Donald Trump protest insult bags celebrity fan

Richard Schiff
Image caption Richard Schiff played the White House communications director for seven years

West Wing actor Richard Schiff has paid tribute to the Scottish vernacular after helping the term #presidentbawbag to begin trending on Twitter.

The 61-year-old, who played Toby Ziegler, tweeted the phrase after seeing it being used as part of protests against Donald Trump.

As a result news outlets in the US and elsewhere began trying to explain the term to their audience.

After the actor's intervention the term began trending across the world.

Mr Schiff said his attention was first drawn to the word bawbag when he saw it appear in coverage of global protests at the American election result.

He told BBC Scotland that led to tweets in his newsfeed from people in the UK.

'Love that word'

He said: "The Scottish ones had great words on their posters and I was like 'what is that?'

"I think I tweeted something like 'what the hell does that mean?'

"And then someone started sending me definitions of everything."

"I said 'I love that word - what the heck is that?'"

Image copyright Mark Runnacles
Image caption Mr Schiff said he was inspired by protest placards at an anti-Trump demo in Scotland

Mr Schiff said one of his Twitter followers suggested a hashtag using the phrase.

He added: "I went 'let it be so' and that's how it began - and why it went so viral so quickly - it became number one trend in the UK - Scotland first - and then the UK - and then I think a top 10 tweet here in America and Australia.

"It was a fun diversion that also contributed to the great unifying feeling that was spreading around the world and was quite remarkable.

"I think most Americans were like me, like 'what is that word and where did it come from?'"

The actor described said the Scots as "fun-loving" and said the term bawbag was taken differently from an American insult.

'Unifying thing'

He said: "I wouldn't use a standard American insult, but the Scots are so fun-loving about it.

"I think that's the spirit of it and means it isn't as damaging as it otherwise might be. It's not meant in any other way except as a unifying fun thing.

"We need to laugh. It's one of the reasons [behind] the Scottish word as a hashtag."

Mr Schiff said he had been sent numerous definitions of Scottish colloquial words and that he had developed a love of the vocabulary.

He also said that he had been inundated with invitations to come to Scotland and intended to visit the Edinburgh Festival and some of the country's golf courses, although not those owned by Mr Trump.