A Comprehensive Guide to Brummie Slang

Birmingham is full of unusual places for a date
Birmingham is full of unusual places for a date | © .P.S. (UK) / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Richard Franks
Freelance Travel & Music Writer20 September 2018

Are you in Birmingham and literally have no idea what everyone is saying? Don’t worry; we’ve got your back. This guide to Brummie slang should help you out. Though some are seldom used of late, they still ring true with the locals. Tara-a-bit.

0121 – used to tell someone to get lost: “0121 do one”.

A face as long as Livery Street – a really sad face. Livery Street is ridiculously long.

Ackee – the playground game of tag.

Aggin’ – complaining or moaning.

Ain’t – it is not.

Ar – yes, or to agree with something.

Ark at that – listen to that!

Bab – an endearing term to a female.

Babby – a young child.

Back of Rackhams – often used as an insult, as the back of Rackhams was thought to be a red light area.

Black over Bill’s mother’s – black clouds are coming. Bill is William Shakespeare, which means the rain clouds are coming from Stratford-upon-Avon.

Bonce – a head.

Bost – it’s broken.

Buzz – the bus.

Cack-handed – a clumsy way of doing something.

Cob – a bread roll.

Council pop – tap water.

Deff off – to not do something.

Ee-yar – here you are.

Ent – it is not.

Entry – the alley between terraced houses.

Fizzy pop – a fizzy drink.

Gambol – a forward roll.

Garage – a petrol station.

Gully – an alleyway, or space round the back of houses.

Having a Benny – to throw a strop.

Island – a roundabout.

It’s raining in – rain is getting inside the house, close the window.

Leg it – run away.

Mither/Myther – pestering someone.

Mom – mother. NOT MUM.
Mooch – have a look around.

Munch – to hug/cuddle.

Nause – someone who makes a mess of something.

One bomb – to knock someone out with one punch.

Outdoor – the off licence.

Peaky blinder – a flat cap worn by the Birmingham gang in the 1900s.

Pop – squash; not to be confused with fizzy drinks.

Rezza – the reservoir, most likely Edgbaston.

Round the Wrekin – going the long way around (after the Wrekin Hills in Shropshire)

Tara-a-bit – see you later.

Tea – dinner, around 6/7pm.

The cut – the canal.

The Bull – a bronze statue outside the Bullring, and a general meeting place in town.

Tip top – a long fruit-flavoured ice lolly.

Tot – an alcoholic drink.

Town – Birmingham city centre.

Wag – skip school or miss a lesson on purpose.

Wench – an affectionate term for a young woman.

Wooden hills – old term for stairs.

Got any words to add? Let us know in the comments!

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