Updated: May 3
Scouse Slang Words & Phrases To Get To Grips With, So You Know What Liverpudlians Are Saying When You Visit The Liverpool City Region
The Liverpool City Region is known across the globe for The Beatles, LFC, Everton FC and for our famous Port of Liverpool that encompasses the Liverpool Bay Area; building ships in yards like Cammell Laird, moving cargo in docks like Seaforth, Birkenhead and Garston, and welcoming people from all over the world in docks such as Woodside and the Pier Head.
If just a few of the aforementioned achievements wasn't already enough of a claim to fame, we are also known for our exceedingly rare accent. Mainly because nowhere else in the world has a dialect that even comes close to resembling a Scouse Accent, this is due to the fact that the Liverpudlian Accent is an amalgamation of numerous different accent influences from across the UK and world, including the Irish and Welsh accents.
The Liverpudlian Accent is also known as the Scouse Accent, the Mersey Accent or Merseyside Scouse. People instantly recognise the Scouse accent anywhere you go, they will ask you if you're from Liverpool even though they already know the answer is yes. The thickness of your Scouse Accent can literally be dependent on a road by road basis, as everyone sounds the same, yet so different.
Here are some Scouse Slang words you will likely hear when visiting Liverpool, and though the words may be used elsewhere in the UK, thier particular usage can tend to be rather specific when used in Liverpool:
Scouse Slang Word: 'Sound'
Telling someone something or someone is 'Sound' is, in normal English, the equivalent of saying great or in the US, saying 'Awesome'.
Scouse Slang Word: 'Dead'
One of the most common yet bizarre Scouse words is 'Dead'. When a Liverpudlian uses 'Dead' in a sentence it means 'Really'. A sentence with it in would look something like: 'Yeah mate, that's dead sound that, proper made up with my myself doin' that.'
In received pronunciation and the majority of the rest of the UK, that sentence would say 'Yes mate, that's really great isn't it? I'm so proud of myself for achieving that.'
Scouse Slang Word: 'Trabs'
This Scouse word means shoes. Trabs are shoes, and if you 'can't find your shoes' you would say in Liverpool that 'I can't find me trabs, lad!'
Scouse Slang Word: '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 the words amazing or epic.
Scouse Slang Word: 'Proper'
Yes, the word proper is used in the English speaking world and it is not exclusive to the Liverpool City Region. However, the way Scousers use the word proper is what makes it so different. Many Scousers across the LCR use the word 'proper' exceptionally frequently and pronounce it like 'proppa'.
In a sentence we would say 'Yeah lad, that's been proper boss that. Such a proper sound day mate.' Which would translate to 'Yeah mate, that has been amazing. It was such a great day.'
Scouse Slang Word: 'Pants'
The localised word for trousers is often 'Pants'. Are your 'Jeans falling down?' Here in the Liverpool City Region we would say: 'My pants are falling down!'
Scouse Slang Word: 'Home And Bargain'
Whilst the rest of the country are calling the Liverpool-based company Home Bargains, we're all calling it 'Home and Bargain' or more likely, 'Home 'n Bargain'.
The reason behind this is that Home Bargains was originally called Home and Bargain and essentially we've struggled to get used to the new name. Despite giving Asda the new name of 'The Asda', as well as all other shops, such as 'The Tesco', 'The Aldi' and 'The Lidl'.
Scouse Slang Word: 'Scally'
This Scouse word is used across the City Region to describe someone or a group of people who are doing something wrong or acting sketchy. In other places of the UK, 'scallies' may be called yobs.
Oxford Languages by the Oxford University Press gave the example of: a roguish self-assured young person, typically a man, who is boisterous, disruptive, or irresponsible. They provided the example sentence of someone in the Liverpool City Region saying: 'At her Birkenhead school she was head girl, but also had a reputation for being a scally.'
Scouse Slang Word: 'Entry'
This Scouse terminology refers to an alleyway or a narrow back road as an 'entry'. In a more localised sentence, you would say something like 'Did you see the scallies walkin' down the entry just before?' which, being translated into standard English is: 'Did you see those yobs walk down the alleyway earlier?'