February 2012

Glasgow's Razor Gangs

And Their Modern Heirs

Glasgow, like many large cities, has a history of gang culture, including the infamous “razor gangs” of the 1930s. The razor gangs were so called because of their preference for the straight razor, a weapon used primarily to disfigure the opponent by slicing the face. Most people think of the razor gangs as a thing of the past, but many of the 1930s gangs still exist in some form today.

Scotland Before The Clans

Cinneal, Tuath and Mormaer

The first tribe or “tuath” of Gaelic Scots was known as the Dalriada. The territories of the Dalriada spanned what is now the western Highlands as well as eastern Ireland, and the political and cultural affinities of the Dalriada were clearly Irish. Because all of the Gaelic Scots initially belonged to the same tuath, the political divisions in early Gaelic Scotland were not based on the tuath but on the “cinneal” or kindred.


Canadian Scots/Gaelic/Native Creole

The Métis are Canadians of mixed European and Native blood. Many of them are “French Métis,” but there also “Anglo- Métis” communities of which many are actually of Scottish or even Scottish Gaelic ancestry. Some of these communities preserve a unique language called “Bungee,” or “Bungi,” which is a creole of Native languages, Scots, and Gaelic.