WHAT’S in a word? Apparently a lot of confusion when it is spoken with a Scottish accent at Westminster.

UK Government ministers are often left open-mouthed and Hansard reporters scratching their heads when an Honourable Member from north of the Border gets up and utters a Scotticism or speaks with a broad Scottish accent.

SNP MPs’ use of the word “bourach” was the latest Scottish word that caused a deal of confusion on the green benches during the Brexit debate.

Ministers, MPs and reporters have often made a dash to Google to find out what was meant as Scottish Members dropped in some local vernacular to their speeches.

So, the last Labour Government left parts of Britain "scunnered", Parliament's rules were "mince" and ministers were guilty of treating MPs as a bunch of "gowks".

Ian McCartney, the diminutive former Labour MP for Makerfield in Greater Manchester, had such a strong Glaswegian accent that Hansard had to employ a Scots reporter, who could understand him.

The latest victim of the quizzical look is Alan Brown, the MP for Kilmarnock and Loudoun, who is proud of his thick Ayrshire accent but admits it can leave others somewhat baffled.

"It first became really clear to me not just when it was ministers looking to respond but it became a running joke with my colleagues that even if I asked a two-line question Hansard would send me a note asking me to confirm what I said.

"As a matter of course, if you do a speech they ask for your speech notes but with me it's even just a question."

Mr Brown said whenever he got up to speak, he noticed the Minster slink back into their green leather bench and put their ear right up against the speaker embedded in it.

"David Davis[the Brexit Secretary], he almost laughs when he sees me standing up. You can see him, by default, move his ear to the speaker," explained Mr Brown.

"Liam Fox[a Scot] struggles too. There are a few; it's hard to pick them all out.”

The backbencher noted: "Sometimes you know if you have caught them out, they hide behind it - they say 'I didn't catch what the member said', and they say they'll write to me, but my inbox hasn't been inundated with letters."

The issue has become a running joke with his colleagues, who poke fun at the frequent letters from Hansard requesting a Brown translation.

While he takes the issue in good humour, the MP said it could at times be frustrating as he struggled to get a straight answer to his questions and had taken to speaking more slowly during Commons debates. Yet even then several Tory MPs had confessed that they still could not follow him.

He added: "One last wee aside: my wife is actually American and I take the view if her family can understand my accent, the people in Westminster should be able to as well."