10 Words That Only Have A Meaning Up North

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One of the most endearing traits about the North of England, aside from the certainty of some kind of precipitation, is its ability to keep a such a distinctive language alive.

As a native 'Northerner', your vocabulary will be filled with words that only make sense your side of the River Trent, something you'll soon discover on trips down south or through encounters with 'Southerners'.

While broad northern accents - with short 'a' (bath, grass, laugh) and long 'u' sounds (book, look, cook) - can be understood, there are some words that just have to be translated. And here they are. Ten words that only have a meaning up t'North...

1. Noughty

A state more severe than sulky. If someone is noughty they are stressed and being stroppy.

2. Ginnel

A small alleyway. Such passage ways may exist all over the country but only in the North are they called a 'ginnel'

3. Barm Cakes

A bacon barm cake, a cheese and tomato barm cake or a ham salad barm cake? Sound strange to you? Barm cakes are infact just bread rolls.

4. M'duck

A term of endearment coming from a Northerner.

5. Mithering

A word that describes a feeling of irritation or annoyance. If someone calls you mithering, you're bothering them in some way.



A rum'n is a name given to a cheeky person.

7. Daft as a brush

A phrase used to describe someone who is silly or unknowing.

8. Tarra

means 'Goodbye'



A conveniently shortened name for spectacles of glasses. If some asks 'Pass me by bins,' pass them their spectacles.

10. Bairn

Bairn is another word for child. 'My bairns' means 'my children'.