In recent times we have witnessed a growth in the number of groups who are calling for cultural recognition on the basis of a putative discrete ethnicity. In this article we examine one such group, the ‘Ulster-Scots’ in Northern Ireland. We examine how this group metaphorically conceptualize their identity within their internal press media output, specifically the monthly publication The Ulster-Scot. Drawing on the conceptual metaphor approach of Lakoff and Johnson, which argues that metaphors are central to how we define and understand our everyday world, we examine the discursive construction of an Ulster-Scots collective identity and history through an analysis of the metaphors employed. We argue that a focus on the use of conceptual metaphors within discourses of ethnicity provides a valuable insight into ethnic self-understanding at a given point in time, and that, consequently, this approach is a valuable addition to the analytic repertoire for researchers concerned with issues of emergent ethnicity and the construction ethnic identities in general.