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Probably from marred +‎ -y.



mardy (comparative mardier, superlative mardiest)

  1. (chiefly East Midlands) Sulky or whining.
    He's a mardy child.
  2. (chiefly East Midlands) Non-co-operative, bad-tempered or terse in communication.

Usage notes[edit]

Used throughout the East Midlands and South Yorkshire, plus other isolated spots in the North.

In common use in most of Leicestershire, Rutland and the part of Lincolnshire close to these. It is used frequently in the city of Nottingham, throughout Derbyshire, and Derby city particularly. Mardy is also used in the southern part of South Yorkshire and Polesworth (West Midlands). North of Sheffield, the equivalent dialect term is maungy.

Frequently combined with other words forming common phrases such as "mardy bum", "mardy cow" and "mardy bugger" [1]. Sometimes shortened to "mard" particular when used in certain phrases such as "mard arse" or "mard on" (as in "he's got a mard on" to mean he's in a bad mood).


  • 1913, D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers, chapter 2
    “I wouldn’t be such a mardy baby,” said his wife shortly.
  • 1984 Food, Health, and Identity, Patricia Caplan [2] [1997 edition]
    When our Jonathan’s poorly...he’s mardy, very mardy....


mardy (plural mardies)

  1. (chiefly East Midlands) A sulky, whiny mood; a fit of petulance.
    • 2001, Creating a Safe Place, NCH Children and Families Project [3] [2003 edition]
      Sometimes my mum’s in a mardy and she says she doesn’t care about us — but she does really.