Audio Notes # 431 Scottish New Year

public holiday


In the past, there was a public holiday.

A public holiday is a holiday that is an official holiday. On public holidays, schools, government offices and companies usually are closed for the day. Notice the following sentences:

  1. The offices were closed because of the public holiday.
  2. We have a three-day weekend because of the public holiday.

Auld Lang Syne


Before midnight you sing Auld Lang Syne

Auld Lang Syne is a famous song sung on New Year's Eve. You often hear people singing it in Hollywood movies about the holidays at midnight on New Year's.



We had a wee drink.

Wee is Scottish for little. We use it often in English but usually only with set phrases. See the following below:

  1. I am afraid we will be a wee bit late.
  2. We had a wee bit too much to drink last night.



We had a dram of whiskey.

A dram is a small glass or shot of whiskey.

wish them the best

Wish them the best


When you are leaving someone you often wish them the best, which means you just give them some nice goodbye like 'take care' or 'good luck'. When you know a friend or family is going to see someone you know, then you often ask them to give that person your regards, or to wish them the best.

  1. I wish you all the best on your new trip.
  2. When you see your father give him my best.



The cake represents food and sustenance.

Sustenance refers to food or drink that gives people strength to carry on throughout their day. Sustenance is the general term for what gives people energy. Notice the following sentences:

  1. There is not much sustenance in lettuce.
  2. The chickens on the farm provide sustenance through meat and eggs.


bit of a reputation


Scottish people have a bit of a reputation.

When someone or something has a reputation that means people have an image or belief about it. A person can have a reputation for always being late or being too serious, while a place can have a reputation for being dangerous or expensive. A reputation usually refers to a bad thing, but not always. Notice the following:

  1. He has a reputation for flirting with all the women he meets.
  2. New York has a reputation for being very expensive.