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!
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.
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.
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.
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!