70 words that you will understand only if you’re from Tyrone

editorial image

Tyrone is a unique corner of Ireland and Great Britain as everyone knows.

Its deeply rural setting, giving rise to the refrain ‘Tyrone among the bushes’, has helped its dialect stand firm against the advances of modern linguistic influences.

To ensure there are no misunderstandings for visitors to the county, the Tyrone Times has compiled its own guide to speaking the Tyrone dialect.

Should you be insulted or delighted to be called a budyin? Would you wear a markin or drink it? And is it a compliment to be described as a spiddick?

Check out the list below to make sure you’re not branded an amadan or a calderer.

The choice Tyrone words have their roots in the Gaelic language and traditions. In fact, there were several thousand native speakers of the language in the county according to the 1911 Census. Some of these would have been born and bred in Tyrone while others were migrants from the Donegal Gaeltachtaí. However, as the century progressed the number of native Tyrone speakers dwindled.

Amadan (amadán), a fool.

Baakan (bacán), a timber roof-beam.

Bockan barra (bocán beara), a toadstool or mushroom.

Bardrucks (pardóg or bardóg) wickerwork creels slung across a donkey’s back and used mainly for carrying turf.

Bing (beinn, binn), a large pile of potatoes etc.

Blether (bladar), nonsensical, boring talk.

Bothy (both), a small run-down house or shed, also found in Scots dialect.

Bresh (breis), a bout of illness.

Broughan (brachán) porridge.

Bruteen (brúitín) mashed potatoes with butter, the Irish version of poundies.

Brock (broc), a badger, also in Scots.

Budyin (boidín) a penis, sometimes used as a term of abuse

Brose (broghais), a fat, unwieldy person.

Brew (bruach), the edge of a river or turf-bank.

Bussock (basóg), a blow with the open hand.

Cack (cac), human excrement.

Calderer (cealdrach), a foolish person.

Capper (ceapaire), a slice of bread and jam.

Car (cár), a grimace, a cross face.

Clabber (clabar), mud or muck.

Crag (crag), a handful.

Craw (cró), outhouse for pigs, etc.

Crig (Criog), a rap, a blow.

Diddy (dide), a woman’s breast.

Deelog (daolog), any kind of beetle or cockroach.

Drig (driog), a small drop, the final drop of milk from a cow.

Dreedar (dríodar) sediment in the bottom of a bucket of water.

Dull (dol), a wire loop used as a rabbit snare.

Guggy (gogaí) a childish name for an egg.

Gub (gob), the mouth.

Gorreen (goirín), a pimple or boil.

Gammy (gámaí), a fool, a stupid person.

Glar (glár) green scum on a well or stagnant pool.

Gowpen (gabhpán), the full of two hands held together.

Gra (grá) love, liking “I have no gra for that fellow”.

Gulpen (guilpín) an ignorant lout.

Greeshey (gríosach), hot embers.

Jore (deor), a small drop of any liquid.

Keeney (caoineadh), wailing or howling, often said of a dog.

Kesh (ceis), heather, rushes, etc. placed so as to allow passage over a boggy place.

Kippen (cipín), a small stick.

Kitthog, kitter (ciotach), left-handed.

Lafter (lachtar), a brood of chicks or young turkeys

Looder (liúdar), a heavy, hard blow.

Loughryman (luchramán), a leprechuan, an elf.

Lug (log), the ear.

Lubber (liobar), a hanging lip, or a person with such.

Markin (mairtín), an old sock with the sole missing.

Miskin (meascán),a lump of home-churned butter.

Mullan (mullán), a small, round hill.

Malken (mulcán), a soggy mass, e.g. overboiled potatoes.

Pittick (piteog), a small, effeminate man.

Poreen (póirín), a small potato.

Puth, puss (pus), a sour face.

Scobe (scuab), a shallow bite from an apple or vegetable.

Scregh (scréach), a shriek, a screech.

Shall-fasky (seal foscaidh), a rough shelter, a calf-shed.

Shebeen (síbín), an illegal tavern.

Sheebowing (siabadh), drifting snow.

Sheeg (sidheog, síog), an elongated ‘hip-roofed’ haystack.

Slig (sliog), an old cutaway boot.

Sowans (Samhain) Oaten gruel formerly eaten from Hallowe’en onwards through the winter.

Spag (spag), a big foot.

Spiddick (spideog), abusive term for a small person.

Spink (spinnc), a steep, rocky slope.

Splank (splanc), a spark from the fire.

Tubashtey (tubaiste), an accident, a disaster.