Created By: Rainbow on October 8, 2010
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Thrifty Scot

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I noticed this trope was mentioned on the pages about Jewish people being stereotyped as cheap and/or greedy, and it gets a mention on the National Stereotypes page, but there's no page for this old Scottish stereotype trope. Basically, the stereotype is that Scottish people are thrifty and always save their money.

Examples: (all the ones I can think of at the moment are Disney ones, but I'm sure there are non-Disney examples out there)

The Disney cartoon Pigs Is Pigs has a thrifty Scot start the whole conflict--Mc Morehouse is convinced that guinea pigs are "pets" and not "pigs," not on a scientific basis, but because the shipping rate for pigs is 48 cents while pets go for only 44 cents. (I am not sure if he was obviously Scottish in the original Pigs Is Pigs book aside from his name, but the cartoon gives him a Scottish accent and stereotypical outfit.)

Scrooge Mc Duck has a Scottish accent

Angus Mc Badger in the Disney version of Wind in the Willows is Scottish and is in charge of Toad's money

The wartime cartoon "Spirit of '43" starring Donald Duck has Donald's thrifty side represented by a Scottish duck.
Community Feedback Replies: 15
  • October 8, 2010
    thegrenekni3t
    On The Jack Benny Program, Mary Livingstone once joked that Jack was so cheap that when two Scotsmen meet, one of them says to the other, "did you hear the one about Jack Benny?"
  • October 8, 2010
    Tannhaeuser
    In the Looney Tunes short, "My Bunny Lies Over the Sea," Bugs is able to get his Scottish opponent at golf to insist that Bugs take the lowest number of strokes at a hole by presenting it as an auction and letting the Scotsman lower his "bid."
  • October 8, 2010
    Rainbow
    That same cartoon also has an earlier scene where the Scotsman shoots one bullet at Bugs and then runs and picks it back up to use it again, saying "It's been in the family for years!" Implying that he's so thrifty he reuses bullets!
  • October 9, 2010
    CrypticMirror
    This Stereotype was, if not created by, popularised by Scottish comedian Harry Lauder in the late 19th and early 20thC who made ultra-thriftyness part of his act and would hold to it anytime he was in public. In private he was a very generous man and a heavy tipper. As a side note, within Scotland itself this stereotype is held to be an attribute of citizens of Aberdeen.
  • October 9, 2010
    Jordan
    Flashman's father-in-law is one of these, as well as a Corrupt Corporate Executive. IIRC, he's from Aberdeen.
  • October 9, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    • The Tex Avery cartoons "The TV of Tomorrow" and "The Car of Tomorrow" both have a "Thrifty Scotchman's model" joke (a flashlight for the former, a pedal-powered car on the latter).
    • The first appearance of Joc on Lady And The Tramp has him taking a bone to his secret statch, being careful not to be seen. When Lady calls him, he quickly sits on the bones to try to hide them.
  • October 9, 2010
    Sackett
    I thought it was the Swiss that are thrifty?
  • October 9, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    Comes with the mountains.
  • October 9, 2010
    Jordan
    A bit of an addition to my post- it's kind of interesting the OP mentions this in connection with the Greedy Jew- because in the Flashman books, Flashman tends to make anti-Semitic comments in respect to his father-in-law (like saying he's richer or greedier than a Jew).

    In another book by Fraser, The Pyrates, there's this one character Vladmir (Something I forget, but it was Scottish) Grunbaum- he's this CMOT Dibbler character with a cockney accent- the Russian first name, Scottish middle-name, and Jewish last name is to cover on all fronts groups stereotyped as shady businessmen.
  • October 9, 2010
    AThousandWinds
    This stereotype was the source of a lot of jokes about Gordon Brown when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer.
  • October 9, 2010
    VincentGaribaldi
    There was a Saturday Night Live skit featuring James Bond (Sean Connery incarnation) as this when MI 6 wasn't picking up the tab. He was working a casino for everything he could get for free.
  • October 9, 2010
    Rainbow
    @Cryptic Mirror: I did not know that the stereotype was popularized in that way! Thank you for the information, I had just thought it was an old stereotype that possibly had to do with Calvinism. (I've read in some places that the popularity of Calvinism in Scotland at one point was part of why they have a "dour and thrifty" stereotype. I've also heard that it's more of a Lowlands stereotype and that the Highlands Scots more have the Brave Scot image and are stereotyped more like the Irish are.)
  • October 9, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    Ren And Stimpy did this one. They were trying to remove a wallet from a sleeping Scotsman, but it was attached like an umbilical cord, waking him up.
  • October 10, 2010
    rlkitterman
    Seen in Condorito where Condorito says the way to tell a Scotsman is dead is to see if he's let go of his money.
  • October 10, 2010
    CrypticMirror
    As a Lowland Scot, I've never seen that stereotype applied to us. Possibly people from Edinburgh, due that being where the rich people all went to after becoming rich. It really is Aberdonians that get the tight as a duck's arse jokes here.
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