Sunday 4 February 2007

The Yorkshire Accent

Yorkshire in the North of England is actually made up of four areas: North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and Humberside (The East Riding) and includes the cities of Leeds, Sheffield and Bradford.

Famous Yorkshiremen/women

Sean Bean, actor
Michael Marks, founder of Marks and Spencer
Michael Palin, actor and comedian (Monty Python's Flying Circus)
Chris Rea, singer
Kaiser Chiefs, indie band from Leeds


-time sounds like 'tahhm'
-working sounds like 'wukking'
-name sounds like 'nem'


The shortening of the to t`. "Down the pub" is pronounced "down t` pub" or 'down ter pub',

The use of owt and nowt for "anything" or "nothing".

Nouns describing units of value, weight, distance, height and sometimes volumes of liquid have no plural marker. For example, "ten pounds" becomes "ten pound"; "five miles" becomes "five mile". NEVER "He's got five dog".

Location descriptions gain an extra of. For example, "off the streets" becomes "off of the streets"; "alongside the table" becomes "alongside of the table".

The word us is often used in place of me or in the place of our (e.g. we should put us names on us property).

Use of the singular second-person pronoun thou (often written tha) and thee.

In the West Riding, all cases of the past tense of to be is were: "I were wearing t'red coat, but he were wearing t'green one". Amongst younger speakers this may be pronounced "woh" or "wuh". The East Riding does the opposite and makes all cases into was.

While is often used in the sense of until (e.g. unless we go at a fair lick, we'll not be home while seven.) "Stay here while it shuts" might cause a non-local to think that they should stay there during its shutting, when the order really means that they should only stay until it shuts. "Wait while lights flash" is seen on British road signs at railway level crossings (railroad grade crossings); the potential for misunderstanding is obvious.

In common with many other dialects, aye is frequently used for yes.

Generally in cities such as Sheffield and Leeds, love is a term used by anyone, said to anyone in any situation and in some environments it is used on the end of almost every sentence which is addressing someone (e.g. "That'll be three pounds please love").

The word daft has a slightly different connotation in parts of Yorkshire. In most of Britain, its usage corresponds to "silly", but it is often used to mean "unintelligent" in Yorkshire.

Remnants from the Vikings include the verb laik, to play.

Listen to an watch the 4 Yorkshiremen Monty Python Sketch here (including tapescript)

Translate from English to Yorkshire here

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