From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The rose of all the world is not for me. I want for my part. Only the little white rose of Scotland That smells sharp and sweet - and breaks the heart. ~ Hugh MacDiarmid
From its destitution of trees, Scotland was once a by-word; now it is a garden of beauty. ~ Frederick Douglass
Give me but one hour of Scotland,
Let me see it ere I die. ~ William E. Aytoun

Scotland (Scottish Gaelic: Alba) is a country forming the northernmost third of Great Britain. An independent kingdom until 1707, it is now a constituent part of the United Kingdom with limited powers of self-government.

Arranged alphabetically by author or source:
A · B · C · D · E · F · G · H · I · J · K · L · M · N · O · P · Q · R · S · T · U · V · W · X · Y · Z · See also · External links



  • I think I see our ancient mother Caledonia, like Caesar, sitting in the midst of our senate, ruefully looking round about her, covering herself with her royal garment, attending the fatal blow, and breathing out her last with an ‘Et tu quoque mi fili.’
    • Lord Belhaven, speech in the Scottish Parliament against the Act of Union (2 November 1706), quoted in ‘Appendix to Vol. VI. No. I’, The Parliamentary History of England from the Earliest Period to the Year 1803, Vol. VI. A.D. 1702–1714 (1806), column 143
  • I do not discuss the Scotch cases. They are not binding on us as authorities, though of the greatest service, as containing the opinions and arguments of able and accomplished lawyers.
    • Bramwell, L.J., Johnson v. Raylton (1881), L. R. 7 Q. B. 449; reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 222
  • I believe that the intelligence of the people in Scotland is superior to the intelligence of the people in England… I told them that they were the people who should have repeal of the Union; for that, if they are separate from England, they might have a government wholly popular and intelligent, to a degree which I believe does not exist in any other country on the face of the earth. However, I believe they will be disposed to press us on, and make us become more and more intelligent; and we may receive benefits from our contact with them, even though, for some ages to come, our connexion with them may be productive of evil to themselves.
    • John Bright, speech in Manchester (January 1843), quoted in G. M. Trevelyan, The Life of John Bright (1913), pp. 84-85
  • O Scotia! my dear, my native soil!
    For whom my warmest wish to heaven is sent;
    Long may thy hardy sons of rustic toil
    Be blest with health, and peace, and sweet content.
    • Robert Burns, The Cotter's Saturday Night (1786), Stanza 20.
  • My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here;
    My heart's in the Highlands a-chasing the deer.


  • From the lone shieling of the misty island
    Mountains divide us, and the waste of seas –
    Yet still the blood is strong, the heart is Highland,
    And we in dreams behold the Hebrides!
    Fair these broad meads, these hoary woods are grand;
    But we are exiles from our fathers' land.
    • "Canadian Boat Song", an anonymous poem first published in Blackwoods Edinburgh Magazine, September 1829, and ostensibly translated from the Gaelic. There has been much debate as to the poem's authorship. [1]



  • From the time of the North Briton of the unprincipled Wilkes, a notion has been entertained that the moral spine in Scotland is more flexible than in England. The truth however is, that an elementary difference exists in the public feelings of the two nations quite as great as in the idioms of their respective dialects. The English are a justice-loving people, according to charter and statute; the Scotch are a wrong-resenting race, according to right and feeling: and the character of liberty among them takes its aspect from that peculiarity.
    • John Galt Ringan Gilhaize (Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd, 1823) vol. 3, p. 313


  • Of course, Scotsmen are not foreigners. They are fellow-subjects of ours, and they are in the same position as any other fellow-subjects, with the important exception that their system of jurisprudence differs in very important particulars from ours . . . and to call a Scotsman an English subject is a perfect absurdity.
    • Higby, L.J., Mac Iver v. Burns (1895), L. R. 2 C. D. [1895], p. 637; reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 221-222




  • You Clyde boys were pretty hard on me today. But it's fine to hear your Glasgow accent. It's like a sniff of the air of Scotland in the musty atmosphere of this place.


  • The rose of all the world is not for me.
    I want for my part
    Only the little white rose of Scotland
    That smells sharp and sweet - and breaks the heart.
  • [Upon King James VI's coronation as King of Scots] Sirrah! Ye are God's vassal; there are twa kingdoms in Scotland; there is Christ Jesus the King of the Kirk, whose subject King James VI is, and of whose kingdom he is not a king, nor a lord, nor a head, but a member.
    • Andrew Melville in Klieforth and Munro's The Scottish Invention of America, Democracy and Human Rights: A History of Liberty and Freedom from the Ancient Celts to the New Millenium, page 199


  • It is by self-reliance, humanly speaking, by the independence which has been the motive and impelling force of our race, that the Scots have thriven in India and in Canada, in Australia and New Zealand, and even in England, where at different times they were banned. As things are we in Scotland do not take much or even ask much from the State, but the State invites us every day to lean upon it... Speaking as a Scotsman to Scotsmen, I plead for our historical character, for the maintenance of those sterling national qualities which have meant so much to Scotland in the past. (Cheers.)
    • Lord Rosebery, speech to Glasgow University (12 June 1908), reported in The Times (13 June 1908), p. 12.
  • I know no other waters to be compared with them;- such streams can only exist under very subtle concurrences of rock and climate. There must be soft rain, not (habitually) tearing the hills down with floods; and the rocks must break irregularly and jaggery.
    • John Ruskin The Sounds of Scottish Streams. Fors Clavigera, letter XXXII, August 1873. also John Ruskin, Selected Writings, selected by Kenneth Clarke, page 101, Penguin Classics, 1991


  • O Caledonia! stern and wild,
    Meet nurse for a poetic child!
    Land of brown heath and shaggy wood,
    Land of the mountain and the flood,
    Land of my sires! what mortal hand
    Can e'er untie the filial band,
    That knits me to thy rugged strand!
  • It requires a surgical operation to get a joke well into a Scotch understanding.
  • That knuckle-end of England—that land of Calvin, oat-cakes, and sulphur.
    • Sydney Smith, Lady Holland's Memoir (1855), Volume II, p. 17
  • Scotland is indefinable; it has no unity except upon the map. Two languages, many dialects, innumerable forms of piety, and countless local patriotisms and prejudices, part us among ourselves more widely than the extreme east and west of that great continent of America.
  • I will venture to say, there is no country existing which is at present more flourishing; no people whose general condition is better, or whose rights and liberties are more firmly secured.
    • Lord Succoth, Lord President, Downie's Case (1794), 24 How. St. Tr. 187; reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 222


  • The side of my family that comes from Scotland, hell, they didn’t even worry about fighting people outside of Scotland. Highlanders and lowlanders just fought the hell out of each other.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 692-93.
  • Give me but one hour of Scotland,
    Let me see it ere I die.
    • William E. Aytoun, Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers—Charles Edward at Versailles, line 111.
  • Hear, Land o' Cakes and brither Scots
    Frae Maiden Kirk to Johnny Groat's.
    • Robert Burns, On Capt. Grose's Peregrinations Thro' Scotland.
  • It's guid to be merry and wise,
    It's guid to be honest and true,
    It's guid to support Caledonia's cause,
    And bide by the buff and the blue!
  • Only a few industrious Scots perhaps, who indeed are dispersed over the face of the whole earth. But as for them, there are no greater friends to Englishmen and England, when they are out on't, in the world, than they are. And for my own part, I would a hundred thousand of them were there [Virginia] for we are all one countrymen now, ye know, and we should find ten times more comfort of them there than we do here.
    • George Chapman, Eastward Ho, Act III, scene 2. Written by Chapman, Jonson, Marston. James I was offended at the reflexion on Scotchmen and the authors were threatened with imprisonment. Extract now found only in a few editions.
  • The Scots are poor, cries surly English pride;
    True is the charge, nor by themselves denied.
    Are they not then in strictest reason clear,
    Who wisely come to mend their fortunes here?
  • The noblest prospect which a Scotchman ever sees is the high-road that leads him to England.
  • In all my travels I never met with any one Scotchman but what was a man of sense. I believe everybody of that country that has any, leaves it as fast as they can.
  • Now the summer's in prime
    Wi' the flowers richly blooming,
    And the wild mountain thyme
    A' the moorlands perfuming.
    To own dear native scenes
    Let us journey together,
    Where glad innocence reigns
    'Mang the braes o' Balquhither.
  • In short, he and the Scotch have no way of redeeming the credit of their understandings, but by avowing that they have been consummate villains. Stavano bene; per star meglio, stanno qui.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

At Wikiversity, you can learn about:
  • Encyclopedic article on Scotland on Wikipedia
  • Media related to Scotland on Wikimedia Commons
  • Scotland travel guide from Wikivoyage
  • The dictionary definition of scotland on Wiktionary
  • Works related to Scotland on Wikisource