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A lesson on local words, phrases & sayings

We’re frequently impressed by the amazing language levels of our students. This week we’ve had German student Fabian working in our office and it's been great hearing sayings like ‘it’s  raining cats and dogs’ dropped in to conversation.

Even to the fluent English speaker, Devon has a few words, phrases and sayings you may not have heard of. Here’s a quick guide to some of them:


A grockle is what Devonians call holidaymakers.

Example: Sorry I’m late, the roads were full of grockles!


Proper job

A general way of saying something is good.

Example: It’s a bank holiday nect weekend? Proper job!


Where’s it to

A slightly confusing Westcountry way of asking where something is. Can also be used with ‘you’.

Example: Where you to?



A way of describing someone who is confused

Example: She was in a bit of a tiswas



A male friend, usually used in a greeting.

Example: alright bey?


Ooh arr

A way of expressing joy or satisfaction.

Example: ooh arr I'm excited for the weekend!



A gannet is a type of seabird, but is used to describe somebody who’s always hungry and always eating.

Example: I can’t believe you’re still eating you gannet!



Usually used in place of the word ‘great’, gurt can mean ‘big’ or ‘very’.

Example: That’s a gurt big tractor!


Get on

Shortened to ‘geddon’, can be used to answer pretty much anything!

Example: “Alright mate?”

“Yeah geddon!”



Another way of saying something is good, or ‘me handsome’ can be used as a greeting.

Example: Alright me handsome?