Difference Between Scottish and Irish (With Table)

Our world is geographically vast. It is divided into various regions, which each have their different political, economic, cultural, and social characteristics. Many regions have almost similar names, cultures, features, etc., but they somehow still manage to have a few differences. Knowing differences in the geography of places can sometimes be very helpful.

Scottish and Irish are part of this diversity; they refer to Scotland and Ireland, respectively. They both were once under the British kingdom but now are not one. They are mistaken to be the same but have different cultures, languages, governments, etc.

Scottish vs Irish

The difference between Scottish and Irish is that Scottish is used to refer to the language, culture, and the people from Scotland (part of the United Kingdom, British rule), whereas Irish is the term used to refer to the language, culture, and people native to Ireland (now partially independent).

The word Scottish is used to refer to the language, people, family (ancestral or genetic), and culture that belong to Scotland. They are an ethnic group native to Scotland. They are a part of the United Kingdom under British rule. The languages spoken by them are Scottish English, Scots, and Scottish Gaelic. A separate national church (protected in law) is one element of Scottish culture.

The word Irish is used to refer to the language, people, ethnicity that is native to Ireland. It was once entirely a part of the United Kingdom, but now only Northern Ireland is under British rule. The rest of the part is independent. Irish people have their language, culture, dance, etc. The languages spoken there are Irish, Hiberno – English, etc. their culture has been influenced by Anglo-Norman, English, and Scottish culture.

Comparison Table Between Scottish and Irish

Parameters of Comparison Scottish Irish
 Definition People, culture, or anything related to Scotland. People, culture, or anything related to Ireland.
 Geography Part of the United Kingdom. Part of Europe except for Northern Ireland.
 Languages Scottish Gaelic, Scottish English. Irish Gaelic, Hiberno-English dialect.
 Religion Predominant Christianity denomination in the church of Scotland, followed by Roman Catholics. Most of the Irish people are Roman Catholics.
 Accent Use their own words like ‘wee’ They use ‘aye’
 Food and Drink Haggis and whiskey Stew, bread, and beer.

What is Scottish?

Scottish people, language, culture, etc., are associated with Scotland. Scottish people are an ethnic group native to Scotland. Scotland is a part of the united kingdom (under British rule). The merger of Picts and Gaels found the kingdom of Scotland in the 9th century. Scottish descents live in many countries. Scotland is divided into two parts – the highlands and the lowlands.

They speak Scottish English, Scots, and Scottish Gaelic. Gaelic is an ancient language shaped by rich history. It is still spoken throughout Scotland by the Scottish people. Gaelic is considered to be the founding language of the country. It was a dominant language in the highlands, whereas the lowland people spoke the language of Scots. Despite all these languages, the Scottish people mainly speak English now.

Scottish culture is a very vibrant and different one. They wear a highland dress that has a kilt and other pieces of clothing (depending on the occasion). They are often associated with the bagpipes; the Scottish bagpipe was established in the British military. Their national dish is known as haggis, whereas whiskey and Irn-Bru both carry the title of the national drink.

A Ceildh is a traditional Gaelic social gathering. People often perform and work on traditional Scottish dances. The Scottish Presbyterian is the official and the largest church in the country. Their national church is protected by law.

What is Irish?

Irish is referred to as the ethnic group native to the island of Ireland. Earlier, Ireland was under British rule and later became an independent state (Republic of Ireland) except the smaller Northern Ireland, which is still part of the United Kingdom. Irish people have their customs, languages, dance, sports, etc.

They speak various languages like Irish Gaelic, English (Hiberno-English dialects), Scots, and Shelta. Irish Gaelic is a Goidelic language of the insular Celtic branch. It was considered to be their main language in the past. But now, mostly all Irish people speak English as their first language.

Irish culture is known for its love of customs and traditions. They established the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) in 1884 to preserve and promote Irish sports. The Celtic pagan festival is celebrated as it dictates the key dates throughout the year; the festival of Imbolc marks the beginning of spring, Bealtaine the beginning of summer, and so on.

Potatoes are considered to be the unofficial mascot of the Irish food scene. Dancing is truly one of the top Irish traditions. These dance styles include – jigs, step dancing, ceili, etc. Trad music is considered to be a beacon of Irish culture. Bouzoukis, uilleann pipes, etc., are a few native instruments. People of Ireland celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day on 17th March, which is considered to be a national holiday.

Main Differences Between Scottish and Irish

  1. Scotland, which is the native country of the Scottish people, is a part of the United Kingdom. It occupies the northern third of Great Britain, whereas Ireland (native country of Irish people) is an independent island in Europe except Northern Ireland, which is a part of the UK.
  2. Scottish people speak Scots, Scottish English, and Scottish Gaelic, whereas Irish people speak Irish Gaelic, Hiberno- English dialect, and Shelta.
  3. The predominant Christian Scottish denomination is the Church of Scotland and then the Roman Catholic, whereas most of the Irish people are Roman Catholic.
  4. Scottish people use words from their language like ‘wee’ whereas Irish people use ‘aye.’ They both have different accents.
  5. The famous food and drink of Scottish people is haggis and whisky, whereas bread, stew, and beer are famous amongst Irish people.


Scotland and Ireland were once under British rule, both have shared history and heritage, and hence they tend to be similar and get compared. Yes, they share a few similarities, but they also have differences in various aspects. They later got separated.

 Scottish and Irish both are world-famous for their cultures, traditions, and people, etc. There are many such diverse cultures all over the world, but all have some kind of importance and value.


  1. https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=r9AcBQAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR1&dq=scottish&ots=YqrgDUXkgZ&sig=saOdq_q71NlRGpwotJaTdvK3_5Q
  2. https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=51tPDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=irish&ots=o3OqLIOpyF&sig=U5Tqt9CiXldQ2slgXmIxtQ2bV38

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