Whether you’re traveling during the holidays, sharing “Christmas Around the World” facts with schoolchildren or just trying to make your Scots friend smile, you have three languages choices for Christmas greetings. You can offer holiday wishes in Gaelic or Scots, along with traditional English phrases.

Giving Gaelic Greetings

Mostly exclusive to the Highlands and Scottish islands, Gaelic is a centuries-old language that captures the charm of Scotland. To wish someone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, say, “Nollaig chridheil agus bliadhna mhath ur” (nollyk chree-ell blee-un-u va oor). As you sit by the craobh nollaig (kru-u-v nollayk), or Christmas tree, you can share your coileach frangach (kull-uch fra-ng-uch), or turkey, with Bodach na Nollaig (baw-duch na nollayk) and his fidahlochlannach (fee-u lawch-lanuch), or reindeer.

Sending Scots Salutations

Scots encompasses multiple dialects, including Doric, Lallan, Scotch and others. Wish someone a blithe yule or a cantie yule, and share your bubblyjock, or turkey, with friends and family. Together, you can sing about your gifts from the twalve days o yuletide: one capercailzie, two bubblyjocks, three clockin hens, fower roaster dyeuks, five ingen rings, six clootie dumplins, seven trifles reemin, echt robins cheepin, nine clarsachs strumming, ten pipers piping, eleven fiddlers bowing and twai haggis puddins.

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About the Author

Pamela Martin has been writing since 1979. She has written newsletter articles and curricula-related materials. She also writes about teaching and crafts. Martin was an American Society of Newspaper Editors High School Journalism Fellow. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Teaching in elementary education from Sam Houston State University and a Master of Arts in curriculum/instruction from the University of Missouri.