11 words and phrases from Nottingham

Eh up, me duck!

Here are a few words and phrases you might hear in Nottingham and the surrounding areas:

1. Eh up!

Eh up is a friendly way of greeting someone: Eh up, Sam. Where are you off to?

2. cob

A cob is a round bread roll, eaten with a filling. This can cause confusion with people from some other parts of the country where the word refers to a whole loaf: Two chip cobs, please!

3. croggy

If you give someone a croggy, you let them sit on the crossbar of your bicycle while you ride it: Giz a croggy down to the shops.

4. tabs

Your tabs are your ears – presumably because they stick out from your head: He had such big tabs that they used to call him ‘the FA Cup’!

5. beer-off

A beer-off is a small shop that has a licence to sell alcoholic drinks for consumption elsewhere: I’m just nipping down the beer-off to get some cider.

6. mardy

If you say that someone is mardy, you mean that they whine and complain a lot, especially if they lose at a game: Why don’t you just accept that you lost, you mardy git!

7. yourn

Yourn is a dialect form of the pronoun ‘yours’: Is that mine or yourn? In fact, many East Midlands pronouns end in ‘n’: ‘ours’ becomes ‘ourn’; ‘hers’ becomes ‘ern’; and ‘myself’ becomes ‘missen’.

8. knobby greens

The local name for brussels sprouts is knobby greens: You can’t beat knobby greens with Christmas dinner.

9. jitty

A jitty is a narrow footpath with a high wall or fence on both sides. It can also be called a ‘twitchel’ or a ‘snicket’. In other parts of Britain this might be called a ‘vennel’ or a ‘ginnel’: They scarpered down the jitty to escape.

10. me duck

People from Nottingham tend to address each other as ‘me duck in the way that people from other places might say ‘my dear’: Are you all right, me duck?

11. Derby Road

If you say that it’s Derby Road, you mean that the weather is cold: It’s a bit Derby Road out here tonight. This is an example of rhyming slang, although you might think that ‘Derby Road’ doesn’t exactly rhyme with ‘cold’. The answer to that is that the Nottingham dialect tends to miss out the ‘l’ sound before a ‘d’, so that words like ‘old’ and ‘cold’ come out as ‘ode’ and ‘code’.

Written by Ian Brookes, writer and editor.

All opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of Collins, or its parent company, HarperCollins.

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