Hotel Indigo Edinburgh, 51 - 59 York Place, EH1 3JD

Tel: 0131 556 5577



A Scot’s wee guide to Edinburgh slang

Planning a visit up to the Athens of the North? You might need to know some slang before you get here. Us Scots have a particular way of saying things, and we don’t want you to get too confused. Luckily, our boutique hotel in Edinburgh has created a list of all the key phrases you need to know. 

Edinburgh castle



Unlike other places, in Edinburgh this doesn’t mean your friend. Chum means to head on a journey with someone, although we guess you could go on a chum with your mate!
Example: I’ll chum you to the Turquoise Thistle.


Edinburgh natives use this word to replace ‘know’, so don’t confuse it with a name. We also use it to agree with something, so instead of saying ‘I know’, we’d say ‘I ken’ (although ‘I’ is pronounced ‘ah’ of course).
Example: I ken the secret location of Panda & Sons.


This is our word for don’t, and is sometimes said as ‘dinna’. When you dinnae ken something, it means you don’t know. 
Example: Dinnae forget your rain coat.


Steer clear when you hear this word being used. Stooshie means to bicker or have a small spat with someone, but don’t worry, it won’t escalate.
Example: There was a stooshie at Princes Street last night, but it’s all good now. 


Having a catch-up, gossip, or just chatting for a long period of time about nothing in particular. Often with a cuppa or a dram of whisky.
Example: Sorry I was so long, me and my mate were having a blether.


Has something disappointing or unfortunate happened to you? It was pure shan. We use this to describe anything from the weather, to a bad meal, to when you forget your favourite outfit at home on holiday.
Example: I can’t believe the rain today, it’s well shan.


On a lighter note, barry means something is good! We use this to describe anything and everything, and it’s pretty much the opposite of ‘shan’.
Example: That show at Edinburgh Playhouse was well barry.


Even better than barry. This classic piece of Scottish slang means something is brilliant, amazing, or fantastic. Careful to pay attention to the context though, we’re known for a bit of sarcasm.
Example: The view from my hotel room is braw.


Another one that’s not what you think it is. Healthy means a large amount of something, although that can either be good or bad depending on the context.
Example: This pub serves well healthy portions.

Not a Scooby

When you have absolutely no idea about something. Scooby Doo is the rhyming slang for clue, so the opposite of this is not having a scooby.
Example: I didn’t have a scooby what any of this Edinburgh slang meant at first, but now I ken.

Panoramic view of Edinburgh

We hope we’ve given you a good understanding of Edinburgh slang before you get up here. If not, our staff are always happy to do some translating. Our luxury hotel has a healthy portion of Scottish hospitality, why not check out what we’re all about?




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We loved our stay. The hotel staff was great, very helpful with directions and suggestions. The location was an easy walk to the train station and everything we wanted to see in Edinburgh.

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Hotel Indigo Edinburgh Reviews



This hotel is such a great find. Its location cannot be beat and the rooms are incredibly nice. Great amenities (including complimentary mini bar) and great service. Would definitely stay here again!


Newcastle upon Tyne

I stayed here overnight to see Justin Timberlake on his Man of The Woods Tour. We were greeted with the warmest welcome by the receptionist...genuinely helpful and friendly. We stayed in the Suite, which has everything I could possibly need. A FREE (well stocked) mini bar! Robes, Aveda toiletries, slippers, free calls, a very appreciated cafetiere with ground coffee and a lovely selection of teas. 30mins in and a welcome plate arrived with 5 good size desserts...gorgeous.

Room service was excellent and the breakfast was utterly delicious and brought to the room at no extra charge. The room was very large and spacious with a huge double bed, blissfully comfortable. When needed in the evening the staff pressed a button at reception and a taxi arrived within 2 minutes...Outstanding service!

I had such a fantastic stay here that I shall return in November and I'll be re-booking this Suite.


Kingston upon Hull

Less than 10 mins walk from Waverley. Staff were very polite, helpful and friendly throughout our stay. Room was a good size with a great bathroom. Large shower, robes and Aveda products included. Fridge with free cold drinks. Good breakfast with plenty of choice. Both couples enjoyed and would stay again.



Really nice friendly boutique hotel. We didn't arrive until late but the hotel was more than happy to let us check in late. After checking in we also asked for some area recommendations, which again the staff were more than happy to give us. Our room was really nice and very clean, bed was comfortable and gave us a good night sleep. We stayed for two night and did not hear any noise from the hotel or any of the other guest. In a good location with only a short walk to the shops and restaurant/cinema ! If staying on Edinburgh I would highly recommend this hotel!



Stayed for one night, but very impressed. Receptionist was fantastic, very professional, helpful, good looking and immaculately presented. The room was excellent, very clean, bed comfortable and the shower was fantastic, hot and powerful.

Breakfast well worth the money, with attention to detail and served hot. The location is excellent with just a 10 minutes walk from the station and to Princess Street. I will definitely stay here again.

Great boutique hotel and great value for money. Wish I was staying for longer.



Had a one night stay here. The location is great, right beside a Tram Stop, 2 minute walk to St Andrews Square bus station, 15 min from Waverley Train station and short walk to main shopping and restaurants. Hotel was very clean & comfortable. Good Breakfast. Very friendly staff.



Really nice hotel in a fantastic location for train station, shopping and nightlife. Lovely rooms, with complimentary snacks and lovely Aveda toiletries in the room. Bed was really comfortable, breakfast was also excellent and the staff very friendly. Would definitely recommend this hotel to family and friends visiting Edinburgh.



Visited the hotel and stayed 2 nights having stayed at the Indigo in London. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. Lovely rooms, great service, very good location opposite the tram stop and bus routes.
Lovely bar and restaurant is on site if you prefer to stay close for dinner!



I stayed at Hotel Indigo for first time last week, the service from the reception, bar and restaurant staff was faultless. The room was very comfortable and the bed was the comfiest i have ever slept in. The Hotel is situated close to the Playhouse and only 5 minute walk from waverley station, there are several good bars and restaurants in the vicinity. A great Hotel in a good area.

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