Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Scouse dialect and humour

Liverpool has wide ranging cultural roots, maybe one of the reasons it was awarded European Capital of Culture status for 2008. These roots, a mish-mash of Irish, African and Asian-descended cultures, have contributed to the very make up of the Liverpudlian psyche.

The Liverpudlian dialect has more roots in the United Kingdom. Liverpool, as a port city, has welcomed immigrants from Ireland, Scotland and other parts of England in centuries past. The result is a culturally rich local dialect which can be seen as 'out of sync' with many other northern accents due to this. Scouse words, and elements of the Liverpool accent derive from many sources, such as Cockney.

Selected Scouse dialect

Some of the more colourful words and phrases from Scouse:
  • Crogger or backie - hitch a ride on a bicycle.
  • Council Pop - water. I've also heard Corporation pop.
  • Scoop - pint (of beer)
  • Saggin' skewl - playing truant.
  • Gorran 'ead as big as Birken'ed - rather self assured.
  • Fire bobby - fireman . Common in North West.
  • Moggy - cat. In Wigan, this means creepy crawly. Interesting how words can mean different things in different places.
  • Dollar - five shillings.
  • Got de coppers - got no money.
  • Flies cemetary - Eccles cake (Er, can't see the connection here)
  • Nudger - baguette.
  • Kirkby kiss - headbutt. I'm sure every town/city uses this eg. Glasgow Kiss, Wigan kiss etc.
I'm sure there's some scope for humour in misinterpretations here.

Sources:
Lernin' yerself Scouse
Wikipedia article
Excerpts from the Scouse Dictionary

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