Description: During the first few days of May maidens must check what men wear under the kilt.
Origin: Victorian Scottish
Traditionally a Scotsman wears nothing beneath the kilt - this was a matter of pride amongst the clans for hundreds of years. However, in Victorian times when men were becoming softer and moving away from traditional pastimes of fighting the English and worrying sheep, there arose a superstition that men wearing pants under the kilt would become infertile. A custom arose that, once the colder months were clear (and no excuses left for wearing pants) any maiden spotting a young kilted man would have to lift his kilt to make sure he was 'all man' underneath - this became known as 'Upling the Kilt'. Making sure that no unnecessary garments were being worn ensured that the young men of Scotland kept the fertility required to father lots of bairns and so keep the clans strong.
The custom continues to this day - much to the dismay of American and Japanese visitors who dare to wear the kilt while walking down Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow.
What does a Scotsman wear
under the kilt
Note: These superstitions
were researched and written by Stuart Macfarlane (Website:
and Tom Metcalfe (Website:
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