You've Been BURNSED*

Category: Reading

(*burn (verb) – to insult or humiliate someone.)

JANUARY SCHMANUARY. It’s cold and the people of Scotland are grumpy! There has been a run on haggis, it’s Burns Night on Friday, we’re aw skint and we're engulfed in a permanent grey twilight only relieved by occasional flurries of snow. Tidings of comfort and joy my bunnet!

At times like this you need to express your frustrations by being needlessly abusive to the world at large. Oor Rabbie Burns has inspired us do this in a completely SFW (safe for work – i.e. nae swearing) way, with extra brownie points for your literary nouse.

Robert Burns – Scotland’s best-loved, rogueish scamp of a ploughman poet – was a master of the well-worded insult and we’ve recycled some of these in a Burns meme-fest.

Some of his more famous poems are peppered with ‘unfavourable description;’ Tae a Louse opens with the line:

"Ha! whare ye gaun' ye crowlin ferlie?"

which could, shouted in the right tone of voice with suitable inflection sound malicious.

“, ye auld snick-drawin dog!” (Address tae the Deil) no doubt would leave the recipient feeling suitably menaced. Ha! A scunner shared is a scunner halved!

Perhaps unwise:

“Ye ugly, creepin, blastit wonner,” (Tae a Louse), which would almost certainly result in fisticuffs.

In fact some of the descriptive terms in his poems can also be ‘repurposed’ as insults if said in the right tone of voice.

“Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!”
(Address Tae A Haggis)

Traditionally recited on Burns Night before stabbing said haggis, those not in the know might be surprised to hear that this is actually HIGH PRAISE. It sounds like a diss, but it’s not. Unless maybe you apply it to a person...

Burns Pudding insult

This notable letter that Burns wrote to someone who had the ignorance to denigrate his Scots native tongue is basically just a list of fabulously descriptive insults that you should probably just read instead of taking my word for it.

This letter contains my favourite of the Burns burns:

Cheer up your sonsie faces with a bit of Burns burning for Burns Night. Share your favourite of Burns’ best burns with us in the comments, on facebook or twitter using hashtag #burnsed –  we’ll make the best ones into a meme (funny pictures with words on) or better still, make your own, ya parcel of rogues. Use our meme creator to create your own online.

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