There's wiser locked up is a Northern Irish phrase!

Hi, I’ve just found that the phrase "there’s wiser locked up’ is a Northern Irish phrase. The first time I heard was about 15 years ago when I met a construction businessman from Bangor, Northern Ireland. Back then, I assumed that pretty much every native speaker would know or use this phrase ;-).[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, question-response: Do we have any more printer paper?[YSaerTTEW443543]

Not me; I can’t even figure out what it means.

Hi Torsten!!

Do they have business men in Northern Ireland ? Blimey! - sounds quite sophisticated

Actually - “There’s wiser locked up” - I think its quite an old “Colloquialism”

[i]A colloquialism is an expression not used in formal speech, writing or paralinguistics. Colloquialisms are also sometimes referred to collectively as “colloquial language”. Colloquialisms or colloquial language is considered to be characteristic of or only appropriate for casual, ordinary, familiar, or informal conversation rather than formal speech or writing.[2] Dictionaries often display colloquial words and phrases with the abbreviation colloq. as an identifier.

Slang is not considered the same as colloquial (speech), which is informal, relaxed speech used on occasion by any speaker.[/i]

Hi Jamie,

I thought everyone in Northern Ireland, especially in Bangor, is a businessman :-). And most of them use idioms, colloquialisms, set phrases, proverbs and sayings.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, question-response: What are you doing Saturday?[YSaerTTEW443543]

“There’s wiser locked up”… there are wiser men locked up in jail than the man being discussed. In other words … "He has no common sense. "

Along the same lines from County Antrim NI … "Have a titter of wit ". In other words … " Catch yourself on ! " or "Get a grip ! "
‘Wit’ here has nothing to do with humour but with behaving sensibly and not acting in a foolish, halfwitted manner.

Recollections from a far-off childhood :slight_smile:

Hi James

Never heard it finished off like that before ?
I would have assumed it meant the person in question was either loopy or slightly crazy in which case it would be more like an asylum or secure unit…?

Only my opinion…

However being from county Down I have heard a similar more modern version

“there’s wiser chewin grass”

and even finished “there’s wiser chewin grass in that field”

Good Morning Ambivalent.Lurker,

I’m sure you’re right … my brain obviously wasn’t in gear last night .
Certainly in the Irish Republic where I lived for quite a while, ‘He should be locked up’ delivered as a general derogatory comment about a person ( as opposed to an opinion on a suitable punishment for a criminal offence ) did indeed imply in a mental institution.

Cheers! James

Anywhere nice James?
Be interested to hear your thoughts first hand - regarding the recent economic slow down etc… in North and South?