Picture of the Tees Transporter Bridge by SJM Photography http://sjm-photography.com/
As well as being a mum, one of the things of which I’m most proud is being an adopted daughter of Middlesbrough.
Wherever I go it’s always one of the first things I say. Yep, I’m a Boro lass, loud and proud. However, over the years, I have found that something strange has started to happen…
When other people say where they come from it’s usually met with a pleasant “that’s nice,” or even a vague “isn’t that near…?”. I, on the other hand, mention where I come from and it’s met with anarchy, fair game for all and sundry to ridicule: “Arrghhh you horrible smoggie, get back to where you come from.”
But I reckon there’s plenty to be proud of in our beloved town - not least the fabulous lingo.
In 2008 I put together a Smogtionary for The Journal that’s recently been doing the rounds on the internet - and so I thought it was high time to let people add their favourite Boro phrases and update it by commenting in the boxes below.
I hope to make it an essential ‘guide’ to Boro lingo that could be of help to those who’ve never ventured into our glorious town.
There is one vital word missing of course, which, if you manage to annoy someone sufficiently, you may just be able to trigger. But without risking my reputation I think I’ll leave that one to the imagination…
* Please can my fellow ‘Smoggies’ help me build the Smogtionary by adding words and phrases in the comment boxes below. I’ll add them as soon as they’re suggested.
Aggy Bo/Aggy Boo/Aggy Bo Bo - Ha ha, the joke is on you. This phrase is often accompanied with a flutter of one’s fingers across his or her chin.
Ayaz - To hurt oneself
Bag ‘ed - Drug addict
Baltic - Extremely cold/freezing. The origin of this word is presumably the Baltic Sea.
“God, it’s baltic out there like.”
Beast - A particularly difficult challenge
“What a total beast that was.”
Black’n - An all day drinking session
“I’m going on a black’n’.”
(The) Bongo - A renowned Boro nightclub located ‘Over the Border’
“You’ll never guess who ended up in The Bongo.”
Buzzin’ - Very happy
Canny - Someone with an amenable personality. To be a canny lad/lass or even ‘canny as’ is the ultimate Boro accolade.
Class - Very impressive
Copper - Small change
Croggy - See ‘Tan’
Defos - Definitely
“Are you defos going there tomorrow?”
Devoed - Devastated
“I’m propper devoed me like.”
Div/Divvie - Someone with lower than average intelligence
Doyle - Idiot
Eeeeeee - An expression of shock, surprise or delight
“Eeee, well I never.”
Eee-yah - Here here, can I please have your attention?
Fumin’ - Very angry
Gadge - A familiar greeting
“Now then gadge.”
Get - Its origins are presumably in ‘git’
“Come here you little get.”
Gizzit - To ask someone for an item
Goosed - Very tired or inebriated
Haway - Please do hurry up. It can also have a meaning similar to the phrase “come off it.”
I’m not having that like - You are pulling my leg, I simply won’t believe it.
Keggy - Black eye
Kick off - To get angry
Kick clean off - To get very angry
Knack - To hurt. You can knack someone or you can, yourself, be knacked.
Knocked clean out - To punch someone and render them unconscious
“I knocked him clean out.”
Knocked spark out - A variation of the above
Laffin’ - Not bothered
Lemon top: Delightful ice cream cone with a tangy lemon top. Mainly found at popular seaside resort Redcar.
Ledge - A hero
“What a total ledge.”
Like - A way of ending a sentence
Mafting - hot
Mallon: Directly elected mayor Ray Mallon, former police officer known for his zero tolerance approach to anti-social behaviour.
“Ere, if you don’t pack that in I’ll tell Mallon.”
Mam - Mum
Mint - Very good
“It’s proper mint that like.”
Minted - Lots of money
Mish - A rather long way
“I’m not going there like - it’s too much of a mish.”
Molly - Love bite
Nappa - Head
Nectar - Really good
Nick off - to play truant
Nithered - Feeling the cold
“I’m totally nithered.”
Nowt - Nothing
Now then, now then - Hi everyone. How are you all?
N’tha - Said at the end of a sentence to emphasise its meaning
Our - Used to signify a family member or belonging
“Our mam is coming round in a bit.”
Our Lad/Our Lass - My boyfriend or husband/girlfriend or wife
Our ‘ouse - My house
Over the Border - An area of Middlesbrough that good boys and girls should never venture
Ow: Excuse me
“Ow, who you calling a doyle?”
‘Ows about - How about
Paraletic - very drunk
Parmo - A celebrated Middlesbrough delicacy consisting of flattened, deep fried chicken, smothered in a layer of bechamel sauce and melted cheddar cheese.
People’s Republic of Teesside: Middlesbrough’s full title, used on official documents.
Pint touch - A pint of lager topped with lemonade
Proppa - Very much, a lot
Proppa dodge - Very unsportsmanlike
Quality - Very good
“It’s proppa quality that.”
Radgie - Irate/feeling of great anger
“He was proppa radgie him like.”
Ratted - Very inebriated
Righto - Okay
Ripped Off - I can clearly see you are annoyed. It can be prefixed with ‘Arrgggghhhhhh’ to increase its intensity.
NB Children have also been known to accompany this phrase with a ‘ripping’ action.
Rippage - A clever abbreviation of the above
Scunner - A person with limited means or limited morals
“What a total scunner.”
Scunnerish - The actions of a ‘scunner’
“‘Ow scunnerish is tha’?”
Shockin’ - Out of order
Shot ‘em out - Throw them out
Sly Off - To sneak off with a friend
“She proper slyed off with Laura last night.”
Snidey - Sly
“Did you hear her snidey remark?”
Sparko - An abbreviation of being ‘knocked spark out’
“He was proppa sparko.”
Spot on - just right
Swear down - The ultimate testament that one is telling the truth
“I swear down on me mam’s life.”
Swear to God - I promise
Tan - To catch a lift on someone’s bike
Tanking Down - Raining heavily
Tarzy - A rope hanging over a beck or such like. Youngsters swing from them.
Tret - Treating someone to something
“I tret her to a pint.”
Wadded - Someone who has a lot of money
“He’s proper wadded him like.”
Wouldn’t Dare - Said in reference to something you wouldn’t dream of doing
“Eeeeee, I wouldn’t dare me like.”
Young’un - brother/sister
Yerjokinarnyer?: I do not believe that to be true.
Youse - You people
“Youse had better pack that in like.”