Diaries Magazine

"Get a Gravy Ring in Your Gob..." And Other Colloquial Sayings!

By Sjay235 @naturalmommainm
Recently, I took part in an 'accent tag' with a group of online friends from across the world. If you've never done one, the idea is that you all video yourselves saying a list of the same words, and can compare accents. It sounds silly when I put it that way, but it's actually a lot of fun! Added on to the end, we decided to throw in some 'local' sayings, and of course there were a few 'Irish' requests for me. Then, I saw this link last week on Facebook, to a gathering of sayings you would only understand if you were from Northern Ireland, and it all got me thinking back to when I went to university.

You see, it really is true that you don't realize how mad the place you live is until you leave. Off I headed to university in Lancaster, where I was one of just a handful of Northern Irish students, and I quickly found that people had a lot of trouble understanding me. That wasn't just because of my accent, but also the way I spoke. I didn't realize until then that things we say at home are not how people say things elsewhere, and even now with Simon (after 3 years of marriage) we still sometimes run into the odd sticky spot with translation!
So, here are a few of the things I say regularly, and which people from other nations (especially England!) don't seem to understand...
1// The hot press: better know in England as 'the airing cupboard' apparently. The little cupboard in your house where you keep the towels!
2// I'm away to bed: instead of 'I'm going to bed'
3// Gravy rings: this still confuses Simon! This is what we call a ring donut. I have no idea why, to be honest, but we do.
4// Scallions: interestingly Americans do know what these are, but English people never seemed to. Better known to the English as spring onions
5// Wee 'uns (pronounced more like 'Waynes'): Simon genuinely used to wonder who Wayne was was people said this! It's a poorly pronounced version of 'wee ones', i.e. kids!
6// Eeejit: I guess most people have heard of this even, but most don't use it in every day conversation. Meaning - idiot.
7// Banjaxed: broken
8// Baltic: cold
9// Bake: OK, so I never actually use this word in this way, but it means face. So you might say "Look at the bake on her" and you'd mean "check out her face" (probably because she was looking a tad grumpy!)
10// Gub/gob: I didn't realize until I read the article that this isn't a universal word. It means mouth, like 'Shut you gub'. I am baffled that other people don't use this one!
11// Faffing about: If you are faffing about you are wasting time, messing about, basically not doing what you should be!
12// Catch yourself on: If you say that to someone you mean something like "Would you listen to yourself? You sound like an idiot!" It means the same sort of thing as 'Wise up' (which I am now assuming is also a NI thing...)
13// Dander: a walk
14// Hoak/hoke: If you have a 'wee hoke' you have a wee look, and a wee poke about in something. 
I'm sure if I sat and thought about it, and wrote a list, I could come up with lots more! These are things I say all the time, and never thought were strange....until I left Northern Ireland.
So let's hear your colloquial sayings - what things do you say that I am going to think are totally bonkers?

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