BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

16 October 2014
BBC Northern Ireland Voices

BBC Homepage
Northern Ireland

Ulster Scots
A Til Azed
W F Marshall
English Today
Irish Today
Ulster Scots Today
More Voices

Contact Us

A Til Azed





























He would give a Beechams powder a sore heid (The man is to be avoided at all costs due to his incessant talking) From: Bob in Glasgow

Iall dead centre you... common expression for head butting From: George Fleck

She turned roun' ... as in "She turned roun' an' said till me ... an' then I turned roun' and said till her ..." Obviously could be cross referenced with "I turned roun'" and "He turned roun'". From: Jim

Gimme head pace (peace). Used when someone is in disagreement with what is said or they just want you out of the way.."Would ye gimme head pace.." From Louise

Skin and hair flyin- Could be used to describe a passionate fight or a night of passion itself..."Theyre'll be skin and hair flyin' in that house tonight!" From Louise

Lorney Bless us - ma granny from Larne used to say that does anyone else know it? Politer way of saying Jesus help! From: Babs


Out of his/her tree (or Out of his/her bracket) - drunk. From Mark


Mice in the straw - someone's not all there, missing a few brain cells. From: Richard McCleery.


He's as tight as a hens ear. Meaning the subject does not spend much money. From Declan, who adds:

She wouldn't tare 'n the pluckin Meaning the subject (usually a woman) is not young.


A face like a bulldog chewin' a wasp! = not likely to win any beauty contests. From: Mark


My mum used to say 'you might as well go and chalk coke' meaning you're wasting your time. Another favourite was 'Do you think I came up the Lagan in a bubble?' meaning do do you think I'm easily fooled. From: Gwen

He's that tight he'd cut himself to get a plaster. (miserable git), I have a throat like Gandhi's flip-flop (after a nite on the tiles). From: Glenn Rooney

Let the hearse sit. i.e. let's wait awhile to see if things change. From David Drysdale


Go ballistic - to go crazy or get very angry. From: Phil

Absolute classic... 'Guddy whitener' usually jif or other household cleaner to clean your white trainers when you were a kid. From Fiona Chambers


He couldn't hit a cow's arse with a banjo from 2 feet - Meaning the striker in the team is useless. From: Alan Bradshaw


Yer granny's a mermaid! meaning "you are talking rubbish" From: Shirley


You couldn't felt your granny on a lilo - meaning you are not as good a roofer as me. From: Robert Patterson


He could herd mice at a crossroads, meaning he's a smart capable fella. From Pete who adds: Who was tellin ya?, meaning "I don't believe you", and: general disbelief or incredulity remarked as Piss up a stick (or "catch yerself on") or yer arse in parsley (or "aye, right")


He'd mind white mice at a crossroads in snow. V wise. From: Sally O Brian


I'll boil the pish in your bladder wi' slaps!! obviously, you'll have your backside warmed. my BF was threatened with this punishment as a child in Fermanagh. From: Leda Black

Keep her between the hedges - an expression the hear a lot at our motorcycling road races! From: Angela


My head's leppin like a bucket of frogs... normally used by someone with a hangover. My dad in Derrygonnelly would say this on the odd Sunday morning. From: Leda Black


I'm away up the fairy fishin! - can't be arsed tellin' you where I'm going

From: Jerms

Keep 'er Country - Meaning take it easy or keep on the 'straight and narrow' From: Neil McCormick

All dressed up like a sceaby knuckle- well dressed. From: Sarah


Whin a' yer bake - "Don't you open the whin a' yer bake" - keep yer mouth shut. From Jerms


Och yer haverin': means you're talking foolish. From: Calum


I'm only reekin ya - meaning i'm just joking about. From Emma Y


Away da get me hair shaired - to go get some peace (showered). From JonnyD


Yer an oul' hoore's ghost - nuff said. From: MJ


For defs hi!- Meaning definitely, used in Derry far tooo much!! From: ganoo


Away an bile yer heed: you're full of nonsense. From Calum

Wind yer neck in. I love this one, it means wise up or stop talking rubbish. From Cate

Plugged in & not switched on = not quite with it. From Graham


He's so tight he squeaks - someone known to be careful with money. From Bill


Now ye'r suckin diesel. As in now you have the hang of it. From: John


As thick as purdy oaten - not too bright. From: Frederick Needham


He's as thick as champ = he's not very bright. From Graham

Ate the bake aff - remonstrated angrily with someone. From Bill Dill


Reveal the centre square– Make any situation just that little bit better/ more tolerable. From Clonard McEniff

Shut that dure - Close the door. From Graham


I wuden miss ye Telling someone you are refusing to do what they ask. From Sharon.

Put it in the big nik, The same as keep it going referring to putting it into top gear. From: Alan Jeffrey


"Son you're about as good at that as my ears are at snipe shooting", (anagram of ears!). From Kevin Mac

Roasted snow as in, [Kev’s dad speaking to Kev] "son,you’re about as good at that as the full of your ears of roasted snow!!! [anagram of ears!!!] From Kev Mac


Quare craic at a wake - funny at the wrong time or place. From Frederick Needham


He's a face on him like a smacked arse.- someone who looks unhappy or upset. From Michael Mulrine


Take Yer Oil! Very Derry saying meaning "Serves you right" or "HA-HA" From: Chris Tierney


Bled gander (pronounced to rhyme with render)
My north Antrim granny would remark on how pale I was as a child saying, 'you look like a bled gander'. From: Kathleen Mallon


Keep her lit - keep going, faster. 'Keep her lit ye boy ye, we're nearly there hi.' From Terence Donnelly


Thon's desbert - How awful. From: Kevin

Givin' it lemon - to dance like a maniac. "Aye i was givin it lemon on the dancefloor so a was". From: Richard Maguire


watz d craic - wotz up ( i learnt it from wen i met irish ladz on holz i use it all d time now. From: Nicola in Liverpool


He's a quare geg - means he's quite funny. From: Simon Wragg

Ach what about ye. Meaning how are you doing. From: Dave McFarland


Now living in Australia, my favourite from home was very pass remarkable meaning had a lot to say about somebody, usually derogatory. From Geraldine


Hasn't a bar in 'is grate means that he has no teeth. From: Shelley Donaldson


Are yer eyes painted on! meaning can you not see that clearly? From Mandy


Ballysheughanagullian - pronounced 'Bally-shuck-ana- gullion' What my da called anywhere in the norn iron countryside. From Catherine


Wake up in hav' your Weetabix! - as if till say 'your dreaming'. From Nicole


Who ate the shuggar aff yer bun? Why are yopu in a bad humour or cross. From: Jen


Sheugh water moves quicker. a description of a lazy person. From Kenny


Two American visitors looked at each other confusingly recently at Castle Archdale when they were told by a Belfast camper that "they'd better get some cream on them or the midgets wud ate them alive" ! From Kenny


Are yoosins gettin? An inquiry from a young assisant in Beatties chippie on the Shankill (and many another establishment in Belfast as well! - Ed). From Kenny.


Put a stane at his head and rale him in.

A woman's instructions about what to do with her husband's grave. (Put a stone at his head and a railing around him. ) From Norah Anne Graham

As black as Toal's cloak. Used of a person who is very dirty. From Brian.


To explain that his wife was older than him Harry from Lurgan told everyone "Minnie wis alas aulder an me".


Another clean shirt will do him - expression implying that the subject is close to death. Often used in exageration, e.g. if the subject has a heavy cold! From Chris Haggan.


My mother-in-law who was from Garvagh used to say if she thought something was bad "that's tara". From: Jane


Lurgan spade - 'he/she's got a face like a Lurgan spade' - looking a bit depressed - long-faced. From Louis


Wiser atin' the grass - a little bit slow on the uptake. From: Richard McCleary (Ed's note: similarly you'll hear: 'There's wiser locked up')


That's Paul Rankin - something is 'rank', disgusting or to someone's dislike. From Andrew Boyce.


Do you think I can up the Foyle in a bubble, meaning do you think I was born yesterday, obviously used almost exclusively in Derry. (Ed's note: of course, in Belfast the expression is 'do you think I came up the Lagan in a bubble?')


Dem's a beast - they are good. From Teri


Your barney! - you must be joking. My granny from Londonderry uses this one a lot. From Susan Marshall


Dead as Hector - dead. From Nicole


Wired up to the moon, meaning a bit mad/highly strung. From Anon


Man dear, yer head's cut Telling someone they are stupid or in the alternative, have no idea what they are talking about. From Ray Dean


A kangaroo short of a paddock .saying someone is not quite right, stupid. from Louise in Australia



go to A»

Have your say

If you have a contribution, you can email it to us using the form below:

Email Address
Map showing Northern Ireland.

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy