Now yer suckin’ diesel, boys! (More Ballymena-isms)

Back by popular demand (see previous post for part one), here’s some more vocabulary for you to learn, should you for whatever reason be planning a visit to Ballymena.


Founder (verb); foundered (adjective): To make very cold. [“Would ye close the door, thon draft would  founder ye!” (“There’s rather a cold breeze coming in through that open door; please be so kind as to close it.”); “S’wile cowl out there, ah’m pure foundered!” (“It’s terribly chilly outside today, and I’m very cold as a result.”)]

Cowl: cold.

Yer man / yer woman: someone whose name you’ve temporarily forgotten or don’t know. [“I heard it from yer woman that works in the bakery”]

Wee man / wee doll: younger person whose name you’ve temporarily forgotten or don’t know.

Listen tay yer man/woman! or Look at yer man/woman!: said when someone (known or not) is saying something a bit hypocritcal or doing something silly.

Affronted: embarrassed. [“Ah couldnay mind his name, ah was weak affronted so ah was.” (“Unfortunately his name escaped my memory, which was rather embarrassing.”)]

Take a beamer; take a redner: to blush. [“Ah was affronted, ah took a pure beamer so ah did.”; “He took a weak redner!”]

Wee: Not just “small”, as you might think. “Wee” can be used multiple times in a single sentence for no reason whatsoever. [“Howl on a wee minute wee pet, ah’m just givin’ me supervisor a wee shout to get a wee price for that wee lettuce – do ye have a wee Clubcard there? I’ll just put your wee receipt in your wee bag here.” (“Hang on, just getting my supervisor to get a price for this lettuce – do you have a Clubcard? Your receipt’s in your bag.”)]

Lethal: brilliant, cool, excellent. [“Ah’m goin’ tay Spain for me holidays so ah am.” “Lethal!”]

Hai: said at the end of any sentence. [“S’cowl the night hai!” (“It’s cold tonight.”) This one is the bane of my existence, as people from all over Northern Ireland (and the South, for that matter) make fun of Ballymena people for “hai”. In the 90s there was a TV ad for a mall, and the guy at the end said “Fairhill – it’s a big shappin’ centre in Ballymena, hai!”. No matter where I go in the world, there is always at least one person who asks where I’m from and then gleefully quotes this line at me while I smile weakly and try to refrain from geein’ them a dig in the bake.]

Gee someone a dig in the bake: to punch someone. [“If ye don’t stop yer slabberin’ ah’ll gee ye a dig in the bake so ah will!”]

Slabber: (literally “drool”) (verb) To spread lies/slander, to stir up trouble with words. (noun) One who slabbers.

Boys/boys-oh!: used at the start or end of a mildly surprising statement. “Boys, there’s the sun!”, “Boys-oh, so it is hai!”

Boys-a-dear!: Dear me!

Crater: unfortunate and/or innocent being. [“This is my wee niece in her wee cot.” “Aww, wee crater!” or “Everything has gone wrong for me this week, I could cry!” “Ach, ye wee crater!”]

Dote: (verb) to become forgetful in old age, or to lavish affection on someone/something; (noun) cute little child or baby animal. [“Great aunt Sarah’s startin’ tay dote – she left the door lyin’ open all night.”; “Awwww, the wee dote!”]

Footer: to dither around without really achieving anything. [“Ah footered about wi’ thon new TV for a while but ah couldnay get it workin’.”]

Shoogle: to shake or move from side to side.

Blether: (verb) to talk incessantly about nothing of any interest, or to gossip.; (noun) a person who blethers. [“Would ye stop yer bletherin’? Boys, yer a while blether so ye are!” (“Kindly shut up, you really are quite a talker.”)]

Skelp: sharp slap, usually to a misbehaving child.

Skelpin’: very hot.

Blegher: to cough a lot. [“Ye’d think he was dyin’, tay listen tay his blegherin’!”]

Sammitch; piece: sandwich.

Tay: a hot beverage often taken with milk and sugar, or dinner. [“Will ye take a cup o’ tay?”; “WEANS! Come on in, yer tay’s on the table!”]

Skitter: a naughty child or pet. [“Look what thon wee skitter’s done now!”]

Buck eejit: exceptionally idiotic person. [“What did ye do thon for, ye buck eejit ye?!”]

It’s Baltic: The weather is cold.

Yegitten?: Are you being served?

Suckin’ diesel: doing very well, getting the hang of it. [“Now yer suckin’ diesel, boys!”]

Sicken ye!: said when someone experiences a mild misfortune, or when a joke backfires on them.

Feel rare!: said when someone says or does something that most people would find embarrassing.

Put on the beef: to gain weight

Brave: quite large [“Yer man’s put on the beef, he’s a brave size gettin’, so he is!” (“That man has gained a considerable amount of weight and is really quite hefty now.”)]

Wheen: a few. [“We’ve been there a wheena times so we have.” (“We’ve been there a few times.”‘)]

Brave wheen: a lot. [“Ah’m no feelin’ great, ah’d a brave wheena drinks last night so ah did.”]

Bladdered; banjaxed; steamin’; blootered; pole-axed; stocious; blitzed: drunk

Chip buttie: a hot sandwich of white bread and chips (fries), dripping with butter.




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