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Local terms of endearment.


DUCKS in Derby, chucks in Chester and butties in Bridgend... they're all affectionate terms that give our regions a special identity.

And language expert Jonathon Green says council bosses in Newcastle who. have banned workers from saying pet, hinny or sweetheart in case it offends anyone are wrong.

He says: "When someone calls you pet or petal they're not being nasty - quite the opposite. Such words help maintain the depth of the English language."

Here's our round-up of regional terms of endearment...


KIDDA This Scouser term has spread from Liverpool into some parts of North Wales.

LA Meaning "mate" or "friend" in Liverpool. Immortalised by Scouse band The La's.

QUEEN A Scouse term for a woman you know well. Used mostly by fathers to daughters or husbands to wives.

CHUCK Mancunian favourite and not just in the Rovers Return.

OUR KID How Mancunians often refer to a brother or good friend.


BOYO A little dated, but this can still be heard in the Valleys.

BUTTY Slang for a male acquaintance, this term was commonly heard in mines.


Welsh for "darling" - and used even when speaking in English.


ME HANDSOME Don't get offended if you hear a Cornish fisherman calling you this.

BABBER This term - which originates in Bristol - means a baby or friend.

PUMPKIN The only vegetable you're likely to get called in England.

MY LOVER Another term of endearment that has it's origins in the Bristol area. You don't have to be in love to call someone this in the West Country - it's just a general term thrown in when speaking to a friend.


MATE Comes from a German word meaning "comrade", and became commonly used from the start of the 16th century.

TREACLE Used by Cockney men for women, from the rhyming slang "treacle t art" - sweetheart.

PRINCESS An affectionate term used by EastEnders' Dirty Den for his daughter Sharon.


Dating from the 1910s, this is a jocular form of addressing a man. Although if you are Del-Boy Trotter talking to your dipstick brother Rodney, you are more likely to use "plonker".

CHINA It's Cockney rhyming slang, "china plate" - mate.

GEEZER An informal word for a man, derived from the 15th-century word "guiser" meaning an actor.

SUNSHINE An informal term of address, used by London's black cab drivers.

JOHN If they don't know your name, Londoners will call you this.

GUVNOR A London term, meaning "sir".


HEN Meaning young woman or girl. If a Glaswegian calls you "hen", then you know he really likes you.

DOLL An affectionate term men use for women.

BUDDY An American import, probably an alternative for "brother".

PAL Originally a Romany word from the 17th century meaning "brother". Normally followed swiftly by a Glasgow kiss...


HINNY An affectionate Tyneside word for women, meaning honey.

PET Pets need looking after, hence this ever-popular Geordie expression.

PETAL An affectionate term of address heard all over the North East.

CHICKEN This was first used as a term of endearment in a play in 1614 by a woman to a man.

MARRA A word meaning someone is such a friend that they are part of your bone marrow.


LASS A young woman or girl, comes from the Norse word laskura, meaning unmarried.

NIPPER A young boy, comes from the 19th century word for a boy worker.

LUV You can't buy a loaf of bread in Yorkshire without being called "luv" at I least a dozen, times.

FLOWER A well-worn term of endearment in Yorkshire.


COCKER/OLD COCK This name, following on from hen, chicken and duck, came in at the end of the 19th century.

MUCKER Meaning a good friend, this came from the stable hands whose friends helped him "muck out".

BAB "Or roit, Bab?" - a term used to greet Brummie women - is a variation on "babe".

ME DUCK A Derbyshire term used since the 1500s. Shakespeare used the phrase "dainty duck" to mean a lover or sweetheart.

Have we missed a favourite term from your area? Email us at


CHUCK: Corrie's Jack and Vera' CARIAD: Charlotte' EEZERS: Rodney and Del-Boy' SEE YOU, PAL: Billy Connolly' MARRA: Jimmy Nail' LEEDS LASS: Nell McAndrew
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Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 18, 2006
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