Remember, you don't have to use this guide! At the end of the day, LS-RP should be about having fun. If you don't want to read a bunch of info on how to roleplay someone from Liverpool, then don't. You will be able to get away with roleplaying a generic English person easily. This is just in case you want some extra info/resources on getting a better idea of your character and how they might act. Enjoy!
Guide to roleplaying a Liverpudlian
People from Liverpool are known by two names: Liverpudlians and Scousers. Liverpudlians is the formal version that not many people use. Scousers is the main adjective. Nearly everybody from Liverpool would describe themselves as a Scouser, not as a Liverpudlian. Someone from Liverpool is called a Scouser, but you’d describe them as being Scouse. It’s the same with France – if someone is from France, you’d call them a Frenchman for the noun, but for the adjective, they’re French.
You don’t really need to know this, but the word Scouse comes from a type of food – a sort of lamb or beef stew. As Liverpool is a port city, it’s said that the sailors would eat a lot of scouse as it’s a hearty workman’s food. From that, the term Scouser was born.
Where is Liverpool?
Liverpool is in the Northwest of England, see below:
It lies on the river Mersey, a vital waterway that runs through its port. The closest major city to Liverpool is Manchester.
Where would my character be from in Liverpool?
This depends – your character could really be from anywhere in the city or its surrounding area. Typically, of course, criminals are from poorer areas. Perhaps the most prominent poor area in Liverpool is Toxteth. Toxteth is notorious for how poor it is. It’s right in the centre of Liverpool and has a significant black and Muslim population (that’s not to say the black people who live there all Muslim – many, if not the majority are not). There are also of course white people who live in Toxteth, lots, but keep in mind that the black population of Liverpool is quite heavily concentrated there. Perhaps the most famous of all of Liverpool’s gangster is Curtis Warren (more on him later), who is himself from Toxteth.
Other poor areas include the Dingle, Speke, Bootle, Norris Green. There are many others. I don’t really think you have to be particularly specific in terms of where your character comes from within Liverpool, but if you want to be that specific, any of those areas are great for a character coming from a poor background. Those areas mentioned aren’t exhaustive, though – there are many areas in Liverpool your character could come from. He might even be from a wealthier area – you don’t have to be poor to be a criminal, after all.
I won’t go into too much detail about Liverpool’s history. I will however say that it’s a port city. The docks have historically been the city’s main source of income, and a big employer for locals. That isn’t as much the case now, but it’s significant, particularly as a hugely significant portion of Liverpool’s population has Irish heritage (Liverpool is the nearest English port to Ireland, so thousands of Irish people have moved to England over the last couple of centuries. Virtually everyone in Liverpool has Irish heritage).
This is important, to my mind. Scouse identity is very, very strong. Most Scousers are very proud to be from Liverpool. Liverpool has a pretty poor reputation in the UK, as its population has been stereotyped as being poor. Perhaps the most prominent stereotype of all is that Scousers are thieves – nearly everybody in the UK will have heard the stereotype that Scousers are thieves. Much of the UK population hate Scousers, for whatever reason. This has only made people even prouder of being from Liverpool – if everyone hates where you come from, you retreat to that place, and defend it – identifying more closely with it. People from Liverpool often dislike being called English, even though they are. ‘Scouse not English’ is a common phrase.
Football, or soccer, is an important part of nearly all Scouser’s lives. Virtually everybody supports one of the two local teams – Liverpool and Everton. Both football teams are from Liverpool. It would be quite strange if your character didn’t support one of these two teams. Liverpool FC is by far the more successful team, having recently won the Premier League, but Everton fans are just as vocal and strong in their support of their club. On balance, there are probably more Liverpool fans than Everton fans, but both are extremely prominent. Maybe your character would wear a Liverpool or an Everton shirt, or have a relevant tattoo.
Scouse style is similar to most of England’s – designer brands, sneakers, etc. But, there are some distinctive features that mark Scousers out. Scousers tend to wear a lot of outdoor brands – Northface, Berghaus, etc. They also wear a lot of sportswear, Nike, Adidas, Underarmor. Strangely, Airmax 95s are particularly prominent footwear (known locally as 110s, because they used to cost £110). Of course, you by no means have to stick to this – just a note that Scouse fashion is slightly distinct from some other parts of the UK.
Scousers will listen to any music, really. There is nothing I can say that a Scouser will listen to specifically. There are some Scouse rappers, such as Aystar and Tremz, but a Scouser is just as likely to listen to Drake as he is to listen to one of those two. The Beatles came from Liverpool, which is worth noting, but that’s not to say they all love and listen to The Beatles.
Liverpool has a bad reputation as having a high crime rate. That isn’t necessarily the case, but there are a number of gangs dealing drugs, selling firearms, etc. A lot of these are localised within the city, but some branch out to the surrounding areas, where they send younger members of the gang to distribute drugs to villages and towns in the countryside. There are also international gangsters who import drugs from abroad – it’s said that Liverpool’s location makes it an ideal spot for the import of drugs straight from South America.
There are a number of famous gangsters from Liverpool, perhaps most famous of all being Curtis Warren, who was formerly Interpol’s Target One, and was listed as one of the richest people in the UK. At one point he was believed to have made hundreds of millions from the drug’s trade. People in Liverpool know of Curtis Warren, he is very well known.
Useful links on crime in Liverpool:
On the South America connection, general Liverpool organised crime:
https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/li ... s-18657289
https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/li ... t-17640376
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/ ... ide-london
On Curtis Warren:
https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/no ... r-17557144
Useful documentaries, interviews and other videos:
Interview with Darren Gee, former criminal:
Interview with Liverpool gangster Billy Moore:
Interview with Liverpool gangster and stick-up man Stephen French:
Shooters, a crime film based in Liverpool:
Scran: food, also to eat: “This is boss scran, lad.” “I’m just gonna scran this and then get off.”
Boss: very good, great. “Have you heard the new Danny Brown album? It’s boss.”
Keks: trousers. “Where are my keks? I can’t go out in just me bills.”
Bills: underpants, boxers.
Boxies: underpants, boxers.
Webs: shoes, trainers.
Trabs: shoes, trainers.
Barnet: hair. “I need to sort my barnet out lad, I’m goin’ to the barbers.”
Grid: face. “I’ve broken out in spots. My grid is looking disgusting.”
Kinell/Fuckinell: an exclamation of alarm, surprise, etc. An amalgamation of ‘fucking’ and ‘hell’ (fuckinell). “Fuckinell lad, did you see the arse on her?”
Plod: Police. “Put that spliff out lad, there’s plod comin’.” “I’ve just had to run from plod, I robbed a shop.”
Sound: cool, good or nice. Can be used in a variety of contexts. “Tom is sound mate, he’s just a proper nice guy.”
Proper: really, very. “This scran is proper boss, lad.” “I’m proper tired, I need to kip.”
Kip: sleep, to sleep. “I need a kip.” “Joe is kipping in his bedroom.”
G’wed: go ahead. Also spelt go’ed. “I’m goin’ the shop lad, do you wanna come? G’wed lad.”
Come ed: come ahead, come on. “Do you wanna fight, lad? Come ed then.”
Bifter, biff: cigarette. “I’ve run out of biffs lad, can you give me one?”
Abar: about. “I’ve got abar three minutes until I need to go to work.”
La: lad, mate.
Cob on: mood. “He’s annoyed, he’s got a cob on.”
West: crazy, weird. Can be used as a verb or a noun. “That guy is fuckin’ west mate, he’s so weird.” “He’s going west, he’s shat himself!”
Arr: expression of surprise, excitement, annoyance. “Arr that looks boss.” “Arr, why’ve you done that, lad?”
Koff: abbreviation and amalgamation of fuck and off, fuck off.
Lemo: see beak.
Ched: Weed, primarily of the cheese variety.
Princess, prin: attractive woman. Prin is also used by women to refer to their friends.
Bird: woman, also girlfriend. “Is Becky your bird?” “Call those birds over lad.”
Bevvy: beverage, alcoholic drink.
Chocker: busy, from chocker block. Can also be used to refer to feeling rough: “My head is chocker after last night.” “There is so many people in this pub, it’s chocker.”
Heavy: bad, rough. “Did you hear Jack got nicked by the plod? That’s heavy that.”
Nick, nicked: Arrest, to be arrested. “I’ve been nicked by the police lad.” “Those police are gonna nick me after that robbery yesterday.”
Onto, on it: aware of. “Are you onto that new song by Kendrick Lamar?”
Yano: abbreviation and amalgamation of ‘you know’. Typically used at the end of sentences. “That scran was boss yano.”
Defo: Short for definitely.
Blag: fake, knock off, counterfeit. “Those aren’t proper Airmax lad, they’re blag, them.”
Jarg: fake, knock off, counterfeit. “This hoodie is defo jarg, the Nike tick has fallen off.”
Swerve: Avoid. “I was gonna go for drinks with a lad from work but I swerved him.”
Get off: to leave. “I’m gonna get off now lads, see you later.”
In a bit: See you in a bit, see you later. Goodbye. “I’m gettin’ off now lad, in a bit.”
Bail: To leave. “I’m not going the comedy club lad, it’s too expensive. Bail that.”