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The Story of Wee- A Northern Ireland Tale…

Wee is one of those words that we have adopted in Belfast to mean any number of things, depending on the context of the conversation. Let me set out some of the ways we use the word. Please fee free to add to these in the comments

 

Wee: small, as in ‘I don’t want all that dinner. I’ve eaten already. I’ll just take a wee plate.’

 

Wee: huge, as in ‘Aye, yer man there. He’s fond of a wee drink.’

 

Wee: a multiplier, as in ‘The car’s broke down. She might be a wee minute or two getting here.’

 

Wee: a term of endearment to amplify another term of endearment, as in ‘You’re a wee angel.’

 

Wee: a prefix when talking about anyone of a different religion, ethnicity or orientation than you (usually used by the older generation), as in ‘He is a wee Catholic/ wee Protestant etc… fella.’ *Note the fella in question does not necessarily need to be small in stature. This use of the word wee tells us more about the person using it than the person being described.

 

Wee: urine/urinated, as in ‘I’m busting for a wee*’

 

*See also whizz, widdle, piddle and other less mentionable words…

 

Wee: an amplifier of annoyance, as in ‘What do you mean, talking to me like that? Hang on a wee minute there.’

 

Wee: a word that can be used in front of literally any other word to do nothing more than be there apparently, as in…

 

‘Do you want a wee bag?’

 

‘Do you want a wee cup of tea?’

 

‘That’s a lovely wee day, isn’t it?’

 

‘D’ye remember yer wee man/woman/boy/girl from down the road?’

 

‘I don’t need a lift. I’ll get a wee taxi into town.’

 

Hope you enjoyed this wee blog!

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