Merseyside is famed the world over for its residents being friendly with a great sense of humour. Whether you're a 'true scouser' or a 'plastic scouser', there’s the contrasting stereotype that anyone with a hint of a scouse accent will take your wallet the moment your back’s turned. Silly. We’re much more likely to take the Mickey out of you. Alright, calm down, calm down… Here’s 11 things only people from Merseyside know.
1. The question ‘Where are you from?’ always opens a debate. If you’re not from Liverpool itself but have a scouse accent you’re labelled a ‘plastic scouser’ or a ‘wool’. The term ‘wool’ is short for ‘woolyback’. There’s even heated arguments about this phrase’s origin. In summary, it dates back to Lancashire miners who wore a sheep’s fleece to pad their back whilst carrying coal. Some argue it stems from dock workers heaving woollen bales on their backs, which left behind traces of wool.
2. If you hear Liverpudlians say they’re heading ‘Over The Water’, they’re going to The Wirral Peninsula, which is riddled with ‘plastic scousers’. Wirral’s situated on the other side of the Mersey, and most Wirral folk are proud of their connection to Liverpool. They’ll usually state that they’re from Merseyside or Cheshire – depending on how posh they want to appear. If there’s trouble, though, it’s Merseyside Police that’ll show up.
3. Not that you call them ‘police’. They’re The Bizzies.
4. Scousers, plastic or otherwise, have unique slang words and will abbreviate almost any word. Even plastic becomes ‘plazzy’. The phrase ‘End of’ ends any argument. Naff things are ‘jarg’. To avoid doing something is to ‘swerve’ it. To ask someone to do something you urge ‘Come ‘ead’, and if you want someone to leave then the given instruction is to ‘do one’. Spectacles or glasses are your ‘gigs’, ‘lad’ becomes ‘la’, your mother becomes ‘ma’, father is ‘da’ or the ‘auld fella’. Then there’s items of clothing that no-one has time to pronounce in full. Trainers are ‘trainees’, boxer shorts are ‘boxies’, tracksuit bottoms are ‘trackies’. Now, even trainees is deemed too long and has been shortened to ‘trabs’. There’s no special language classes at school, it’s just one of the things only people from Merseyside know.
5. Football fans support either Everton or Liverpool. Or Tranmere Rovers (you’ll at the very least have a soft spot for them). You may support Manchester United, if you’re a traitor. (Calm down, calm down, etc.)
6. You love The Beatles. Yes, Merseysiders as a whole will forever be proud of their famous ‘sons’. We’ll forever keep banging on about The Fab Four because they’re the best. End of.
7. Even better, anyone outside Merseyside is usually gullible enough to believe you’re related to, or have some tenuous connection with, one of The Beatles. ‘Yeah! My dad’s friend’s cousin’s girlfriend’s sister used to be babysat by Paul McCartney!’ Watch their little foolish faces light up. Priceless.
8. The landscape around Merseyside is breathtaking. Your best days out as a kid involved going to Formby Beach, Otterspool Promenade, New Brighton or to Parkgate for an ice-cream. If heading further afield then it’d be Blackpool. Bring on the Illuminations and the not-so-accurately titled Pleasure Beach!
9. Liverpool has produced its fair share of celebrities, but some that are assumed to come from Liverpool are actually plazzy scousers. Daniel Craig grew up on Wirral, Paul O’Grady’s from Birkenhead and, while we’re at it, John Bishop grew up in Runcorn and Mel C is from Whiston.
10. The nightlife in Merseyside is second to none. Hidden gems stretch from Hope Street’s Everyman Bistro to the cocktail bars of the Albert Dock. Many visitors flock to world famous Mathew Street to explore The Cavern but residents quickly learn it’s best avoided at weekends, unless you’re on a hen party. Or a man in his late 50s trying to pull said hen party. Then there’s the Blue Angel, known as ‘The Raz’. A student Mecca. Cheap but not always cheerful. Sweat drips from the ceiling into your eyeballs/mouth but you don’t care, The Baywatch Medley’s just come on! There’s Krazyhouse, or ‘The Kray’ [shortened as per!] It’s a maze of mayhem and a guaranteed giggle every time. You may remember when it’d only one floor, then two floors… Now, it’s got three! Each covering the best (and worst) of the world’s pop, rock and metal tracks for those craving an ‘alternative’ to the mainstream churned out in nearby Concert Square.
11. The sight of the Liver Birds will always make you smile. No matter how far you wander the world, nothing will make you feel more like ‘home’ than seeing those two beautiful copper cormorants in Liverpool’s skyline.
Can you add to our list of things only people from Merseyside know? Comment below!