Scotland politics

Scotch Eggsit? Rebranding the referendum

Yes2 sticker Image copyright AFP
Image caption The pro-independence side are keen to rebrand any new referendum so it doesn't appear to be a re-run of 2014

A second Scottish independence referendum appears more likely than ever, with the Scottish government pressing for a vote sometime in the next two years. But within the debate over when and if there should be a vote, there are also divisions over what it should be called.

As Nicola Sturgeon launched her bid for a new referendum, she also launched a bid to re-brand; she wants the social media "hashtag" to be "Scotref". However, many have preferred to stick with the "indyref2" title which grew from 2014's first independence vote.

The internet, which always takes such things utterly seriously, has suggested some extra alternatives.


Indyref2 is what you get when you squash "independence referendum two" into eight characters. The original hashtag, where it all began; somewhat bizarrely it appears to have made its debut on Twitter as far back as 2013. Yes, before indyref, um, 1. Beloved of headline writers (you try fitting "second Scottish independence referendum" across the top of a page), this remains the preserve of most media outlets.


Scottish-referendum. The Scottish government's preferred title - they don't like the "2" bit of indyref2, as they don't want to pitch the new vote as a re-run of 2014. Consequentially very popular with supporters of independence - but some have warned they risk getting stuck in a bubble and talking only with like-minded types.


Like 2016 hit Brexit (British-exit), but with Scotland exiting the UK rather than the UK exiting the EU. See also Scoxit, Yexit, Joxit and a hundred other equally upsetting variants. There was a boom in such painful portmanteaus in the aftermath of the EU referendum ("Brexit" was actually itself inspired by "Grexit", referring to a potential Greek exit from the Eurozone at the height of the country's financial crisis), which thankfully seems to be petering out somewhat.


Not a true portmanteau, but a way of shoe-horning the Sc bit of Scotland into existing words about leaving. Here it's "oot", a Scottish variant of "out". See also Scarper and Scram; at a stretch you could add Scout, Scoff or even Scunner (Scotland doing a runner; in Scots if you're fed up with something, you're "scunnered").

Scotch Eggsit

Image copyright Getty Images

A delicious pun which probably doesn't need much more explanation. Other savoury foodstuffs are available; for more culinary examples see "Scone" (Scotland-gone) and Scalloping-off-into-the-sunset (*sigh*).


More popular with opponents of independence, this portmanteau suggests the debate may never end.

Votey McVoteface

There's always one, isn't there?

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