Know Your Local Lingo

If you’re a new student and not from this area, you’ll most definitely notice the unusual accent – the infamous Black Country dialect!

A term born of heavily industrialised 19th century West Midlands, the ‘Black Country’ dialect covers the majority of 4 boroughs – Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton. Although often confused with the Birmingham accent, they are actually separate! (But have merged somewhat over the years).

We wrote this article for you to get to know a little of the local lingo – so you’re not left feeling ockered (awkward) or looking yampy (daft). See if you can make out the meanings…

If you just got off the buz in Walsall and you caw find your way, don’t be afraid to aks for directions! But careful who you aks. If they look pretty kaylied, best to steer clear – yao doe wanna get lamped in the fizzog. But doe be gawpin’ neither.

If you get into a friendly conversation with one of our locals, don’t be alarmed if ‘e wants to introduce you to his cocka – tai what you think. You might find it hard to understand at fust, but tek yoewer time. Arr, we might speak a lickle backerds to you, but we’re proud of it. You go chunterin about it you might get a good cog winder.

The Black Country dialect can be pretty funny and take some getting used to! Here’s a quick list of some words that might be good to know (or have some fun with at least):

Black Country

Meaning

Black Country

Meaning

Afower

Before

Fust

First

Agen

Again

Gaffer

Boss

Aks

Ask

Gammy

Lame

Anunst

Against

Garn

Go on

Ar

Yes

Gawpin

Staring

Ay

Haven’t 

Goo

Go

Backerds

Backwards

Kaylied

Drunk

Barmpot

Silly person 

Lickle

Little

Bin

Been

Lugoles

Earholes

Bost

Broken 

Maulers

Hands

Buz

Bus

Myther

Mess around

Caggy-anded

Left handed

Ockered

Awkward

Cat-lick

Quick wash

‘ond

Hand

Caw

Can’t

Yampy

Daft

Chops

Mouth

Ow

How

Chunter

Grumble/mutter

Ow bist?

How are you?

Cocka

Mate

Smosh

Smash

Cog winder

Punch

Tara a bit

Goodbye

Cut

Canal

Taters

Potatoes

Day

Didn’t

Tay

It isn’t

Ditherin

Shivering

Tek

Take

Doe

Don’t

Thrape

Thrash

Fittle

Food

Tittle

Tickle

Fizzog

Face

Wao

Won’t

Gooin’ um

Going home

Yoewer

your

Away students, enjoy the difference! As for home students (who might notice your own use of some of these), take pride in your dialect! It is said to be the closest accent to that which Shakespeare would have spoken after all.

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