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Lost in Mancslation: The Dictionary of Mancunian

14 Mar
Lost in Mancslation. © 2014 HistoryME.

Lost in Mancslation. © 2014 HistoryME.

I’m sure I’m not unique amongst Mancunians (people from Manchester) when I say from time to time I’m misunderstood. It is particularly noticeable in the environs of fellow Mancs and/or when I’m in a salubrious pub (one with original mahogany, etched glass and a vault) after a beer or two or three, when my Manc dialect becomes its most lyrical and poetic – a composite of liquid fuel and local accent – that ignites a unique prose, that is audible to the many, yet understood by predominantly only the lucky few.

Language is ever-evolving and dialects are no different as I’m sure the developers behind the new speed reading app Spritz – which aims to change the way we read – have already found out.

In my quest, like most Mancunians, to find the quickest and easiest (some may wrongly say lazy) route to being understood, it seems that other people don’t always agree that we’re on the right path to our very own Manc-Esperanto.

Our notable dulcet toned Manc dialect, again some may argue, isn’t always the easiest on the ear and to this day even some of my own family would concur as much. In addition, my girlfriend – owner of the most delectable ‘worldly’ accent – a mixture of tones from Kashmir via the Middle East and the London melting pot – would in true Judas-style support this claim.

The Manc dialect is a non-rhotic accent, where ‘r’ sounds have gone missing. Vowels are over-enunciated, a’s are cut-throat sharp, u’s become terrace like chants, starting h’s and finishing t’s become invisible, g’s have absconded and glottal stop middle t’s abound.

“A person with increasing knowledge and sensory education may derive infinite enjoyment from wine”, Ernest Hemingway once said.

Similarly to the Mancunian dialect, few people know a fine wine of the highest order, even if its flowery bouquet has the power to render the olfactory bulb into a orgasmic state straight out of Woody Allen‘s 70s comedy sci-fi classic, Sleeper. I for one fit the bill as an anosmic and whom all olfactory arousing sensory pleasure is wasted. Even Sex Panther won’t awake my cilia! So it’s no surprise that Mancunians are so misunderstood. The Manc dialect like the finest Chateau Cheval Blanc 1947, is mature,  incredibly rich and textured like fine velvet, not too bitter on the palette and with a peacock’s tail of linguistic complexity, that only the most erudite among us, truly understands.

I feel a letter to the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove is on the cards. International trade! Never mind learning Mandarin, a billion Chinese students out there should be learning Mancunian.

In my journey to be at least understood by my love ones, I have compiled a mini dictionary – in no particular order – of some typical Mancunian words and slang. Please feel free to practice your beautiful Manc diction and add to the list:

Angin (disgusting)
Bobbins (rubbish)
Bog (toilet)
Buzzin (ecstatic)
Dead (very)
Dibble (police)
Fool (daft ‘apeth)
Gaggin (thirsty)
Ginnel (alley)
Keks (trousers)
Mam (mother)
Mingin (horrible, unpleasant)
Mint/nice one/ top (excellent)
Mither (bother, trouble, aggravation)
Nah (no)
Scrikin (crying)
Snide (ungenerous, tight, fakes esp. stolen goods)
Sound (good)
Tantrum (strop)

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