How To Speak Fluent Norn Iron; Part Two

Continuing our lessons in how to pass yourself off as a native Northern Irish Git

A blind man rushing past on a horse would’na notice – whatever it is, it’s too small to notice, ie that HUGE spot/zit on your nose that looks like Mount Venusha about to erupt – or you have been wallpapering and it’s not perfect… aye sure, a blind man rushing past on a horse wouldn’t notice

He needs some ginger stuck up his arse – he’s going too slow…he’s a slow worker/walker…I think this comes from olden days at the horse racing when owners would stick ginger up the rear end of their horses in an apparent attempt to make them go faster..

He could’na pull the skin off a rice pudding – he’s very weak, a nine stone weakling, mind you, my ma’s rice pudding was so solid that you’d break yer teeth trying to chew through it..

Shorter ones;

Poke – Ice-Cream, we’d head down to the icecream van for a poke…or sometimes a 99 which was a poke with two chocolate flakes in it, and if the lady behind the counter said “would you like crushed nuts as well?” then we’d reply “ya want yer tits blown off?” we were very course..(and still are..)

Scundered – fed up with, really annoyed, “I’m scundered with yer man”

Tele. Not the television but the Belfast Telegraph, a Belfast newspaper, guys would stand outside the train stations shouting “Tele..Tele..” and you’d go buy a paper..

Wee – Small. Strange as wee is also to go to the loo and have a pee, used by *every* single Northern Irish person. “I’ll be back in a wee minute” Recently swiped by Nintendo with their very popular Wii

Fegs (or fags) cigarettes, “I’m nipping out for a wee feg..” although apparently fag means something completely different in the States, so one mustn’t say “I’m looking for me fags” or risk getting arrested.. or lucky..and in the same vein ‘rubber’ means ‘eraser’, a child asking you for a rubber is quite acceptable..but if he asks you for a Frenchie then you might just wanna slap him around the lugholes and send him off on his way..

Money Tree – a mystical tree that grew at the bottom of everybody’s garden and produced money as fruit, if you asked yer ma for something expensive she’d say sarcastically “Sure son, just nip down to the money tree at the bottom of the garden and grab me some money and I’ll go buy you it..” I never ever found the Money Tree but I looked and looked..

Guddies – trainers, sneakers, light shoes that you did P.E. in at school (P.E. Physical Education at school, highly ritualised humiliation by Gym teacher to anyone who doesn’t play football)

Boutcha, hows it hanging? A form of greeting between male friends “what about you, how are you doing, mate”

Crater bake – you are as ugly as sin. Pizza Face in some countries. Your bake was your face ie What’s up with your bake? why the long face. Crater Bake, very bad acne too..

Knackered – somewhat tired, “Jeez, I’m knackered”, comes from ‘the knackers yard’ where old horses were taken to be put down..

He’s wearing a syrup – he’s wearing a wig, this was a mixture of cockney rhyming slang that seemed to cross the water, Syrup of Figs was a medicine yer ma gave you as a kid to stop you getting constipated and Syrup of Fig rhymes with wig ergo he’s wearing a syrup..

He gives me the willies, so he does – despite the term willie, it is not a reference to fudge packing but someone makes you feel uneasy, someone creepy.. like Vincent Price in one of those old Hammer B&W films

Yer arse ‘nd parsley – you are talking rubbish, no idea where this came from but it’s a term that was directed towards me more than once (a day), closely related to “he doesn’t know his arse from his elbow..” you know nothing..and “yer hed’s a marlie”. Your head is a big empty marble..

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