The word mardy came up in conversation last night, and the friends who mentioned it, who are from Yorkshire and Lancashire, said that it could mean annoying or weak. As I hadn’t heard it before, I thought I’d find out more about it.

According to Wiktionary means sulky or whinning, e.g. ‘She’s being a mardy girl’, or non-co-operative, bad tempered or terse. It is used in the East Midlands, South Yorkshire and a few other places in northern England, as well as in Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottingham and Derbyshire.

It is often combined with other words such as cow and bugger, and is sometimes shortened to mard, which appears in the phrase, ‘he’s got a mard on’ (he’s in a bad mood), which could also be ‘he’s in a mardy’.

It possibly comes from marred = to be perplexed or troubled; to be spoilt, cosseted, overly indulged, and a related expression is to mard = to cosset (a child).

Have you heard this word before?

Do you use it?

7 thoughts on “Mardy

  1. I grew up in Leicestershire, where ‘mardy’ was commonly used and meant ‘sulky’, ‘uncooperative’ or ‘difficult’. I don’t think it ever meant ‘weak’. I still use it from time to time today, although I’ve lived in the Isle of Man since 1979.

  2. I can remember being confused as a child when I was told that mardy wasn’t a “real English word”. It was possibly the first time I became aware of the idea of dialect.

  3. I think the song “Mardy Bum” by the Arctic Monkeys explains what being “mardy” means quite well.

  4. It’s quite prevalent in th West Midlands as well. A friend of mine from Wolverhampton uses it.

  5. It’s northern for sure. As a Londoner a colleague from the north used it along with ‘ mither’ a word Imhadn’t used before.Then again the same colleague was perplexed when Imasked her if the area she was living in was ‘green’ as in an area more suburbian – more parks or woodland than her previous area.

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