I’ve never understood the phrase ‘Whaddya think this is – Scotch mist?’ often said with more than a heavy hint of sarcasm when someone simply can’t see something that’s right in front of them, as if it’s suddenly become transparent, invisible. To me it’s always seemed such an odd use of both words?
For a start, ‘Scotch’ is whisky – it’s the word ‘Scottish’ that means something from Scotland. So in my younger days I used to have imaginative visions of people getting such a surprise at something while drinking a wee dram that they would spray a mouthful of whisky all over the place – now that to me would be Scotch mist!
And anyway, the kind of mist you get in Scotland is anything but invisible or insubstantial, it’s more like having a fine filmy gossamer rain spritzing your skin as you wander damply through a low-lying cloud. Although perhaps there is an other-worldly ephemeral nature to the experience rather than the reality of it, it does sometimes feel ghostly to be in and it certainly chills you to your bones?
Mind you, although the mist itself creates a cold wet blanket of grey, it does also mean a vapour cloak of invisibility descends silently over eveything else, causing it to disappear from view? Hmmm… So if anyone out there can possibly shed light on the etymology of this very odd phrase, I’d be more than happy to be enlightened – even trustly old Google hasn’t helped me find any clarity this time… sigh!