When my parents were children growing up in the Peak District of Derbyshire, people didn’t venture far from their villages. The language and jargon used in these small communities was very local, and perhaps incomprehensible to outsiders. Here’s a sampling from my mother’s upcoming book, A Pennine Childhood:
When people from Derbyshire say this: They mean this:
Ay up me duck Hello
Tha’rt raight? Are you doing okay?
‘Ow’s tha muther f’ soap? You badly need a wash
Tha canna stop a pig in’t gennel You’re bandy-(bow-)legged
‘Is eyes stook aht like chapel ‘at pegs His eyes protruded
It’s black o’er Bill’s mother’s The sky is very dark
Tha’rt a right bobby-dazzler You look nice
Tha’rt a fawce bugger You are craftily clever
Tha’rt nesh You feel the cold unduly
Ah’m starved I’m cold (not hungry)
Ah’m fair clemmed I’m extremely hungry
Tha munna gollup Don’t eat so fast
Gi’e o’er sprottling! Be still!
Ah’d as lief I’d rather
Ah’m larnin’ me booook I’m reading
Tha’rt cute You’re light-fingered with money
Ah’m frightened that I’m worried that
Tha’rt a daft begger You are a silly person
Boodge oop! Move over!
Gerron wi’ it Get on with it
Gerrit dahn thee, it’ll non ‘urt thee Eat up
As my mother says: “Since my childhood, many things in spoken English have changed. Now, with village people becoming better educated, and moving out of their more enclosed societies into the wider world, we are losing many of these colourful words and phrases. I think it’s a great loss.”
What words or phrases do you have in your local area, that no one outside that area would understand? Please let us know!