15 November 2005

Scouse Is Boss: A List of Words, Quotes & Phrases From Liverpool

In the recent past I had reason to use the word Arlarse in conversation with a big group of non-Scousers and (obviously) no one understood what I meant. Yes, it's a word. I found this to be really funny, so now I have started dropping Scouse words into conversations with non-Scousers as often as I can. Because I work outside Liverpool I have realised that, without even trying, I started to change my accent and drop all Scouse colloquialisms when speaking to people. Now though I have seen the error of my ways and I've purposefully gone completely the opposite... broad Scouse is the order of the day!

And so everybody knows exactly what we are talking about here, here's a dictionary definition for you:

Scouse is the accent or dialect of English found in the northern English city of Liverpool and adjoining urban areas of Merseyside. The Liverpool accent is highly distinctive and sounds wholly different from the accents used in the neighbouring regions of Cheshire and rural Lancashire. Inhabitants of Liverpool are often called Scousers. Scouse is noted for a fast, highly accented manner of speech.

These days "Scouse Dictionaries" are available to buy in the shops, usually in places such as Burtons Menswear, on a shelf by the counter for impulse buyers, but they're just cash-ins and anyone who buys them needs their head seeing to. This is because a lot of Scouse words aren't really different words, more like regional pronunciations that are completely foreign sounding.

Did you know that Liverpool is one of the only English cities where the male and female versions of the regional accent sound different from each other? It's not so easy to prove it in the written word, so you will just have to take my word for it, but I am told from a source that I trust that it is true. The male version of Scouse is a lot broader and coarse sounding with a rough edge to it, the female version is more refined and rounded. Lately there has been a trend for Scouse girls to sound more like Scouse lads, which I don't like much. But maybe this is just because Scouse is becoming Scouser.

Here is the ever-growing list of good solid Scouse words:

  • Abar - The correct way to pronounce the word "about"*
  • Arlarse (often shortened to Aarlee,  Auld-arse, Owlarse or even Old Arse)
  • Auld - "Old" (pronounced "Arld")
  • Baltic - Extremely cold weather
  • Belter - The Scouse word for "Fantastic!".
  • Bevvy - Beverage, alcoholic drink
  • Bifter - A cigarette. Also in the phrase "Giving it the bifters", meaning "To do something really well".
  • Bills - Underpants
  • Bird - A girl. "Me bird" means "my wife". Often pronounced as "beard"
  • The Bizzies - The local constabulary. The 5-0.
  • Boss! - "Very good stuff!"
  • Bouncer - To perform a U-turn. Example: "Eeh-ar taxi man lad, do a bouncer ere an' pull up next to thee offey."
  • Bronzey - A suntan. "What do yer reckon of me bronzee then? I've just got back from a day in Sevvy Park and it was pure sunny all day!"
  • Ciggy - Scousers don't usually say fag when they mean cigarette
  • Crisp - Instead of saying a packet of crisps, some people say "a packet of crisp". (This one drives me round the twist)
  • Cum-ed - The correct way to pronounce the phrase "come ahead" or instead of saying "hurry up"
  • Devo'd  - "Devestated"
  • Divvy - A stupid or silly person
  • Fillum - Instead of saying "Film", meaning movie
  • Flim - £5, also called a bluey (see below for more info)
  • Gerroff instead of "Get off me!"
  • Giz - The correct way to pronounce the phrase "Give us"
  • Gowed instead of "Go ahead"
  • Goz - To take a look at something. As used in the phrase "Giz a Goz"
  • Grace instead of 'Great'
  • In a bit - Goodbye
  • Jarg - Not fully authentic. Fake. Usually used when referring to knock-off goods from a spurious source.
  • Kecks - Trousers
  • Kidda/Kidder - Good friend
  • Like - Every sentence can end in this word (even though it's probably better not to like).
  • Meff - Trampish looking fellow
  • Minty - Dirty looking, off, out of date, undesirable
  • Mogger (ride on a bike)
  • Mucker - A close friend. Somebody who isn't afraid to muck in and help out. Somebody just like you, me old mucker!
  • Offey - Off licence. Liquor store.
  • Or-ice The correct way to pronounce the word "Alright"
  • Ozzy - The correct way to pronounce the word "Hospital"
  • Plazzy Scousers (anyone from the Wirral peninsular) AKA Baconheads, Plazzies, "That" lot over the water, etc
  • Queen - An older lady. Alright Queen!
  • Raar - The correct way to pronounce the word "right"
  • Rotter - A disreputable and dislikeable person.
  • Scran - Food. "I'm dying for some scran, let's go and see if me ma's made our tea yet."
  • Skint - To have no money - Also 'brassic", from the rhyming slang 'brassic lint'
  • Skrag - For one woman to pull another woman around by the hair. Fighting. Short for "Skull rag".
  • Slummy - Loose change (never called "Shrapnel" in Liverpool)
  • Two Dogs Fightin' - Huyton
  • Trainies AKA Trabs
  • Togger - A football match (see below for more football related Scouse)
  • Woolybacks (anyone from the east of Liverpool - Widnes or St Helens)
  • Yewoh? instead of 'You what?'
* - Just to pacify the internet troll mob out there - Okay, perhaps the some of those entries above should correctly read as "The correct way to pronounce this word.... in Liverpool".

Want even more Scouse words? Check out the comments at the foot of this page!

Scouse is an accent which has accents with the accent. As an example: In some parts of Liverpool the words "look", "cook" and "book" rhyme with "puke". In other parts of the city they would rhyme with "pluck". Yes, Scousers have accents within an accent.
Also, the word "nurse" often rhymes with "pierce".

"Two Dogs Fightin'" is what Scousers call Huyton. Or just Two Dogs.

Aigburth can be cheekily called as Egg Breath by people from other parts of the city. (See, Aigburth is pronounced as Eggbirth ...do you like the clever wordplay there?)

Another Scouse word is "Dixie" - meaning "keep a look-out" - as used in the sentence "Keep Dixie for us while I do this will yer?". It refers to the legendary Everton striker Dixie Dean (and so Dixie is rhyming slang for 'Dixie Dean is never seen'). He had a keen ability to get past the opposition's defence who clearly missed his presence - Dixie did manage to score 349 goals for Everton after all.

Another football-related Scousism is the word "Gary". Often pluralised to "Garys". I'd rather not go into the details of the meaning behind this slang word here, so why don't you go to Google and do a search for "Gary Ablett slang" and then perhaps report back your findings in a comment below? Nice one.

A five pound note is called a flim. Well, in Liverpool at least. Rumour has it this word is taken from a corruption of "flimsy", though I don't see the connection. Regardless of the origin though, if someone should ask you to "Lend's a flim?" at least now you will know what they are talking about.

The phrase "To go to town on..." is an obscure, but valid, Scouseism. It means "To give someone a stern telling off". Example - "I got home a couple of hours late from town and me auld man was sat up in the living room waiting room me, I got home from town only for that baldy ald get to go to town on me at 4 in the morning!"

Very similar to the above: "Down the banks". To give someone "down the banks" is to chastise them, often in an adjacent room to other people who can hear the pantomime being acted out through the adjoining wall.

Years and years ago, before Scousers were called Scousers, we had a different name: Wacker. Apparently there's an auld story about John Lennon telling a radio DJ in Texas that people from Liverpool are called Wacker. But you don't get that one used any more sadly. You also hear "ace" now and then, but mostly you hear "kid" or "lad" these days (see below for more about that). I prefer to be called plain old "mate". Liverpool women are often called "queen", but they're sometimes also referred to as "me tart" or quite often "me bird".

But there is a big sticking point over the word "mogger". It refers to giving someone a ride on your bike while you do the pedaling. Some people say "mogger" (mostly from kids in South Liverpool - Halewood, Woolton or Speke), but people from other parts of the city say "takey", "backy", "seater" or even "crossy" instead. I have always called it a mogger, but when this subject got a mention one night in work (in Liverpool) all of the lads laughed. So even some Scousers don't know what mogger means. I don't know where that word comes from, but when I was a kid and we played football on the school field I used to say "gizza mogger to the togger" to my mate Terry.

By the way, back in the day lads playing togger might well have used a casey. But not anymore (case footballs are a rarity in this day and age).

In Liverpool to "sag off" means to play truant, do they say that anywhere else but here?

"Sack it off": To finish something before it has come to a proper conclusion. "I sacked me bird off today." Very similar to being sacked from a job. The words "Jibbed" and "Spewed" also fit surprisingly well with this description.

Supermarkets in the region are usually preceded by the word "The". Thee Asda. The Sainsburys. The tescos. Thee Aldi. Is that just a Liverpool thing? I think so.

On a nice hot day the sun can be said to be "cracking the flags". Love this saying!

If you've done something wrong and you're in trouble for it, you might be worried that someone is out to "ring yer neck" for you.

Three sheets to the wind refers to craziness in Liverpool. I'm informed that it means to be drunk elsewhere.

Someone who is cross-eyed might well be referred to as having "One eye in Crocky and one eye in Tocky". Note: Because Croxteth and Toxteth are on opposing sides of the city. (Okay so it's not a very PC phrase, but still.)

Meal times: Lunch is dinner. Dinner is tea. Breakfast is still breakfast though. (This is a Northern thing, not just in Liverpool.)

If the colour suddenly drains from someone's face you might hear a Scouser say that they've "gone the colour of boiled shite". So we can assume, thanks to this well known Scousism, a pot of "shite" turns white when boiled. The more you know, huh?

While we're on the subject: Someone who is a tad forgetful (or gullible) may be referred to as a "soft shite".

Plazzes and Wools - No offense to any of my friends reading this who are from the outskirts of Liverpool (who I respect greatly but still comes in the plazzy bracket in a Scouse venn diagram) but: English people from outside Merseyside may not notice the difference, but people from Liverpool can spot a "Plastic Scouser" or a "Woolly-back" from a mile away. It's all down to the accent. A friend once put it this way: "The plaz accent sounds queer and the wool accent sounds inbred". Prime Example: The much loved Spice Girl Mel C, AKA "Sporty Spice" never was, and never ever will be, a Scouser. Sorry Mel, queen. Even though we love you... you're close but not quite. She's from Whiston which is just outside the city. Therefore she would be classed as a wooly-back by a Scouse. There are exceptions to the rule of course, but not many.

Professional Scouser: Someone that is well known (from on the telly maybe, usually a musician or comedian) who is from Liverpool. Their accent often becomes a stereotype and they use words such as "lorra lorra" as an attempt accentuate their Scouseness. Some professional scousers aren't really from Liverpool (Paul O'Grady is from Birkenhead, but he's funny enough so that's not so bad!).

While I'm on the subject of the Scouse accent outside our city: Scouse is one of the hardest English accents to fake. You hear actors on the telly who are playing a character from the city but the accent very rarely rings true. You can tell them a mile off. I think that people from Liverpool are very clued-up on accents, we can always tell if somebody has got a bit of a twang to them. It's because there are so many strains of Scouse, we can always spot a fake. Scouse is one of those accents that you have to live, day in day out, in order to make it stick. I know people from the city who move away and their accent changes over time, then when they come back to visit and they go home again people will hear their rejuvenated Scouse accent and then say to them "Oh, been back to Liverpool have you?". It must seem as though they've been home for a top up.

There are very few people from outside Liverpool who can pull off a really authentic sounding Scouse accent. The only one that I can think of off the top of my head is the ex-reds footballer Jan Molby.

Another thing, these days people still say la from time to time but now you are more likely to hear "lad" or "kid", although I hate getting called lad, it makes me so angry, especially kids who are younger than me. The latest one is to call your mates "lid" - this is a shortened version of "bin lid" which is rhyming slang for "our kid".

I heard a lady use the phrase "I just twigged onto what you meant there" recently. And if you haven't already twigged onto it, "twigged on" means the same as "caught onto" for some reason.

Here's another nice little example of how Scouse doesn't travel very well sometimes, courtesy of my mate Patchie. And I am paraphrasing here, but you'll get the point anyway: He was sat around a table at a bar with a group of work colleagues, some of them not from Liverpool. And one of the none-Scouse lads was trying some banter, the old "Scousers rob all the time" shtick or whatever. So Patchie spun around to him and pointed a finger, and he said "Oi! If you don't pack that in right now, I'm going to fuck you!". They didn't know that being told you are "gonna get fucked" in Liverpool means to be beaten up, it's nothing to do with the promise of a sexual encounter.

If someone in Liverpool turns up to their workplace early (at least half an hour earlier than expected) they will usually be greeted by a resounding chorus of "Why are you here so early? Did you shit the bed?" (This is used in other Northern England cities too, but it's such a good saying that it's worth mentioning on here!)

Oh and, by the way, Scousers *never* say "caaaaalm down" or "eh eh eh eh" - orice?


manphat said...

cheers for the info on "keep dixie", often wondered where it came from, since 98 when i worked with an awd fella in two dogs. proud to see it comes from the legendary "dixie" dean, the greatest goal scorer ever, yep even better than rush, fowler or torres. ta la.

Anonymous said...

This artical wouldn't be complete without the term "self pity city".

Tomo said...

This is boss this la.

Anonymous said...

Wana game a german bastards lad! lmao

Anonymous said...

What abar 2 cats scratchin'... Speke!

bloodzero_ said...

lad yanno wha yooh forgot was the word solid...evryone says da, im a scouser me self nd they got pure new words :

- sound lad yooh seen da pure rotter giving like propa beef tinkin hes solid n th...its all safe tho coz he got smashed yisterdee kid...=]
means[yes mate have you seen the really bad ugly twat giving loads of shit thinking hes strong and tht...its all ok know though because he got battered yesterday mate]
Is practicaly wha tha means =]

lol just givin a random sentance wit it all in so it makes more sence yer ??

well just thought yooh mite wanna kno summit to add to yer list of words though tbh i dunno why yooh ritin abar it lol

scouse blagger said...

Self pity city?!!1 Ha ha har! Jus go there, its the happiest city in the uk. There are more people havin a laugh there than any other uk city. Full stop :) we cant help it if we are so handsome and pretty, not forgetting funny as fcuk, with the best accent in the world lar. People get jealous understandably. I'd rather be a scouser than a.......than ANYTHING!

Dish Cloth said...

I'm a scouser born and bred. but anyone who uses the phrase / abbreviation " abar " whether it be writing by hand , keyboard or text , should be flogged in public . lad!

Jordan Massey said...

haha! this page made me laugh! its "BOSS!" LOL...I was born in Liverpool and have always classed my self as a scouser as my mum and dad grew up in liverpool, a long with the rest of my family, obviously ive spent A LOT of time in Liverpool through my 19 years of life so far but I've never actually lived there, My Mum & Dad moved to Runcorn, like many other people my mum and dads age did, when I was only a baby and I've lived there ever since, Through out my life I've been told I have a very thick scouse accent but I know my self that It's not as thick as someone who lives in Liverpool, not even as thick as a lot of people who live in Runcorn tbh, but I think a lot of people put a thicker scouse accent on purely to look "solid" LOL. I've always used scouse words, I say "lad" "lid" "la" "kidder" "Kecks" "The Bizzies" "Trainies or Trabs"... basically all of them haha! and two more you forgot to mention, one that I think has become very popular in the last 5 years "In a bit" meaning see you later and one that went out of fashin and then came back "sound".. When I went to college in Warrington I met and became good friends with a lot of people who werent connected to Liverpool in any way (theyre more Manc descendant in Warrington) and when I used words like Arlass or sound they were totally confused! I at this point had never realised that wasnt a well known word and was really shocked! lol... I know people will say I'm not a real scouser but in my mind I am and fucking proud of it as well.. its just those widni scum you have to look out for HAHA :D

Anonymous said...

Decent this, I had to explain what "cob on" meant to a wool though, It was hard.

SJW said...

Love reading all of the comments on this page... a testament to Liverpool and it's accent.

The girl who I live with now is from Yorkshire and she buzzes off some of the things that I say. She has worked out that people from liverpool like using sentences made up of as few letters as possible - examples: R.A. ("Ar, eh, what yer doing that for?"), E.R. ("Eh ar lad, look at this!"), O.I. ("Oh aye!"), I.I. ("Aye aye!"), and so on.

Anyway, keep the extra Scouse-isms coming!

Deano said...

Was An'twacky (old fashioned or something ugly) from Liverpool? My nan used to use it all the time. She also says helmet (pronounced elmut) instead of hat. Liked your posts, reminds me of visits to family in L2 when i was a lil un.

Meg x said...

Lovin' it, i hate the word lad too. I know the word larr is a swedish word for friend and we got it of them years ago. I think antwacky is from here but i dont really say it that much (i a scouse) but me nan says it all the time, i just say old. oh and btw i say calm down, just not as exagerated as on the harry enfeild show. I actually got onto the fact that i was sayin it last week an was like noo!! hahah x

Anonymous said...

Nice one, la.

I'm not from Liverpool but lived there for 9 years. Have a few very good Scouse friends who taught me a lot.

One of my faves, apart from those already mentioned, is that an alley (as in those narrow paths between the backs of terrace houses are called "jiggers"...and that a "jigger rabbit" is a cat.

Also, the word "queg" makes me laught every time I hear it. ;)

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for this blog. I'm a Scouse lady with a Cockney boyfriend living in Mexico so it was good to hear some scouseness!

It's understandable that our dialect isn't that comprehensible to 'outsiders' but I can't help but get annoyed when I say 'why've you gotta cob on?' or that something looks 'antwaky' and then have to explain what I mean. The words go on and on...

Actually, it's not just words...he takes offence at things that are meant as a joke but in a nice way, he doesn't quite get polite piss-taking. Then again, i think scousers have a propensity to take the piss and that isn't expected by other people, maybe.

Err... anyone else have the same inter-racial issues? Not just words but tone, measure, meaning mix-ups etc?

Thank you, bye x

Charlotte Williamson said...

Oi! I say abar, its just the way the word comes out rather than intending to say it!

I didn't know what half the words meant up there by the way ^^ maybe they're older words?

And you forgot about skit!
Like when people say 'stop skitting me' instead of 'stop taking the piss outta me' xxx

Anonymous said...

I was raised in Ellesmere Port, so alot of people use scouse slang here and talk with quite a similar accent (but not completely the same) England is a crazy country the ammount of accents we have but Liverpool has to have the best accents and phrases in the world.

Its mad how Birkenhead is 40minutes away from my town and they talk different, and certainly the best thing is when I went to London me and my mate could say anything and nobody could understand us as long as we used scouse slang, we was taking the piss out of people right infront of us and they had no clue

The Thing That Should Not Be said...

Yeah Ste, where were 'queg', 'fat wap' and, my favourite, 'blert'?

I always remember Alexei Sayle writing a sentence in scouse in his book 'Great Bus Journeys of The World', which is half scouse and half fuck knows what -

"Ey la, didyer razz dem trainees down the jazzy, or was the buzzies down the 'ozzie?"

Actually, 'ozzie is a good one. Blert.

Oh, and I was well wide of the mark with what a Gary could be. Whoops.


kathy stemke said...

Hi y'all. I'm a yank originally from New York City now living in Georgia. ME MUM was born and raised in Birkenhead during WWII. Would she be considered a plazzy scouser or just a Birkenheader who picked up a few scouser phrases?? I grew up hearing lots of English slang and eating chip butties.

I'm writing a book about her life and one of my English cousins suggested I add a couple of scouse phrases. However, I don't want to sound like an ARSE. Any help? Any phrases typically from Wirral during WWII come to mind?

She married a yank, my dad. After the war she stowed away on a ship with my brother (8 months old) and was caught in the engine room half way across the Atlantic. the Title is "Winnie's War."

Luv from across the pond,

Anonymous said...

My mum used to say to me "you want yer bumps feeling" which means something to the effect of "you need a psychiatrist" or "what you are saying is mad". Or this from Wikipedia "Phrenology was a complex process that involved feeling the bumps in the skull to determine an individual's psychological attributes". I live in America now. Do people still use this phrase?

Jackie Davis

Mike said...

Down the banks - i believe that came from the Navvies working in the canals - the sh*tiest place to work was the bottom of the bank (cutting) as it was the wettest/heaviest digging. You 'gave someone down the banks' by sending them to work in the lower place.


Mike said...

Blowing for tugs?

My dad was a ship repairier and used this one a lot. Means you are knackered and it came from when a ship was losing way/running out of steam - they used their horn/siren/whatever to call fro tugs to help them

Leastways that was what I was told, :)


Loulabella said...

From what I gather this blog was written a fair few moons ago, but I've only just come across it and HAD to comment!!

It's brilliant. There are so many sayings that seem to have crept into other cities' use (I'm from Birmingham) that originated from Liverpool. The scouse accent is definitely one of my faves from this country (Brum accent isn't hard to compete with though!!) and the phrases you have are bloomin' marvellous.

I was searching for scouse phrases for a uni project and this blog has certainly enlightened me immensely!! Thank you very much


SJW said...

Loving the feedback in the comments on this page. Glad you all have lots of additions for the list here too... I won't add/steal any of your entries for the main article, I am sure that people will be checking through the comments and seeing all of your extra stuff. This article is about 7 years old now (I wrote this comment in Feb 2012) and I am working as a taxi driver now, so I get to hear people using Scouse all the time and I hear new phrases regularly. Such as "Flex the birds" - meaning 'to be able to influence girls into sexual encounters'... I think that's what it would mean anyway! I heard a woman use this phrase in Speke yesterday, talking about a guy who lives near to her, who has 3 or 4 girlfriends on the go. He sure knows how to flex the birds, haha!
Anyway, thanks again and let's keep adding more examples here!

Livi-Chan said...

i love this it had quite a lot of are words but i have never heard someone call a five pound note a film that is something new for me we normaly call it a fiver love this though

Anonymous said...

I am from liverpool. But moved to london 30years ago. I am a scouser i go home every couple off weeks so my acsent is strong but cockneys frome east london . would fall down laughing when i said o i woz ded happy or ded funny ded tierd thay would how can it be dead funny its the word ded......

Anonymous said...

This has made my day readin this lol I'm frm essex but LOVE scousers more than anything.. So I read thro this gettin studied up for wen I go to speke in few days lol xxxx

Anonymous said...

I’m a Scouser currently living in North East Scotland, where the dialect is so bizarre it’s almost like a different language until you get used to it. It’s always nice when I slip in a bit of Scouse (usually without thinking about it) and the Jocks give me a dumbfounded look, instead of vice versa. Here’s a few more Scouse-isms that spring to mind that I don’t think have been mentioned yet:

Gigs – glasses (“have yer seen me gigs?” “there on yer fod, yer meff”)
Fod – forehead
Geg – to butt in on a conversation that’s none of your business (“stop geggin’ in, will yer!”)
Gozzy – cross-eyed (I never realised that this was a Scouse-ism until I moved away).

And a Scouse joke to end with – and nothing to do with criminality!

Q: Who are the coolest guys in the ozzy?
A: The ultrasound guys!

Anonymous said...

Brilliant - togger, casey, backy etc brings back so many memories. So used to growing up hearing these words that I didn't realise some of them were localised.

My dad uses 'cracking the flags' and 'antwack(y)' all the time, and my mum says how something's 'come up lovely', which is something I've never heard outside Liverpool.

Another one to add to the list - lolly ice, never ice lolly.

The best Scouse accent I ever heard from a non-Scouser was Moxy in Auf Wiedersehen Pet - was shocked when I heard his real accent!

Karthik Go said...

I am not a Scouser but I live in this Scouseland since like 2008. The town is boss and I am loving it. In this 4 years I've met so many Scousers and sometimes I get used to this special language and start talking. Jesus! all my friends are like too confused when I start speaking.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that the author hasn't mentioned the influence of the Irish on 'Scouse'. Many of the words listed above are variations of Irish-English words derived from Gaelic. Scouse is a dialect of both English, Irish with some Welsh thrown into the mix. And by the way, words like auld-arse, kecks, bevvy, ciggy, Baltic etc are used widely in Scotland, Ireland and other towns in northern England. In other words, you're not as unique as you think you are in Scouseland!

Anonymous said...

Another is "I'm made up" always geta funny look on that away from Liverpool :)

John Inglesby said...

Sayings that you only heard in Liverpool, or Merseyside did you ever wonder
where all these sayings came from and can you add anymore
For example I remember my Mum saying if I was unlikely to get something I asked for, (you will have to wait until Donnelly Docks.)

I later found out, that it a was ship that sank in Liverpool bay. The Richard Donnelly
Another when I was a toddler and trying to go up the stairs, watch out Ginny Green teeth will get ya.

And who do you think I am. Father Feck!
Who was Father Feck!!!

Here comes Father Bunloaf,!
I have lived away for 34 years and still have not lost my accent, I decided a long time ago That I would'nt through hell or high water

Anonymous said...

When I was a lad about 20 years ago a fiver's weed was usually very long and flimsy to make it look like a better deal. We used to call it a 'flimsy', which got shortened to 'flims' and then 'flim', which passed into general use in Liverpool. It made me lol to hear my uncle use it to mean a fiver, him not knowing the origin of the word!

Jane Frances said...

I loved seeing the old scouse words - I am from Birkenhead but living down South - would love to read Winnie's War - my mother is from Birkenhead and one of her aunts went to America. I haven't heard lolly ice for a while - I always used to say that or heard ' a cob on' for years. I always said path, and bath and glass like the a in lad and book like cook. My mother used to say do you think I tried to cross the ferry on a bike or I'm not as green as I am cabbage looking.

Anonymous said...

I left Liverpool some 30 years ago and now live in Western Australia, I still miss Liverpool and will always be a Liverpool RED, I try to get home at least once every two years and get in as many Liverpool games as I can during my visit (yes I know not so good these days but I still love the club), I just Love being with Scousers!! One of the sayings I can still rememeber my 'old fella'(God bless him) saying, as I was growing up in Bootle was, when someone was ill He/she would be the colour of "Boiled Shite" what colour would that be by the way? I still 'Crack up' when I get the cahnce to say that to someone with the Flu etc, here in Western Australia!!! You Will Never Walk Alone.

Anonymous said...

Australia is one of the few places that have common slang like Liverpool, and similar humour in that. I've had to explain myself to people around the UK more than I did in Australia. They get us, they are like a nation of Scousers. When down there I was asked, 'when ya givin the darts up?' I'd never heard it before, but got it straight away - when are you giving up the cigarettes? It is the years trying to understand different slang from different areas of Liverpool that means I can work out a new term in a heart beat. I'm trying to introduce darts to Liverpool.

I think a lot of Liverpool slang is based in old English and is correct. One usage I recall was 'let on'. I recall a Cockney guy at Uni having a laugh at this phrase, I looked it up - let, to let on, to acknowledge someone's presence - it was a proper English phrase that had fallen out of most common usage.

Also the Northern usage of 'bath' and 'castle' without the 'r' sound is proper English. The 'r' sounds in these words was introduced to make them less continental when the English were at war with most of Europe, it never took on in the North of England. And we still say it the real way.

Anonymous said...

scally :D

Anonymous said...

I'm scouse and 65 'an ould arse' what still baffles me is why we call those little round cakes that are filled with currants and glazed on top(ekless cakes)They are obviously Eccles cakes. I think that long ago we had never heard of the town Eccles and simply mispronounced the word.
Another one that astounded me was when someone was about to leave the company, he would say i,m jibbing it. I consulted the dictionary and there it was (to jib= to go back to take a retrogade step. Not slang at all

Anonymous said...

Gerron dis, ees smoked too much wacky backy dis one - The lad who was talking about the weed, it was called a flimsy or a flim weed cos it cost a flim/fiver, the term was around when i was growing up in the 60s and 70s mate, so i think your uncle had the last laugh, must have thought you were a right divvy.

worra bar,

Proddy dog
Paddy's wigwam
Gorra cob on
Do one
cack 'anded or Gammy 'anded
'op a long - someone with a limp
Kirkby kiss
dead - as in "r a am dead made up yer know"
In bulk
Wop(short for Whopper) - idiot

Love Liverpool La its proper boss - wouldn't want to live anywhere else.

Anonymous said...

he arr, what about the start of a sentence with the exclamation 'he arr', as in 'hear you are', or 'look out'...usually said at the start of a sentence when someone is doing something stupid or trying to 'crack on' they're something they're not...so like 'look out, what are you doing now?' or 'oh, look out...who do you think you are, lad'
another one that i always presumed was nationwide is 'headworker' or 'working the head' for someone who is always skivving off work, not doing their fair share in something or blagging you in someway

Anonymous said...

The bus drivers had a nickname for pensioners . The OAPs would be at the bus stop waiting for 9-30 when there free bus pass would start.So as the time got near they would stop the bus ,stick out their bus pass and ask " Am a twirly lad" (Am I too early kind sir) So the bus drivers called them Twirlys.

loreta said...

Thankyou very much. Me and my family are Liverpool fans from N.E. India and your article has enriched our knowledge. Proud to support LFC. YNWA

Richard G said...

"A Cassie Nover" (Romantic Docker)
Richard /|\

Anonymous said...

A few more scouse sayings for ye

I'm laughin lid (I'm ok mate)
Who ye snarlin (said to someone who is staring at you)
I'm on me toes la (I'm on the run from the police mate)

Anonymous said...

You've forgot the all important "Couple-a quid" instead of "Couple of quid". Mind you, I think that might be a northern thing in general. Another is "Butty" instead of Sandwich, me da' was up in Scotland a few years ago and asked the bird in the chippy for a Chip Butty and she was so confused that she cried.

Anonymous said...

Aright? Am frum Birken'ead an I still get called wool by me mates in the city like so yu no. An I dunno like bu I can get a right funny look when I say "get" outside Merseyside, ye no like "eee, 'e's frum 'eswall, 'e's a right posh get". There's another one, "eeeeee", we say tha a shiteload.

David Hussey said...

Writing is an art form that reaches a multitude of people from all walks of life, different cultures, and age group. As a writer, it is not about what you want. meaning of idioms

Anonymous said...

steven gerrard is born in whiston. fact.

scionofgrace said...

You folks may laugh at me about this: I've just gotten into the Beatles. And being a complete geek, I've gone and watched their movies. "A Hard Day's Night" and "Help" have a fair amount of Scouse flavor in the dialogue, and as I am American (Nebraskan, to be specific) I get confused. Stuff like this is illuminating. And interesting, because really, it's a lot of fun listening to different kinds of English, the distinct rhythms and sounds that you find nowhere else. So, thank you! This was fun to read.

Joseph McBloggs said...

you forgot the main scouse word, "sound". amazed that isn't in there!

Joseph McBloggs said...

"Anonymous said...
steven gerrard is born in whiston. fact"

so what? Whiston is Liverpool 35. it might have been wool 60 years ago, but is as scouse as Kirkby or Bootle these days! Q.E.D.

Anonymous said...

I love it when you say to people who are not familiar wit the scouse dialect... "tell me abar it" just to mean "yeah I understand". They look at you funny and say "I just have told you"

Anonymous said...

How could you miss out Ta?
When I visited Oslo a few years ago I discovered that the Norwegian word for thanks is Tak.
Given the known Viking history of the Wirral (all those -by villages) Ta as an old Viking word still used in Liverpool works for me.

Anonymous said...

"Brassic, from the rhyming slang brassic lint'" - from "boracic lint"...

Timbo said...

Liverpool people, even the ones in the posher areas, tend to be much more egalitarian (look it up, der kid!) than many other English people. Snobbishness and pomposity in the NW as a whole tends to get short shrift, but in Liverpool, come the superior type and you're likely to be told where to go! And I'm being polite. There is character here, eccentricity, originality and a decent and even surreal sense of humour (and I'm not talking about Englishmen Irishmen, Scotsmen jokes!!) which is closest to the likes of Jewish humour and Spike Milligan in it's broadness and sometimes downright weirdness. Is Liverpool the best city in the world? I don't know, but I am glad I wasn't brought up anywhere else!!!

mastan babu said...

This article very interesting because of your writing skills and wonderful intelligence. Your Quotes collection is awesome. Thank you and keep posting.. Winnie the Pooh Quotes

Patent Attorney said...

I love hearing about other regional dialects, Scousers seem to have a whole different language!

Anonymous said...

De do do doe don't de

Post a Comment