Saft: 1. Sentimental, sensitive.
'Ach, he's awful saft, he takes it all ti' heart'
2. Dim, unworldly.
'Ye must think I'm quare 'n' saft if ye think I'd fall for that.'
'Ye've left that hedge all scaldy y'eejit ye!'
'I'm not goin' back to that barber; he left me all scaldy.' George
adds: name for a newly hatched chick before its feathers grow, which
is the reason for the other uses of the word.
Scallions: spring onions, an essential ingredient
Scrake of dawn: Very early.
'I've been up from the scrake of dawn.' Jen adds: Scrakin is also used
to describe a sound such as a violin being played badly usually a beginner
of usually a woman barging others.
'She scringes her teeth in her sleep every night.'
Scunner: A feeling of loathing.
'She took a right scunner at him from the very start.'
Scundered: Embarrassed, mortified.
'I was completely scundered when he walked in on me like that'. Aidan
adds: My take on the word 'scundered' is that it means 'hoist by your
own petard'. Aileen adds: there's the old Tyrone version of scundered
(meaning really annoyed!) which translates as embarrassed in Belfast!
Shar: 1. Stress relief.
'A wee dander is a great way to get yer head sharred.'
'Ah tuk myself off to the pictures to get m'head sharred.'
2. Detestable group of people.
'I'm workin' wi a right shar ni.'
Simmet: Vest, undershirt.
'She went out without her simmet and she's bin under the dactor ever
Skelly: 1. To have a skelly is to have a quick look.
'Let's have a skelly at yer Tele.'
2. To have a skelly eye is to be cross-eyed.
'He's that skelly-eyed one eye's lukkin at ye and the orr's lukkin for
'I hit him a quare skelp across the back of his legs.'
'Ah wuddn't say he's saft but I got a skelf in m' han' pattin' his head.'
Skiff: A light shower of rain, usually in summer.
'Nivver worry, it's only a wee skiff.'
Skitter: 1. An abusive term for an unpleasant individual.
'He's one sleekit wee skitter that, stay well away.'
2. A watery stool/diaorrhea.
By extension, to call something skittery is to regard it as less substantial
than you would like it to be.
'Thon's a skittery wee bit of fish! Throw anorr bit on!'
Terence Donnelly adds: 'Ye Skittery wee git ye!' - You're a very naughty
Sleekit: Sly, deeply untrustworthy. 'He's one sleekit
Slider: Ice cream between two rectangles of wafer.
A great way to eat real Italian ice cream and one of the great contributions
of Italian migrants to Northern Ireland. Now, where did all the sliders
'Don't go near her, she's had the measles and she's still smittal.'
So it is, so I did etc: Emphatic reiteration of a
statement, so it is.
Speely: Climb quickly or nimbly.
'He speelied up thon wall like a monkey.'
Spittin: Raining intermittently.
Sprachle: Fall, tumble in a thrashing limbs kind of
'He went sprachlin' down the stair.'
Stickin out: Good, very good.
'Bout ye, Sean?' 'Stickin out Tommy, sticking out a fortnight.'
'How's the nose?' 'Stickin out.'
Stocious: Well and truly drunk.
Stour: Dust, particularly the fine stuff that hangs
in the air.
'I was left standing there lukkin like a right stuke.'
Scalps: Meaning nothing...'What ye at today lad'.....'Scalps'
Usually in North Antrim (Ballymena)
From: Jody Doc
Snatters - "...shure the snatters were trippin
Meaning in English terms, "Snot running from the nose"
Step - to soak in water for washing. As in, "that
shorte (shirt) is boggin'so it is, it'd need step in scaldin' hot water."
Or "stepped" meaning to be soaked - "thon towels were
filthy dorty, an had to be stepped all night to get them clean"
Styme - 'I can't see a styme.' Can't see anything because
somethings blocking my vision. From: Shane
Snedding - cutting the leaves off turnips ready for
transport, used in the phrase," touch my pint again an i'll snedd
the fingers aff ye!" From: Gareth
Scobe: scrounge, steal. "He's always scobin my
chips." (Heard in Lurgan.) From : Stephen
Some: great, fine. "That's some day." From:
Strange- shy. strange ir startlin- unusual news. "What
about ye? Anythin strange ir startlin wi ye? From: Stephen Hewitt
Spoof: (noun & verb) A lie or a waffle or aan
exaggeration. From - Mark
Spoofer: (noun)One who spoofs. From - Mark
sturbut/stirabout: porridge. Stirabout was taken at
supper when I was young 60 years ago and not at breakfast as now. The
meal times then were breakfast, a squib of tay midmorning, dinner around
noon, tay at 6 p.m. & supper before bedtime which was usually stirabout
or pinade or something like rice, sago or tapioca. From: Jack
Shack. Nickname for the Sandro cinema in Sandy Row
From: John Maze
Swanky. wearing posh, elegant clothes. From - Farnsbarn
Sprazzie: A sixpenny coin. From: John Maze
Shitehawk: also seagull. From: Brian Lyness
Stoat or Stoater: brilliant, very good. From Leonard
Scoop - cap. From Mark
Scooped - arrested by the police. From Mark
Smoother - iron. From: Sarah Welsh
Spulpin. Probably the Northern Irish pronunciation
of Spalpeen - A scamp; an Irish term for a good-for-nothing fellow;
s naughty (boy?) child - often used in good-humored contempt or ridicule.
From Ray Thomson
Smalachin': chewing food (esp gum) very loudly. Paul
Scran - food; usually not very nutritious and normally
desired/consumed when drunk. Stevie Mac
Slack bit: a very attractive woman. From: Davie P
Stroke/Stroked - To steal something from someone.
i.e. 'Aye Stroked his mobile off'f 'im' From: Billy
Slippy Tit - An untrustworthy individual. From Kevin.
Skite. "Take a wee skite over" call around
for a short visit. From: Anncestor
Skitter-jap: a freckle...(see skitter.) From G Galway
Scrake of cats: I was up at a very early hour this
morning. From: Anncestor
Smoothin' - to iron one's clothes - my ma used to
always say ive got to do the smoothin!! From: Jim Turkington
Spot on - okay/good/generally to agree about anything.
Scaredy cat - someone who's afraid - I don't know
were the cat comes in to it. From Louis Hawthorne.
Steamin' - To be very drunk. "Oye met i was steamin
last neet so a was". From: Richard Maguire
Sope - gimme a wee sope o' your drink - sip. From
Slater: Woodlouse. From: Laura
Snib - prevents a key from turning a Yale lock e g
'put the wee snib on the door.' From: anon. Jim Gawn adds: also a window
latch or cupboard latch. Not confined to Norn Irn: the word is used
- as a verb - in a Sherlock Holmes story.
Slug:an indeterminate quantity probably a few mouthfuls
"Here take a slug of this lemonade to kill your drooth (thirst)"
So: used for emphasis extensively (East Belfast North
Down). It is said SO much now by SO many people. From: Anon
Sir (Tyrone ,Derry) - form of address to a colleague
though not to a superior e.g 'That's a quare day Sir'. From Robert.
Sickener is an expression used to describe a bellyful
of somethin or more than expected in a negative sense 'Ah ye got a sickener
there ye boy ye' From: Jen
Smashin' , "That's smashin'" said when expressing
delight on hearing good or agreeable news. Possibly from Irish 'Is maith
sin' meaning that's good. From Kevin.
Slooter - spill, splatter. From Simon Brown
Skud - someone who is bad news/bad luck. 'He's a skud
so he is.' From David Clarke. (Ed's note: A great example of a skud,
or scud, can be seen in the film The Cooler, a 'cooler' having the same
effect as a skud but in this case on behalf of a Las Vegas casino!)
Scut (n) : used to describe someone, usually female,
of short, stunted stature. (eng: short-arse) eg: "That wee scut
isn't the size of two turfs, but she has a desperate tongue on her."
From: Dominic Campbell
Slim: term for potato bread. a wee bit of slim. From
Suckin diesel. Getting well into something. From:Connor
Swanker: latest spin on a spide/janty. i.e. Guy with
tach and baseball cap. Girl who thinks she's Christine Aguilera with
her fake tan and hair bleached aff her like. From Maria McComb
Spide - approximate translation of the English "chav"
but has been around longer. Typically dresses from head to foot in sportswear
(but avoids exercise at all costs), with a baseball tilted as far back
on the head as possible without falling off, lots of chunky gold jewellery
including at least 6 sovereign rings, chainsmokes, talks with a distinctive
nasal tone and a particularly strong Belfast accent and aspires to own
a souped-up Corsa or Nova. Also steek or smicker. From Mark. Valerie
adds: This name originated in the early 1980's. At this time, denim
tartan jeans were popular among the Belfast "chavs". The design
resembled spider's webs and so the wearers were refered to as "spidermen",
hence the shortened version "Spide"!
Steek - Another word for Spide. From: Nikki
Slap it inta ye - or "Slap it into you"
- roughly translates as "Serves you right". Often preceded
by the word "Hell" From: Chris Haggan
Sickener: oleaginous, sycophantic, person who never
seems to go away. Often used of celebrities that appear too much on
TV. "Turn that show aff - have ye not seen enough of that sickener?"
From Dominic Campbell
Scone - Head. "He was blocked outee 'is scone"
Slap: Generous, undefined portion. "Gee's a slap
of that apple tart, there" Also used as a verb, to wolf food down
in a rush. "Slap that feed inte ye, we have te go ni" From:
Snool: a really nosey person, always hovering around.
eg: "Houl yer wheest fornent that snool, or the whole country'll
know yer business" From Dominic Campbell
Snattery: adj : Incurably sarcastic. eg: "Our
teacher was a real snattery get" or "Don't you get snattery
with me, boy." From Dominic Campbell
Sizshe te me sheshe - "She said to me" e.g.
Y'ere daft, sizshe te me sheshe. From Alex
Scowder (pron. scowdhur): a meal thrown together in
a hurry. From Dominic Campbell
Saft talk: schmoozing, blatant PR. "Wud ye quit
yer oul saft talk, I wudn't vote for your crowd, no way" From Dominic
Styahey or stiachey - my mother's
name for a quick stew fried up in a pan using whatever was left in the
larder cupboard. From: Bernie. Sally Kelly adds: A mixed up unappetising
meal usually consisting of leftovers or whatever happens to be available
Scrab: scratch. If you don't stop annoyin' me I'll
scrab the face off ye. From: Linda L
Slap - Gap in a hedge. "I need to stick a gate
across that slap in the hedge." From: Maurice Wilson. Anon adds:
Slap- a makeshift barbed wire gate into a field.
Sancey. He's a wee sancey man. He's dapper,neat &
tidy.Always applied to a man, never a woman. From Linda
Skite - to jettison something. Indicates a certain
accidental movement. "I was skitin' about on thon oul slippy floor"
"Watch how ye houl yer drink or it'll skite out of yer haun".
Roland McIntyre adds: Skite - a slap. As in,"behave, or you'll
get wan skite" Dominic Campbell adds: Skite also means splash,
as in "He got skit by the car hittin' the puddle"
Shipyards - large shoes,'He's wearing big shipyards'.
From 'Yer Ma'
Swiggin': tea "Sit down till I make you a wee
swiggin'" From: Dominic Campbell
Scooped - caught, apprehended in the act. From FK
Stroke - to steal. Also, when selling goods by weight,
to supply less than paid for. "he was putting his finger on the
scale, trying to stroke me" or "I stroked that off yer man".
Sorn Iron: see Norn Iron. From: Alan Armstrong
Stoolying - My granny used to say to us as kids when
we told tales "Stop tat stoolying" From Gemma G.
Starvin - very cold. 'I went out wi'out me ganzee
and got a run o'starvin' From: David Graham
Starving cold: means cold not hungry "I'm starving
cold so I am". From Christine
Sparrafart - Insignificant boy. From Brian
Starvo - someone who is always hungry. From Brian
Slabber - either a verb meaning to speak pejoratively
of someone,or a noun denoting one who slabbers. From: Paavo. Someone
who talks rubbish. 'Don't lissena him - he's only an oul slabber'. From:
Brian. Belfast adds: also to insult or ridicule someone, often heard
in "you slabberin?" See stirren. Louise Hawthorne adds: -
rude - He's a cheeky wee slabber. Sally Kelly adds: A person who talks
a lot, chatterbox, particularly someone who talks rubbish or boasts
and brags a lot.
Spide - Casual from Belfast. From: Brian.
Swally - Drink, are ya goin for a swally? From: JBD
Sham, (north antrim) used the same as 'boyo' in Wales
and 'mate' in England eg 'Bout ye sham!' From: Chris Small.
Slakin or slaken a very small ammount i.e. a slaken
of butter on bread. From: Sian Ferguson
Scratcher: bed (fermanagh) 'I'm away ta the scratcher'
From: Alex Benjamin.
Samage, 2 slices of bread. 'wud ya take a wee samage?'
Sheugh (pronounced shuck): A dug-out channel at the
inside of the road.
'Mind ya dinnae drive inta the sheugh.' From Donna Knapper. Marty adds:
'Sometimes also used as a name for the Irish Sea. "He's gone across
the sheugh". Terence Donnelly adds: drainage system surrounding
'Hi, he fell off the tractor into the shuck; there was a quare hum aff
him let me tell ye!'
Stirren, someone trying to cause trouble via conversation.
'Don't listen ta her, she's just stirren it.' From Donna Knapper.
Splittin - intense pain. 'Ma head's splittin, a need
a powder.' From: Sian Ferguson
Scrakin meaning scratching. From: Des
Souper - Someone who converted from catholicism to
protestantism. From Brian
Steamboats - drunk From: Brian
Shitehawk - Unpleasant person. From Brian
Shebeen: Drinking den (normally illegal). From Brian
Skald Meaning tea. Have a cup of skald in your hand.
Santer:To talk a lot (particularly nonsensical chatter
or bragging talk) From: Sally Kelly
Scabby:To have skin conditions due to under-nourishment
or starvation eg impetigo; small, pitiful. From: Sally Kelly
Scaldie: A fledgling or baby bird (or a small child
that resembles one) From: Sally Kelly
Scallions: Spring onions. From: Sally Kelly
Scheming:Playing truant from school (Co Derry)
Schkelp: To remove skin, hair or tissue from. From:
a mixed up unappetising meal usually consisting of leftovers or whatever
happens to be available. From: Sally Kelly
Scobin': A sort of digging or scratching at something
ie door, ground. From: Sally Kelly
Scootered: Drunk, inebriated. From: Sally Kelly
Score: To engage in romantic liaisons. From: Sally
Scrab :To scratch or tear skin off. From: Sally Kelly
Scud: A harbinger of bad luck;
to cause bad luck or ill fortune. From: Sally Kelly
Scunner/skunner: To cause boredom/to exasperate/to
wear out or vex. From: Sally Kelly
Seatie: To take someone pillion on a bicycle
Session: A loud, raucous drinking bout
Sheebo: A storm or indication of bad weather to come.
From: Sally Kelly
Shift: To get off with, to engage
in romantic liaisons. From: Sally Kelly
Shockin': Awful, terrible. From: Sally Kelly
Shook: Pale, ill, frightened/pallor as a result of
fear, illness. From: Sally Kelly
shower: collective noun group of people, things "Oh!
They were a right
shower of b@$tards!" From: Sally Kelly
Showered/shired: To feel relief or reprieve ie "Oh!
Thank God she's gone. Now I'll get my head showered/shired!! From: Sally
Skitter: An annoying or untrustworthy person. May
be used offhandedly or affectionately when describing a child eg "Go
on, you wee skitter".
Alternatively it may be used to describe diarrhoea. From: Sally Kelly
slag: To make fun of someone, to tease, taunt or gibe
(usually in a good natured way) From: Sally Kelly
Slider: A dessert consisting of ice cream sandwiched
between two wafers. From: Sally Kelly
Snedding: Harvesting turnips. From: Sally Kelly
Snog: To kiss. From: Sally Kelly
Soft day: When referring to weather conditions a day
which is not sunny and may rain a little, yet is not cold. From: Sally
Sound: Of decent character. From: Sally Kelly
Sponge: To cadge, scrounge or beg in a sly manner.
From: Sally Kelly
Steamin': Drunk, inebriated. From: Sally Kelly
stew: A clever, studious person (similar to swot) From:
Stocious: Very, very, drunk, inebriated. From: Sally
Stoor: Smokey, dusty atmosphere. From: Sally Kelly
Stoving: Very angry, irate, in a foul temper. From:
Swinging: The lead colloquialism pretending to be sick
(malingering) especially to escape work. From: sally Kelly
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