Robin Scott-Elliot: An offensive term? Well, it's worse than Pom

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The Independent Online

Ever since Andy Murray joked – there's the key word – that he would be supporting "anyone but England" in the 2006 World Cup, he has been a marked man south of the border.

He has been called much worse than a "useless Jock" – he got an opprobrious battering via Twitter at Wimbledon this summer. A press box colleague (an Englishman who lives in Scotland) tried to defend Murray (a Scotsman who lives in England) and found himself on the receiving end. The impressive thing about Murray is that it doesn't bother him and it shouldn't really bother anyone Scottish.

Like the English, "jock" can irritate but it does not offend. I'm not sure we're a race anyway, although we did invent everything of any use and the deep-fried Mars bar.

We have no English equivalent to Jock (nothing printable anyway) – no limey or pom, like the Americans and the Australians.

Our problem is best summed up by that Scottish icon, Renton, the Trainspotting heroin addict: "We can't even find a decent culture to be colonised by."

That's also a joke by the way.