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Gove’s use of Scots word ‘scunnered’ left Cabinet colleagues perplexed

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster said he did not know if most of his colleagues understood what it meant.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

By PA Scotland Political Reporter

Michael Gove has revealed he left Cabinet colleagues baffled when he used the Scots word “scunnered” in a Downing Street meeting.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster was campaigning north of the border on the day a poll revealed the most popular Scots words.

Dreich saw off competition from other Scots words including braw, glaikit and scunnered to be named as the “most iconic Scots word” by the Scottish Book Trust.

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Dreich beat braw, glaikit and scunnered to be named the ‘most iconic Scots word’ (Scottish Book Trust/PA)

Mr Gove, who was brought up in Aberdeen, revealed his favourite Scots words are clamjamfry and scunnered.

He said he had used “scunnered” – which means annoyed, discontented or bored – in the Cabinet, adding his colleague Scottish Secretary Alister Jack “knew what I was talking about”.

But the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster said he was “not sure if any of the others did”.

Mr Gove said clamjamfry was a “marvellous word meaning a riot of noise”.

But the Dictionary of the Scots Language said it was used to describe a “company of people” and was generally used “contemptuously” to describe a “mob, rabble, the riff-raff of a community”.

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