Don’t you just love some dialects. The Yorkshire/Lancashire dialect has some beauties. Paul, coming from across the Pennines in Lancashire, uses a few of the words and sayings from time to time. He won’t appreciate me linking the two dialects together though. He thinks they’re completely different – I think there’s so many similarities that it’s ok to link them. Without the accent these don’t sound quite ‘reet’ (right). Hopefully you’ll be able to hear them in your mind with the correct accent while reading them. Here’s a few I love:
Nowt – nothing. My mother-in-law told me once about a relative that used to make Nowt Pie. It consisted of pastry, spread with butter and a sprinkle of sugar and spice, and topped with more pastry. When asked what was in the pie her answer was “nowt, there’s nowt in it, that’s why it’s called nowt pie.” I wonder what the dieticians would say about that one. We do have our own updated version though.
Summat – something. Is there summat wrong lass?
Nine while five. This one had me perplexed once when at a job interview I was asked if, ‘nine while five’ suited. He meant, 9am till 5pm.
Eeh, by gum – an exclamation similar to, ‘oh my God’.
Ow do – hello
Ta-rah – good-bye
Mither – worry. When Paul was out as a lad his mum used to lay awake mithering until she heard him arrive home.
Perhaps my favourite though is, “there’s nowt so queer as folk”. Do you remember the movie, The Full Monty. The red haired guy was spotted climbing out the window of one of the other guy’s bedroom early one morning (clearly the two had formed a gay relationship). One old guy looked at the other and said in an accent so broad many watching the film wouldn’t have understood a word he said, “there’s nowt so queer as folk”. Then realising in this case there was a double meaning to the word, ‘queer’ they both cracked up into laughter. It was a scene in the movie that would have sailed over the head of anyone not familiar with the saying. I loved that scene, I loved that movie.
For such a small land mass the UK has an astonishing number of dialects, and localised slang. Some can be endearing, some can be grating. Do you have any you love, or any you really dislike?