What does hoots mon mean?

Written by Chris Thornton | 8th of December 2023
What does hoots mon mean?

"Hoots mon" means 'hey you' or 'hey man', but it is not actually used by Scottish people at all. It is more of a joke word, cliché, or fun take on the Scots language pronunciation.

It is used in popular culture as a stereotypical Scottish phrase used as an interjection, probably invented by non-scots. "Hoot mon" would be closer to an actual phrase used by Scots - "That was a hoot man!", meaning that was so much fun.

Lord Rockingham's XI - Hoots Mon

In 1958, Harry Robinson wrote "Hoots Mon" taking inspiration from an old Scottish folk song, "A hundred pipers". It's a very upbeat song written with some excellent saxophone by Benny Green and was one of the first rock and roll songs to feature the Hammond organ.

Although the majority of the song is instrumental but Scot's lyrics are interjected by four cliché Scottish phrases:

  • "Hoots mon, there's a moose, loose, aboot this hoose", meaning "Hey man, there's a mouse loose about the house".

  • "Och Aye!", exclamation meaning "Oh yes".

  • "Hoots mon, it's a braw, bricht, moonlicht nicht", meaning "Hey man, it's a nice, bright moonlit night".

Although it's a cheeky play on the Scots language, there is no malice in this rock and roll music song, it's just a fun/bizarre little number. It stayed at number one in the charts for three weeks. I've included it below.

Maynards wine gums commercial

The song was revived in 1993 to advertise Maynard's wine gums, this time the iconic line about the "moose, loose, aboot this hoose", is substituted with "There's juice loose aboot this hoose".

The advert shows a scotsman in the castle or manor house decorated with antlers and swords. He chews a wine gum, and he puts one in his sporran, and it chews too! The moose on the wall also gobbles one and a set of bag pipes that does a jig to the music.

Dancing bagpipes, standard cliché.
The dancing bag pipes, the best part of the advert!

I remember thinking as a child that I didn't know what the Scotsman was saying in the advert, and made me think it was a central belt term. I haven't seen this advert in a long time, it's quite funny watching it back now. You can see it in the embedded video below.

What does hoot mean in Scots?

"Hoot" means a good time, i.e. we had a hoot on Friday night.


So there we have it, "Hoots mon / hoots man" is a bit of a non-word but a fun play on the Scots language.

All information was correct at the time of writing, please check things like entry costs and opening times before you arrive.

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29th of October 2022 @ 00:43:31

I thought of the phrase and song when I read this, and hoped one of the crew said "hoots mon" to the owl: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-63425826