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47 sayings that Coventry and Warwickshire gave the world; Here in Coventry we have a rich and colourful vocabulary - so let's celebrate it!

Byline: Katy Hallam

There's nothing more complex and beautiful than the English language.

And especially those little words and phrases that spark looks of sheer bewilderment when they are used outside of a locality.

Here inCoventrywe have a rich and colourful vocabulary.

So to celebrate that, we asked for the top words, sayings and expressions that people in Coventry andWarwickshireuse in their daily conversations - and here's what you told us.

Because of greater population movement, transport and communication in recent decades, some sayings may also be used in other parts of the country, whether they have been borrowed from this area or brought here from elsewhere.

Let's get going!

1. Batch - this is the most well-known local word and means a small round loaf in Coventry and also the Nuneaton/Bedwortharea. As @RoystonDooley says on Twitter: "It's not a cob, roll, barm cake or whatever... it's a batch." A favourite hot breakfast snack from the bakery might be a sausage batch or bacon batch

2. Entry is the Coventry word for a path or passage between two terraced houses.

3. Mardy means moody or stroppy

4. 'Me bab' is a term of endearment in theNuneaton/Bedworth area meaning 'my love' or 'my dear', with bab being short for baby. People in Coventry are more likely to say ' me duck ' instead.

5. It's black over Bill's mother's is an expression that refers to a stormy sky. Bill means William Shakespeare, his mother is Mary Arden of Stratford, and most storms come in from that SW direction.

6. Pumps is the local word for gym shoes or plimsolls

7. To lob something is to throw it. Chucked is also used to mean the same thing

8. The lav is the lavatory or toilet

9. A sprog is a baby, while a toddler is an ankle-biter

10. Spitting refers to light rain, as does mizzling

11. Ratted is a local word meaning drunk, as in 'He got completely ratted last night.' It's a shortened version of rat-a**ed.

12. Pulled means you have met someone with the intention of a romantic or sexual relationship. You could also be said to have blagged . It means the same as the phrase 'copped off' used elsewhere in the UK.

13. Beduth or, more recently, Beduff is what local people call Bedworth (and sometimes how they spell it too),

14. Waggin' it is playing truant, which is also called bunking off .

Summer of fun

15. The outdoor is the off-licence, and it's sometimes also just called the offie.

16. Barbara Rosethorne writes on our Facebook page that she recalls the phrase ' as true as Coventry Blue '. The saying - along with the more well-known 'true blue' - derives from the blue cloth made in Coventry in medieval times, which had a reputation for not losing its dye when washed. The fabric remained 'true' and the phrase 'as true as Coventry blue' is still used in Coventry to mean loyal, solid and unwavering in one's support, friendship or views.

17. Simmer down means to calm down

18. Hacked off means annoyed. 'Im seriously hacked off about this.'

19. Oojamacallit or thingamybob is how local folk refer to something when they have forgotten the name for it or don't know its proper name

20. Marbles are called marlies if they're small and gobbies if they're big. Gobbies is used because the bigger marbles resemble the large hard-boiled sweets known as gobstoppers

21. Lamp is to hit hard

22. Caggy-handed or cag-handed is handling something in a clumsy way, or being left-handed. Elsewhere it's called cack-handed.

23. Treacle Town was a nickname given to Nuneaton on account of the former jam and treacle factory based there where, as the entertainer Larry Grayson used to quip, his friend Apricot Lil worked.

24. One Nuneaton resident recalls a local phrase for a pie that didn't have much filling: "It must have been shot in from the top of Tuttle Hill ."

What's On?

25. Away with the fairies means eccentric, slightly mad or out of touch with reality. AWTF was apparently an acronym of that phrase used on hospital notes to refer to a confused patient

26. Snap is a packed lunch, usually taken to work by your dad in a metal tin that snapped shut. The word also just means food or a meal.

27. Chuddy means chewing gum

28. Crumpets - the small, thick pancakes toasted and eaten with butter - are called pikelets inCoventry and Warwickshire

29. Coventry folk go ' down the town ' for shopping and 'up the City ' to watch the football.

30. The canal is the cut

31. To be sneeped is to be slighted, made to feel small

32. A suff is a drain, gulley or ditch

34. " Gi'us a squint " means let me have a look, give me a glimpse of it

35. The corsey or causey is the pavement and also sometimes the doorstep. It probably derives from the word causeway.

36. Blarting is crying loudly

37. A biffer is someone ugly, unattractive or fat, taking its name from the British waste management company Biffa

38. A nodder is apparently a local word for a condom, according to several users on our Facebook page

39. Your dannies are your hands, says Carole Bourne on our Facebook page. The variation donnies is also sometimes used.

40. Tuck means sweets or candy, adds Carole, though it sometimes meant food in general

41. Sent to Coventry - a phrase that has entered the wider English language, this is said to have its origins in the in hostile reception given to Royalist prisoners when held in Coventry's St John's Church, as the city was a Parliamentarian stronghold in the English Civil War.

42. Peeping Tom - the only man to spy on Lady Godiva as she rode naked through Coventry - is today a common English word for a voyeur. Like Sent to Coventry, it is one of thesayings that Coventry has given to the world.

43. Brummagem screwdriver - this refers to a hammer, especially when used to knock the tip of a screw into a wall so that it is held in place. The word implies that Brummies are brutish in using the tool to bash screws in with force.

44. Whereas Nuneaton residents might remark that a pie's filling had beenshot in from the top of Tuttle Hillif there wasn't much of it, those in Coventry might say it had been ' thrown in from Broadgate .'

45. There's also mention of Broadgate in another expression - if someone had " a mouth from here to Broadgate", they were a noisy, indiscreet or boastful person who liked to spread gossip and could not keep a secret.

46. On the box was apparently a local expression for being off sick from work or school.

47. Ourgate - According to reader Ann Tabram, this was a used when people couldn't afford the traditional summer holiday to Margate or Ramsgate; instead, they said they were going to "Ourgate and back", meaning the front gate - in other words they weren't going away at all.

Coventry development

If you know any other local words or phrases, post them in the comments section below.

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The three spires of Coventry
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Publication:Coventry Telegraph (Coventry, England)
Date:Jul 22, 2018
Words:1237
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