A - Z Dictionary

Nottinghamshire Words and Dialect

By Tim Warner

Here's the dictionary for you to download.   We've added some words since this version was put together, and would like to add more.   Don't be shy to leave us a comment here or on one of the category pages if you have an example of Nottinghamshire words or dialect that we haven't included.


A - Z listing of Nottinghamshire Words
A - Z listing of Nottinghamshire Words (166k)
Yer Wott, by any other name...

This page was added by Alice Cave on 09/11/2010.
Comments about this page

glegg - to look or stare

By Anonymous
On 19/01/2011

wappy - stupid or crazy

By Stan
On 17/10/2011

Another local term used for staring at someone is "gawping". I often hear this term used around the Ashfield region of Nottinghamshire.

By David Amos
On 25/04/2012

"Cheese it" - I've been reading John Potter Briscoe's book from 1879 entitled ‘The Book of Nottinghamshire Anecdote’ and on p.37 he says the phrase “Cheese it” is “a Nottinghamshire provincialism expressive of discontinuance”. I'm not sure what that means exactly, but he does say its a Notts phrase!

By Edna Welthorpe
On 03/01/2013

Surely 'gawping' is universal English slang? A more obscure 'looking' word is something like 'yarrup/yarruping' meaning 'to peer myopically': 'I reckon 'e needs glasses, 'im.' 'Why? Does 'e yarrup?' Unfortunately this is Lancashire/Wigan, not recorded in Notts (unless anyone knows differently).

Does 'Cheese it' mean 'Let's get out of here quickly'? If so, still current in USA.

By Ralph Lloyd-Jones
On 03/01/2013

"Ling" - heather. This is another 'find' (p.47) from the book ‘The Book of Nottinghamshire Anecdote’ by John Potter BRISCOE, Nottingham: Shepherd Brothers, 1879). Briscoe says that “’Ling’ in the dialect of Nottinghamshire is the name for heather” (p.47).

By Edna Welthorpe
On 07/01/2013

On looking through the list, there are a great number which have their origins in the Romany/Traveller world! As Newark has a Traveller presence, perhaps this could be verified?

By Jill Campbell
On 08/01/2013

When I was a child in Mansfield in the 1950s the word "starved" was used to mean cold, eg I'm rate starved meaning I'm very cold.

By Peter Bowler
On 11/01/2013

What about "cowd" meaning I,m cold or I've got a cold.

By Peter Bowler.
On 12/01/2013

Afeared = Afraid. This example is given in the book 'Notes About Notts' by Cornelius Brown (1874) p.103

By Edna W
On 22/01/2014

What about 'Bunkass' meaning donkey. I'm sure I heard folk using this word in years gone by

By Martin Ballance
On 29/01/2014

CHEESE IT: In ‘The Book of Nottinghamshire Anecdote’ by John Potter BRISCOE, (Nottingham: Shepherd Brothers, 1879, p.37), the phrase “Cheese it” is described as “a Nottinghamshire provincialism expressive of discontinuance”.

By Edna Welthorpe
On 11/08/2014

What about Ay duzna meaning he doesn't and O duzna meaning she doesn't, in common usage in my village among the older people most of who have now passed away, you don't hear it so much now. 

By Peter Bowler
On 12/08/2014

There's also SEN meaning self, eg. By me sen, meaning on my own.

By Peter Bowler
On 13/08/2014

I have studied the words in the Dictionary and found some that are familiar but our dialect in the Mansfield area is different to the South of the County. I am a Assistant Curator at the Heritage Link in Woodhouse Library and I did a project WOODHOUSE b.c. detailing Woodhouse in 1897 before Sherwood Colliery was opened in 1902. The projects will be on this site shortly when we are able to scan these!! The local dialect was pure Woodhus, after that the dialect was mixed with Derbyshire, Staffs, Welsh and Yorkshire. Later the Polish, Latvians and Hugarians!! Geordies, Scotts, Lancashire and Cumbrians came down, this added to the local dialect!! I'll put in my pennyworth, Hoss, Hosses, watter, our youth, our lass, our Gert, yer dirty bogger, heyup youth, gob[mining term]. In the 40s the locals used to say Sorry after every sentance, no idea where that habit came from. The latest speech habit is a "Like" after every couple of words, I have heard this a lot in the USA in general conversation. In the Ashfied area their dialect was different to ours, Is your herse in Sutton?[Herse meaning house] tha nows,[do you know] more of a Derbyshire dialect, similar to a Sheffield one.

By Tom Shead
On 16/08/2014

 Sorry Editors!! Typo, my comment on dialect for yerdirtybogger, should have read yerdottybogger!! Does anyone remember in the 60s a book called PITMANS'ENGLISH!!!  I think it was the Geordies take on language used down the Mines!! It was quite funny, bordering on a foreign language, someone must have  a copy. I'll check the Library to se if the British Lending Library has a copy!! The local EMEB Offices used to keep copies of letters from disgruntled customers written in the local dialect and ask visitors to decipher them. THe Woodhouse Warbler [local rag] has a section called hey up me duck with translation your readers may find amusing!! Google Woodhouse Warbler and you can download 50 editions, comes out quarterly.

By Tom Shead
On 17/08/2014

LING - heather: In ‘The Book of Nottinghamshire Anecdote’ by John Potter BRISCOE, Nottingham: Shepherd Brothers, 1879, p.47), the author states “’Ling’  in the dialect of Nottinghamshire is the name for heather”.

By Edna Welthorpe
On 26/08/2014

There's also another phrase the old locals used in my village:- atta harknin meaning are you listening.

By Peter Bowler
On 30/08/2014

KERVER - a carver of alabaster (once a thriving trade in Notts).  Not sure if Kerver is a term unique to Notts but the term was certainly used to describe local albaster craftsmen in the 15th & 16th centuries.

By Edna Welthorpe
On 20/03/2015

A couple I remember :

Cake hole, usually preceded by 'shut yer' 

Bobbars, meaning don't touch 

By Elaine
On 06/02/2017

beinging a child of the 60's this is fab. we never used the f word but would say "knickers". Hope no one is offended jennifer

By jennifer handfield
On 15/02/2017

Holl - to throw

Strut - Stickleback (fish)

Heppen - handy or skillful

Clarty - Clayey

Melish or Moidering - a damp or moist day


These Notts words are recorded by the local historian Thomas M Blagg in Notts & Derbys Notes & Queries Vol.2 (1894) pp.183-4

By jon steele
On 13/03/2018

"Dadle" - In a diary written by a William Moss of Mansfield (who worked as a Cooper) he uses the word "dadle" in the context of helping an inebriated friend walk home.  The full entry is "1st November 1842; Yesterday I understand he was at the Blue Boar drinking brandy, and did not leave until 11 o'clock at night, when they were obliged to dadle him home"

By James Ballance
On 15/03/2018

Some more words from historian Thomas M Blagg in Notts & Derbys Notes & Queries Vol.2 (1894) pp.183-4

Fettle it up - to put a room in order

Clammed - starved (hungry)

Addle - to earn

Clout - cloth or garment

Pipkin - Round wooden milk pail

By Jon Steele
On 05/04/2018

When growing up in Mansfield in 50’s/60’s, the word ‘blortin’ was used to describe crying - ‘Stop yer blortin’.  Can anyone throw any light on this word, I cannot find any reference to it.

By Joan Partridge
On 01/08/2019

NYND - pronounced "nigh-hand" meaning close or near eg 'Nynd yon lad wer run ower' = that lad was nearly run over.  Alternative usage "Are you going to Hucknall today?" "Nynd arm goin'; nynd arm not" where nynd can also mean maybe or perhaps.  A contributor to Notts & Derbys Notes & Queries magazine in 1898 suggests the word was specific to north Notts

By edna wellthorpe
On 15/09/2020

SNI or SNIDED-OUT – meaning ‘full of’.  The word ‘Snies’ appears in the book ‘Ripple and Flood’ (1897) by local author James Prior: “the river snies with fish”.  Snided-out is also used to mean full-up or over-flowing.  Notts & Derby Notes & Queries of 1898 suggests that the word is commonly used 9although not exclusive to) South Notts.

By edna wellthorpe
On 21/09/2020

‘Dialect’ section on the very last page of ‘The History of Mansfield and it’s Environs’ by W. Harrod (1801):

Yed = Head

Sen = Yoursewlf

Weant = Will Not

Musent = Must Not

Shanno = Shall Not

Ax = Ask

Hopanny = Halfpenny

Thot = Thought

Watten = What Must

Bed = Bid

Haden = Had

Caunt = cannot

Ston = stone

Neet = night

Geit = give it

Dom = damn

Pickle = wicked

Newens = new ones

Mon = man

Yow = you

Surry = sorrow

Whome = home

Shu = she

Stee = stay

Weets = weights

Frit = frightened

Twitchel = entry


Harrod does say, however that “this dialect is not peculiar to this place, but is also spoken in the neighbouring counties.”

By Edna Welthorpe
On 26/10/2020

Does anyone know the meaning of the phrase:

"Wiggoin swafftin"? (seen on a mug with other Notts phrases such as "Gerraht onnit"). Sounds like they are going somewhere or to do something, but it has got us stumped in the office!


By Alison Hirst
On 18/10/2022

wiggoin swafftin is an agricultural term.  swath tonnin is turning cut hay in order for it to dry. thad tonnit rake it up then eap it into stooks before meckin a stack onnit.

By philip tatley
On 16/03/2023

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