Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

Edinburgh residents are a varied, and largely delightful, group of people. However, one thing we do have in common is a steadfast refusal to put up with jokes at our expense, mispronunciations, insults, daft questions or weird statements.

Unfortunately, just the very fact we live in Edinburgh means we seem to attract all of the above on a daily basis, mainly from well-meaning American tourists, confused call centre workers, and people who have the misfortune to live in less wonderful UK cities, like Glasgow or London.

Then we realised – hey, maybe no one has thought to put together a handy reference guide detailing all of the things you should never, ever say to someone from Edinburgh? Maybe that will help!

So we did. Here you go:

1. “Chippy sauce is rank.”

Er, no. Our watery vinegary gravy-like sauce is delicious, tangy – and confusing. Which is one of the reasons why we love this food of the gods so much.

Do not, for the love of all that is holy, slag off chippy sauce.

2. “Do you live in huts/caves/have electricity?”

This is a fascinating statement on many levels. The fact that we live in an ancient city doesn’t mean we all live in hovels with moss roofs and while away our evenings playing historic folk music on handmade bagpipes beside a roaring fire/stone circle. Unless you’re one of those people who take part in Beltane each year, of course.

Beltane Fire Festival Edinburgh
Many people seem to think that the Beltane Fire Festival is just an average Wednesday in Edinburgh (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

3. “I’m Scaaaaahtish!”

You’re not. You’re from Denver. Your great-great-great grandmother might have been a fishwife from Musselburgh, but you definitely aren’t. You’re a 70 year old American man.

4. “My cousin’s daughter’s friend lives in Edinburgh, do you know her?”

Becky? Yes. We’re best friends. I went to her wedding. We holiday together at a charming retreat in the Borders… NO OF COURSE I DON’T KNOW HER.

Like a laugh? Join our humour group Only In Edinburgh for funny photos and things that will make you smile each day.

5. “How many deep fried Mars bars did you eat today?”

The answer to this is ALWAYS ‘none’. Absolutely no one in Edinburgh actually eats deep-fried Mars bars despite the signs advertising them in various chippies. Anyway, they were invented in Aberdeenshire.

Deep fried Mars bars are Not A Thing (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

6. “The Christmas Market is so magical.”

Don’t say this unless you’re psychologically prepared for a 90 minute rant about Underbelly, tourist traps, ruined grass, mud, crowds and how the cost of the giant big wheel and Star Flyer keeps going up and up so you end up having to get a second mortgage to take a family of four on the rides.

7. “Is that (insert name of iconic building) real?”

No Jeff, it’s a giant cardboard cutout of a ten story medieval tenement building. We plan to take it down when you leave.

Ramsay Garden – not an Ikea flat pack (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

8. “Princess Street”

It’s written as ‘Princes’ on every single sign and every single map. Please stop misgendering our main street.

9. “Glasgow is better than Edinburgh.”

Look, Glasgow is fine, in less pandemicy times it hosts plenty of gigs, and it’s shops aren’t bunched up in a long line, but Edinburgh is a bloody wonderland with historic buildings and an entire castle. And do any of Glasgow’s parks come with their very own extinct volcano? Or majestic cliffs? Or an Athenian-style half-finished Acropolis? No. Don’t be a hater.

Glasgow’s town motto should be ‘Glasgow, it’s…fine I guess ¯\_(ツ)_/¯’ (Image: Stephen McKay / Geograph)

10. “Ha ha everyone in Edinburgh is English ha ha.”

That’s simply not true – only around 82-90% of us are.

11. “Trainspotting is shit.”


Trainspotting = not shit. (Image: Channel 4 Films)

12. “Do you want a flyer?”

Oh god, no, we really don’t. We live here, we don’t want to be constantly handed armfuls of useless paper-spam about one-man President Trump comedy musicals every August. Although to be fair, after missing out this year it might actually be quite nice to hear this traditional cry of a desperate drama student again. Maybe.

13. “How do you get to the castle?”

Honestly, we’ll tell you if you absolutely have to know, but YOU COULD JUST TRY LOOKING UP. It’s perched on a rock above the city. Use your eyeballs.

Diagon Alley isn’t real: this is Victoria Street. (Image: Graeme Pow / Flickr)

14. “OMG It’s just like Harry Potter.”

It’s not: it’s a living, breathing, working city, not a Hogwarts film set, anyone who thinks otherwise should be bussed to Wester Hailes, Niddrie or Granton and told to look for wizards there.

Did we miss any? Let us know the questions or comments that grind your gears below in our comment section.


By Lala