Scotties

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NikiK

New Member
Hello everyone,

I am not sure what "Scotties" stands for in the phrase "Are they Jews? I thought they were Scotties". As a non-native speaker, at first I thought it clearly stood for "Scottish people", but after some research, I found that it is less used referring to Scottish people and most commonly used for the dog breed Scottish terrier. Also, the text I am trying to translate (into Greek) is often highly ironic. So the question is: Could "Scotties" possibly refer to the Scottish terrier in some sort of slang use that means something completely different which I am not familiar with?

Any help will be appreciated. Many thanks.

Niki
 
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Hi

    You will have to tell us where you found this in order to tease out the puzzle that you have spotted.

    You are correct that we don't usually call Scottish people "Scotties" (and we DO use it for the dog breed) but it is not impossible for a character in a novel to speak like that for some reason.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Who is saying this? (Background, nationality, gender, etc.)
    Why are they saying it?
    To whom and of whom are they speaking?
    In what year/decade and country is the text set?
    What is the title of the book and who is the author?

    All these will help.
     

    NikiK

    New Member
    Hi and thank you for your responses. The phrase is from an one-act play by English playwright Steven Berkoff, called "How to train an Anti-Semite" (2012). The 2 characters are introduced at the beginning by the author as "bigots". A man and a woman, middle-aged, in a small terraced house in Tottenham, London. Here's the whole extract:

    "-Oh yeah, well, how about those banks, those fuckin' scrounging banks that just took billions off us... Are they Yids? Those pigs in a trough who give themselves huge bloody bonuses even after they sunk our dosh into a shit-hole... They fuckin' Yids? I thought they were Scotties...
    -Yeah, maybe, but they're only the tip of the iceberg..."

    I am doing a translation as an unofficial sample for a potential staging of the play next year.

    Thank you for your help.
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It probably does mean "Scots": the state acquired a large part of Royal Bank of Scotland a few years ago. The dialogue may well relate to that bank. I have not heard Scottish people referred to as "Scotties" before, though.
     

    a passerby

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    This is clearly not a man who considers it important to distinguish between a foreigner and a dog.
     

    NikiK

    New Member
    Thank you, this is all helpful, the puzzle still remains unsolved though, so please keep sharing your thoughts. Apparently this is tricky even for you native speakers...
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I've heard Scots referred to as Scotties. (There were a lot of them in my job.) Further support is from OED:
    Scotty, n.

    Forms: 18– Scottie, 18– Scotty.
    Etymology: < Scot n.1 + -y suffix6. Compare earlier scotty adj. and Scotchy n. ... (Show More)
    colloq.

    1. (A nickname for) a Scottish person.
    1851 B. Clarke Conviction I. x. 297 Captain Power has been the main means of letting these two Roundheads run away, whilst Maclachlan was by to help him, and Scotty did not run away too.
    [...]
    2003 Gold Coast Bull. (Austral.) (Nexis) 29 Apr., Being Scottish I have been called Scotty and Jock. Being British, I am on occasion referred to as a Brit.
    Case closed. :D
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Since the rest of the character's speech is offensive you'd expect him to be using a word that doesn't exactly convery respect for Scottish people, although it does not have the same force as his synonyms for Jews.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Not so much now, but I recall in the 1960s and 1970s that the ethnic stereotype of Scottsmen was that they were very cheap. People in their 60s or 70s would be familiar with that. If the play takes place post WWII then it might make sense there too.

    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20071205121836AAvGOr9\

    Indecipherable accents
    Tight with money
    Not always the happiest and most cheerul of people
    Short tempered
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    ...the ethnic stereotype of Scotsmen was that they were very cheap.
    Indecipherable accents
    Tight with money
    Not always the happiest and most cheerful of people
    Short tempered
    This has been the standard stereotype for well over 400 years.
    Q: "What's the difference between a Scotsman and a coconut?"
    A: "You can get a drink out of a coconut." :D

    In fairness, it's not true but the Scots are aware of it and, mostly, take it in good part.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Literal-mindedness is another supposed characteristic.
    My father, a Scot, used to enjoy repeating the joke:

    'Why should you never tell a Scotsman a joke on Saturday night?
    - Because he will laugh in church next morning.'


    He had to explain it to me before I could get it.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Literal-mindedness is another supposed characteristic.
    My father, a Scot, used to enjoy repeating the joke:

    'Why should you never tell a Scotsman a joke on Saturday night?
    - Because he will laugh in church next morning.'


    He had to explain it to me before I could get it.

    Yes, but only the cheapness would seem to be relavent to the idea that they were discussing bankers and the fact that the customers' money seemed to have disappeared. The first thought it was the Jews, and the second thought it was the Scotties. It is historically known that Jews were often in the money business; I don't know what the Scotties had to do with banking though. But "thrift" might be appropriate for a banker.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    ... I don't know what the Scotties had to do with banking though. ...
    Hi MrP:)

    As sound shift suggested in post 5, it looks like a reference to the Royal Bank of Scotland.
     
    Last edited:

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    As sound shift suggested in post 5, it looks like a reference to the Royal Bank of Scotland.
    Given that it was written in 2012 and refers to the banking crisis, "Scotties" can be taken to refer to both the Royal Bank of Scotland and the Bank of Scotland (a subsidiary of Lloyds Bank) both of which needed a bail out by the taxpayer.
     
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