|John & Hettie's wedding - 1911|
I recently met someone who commented on my Yorkshire accent, and as I have never thought that I have a strong accent said to them “ If you think my accent is strong, you should have heard my Grandparents talking!”
This got me thinking about the old Yorkshire dialect, and how it has largely disappeared from modern day life.
It is often referred to as broad Yorkshire or Tyke, not to be confused with modern day slang.
Here are some memories of my Grandparents, John and Hettie Bancroft, who were farmers in Thornton near Bradford, and who all their life spoke using quite a strong dialect, with words and phrases that you never hear nowadays. As a young child in the 1950’s I remember them using some of the following words and phrases to describe things in everyday life:
“Tha’s cack-handed!” when they saw me trying to use a hammer with my left hand, instead of trying to be right-handed.
"Its siling darn artside"....Its raining heavily outside
Appen - maybe
Bahn - going
Bah't - without
Be reight – it’ll be alright
Braying – beating
Coit – coat
Fettle – mend
Ginnel – alleyway
Lakin' - playing
Tha'mun - you must
No'but - nothing but
Seethe – do you see
Watter – water
Wick - lively
Stop lakin' a'bart - stop messing about
My grandmother was very fond of a Yorkshire poet called John Hartley [1839-1915], who was from Halifax, and was famous for writing verse in Yorkshire dialect. She left me a book of his most famous poems. Here is one of my favorites…you might have to read it a few times before fully understanding it, as I did….[my computer’s spellchecker just gave up trying to understand it!]
For we blushed wol us faces wor all in a blaze,
Ther wor honest men lived I’ thi gronfayther’s days.
An’ ther’s telegraff poles all o’th edge o’th highways,
Whear grew bonny green trees i’ thi gronfyther’s days.
|John & Hellie - enjoying a holiday in Blackpool in the 1950's|