Hen: the Glaswegian factor

“Hen” is used as a term of address for a woman in Glasgow: as in, “How ya doin hen?” – translation “How are you?”.  Hen is a very common term of address for a woman north of the border, much like “love” in London – “love” though can be used to address anyone.

Here is a typical exchange one might hear in a cafe in Glasgow.  Waitress to a female customer: “What’ll you have hen?”.  Customer: “A cup of tea and a bacon buttie”.  Compare the same exchange in London.  Waitress to any customer: “What’ll it be love?”.  Customer: “A cuppa and a bacon sarny”  (note: butty = sarny = sandwich).

Here is a link to a glossary of Glaswegian terms.

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