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Jings, crivvens, help ma boab!
The Broons is a Scots comic strip that has been published in the weekly newspaper The Sunday Post since 8 March, 1936. Created by writer and editor R. D. Low and artist Dudley D. Watkins for Dundee publishers DC Thomson, the strip stars the eponymous Broon family ("Brown", in English) who live in a tenement flat at 10 Glebe Street in the fictional town of Auchenshoogle.
A lot of the humour in the stories come from the considerable generation gaps between the family members, the need to stretch a small amount of money a long way, communication breakdowns and the stresses of sharing a tiny flat with nine other family members.
Being set in a Scottish town, the strip makes liberal use of the Scottish dialect to the point where it can be completely incomprehensible to anyone not familiar with it. However the use of a dialect often discouraged in published works, combined with the nostaligia factor spreading across several generations, has made The Broons (and it's sister strip, "Oor Wullie") a celebrated classic in Scotland and is still being published today, with regular annual releases.
The family itself consists of:
- Paw: Family patriach, son of Granpaw, husband of Maw and father to all the kids. Still a working man despite getting on in years (he is gray haired and balding, but still with an impressive walrus moustache) Paw likes nothing more than a quiet life after work where he can put his feet up, smoke his pipe and maybe throw the occasional bet on the horses.
- Maw: Although her real name is Maggie, this was only ever used once and she is otherwise only known as "Maw". Has the daunting task of keeping her home, eight children and husband in line and had her own cookbook Spin-Off in 2007.
- Granpaw: Paw's widowed father. The only member of the family who doesn't live at 10 Glebe Street and instead alternates his time between sitting in the park with cronies, tending to his allotment or partaking in the general family mischief whenever he comes to visit. Shares his son's fondness for a pipe, bunnet and impressive facial hair.
- Henry: More commonly known as "Hen," Henry is the oldest child in the family and is somewhere in the region of 30 years old. Lanky and awkward, Hen is often seen as the average office-working man who rarely gets the girl and is often taken advantage of for his height (he was once used as a clothes stand by his family)
- Daphne: The plump, less attractive of the two Broon sisters who often ends up playing second fiddle to Maggie on double-dates. Regularly attempts to go on a diet and fails, and is often teased by Joe and Hen for her weight. Also a skilled dressmaker with an eye for a Nice Hat.
- Joe: A handsome, sports-loving ladies man who tends to get into fights and carried home in a wheelbarrow. Fond of football and boxing and sometimes known for getting into fights with his brother Hen over a girl. Something of a rolemodel for the Twins.
- Maggie: Named after her mother and originally known as Sadie, Maggie is the blonde bombshell of the family and often overshadows her sister when it comes to men which sometimes leads to friction between the two otherwise close sisters. Eventually became a model.
- Horace: The brainy, nerdy and often snobby son who aspires to learn poetry amidst the chaos of his overcrowded home. Thinks of himself as a rolemodel for the Twins but, in recent years, has began aspiring to be more like Joe.
- The Twins: One of them was refered to as Eck (short for Alexander) once but other than that it's No Name Given for the pair of them. High-spirited kids who can always be counted on to add to the chaos with a fistfight or a game of Cowboys and Indians.
- The Bairn: The youngest of the family and doted on by her mother whom she very much takes after. Prone to causing havoc by repeating things she's misheard or doesn't understand. Very, very close to Granpaw.
- Always Identical Twins
- Apron Matron: Maw can be this.
- Big Guy, Little Guy: Hen and everyone else, but most often Joe.
- Bonnie Scotland: Oh, so much.
- Bumbling Dad: Paw mostly, but Granpaw can be this to Paw.
- The Cameo: Scottish celebrities have occasionally turned on Glebe Street up over the years.
- Cool Old Guy: Granpaw to the younger kids, especially the Bairn.
- Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe: Paw and Granpaw both have a pipe each.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": To the point where Paw (Father) will call his own father Granpaw (Grandfather) and is own wife Maw (Mother)
- Everyone Loves Blondes: All the guys love Maggie.
- Flash Back: To before Maw and Paw where married, when we get to meet Paw's now-deceased mother and his absent siblings.
- The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Whenever Daphne and Maggie have a fight.
- Good Parents: Maw and Paw.
- Happily Married: Again, Maw and Paw.
- Housewife: Maw.
- Horrible Camping Trip: The regular holidays to the But and ben (a two-room cottage in the Highlands that the family uses for holidays away) often involves a lot of this.
- Intergenerational Friendship: Most notably between Granpaw and the Bairn.
- In the Blood: Many of the traits that Paw and Granpaw share, beard, hat and pipe included.
- Long Runner: Since 1936.
- New Year Has Come: Hogmanay is a fairly regular thing for the Broons, despite the years never moving on.
- Nice Hat: Daphne often wears one. Arguably the bunnets worn by the men, too.
- No Name Given: Paw, Granpaw, one of the Twins and the Bairn. Even in a Flash Back to before Paw had any children, Granpaw's wife is still identified as Granmaw.
- The Patriarch: Paw.
- Retcon: Maggie was originally known as Sadie.
- Shared Universe: With Oor Wullie, an equally famous work by the same creators.
- Sibling Rivalry
- Truth in Television: Most tenements in major towns really were this overcrowded back in the day.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: The Twins, Joe and Hen and Maggie and Daphne.
- Where The Hell Is Glebe Street?: Originally. The Broons are now confirmed to live in the town of Auchenshoogle (sometimes called Auchentogle), which is a blend of Dundee and Glasgow.