Things in Scots: Running the Asset Edition – Stick the Heid Oan


I swithered over posting this one or not, mainly because of the length of the post’s title. Ultimately, I decided to share this because it’s one of those phrases that I don’t think twice about using when I’m writing. I’ve always felt that it’s an easily translatable phrase, but I started to think of some English phrases/puns that I never understood until they were explained. So, I thought it wise to find out how easy or hard it is to understand today’s TiS.

[A quick example: In Scotland, The Shaun the Sheep movie/show is thought of as just a wee sheep called Shaun. It wasn’t until recently that we found out it was supposed to be a pun. I wracked my brain trying to figure it out but failed. It wasn’t until Jez explained the joke (in England, the word shorn is pronounced without the ‘r’, making it sound like Shaun) that it made sense, though the humour was lost in translation for me.]

Here’s the snippet… (unedited first draft)

“I’ll do it,” Elle said.

Dani stared at Elle like her sister had been replaced with a crazed imposter.

“Sounds like a simple enough plan.” Killian focused on Elle, ignoring Adam’s glower. “What else do you need?” 

Dani was out of her chair, crowding Killian, murder in her eyes. “She’s not doing it.”

At least someone saw things as clearly as Adam. Things were getting out of control, and sending Elle in tonight would only get her killed. Adam stepped between Killian and Dani. “Find another way, got it?” He emphasised the ‘got it’ with a hard shove.

Killian shoved him back. “You’re not running this op anymore. I am. You go in as her backup, or she goes solo.”

It took every last ounce of self-control Adam had to not stick the heid oan Killian and knock him the fuck out. “She’s done.”

Running the Asset (Deniable Unit #1)

🤞 Stick the heid oan… Okay, first, we’ll tackle each part of the phrase. Stick, in this instance, means to put or hit. Heid means head. Oan means on. The whole phrase in English would be hit the head on, but it doesn’t convey the entire meaning. To stick the heid oan someone is to headbutt them, hard.

That’s it for this week

I hope you enjoyed this post. I’d love to hear your comments on how easy or difficult it was to get the gist of stick the heid oan as it appeared in the quote.

Interested in some Scots words from Running the Asset that are a wee bit too hot for the site? (The first spicy snippet is hitting inboxes in the next week or two!) Sign up for my newsletter and get them straight to your inbox.

If you find yourself inspired by the Scots words I share, add the tag #TiS or #ThingsinScots to your writing/art/photo post and drop your link in the comments.

If you want to see more Scots posts, check out the original series, Things in Scots.

Thanks for reading. Take care, and I hope to see you next week for more Scots on Fiction Friday!

Author: Susan T. Braithwaite

Royal Navy veteran from Scotland. My journey into writing started with a screenwriting certificate program at UCLA Ext. Since then, I've worked as a freelance content writer, erotica author, proofreader, professional beta reader, and content editor. I'm now working hard on my dream writing career: romantic suspense author. When I'm not writing, I can be found drinking too much coffee, obsessing over yarn, and planning world domination with my husband,, and our squirrel army.​

13 thoughts on “Things in Scots: Running the Asset Edition – Stick the Heid Oan

  1. Chris Hall says:

    That one did require an explanation! I simply skimmed over it when I read the paragraph since it was pretty clear a lot of damage was involved. However, I do know the ‘Glasgow kiss’ which is just the same as a ‘Liverpool kiss’.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Chris! 💖 I think this is one I’ll have to cut; I’m so glad I tested it first 😂 Ah, yes the Glesga kiss… not one of my favourite phrases to be honest.

      1. Chris Hall says:

        No, nor me. Same with the Scouse one.

  2. Judy says:

    That one was tougher. I figured it was some form of hitting but never thought of the head. I’d need a glossary.

    1. Thanks so much for letting me know, Judy! I think I’ll cut this one out, or have a direct mention of headbutting to make it clearer. Thanks, again! 🤗

      1. Judy says:


  3. bushboy says:

    Got the hit part but not the rest. It didn’t make sense as a headbutt to me.
    I did have a good laugh at your not getting the Shaun Sheep name sorry 😂

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Brian! I’m so glad I tested it out on the site 🤣 Ach, well, I’ll either cut it out or have him mention headbutt in connection with the phrase.
      No apology needed. You’d have been laughing your head off if you’d seen Scottish Twitter’s reaction to Shaun being a pun. None of us got it; I think there was even an article/blog post about it somewhere 🤣🤣🤣

  4. Hi Susan, I got the heid oan as Head on, but not the “stick the heid oan” aftrer the explanation I got it!

  5. Ahahaha 😂🤣😂 – Noo A git hit … Shawn the shorn sheep…. 😂🤣😂
    A lik Shawn, he’s braw.

    First A thocht “Stick the heid oan” means tae “put one’s head on” as in “start tae uise yer brain”. Frae the context I kent the actual meanin, but.

    1. Thanks fir the feedback, Stefanie! (A hidnae thocht o uisin yer brain! Ats a guid yin.)

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