Talk:Oor Wullie

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Possibly rename 'Fat Bob' to 'Fat Boab' (anglified to Fat Bob)? Isn't this the name used in earlier Oor Wullie books?

I always thought it was Fat Bob and 'Help ma boab!' Icecradle 14:55, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Likewise. Although there are quite a few print references to "Fat Boab" (e.g. [1]), the handful of online examples of the strip I can find call him Bob, even prior to the anglified versions. Here's an example: [2] (That's terrible! Fat Bob smoking at his age! I'm sure you wid never dae that! ... But Paw. I wis only tryin' ta stop Fat Bob smokin'!). Tearlach 16:11, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
The most recent annual refers to him as Fat Bob a few times, as well as other names such as Obese Robert and Skinny Rab. No sign of Fat Boab I can see. Stx 19:36, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Just to follow up on this after the Happy Birthday Wullie special of last night; the publishers refer to him as Fat Bob a few times, but the commentors refer to him as Fat Boab, so I'd put it down to common misconception.Stx 09:20, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Oops, gone in and changed things without paying attention. His name was certainly Boab in my childhood. However, I haven't read the strip in a loooong time, so perhaps he's been Anglicised a little, unlike his namesake Robert Charles Nesbitt. Preacherdoc 23:34, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
It certainly was "Fat Bob" (though in a Dundee accent this sounds like "Fat Boab")

It was "fat boab" when I was growing up......and I remember when it changed to just "fat bob"...It was around the 80s sometime. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:49, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Exile 18:38, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

I don't remember it ever being Fat Boab. I've just opened up the earliest annual I have (the 1966 one) and in the stories I've quickly looked at he's always called Bob. Tallscreen (talk) 01:05, 16 February 2017 (UTC)


Auchenshoogle is controversial... It's true that recent writers have been using that name but they used to keep the town anonymous. In actual fact they only ever mentioned town names when they had a visitor coming, like "Auntie Morag from Auchenfechel" or whatever.

In some stories we see Wullie or the Broons visiting Edinburgh or Glasgow, so we know that neither of those can be their home town.

Natives of Dundee would argue that Dundee is the actual setting - particularly since DC Thomson is a Dundonian company. There are clues, for example "Whinny Brae" (a big hilly street where the characters regularly race their carties) is a real hilly street in Dundee. The biggest clue I saw was in a quite recent Oor Wullie book, where the number 33 bus to Fintry appeared in a story. If 'Auchenshoogle' had a suburb called Fintry (like Dundee) which was served by the number 33 bus (like Dundee) it would be a pretty major coincidence :-) --Adambisset 00:23, 12 Oct 2004

Since the location of Oor Wullie is disputed, I've removed the reference to Auchenshoogle; put it back if you want. I was reading a 1971 annual yesterday, and found a reference to a town named 'Auchtogle' which is, according to Wullie, "three miles" away. I've certaintly found no reference to 'Auchenshoogle' - the town has always been anonymous to me - but that's probably because I consider the recent strips to be UTTER RUBBISH. D. D. Watkins forever! --AdamM 20:44, 22 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Good call on both counts Adam. My Dundonian rantings are partisan of course, but actually giving away the name of the town away would be like giving away Maw and Paw Broons' first names. Did you know, though, that they actually gave away Soapy Soutar's real first name a few years back? Apparantly it's Francis! (I'll try and dig up the actual annual where they reveal it.) Adambisset 22:54, 22 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Good god! What is wrong with these people? I bet Watkins is spinning in his grave. --AdamM 18:18, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Eurgh: revisionism. In the classic strips, mid-1960s, I also recall that Oor Wullie's town was unnamed. The other place was Auchentogle (see here). Tearlach 00:31, 16 July 2005 (UTC)
Yup, Auchentogle was nearby. I am sure that the town where Wullie and the Broons lived was unnamed on purpose. Where Auchenshoogle came from I know not. -- Derek Ross | Talk 05:58, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

I was under the impression that Auchenshoogle was entirely fictional, and whilst being loosly based around some Scottish cities, it wasn't meant to represent a particular Scottish city. Would I be wrong in thinking this? Is it not enough for us to say 'the fictional town of Auchenshoogle' ? And just for interest's sake, I believe they did expose Paw's name. In a dream that Paw has, a voice speaks to him. I remeber his middle name has been said as 'Ebenzer'. Again, though I will try to dig up that annual. Eps0n 10:21, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

The poem at the start of April 25 2010's episode (a particularly fine episode) contains the couplet: "He may be wee, but he's nae fool/ the 'Shoogle champ at keepin' cool" which seems to imply that Wullie is a resident of Auchenshoogle, if we assume that 'Shoogle is an abbreviation of Auchenshoogle, and that only residents of the area would be eligible for the award "'Shoogle champ at keepin' cool". Mahrooq (talk) 09:20, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

More on locations[edit]

Ah... whoops - just breenged in there and made a couple of changes without being aware of this discussion! If you feel my Dundee/Glasgow judgement to be inaccurate, please edit, but hear me out (oot?) first:

a) I assume that the home of Broons/Wullie is a city, and in Scotland. b) As mentioned above, the Broons (and Wullie, I think) have been known to visit - or refer to relatives in - Edinburgh. c) It doesn't look anything like Aberdeen. d) ditto more recently declared cities Stirling and Inverness.

There's two possible clinchers for Dundee, and I could try and dig them out for hard reference if it helps clear up the issue: a Watkins strip in which the Broons visit the seaside, taking what looks like a longish walk out of town to 'Blotty Ferry' (sic), and another in which they drive to enjoy some highland games. The route they take (via a slightly renamed 'Devil's Elbow') would concur perfectly with an archetypal contemporary (early 1950s) trip to Braemar from Dundee.

However, my own personal feeling is that there is a deliberate injection of Glasgow into the depiction of the town, though somewhat more indefinably, and probably to avoid alienating a sizeable Glaswegain readership with little interest in Dundee folks.

The truth, of course, is a deliberate ambiguity on the part of Watkins' editors, though not as great as affects the bizarre blend of Tombstone, Arizona and Dundee that is 'Cactusville'.

I know of no reference to the town as 'Auchenshoogle' within the Watkins strips, and have to confess to ignorance of any episodes since his demise - I'd go so far as to suggest that these might be regarded as outside of the 'canon' considered in these discussions.

I can corroborate the aforesaid reference to 'Auchentogle', somewhere out of town.

I have also edited the explanation of Wee Eck's name - I feel I'm on pretty safe ground with this one.

Still, although I agree it's not canonical, I think Auchenshoogle ought to be mentioned, because they do use it now, and also because it has become a generic joke name for a Scottish small town. Legal discussions, for instance, use it (see [3], [4] and [5].
Someone's having a bit of a laugh here: Gaelic Scotalnd - Trivia.
Wee Eck's name ... Of course! Can't imagine why I thought it was Eric. Tearlach 13:13, 24 August 2005 (UTC)
Fair enough re. Auchenshoogle; glad to have been of some use on the 'Eck' derivation. I wonder if I've started some sort of consensus on the 'canon/non-canon' issue - this could be controversial, especially as far as DC Thompson are concerned... though praise be for the annual reprint albums of the last few years! ventilator

Isn't Auchenshuggle (?sp) a station on the Glasgow underground? I remember a song in my youth which went like "we shuggle, shuggle, shuggle down to Auchen-Auchen Schuggle"

in reply to the above - it is in Glasgow and was the terminus of a tram route, hence the song.

Exile 18:39, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Also, never mind where it is set - where is the Butt and Ben that they went on holiday to?

See Auchenshuggle. Tearlach 17:56, 26 November 2005 (UTC)
Just thought I'd add my thoughts. I have recently acquired 'The Broons and Oor Wullie; 70 years young (1936-2006)' book and the very first Broons comic in it (dated 9th August 1936) has a speech bubble that reads: "It looks like the Broons from Glesgow!" Which I took to mean Glasgow. If the Broons lives in the same place as Wullie, then it would appear that they originally were 'from' Glasgow. But I think that the place probably became anonymous as the comic progressed. -Icecradle 00:07, 26 December 2005(UTC)

Oor Wullie's and the Broons' home town has variously been called at least since the 1980s when I started reading the annuals Auchentogle, Auchentoogle, Drumtogle and Auchenshoogle. I have always believed that it was supossed to be a part of Glasgow although I agree the acccent that the charachters speak is more Dundonian. Penrithguy 20:47, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
My personal perception, having read quite a few strips, is that the Broons live in the inner city (given the abundance of terraced flats), and Wullie lives in either a medium-sized town or in the suburbs (given that there is always a farm or gamekeeper nearby for his country adventures). Given these contrasting environments the fact they're always seeing each other out and about is beyond me. AdamM 23:35, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
I shall throw a late spanner into the works and mention that in the 2008 Oor Wullie annual, there's a story where Wullie and friends cycle to Loch Lomond, stated to be 21 miles away from where they started. They are also seen cycling past the Finnieston Crane and Armadillo on the way there which gives the game away a bit! (talk) 17:16, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

'Stub' nature of the article[edit]

If the article was divided up into more subject areas, would it be less of a stub? because I have seen shorter pages which haven't been stubs.. Eps0n 10:16, 28 March 2007 (UTC)


I seem to recall there was actually a stage musical of Oor Wullie with Pat Doyle (?) in the title role. Does anyone have anymore information? (Trevek (talk) 13:24, 20 November 2007 (UTC))

There was indeed a musical. Book and Lyrics were by Artistic Director of the Overground Theatre, Alan Bryce. The music was composed by Milton Reame-James, keyboard player for one of the seventies' more popular bands: Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel. Directed by Maria Riccio Bryce. It was originally produced at a fringe theatre in Kingston-upon-Thames...the now-defunct, but very successul in its day, Overground Theatre. Bryce worked at some length with the Editor of The Sunday Post, Bill Anderson and the youngest of the Thompson family, Christopher Thompson to create the orginal production at the Overground. This production, in 1977, was a considerable success, doing great business for the theatre and receiving very positive reviews...including raves in The Scotsman and The Guardian. The role of Wullie was played by an English actor, Ian Bartholomew. Ian was very strong in the role. But when talk began about a Scottish tour, it was clear that Ian's accent would never fly north of the border. The show went on the road under Overground Theatre management, with funding from DC Thompson's. This was a mistake. The Overgound was inexperienced in touring and the show was altogether too small...the Overground Theatre had only 120 succeed in the bigger theatres like His Majesty's in Aberdeen. Add to that, when the company went to Glasgow to audition Scottish actors, there was an outburst of apathy from the Scottish acting community. Although Pat Doyle did a good job in the lead role, and although he was supported by a couple of the stronger artists from Kingston, some other roles were weak. The result was an unhappy production which never equalled the success and joy that it had garnered in suburban London. Songs included "I Love The Way He Wears His Dungarees" (sung by Primrose), "Oor Wullie Your Wullie Abody's Wullie and "It's A Grand Life!" Milton, an Englishman, still works in the recording industry in London. Alan Bryce, an emigre Anglo-Scot, is Artistic Director of Centerstage Theatre in Seattle, where his latest play, FOR ALL THAT, a love story set during the 1st World War, will be produced in 201[1]5. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Alan Bryce (talkcontribs) 07:13, 19 June 2014 (UTC) Pat Doyle who played the lead role studied at the RSAMD in Glasgow, and subsequently went on to become the eminent film composer now known as Patrick Doyle.

Yes, I saw it at His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen, in (I think, 1979). I won an aberdeen evening express competition at school. Being eleven or twelve at the time I recall little of it other than a number "oor wullie, your wullie, a'body's wullie" which may have been the finale. Part of the prize was going backstage, meeting the cast and sitting on Wullie's bucket!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:42, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

There may have been previous incarnations but there definately was a musical which toured in 1990 (as I recall). It was produced by Jimmy Logan, the production week was in the Whitehall Theatre Dundee where it played a further week before touring to: The Maltings, Berwick; The Pavillion, Glasgow; The Theatre Royal, Dumfries, and Edinburgh (The Kings I think). There may have been other venues but I don't recall them. Company manager was Mike Hobman, DSM was John Duncan, production carpenter Jim Patterson and it starred Ashley Jensen and Lynn Ferguson amongst others (my apologies to them for not remembering their names). The set was minimalist and in keeping with cartoon but was very small, principally two periaktois one in each of the downstage corners with the lighting providing most of the changes. Despite all the talent on hand it was not a commercial success. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Byeline (talkcontribs) 16:17, 12 September 2011 (UTC)


The article briefly mentions Ezzy, an early friend of Wullie who seems to have come and gone at lightning-quick speed. There's a drawing of him here. Obviously he was a very broadly-drawn Afro-Caribbean character, although he seems to talk with the same Scottish dialect as the other kids. I'm genuinely curious about him. This article at the Scotsman's website goes out of its way to point out The Broons' modern-day multicultural storylines - was Ezzy an early, well-intentioned stab at diversity, or a crude stereotype? -Ashley Pomeroy (talk) 17:23, 9 July 2008 (UTC)


If memory serves me, didn't Wullie's cousin Jimmy appear in an episode? As I recall, Jimmy was the spitting image of Wullie except for the clothes. Wullie give Jimmy a spare pair of his dungarees to wear, and both boys get up to mischief playing pranks on people. Can anyone confirm this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:30, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

I seem to recall that episode too. Wasn't there a moment when they asked Wullie's ma if she could tell them apart. She succeeded by looking at their necks, remarking how Jimmy's neck was clean whereas Wullie's never was. I seem to remember there also being an English cousin who, when he asked why Wullie was wearing a skirt, was told the story of Wee Jock, who invented the kilt by wearing a bucket to protect himself against the gamekeeper's gun. ( (talk) 08:21, 29 December 2009 (UTC))

"Jings, Oor Wullie is top Scot in book poll"[edit]

  • "Comic strip character Oor Wullie is the most popular figure in the Scottish literary canon, according to a new study. Researchers from Edinburgh Napier University spent three years exploring the reading habits of Scots born on or before 1945. They found that the popularity of Oor Wullie, The Broons and other comics produced by Dundee's DC Thomson dwarfed offerings by authors such as Sir Walter Scott and Robert Burns. Director of the Scottish Centre for the Book Professor Alistair McCleery, who led the study, said: "Almost all the interviewees we spoke to said Oor Wullie and The Broons was a key part of their reading experience."

Nicholas Christian, Scotland on Sunday, 28 August 2011 --Mais oui! (talk) 11:06, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

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  1. ^ Alan Bryce