The minger dynasty

If there’s a more irritating, more repulsive expression in the daily vocabulary of teens (and pre-teens) than ‘minger’, I’ve yet to hear it. And yet, it seems so handy. Grammatically, it can virtually perform any role you want it to: ‘It mings in here!’, ‘You minger!’, ‘That food is mingin’!’. What, with that and ‘Whatever’, or should it be ‘Wha-eva!’ you’ve practically got everything you need for an adolescent conversation.

I once banned both expressions from my house for a whole day – cos that’s the kind of pedantic fun-sucker I am. And it went wonderfully quiet. For my tweenagers, apparently, there was nothing else worth saying.

I know it’s a phase and it won’t last and that some other fad expression will take over. These days, I feel fondly nostalgic for ‘rank’ and ‘random’, the immediate predecessors to the ‘m’ word. I just hope whatever comes next won’t have me feeling the same way about the minger dynasty.


8 thoughts on “The minger dynasty

  1. Gosh, I feel so old. I’ve never heard of the term “minger” before. I don’t have any teenagers so perhaps I should watch more Laguna Beach to get hip with the lingo.

    (And thanks for visiting my blog. And by the way, your new book sounds great. Congratulations!)

  2. As a Yank, I have no effing idea what minging means – even though I lived in Leeds for a year way back when.

    (Do love your word “chuffed” which we don’t use here either. Doofus Yankees!)

  3. OK, got it now!

    Minger: a male or female who fell out of the ugly tree at birth and hit every branch on the way down

    “God that girl/boy is so minging she really needs to work on her personality.”

    (From Urban Dictionary)

  4. As first-generation users of such terms as ‘minger’, ‘whatever’ and ‘innit?’ when in our teens, my wife and I have always felt qualified to continue to use these expressions well into our 20s – in an ironic, post-teenage way, of course. Our toddler daughter, however, seems to have assimilated the vocabulary without the postmodern sensibility, and now regularly rounds off random exclamations with an ‘innit?’ at the end. Then again, she always fixes us with a knowing grin and a glint in the eye as she says it, so perhaps she’s more adept at irony than we realize – or perhaps it’s just that the knowledge of parents’ weaknesses is one of the first key skills your average two-year-old acquires.

    She doesn’t use ‘minger’, though, so that may now be passé in preschool circles. She has her own, roughly synonymous, word for this – ‘bleurghning’ – so listen out next time you’re near the offy (or watching the latest big thing on BBC3) to see if it’s caught on.

  5. Any chance that you’ll be branching out into the clothing market? I would gleefully purchase a t-shirt with “Pedantic Fun-sucker” silk screened on the front.

    Minger is a strictly British term. I’ve not heard it spoken in North America. It probably won’t make the leap across the pond, much likes its equally distasteful cousin: chav.

  6. i hope to offer just such a range of clothing very soon – well, as a writer, i have to find a source of income, don’t i. any further suggestions for slogans gratefully received…

  7. There are so many words and sayings that happened in England after I left (16 years ago, and God, now that I’ve just typed that, it makes me realize how long I’ve been away).
    Pants is one that I wish I could have been around for. As in, “That was totally pants!
    Minging is the other. I think it’s fantastic. Of course, I am from Leicester, a chavtastic place where the word Minger (and all variations) is thrown around like confetti.
    Vicky Pollard is fantastic, by the way. I love her almost as much as I love Catherine Tate’s Lauren.

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