One person's scramble is another's poor-oot

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One person's scramble is another's poor-oot

Post by douglas » Sat Oct 30, 2021 2:41 pm

I was brought up in Edinburgh in the 60s and spent many a Saturday in "poor-oots" at local Weddings. It helped living across the road from the local church. My dad, who came from Dunbartonshire called the activity a "scramble", so I am aware of the different names for the same thing - the throwing of money from the wedding party's vehicles to the children gathered there.

What I'm interested in is what this was called in other parts of Scotland. How localised was "poor-oot" to Edinburgh? When did the tradition die out? I seems to remember that it was still done in the early 70s.


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Re: One person's scramble is another's poor-oot

Post by jgmills » Sat Oct 30, 2021 10:44 pm

It is still done today in Glasgow as far as I know,or at least on one occasion, a neighbour of mine (when I was living in Glasgow) had all the relatives met at his house, for his son's wedding they left on a bus and money was thrown out for the kids in the street, this was about 7 years ago, though I don't know what they call it in Glasgow.


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Re: One person's scramble is another's poor-oot

Post by Currie » Mon Nov 01, 2021 10:48 am

Hello Douglas and John,

The Herald, 30 June 2015
THE Scots Word of the Week (The Herald, June 27), “poor oot”, an old Edinburgh expression for the throwing out of coins for children to catch prior to a wedding, reminded me that as youngster in Greenock during the war we had a different expression. When the bridal car was about to leave our tenements the shout would go up: “Scrammy wedding” and we would gather to scramble for the coins that were thrown out to us.
My wife, from a different part of Greenock; commented that if no coins were thrown out to the children the shout would be: “Scabby wedding.”
Bill Robertson,
** *** ******** ****, Bishopton.

The Herald, 14 November 2019
Scheming kids
THE debate continues. We asked whether the tossing of coins from wedding cars to those vulture-like kids who gather for such occasions is a scatter or a scramble. Today’s shocking revelation is it’s… neither. “When I was a wee boy in Telford, Edinburgh, we called it a poor-oot,” reveals Harry Woodward, who is still a resident of that fair city.
“It was probably called that because wedding guests felt obliged to pour out their loose change to those of us not invited to the festivities,” adds Harry. “Although maybe the ‘poor’ referred to our status as ‘schemie’ kids!”.

The Herald, 18 November 2019
Throw away lines
MORE information has come to light regarding the name given to a gang of rascals, rogues and reprobates (ie children) who chase a wedding car in the hope of grabbing pennies tossed in their direction. A Broughty Ferry woman who grew up in Arbroath during the 1940s tells us it wasn’t a scatter, a scramble or a poor-oot: “When we heard on the grapevine of a wedding, we appeared en masse to scramble for the money in what we called a heize,” she explains, before adding. “It was possibly called that because the pennies were thrown high in the air from the wedding taxi. Nobody in our street owned a car!”

Above information is from Factiva via my local library. Factiva newspaper database is also available at NLS.

Hope that’s not in breach of copyright,

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Re: One person's scramble is another's poor-oot

Post by nelmit » Tue Nov 02, 2021 11:09 pm

It's a scramble here in Glasgow. You had to be quick to try and gather what pennies you could before everybody else. I was never ruthless enough at pushing and shoving and used to watch from the sidelines.


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Re: One person's scramble is another's poor-oot

Post by WilmaM » Wed Nov 03, 2021 11:24 am

Another Glasgow girl here - a Scramble for us.
In Falkirk I think it's called a Scatter.

It does still happen, though there are varying ways - Often it's the father of the Bride to throws the money as they are driving away from the family home [ rejoicing that he's got one off his hands?]
or else it's the Bridegroom after the marriage service [ wanting everyone to share his good fortune? or his last act of freedom before the purse-strings are taken over?]
I'd probably get shot down in flames for such remarks, but that's Tradition.

It doesn't happen so often now as the bridal party seem to hide themselves away at 'Wedding Venues' and the friends and neighbours don't get the chance to cheer them on the way.

I seem to remember sweeties being thrown too - but maybe that was at Sunday School Trips?

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Re: One person's scramble is another's poor-oot

Post by Currie » Thu Nov 04, 2021 1:57 pm

Dundee Courier, Tuesday, January 10, 1939

The caption of the photograph reads, “LADIES FIRST didn’t apply to the scramble for coppers after the wedding in Errol of “Red” Thomson and Miss Henderson. That is, unless they were able to hold their own in the battle, as one young lady in this picture seems to be doing.”

Evening Telegraph, Dundee, July 19, 1937

An ice-cream vendor showed his opportunism in Auchtermuchty the other day when he drew up his barrow near the place where a wedding was being celebrated, and waited.
When the bridal party appeared, a crowd of children raised the old cry of “Hard up, poor oot,” which was answered with a shower of coppers for which the children scrambled.
Then with their hard-won pennies they made tracks for the ice-cream barrow, and the vendor was soon doing a roaring trade.

There were many newspaper reports of children being injured by being run over by cars etc


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