Visiting the North of England? The Odd Slang Terms You Need To Know

Liverpool Photo Credit Sarah Christie.-3
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The United Kingdom is diverse, with a wide range of accents and dialects. While there are many regional variations in the language, some terms and phrases are commonly associated with Northerners in the UK, particularly in the North of England. Check out these everyday terms that have international visitors flummoxed!

“Ee by gum”

Visiting the North of England You Had Better Learn These Terms. Photo Credit Sarah Christie Adobe Firefly
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

This is a Yorkshire expression used to show surprise or emphasis, similar to “Oh my goodness” or “Wow.”

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“Mardy”

Photo Credit Sarah Christie.

Demonstrated by Alf. A word used in parts of the North, particularly in the East Midlands, to describe someone who is in a bad mood or sulking.

Owt” and “Nowt”

Photo Credit: Sarah Christie Adobe Firefly.

These words are used to mean “anything” and “nothing” in Northern dialects. For example, “Did you find owt interesting?” means “Did you find anything interesting?”

“Scran”

Photo Credit: Sarah Christie Extraordinary Chaos.

A Northern term for food or a meal. For example, “Let’s go and get some scran.”

“Chuffed”

Visiting the North of England You Had Better Learn These Terms. Photo Credit Sarah Christie Adobe Firefly
Photo Credit: Sarah Christie Adobe Firefly.

This means pleased or delighted. If someone is “dead chuffed,” they are very happy.

“Brew”

Photo Credit: Sarah Christie Extraordinary Chaos.

In the North, people often refer to a cup of tea as a “brew.” “I’ll put the kettle on and make us a brew.”

“Ginnel”

Photo Credit: Sarah Christie Adobe Firefly.

A narrow passageway or alley, especially in Northern dialects, often used in the North West and Yorkshire.

“Bairn”

Camping with a baby Photos Credit Deposit Photos.
Photos Credit: Deposit Photos.

A term for a child, commonly used in the North East, including in places like Newcastle.

“Canny”

Visiting the North of England You Had Better Learn These Terms. Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

A word often used in the North East of England to mean nice, pleasant, or clever. “She’s a canny lass.”

“Lug ‘ole”

Visiting the North of England You Had Better Learn These Terms. Photo Credit Sarah Christie Adobe Firefly-7
Photo Credit: Sarah Christie Adobe Firefly.

This means ear. For example, “Open your lug ‘ole” means “please listen.”

“Aye” and “Nay”

Photo Credit: Sarah Christie Adobe Firefly.

These are Northern English equivalents of “yes” and “no.” “Aye, I’ll be there” means “Yes, I’ll be there.”

“It’s Raining Cats and Dogs”

Photo Credit: Sarah Christie Adobe Firefly.

It’s raining heavily, often accompanied by strong winds and a downpour.

“Champion”

Photo Credit: Sarah Christie Extraordinary Chaos.

A word often used in the North East to mean good or excellent. “That pie was champion!”

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Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

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Sarah Christie is a craft, food, cruise, and family travel blogger Extraordinary Chaos, Cruising For All and Mini Travellers. Known for her unique perspective and ability to find beauty in chaos, Sarah designs and creates craft projects as well as creating recipes for people who want to cook from scratch the easy way. Whilst also exploring family travel and how to navigate it.

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