If you are not from here* and happen to encounter a Belfast person, fear ye not! Here are a few tips about some of the peculiarly Belfast words and terms you might hear and a brief description of what they mean. This is the first in what would need to be a hundred edition series…
*here = Norn Iron, specifically Belfast
Terrible = very, as in ‘See her. She’s terrible good to her moar*.’
*moar = mother
Awful = really, as in ‘That’s awful nice of you to do that for my fahr*.’
*fahr = father
Ignernt = unknowledgable, as in ‘Ya ignernt blert* ye.’
*blert = fool. See also tube, geek and eejit.
Brassic = out of money, as in ‘Nah, I’m not going out on the beer, I’m brassic till the brian* come in.’
*Brian is a double down slang word. It’s is short for Brian Boru, and Boru = state benefits.
Down the town = City Centre, as in ‘Mon down the town da Primark. There’s a fire sale on.’
Jeggies = nettles, as in ‘My leg’s on fire and I only brushed them jeggies.’
Weaker = excellent, as in ‘Thon* was a weaker** of a goal.’
*Thon = that.
**See also cracker, belter and beezer
Humming = dirty, as in ‘Your wean’s* face is humming** you dirty clart***
*wean = child, borrowed from Derry based English.
** See also minging
***clart = derogatory term for anyone about whom you want to be derogatory, regardless of gender or issue; a very usable term.
Scundered = embarrassed, as in ‘I’m scundered for you wearing them kebs*. Wise up**
*kebs = shpes
**wise up = don’t be so foolish (see also, wind yer neck in)
Ats us nai = we can relax, all is in order, as in ‘Ats us nai, the wireless has kicked in we. We can watch Tiger King* on Netflix’
*Tiger King = don’t ask. Seriously, don’t ask.
Here be’s me = and I replied, as in ‘Yer woman called me a daft cloot*, but here be’s me, what hand are you pointing at me
*Cloot = left handed person
Boke* = either vomit or an annoying or sleazy person, as in ‘Oh my God, I shouldn’t have ate all that Chinese. I’m too full. I’m gonna boke’ or ‘Look at yer man dancing with all them weemin*. He’s a boke’
*weemin = women
**can also be used with both variants in one go, as in ‘yer man’s a real boke. If he doesn’t stop sleazing over me, I’m gonna boke on him.’
Kicks with the other foot = someone from the other side of the community. Used exclusively about Catholics and Protestants, by Catholics and Protestants, to Catholics and Protestants. Therefore you have to know who is talking and with which foot that person kicks in order to have any clue about what they mean!
Enjoy Belfast 😉