Searching for craic on the web

Ice cream lovers can type in "poke"

A linguistics expert has been drafted in to help with an internet search engine which recognises Northern Ireland slang.

Dr Alison Henry of the University of Ulster has provided consultation on the type of words users may type into the website.

Colloquialisms such as gutties, craic, poke and bog will be recognised on the search engine Yell.com.

It has looked at slang words used in areas across the UK.

It said people from Northern Ireland living in Ipswich would be able to find opticians by typing in 'gleckers', which is slang for glasses.

Dr Henry, a professor of linguistics and author of Belfast English and Standard English, said: "Language plays an important role in Northern Ireland's culture and our local linguistic colloquialisms are much loved.

Bevy/scoop = Drink
Gutties = Trainers
Poke = Ice-cream
Offees = Off-Licence
Bog = Toilet
Piece = Sandwich/Slice of bread
Craic = Entertainment/Fun
Chippy = Chip shop

"People in Northern Ireland have a great sense of pride both in knowing and using these local colloquialisms in everyday conversation and it is great that in the digital age Yell.com acknowledges this."

The search engine said it was on the hunt for other suggestions and was launching a radio competition to find local words people would like to see added.

The company's Eddie Cheng said it was a recognition of the diversity of language in the UK.

"But we realise we've just scratched the surface in terms of the extent of regional dialect and that's why we're encouraging people to go to Yell.com with their own suggestions," he said.

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