a cheerie howf


Senior Member
Please be so kind to explain the meaning of Scottish English words and phrases cited below:
He wrote a lovely poem, addressed to the Chinese poet, Li Po, about an evening's goings-on in an Edinburgh bar, a cheerie howf, peopled by a crousi companie o' philosophers and tinks.
Thanks in advance.
  • Gordonedi

    Senior Member
    UK (Scotland) English
    A "howf" is a gathering place. This term is now often used for a small pub where friends may meet for a drink and conversation.

    "Cheerie" is the same as "cheerful", describing the atmosphere of the howf.

    "Crousi" I'm still working on. It's a word with which I am not familiar.

    "Companie" is the same as "company" with the meaning of a group of people.

    "Philisophers and tinks" are clearly the kind of people who gather in this particular howf. Philosophers, who have ideas and opinions on any topic under the sun (perhaps encouraged by the consumption of alcohol), and "tinks", short for "tinkers" : a term which once referred to Scotland's travelling people ("gypsies") but now used as a mild insult. In this context, "tinks" would mean people of doubtful integrity.

    I am unfamiliar with the word "crousi". I have looked in an excellent online Dictionary of the Scottish Language. The nearest word it gives is crous, which means "high spirited".

    I also found crouse = cheerful, merry

    There still I saw the lads and lasses, As crouse as ever o’er their glasses.

    There still I saw the young men and girls, As cheerful as ever over their glasses.

    Dictionary source.

    These meanings would fit in with your context.

    Edit: I would also equate it with the English verb "to carouse" = have a revelry, drink deeply and frequently..