Is a Scottish kilt a skirt? An eBay argument

Fredrick Facedass

Fredrick Facedass (pictured) is eBay's trickiest customer. Whether he's trying to recover his stolen phone, demand his wife sit in vinegar, or haggle over a valuable collector's item, no one is safe from this loon.

Fredrick is a kind and considerate man and he never means to irritate the innocent sellers, but his peculiar and persistent line of questioning often does. Much like this poor chap trying to sell his kilt, a particularly topical exchange given this week's Scottish Independence vote...

eBay advert for a wool kilt

From: redfacedass
To: steviecree

Dear Stevie Cree,

Sadly my aunty has just passed away (when I recently visited her she really did seem to be in a lot of distress, so I suppose it's for the best).

The funeral is coming up and the old lady went a bit (a lot) senile in her old age and made drastic changes to her will, mostly benefiting my bank balance ;)

One very strange amendment she made to her will was that she wanted a traditional Scottish funeral and everyone to dress appropriately. Our family is Greek Cypriot with absolutely no connection to the Scots whatsoever, so I'm sure you will appreciate this is a strange decision?

In two weeks' time there will be about 40 Cypriot men all dressed in kilts at a funeral in Macclesfield! (What a funny world we all live in now!)

Just wondering, is kilt Gaylic for skirt?

Growing up in Cyprus and then in East London, if I had worn a skirt before now, I probably would have been murdered! (Cyprus was rather homophobic whilst I grew up though).

Why do the Scots wear skirts??

Can I wear a belt with this particular skirt you're selling? Sometimes I take a 34 or 36-inch waist and I certainly don't want this falling down (or up if I were upside down!).

Is the colour suitable for a funeral?

Warm regards Fredrick

From: steviecree
To: redfacedass

Hello Fredrick,

I do take great offence of the amount of times you have called our "National Dress" a skirt!

You perhaps should have done your research before contacting me. Kilt is Gaelic for bed! Maybe watch Braveheart for this one?

You mentioned Homophobic... be assured if you ever stated anything in this vain to a Scotsman you would end up hospital. We are a very proud nation!

You do wear a belt, a sporn, a shirt, a jacket, brogue shoes and wool socks... again before you decide to bid do your research. I suggest that you put in your eBay search bar full dress kilt - this will give you a fair idea. Also due to the belts at the side the Kilt goes from a size 34 - a size 36.

From: redfacedass
To: steviecree

Dear Stevie,

I am terribly sorry to have caused offence. You are right I should perhaps have done my own research before contacting yourself. I am a little old fashioned, in that I prefer to get my facts and figures from an actual person, rather than the computer (I don't trust computers), hope you understand...

However following your suggestion, I have done a little computer-based research:

Firstly, I have taken note that you prefer people to refer to the kilt as a 'Dress', rather than a 'Skirt' (I will try not to use this word again out of respect for you).

It seems Scotsmen started wearing dresses in the late 16th century; at this point in time it was a full body item with a cloaked top which could be worn over the head or fell loosely around the shoulders. By the late 17th century the top part of the dress had gone leaving only the bottom half of the dress (referred to in other countries as a skirt (sorry)).

It seems the Scotsmen have decided to keep the traditional title of 'Dress' or 'National Dress' despite the drastic alterations in the garment over time, which we should respect. Please do correct me if I am wrong, after all this did come from a computer?

I took on board your suggestion to watch Braveheart to investigate 'kilt' being Gaelic for bed, but found nothing? I did, however, find out that Braveheart has many factual inaccuracies - a major one being the term 'Braveheart'. This was never actually applied to 'William Wallace' (lead character in the film), it was used for 'Robert the Bruce'?! On top of that the movie portrays 'Wallace' and his largely lowland Scotsmen as wearing kilts/dresses, whereas lowlanders did not wear dresses at that time! I have therefore decided to dismiss Braveheart from our research into your national dresses. Hope you understand why I HAD to make that decision.

I did also look up the dictionary definition of kilt too, but I fear you will not like it!

Kilt n.
A knee-length skirt (sorry*) with deep pleats, usually of a tartan wool, worn as part of the dress for men in the Scottish Highlands.

A skirt (sorry*) worn by women, girls, and boys.

* 'sorry' wasn't in the dictionary (I added it out of respect)

You say that your nation is proud to be homophobic - I do think that is a little sad in this day and age, that a whole nation can feel this way. It is a little ironic though that the Scots are the ones wearing dresses!

Well it has been nice chatting with you and look forward to hearing from you soon,


From: steviecree
To: redfacedass

Please STOP sending emails.

Ask A Silly Question - Messages from eBay's trickiest customer

The above is an extract from Ask a Silly Question: Messages From eBay's Trickiest Customer, a collection of completely genuine email exchanges between the quirky Fredrick Facedass and the online sellers of eBay.

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