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The Scots (originally Irish, but by now Scotch) were at this time inhabiting Ireland, having driven the Irish (Picts) out of Scotland; while the Picts (originally Scots) were now Irish (living in brackets) and vice versa. It is essential to keep these distinctions clearly in mind (and verce visa).
- 1066 and All That

Scotland, Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland condensed into the same place. The Loch Ness Monster, Leprechauns, bagpipes, shamrocks, threatening people with shillelaghs[1], potatoes, haggis, plaid (actual plaid, or tartan), kilts, clans, castles, caber tossing, and a lot of angry drunk people.

This is the only other part of the British Isles that's not London. In fact, the Republic of Ireland isn't politically part of Britain, but if Hollywood can't get geography right then politics don't stand a chance. Wales sometimes gets lumped in as well, the few times it's featured outside of UK media. This trope is probably helped by the fact that the Scottish and Irish are both Celtic in origin, and have enough in common culturally to be distinguished from the Germanic Anglos without having a similarly clear distinction between themselves.

Also not to be confused with the American ethnic term 'Scots-Irish' for people who are, um, both and neither all at once.

The prevalence of this trope in American media is probably due to the fact that to untrained U.S. ears, Scottish and Irish accents sound remarkably similar. This trope does not exist in Canadian media, however, as the Irish and the Scots are seen as completely distinct races. It's said that the longer an Irishman lives in Canada the more Canadian he gets, but the longer a Scotsman lives in Canada the more Scots he gets. Some Scotsmen have lived in Canada for so long that their accent has become completely indecipherable.

Compare Britain Is Only London, Spexico, Ancient Grome, and Mayincatec. See also Violent Glaswegian, Fighting Irish, Oireland, Bonnie Scotland. Oddly, Scottish actors and actresses have a disproportionate tendency to be cast as Irish characters. Whether this is a side effect of this trope or whether it actually helps enforce it is anyone's guess.

Examples of Scotireland include:

Adaptations and other cross-media examples

Comic Books

  • Wolfsbane from X-Men is supposed to be Scottish, but her accent and culture switch back and forth between Irish and Scottish.
    • Moira McTaggart has this same problem.
  • Silver Banshee from Superman is literally from Scotireland; when the writers realised they'd based a Scottish character on Irish mythology, they claimed Siobhan McDougal was actually from a fictional island in the Straits of Moyle.
    • Though there's an awful lot of overlap between Scottish and Irish mythology (or rather, there's no vaguely unified Scottish mythology, and a significant chunk of Irish mythology is shared with or even set in Scotland). Banshees (with different spellings and pronunciations outside of English) exist in both.
    • Suprisingly the New 52 version of Silver Banshee drops the Scottish connection entirely and retcons Siobhan as coming from Dublin.


  • In Finding Forrester, at the end Forrester (Sean Connery) tells his young friend Jamal that he's going back to his homeland.

 Jamal: You mean Ireland?

Forrester: Scotland, for God's sake...

Jamal: (laughs) I'm just messing with you, man.

  • In the G.I. Joe movie, the Scottish villain has programmed his missile to respond to commands in Irish.
    • Was it not in "Gaelic"? Which could make sense as it describes the family of Irish/Scottish/Manx languages.
    • Actually it was "Celtic". Because that's definitely a language.
  • In The Crying Game Irish terrorist Fergus initially tells Londoner Dil that he is Scottish, and Dil appears to believe him. Possibly justified in that London has a wide variety of accents and Dil, being young and perhaps inexperienced, might not have known the difference.
  • 25thHour and The Departed are particularly bad as both feature Irish-American storylines yet include rousing renditions of 'Scotland the Brave'.
    • Scotland the Brave is one of the first songs that a bagpipe student learns, and is therefore a staple of pipe bands. It's not uncommon to hear it played during St. Patrick's Day parades, so its presence at the police academy graduation in The Departed is not completely out of the blue.


  • Lampshaded in Tom Clancy's Patriot Games (the novel anyway), when one of the ULA bad guys comments to himself how the staff at the American airport he landed in couldn't tell the difference between a Scottish burr and an Irish brogue.
  • Loosely autobiographical McCarthy's Bar by Pete McCarthy[2] (an Englishman who inexplicably feels that he ought to be Irish) has a scene with stereotypical truck-sized American tourist couple in a faux-Irish pub. After a hearty meal, the husband is puffing on a large cigar and ordering another shot of "this great Irish Scotch".

Live Action Television

  • Highlander the Series frequently featured Scottish characters (played, in the main, by Canadians) with horrendous Oirish accents.
    • One episode had the Scottish Sheena Easton playing an Irish Immortal.
  • One episode of Dead Like Me had an Irish-American (probably an immigrant, given his accent) die at an Irish bar, and is welcomed into the afterlife to a soundtrack playing... "Scotland the Brave".
  • Spoofed in a series of early-'90s Saturday Night Live sketches, in which Mike Myers is the foul-tempered proprietor of a shop called All Things Scottish ("If it's not Scottish, it's crap!"). Hapless customers would frequently make the mistake of asking for shillelaghs and whatnot, leading to Myers exploding, pointing to a map ("There's Scotland! There's Ireland! And there's the bloody sea!") and ordering them to Get Out!.
    • The Myers bit was based heavily (cough cough) on a sketch by Dave Thomas that appeared on SCTV. His angry Scotsman was a cooking show host, but he used the same catchphrase - in 1983.
      • And that skit was based on the common Canadian stereotype of the Scotsman as an angry complainer whose accent is so strong that nobody's exactly sure what he's angry about. See Jack Webster for the Real Life Ur Example.
  • In Smallville, a gang prepares to rob Lex Luthor as their final heist because their ability to phase through solid objects is fading. One of the crooks makes a crack about how they'd be able to build a money silo like "that Irish duck" and is corrected (since Scrooge is in fact Scottish) by one of the other crooks with a surprisingly good rendition of both accents.
  • Coach John McGuirk is Irish, but he's a Scottish highland dancer instead of an Irish dancer because he's "not gay."
  • In an episode of Black Books some American tourists refer to Bernard, (who is Irish) as a "Scotchman".
    • The entire scene was basically a Take That at Americans.
      • And Bernard retaliates by calling them Australian. An Irish person being called Scottish is relative to an American being referred to as Australian. And then there's being related to the English, which is on par with (or possibly worse) American - Canadian, and is always an invitation to a fight.
        • Referring to an Australian as an American is almost as dangerous
  • Craig Ferguson, the Scottish-born host of CBS' The Late Late Show, once remarked on a St. Patrick's Day episode that "I'm not Irish, but everybody thinks I am."
    • It is worth noting (and Ferguson has noted it multiple times) that he is ¼ Irish. His accent is still Scottish, though.
  • In an episode of Seinfeld, Jerry and George end up sharing a limousine with a couple of Neo-Nazis. Jerry pretends to be Irish, reminiscing about things such as "the peat, ah, the peat". However, his accent comes across as Scottish to one of the Nazis, to which Jerry replies: "We were living around the border".
    • Jerry's attempt to do a Scottish accent ends with him saying, "Scotland, Ireland? What's the difference, lassie?"
  • Lampshaded in Heroes, when Elle goes into a pub in Ireland:

 Elle: I've never been in Irish pub before! Do you have haggis?

Ricky: That's Scotland, love.

  • In one episode of Lost, Sawyer refers to Desmond as 'the magic Leprechaun', even though Desmond is actually Scottish. It's unclear whether the writers chose to have Sawyer make this mistake in character or whether they made the mistake themselves--but, given that none of the other characters pick up on it, it's probably the latter.
    • Considering that the only time anyone ever called Sawyer out on an inaccurate nickname was the Pilot when he called Sayid "Al Jazeera" it's probably the former.
  • Similar to the above example, in Supernatural Crowley was a Scottish human before he was an English demon (it gets worse) and the other demons call him Lucky the Leprechaun... Leprechauns are from Ireland...
    • To be fair, Bobby actually points out the other demons' stupidity on the whole Scotland/Ireland thing. And it's possible that it's only Crowley's host that's English-- being possessed doesn't seem to change a host's voice.
  • Even in Star Trek Scotty's accent tended to wander not just through every region of Scotland, but across the Irish sea too. Lampshaded by several Scottish stand-up comedians over the years who always joke about wondering which part of Ireland Scotty was from.
    • And the surname "Scott" is most commonly found in the English Border area (and occasionally in Ireland).
      • Possibly justified in that 23rd century Earth allows for near-instant commuting from San Francisco to New Orleans. With less of a barrier to travel, Accents are bound to start muddling.
    • James Doohan was well known for his skill with accents, and took on the Scots accent at the request of Roddenberry. How much of the story is complaining to complain is up to the reader.


New Media


 Diabetus: Y'know he's probably from New Jersey.

  • In the Weebl's Stuff video Scotch Egg, when a map of Scotland is displayed, underneath the text saying "SCOTLAND", there is a caption in small text reading "This is where the Irish come from. Tell your friends."

Professional Wrestling

  • A bit of commentary in WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2009 has something to this effect - Coach refers to the oh-so-very Irish Finlay as English. When called on it by way of Michael Cole listing all of the extremely Irish things about him, Coach indicates that he knows the difference between English and Scottish.


  • Inverted in Legally Blonde: The Musical, in the song "Ireland". Paulette dreams of meeting an Irish man and living in Ireland, and confuses Scottish and Irish culture- which Elle (and the audience) find funny.

Video Games

  • Valkyria Chronicles features a recruitable character names Catherine O'Hara. While it's never stated that she's from the game's alternate universe versions of Ireland or Scotland, her accent veers dramatically between the two whenever she speaks.
    • For what it's worth 'O'Hara' is very definitely an Irish rather than Scottish name, associated as it is with Sligo and being an anglicisation of 'Ó hEaghra'.
  • The succubus Morrigan Aensland of Darkstalkers fame was discovered as an infant by her adoptive father Belial in Scotland and her D.O.B. (1678 A.D.) coincides with the first appearance of a succubus in Scotland, but her name and some of her character quirks are taken from a deity in Irish mythology. With the exception of the 90s cartoon, the dub of the Night Warriors/Vampire Hunter OVA, and the recent Marvel vs. Capcom 3, her English voice actresses also tend to give Morrigan an American Accents, not a Scottish one. By a technicality, this would make her "younger sister" Lilith also qualify for this trope.
  • Parodied in Toonstruck: The bartender in Cutopia is a head of green cheese, shaped like a shamrock, wearing a tam-o-shanter and a kilt, whose accent alternates between Irish and Scottish every other line. Yes, that's right; he's half Irish, half Scottish. It's that kind of game.
  • Cult British stop-motion animated series Portland Bill is a rare justified example, as the action is clearly taking place somewhere on the coast of the Irish Sea. As noted in Real Life below, there's been engough intermarrying and cross-colonisation over the centuries that the differences in accent are quite subtle.

Western Animation

  • Gargoyles manages to avert this a fair bit in the episodes where they visit Ireland and (modern) Scotland. One of the principal settings is an old Scottish castle...
    • Even though in the flashbacks to old times, some of the voices came out sounding more Irish.
    • Also, they should be speaking Gaelic. But...
  • Phineas and Ferb went ahead and made a character who was half-Scottish, half-Irish, presumably in an attempt to avert this trope, or perhaps a parody.
  • One for the England vs. Wales aspect: The early-90s Hanna-Barbera cartoon Young Robin Hood featured an episode where Prince John had hatched yet another plan to steal the throne of England from his brother Richard. Said plot heavily involved the Duke of Wales. There has never been, in all of history, a Duke of Wales....because Wales is not and never has been a duchy. In fact, during the reign of Richard the Lionheart, Wales was still ruled by its own native princes; it wouldn't be properly absorbed into the English crown's holdings until the reign of Edward I.
    • And if it had been, Prince John would have been the Prince of Wales.
  • Miner Smurf of The Smurfs is spoken of as having either an Irish or a Scottish accent.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars presents us with the Lurmen, a race of ScotIrish sentient lemurs whose Actual Pacifist sentiments are rather a Shout-Out to the Irish peace process.

Real Life

  • This definitely can count as a Justified Trope in some cases. There has been quite a bit of cultural exchange between Scotland and Ireland, especially recently. At the beginning of the 20th century, Irish Republicans adopted the kilt as a sign of Celtic solidarity and identity in their struggle for independence from the UK.
  • This Overheard in the Office quote:

 Receptionist: How was Ireland?

Office manager: Actually, I was in Scotland.

Receptionist: That's not the same place?

  • In a 2010 interview for Irish televison Katy Perry seemed under the impression the Loch Ness Monster lives in Ireland.
    • That could help with the tourism industry if we explain (s)he's just hiding over here then.
  • In July 2011 James O'Keefe released a heavily edited video of himself pretending to be an IRA member applying for medicaid for his Irish friends, while wearing a Scottish tartan and sporran.
  • The Scots and Irish are not only both Celtic, but they are also both Gaelic, as is the Isle of Man. Thus, Scottish and Irish culture and language are very similar, with the Gaels originating in Ireland. The other (extant) group of Celts are the Brythonics, who inhabit Wales, Brittany and Cornwall.
    • Indeed, this is what the page quote is talking about. You see, the land now called Scotland was formerly inhabited by the Picts, who spoke a language that was, if not Brythonic, than closely related to to the Brythonic.[3] Around the time of the collapse of the Roman Empire, the Irish started raiding the island of Great Britain; the Romans and Romanized Britons (the Brythonic-speaking ancestors of the Welsh, Cornish, and Bretons) called them Scoti, i.e. Scots. Eventually, some of these Scots from Ireland settled in the northern part of the island, conquering and marrying the Picts, and still keeping contact with Ireland (which was after all a very short boat trip away even in those days).
      • Over time, Scotland and Ireland grew apart, and the next time there was a big movement of people, it was the other way around--Protestant, English-speaking[4] Scots joined the English in building "plantations"--i.e. colonies--in Ireland, particularly the northern part of the island (closest to Scotland). Many of these Scottish immigrants weren't too well-off themselves, and eventually moved to America--from which we get the "Scots-Irish". People from the Isles might know them better as Ulster Scots, but either way, the US is chock-full of them, including much of the population of the South and at least seventeen Presidents of the United States.
  1. pronounced "shuh-lay-lee" and meaning "blunt instrument"; see Irish Names for more help with the peculiarities of Irish pronunciation, and note that it will be no help for names in Scots Gaelic, which is a separate (though related) language
  2. "Never pass a bar that has your name on it"
  3. We think. There are very few written records of Pictish, chiefly because the Romans--the only ones in the area whose writing system could be adapted to almost any language--never managed to conquer the Picts and indeed built a wall in frustration: the Roman equivalent of saying "Screw you guys, I'm going home" when it came to dealing with "barbarians."
  4. Technically, they spoke Scots. But to a Gaelic-speaking Irishman, there really isn't much of a difference--they're both Germanic, not Celtic.