Those who grew up in parts of East Dorset, will likely be less baffled by these sayings than most.

The Echo have put together a guide to explain some of the unusual slang words you might have heard in and around Hampshire.

Although some of the terms may not have originated locally, they have been adopted and used more in Hampshire than anywhere else.

Do you have any others that should be added to the list? Let us know in the comments below.

Mush - mate, chum

Although now used in other parts of the UK the origins of this Southampton colloquialism has Romany gypsy claims.
However, some historians have attributed the friendly term to French ships docking at the port in the Middle Ages, when the word ‘Monsieur’ was abbreviated to ‘Mush’.

Sotonian - Southamptonian

Echo sub-editors found ‘Southamptonian’ far too long to fit into most newspaper headlines and so the word ‘Sotonian’ was born.
One of the Daily Echo’s most respected journalists of the 1950s, Clarence Fairbank Carr, told local Rotary club members in 1957: “These words were produced for convenience in newspaper headlines.The abbreviations for Southampton and Southamptonian were invented by the Southern Daily Echo years ago.’’

Somewhen - sometime

It is believed that the word originated on the Isle of Wight.
“Somewhen” appears in historical records for the first time in the late 13th century.
Yet that early usage - spelled “somwanne” - was a rarity since the word dropped out of sight for almost 600 years.

Aeriated - annoyed

Some locals claim that ‘aeriated’ has local origins, although evidence would suggest it originated in Liverpool.
Early spellings included ‘aerated’, although that developed into ‘aeriated’ as recent as 1974.

Chud - chewing gum

Using this word in Hampshire is just an abbreviation for a slang term used in Scotland and Northern England.
The word chuggy seems to be more popular in Scotland, chuddy in and around Leeds and chewy in Liverpool.
However, here in Southampton, locals seem to like to use the word ‘chud’ if not the usual ‘chewing gum.’
We’re not alone though. Tyneside seem to favour the word above all others - even over ‘chewing gum!’

Squinny - complainer

A Hampshire saying, although more Portsmouth than anywhere else.
Said to have its roots among the Romany gypsies, it’s also thought it may have developed from Shakespeare’s King Lear:
““I remember thine eyes well enough. Dost thou squiny at me?”

Dinlo - fool

Another one on this list that’s thought to have its roots among the Romany gyspies.
It’s usually used in a lighthearted manor when implying that somebody is silly.

Nammet - lunch

Another word thought to have originated on the Isle of Wight.
It’s believed that ‘nammet’ was originally used as a term for bread and cheese with a drink of beer for people working the field.
Over time the meaning was broadened to mean sandwich and then lunch in general.
Interestingly though, the meaning may have gone full circle. The word likely developed from the medieval word nonemete, meaning ‘lunch’.

Bournemouth Echo: Aerial view of Southampton

But it’s not just the occasional word that people from Hampshire like to use. Sometimes it’s entire sayings. Some have obvious meanings, others have their meanings explained:

  • If the birds be silent, expect thunder.
  • Don’t say spring has come until you can put your foot on nine daisies.
  • You may safely sheer your sheep when the elder blossoms peep.
  • A dewy morning indicates fine weather.
  • Just about - Excessive, e.g. “It’s just about cold today.
  • By hook or by crook - as much dead wood as a man could reach with a crooked stick
  • I’low’ - I admit.
  • Wot cheer, mush - What cheer mate
  • It came clever - It arrived safely
  • Nice marnin’ you - The reply was “Yes, tis you.’’
  • All of a tizy-wazy - Undecided.

The old Hampshire dialect even has many idiosyncratic names for birds, including:

  • Sparrow - Pudingbird
  • Nuthatch - Mud dabler
  • Wagtail - Polly dishwasher
  • Thrush - Drish
  • Woodpecker - Yaffl
  • Chaffinch - Chink
  • Wren - Tom Thumb

Bournemouth Echo: House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) perched on a post, UK.

And to make matters even more confusing, there are even Hampshire names for wild

  • Birdsfoot Trefoil - Grannies’ Slippers
  • Hawthorn berries - Heg-Heg
  • Fir Cones - Fir Apples
  • Early Purple Orchid - Dead Man’s Fingers
  • Quaking Grass – Wiggle-Wangle-Wanton