Burning Questions: What local words and sayings do south-east London and north Kent people use?

What words and phrases might someone new to south-east London or north Kent be confused by?

What words and phrases might someone new to south-east London or north Kent be confused by?

First published in News News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , web manager

TODAY we’re looking for your help with putting together a list of words and phrases that are specific to south-east London and north Kent.

Whether it’s a saying that originated here or words which are just more commonly spoken around these parts than anywhere else, we want to find the expressions which give this area its verbal identity.

Travel around the country and you’ll hear all kinds of regional colloquialisms, be it in the North East, South West, Merseyside, the Black Country, inner London or Scotland.

For some reason the local dictionary for this area seems to be quite bare, if the blank looks on colleagues’ faces and other people I’ve spoken to are anything to go by.

Only a few suggestions have come in since the question was asked on Twitter and Facebook yesterday.

Just Me put forward ‘saink’ meaning something and ‘naink’ meaning nothing.

Urban James suggested ‘Mother's Mank’, a term to describe something disgusting, which “is usually shouted for no particular reason”.

Graham Cooper provided the word ‘khazi’, another way of saying toilet.

Do you agree these count as SE London or north Kent words? Can you come up with any others? What local lingo do you think would need explaining to a newcomer to this region? Or is this a mixed-up mongrel sort of area which doesn’t really have its own localised language?

Add your comments below.

News Shopper: Burning Questions

The Burning Questions feature aims to discuss some of the oddities of life, settle some of its dafter perennial arguments and crack some of those tricky questions with readers’ collective knowledge.

If there is an issue you’re always squabbling about with workmates or friends or something that makes you go hmmm, email me with your suggestions for future burning questions to ask.

Comments (4)

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2:53pm Wed 29 Jan 14

sarfflondonbird says...

Innit, boss, b ro, sket legit, real, badass, safe, ......need I go on?
Innit, boss, b ro, sket legit, real, badass, safe, ......need I go on? sarfflondonbird
  • Score: 0

5:03pm Wed 29 Jan 14

Harold Larwood says...

From my experience of train travel, South East London and North Kent people seem to use a lot of swear words. From an unscientific survey, I'd suggest they use them with a greater frequency and louder than in any other region (with the possible exception of Glasgow, but that's hard to quantify as they're incomprehensible). They don't use them particularly creatively, and tend to replace the 4th letter with a glottal stop.
From my experience of train travel, South East London and North Kent people seem to use a lot of swear words. From an unscientific survey, I'd suggest they use them with a greater frequency and louder than in any other region (with the possible exception of Glasgow, but that's hard to quantify as they're incomprehensible). They don't use them particularly creatively, and tend to replace the 4th letter with a glottal stop. Harold Larwood
  • Score: 4

12:30am Thu 30 Jan 14

mouthalmighty says...

Deffo innit. Saink; I ain't heard that for donkeys years. Leggit; an east london bloke I worked with felt he had to explain to me what it meant. Knackered; americans cannot work it out. Ay? And yes I have been guilty of using certain expletives, particularly if I am not chuffed about saink.
Deffo innit. Saink; I ain't heard that for donkeys years. Leggit; an east london bloke I worked with felt he had to explain to me what it meant. Knackered; americans cannot work it out. Ay? And yes I have been guilty of using certain expletives, particularly if I am not chuffed about saink. mouthalmighty
  • Score: 4

1:00pm Mon 3 Feb 14

j.j. says...

"Them" to mean "the", "these", "those" etc. This has become a lot more common in the last 5 or 10 years and doesn't do any good for the perceived intelligence or level of education of SE Londoners.
"Them" to mean "the", "these", "those" etc. This has become a lot more common in the last 5 or 10 years and doesn't do any good for the perceived intelligence or level of education of SE Londoners. j.j.
  • Score: 0

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