Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Phrase: The side of my house is marked by football imprints

The phrase "meh wa's aw ba' dabs is one peculiar to Dundee although the phenomenon would have been known throughout central Scotland.  It is a product of urban housing estates during the late 1950's to 2000 where Local Authorities pulled down the 19th century tenements in favour of terraced and semi detached housing schemes.  This style of housing with grass and communal areas around the houses also opened up the architectural element of the gable end.

To children requiring a suitable surface for a goal to practice football the gable end was unrivalled. It could be used to prevent the ball from running past the goal or in a "touch" style game where a minimal number of players was required. The inevitable accumulation of mud on the ball had the habit of being transferred to the wall leaving the eponymous "ba dab"

Householders were inevitably unimpressed with this and the representations to the participants parents invariably came in the form of " Meh wa's aw ba' dabs",  followed by a No Football sign.