A brief look at some of the things associated with Scotland that were not even Scottish in the first place.
When you think of Scotland, what do you think of? Do you think of whisky, bagpipes, porridge, kilts, tartans and haggis? All things that are closely associated with the country. Ironic thing is though that none of them are actually Scottish. In fact the name Scotland isn’t even Scottish.
(The Saltire: The flag of Scotland. Image Source)
The name Scotland comes from a Celtic tribe from Ireland known as the Scoti. They arrived in what the Romans called Caledonia in the 5th century; by the 11th century they had ‘taken over’ the whole of the mainland and started to call it Scotland. While on this subject; the patron saint of Scotland, ‘Saint Andrew’, was Greek.
Whisky originates from China and arrived in Ireland long before arriving in Scotland. The name coming from the Irish translation of the Latin for ‘water of life’.
Bagpipes were invented in Central Asia and are so ancient they are even mentioned in the Old Testament and in the Greek poetry of the 4th century BC. It was probably the Romans that first brought them to Britain.
Porridge has actually been found in the stomachs of 5,000 year old Neolithic bog bodies in Scandinavia. Dating it many many years before it was first tasted in Scotland.
The kilt was actually invented by the Irish and it took its name form Denmark (kilte op: tuck up)
The elaborate system of clan tartans only came about from the early parts of the 19th century. The fact is that, although originally Scottish, all Highland dress was banned after the 1745 rebellion. It wasn’t until English garrison regiments started to design their own in the early 19th century that the craze started again.
Haggis was actually a Greek sausage in ancient times. It is even mentioned in ‘The Clouds’ by Aristophanes in 423BC.
(A typical Scottish stereotype: Image Source)
Typical Scots, you may be thinking just now, taking credit for all the things that they didn’t invent. Funny thing is though it is not the Scots taking the credit; it is more all the foreigners who fall for the stereotypes associated with the country. Of course the truth is that there are plenty of things that did originate from Scotland.
Such as (but not limited to); adhesive stamps, chloroform, colour photography, the decimal point, finger-printing, the fountain pen, hypodermic syringes, insulin, the lawnmower, logarithms, marmalade, the MRI scanner, paraffin, piano pedals, pneumatic tyres, radar, the raincoat, the speedometer, tarmac, the teleprinter, the typhoid vaccine, the ultrasound scanner, the US Navy, vacuum flasks and wave-powered electricity generators.
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