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Dialect expressions

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Georgineer16/04/2019 16:21:09
340 forum posts
16 photos
Posted by martin perman on 15/04/2019 09:38:15:
Posted by bricky on 14/04/2019 22:56:09:

Is it a spud clamp.


Its Suffolk for your mouth smiley

Martin P

Oh, yer cake 'ole!


Bazyle16/04/2019 20:26:28
5136 forum posts
199 photos
Posted by Brian Sweeting on 13/04/2019 23:45:08:

Devon Where you to? As in, where do you come from/live?

"Where's you to" would be where are you going and "where's Brian to" would be just where is Brian?

So many incomers in my (Devon) village it is rare to hear a local accent and I only know a handful who do have one. My father left Yorkshire to go to war and lost all accent but his sisters had broad local accents. I think I have none but my (English) work colleagues say I am distinctly RP.

Howard Lewis17/04/2019 21:01:29
3146 forum posts
2 photos

In Herefordshire, if you were a bit "Naish", you went indoors to eat your "Bait". (Felt the cold: ate your lunch )

In Sussex, a snicket was what I knew as an alley. ( Although as a child, that meant a glass marble, not an earthenware one )

Some people call an adjustable (spanner ) a shifter. Presumably because the one jaw would shift to allow a nut or bolt to, be shifted.

Nowt as odd as folk


Hollowpoint17/04/2019 21:44:30
319 forum posts
30 photos
Posted by Nick Clarke 3 on 14/04/2019 10:54:58:

In he mining parts of Nottinghamshire a packed lunch was always 'snap' - perhaps a term miners took around the country with them? And Wakefield's Army Stores had 'snap tins' in their window that used to puzzle me as a child as they didn't seem to snap in any way.

And to add to jitties, alleys and ginnels, when I was growing up they were always 'entries'

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 14/04/2019 10:56:28

Im not too far from Wakefield and "snap" is still commonly used to refer to food, but then I am from a small miners village.

I remember talking to some work colleagues once and I happened to use the word "ginnel" there was blank stares all around. I explained that it was like a "snicket" but that didn't help much.

a couple more Yorkshire phrases that spring to mind:

Was tha born in a barn? - You have left the door open.

Put wood int hole - Please shut the door

Danny M2Z18/04/2019 08:10:22
834 forum posts
282 photos
Posted by Howard Lewis on 17/04/2019 21:01:29:

Some people call an adjustable (spanner ) a shifter. Presumably because the one jaw would shift to allow a nut or bolt to, be shifted.

When I used to work on military radar systems my supervisor called them 'American screwdrivers' and woe betide anybody that he caught using one!

Also known as a 'Monkey Wrench' in some places

As an aside, we had weekly toolbox checks to ensure that all contents were complete and serviceable. Also all tools were required to be individually marked (colour coded) so that any tools found lying around could be traced to the owner ( I used a blue and white stripes). This was to ensure that if we were deployed in a hurry we could do our job. My supervisor had just returned from active service in Vietnam so knew his stuff.

One good thing that I learned was the use of a 'Shadow board' and this paid off when my children used to use my tools for bicycle repairs.

Sorry to stray a little of topic so now I betta hit the froggin.

* Danny M *

Tim Stevens18/04/2019 15:50:29
1159 forum posts

Liverpool lads have a way of reducing all their words to a diminutive. One of my students said ' I was going past whizzy ozzy on my placky and I ran out of petty' - so I knew he was riding his moped (plastic fantastic) past Whiston Hospital when he ran out of petrol.

In Dudley I was once accosted by a pre-school lad asking 'Ow dam yeow?' I think it was his birthday and he wanted to know how old I was ...

cheers, Tim

Fergal Farty18/04/2019 16:06:32
1 forum posts

I'm originally from London, but moved to Bristol/Somerset many years ago where they have a very particular dialect. My wife and her family use these word/phrases on a regular basis:

Shrammed = cold

Fausty = to smell a bit mouldy

Coopie down = squat

Gert lush = tasty, or something very desirable

Daps = plimsolls

mint = excellent/outsatnding

Words ending in an 'A' have a 'wl' appended, eg IKEAwl, Asdawl, That's a good ideawl!

Anything/anybody is referred to as 'ee'. eg 'Where's ee to? = Where's whats-his-name?

'That's a nice coat. Where d'you get ee?'

'Ark at ee' = Listen to him!

Adding 'mind' at the end of a sentence. 'They's me daps, mind'

Korean Billy on youtube has a video about the Bristol dialect. He covers a few other regional British accents as well. Very entertaining.

Former Member18/04/2019 17:41:16

[This posting has been removed]

Neil Wyatt18/04/2019 19:40:46
17714 forum posts
697 photos
77 articles
Posted by Fergal Farty on 18/04/2019 16:06:32:

I'm originally from London, but moved to Bristol/Somerset many years ago where they have a very particular dialect. My wife and her family use these word/phrases on a regular basis

Daps and mind are imports from South Wales.

I once had a Bristolian housemate and he used to refer to my Cortinal.

Do you remember Krek Bristle with Tony Robinson?


SillyOldDuffer18/04/2019 20:37:32
5621 forum posts
1157 photos
Posted by Fergal Farty on 18/04/2019 16:06:32:

I ... moved to Bristol/Somerset many years ago where they have a very particular dialect...

A common mistake made by grockles. Down here us speak proper. Yakki da, och aye the noo, eee ba gum, 'Hev Ewe Gotta Loight Boy' and brass tacks = facts indeed. It's the rest of you spanners wot have dialects!

Common sense innit.



Clive India19/04/2019 08:36:38
213 forum posts

Calling someone un-eppen was popular in Lincolnshire.

Meaning clumsy, breaks anything - my wife is un-eppen.

mechman4819/04/2019 12:54:36
2631 forum posts
408 photos
Posted by Clive India on 19/04/2019 08:36:38:

Calling someone un-eppen was popular in Lincolnshire.

Meaning clumsy, breaks anything - my wife is un-eppen.

Up 'ere in Yorkshire … Cack handed... clumsy/breaks everything

cuddy wifter … left handed

Balm pot… idiot/stupid


vintage engineer22/04/2019 23:29:44
247 forum posts
1 photos

I still like the cockney insult to call someone a Berk, rhyming slang for Berkeley Hunt!

Nigel Graham 226/04/2019 01:31:33
585 forum posts

I am sure this is a dialect word that used to be common in our family - Nottingham parents but my brother, sisters and I are all English Channel coast natives - but I've not heard anywhere else: twitchel.

A twitchel (you'll have to take my word on't spelling) is of course a footpath, but not a roadside pavement. So when at Grandma's in Arnold, if she directed any of us to a small nearby shop it'd be "Cross the road and go through the twitchel" - between two of the houses and gardens.


In Settle a couple of years ago I needed to buy a pair of wellies as I'd forgotten to bring a pair. The first shop didn't have any but suggested who might. I confessed being a visitor:

" Ah riiiight! Across main road, down through t' ginnel.... "

I found it. I've been visiting that area for long enough to know some of the glorious Northern English language. I've even found myself using up some constructions, like "were" where "was" is by the book; and "stopping" for staying (overnight). It's helped perhaps by a trace of inherited Notts accent: a twitchel is a path not a parth, and my home's facilities include a bath nor barth.

NB, that "t' " is silent, a sort of glottal stop. In some parts of the North-West, too, it'd be "reet" not that flatter, longer "raiight". In the Tan Hill Inn one night I heard someone ask about turning off the "leets".

Including Norse words: the stream called Fell Beck, on Ingleborough, is directly "Fjell Bekk" in modern Norwegian, meaning "Hill / moor stream."

And is "Aye" (Yes) from still-current Norse "Ja". pron. "ya", perhaps? Aye seems to have tenses, from what I've heard among Northern friends. The Assertive: "Oh Aye!" in response to a comment like, "That were a right good do" - perhaps with the suffix "were that!" for added emphasis. Or the Ruminative: "Aye...", almost a sigh with a slight upwards inflexion, perhaps when considering some sad event: "It were a bad do, that."

A lot of ancient geographical names seem exotic dialect but are really mundane when translated. Norway is full of Bla / Kvitt / Sna Fjells (I can't type the accented 'a' here): almost phonetically Blue / White / Snow Fells. Similarly why do we have at least two River Rivers in England? (Avon = River.)

And the Dorset village, Ryme Intrinseca, sounds right fancy. I don't know the Ryme part but the Latin, Intrinseca, was just a Church property term.


These might be family rather than dialect sayings, but asked "Where are we going?" Grandad's common reply was "There and back to see how far it is!". Try to persuade him to go for walk, and if he wasn't feeling up to it, it was "Can't, I've a bone in me leg!"

Told the price of something clearly over-priced or extravagant, Mum would ripost, "Cheap at half the price. We'll have two!".

Once I called round to my Aunt Edie, widow of a Nottingham miner, to find her swaddled in heavy-duty corsetry as she did the washing. "Oooh, Come in! " she said in her rich accent, then as she bustled around to find something to wear on top, "And 'ere's me in me disbuss!"


Years ago I knew someone who if asked what he was making would usually reply, "A lay-'ole for a meddler!". Of course it was....

Walking with friends in the Cotswolds one day, we mis-read the map, ended up inadvertently trespassing, and the farmer spotted us. He could have ordered us back but instead directed us onwards across the field "... to the obbley-eyed gate..." We thought it politic not to ask but to discover for ourselves what is an obbley-eyed gate. It's a decrepit, wonky one. Naturally, it'd be right - just needs a bit more universal agricultural fixative, aka binder-twine.

Colin Whittaker26/04/2019 02:04:07
104 forum posts
12 photos

Not dialect but arabic ...

mufta angleezy translates as english key and referred to an adjustable wrench

and I was puzzled why the Fylde school yard slang expression klefted (for steal) was being used by the Omani Bedu as klefty in the expression shufty klefty (see it and steal it) when I was being reminded to close my toolbox. I eventually twigged it was another arabic expression brought back by the British Army from North Africa.

Grindstone Cowboy26/04/2019 09:40:36
273 forum posts
24 photos

Just catching up with this thread, a "snotgobbler" is, when you think about it, a perfect (albeit disgusting) description for a motorcyclist.

Another Fylde Moss expression is "staunch blobber" - something well-made or sturdy.

"It's black ower Wilf's mother's" was used by my father to indicate impending wet weather. Which reminds me that if you can see Southport, it's going to rain. If you can't see it, it is raining.

Plasma26/04/2019 09:45:31
391 forum posts
45 photos

Is mufti such a borrowed expression colin, we used it to indicate wearing non uniform dress in a previous life but mentioning it a couple of years ago would just bring blank stares from the yoof.

Nigel McBurney 126/04/2019 10:32:44
695 forum posts
3 photos

My engineering jobs sometimes took me from rural Hampshire to other parts of the uk working in factories,sometimes for a week up to two years away. I remember in Hull a cloggie was a Dutchman,a drain was a wide ditch,the ten foot was the wide alleyway (for dustcart access) at the backs of the large houses which had been the up market area in victorian times. In Leicester a tool maker said to me scrappers were thrown in the cut. I had a blank look on my face and he explained scrap workpieces were thrown in the canal. In Grenock a tool maker he was just going down to the buff with some tools,down in my part of the world a buff was a polishing mop,up in Scotland it was a pedestal grinder.

Jon26/04/2019 21:40:06
997 forum posts
49 photos

Small fry bought up as a Brummy, moved to Telford and got mixed Liverpudlian/Brummy lingo, then Walsall in the Black Country, then best of all an entirely different language in Sedgley where Gornal was only 1 mile away.
The Gornal language was still pure you would be talking quite normal to some one born and raised there then out the blue throw in "Hes as fat as a Tunkey pig" to "And they'l be putting the pig on the wall to watch the band go by" "I hate you" "I love you"

Colin Whittaker27/04/2019 02:34:49
104 forum posts
12 photos

To Plasma,

Never heard mufti being used and a quick search reveals that in arabic it refers to a religious authority.

I started work in the Middle East in Oman and rapidly learned that learning Arabic in Oman would be like learning English in Glasgow. At the end of two years I would occasionally translate Omani Arabic into English for Egyptian Engineers who couldn't understand it themselves.

Working in Syria on an American oil rig I was regularly called upon to translate Yorkshire English from Hull for an American Company Man. That was bizarre.

Bint (a woman) is arabic. Chai (tea) is arabic. But I can't think of any other original loan words I encountered.

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