Brummie Slang Words, Phrases, and Accent (A Local Guide) (2023)

Also known as the Birmingham dialect, the Brummie dialect is spoken by residents of Britain's second largest city, Birmingham, which is famous for its world-class curry houses.

The term Brummie is also the name of the inhabitants of this town.

The townspeople not only have their own dialect, but also their ownbrumie accent,That sounds odd to outsiders, and not just foreign visitors from abroad, but Brits in neighboring towns and counties too!

Did you know already:Historically, Birmingham was originally known as Beormingaham, named after the Anglo-Saxon tribe who settled in the area in AD 600. It was recorded in the Domesday Book as Bermingeham in the 11th century and over time the name changed slightly to Brummagem or Bromwichham, still in use many centuries later.

For more curiosities about the city, I have prepared a post by38 interesting facts about Birmingham

In this post, I've put together a detailed guide to the most commonly used Brummie slang words and phrases, their meanings, and how to use them in conversation. Plus how to speak with a brummie accent, a video tutorial and a list of some rude terms and their meanings.

Scroll to read my Brummie slang, phrases and accent (a local guide)


to disclose:Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you click through and make a purchase, I will earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Brummie Slang Words, Phrases and Accent (A Local Guide)

Meaning of Brummie: Definitions and Brief History of the Dialect

As Birmingham has been known as Brummagem by locals for several centuries, this has led to the terms Brum (short for Brummagem) and Brummie, which is the collective name of the city's residents, their accent and dialect.

The term Brummie is often misused to refer to all West Midlands accents and peoples, although the people of the Black Country bordering Birmingham are proud people with their own dialect, a different accent and even their own flag. and are therefore not identified as Brummies. As such, the two should not be confused with one another.

Brummie Slang Words, Phrases, and Accent (A Local Guide) (1)

What is the difference between a Brummie and a Black Country?

A brummie refers exclusively to residents of the city of Birmingham, while the Black Country is the industrial region surrounding Birmingham to the north and west, consisting of Walsall, Wolverhampton, Sandwell and Dudley. The people of the Black Land are known as "Yam Yam".

There are similarities between Brummies and Yam Yams accents, but they are not the same and both have their own distinct dialects.

(Video) Testing Brummie slang on Open Day visitors | University Challenged

Commonly used slang words

What are the words Brummie? Here is a collection of the dialects and idioms most commonly used by today's Brummie population:

  • is not- Is not.
  • Arkansas– yes, or agree to something.
  • ark within- Listen to this!
  • Akee– the popular game called Tag.
  • beverages– catchy term, likeEstimatedÖamar.
  • Scream-yell and yell at someone- "roar and yell"
  • team branch- just like "Great Timer", a well-known and respected person who knows what he is talking about and always takes big steps in life.
  • bonce- Continue.
  • Bost- Is broken.
  • The sum- the bus.
  • roar– an object that has Birmingham connotations
  • poop hands- do something clumsy.
  • definitely disabled- don't do something
  • is small- Here you are.
  • ent- Is not.
  • Verboten– the alley between terraced houses.
  • Garage– a gas station or service station.
  • Island– a roundabout.
  • it's raining– Rain enters the house, close the window.
  • legal- run away.
  • Meters / Meters- upset someone.
  • breasts- boobs. Unlike the rest of the UK, Brummies call their mothers "Mummy" instead of "Mama". Although widely used in the United States and other parts of the world, the word "mama" originally comes from the Midlands region of England and was first written in 1867.
    hike to- Look around.
  • chew- hug/cuddling.
  • Outside– the unlicensed / kiosks. Example:"I'm only going outside"means going out.
  • Reza- the reservoir, probably Edgbaston.
  • Spin the wrekina popular local expression. It means going a long way to get to a destination or taking a long time to get to the point of a story. The Wrekin is also a hill in Shropshire.
  • tare a little– Goodbye for now / see you later.
  • Tee– Dinner, around 6pm/7pm.
  • The cut- the channel.
  • The bull– a bronze statue in front of the Plaza de Toros and a general meeting place in the city.
  • best tip– a fruit flavored long ice cream.
  • Until– an alcoholic drink.
  • Ciudad– Birmingham city center.
  • girl– a term of endearment for a young girl.
  • Mal- something cool, cool, funny, awesome, etc.

In the Brummie Urban Dictionary algorithm, the top 5 slang words for "Birmingham" are:Witch,hum,Burmese,Lozells, yBI bought.

Brummie Slang Words, Phrases, and Accent (A Local Guide) (2)

Popular release:143 Best Travel Captions for Instagram

Words and phrases from A to Z of Brummie Slang

Below is a compilation of other Brummie dialects and phrases still used in Brum today:

  • Acker– a word used in Brum meaning money.
  • return- complain or moan.
  • Despite it- definitely or definitely.
  • 'Kind– an expression for a younger brother or sister. It can also refer to younger relatives, friends or colleagues. "C'mon kid, let's take the bus to town."
  • Are you there- crazy or insane Example:"It drove me crazy."
  • scream out- Loud crying, like the loud screeching and sobbing of an angry child.
  • Black on Bill's mother– which means the sky is dark and black clouds are gathering. Bill is William Shakespeare and his mother is Mary Arden from Stratford. That means the rain clouds are coming from Stratford-upon-Avon.
  • at full volume- cry or sob.
  • player- a West Midlands name for a large moth.
  • Strangle– a word to chew or chew out loud. Young people who chew sweets and candies can be said to “Stop chipping your stones.
  • clarify about it– a local word for wasting time.
  • Top– the word for a bun, supposedly because the small round buns resemble the cobblestones on the street.
  • a couple or three- if someone talks about it"a couple or three", they just mean two or more, some but not many.
  • dolls- a way of saying hands. Example:„Danos tus donnies“is what a mother can say to a child"Take my hand."
  • Type brown like Livery Street- a person who looks miserable. Livery Street is a very long street in the jewelry district of Birmingham.
  • in Form– a local term for food and hence 'bostin'fittle' is a way of saying good food. It's also the name of a restaurant in Dudley.
  • “Go and play your own ending’ – a phrase shouted to children who are on the streets, telling them to go play in front of their own houses.
  • 'Have a bob for yourself'- if you say someone has"has a shock inside"it means they think they are better than others.
  • "Well, go to the bottom of our stairs!"– often used as an exclamation of shock or surprise.
  • Spielen– one turn forward.
  • Broken- an alley or square behind houses.
  • have a benny- to throw a leash.
  • Lampe- hit or punch someone. Example:"I'll light you up if you keep going", Ö"He gave her a good lamp."
  • nausea- a person who messes something up.
  • 'Never in a pork pudding rain' - an expression meaning that something will never happen.
  • Noggy– which means obsolete or obsolete.
  • all oil– an old saying when feeling satisfied and happy, as in"I'm on my oil baby."It dates back to the days when workers would sip a little olive oil before drinking beer, believing it would line the stomach and prevent them from getting too drunk.
  • a bomb- knock someone out with one punch.
  • blinkers poked– a flat cap worn by the Birmingham gang in the 20th century.
  • Inquire– means a slice of bread and butter, sometimes a sandwich.
  • Pop- any carbonated soda, such as lemonade or cola.
  • rock– Response/Response Duration
  • Scrage– Scratching, scraping or rubbing the skin.
  • Siesta- means food or a meal. Example:"I'll look for my snap"a Brummie would say when he goes to dinner.
  • This gives the baby no dress and no safety pin- The expression means"That doesn't get us any further, we're wasting time."
  • half soggy- a person who is stupid or clumsy.
  • shake- (or kick ass at school) when a child intentionally skips class or skips class.
  • Waldhügel- old term for stairs.
  • Yampy– a well-known Midlands word used to describe someone who is stupid, crazy or lost their way.
  • you will have it dark– a phrase accusing someone of being too slow to do something, implying that it will be night when the task is completed.
  • 0121– used to tell someone to get lost. Example:"0121 do one."(0121 is the Birmingham area code).

What does Boston mean?

One of the most popular and well-known words in the Brummie Slang dictionary is the word"Bostin"🇧🇷 It's a well-known term that meansImpressive,unbelievable,bright, ÖGreat🇧🇷 the shortest word"Bost"(similar to the word bust) is colloquial forInside, so you can use the word Boston to describe something that isimposing.

This word is also popular in the Black Country dialect.

(Video) Birmingham Dialect Words (Brummie) [Korean Billy]

Weird, rude and funny terms, euphemisms and phrases

Of course, the Brummie dialect would be incomplete without its share of imaginative words, phrases, and crude euphemisms. Among the most commonly used brummie insults and outrageous definitions, I've put together a little urban dictionary (*Embargo:some of them are pretty cheesy*).

  • Amazonas- a common type of prostitute hanging around Birmingham known for her anal sex.
  • Behind Rackham's- Mostly used as an insult, this miserable swarm of scum and villains makes Mos Eisley look like Moseley. The phrase comes from the red point of light at the back of Rackhams department store (now the House of Fraser) in Birmingham city centre. 🇧🇷She'll be after Rackhams," one might say of someone accused of promiscuity.
  • Birminghamismus- the feeling of going to Birmingham or when something good happens to you while in town (e.g. meeting friends, shopping or partying on Broad Street)
  • Chaventry- Slang for the nearby city of Coventry
  • Chawittab- used to describe someone masturbating in the University of Birmingham toilets
  • dirty skin– a curry, usually of dubious quality, eaten first thing in the morning in a street store after a long night of carousing and drinking. Named after Curtis Davies, an athlete who was spotted enjoying this type of food in Birmingham.
  • Etabl– a cheap city hotel, used for the quick “jump”
  • doorknob scraper– Barber/hairdresser
  • candy– an area of ​​the Birmingham ghetto, home to gangs and crime
  • happy hell- slang for Merry Hill, a town in the neighboring Black Country
  • northern monkey- everyone north of Brum running like the toughest creature on earth
  • brown poppy- originally from Selly Oak, slang for a woman who sleeps with several men and lives only one night.
  • Raaa- means "wow" or "oh my god", commonly used by young Black and Asian minorities from the Handsworth area of ​​Brum
  • Wiesel– means male or female genitals, commonly referred to as the vagina.

More British slang posts:

  • Guide to London Cockney Rhyming Slang
Brummie Slang Words, Phrases, and Accent (A Local Guide) (3)

my posthas a collection of free and useful downloadable PDF maps of Birmingham, from rail and bus network maps to tourist attractions, shopping malls, restaurants and cafes.

the brummie accent

The so-called "British accent" is recognized worldwide due to hit TV dramas and blockbuster films, which are often prevalent among Hollywood stars/villains.

However, what many people don't know is that there is actually no such thing as a British accent.

What people hear outside of the UK is technically known as Received Pronunciation (RP), the elite accent, also known as Queen's English.

Additionally, there are many different regional accents across the UK, some of which are even specific to individual cities. And believe it or not, these accents sound very different: some are soft, melodic, and easy to hear. Others are upbeat and upbeat, like the Liverpool accent.

Some, like the regional accents of Scottish and Northern English, sound cold, making the speaker sound hostile and even hostile to the untrained ear. And then there are some accents like Geordie that sound funny, weird and incomprehensible even to other regional accent users!

The Brummie accent spoken by Birmingham natives (like me) is perhaps the most derided of all regional accents in Britain. I am not sure why this is happening. But to my ears, that accent reminds me of home and friendly people.

how do you talk like a brummie

The Brummie accent differs from most regional accents in that it has a falling intonation at the end of each spoken sentence, meaning that the pitch of the voice drops and the sound of the last word slowly dies out. On the other hand, accents such as Scouse (Liverpool accent) and Northern Irish have a rising intonation and therefore a pitch increase when spoken, making these accents sound lively and cheerful.

As such, Brummie's accent is fairly monotonous, usually hitting a single low note and staying with it no matter what. This may be why it has such a negative reputation in the UK. Also, when portrayed on TV, a Brummie comes across as bored, unimaginative, and idiotic. Let's hope this unfair stereotype changes after the worldwide success of the gangster TV series Peaky Blinders.

ONE'Top'simply refers to a bun,'I heard'it means to be in a bad mood. Example:"He has the right ear this morning."

(Video) Felicity Jones Teaches Conan "Brummie" Slang | CONAN on TBS

Video: Learn to speak Brummie

Here's a great video that will be helpful in explaining how to correctly pronounce words with a Brummie accent:

Birmingham overview

  • Zone:267.8 square kilometers
  • Tempo:8C (Winter), 24C (Sommer)
  • Population:1.1 million (2nd in UK)
  • Founded:600 dC
  • International Airport:Birmingham (BHX)
  • Famous Residents:Ozzy Osbourne, Led Zeppelin & UB40 (Musicians), David Edgar (Poet), Benjamin Zephaniah (Writer)

Frequently Asked Questions

dolls- a way of saying hands. Example:„Danos tus donnies“is what a mother can say to a child"Take my hand."

'Beverages'means a little boy, but the abbreviated version'beveragesis a variation ofbeverages, usually a term of endearment to those you love and know very well, similar to "hun" or "dear". Example: "How are you, darling?"

A brummie refers exclusively to residents of the city of Birmingham, while the Black Country is the industrial region surrounding Birmingham to the north and west, consisting of Walsall, Wolverhampton, Sandwell and Dudley. The people of the Black Land are known as "Yam Yam".

There are similarities between Brummies and Yam Yams accents, but they are not the same and both have their own distinct dialects.

Brummie is a term given to the residents of the city of Birmingham, England. As Birmingham has been known as Brummagem by locals for many centuries, the term 'Brummie' as well as 'Brum' (short for Brummagem) came about.

As Birmingham has been known as Brummagem by locals for several centuries, this has led to the terms Brum (short for Brummagem) and Brummie, which is the collective name of the city's residents, their accent and dialect.

Unlike the rest of the UK, Brummies call their mothers "Mummy" instead of "Mama". Although widely used in the United States and other parts of the world, the word "mama" originally comes from the Midlands region of England and was first written in 1867.

This makes buying birthday and mother's day cards for brummies in the UK very frustrating as virtually all cards say 'mummy' or 'mama'.

Due to the sound of the accent and a dialect unfamiliar to outsiders, the Brummie accent is common across the country. In fact, it was voted least attractive in Britain. Let's hope that changes now that its use by lead character Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders has become so popular.

While he might be good enough for Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders, he isWitchAccent was voted least attractive in the country. And just to rub, the Wolverhamptonaccentmoved up five spots on the list.

The Brummie accent originated many centuries ago in the Midlands town formerly known as Brummagem and now known as Birmingham, the second largest city in the United Kingdom.

The Brummie dialect, also known as the Birmingham dialect, is spoken by the residents of Birmingham, the second largest city in the United Kingdom. The term Brummie is also the name of the people of Birmingham.

WortPopIt has several definitions: in itself it means pumpkin (e.g.: orange squash, Ribena). Although some also use it to refer to soft drinks.bubbly popmeans carbonated soft drinks/beverages (e.g. lemonade, cola). jadvice popmeans tap water only. "Council" implies that a person is too poor/broke to afford regular pop, which is stereotypically associated with people living on council properties.

(Video) A BRUMMIE Explains The Birmingham Accent to a LONDONER

Thanks for reading my post:Brummie Slang Words, Phrases and Accent (A Local Guide)

I hope you enjoyed this post and learned a cool new language and that it inspires you to visit my hometown one day. Leave a comment below!

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Further Reading: Traveling in Britain

The itinerary

  • The 10 Best Things to Do in Bath, England
  • How to visit Stonehenge for free

UK facts and general knowledge publications

68 Facts About Scotland (+ Why You Should Visit)

47 Interesting Facts About London You Probably Didn't Know

18 Interesting Facts About Stonehenge (2023 Edition)

57 Interesting And Unbelievable Facts About Liverpool

52 Facts About Wales (+ Why You Should Visit)

71 Facts About England (2022 Edition)

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Brummie Slang Words, Phrases, and Accent (A Local Guide) (10)

Brummie Slang Words, Phrases, and Accent (A Local Guide) (11)

(Video) Slang from Birmingham and the Black Country! (With a Peaky Blinder!)


What words do Brummies say weird? ›

16 Birmingham and Black Country slang terms explained
  • 'Ackee 1-2-3'
  • 'Bostin''
  • 'Scrage'
  • 'Buzz'
  • 'Evelyn Mel'
  • 'This ain't gettin' the babby a frock and pinny'
  • 'Donnies'
  • 'Gambol'
Mar 1, 2021

What do Brummies call each other? ›

Babby, bab n. Literally, a baby. Figuratively, 'bab' is a term of endearment or friendship; combine with 'all right' to give the greeting 'All right, bab'. If you're a barmaid, dinner lady or similar, you can get away with using it on strangers.

How do Brummie say hello in slang? ›

Brummies tend to use the word 'alright' as a greeting rather than the usual 'hello'. If we do say 'hello' then we end to drop the 'h' thus saying 'ello' instead.

What does Yam Yam mean in Birmingham? ›

Natives of Birmingham (Brummies) meanwhile often refer to their Black Country neighbours as "Yam Yams", a reference to the use of "yow am" instead of "you are".

Why do Brummies say baby? ›

Definition: Bab is generally a term of endearment meant for people you know quite well. Kind of like saying 'hun' or 'babe'. Whereas babby means baby. Don't ask why we added an extra 'b'.

How do Birmingham people talk? ›

The Brummie dialect, or more formally the Birmingham dialect, is spoken by many people in Birmingham, England, and some of its surrounding areas. "Brummie" is also a demonym for people from Birmingham.

How do Brummies say goodbye? ›

Ta-ra a bit is a Midlands phrase meaning 'Goodbye for now, see you later.

Do they say mom in Birmingham? ›

Mom and Mommy are old-English words, words that are stilled used in Birmingham and most parts of the West Midlands, we all use the term Mom and Mommy never Mum or Mummy, as here the correct spelling is Mom and Mommy has been for hundreds and hundreds of years, when people from the West Midlands went to America all ...

What does wench mean in Birmingham? ›

2. Wench is an affectionate term for a girl or young woman. Most Read. 1.

What is an old Brummie slang? ›

'Brummie' as a name for a Birmingham person is what is known as a demonym. This is a word that shows a person as being a resident of a particular place, and the word is usually derived from that place's name. In the case of Birmingham, 'Brummie' comes from Brummagem, a name for the city used by locals since the 1700s.

What do Yam Yams say? ›

People living in Birmingham often refer to Black Country folk as Yam Yams because they say 'yow am' or 'yow'm' instead of 'you are', whereas the term 'Brummie', used to refer to people from Birmingham, is derived from 'Brummagem' - traditional Black Country speak for Birmingham.

What does bostin mean in Brummie slang? ›

To the west of Birmingham is the Black Country, once the UK's industrial heartland. Many terms that are commonly thought of as Brummie, such as bostin (fantastic), donnies (hands), outdoor (an off licence) and tararabit! (see you!) are in fact originally from this region.

What does Yim Yam mean? ›

Shaun Harrison asked us where the phrase "Yam Yam" came from "referring to people from the Black Country". The Urban Dictionary website said it derived from the Black Country dialect for "you are" - "yam".

How do Brummies say bus? ›

Buzz – the bus. Cack-handed – doing something in a clumsy way. Deff off – to not do something.

What is a Tatter Black Country? ›

Not to be confused with taters (potatoes) tatters are men in lorries that drive around playing a bugle on a Sunday morning, looking for free scrap metal.

Are Brummies friendly? ›

Brummies are very friendly and always up for a laugh, Possibly the friendliest people you will meet on this planet.

Who is the most famous Brummie? ›

The ten most inspiring Brummies
  • John Cadbury. Founder of Cadbury chocolate company.
  • Malala Yousafzai. Activist and Nobel Prize winner.
  • John Taylor. Musician, Duran Duran.
  • Dame Julie Walters. Actress.
  • Carl Chinn. Historian, writer and broadcaster.
  • Benjamin Zephaniah. Poet and writer.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien. ...
  • Joseph Priestley.

What part of the UK says Mom? ›

Mum is common throughout Britain, but particularly in the south. Mam is used in Ireland, Wales, Scotland and parts of northern England. Mom is most associated with American English.

Why do Brum people say mom? ›

And yeah: we're also fully aware that in the rest of the UK, people say 'mum'. Brummies just say 'mom'. It's like the way that people from Manchester say 'sound' when they mean 'good'. Or the way Londoners use 'flat' to mean 'extortionately-priced cupboard'.

Why do Brummies say Gambol? ›

Gambol - A Brummie word for a forward roll or roly poly that you'll never hear anywhere else. Hobbady-lantern - the eerie glow created by natural gases burning as they rose from bogs and marshes, more commonly called will-o'-the-wisp. A hob is an old word for a spirit, also seen in the word hobgoblin.

Where in Birmingham is Greet? ›

Greet (grid reference SP100841) is a historical area in south Birmingham, England, around modern Sparkhill. Now a name obsolete in addresses, Greet, meaning "gravel" (grit)", was one of the medieval manors around Birmingham on the eastern gravelly slopes of the sandstone ridge which runs through central Birmingham.

What are the characteristics of a Birmingham accent? ›

Unlike most regional accents, Brummie uses a downward intonation at the end of each sentence. This means that typically the voice lowers in pitch and the sound of the last word fades away slowly. Brummie is a rather monotone accent, only hitting one note, usually a low one, and sticking to it no matter what.

What does Bab mean in Birmingham? ›

Bab is a term of endearment meant for close friends. Kind of like saying 'hun' or 'babe'. But babby means baby.

What food is famous in Birmingham? ›

Birmingham is renowned for its Balti – a spicy, aromatic Kashmiri dish served with boiled rice. Balti and curry houses started popping up in Birmingham in the 1970's and have been a popular haunt for locals and tourists ever since.

Why is Birmingham called the Black Country? ›

The name has been in use since the mid-19th century and is thought to refer to the colour of the coal seam or the air pollution from the many thousands of foundries and factories around at the time; in 1862, Elihu Burritt famously described the area as being 'black by day and red by night'.

What is the Brummie word for sandwich? ›

"Piece" What it normally means: A bit of something. What it means in Birmingham: A sandwich. Best served with Daddies sauce to make a "hot sauce piece".

What are Babs slang? ›

Babby is a local variation of baby, and the shortened form bab is often used as an affectionate term for "love" or "dear".

What does winch a girl mean? ›

verb. wenched; wenching; wenches. intransitive verb. archaic. : to associate with and especially to have sexual relations with promiscuous women or prostitutes.

Why is the Birmingham accent so weird? ›

"There tends not to be much movement of the face with the Birmingham accent. Too much facial activity or tightness in the face and you can end up sounding like you are from Liverpool. For Birmingham accents the lips tend to poke forward, so they're quite pouty and rosebud shaped," she says. "It works the other way too.

How do you say crazy in British slang? ›

Barmy – Crazy or insane.


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2. What does a Black Country accent sound like?
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3. Birmingham "Brummie" Accent (Female) AccentBase file #172
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