If you want to learn Notts As She Is Spoken (and you should, because it opens a lot of doors, mainly the ones in clubs and late-night bars), you need to learn the following ground rules;
1. WE’RE NOT NORTH. WE’RE NOT SOUTH. WE’RE NOT EVEN
Attempting a standard Northern accent is not going to cut it – the Notts dialect is far too subtle for that. And although we’re in the
2. DON’T BOTHER LISTENING TO LOCAL MEDIA FOR GUIDANCE
Trying to find a local accent on the radio or telly is as pointless as looking for a pound shop in Knightsbridge.
3. WE MIX BOTH NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN ACCENTS IN THE SAME SENTENCES
In other words, we combine harsh Northern vowel sounds with drawn-out Southern ones, and then snip off a few vowels or add new ones for good measure. It’ll take a lifetime to master it, but here are a few examples;
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Ergo, a sentence such as “I was about to have a bath before going to town, but realised my shirt was dirty, so I went out to buy a new one” is pronounced “I wor joost abaaht ter tek a baff after wok before gooin’ dahn tahn, but it wor dotteh, so I went aht ter gerra new’un. It’s saahnd as a paahnd!”
4. REPLACE WORDS THAT END IN ‘Y’ AND ‘IE’ WITH ‘EH’
If you learn nothing else, this is the rule to live by. You don’t go to
(‘Dook’) - Term of endearment, regardless of gender or sexuality. In other words, don’t be offended if you’re a strapping Sports student and the bus driver calls you ‘duck’. ‘Duckeh’ can also be used, but only with people you’re particularly close to. Eg: ‘Ayup, me duck’
(‘Yooerth’) – A (mainly male) term of endearment, regardless of age. In other words, if the same bus driver calls you ‘youth’, he’s not casting aspersions on your perceived lack of life experience; he’ll probably call the bloke behind you whose just collected his pension the same thing. Eg: ‘That Yooerth over there wants to flog his iPod’
(‘Sookeh’) – Nothing to do with Bevis or Butthead: it’s a disparaging term that calls someone’s intelligence into question. Known in the South as a ‘
Plum’, and the North as a ‘Soft Lad’, said person is a bit thick, but in a fairly benign way (if he was outright insane, he’d be Batcheh’). Eg: ‘That Yooerth ovver there only wants a tenner for his iPod – he must be right Suckeh’
The local equivalent of a bap, roll, baguette, etc.
One of the few terms used by DH Lawrence still in existence today. It’s a catch-all term for back-chat, insubordination, etc. Eg: ‘Andeh gen the landlord some right chelp abaaht fixin’ the cooker, so he’s kickin’ us aht’
Food of any description, which is best consumed when you’re Clammin’ (i.e., hungry). If you’ve got some cobs in a Tupperware box, congratulations – you’re in possession of a Snap Tin.
(‘Chatteh’) – Not a description of your ability to talk at length: more a critique of your personal hygiene. It also means you’re extremely Crufteh. Eg – ‘I’ve got to clean up me ‘aase before me Mam visits – she’ll goo Batcheh when she sees how Chatteh it is’
(‘Dezzeh’) – nothing to do with South Indian culture: it’s a description originated in Notts in the 1980s, after Des O’Connor, which casts aspersions on one’s sense of style and fashion. Eg – ‘Ugh! Aah lecturer was in Rock Citeh wearing a tank top over a Spice Girls t-shirt! He looked WELL Dezzeh!”
A phrase of indeterminate origin that describes maximum effort and (in some cases) excess. If you bust a gut running for the last bus, overindulge at the SU bar, partake in a 48-hour revision binge, or pursuing a member of the opposite sex, you’re on it like One-O. Eg – ‘This youth in aah year is a right Keeno – he’s been sucking up to lecturers like One-O’
To go somewhere. You may be chipping off to Rock Citeh, or chipping back ‘om ter yer Mams for Christmas. Eg – ‘This club is well Dezzeh and I’m clammin’ for some snap. I’m gonna chip, yer get meh?’