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18 expressions you’ll hear a born and bred Bristolian babble

Written by
Luchia Bennett

Ark at ee! Wants to be a real keener when it comes to the native tongue? To get stuck into Brizzle life, go grabs a glider and top up your lingo innit.

1. ‘Jason Donervan’


A photo posted by shugga_ray (@shugga_ray) on


Definition: The infamous kebab van, night time saviour of post-club drunkards who have spilled out onto the Triangle.
No, we're afraid the '80s Australian singer/actor hasn’t joined your local neighbourhood watch. 

2. ‘Alright my luvver?’

Definition: Hello.
It might seem like us Bristolians are a caring bunch, but instead we just like to ask rhetorical questions.

3. ‘Babber’


A photo posted by Wendy (@yipski) on


Definition: A term of endearment, meaning 'baby' or 'friend'. 
Babber is commonly directed to a loved one, yet some crazy cats are happy to call any old stranger this. 

4. ‘Keener’


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Definition: A clever or enthusiastic person.
This term has provided years of teasing material for kids – trust us!

5. ’Ark at ee'


A photo posted by @olive31 on


Definition: Check you out! (in a sarcastic and playful manner).
This usually said by the more West Country folk: 'Oo, ark at ee with a suit on'. 

 6. ‘Gert’


A photo posted by Wendy (@yipski) on


Definition: For something to be large, or have a great amount of.
You may have seen also seen the phrase ‘gert lush’, meaning 'really good' or 'really lovely'.

7. ‘Cribbs'


Definition: The Mall and surrounding shops at Cribbs Causeway.
‘I’m in Cribbs’ doesn’t mean we’re bringing back the MTV show where you snoop around celebrities' mansions. Instead, we’re doing something a lot less glamorous – like buying a new top or something. 

8. ‘Gashead’

Definition: a Bristol Rovers football fan.
The boys in blue playing over at the Memorial Stadium in Horfield.

9. ‘Innit’


A photo posted by Dr Joe Bansal (@joebansal) on


Definition: Isn’t it.
While this gets plenty of use outside of Bristol, it's another word that we like to finish the majority of our sentences with: 'I’ll av cheesy chips, innit.' 

10. ‘Sadly Broke’


A photo posted by Neil Grills (@neil453) on


Definition: Bradley Stoke (location).
What seems like a clever harmless rhyme for Bradley Stoke, has actually quite a sad history. The residential area in north Bristol was made infamous for hindering first-time buyers on shared-ownership schemes during the property price crash in the late '80s to early '90s. Many people did indeed become sadly broke.

11. ‘Brizzle’ or 'Bristle'


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Definition: Bristol (location).
Even if you aren’t a local we’d be disappointed if you didn’t know this one already! 

12. ‘Cheers, drive!’


Definition: Thank you kindly, bus driver.
We might like to shorten our words and forget to pronounce our vowels, but manners don’t cost a thing. 

13. ‘Mint’

Definition: That’s really good.
This will be a familiar term to some others, and is also popular with Geordies. North or South West, it’s got little to do with the refreshing herb – we’re just offering a compliment! 

14. ‘Proper’


A photo posted by Louis Gibson (@louis.gibson) on


Definition: Something that is really good.
Similar to ‘mint’ and ‘lush’, something that is ‘proper’ is really nice or authentic. For example, 'Is that Ralph Lauren tee proper?' To which someone might reply: 'Yeah, it’s proper mint init'.

15. ‘Scrumpy’


A photo posted by @7983lance on


Definition: Cider
This term is normally easy to work out if you’re a cider connoisseur. If you’re not, don’t worry, but be warned; we like our cider... oo ar we do! 

16. ‘Where’s ee to?/where's it to?’

Definition: Where is <person> / where is <thing>?
Go on, put onh your best West Country accent and give a go. Hilarity can ensue when looking for albums featuring Bono or if you've misplaced your ballet clothing. For example, 'Where's that tutu to?'

17. ‘Mind’

Definition: a word used to emphasise a point.
We’re not sure where this started, but we like adding it to our sentences to add emphasise, mind.

18. ‘Glider’

Definition: Cider
Because we loves it we do. One term for cider simply wouldn’t be enough. 

Have we missed any of your favourites off the list? Let us know.

In the meantime, brush up on your Brizzle knowledge and discover ten things you never knew about Bristol.

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