Why Scottish people love to ‘hurkle-durkle’ — and how this sleep habit is good for your health


Believe it or not, you probably already love to “hurkle-durkle” — a Caledonian colloquialism that’s trending globally on English-language social media.

We’ve all been there: the alarm is going off and you know it’s time to start the day — but you, cradled in cozy bedding, choose to linger.

According to the Dictionaries of the Scots Language, to hurkle-durkle is “to lie in bed or lounge about when one should be up and about.”

The difference between these two recently viral sleep trends is that bed rotting implies an indefinite state of sloth at any time of day, while hurkle-durkling is exclusive to the morning hours.

The Scottish term dates back to the 1800s — with “hurkle” being defined as “to draw the body together,” according to the reference book An Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language.

As explained in a viral TikTok video with 3.9 million views, “The Scottish have a word for laying around in bed after it’s time to get up, and it’s called ‘hurkle-durkling.'”

“I do be hurkling and I do be durkling, and once I’ve hurkled by last durkle in a given morning, I will get up,” the soundbyte’s creator Kira Kosarin quipped. “But I’m a big fan of a hurkle-durkle.”

Now hundreds of years later, the TikTok zeitgeist has latched on to the highly relatable vocabulary word, and using the trend to show off their leisurely mornings online.

“POV you live on a Scottish island and have been snowed in and hurkle-durkling all week,” one TikTok user captioned a video of her relaxing in bed while it snows outside.

A user on Instagram used Kosarian’s audio for a similar reel, captioning her video, “If this audio doesn’t summarize my weekends perfectly, not sure what does.”

TikTok user from Scotland furthermore claimed that to hurkle-durkle is good for the body and soul.

“Hurkle-durkle is a 200-year-old Scots term that means lounging in bed well past the time you were supposed to get up,” she said in a TikTok with over 719,000 views. “That’s right. They knew it was so critical to well-being they made a whole term about it.”

“So no I’m not being lazy or wasting my life. I’m practicing an ancestral right of passage. I’m connecting with my culture and heritage,” she joked.

Previous studies have shown that embracing lazy mornings really could be a boon to well-being.

A December 2023 study published in the journal Sleep Health suggests that sleeping in on the weekends could actually save your life in the long run.

Researchers found that an extra two hours of sleep on the weekend can reduce the chances of a heart attack or stroke by 63% — especially for people who get less than six hours of sleep during the week.

“We found that WCS [weekend catch-up sleep] in adults is associated with a low risk of angina, stroke and coronary heart disease,” the researchers wrote.

The sleep-deprived who allowed themselves to hit snooze on their days off were two-thirds less likely to experience life-threatening medical emergencies.

Additionally, research from October 2023 found that getting a few more minutes of sleep after snoozing your alarm could actually help avid snoozers wake up.

The study, published in the Journal of Sleep Research, found that people who snoozed regularly got additional sleep and were more cognitively alert upon waking, despite the disturbed sleep.

So hurkle-durkle to your heart’s desire — it’s self-care, after all.

1 comment : Why Scottish people love to ‘hurkle-durkle’ — and how this sleep habit is good for your health

  1. K Thu
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