5 Weird Stoke Words and Phrases


Although I live in Hanley (or is that up 'anley?) now, I'm not from the area. My partner is, and before I moved here she gave me a glimpse into some of the particulars of the local dialect, but it's only living here that you really start to get to grips with the unusual words and saying people use. Here are a few of the interesting ones.

1. Duck

People in Stoke call each other 'duck'. A lot. It's not totally unique to Stoke itself but is also found in other Midlands areas, but it seems particularly common here, and I like it. It's used by men or women to men or women and apparently comes from the Saxon ducas, which is where we get 'Duke'. So now you know.

2. Lugs

You get lugs in your hair after you wash it or if it just needs a good brush – you might know them as tangles or knots. The first time I heard 'lugs' (from my girlfriend) I was thoroughly confused.

3. All round the Wrekin

When you take an unnecessarily long route somewhere, you go all round the Wrekin, of course. I like this one because it's obvious what it means, but at the same time, it sounds like complete nonsense. The Wrekin is actually a big hill in Shropshire, presumably one that takes a long time to walk around. It's interesting how far this phrase has spread.

4. Lobby

Some sort of stew thing that I'd never heard of outside of Stoke, but seems to be advertised in all the cafes. Apparently, it used to keep the hard-working potters going on a budget, and the name comes from lobscouse, the same place as the similar Liverpudlian dish scouse.

5. Shug

Like duck, this is something people call you all the time in Stoke. Short for 'sugar', you're guaranteed to hear it anytime you go shopping.

Matthew J. Elliott is a full-time writer who lives in Stoke-on-Trent. He likes words, ukuleles, interesting facts and vegan food.