Wednesday 13 November 2019

MP schools Hansard in Scots after describing Government as being in a ‘fankle’

Hannah Bardell had to decipher the use of the word ‘fankle’ – and shared her response on Twitter.


By Nicola Irwin, Press Association

Regional dialect can sometimes bamboozle people not in the know.

But the official Hansard reporters at the House of Commons can’t let an unknown word go unchecked.

That’s why Livingston MP Hannah Bardell was tasked with explaining the word “fankle”. Perhaps she had said or meant “tangle?”

She shared the official urgent request for clarification on social media – and her response, proudly explaining that “fankle” was a Scottish verb meaning entangled.

Bardell dropped into a stronger regional voice when she wrote on Twitter: “When you describe the UK Government as being in a ‘fankle’ and the official recorder of the House of Commons (Hansard) dinnae ken whit yer saying….. so they send you a note….. and you get to explain! #hansard #houseofcommons #scotslanguage.”

But it’s not the first time the word has come up within Hansard.

A search of the official register returns seven results – five in the House of Commons and twice in the House of Lords – both by Lord Foulkes of Cumnock.

As for the five mentions in the Commons…

1. Joanna Cherry (Edinburgh South West) – April 12, 2016

I have my notes in a bit of a schmozzle, as we say in Scotland - or as they say in Ireland, to be accurate. In Scotland they would say they were in a fankle.

2. John Nicolson (East Dunbartonshire 2015-2017) – October 18, 2016

The BBC got itself into a bit of a fankle...

3. Michael Gove (Surrey Heath) – April 27, 2011

I am afraid that he has got himself in what we call in Scotland 'a bit of a fankle'.

Gove was born in Edinburgh and brought up in Aberdeen.

4. Anne McLaughlin (Glasgow North East 2015-2017) – November 29, 2016

In short, the Government have got themselves into a complete and utter fankle in this area.

5. Gregg McClymont (Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East 2010-2015) September 2, 2014

I am reminded of the fankle that the Government have got themselves into over the governance of individual defined-contribution pensions.

PA Media

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News