Learn English – the meaning of ‘clusterbourach’


In recent days I've seen the word 'clusterbourach' come up to describe the Brexit process. For example, in the National:

The deal was, he said later, not just a bourach, but a “clusterbourach”.

I've tried looking up this word online but have been unable to find a definition (for example, in the Online Scots Dictionary). I'm guessing from context that it means 'a mess' or something similar. Still, it would be good to get a proper definition.

What does this word mean?

Best Answer

The writer of this article is assuming the reader is familiar with a rather vulgar term, cluster fuck, given by M-W as:

a complex and utterly disordered and mismanaged situation : a muddled mess

I am not that familiar with the term bourach, but one of the meanings given in your own link is "mess." This could be connected to its other meaning of hovel, i.e. dwelling in a bad state of upkeep, but this is conjecture on my part.

So the writer has either made playful use of some rhetorical parallelism by adding the cluster in front of bourach for emphasis, or a slightly humorous attempt to bowdlerize his statement by replacing the vulgar portion of cluster fuck with something else. Whether the attempt worked and got the desired effect is another question.