Download How To Talk Like a Local: A Complete Guide to English by Susie Dent PDF

By Susie Dent

While it’s chilly, are you nithered, taters or perishing? The English language in Britain adjustments from county to county, with countless numbers of neighborhood phrases to find. Susie Dent’s beguiling advisor to those phrases charts their origins and improvement.

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By the thirteenth century in Scotland and the Border region, the specific sense of a stream smaller than a river had arisen. It can frequently be seen as an element in place names, the most famous of which is perhaps Bannockburn, an area that remains the heartland of the word’s use. It is now standard in Scotland and Northumberland and is also recorded in Cumbria and Durham. In the south of England, bourne represents a parallel development of the same original word. See WATER WATER EVERYWHERE, and also BECK, NAILBOURN, PRILL, RINDLE, SIKE, STELL bushwha exhausted (Liverpool) Bushwa, spelt without the second ‘h’, is a euphemism for bullshit, and means ‘rubbish or nonsense’.

Jonathon Green, Britain’s foremost chronicler of slang, contributed a great many of the dictionary’s rich examples together with accounts of their history. And Andrew Ball’s contributions to the vocabulary collected in dialect’s central themes were painstakingly researched and wittily presented. I owe them both a lot of gratitude and free lunches. Thanks to my trips to Leeds and Manchester to the Countdown studios, and to impromptu conversations with friends up and down the land whom I harnessed as consultants, I was able to sample the lexicons of many a town and village.

There is most probably a link to the American butt, or buttocks, with a possible play on the term cheesy in its sense of second-rate or cheap and nasty. Paradoxically butter, often spelt butta (particularly in hip-hop lyrics) means attractive, of both a woman and a man – in this case suggesting the smoothness of the spread and the fact perhaps that they move through life like butter. See THE MIRROR CRACKED, above, and also DUFFY, FUSTY, LAIDLY, MINGER, MUNTER, OBZOCKY, RANK, SKANK butty bread (UK-wide, particularly northern England) As one might expect, a butty is a slice of bread and butter or one of bread spread with treacle, sugar or some other sweet topping.

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