Colloquialisms

I was listening to a Radio 4 programme last night called Th quotation game or similar and it started me thinking (that's a first, I hear you say!!)

They were talking about the origin of phrases or sayings like 'as bold as brass' etc. And then I started to think of some of the expressions and such like that we all grow up with and think normal but which other people from other regions don't often understand.

Stuff like 'he's noy as green as he's cabbage looking' and others.

We're from all parts of the country so what experessions have you got and what do they mean (if you know)?


Just thought of another thread topic too.... bye for now..

RB
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Comments

  • Gosh! Is it Friday already?

    Up here in the wilds of Brum they don't bear grudges because they know that "Wot goos around, cooms around". On the other hand, my husband used to get terribly confused when I told him I was going out to get the messages then came home laden with carrier bags and asked him to put the messages past. Scottish people will understand.
  • "Better fed than taught" is one that I have problems understanding to this day.

    And my Gran used to say something along the lines of "Fair bring yer arse to yer elbows" to describe particularly sour things. It's a visual thing.
  • Ratbag, how are you? Feel like it's ages since we've engaged! My ex mother in law had some classic ones (Irish of course)...
    'Hotter than the hob of hell'
    'Every cripple has there own way of walking'
    'There's a match that will strike' (she didn't realise that it would blow out as well)....
    My Auntie Violet is of the same generation and one night after a family party she and ex mother in law did a joint effort..
    Auntie Vi: 'It's 4am in the morning...'
    Ex mother in law joined in to finish it off: 'and not a baby in the house is washed'
    'Beef to the heel of Mullingar heffer'...something about being fat...never quite worked that one out!
    Oh and last one, on asking directions from a very drunk driver in Ireland, he said,
    'Lord, bless, save us and preserve us tonight,' laughed out loud and then replied, 'I haven't a clue'
  • my granny always used to tell me that the only thing you should stick in your ear is your elbow. She also confued my boyf when she first met him as she asked if he wanted a fly - that stumped him !!
    Also there's a service station down from me that has the sign 'ye may gang far and find faur waur' - I think I spelt that right!!
  • Hello Snicks,

    I'll email you offline.

    Gillian,

    What is a 'fly' then??
  • A cup of tea
  • Oh, you mean a cup o'cha? a brew? a drop of Rosie Lee?

    Why fly then?
  • I don't know - sometimes it was a fly cup, which i guess stemmed from a sly cup/quick cup........
    not too sure really
  • My Gran just used to shout GEORGE a lot... Not much time for colloquialisms I'm afraid!
  • There's a cracker here in South Wales which could describe a bad hangover or someone/somewhere not graced with social niceties...
    ...as rough as ten bears!
    A friend of mine's Irish mother used to comment on very bad weather, "I chuck a bucket of water out in this!"
    As they say where I come from, "there's nowt s'queer as folk!"
  • Why did she shout George when your name is Jon?

    I didn't come to the UK until I was 12 so my granny's expressions would mean very little to you. Her main legacy to me is my inability to sit on a public toilet seat without first covering it with loo paper.

    Learning English was a confusing business: a friend of a friend got a new bike which had 'fallen off the back of a lorry'. I was amazed there were no scratches on it; didn't the lorry driver notice? Etc. Doh!
  • That should have read, of course, "I wouldn't chuck a bucket of water out in this"
    Fingers quicker than brain.
    Come to think of it only my legs are slower!
  • To describe an ugly person:

    "Face like a bag of elbows"

    To describe a poorly made cup of tea

    "That tea's so weak its almost a fortnight"

    Use them at your peril
  • A face like the east end of a westbound horse.

    Laura... That was grandad's name
  • Your grandad's name was Laura!!

    How about:
    Face like a smacked arse
    face like a bag of spanners
    ...bag of ferrets
    she looks like a bulldog chewing a wasp.
  • mine said face like a skelped arse.
  • Bear- Only in certain circles!
  • As rough as a Badgers @rse
    Face lake a smacked @rse
  • As rough as a Badgers @rse
    Face like a smacked @rse
  • Well, I'll go t't'foot of our stair.
    Blood and stomach pills! Blood and sand!
    Hell's teeth! Hell's t*ts!
    Tha Grand fayther mooved in sum reet queer circles, tha noz!
  • My grannie used to say of a mean person :

    "He's so greedy he wouldn't breathe out if he didn't have to".

    Also, "He's so tight you couldn't get a razor blade between the cheeks of his Ar*e"

    Finally, " He couldn't spend Xmas. "
  • My Gran was broad Geordie, so many of her wisdom bits were lost without a translator.
    however, if a guest ( ie me) ate well:-

    "he's better to keep for a week than a fortnight"
  • That reminds me:
    Tight as a duck's a**e
  • We were aspirational working class, so it was "a face like a skelpit hin'en'". Or "A face like a torn-oot fireplace".

    "If ye wiz chocolate ye'd eat yirsel'" as a response to excessive self-congratulation.

    "Better an empty hoose than a bad tinnant" following a burp or a fart.

    "As thick in the heid as the lippiachanty" was the slightly ruder local version of the nationally understood "two short planks" version (which I have personally never understood - what has the shortness of the planks got to do with their thickness?"

    My Irish flatmate at university went to the shoe shop to buy "A pair of shoes, they're not for wearing".
  • I got terribly confused when I first moved south, because in Scotland "tea" means a cup of your preferred warm non-alcoholic version plus, at the very least, some buttered-and-jammed pancakes and fancy biscuits, whereas "a drink" most definitely means alcohol. So being offered "a drink" and being given a cup of tea with nothing to dunk in it came as a serious disappointment.
  • Tight as a .... Not going there!

    Rough as a teddy bears bum
  • Being a pretty awful singer, I "couldn't carry a tune in a bucket".

    On that theme again - "couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery".

    Going "ben the hoose" means going from one room to another, usually from the kitchen to the sitting room, as "in take yer cuppie (cup of tea) ben the hoose".

    The East Coast has it's own language - the best one I've heard is "Sma' beefies".

    Anyone like to hazard a guess?
  • oh remembered another one - if my gran was going for a lie down in the afternoon she was going for a flap.
  • Hello Nessie,

    Small something.... breasts??

    How about 'flat as a witched t*t?

    How many witches have 'they' met.

    Cold as charity..

    Brass monkeys ... now everyone knows that one.

    Or a version of that one ' it was so cold, I passed a brass monkey looking for a welder'!!!
  • The O'Rodriguez side of the family had these sayings:

    'Hunger is a great sauce'

    I'm so hungry 'I could eat a scabby child'

    and my own particular favourite about tea which had been brewed/stewed/mashed (whole new thread there) too long

    'You could trot a mouse on it'

    SR
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