A Dictionary of Bristle

The great and mostly beneficial influence of the Polish Community on Bristolian life and culture is undeniable and well recorded, not least by the APS.  However I was surprised and delighted to find out that this influence has now extended as far as the official Bristle Dictionary compiled by the unlikely duo of Harry Stoke and Vinney Green.  Having already sold over 50,000 copies of previous editions, the new fourth edition was published on 4th July with 50 new words included.

One of them, very much a surprise new entry is “Polski Sklep” – defined as a “local shop selling delicacies all named with the letters Z and K”.  This just goes to show that Bristol is, and always has been, a laid-back melting pot of cultures and identities, and most people who live here are proud to be called Bristolians.  If you or your culture brings something we like, we’ll take it, distort it and use it for our own ends – thus making you Bristolians as well!

For those of you who have yet to master the local language, here are a few more samples from the dictionary:

  • Alright my luvver       – How are you?
  • Annall                          – As well
  • Annat                           – And that
  • Ark at ee                      – Look at him
  • Aw                               – All
  • Awdin                          – Holding
  • Babber                         – Baby
  • Cheers drive                – Thanks bus driver
  • Gert lush                      – Very good
  • Mint innit                     – It’s good isn’t it
  • Rit                                – Write

I have to confess that although I knew all the others, I was confused by “El Dub” on the cover of the book and had to look it up!  Apparently it’s what the natives call Lawrence Weston and everybody but me knows that!

If you would like to buy a copy and your local book shop doesn’t have it, go to http://www.tangentbooks.co.uk/products/A-Dictionary-of-Bristle-New-Edition-.html they are a local company who will sell you a copy for £5-95

I do hope all the Local Polish Schools have ordered copies.

Chris Ottewell

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