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Fab Nottinghamshire words and phrases – ‘ton telly off’ and have a read, duck!

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Why not ‘ton telly off’ and have a read of this, my duck?

The wonderful Nottinghamshire dialect is one we’re all accustomed to – with words and phrases you just don’t often seem to hear in other parts of the country.

Whether something ‘meks yer tabs laugh’, your car ‘waint wok’ or calling roundabouts ‘islands’ – we’re rightfully very proud of the way we talk.

Read more: How Nottingham’s historic Stanley House with spectacular viewing tower was saved from demolition

So much so, in fact, we’ve decided to compile a list of just some of our favourite sayings; some you’ll be very familiar with, but others … well … see for ‘yerself’!

Richard Hughes kicks things off by telling us to stop laughing, or rather ‘shuruplaffin’!



'Whoworriwe, worrionistod?'
‘Whoworriwe, worrionistod?’

Nerina Cressey notes that ‘it isn’t in the tin’, or rather ’tintintin’, whereas Sarah Motson advises to ‘ton telly off’ – switch off the television set.

Laura Tomlinson questioned whether ‘brushing your tegs’ – as in teeth – was something only found in Nottinghamshire, while June Houldcroft would ‘go to foot of our stairs and back’ for an answer.

Sheena Maclean was born and bred in Devon but has lived in Nottinghamshire for 20 years.

She said “Every time I go home to visit family I accidentally say ‘cob’ instead of roll … they look at me like I’ve just spoken French!”

Wendy J Whiley was the first to mention the classic ‘ayup me duck’ or ‘duck-eh’, while Sue-Adam Wagstaff complained of pain in ‘me shoder’ (shoulder).

There were a few local phrases that came to mind for Vanessa Barry – namely ‘oya guwin darn twitchel?’ (are you going down the alleyway?); ‘it looks black ova bills mothers’ (it’s going to rain over there) and ‘terrare duck’ (bye).

Does anywhere else in the country call roundabouts ‘islands’?

Brian Richerby thinks that is very much a Nottinghamshire thing.

Mitchall Thomson’s mind was cast right back to his school days with the phrase ‘don’t beg it’ being uttered by his bullies.

We got some fantastic phrases from Maria Allison Black, who came up with: ‘geritt’ (get it); ‘yo mashing?’ (are you making a cup of tea?); ‘gizit’ (give it to me); ‘ave got a right dose? (I’ve got a terrible cold).



There are so many wonderful phrases unique to Nottinghamshire
There are so many wonderful phrases unique to Nottinghamshire

Maria also came up with ‘giz a goob’ (can I have a sweet?) and noticed true old-school Nottingham slang means that you don’t pronounce the ‘h’ in all words, “such as ‘ouse’ or ‘ello’”, she says.

Elsewhere Suzanne Calladine was confused to hear a cousin telling her she was ‘firkin out the lobby hole’ – which meant ‘clearing out under the stairs’!

Interestingly, Elaine Goodwin Newcomb said she thinks the word is ‘feckling’ rather than ‘firkin’.

She said: “I think it is ‘feckling out the scullery’. It is a saying most used from years past by Mansfield and Nottinghamshire people.”

Elaine said she had never heard the phrase ‘bottoming the kitchen’ until her mum used it.



'I am just going to get my tabs lowered'
‘I am just going to get my tabs lowered’

“I asked her what it meant and she told me it means to really clean it up – from top to bottom”.

Teacher Andrea Sands says she recalled teaching her first class in Hyson Green in 1969, and hearing the phrase ‘bat ‘im round is tabs’ if she had any trouble.

‘It’s a bit dark over Bill’s mothers’ is a phrase meaning that rain is on its way, says Ken Barson, while Joan Duncum wondered if ‘pikelets’ (instead of crumpets) was a Nottinghamshire thing.

A messy room would cause Debbie Crawford’s mum to remark ‘it’s like Jacky Pownalls in ‘ere’ while Ian Waterall would ‘get his tabs lowered’ if he was having his hair cut.

Maxine Jordan said ‘gis a tuffee’ (can I have a sweet?) while Caroline Newson said ‘you’re dead nesh’ means that you really feel the cold.

Sandra Stones told us to get into the house, or rather ‘gerrin th ahse’, and Ken Robinson said ‘it waint woc’ (it won’t work).

“Are you putting the kettle on?” asked Thomas Sewell, except he said ‘are ya mashing?’, while Evelyn Sloan advised us to ‘put log in ‘t’hole’ – meaning to shut the door.



Can you shot cottins?
Can you shot cottins?

Two phrases came to mind for Karen Spencer – ‘just gooing darn tarn’ (just going into town) and ‘gerr us a cheese cob’ (may I have a cheese roll).

Glenda Capon Blore calls ice lollies ‘suckers’ and Adam Bell likes the phrase ‘get yursen off when you’ve done’ and ‘I’ve bont me toas’ (I have burnt my toast).

Di Boulton asked us to ‘shot cottins’ (close the curtains), asked us ‘worra yer on wi?’ (what are you doing?) and told us to ‘stop having a cob on’ (being in a bad mood).

A variation of the latter was noted by Tony Anker, with the phrase ‘got munk on’.

Elsewhere, Nicola Burrows was in stitches at this list of words.

She told us: “I moved to Northern Ireland with a northern Irish fella and two boys born here … their faces were a picture seeing these phrases! When I moved I had to drop the slang and mellow my accent as no one understood me …. Now I can see why!”

The Nottingham Post’s brilliant new Memory Lane special commemorates Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with plenty of fantastic memories of her trips to our area and more. To avoid disappointment, place your order now at our online shop.

Love nostalgia? Have the best articles emailed to you for free with our nostalgia newsletter. Click here to see all Nottinghamshire Live’s newsletters.

Written by: thehitnetwork

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