The ultimate guide to Northern Slang: Part 1 – A to M

Northern Slang varies. The accent changes. The dialect’s different. It varies a lot. Which is strange really, considering those Southern folk all sound exactly the same to me! Anyway, we stumbled across Northern media collective Give Over, on Wow247, who have translated hundreds of slang terms for an upcoming picture book.

Here’s a selection from letters A to M, along with some helpful illustration



adjective \ˈaŋ-gin\

1. A sick feeling that comes after consuming too much alcohol or food at an earlier time.
2. Something so unpleasant to see, smell or taste that you feel slightly sick.

Origin: To experience something so awful it feels like being hanged by the neck until dead.

Synonyms: gross, minging, rough



adjective \ˈbra-sik\

Definition: Having no money. Very poor.

Origin: Comes from the medical dressing boracic lint, which rhymes with skint. Boracic is pronounced ‘brassic’. Also used by Cockneys but not as well.

Synonyms: broke, skint




verb \ˈkān\

Definition: To vigorously consume an item, in reference to food, cigarettes or alcohol.

Origin: An item is eaten, drank or smoked at breakneck speed similar to the fast swipes of a cane.

Synonyms: hammer, hog, leather


verb \ˈkläkt\

Definition: To see something of interest.

Origin: Relates to the face of a clock. To notice something means facing it, ergo clocking it.

Synonyms: seened, spied



noun \ˈdi-bəl\

Definition: One or more members of the police force.

Origin: Refers to Officer Dibble from the popular Top Cat cartoon series.

Synonyms: coppers, rozzers


adjective \ˈāg-bau̇nd\

Definition: To be constipated, usually from eating too many eggs.

Origin: Eggs have binding properties, which when consumed in large amounts can ‘bind’ up the guts preventing them from working as normal.

Synonyms: bunged-up




verb \ˈfa-vər\

Definition: To resemble someone or something to an eerie degree.

Synonyms: spits



noun \ˈfäd\

Definition: The part of the face above the eyes.

Origin: Shortening of the word forehead.

Synonyms: billy-big-bonce, slaphead



verb \ˈgip\

Definition: To be disgusted to the extent that results in a small unintentional vomit.

Origin: Onomatopoeic. The sound made as bile rises into the mouth.

Synonyms: vom



interjection \’ən-ət\

Definition: A meaningless noise used to add emphasis to the end of a statement or question.

Origin: Shortening of the term ‘isn’t it’.

Synonyms: eh eh, y’knar worra mean




adjective \ˈja-mē\

Definition: Having good luck, albeit undeserved.

Origin: From the popular biscuits Jammie Dodgers, which were named after the Beano character Roger The Dodger (a child famed for his ability to avoid chores and homework). Workers at the first Jammie Dodger factory in the mid 20th century were called ‘jammy’ due to their good fortune at working closely with delicious jam.

Synonyms: flukey



noun \ˈkip\

Definition: A deep state of rest during which your eyes are closed and you become unconscious.

Origin: Factory workers in the 19th and early 20th century would return home after a days shift to eat a large plate of kippers which would send them to sleep with a full belly. Also relates to the Danish word for a boarding house, ‘kippe’.

Synonyms: bobos, zone out

Lady Muck 


proper noun \ˈlā-dē mək\

Definition: A haughty person with ideas above their station.

Origin: The early 20th century socialite, Lady Norah Docker lived what was considered scandalous life for the era. ‘Lady Docker’ became a common term to describe someone who considered themselves high class despite evidence to the contrary. Over time the word ‘docker’ developed into the more derogatory word ‘muck’.

Synonyms: Mrs Fancypants, peas above sticks



noun \ˈməg-gənz\

Definition: Someone who is lumbered with thankless tasks, usually used about oneself and followed with the word ‘here’.

Origin: Adapting the term for street robbery, ‘mugging’, to refer to someone so malleable it is easy to take their time and possessions.

Synonyms: joey

*Yes, we know we’re missing a letter…but it wasn’t overly appropriate!

Love a bit of slang, don’t we?! But it’s not always appropriate. In fact, you should know exactly when it’s fine to use, and when to avoid at all costs! Take a look at our English Language courses here at The Sheffield College! We’ll help you out!


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