Nottingham colloquial translations to regular English

Nottingham's Council House and Old Market Square
Nottingham’s Council House and Old Market Square

When I moved to Nottingham in the 1970s I made these annotations on a selection of typical phrases used by local colleagues and neighbours.

Some of these idioms have almost vanished from daily use in the last few decades, although you still hear similar phrases in some Nottingham neighbourhoods and in older generations of local people.

A few younger Nottingham residents now have an inflection of ‘Estuary English‘; a euphemism for a mild version of the London and South East accent, which has flourished for hundreds of miles outside of London.




Ay-up Hello
Ay-up miduk Hello (usually, but not exclusively, to a female)
Ay-up yooth Hello (usually to a young male)
Ay-up duckeh Hello (to a female or child you’re particularly close to)
Ow ya gowin on then, Serri? How are you?
Ta-rar duk Goodbye / goodnight

General terms

Ar (or Aye) Yes
Knee-ow No
Smornin This morning
Safto This afternoon
Tahn Town / city centre
Twitchell / Jyitt-eh Alley or cut-through
Kawzi Pavement / footpath
Oss rowd Road
Oss / Bobbo Horse
Mazzgi Cat
Om Home
Ahse House
Bog Toilet
Gob Mouth
Tabz Ears
Tegs / Teggehs Teeth
Dinna / Snap Lunch or food
Cob Bap, barm cake, bun or roll
Just remember IT’S A COB!
Watter Water
Duddos / tuffeh Sweets
Sucka Ice lolly
Guzgog Gooseberry
Knobby greens Brussels sprouts
Taytuzz Potatoes
Code Cold
Ott Hot
Rammel Rubbish
Brahn Brown
Gizza Give me / let me have
Gozz To see / look
Dob dahn To duck or hide
Blubber / blubbering Crying or weeping
Prattin abaht Acting stupidly
Pawleh / badleh Unwell
Frit Frightened
Clammin Hungry
Mard-eh Grumpy, miserable or sulking
Mank-eh Dirty / scruffy, or sometimes silly
Suck-eh Someone of questionable intelligence (a bit thick)
Batch-eh Insane / crazy
Snided / snided out Busy or crowded
Puther / puthering Pouring or gushing; water, rain or smoke
Nesh Unusually susceptible to cold weather
Kroggeh / croggie To give someone a lift on a bicycle crossbar
Ligger Liar
Chelp Back chat or insubordination
Ritt Wrote
Aht Out
Rahnd Round
Tah Thanks
Ennyrode Anyway
Owt Anything
Nowt Nothing
Summat Something
Therrint There isn’t
Tint It is not
Dint Did not
Yove You have
Sen Self
Mi-sen Myself
Yu-sen Yourself
Thi-sens Yourselves or themselves
Iz-sen His self
Im-sen Himself
Ussens Ourselves
Ahkidd My brother / sister

Queries and questions

Ahrode ay-yo? How old are you?
Aya gorra mardilippon? Are you sulking?
Aya gorra wi’ya? Have you got her (wife) with you?
Aya gorrim wi’ya? Have you got him (husband) with you?
Aya gorrowt? Have you any money?
Aya masht miduk? Have you made the tea yet?
Ezz ee sed owt? Did he say anything?
Gizzabitt Can I have some of your … ?
Jagadahn? Did you go to the Nottingham Forest / Notts County match?
Jo wonn-owt? Would you like anything?
Kannicum annorl? May I come too?
Oo worree wi? Who was he with?
Wair dya wekk? Where do you work?
Wairza booza? Where is the local pub?
Wi or wi’yaut? With or without?
Worree wee iz-sen? Was he alone?
Wotsupp? Is something wrong? / Is everything alright?
Wotyavin? What would you like to drink?
Wot yonn-wee? What are you doing?
Yerwott? I beg your pardon?

Statements and comments

Am goowin wi mi-sen I’m going alone / by myself
Annorl As well / Also
Av gorrit wimee I have it with me
Ay aint gorrowt I don’t have anything / any money
Ah dint do owt I didn’t do anything
Ah towd Imm eekud pleez iz-sen I told him the decision was his / he could please his self
Ah towdya an al telya namor I’ve told you and I’m not telling you again
Ah’ve gone an dottied mi’sen My hands are dirty
Ah’ve podged mi’sen I’ve eaten too much
Batt yu-sen dahn Dust yourself off
Bungitt ovvarear Pass it to me
Ee-yar Here you are (giving) / let me have that (taking)
E’ wants sum ossmuck inniz boots He’s not very tall
Gerra buzz dahn tahn Catch a bus into town
Gerrit dahn-ya Please eat it / drink it
Gerroff om It’s time you went home
Gerroff! Get off! (Please go away)
Gerroffahtonnit! Go away / leave it alone!
Gerron wee-it Get on with it (Please continue what you were saying)
Gerrum in then Buy me a drink
Gerrup, elsal bat ya tab Please get up or I’ll use violence
Gizza gozz Let me see
Gizza kroggeh / krog To ask for a lift on a bike
Gizzarfonitt Share and share alike
Innit code It’s cold today
Innit ott It’s hot today
It meks-ya tabz laff It has a sour or bitter taste
It-seh bit black ovva bilzmothaz It looks like rain
It’ul norrotcha It won’t hurt you
Izon Iz-ollidiz He’s on holiday
Justarkatit Listen to the rain
Mek it g’bakkuds Please reverse the car / vehicle
Owd yuh oss-uzz! Please wait / be patient! (Hold your horses!)
Shurrup, elsal bat ya tab Please be quiet or I’ll use violence
Shut ya gob! / Purra sock init Shut your mouth / Shut up!
Tabhangin Evesdropping
Thiz summat up wee im There is something wrong with him / He may be ill
Tin-tin-tin It is not in the tin
Wigorn tev uz dinnaz We’re about to have lunch
Yowl koppitt You’ll get into trouble

A Nottingham dialect joke ► Vet; “Is it a tom?” Cat owner; “Nah, av gorrit wimee.”

“Aah Ter Talk Notts” from LeftLion magazine


‘Nottingham Dialect and Sayings’ by Jimmy Notts and Nottingham Hidden History Team


For other information about Nottingham click here


MumblingNerd’s Nottingham destination print

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Sensible, prudent and rational?

A few actions and conducts that appear to be sensible, prudent and rational, but are really just another poor excuse to repeat yet more quotations:

Plan for the future, but live for now; don’t live for a future that might be better, because it may never arrive.

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” ~ Albert Einstein

“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” ~ Yogi Berra

“Go for it now. The future is promised to no one.” ~ Wayne Dyer

Be yourself and say what you think.

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” ~ Dr. Seuss

“It is better to be hated for what one is, than loved for what one is not.” ~ André Gide

“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.” ~ Kurt Cobain

Enjoy luxuries in small doses; too much of any one thing reduces the pleasure you take from it.

“The saddest thing I can imagine is to get used to luxury.” ~ Charlie Chaplin

Don’t complain; either do something about it or forget it and move on.

“Say and do something positive that will help the situation; it doesn’t take any brains to complain.” ~ Robert A. Cook

“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain — and most fools do.” ~ Dale Carnegie

Tell the truth; being untruthful will almost always come back to you.

“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” ~ Mark Twain

“You never find yourself until you face the truth.” ~ Pearl Bailey

Help other people; that too will almost always come back to you.

“Help others achieve their dreams and you will achieve yours.” ~ Les Brown

“No man can help another without helping himself.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“No matter what accomplishments you make, somebody helped you.” ~ Althea Gibson

Don’t assume anything; assumptions stifle your thoughts and actions.

“If you see the teeth of the lion, do not think that the lion is smiling at you.” ~ Al-Mutanabbi

“Many people might have attained wisdom had they not assumed they already had it.” ~

Source Unknown

Travel to new places.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” ~ Mark Twain

“Travel teaches tolerance.” ~ Benjamin Disraeli

“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” ~ Aldous Huxley

“The more I travelled the more I realized that fear makes strangers of people who should be friends.” ~ Shirley Maclaine

Don’t expect money to make you happy.

“Money makes a good servant, but a bad master.” ~ Francis Bacon

“The only thing I like about rich people is their money.” ~ Lady Nancy Astor

“If you marry for money, you will surely earn it.” ~ Ezra Bowen

Don’t spend too much time either on your appearance or worrying; neither will solve anything in the long term.

“We would worry less about what others think of us if we realized how seldom they do.” ~ Ethel Barrett

“Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

“Stop worrying — nobody gets out of this world alive.” ~ Clive James

Have the courage to do things; most of the time you will be successful.

“Do something. If it works, do more of it. If it doesn’t, do something else.” ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

Achieve things that matter to you.

“You never achieve real success unless you like what you are doing.” ~ Dale Carnegie

Work without interruption on one single thing at a time.

“The shortest way to do many things is to do only one thing at a time.” ~ Sydney Smiles

Keep your mind open to new ideas, tools and techniques.

“There will always be a frontier where there is an open mind and a willing hand.” ~ Charles F. Kettering

And last, but not least; when you do something, do it well.

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

But remember:

“Believe nothing you hear, and only half of what you see.” ~ Mark Twain

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Bay, bay, balsa spruce, holly yew ebony willow?

Bay, bay, balsa spruce,
Holly yew ebony willow?
Yew fir, yew fir,
Cherry birch hazel.

Gum fir date maple,
Gum fir date elm,
Ash gum fir date laurel bay
Oak olive dogwood plane.

Poplar cedar maple,
Poplar cedar elm,
Ash poplar cedar laurel bay
Oak olive dogwood plane.

I’m afraid it has no deep or hidden meaning and, apart from a passing resemblance to ‘Baa, baa, black sheep’, makes no more sense than most of my asinine and pointless comments.

But trees are admirable, significant, blameless and trustworthy; I’m partial to trees.


Blog Meme; It’s all about me me me

Well, it’s two me’s and without the space.

I copied this list/meme quite a while ago, but it’s just been sitting in a folder, relaxing, for months and I can’t remember where I copied it from now.

The intro text said: ”Create a new post, copy and paste this message, delete my answers and type in yours. Then tag 10 good friends and family including the person who tagged you. The theory is that you will learn one new thing about each of your friends.”

But, even though I’m very nosy, I mean interested, I don’t wish to intrude or impose on friends and family, so I’m just going to fill in my answers and leave it to anyone who might or might not be passing to read/complete/ignore as they/you see fit.

It’s not easy, well, its not easy in our affluent portion of this beautiful, flawed and unequal world, to choose just three things; how do you put a tripartite limit on an infinite and fascinating variety of food, drink, music and places to visit?

Anyway, I’ve learnt some things about myself; I like Fridays, chocolate and checking .


Three names I go by:

1. Roy (mostly)

2. MumblingNerd (online)

3. Dandy (but not for about 50 years)

Three jobs I have had:

1. Graphic Designer (now)

2. Corporate Design Co-ordinator

3. Publicity Assistant (Nottingham City Transport)

Three places I have lived:

1. Nottingham, UK (now)

2. Leeds, UK

3. Leicester, UK

Three TV shows that I watch:

1. QI (Quite Interesting)

2. Star Trek

3. South Park, Dr Who, Coronation Street, Big Bang Theory… (there are far too many to choose from)

Three favourite channels:

1. BBC1

2. BBC2

3. Comedy Central (UK)

Three places I want to go:

1. Melbourne, Australia

2. Singapore

3. Hong Kong

Three of my favourite foods:

1. Chocolate

2. Nuts

3. Fruit

Things I am looking forward to:

1. Friday (I don’t work on Fridays)

2. Holidays/travelling

3. Memory chip neural implants

Three favourite bands/singers:

1. Ian Dury and the Blockheads

2. Rolling Stones

3. Sinéad O’Connor

Three favourite sports to watch:

1. Tennis

2. Tennis

3. Tennis (I don’t really watch sport, apart from Wimbledon, and that’s Sue’s fault)

Three favourite drinks:

1. Water

2. Coffee

3. Red wine

Three favourite hang outs:

1. Home office/computer room

2. Nottingham city centre

3. New York

Three things you must do daily:

1. Check Twitter :^)

2. Feed Max the cat :^)

3. Shave :^(

Three ‘F’s:

1. Family

2. Food

3. Funny

3.1 Flippancy

3.2 Frogs

3.3 Fortitude

3.4 Flagellate

3.5 Formaldehyde

3.6 Frangipane

3.7 For crying out loud…

Meaningful Nonsense

How to enhance the impact of official correspondence.

Some years ago I came across this method of improving the impression made by adding apparently meaningful nonsense to memos and reports.

Modus operandi

Firstly, choose a number from 000 to 999.

Then, using that number, extract the corresponding word from each column:

Column 1

0  Integrated
1  Total
2  Systematised
3  Parallel
4  Functional
5  Responsive
6  Optional
7  Synchronised
8  Compatible
9  Balanced

Column 2

0  Management
1  Organisational
2  Monitored
3  Reciprocal
4  Digital
5  Logistical
6  Transitional
7  Incremental
8  Third-generation
9  Policy

Column 3

0  Options
1  Flexibility
2  Capability
3  Mobility
4  Programming
5  Concept
6  Time-phase
7  Projection
8  Hardware
9  Contingency

Finally, insert the resultant ‘phrase’ randomly into your communication.


025: Integrated Monitored Concept
571: Responsive Incremental Flexibility
666: Optional Transitional Time-phase

The list probably needs updating, perhaps a few words such as Sustainable, Capacity, Matrix and Software.

The method’s useless really, unless you actually do have no idea what you’re reading about, but it amused and entertained me, well, for a short while anyway.

Loathed Language List

Wicked widespread words which wound wisdom.

Except that doesn’t really make sense. So, a short list of loathed words, well, words I don’t like anyway:

Whilst, to me, sounds pompous and outdated. I think it’s perfectly well replaced by while and should have gone the way of thee and thou when they were supplanted by you.

Mucus, phlegm and diarrhoea
Dislike of the word mucus has to be because of its association with illness and infection. Mucus is a naturally clear and runny substance, with lubricative and protective functions, but it gets its repugnant yellow/green condition from nasal and sinus mucus with bacterial or viral infection.

I also don’t like phlegm, but that’s because I can’t spell it without looking it up; the same goes for diarrhoea. Actually, to be fair to phlegm, if you strip away its meaning, the word itself is quite soft, gentle and almost cuddly.

Stakeholder is slightly annoying because it has two opposing meanings, but it mainly makes me wince because of its overuse in national and local government announcements; we all seem to be stakeholders now.

I only want to be a stakeholder in a restaurant in the company of a medium rare fillet (I know, but I did say that I can’t spell).

Actually, there are a whole raft of redundant words and phrases used to pepper ill considered Council documents that also make me grimace. Thank goodness for the Plain English Campaign.

It’s just bloody annoying.

I don’t really like the sound of the word, it’s too sharp and it conjures up a feeling of tasteless, ostentatious and old fashioned design.

Beatnik and gonk
Oh the 1960s (more or less, give or take a few years). There’s nothing wrong with beatniks as a group/breed/species, but the word just feels like a phony and fabricated media stereotype. And as for gonk, well, doesn’t it just sum up some of the vile tat produced and sold in that decade?

Aarghh! No. This is just too cringy. The word itself is too ‘nice’, it’s finicky, fastidious and fussy, before you even get into its meaning. Then it triggers flashbacks of squirmingly embarrassing office parties and colleague send-offs where people stand around in awkward groups, holding plastic cups of warm fizzy wine, not talking and wishing fervently that they were anywhere else. I don’t even want to think about it anymore.

Talking about stakeholder and redundant words and phrases has reminded me of a list I once found of meaningless words to insert into documents. I was going to include it here, but I think I’ve already gone on for too long. I’ll add it later, along the lines of; Meaningful nonsense, or how to enhance the impact of official correspondence.


My wife dislikes okey-dokey.

My sister cringes at the words crotch and gusset.

My daughter detests cordial, elderflower, thorough and frozen. I’m starting to think she’s just a bit strange though.

Imp proved spell cheque four ewe

Eye found this my newt rhyme year sago, butt cud knot ream ember wear from:

I have a special checker
It helps with watt eye right
Cheques the spelling and grandma
And sets my copy a-lite

Sew when yew cannot weight
To git yaw mess hedge threw
You’s the spelling chequer
It’s a curate, rely able and t’ woo

Then, when eye was urchin four it, eye disk covered this grate lea imp proved won:

Ode to My Spell Checker (awe thaw Hun own)

Eye have a spelling checker, it came with my pea sea
It plainly marks four my revue miss steaks eye kin knot sea.
Eye strike a quay and type a word and weight for it to say
Weather eye yam wrong oar write, it shows me strait a weigh.
As soon as a mist ache is maid it nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite its rare lea ever wrong.
Eye have run this poem threw it I’m shore your pleased to no
Its letter perfect awl the way, my checker told me sew.



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