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FOUND: The positive case for the Union

Posted on January 22, 2013 by

For four days, anyway.

Don’t be mean about the swede. They’re trying, bless ’em.


EDIT 11.14: For those not quite grasping the headline, the point is that Wetherspoons probably wouldn’t be doing this if Scotland wasn’t part of the UK and Burns therefore wasn’t “British”. And so it’s nice for me, as a Scot living in England, to be able to get some haggis in a pub even if it’s only for four days a year. Hurray for the Union!

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    78 to “FOUND: The positive case for the Union”

    1. Ally says:

      Not available in Scotland by the looks of it!

    2. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      The offer’s slightly different in Scotland, highlights Talisker and another malt whisky not available down south.

    3. RandomScot says:

      Passed by a Weatherspoons in Glasgow, it’s on. I’ll have to check to see if it’s turnip or swede they are using

    4. Seasick Dave says:

      The punctuation is all over the place and its an awfy short week.

      BTW, what was the positive case?

    5. Iain says:

      Wetherburns?! FFS.
      I’m hoping they’re using this appelation only in E, W & NI because they recognise that discriminating Scots would rip the pish out of them.

    6. mogabee says:

       The rogue apostrophe. Seriously, some just don’t know what to do with it!!! 😉

    7. Seasick Dave says:

      It sounds like the onion rings didn’t stand a chance against the six pack.

    8. BM says:

      Fun Fact!: “Turnip” in Scottish English is “Swede” elsewhere.

    9. cath says:

      How many Burns do we have?

    10. domhnall dods says:

      ahem, they’re turnips in Northern (and SOuthern) Ireland too. Swede is an English and Welsh thing. Even sainsbury have reverted to turnip in Scotland, though Morrisions persist with Swede (and pop instead of juice)

    11. Tim says:

      This has always confused me. Where I come from a ‘Neep’, is one of those great big orangey things, called a ‘Swede’ everywhere else, as far as I can see. ‘Turnip’ is a just a Turnip, a small whitish thing.

      On Burns night we always have tatties and neep combined in the form of Clapshot. Is this sick and wrong? Don’t think I’ve ever actually had a Turnip at all.

    12. Doug Daniel says:

      “Mashed potato and swede”

      How spiffing! 

    13. Davy says:

      For the love of God, di’s neen of you know what a NEEP is ? (IanDavidson included).

    14. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      Official: turnips and swedes are NOT the same vegetable.

    15. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “BTW, what was the positive case?”

      That they probably wouldn’t be doing this if Scotland wasn’t part of the UK and Burns therefore wasn’t “British”. And therefore it’s nice for me, as a Scot living in England, to be able to get some haggis in a pub even if it’s only for four days a year. Hurray for the Union!

    16. Seasick Dave says:

      How do you change the avatar thingy at the side?

    17. RandomScot says:


      It’s juice in the East, it’s Ginger in the West 

    18. BM says:

      Official: Swede also called “turnip” (and apparently, also “rutabaga”). 

    19. Ghengis says:

      @Seasick Dave   
      Click on your generic avatar and sign up for a gravatar ‘account’ .. just needs email and password I seem to remember

    20. naebd says:

      Can somebody check whether they’re using potatoes instead of proper tatties?

    21. Tris says:

      According to the DC Thomson style book, the s’ in Burns’ is correct.

      When a noun ends in an “s”  in the singular form you should and an apostrophe after  the “s” in the genitive case, unless it would be appropriate to pronounce an s’s.

      St James’s Palace, and Charles’s pen,  but Burns’ Nicht.

      (I don’t think they ever considered a Burns’ week! It’s a bit vulgar!)

    22. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “How do you change the avatar thingy at the side?”

      Sign up for a Gravatar account.

    23. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “St James’s Palace, and Charles’s pen,  but Burns’ Nicht.”

      But is it HIS night, or is it a night ABOUT him? I’d say the latter. If a theatre has a week of Shakespeare plays, they’d probably call it Shakespeare Week, not Shakespeare’s Week.

    24. The Rough Bounds. says:

      Their ‘Burns’ week’,
      Needs a tweak.
      That apostrophe,
      Is quite a catastrophe,
      It’s really awfy,
      Whit they dae wi’ the apostrophe.
      Written by a Neep, that’s a bet,
      But as they say in Gaelic, ‘An e Coma leat?’.

    25. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      Don’t give up the day job.


    26. Luigi says:

      You Nats can all laugh, but be aware that the loss of haggis and neep exports to England, post separation, will result in a loss of 19,000 jobs.

    27. Seasick Dave says:


      Not to mention the loss of all the haggis shooting estates.

      Its a disaster waiting to happen.

    28. The Rough Bounds. says:

      Neep exports to England? Do you think they’ll be happy with us sending all our Glasgow Labour Party cooncil fowk down there? I hae ma doots.
      They have enough surplus idiots by themselves.

    29. Luigi says:

      Aye, those well maintained Haggis moors will disappear overnight. At least all the unsold neeps can be used to feed the starving Scottish population when our economy collapses.

    30. Training Day says:

      Doubtless the First Minister wasted at least 500k of taxpayers money in futile trips to England, Wales and Northern Ireland to promote haggis neeps and tatties, when he should have been here attending to a crisis-hit economy where cerr wurkurs are being hassled by phone calls from shepratishts…

    31. Cuphook says:

      Damn. Tris beat me to the apostrophe explanation – but I’m still in time to join the neep argument. 
      The wiki page you link to makes Anglocentric assertions based upon a newspaper article written by a Scot who admits that she doesn’t really know.
      Turnips vs swedes is one of those confusions brought about by our supermarkets being English based. This is why we also see Blackberry instead of Bramble and Blueberry instead of Blaeberry. Sometimes they even get get whole countries confused like M&S which sells a Scottish raspberry and British apple drink even though all the apples are grown in England.
      Neeps is orange. Swedes is also neeps but white.
      It is a shame that in most cases the Scottish names of our flora and fauna are extinct and that the few which remain are slowly giving way to their English equivalent.

    32. The Rough Bounds. says:

      I’d rather eat a Swede; apparently they taste of chicken.

    33. naebd says:

      With independence, Haggis becomes an exotic ‘foreign’ food. Sales in England will rocket.

    34. tearlach says:

      Mmmmm thats making me quite hungry. Stuck on a plane in Kirkwall while they clear the runway, and all Loganair can offer is a Tunocks Caramel biscuit, which of course will be unavailable in Scotland post 2014.

    35. Seasick Dave says:

      After Independence, we could turn loose all the Scottish Unionist MPs on the old haggis moors and hunt them down for a bit of light hearted relief.

      Mind you, most of them would probably be found filling their faces in the neep trough and you could hardly miss.

    36. BM says:

      Musing further, I don’t know if this is part of the “Union dividend”.  Ireland isn’t part of the Union anymore, and never was an American State, but that doesn’t stop English and American pubs from capitalising on St Patrick’s Decameron.

    37. Doug Daniel says:

      Burns Night is a night about Burns, rather than a night belonging to Burns.

      Burns’ Birthday Night would be a different matter, as that would be a night celebrating the day of birth belonging to Burns. 

    38. Davy says:

      Being a past HAGGI – master for the north east, and actknowledged expert on hill, moor and sea-cliff haggis and having a passing knowledge of the mountain varity and can safely say the loss of jobs due to no more exports to england and its colonys will not be 19,000 rather it will be near’er 75,000.

      I know this is correct as my information is from my own rear-end which was supplyed by the world acclaimed “Westminster Scottish Affairs Committee”. chaired by the worlds leading ‘doing’ expert (Ian Davidson) and therefore cannot be challenged by mere mortals.


    39. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Neeps is orange. Swedes is also neeps but white.”

      So, different, then?

    40. Cuphook says:

      Not at all. Swedes are New Neeps. The vegetable garden is inclusive.

    41. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      Now I feel like a vegetable racist. 🙁

    42. cath says:

      Swedes is also neeps but white.”

    43. cath says:

      Heh, snap Rev

    44. Cuphook says:

      You’re only a goosestep away from marching on the allotments.
      I think what I wrote is basically correct. Most Scots look on Swedes with bewilderment, ‘yon’s nae a neep’, but accommodate their neepiness.  

    45. RandomScot says:

      Perhaps we should export haggis pakora and get the curry eaters into it to maintain sales?

    46. Melanie McKellar says:

      I hated Turnips as a child but love them now…unfortunately not readily available in Belgium/Holland.  However I had mine imported from Scotland in time for Burns’ nicht along wi’ a wee haggis…..nom nom nono now thanks to the Wiki link I made a wee discovery ….

      ” In the Middle Ages rowdy bands of children roamed the streets in hideous masks carrying carved turnips known in Scotland as “tumshie heads”

      aye there were a few tumshie heeds in westminster last week and that’s for sure! 

    47. pmcrek says:

      However the union is still all bad for us vegetarians 🙁

    48. An Duine Gruamach says:

      All this about Swedes… is this a Nordic Horizons Burns(‘) Nicht supper?

      By the way, I had a haggis Cornish pasty the other day.  Pan-Celticism in action! 

    49. dadsarmy says:

      I think Burns Night – also Burns Supper is considered a proper noun in itself, I forget the technicality, maybe a noun phrase or some load of neeps like that.

      has it without the apostrophe – they should know …

    50. dadsarmy says:

      It’s a disgrace, these haggis shooting estates run by wealthy absentee landlords. Ha, well, Land Value Tax will do for for them, though it’s a bit sad for the haggis beaters all the same. they’ll have a lot to grouse about.

    51. Yesitis says:

      Impersonates faux wheelchair-bound Andy (from Little Britain`s Lou and Andy)
      “Don`t like it”

    52. R.Louis says:

      WTF is swede???

      I have turnip (neeps) with my haggis.  

      I hadn’t even heard of swede when I was a lad in Scotland.  We made halloween lanterns from turnips, and ate turnips.  It may indeed be the same thing they call a swede in England, but as far as I am concerned, in Scotland we call it turnip.  Period (despite what our idiotic English owned supermarkets like to tell us).

      To be clear, a Burns supper consists of Haggis, tatties and neeps (TURNIP), and a good single malt.

      Like others above, I like Sweden and the Swedish people, and simply refuse to eat swedes – even on Burns night.

    53. TYRAN says:

      I read s’s was used in Scotland for everything, where English had s’ too. (Taking into account “half six” here is actually “half past five” in English.) I have a lot of books so unlikely to find this but it’s not a new rule someone dreamt up. Though it does not really matter when Burns himself favoured the word “night” in his own works. He never used “nicht”.

    54. Elizabeth Sutherland says:

      Certainly cheered me up today. Had a good laugh at the racist jokes. Haggis will be as popular as Caviar(Sturgeon eggs) world wide by the end of this decade maybe even sooner. Enjoy your Burns’ supper’s.

    55. Pa Broon BA says:

      A swede is simply a middle class turnip, nothing more.

      And I’m not sure we should be talking about exporting Sturgeon Eggs, I mean, has anyone even asked her yet?

    56. Wullie says:

      I always thought it was TUMSHIE n HAGGIS

    57. AndrewFraeGovan says:


      “Here’s to thy health, my bonie lass, 
      Gude nicht and joy be wi’ thee;.”

      And where in Scotland does “half six” mean “half past five”?

    58. tartanfever says:

      Davy’s post (or should it be Davys’ ?) is brilliant. 

      Davy, are you by chance Donald Trump in disguise ? I was just waiting for you to say, ‘I am the evidence’ 

    59. Dal Riata says:

      Just to confuse things even further, having lived and worked in Taiwan/China for over twenty years, the English translation often used for the vegetable that we know as ‘turnip’ is ‘radish’! …Haggis, radish and potatoes…? Nah,  just doesn’t do it, does it?!  

    60. Doug Daniel says:

      AndrewFraeGovan: “And where in Scotland does “half six” mean “half past five”?”

      You’ve clearly never met my family!

      Every friend I had round when I was a child who said “half three” or whatever would be met with the same mock surprise from my mum that they didn’t actually mean “half past two”. I dunno if it’s synonymous with Buchan/Aberdeenshire, but there are certainly folk in our neck of the woods who take the same approach to “Half whatever” as Germans (i.e. halb drei = half three = half past two)

    61. Andra says:

      There are two types of Neeps (if you exclude the various political types) – Swede and Turnips are slightly different plants. Swede tends to be more yellow fleshed, while Turnip tends to be more white, however, some modern Swede are also more white.

      Scots tend correctly to call them all Neeps, but technically incorrectly also call them all Turnips thinking that Neep and Turnip are the same word.  In fact Turnip is just a type of Neep, while swede is another type of Neep.
      It is mostly the Swede Neep that is eaten in Scotland so if you are looking for a Neep to eat with your Haggis is it probably the Swede version that you want.  Sainsburys may well sell Turnip in Scotland but I think you’ll get more than you bargain for if you buy one for mashing and eating with Haggis!

    62. AndrewFraeGovan says:

      That’s interesting – what a diverse wee country we have! I must say I’ve never heard of it put like that, and I’ve lived in Edinburgh, Fife, Ayrshire, and the Western Isles as well as Glasgow. Perhaps it’s why I keep missing appointments!

    63. Doug Daniel says:

      I’ve just had a hunch given that Norwegian and German is quite similar, and it would seem Scandinavian countries do the same, as do lots of other Germanic languages.

      So I suspect this may be something to do with the Nordic influences we have in some of our language.

    64. AndrewFraeGovan says:

      Fascinating stuff, Doug.

    65. Embradon says:

      If I can chuck in an ill remembered and unresearched pseudo factiod…
      Are swedes not a bigger variety of turnip? I seem to remember a story about them being from seed originally brought from ….ahem .. Sweden (possibly as a gift in gratitude for the delivery of a Scots built warship??) 
      On a more sombre note, the only minor upside to the demise of Halls of Broxburn is that we may now be rid of that disgusting haggis lookalike made from pig meat. We need protection of the genus against non-sheep product.
      On the apostrophe, I would suggest that common usage has made the occasion the night of Burns which would potentially be possessive and justify the “s’ “.
      Finally, before dabbing foam from the corner of my mouth and heading for the darkened room … where did the habit of pouring whisky over haggis come from – simply to kill the taste of both for non aficionados? Lots of both but separate receptacles please!

    66. AndrewFraeGovan says:

      I might have expected to find the Nordic usage in the Western Isles, however the Gaidhlig way is to say half past, “lethuair an dèidh”.

    67. Morag says:

      I’ve come across this “half three” meaning “half past two” thing as well.  Again, always in the context of some elder statesman pompously “correcting” me, even though they knew perfectly well what I meant.

      In Lanarkshire (Clyde valley).

    68. Cuphook says:

      @Doug Daniel
      That understanding of ‘half whatever’ is pretty much on its death bed. I’ve not heard it in years and growing up it was only the elderly who used it without thinking of the possible confusion.
      The big test is, of course, ‘the back of’. That one seems to confuse a lot of people not raised here.

    69. AndrewFraeGovan says:

      Aye, especially when there’s no corresponding ‘the front of’. lol

    70. Holebender says:

      To go back to the original topic (sorry) if Wetherspoons had a Mexican themed week would that be a positive case for union with Mexico? Would an Indian week be a positive case for reviving the Empire?

    71. Seasick Dave says:

      Positive case for the Union 1:

      Positive case for the Union 2:

      I just can’t seem to find a statement by Ian Davidson. 

    72. Dal Riata says:

      The etymology references from most of the better known online dictionaries have something similar to the following from Oxford Dictionaries:

      neep noun

      Usage:Scottish and Northern English 

      Definition: a turnip 

      Ex. haggis and neeps

      Origin: Old English, from Latin napus  

      However, at they give this:

      Neep is a British term for turnip. (noun) 

      Well, it’s not really a “British” term as such, but, geographically-speaking it can be called that.

      There example of usage though is comedy gold:

      “An example of neep is how someone in Birmingham, England might ask for a turnip.”

      “YourDictionary is owned by LoveToKnow Corporation, an innovative online media  company with rapid fire growth.”

      Ah, those Americans…You’ve just gotta luv’em!!


    73. Robert Kerr says:

      Several amusing discussions in S Wales with my 95 year old Scottish aunt and a Black Country Lass of my acquaint re swedes/turnips. We all gave up and agreed to differ.

      The local Tesco supermarket here sells swedes overprinted “Neeps” 

      Enjoy ! 

    74. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      Last night I shot a Haggis in my pyjamas. What is was doing in my pyjamas I’ll never know!

      Come Independence, Haggis shooting will be illegal. Thousands of job losses. Will have to vote No! 

    75. Holebender says:

      Hunting haggis with dogs has already been outlawed! Damn devolution!!!

    76. Davy says:

      A couple of things :

      Haggis are only allowed to be clubbed, no dogs or guns allowed. (conservation please), these rules also apply to members of the “Scottish Affairs committee”.

      Saying the “back of”, is only well know in the buchan region and shows the ability to confuse anybody as required, and linked to ‘doric’ really can bugger up yer head.

      PS, my tipple will be ‘Aberlour’ as I have just finished the 16 yearold ‘Tomintoul’ a 10/10 malt.

    77. micheilbeag says:

      @ Davy: “Saying the “back of”, is only well know (sic) in the buchan (sic) region.”

      Says who? By your logic, then, Fife and the Lothians (and probably many other places where the phrase is used) must be in ‘the buchan (sic) region’… 

    78. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “@ Davy: “Saying the “back of”, is only well know (sic) in the buchan (sic) region.”
      Says who? By your logic, then, Fife and the Lothians (and probably many other places where the phrase is used) must be in ‘the buchan (sic) region’… “

      I heard it all across the Central Belt when I was young, and I still don’t know what the hell it means.

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