The Naughty Little Book of Gaelic by Michael Newton: Review

naughtyThis is a fun little book and I do mean little.

The Naughty Little Book of Gaelic: all the Scottish Gaelic you need to curse, swear, drink smoke and fool around is a long title for a 39 page ebook but that’s an accurate description. It’s a glossary of all the dirty Gaelic words you could possibly need. The book is divided into cursing (wishing someone or something ill), swearing, snuff and tobacco, drinking, and sex.

This book by Michael Newton will give you quite an education and expand your swearing vocabulary. Stub your toe? Here’s one for you: Iutharnaich riabhaich na galls! O brindled hell-dweller of the bitch! Want to tell someone off? Pòg mo thòn! Kiss my arse!

The Scots were big fans of tobacco. Not only did they have several words for it and proverbs about it, but wrote poetry for it. Some very long poems are included in the book. And what is a book about the Scots without mentioning whisky? My whisky loving Twitter friends would enjoy the many ways to invoke mac na bracha (the son of the malt), as well as the states of drunkenness from imbibing a little too much.

The last section of the book is all about sex. Unsurprisingly, there are a plethora of words for penis. Not only does The Naughty Little Book include words for genitalia, but an interesting collection of expressions and idioms, like this one cho trang ri triùir ann an leabaidh (as busy as three in a bed). Indeed.

The Naughty Little Book of Gaelic is illustrated by Arden Powell. I enjoyed his adorable drawings, for example this one found in Drinking.


She is unimpressed by his shenanigans.

The Naughty Little Book of Gaelic is entertaining and I enjoyed reading parts of it to my husband. “Flying vagina. That’s not something you hear everyday.” As long as you’re not easily scandalized, you’ll enjoy it too. This would be a good companion read for Written In My Heart’s Blood, the latest Diana Gabaldon highland romance/adventure novel, most definitely not a “little” naughty book. The only thing I wish was that the Gaelic had been spelled out phonetically. Being able to pronounce the words, or at least try to, would add to the fun.

This book was published by my local university: CBU Press.


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