The First Foot Guards

We are a Revolutionary War reenactment group based in Boston MA,
accurately portraying the royal household regiment that is now known as
The Grenadier Guards



Scots Guards
Scottish Guards
Scotch Guards

The usage is fixed to 'Scots Guards', but could it not have been Scottish Guards or Scotch Guards?

The answer is 'yes, it could have been' for all three are acceptable forms: it's just that it was formalized one particular way. Anyway, 'Scotchgard' is now a 3M Company trademark for a stain-resisting application to carpets, and 'Scotch' (in the US at least) has become associated with whisky.

As the American Heritage Dictionary points out, the adjective has become fossilized in certain usages:
Scotch broth
Scotch whisky
Scottish rite (Masonic)
Scots Guards


"The American Heritage® Book of English Usage.
A Practical and Authoritative Guide to Contemporary English. 1996.

§ 59. Scottish
Scottish is the full, original form of the adjective. Scots is an old Scottish variant of the form, while Scotch is an English contraction of Scottish that at one time also came into use in Scotland (as in Robert Burnsís "O thou, my Muse! guid auld Scotch drink!") but subsequently fell into disfavor. To some extent these facts can serve as a guide in choosing among the many variant forms of related words, such as Scot, Scotsman or Scotswoman, or Scotchman or Scotchwoman, for one of the people of Scotland; Scots, (the) Scotch, or, rarely, (the) Scottish for the people of Scotland; and Scots, Scotch, or Scottish for the dialect of English spoken in Scotland. The forms based on Scotch are English and disfavored in Scotland, while those involving the full form Scottish tend to be more formal. In the interest of civility, forms involving Scotch are best avoided in reference to people. But there is no sure rule for referring to things, since the history of variation in the use of these words has also left many expressions in which the choice is fixed, such as Scotch broth, Scotch whisky, Scottish rite, and Scots Guards. "


More interesting stuff from the AHED on
social, racial and ethnic terms

Next Foot Guards article


Home ] [ About The Guards ] Join The Guards ] Gallery ] History ] Interesting Articles ] Useful Links ] Guards Events ] Past Events ] Administration ]