There is a funny wee thing that happens every now and again in the House of Commons: somebody says something Scottish.

Back in 2016 the culprit was Kirsty Blackman. Aberdeen North’s then still-new MP got so het up with Westminster proceedings she called them “mince”.

Fair comment, I guess. But note-takers from Hansard - the wonderful people who record everything said in the mother of parliaments - were baffled. They had to ask Ms Blackman what on Earth she had said.

Cue a bit of “wha’s like us” social media banter.

Most of cases of supposedly confusing Scottishisms go unnoticed. Yet Hansard is a fairly rich resource for anyone studying Britain’s vernaculars. Because even in the most formal of settings, MPs sometimes talk like their constituents.

Alan Brown, East Ayrshire’s man in Westminster, has admitted that stenographers have asked him for written “translations” of some his speeches because they struggle with his accent, maybe even his language.

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Is the use of Scottishisms or even snippets of broad Scots in parliament performative? Is the failure to understand them? Well, sure, maybe sometimes. But mostly we are talking about real people with their own voices, and their own ears. Misunderstandings are going to happen.

And it been this way since 1707. The first Scottish MPs and peers in Westminster after union spoke English - this was already the language of the Edinburgh elite, if not the masses. That, of course, does not mean their new compatriots from south of the border understood everything they said. Or vice versa.

But what if our representatives in London were allowed to speak Scots or Gaelic? Right now they are not. Nobody ever mentions this or appears to care about it. Every MP gets a “say”, as long as it is said in English.

The United Kingdom is explicitly multi-lingual. Its legislature is not. And this is rather, well, interestingly uncontroversial.

Britain officially recognises minority languages like Scots, Welsh, Irish and Gaelic - it even guarantees their protection under international convention - but it does not allow for them to be spoken in its parliament.

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Well, it nearly does not. There are, for what it is worth, arrangements for Welsh to be used in Wales-specific committee proceedings. And MPs have given oaths in their native languages.

But let us be blunt: when it comes to language in Britain, English rules, literally.

Should that change? Should minority languages be aired more in Westminster? Pass. But this is exactly what has happened in Spain.

Last week left-wing caretaker premier Pedro Sánchez agreed for Catalan, Galician and Basque to be used in parliament.

The move was part of a deal with pro-independence and “regionalist” parties to keep the socialist-led government in power after an inconclusive July general election. But it was also, the administration added with some justification, another sign of “progress along the path of linguistic plurality”.

Spain’s far right, which (thankfully) lost ground at the ballot box this summer, was livid. Deputies from the nationalist, often chauvinist and always zealously anti-“separatist” Vox walked out of Congress in protest, leaving their new translation earpieces on Mr Sánchez’s seat.

There are huge differences between these islands and Iberia. But also significant similarities. This issue helps tease out nuances in comparison.

Scottish independence supporters, for starters, are often far less animated by language issues than their, say, Catalan counterparts.

Indeed, I have seen anglophone SNP politicians gently wrinkle their noses at linguistic nationalism.

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Pro-independence politicians have been in power for a decade and a half and only now are they looking at some milquetoast reforms to support minority indigenous languages.

This makes some political sense: the greatest concentrations of Scots speakers are in unionist heartlands, not the SNP’s Central Belt bastions. Scots and Gaelic are just not nationalist priorities; all current laws date from unionist administrations.

Not that this is a view you will come across if you make the mistake of blundering in to Union flag social media.

There is definitely a very online community of pro-UK people whose attitudes to minority languages are uncomfortably close to those of, say, Vox. Britain and Spain are not always that different, at least at the political extremes.

But my hypothetical question about whether we will ever hear Scots or Gaelic in the House of Commons also raises uncomfortable realities for minority language advocates.

How many of our existing elected members at Westminster would be able to contribute in anything but English?

Take Gaelic. Well, Angus Brendan McNeil for sure. His constituency’s name, Na h-Eileanan an Iar, is a rare nod to his language in Westminster politics.

But what about Scots, a far more widely spoken language?

I daresay a few MPs could rattle off some Burns or have a friendly blether with a constituent in broad Scots. But the mither leid has not been routinely used as a language of politics or court for more than 300 years.

Indeed, it has been so effectively oppressed and otherwise marginalised and minoritised that we are not used to hearing it in a high register.

With apologies to Stanley Baxter, many of us think of Scots as more “parliamo Glasgow” than parliamentary. I am not saying that is a good thing, but a thing it nevertheless is.

At the risk of using unfamiliar jargon, Scots has been heritised - treated as a curio or dismissed as the speech of the poor - just as Catalan was normalised as a working language.

The leid’s status is even evident in Hansard, as mostly English-speaking MPs occasionally dial across the dialect continuum, leaving little records of Scots and Scottishisms in their wake.

Will we hear Gaelic or Scots - or even Irish and Welsh - at PMQs? Not any time soon, I suspect, for all sorts of reasons. But should UK authorities - not just devolved ones - be looking at their next steps on “the journey to linguistic plurality”, to respect for diversity? Yes. Even if British nationalists echoing Vox think this, to use Ms Blackman’s term, is “mince”.