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Speaking my loanguage

We all say things differently. We have our own phrases and sayings that are specific to us and where we come from. We think this is pretty interesting, so we partnered with Dr Rob Drummond, Senior Linguistics Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, to delve deeper into the different ways the nation talks about borrowing.

You say barth, I say bath

Our collaboration has highlighted the truly unique words and phrases we all use across the country when talking about money. Many of the phrases have been passed down through generations and are distinct to certain areas of the country.

For example, those in Scotland were found to use phrases such as ‘giez a lend’ or ‘giez a bung’ when asking to borrow money, whilst those in the North West of England would ask to ‘cadge’ or ‘borrow me’ some cash.

Liverpudlians were more likely to say ‘front me a loan’ or ask for ‘a sub’, while those in Newcastle and the North East would instead say ‘spot us a fiver’ when they need to borrow money. If you’re a Londoner you may use the phrase ‘touch me a loan’ and historically would have ‘whispered’ when looking to borrow.

Money dialects

We asked Dr Rob his thoughts on the findings and the importance we all place on the language of money. He said:

“It’s always fascinating to look at the various ways in which people from different areas of the country talk about the same thing, and even when some of the words appear in multiple regions, as is the case here, they will of course be pronouncing them according to their own regional accent. The fact that there is so much variation on the topic of money is no surprise, as it’s such a central part of everyday life, and it’s this variety of language which helps make us who we are.”

Check out the full glossary to see where your phrases fit in below: