Seven words and phrases that are pure Pompey

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Deputy Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Lee Mason with Matt Thomas who uses LDD (holding cheque), Andy Hirst and Robin Arkle of Costa and LDD Youth Club members. Picture: Robin Jones/Digital South

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They’re great examples of Pompey’s dialect.

Here’s our list of just seven of the many phrases you’re alway likely to hear in Portsmouth.

1. Mush

Pronounced Moosh. An old Romany word meaning ‘my good friend’.

2. Dinlo

A lighthearted insult meaning fool. ‘Din’, ‘Dinny’ and ‘dinny dinlo’ are also used. The term apparently has its roots among the Romany gypsies, who still use it.

3. Squinny

To complain, or be a complainer. This term can be used in a number of ways - as a verb: stop sqinnyin!, a noun: ‘stop bein’ a squinny, baby!’ or even as an adjective: ‘she’s well squinny’, meaning ‘she’s a real complainer’.

4. Gettin lairy

What someone is doing if they are losing their patience/temper.

5. Dockyard oyster

A pool of phlegm spat on the pavement.

6. Going deyn tayn on the Saith Dain for half a crane

Meaning ‘going down to town on the South Down for half a crown’ this sentence gives a good flavour of the sound of the Portsmouth brogue. Southdown was a bus company.

7. Dip me ’ead for a sparsy!

Mudlarks - the children who dived about in the mudflats at The Hard in Portsea - used to call this out to people passing by as a plea for spare change. A sparsy was either threepence or sixpence, which the mudlarks would happily dip their heads in the mud for.