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6 Scouse Slang Words You Will Hear When You Visit The Liverpool City Region & What Each Of Them Mean

Updated: Jan 30

Learn Frequently Used Scouse Slang Words Used Across The Liverpool City Region, From 'Sound' And 'Boss' To 'Antwacky' And 'Trabs'

The icon of the Liverpool City Region, the Royal Liver Building, designed by local architect, Walter Aubrey Thomas who hailed from Birkenhead in the Liverpool Borough of Wirral (Credit: The Liverpudlian).
The icon of the Liverpool City Region, the Royal Liver Building, designed by local architect, Walter Aubrey Thomas who hailed from Birkenhead in the Liverpool Borough of Wirral (Credit: The Liverpudlian).

The Liverpool City Region is known for its accent, however, its interpretation of words can also be puzzling to those from outside the City.

Here is a quick guide to get you up to speed on the Scouse Slang words you will most likely hear when you are visiting Liverpool.

Regardless of if you are visiting for a day-trip, having a weekend break, moving to Liverpool for work, to study here as one of the City's more than 70,000 students, or if you just feel like relocating to an incredible new city. If any of these apply to you, then this quick guide will help you get on your way with some of the local Liverpool Slang terms used in the Liverpool City Region.

Liverpool is a City and Metro Area in the UK that comprises of Six Boroughs: The City of Liverpool, and the Boroughs of Wirral, Sefton, Halton, St. Helens, and Knowsley.

Here is a selection of Liverpool Slang words and phrases you will undoubtedly hear when in the City.

1. Scouse Slang: 'Sound'

One of the City Region's most used slang words is 'Sound'. Telling someone something or someone is 'sound' is, in standard English, the equivalent of saying great or awesome. It is most people's go to reply if they are happy with something or agree with your response.

In response to someone saying: 'Shall we meet tomorrow for a bevvy at, say, seven o'clock?' In a sentence you would say: 'Yeah, that's sound mate, look forward to seeing you then.'

2. Scouse Slang: 'Trabs'

This Scouse word means shoes. Trabs are shoes, particularly trainers. The term 'trabs' is in reference to the 1980s Adidas Trimm Trabs trainers which, in natural Scouse style, became shortened to 'trabs' and then this was applied to all shoes of that nature.

If you 'can't find your shoes', then in a sentence that you would say in Liverpool, you would say: 'I can't find me trabs! I've looked everywhere for them.'

3. Scouse Slang: 'Boss'

Saying something is 'boss' is a bit of a step up from saying 'sound'. It's not just great. It's epic. Saying 'boss' is the equivalent of amazing or epic. This word is used for great levels of excitement.

In a sentence you would say: 'That's boss, that is mate, I can't wait for the gig! It's going to be class.'

4. Scouse Slang: 'Z-Cars'

Another fun and unusual nickname for the police is 'Z-Cars'. This slang word will generally be head by more senior Liverpudlians, as takes its name from the 60s TV show, 'Z-Cars', which was set in the fictional town of Newtown near Liverpool.

The fictitious place of Newtown was based on what is actually Kirkby, which sits in the Borough of Knowsley in the Liverpool City Region, and now firmly sits as part of the suburban Liverpool neighbourhoods.

In a sentence you would head something along the lines of: 'The Z-Cars are over there, lad. Stop acting daft now, will ya?'

5. Scouse Slang: 'Devo'ed'

Saying 'Devo'ed' is used by many Scousers on a daily basis to mean they are 'devastated' and dissapointed about something that has happened. For example, in a sentence you would say: 'I'm proper devo'ed I didn't get the job you know.'

6. Scouse Slang: 'Antwacky'

The Scouse word 'Antwacky' derives from the amalgaamation of words 'antique', 'antiquated' and 'wacky' being combined together to create a hodgepodge of words that essentially means old-fashioned and old hat. It is used to refer to things that are out of date and not necessarily in use any nowadays.

Anything that is not used by a majority of people on a daily basis could techinically be described as 'antwacky'. For example, an item of clothing from the any of the previous decards might be described as 'antwacky', an older more outdated piece of technology or a quirky piece of furnature.

In a sentence you would say: 'That jacket is proper antwacky, I haven't seen anything like that before, it's so unusual!'

What Scouse Slang Do You Use?

This is just a small selection of the local lingo. Yet it provides a more in depth look at some of the Liverpool City Region's quirky vocabulary, what they mean and why they are used.

Let us know in the comments or through our email address what Liverpool Slang you use the most. And please do let us know of any little stories you have that you think may be of interest!

3 comentarios

24 ene

Kirkby is in Knowsley, not Sefton.

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Contestando a

This has been updated, thank you! 😊

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17 nov 2023

I thought it was from the backslang Trabainers myself but that’s the good thing about slang innit?

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