Amongst many Ulster sayings that I remember my Granny (who was Scottish) uttering at different times are: Hauld your wheesht, or in response to some childish statement like ďIím starviníĒ, or ďI need a penny for some blackjacksĒ she would look at me over her specs and say Your Headís a Marley. I took this to mean that (a) Iíd just had my lunch or (b) I had no hope of the penny. The other one was in reply to queries of where my Mother was.

Mum was in the habit of depositing me in Bentinck Street if she had to go Up the Town and didnít want me hanging on to her coat-tail. These visits to Belfast City Centre took hours, one of which Granny took for a nap. She called this taking 40 winks, but I got fed up winking at around 307.

I would sit barelegged on the prickly horsehair chair thinking of ways to reach the top of the dresser where the blackjacks were kept in a Walkerís shortbread tin. I was told on these occasions that my mother had Run Off with a Kiltie. Given Grannyís nationality this may be a Scottish saying, adopted by the Ulster Scots as their own. I havenít heard it much lately, but it may be considered some sort of child abuse to tell a child its Mother has gone and left it for a man in a skirt. Of course at the time I didnít think of these as Ulster Sayings but as normal comments that were part of an ordinary conversation. The thought of my Mother as a tartan-clad bride didnít cost me a momentís anxiety.

During my teenage years matters like Killinchy Mufflers and the Electric Duck were fervently discussed. The Muffler was code for a sort of courting ritual, and the Electric Duck was what you were invited to leave the Floral Hall dance to see, when what the young man had in mind was the Muffler. On enquiring where your partnerís home was you were frequently told it was a village Two Sheughs past Doagh, or Out the Antrim Line and to get to it the train stopped At Every Hole in the Hedge. If you liked the lad and committed yourself to riding home on the back of his motorbike, you informed your girlfriend that he was Dead On and that your first time as a pillion passenger would be Wee Buns.

If my Dad didnít want to do a job himself he would say it would need Two Men and a Wee Lad, and if something annoyed him he would say that it got so far up his nose it was Tearing the Lining in his Duncher. I think Hanging Together is a great reply to Bout ye?, and Go and Boil yer Head is a great put-down for someone pretending to be from Bangor West when theyíve been brought up in the centre of town. Ok, their dad might have been a Bowler Hat in the shipyard but thereís no need to think theyíre the Beesí Knees. Shipyard workers were asked as they left the house Ė Have ye got yer Piece? Aspirational joiners took theirs in an Oxo tin.

However, my favourite is an old one from a girlfriend who said she was staying in on Friday night to Get Sorted. I often thought of sending it in to LíOreal for use in their TV shampoo ads - but somehow I canít quite hear Cheryl Cole saying "My hair needs Washiní - sure itís like Graveyard Grass".

And thatís all I have to say, - so it is!