TLABD Dictionary

Talk Like A Brummie Day Dictionary

Add your favourite Brummie words or phrases to this page – in dictionary form if you can.

Please check if it’s already listed (expand if you’ve got a better definition!).

eg:

Yampi (yam-pee): Mad, in a fun way – like a cat chasing its tail.

NB. Brummie, Black County? A little note to stop people getting mad.

348 Responses to TLABD Dictionary

  1. Nick says:

    “couple or three” – it wasn’t two, but it also wasn’t much more than that.

  2. Pingback: Podnosh Blog : High Fibre Podcasting » Archive » Talk like a Brummie day

  3. catnipmusic says:

    outdoor: an off-licence

  4. catnipmusic says:

    go to the foot of our stairs: blimey, that’s surprising

  5. catnipmusic says:

    island: a roundabout

  6. Paul Barber says:

    ‘Guin round the Wrekin’ – Going the long way around

  7. Praguetory says:

    Deaf – forget, abandon

    i.e Shall we deaf it? = Let’s not bother with it.

  8. bounder says:

    Love that one Paul – it’s one of my Nan’s. I’ve always wondered if the phrase is still used, but becomes to mean a progressively shorter route the nearer to the Wrekin you get – so in Shrewsbury does ‘going around the Wrekin’ mean a short distance?

    • Clancy says:

      Great to read through some of the old terms & sayings…just a lot of black country stuff in there …the real brummies like myself see the difference :-)

  9. Mike says:

    Goo an play up yer own end.

    Buzz = bus

    Ar (Ah?) = yes

    Tara a bit = goodbye

  10. Phil Mc Carty says:

    “It’s lookin’ a bit black over the back of Bill’s mother’s” – used by both parents, two Uncles – both sides (born Handsworth) from as early as I can remember.

    Awroight? – ‘All right’?

    My father (1927-96) used to say “Do that and I’ll chase you all the way round the Wrekin’

    • simone says:

      Black over Bills’s Mother is also a Yorkshire expression – its not just Birmingham

      • Jax says:

        Bill’s mother is Mary Arden – Willaim Shakespeare – Stratford being where the rainclouds are coming from

        • SilverOak says:

          Fascinating.
          Always say that in Leek / North Staffs / Stoke-on-Trent
          “Eet’s black o’er Bill’s Muther’s”
          Always wondered where that came from, will tell my Mum.

    • fog says:

      wrekin is actually a place in birmingham although is does mean long way round, it is a place too.

      • brummie ash says:

        The Wrekin is an isolated hill in shropshire so this is probably where the saying comes from. “A face as long as Livery Street” is from Brum though

        • SilverOak says:

          The Wrekin is as said a hill in Shropshire. It’s quite big – 1,355 feet high – and very prominent and isolated on the horizon, like a big dome, slightly levelled off, like the back of a whale. You can see it from North Staffordshire and even further away. It takes a long time to walk around it, as far as I know. “All round the Wrekin” is therefore used in North Staffs and according to Wiki,

          “”All around the Wrekin” or “Running round the Wrekin” is a phrase common in Shropshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Wolverhampton, Walsall, Stafford, Birmingham and around to mean “the long way round”, in the same way that “round the houses” is used more widely. “To all friends around the Wrekin”, meanwhile, is a toast traditionally used in Shropshire, especially at Christmas and New Year.”

  11. Ruth says:

    Owamya? = How you doin’?

    • Jake says:

      woah someones confusing brummie with yam yam speak! I am a born and bred brummie and I have never, EVER heard someone specifically from Brum say that.

      • brummie ash says:

        Agree. Many people get mixed up between “Yam Yam Speak” and Brummie; I once worked in Cradley Heath, 9 or so miles from where i was born in Brum but struggled to understand some people! Honest! One sentance ” E were Yed” confused me but managed to work out from the context it was He was Dead. The Y and D sound was often transferable in medieval engish too!

    • WIDGETSDADDY says:

      Yamyam, not Brummie.

    • Mike Byrne says:

      i use ya for you in yam yam all the time although ye and ya mean you and your i hardly ever say ‘you’ maybe yo. Heard people from erdington once on tv sound nothing like us thats like a high pitched whine

  12. alf says:

    all around the wrekin ‘ as in someone who takes too long to explain something ‘

  13. Deano says:

    eh’ar = here you are

  14. grant says:

    ‘can’t get me hat on’ – similar to ‘i’ll go to the foot of our stairs’ for something surprising

  15. grant says:

    and how about ‘looking like nobody owns you’ when you are a bit scruffy?

  16. elaine barber (Pauls mom) says:

    As long as Livery street, (a long way)….. Horse road (Road)…. Babbies (Babies)…….Yerr (Year)…..Gooing (going).

  17. elaine barber (Pauls mom) says:

    How about Scraged your knee?? (scratched, grazed)

    • Betty says:

      Looking back, I thought it was only me that used to say scraged instead of grazed, how fantastic to know its a proper Brummie saying. I was born in Handsworth and left Brum way back in 1971

    • Linda says:

      I had forgotten ….I used that one!

      • Jude Inggs says:

        We used that at school in Brum in the 60s – and gambol of course. Can’t believe I actually used to be able to do those!

        • Vince Dudley says:

          No-one in the North East seems to know what a gambol is – never could do one. Used to get the slipper when I failed to do one – it REALLY hurt.
          Scraged – used to use that as well.

  18. Nick says:

    a Tot – an alcoholic drink/a pint

    a Cob – a bread roll/bap – apparently unique to the West Midlands

    Yampee – Crazy

    Deaf it- Don’t bother

    Mither – to fuss (not sure if this is just Brummie)

    • Vince Dudley says:

      Getting a cob on = getting annoyed
      Mardie = moody

    • Di says:

      Yep, we had some brummies on our campsite order 4 cobs for breakfast! Down here (south) a cob is a small loaf!
      Love this site!

      • kirsty says:

        cob is not only used in the west midlands…im from nottingham (east midlands) and we always use that word e.g ‘im going to the cob shop, u want a bacon cob?’

        • SilverOak says:

          In Stoke we say “Got a cob on” for someone in a bad mood.
          But for a bread roll, we say “Bap”.
          We do say “Mither / mithered” for worried / anxious.
          And we say “Mardy / mardy bum / mard”.

          We don’t say any of the other ones.

  19. Johnny Rafter says:

    See you on the ice in the fish market.

    A gambol. People outside of Birmingham don’t know wht a gambol is, if you don’t believe me just ask someone, a non-brummy.

    Not ‘alf and Not s’bad (often just s’bad) are overused by Brummies.

    Get out of town! Love that one.

    • rich says:

      not s’bad – I talk to my grandad every week he lives in bourneville and says it every time I ask how he’s doin… I miss Brum live in America now and my Brummie accent is pretty much gone, still sound English just not brummie :(

      • SilverOak says:

        A few people have mentioned “gambol”.
        I think you’re right, I’ve never heard it in Staffordshire or Derbyshire, or anywhere.

  20. Pam says:

    To “munch” – as in “stop munching the dog/cat/ your brother/sister” etc

    My mum always used to say this to us kids when she wanted us to stop teasing any of the above – I still love that word today!

    And what about “grizzle” – i.e to cry

  21. Pam says:

    Just thought of another one – “piesal” (I think that’s roughly how you spell it) – my mother in law (Brummie through and through) uses the word a lot to describe someone who is mean or a bit tight with their money.

  22. Af says:

    Nawse- as in someone who is nauseating and annoying (“You’re such a nawse”

    Breeg- as above

    Scrage- when you’re little and you fall off your bike and you put your hands out to stop yourself hitting your face, only to ‘scrage’ the heel of your palms so much so they sting for about three days afterwards

    Tip-top- basically a cheapo ice lolly that costs 5p, or, if you’re in a newsagents in Solihull, 10p

    • Russell Fisher says:

      I’m originally from Moseley now living in London, I’ve just trained my 3 year old daughter to go to the corner shop and ask for a Tip Top, the shopkeeper has’nt got a clue what she means. I’ll give her a couple of years and get her to ask for a Jubly

    • SilverOak says:

      Never heard of “scrage” until today!
      Must be proper Brummie!

  23. John says:

    ar = yes (this is a favourite of mine)
    the cut = the canal

  24. Johnny Rafter says:

    Wunnarf an eyesore

    Wasn’t too pretty on the eye

  25. pete myring says:

    Ayup: Heads up, I’m about to say something you’ll be interested in

    Bostin: Something that is really very good. Eg: Ayup she’s bostin

    Blinkin eck. An expression of surprise. Eg Blinkin eck, that’s a bostin pint.

    Bloomin aida. Another expression of shock or surprise.

    Kin aida: Intense shock or surprise (when you are unsure whether to use the full obscenity or not).

    Owzabout?: how about?, here is an alternative view?, why not?

    I’ll ave arf: mines a half, thanks.

    For the umpteenth time: I’ll tell you again.

    Tun Dish: A funnel

    Its lookin grim: The outlooks not good.

    Aint. Havn’t, am not or isn’t. As in I aint (havn’t) got it, I aint (am not) going, It aint (isn’t)

    ‘I Aint avin it’….I simply don’t agree

    Barkin mad: You/she/he do not conform to my way of thinking.

    A Yam Yam: Someone who comes from the Black Country.

    Gonna: Going to.

    He’s a little bugger: The origins fortunately lost in time, now an endearing term for someone normally young who it mildly annoying.

    He’s a bugger up the back: Same as a little bugger. Why anyone would say this is unclear. Used by my late Grandmother who possibly had some unfortunate experiences in life.

    The mind boggles: A knowing bemusement. Likely response to someone saying…he’s a bugger up the back!

    By gum. You don’t say?

    Its rainin in. (Close the window), the rain is coming in.

    • simone says:

      A lot of these are also Northern……………….

    • eiz says:

      my ole lady used to say “bugger up the back” too…..I used to think OMG does she know what she is saying here….lol x

      Anyone heard the expression “nunk” meaning nothing ie…..what you doing? reply….nunk…..no one else seems to know of it.

      Then theres … mardy meaning sulky., face on a stand., meaning in a bad mood…

      • Mak says:

        Yes we used to use “nunk” a lot when we were young. we used it in a very long string to emphasise how much of nothing we had ……nowt, nunk, nothing, nil, nix, nishment. And nowadays if you want to appear a cultured Brummie you could add “nada”(Spanish).

      • Jim Cooney says:

        We also used nunk and nut’n for nothing.

      • Tony says:

        Yep, ‘Nunk’was used at least in east B’ham just after the 1940 war. I’m 70 now and remember it well. Probably went back before 1900 at least. I’m guessing it vanished about the middle 1950s.
        ‘Mardy’ – always! ain’t that a real word?

      • WIDGETSDADDY says:

        I remember nunk as a boy. It meant nothing. Haven’t heard it in yonks.

    • Shane B says:

      My mum used lots of these expressions in Australia Pete, but not all

  26. Paul B says:

    ooo stop yer ‘aggin: meaning will you please stop moaning/complaining/etc..

  27. Paul B says:

    “Will you stop chobbling your sweets?!!” – stop crunching the boiled sweet that is in your mouth!

  28. Swanny says:

    Harley Barley ! a term used when one is coppin’ out in an argument/scrap.

  29. DrDaveHPP says:

    “Steady past yer granny’s”

    - something my nan used to say to her over-hasty/clumsy grandchildren to get them to calm down

    “He’s a bugger for his [...]”

    - (a) he’s extraordinarily keen on/partial to [...]

    - (b) he insists on indulging in the annoying habit of [...]

    “Pack it in!”

    - Stop it!

  30. Richard says:

    YOU WHAT!! – were you talking to me? / what are you saying / shut your mouth or lets have it! The Brummie war cry. Usually aimed at anyone who might have said anything after a few drinks. Used by men and women!

  31. Richard says:

    ”lets 0121”. – lets do one – lets go.

    • Mak says:

      LEG IT ! genuine brummie for run away quick, from the method of getting a canal boat through a tunnel while the oss (horse) went over the top.

  32. bounder says:

    ”lets 0121” – blimey that’s modern, I still think “021 in the area”

  33. tom.higgy says:

    Fittle – food

    By the cinema in Dudley is a restaurant by name of ‘Bostin Fittle’ – literally good food.

  34. Sue Byrne says:

    Isn’t the word ‘pikelet’ a west midlands only term? It’s the bun with the holes in that you toast and put butter on – my husband, a Londoner, calls it a muffin.

    • Kelly says:

      My grandad uses that my daughter always looks confused as she knows them as crumpets

    • Mak says:

      In Solihull (Sew -lee-ull) its a crumpet.I always knew ‘em as pikelets.

      • SilverOak says:

        Comes from
        Scotland apparently but means different things depending on where you’re from.

        A Derbyshire pyclet is plain, flat, using crumpet batter but no ring to cook it.

        A Staffordshire pikelet is similar, but has raisins in it.

        The thicker, round ones that are more spongy we call crumpets.

        A muffin is either a white soft savoury bap you get in McDonalds or a sweet cake eg. American.

  35. Rachel from Lickey says:

    More lavatorial humour :-)
    My father always prounces it “tor-lit”, but my mother (from Handsworth) refers to it as the “Lar-pom”, or just “out the back”, even though we now have a bathroom.

    • DrDaveHPP says:

      Haven’t heard “lar-pom” for years! My mom (never “mum”) grew up in Ladywood and used that as well.

    • david vizor says:

      Lar pom: My old granny used this in the 40′s. It comes from the victorian habit of not directly referring to delicate matters. Its actually from the french La pomme – apple.
      Also Gansey for a pullover. Comes from Guernsey and is related to another thick knit jumper – the Jersey which has become a generic term for a pullover.
      Miskin for the dustbin from Mix-in.
      and suff ole – the drain. “Downt play in the suff. yowell getcha gansey mucky.

  36. Alison says:

    Like – said after nearly every word in a sentence – as in you know like, I went to the park like, and I had a run like, and then I went home like….

    Basically – as in ‘basically I just went to the shop’ or ‘basically, that’s what happened’

    are these brummie sayings, or from all over?

    Bab – as in ‘how am ya bab’ – how are you love?

  37. ouchmonkey says:

    Pitherin’ – Faffing about, although faffing might be just as Brummie, taking a long time to achieve nothing in particular

    Tara a bit, or run together as tararabit – see you later

  38. terry mulvey says:

    What about ‘gully’ for a passageway between houses? No-one here in Oxfordshire has a clue what I’m talking about.

    And round here they say pitchy-poll for gambol.

  39. bounder says:

    oh yes, we always used to nip up the gully (gulley?) to the shops.

  40. Mark Dallas says:

    My mom would always call sherbet ‘KAY-loy’.

    • Rosemary Knutsen says:

      All us kids in Shirley, south-west of Brum, bought kayli (sherbet) when we were growing up in the 1940s. I never heard it called anything else

      Rosemary

  41. Holly says:

    http://www.virtualbrum.co.uk/slang.htm

    Loads of Brummie dialect on there - :D

    Tara-a-bit – definitely a favorite of my mums!
    xx

  42. Holly says:

    Tuthbrush too!

  43. Will says:

    Diooorrr (Dire). Used by almost every Villa and Blues fan calling a radio football phone-in.

  44. Mike says:

    Stick – against (as in “versus”) in kids’ games. “Us lot stick you lot, OK?”

  45. Mike says:

    Hate to quibble, but a lot of Pete Myring’s suggestions aren’t particularly Brummie:

    Ayup: This is more Yorkshire/Lancashire

    Bostin: Yes. Brummie and Black Country.

    Blinkin eck. Generic nationwide/Northern , surely?

    Kin aida: Yep, I like this one.

    Owzabout?: Generic northern (think Jimmy Saville)

    I’ll ave arf: Mmmm, yeah, suppose so.

    For the umpteenth time: Is this just Brummie?

    Tun Dish: Don’t know this one.

    Its lookin grim: Generic.

    Aint. Pretty much nationwide working-class, I’d have thought.

    ‘I Aint avin it’: Yeah, maybe.

    Barkin mad: Generic.

    A Yam Yam: Yep.

    Gonna: Generic.

    He’s a little bugger: Generic.

    He’s a bugger up the back: Never heard this one.

    The mind boggles: Definitley generic!

    By gum. Lancashire, without a doubt.

    Its rainin in. Yeah, I think so.

  46. Pam says:

    To”cut yer boot” – an expression that means to have trodden in some dog poo on the pavement. Used in my parents household in Brum when someone(usually one of us kids) came in reeeking of something unpleasant i.e. “Phew! Have you cut yer boot ?”

    “Blown off”: suffered from a touch of flatulance.

    Sorry about all the toilet references in this post!

  47. Pam says:

    “gansey” – jumper, sweater

  48. Robin says:

    DICTIONARY ADDITION
    To ‘Crash’ a) transitive verb meaning to give or share, as in ‘Crash the rocks Nigel’ (give me a sweet Nigel)
    b) to stay over, as in ‘Can i crash at your place tonight Nigel?’ (may I stay over at your house tonight Nigel)

  49. bounder says:

    I’m sure the second ‘crash’ is fairly universal english – but the first one possibly…

  50. Steve says:

    A few favourites from an adopted Midlander of 14 years’ standing…

    Firk (verb, also Black Country): To scrabble around, looking for something

    Kipper tie (noun): ‘Ot drink enjoyed with a poiklet

    Mardy (adjective): Grumpy

    ‘Ow am ya? (interrogative): Are you well?

    What it is, right, … (phrase): Compulsory beginning to an explanation of any length

    Wumtay (company name from initials WMT): Company which runs buzzes

    And for the record, someone suggested it was a unique usage, but they also use “cob” for “bread roll” in Leicester. For some reason, midway from Brum to Leicester (in Coventry and Warwickshire), it becomes a “batch”.

  51. John says:

    Bonce = Head

    Blartin’ = Crying

    Chompin’ = Noisy eating.

    Babby. = Baby.

  52. Fiona Crabtree says:

    “Mardy” isn’t Brummie it’s Yorkshire as in “She’s a reet mardy bum” and is more complex behaviour that straightforward grumpyness. It’s unappeasable low level whining with mild emotional blackmail and general contraryness. Possible to ignore in small doses but builds to a critical mass of extreme irritation.

  53. william says:

    crash the rocks..

    deffo….

    deaf out (not to be confused with deffo)

    bringing back great memories.

    and i humbly suggest “up your end” – as in “where you live”

  54. william says:

    …and of course – “tarrah a bit” – see you later

  55. Roy says:

    Re Steve’s contribution:-

    “What it is, right, … (phrase): Compulsory beginning to an explanation of any length”

    The pronunciation should join the first three sounds thus:- “Worritiz, roight.

    The phrase may be prefaced with ‘Only’:-

    “Onlyworritiz, roight …”

    Perfection loses the ‘l’ from ‘only’, thus:-

    “Oneyworritz, roight ..”

    R

  56. Pam says:

    “Got a bob on hisself/herself” – thinks he/she is better than other people, has got an overblown idea of their own importance

    “yer daft apath!” – affectionate term of admonition to someone who has said or done something mildly silly

  57. Pam says:

    “Red ‘at, no drawers!” – colourful expression used by my mother to imply that a neighbour or acquaintance (usually female) had spent good money on maintaining an appearance of affluence, whilst (for example) secretly struggling to pay the gas bill. Similar to the expression, “All kippers and curtains!”

  58. Lola says:

    “loike, yu now” – “like, you know?” – additional unnecessary padding often used at the end of a sentence or brief story.

    “any row-ed up” – “any road up” – often used at the mid-point of a long drawn out story to signify the return to the main point of the story after additional unrelated waffle.

  59. Roy says:

    He or she:- “Couldn’t stop a pig in an entry”.

    To be said of someone, he or she, who has bow legs or is bandy legged.
    R

  60. Nick says:

    “Isn’t the word ‘pikelet’ a west midlands only term? It’s the bun with the holes in that you toast and put butter on – my husband, a Londoner, calls it a muffin.”

    Wonderful word. As a child in the south I toasted “crumpets” – they only changed to pikelets when I moved here.

    How about:

    “Sherrin” – shiny new first year pupil (yes I know, now year seven – ridiculous system). Certainly applied in my Birmingham school – may have been unique to that school though?

    Also love Williams “crash the rocks..” – share the sweets.

    “Bostin Steve Austin” – 1970′s extension of “Bostin” (means good, but with a possible extra edge of approval and a hint of excitement?)

  61. Zoo Brain says:

    ‘Def it out’ = leave it out
    ‘Deft out’ = been left out
    ‘face like a bosted arse’ = butt ugly

  62. Matt says:

    Sherrin or sherring, meaning fresh herring was exclusively a KES thing I think.

    Had completely forgotten ‘crash the rocks’ until just now.

  63. Claire says:

    Thought ‘Ow am ya?’ is more black country than brummie?
    I use round the wrekin and no-one in south knows what I mean!
    Kay-lie was my fave, my mom still uses that. Tip-top seems to be a brummie thing… no-one outside of brum know what that is either… or jublee!

    • Tony Sheldon says:

      We had jublees (frozen orange triangular things) in the Jubilee park in Coseley

    • Shaz says:

      Ahhhh such memories. I grew up in Quinton, Birmingham and loved having pikelets but we also knew them as crumpets. I think it depended on the brand? We used to go to the corner news agents and get some kayli. It was powdered stuff you’d dip ur sweet stick into. And tip top was the same as a jublee I have lived in the us for over 20 years now and still say tarah, fortnight, festering and nowt a lot.

  64. Claire says:

    And I mean jublee in the frozen ice pop sense of the word… not look at the pair of those…

  65. Nick says:

    have we had :

    “Bost” – broken.

  66. dave morgan says:

    Love this but most of the contributions are certainly common in North Staffordshire. What is different is the unique Brummie accent, which some contributors have managed to represent so well, that even a native of the Potteries, with 40 years of living in Wales, Oxfordshire and Bolton, and no talent for mimicry, can make a passing stab at. Keep it up its bostin

  67. Roy Cane says:

    A note on pronunciation, if I may.

    The ‘o’ sound as in ‘boss’ and ‘mom’, both common in Brummie usage is a most beautiful sound.

    It is formed with both the ‘o’ and the ‘a’ vowels, (as in bass and mam) blended together.

    Speak ‘boss’ and ‘Bass’ making your vowel sounds very different. Feel how you form the two sounds with your lips and tongue, then make the vowell sound that is part way between the two positions
    Good Luck
    R

  68. JunkieNurse says:

    Bostin Crab and Bostin Aggro – other extensions of ‘bostin’ used to emphasise just how bostin something is

    Kin ‘ell man – expression of surprise/dismay/disgust

    You’ll ‘ave it dark – get a move on or it’ll be night before you’ve done what you need to do

  69. Roy Cane says:

    Another extension for bostin:-

    Bostin that ain’t it.

    Pronounced:- “Bostin tharrayit!”
    R

  70. Nicky Ricketts says:

    Where ya bin, Where have you been?

    How bin yahh, How are you?

    Were yow goowin, Where are you going?

  71. matt says:

    Sweaty: Stress, Panic.
    As in so and so had ‘a right sweaty’

  72. mark says:

    What about “Basically” everyone in Brum says this – doh they?

  73. Sue says:

    Leggin it – Running very fast

  74. Daniel says:

    What about “Rezza” as in the Edgbaston Reservoir

  75. Kimberley Andrews says:

    “Got one on her/him”:- For in a bad mood

    “Back of Ted’s” :- For an unspecific place eg, ‘where does he live? ‘oh, over the back of teds’

    “Cowin’” :- For a mild swear word similar to ‘flippin’….cowin’ hell

  76. murph says:

    “er’s got a face as lung as Livery Street”….down in the dumps/Miseryguts.

  77. John Lester says:

    “Its as black as yer hat an thats blue” – Its Obvious

    “this aint gettin the baby a frock and pinney” – We are wasting time here

  78. David Ayres says:

    Where is this strange place “Brummie”? Does it appear on any maps or how does one know how to avoid it.
    The vernacular sounds rather strange, but will definitely go there just before hell freezes over.

  79. Katy Jay says:

    Here’s a list of slang that I have picked up from my family – who are from Dudley, West Brom and Birmingham – hope this helps! Katy. xxx

    ‘Barmy’ – said to someone who’s insane – ‘Yo’m barmy’ – same as ‘Yampy’

    ‘Bint’ – a thick young woman

    ‘Blartin’ – crying incessantly… e.g. ‘Pack in blartin’ – ‘stop your crying now’

    ‘Cake-hole’ – slang word for mouth

    ‘Canting’ – slang for ‘talking’, verb: ‘cant’

    ‘Clarnet’ – a term used to call someone an idiot or fool (Tipton origins I think)

    ‘Fizzog’ – means ‘Face’ – so to tell someone to stop sulking – ‘Put yer fizzog straight’…

    ‘Yo gerron me wick’ – means ‘You get on my nerves’

    Glarnies – another name for ‘Marlies’ – Marbles

    A ‘Guzzunda’ – a bed pan

    Kay-lied – slang meaning of ‘to get drunk’ – also you may hear ‘grollied’, ‘plastered’, ‘pasted’ etc… varies around the Midlands

    ‘Lard-’Ed’ – means ‘Lard Head’ – which means someone stupid… you also her ‘Tater-yed’ – ‘Potato head’

    ‘Miskin’ – A dustbin

    ‘Mooch/Moach’ – to have a look around – e.g. ‘A mooch/moach round the shops’

    ‘Oss Road’ – used by mainly older Black Country and Brummie folk – it means ‘thoroughfare’ or literally ‘The horse road’… if you’re telling someone to go down the road you may say ‘Goo down th’Oss Road’…

    ‘On hop ‘n’ a catch’ – means ‘now and again’ – e.g. I only see ‘im on hop ‘n’ a catch…

    ‘Palaver’ – slang for a disastrous situation or a drama…

    ‘Reesty’ – dirty/filthy from playing outside – e.g. Yar clothes am reesty and need a wash…

    ‘Tittybabby’ – Someone acting immaturely or someone who’s a coward…

    A ‘Tussock’ – slang for a bad cough – e.g. ‘Yo gorra right Tussock on ya!’

    A ‘Wammull’ – slang for animal – mainly a pet like a dog or a cat…

    ‘Wench’ – terms of endearment used by men towards younger women or their daughters

    ‘Cocker’ or ‘Chap’ or ‘Aer Kid’ – terms of endearment used by anyone towards younger males or their sons/younger brothers

    ‘Bab’ – Term of endearment used towards women of any age by men of any age

    ‘Mucker’ – Term of endearment used towards men of any age, like ‘mate’

    ‘Lerrus see the babby’s yed!’ – Translates as ‘Let us see the baby’s head’ – means to give somene a chance to do something when someone is impatient

    ‘Let the dog si the rabbit!’ – same as above

    ‘A Jubbly’ – A frozen carton drink used as an ice-lolly

    ‘Tip-tops’ – Frozen ice in a long packet of different colours and flavours

    ‘A Brummigam Sponner’ – The Black Country explanation of a hammer

    ‘I bay as green as I’m cabbage lookin” – Mean ‘I’m not as stupid as I look’

    ‘The Ackidock’ – slang for Aqueduct

    ‘Ackers’ – Money (‘Ocker’ in Tipton)

    ‘Ar’l goo to Clent!/Ar’l goo to the foot of our stairs!’ – an exclamation of surprise, implying ‘No way! You’re joking! You’re kidding’

    ‘Bally’ – slang for stomach

    ‘I’ll gi yo such a cogwinder’ – what a parent says to their kids when being offered a clout round the ears… also used like the word ‘Pailin’ – ‘I’ll gi’ yo a pailin’…’

    ‘A right bell-oilin” – when someone give something a good seeing-to/thrashing… e.g. Yo gid that car a right bell-oilin day ya?’. Similar to ‘A gud Ommerin’

    ‘Bob ‘Owler’ – a large moth

    ‘Cack’ – slang used to profane ‘Rubbish’ (basically means excrement)

    ‘Caggy ‘Onded’ – Mean clumsy when working by hand, or used to relate to left-handedness

    ‘Chuffed’ – means over the moon, happy

    ‘Catlick’ – a quick wash

    ‘Shut your clack’ – said so many times by my Mum to me to tell me to shut up talking… or back-answering…

    ‘Coost thee?’ – means ‘Can you?’, the opposite being ‘Thee Coonst!’ – ‘You can’t!’

    ‘Yo’m a coddin’ ay ya?’ – mean ‘You’re joking!’

    ‘That sticks in mar craw’ – translates as ‘sticks in my throat’, in the terms of cannot believe it in a negative situation

    ‘Dollop’ – a large portion of – e.g. A dollop o’ tater – a large portion of potatoes…

    ‘Donnies’ – slang for small hands… also known as ‘Maulers’

    ‘Fittle’ – Food/meal – e.g. Bostin Fittle – good food…

    ‘Fun’ – means ‘Found’ – e.g. ‘what yo’ fun’?’ (What you found?)

    ‘Gammy’ – ill or lame

    ‘Gawkin’ – slang verb: staring at someone nosily e.g. ‘What yo a gawkin’ at?’ However if you’re staring in amazement, mouth wide-open, then you’re ‘gawpin’…

    ‘Ya sounds like a gleed under a door’ – A ‘Gleed’ is the ember of a coal that used to whistle as it jumped off the fireplace and they used to shoot quite far, mostly under the door from the living room to the kitchen… if someone is singin badly, whining or moaning in a high-pitched voice then this is said…

    ‘Grorty Dick’ – A local delicacy (!) of Groat and Meat Stew… I don’t like it tho… same as Grey Peas and Bacon… smells like tripe (yuck)

    ‘Ivverin ‘n’ Ovverin’ – to hesitate or dilly-dally

    ‘Kefflin’ – someone who’s awkward, lumering in their walk…

    ‘A right lampin’ – to give someone a hard smack…

    ‘Mardy’ – someone who’s bad-tempered/moody… also ‘Got the Meegrums’ – bad tempered/grumpy – and ‘got a cobb on’ – got the sulks or a bad mood…

    ‘Monty’ – someone who’s on their high horse about soemthing…

    ‘A Sly Munch’ – used by grandparents who want to give little grandchildren a cuddle – e.g. ‘Come ‘ere an’ lerrus gi’ ya a sly munch’

    ‘Morkin’ – someone who looks miserable

    ‘Mytherin’ – someone who’s worried about something… e.g. ‘Quit yer mytherin!’. Same as to ‘Werrit’ – e.g. ‘Stop werritin’!’

    ‘Nerker’ – A mischevious little child… my little sister was a right nerker…

    ‘Noggin Yed’ – Someone who is thick or acts dum… a Noggin is a lump of bread or dough.

    ‘Ockerd’ – slang pronuncaition of Awkward

    ‘O’thatnin/O’thisnin’ – In that way/In this way… e.g. Do it o’thisnin – do it in this way…

    ‘Pitherin’ about’ – messing about, wasting time, pottering around aimlessly – my mother used to shout at me to ‘Pack in pitherin’ about an’ ger ready fer school’…

    ‘Hotpotch’ – means random – to do something randomly – ‘doin’ it hotpotch’

    ‘Rile’ – Kids who are hyper who are all over the place, play fightine etc. are classed as ‘Rile-arses’, but ‘Riling’ means fidgetting and not keeping still…

    ‘Rutting’ – see above

    ‘Shommockin’ – means ‘shuffling along’

    ‘Slake’ – slang verb: to throw – e.g. ‘Do’ slake yer shoes in the cupbaord like that!’

    ‘Suck’ – sweets/candy – I used to be sent by my great-gran to the shop to get a ‘pound ‘a suck in perper bag’…

    ‘Swapson/Swapsom’ – slang for a large sized woman – e.g. ‘Er’s a bit swapsom’ (depends where you’re from how it’s pronounced). A larg sized man is a ‘Tunky’

    Like a ‘Bibble in a Can’ – something jumping around in a confined space, like a restless child – a Bibble was like a spinning top and the can was the bucket… from late 1800s…

    • Tony Sheldon says:

      Mum said ‘a catlick and a polish’
      If I ever hit the dog, Dad said I’d given it a ‘sly munch’. Don’t sly munch ‘im.
      I always thought a ‘bibble’ was a pebble.

  80. Nick says:

    There’s also the ever present “aktcherlee”

  81. Steve McKay-Salt says:

    Some absolute classics:

    “S’MARRAH” – What is the matter?
    “YA DAY DID YA” – you didn’t did you?
    “BORRAH” – To borrow (something)
    “LENZZ” – As in “LENZZ A FOIVAH” – Please lend me five pounds
    “GIZZA GOO” – May I have a go?

  82. Gary says:

    “Your mom work’s at the bac’ a Rackhams” was used as an insult when we were kids in the 70′s
    Not realising that it was mean’t to say she was a lady of the night.

  83. The Blue says:

    No-one’s said Cracking! Bloody brilliant that is

  84. Nick says:

    Dancers is old brummie for stairs (from rhyming with dancing bears) believe it or not there was once a Birmingham/Warwickshire rhyming slang all of it’s own which grew up round the markets.

    • Mak says:

      My dad aways said “gerrup the dancers” for get to bed but I always imagined it was short for darned stairs as he always pronounced it darncers like a posh type saying glarse for glass.

  85. Adam Lacey says:

    Care of the wonderfully Brummy Mr. Crowther…

    This ay gettin’ the babi a new vest – This isn’t getting anything done (or words to that effect!)

  86. Lola says:

    Don’t forget that its a real brummy-ism to get your “lenzz’s” and your “borrah’s” a bit confused. As in “can yu borr-us a foivah?”……

  87. Our Kid says:

    “Mind out for the miskin” – watch out for the dustbin;

    “Stay away from the suff” – Stay away from the drain;

    “Ganzie” – Jumper

    “Rocks” – sweets as in “crash the rocks”

    “Morkin” – a no-gooder

  88. The Blue says:

    Raz – Go Quick

  89. The Blue says:

    Growler – Ladies privates (as in “Get ya Growler out!”).

  90. John Doody says:

    “Oooh blimey ar.”
    This is an incredibly rich,nuanced phrase which loosely means:
    Thankyou for pointing out my error/omission.If you hadn’t drawn my attention to it,I would have been completely unaware of my mistake.
    However,now that you have done so,I can put it right,and will do so!

  91. Pam says:

    Further to one of Katy Jay’s suggestions about the “Tunky” man, I am reminded about the following phrase which I still use occasionally, as in ..if I eat all those chips I’ll end up as:
    “..fat as a Tunky pig” or as an alternative “..like the side of an ‘ouse”!

    “ruckled” – does anyone else say this to describe a garment or bedsheet for example has got annoyingly scrunched up or out of place(can’t describe it exactly)?

  92. Dan says:

    Sick – Good,wicked,amazing – “Arrrr thats sick!”
    Shafted – Bummed,sexually assaulted – “Yehh shutup man i’ll shaft ya”
    Manz – Gangs,youths – “Im not goin ome that way, theres loads of manz”
    Dippin – Going – “You dippin?” “Yehh in a bit”
    Shank – Knife,or any sharp object – “Manz will shank ya”
    Reppin – Representing, your area – “Im reppin b32″

    • Yickbob says:

      These are, I suspect, more ‘gangsta’ than Brummie. The first 2 & last 2 are widespread and even known by non-gangstas like me! Can’t speak to the other 2 though – PS, I’m in Canada.

  93. Crymes says:

    Horse Pickle – Hospital

    • Alan says:

      Crymes
      I’ve enjoyed scrolling and reading through all these words and sayings… some have made me smile but this [Horse Pickle] made me laugh out loud. It’s so simple, so funny. I can hear Brummies saying it now. Thank you for making my day. I left Brum when young so don’t have the accent or vocab but do have strong memories, maybe through rose-tinted glasses. I’ve extracted the best from those read so far and will start adopting at home… and kick start my own Brummie revival on the south coast. As it says on the city’s coat of arms… FORWARD!
      Thanks again. Al

  94. CRymes says:

    oooh and another:

    “Face like a babby thrush” then pull a kind of downturned mouth face – seems to mean a very miserable person.

    or “face like a strangled weasel” – ugly in a unique kind of way…

  95. Len Copsey says:

    We called sparrows – Spug – Sparrow: Spuggies – Plural for more than one Sparrow: Mind how you go over the road – Moind ow yo go acrcorss the orse rode.

    • Mak says:

      Saw this word in print in an OGRI cartoon in BIKE magazine “yonks” ago.Didn’t know it was Brummie,liked it so much I started to use it but don’t get much chance these, hardly see spugs round this end these days.

  96. Len Copsey says:

    Working on piecework pay – Pudding Week – The pay you picked on the Friday you started your annual holiday.

  97. marian says:

    ‘rowad’ – as in up the ROAD
    ‘skoowel’ – as in the kids are at SCHOOL

  98. Sue says:

    As big as Bocker – someone who is rotund ( my Mother used this one, and I assume that there was someone large called Bocker around the Dudley area)

  99. Diane says:

    Dinna – a mid- day meal

    Tea – the evening meal

    Lunch – what posh people have at dinna time

    Supper – what posh people have just before bed

    A piece – A slice of bread. Do you wanna piece with your dinna?

    A piece in the dip – a slice of bread dipped in the hot fat remaining after bacon has been fried

    Get up them dancers – It’s timeyou went to bed

    Garding – the enclosed land at the back of the home

    Vittals – food in general

    Lav/lavvy – toilet

    Peaky blinder – a cap worn by working men

    Pumps – footwear to do sport in school known elsewhere as plimsolls

    • Lloyd says:

      re ‘Peaky Blinder’, that referred to lads who wore peaked caps with razor blades sewn into the peak edge, lethal when dragged across an opponent’s face in a fight. Birmingham / Black country / Potteries areas, possibly elsewhere too.

      • Mak says:

        There is a constant battle in my house over the lunch, dinner, tea thing as my son (born in Solihull) uses the “posh” system and I still use the proper one.

    • Alan says:

      I was lead to believe (from my dad, when he was alive) that a Peaky Blinder was a Birmingham gang member in the early 1900s who had razor blades set into the peaks of their caps, making them a rather nasty weapon. It’s probably a myth but maybe someone can confirm or rubbish.

  100. Gav says:

    Duke / Duchess of Derritend – someone putting on unwarranted airs and graces – i.e. Who does she think she is, the Duchess of Derritend?

  101. smartarse says:

    wik =week

    sid = seen, (‘ave yow sid ‘er)

  102. Pertridge says:

    I was once working in a pub in Stourbridge, WM, during a women’s darts match. One of the opposing team asked for cider and I asked whether she wanted draught cider as it was on special offer.

    “Arse chaper, aye it?”

    For a moment I thought she was referring to my overly tight trousers (or “kecks”, if you will). Then I realised that she was saying “Arr (yes). S’chaper (it is cheaper) aye it (is it not)?”

    There’s also “ow’s ya bin our mucker?” = “How have you been my friend?”
    “Fether” = “Father”
    “Banes in a pon” = “Beans in a pan”

  103. Pertridge says:

    Oh – I forgot “Round the Wrekin” for taking a roundabout way to get to the point, eithe literally or metaphorically.

    As in, “He went all round the Wrekin before plucking up the courage to ask her out to the pictures”

  104. karen says:

    ham bag – hand bag

    Also a saying my nan and aunt’s use to say “whats that got to do with the price of fish” – what has that got to do with anything we are talking about im not sure if this is just brummie or all over.
    Alrite a bit – how are you

  105. karen says:

    Can anyone tell me why the “pond” is called the pond as its the size of a lake its the one in Aston by the new football pitches on the lichfield road??

  106. dom says:

    ‘Have your arse in your hands’, meaning to be grumpy. As in, “Wossup with ‘er?” “Er’s got er arse in er ‘ands”.

  107. Paul says:

    Yow ay am ya? – You are not, are you?

    Oi day, d’yow? – I didn’t, did you?

    Garry Glitter – toilet; anus (General UK slang?)

    donnies – hands (Black Country?)

  108. Paul says:

    garidge – petrol station

  109. greasykid1 says:

    “She’s got a face like a trod-on chip!”
    “She’s got a face like a smacked arse!”

    Both expressions meaning “this person looks unhappy”.

  110. Tim says:

    “on me neck” means you were laughing uncontrollably at something. “I was really on me neck at what he said”. I’ve never heard anyone outside of Rubery say this, but we said it all the time when we were kids.

  111. Pingback: Talk Like a Brummie Day - 2009 | Birmingham: It’s Not Shit

  112. Dan says:

    i dow think kno-wan az sed : kiddah ,, e’g how am ya kiddah … how are you mate

  113. Dan says:

    and noggin : head

    goz: goes e.g ,, i goz to her ow am ya bab

  114. Shabba says:

    Knock on – to call round at someone’s house, as in “I’ll knock on for ya ’bout 8″

  115. dale says:

    Blartin’ for crying an wailing!

  116. Suzy Jarrett says:

    A morkin is actually an idiot or ‘saft’ folk

  117. Joe says:

    Illegal now of course… but as a kid, I remember my dad “givin’ me a good hidin’” (a beating) for “playin’ up” (misbehaving)…

    Happy days… :-)

  118. Bad ‘and…… eating a jam ‘piece’ or other desirable morsel i.e ‘av you gorra bad ‘and?

    Sarnie….sandwich

    Chimbley….chimney

  119. bluenoselouie says:

    Wash ya donnies !! (Hands)

  120. aphrodite says:

    I’m trying to verify the origin of an expression which I’m told by Brummie friends is in common use, spelling not known, but sounds like “fenage” – to opt out due to exhaustion or lack of motivation. Has anyone else heard of this one or am I being wound up? It has been suggested that it is a corruption of a foreign word and was brought back from either the First or Second World War.

    • Lloyd says:

      “Fenaig” is how I remember it pronounced – to fail to do / finish something, or make an excuse not to do it.

    • Tony Sheldon says:

      Fennaiging was pretending to do something but not doing it.

    • Yickbob says:

      ‘Fainaigue’ is in the dictionary as a Britishism, possibly from ‘feign’+’ague’ – (French for illness). In North America it morphed into ‘fenagle’ (which is pronounced more like fenaigel and means something more like deceive than opt out from laziness). I remember ‘fainaigue’ from my childhood in Scotland so wonder if there is a Gaelic connection? After Googling, apparently ‘fennaig’ is Gaelic for a kind of ‘lazybed’ agriculture – hmm….

  121. linbadd says:

    Gooin ‘Up the wooden ‘ills to Bedfordshire’ = going upstairs to bed.

    Arse Like that? – meaning ‘How do you like that’, but only used in connection with seeing someone with a large or over-exposed posterior.

  122. linbadd says:

    ‘Dressed up to the nines’ and ‘Dun up like a dog’s dinner’.

    Not sure if these are Brummie, Midlands or more universal.

  123. linbadd says:

    Stir y’ (your) stumps = Get moving! (i.e. move your legs)

  124. linbadd says:

    Snap = packed lunch

    My Grandad was a miner and took his ‘snap’ to work in a ‘snap tin’.

  125. andybarr says:

    I’ve always said ‘Ent’ instead of ‘Aint’ i think.

    Also, “ennit” or ain’it instead of isn’t it.

  126. Barry Van-Asten says:

    I remember my dad saying whenever I was naughty as a child that he would ‘spiflicate’ me, or either ‘pole-axe’ me. Never really knew what that involved but sounds nasty! Other things he would say are:

    ‘Never in a rain of pig’s pudding’ to express surprise at something.

    ‘I’ve give me neck!’ like wash your hands of something and give up.

    ‘guzgogs’ (goose gogs) goose berries.

    ‘I don’t boil me cabbages twice!’ not wanting to repeat himself.

    ‘pull yer biscuit straight!’ meaning stop looking so miserable.

  127. anna says:

    I was shocked by this but apparently no one else in the world plays “tig” instead of “tag”.

    • Yickbob says:

      Also used in Ireland. Don’t know if it’s relevant, but it means ‘come’ in Irish.

      • JohnD says:

        In Shirley we played Tig
        Acky123 or hide and seek
        Decided important issues by Ick Ack Ock now paper scissors string.
        British bulldog especially as it was too rough for girls.
        Polly on the Mopstick if our dad wasn’t around cos e banned it.

        Our Gran used to say er looks a roit scrape if she thought a young lady was dressed a little bit too sluttish.
        Bint is the Arab word for maiden, it was bought back by soldiers in the Middle East and used commonly by Teds.

  128. Rich says:

    Awroight, worrabout these:

    Have the bags on with someone – to have a row

    Have your arse in your hand – to be in a mood
    Have a cob on – ditto

    Chronic – awful

    Paraletic – drunk, paralytic

    Month of Sundays – not ever

    Be knocked into the middle of next week – having your ears boxed very hard

    ‘Ers/’es gorra gob on ‘er/’im – to be a loudmouth

    Livid – really angry

    Slumocking – walking out without care for appearances

    Dim as a toc-h lamp – thick

    Wench – a nice young woman (usually with ‘mi wench’)

    Nunk – nothing, as in ‘I ‘ent got nunk’

    B’aint and B’ist – (going way back to my old Uncle Will) meaning not…

    Just a word on food:
    Lunch – mid morning snack, usually a biscuit or apple
    Dinner – Lunch
    Tea – Dinner
    Supper – glass of milk and biscuit to go to bed with

    Corporation Hair Oil – water to smooth your hair down

    Backfriends – when the skin peels back on your fingers by your nails.

    Nits – hair lice

    Acting the goat – playing up

    Good init?

    • PaulG says:

      re: “Just a word on food:
      Lunch – mid morning snack, usually a biscuit or apple
      Dinner – Lunch
      Tea – Dinner
      Supper – glass of milk and biscuit to go to bed with”

      I live in France now (with a frog ax-shully) an my wife speaks better English than I do and is FOREVER trying to correct me about this mixup.

      I dont care cuz um just gerrin Kay-lied on the local wine at 1 euro a litre.

  129. vince says:

    Livin’ in Way-uls now, missin me ow-um in Walsall.

    ears a cupul for ya:

    council pop – water (out the tap)
    knee high to a grasshopper (as in “i have known him a long time”)
    ark at im (listen to him)
    sweatin’ buckits (sweating profusely)
    knuckle sandwich (fist in the mush/cakehole/maarth/chops/bonce)

  130. Louise says:

    stoim? – (question) A phrase used by Brummies when they want to know what time it is

  131. cockneynutter says:

    LOL some of these bring back memories. Used to live in oldbury with the yam yam from hell but enough about psyco ex missus who can FOAD…

    Reesty? -Dirty/Filthy
    Chobbling -Eating Loudly
    Yowarrrrrrrrrrr (often going into a high pitched screech) -You What?
    Youm a Wammal – You animal

  132. Ted says:

    ‘why-I’ – general greeting, as in ‘why-I’ mate, how ya doin?’
    ‘ark at him/her’ – listen to him (usually to refer to someone talking rubbish or bragging!
    ‘Can’t be arsed’ – not bothered.

  133. Bev says:

    These are FAB, have loved reading it all!
    A lot are what i’d say are Black Country or Walsall….I realise the differences when I moved and lived over there. Had to learn the new lingo!

    I have found that often I don’t realise i’m using a Brummie phrase until I’m somewhere else in the country and people don’t understand what I’m on about LOL!! Saying “island” when giving directions was deffo a classic – people hadn’t a clue what I meant.

    I hadn’t realised a lot of what I say was Brummie until reading this thread.

    San Fairy Ann? is this Brummie? I’ve only ever heard my family say it and it seems to be Brummie-ised French!
    I have french connections, but not on the side of the family which used it.

    • PaulG says:

      Ca fait rien (french: literally ‘that means [or will do] nothing’ also used as ‘so what?’ usually use to mean ‘screw that’)

  134. Tambo says:

    I was born and lived in Handsworth for the 1st 11 years of my life. Then moved and lived in Burntwood, Hednesford, Lichfield and Stoke on Trent. I thought I had lost the Brummie accent, until I recently went on a training course where my voice was taped. On play back I swore I was listening to Frank Skinner. I was actually quite chuffed I (almost) still sounded like a Brummie.

  135. rob says:

    its a big lorry wiv big driver will need good brakes to stop that ,dont go for second hand pads cud be lethal,

    my friends wife who was a brummie always said this to her husband another brummie said it was a brummie saying, she wouldn’t explain and it cant for the life of me know know what she meant, i can guess, but would like to know the brummie meaning

    tks

  136. Pingback: Talk Like A Brummie Day — This Fri - Birmingham: It's Not Shit

  137. Pingback: Careful past yer grannies, this friday is TLAB Day 09 « Talk Like A Brummie Day

  138. Julia Larden says:

    I am not convinced about ‘yampee’. The first time I ever heard that was in Sheffield! On the other hand, I do recall that after a year of working in Sheffield, and hearing Yorkshire, it was lovely to get in the taxi at New Street and hear the taxi driver start to give an example of something or other like this: ‘Tike my brotha now – ‘ee works oop The Ostin.’ Trans: ‘Take my brother, now, he works at The Longbridge Works’ – then still owned by Austins. Where I grew up, near Northfield, ‘Austins’ was frequently rendered as ‘The Ostin’. People who worked at Austins were often, to my recollection, described as working ‘Oop The Ostin’.

  139. Pingback: About Brum » Ow yam doing moite?

  140. Not sure how Brummie the following is because it was said in Walsall, which, as everyone knows, is NOT Birmingham!

    Well, I’ll gu to Cannock … said when expressing surprise about something

  141. juliagilbert says:

    mom = mother, as opposed to the more common mum.

    Possibly used in other places too.

    I’ve picked it up after 10 years living in Brum.

  142. Charberto says:

    MARDY – meaning ‘moody’, ‘in a mood’, ‘grumpy’, ‘sour faced’.

    Nobody outside of the West Midlands has ever known what I meant when I said mardy. I didn’t even realise it wasn’t a real word til I moved out of the area!

  143. Martin says:

    taraa-bit – good bye
    lough that – forget about it
    island – roundabout (ppl outside Brum dont know what this means)
    iss a birr ot – its a bit hot
    missus – wife

    I was born in Malvern and lived there till I was 11 when I moved to Handsworth, now I live in Small Heath.

  144. PaulG says:

    “Oi’ll give it Foive” one of the original UK catchphrases taken from the sixties TV Pop show “Juke box jury” as said by the splendid Janice Nicholls.

    As kids we used to say that if some suggested we “goo the shops fer a Jubbly”.

    “Oi’ll give if Foive”

    Meant “Oh, I say, rather, lets do”.

    I thought it was global? Was it just UK-wide then, didn’t some cheapskate comedians pick up on it and make it a catchphrase, Jimmy Tarbuck, maybe?

  145. PaulG says:

    Kay-lied, or kah-lied or K-lied where did that term come from?

    I have a feeling it is a military term, dont ask why, because I am not sure – I just have a hunch – hence at 1am k-lied on local wine I sought out the answer to this question.

    Yow-aw-rite, arekid?

  146. Don says:

    “Ar” for “yes” is (or was) pretty widespread north of approximately Swindon. See Bill Bryson’s “Mother Tongue, the story of English” for how “yeah” for “yes” was originally limited to a very small part of England, yet became universal as the United States developed, finally making it back here.

    “Mardy” I would associate with Staffordshire and northwards.

    Many of your “Brummie” words have obviously been borrowed from Black Country usage. Does anyone still say “miskin” for “dustbin”?

    • Roger says:

      Hi Don

      I have just found this website and I am Brummie born and bred.
      Retired now but I still use the term “The Miskin Men are coming today”
      In fact I used it today as thay emptied my bin.

      Regards

      Roger

    • Adrian Griffin says:

      Until at least the late 1950s, ar was the informal word for yes. With the influx of skiffle, rock and roll, and American pop culture, yeah took over with those who were teenagers in the 1960s.

  147. Don says:

    “Oi’ll give it Foive” originated with Janice (Somebody) from I think Wednesbury – certainly from the Black Country – who appeared on a TV show judging new entries to the popular music charts. Was it Six-Five Special?

    “Kay-Lie” for sherbert was from “alkali” which is from the Arabic Al-Kali – I’m guessing that Kali (spelt that way) was an alkaline powder. It was sold in a triangular paper bag, and for real luxury you had, not the usual straw, but a stick of licorice root which you alternately sucked and then dipped into the Kali. Heavenly!

    Totally Black Country was the request for a loan of something: “Gizza lend on it” (Give me a lend of it), and the alternative “Borrow me (a fiver or whatever)” for “Lend me … “.

  148. Don says:

    To “have the bag on” someone was to set them up as the victim of a joke.

    “Let’s have the bag on Tommy.”

    “Awroight)”

    “Look at that sumbarine*, Tommy, a-floyin’ over the school!”

    If Tommy looked up, you’d had the bag on him.

    *Oldbury pronunciation of “submarine”. Nobody ever got a certificate for swimming or academic excellence: it was always “a susstifficut”.

  149. woody says:

    ‘ark at ‘im/’er
    meaning listen to that person brag

    and a pint o’ sterra

    as you could once only get sterilised milk on the doorstep in the Midlands. can you still get it? It keeps for ever.

    Ex brummie, now in wiltshire,

  150. AK says:

    To lamp someone = beat them up or “knock their block off!”

  151. GlenB says:

    Laughing my head off (or should I say loffin me yed off) and some of the stuff on here.It’s certainly brough some memories back from my childhood,my granny was from Cradley and as a kid I couldn’t understand anything she said it was like a foreign language and I’m from West Bromwich.
    One thing that has always puzzled me is why Brummies called people from the Black Country ‘yamyams’.I’ve lived in various areas of West Bromwich and Walsall and have never heard the word ‘yam’ for you are/am.It’s always been pronounced yome ( rhymes with home).
    My granny used words like bin,bay ,bist, thee, lots of olde anglo saxon words,she died when I was 10 and would love to have been able to speak to her now.
    A lot of people don’t realise the Albions nickname ‘The Throstles’ is a derivation of the German word for song thrush ‘Drossel’.
    Glad I’ve found this bostin site.

  152. amanda.burke@live.co.uk says:

    Bostin – The all round word for brilliant,fantastic,great ,better than fantastic
    Goo en round the corner — Going round the corner
    Royce- Rice
    Wyne – Wine
    A bit of black round the back of bills mothers – Likely to rain(also indicates this was Stratford way)
    Having a Benny — To throw a strop

  153. RachelB says:

    Old brummie joke – what’s the difference between a buffalo and a bison? Answer – yer can’t wash yer ‘ands in a buffalo.

    A wasp is a jasper (pronounced jaspa)

  154. PerkyP says:

    Anyone remember playing Acky/Acki 123 at school? I have never come across this name anywhere else bar other versions of the same game. 1 poor bugger at the pole and the others leg it to hide without being spotted and try to save their mates who have been spotted, touch the pole before being caught/ seen and shout Acky 123 save all :)

  155. Pat Neenan says:

    Love the sight. I´m from Chasetown/Burntwood and mi dad useda lot of them expressions.
    In our family we have Neenanism (Neenan is my surname)
    Some neenanisms are
    Rorming not stop moving
    “Stop rorming and riling!!
    Baum Borm Don´t touch anything your baumed in grease
    i got all baumed up playin football.
    I cant think of other things right now but when i lived in London had loads of probs with words like
    COB – a bread roll
    Island – roundabout
    Mini island – Mini roudabout
    Bread an scratchit What ´s for dinna? Bread an scratchit
    Hot sauce piece – Sandwich with Daddies or HP sauce on.

  156. Pat Neenan patrickjohn43@hotmail.com says:

    I now live in Spain and when i speak to any English people here they say You´re a brummie but I´m not i was born in Lichfield and bought up “On the Chase”
    The tip – Rubbish dump.
    Up the suff – broke
    Snap–my miner dad´s lunch
    Jairzy – jumper/ sweater.

  157. Phil Ward says:

    Tranklements
    When I worked in West Brom a sign in a shop said “Tranklements 50p” I had to ask my Baggie supporting work mates to learn that this meant bits and pieces.
    Glad to see “riling” on the list. I used to be told off all the time for “riling on the chair”

  158. Rachel says:

    “Entry” is what we used for a passageway between two houses
    “Pop” – any soft drink
    “The Rezzer” – Edgbaston Reservoir
    “The Accy” – The Accident Hospital that used to be on Bath Row I think

    Not sure if they are all limited to Birmingham, but I did get some strange looks when I referred to “pop” in London.

    • Mak says:

      Its a few years ago now but I ‘ad ‘ell ovver job gerrin’ meself understood when I asked forra bagga scratchins in a London pub.

  159. Andy says:

    “Any road” or “Any road up” for Anyway. When someone is silly, or acting mad, you would say ” Yowm yampy yow am”
    I don’t know if a ball is called a “Pill”, only in the black country.
    Another local term (I am from Oldbury) for a large amount of something was a “Rook” Ar, I got a rook of them planks if yow wan any.

  160. Lottie says:

    I remember Acky 123 too – and yes, I’ve never heard the name outside of where I grew up.

    Pop to us was the fizzy stuff (still soft drinks were squash) and we only got pop if dad was earning lots!

    Tranklements I’d never heard of till I went out with a lad from the Black Country and he called it Tronklements (well that’s how it sounded). That was Dudley way.

  161. PaulG says:

    My mates would call the ball “the pill” – “Oi, pass us the pill then” and we lived in south b’ham – but it could’ve been something we picked up from big school near the town centre.

    Pop generally meant the stuff from the weekly Corona lorry. Cordial was the still stuff.

    The Alpine man was another source of pop – some wicked colours as I recall.

    Talking of drinks, anyone remember “Brown and mild”, that was my fave, a small bottle of Manns brown ale mixed with half a mild.

    When I returned to my old watering hole a few years ago I asked the barmaid for a “brown and mild” and had to explain it to her.

    Dunno if Brown and mild was a brummie thing or not.

    • Adrian Griffin says:

      In the mid 1960s, brown and mild was very popular. At the Stone in Northfield, it was as popular as Brew XI (the bitter). But it was always M & B’s Sam Brown. With the tied house system back then, an M & B or Ansells pub would not be selling a Watney-Mann product.

  162. Tielhard says:

    How about ‘bad’ used for ‘ill’ as ‘she ain’t comin’ to school today she’s bad’.

    Not sure if the exclusively Brummie but it was common when I grew up there and no one in London seems to have heard it.

    And what about ‘jebend’ to mean either ‘cigarette butt’ or someone useless and usually annoying ‘that bloke’s a complete jebend’. Again, not sure if that’s exclusively Brummie but it seems unknown in London and also unknown to some Northerners I speak to that are now in London.

    Found this site as people in London refused to believe that ‘donnies’ was a term for hands. So I suspect that may be genuinely Brummie too.

    • Tony Sheldon says:

      I think that jebend might be jed end meaning dead end???

    • Jimmy says:

      Yes, donnies are hands. My Aunt used to tell us to wash our donnies before dinner and after we’d been out playing. . . and if we were misbehaving while we were playing we would be told to ‘play up your own end’.

      I have family in Tipton who call a sandwich a ‘piecey’ as well. I love that one.

  163. JohnO says:

    A ferce lyke last wiks washin’ – a sour expression etc.

  164. Salvatore says:

    Being a Scots lad, I was intrigued when my Brummie lover said goodbye last night with ‘Mind how you go’. 3 times! I wondered if it was a genuine ‘Tarra’, or a more pointed ‘Farewell’, never to be seen again. The jury is still out 24 hours later.

  165. Steve says:

    Where’s the bogs? – Where’s the toilets?

  166. PaulG says:

    Squid – a quid, one pound

    Half a squid – ten bob

    (always comes back to me when eating Calmari)

  167. Tom says:

    Does anyone remember ‘brassings’ and ‘gruffings’?

    They were both said (in the playground) when someone had been proved wrong.

    When you said ‘brassings’, you pointed to the side of your neck and twisted your finger round. Maybe something to do with ‘brass neck’?

    When you said ‘gruffings’, you stroked your chin in a beard-like motion.

  168. Rod says:

    Nice to find this site: my Dad, a Small Heathen (he said!), born 1914, whose granny was from Dudley, used lots of the words recorded here like bob-owlers, yampie, blarting etc. A couple of his expressions I can’t find amongst the submissions are “Starving cold” used in the sense of freezing, and “clarting” to mean messing, ie “stop clartin’ about!”

    • Mak says:

      Taters=freezing cold
      Bobowler, wasn’t that a great big moth ? haven’t heard that one for 30 years(moved to Solihull).

  169. Mak says:

    My dad always said fy-uvv for five and flower for floor, also when I did something particularly clumsy I was a “big footed amoo” what the hell is one of them ?

    • WIDGETSDADDY says:

      Dicky bird is Cockney for word
      How’s yer father I think is universal like a bit of the other or slap & tickle.

    • Eileen says:

      Janice Nicholls (a brummie) on a hit TV show Juke Box Jury always used to say “I’ll give it Fyve” if she liked the song! Perhaps your dad’s of my vintage!

  170. Jimmy says:

    Daynit – didn’t it

    Cowin’ ‘ell – bloody hell

    2 favourites of mine :)

  171. Jools says:

    Donnies as in wash yer donnies bab. (Hands).

  172. Karen Garland says:

    ..not sure if these are strictly brummy..

    “face like fourpence”…..meaning not looking very happy..

    “A bit of how’s your father”….being a bit naughty…

    “Never heard a dicky bird..”…..never heard anything.

    “Going hum”…going home

  173. Lyns says:

    Has anyone heard the word ‘bin’ for ‘poo’? My mum, who grew up in Smethwick, tells me that when she was a child and went to call for a friend, said friend called from within the outside bog “ang on I’m avin a bin”

    Other phrases on here I grew up with are donnies, bobowlers, the cut, bostin, not so green as I’m cabbage-lookin, yampy and cowin. My dad, now 62, still uses all of these regularly.

  174. Peter says:

    My mother always referred to moths as ‘bobowlers’ or perhaps “Bob ‘Owlers” . Anyone else heard that one?

    • Jim Cooney says:

      Our mom (never mum mind you) used to say that -pronounced bobbola! It was one of those big fat moths you just couldn’t catch!!!

  175. Howard Siviter says:

    Me Mom awis useta say “You look like a bag of muck done up in the middle” meaning you were scruffy.
    When she thought you hadn’t had a wash she’d ask if it was a “Cat lick and a promise”. Also she often said “SanfairyAnne Polly Ass” meaning I couldn’t care less.
    Pinching apples or other fruit was “Scrumpin”
    If someone was crying we used to say “Nevva moind suck yer orange Bab”.
    Anyone who was a “Lardyed” was big headed or conceited.

  176. Tina McLeod says:

    ‘oss – horse
    saft – daft, silly

  177. nosheds says:

    Bob ‘owlers in Coventry are Crane Flies (daddy long legs)

  178. Graham says:

    “as e got a monk on ? ” – Is he in a bad mood

    “I’m gooin to the Larpom” – I’m going to the toilet

  179. Steve says:

    boba-owla n. A large moth that comes in and flies round the light at night.

  180. Abyy says:

    Warta, water…
    bab, baby…
    Orite Geez…
    babby, baby…

  181. David says:

    Every Brummie word here and a good many of the ‘Black Country’ words with a smattering of the potteries slang got me a slap round the earole. My mom wanted us to talk proper and if she was around great care needed to be taken.

    Curiously when my dad had a stroke at 59 his accent and dialect reverted completely to Brummie words.

    I live in Canada now but when I first arrived no-one could understand a word I said, a little elocution paid off because afterwards I was able to get a job.

    Love this (web) place, love Brum wish I’d never come here

  182. abbie cooper. says:

    Mad Julie says yampey all the time

  183. brummieborn'n'bred says:

    bab: babe
    yam awroight bab?: are you okay?

  184. brummieborn'n'bred says:

    man: (just an informal ending to a sentence) “yeah course man”
    standard: good quality
    sound: good/cool

  185. brummieborn'n'bred says:

    babba: baby

  186. WIDGETSDADDY says:

    Any road up – anyway
    Blartin’ – crying
    Grizzlin’ – whingey crying
    Yampy – barmy/weird
    Deff ‘im out – ignore him
    Gerrout – I don’t believe you
    Gissa munch – give me a hug
    Babby – baby
    Oright ar kid- Ok mate
    Ark urur – listen to her
    Bostin’ – great
    Om taytered – I’m tired
    Urz awright inna? – she’s nice isn’t she?
    Giz yer donny – let’s hold hands
    Gorra face like a grave-robber’s dog – ugly
    Gorra face like a bagger spanners – ugly
    Fizog – face
    So ah lamptim – so I hit him
    Gimadig! – hit him!
    Down ar end – in my neighbourhood
    Couldn’t get me aton – shocked
    Eeya – listen
    Ar old lady – mom
    I’ll give you what for – I’ll punish you
    A face like fourpence – miserable
    Cowinell – gosh!
    A mystery – a woman
    Om bust – I’m broke
    Tarrara bit – goodbye
    Om bostin’ – I need a pee
    Gerowra the road – move
    Town – city centre
    Outdoor – off licence
    Round the wrekin – long-winded
    Mindowyergo – take care
    Jump on the rattla – catch a train
    Gissa bell – telephone me
    On the blower – on the telephone
    Izbad – he’s ill
    I’ll give it you – I’ll punish you
    Give it me – hand it over
    Give i’ eeya – hand it over
    Piece – sandwich
    Yoor tekkin the p–s! – you’re joking
    Ur you tekkin the p–s? – are you joking?
    Shurrup! – be quiet
    Greebo – motorcyclist
    Aar – yes
    A mickey mouse – a pint glass with half bitter & half lager mixed
    Backa Rackhams – prostitute
    Loopy – mad
    Flying a kite – cashing a cheque
    Shrapnel – change (money)
    Readies – money
    King for a day – dole cheque

    • Eileen says:

      I’ve never heard of a ‘Mickey Mouse’ and I was a barmaid in brum city for many years! Is this a new one?
      When I first met my sister in law, (from West Brom), she said ‘oo allo, ow am ya, am yar awl rite our kid’? I had no idea about this wb accent, although I was born in brum!
      Something else I remember from brum was :
      ‘goo an get me ‘ammer in the ‘ouse while I tek the babbie up the rowed

  187. James says:

    brew’us (brew house). A communal laundry area, usually in a courtyard in slum areas where people washed their clothes, sheets, etc. I remember my aunt using the brew’us in Aston. My mom did the laundry in a wooden barrel in the yard and pounded the clothes with a “maid”. Werk’us (workhouse). S**t’us (toilet). Face like a bosted boot. A common expression for someone with a miserable face, a sour puss. A bit of a poppy show. Favourite saying of my parents to denote something that was over the top, too showy, vulgarly ostentatious. To go to the toilet was to have a bounce, but maybe this was my parents invention. I’m 69 years old and lived in ‘Okley (Hockley) in a back to back house till I was 8. My toilet was a bucket in the air raid shelter, over which was placed a chair with the seat removed. I retired to Montego Bay and have to speak standard English in order for Jamaicans to grasp a word of what I’m saying.

    • Eileen says:

      You might be surprised to know that the few remaining back-to-backs are now tourist attractions in Brum! I went there last year and really enjoyed the tour. They show you the progress of the working man over a few decades, (ie; what you might expect to see in the homes of the eras represented) and the food they ate. I would recommend it. It’s in the city, Hurst Street (cnr Inge St). You MUST book well in advance!

  188. John says:

    sadly I grew up in Derby but some of my grandparents came from the Black Country and some from Staffordshire. We often use words such as Chobblin’, Grizzlin’, Mardy, Donnies, Ganzie, Go an’ suck yer orange, Entry, A bit black over Bill’s mother’s, What’s the marra?, Well gu to the foot of our stairs!. There are many more. It all came to light when I said to a work colleague “I’ll gu an’ wash mi donnies”. He and his close family are Derby born and bred and he hadn’t a clue what donnies were! I’m interested to hear about this Brummie/Warwicks rhyming slang.

    I think it’s a shame that the media seem to enjoy ramming Cockney rhyming slang down our throats all the time like in the “Hank Marvin” advert at the moment. There are too many south-eastern accents and slang on TV. They are the worst British accents too in my opinion.

    A member of my Nan’s family used to call her Wench as a term of endearment but we younger family members don’t. Oh, and I’m often mocked by my friends for saying Ar instead of Yes!

  189. Nathan (brummie) says:

    Is it just me who says ‘eeyarr’ for ‘Here you are’?
    ie: eeyarr mate, y’ c’n borra’ mine.

  190. Lee Lindsay says:

    A “Kev”

    this is slang for a Chav, Boy Racer etc

  191. Dave Ford says:

    I moved from Brum back in 1969, when i was 10. I lost my accent so i found this page and looked for ‘Bostin’ and found it. Pity there’s no meaning with it.

    Here’s one I remember from my Moms cousin.

    By We meaning Near Us.

  192. Dave says:

    I’m amazed no-one’s mentioned ‘d’aint’ as in ‘yow d’aint’ …. you didn’t – great page though our kid!

  193. Julie says:

    any idea what “Park you up” means???

  194. Warren says:

    Gambole : forward roll

  195. Tracy says:

    Loved reading all of this thread. I grew up in Olton, then Solihull. My Dad grew up in Acocks Green, and my mum in Lapworth. It is lovely to remember the richness of the West Midland accent, words and phrases. The only one I’d add is ‘side’ – as in, ‘he ain’t got no side to him’ meaning ‘he’s honest and trustworthy’. I’ve never come across this expression outside of the midlands.

  196. janet says:

    Although have been in Australia for fortyfour years I still find myself using some of the expressions and language from my childhood. Born in Ruston St, Ladywood into a back to back, one up and one down dwelling – lived there for five years but have strong memories of the place and people. Then spent many years in Pype Hayes, on a council estate, which was heaven to my mother after Ladywood! Mind you we used to call it Erdington, as we thought it sounded better. I’ve laughed buckets at this site but there is an expression I haven’t seen – ‘Oim gettin on a loine (line) with you’. Meaning I’m getting cross with you. Anyone else familiar with that one?

  197. Sarah says:

    Shame this page hasn’t been kept up, it’s a great idea.

    Lickle = little
    Bockle=bottle
    Keckle=kettle
    Yella= yellow
    Pilla=pillow
    Lickle Don-dons= the tiny hands (donnies)
    of A baby (or babby)

  198. Pauline says:

    Hi twin sister of Jan here. I remember nearly all of the expressions and as I’ve only moved 12 or so miles away to the edge of the Black Country I’ve heard most of those too. Hower one saying I recall my mom using when she was shocked, or amazed “Well Oil goo to the foot of our stairs”. Is this genuine Brummie speak?

    • patricia paul says:

      my brother told me he used the expression ” he copped the fork” as in ” he was very offended” in a conversation with non brummies and no -one knew what he was talking about about . This was a phrase used in our Great Barr/ Kingstanding family .

  199. Loubylou says:

    Some of these phrases take me back! Although I’d forgotten some of them-
    Bostin
    Got a cob on
    Got a monk on
    Deaf it out
    Working at the back of Rackhams

    Loved kayli, jubblies and kayli as a kid.
    We also used to play Acky123 and Acky tig as a variation.
    A Mickey Mouse is is defo a drink peculiar to the midlands.
    Although I’d never heard of the phrase ” a face as long as livery street” until my Mom said this to my Dad recently.
    And love ” it’s black over Bill’s mother’s”
    My Husband didn’t believe certain words existed though – like donnies, slummock, pither, outdoor or referring to a traffic roundabout as an island. I can point him in this direction!
    It’s bostin!

  200. Otty says:

    what about the “stink pom” (tall pipe venting fumes from the sewers)?

  201. Jan Markham says:

    An earlier message said that plimsolls were known as pumps (also called them this in Yorkshire) but in Nechells they were always called daps.
    Great site!

  202. Phil says:

    “Not 3 bad” as in, better than “Not 2 bad”

    “Good egg” as in, not a bad person.

  203. Phil says:

    “Rock” meaning sweets.

  204. John says:

    Haven’t seen anyone mention a ‘ducka’.
    I’m a gunnu bung a ducka at ya.
    Trans: I’m going to throw this rather large stone at you, so best if you ‘duck’.
    My dear old mom also used to use ‘yer movva never was’.
    I presume that translated to me being a little ‘B’ when I was naughty.
    Wooden hills for the stairs.

  205. Dawn says:

    Owjamean? (What do you mean?)

  206. Trevor says:

    Oh-ar (oh yeah)

  207. Karen says:

    The first time I heard my dad say it was a bit black over Bill’s mothers’ I asked who Bill was! And I’ll go to the foot of our stairs was used all the time in our house. I got told off when working in West Brom for a while and my accent became a bit hybrid, Dad said “whatcha talkin like that fer?”

  208. Jim says:

    My mom was from Erdington and all my relatives are still around there (Halesowen, Hagly, Sutton Coldfield, etc.) I remember they use tar = Thanks. And ark at him = disdainful of a braggert. Also she talks like her mouth is fulla marbles = hoighty toighty!

  209. Nick says:

    How about ‘The Gen’ get the gen as in the general information.

  210. Anne Harley says:

    You need your fir lined walking stick today ( it’s cold out)

    You could ride bare arse to China on this ( referring to a blunt knife)

    She’s gone to China to get two eggs off a black man, When describibing someone’s absence.

    I wish I wa in ‘even, eatin’ oranges and spitting the pips on you”…………when your mum was irritated or mildly annoyed at you

  211. John says:

    No-One has mentioned my favourite milk – Sterra.

  212. bob says:

    Half house brick=arf end ducka
    Chimney= S hole

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>