Alright our kid? Heard you are planning on moving to Manchester for university. You might be expecting a city filled with people who sound like the Gallagher brothers and Aitch, but that really is not the case. This friendly city is known for countless things, including its northern slang and the ridiculous amount it rains. Once you have bought a much-needed brolly, take a look at the words below, that you are bound to hear almost every day in your new home away from home. This is not an exhaustive list, so expect to google the odd word. But you will get by just fine.


Cuppa, anyone? Nope, not a brew this time, or juicy gossip. Tea still means the hot drink in this neck of the woods. But it also refers to the meal you have in the evening. So far, you have probably (incorrectly) been calling this meal ‘dinner’, but dinner time is midday! Three meals a day are essential: breakfast, dinner and tea.


Pronounced more like ‘mingin’ and ‘angin’ these are substitutes for the word ‘disgusting’. Hanging also means really hungover. So, overall, these are never great to hear.


This is pretty simple, nowt = nothing, and owt = anything. Nowt to get confused about here!

City and United

When it comes to football, there are many teams in and around Manchester with a large following. None are quite as large or famous as Manchester United or Manchester City. Not to be confused with city centre, often called ‘town’, City is usually the shorter and easier way of talking about Manchester City football club, and United is the same for their local rival.


A classic mum phrase, to mither someone is almost the same as to nag them. Repetitive and annoying, if you are mithering someone, they are not likely to do what you want. You have been warned!

yellow and black tram on road during daytime
Photo by Mangopear creative on ‘Ere Arr

Although it looks like a grunting sound, this is a common attention grabber. It sounds similar to ‘here you are’ and in some cases means the same thing, as well as getting someone to notice you or direct their attention.


To be honest, this is probably the most illogical word on the list. Scran means both food and to eat. So, while you can scran a bag of crisps, the crisps are the scran. Best just stick to the original.


A ginnel is synonymous with an alleyway, and one of the terms not exclusive to Manchester, but is used across the north. No one is entirely sure where the word came from. But they are best avoided altogether.


This is an adjective saved for people who insult others in an indirect or back-handed way. Snide comments are unkind and can be said behind someone’s back. If this descriptive word was an animal, it would be a snake.


A gaff refers to a house, flat, or any kind of accommodation. To use the word gaff in a sentence is to use it in a possessive way, so a person might say ‘my gaff’ to mean the place they call home. Possibly one of the less common slang words, it is very colloquial and is used in the most informal of settings.

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