This can mean the police ("Ah'm gauny get the polis tae youse"), an individual policeman or -woman ("He's no a bad big guy...fur a polis"), or a number of police officers ("Ah seen him runnin doon the back lane wi two polis on his tail").
A police station is often referred to as a polis office (pronounced oaffis): "Ah'm phonin the polis office if youse don't turn doon that racket."
The word also turns up in the phrase murder polis which can either be an exclamation of consternation or shock ("Murder polis! The weans've broke ma washin line!") or a description of a difficult or confused situation ("It'll be murder polis gaun tae work the morra if they don't get these roads gritted").
© Michael Munro
Some items in the Patter look very exotic when in print - but they correspond to everyday words in some form of phonetic rendering; a well-known instance is Embra - the name of a small city east of Glasgow...
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