City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Bawbag Takes Web By Storm


By edg - Posted on 08 December 2011

The high winds in Edinburgh are now easing, with transport and schools expected to be back on a normal footing tomorrow. Bawbag is receding.

Bawbag? A twisting of linguistic wires meant that today's #scotstorm on Twitter became #hurricanebawbag or #bawbag to use just its name alone, as one does with any great hurricane.

So what is a "bawbag"? For those who have not been on planet Twitter today, or coccooned in a quiet space from the raging Bawbag outside, it is a "ball sack" usually "a scrotum", and often used as a derogoratory term for someone ("Wha' a bawbag!").

As Bawbag raged across Scotland at wind speeds of up to 77mph in Edinburgh and as much as 165mph in the Cairngorm mountains (8mph short of the all-time record), media outlets and even councils started using the #hurricanebawbag and #bawbag Twitter hashtags to relay storm news.

Twitter users around the world were sent scouring Wikipedia and the web for bawbag definitions and then joined in. You wont find it in the Oxford English Dictionary ("Did you mean babbage, baba, babas, beanbag?"), but after today "bawbag" will likely find more widespread use.

There were chuckles as BBC Scotland presenter Eddie Mair discovered the meaning of bawbag live on radio (listen).

At one point, #hurricanebawbag was one of the top trending hashtags globally on Twitter and bawbag's Facebook page was adding thousands of users each hour.  

Here's a selection of Tweets about Bawbag today:

  • pazpaz PAZ
    American hurricane namers are lazy. They pick easy ones like "George" and "Kate". Only in Scotland could they come up with #HurricaneBawbag
  • ScotsRon Ronnie
    . . . Dear Embra, Here huv aw oor discarded crisp pokes. Yours as ayeways, Glasgow. . . . #HurricaneBawbag
  • Lockiebaws Leigh L
    Braw weather for drying a washing within 3 minutes. If you don't mind picking it up 10 streets away like. #hurricanebawbag
  • SealScotland SealScotland
    Dear Edinburgh, please can we get our wheelie bins back? Love Glasgow #HurricaneBawbag
  • JaniceForsyth Janice Forsyth
    Eddie has said #HurricaneBawbag! on @BBCRadio4. He said it twice. I love Eddie. I still hate the word. @bawbag - don't take it personally.
  • dhothersall Duncan Hothersall
    As #HurricaneBawbag passes from west to east we prepare to change its name: once it passes Harthill it becomes #YoullHaveHadYourBreeze
  • stephenpglenn Stephen Glenn
    Only Scottish people would get #hurricanebawbag trending. You may take our garden furniture, but you'll never take our banter!
  • euan_d ED
    Let the wind blow high Let the wind blow low Through the streets in a kilt I go All the lassies shout "hello!" Donald where's yer #bawbag
  • MediaCom_Murray Murray Calder
    It cannae be that bad. There's still wee men in bunnets sparkin up outside pubs the length o Leith Walk. #hurricanebawbag
  • Tomas_Werner Tomáš Werner
    Skotsko dnes zasahla cyklona s vetrem o rychlosti 265 km/h, coz odpovida hurikanu nejvyssiho, 5. stupne goo.gl/vYehi #bawbag
  • KrystalBrookes Krystal Brookes
    Scotland: We gave the world telephones, televisions, tarmacadam, tyres and now... we give the world the term #bawbag. Our work is done
  • jonnyatkins Jonny Atkins
    Looks like we caught a little bit of #Bawbag in London. Is that why train's not moving? #twago
  • GrumpyOldErse Dragon Slayer
    I see hurricane #bawbag is in full swing, Had yer kilts doon or your boaby will shrink and fall off.
  • ScotsRon Ronnie
    Bawbag can also be a term of endearment - as in quot;aw'right bawbag" . . . More usually used as a description - as in "he's a bit of a bawbag"

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Here's the set of photographs of that wind turbine in Ardrossan (N Ayrshire) wind farm that caught fire.

Apparently, the turbine had been braked and then caught fire after it was hit by 165 mph winds.