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Steve Savage Publishers Ltd
CoverScots Proverbs and Rhymes

Forbes Macgregor

sample proverbs

also by Forbes Macgregor:

Clan Gregor
Greyfriars Bobby
More Macgregor's Mixture
isbn 9780903065399 rrp 2.25 paperback illustrated 80 pages

Over five hundred Scots proverbs and rhymes with a Scots glossary, as well as a collection of Gaelic proverbs with translation. As Forbes Macgregor wrote in his introduction, 'There is no surer guide to the general character of a race than a study of its proverbs.'

Where necessary, a brief explanation of the proverb is provided. As Forbes Macgregor pointed out, 'Some Scots proverbs are so very ancient that they refer to a manner of life which has totally disappeared. Both the vocabulary and the background have to be explained. Others refer to historical events and incidents which are fairly well known. Some are purely local sayings which, however, still hold human interest. Many proverbs are so self-explanatory as to be called truisms. But they also have their value in a Scottish collection.'

'Fair words winna mak the pot boil', and 'When a' men speak, nae man hears', but... 'Auld saws speak truth'.


Forbes Macgregor was born in Edinburgh in 1904. He was educated in the city and in 1937 gained an Honours BA at London University by private study. During the 1920s he was a scoutmaster in the Canongate, taking troops of boys hiking and camping all over Scotland.

In 1924 he started a teaching career which lasted for forty-one years and ended in 1965 when he retired as Headmaster of South Morningside Primary School.

He was the author of numerous books, including Greyfriars Bobby: The Real Story at Last, Scots Proverbs and Rhymes, Famous Scots, Macgregor's Mixture and More Macgregor's Mixture.

Forbes Macgregor died in 1991.

'An amusing and valuable book of gems recording a long-vanished way of life.' -- Aberdeen Leopard