Derry Girls: Bout ye, hi! Are ye lured it’s back?

Thanks to Lisa McGee’s creation, people throughout the world have become used to hearing the Derry accent and appreciating the scope of our language.

By William Allen
Monday, 11th April 2022, 7:23 pm

When the series first launched on Channel 4 a few years ago, it was accompanied by a glossary of terms, which nobody who lives on the banks of the Foyle will ever need. But it proved to be a wise move, as Derry Girls became a worldwide hit. Many tourists, especially from the United States, are now landing in Ireland and asking: “Bout ye, hi. How do we get to Derry?”

But they aren’t, of course, the first Americans to want to learn the Derry lingo. Many US sailors were based here at US Naval Command Station for decades in the last half of the 20th century.

And they produced a glossary of terms of their own so colleagues could understand phrases spoken by Derry wans.

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Erin Quinn ( brilliantly played by Saoirse Monica Jackson)

In a nostalgia section, the USNAVCOMMSTA website posted its glossary with this message: “Do You Remember these Derry Terms .......? Guaranteed to bring a smile to your face and warmth to your heart!”

It wasn’t a complete Derry dictionary but the Americans probably captured enough of the language to be able to buy stews or appreciate being told the latest bars. In alphabetical order they learned their ABCs, such as Away Wi The Fairies, Beaten Docket and Cat Melodeon.

These pictures from the USNAVCOMMSTA website show how much they learned on the streets of Derry as their vocabularies grew to contain phrases like Bat in the Mouth and Broke to the Bone and they enjoyed heading off to the bakery for a Lock of Wee Buns.

If you want to know more about speaking proper Derry click here