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Thursday, September 12, 2019

Do you know your "chirpse" from your "bare" from your "peng"? #MLE

Do you know your "chirpse" from your "bare" from your "peng"?

If you do, then you are probably from London, young, and live in the inner city. Because it also means you can speak the new English dialect called Multicultural London English (or MLE for short).

And for you older, non-Londoner, suburbanites here's a short list of some of the new words.

1. Blud
e.g. "Yes blud!"
This is an alternative to "mate". It's thought to originate from "blood brother", though the term isn't just used for brethren but anyone who is a close friend. "Bruv" or "bredrin" are handy alternatives.

2. Ends
e.g. "Food in the ends like there ain't no drought"
This is your area, or the neighbourhood you're from. If someone is "from ends" they are from your neck-of-the-woods, so they know what's going on. Interestingly, the word has been used in this sense since the Middle Ages – it just hasn't made it into Standard English.

3. Wasteman
e.g. "He's 35 and he still lives with him mum – total wasteman"
This is a derogatory term used to describe someone being useless or worthless: a loser. Similarly, "wastegal" can be used for females.

4. Mandem
e.g. "I'm out with the mandem tonight, bruv"
Mandem is a collective noun for a bunch of boys or men, particularly your own group of mates.

5. Galdem (or gyal dem)
e.g. "Thank God fi the gyal dem"
The female equivalent to mandem; a group of girls.

6. Rude boy (or rude boi)
e.g. "I heard you gotta problem with me? Rude boy listen"
Originally Jamaican slang, this describes a bad man or someone who is hardened by the street. A rude boy might be an armed gangster or just a teenager with an attitude.

7. Safe
e.g. "He's safe blud, let him kotch"
If something is safe it is cool, good, sweet. Safe is also used to signify agreement: "Yeah safe, blud."
"Safa" is a superlative version of safe, denoting the coolest of the cool.

8. Bare
e.g. "This tune is bare sick"
In Standard English this means sparse, but in MLE it has the opposite meaning. It means "very" or "lots of".

9. Swag
e.g. "Nah, that film Jaws was bare swag"
Swag is usually associated with something valuable or coveted, but has recently come to mean extreme or scary.

10. Peng
This word is used prolifically but is relatively new. It's a word that people use casually to describe anything positive: chicken can be peng, a pretty girl is peng, or a tune might be peng.

11. Hench
e.g. "That bodyguard is hench, man"
If someone is hench they are strong-looking or muscular.

12. Nang
e.g. "Stormzy is bare nang"
Nang, a word that originated in Hackney, refers to something that's cool.

13. Mans (or manz)
e.g. "The girl told me, ‘take off your jacket.' I said, ‘Babes, man's not hot'"
Man has often been used to describe people in general, them or you, but now it's being used as a first person pronoun – it's a way to refer to oneself.

14. Creps
e.g. "Check out mans creps"
Creps are shoes, specifically a pair of good-looking trainers.

15. Chirpse
e.g. "I chirpse her just for fun, I never ever call her phone"
If you are chirpsing someone then you are flirting with them, or chatting them up.

16. Long
e.g. "Nah man, getting the bus is long tings"
A negative description for a task that involves more effort than it's worth, or something or someone that is considered arduous or annoying. To "long off" someone or something means to avoid it: if you've been "longed off" you've been stood up.

17. Yout
e.g. "Skeng chat, kick up the yout, man know that I kick up the yout"
Short for youth, this means a child or young person. The yout of today are speaking MLE!

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