Ladies and gentlemen take your seats for 20 Ballymena phrases we know and love.
Lead - a unit of measurement for intelligence. Thus if one does ‘not have a glead’ one is challenged on the common sense front.
Skelly - To take a quick glance at something.
Clabbered - To be covered in dirt - see ‘Bogging’
A - Reference to oneself. The most common example of Ballymena-speak by far. Example: “A love dulse so a do.”
Amint - A plea for re-assurance often used by children. Example: “A’m a good footballer mammy, amint a?” Derived from the somewhat outdated expression ‘Am I not?’
Binlid – a person who displays all the IQ of the cover on a refuse receptacle. Example: “He hasn’t the sense he was born with. What a binlid.” Bloon – A person who displays little or no common sense. Example – “See thon boy? He’s a bloon, so he is.” A person with a balding pate may also be described as a ‘bloonhead’ .. if you’re fast enough on your feet.
Blarge - Dual meaning. To approach a task haphazardly (i.e. thon bloon took a blarge at the garden an’near killed himself.” Or, to overindulge in alcohol. Example: “He’s suffering today after that blarge he took last night”.
Chat/Chaterina - A thingimmybob. Superb term which can be used in almost every situation. Chaterina (the full dictionary version) is rarely used now but ‘chat’ remains commonplace. Example: “Reach me thon chat.” The incredible thing is most people in Ballymena will be aware, in the context of the situation, exactly what item you require.
Crater – (noun). This has nothing to do with the moon and is, in fact, a widely used term of sympathy. Example: “Sure it’s a pity of that crater.” Clem – Term of offence. A person who continually makes a fool of himself is a ‘clem.’ Click – To form a happy relationship. Example: “She’s a clem and he’s a bloonhead. It’s no wonder they clicked.”
Dab - A unit of currency. Ten dabs being economically equivalent to 10.
Gunk - shock, often used in conjunction with ‘quare’ (meaning big or massive). Example: “He got a quare gunk when she told him she was leaving him.”
Gipe - Another word for an idiot. Not surprisingly there are a great many words for ‘idiot’ in Ballymena.
Hames - A mess.
Prugh - (noun) a mix of crisps, sweets or chocolate, usually eaten on the sofa in front of the TV on a Saturday night; (verb) to rummage or hoke through someone else’s stuff, often leaving a mess behind. Example: “Would you stop prughin’ through those CDs?”
Scunner - Used to describe someone whose very existence causes you deep seated personal offence. Scunnered - A state of depression.
Shem - Basically anyone. Can be dropped into conversation at any point without fear.
Stroke - To walk purposefully. Or, more commonly nowadays, to cheat. Example: If you were playing poker with a latchico there is a better than even chance that your will be ‘stroked.”
Truth - A lie. Example - if someone tells you that they have won the lottery (and you doubt their veracity), the automatic response of any self-respecting Ballymena person should be: “Truth.” This may be followed up with the nonsensical “Aye ye did.”
Wheek(er) - A unit of pressure. Example: “Thon Shem is tome at boxing. He hut thon cove a wheek dig.” Trans. “That fellow is a prime exponent of the noble art. He struck that other chap a blow of considerable force.”
Yordis - Mind-blowingly fantastic. A word which has fallen into disuse in recent times. Example: If your horse came up in the Grand National it would be “Yordis, shem.”