9 Scouse Words & Phrases You'll Hear In Liverpool

Updated: Jan 5, 2021

Scouse Words & Phrases To Get To Grips With, So You Know What Liverpudlians Are Saying When You Visit The Liverpool City Region

The Liver Building is the iconic representation of the Liverpool City Region (Credit: The Liverpudlian/Peter Eric Lang).
The Liver Building is the iconic representation of the Liverpool City Region (Credit: The Liverpudlian/Peter Eric Lang).

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 Mersey Metropolis; building ships in yards like Cammell Laird, moving cargo in docks like Seaforth 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.


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.


'Sound'

Telling someone something or someone is 'sound' is, in normal English, the equivalent of saying great or in the US, saying awesome.


'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.'


'Trebs'

This Scouse word means shoes. Trebs are shoes, and if you 'can't find your shoes' you would say in Liverpool that 'I can't find me trebs, la!'


'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.


'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 Liverpudlians 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.'


'Kecks'

The Scouse word for trousers. Are your 'jeans falling down?' Here in Liverpool we would say 'me kecks are falling down, lad.'


'Home and Bargain'

Whilst the rest of the country are calling the Liverpudlian 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', or more realistically, as well as all other shops, such as 'The Tesco', 'The Aldi' and 'The Lidl'.


'Scally'

This Scouse word is used across the 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 ruffians, yobs or chavs.


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. In a sentence, someone in Liverpool would say: 'At her Birkenhead school she was head girl, but also had a reputation for being a scally.'


'Entry'

This Scouse terminology refers to an alleyway or back road. In a sentence you would say something like 'Did you see the scallies walkin' down the entry just before?' which, being translated into actual English is 'Did you see those yobs walk down the alleyway earlier?'