There are some expressions which stay with you from childhood, my favourite being the one above which I used to hear from friends of my mother or my granny when they met on the street. It always puzzled me but I suppose it was just an expression of the lack of progress made since they had last met. It reminds me too though of the absurdity of language (remember Billy Connolly’s “I’ll take my hand off your jaw”?) and the precision with which the Scots language is able to conjure up an image. Consider the grammatical contortions involved in the following statement to a news reporter during the Glasgow East by-election this week from a local woman caught in front of a microphone. Expressing amazement at the sheer volume of journalists and canvassers on the street she told the interviewer “my hoose hisnae haltit aw week at the front door.” Tells you everything you need to know but translate it directly into English and make sense of it!