To ask if you've ever had a dialect fail

(312 Posts)
DizzyZebra Wed 16-Jan-13 00:34:16

I think dialect is the right word?

Anyway, I once really offended a girl who was new to my school. I had made friends with her and she invited me to her house, She got changed and i said 'Omg that suits you dead bad!'. Now, As an adult, I agree with her and can see the stupidity in saying something like that, BUT it was something EVERYONE where i lived said when really what they meant was 'That really suits you'.

She imediately looked hurt and i could tell by the look on her face she thought i was back pedaling as i sort of choked and tried to explain, and stuttered through it. I think she realised within a few weeks when she made more friends though.

My Mum also, after moving to the north, became increasingly frustrated one night. Her partners son came downstairs and asked her (As she was folding laundry) if there were any of his pants in there.

She said 'Yeah there are some over in the other pile'

He went over to look and said he couldn't find any, My mum said there were definitely some in there. He searches again and still can't find any. My mum said 'I just this minute put some red pants of yours in there, i know i did! They must be there'

He says 'I don't have any red pants'

My mum marches over, Grabs a pair of red boxers and says 'Look! red pants! See!'

Only for him to fall about laughing as he had actually meant trousers, and everyone here calls them pants, she just didn't know.

soontobeburns Wed 16-Jan-13 00:46:56

Before a date with my X I texted him "Meet us in the coffee shop"
When I saw him he confessed he was worried I brought someone else along as I said "us". Hes from the same city too but my side says us to just mean "me".

deleted203 Wed 16-Jan-13 01:07:16

lol...I get this all the time with DH (who's Scottish). We don't speak quite the same language. He says, 'How?' when he means 'Why?' as in if you tell him he can't do something he'll say, 'How no'?' But my favourite one of his was when he said in exasperation, 'Why do you always ask me what I want to do and then take no notice of me?' confused.

It turns out that I would say, 'Do you want to go out with Jan and Chris on Friday?' and he would answer, 'I'm not bothered'. So I'd think, 'ok...I'll give 'em a ring and ask them out'. Because, to me, 'I'm not bothered' means, 'If you like. I don't mind either way'. Oh no. Not to him. To him it apparently means, 'thank you for asking but I'd rather not'. As in 'I'm not really bothered (fussed) about doing that'.

I have done this for years! Why didn't he say so earlier???

LineRunner Wed 16-Jan-13 01:19:19

OP, are you in Scotland?

ComposHat Wed 16-Jan-13 01:21:40

I'm originally from the West Midlands, but live in Scotland now. I was baffled by three things.
1) 'Juice' to refer to any form of soft drink. I am convinced this is because Scots think anything that doesn't have booze in it is a health drink

2) Where do you stay? Instead of where do you live? I tried registering with the dentist who asked me where I stayed to which I responded 'in my flat, I live here' and she gave me a dirty look as if I was trying to be a smart arse

3) Having a jag - for having an injection/jab. It sounds far scarier like you'll be cut in half.

My fiancée is originally from Brighton and has an estuary English accent. Her Us and As sound the same to me. She couldn't understand why I collapsed laughing when she mentioned she'd had some 'funny butter'

ripsishere Wed 16-Jan-13 01:25:03

We had some friends staying. One of the boys told me my DD was sick. I panicked thinking she'd become ill in the 10 minutes since I'd last seen her.
Apparently it was a compliment.

Monty27 Wed 16-Jan-13 01:26:02

Asking everyone if they'd like a poke when I heard the ice cream van.

A poke is an ice cream where I come from, it's a shag where I'd just moved to blush

HoHoHoNoYouDont Wed 16-Jan-13 01:26:28

I am convinced this is because Scots think anything that doesn't have booze in it is a health drink


deleted203 Wed 16-Jan-13 01:28:38

grin at Compos. Yep, I know all of those. How about 'do you want any messages?' for groceries? DH also turns grammar round, so he'll say 'What like is it?' instead of 'What's it like?'. Don't even get me started on the slang!

Thumbwitch Wed 16-Jan-13 01:29:31

<SNORT> at funny butter mis-hear! grin

This isn't quite the same but it's still a fail - when I was a first year student I made the colossal error of saying to a Geordie "Oh I love you Scottish accent" (he hadn't said "way-ay" or anything specifically Geordie and I was a bit pissed but still) blush

apostropheuse Wed 16-Jan-13 01:30:47

"I'm originally from the West Midlands, but live in Scotland now. I was baffled by three things.
1) 'Juice' to refer to any form of soft drink. I am convinced this is because Scots think anything that doesn't have booze in it is a health drink

Nothing like a good old stereotype. hmm

deleted203 Wed 16-Jan-13 01:34:21

Where we are the common term of endearment is 'duck'. I once went into a newsagents with a Geordie friend of mine who came out and said to me, 'WHAT THE FUCK is an Alsation Duck?' confused.

It turned out the lady behind the counter had said to him,, 'Mind the Alsation, duck...'

Greenkit Wed 16-Jan-13 01:42:50

Apostropheuse Get over yourself hmm

Disappearing Wed 16-Jan-13 01:48:39

My DS, who's all of 2 years old, has pulled me up on my pronunciation hmm. I'm from up North, he isn't...

It was my vowel sounds he took offence at!

What's even more hmm is that within the last few months I had his hearing checked out, as I thought his pronunciation was so way off. Turns out he was only speaking proper English. I blame the child minder.

My lovely Aussie friend announcing to a room full of people 'come on, there's nothing as good as a professional blow job!' She's a hairdresser, I was only getting a blow dry...

MerryCouthyMows Wed 16-Jan-13 01:50:44

The 'messages' one got me - I had recently moved from Suffolk to my Granny's in the Hebrides when I was just turned 15.

She sent me to the shop with a list, and told me to fetch the messages.

A rather comedic shopping trip ensued.

I got all the items on the list, paid for them, then stood at the till waiting expectantly for the 'messages' I had been sent to get.

The lady at the till turned round and said something like "away wi ye noo, missie". So I (bearing in mind it was the first time I had ever heard a thick Hebridean Scottish accent...) translated it roughly, and replied "But I'm still waiting for the messages my Granny sent me for."

She replied "Ye wee Numpty, ye've gotten them already"

(I also had no clue what Numpty meant, having never heard the phrase before that day...)

Of course, I replied, "No, I've got the shopping, but I've not been given the messages."

At which point I'm looking at her in complete bewilderment, she's looking at me in complete bewilderment, and we are like that for a good few minutes until another customer took pity on me and explained that the shopping I had picked up WAS the 'messages' I had been sent for.

It was 16 years ago, and I can still feel the complete bemusement I felt at trying to understand what is in essence the same language, yet at the same time was like trying to understand German!

ComposHat Wed 16-Jan-13 01:52:23


It was a joke, no need to be so po-faced about it.

It is also a stereotype that is based in truth, Scots consume far more alcohol per head than England and Wales.

Catchingmockingbirds Wed 16-Jan-13 01:56:13

"I am convinced this is because Scots think anything that doesn't have booze in it is a health drink"

Lovely hmm

MerryCouthyMows Wed 16-Jan-13 01:56:55

(After living there for a further year, and having a relationship with a local, I can understand it plain as day now, mind you.)

There's also the way when told to hurry up, or a question that you would usually respond "I am" to, people with a Hebridean accent have a phrase as a response - "Amah", which is a contraction of Am I, which actually has interesting roots.

It is because the sentence structure in Gaelic would put 'am' before 'I', and when translated, it seems to have stuck even now, as an automatic response.

It's grammatically incorrect in English, but is a direct translation from Gaelic, which I find very interesting.

It certainly sparked a love of learning about the roots of languages, living there!

MerryCouthyMows Wed 16-Jan-13 02:00:36

That IS a massive generalisation. But was certainly true of most of the people (me included, at the time) under 40 on the island - we all seemed to survive on a diet of Bucky, Irn Bru, Whisky & Coke and voddy...

(There wasn't much else to do except get pissed, doss in unused buildings and prat around in the park when I was there. It was a great craic, but fuck knows how I still have a functioning liver. Everyone we knew from the age of 14 - 40 was permanently pissed!)

OldLadyKnowsNothing Wed 16-Jan-13 02:00:40

Thanks for that, Couthy, I always hated the contraction "Ah mur" (as pronounced locally) meaning "I am". Now I feel able to forgive it. grin

Thumbwitch Wed 16-Jan-13 02:03:21

Nearly fell foul of an Aussie-ism the first time I came here - I was staying with another Brit expat and we were invited to a party and asked to "bring a plate". Well, we didn't know whether we were supposed to be bringing actual food or just plates to eat it off, in case the hostess didn't have enough crockery!
Luckily we took food...

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Wed 16-Jan-13 02:05:05

I remember when I was a teenager, we'd say "Did you get off with him?" meaning " did you snog him?" (I'm from Brighton) whereas in some places up North it meant "Did you have sex with him?" This caused many shock when we met up with teenagers from other places on residential school trips etc

PMSL about the "Alsation duck"

ComposHat Wed 16-Jan-13 02:38:00

Wa;ly dugs - teeth. I had to have that explained to me.

Peally Wally - ill.

Buckets - Bin. I was working for social services when a lad told me he'd applied for a job on the buckets. I was completely confused.

I am still not sure what meet you 'at the back of five/three/one' means. Does it mean just after the hour eg 5:05 or just before the next hour starts (as in back end of that hour) 5:55? I've never had the heart to ask.

Everyone we knew from the age of 14 - 40 was permanently pissed!

I agree there is a real culture of boozing. I love the pubs that have discounts on a pint and a nip for the OAPs. I am looking forward to spending my retirement permanently sozzled.

The chippies sell booze too and cigs and sweets. It is like a massive 'fuck you' to the health minister.

ripsishere Wed 16-Jan-13 02:43:24

[smiling] at the alsation duck.
We lived in Nottingham for a year. I was asked to get four cobs duck in a bakers.
I asked for them. They are rolls apparently.

ComposHat Wed 16-Jan-13 02:48:03

I didn't even know cobs was a dialect word!

What do you call cobs if not cobs?

DizzyZebra Wed 16-Jan-13 02:50:09

Cobs is the correct term. COBS.


To the PP who asked if i'm in scotland, I'm not, But does the above give you a clue as to where i am originally from, Lol!?

PurplePidjin Wed 16-Jan-13 02:50:14

On moving to America aged 13, on her first day at her new school my cousin made a mistake on her work so put her hand up to ask for a rubber


ComposHat Wed 16-Jan-13 03:04:20

Is the cob a special breadstuff that we only get in the midlands?

A cob is different to a bap. A cob is crustier.

ProtegeMoi Wed 16-Jan-13 03:05:12

When visiting my partners family we had food from a local chip shop where I was surprised to see 'scraps' listed as an option.

I didn't like to ask so still have no clue what it is. I am fairly certain that if I asked for scraps round here I'd be handed the bin!

On another what are 'dabs'. Same visit I saw dab teacake. I managed to work out that a teacake is a bread roll (batch) but no clue as to the dab part.

Thumbwitch Wed 16-Jan-13 03:09:20

Cobs are what we called them as well (south west London) - but then Dad was from Sheffield so that might have had some influence.

Protege - scraps from the chippy were the bits of batter that had fallen off into the frying oil. smile

ComposHat Wed 16-Jan-13 03:13:06

Bloody hell you've been dragged up proper if you've never had scraps.

Didn't you not ask for Pea Wet with the scraps?

brighthair Wed 16-Jan-13 03:27:46

Now I have a craving for chips pea wet and scraps. Possibly with a pasty barm on the side grin
My accent is very mixed having lived up and down the country but every so often I come out with something and people look at me like I've got two heads and go "how northern are you?!"

MerryCouthyMows Wed 16-Jan-13 03:31:04

Peelywally - I still use that phrase. My friends down here say that their DC's "look a bit peaky". They look confused when I say peelywally. grin

Blending Wed 16-Jan-13 03:51:20

In the Welsh Valleys they say "wheres it to?" to ask where you would like something.

I struggled with ordering a Taxi once when asked "where's it to?" I kept repeating I was going to Cardiff, and the operator got more and more frustrated until she asked me the address I was phoning from. The penny only dropped when our taxi driver was wetting himself and explained.

AndABigBirdInaPearTree Wed 16-Jan-13 04:14:29

I now live in California. American English is completely different from British English and after over a decade I still mix things up at times. The most memorable was as follows though...

I was in Costco and I was looking at the meat section for something to roast. My friend shouted to me from the cheese section (they are low fridges like the reach in freezers at iceland) to ask me what I was trying to find. I shouted back

"I want a joint for Sunday"

Everyone within shouting range in costco stopped in their tracks in complete and utter silence. I've never heard Costco so quiet, even when I'm the first in or last out.

'Joint' only means cannabis here.

There was a long pregnant pause while my friend recovered and called


and I replied that I was looking for a piece of meat to roast. Everyone started talking and moving again.

curiousuze Wed 16-Jan-13 04:24:08

Laughing at all the Scottish ones - my DH is from London and we bemuse each other all the time. I say 'messages' for shopping and 'bucket' for bin. Also 'where do you stay' or if I'm being really local then 'far d'you bide?'

Yes we say 'juice' for anything non alcoholic! Never thought about that before...I do differentiate though - diluting juice for squash, and fizzy juice for pop. Although in Glasgow they say 'ginger' for anything fizzy.

I won't start on all the Doric words because its almost another language. Ten points to anyone who can translate what a 'tatty bogle' is!

MediumOrchid Wed 16-Jan-13 04:26:22

When we were staying in South Africa we needed to get a lift from the lady we were staying with to get to an appointment at 8.30. We told her we needed to be there at 'half 8'. She picked us up at 7 and we were there at 7.30, a whole hour early. It turns out that in Afrikaans half 8 means 7.30 (half to 8)! Thankfully she saw the funny side of it!

BratinghamPalace Wed 16-Jan-13 04:48:53

Am Irish and was very surprised by the differences between Irish English and English English when in London. We say press for cupboard. "Giving out to " means to scold but was taken to mean "sleeping with". I had various problems with that one including being accused of gossiping! We use hoar (pronounced whore with a u more or less) as a compliment for being a good mix of funny and cheeky. Got me into trouble also! Lots more but can't think of them now, they have been knocked out of me.
Am now in California and I can't even begin on that one. Might as well be in O Heb!

sashh Wed 16-Jan-13 05:35:03

What do you call cobs if not cobs?

Having lived in various places, cobs = bread rolls = crusty bread rolls.

Soft bread rolls = bread rolls= barm cakes = batch loaf= teacakes but in some parts of the country a tea cake has currents in it, in other places that's a current tea cake. Then there are oven bottom cakes which only exist in some places.

When I lived in Oxford the chip shop sold chip butties, but included an explanation for the locals.

other useful translations

butty = sandwich = bread roll with filling = piece. In London a sandwich is always sliced bread, in other parts of the country it can be any type of bread, hence including it in the above.

stand pie = large pork pie (will feed about 10)

take out=carry out=take away =delivery of above depending on context

Pudding and chips at an English chip shop is steak and kidney in suet pastry, a friend once orded it in Scotland and was asked, "black, white or haggis?"

In Yorkshire you mash tea in Lancashire you brew it. In Yorkshire 'do you want a drink' means any drink in Lancashire it means alcohol, you would have been offered a brew otherwise.

Pie and peas in Yorkshire is pork pie, in Lancashire it is meat and potato.

Indian Sandwich = naan or pita bread with sheek kebab

Some Aussie ones

Duvet = Doona
Cool box = eski

I referred to attaching something to the car roof with a bungee and got blank looks. I think they call them shock cord.

Lets get together and write a dictionary.

sleepywombat Wed 16-Jan-13 06:02:47

Doona & Eski come from brand names, like Sellotape & Hoover in the UK.

All paracetamol is Panadol & cling film is Glad wrap too.

Iteotwawki Wed 16-Jan-13 06:17:14

Cool box here is chilly bin.

I had an entire room of people laughing hysterically at me when I first arrived in NZ - I was using the English version of "rooting around" meaning "looking for something" and in NZ rooting only means having sex. Also caused giggles when I was talking about a fixed route somewhere (pronounced root) and here it's pronounced "rout".

EvenBetter Wed 16-Jan-13 06:23:14

I'm from Northern Ireland and when I was about 8 I was in England and asked another wee girl 'who's going now?' Cue blank expression and a good 5 minutes of me repeating myself until she said 'OH YOU MEAN NAAAAOOOW'
No, I meant 'now' there's no 'A' in it.

It bores me the way so many people act like N.Ireland/Scottish/Geordie/Liverpudlian accents are indecipherable. Call centre interactions take about 40minutes longer than they should, the other day it took some woman 15 minutes to be able to understand my postcode.

Whatdoiknowanyway Wed 16-Jan-13 06:48:49

First time I met my mother in law she said I was a bonny girl. I was slightly offended as where I come from (NW) bonny means a bit on the heavy side, which I certainly wasn't. She was actually being nice as where she lives bonny means attractive.

My husbands family speak Doric so we have lots of interesting words. Not sure about tatty bogie though - is it a trailer for carrying potatoes in from the fields?

ripsishere Wed 16-Jan-13 06:50:43

I love a Geordie accent. My Dad is one.
Australia have Manchester which appears to be a catch all for home linen. Tea towels, duvet covers, sheets and bedding etc.
DD saw a Manchester sale and got really excited hmm. Not sure what she thought she could spend her holiday money on.

CailinDana Wed 16-Jan-13 06:51:27

"Giving out to" has been a problem for me too Bratingham. It annoys me because I really don't like saying "telling off" - it seems meaner somehow.

Took me ages to get into the habit of saying "trousers" instead of "pants" although PILs were very "helpful" on that front.

I also never say "Shall," I say "Will," as in "Will we go to the cinema?" which I know can be considered a bit odd here but is normal in Ireland. I'd feel totally weird saying "Shall."

jaggythistle Wed 16-Jan-13 07:05:22

Can I get the points for scarecrow? smile

jaggythistle Wed 16-Jan-13 07:06:56

That was for curious.

JusticeCrab Wed 16-Jan-13 07:14:32

I remember having exchanges like this:


ME: Now then!

SOUTHERNER: Now then what?

ME: I was just saying hello!

MisselthwaiteManor Wed 16-Jan-13 07:21:11

DH says batch instead of roll, to me a batch is a whole batch of something ie. a dozen rolls/cakes. He also says 'which' instead of 'what' which confuses me, if he doesn't hear me he says 'which?' and I'm like 'which what?' He says pants for trousers too.

I saw a heated exchange between two men where one was threatening to bang the other. To me bang means shag but apparently here it means fight.

ripsishere Wed 16-Jan-13 07:23:59

I've a NI friend who calls sliced bread 'pan'.

hurricanewyn Wed 16-Jan-13 07:27:00

Another Irish- English one here, with spelling. I pronounce the letter r like 'or' instead of 'argh' as it is locally. Caused lots of confusion when I moved over.
As did giving out, which people assumed was an equivilant to putting out.
My use of hot press caused much hilarity - people falling about laughing & asking if my fridge was the cold press hmm
And using lemonade for every type of soft drink.

There's loads - I too was surprised by the difference in dialect

hurricanewyn Wed 16-Jan-13 07:28:10

I would say pan for bread, or I might buy a sliced pan too

Annunziata Wed 16-Jan-13 07:38:11

Pan bread and plain bread are different, but they're both sliced!

Love this thread. You all should hear my mum speak, she learned English by working in Glaswegian chippies, but she never lost her Italian accent grin

The back of five is up to half five! Preferably before twenty past.

My contribution is that cunt in MIL's dialect sounds like daughter in mine. The shame blush

stargirl1701 Wed 16-Jan-13 07:45:33

I'm Scottish (from the east) and have had trouble since I met DH (from the west)

Are you by with it? Apparently that means 'Are you finished with it?'

Let's get kennelled up. Apparently that means 'Let's get ready to go.'

He's a farmer so I also have had to learn the difference between hay and straw, what silage is and how meals must be with bread and at 12pm and 5pm. grin

AltinkumATEalltheTurkey Wed 16-Jan-13 07:46:53

Juice in Scotland means diluted juice or fresh juice.
Fizzy, is called ginger.

Cosmohat, stereotyping a nation is pathetic, maybe in your inner circle, but in my circle, we are a lot more sensible when it comes to drinking alcohol!!!

curiousuze Wed 16-Jan-13 07:50:29

Yes tatty bogle is scarecrow! A bogle is a kind of ghost thing, so it means literally 'potato ghost' grin

curiousuze Wed 16-Jan-13 07:53:43

Another one I use is 'through the house' as in 'where are my shoes?' 'They're through the house'

Through the house means the room you're not in, which isn't upstairs. So if I'm in the living room and my DH is through the house, he's in the kitchen. It makes sense to me!

Whatdoiknowanyway Wed 16-Jan-13 08:06:49

Through the house or 'Ben the hoose' is used with us.

'Loon' for boy, 'Quine' for girl, 'chiel' for man soon became normal speech. Took a bit longer to adjust to 'wifey' for woman, I admit.

I had little problem in understanding DH's family and friends but some of them still struggle with the idea that I can follow what they're saying. 'Does she ken fit we're speerin'?' (Does she understand what we're asking) is standard even now, more than 20 years after I joined the family. Real 'does she take sugar?' territory.

What I don't do is use most of the words myself as they sound plain silly in my English accent. So everyone will be enthusing about a pair of 'bonny breeks' and I'll have to join in saying 'yes, they are lovely trousers aren't they?'

yellowsnownoteatwillyou Wed 16-Jan-13 08:07:56

Ben the bunker-- in the kitchen on the work top WTF!

what's he cried-- what is his name

are you whinching yet-- are you in a relationship (asked from age 14 on wards)

pie paste-- puff pastry

fa is it-- where is it

fit like is it -- what's it like

I love this phrase "git tae, yer daying ma box in"

"please go away, you are giving me a headache and annoying me"

gymboywalton Wed 16-Jan-13 08:08:44

what about skitting? when i went to uni and said 'oh i am only skitting' my new housemates didn't have a clue what i was talking about.

likewise, when some workmen came to replace the windows in the flat and told me they would be 'having their snap 12 while 1' i literally hadn't a clue what they were going on about

Whatdoiknowanyway Wed 16-Jan-13 08:21:51

Oh - and 'fly cup'
Which is what you get when you drop into someone's house for a cup of tea late morning.'I'm just ha'in my fly cup'.

WaitingForMe Wed 16-Jan-13 08:25:20

I used to work in the Forest of Dean and was a bit bewildered to be called "Old butt" by an older bloke I worked with. It means friend.

He was really sweet and confessed he struggled with my strong accent - I'm from Harrogate and have the mildest of Yorkshire accents grin

thebitchdoctor Wed 16-Jan-13 08:31:15

I was at a residential week in uni for 6th formers. Most of us there were from the NW and there was one girl from Somerset. At the end of it I asked if she was 'made up' (happy) to be going home and she was like 'do you mean have I packed my suitcase?'

We call soft bread rolls Baps and crusty bread rolls Cobs. My in laws call them batches, it grates on my nerves!!!!

My now dh, when we were working together, not even dating, announced that he'd be back in a few minutes, he was 'just off to clean ma bits'. I was appalled! Firstly that they were so dirty he was going to have to go clean them, secondly that he had the audacity to actually announce it to me! When he came back five minutes later with shiny polished boots, the penny dropped.

I also had to get used to his family calling:

Work top - bunker
Called Jane - cried Jane
Cupboard - press
Airing cupboard - hot press

Now I live in Aus, it's a whole new ball game! grin

sashh Wed 16-Jan-13 08:57:27

Just remembered the Canadian teacher I met ona course. She had been stunned when her Yorkshire inlaws asked if she wanted to nurse the baby, her new born niece.

mrsjay Wed 16-Jan-13 09:00:06

Im scottish so lots of hows when I mean why but we all ask how instead of why here, ie how is that then , where it should be why is that then . we are asking how did that happen not why,

<confused masel>

mrsjay Wed 16-Jan-13 09:00:57

I have a few friends from yorkshire and I love that the seem to miss out the's and to in sentences

sashh Wed 16-Jan-13 09:01:56


It is called a glottal stop

mrsjay Wed 16-Jan-13 09:02:30

we also say where to you stay , not where do you live

tabulahrasa Wed 16-Jan-13 09:09:23

We moved to Scotland from Yorkshire when I was 6...

In Scotland a piece is a sandwich, a playpiece is a snack that schoolchildren have at playtime.

Which is why me and my sister were sent to school for the first six months with sandwiches while all the other children had a biscuit or bar of chocolate hmm lol

Gracelo Wed 16-Jan-13 09:26:35

It took me ages to get used to being asked "where do you stay" instead of "where do you live" when I moved to the West coast of Scotland. I always wondered if people thought I was a tourist.

catinthesnow Wed 16-Jan-13 09:32:25

"ay no?" (ay as in hay). "Ah no um urnae gonnae dae it" Translation -
I am absolutely not going to do that.

My uncle worked in South Africa on a building site. He needed some clarification and asked to speak to the gaffer. He was shocked when he almost got thrown off the site as he did not know that the word he used was misinterpreted as an extremely racist term.

WhatchuTalkinBoutPhyllis Wed 16-Jan-13 09:33:07

I thought everyone said bobowlers for those massive moth things but apparently not. It's taken me a while to get used to writing mum instead of mom.

I was volunteering in a sort of SN school in Bavaria a couple of years ago (ahh feels like this summer, times goes fast!). Most of them made an effort to use Hochdeutsch with me but when I was reading outside the classroom with a very young boy began reading the text such very heavy Plattdeutsch that I corrected the first line blush he was entirely right! It was just me...I got better as the week went on.....

Oh and the first few times I was talking to a friend of mine who comes from London, I was flummoxed because he always ends his sentences with "is it". So, "what do you think of the course, is it?". Is what? I'm sorry? blush

massistar Wed 16-Jan-13 09:56:26

"Is it" at the end of a sentence really threw me when I moved to Wales from Scotland. People would say to my little boy "You're a good boy, helping mammy, is it?". Took me ages to get used to!

People just used to look at me really blankly so I think it went 2 ways! When I take my son back to Glasgow now he has a great time practising his accent.. "Gonnae no dae that... Jist, gonnae no."

justmatureenough2bdad Wed 16-Jan-13 10:17:26

my fave "scotism" is "ken" at the end of sentences ...literal translation "know", but used as a sort of general sentence ender like "right" or "y'know"

the story that goes with it is, as a callow younf englishman arriving in edinburgh to start university, i was shown to a room by the accomodation manager with the statement..."here's ur room, ken".....cue my stammering, embarrassed and tentative, "no i'm terribly sorry, i'm not ken, i'm just, perhaps there is a mistake".....silence....consulted her list...."no, this is your room, ken"...i did the very english thing of not wanting to cause bother and just took the key and went in...

HyvaPaiva Wed 16-Jan-13 10:22:14

Curiousuze: A tattie bogle flegs the craws grin

Weta Wed 16-Jan-13 10:29:42

I knew a French guy who worked in a restaurant in NZ. The customers used to ask for a "doggy bag" so he would pack up some bones etc in a bag for their dog. But in NZ a doggy bag means packing up the leftover food the customer was unable to eat so that they can enjoy it at home later... I can't imagine what the people thought when they got home and found a whole lot of bones and scraps!

PandaOnAPushBike Wed 16-Jan-13 10:35:52

Shortly after moving down south I got seriously marked down in a first aid exam because I couldn't relay a message to emergency call taker properly. We had created scenes/accidents which we had to deal with. The examiner gave me the background information before one situation started. She said 'You're in this building ...'. When asked by the pretend call taker where we were I didn't know and couldn't tell her because the examiner hadn't told me. Except she had. I didn't realise that 'this building' meant 'THIS building'. Where I come from it's used in story telling in the same way as 'a' is used. EG Once upon a time there was this dragon ...'

I gave my Nanny a blank look when she said DS had been 'squinnying' a bit.
I now know this is Pompey Portsmouth dialect for whinging.

Described a day as 'a bit cushdy' to someone at University. Another blank look. Cushdy = sussex dialect for easy.

KateSMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 16-Jan-13 11:00:38

<bimbles in>

Hi guys, this is a cracking thread. We'd just like to remind people not to make sweeping generalisations based on where people live.

Tailtwister Wed 16-Jan-13 11:06:47

Years ago we had Australian friends who had served us some Phish Food ice cream (Ben and Jerry's I think) on evening. When I asked her where she had bought it, she said 'at the fish shop round the corner'. Determined to get some, we went into the fishmongers the very next day and not seeing it on display asked for it. Of course they looked at us like we were insane. I turns out our friend had meant the fish and chip shop!

Very embarrassing.

BlissfullyIgnorant Wed 16-Jan-13 11:07:25

By no means is this comprehensive, but for anyone visiting Kingston Upon Hull, it's [ a good start].

Step Wed 16-Jan-13 11:15:47

A Norn Iron dialect seems to be brilliant at causing confusion.

I've been lost looking for Veda here... confused why the I can't order a chip in the takeaway or a fish supper (a pasty supper would be like heaven), baffled why the wheaten is labelled as brown soda, and can't for the life of me work out why they think yer man means their DH not yer man..... oh and telling someone the tea's wet but you wouldn't have it dry causes all manner of confusion.

I'm from Leeds and my accent annoys my nanna and great grandma who live in Ireland.

When i visit them my great grandma tries giving me speech lessons. By the time I come home I have an Irish accent grin

I also get a bollocking for dropping "the" in emails I send her.

My dad is Irish and used to say "you dropped it at ya arse" if we had lost something. I have said this to friends to look at me and say "wtf does that mean?"

catpark Wed 16-Jan-13 11:24:15

I'm from Scotland and we have variations on words. I'm from leith and my husband is from East Lothian and there are a few things that I say that baffled him at first. Like bunker (worktop) Jirken (Jacket/coat) and a colly buckie (Piggy back )

Our children use a mix of our dialects/accent but the one that annoys the MIL is when they say 'what ?' Instead of saying yes or i didn't catch that when someone says something to them.

DeWe Wed 16-Jan-13 11:32:27

"Vikings" where I grew up= "danish pastries" here. Poor chap in the shop looked hopelessly confused.

Wereonourway Wed 16-Jan-13 11:37:02

I'm from the north east and to us a roll/cob( for a sandwich ) is called a bun. A bread bun. We don't call anything a roll?!
If its crusty it's a crusty bun! We also have stotties.
A colleague recently visited from Liverpool and he tried pease pudding for the first time.
We use the word canny a lot too, used to describe something/someone good- "aw isn't she canny" or can be used to mean quite. As in -"it's canny cold out there"
We call juice juice, if its diluted or concentrated fruit juice and we call fizzy drinks pop

redexpat Wed 16-Jan-13 11:42:19

Asking for a Henry outside of Gloucestershire is always a total fail. THat's an orange juice and lemonade.

Also having grown up in the shire I remember being very confused when a supply teacher told us to get our plimsoles on. They are daps, obviously.

HighJinx Wed 16-Jan-13 11:47:46

When I moved to Scotland from SE England and on my first day in a new job I said I was going to the shop at lunchtime. A colleague said to me "wait the now and I'll chum you"

I must have looked confused and shock because she burst out laughing and asked me what I thought she meant. I had no idea she just wanted to come with me grin

Lobscouse Wed 16-Jan-13 11:49:52

I said to southern friend (trying to reduce her washing pile..)

"You don't change your pants everyday,do you?"

She looked horrified..

I thought her v.precious...

Along while later I realised she thought I meant knickers!

No wonder the friendship fizzled..

Lobscouse Wed 16-Jan-13 11:50:59

I have Scots friend who "chums me down the road" and it is so cosy-sounding!

VitoCorleone Wed 16-Jan-13 11:54:11

Haha Justice we say "now then" aswell

I was talking to an American friend on the phone once and he asked what i was upto, i said "im stood on t'back door step smoking a fag"

He was like "WHAT?!?" I had to quickly explain that fag=cigarette

Also what is a cob? I always say "im sweating cobs"

Lobscouse Wed 16-Jan-13 11:57:00

In Liverpool if you have "got a cob on " you are in a bad mood.

COCKadoodledooo Wed 16-Jan-13 11:58:03

When I was 16 I went on a school exchange to the US. One lesson we had to stand in front of the class and say a bit about ourselves. At the time I was on the local ladies rugby team, so I said "I play rugby. I'm a hooker."

Sharp intake of breath and shock faces all round the room, until I realised that they had taken it as two separate activities and explained it was a position on the team..

Tis why I have such a dread of making small talk now I'm sure!

I love dialects.

I moved from down south to near Nottingham when I was 5. My parents had a nickname for my brother Peter - he was 'pet'. I genuinely only worked out a few years ago that they weren't just being more affectionate towards him (or less keen to use his name, I guess) by calling him 'pet' - they just didn't know Midlanders call everyone 'pet' and I'd grown up with it at school. Took me a long time to understand 'mardy' and 'poorly'.

I had a dental nurse who argued with me for ages because she'd asked what I drink, and I said 'fizzy water' (which is what we'd say for 'carbonated water', sparkling water). She kept saying 'but what's in it' and I'd say 'nothing', and she'd say 'well, there's sugar in it, right?'. Eventually I did work out what she meant - she was calling anything like sprite or tizer 'fizzy water'. confused

She was convinced this was normal - if anyone knows what dialect that is, let me know! (Harder to work out when you've got a numb jaw, btw.)

'Have you got t' time?' confuses me too. I can hear there's a glottal stop in there between 'got' and 'time' but it always takes me a minute to work out someone isn't asking, have I got a spare minute to help them, they're asking what time it is.

A couple of my good mates are American, and they cope ok with southern English but one of them is going up to Newcastle soon. It will be very funny. grin

Catchingmockingbirds Wed 16-Jan-13 12:02:58

My mum used to childmind a couple of English kids (we're Scottish) who would tell me "I'm Polly" when I'd encourage them to eat their dinner. confused I'd wonder why they were pretending to be a girl called Polly but would just say "ok that's very nice, good for you, now eat your dinner."

Eventually I found out they were telling me they were feeling too sick to eat any more, and "Polly" was "poorly" which meant sick confused.

Lobscouse Wed 16-Jan-13 12:04:23

Not dialect but accent.

I remember in Scotland asking for a Twirl (twerl in my accent) bar in a shop..

It took me pointing at it in the glass case tomake my meaning clear,

"Aah, a Twirrrell!" in the shop assistant's accent.

She very kindly reassured me I had a lovely accent!hmm (I do try to adapt I promise.)

Chopchopbusybusy Wed 16-Jan-13 12:08:16

I'm Scottish but live in England. We took English raised DD to her granny's house and someone arrived with a dog. Granny told DD to "gie the dug a clap" DD looked puzzled but when granny told her again to do it she reluctantly gave the dog a round of applause.
This is a great thread!

Chopchopbusybusy Wed 16-Jan-13 12:11:45

Lobscouse, DD wanted to call her hamster twirl but she changed her mind because she said she didn't want it called twirrrull by me blush

Ooo someone else who says daps! What else are you supposed to call those black slip on gym shoes grin
I say molly mits for oven gloves. I have no idea if this is dialect, or if my mother just made it up. I have never met anyone else who uses it, but then I have never lived in Bristol (where my mother grew up).

FruitOwl Wed 16-Jan-13 12:18:15

I remember an Australian friend telling me that he'd been running on the beach and his thong had fallen off. He meant his flip-flop, apparently grin

deleted203 Wed 16-Jan-13 12:30:57

LOL @ chop at the DH can't say 'Carl' he says, 'Carroll'. Which gives the lads at work hysterics as one of them is called Carl. All the boys are calling him 'Carol' now......

How about 'the morn' to you Scots? DH used to tell me 'I'll ring ye the morn' when we were first dating, and I'd be fuming by mid afternoon. To him, 'the morn' just means tomorrow (and he'd ring up in the evening to speak to me). Apparently if he was going to ring me in the MORNING (as I'd assumed) he'd have said, 'I'll ring you the morn's morn'.

In the States I was once on the phone to a friend how said, 'what are you doing?' and my reply was, 'Having a crafty fag'..... I had no idea you could confuse cigaretttes with homosexuals! (Although the stunned silence makes sense since I realised that).

deleted203 Wed 16-Jan-13 12:32:03

sorry...who said, not how said.

Some of these are funny....I remember saying to an American friend when I was about 15 "I neeeeeed a faaag!" in a drunken way...

He looked at me which I responded "A fag! You smoke!" <<his eyes widen>>

He thought I wanted to go and shoot some gay people confused

I'd like to add, he is in now way homophobic which was why he was so shocked....but that only means one thing where he's from.

badtime Wed 16-Jan-13 12:33:53

Travelin, you are supposed to call them gutties, like everybody else in Northern Ireland.

deleted203 Wed 16-Jan-13 12:36:15

No, no. A gutty is a slingshot!

badtime Wed 16-Jan-13 12:39:28

Are you mad? Do you mean a catty?

badtime Wed 16-Jan-13 12:40:32
Panzee Wed 16-Jan-13 12:43:06

The black gym shoes are pumps! smile but it means I have no idea when fashion people talk about pumps. I keep imagining a posh dress worn with black canvas slip on shoes with elastic.... grin

Whitamakafullo Wed 16-Jan-13 12:54:21

loving this thread grin I'm Scottish and there's so much mentioned here that I say!

My username comes from my gran, where if she thought she was going to get embarrassed by something would say ` Whit a mak` a full o` or ` what a make a fool off

She also got my grandad to pass her nightie out to her once by saying `gees ma goon oot`

talking about misunderstandings though, I used to process bank applications and came across one Yorkshire man who had did his application over the phone and who`s occupation was apparently a Lion Erector hmm I had to phone him and casually asked him on the call `can I just ask you what your occupation is?` He replied ` I work on the railways, I'm a line erecter ` grin

coldethyl Wed 16-Jan-13 13:00:53

I didn't think there was much difference between where I grew up (Bucks) and where DH grew up (Glos), until I met his mates. I'd never heard 'scran' for food before, and Biffa were a company that collected the bins, not a term of abuse!

The best one, though, was shortly after we were married. One Sunday afternoon I cheerfully said 'I'm making coffee, would you like one?' and DH replied 'I should coco!'. Now, where I come from, that means 'Not flaming likely! Do you think me some kind of fool?', so I stropped off to the kitchen and made my own coffee, just for me. 15 minutes later, I find DH standing behind me in hurt puzzlement, asking where his coffee is.... because where he comes from, it means 'Oh yes please, with bells on'. Oops.

CecyHall Wed 16-Jan-13 13:15:40

I asked DH if he wanted 'buppie bread' with his tea not long ago, he looked at me as if I was an alien, it's always meant bread and butter to me, not sure if that's just our family though.

We also feel 'swimey' (rhymes with slimy) for that sicky dizzy ill feeling and he didn't now that either.

In return he gave me 'the snerts' for a runny nose and 'gooze' for saliva/dribble. I'm southern, he's West Midlands.

tabulahrasa Wed 16-Jan-13 13:21:51

Those shoes you wear for gym are gym rubbers...

ApplePippa Wed 16-Jan-13 13:22:23

The first Christmas I spent with DH's family I remember being utterly confused when his grandmother asked me in her broad Norfolk accent if we'd trimmed up before coming away.

I spent a few mmoments trying to work out what on earth I'd just been asked.... lock up?.. cut the grass?

MiL came to my rescue. In East Kent where I come from, we call it putting up Christmas decorations smile. I' 've heard it loads of times since then, and is probably a very common phrase for many of you!

LemonBreeland Wed 16-Jan-13 13:27:46

Some of these are hilarious. i'm glad someone mentioned 'the back of 5'. DH is Scottish and he still doesn't know what that means. I have found it means different things to different people so most unhelpful.

My DC are Scottish and sometimes struggle with the Geordie things my family say. A wonderful one being 'don't do that or you'll get wrong'. It means get told off, but as an adult I can see now why it is complete nonsense.

I try to get my DC to pronounce words properly too, especially at a young age to help their spelling. If you say poot for put then you will end up spelling it like that. DS1 is 9 and just sighs and says I don't want to say it the geordie way. hmm

zukiecat Wed 16-Jan-13 13:36:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nickelbabe Wed 16-Jan-13 13:40:26

I know you've moved on, but I am from Nottingham ,too, and of course cobs are cobs.

DH is from Kent and didn't believe me that that was an actual official word, he thought I was just being awkward and calling stuff a common word for it.

When he came with me to Nottingham, his eyes were opened, as cob is the actual official word - he was gobsmacked because he saw "cob shop" and menus full of sandwiches and cobs etc.

nickelbabe Wed 16-Jan-13 13:42:37

Blending - "where's it to?"
in Cornwall, it means "what's happening?"

Deux Wed 16-Jan-13 13:46:10

I'm a Scot and say 'amn't I' instead of 'aren't I'. I just can't bring myself to say 'aren't I', it just sounds wrong to my ears.

Yes, yes to differentiating between softies and rolls. Then there's the buttery too.

A young American intern at work had us all guffawing as she talked about not being able to find her 'fanny pack'. We eventually worked out it was a bum bag.

Anyone want a piece an' jam?

zukiecat Wed 16-Jan-13 13:58:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nickelbabe Wed 16-Jan-13 13:58:57

the black ones are pumps.
the white ones are plimsolls.

nickelbabe Wed 16-Jan-13 14:01:23

Lemon - you should allow them to speak in the accent local to where you live. that's what they will grow up with, and that's how they will be taught the spellings for.

(so in my accent, g-r-ass is how you'd say grass, but in my DH's and DD's local accent, they would learn that gr-ah-ss is how you'd say it, but spell "ah" as "a"

badtime Wed 16-Jan-13 14:01:34

Lemon "I try to get my DC to pronounce words properly too, especially at a young age to help their spelling. If you say poot for put then you will end up spelling it like that. "

Sorry, that doesn't make sense - they are saying 'put' even though you are hearing 'poot'. There is no reason at all why that would affect their spelling.

Believe me - I never had any problems with spelling and I was over 30 before I realised that most people (outside NI and some parts of Scotland) don't pronounce e.g. soot and suit exactly the same.

VitoCorleone Wed 16-Jan-13 14:04:01

Travelin - we say oven mits, like scratch mits.

Deux Wed 16-Jan-13 14:09:50

I grew up in an area with a very particular dialect and managed to spell very well. It's not like we speak a phonetic language anyway.

Interestingly, since watching Borgen and The Killing, I am amazed at how many of our dialect words sound and mean the same in Danish.

i love this thread! i'm originally from the midlands and have been living in the sw for 10years and even now some of the things i say will cause my dp to look at me in confusion - we have been together for 2 and half years, he has lived all over the country and he still has trouble understandig some things!!

zukiecat Wed 16-Jan-13 14:17:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Deux Wed 16-Jan-13 14:21:26

We call them sand shoes! Plimsolls, that is.

Catchingmockingbirds Wed 16-Jan-13 14:25:08

DD wanted to call her hamster twirl but she changed her mind because she said she didn't want it called twirrrull by me

However else would you say it? confused

Catchingmockingbirds Wed 16-Jan-13 14:31:48

The little shoes are sand shoes, and trainers are gutties smile

South african (SA) girl talking to my boss in our office one day says "I want to talk to you about my disc" My boss (B) looks confused and says "I'm sorry what disc?"
SA "my disc, you know...?
B "disc...? what disc?
B "Did I the IT team give you a disc?"
SA bangs on my bosses DESK "no my DESK"

We were rolling up. He was bright red !

..although that's more of an accent that a regional dialect! blush funny though....

ConferencePear Wed 16-Jan-13 14:43:52

I was working on an archaeological dig when an American colleague turned up one morning and announced that she wanted to take a photograph of all of our fannies so that she could make a collage when she got home.
When all the English had managed to stop laughing we worked out that what she saw most of was our trousers backsides sticking out of a muddy trench it would be a good way of remembering us.

sarahlundssweater Wed 16-Jan-13 14:57:14

In South Yorkshire we have mardy, poorly, monk on (similar to mardy). Your snap goes in a snap-box, if you're lucky your mam might have put some spice in't snap-box... If you're looking through the window when you're eating your snap you might see a spuggy in't garden.

I was once training a group a group of native English speakers from various countries to be Tefl teachers. At the beginning of the course we were doing a getting to know you exercise, and one lad told me his name was Dane. "Different" I thought, "well, he is from SA." I then called him "Dane" for the next few days until the penny finally dropped that his name was actually, Dean. blush

Portofino Wed 16-Jan-13 15:00:53

As a new student in Newcastle, I was most shocked to be asked by a young lad if I had any tabs. I thought he was asking me for drugs.....

Whilst there, I flat shared with one girl from Bradford, one from Worcs, and had a bf from Hull. I moved back down south with a very strange accent and people would regularly ask me where I was from. grin

An email as just reminded me that here it is perfectly acceptable to address an email (in French) to Cher, or Chers. But the translations to "Dears" does not work well......

AndABigBirdInaPearTree Wed 16-Jan-13 15:04:52

Oh I remember a more recent one that gave me raised eyebrows. Here in the U.S. if you do athletics ("track and field") and throw something (discus, shot-put etc) and go retrieve them it is called shagging. First time I heard someone say "go shag the XYZs" I thought they were joking and did a double take, the second time I thought they were pulling my leg.

Seabird72 Wed 16-Jan-13 15:08:22

I say Cobs and no-one seems to know what I meant - either down South or up North! When I was in the South I was aksed if I wanted to get a sausage roll - I thought they meant the pastry but when we went to the shop it was sausages in a bread roll! And it has taken me a long time to switch from cobs to rolls.

AndABigBirdInaPearTree Wed 16-Jan-13 15:08:53

Sarahlund, where I live they pronounce Don and Dawn the same way (like Don to my ears) and you can't tell them apart. When I first moved here my friend would talk about her sister "Don" and it took me a year or two (she wrote it for some reason) before I twigged that it was "Dawn" and changed what I called her. I kept wondering if it was short for something


Thewhingingdefective Wed 16-Jan-13 15:18:00

Years ago at university, one of the course leaders asked a girl (from the US) how she found the city we were living and studying in. Meaning, did she like it. The girl looked puzzled and said something about looking up British universities and then looking at a map and speaking to the UK Tourist Information Board. grin

My DH finds it strange that where I am from in Yorkshire we say 'working while 8 o'clock' not 'until 8 o'clock'.

sarahlundssweater Wed 16-Jan-13 15:21:14

Embarrassing, isn't it, BigBird? I always wondered if he knew I was saying it wrong because it didn't sound like that in my accent.

sarahlundssweater Wed 16-Jan-13 15:25:01

My friends at uni (southerners) would always laugh at me for saying "working 9 while 3." And for calling lunch "dinner" and dinner "tea," but that's a north/south thing.

I was born in Holland. My mother is from the west of Ireland. We moved to cork when I was 7. It took me years to understand the locals.

Yoke - thing eg 'pass me that blue yoke'

Bjore - girl

Togs -swim suit

Evening - afternoon

Tipped - git by a car (my mother learned that one in the worst possible way: 'your daughter is on the road, she's been tipped' shock)

Press - cupboard

Hot press - airing cupboard

Langer - wanker

Knacker - chav

Go away with - snog

There are millions more, all said with a thick cork accent!

Now we live in the west... More familiar but still indecipherable at times grin

PurplePidjin Wed 16-Jan-13 15:29:23

I find myself saying " I went up down the High Street". Is that Hampshire or am I just a bit odd? probably the latter

Chopchopbusybusy Wed 16-Jan-13 15:32:57

Catchingmockingbirds, sorry, I don't understand. Scottish people tend to pronounce a U where there isn't one. So twirrrull, fillum (film) etc. DD would say twill ( with a very faint R sound) or film as it is spelt.
Didn't think my post deserved the sarcastic hmm face

mrsjay Wed 16-Jan-13 15:33:23

^ You all should hear my mum speak, she learned English by working in Glaswegian chippies, but she never lost her Italian accent^

I love an italian glaswegian grin

Thewhingingdefective Wed 16-Jan-13 15:36:59

Bread rolls are bread cakes where I am from in West Yorkshire. Or scufflers.

When I first moved to Cornwall I requested a chip butty at the local fish and chip shop and got a bank look. When I explained that it was chips in a bread cake, that didn't help.

When I was much younger I thought I'd pulled a good looking man when he called over as I was leaving "Phone me later".

Luckily, before I made any embarassing calls, my friend translated the thick Geordie accent for me, and he was actually telling me that he'd found the cigarette lighter we'd been looking for, and was telling me he'd "Found me lighter".

Thewhingingdefective Wed 16-Jan-13 15:38:19

Blank. Not bank.

tabulahrasa Wed 16-Jan-13 15:41:14

I think Catchingmockinbirds was agreeing that twirrrull is indeed the right way to say it wink

ilikefestivitea Wed 16-Jan-13 15:42:22

I have trouble all the bloody time.with my Scottish accent here in the south of.England. I once had to phone a patient to ask if he had opened his bowels (as if not I had to give him an enema) - he was most idignant that I had called and wondered why a nurse.was asking if he had opened his bills grin

mrsjay Wed 16-Jan-13 15:43:29

hat twirrrull is indeed the right way to say it

scots can't say twirl we have to twurrrull dd had an english friend who had moved here poor laddies name was karl grin

IslaValargeone Wed 16-Jan-13 15:50:18

In the 1960's my Glaswegian mum moved to London and worked in the lingerie
department of a large store. She had particular difficulty being understood whilst promoting (the very fashionable at the time) Berlei Girdle.

mrsjay Wed 16-Jan-13 15:51:35

She had particular difficulty being understood whilst promoting (the very fashionable at the time) Berlei Girdle.

wouldve been a burly gurdle grin

not long after we moved to Canada i was asking where a certain shop was, and was told by a colleague:

'it's kitty-corner to the chemist'

WTF thought i !?!?!?

It means diagonally opposite - i rolled up!

IslaValargeone Wed 16-Jan-13 15:52:18

yes grin

LoopsInHoops Wed 16-Jan-13 15:52:22

To a bunch of Aussies: "Can anyone help me plan my route? I really don't know what I'm doing?"

Apparenly, 'root' to an Australian is a shag, so they pronounce 'route' 'rawt' to avoid planning shags on their satnav/GPS. blush

Goodtalkingtoo Wed 16-Jan-13 15:54:04

I am from Scotland and you can imagine my English friends face when during a conversation I said I done rubbish at school cause I went dogging.

Dogging in Scotland means playing truant.

Weans means children
Ginger for anything fizzy and juice for everything else
Butty or piece for sandwich

loops that's really making me laugh !

VivaLeBeaver Wed 16-Jan-13 16:06:06

Not heard of kitty corner but my Gran used to say katy corner to mean diagonaly opposite.

zukiecat Wed 16-Jan-13 16:09:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tabulahrasa Wed 16-Jan-13 16:19:34

I can't say twirl, or film, or farm and I struggle with poem tbh, I can say it if I concentrate blush

mrsjay Wed 16-Jan-13 16:23:00

i cant either tub scots is a very vowelly accent ( is that a word)

mrsjay Wed 16-Jan-13 16:24:17

emile sande was on graham norton the other night i was expecting a fit like accent but she had a nice aberdeen accent zukie

jaggythistle Wed 16-Jan-13 16:29:33

Ginger must be a west coast thing, it's just a can or tin of juice here (east). I think it was the same when I lived in a more northerly direction. Not as far east as you quines. smile

thegreylady Wed 16-Jan-13 16:30:23

My d-i-l is of Irish origin.I was visiting and asked where dgc were she replied "My mum brought them to the shops".I said "When were you there?" Apparently brought =took.She also uses 'bold' to mean naughty-I thought she was complimenting dgs on his exploits when she was scolding him grin

jen127 Wed 16-Jan-13 16:31:17

working in the good ole US of A and a colleague invited me for dinner. On Monday some of the lads were jesting with me and telling me she was a lesbian - so what . Any way one of them asked me did she try to touch your fanny ?
I have worked with only lads for many years but thought this was corssing the line, he then tunred round and pointed to his bottom as I pointed to what I thought he meant ! he was horrified!
I am Scot living in Southern ireland and there have been many lost in transalations.
Hot press- airing cupbord
pearer - pencil sharpener
Delph - plates and saucers
Mineral - any soft drink like coke

I also had at Scottish friend who went round Tesco's here looking for Gee - Clarified cooking oil for Indian food .
Though here it is a rude word for ladies privates .
The 16 year old after school worker was horrified and themamanger was called and he couldn't help either. It was only a few days later did it all become clear!

mrsjay Wed 16-Jan-13 16:37:25

my dad says ginger I don't i cringe when i hear it although i call fizz juice

upsylazy Wed 16-Jan-13 16:38:24

Re the Scots using the word "stay" for where they live, do they use a different word for when they are living somewhere on a temporary basis ie staying in a hotel or at a friend's house? This has always confused me.

zukiecat Wed 16-Jan-13 16:41:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrsjay Wed 16-Jan-13 16:45:12

I do think dialect and words change though I say different words to my parents and my dds say different words to us and have a slightly different accent to me , I can switch from Scots to English I am bilingual grin

mrsjay Wed 16-Jan-13 16:45:40

no we stay in a hotel too upsy

Catchingmockingbirds Wed 16-Jan-13 16:46:29

chop I didn't put a sarcastic face??

Sabriel Wed 16-Jan-13 16:50:48

We moved from SE to SW. DH's first day at work he came home and said he couldn't understand what any of his colleagues were saying and at one point asked somebody if it was Talk Like a Pirate day. Big blush at the blank looks and he realised that was their accent. Followed that with a chap who referred to the broom as 'he' or 'him', and the wonderful phrase 'where's it to?' he wondered where on earth we'd ended up grin

The nursery teacher told me I would need to bring in daps for DD. She must have thought I was a bit simple when I had to get her to explain exactly what it was she wanted. Went in to work and asked them if any of them knew what daps were. All the local-born knew but all the incomers looked blank.

4aminsomniac Wed 16-Jan-13 16:51:30

First job was in central Scotland, I moved from the Midlands. The first time I moved house, I was insulted when someone asked me when I was 'flitting', as to me this implied I would be leaving in the dead of the night, leaving unpaid bills behind me and no forwarding address. She just meant moving house!

PIL were from Aberdeen, and it was only on my second visit that I realised my FIL wasn't called Ken! MIL used to say eg. 'We'll have dinner at 1 o'clock, ken?' !

My sons were going to their first school disco here in Australia, and my neighbour told me the $7 ticket price included a bag of chips and a bag of lollies. And asked if I wanted to pay the extra $2 to get them s sausage!?

Well I thought it distinctly odd that the ticket price would include a bag of chips. And why in gods name would you need a whole bag of lolly pops? And where did the sausage fit into all this? But I just gave each of them $10 and sent them on their way. On their return I found out : chips = crisps, lollies = sweets, the. 'sausage', was a sausage sandwich from the BBQ after the disco, like having dinner on the way home!

When I finally admitted my confusion to my neighbour she thought it was hilarious.

zukiecat Wed 16-Jan-13 16:55:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Oh, and (I'm originally from the west of Scotland, my friend is from the east), before my eldest started nursery, I asked my friend if I should send sannies with him to nursery. She replied no, it's ok, they'll feed him there confused. I couldn't understand why she thought if want him to eat his little black gym shoes. She, obviously, meant sandwiches! grin

Thought I'd*

zukie ah use tae hiv a rowie fae aitkins in ma piece box fan ah wis in high school. Tha or a jeely piece. 'Twis guy fine like grin Ah hivnae hid een fir a lang time noo tho. Im a teuchter noo grin

I'm suddenly thinking that it'd be easier to talk to someone in German than some of you Northerners! <boggles>

An American friend of mine was at a party over here (Ireland) when, near the end of the night, she asked if anyone could give her a ride.

I ran over to her and explained to her what she had just said. The poor girl went puce. A few garsúns at the party were disappointed too because she is stunning looking.

Our Egyptian friend (not sure if this is an Egyptian thing or just him) calls the living room "inside" and any room that isn't the living room "outside". DH discovered this after this conversation

Friend: I'm just going outside to get my laptop
DH: You need to go outside to get it?
F: Yes, it's in the bedroom
DH: You need to go outside to get to the bedroom?
F: Yes.
DH: confused I've been to your flat, you can get to the bedroom through the hallway...
F: Yes, I know, that's what I meant..

zukiecat Wed 16-Jan-13 18:05:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JennyPiccolo Wed 16-Jan-13 18:13:55

A funcy piece! That's a belter

Catchingmockingbirds Wed 16-Jan-13 18:17:10

grin I've loved reading this thread. I'm scottish and so many terms and phrases I use or hear and don't think twice about have been mentioned. It's funny to see them being misinterpreted.

A regional dialect fail here:

I'm from West Scotland and was in the East Scotland visiting, I was in a friends house and asked where something was and was told 'it's on the bunker'. Bunker to me is a big coal storage and I had one in my garden at home so looked out the window confused only to be told they meant on the kitchen counter.

zukie I really miss Aitkins. I'm near Inverness now but used to be in the 'Deen then Huntly and the only rowies you can get here are Harry Gows and they're shite in comparison. AND they're called butteries here too hmm I'll be flying for my hols in april from Aberdeen so I'll be going to buy a mass of them on my way home grin luckily they freeze quite well

zukiecat Wed 16-Jan-13 18:39:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Chopchopbusybusy Wed 16-Jan-13 19:26:35

catchingmockingbirds, my apologies. I'm on my phone and got my smileys mixed up! I thought you were being sarcastic!
I'm from the west of Scotland and we said bunker for worktop, but DH is from the same area and accused me of making it up!

Calabria Wed 16-Jan-13 19:27:25

'Fancy piece' means the other woman in some places grin

gimmecakeandcandy Wed 16-Jan-13 19:38:31

A cob in certain parts of the west mids is a batch. But ask for a batch anywhere else and you get hmm

Batch! Not a cob!


nickelbabe Wed 16-Jan-13 19:42:04

batch is several items cooked/made at the same time

MarmaladeSkies Wed 16-Jan-13 19:42:14

I'm from Glasgow and an aquaintance from Kilmarnock confused the hell out of me by talking about her winter dyke.Apparently it's a Kilmarnock word for a clothes horse. I'd never heard it before.

nickelbabe Wed 16-Jan-13 19:42:31

and you mash tea.

Catchingmockingbirds Wed 16-Jan-13 19:45:04

It's ok chop smile

This was in Fife, I was really confused and argued blind that a bunker was for coal and lived outside and they had the term mixed up blush

Ambrosiacreamedrice Wed 16-Jan-13 19:46:03

Where I work the children say 'for' instead of 'to'. So you get 'I was going for town yesterday...' which took me a while to work out.

When I worked in Essex the kids looked at me like I had two heads when I told them to get some pencil crayons to colour their work.

People round here tend to just pronounce the 't' of the and add it to the next word - think Peter Kay and 'tinternet'. A common conversation might go 'where you off', 'just o'er yonder t'moors' (pronounced mewers). Everything is o'er yonder, up yonder, down yonder, under yonder. No-one has ever worked out where yonder actually is.

nickelbabe Wed 16-Jan-13 19:46:41


down here in the thames estuary they use indoors to mean at home instead of inside.
it used to confuse me and be odd but it's got to the stage where it now annoys the hell out of me and I have to correct it. I don't know if I can cope with it for the next 50ish years!

LucyGoose Wed 16-Jan-13 19:49:14

I am american and my husband is from Sunderland, and the regional accent and words took some getting used to.
Conversations with the IL's went like this:

me: how you are you doing today?
IL's: Oh, we are canny
me: (silence) oh okay. (To me, canny means clever, but they mean good.)

IL'ssadat 11am in morning) what do you want for dinner?
me: I don't know - that's like over 6 hours away.
(oops, they mean lunch)

IL's: what do you want for tea?
me: Oh, I am fine, I don't want anything to drink right now.

I am much better now, 5 years later....but I am still dislike getting called "pet", sorry

badguider Wed 16-Jan-13 19:49:27

After 4 years at a Scottish uni with more English than scors I thought I'd identified all my Scottish words but I totally bamboozled my English flat mate when I moved to London by saying I had tugs in my hair grin

bobthebuddha Wed 16-Jan-13 19:54:28

VERY glad to hear the cobs issue not just confined to me! When I first moved to Leicester & asked for a 'bread bun' the shop assistant just couldn't make the connection. We had a five minute stand-off until my frantically pointing at the right object finally enlightened her. She thought I was insane, asking for something so obscure as a bread bun. I had a right cob on by the end of that exchange grin

notnowImreading Wed 16-Jan-13 20:02:25

I once pissed myself laughing when the American boy I was dating told me he was wearing 'cacky pants' - it's the combination. The khaki trousers were very nice.

Lobscouse Wed 16-Jan-13 20:03:02

Is it quite widespread to use having a cob on for mardywink, or is it just Liverpool?
Leicester people do you just eat your cobs? confused

bobthebuddha Wed 16-Jan-13 20:05:15

Well I'd never heard of having a 'cob on' before hitting Leicester - and yes, it meant being mardy :-)

auntpetunia Wed 16-Jan-13 20:15:46

Visiting friends in Southampton and as walking to pub got soaked by bus going through puddle, I wasn't too bad being on inside but lad I was with drenched to skin So decided to nip back and change whilst I went to meet the friends. I caused uproar because I announced "he's gone back to change his kecks "

Trousers are kecks in Liverpool..... Apparently undies are/were kecks in Southampton and they thought I was giving too much info. Wierd southerners!

SecretNutellaFix Wed 16-Jan-13 20:20:37

My manager has provided us with much hilarity from a single mistake years ago.

A customer came in and strode up to her and demanded to know where we kept our "Dai caps"

She looked at her a bit strangely and said "Dye caps? No, we don't sell those. Have you tried Boots?"

Customer then said "Why would Boots sell Dai caps? My Grandson needs one for the photo tomorrow."

Giggling, the other two of us finally translated for her that the lady wanted a tweedy flat cap for a little boy in infant school whose photo was being taken the next day for the St David's Day photo's that get published in the local newspaper every year.

All the while they were looking at each other up from the corner of their eyes, both wondering about the stupidity of the other.

The lady finally found one in the market and came back in to brandish the thing at my manager who by now had seen the funny side.

sparklingsky Wed 16-Jan-13 20:24:57

Speaking to a data analyst colleague, to hear "poo it on the pooter" and "pooing it on now duck".

I have the sense of humour of a six year old. I still PML.

Ilovemyteddy Wed 16-Jan-13 20:29:16

DH is from Norn Iron. When I went to NI for the first time he talked about a local shop being a 'real kip'. Now I'm from Norf Lundun, so to me a kip = a sleep. I was confused until he explained that a kip means messy/untidy/disorganised.

We've been married for 25 years now and I use NI words a lot - yoke and yer man are just so useful. I saw that HibernoCaledonian used garsun up thread. FIL uses that a lot. When I heard him say it i assumed it came from garçon, but presume, with the fada, it's Irish.

BestIsWest Wed 16-Jan-13 20:31:37

I described a young lad I work with as being 'quite fit' to my manager yesterday. He gave me a bit of a confused look and I had to explain that it means 'able to stand up for yourself' where I come from blush.

He is quite fit though, in both ways grin.

apostropheuse Wed 16-Jan-13 20:48:45

I stay in Scotland too smile

We can, and frequently do, have whole conversations which would probably make no sense to foreigners.

Goany go intae the scullery hen, go intae the end press and bring me a pan loaf?


Because a fancy a wee piece! And while yer there bring me some cowel ginger. (cold fizzy juice)

Whit kind?

emmmm cola.

We actually called our living room the kitchen and we called the kitchen the scullery.

My granny called a nappy a hippen and an onion was pronounced ingyin!

We tended to use some Irish words rather than Scottish. Even fellow-Scots looked at us strangely at time. grin

UniS Wed 16-Jan-13 20:52:01

i moved a lot when I was younger, six months here, six months there. Every town I had to learn a new name for a filled roll at lunchtime. I've had
Baps, Barms, oven bottom cakes, cobs, rolls, butties,scufflers, bread cakes & stotties.

IAmLouisWalsh Wed 16-Jan-13 21:06:35

My mate asked for chips in a teacake in the fish shop in Newcastle. Apparently in Oldham teacakes don't have currants in. They do up here.

I was baffled by the 'outdoor' in Birmingham - it's an offy. And a gambowl - although I use that now - for a somersault.

CaptainNancy Wed 16-Jan-13 21:52:06

Eh? Teacakes do have raisins in in Oldham... barm cakes don't. Nor do muffins (they're the oven-bottom type).

Gambol- yes- to anyone else in the world Britain, gambolling is what lambs do- i.e. skipping around in a field. But No! gambolling is apparently what the rest of the world call a forward roll hmm
I did wonder why so many colleagues had such happy, carefree, spontaneous childhoods! grin

squeakytoy Wed 16-Jan-13 22:24:02

My dad was from Bolton, and used a lot of local words.

He went into the petrol station once and asked the girl on the till "could I have a chit luv"

She went bright red, and pointed in the direction of the toilets... he was equally red faced as he explained he meant a receipt for his petrol...

Ambrosiacreamedrice Wed 16-Jan-13 22:46:13

A teacake is a bread roll here. A fruit teacake has currants. So you would ask for a chip teacake if you felt posh, or a chip butty if you were being common.

trixymalixy Wed 16-Jan-13 22:57:40

We moved from Glasgow to Ayrshire. I don't think I ever worked out what the correct response to "Whit ye sayin' t'it?" is. I remember looking blankly when asked "Did you get a lumber?" (did you pull?), or someone said "gads!! (yuck)"

DH (from Bolton) says "give it me", rather than give it to me.

highlandcoo Wed 16-Jan-13 22:58:37

Before I lived in Manchester I'd never heard the phrase "All right?" or "Are you all right?" as a form of greeting.

I'd be walking the kids to school and passing other mums who'd ask "Are you all right?" and I was thinking "What's up ... do I look as if there's something wrong with me?"

It took weeks before I worked it out grin

KingPhilsWench Wed 16-Jan-13 23:04:22

ProtegeMoi dabs = 2 slices of potato with a slice of fish in between the potato and covered in batter. Lovely smile
Hardly anywhere does them now, only the traditional chippys.
A dab tea cake to me would be a dab butty
I'm in the north east

Ambrosiacreamedrice Wed 16-Jan-13 23:06:45

A dab here is just the battered and fried potato, no fish involved.

sausagesandwich34 Wed 16-Jan-13 23:08:38

I moved from Manchester to yorkshire (various parts) and discovered

packed lunch became pack up or snap
sweets became spice
barm cakes became bread cakes/teacakes (still can't bring myself to say that)

and if you go to the chip shop and want fish and chips, you just say 'once' and they know what you mean!
and twice, they give you 2 lots of fish and chips -I'm still amazed by this fact although not sure what you say if you want 3 or 4, twice and once? twice twice??

sausagesandwich34 Wed 16-Jan-13 23:13:17

just remembered the one that really annoys me and I'm trying to train the dcs not to say

'on a morning'

it's 'in the morning' ffs

drives me batty

mumof4sons Wed 16-Jan-13 23:22:47

When my DC started a new school we got a list of supplies that he needed.

I duly went out and bought the pen, pencils, crayons etc.

DC came home one afternoon furious that he'd gotten in trouble for not having crayons. He had crayons. But apparently they were the wrong kind.

Where I come from crayons are made of wax - which is what he had. But apparently he was supposed to have colouring pencils, locally known as crayons.

I was having a little conversation in my head as you do and started wondering when people say "nowt" is that how its spelt?

I was texting my mum and i wrote "nowt to show for it"

Nowt/owt are the spellings right or do they even have spelling?!

The more I say them the less like words they sound.

Maybe I should have started a thread about it grin

I'm from Leeds and use these words frequently

Yfronts Wed 16-Jan-13 23:29:33

crusty rolls = baps

LittleNutTree Wed 16-Jan-13 23:40:58

I love this thread! I live in NE Scotland and have done all my life, but when I met my FIL I couldn't understand a word he said! A classic line from him once was, 'I ken, bit if ye didnae ken, ye widnae ken, ken?' Eh, no, I dinna ken! I have conversations with DH where we'll often comment that no-one outside Aberdeen would have a clue what we we're talking about. Doric is brilliant!

Lobscouse Wed 16-Jan-13 23:49:33

SP I've seen nowt /owt written down. There's nowt wrong with your

Thank you lob You know when you write something down and it just doesn't look right it was one of those moments.

Does anyone else type in same way as the talk? I know I do

Carrie37 Thu 17-Jan-13 00:09:55

In Belfast - 'bout ye? means how are you? Stickin out- means Ism doing well. Yer doing ma bap in - means you are giving me a headache. Faffin - messing about or not working. Keep yer neb out - stop being nosey. Lamped - drunk. Yer heads a marley - you are not making any sense.

sashh Thu 17-Jan-13 02:24:18

My DH finds it strange that where I am from in Yorkshire we say 'working while 8 o'clock' not 'until 8 o'clock'.

Which is why level crossings in Yorkshire really shouldn't have a sign saying, "wait while the red light is on".

Anyone mentioned

Ruaring - crying in Yorkshire
Skriking - same in Lancashire
mythering - bothering
missling - leaving suddenly without saying good bye

And any Scots, do you say child, baby, bairn or wain?

sashh all of the above depending who I'm talking to and the context grin My mum is from london and to her I would say child/baby, dad from Aberdeen and to him I would say bairn, Fil from stirling and to him I would say bairn/wean, and Mil from Inverness and she would say kid/wee one. I lived in London as a child and Aberdeen/shire as a tween then Inverness as a teen/adult and my accent is a bit odd and can vary depending who I'm talking to grin

sashh Thu 17-Jan-13 03:55:35

my accent is also odd and can cross three counties in onw sentence.

Not sure I should be posting on here this morning, I'm teacching IT to ESOL students later.

Ooh, another one - when I joined the police, a sergeant from Ayrshire in one of our training sessions kept talking about a 'howf'. I had NO idea what in gods name he was speaking about, and phones dh in my break to ask him as felt too self conscious to ask anyone. Turns out its a den. confused

JusticeCrab Thu 17-Jan-13 07:14:09

My Geordie DSF is borderline incomprehensible. "Wits thoo deein?" "Sup it marra, bestuvordernoo" "Shurrup man woman man yiv got nae class ye, ye want thraain oot the piggin windur" "I winna trust thoo wia bonny dog"

Even people from ten miles up the road have trouble.

BlueyDragon Thu 17-Jan-13 08:08:06

sarahlund, you've just solved something for me - our nanny is from Doncaster and she uses a word that sounds to my South West ears like "woll". Now I realise it's "while" - no problems understanding what she was saying because of the context but just didn't recognise the word! DCs now have some words they pronounce in a Yorkshire accent (bath and grass have a short "a" sound, not the longer more Southern version).

At my school (in the West Country) we had a maths teacher from Birmingham. He used to prove his pronunciation by writing "grass" on the board and asking how we'd pronounce it, so we'd all chorus "grahss". Then he'd rub out the first two letters and ask how we'd pronounce that. We were in a convent school so couldn't all shout "arse" in unison. Shut up a class of smart alek 15 year olds quite nicely.

I used to work with a girl who was from up North somewhere (mind you, everywhere is up north when you're in Cornwall). One night in the pub where we both worked I asked her what she was going to do with her night off and she told me she was off to get stoned. My jaw hit the floor as she'd announced this in front of a bunch of customers - to me it means smoking cannabis. To her it meant she was off to get drunk. Took a few minutes to work that one out!

BlueyDragon Thu 17-Jan-13 08:10:25

SPsFanjo, I type the way I talk too. Then I read it back and wonder how the hell anyone ever understands wtf I am saying.

JennyPiccolo Thu 17-Jan-13 08:49:59

As far as I know, west coast Scotland say wean, east coast say bairn. Think it comes from the Norwegian 'barn' meaning child.

Thumbwitch Thu 17-Jan-13 09:11:56

Badguider - my Dad is from Sheffield and he used to call the knots in my hair "lugs" - are tugs the same as lugs?

emskaboo Thu 17-Jan-13 09:24:06

My sister having just moved to LondOn from York asking for 'one of each' in a chip shop, the bloke serving thought she wanted the whole menu and she just wanted one fish one chips.

badguider Thu 17-Jan-13 09:33:14

yes Thumbwitch - tugs are knots, and if you have lots, your hair is "all tuggy"... i think it's because if you put a comb through it it 'tugs' at your head when it hits a knot (at least that's what i've always assumed).

Poledra Thu 17-Jan-13 09:49:12

I see no-one has mentioned the marvellous expression 'bidey-in'. As used my granny for a couple who were living together but not married 'Aye, him up the road and his bidey-in'. I love it.

frasersmummy Thu 17-Jan-13 10:56:28

This is a great thread.

I am scottish. I didnt realise till I started in a national It Support that "wee" is a scottish word .. apparently the rest of the uk says small

I told one of our london colleagues that her computer was gubbed ... completely broken.. the wrote it on their wall in the office as word of the week

jaggythistle Thu 17-Jan-13 11:02:22

badguider I've got 3yo DS1complaining about tuggy hair smile

poledra my mum was maybe happy when DH and I finally got married, I'm sure she still uses bidey-in occasionally"

jaggythistle Thu 17-Jan-13 11:03:26

Gubbed is a v useful word.

ThatBintAgain Thu 17-Jan-13 11:04:52

absolutely crying with laughter at this thread. grin

massistar Thu 17-Jan-13 11:06:10

My DD constantly has tuggy hair. I also find it difficult to say small or little instead of wee. Just as well my Welsh friends think it's sweet ;-)

I lived in France for a bit and by the end of the year I had my German, American and Irish housemates describing fluff under the bed as oose. I dearly hope they took it back home and passed it on.

MummyPig24 Thu 17-Jan-13 12:26:28

A cob is a type of horse, gym shoes are pumps. I have always lived in berkshire.

Catchingmockingbirds Thu 17-Jan-13 12:48:48

I had no idea that tuggy was a Scottish word until now.

When DS is home in Glasgow with me he is a wain, when he visits his dad on the east coast he is a bairn.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Thu 17-Jan-13 14:03:09

LilBlonde, a "howf" is specifically a drinking den, not the kind of thing kids play in. Think very male, very spit-and-sawdust, beer and whisky only, not so familiar with Environmental Health standards...

Whatdoiknowanyway Thu 17-Jan-13 14:28:25

Poledra - I love the term bidey-in. Years ago before we were married we had 2 friends who were 'bidey-ins'. DH and I each had our own place but spent most of our time together in one home or the other. So we were 'bidey-oots' smile

ErrorError Thu 17-Jan-13 15:01:23

Not sure if anyone's mentioned this as I've just scanned the thread so far, but I'm from the North and say 'craic' a lot, meaning 'gossip/chat' etc. When I went to uni I got a few funny looks from new friends when I asked if they'd "got any crack?" grin

Once I was chatting to a friend about something I was looking for, and I said "I'll have a ratch in the attic later if I can't find it here." She thought it meant I'd have a bit of a meltdown that I'd lost something, but 'ratch' just means search/rummage (perfect visualisation is a hamster ratching up sawdust to find food!)

sheisold Thu 17-Jan-13 15:17:11

Sheisold lives in the north

Baps= bread rolls
Jugs = big boobs
Cob on= mood
Snicket= ginnell
Pumps = sweet black gym shoes
Pot = something you get on your arm if it breaks

sheisold Thu 17-Jan-13 15:18:57

Catching I use bairn and wean but spell wean like that I always thought it was a derivative of wee -one

Catchingmockingbirds Thu 17-Jan-13 15:52:43

I spell it wean too normally smile, but spelt it wain as I was replying to sashh and that's how it was written.

MerryCouthyMows Thu 17-Jan-13 17:27:33

I didn't realise others down here didn't say 'tuggy hair'?!

Guess it's never come up in conversation.

It's just ALWAYS been tuggy hair to me!!

MerryCouthyMows Thu 17-Jan-13 17:28:21

And despite living in Essex, my DC's have always been weans to me!

sarahlundssweater Thu 17-Jan-13 18:00:43

Bluey, that's my hometown too! Glad to have been of service!
Thumb, I've never heard of knots called "lugs," but "lug 'oles" are your ears.
Sheisold, I agree with snicket, pumps and pot. Baps are breadcakes though.

Tabbystriped Thu 17-Jan-13 18:54:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sprite21 Thu 17-Jan-13 19:59:15

I'm Canadian and when I moved to London I couldn't figure out why everyone was asking me if I was 'alright'? In Canada it suggests you are not alright, as in 'I just watched you fall on that patch of ice, are you alright.' I eventually figured out that it expressed zero concern whatsoever smile

comelywenchlywoo Thu 17-Jan-13 20:50:38

We struggled to serve a man who came into the shop for "tates", we thought maybe he wanted potatoes? We're in the North East of Scotland and he was var var posh English. He wanted "tights". Funnily enough the locals think we're posh English - not as posh as he was tho!

When I went to live in England for uni I realised how "Scottish" I was (I moved to Scotland when I was five). On being met with blank looks when I asked when the scaffies came, I couldn't for the life of me think of another word for them. Scaffies are bin men.
On the flip side, when I was working in Aberdeen whenever my manager asked me for a 'tool" I was never sure whether she wanted a hand towel or a hammer. They sounded the same to me. I've lived in Scotland for over 25 years now (married a local), and I'm still learning. I LOVE doric, it's beautiful.

apostropheuse Thu 17-Jan-13 21:08:46

Oh my granny used to say bidey-in too. When I asked her what that meant she told me it was another name for a concubine.

I don't think she could bring herself to be more specific than that!

As a fresher we were introducing ourselves, one girl introduced herself
'hello, I'm xxx, I'm from shitland'
another chap replied in a pitying voice- 'oh come on, it can't be that bad, I'm from Bognor Regis'
he soon learnt how Shetland Islanders pronounce 'Shetland' at least to a southerner's ear. She wasn't amused.

Oldlady the howf thing makes much more sense now. Strangely, I have never come across one since that day in training!

SunsetSongster Thu 17-Jan-13 22:16:56

I'm from NW Scotland (despite the name) and always remember the alleged story of an English visitor coming into the local Greengrocer and asking the wee old lady if she had any garlic and she replies, 'Och yes - it was my first language'. I live in the SE of England and get funny looks when I tell people I wish I could speak Gaelic as it does sound exactly the same in my accent as garlic to most Southeners.

Only works with a Highland accent though as southern Scots tend to pronounce it the same as the Irish (which is wrong grin).

Primadonnagirl Thu 17-Jan-13 22:50:15

Has anyone reading this thread not understood a word/phrase supposedly from where they live? Yorkshire lass born and bred here but I don't recognise some of the sayings people have posted ! Suppose that shoes how you can even have Regional variances! Baps to me are either soft bread cakes or boobs! Fluffies are also bread cakes..but v soft. Kids are beglets . A fair can also be a feast. "Put wood in toil" means shut the door(I.e. put the wood in the hole!) oh, and I watched Australian Masterchef and for a good ten minutes couldn't understand why a woman was cooking with an igg...oh..egg!

inlawsareasses Thu 17-Jan-13 22:55:08

South Yorkshire here bread roles are bread cakes always bread cakes nothing else!
Maungy , face on , ,mardy, lots of words for feeling off it !

Pie and peas would always be meat and potato? pirk pue would be with brown sauce

Ambrosiacreamedrice Thu 17-Jan-13 22:59:25

Other side of the Pennines here but we also 'put 'twood in t'oil.

inlawsareasses Thu 17-Jan-13 23:03:55

That would be pork pie! !

treas Thu 17-Jan-13 23:09:03

Talking to the new Canadian temp at work I was explaining that the grumpy looking woman that she had just met was in fact a decent sort but had the tendency to "call a spade a spade".

The look of abject horror on her face had me quickly explaining that in England a spade was a shovel type tool.

I now live in Gloucestershire where school gym shoes are called "daps" and I have looked blankly at someone who offered me a Henry (isn't that a hoover I said) it's an orange juice and lemonade.
My parents were Irish, so press, hot press, pants, bring, bold, all those words mentioned upthread were used in our house as common words. I grew up in Derby, so bread rolls were cobs, those gym shoes were pumps, but does anyone remember using the word "jitty" which meant an alleyway between houses??

QOD Thu 17-Jan-13 23:21:21

On meeting an American pen friend in the flesh for the first time, she said "oh my gosh you're so short! How tall are you?"

I said "5 foot and a fag butt"


MrsOakenshield Thu 17-Jan-13 23:22:55

I was on a backpacking trip and the guide/driver said, whilst driving along a street, 'look at that, schoolgirls in thongs'. I thought, you perv (and how can you tell??) - took a while to realize he meant 'flip flops' . . .

Flojobunny Thu 17-Jan-13 23:33:31

Had just moved in to johns (ex) house and he took me to meet his friends in derbyshire, who asked something that sounded like "so what do you think of John's arse then?"
I was completely horrified until I was told they pronounce 'house' as "arse" !

Flojobunny Thu 17-Jan-13 23:37:52

Oh and 'tea cakes' have currants in where I come from! 'Barm cakes' don't.

auntmargaret Thu 17-Jan-13 23:42:56

My American friend came over here to go to uni in Glasgow. She used to fall about laughing when, at the end of a transaction, the shopkeeper would hand her her bag, and say " That's you, then!"

auntmargaret Thu 17-Jan-13 23:45:14

And in Glasgow, gym shoes were " sannies" ( as in sand shoes) ??

HappyHugs Thu 17-Jan-13 23:51:11

Favourite thread ever....rofl

Annakin31 Fri 18-Jan-13 00:20:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DrCoconut Fri 18-Jan-13 00:39:19

Tangles in hair are cotters. Tangled or matted hair is cottered. I bought a book about Northern Lincolnshire dialect as it is dying out. It reminded me of my grandparents as they used words that are seldom heard anymore. I've lived in the north west too and encountered new words there. Like skriking vs bealing (already mentioned) a chip butty and a chip barm both being on the menu and being different (had never heard of a barm cake). My grandad always said mu'nt and wi'nt (pronounced sort of mooant and weeant) for must not and will not. Yer mu'nt....preceded an instruction not to do something. It wi'nt 'ot yer was his way of saying that the neighbour's dog was in fact friendly. I miss hearing him speak a lot, it was wonderful and should have been recorded.

tethersend Fri 18-Jan-13 00:46:49

My mum is from Sheffield, and when she first moved down to London, she got a teaching job. One of the children in the classroom asked her "Where's the bin?", to which she naturally replied "I 'ant bin nowhere" grin

witchface Fri 18-Jan-13 08:50:08

"gave her into trouble!" i am from ne scotland and dh is from sw scotland and we had a few arguments about this, he wants to be english i think, but he lives up here now so I've got him telt!

Or alternatively I've learned him!

I'm from Glasgow but my my partner is from Fraserburgh in the North East. He got a slap a while ago for saying he'd taken the notion for a fancy peice.
Like someone said up thread it's a cake but I thought he fancied a bit on the side.
I was confused when he asked me when the scaffies were coming too. To me a scaffie is a scaffolder but in the NE it's a bin man apparently.

QOD Fri 18-Jan-13 10:44:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BionicEmu Fri 18-Jan-13 10:48:14

This thread has reminded me of something my sister said last year, still makes me chuckle.

We grew up near Bristol (but Dad's from W London & mum's Irish). I moved up to Derbyshire a few years ago, where DH is from. Sis moved into this area last year too.

We were going t' pub, DH asked her if she wanted to come too. She replied "Aye, I'll come t'pub, where's it to?"

Lovely melding of Bristolian and Derbyshire grin

My friend aged 16 on a hair and beauty course at college had a guest speaker giving a talk about working on cruise ships. When I later asked her how it went she said with horror, "I could never do it, she said you have to have an injection in your fanny!"
The guest speaker was Amercian grin

MarmaladeSkies Fri 18-Jan-13 16:38:32

I love this thread.

QOD.I think you should ask Mumsnet to remove the 'R' word from your latest post though.I'm sure you didn't mean to be offensive but it is an offensive term.

QOD Fri 18-Jan-13 19:52:13

Done Marmalade. Certainly don't want to offend, thanks for pointing it out nicely

auntpetunia Fri 18-Jan-13 20:02:37

I terrified a new mum at our school, who isnt a locaI l when I phoned and told her her DD had a coggi on her head. Coggi is a bump which has come out in big lump..

IAmLouisWalsh Fri 18-Jan-13 20:41:24

I quite like 'how' - pronounced like across between how and who - as a general exclamation:'How, what y'deein?' Or just, 'How, man, lad'.

I do say 'Haway'. And 'Haddaway and shite'

Not heard of 'jitty' I think the words for alleyways are fabulously regional though.
In my area (Sussex), they are 'twittens'.

nickelbabe Fri 18-Jan-13 21:45:29

nottingham has twitchell

CheerMum Fri 18-Jan-13 21:59:41

I'm from Birmingham and years ago offered to go to the outdoor for my boyfriend and myself. Outdoor is off licence for non-brummies. I asked him what he would like and he, being from the Black Country (dudley etc) said " don't mind, as long us they're Colduns". I had never heard of Colduns and asked him repeatedly what he meant before he explained that Colduns meant " cold ones" I.e. didn't care what brand as long as they came out of the fridge.

Weirdo ( but i still married him)

SuzysZoo Fri 18-Jan-13 22:13:13

oo - I love this thread. Not quite read all yet, though. We have a word here for small passageways between houses or footpaths, and it's "twitten". I think this is local to the South East. I have heard "jitty" used in Leicestershire for the same sort of thing. Tell me your "twitten"!

SuzysZoo Fri 18-Jan-13 22:17:14

Oh - just seen I've repeated the alleyway thing - should have read to the end - sorry!

louisianablue2000 Fri 18-Jan-13 22:29:48

First time I mixed with folk from Englandshire somone asked me where something was, to which I (naturally) replied 'I don't ken' and they were really grumpy with me. Apparently she thought I'd said 'I don't care'. she was a grumpy cow herself so assumed the worst of everyone else

When living down south I phoned up a Ford dealership to ask if they had any Ka's for sale. We had a very confusing conversation while he asked me what kind of ca' I was interested in and I kept saying 'just a Ka' and eventually I spelt it and he said 'Oh, we call them K-A to avoid the confusion' to which I replied 'there is no confusion if you pronounce the letter 'r' in car'. I bought a Nissan instead.

louisianablue2000 Fri 18-Jan-13 22:45:20

Oh, and I got very funny looks the first time I tried to order a fish supper in a chippy in Oxford.

Greige Fri 18-Jan-13 23:52:32

SP - nowt, owt but when I see the words nought and ought in books I always pronounce them nowt and owt.

Some words I think might have been pretty local to us in my part of Northumberland as I've never heard them anywhere else - gowk for apple core and ket for sweets, though I think ket might be an old Northumbrian word for rubbish.

Do any Geordies remember the shuggy boats at Whitley Bay? Are they still there?

skullcandy Sat 19-Jan-13 00:21:14

entry for alleyway.

I'm a brummagum, and live on the welsh border.. i get funny looks when i tell people they just need to go 'through the entry' to get to our backgarden.

apparently its an alleyway here.

ComposHat Sat 19-Jan-13 02:03:00

I grew up in the Black Country and we'd say Gulley for Alleyway.

SashaSashays Sat 19-Jan-13 03:44:24

nickelbabe we always say indoors (am in Essex). I didn't realise that was even a thing. It means at home or inside to most people or no?

This thread is funny, although I don't know most of the terms as I'm from East Lndon and lots seem to be Scottish or northern. DH is from the Caribbean, we both speak English as our first language. Sometimes we can get so mixed up because of one or two words.

My parents and even my generation use quite a lot of cockney sayings and slang which drives DH mad! Also the way someone like my dad talks about money in terms of scores, tons, Ponys etc can lead to lots of confusion.

DizzyZebra Sat 19-Jan-13 04:38:57

God I didn't think id get this many replies, I only posted as I've been reading 'scouselyrics' on twitter and found them hilarious and it made me think.

This is so funny though reading these.

My london friend had trouble understanding mardy too.

I have a good mix of midland and northern expressions now. I haven't been home for ages though and have picked up an accent here, but I don't sound like where I live - its sort of ended up like a snooty trying to be posh slightly irish sounding thing.

My friends will be horrified nextweek when they see me.

sashh Sat 19-Jan-13 05:50:40

"Put wood in toil" means shut the door

I once said that at work in Lancashire, but forgot I was speaking to the one Scot in the department.

The next time I saw such a stunned look was when I told a Dr on Oxford to 'give over mytherin me'.

Another vote for lugs here.

I spelled wean wain because I have only heard it not seen it written down, to me wain is fairly phonetic, as in waxing and waining, wean looks like what you do when you start introducing proper food to a baby.

The small pathway between houses is a ginel.

Ontesterhooks Sat 19-Jan-13 07:07:59

Coming from what is considered a posh area of Norm Iron in my first job in belfast the cleaner came in and asked had I seen the map ? The map of where I replied ! No the map for mappin the flure! (Mop) v embarrassing !

Wereonourway Sat 19-Jan-13 08:24:02

Ontesterhooks- my ex mil lives not far away from Belfast and on my first trip there the accent had me perplexed. Ex bil(who is ten) says "what abeut ya" and I love it.
I asked in a pub where the toilets were and Barman told me " in that there bookcase", the bloody toilets were behind a secret door.
Northern Ireland is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been, hopefully will get over in the summer again

chateauferret Sat 19-Jan-13 09:59:31

That 'ahm ah' (actually 'am ur') is a calque (loan translation) on Gaelic 'tha mi' isn't correct, or at least it isn't always.

Etymology is as follows. 'Ah' is a variant of 'I' (first person pronoun). The 'm' is there for liaison between the vowels. 'Ur' is a middle Scots substitute for the verb 'to be' coming from old Norse via Viking invaders around the tenth century (cf. modern Norwegian 'er'). The negative 'I'm not' is 'ahm urny' (not 'ahm no ur').

There are such calques and it is true that verb precedes subject in Gaelic. 'I'm want'n' instead of 'I want' comes about from the Garlic usage of a continuous verb in sentences of this kind ('tha mi a'dh'iarraidh' literally 'is me at wanting' - not sure I've spelled that right).

(See Michael Munro and John Byrne, 'The Complete Patter', Birlinn 2007)

It took me a while to get used to 'where to' and 'where you to'.
The other day my very Bristol friend said 'ah I was gunna take the kids on the gert sliders down by asdol but I can if it's pitched'
Um what? After much hilarity I discovered that she was going to take her children to the park with the big slides by Asda but she couldn't if the snow had settled... grin

IAmLouisWalsh Sat 19-Jan-13 11:37:59

Oooh, shuggy boats! No idea if they are still there!

JollyRedGiant Sat 19-Jan-13 13:13:37

In Scotland an alleyway is a close.

Another NE Scot here.

I confused an ex boyfriend by asking for a Bosie. (A cuddle)

Some words are very local. To the question "where's ds?" My mum would say "In below the table". My dad wouId say "in a blo the table" and i would say "underneath the table"! The difference is a few miles.

I used to go swimming in dookers (A swimming costume). I didn't know 'tuggy' was a Scots word.

I also genuinely didn't know the English word for oxter until I was 15.

A field on a farm is a park. One where children play is a play park.

Pretty much any farm animal is a beast, but mainly cattle.

A duck is a dewk and a cow is a coo.

Bane (or ben) is a word with no English equivalent. You can have left your keys "bane the hoose" for "through the house" or you can go "bane the road" for "along the road".

I'm not from Aberdeen so use "buttry" rather than "rowie" for the lard-filled snack. Soft bread rolls are baps.

There is no difference in pronunciation between Luke and look or put and poor or suit and soot.

We used "press" for cupboard. And scullery for kitchen.

And Aye Aye means hello. Fit like? Means how are you. As does Food yer food?

A bit or a beet is a boot and a fit is a foot. Ken is know. A forkytail is an earwig and a Slater is a woodlouse.

A guddle is a mess. A rax is a stretch. If you've raxed your gansey you've stretched your jumper. Muckle is a lot. Do you can say "fit a guddle. There's a Muckle rax in ma gansey".

And finally, a neep is a turnip. Or a Swede. There's really no differentiation between the two around here.

JollyRedGiant Sat 19-Jan-13 13:14:10

And I say chute instead of slide.

JollyRedGiant Sat 19-Jan-13 13:15:17

Poor should say poot. Autocorrect got me.

JollyRedGiant Sat 19-Jan-13 13:15:58

And food yer food should read "foos yer doos"

Wallace Sat 19-Jan-13 20:18:30

Thanks Jolly - was rather confused at "food yer food"!

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