How to speak Derry - an A-Z guide

How well can you speak Derry?
How well can you speak Derry?

There really is no place like home so with that in mind here are a few bits and pieces that only Derry people can understand.

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A is for...

‘Aye’ - yes.

‘After ye’ - may I have a smoke of that cigarette once you’re finished.

B is for...

‘Blocked’ - intoxicated.

‘Bake’ - mouth - e.g. “shut yer bake” or “look at the bake on yer man”.

C is for...

‘Catch yerself on’ - used by Derry people when they think someone is behaving inappropriately or have said something incredulous.

‘Craic’ - atmosphere, fun.

D is for...

‘Dab’ - a physical act, e.g. “he hit yer man a quare dab on the mouth”.

‘Dead on’ - I’m sorry but I don’t believe you.

E is for...

‘Essex’ - a former factory once situated near the New Road into Creggan.

‘Eejit’ - a foolish person.

F is for...

‘Frankie Ramsey’s’ - one of the cities most famous eateries, located on William Street.

‘Fire’ - used to describe the act of throwing something - “he fired a stone at me”.

G is for...

‘Gack’ - a foolish person.

‘Gone’ - used to cajole, e.g. “gone go to the shop for me”.

H is for...

‘Happy days’ - fantastic.

‘Hoop’ - a person’s buttocks.

I is for...

‘In de’ - to look favourably upon something/someone - e.g. “He’s really in de you” - “He likes you”.

‘Is that you now?’ - used to ask if a person has finished what they are doing.

J is for...

‘Jammie’ - lucky.

‘JED’ - a humorous column that used to appear in The Derry Journal.

K is for...

‘Kick’ - used to threaten someone with violence - “I’ll kick your head in”.

‘Kicks’ - as in ‘Teenage Kicks’ - a song written and performed by Derry punk rock band ‘The Undertones’.

L is for...

‘Lurred’ - pleased with one’s self - “I am all lurred”.

‘Lifted’ - arrested by the police - “did ye hear he got lifted last night”.

M is for...

‘Member’ - do you recall? - e,g, “do you member the time...?”

‘Mucker’ - a friend or pal.

N is for...

‘Naw’ - no.

‘Nets’ - goalkeeping duties during a game of soccer - “hi, it’s your turn in nets”.

O is for...

‘Offie’ - Off-sales, a place that sells alcohol.

‘On yer bike’ - please leave.

P is for...

‘Poke’ - a whipped ice-cream.

‘Pure’ - unmistakable, pure - e.g. “that poke was pure lovely”.

Q is for...

‘Quare’ - scale of size - e.g. “yer man has a quare size a head on him”.

R is for...

‘Ragin.com’ - angry - e.g. “yer woman was ragin.com when the peelers lifted her”.

‘Ripped’ - embarrassed, made a fool of - e.g. “Mickey ripped you there now when he said something about the size of yer head”.

S is for...

‘Saunter’ - please move along.

‘Steady’ - used to describe the status of a romantic relationship - e.g. “I’ve been goin steady for two years”.

‘Sausage roll bap’ - a sausage roll placed in a bap often with butter with red and/or brown sauce.

T is for...

‘Tellin’ - to make a third party aware of the misdemeanours of a certain person e.g. “I’m tellin me mammy on you”.

‘Tap’ - borrow - e.g. “could I tap ye for some money?”.

U is for...

‘Up a tree in Rosemount’ - used to convey one’s lack of knowledge about a particular situation.

V is for...

‘Visitors’ - people who regularly call to your house, often uninvited.

W is for...

‘Wee’ - small e.g. “please enter your wee pin number” and “what’s your wee telephone number?”

X is for...

‘X-Works jeans’ - a popular fashion item worn in Derry in the 1990s.

Y is for...

‘Yip’ - yes.

‘Yousins’ - a group of people - e.g. “I am so lucky to have friends like yousins”.

Z is for...

‘Zip it’ - be quiet.