This 1949 ad from Mercury is thrilled to tell us about the fuel economy of their first postwar model. It's "thrifty" as a... who is that on the left? Hey, it's a racial stereotype helping Mercury to sell cars!
Where were we? Oh yeah. Thrifty. What's with the beardy guy with the scarf? That's a Scotsman. You may not have heard this before, but Scottish people are supposed to be cheap. Like any stereotype, it can't be universally true. It was actually hard to find any evidence of exactly how it got started. If I had to guess, it probably began during a particularly bad time in Scottish history when things were tough and Scotland suffered economic troubles.
Investopedia surprisingly embraces the stereotype saying that "The Scottish have long been famed for their frugality and practicality." That's a positive spin on a negative stereotype. Investopedia also offers no citations for the stereotype.
Studebaker actually had a line of cars called the Scotsman, so named for their affordability and practicality.
Monty Python wrote a sketch about a Scottish poet called Ewan Mcteagle, author of such poems as the brilliantly allegorical "What's 20 Quid to the Bloody Midland Bank?" It's interesting to note that as the sketch starts, as soon as the Narrator (John Cleese) introduces McTeagle (Terry Jones) as the author of "Lend us a Quid", it gets an immediate laugh from the audience. They seem familiar with the stereotype. This gives us no answers, but a Python sketch is always good enough to go out on.
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