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Updated 06/21/2013


Kiltiquette (Kilt Etiquette)

A kilted man inevitably attracts admiring spectators drawn like moths to the flame, or termites to a caber.  These Admirers, who are often given to calling out such endearments as “Kiltie, Kiltie, cauld bum, cannae keep a warm one!” or “Donald! Where’s your troosers?”  See a kilted Scot as an adventurer who walks the thin line between Presbyterian and prurient, between bard and barbarian, between tradition and tramp.  However, to avoid inadvertently offending the delicate sensibilities of spectators, men should observe the following rules of kilt etiquette:

1.   Walk, do not run.  If you must walk quickly, keep both hands on your sporran.  If your sporran is up around your neck, you’re walking much too fast.

2.   Do not walk up the globe stairs for an autographed CD signed by the lovely Miranda, fiddler to the Glengarry Bhoys.

3.   Do not stoop, crouch or squat to pick up anything from the floor.  Have a friend pick up the object for you.  If your friend will not oblige, kick the object to a secluded place before you retrieve it.

4.   Do not wear shiny new shoes.  Dull them a little (perhaps with mud or mince) or wear spats and establish your credentials as the fashion trend setter that you are.

5.   Do not stand at the edge of reflective fountains or any mirror-like puddles.  On those formal events where you must wear silver buckles on your shoes, do not stand still for longer then five seconds at a time.  Dance instead.

6.   However, dance nothing more boisterous then a slow waltz.  Reserve wild reels, jigs and flings for family gatherings where your identity requires no further elaboration, or for those occasions when your anonymity is assured.  Limbo dancing in a kilt at any time definitely breaches kilt etiquette.

7.   Respond only with an enigmatic smile to any questions about what is worn under your kilt.  Avoid responding with the tired cliché “Nothing is worn under my kilt; everything is in fine working order”.  Similarly, do not offer any demonstrations of what is worn under your kilt.  An offer such as “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” can be misconstrued as the opening salvo in an ever escalating series of challenges and exhibitions which might be illegal in public places, even between consenting adults.

8.   Shaving of one’s legs is unnecessary. However, hirsute highlanders who elect to wax the hair from their legs should wax the whole leg and not just the knee area displayed between kilt and hose.  Such false economies only contribute to the myth of the cheap Scot.  Also, it is considered in poor taste to suggest private viewings of your “kilt-line”.

9.   Do not sit with one leg crossed over the other.  This position requires you to un-cross your legs later, a tricky maneuver mastered by only a select few after years of training.  Always sit with your knees no more than six inches apart, thus creating enough shadow for mystery and discretion.  Avoid soft recliners, swings or rocking chairs where the sitter’s knees may move above shoulder leve

10.  Observance of these simple guidelines allows one to wear the kilt with panache and ensures your own confident decorum, all while providing your adoring audience with a stirring but not unsettling spectacle.