Words and phrases you will hear in Preston

Posted on - 11th October, 2019 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Observations, Preston News
A pie may sometimes be called a growler and parched peas are a city staple Pic: Caravan Gallery
A pie may sometimes be called a growler and parched peas are a city staple Pic: Caravan Gallery

Preston is a proud city and has many turns of phrase which are unique.


During 2016 a project aimed to capture some of Preston words and terms used each day around the city.

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Preston Pride of Place Project set up in an disused shop in Friargate and invited Prestonians to have their say.

Not backwards about coming forwards there were messages scrawled all over the walls, on post-its and it means a collection of Preston words and phrases were put together.

As part of the project they created a book about the city. We found it during a clear out at Blog Preston towers the other day, and thought these should see the light of day.


This list is certainly not exhaustive and feel free to add to it in the comments below.

Ginnel – an alley between two houses

Slopstones – a sink

Chunner – to mutter, as in ‘stop chunnering on’

Have you owt fresh? – any news? (regularly asked by Blog Preston readers in our inbox!)

Owt – meaning anything, as in ‘I don’t want owt for me tea’

Ecky Pecky – oh no!

Dicky’s Meadow – meaning you’re in trouble, so ‘if I don’t go now I’m in Dicky’s Meadow’

Sidecosser – a kerb or footpath

Bagmuck – another word for fertiliser

Growler – a pie. Yes, really. Not that other meaning!

Dancers – stairs, so ‘get up the dancers’

Clap – to catch, used in the context of ‘clap owd of this’

Skenn – when someone is squinting, ‘I had to skennit’

Once every Preston Guild – when something is rare, happens every 20 years

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Read more: 34 things everyone who grew up in Preston knows to be true

Couldn’t stop a pig in a ginnel – to have bandy or bow legs

Was tha born in a barn? – to leave a door open, said to make someone close a door

That meks a better door than a window – said to get someone out of your way!

Bloomin-eck – an expression of shock or wonder

Cha – meaning mate, or friend, ‘how you doing cha?’

Alreet – often combined with cha, or sometimes cock, or cocker, a way of saying hello and asking how someone is

Give backword – meaning to cancel an arrangement

Lug – either to pull or a word for ear, such as ‘open yer lugholes’

Read more: The Preston restaurants you wish still existed

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