What’s the Belfast for dosh, spends, spondoolicks?

Old playwrighting mucker writes out of the blue and asks (look away now if you are easily offended):

Now here’s a question of international importance worthy of a brain like yours. In Northern Ireland Belfast, do they say ‘fuckin’ or ‘feckin’ would you say? Second question, what’s the local Belfast slang for ‘money’?


  • GGN

    I have heard people in the greater Ballymurphy area describing money as ‘coin’.

  • Alex

    In Larne I’ve heard of people talking of “Sheets and Dabs” (no idea if this is also in Belfast). “Sheets” being paper notes and “dabs” being coins – “dabs” can also be the general term for “dosh”. I’ve probably heard “dough” quite a few times (perhaps the most common term?), though that isn’t exactly NI-specific.

    And it’s “fuckin”, not “feckin” anywhere outside the greater Belfast area or East coast!

  • “Have you got any notes on you?”

  • Alex

    Correction : meant to say anyone INSIDE the greater Belfast area or East coast! I’ve no idea what the Culchies to the west say! 😛

  • McGrath

    “Dosh” as in “ya got any dosh on ya” or “that’s a lot of fuckin dosh”

    I have also frequently heard coins referred to as scrap or shrapnel.

  • McGrath

    Was “Feckin” was a Father Ted thing?

  • Rory Carr

    “Ahm a wee bit short a the readies”, was often an excuse I would hear from someone whose round it was or when the time had come to split the bill after a meal out.

    As for “feckin” – an anoydyne annoyingly twee little word, common among convent bred South Dublin girls, on a par with that clean-cut waspish Americanism “ass” as an alternative to “arse” in the mistaken belief that “arse” is common or vulgar when in fact it is the idiotic replacement of it by another name for a donkey that jars. Besides which any buzz word that has been popularised in England by Dara O’Bríain should be avoided in order not to appear naff.

  • fin

    i think the money references are mostly london origins, I was interested in that feck v fuck question, dispite my primary school teachers i was brought up with feck not been a swear word, so subsitute feck for fuck in polite conversation, my headmaster always interupted important games of football at break to tell me not to be shouting feck at my classmates, didn’t work and now i got loads more swear words in my armoury

  • dunreavynomore

    Feckin has been used over most of Ireland for decades,as fin says, it isn’t viewed as a swear word. Grade is a border word for money.

  • Border Fox

    What about foldin’ for notes and shrapnel for coins ?

  • Shrapnel to me means a large quantity of small-denomination coins, i.e. useless.

  • latcheeco

    “He hasn’t a fuckin washer to his name.”
    or “He went to London for the cabbage.”

  • L

    squid, spondoolies, dosh.

  • UFB

    Haven´t a fuckín wing.

  • dunreavynomore

    Rory Carr’s annoyance at the use of the word ‘ass’ reminded me of a glorious Limerick penned by Oliver St John Gogarty,

    The Young Maid Of Madras.

    There was a young maid of Madras
    Who had a most beautiful ass.
    It was not round and pink
    As you bastards might think:
    It was grey with long ears and ate grass.

    His ‘Sing A Song Of Sexpence’ is very funny.

    The king was in his counting house
    Counting out his pelf;
    The queen was in the parlour
    Playing with herself;
    The maid was in the garden
    Trying to show the groom
    That the vagina, not the rectum
    Is the entrance to the womb.

  • DoctorWho

    Nerver fuckin´heard of feck until Father fuckin´ Ted, anyone who says other wise can fuck off.

  • dunreavynomore

    Well I feckin heard of feckin feck forty feckin years a feckin go so i feckin did.

  • borderline

    I never heard feck outside of Ireland, and I get the impression it’s rare enough east o’ the Bann.
    Fuck remains in use though as the real word

    There was a young girl from Granard
    The sides of who’s cunt was so hard
    That Barney McGuckian
    Professor Of Fuckin
    Had to grease his two bollocks with lard.

  • dunreavynomore

    Away from the sex.

    Open ye bogs and swallow down
    That horid place called Philipstown;
    And if you’ve room for anymore
    Then swallow dirty Tullamore.

    Then there’s,

    The town of Nass ia an awfull place
    And Killbeggan’s twice as bad,
    But FECK me if I ever see
    The likes of Kinnegad.

  • George

    you obviously haven’t spend much time with South Dublin convent girls.

  • PaddyReilly

    The word ‘feck’ means ‘nick, steal’ and was used by Free-Staters in the way English people use ‘frig’, as a way of expleting without using the F-word. When I used it in Belfast 30 years ago nobody there had heard of it, but now, thanks to Father Ted, it has become universally recognized.

    The question whether Belfast folk use fuck or feck is thus based on a misunderstanding, it is like asking whether they say frog or furnace, they are two completely different words. But in the past at least they did not use feck at all.

  • I agree with Paddy Reilly on the Fu v Fe debate. Being a mexican I am prone to a bit of feckin but its really not a Belfast thing.

    When this city wants to be heard it says fu.k.

    Notes is the reference for money which most struck me as new when I came here first. The other terms mentioned are in usage elsewhere I think.

  • dunreavynomore

    ‘frig’, of course, has its own meaning and your lady friends would be sorely disappointed if you confused a frig with a fuck; now a wee frig followed by a fuck would be a different matter. Feck me, this is a strange and weirdly comic thread.

  • Rory Carr

    Paddy Reilly is of course correct (as usual) when he asserts that ‘feck’ is an Irish slang word for ‘steal’ as in, “I made a few bob last night out doing a bit of feckin'”. However it is disingenuous of its constant users to claim that in all usages (or perhaps misuse) of the word it is not intended as a twee, slenderised replacement for the Anglo-Saxon word for sexual intercourse, ‘fuck’ when that is precisely how it is used.

    When Dara O’Bríain says of some politician that, “He knows feck all. He isn’t worth a single feckin’ vote”, he can hardly claim that he means, “He knows steal all. He isn’t worth a stealing vote”, can he? It is clear that he means “fuck all” and “fuckin’ vote” and the impact of what he says would be entirely lost upon his audience otherwise.

    It is just such hypocrisy that allowed the South Dublin convent girls of my youth to “feck this and feck that” with coy abandon but I never heard a Ballycastle or Ballynahinch convent girl come out with “fuck this or fuck that”. Not ever! This experience allowed me then to take even greater delight when I first encountered terribly posh Home Counties gels fresh from finishing school swearing away as good as a Belfast docker in those oh-so-refined well modulated accents. Charming, absolutely fucking charming!

  • dunreavynomore

    As I said, feck me, this is a strange and weirdly comic thread!

  • UFB

    Did those south Dublin convent girls feck much Rory?

  • UFB

    In case of any misunderstanding it should be pointed out that by using feck in the above comment I did of course mean steal 🙂

  • Rory Carr

    In that case, UFB, at least one of them fecked my heart away.