10 Norn Iron phrases that tourists love
Working every weekend at St George’s Market and talking to hundreds of tourists each weekend, you get an insight in to what they think of all the phrases I sell at my stall. Some they’ve heard before but others they haven’t a clue what they mean, because, well, we do talk a lot of jibberish sometimes, but they love it. They love that we embrace our Norn Iron’ness.
Keep ‘er lit
Is it keeping the bonfires lit? Nope, it’s just something we say that means keep going.
Ye boy ye / Ye girl ye
Quite simply a phrase to refer to your male or female friend/mate/chum.
Keep er lit ye boy ye translates as keep going mate.
Of course, our version sounds more fun.
It’s not a small cake, it’s not a hairstyle and it’s not your buttocks!! It’s just really easy!
So it is
It’s something we tag on to the end of a sentence to reaffirm what we’ve just said, so it is. But it comes with many alternatives, so it does, so it is, so we are, so we will, so I am, so I do….. And it just keeps going!
Keep er lit ye girl ye, it’s wee buns so it is.
So you’re basically telling your friend that whatever they are about to do will be really easy. It will.
What’s the craic?
Nope, it’s not cocaine, it’s just our way of asking what you’re up to. But if you’re already out partying then hopefully you are already enjoying the craic, or good times!
Your bums a plum
This confuses non Norn Iron’ers, why would your bum be a plum? It just is, so it is! You could also say Your Arse is Parsley or Your Heads a Marley, or even Your heads full of sweetie mice!
Here’s me wha?
It just means pardon or sorry, but you have to say it in pure Belfast tho, with each word higher in tone and volume and raising both you’re hands up in the air… Try it. Here’s me WHA?
Scundered / Skundered
This could mean a number of things depending on where you live in Norn Iron. It could be embarrassed, mortified, annoyed or frustrated.
We love it when someone adds pure in front of it.
I was pure scundered when I walked into thon lamppost! So I was!
It’s our version of Hello or How are you? What about you has just evolved into our abbreviated Bout ye.
We can’t really imagine Adele or Lionel Ritchie singing Bout Ye instead of Hello, but we’ll leave that thought just hanging there! Hello, it’s me….Bout ye, it’s me.
Bout ye big lawd?
Translates as: How are you mate?
Everything is wee! It’s really a translation of little or small, but is often used out of habit for everything.
Would ye like yer wee ticket before ye get on til tha wee bus?
It’s all a bit of a geg!!
Designs available on cards, coasters, mugs and more at the Belfast Times stall in St George’s Market every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.