It seems to have come as a surprise to a handful of early readers that Breathe, my sixth book to be written in Northern English, is in fact written in Northern English. In an effort to prevent excessive googling, I have put together a nifty (see below) glossary to assist in vocabulary expansion because everyone should be able to use the word “twerp” in a sentence. Pay close attention, now. There will be a test…
Am I ’eck as like! — No, I’m definitely not.
Bag of shite — Something that is not very good.
Bagsy — Stake a claim on.
Barney (to have a) — Argument.
Bawl — Ugly cry.
Bennies — Benefits payments from the government.
Bloody Nora — Oh my goodness!
Delicious bacon butty
Bonkers — Not terribly sane.
Bollock-all — Very little or none.
Bollocked/Bollocking — Told off/a telling off.
Buggeration — Dagnammit.
Butty — Sandwich.
Collywobbles — State of feeling uneasy or afraid.
Come a cropper — Come to harm/have an accident.
Dab hand – Expert.
Fib/Fibber — Lie/liar, but a gentle untruth, not a big fat dodgy one.
Gawp — Stare in an excessive manner.
Get on my wick — Irritate the tits off me.
Giving me the willies — Disconcerting me to a considerable degree.
Going like the clappers — Going rather fast.
Gormless — As thick as two short planks. Wait, that’s northern. “Dumber than a bag of hammers.” There you go.
Gob/Gobbing Off/Gobby/Gobful/Gobshite — Mouth/Being mouthy/One who is mouthy/a mouthful/a mouthy individual who’s talking crap.
Jiffy (in a) — No time at all.
Knackered — Very tired, e.g. worked a twelve-hour night shift and finished late tired.
Mam/Mum — Seriously? I really need to translate this? I’m not going to. Work it out.
Make a Cock Of — Muck/mess up.
The Manchester bee.
Manchester Bee — This little chap on the right. Symbol of Manchester. See also: 22/05/17.
Manky — Nasty/gruesome/gross. Can also mean rotten or unwashed.
Mard — Needing to man the fuck up.
Nifty —Rather impressive or smart/handy/agile.
Nowt — Nothing.
Nowty — Irritable.
Peg Out — Collapse due to exhaustion.
Nice glass of plonk.
Pinched — Stole (as in robbed, not one of those furry things you put around your neck.)
Plonk — Wine.
Put wood in t’hole! — I say, would you be so kind as to shut the door?
Rigmarole — Goings on/proceedings.
Scarpered — Ran away.
Shitload — Quite a lot.
Shagging around — Having a shitload of sex.
Sod Off — Go away.
A fringe that has most thoroughly been made a cock of.
Sozzled — What you get when you drink a lot of plonk.
Stuffed (as in “we’re stuffed there”) — Stymied. Can also mean excessively full after a meal.
Swanky — Posh.
Summat — Something.
Take the Piss — Make fun of.
Tickled Pink — Very amused or happy.
Tosser/Twat — A veritable arsehole.
Berk/Pillock/Git/Twerp/Bugger/Sod/Numpty — Mild derogatory term for idiot.
Copper/Plod/Bobby — Police Officer.
Prick/Dick/Knob — Terms used to indicate that a certain chap is in fact a complete penis.
Do feel free to print this guide out and keep it handy!
Breathe will be available 1st September (this very Sunday!) from the Bold Strokes website and 10th September from everywhere else.