Words that don't have translations in English

Jun 2017
449
maine
Don't look it up on Urban Dictionary.
OK, I won't. When I was in high school, I had an English teacher who did something like that. She assigned various parts of Canterbury Tales--adding "what ever you do, don't read the Miller's Tale. Of course, we all did but she was able to tell the PTA, "but I TOLD those children not to read it".
 
Jan 2017
1,308
Durham
I encountered a Scottish word, mingy, that has no specific English equivalent. One always winds up explaining what it means rather than being able to translate directly.
The people of Britain are provincial in their outlook and so areas of the country have their own terms/words that aren't used anywhere else in the country. We tend to identify first and foremost with our cities, towns and villages, rather than with the countries of England, Scotland or Wales; and so differences in regional dialects flow from regional identity.

I live in the North East of England and there are hundreds of words that are used here that you won't find in use anywhere else in the country. With being in a corner of the country old habits have died harder here and pronunciations of certain words are similar to how they would have been pronounced by the Anglo-Saxons (for example, we say deed rather than dead).

A few examples:

A snout: a cigarette.

Gannin' Yerm: going home.

Hockle: spit.

Netty: toilet.

Canny: good.

Spelk: splinter

Hacky: dirty.

Clarts: mud.

Charver: chav.

Ha'way: come on. On this one you can tell who is from County Durham and who is from Northumberland (in County Durham it is spelt Ha'way and in Northumberland it is spelt Howay).

Kets: sweets.

Nebby: nosey.

Howk: pick.

Fettle: state of health.

Stott: throw.