It’s English, but not as you know it…………….. “ay up me duck”

In my many visits to Lithuania I have had discussions with both friends and professional colleagues about visiting the UK and the first thing they usually say is “I am going to London.” I then have to explain that London is not part of the UK, it is a separate country inhabited by people who have little of nothing in common with the rest of the UK and think that the “North of England” starts just outside the M25 motorway.

Angelina Jolie used the phrase

Angelina Jolie used the phrase “ay up me duck”at the Hollywood Film Awards when presenting Jack O’Connell with an award

Many of my Lithuanian friends / colleagues speak excellent English and indeed, have a command of the language far in excess of many of the international students I have met studying at British universities. The problem is that when they come to the UK and visit different parts of the country they find the varying regional dialects totally bemusing. A very good friend of mine visited East Anglia (Norwich) and had difficulty understanding the locals………. as indeed I would.

But more confusion is to come as they visit Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and if they venture “north of the border” they have not a “cat in hells” chance of understanding the locals in Glasgow (the accent in Edinburgh is a little more refined).

Dialect for beginners

Dialect for beginners

When Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie introduced Derby actor Jack O’Connell with the phrase “ay up me duck”  (an East Midlands greeting) at an awards ceremony she left most members of the audience baffled.

So, to help visitors to the UK feel a little bit more at home I have listed some of the greetings they are likely to encounter on their travels…………….so best of luck with these.

And if it is any consolation, I as a proud Lancastrian (and Englishman) have real trouble understanding “scousers” “brumies” “geordies” and “glaswegians”……….the very strong accents are totally bemusing.

As a quick aside, when I moved to Sheffield in the late 70s (from Lancashire) I found that all the men addressed each other as “love” e.g. the male bus conductor said to me “that will be 25 pence love”………..quite unnerving!

UK dialect greetings…………………..

“Alright me babber?” – Bristol

“Alright/alreet chuck” or “Hiya love” – Lancashire

“Alright Yessir?” – Isle of Man

“Alright cock/cocker” – Manchester & Wolverhampton

“Kidda” – Liverpool and Manchester

“Lad” or “La” – Liverpool

“Hey duck” – Stoke

“Alright my lover” – Bristol

“Alreet hinny” – Tyneside

“My luvver” – West Country

“All right, bor?” – Norfolk and Suffolk

“Ay up cock” and “How you doing, cock?” – South Yorkshire

“Alright Babby” or “bab” – Birmingham

“Hen” – Glasgow

Partly sourced from BBConline.

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