My top 10 favourite Valleys words and phrases

So basically, I know that this blog is entitled Girl About Cardiff but lets get one thing straight…I am actually a Valleys girl living in Cardiff. A valleys girl and PROUD. Ebbw Vale born and bred like. Tidy.

Despite a popular TV programme on MTV trying to convince the world otherwise, people living in the valleys do not believe Cardiff to be some unobtainable magical far away land. It’s 50 minutes down the A470 hon; it’s not Narnia.

All that said, despite only being a stone’s throw away from our capital, we do definitely have our own unique valleys culture. Our distinct and lilting accent, our commitment to our rugby teams,  our Male voice choirs, and well to be honest, just too many examples of “oh that’s a valleys thing” to even mention.

For example, until I went to uni at the age of 18 I *literally* thought that carving a ‘pumpkin out of a swede’ for Halloween was a standard thing to do. Not even kidding.

However, I think the main thing I’ve learned from 5 years of working and living in Cardiff is that us valleys lot definitely have our very own unique spin on the English language. And I ABSOLUTELY love it!

As such, I’ve put together my top 10 favourite valleys words and phrases that we use day in, day out, with some tongue in cheek examples of how to use these words and phrases in real life conversation…because if there is one thing that us valleys lot are good at, it’s taking the piss out of ourselves!

  1. Alright ?

None of this “how are you?” or “good morning” shenanigans. Girl please. Why say in 3 words what you can say in one?


Alright is everything; it’s the ultimate greeting.

Alright is a question.
Alright is an answer.
Alright is an affirmation.
Alright is a way of life.

Simple. Effective. Straight to the point. Tidy.
Person 1: Alright?
Person 2: Alright.

Or if you want to get more advanced….

Person 1: Alright or wha?
Person 2: Alright aye.
2. En allowed

This is a a particular fave from my youth that had disappeared from my consciousness until one of my friends reminded me of it a few months back and it absolutely CREASED me *insert 10 laughing crying emojis here*.

Ok so basic translation for this one is “I am not allowed.”

However, “en allowed” means so much more than than that. It essentially means “My Mam said that I am not allowed”. And therefore it’s not negotiable. By any means. Like…..don’t even bother.
Person 1: Do you fancy coming down to Cardiff on the X4 on Saturday? Maybe go to pizza hut, maybe buy another Superdry polo shirt from Barkers, maybe spend our EMA in HMV?

Person 2: I can’t but.

Person 1: Gutting. Why not?

Person 2: En allowed.

No further questions.

Please lets try and bring this one back?!
3. But
Person 1: What’sappening but?
Person 2: Not a lot but.

Aren’t people from outside of the valleys just so confused by this one?

What are they calling me? Should I be offended? Why are they stopping slap bang in the middle of a sentence…BUT WHAT?!

For us valleys lot, ‘but’ isn’t a conjunction, it’s a term of endearment. It’s mate, friend, colleague. But better.

So yeah, take that one, you lucky thing.

4. Now in a minute

Somewhere between immediately and imminently. Like, soon-ish. In the future. At some point.

Person 1: Babes, what time is our mini bus leaving from Spoons?
Person 2: Now in a minute.

5. Where to/where you to?

Basic translation; ‘where?’ or ‘where are you?’

Little tip; don’t ever try and tell us the ‘to’ isn’t necessary.

Person 1: Oh but, where you to?
Person 2: By here.
6. Mun

This one is used for emphasis. Usually as an expression of frustration and/or anger…but not always. Just stick it on the end of a sentence and you can’t go wrong.
Oh, I dunno ya mun!

Awww come on mun!!

He’s a knob mun!

What are you like mun?!
7. Scram

I didn’t realise this was a word only used in Wales until really recently.

Isn’t it a lush word?! Just rolls off the tongue like.

Scram. Scram. Scram. Scram.

(I just did that thing when you say a word too many times and it no longer sounds like a word and it spins you in to this existential crisis and WHO AM I?!?! WHAT IS LIFE?! You know the one?)

A scram is basically a scratch. But not just any scratch. A particularly nasty one, often a number of scratches in one go.

Oh my god, I just scrammed my leg on that bramble ya mun!!

8. Bard

This means ill. But like, reaaaaaaally ill.

I couldn’t even play rugby today. I was THAT bard.
9. Sorry Solid

This one is another blast from the past.

You know when someone is so furious that they could rip a tissue? And you just have to bring them down a peg or two? That’s when you take this one out of your back pocket.

It basically means “sorry tough guy”.… but you’re being all of the ironic because you are insinuating that they are not hard. At all.

To be honest, it’s all in the delivery; you need to muster your most patronising, sarcastic, mocking tone.
Soooooorrrrry Sooooooolid.

Once, I’d bought my brother some curry and chips from the chippy after school (because… Wales). He was eating it straight from the paper bag and I politely asked him to put in on a plate and to eat it tidy.

Well. He only went and ‘sorry solid-ed’ me. And if he did.

I flipped the entire tray out of his hand I was THAT tamping.

Sorry solid.

10. Chopsing

This means talking too much. Chopsing is the verb. Chopsy is the adjective. (Yes I did just have to google ‘doing words’ and ‘describing words’…soz not soz).

Ashleigh is a very able student but she can ,at times, be extremely chopsy.
Definitely *not* a direct snippet from an old school report…..

So, there we are! There are SO many other proper lush words and phrases that we use in the valleys and indeed throughout Wales….what are your favourites?!


My top 10 favourite Valleys words and phrases

2 thoughts on “My top 10 favourite Valleys words and phrases

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