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How To Speak Like A Mancunian: 2018 Manchester Dialect + Slang

Updated on July 5, 2018
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I studied neuroscience and am fascinated by the wide range of regional dialects, accents and speech patterns found in the UK.

Have You Been To Manchester?

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Greeting Someone

In Manchester, you would never say "hey, how are you?", which would be the common way to greet someone in London.

Instead, Mancunians say "you alright?" or "you okay?". This can confuse Southerners and foreigners, who sometimes think that they have to answer and tell the person how they are. However, the correct response is to repeat the exact phrase that they've said, in a faster and less questioning way.

e.g. Mancunian: "You alrightttt?"

You: "Hey! Y'arright."



West: crazy/weird/unexpected (that's well west). This comes from Liverpudlian slang, and is similar to saying "that's left-field".

Peppered: to be broke

Jammy: to be lucky and get away with things

Hangin': disgusting or hungover (the "h" is silent). e.g. "that food were hangin'", "I'm hangin' from that tequila".

Mardy: moody/grumpy

Mingin': ugly/disgusting. e.g. "she's mingin'", "ahh that's mingin', stop it".

Dead/proper/well used in front of adjective: emphatic. e.g. "she's proper posh", "that were dead nice", "I'm well hungry".

Buzzin': very excited/in a good mood, usually in the context of partying or something particularly fun. e.g. "the club's buzzin", "I'm buzzin', I'm seeing The Courteeners live tomorrow".

Sound: decent/solid. Can be used to describe a person, place, thing or situation. e.g. "she's sound", "it's a sound place".

Stush: posh/trying-too-hard. Often used by young, working class Mancunians with a chip on their shoulder, directed at Southerners that they think are stuck up. e.g. "I hate that stush club, full of Londoners in their Adidas and Palace", "he's so stush, all he talks about is his gap year in Thailand".

Peak/deep: bad/awkward/sad. From London slang. e.g. "it's so deep, I got kicked out of uni", "he's so peak to me".

Gassed: excited/buzzin'. From London slang, and rarely used in Manc. e.g. "I'm gassed for Friday!".

The bee is the symbol of Manchester
The bee is the symbol of Manchester


Dibble: police

Our kid: someone's sibling or very close friend (e.g. "I'm going to town with our kid").

Nobhead: unlikeable, arrogant person

Mug: silly person/fool

Wrong un: someone untrustworthy who should be avoided

Muggings: someone who is easily persuaded to do tasks (a pushover)

Pleb: used by teen boys to insult each other. Someone weak and undeveloped.

Manchester Christmas markets
Manchester Christmas markets


Zonked: to be under the influence of drugs or very drunk

Steamin': to be very drunk

Skrikin': to be crying

Trek: to go on a long walk, e.g. to school


Kecks: trousers

Chuddy: chewing gum

Barmcake: a bread roll

Stagecoach = the leading public bus operator in Manchester

Magic bus: a cheaper student bus (£1.50) that goes from Didsbury to Piccadilly in a straight line, passing through Fallowfield and the university. Can be used by the public, too.

Teacake: a round bread roll

Gaff: house (e.g. gaff party)

Ginnel: alleyway/side of the house. e.g. "take the bins out to the ginnel"

Wicked: WKD drink (blue alcopop)

Magic/majj: ecstasy, in crystal form

K: ketamine

Canal Street
Canal Street


Town: central Manchester

Canal Street: Manchester's gay district, full of clubs and bars

Piccadilly = Piccadilly Records, the famous record store on Oldham Street. Loved by uni students and old school music fans. It is situated where the old Factory Records offices used to be, which signed Happy Mondays, Stone Roses etc. and many other bands that formed the 80s "Madchester" music scene.

Fac: Factory 251, the well-loved nightclub. Also called "factory".

NQ: the Northern Quarter, a notoriously trendy area with indie coffee and record shops.

Fallowfield: A Southern suburb of Manchester, renowned for it's incredibly high student population. Almost a city within itself, full of students who only leave their bed to grab a pint of milk from Tesco's.

Spoons: Wetherspoons, e.g. "let's go for a post-class Spoons!".

42s: a popular indie rock nightclub

Revs: Revolution, a bar. As it's part of a chain, it is fairly expensive.


Well-Known Mancunian Sayings

You can't get owt for nowt: you can't get anything for free (e.g. "why is this so expensive?", "well, you can't get owt for nowt")

Mad fer it: an exclamation, suggesting fun times are to be had

It'll be a buzz: it'll be great/fun

On a real: speaking honestly (taken from London slang). e.g. "on a real, she needs to clean the kitchen".

He/she couldn't stop a pig in a ginnel: he/she is bow-legged or crippled

Stop skrikin': stop crying

I'm in a mither: I'm in a bother/I've got a problem

Sorry to mither you: sorry to bother you

Fish, chips and peas with pea wet : fish, chips and peas served with some of the water they were cooked in

Give your head a wobble: have a rethink

Put wood in the hole: close the door

Get off and milk it: a greeting given to cyclists in Manchester

What's true for you?

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© 2018 Lucy


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    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR


      10 months ago from Leeds, UK

      Thanks commenting - glad you enjoyed the article :)

    • CYong74 profile image

      Kuan Leong Yong 

      10 months ago from Singapore

      This is fascinating! I might now be able to watch more Mancester-based shows too!


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