28 October 2013

The Yorkshire dialects

The Yorkshire accent is a many and varied thing, as you can see. I've got a map here with every Yorkshire town, and each town has its own accent. From right over here in the east with Hull, where they talk about having 'a pahnt of mahld at fahve to fahve', and 'I've got all the Stern Rersers albums'. Then you go west to Bradford where we are now, and they don't say their Ts - 'go'a go 'o [got to go to] Bradford; go'a go 'o Batley'. Then you go across to Leeds and the Es are lengthened. Then you go down here through Wakefield to Barnsley, which is a very harsh [accent] and you think of Geoff Boycott, 'that's proper cricket is that'. I do genuinely think it's to do with the harsh winds of Yorkshire - you don't want to open your mouth too far. Then you go a bit further south to Sheffield where there's this fantastic difference between Barnsley and Sheffield - where we say 'now then now then', as you approach Sheffield it becomes 'now den'. So we call them 'de-das'. And in Chesterfield they call their house their 'arse' - my Auntie Mabel, who was from Chesterfield, would say things like 'I've just had double-glazing fitted in my arse', or 'I've got a detached arse' - oh, have you really? And they don't think it's funny!

- Yorkshire poet Ian McMillan, in Fry's Planet Word s01 e02, BBC2, 2011

See also:
Video: Ian McMillan - The day they found the king, February 2013
Blog: 8am: Bacon & egg butty, four pints of cider, 22 May 2013
Blog: Treasures of Mercia, 17 December 2009

Post a Comment