Celebrating Regionality - Brummie Words & Phrases

Blogger still seems to be playing up with image loading - grrrr :(
However, I'd been planning an image free item in my ongoing Regionality series for this week, so here it is :)

It wasn't until I left home to go to university that I realised that there are words which only Birmingham (and possibly Black Country) inhabitants understand. I can well remember telling my boyfriend 'My donnies are cold', only to be met with an incredulous stare instead of the hand warming I'd been expecting. I was also astonished that we couldn't 'Goo up the Outdoor' and buy some beer or wine from an off licence attached to a pub - something I'd taken for granted until then.

Brummie's not as rich in its local dialect as say Newcastle (Geordie), where I decided to further my education, but it does have some words and phrases all of its own. I don't mean words like 'buzz' (bus), 'bokkle' (bottle), 'gardin' (garden), 'tuth' (tooth) and 'winda' (window), which are just the way the Brummie accent sounds to the unitiated. I mean 'proper' words like 'waggin it' (playing truant), 'fizzog' (face), and 'mardy' (grumpy). 'Yow's yampy' is the way to tell someone they're daft and 'Go up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire' is not such a long winded way to go to bed as it sounds. All these and much, much more are explained in this online dictionary.

However, the best Brummie word of all, just has to be 'bostin'. So much so, it even has a website all of its own. You can even buy the t-shirt!

So look out - 'if the wind changes, you'll stick like that', don't get 'kayliyed' when you 'goo up the outdoor', otherwise 'arl goo t'Clent'.

'Tara a bit me bab'.


  1. Blogger is loading images fine for me at the moment but I can't get it to sort out the text tonight. These things are sent to try up aren't they :-D

  2. Hi dnd - curiouser and curiouser! Text is fine for me as you can see. I know of someone else who had problems with images yesterday. Blogger as a whole seems to be slow for me too.

    As you say - just keep ploughing on...

  3. This was a great post to read. I love how different regions come up with their own words ... there are lots of Brummie ones!

    Sometimes Blogger can be such a pain - pictures take ages to post or don't post at al ...

  4. Kate - you're full of compliments tonight (blush!

    This is another series of posts I'm doing this year (tagged regionaility) - it's such fun to do as I get to waffle on about the places I've visited and lived in over the years. Just you wait until I tell you about Geordieland (Newcastle)... ;)

    That's exactly the Blogger problem I've had over the past couple of days - I'm fed up of uploading pictures, getting nothing on there, but increasing the memory I've used up. Grrr - end of rant!

  5. Yep - image loading problems for me last night too and as I was trying to post four pics yesterday, my humour was far from bostin. My Dad winds up his grandkids by telling them "yowma bosta" which translates roughly to "I think you're rather smashing".

  6. OMG-I had forgotten "Outdoor". There was one attached to the local pub and as I child, I always felt I was doing something rather forbidden if I went in there with my dad when he bought take away beer and cheese and onion crisps for me!
    Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  7. I also furthered my education in Newcastle and to begin with had some difficulties understanding the Geordie dialect. I had just about got to grips with it and then moved to Liverpool where I had to start all over again :)

  8. Deb - thanks for stopping by and extending the Brummie vocabulary!

    Threadspider - I'd forgotten about it too, until I found the brummie dictionary link. They were rather seedy establishments weren't they? My grandad always bought me Ready Salted...

    Anna - when were you at Newcastle? I loved it there and still miss it lots. I've got some Geordieland posts lined up for this series too :) I can see moving from Newcastle to Liverpool would be a little tricky on the language front!

  9. Hello VP - I was in Newcastle from 1972-1976 and like you really loved the city. I could have quite happily stayed in that neck of the woods. I have not been back to the city for a good while and imagine that there will have been a fair few changes. I have though holidayed recently on the glorious Northumberland coastline which still remains quiet and unspoilt.

  10. Anna - I was there 1977-80, so we didn't overlap and then I worked in Durham from 1981-84. That's when we moved down here.

    We had a holiday cottage at Alnick a couple of years ago. The Northumberland coast is stunning!


Your essential reads

Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day: 'Just Add Cream'

Salad Days: Mastering Lettuce

Wildflower Wednesday: Alpengarten

Jack Go To Bed At Noon

Dessert Apple Jelly: Seasonal Recipe

Weekend Wandering: A new sculpture trail

VP's VIPs: Charles Dowding

Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day: The Fibonacci effect

Wildflower Wednesday: A New Year Plant Hunt

Weekend Wandering: Wildflowers