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Page 1 of 25 

BBC VOICES RECORDINGS 

http://sounds.bl.uk

 

 



                                                

 

Title: 

 

Bedworth, Warwickshire 



 

Shelfmark: 

 

C1190/01/02 



 

Recording date: 

 

09.03.2005 



 

Speakers: 

Anita, b. 1988; female; sixth-form student (father b. India, bus driver; mother b. Derby, driving instructor) 

Shergill, Kieran, b. 1987; female; sixth-form student (father b. India, works at Dunlop; mother b. India, 

machinist) 

Nykita, b. 1988; female; sixth-form student (mother b. Coventry) 

 

The interviewees are sixth-form students at Nicholas Chamberlaine School in Bedworth. 



ELICITED LEXIS 

 

 see English Dialect Dictionary (1898-1905) 



 see New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English (2006) 

 see Green’s Dictionary of Slang (2010) 



 see Urban Dictionary (online) 

 no previous source (with this sense) identified 



 

 

 

 

 

 

pleased 

happy (“I’m well happy”); pleasedOK; glad 

tired 

sleepy; knackered; shattered; exhaustedtired; can’t be bothered



 (“slang”) 



unwell 

poorlyill; under the weather (heard used); unwell (not used) 

hot 

boiling; roasting; well hot (also used to mean ‘attractive’) 

cold  

freezing; chilly (used occasionally, “chilling” also means ‘relaxing’) 

annoyed 

pissed off (“don’t piss me off”); peed off; pissed (“are you pissed at me?”); mad; crazy; 

rago

, you’re on cocaine/crack



∆1

, next level



 (“you’re talking next level”, “you 

crackhead, you’re next level”, of being angry) 

 

 



throw 

chuck (“chuck me that”); throw 

play truant 

wagging (“oh you’re a right wagger, you are”) skive; skiving; truanting 

sleep 

sleep; nod off; napa wink (disputed, “I’m having twenty-one winks or something”, heard 

used); “I’m gonna go sleep”; I’m going to bed”; crash, doze (of short sleep) 



play a game  play 

hit hard 

whack (“I’m gonna whack you”); punch it; smack it; batter it 

 

1



 New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English (2006)  records ‘on crack’ in sense of ‘out of your mind’ but 

not in this sense. 



 

BBC Voices Recordings

                                                

 

clothes 

clothes; rags (heard, considered “common”, not used); glad rags (used by older speakers) 

trousers 

bottoms; trousers (formal, “I like combats or jeans or three-quarter-lengths”); jeans 

child’s shoe  pumps (used when younger); trainers (used now); plimsolls (used by aunt, “posh”) 

 

mother 



mum; mom; mummy (used in past, used now when wanting something); ma 

gmother 

grannanibibi

2

 (Punjabi for paternal grandmother) 



m partner 

boyfriend; my man (heard, not used); my boo (learnt from Usher

3

 song, not used) 



friend 

(not discussed) 



gfather 

nanababa

2

 (Punjabi for paternal grandfather) 



forgot name  whatsit; thingamajiggy



 ( used frequently); what’s-his-name (“you know, you know the 



name what’s-his-name”); thingy; him over there

; thingamajig 



kit of tools 

tool-box 

trendy 

chavwannabetramp 

f partner 

shorty



 (heard used by males, thought to be used in America for ‘wife’); my missus, my 



bitch, my girl, my gal, a bit on the side

 (used by males) 



baby 

child; baby (“cute”); babebabby



 (heard used locally by older speakers, disliked, 

common”) 

also supplied  kaka

2

 (“Indian”, also means ‘dolly’) 



 

rain heavily  chuck it down; chucking it; shitting it down

; chuck it; chucking it down 



toilet 

toilet; bathroom; ladies; bog (“I’m going to the bog”); “going toilet”, “need a wee”, “I need 

a number one or a number two



 (of going to toilet); “I’m going to powder my nose 

(heard used by older speakers, polite), powder room, I need to go to the restroom (used 

in America), the ladies (of going to toilet in restaurant); “I’m gonna go and 



lighten/brighten myself up” (used euphemistically to mean ‘go and check make-up’) 

walkway 

alleyalley-way 

long seat 

setteesofa 

run water 

stream; ?lake 

main room 

living room; main room 

rain lightly 

spit (“it’s spitting”); raining; drizzle 

 

rich 

loaded; rich (“well rich”) 

left-handed  left-handed; spaz

⌂4

 (heard used of left-handed people as term of abuse) 



unattractive  ugly; minging (used frequently in recent past); ew (“snobby”, used frequently on internet); 

minger; rank (disliked) 

lack money  skint (used frequently of short-term lack of money, disliked); tramp

, trampy





 (of long-

term lack of money); “haven’t got no money”; “ I ain’t got no money”; “I haven’t got any 



money” 

drunk 

alky; pissed (used frequently); mashed (also means “high on drugs”); mashed up; piss-head 

pregnant 

pregnanthaving a baby; up the duff (heard frequently locally, disliked, “disgusting”) 

attractive 

beautiful; pretty; fit (“oh he’s well fit” used by females of males, not initially understood by 

mother); phat; boom

; heavy





 (used by males); handsome (used by older speakers); good-

looking, he looks really nice/well nice (of males) 

insane 

mad; crazy; hyper; loopy 

moody 

stroppy; on PMT

◊5

 (commonly used of females); mardy; moody; pissed off 

 

2

 Transliteration of lexical items based on Digital Dictionaries of South Asia (http://dsal.uchicago.edu/dictionaries/). 



3

 American R&B singer (real name Usher Terry Raymond IV, b. 1978); ‘My Boo’ was a single in 2004. 

4

 OED (online edition) records ‘spaz’ as term of abuse but not in sense of ‘left-handed’.



 

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BBC Voices Recordings

                                                                                                                                                                                     



 

SPONTANEOUS LEXIS 

 

bab

 = term of endearment (1:06:15 (‘duck’, “you all right, duck?” ugh) ‘bab’ (’cause I have my 



grandparents live in Stoke-on-Trent so when I go to visit them and it’s, like, they they used to have a shop 

and everyone that’s, “ta, duck” “you all right, duck?”) or “you all right, bab?”

bad= good, great (0:58:46 ‘bad’ is supposed to be ‘good’ (yeah) and, like, ‘phat’ doesn’t have any ‘phat’ 

and ‘phat’s’ got nothing (“that’s phat, that is”) to do with someone being ‘fat’ (summat like ‘heavy’)

be arsed = to be bothered, willing to make required effort (0:31:08 um our speech gets lazy (it does) we 

don’t say the words fully it’s, like, we’ll drop out letters and stuff and, […] like, ‘can’t be arsed’ or (yeah) 

‘mother’ ‘mum’

Cov



 = common local abbreviation of Coventry (0:03:46 I don’t really know anyone from Cov properly 



(they do though, don’t they) (well they say) (well the people I talk to they talk different to the way we talk) 

(yeah); 0:54:57 never see me dead in one of them now (I know) can you imagine walking down Cov in 

your (oh God) green Kappa

6

 tracksuit



doofus = idiot, fool (1:00:26 you have it, Kieran, you go through stages where you have, like, a word (I 

do, yeah) (so actually so do I my cousin does that) like last year she went through a phase where she all 

she used was ‘doofus’, “oh my God, you’re such a doofus”

dorky = contemptible, socially awkward (1:00:14 “oh you’re a right geek” [...] I just mean it oh she does 

summat really stupid like ‘dorky’ or summat

duck

7

 = term of endearment (1:06:15 ‘duck’, “you all right, duck?” ugh (‘bab’) ’cause I have my 



grandparents live in Stoke-on-Trent so when I go to visit them and it’s, like, they they used to have a shop 

and everyone that’s, “ta, duck” “you all right, duck?” (or “you all right, bab?”)

dude = form of address currently popular among young speakers (0:41:44 we’ve got, like, skaters and stuff 

in ours so they’re like, “oh dude”, you know, “hey dude”

freshy



 = abbreviation of ‘fresh off the boat’ used to refer to recently arrived Asian immigrant (0:14:20 



even when you go India and you talk in Punjabi (it’s different) I mean I’m comparing to a lot of people 

here I can talk a lot of Punjabi which is why they call me a ‘freshy’; 0:14:28 a ‘freshy’ that’s someone that 

actually comes from India and they come here

gaddar

2

 = ‘traitor’ in Punjabi, used as form of address among young British Asians locally (0:22:15 a lot 



of people I know say ‘gaddar’ but I don’t even say ‘sat sri akal’ I’m just like, “hey” or “hi” or whatever

gal = girl (0:30:42 but even words like ‘girl’ they’re like, “gal”

gangsta = of or relating to gangsta rap music and culture (0:03:51 (they say I don’t know but some of them 

some) they do (they say we speak a bit more formal as well than they do) I think it’s the more of the 

gangsta look the way they talk (yeah, yeah, yeah yeah) (in Coventry ’cause it’s more of a city)

gay = foolish, lame, socially inappropriate (0:59:49 my brother says ‘gay’, like, on every other word (I say 

it, “you’re gay” yeah, I say it as well) “that’s gay” and it’s, like (“that’s so gay” oh my God, “that’s so 

gay”) I say it a lot now

geek = overly diligent/socially inept student (1:00:14 “oh you’re a right geek” [...] I just mean it oh she 

does summat really stupid like ‘dorky’ or summat

geezer = popular form of address locally (0:04:19 ‘innit’ is not used that much any more but it’s more, like 

(but it’s more, like, ‘safe’) ‘safe’ (and ‘geezer’) yeah

gross = repulsive, disgusting (1:12:09 that’s gross when you think about it it’s ‘spitting’

hello = expression signalling disbelief (0:35:24 he goes to me he said summat like, “yeah, you’re gonna 

get battered” or summat it’s, like, even some of the words they use like ‘battered’ and stuff it’s not even, 

5

 Green’s Dictionary of Slang (2010) records ‘p.m.s’ [= abbreviation of ‘pre-menstrual syndrome’] in this sense. 



6

 Italian sportswear manufacturer found in 1916 in Turin. 

7

 This utterance is consciously ‘performed’ in imitation of speakers from Stoke-on-Trent. 



http://sounds.bl.uk 

Page 3 of 25   

 

BBC Voices Recordings

                                                



like, proper language, “you’re gonna get I’m gonna get my mans on to you” it’s like, “hello” they’re not 

even proper it’s not even a proper language that they’re talking; 0:40:27 (sometimes it’s really 

embarrassing as well because someone will say summat to you and their mates will understand it but you 

won’t understand) yeah, and they start laughing (and they’re laughing at you) we’re like, “hello, what you 

on about?” (you don’t know what they’re on about and you’ll be like, “please tell me what that word you 

said” and they’ll be like, “no, oh it don’t matter nothing”)

hip = fashionable trendy (0:20:40 nowadays it’s a bit more hip and it’s a bit more trendy therefore you 

can use it more and I think it broaden makes extends our language as well I think

ho = sexually promiscuous woman (0:33:29 it’s, like, words like ‘slag’ and ‘ho’ and stuff I mean I get 

called that (and me) and it’s, like, (I don’t know why) and it’s, like, I haven’t ev…, like, if ever, you know 

what I mean, (yeah, yeah) I don’t have a boyfriend and they’re like, “you’re a slag” or whatever (exactly 

’cause you wear a skirt or something) yeah, and it’s so pathetic (I know)

hood = neighbourhood, area (1:21:14 they speak (yeah) from the hood and stuff like that (exactly) and 

street and stuff (oh God I hate that word from the ‘hood’); 1:21:28 my friend’s MSN

8

 name is ‘I’m 



representing and I’m the hood’ (and ‘yard’) I’m like, “yeah, what the hell does ‘hood’ mean?” (‘house’ 

they always say ‘house’ these days it’s my ‘yard’) I hate that word

interpretate

9

 = to interpret (0:38:53 it is a lot different to the olden days used how they used to talk and 



how it’s interpretated by us) 

kill



 = to excel at, to complete something with skill (1:21:41 if you do summat really good it’s like, “you 



‘killed’ it” I’m like, “no, I didn’t ‘kill’ it”

lock-down



 = in a relationship in which freedom is restricted or controlled (0:40:14 a lot of people always 



say it to me, yeah, “I’ve got you on lock-down” (oh right, yeah) it’s like, “I’ve got control over you you 

can’t do this you can’t do that”

LOL = expression used to draw attention to humorous statement or to express amusement (0:09:32 (yeah, 

you’d say, “laugh out loud”) but some people just use the term ‘LOL’ and they don’t even laugh out loud

mans

 = friends (0:35:24 he goes to me he said summat like, “yeah, you’re gonna get battered” or 



summat it’s, like, even some of the words they use like ‘battered’ and stuff it’s not even, like, proper 

language, “you’re gonna get I’m gonna get my mans on to you” it’s like, “hello” they’re not even proper 

it’s not even a proper language that they’re talking; 0:41:06 not even my sister I talked with my friend on 

the internet and he’s always like, “rago” and he even changed my MSN

8

 name to ‘rago’ “mans are rago” 



which means ‘the man is wicked’ so it’s quite weird actually the way people talk (that’s weird, yeah)

oh my days



 = exclamation expressing surprise or disbelief (1:21:48 (he’ll come out with stuff and I know 



it’s because he’s been listening to certain music or talking to certain friends and he’ll come back and say 

words like) words like (I’m like, “what?”) instead of ‘oh my God’ ‘oh my days’ I say that now, (I say, “oh 

my life”) “oh my days”

oh my life



 = exclamation expressing surprise or disbelief (1:21:48 (he’ll come out with stuff and I know 



it’s because he’s been listening to certain music or talking to certain friends and he’ll come back and say 

words like) (words like) (I’m like, “what?”) (instead of ‘oh my God’ ‘oh my days’ I say that now) I say, 

“oh my life” (“oh my days”)

phat = great, excellent (0:58:46 ‘bad’ is supposed to be ‘good’ (yeah) and, like, ‘phat’ doesn’t have any 

‘phat’ and ‘phat’s’ got nothing (“that’s phat, that is”) to do with someone being ‘fat’ (summat like 

‘heavy’)

proper = really, completely (0:14:50 when you go to India and you talk in Punjabi they say that we’ve got 

an English accent to it (yeah) which is really weird because I try talking, like, you try talking like them 

and you, like, just proper pick it up

pow pow



 = great, excellent (0:40:50 ‘pow pow’ means summat like ‘wicked wicked’

 

8

 Presumably MSN (Microsoft Network) Messenger, a service for sending and receiving text-based messages over the internet. 



9

 Poss. performance error.

 

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Page 4 of 25   


 

BBC Voices Recordings

rago



 = great, excellent (0:41:06 not even my sister I talked with my friend on the internet and he’s always 



like, “rago” and he even changed my MSN

8

 name to ‘rago’ “mans are rago” which means ‘the man is 



wicked’ so it’s quite weird actually the way people talk (that’s weird, yeah)

random = peculiar, unexpected (0:07:43 they, like, add random people and it’s like, “oh my God, how do 

you know this person?” (yeah and they’re talking about this that and the other and cutting short words 

and stuff) yeah, and they’re talking all this, yeah, weird language

represent



 = to acknowledge overtly one’s home area or group affiliation (1:21:28 my friend’s MSN

8

 name 

is ‘I’m representing and I’m the hood’ (and ‘yard’) I’m like, “yeah, what the hell does ‘hood’ mean?” 

(‘house’ they always say ‘house’ these days it’s my ‘yard’) I hate that word

right = real, utter (1:00:14 “oh you’re a right geek” [...] I just mean it oh she does summat really stupid 

like ‘dorky’ or summat; 1:14:31 some people say it, “oh you’re a right wagger, you are” and it’s, like, I 

wouldn’t say it though but I do say it though

safe



 = great, excellent (0:04:19 ‘innit’ is not used that much any more but it’s more, like (but it’s more, 



like, ‘safe’) ‘safe’ (and ‘geezer’) yeah

sat sri akal

2

 = common greeting in Punjabi (0:22:15 a lot of people I know say ‘gaddar’ but I don’t even 



say ‘sat sri akal’ I’m just like, “hey” or “hi” or whatever

slag = sexually promiscuous woman (0:33:29 it’s, like, words like ‘slag’ and ‘ho’ and stuff I mean I get 

called that (and me) and it’s, like, (I don’t know why) and it’s, like, I haven’t ev…, like, if ever, you know 

what I mean, (yeah, yeah) I don’t have a boyfriend and they’re like, “you’re a slag” or whatever (exactly 

’cause you wear a skirt or something) yeah, and it’s so pathetic (I know); 0:34:08 one person I know he’s 

always like, “oh you’ve got loads of boyfriends you’re a slag you’re this”

summat = something (0:35:24 he goes to me he said summat like, “yeah, you’re gonna get battered” or 

summat it’s, like, even some of the words they use like ‘battered’ and stuff it’s not even, like, proper 

language, “you’re gonna get I’m gonna get my mans on to you” it’s like, “hello” they’re not even proper 

it’s not even a proper language that they’re talking; 0:40:27 sometimes it’s really embarrassing as well 

because someone will say summat to you and their mates will understand (yeah, and they start laughing) 

and they’re laughing at you (we’re like, “hello, what you on about?”) you don’t know what they’re on 

about and you’ll be like, “please tell me what that word you said” and they’ll be like, “no, oh it don’t 

matter nothing”; 0:40:50 ‘pow pow’ means summat like ‘wicked wicked’; 0:56:37 like when you’re angry 

or summat they’re like, “you’re talking next level” (yeah) or “you’re on cocaine or summat you 

crackhead” (yeah, stupid stuff, yeah) stuff like that that’s, like, proper towny people (yeah, “what?”)

1:00:14 “oh you’re a right geek” [...] I just mean it oh she does summat really stupid like ‘dorky’ or 



summat; 1:10:45 sometimes people say, “I’m gonna go and lighten myself up” or summat, “I’m” as in, 

“I’m gonna put go and put make-up on” I think they do anyway […] ‘brighten’ or ‘lighten’ one or the 

other; 1:10:56 they do actually (so they do, yeah) some people do say that ‘cause they wanna go and put 

make-up on or summat ’cause they’re embarrassed to say, “I wanna go to the toilet” (yeah); 1:21:41 if 

you do summat really good it’s like, “you ‘killed’ it” I’m like, “no, I didn’t ‘kill’ it”

take the mickey = to make fun of, poke fun at (0:26:14 but I’m not really embarrassed it’s, like, I went 

Southampton everyone’s, like, really, ’cause I think there’s more English people there and they go to, like, 

all boys and girls school and my cousins like, “if I spoke like that at school everyone would really, like, 

take” (the mickey) yeah

ta = thank you (1:06:15 ‘duck’, “you all right, duck?” ugh (‘bab’) ’cause I have my grandparents live in 

Stoke-on-Trent so when I go to visit them and it’s, like, they they used to have a shop and everyone that’s, 

“ta, duck” “you all right, duck?” (or “you all right, bab?”)

TB



 = abbreviation for ‘text back’ (0:07:53 well actually when I’m on the internet (yeah, I never write) I 



use, like, really slang terms, (yeah) like, really weird like (’cause it’s easier to write, isn’t it?) when you 

say ‘text back’ you don’t write the whole thing (yeah) you just write ‘TB’ or something (yeah, yeah)

towny = derogatory term for town-dweller (0:56:37 like when you’re angry or summat they’re like, 

“you’re talking next level” (yeah) or “you’re on cocaine or summat you crackhead” (yeah, stupid stuff, 

yeah) stuff like that that’s, like, proper towny people (yeah, “what?”)

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