Say what? Here's the UK's best regional words

Could Northern English accents really be lost within half a century? (Getty Images)
Could Northern English accents really be lost within half a century? (Getty Images)

For a small, island nation, the UK punches well above its weight when it comes to linguistic diversity - in fact, there's estimated to be nearly 40 different dialects and associated accents. Which makes it all the more sad that researchers from the Universities of Portsmouth and Cambridge are predicting Northern accents will die out in the next 45 years, as young people increasingly favour South-Eastern pronunciations. 

From Cockney to Scouse, Glaswegian to Geordie, our rich and intricate national tapestry of accents is something to celebrate - so here are some of the very best, utterly unique dialect words in the UK. 

In Norfolk this little creature would be called a bishy barnabee (Getty Images)
In Norfolk this little creature would be called a bishy barnabee (Getty Images)

Norfolk: Bishy Barnabee (Ladybird)

This East Anglian country's accent is one of the hardest to copy properly, and Norfolkians have some of the most brilliant (if, somewhat inscrutable to outsiders) dialect words in the UK. A county favourite is bishy barnabee, in reference to the common ladybird, which was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2018. It's one of many inventive local terms for creepy crawlies, including sow-pig for woodlouse and crane fly for daddy long-legs. 

Geordie: Gadgie (Man)

The warm-sounding Newcastle accent is often voted as the nation's favourite - and Geordies have plenty of phrases we all know and love, from 'whey aye man' to 'alreet pet'. They also have plenty of dialect words that the rest of us probably won't understand, and one of the best is gadgie, meaning man. It supposedly derives from the Romani 'gadje' meaning non-Roma or 'gorgio', meaning fellow. Canny! 

Watch this: Actor learns a cockney accent in 6 hours

Cornish: Emmet (Tourist)

People from Cornwall traditionally spoke their own, Celtic language, which underwent an early 20th century revival and now has a growing number of second language speakers. You'll hear plenty of brilliant dialect words all around the Cornish peninsula, and one of the most useful to know is emmet. It means ant, but is more commonly used to describe the hordes of tourists who descend on the county every summer! 

Read more: Sexiest British accents revealed

Glasgow: Scunnered (Tired)

The Glasgow Patter involves a vivid array of localised, unique words and phrases, and the dialect is distinct to other areas of Scotland. After seeing all the sights in this amazing city you might well feel scunnered, meaning exhausted (but hopefully you won't feel boak, meaning sick).

Scouse: Webs (Trainers)

The highly distinctive Scouse, aka Liverpudlian, accent is utterly unique - courtesy of its history as a port city used by many different nations. The term scouse itself comes from the word 'lobscouse' for a type of stew that was bought to Liverpool by Norwegian soldiers. While most of us know bird (woman), bevvy (alcoholic drink) and devoed (devastated) we think more people need to know about webs for a type of footwear (usually trainers). Scousers also call them trainees, or trabs. 

In Liverpool, you lace up your webs (Getty Images)
In Liverpool, you lace up your webs (Getty Images)

Wales: Brammer (Excellent)

The separate Welsh language is a roaring success, but Welsh English speakers also have some great dialect words taken from the original Celtic language. While many people outside Wales now know cwtch, for a hug or cuddle, we also can't resist brammer - a commonly used word which means fantastic or excellent.  

Watch this: 70 people from 70 countries say cheers in their native language 

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