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Who can remember all these old Black Country phrases?

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: March 16, 2014

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FOLLOWING the appeal in The Bugle I've been trying to think of more Black Country phrases my grandfather and aunt used.

My grandmother used to say of someone who had done something stupid : "Well, I'd uv thort 'e 'ad more ink in his pen than that."

People who gave themselves airs were "all kippers and curtains." My mother would say of someone who swanked about was "all fur coat and no knickers" or "red hat and no drawers" and "if you can't fit wear a big hat" – but she came from Cape Hill, Smethwick.

"He aye so much green as cabbage lookin'," was said of someone not very worldly.

If someone enjoyed themselves, according to my grandfather, they were either "appy as a pig in muck", "in their element" or "in their ile (oil) tot!" Someone who was confused or ignorant "couldn't tell 'ay (hay) from a bull's foot."

A person who had a shrill or piercing voice was said to "have a voice like a glead under a door" and anyone who talked a lot was said "to have a gob on 'em".

Anything strange was "a wim-wom for a wowser" or "a wim-wom off a gas tank."

Black clouds in the sky were described as "being a bit black over Bill's mother's."

Pauline Beighton,

2 Leafield Road,



If you know more Black Country phrases email editor@blackcountrybugle.co.uk or write to us at 41 High Street, Cradley Heath, B64 5HL.

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