9 Phrases You Will Only Hear in the North

Monday 11th June 2018

We’ve just released our latest advert which celebrates the different, brilliant regional accents across our network. From Mancs to Scousers, Glaswegians to Geordies and Loiners to Yorkshiremen and women, they each have their say bit to say about why they’re city is best. If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look:

So here are a few choice phrases to grab a hold of to use next time you cross a border or head to a new city – let us know how you get on. Also, if you’ve got a favourite piece of dialect from your village, town or city, add it in the comments so we can all take a gander!


Bobbins – Northern sayings

Say you’ve gone to the bar on a Friday night to get a round in for your work mates, and a hen do steps in front of you and starts to individually order drinks, including cocktails and a particularly complex coffee – that, my dear friend, is bobbins. Bobbins means rubbish or broken, and it’s something you don’t want in your life. The phrase comes from Manchester and is still very much in use today.


Chuddy – Northern sayings

Chuddy is chewing gum. It’s used in Manchester but by all accounts it travelled south from Cumbria.

Gegging or Gegging in

Gegging – Northern sayings

If you’re having a chat with your mates and have been regaling them with a long but particularly hilarious joke, and Bryce from accounting sashays in, delivers your punchline and everybody starts laughing –then what Bryce is doing is ‘gegging’, or ‘gegging in’. This Liverpudlian phrase is the equivalent of butting in, essentially inserting yourself into a conversation without being invited.


Gadgie – Northern sayings

 A gadgie is a bloke, usually of advanced years, and it’s a term that’s still in use across the north east. It’s pretty similar to the word, ‘codger’… though we stand to be corrected in the comments for anyone who disagrees with that statement.

Geet walla

Geet Walla – Northern sayings

This phrase is the sort of thing you want used in conjunction with certain key elements of your day and indeed life… for lunch you want a geet walla pie, at work we could all do with a geet walla pay rise and on a holiday escape we want a geet walla swimming pool. That’s right! Geet walla means big, huge, capacious. Remember though, the phrase ‘Geet walla China’, refers to the country, not just the boundary you can see from the moon.


Glaikit – Northern sayings

The last thing you need in a job interview is to be caught with a gormless expression on your face that might reveal the fact there is nothing behind it, or indeed between your ears. For then you would be seen as glaikit or, essentially, senseless.


Mardy – Northern sayings

To be mardy is to whine or sulk – so a frequent rejoinder from a parent or grandparent to a petitioning child is often to “stop being so mardy”. The phrase is from Yorkshire and was made relatively famous by the Arctic Monkeys’ song Mardy Bum, in which the singer laments his partner’s mood.


Mither – Northern sayings

 Another Lancashire phrase, to mither is to pester or create a fuss about something. You can also say “I’m not mithered about X” which means you aren’t bothered about whatever it is X offers.


Peely wally – Northern sayings 1

If you’re wandering the streets of Edinburgh and a local notes that you’re looking peely-wally, then give your cheeks a pinch – or in extreme cases get yourself off to the doctors. For ‘peely-wally’ means pale or wan. And not in a complimentary sense either.


Skinchies – Northern sayings

If you ever struggled under the weight of an older sibling poised to twist, bend or, frankly, dislocate a limb, then the term ‘skinchies’ would have come in handy. Skinchies is a North Yorkshire word that is a ‘truce-term’. Lots of regions have different ones, a popular one around our office is ‘uncle’ for example. Essentially it’s an exclamation that means ‘time out!’ and is often accompanied by crossed fingers.

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