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  1. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #1

    Question Govan's 'creme de la scum'

    Just before Newsnight on Wednesday evening, there was a loud bang and the lights went out. Well, I say 'just before Newsnight'... Actually, as I couldn't stomach yet another wrist-slashing analysis of Alistair Darling's pre-election statement or the latest pious update from the Copenhagen 'climate change' summit, I was watching a re-run of Rab C Nesbitt.
    If I want to see an incomprehensible Scotsman tilting at windmills, give me Govan's 'creme de la scum' any day of the week.
    Read more: RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: I've seen the future and it's dark and goes 'beep' | Mail Online

    Q1: What does 'creme de la scum' mean? Was it coined by the journalist? I learned a word -creme de la creme before. Do it mean the worst?

    Q2: What is 'Govan'? Is it a place name in Scotland? I got the info. from Wikipedia, but I don't understand what the journalist referred to in this context. Could you please explain it for me?

    Q3: I don't understand what the journalist wrote about "an incomprehensible Scotsman tilting at windmills". Who is an incomprehensive Scotman? Why did the journalist mention him?

    Thanks!


    • Join Date: Dec 2009
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    #2

    Re: Govan's 'creme de la scum'

    (Not a teacher, but a Scotsman)

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    Q1: What does 'creme de la scum' mean? Was it coined by the journalist? I learned a word -creme de la creme before. Do it mean the worst?

    Q2: What is 'Govan'? Is it a place name in Scotland? I got the info. from Wikipedia, but I don't understand what the journalist referred to in this context. Could you please explain it for me?

    Q3: I don't understand what the journalist wrote about "an incomprehensible Scotsman tilting at windmills". Who is an incomprehensive Scotman? Why did the journalist mention him?

    Thanks!
    A few things I should say before I answer these things. Gordon Brown - Prime Minister of the UK and presumably the person at the Copenhagan summit - is Scottish. Rab C Nesbitt is a character from an old sitcom about an unemployed, alcoholic Scotsman. Rab C Nesbitt was also set in Govan.

    Q1: Yes, the journalist is taking 'creme de la creme' which I suppose means people who are of the highest social level, and is making it 'scum'. So he means people who are of the lowest social level. So yes, it means the worst, by social class. Also, I presume the writer didn't coin the phrase, and that it has been used before to describe Rab C Nesbitt, who would fit the description.

    Q2: Govan is a place in Scotland, and it is generally viewed as being a place with mainly working-class residents. As I said, Rab C Nesbitt was set in Govan, and so when he said 'Govan's 'creme de la scum'' I assume he means the character Rab C Nesbitt.

    Q3: The Incomprehensible Scotsman is Gordon Brown, I presume. Tilting at Windmills is an idiom which means 'to fight with imaginary opponents' - presumably referring to the climate change summit.

    So, really, he means "If I want to see an incomprehensible Scotsman tilting at windmills, I would rather watch Rab C Nesbitt than the Prime Minister".

    I hope that it is more clear to you now.

  2. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Govan's 'creme de la scum'

    Thank you very much for your nice answers. I've understood.

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