CALL someone a chopsie nesh and the reaction you are most likely to get is one that suggests you have just landed from Mars.

But use the words in Ludlow and south Shropshire and you just might cause serious offence.

These are one of hundreds of local words and phrases that a Ludlow woman is recording before they finally die out.

Nikki Gittins, who was born into a Ludlow farming family 24 years ago, lives in Bristol where she is doing a masters degree on the language and dialects or her native Shropshire.

She is also studying the local language of Worcestershire and Herefordshire.

Nikki, who is also a successful graphic designer, has become fascinated with language and how old words play a part in social history and evolution but also how quickly they die out unless they are recorded and used.

“These traditional words and phrases are not being passed on and I want to record them before they finally die out,” said Nikki.

“Most of these words and phrases have their origin in the farming community.”

The last time a collection of local words was recorded was in Georgina Jackson’s Wordbook that was published in 1878.

For people not familiar with the words - ‘nesh’ describes someone who is sensitive and perhaps a bit of a ‘wimp’, while to be ‘chopsie’ is to have a tendency to talk or answer back.

Anyone with an interest or any words or phrases to contribute should visit www.locallanguage project. or email