Having being born and lived in Stoke for 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.
- 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)
- 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)
- Love him or loathe him, everyone knows, is related to, went to school with or dated Robbie Williams (or his Dad)
- The ‘Blo Clock’ (blue clock) is the universal meeting point in Hanley
- 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
- No-one knows where Stoke-on-Trent is, so you end up just saying ‘somewhere between Manchester and Birmingham’
- 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.
- 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
- Stoke-on-Trent is made up of six towns, just to confuse people even more – Hanley, Fenton, Longton, Boslem, Tunstall and Stoke
- Checking under crockery to see if it was made in Staffordshire and feeling proud when you do find one
- There is a right and wrong side of an oatcake don’t even try to fight me on this one
- 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
- Always looking forward to the Christmas panto at The Regent with local hero Jonathan Wilkes
- 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 Street
- It’s UP ‘Anley and DOWN ‘Castle
- 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
- 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
- Hearing the Wayne Walkers advert on Signal 1 and cringing a bit at the accent
- Blackpool is Costa del Sol for Stokie’s (unless your house it lit up like it)
- 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
- No matter where in the world you are, Stoke is home. That will never change.