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Obviously, there's a whole load of different accents, ranging from a sort of soft generic Lancashire to that grating Stretford one that sounds halfway to Scouse
I'm interested in this sort of thing, so I'm gonna describe the Manc accent I know best - North Manc/Salford... Cheetham, Broughton, Prestwich sort of thing. You cnuts can correct me if I'm wrong and tell me variations.
I'm going to keep the technical terms to a minimum, for fear of sounding like Feadingseagulls.
The long 'a' of BBC English, as in 'bath', is pronounced short and quite closed, the same as in 'bat'
Long 'a' compensating for a missing 'r', as in 'large', is pronounced long, but is a more closed sound than in BBC English, closer to a long 'a' in Italian or French
The diphtong 'ai' has lost some of the 'i', it's still there, but the sound is closer to a long 'a' than in BBC English, where it's a pure "ai", and many kinds of Midland, Cockney and Southern English where it veers towards "oi"
Short unstressed 'e' is pronounced like BBC 'i', eg 'Manchister'
'ee' at the end of words is often shortened to 'i', and some pronounce as a short 'e' - as immortalised in 'Citeh'
In the long 'o' of 'road', there's a lot of divergence. In BBC English it's a diphthong composed of a short neutral "uh" (like the 'er' in badger), followed by a short 'u' (as in 'put'). My relatives do the same, I think, but with a more extended first 'uuh'. But I've also heard it as a long closed vowel, a bit like the 'aw' in 'lawn', or a long version of the French 'au'. But my hunch is that's more of a Bolton thing.
'u' (as in 'cnut', not as in 'United') is pronounced like the 'u' in 'put'. I don't think you get the long 'oo' (as in 'spook') there until you get much further North, towards Blackburn
Initial 'h' is often dropped
There's a glottal stop for 't' in the middle of and sometimes at the end of words, as in "ba'er" (batter), "wen' " (went). Not sure if the same thing happens to 'p' after a rounded vowel, as it does in some Cockney accents("su'ermarket", "su'agoaws")
The 'g' in 'ng' is often pronounced as a separate consonant on the end of the 'ng' - "I thought she was ming-ging-g if I'm honest"
In general, consonants are similar to most other accents as far as I can make out - unlike Scouse, which among other things turns final 'k' to 'ch'/'h' (A'll do i' nechst fuchin weeh!), turns some 't's into 's's and 'r's "Iss gerrin berrer all the time (berrer, berrer, be-e-rrer)")
Non-Mancs may wish to learn from this BBC programme (click on the link on the site for audio)
abdabs - n, pl - Fear bordering on mortal terror, e.g. "it gives me the screaming abdabs every time Cilla Black starts to sing."
acting up - v - To become agitated, possibly aggressive. see also arsey.
aggro - n - Shortened form of aggravation, meaning trouble or grief. "Christ I was so bladdered when I got in last night I'm gonna cop a load of aggro off the breadknife"
aint - isn't. also aintit isn't it? See Intit/Innit for more northern mancunian pronunciation.
all to cock - adj - Wrong, messed up, cocked up, e.g. "We'd got Richardson at left back, Giggs and Rooney at centre back, Cathy Ferguson at right back and O Shea in goal. Our back line was all to cock."
alright - n - Hello. An abbreviated form of "Are you alright?". Advisory to users, saying "Alright", and particularly "Alright our kid" in a nasal whine is unacceptable unless you actually are from Burnage. You will not sound like a Manc, you will sound like a twat.
ankle-biters - n, pl - Small children and babies.
arrows - n, pl - [pron: arr-uhs] - Darts or the game of darts.
arse about - v - To mess about or waste time, e.g. "stop arsing about with the stepovers and leather it Ronnie."
arse about face - adj - Confused, e.g. "You've got it all arse about face officer, I was just trying to help the unfortunate City fan up with my foot."
arsed - v - To be motivated, often used in the negative sense when describing the absence of motivation, e.g. "I can't be arsed working, I'm off down the pub"
arseholed - adj - very, very drunk.
arse-on - n - a foultemper, bad mood or sulk, e.g. "United lost and I've got a right arse-on"
arsey - v - To become agitated, possibly aggressive, e.g. "Don't get arsey with me you bitter blue git". see also acting up.
aye - Yes. The length to which the word is stretched directly relates to how strongly you agree with the person.
bag o' shite - n - crap, rubbish, bobbins
bags - n - skids, skivvies, underpants
banger - n - sausage or clapped out car
banging - adj - excellent, great, bazzin'
barm-cake - n - large bread bun also referred to as an oven bottom or a muffin. lunatic.
barm-pot - n - idiot, lunatic
barmy - adj - mad, crazy. Often used to describe large groups of boisterous but merry fans particularly at t'other Old Trafford when "Atherton's Barmy Army" were in full voice.
barney - n - fight, scuffle, ruck
bazzin - adj - excellent, great, banging
beak - n - magistrate, judge
belting - adj - admirable, very good, e.g. "'99 was a belting season" - v beating, e.g. "you'll get a right belting when your old man gets home you little barsteward"
bender - n - heavy continuous drinking session, e.g. "On a bender" - n homosexual
bevvy - n - alcoholic drink e.g. "Just popping out for a quick bevvy" or group noun for beautiful birds, e.g. "a bevvy of beauties"
bevvied - adj - drunk
bin dipper - n - scouser, usually from the red half of Murkeydive. origin Most likely from the United chant "In your Liverpool Slums" which describes scousers who "look in the dustbin for something to eat, you find a dead rat and you think it's a treat"
bingowings - n, pl - flaps of skin beneath the triceps usually seen on the old ladies down the mecca.
bint - n - stupid woman
bird - n - girlfriend
bitter - n - cask or bottled malt beer or pale ale usually served at room temperature with a creamy white head, Boddingtons bitter was brewed in Manchester at the Strangeways brewery adjacent to the prison. - n - Manchester City fan most likely due to their bitter whining obsession with United.
bladdered - adj - very drunk
blag - v - to steal, to rob or to trick ones way into a situation, e.g. "they blagged the bookies", "he blagged his way onto the guest list"
blighty - n - England, this sceptred isle, capital of which is of course Manchester (just don't tell the poor deluded cockneys)
bloke - n - man
blotto - adj - extremely drunk, possibly to the point of losing consciousness
blue-nose - n - bitter, supporter of Manchester City
bobbins - adj - crap, rubbish, bag'o'shite
boddies - n - Boddingtons Bitter, brewed for over 200 years at the Strangeways brewery in Manchester until some dozy twonks decided to shift production to Wales in 2004
bog - n - toilet, shithouse, khazi
bollocking - n - shouting at, scolding, e.g. "He got a right bollocking for forgetting her birthday"
bollocksed - adj - very drunk - v messed up, e.g. "you bollocksed that up"
bonk - v - copulate, make love, shag
bonkers - adj - crazy, mad
boozer - n pub
boss - adj - great, e.g. "United are boss"
bottle - v - to lose ones nerve, e.g. "he got through on goal but bottled it"
brass - n - money, cash, dosh
brassed off - adj - fed up, miserabled, e.g. "He'll be brassed off come Monday if United lose"
brassic - adj - out of money, broke, skint, e.g. "Spielberg's next film is set in Liverpool, it's apparently called Brassic Park
brassy - adj - cold or bold
brekkie - n - breakfast
buggerall - n - none, zero e.g. "City have got buggerall chance"
bunkum - n - nonsense, rubbish, crap, e.g. "don't talk bunkum"
butty - n - sandwich
cadge - v or n - to beg for something, e.g. "on the cadge"
caned - adj - very drunk
cake hole - n - mouth, e.g. "shut your cake hole you gobshite"
canned - adj - very drunk
cheeky - adj - impish or playfully mischievous, e.g."you cheeky bugger"
cheeky vimto - n - Mancunian cocktail, only related to vimto by it’s colour, actually a vile sounding mix of port and Blue WKD likely to induce vimtoing
chuffed - n - overjoyed, pleased, happy
chuffin - adj - bad, rubbish, bobbins or may be used as an adverb or exclamation, e.g. "chuffin' eck"
ciggy - n - cigarette
clock - v - to see, e.g. "he clocked a tasty bird" or hit, e.g. "his wife was unimpressed and clocked him with her handbag"
clout - v - to hit - n - influence
cobblers - n - nonsense, rubbish, bollocks
cock - n - cordial name for a bloke, eg "how's it going cock?", penis, rooster, proud and confident male who is generally considered to be the best/toughest around, e.g. "We are the pride of all Europe, The cock of the North, We hate the scousers and cockneys of course"
codswallop - n - nonsense, rubbish
coffin dodger - n - old person, codger, fogey
cop off - v - to succeed in chatting up someone
cracking - adj - excellent, top, very good
crap - n - rubbish, bollocks, bobbins
cream crackered - n - tired, knackered
crikey - n - surprised exclamation
crumpet - n - attractive female, hot chick or a yeast and flour based bread product normally served at brekkie
curry mile - n - Rusholme, Manchester's gastronomic heart
dead - adj - very, e.g.'dead good' - n - finished, extinguished
dibble - n - police, after Officer Dibble from TopCat
dipstick - n - Idiot, wanker, wally, prat
dipper - n - thief, pickpocket, scouser [see bin dipper]
dischuffed - adj - unhappy, miserable, e.g. "dischuffed to t'knickers"
divvy - n - Idiot, wanker, wally, prat
dodgy - adj - dubious, iffy
donkeys years - n - ages, yonks, the period of time since Liverpool last won the league
do one - v - leave, depart.
dosh - n - brass, cash, money
doss - adj - easy, eg "it was a doss" - v - to skive, idle or slack off e.g. "doss around or doss off"
draw - n - pot, hash, marijuana, Dennis Law
drop a bollock - make a mistake
duck or ducks - n - general term of endearment in greeting similar to luv. More typically used by northern Mancunians than pet but as with both pet and luv is often used regardless of age or gender of the recipient. e.g. "alright ducks"
duff - v - to beat up, e.g. "duffed up". "Up the duff" however means pregnant
dunnit or duntit - doesn't it
Ecky Thump - int - north Manchester expression of surprise
The Emperor of Lancashire - music hall entertainer George Formby
filth - n - the police
fisherman’s friend - n - strong tasting candy lozenge created in Fleetwood in Lancashire originally as a respiratory aid for fishermen working in the difficult climate of the North Atlantic.
fit - adj - attractiveness of female, e.g."she's dead fit"
footy - n - the beautiful game
foreigner - n - moonlighting or personal work usually done in secret for cash often while supposedly working for somebody else, e.g. "He were doing a foreigner decorating his mates house for a few pints while the boss thought he were at a meeting.
freakydancing - n - shuffling dancing style often waving invisible maracas patented by Bez of the Happy Mondays
frig - v - to mess about, to doss e.g. "stop frigging about"
full whack - n - full price, without discount, e.g. "bugger off, I'm not paying full whack for that bag of shite"
fuckwit - n - complete idiot
fuddyduddy - n - uncool, usually used to describe older people
gab - v - talk idly, chat, gossip
gaffer - n - the boss, superisor, foreman
get - n - Northern spelling and pronunciation of 'git', e.g. "you spawny get"
girls blouse - n - soft or effeminate male e.g."give over you nancy boy"
give over - v - as an instruction "stop it" or as an expression of disbelief "Schmeichel's signed for City! Give over"
give us a bell or give us a tinkle - "call me", "phone me"
gob - n - mouth e.g. "blimey, she's got a gob on her"
gob, gobbing - v - spit, spitting
gobshite - n - mouthy get, an irritating person, a braggart
'gobsmacked - adj - surprised, shocked
God's cops - n - Nickname of the Greater Manchester police thanks to one time Chief police officer and full time God bothering beardy weirdie Sir James Andertongoolies - n - knackers, nads, testicles, happy sack
graft - v,n - work, toil, labour e.g. "It was hard graft", "He may not have been the most talented but he was a grafter"
grannystabber - n - Scouser
grub - n - scran, food
grundies - n - skivvies, underpants
gurning - v - yonner passtime second only to Morris Dancing. Contestants screw up their faces, often assisted by the complete absence of teeth and self esteem, the victor is entitled to wear a horse's bridle or in some cases a toilet seat proclaiming their feat.
half cut - adj - very drunk
half-inch - v - steal/pinch
hank marvin - adj - hungry, starving
head-the-ball - n - lunatic, nutter
herbert - n - idiot, wanker, wally, pillock, e.g. "He was being a right herbert"
iffy - adj - dubious, questionable, dodgy, e.g. "it were an iffy penalty but what can you expect when the referee's got a white stick"
intit or innit - isn't it, e.g. "intit grand when United win"
jessie - n - a soft person,e.g. "you great southern jessie"
jib - v - blag, to avoid paying for something by trickery or deception
jibber - n - a person who jibs, e.g. the Inter City Jibbers (ICJ), United's more boisterous fans of the 70s and 80s earned their nickname due to their refusal to pay for the train services to and from games.
jimmy - n - a piss, e.g. "I'm going for a jimmy" shortened from jimmy riddle/piddle
kaibosh - n - ruin, wreck, e.g. "to put the kaibosh on"
kecks - n - trousers
kecking it - adj - scared, to the point of soiling ones kecks
knackered - adj - very tired or broken, sometimes shortened to knacked
knackers - n - balls, bollocks, testicles can be used as an expression of shock or disgust
knickers - n - female undergarment, panties, may be used as an exclamation of disbelief, e.g. "Schmeichel's signed for City?, knickers"
lad - n - boy, may be used in the plural to signify kinship e.g. "All me lads and lasses there with smiles upon their faces, walking down the Warwick Road, to see Matt Busby's aces"
lamp - v - to hit, punch e.g. "Keano lamped Shearer for being a jumped up Geordie gobshite"
larroped - adj - yet another Mancunian term for innebriated
lass - n - girl, as with lad, may be used in the plural to signify kinship
lasts - n - from last orders, last call, pre 24 hour licensing laws, the bell rung to give everyone 10 minutes to buy a final drink and 20 minutes supping up time
leave it out - "you're kidding", "don't be so stupid"
leg it - v - run, scarper, scatter e.g. "leg it, it's the rozzers"
lift - n - free ride, e.g. "give us a lift"
local - n - neighbourhood pub e.g. "just popping down local for lasts"
lock-in - n - the reason you never got back from the local after lasts, illicit after hours drinking session in which the kindly landlord would lock the doors to protect his loyal clientelle from the prying eyes of the law. A curious anomally of this tradition was that despite rarely seeing the constabulary in the boozer during regulation hours, half the patrons hiding from the law at any given lock in were policemen.
loopy - adj - mad, crazy
loopyjuice - n - highly alcoholic drinks
lose the plot, lose the script - v - to go mad, act irrationally
luv - n - general term of endearment in greeting similar to duck or pet. As with both pet and luv is often used regardless of age or gender of the recipient. e.g. "alright luv"
mad for it - adj - extremely keen, enthusiastic. The phrase that in Shaun Ryder's nasal twang briefly turned Manchester into...
Madchester - A music, drug and football fuelled party state that Manchester metamorphosed into in the early 1990s and has still to fully emerge from. Ian Brown Stone Roses lead singer famously commented 'the only way Manchester could be any better is if it had a beach', proof that the Manchester party is still going on at least in the heads of Manchester's city planners with the occasional resurfacing of the idea to build that beach on the banks of the river Irwell.
Malarkey - n - Nonsense, fuss, commotion. Eg ‘What's all the malarkey?’
Mancunian - [pron: man'kyooneeun] - n - A person from Manchester. adjective Relating to or characteristic of the city of Manchester or Mancunians in general. Commonly abbreviated to Manc.
Not to be confused with Manchurian which relates to an ancient race in China or Mancurian which means sweet fuck all but still seems to confuse a fair few caf visitors.
Mardarse - n - Wimp, wuss, crybaby and general softarse. Not to be confused with the Arctic Monkeys phrase "Mardy Bum" which while sharing a common etymology and certainly scanning well in a damned fine song is a much more mardarsed expression which no self respecting Manc would use.
Mardypants - n - A softer alternative to the word mardarse,
mersey trout - n - Turd, stool, fecal waste derived from the only fish-shaped items in the river Mersey
mither - v - To moan, whinge or hassle. Kids mithering for an ice cream at the beach for instance. The wife mithering you to take her shopping
morris dancing - v - Lancastrian hillbilly fertility dance performed in straw boaters, bib and braces with bells, clogs, hankys, sticks and a slack jawed lack of brain
muffin - n - North Manchester bread roll, barm-cake. Not to be confused with the American confectionary unless sausage and egg on a blueberry cupcake appeals to you.
mucker - n - friend, mate e.g. "how you doing? me old mucker"
nancy boy - n - mardarse, girls blouse
nick - n - police-station
nicked - adj or v - stolen or arrested e.g. "I saw you nick the telly, you're nicked"
nippers - n - ankle biters, sprogs, kids
nobble - v - sabotage particularly in fixing competitions e.g. "The horse ws nobbled"
no offence mate - "well there was, but I was only having a laugh, honest"
nosh - n - grub, scran, food
nowt - n - nothing, antonym of owt e.g "bread's better with nowt taken out" from Hovis' ad campaigns
nutter - n - madman, lunatic, nutcase
offy or offie - n - short of off license, liquor store
our kid - n - sibling, brother/sister [see warning note on advisable usage under alright]
owt - n - anything, e.g. "he doesn't know owt about nowt"
pet - n - general term of endearment in greeting similar to luv or duck. Not as typically Mancunian hailing more from the Geordie vernacular but as with both duck and luv is often used regardless of age or gender of the recipient. e.g. "alright pet"
quid - n - pound, currency of Great Britain, e.g. "where's that six quid you owe me?" which is not a request for an ill cephalopod
rank - adj - unpleasant
rat-arsed - adj - very drunk
right - very, e.g. "he's a right pillock" [pron. may be pronounced as write in central and southern Manchester or reet in north Manchester areas such as Bury or Oldham]
ropey - adj - dubious, dodgy, lacking quality
rozzers - n pl - the police
ruby - n - curry; rhyming slang from ruby murray
ruck - n - fight, scuffle, barney
swanking - v - to be swanky
swanky - adj - smartly or flashily dressed, can be used either in admiration or in a sarcastic sense e.g. "you're lookin' swanky tonight luv" or "By 'eck, check out swanky pants over there"
UB40 - n - Unemployment Benefit Form 40, means of identity on Merseyside without which the giros would dry up and the city would starve.
uni-brow - n - unattractive facial hair where thick hair over the bridge of the nose creates the appearance of a single uninterrupted eyebrow, as sported by gobshite City fans (and sadly damned fine musicians) Liam and Noel Gallagher
up north - n - Gods country where people are friendly, great football resides and you can get gravy on your chips.
victory-v - n - sweet lozenge similar to Fishermen’s Friends but even stronger in flavour. Originally made in Nelson, Lancashire with a recipe that included chloroform among the ingredients. The greatest mortal enemy of kids trick or treating in the UK as some miserable old codger would always manage to sneak one in.
vimto - n - a Mancunian fruit-drink (do they grow fruit in Manchester?) responsible for the colour of Alan Smith’s lips.
vimtoing - v - vomiting, more a spoonerism than a comment on the taste of vimto although those on the cheeky vimto might draw closer analogies.
wallah - n - a workman, usually subordinate
wally - n - prat, burk, idiot
wanker - n - prat, idiot, wally. Etymologically meaning one who masturbates but no longer considered to be highly offensive.
wankered - adj - very, very drunk
well - adv - very, e.g. “I'm well chuffed Leeds got relegated”
whackybaccy - n - pot, hash, draw, marijuana
wideboy - n - self opinionated wanker, gobshite or flah Harry, quite often prefixed with the adjective cockney.
wigan pier - n or adj - queer, either meaning strange or gay, homosexual, e.g. "That last pint were dodgy, I came over all wigan pier right after" or "Ashley Cole, married? Nah, he’s a wigan pier in't he?"
woodentops - n - cops, police
X - n - slang name for ecstasy, E, MDMA. Class A drug which became fashionable at the start of the Madchester revolution, not reputed to be strongly hallucinogenic but when you look back at what we wore you have to have your doubts.
yonks - n, pl - a long time, ages ago, e.g. "it's been yonks since Shitty won owt"
yonner - n - Lancastrian yokel, usually hailing from Blackburn or Oswaldtwistle and often accused of inbreeding (and clog dancing, which is even worse)
zero - n - chance of City winning anything of note for yonks