment.

BRAE – Hill

• galoot = clumsy, oafish person

CARNYX – A Celtic trumpet with a bell shaped like a boar’s head. Held vertically so it can be heard in large crowds, a carnyx was used during wartime to send troops into battle. In “Brave,” it signals the start of the Highland Games.

CRIVENS, YOU’RE FIERCE – Wow! You’re cool or ferocious or tough!
• crivens = expression of surprise or shock

DANCING TATTY BOGLE – An expression that describes something outlandish or imaginary
• tatty = shabby, cheap
• bogle, boggle or bogill = ghost or folkloric being

DORIC – A dialect from the Aberdeenshire region in Scotland Elgin native Kevin McKidd (voice of MacGuffin and Young MacGuffin), who learned Doric from his grandfather, proposed to filmmakers for Young MacGuffin to speak the incomprehensible dialect in “Brave.”

DREADFUL COLLYWOBBLES – Unwanted stomachache or a bad case of the nerves
• collywobbles = upset stomach; intestinal disturbances or a feeling of apprehension

FOR NAUGHT – For no reason

FINISH WHAT HE GUDDLED IN THE FIRST PLACE – Fix, clean up or otherwise remedy something that’s been horribly mishandled.
• guddle = make a mess of it

GAMY SPELL – An unfortunate bit of magic
• gamy = bad

GLEN – Small, narrow, secluded valley

GOOGLY OLD HAG – Outlandish, unattractive senior
• googly = strange, odd

GIANT HAVING A JIGGER IN THE BLUEBELLS – Similar to Dancing Tatty Bogle, something that’s absurd or fantastical

HAGGIS – Though some will joke that a haggis is a small animal native to Scotland, it is actually a traditional Scottish pudding made with sheep’s heart, liver and lungs, encased in a sheep’s stomach and cooked for several hours. Often served with “neeps and tatties” (turnips and potatoes).

HIGHLAND GAMES – Festivals that celebrate Scottish and Celtic culture and heritage, especially that of the Scottish Highlands. Includes competitions in piping and drumming, dancing, archery, caber tossing, stone put and other Scottish athletics, plus entertainment and exhibits.


JINGS CRIVENS HELP MA BOAB – Oh my! Exclamation of bewilderment or exasperation

KILT – A pleated and draped tartan fabric garment worn by Scottish men. During the production of “Brave” director Mark Andrews and several animators wore kilts to work on Fridays—dubbed Kilt Fridays—to get in the spirit of Scotland and the film’s characters.

LASS – Girl

LAD – Boy

LOCH – Lake

MANKY DOGS – Unsavory person or being
• manky = dirty, worthless or in bad taste

MICHTY ME – Wow! Holy cow! An exclamation of surprise, shock or being overwhelmed

NUMPTY – Useless individual

NUT ‘EM – Head-butt ‘em

SCAFFY WITCH – A tricky or slick being with magical powers
• scaffy = trickster

SCARED SIMPERIN’ JACKANAPES – Belittling description of a goofy and unworthy opponent
• simpering = silly smile
• jackanape = an insulting reference to a monkey or ape; a braggart; a mischievous

SCUTTLE THE VIKING LONGSHIPS – Sink Viking ships by making holes in the bottom

STUFF HER GOB – Eat with abandon
• gob = mouth

TARTAN – A specially designed woven fabric that identifies a clan. April 6th is National Tartan Day in the United States.

TOSSING CABERS – A test of strength and skill seen in Highland Games in which the competitor raises a pole vertically with the small end down, and then throws it
• Caber = a long, tapered section of a tree trunk

TUMSHIE – Turnip… or foolish person. Or both.

WEE – Small

WE’LL BILE YUR HEED WAE DUMPLIN’ BREED; TAE MAKE AN URSINE STEW- Also used as an exclamation if someone is doing something stupid and it’s annoying. In “Brave” King Fergus sings what he’ll do to the demon bear Mor’du when he catches him to avenge his lost leg. Not only will he boil his head, but he’ll add dumplings to make a bear stew.
• bile yer heed (boil your head) = don’t be ridiculous.

WILL O’ THE WISPS – Ghostly lights or small blue spirits that lead the way to treasure or doom. In “Brave,” the will o’ the wisps lead Merida to change her fate.

Disney Pixar's Brave

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