Search billions of records on




Yorkshire Dialect


Dialect (from whichever region) is something to treasure and keep alive.   This isn't to be confused with sloppy speech - but it's using old sayings and forms of words that are traditional to specific areas.

One of the most difficult things for non Tykes to master in the dialect are the missing letters, for example - t'  as immortalised in the phrase "there's trouble a' t' mill",  "Walking up th'ill" etc.   The words aren't pronounced exactly as they are written, as there is a 'glottal stop' there.  This means that there is a slight stoppage of the flow of air - this is done by closing and opening the glottis (the space between the vocal chords).   So now you know !!!!

My childhood was spent in the West Riding of Yorkshire and even by then (the late 40s and the 50s) things were changing with easier communication - the local dialect was getting lost.   So many of the words I recall here were used by my grandparents in their everyday speech.

Much of the Yorkshire dialect has its origins in the Norse language, from the Viking invaders - eg: ginnel and laikin'   (narrow passage and playing) - a' te laikin' dahn't ginnel?

I now live away from my beloved Yorkshire and the dialect doesn't often come to the fore either at work or in general conversation.  I occasionally forget and say something like 'I wer' fair grieved'.  It's only when I see the slightly bewildered looks around me that I realised I have slipped into 'broad Yorkshire'.   At home, I talk with a broader accent than I use in my working life and I try to keep the little used words and phrases alive.

Here is a list of the words and phrases I remember.   They were (and to some extent, still are) in use in the Huddersfield and Halifax areas of  'God's Own County'.  

Let's try to keep the dialect alive!







Yorkshire Dialect Society