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Belfast Slang: A Language All On It’s Own

May 26, 2021

Belfast Slang: A Language All On It’s Own

Belfast has a lot to offer the world. Aside from having unbelievable scenic spots, incredible attractions, a rich history and wildly fun citizens, we are a people known for our accent and slang.

Everyplace in the world that you go there are sayings and phrases you hear that you probably haven’t heard before, but when you visit Belfast, it is highly likely that at many points throughout your trip., you will have confused looks on your face and find yourself wondering if we are speaking English at all.

It’s funny, often people mix the North and South of Ireland into one, accent wise, we are polar opposites. Collectively we are known to speak at speed. The South has a high pitched ‘Top of the Mornin to ya’ vibe going on and just as you cross the border and head into Belfast, the decibels plunge and the language morphs into an English variant. With every madly constructed sentence comes a smile and a lot of craic. A city you are sure to have a good time in.

 

1. Sure, This Is It

If you were to indicate that someone were right, this would be the response that you could expect.

 

2. So It Is / So I Do / So I Did

We are a people that like to do things for the sake of it, one favourite is to add bits to the end of a sentence that actually add no explanation and are essentially there for grammatical effect, such as “so it is”.

  • “Lovely weather today, so it is”
  • “Fancy a drink, so I do”
  • “Needed that, so I did”
  • That’s actually really nice, so it is”

 

3. Norn Iron

Like I said, the accent is very strong in Belfast, “Northern Ireland” comes out this way commonly across the capital. Someone might say

  • “I’m from Norn Iron, so I am’
  • “Norn Iron, our wee country”

 

4. Wee

Everything is “wee”, no matter how big it is.

  • “ That’s my new wee car, so it is” 
  • “Would you like a wee bag love”
  •  “That’s your wee amazon parcel there, so it is wee love’”

 

5. Bout Ye?

In other words, someone is asking how you are:

  • “Ain’t seen ye in ages, bout ye big lad?”
  • “Awk mate, s’happenin, bout ye?

 

6. A Score

A £20 note cannot just be called that, the only note not called by its value is the infamous score. 

  • “Lend us a score mate”

 

7. Baltic/ Foundered 

Belfast is not known for its sunny weather, and to avoid saying the same words, for cold, we got creative.They are used at discretion and neither is more widely accepted, using interchangeably is perfectly acceptable.

  • “Absolutely baltic the day”
  • “I’m foundered , so I am”

 

8. Banjaxed

You say broken, we say banjaxed. You say drunk, we say banjaxed.

  • “Car’s completely banjaxed”
  • “She’s banjaxed”

 

9. Oh Mummy

This is said in response to something being unbelievable. 

  • “Oh mummy, I can’t get over that”

 

10. Dead On

Used to describe someone who is good willed, without ill malice:

  • “Good craic he was, real dead on”

 

11. Yeo

If your heading out for drinks and something is smashed, except a big, loud “YeeeeOOooo” in unison from the locals in the bar.

Used to be happy and put emphasis on good news.

 

12. Here’s Me Wha?

This means “What?” or “Pardon?”. It will be unrecognisable in a sentence spoken to you as it is said at lightspeed, without fail – every time.

  • Q “What are you doing next weekend?”, “Here’s me wha?”

 

13. Melter

A person or situation that is so annoying your brain starts to melt, can be abbreviated to just melt without loss of effect.

  • “She’s a pure melt”
  • “He is a melter”
  • “This is an absolute melt, so it is”

 

14. Cracker

Meaning good.

  • “That restaurant was cracker”
  • “Cracker day that”

 

15. Ma & Da

In places around the world, the calling of a mother or father is sweet, settling, often song like, ‘mama, papa’,. Here however, meant with no less love is the short, deep and abrupt “Ma and Da”

  • “I seen your Da last night”
  • “Awk wee love, how’s your Ma keeping?”

 

16. Guddies 

This is another word for trainers.

  • “Your new guddies are sweet”
  • “Like ’em wee guddies do ye?”

 

17. Jammie 

Lucky. 

  • “You’re so jammie”
  • “Aye, that’s pure jammie that is”

 

18. Offie

If you are looking to get a drink to take back to our apartments for the night to relax, use this.

  • “Where’s the nearest offie?”
  • “You heading to the offie love”

 

19. Ragin’ 

Angry, fuming. 

  • “Didn’t get there in time, was pure ragin’
  • “Im ragin’ at him, so I am”

 

20. Mucker

 

Your mate or pal is your mucker.

  • “Alright mucker, fancy a pint”
  • “S’appenin mucker”

 

When you get to Belfast, the accent can be hard to understand, but regardless of being able to understand, you will laugh, you will be met with a smile and you will have a great time.

So bring your muckers or you’ll be raging that you miss out on the craic. It can get baltic here in Norn Iron, but our wee city is great, so it is. When you’re telling your stories, everyone will think your so jammie for having a cracker weekend in our unforgettable city.