11 memorable phrases gifted to us by EastEnders’ wordsmith Mick Carter

EastEnders has confirmed that Queen Vic landlord Mick Carter will exit the soap at the end of actor Danny Dyer’s current contract. 

Mick arrived alongside wife Linda (Kellie Bright) and their clan back in 2013, and immediately entertained viewers with his unique way with words. 

We’ve learned to adapt to Mick’s own special language over the years, and will certainly miss its presence.

So in tribute to the Walford legend, here’s a collection of his greatest hits.

Nut

We’re not sure we’ve ever actually heard Mick refer to his head – instead ‘nut’ became the default alternative. 

At this point another definition really should be added to the official dictionary, because we won’t be able to hear it without thinking Mick is analysing what’s going on in his or someone else’s head!

Swede

The first time fans heard Mick refer to his ‘swede’ was a baffling experience. 

Was he a keen vegetable expert? No, someone was just getting on his nerves. ’Pipe down will ya, you’re doing my swede in!’ became pretty self-explanatory in reference to his brain or, once again, his head.

Boat

This one is fairly simple if you’re already familiar with traditional rhyming slang. Boat race = face!  Mick has never been one to bother with the full phrase when just half will do.

‘What’s up with your boat?’ is one of his usual greetings if a family member is sulking. 

Bubble

Yes, that’s ‘bubble bath’ meaning laugh. 

Sorry, did you say Mick’s leaving? ‘You’re having a bubble, ain’t ya?’

Russell

Named in reference to TV presenter Russell Harty, meaning ‘party’. Mick has thrown his fair share of ‘Russells’ during his reign at the Vic.

If you weren’t already in the know about this one, we guarantee you won’t forget now. There’s even a song titled ‘Russell Harty had a Party’. You’re welcome.

Bird

Mick has ‘done some bird’ since moving to Albert Square. That’s ‘bird lime’ – the slang for time meaning ‘doing time in prison’.

You’ll have seen him mention this due to his spell in jail for the shooting of Stuart Highway (Ricky Champ), of which he was falsely accused.

Treacle

You may recall Mick saying ‘alright my treacle?’ to his female customers. This comes from ‘treacle tart’ as the slang for sweetheart.

Does every woman want to be called ‘sweetheart’? No, but there’s something much less patronising about the word treacle. And we can’t imagine any East Ender being irritated by Mick’s eccentric expressions.

Pony

The least elegant of Mick’s regular phrases – ah, the man is such a wordsmith!

Soapland rarely informs us when a character is due a call of nature, but EastEnders makes an exception for Mr Carter who has been known to say he is ‘going for a pony’, otherwise known as ‘pony trap’. We’ll let you work that one out for yourselves… 

Sherbet

Just when we thought we had heard it all, a scene featured Mick announcing he was going to ‘get a sherbet’.

This was taken from ‘sherbet dab’. But he didn’t have a craving for the sugary treat – Mick simply wanted a taxi-cab.  

Bunny

‘We’ll have a bit of bunny’ means to have a chat. This variation comes from ‘rabbit and pork’, the slang for talk. 

One of the most common uses of the phrase is ‘to rabbit on’, used to describe someone who loves to chat a bit too much. As usual, Mick prefers to go his own way – and his version has stuck with us.

Slice

Danny Dyer once explained that he inserted this particular word into a scene. 

In this context, ‘slice’ was used to mean a character was ‘not with it’ or an idiot, and just like that, yet another reusable phrase was created. 

Somehow every word he speaks makes sense, even when it shouldn’t. We now consider ourselves fluent in his dialect, which will live on as the legacy of Mick Carter.

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