The North/South divide is something that will forever spark debate amongst students, and the recent online north-o-meter test will only widen the divide and increase confusion (pie barm anyone?!). I’m a Londoner, and scored a whopping 0% on the test (I live in the English Channel apparently), so I decided to write a few tips that will help any Southerner adjust to life in Nottingham.
5. “It’s grass not grass!”
Unless you are a bit of a hermit and haven’t ventured out of your room yet, you will have noticed that when speaking to anyone who’s not from the South they will pronounce certain words differently. If you ever need to say bath, grass or laugh, just be warned that this will be the start of a heated argument.
4. “Are you talking to me?”
This rule mostly applies to Londoners, but can be understood by anyone who’s not used to the oh-so-friendly locals of Nottingham. If you speak to a bus driver in London they’re more likely to kick you off then say hi back. In Nottingham however, I’ve spoken to bus drivers more than my own family. Most people are very friendly and will spark up a conversation whenever possible, so make sure you keep an approachable smile on your face at all time.
3. “What was that you called me?”
It takes quite a while to adjust to locals and people in general being nice to you when you’re out and about in Nottingham, but being called ‘duck’, ‘ducky’ or ‘cocker’ is even more confusing. Don’t worry, they’re not chatting you up/implying you a common waterborne bird or appendage – it’s a term of endearment.
2. “Is that gravy with chips?”
They have gravy with everything, and I mean everything. It doesn’t just stop at the well-known ‘chips and gravy’ dish, if it’s edible it’s smothered in gravy – that’s the unwritten rule.
1. “I am not a Northerner!”
And if you remember only one piece of advice then it has to be this, you must in no circumstance refer to someone from Nottingham (or in fact anywhere in the Midlands) as a Northerner. Many a fight has been started this way, and you can never be sure how Midlanders will react. For me personally, anyone north of the M25 is a northerner, but be sure never to tell anyone else that!