22 Things you only understand if you’re a Stokie

Having being born and lived in Stoke for over 20 years, you learn that your home city is a little bit different from others. We Stokies have an abundance of bizarre phrases and words thanks to the Potteries Dialect and there are some things people just don’t get unless they’re a Stokie.

I’m going to start this post with some of my favourite Stokie words, my top 25, taken from Terry Bossons’ book ‘Terry’s Pottersaurus – The Ducktionary of Stoke-on-Trent’:

Asthee – have you e.g. Asthee sayn owt up Anley? (Have you seen anything in Hanley?)

Ow at – how are you?

Birrer – a bit of e.g. Al ‘av a birra tha (I’ll have a bit of that)

Bo – ball e.g. footbo

Brok – broken

Bosted – ugly. Alt. Bost – burst

Bothdee – Birthday

Canst – can you e.g. canst chuck us telly box? (can you pass me the television remote?)

Chaykee – cheeky

Clemt – hungry e.g. Am clemt deeth (I am starving to death)

Duck – endearment term e.g. Ay up, duck

Eeyar – here you go

Her/his/me/thee sen – her/his/my/yourself e.g. get theesen a cowt on it’s frayzeen (get yourself a coat on it’s freezing)

Hoss – a horse

Lobby – stew, but better than stew anywhere else in the country

Mack – make

Mar lady – my lady/girlfriend/wife

Moanin – morning

Nesh – someone who doesn’t deal well with the cold e.g. Am goin inside am a bit nesh

Ockered – awkward

Orate – alright

Snappin – food e.g. need get some snappin down ya

Thay knowst? – do you know?

Wom – home e.g. goin wom? (going home?)

It’s not only our dialect that confuses outsiders though – there is so much that only Stokie’s understand.

  1. There are two types of people in the world: people who worship oatcakes like the food of the Gods they are, and people who need to move out of Stoke ASAP (oatcake lovers can also be split into two categories: folders and rollers – for the record, I’m a roller)oat
  2. Look, book and cook are spelled with double -ook not a -uck and so we say it how it’s spelled (we say it right the rest of the country is wrong)
  3. Love him or loathe him, everyone knows, is related to, went to school with or dated Robbie Williams (or his Dad)  rob
  4. The ‘Blo Clock’ (blue clock) is the universal meeting point in Hanley blue
  5. You support Stoke City or Port Vale, regardless of whether or not you follow football. When someone asks you who you support, you answer wisely as you will forever be judged on your choice
  6. No-one knows where Stoke-on-Trent is, so you end up just saying ‘somewhere between Manchester and Birmingham’
  7. You don’t quite understand the North/South rivalry at uni. Being in the Midlands, you’d think you could just sit on the fence. When your fellow students force it upon you to pick a side – pick North.
  8. There’s Stoke and then there’s actual Stoke, actual Stoke being Stoke town itself, the town of Stoke within the city of Stoke-on-Trent
  9. Stoke-on-Trent is made up of six towns, just to confuse people even more – Hanley, Fenton, Longton, Boslem, Tunstall and Stoke
  10. Checking under crockery to see if it was made in Staffordshire and feeling proud when you do find one spode
  11. There is a right and wrong side of an oatcake don’t even try to fight me on this one
  12. There are two types of clubbers: people who go out to The Mill, The Underground and The Exchange… and people who go to Chicagos, Walkabout and Fiction
  13. Always looking forward to the Christmas panto at The Regent with local hero Jonathan Wilkes
  14. Being terrified by the Man of Fire sculpture on the side of The Potteries and being convinced it was going to climb down and chase you down Trinity Streetspikey
  15. It’s UP ‘Anley and DOWN ‘Castle
  16. Only Stokie’s are allowed to say Stoke’s a shithole, if an outsider says it then a Stokie will defend their home to the hills
  17. When Stoke Dialect is mentioned, the phrase ‘cost kick a bo agen a wo en yed it on yed til it bost’ is never too far behind
  18. Hearing the Wayne Walkers advert on Signal 1 and cringing a bit at the accent
  19. Blackpool is Costa del Sol for Stokie’s (unless your house it lit up like it)
  20. Every road leads to Rome, unless you live in Stoke; in which case every road leads you to the other end of the city before you can get where you need to be
  21. If there’s a crash on the D-road, there’s literally no point leaving the house. You won’t get far. It breaks the city.
  22. No matter where in the world you are, Stoke is home. That will never change. You can take the Stokie out of the city, but you can’t get rid of that bleeding accent.


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  1. Simon shuff
    July 9, 2017 / 9:40 pm

    Gud un duck xxx

  2. Linda Brannan
    July 10, 2017 / 10:53 am

    My dad was a real potter and I remember that for ‘ can you’ he would say. ‘Cost’ as in ‘ cost kick’ rather than ‘canst’ .

    • Ray Parkes
      July 16, 2017 / 8:40 am

      And the little ditty “Cost kick a bo agen a wo and jed it till it bosts” 🙂

      • Ray Parkes
        July 16, 2017 / 8:41 am

        Franked – to be late, what a great word, where did it come from? Some guy named Frank who was always late?

  3. Jimbo
    July 10, 2017 / 4:49 pm

    Hi Jude
    What about mithered or buzzed or franked?
    Contact me if they wansdt knew abite it!
    Up the Potters!

  4. July 10, 2017 / 5:09 pm

    Two items you forgot to mention, 1. Captain Edward J Smith the captain of the Titanic came from Stoke-on-Trent. 2. R.J. Mitchell the designer of the Spitfire came also from Stoke-on-Trent.

  5. Kezzer
    July 10, 2017 / 8:18 pm

    Wonna may (it wasn’t me),

    • Ray Parkes
      July 16, 2017 / 8:47 am

      Dad used to say he was going to Margate for holidays –
      Mar Gate and back. (My gate)

  6. Mark Porter
    July 10, 2017 / 8:25 pm

    One correction. ‘Stoke Town’ is officially called Stoke upon Trent, not Stoke Town, with wider area known as Stoke on Trent.

  7. July 10, 2017 / 10:07 pm

    Are there really people who fold their oatcakes? That’s just weird!

  8. Duncan Bourne
    July 10, 2017 / 10:27 pm

    On number 11: ‘an as them as goos ter the Coachmakers

  9. Darren Harding
    July 11, 2017 / 9:56 pm

    number 15

  10. Doreen
    July 13, 2017 / 6:34 am

    Well dun mar mate bet yuv sut many un owr doin that

  11. Lee Bailey
    July 13, 2017 / 4:09 pm

    Cosna say tele frim ere. at goin to th coop in Penkull

  12. Ray Parkes
    July 14, 2017 / 9:41 am

    There is one golden rule for Stoke speak, There is no letter ‘H’ in our alphabet. We av orses & ouses, go to ospitals with people named arold & enry, and many appy olidays 🙂

  13. Linda Brannan
    July 16, 2017 / 7:29 pm

    When I was little, grown ups would tell me ‘ may caste and stay on bricks” when I was older I realised they were saying ” make haste and keep on the pavement”

  14. July 24, 2017 / 10:57 pm

    Up bank and down bank or is that just biddulph?

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