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Last Updated: Monday, 2 April 2007, 23:15 GMT 00:15 UK
'Numpty' voted nation's best word

Scotland's favourite word is "numpty", according to a survey conducted for a children's charity.

The nickname for an idiot beat more politically correct entries such as "love", "hope" and "family", which were more popular in other parts of the UK.

The list was compiled by BT Openreach, which asked 50,000 people to contribute a word worth a pound each to the charity I Can.

Other words winning Scotland's vote included "peelywally" and "scunnered".

People in Scotland said numpty was a great word to describe "general foolishness" and said it "could be used in many ways".

It seems that we're not just a romantic people - we're playful too
Professor David Crystal

The nation's love of football was also reflected in the survey, with 'Hibernian' the most popular choice in the Lothians and 'Rangers' topping the league in Lanarkshire.

In the Highlands, Inverness Caledonian Thistle's finest footballing hour, a victory over Celtic at Parkhead, was commemorated with what may have been the longest entry of all - 'supercaleygoballisticcelticareatrocious'.

People across Britain took part in the online challenge to create a 'Wall of Words'.

By submitting more than 50,000 words, contributors triggered a 50,000 donation to I Can, a charity which works to develop children's speech, language and communication skills.

'Love' appeared in the Wall more than 600 times, making it the UK's favourite word.

'Fascinating project'

It proved particularly popular with women, who were five times more likely to opt for it than men.

British males voted 'antidisestablishmentarianism' their favourite word with 'onomatopoeia' also in their top 10.

Professor David Crystal, a linguist, said: "It's heart-warming to see that, despite all our daily pressures and worries, so many positive emotional words are turning up in this list.

"It seems that we're not just a romantic people - we're playful too."

Bob Downes, director of Openreach Scotland, said: "This has been a fascinating project, which has revealed a great deal about the hearts, minds and sense of humour of people in Scotland."

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