Regional dialect trivia

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In my house, if I say, “Husband! We’re having pie and mash for dinner tonight”, that’s a big problem. Dinner for a Yorkshireman means lunch.  His tea is my dinner.  For me, tea is Afternoon Tea, or, tea and cake. It’s a wonderful conundrum to have though, don’t you think?

UK regional dialects are handed down from generation to generation, and understandably it’s a focus of research for lots of institutions. I love learning new words (have you seen my words that (grey) matter post?) and this is no exception.

If you’re skim reading, why not leave me a comment at the end with your favourite regional word, or phrase. Go on, make it a belta (Newcastle proclamation of joy!) comment.

Here are some regional words that you might like to throw into the conversational mix at your Christmas party!


Short story about a ma, a bairn and a goldfish

A mother called Doreen had quobbled hands after doing too much washing up. She’d got side-tracked thinking about the radgie her bairn Tom had had. From eight while twelve, ah kid Tom had sat in the khazi.  He was sad because his goldfish (Norbert) had cocked its toes.  Doreen wouldn’t have minded but locking yourself into the bathroom makes you a melter. Norbert was cat melodeon anyway – not to mention clarty. Doreen was getting drooth by this point, so she called “Howay!” up the stairs and finally Tom came down with the empty goldfish bowl to have a good yarn with his mum.


If you’re thinking what the eh?  Here’s the official glossary of terms:

Quobbled: hands that are temporarily wrinkly after being in water for long periods (Wiltshire)

Radgie: a rage or a temper tantrum (North East)

Bairn: a child! (old Scottish term)

While: in a phrase ten until two ‘while’ is used rather than ‘until’ (Yorkshire)

Ah kid: a/my child (North of England)

Khazi: is the vicinity where one goes to relieve oneself (London)

Cocked your toe: unfortunately if you’ve ‘cocked your toes’, you’re dead – and learning about it in a blog post in your afterlife (Staffordshire village, Mow Cop)

Melter: an annoying person who gets on your nerves. “That wee girl is a melter.” (Scotland)

Cat melodeon: terrible or appalling (Northern Ireland)

Clarty: dirty (Cumbria)

Drooth: thirsty (Scotland)

Howay: come on then! (Newcastle)

Yarn: talk, speak and chat. “I had a good yarn with your Ma” (popular across the UK)

Now don’t forget to make your belta comment!

Picture citation: Oberazzi Questions CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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