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Bristol's A-Z of culture

B be for Brizzle
Bristol 'dictionary' THIS STORY LAST UPDATED:
29 April 2003 1535 BST

We look at Bristol's contribution to culture as the city bids to be European Culture Capital in 2008.
Bristol dialect - gert lush!
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When it comes to dialect, Brizzle be best.

People in the city have a penchant for adding Ls to the ends of words and have a delightful Cider With Rosie burr which makes you want a chilled pint on a warm summer's day.

Here's a guide to some of the wonderful West Country words and phrases.

Bristol dialect Standard English use
Where's that to? Where is it?
I was led down I was lying down
We was there yesterday We were there yesterday
I was sat/ I was stood I was sitting/I sat
I didn't do nothing I didn't do anything
Theirselves Themselves
Look at them people Look at those people
He do's it He does it
He can do it hisself He can do it himself
Casn't Can't
I looks at I looked at
They's [real gems] They're [real gems]
Lush Nice/good
Gert/Gurt Really big
Mind [mid-sentence or used as a tag] You know what I mean?
Proper ['PrAprR] Good or 'decent'
They [kiddies] Those [kiddies]
Like [used in mid-sentence]
Laters See you later/goodbye
Babys/Babs/Bab Baby/affectionate term
Kiddie Teenager or youth
Me/My lover Mate/pal/dear
She's [got a nice finish] It goes all right
Scrage To scratch yourself
Hard 'en Usually a young person with an attitude
Babba Baby
Coopie down Crouch down
Slider Playground slide
Keener 'swot', or someone who works too hard
NeveR [emphasis on R] Never
AlaRm [mid-word emphasis on R] Alarm
Right [initial emphasis on R] Right
Rising intonation - using statements so they sound like questions
DrawLing [L pronounced within a word] Drawing
Area L [Bristol L specific to Area] Area
IdeaL [Bristol L specific to Idea] Idea
Funera [omission of L] Funeral
wURs [different vowel & R pronunciation] Worse
'ave, 'im [Silent initial H] Have, Him
Bath, Glass ['a' as in sat] Bath, Glass

That Be Bristle

Your views on this story

Vic Heybyrne
As a Bristolian born in Redcliffe during 1926,with a Father, Mother and paternal Grandfather all born and bred in Bristol, 'I fill entieuld to criasize sum mustakes in dul way we tolk' (I feel entitled to criticise some discrepancies in the way we speak). For example: John James - 'where' was always pronounced,'ware' and for where have you been it would be ware'sbean? also, my parents and I would greet a girl,'ullo me deer ow bee?'. Nick - 'where do you work to' would be 'ware doost wulk to?. Incidentally,'Lush' which is used by my granddaughter,was never in 'our lingo' years ago!

Dave Mockford
Great but when I first moved to Bristol it took a while to find out what daps were, now I wear them all the time. Also even though they stopped running in 1941 I worked for The Tramways and this was in the seventies.

John James
A fine study of the venaculaaaaar. Gert proper job. I cant believe you missed out Gert Lush (tasty or sexy e.g. eee was gert lush) and Bemmie (a person from Bedminster Down.) Dont tell I, tell eee! (dont tell me, tell him! Give eee ere (pass it here e.g. a tool). Where's it too (Where is it). And, my father uses this one when greeting girls on the till at Asda: Ello my lover (hi there, how are you). Where de bist (Old Bristolian - where have you been). Yaffat (a Welshmen - taffy backwards.)Ooooh Ahhrr -[jovial]Bristolians taking the mick out of the Bristol accent. Ow zit goin? (How is it going?). Arrrrrrrgos (the discount store Argos). Traaaa-er (a tractor). My favourite piece of Bristol is 'ow we pronounce Bath (the City) Baaaaaath rather than the way posh Bath people say it [Both]. They dont say it like I does.

Virtue et Industrial
In memory of 'Dirk Robson' a Bristle Dictionary is a 'Grey Tide Eel'.

I cant believe youve left out the greating! When pasing a friend on a street. You both extchange looks and say awlrrrie (Meaning alright!) once both people have said it you are free to walk on.

E tried to kill I, Speaking to someone who got in a fight at the weekend, Ill ave 4 of they, they wanted 4. ow's bist, how are you etc etc or should i say , etcl etcl

wonderful, makes me want to go home just to hear people speak.

This dialect guide should be standard issue to all those moving to Bristol - it's ten years too late for me. I was just getting used to playing at Hanham Folk Centre Tennis Club, having been wrenched away from the eight courts of Sanderstead, when I was hit with the question, 'Where do you work to?' I was completely addled by this and after some seconds confusion I found myself giving details of my route to work, which by that time included the hair raising Crews Hole Road. When I finished there was silence.

Barbara Kelly
An old Bristol poem, used in the Bedminster area of Bristol is as follows:- Theese cas'nt speak as well as theese cust cast,cus if theese cuud, theese wud usn't. MEANING, YOU CANNOT SPEAK AS WELL AS YOU COULD CAN YOU? BECAUSE IF YOU COULD YOU WOULD WOUDN'T YOU. I think it is difficult for you to actually interpret the Bristolian accent, but the above poem although gramatically incorrect is the nearest to how it souunds, the above poem was told to me when visiting an elderly man's home, which I found difficulty in at first understanding him, after several visits I got used to his way of speaking, hence remembering the actual Bristolian accewnt.

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