Written in 1892 by the
Rev. M.C.F. Morris B.C.L., M.A.
SPECIMENS OF THE FOLK-TALK.
IN giving examples of the traditional speech of our Yorkshire country folk, one naturally searches in the first instance as far back as possible for specimens or even traces of it; such searching, however, is productive of only meagre results. To anyone who has at all studied our dialect it would be deeply interesting to have before him in black and white, if it might be but a few pages of a really reliable description of the unadulterated folk-talk of, say, four hundred years ago. Specimens of Early English we have an abundant supply of; but specimens of early folk-talk we have absolutely none, so far as I am aware. We have nothing, for instance, to show us how the sons of the soil spoke with one another in the year 1500, in the dales of the East Riding or of Cleveland. Whether such linguistic studies were ever seriously taken in hand is doubtful; at all events, it seems that nothing of. the kind has come down to us. One of the earliest approaches to anything of this nature is a Lowland Scottish Glossary which dates from the year ~ This Glossary was appended to a Latin Grammar, and the Grammar is supposed to have been written by one Andrew Duncan, Rector of Dundee Grammar School. Extracts from this Glossary are published in an early number of the reprinted Glossaries of the English Dialect Society. The folk-speech of the Lowlands of Scotland bears such a strong affinity to that of East Yorkshire, that a glance at Duncan's Glossary is not without interest, albeit that its scope is contracted and defective. Still, we may learn a few facts from it that bear upon our subject. Thus, for example, we find that certain of our Yorkshire pronun ciations of the present day are identical with those of the South of Scotland at the close of the sixteenth century: as instances we may quote brek for 'break,' chow for ' chew', snaw for 'snow,' blaw for 'blow,' threed for 'thread,' meer for 'mare,' and so forth; but the list of words is so limited that we cannot draw many conclusions from it. A few familiar words appear among the number given, viz. slope, pig (Yorks. piggin), bladder (mud), carlish (Yorks. chollous), clap, headstall, sneck, imp (to insert), sheerer (harvester), with some others.
What is most desired is however not found in Duncan s Glossary, viz, a few sentences to indicate the pronunciation at that date of ordinary vowel-sounds. One would like to know, for instance, if in the folk-speech of that date 'do' was pronounced deea, (look) leeak, (dame) deeam, (lame) leeam, (plough) pleeaf, (tough) teeaf and so on. One would he curious to ascertain if the abbreviated definite article was in full force in the middle ages as it is now;. if the personal pronoun ah (I) was universally used as at the present day, whether the tth or ddh, another strong peculiarity of our present pronunciation, was a strong peculiarity in those days. Whatever our own opinions may be on these and many other questions of the kind, we are in the dark as to positive proof.
The earliest example of the folk-talk in anything like the true sense of the word, with which I am acquainted, was written nearly a century later than the publication of Duncan's Glossary.
The passage which I shall quote is from a dialogue by G. M. Gent, published in York in 1685, and described on the title-page as 'a Yorkshire Dialogue in its pure natural dialect, as it is now commonly spoken in the North parts of Yorkshire.' I cannot give the entire production; the lines I quote form part of a conversation between a farmer, his wife, and son on agricultural work. Pegg, who is first addressed, is either the daughter or servant lass. The extract I have made runs as follows:-
'Mother.You set yan on unscape an' than you rewe
Greeat matters of an angry word I trowe.
Strahd, lass, an' clawt sum eldin oot o t' hurne,
Then gan thy ways an' fetch a skeel o' burn.
An' hing t' pan ower t' fire i t' reckon crewk
An' ah 'se wesh t' sahl an dishes up i t' neuk.
Father.Pray thee deea, Pegg; then ah 'se get up t' morn
An' late sum pokes, an' put up wer seed corn:
Then thoo may sarra t' gawts an' gilts wi draff;
An' ah 'se give t' yawds sum hinderends an' caff:
Then for wer breeakasts thoo may heeat sum cael
Till ah lie by my shack-fork an' my flail;
An', John, mak riddy my harrows an' my plewgh,
An', he an ah, Pegg, sall deea weel eneugh.
Ah 've heeard it talk'd an' noo t' trewth ah 've funnd,
Amell tweea steeals t' tail may fall ti t' grunnd.
Ah lited on Hobb, an he lited on me,
An' nowt at all is riddy, that ah see;
Nowther traces, hames, nor barfans ti finnd,
Swingle-trees nor helters, all 's made an ill end.
Bud tweea days sen ah 'se seear they wer all here,
Hung on an heeap i t' midst of oor laer fleear.
Son.Faether, they 're liggin all on oor faugh lands;
Ah trailed 'em theer mysell wi my awn hands.
Father. Thoo 's a good lad, my Hobb, that teeak sike care
Is t' yoaks an' bows an' gad an yoaksticks theer?
Son.-Aye, Aye; an' t' plewgh-staff teea, hopper an' teems;
Wa lack nowt bud a bay stag o' min eems
At we 're ti yoak i t' plewgh afoor wer yawds,
An' then ah 'se seear we 'se rahve up all adawds.
Father. Ne'er rack, ne'er rack; we 'se tak neea thowt for that
Ah 'se seear 'at it 'll bahd us billing at.
Oor land is tewgh, an' full o' strang wickens,
Cat whins, an seeavy furs, an monny breckins:
It 's nowt bud gorr, it ploshes under feeat;
Wa 'se finnd trouble eneugh when wa cum ti it.
Son. -- Lythe ya, lythe ya, how fondly you talk
You think we 'se mak monny ill-favart bawke.
When wa do plew, wa mun tak tahm ah reed;
Ah 've heeard folks offens say mair heeast warse speed.
T' feck on 't 's gripp'd, an t' watther runs away;
Ah was at t' field mysell, and saw 't ti-day.
It'll bring as good blendings ah dar say
As ivver grew a reeat in onny clay.'
In the original, from which this is taken, there are misleading spellings and slight omissions of letters, some of which I have corrected. There are still a few evident inaccuracies in the text: in the last line, e. g., in would no doubt be more correctly written iv; ti it in the original is written teaut; tiv it or tul it would be more consistent with modern usage, and I suspect with that of the period of the writing; but I have written ti it as adhering more closely to what was before me.
The above is a valuable example of the dialect as spoken in the North Riding more than two hundred years ago, and, beyond all reasonable doubt, for centuries before that, without material alteration. It must have been written by one who knew the folk-talk of that day well, but probably had not been much accustomed to writing it. It is noteworthy how slight have been the changes in the dialect, until the last few years, during the past two centuries. Indeed I venture to maintain that the written language has changed more than that spoken by the country folk. Take the example just quoted. In the main it would be perfectly understood by many of our older people at the present time. A few expressions and words have apparently fallen out of use altogether; but the dialect is essentially unaltered. The quotation will repay some study.
The opening expression, yott set yan on unscape, has died out; it means you put one in mind of a thing that is not convenient.
Hurne is a word that has vanished, though but lately; it signified a hollow place near the chimney or hood-end in old-fashioned cottages, where the kindling was kept.
It would not now probably be understood what mine eem meant; the word, however, occurs in several glossaries of comparatively recent date, and signifies an uncle on the mother's side.
Gorr is now nearly obsolete; but Feilberg, in his Jutlandic Dialect Dictionary, gives the word as in use in parts of Denmark in the sense of slime, or filth; it is so used in the passage before us. The word is still in use in standard English under the form of gore, and in the restricted sense of clotted blood. It is curious that in Icelandic the same word is used for half-digested food, and in Swedish in a somewhat similar sense, as also for matter or 'stuff' generally. Whether bows, i.e. hoops for carrying fodder, are still used tinder that term in any part of the district I cannot say with certainty; in Jutland the word under the form bue is commonly used, with a like meaning, by the cowboys and others for carrying fodder from the barns to the places where the cattle may happen to be.
The other less common words will be found in the glossary at the end of the volume.
For the sake of those who are not so familiar with our folk-talk I will add a 'translation' of the above passage.
Mother. You annoy one, and then, I trow, you greatly regret an angry word. Go, my lass, and gather some firewood from the kindling hole, then go and fetch a pail of water and hang the pan over the fire on the hook, and I will wash up the milk strainer and dishes in the corner.
Father. Pray do so, Pegg: then I will get up in the morning and look out some sacks and put up our seed corn then you may feed the pigs with grains, and I will give the horses some tail-corn and chaff. Then you may make hot some porridge for our breakfast until I put away my threshing fork and flail and, John, do you make ready my harrows and plough, and he and I, Pegg, will manage well enough. I have heard it said, and now I have discovered the truth of it, between two stools the tail may fall to the ground. I depended on Hobb and he depended on me, and I see that nothing whatever is ready; no traces, hames, or collars to be found; no swingle-trees or halters; everything is out of its place. Only two days since I am sure they were all here thrown on a heap in the middle of our barn floor.
Son. Father, they are all lying on our fallow; I took them there myself with my own hands.
Father. You are a good lad, Hobb, to take so much care; are the yokes, and fodder hoops, and long whip and yoke-sticks there?
Son.Yes! and the plough staff as well, seed basket, and teams; we want nothing but a hay horse of my uncle's that we must harness to the plough before our old animals, and then I am sure we shall tear up everything to pieces.
Father.- No fear, no fear! we will not trouble our heads about that; I am sure it will require our working it well. Our land is strong and full of coarse couch grass, briars, rushes, and plenty of ferns. It is nothing but slimy mud, it splashes under foot; we shall find trouble enough when we come to it.
Son.How foolishly you talk; you think we shall make many poor looking ridges. When we plough I advise our taking time; I have often heard people say 'more haste worse speed ' ; the greater part of it has channels cut in it and the water runs away; I was at the field myself to-day and saw it. It will produce as good a mixed crop of wheat and rye, I dare say, as ever grew a root in any clay.
A wide interval of time separates the next specimen of the dialect from that which goes before it. I hesitated whether or not to insert this extract as an example of the North Riding folk-talk, for it has now been published many years and has not seldom been quoted. But the piece is so well written throughout, and is such an admirable sample of the Yorkshire tongue, that 1 cannot refrain from giving the main portions of the dialogue. It was said, when the pamphlet was published, that the writer was a south-country man; if so, the production did him credit; in any case it could only have been composed by one who bad heard the dialect spoken for some considerable time.
One or two words by way of preface are necessary to explain the drift of the conversation.
Towards the early part of the present century an agitation was set on foot to remove the chancel screen in York Minster. It was thought by some that its removal would open out the full view of the great building from west to east, and so a grand effect would be produced. Others argued that the screen was such a beautiful work in itself that to remove it would be a mistake. The point was hotly contested. Meetings were held, and letters written on the subject without end. The writer of the dialogue thus describes the state of things at the time in a foot-note. 'To such a pitch was the discussion respecting the screen carried on in York about this time, that nothing else was heard. spoken, or thought of. Footmen picking up scattered arguments in the dining-room debated together furiously in the servants' hall ; while in the kitchen the cook, housemaid, and scullion were all engaged in the dispute. At a dinner party given by Mr. C., a gentleman who sat with his back to the fire, feeling rather cold, requested a servant, whose head was full of the argument, to remove the screen - meaning the one at the back of his chair. John started from his reverie at once, and quite forgetting where he was, called out that be would be hanged if it should be stoored for any man.
Even the farm labourers got to hear tell about the Minster screen ; and being just then, as it happened, rather a slack tahm on his farm, one of these, Bob Jackson by name, takes it into his head to go and have a look at the screen for himself. As he rides along Goodram-gate he falls in with his friend Mike Dobson, and at first would have ridden past him, but Mike calls out to him, and after exchanging a few words of salutation, they converse with one another thus:-
'Mike. Bud what brings thee ti York this tahm o' t' yeer,
Ah 's seear it diz yan good ti see tha heer.
Hez ta browt owt ti t' market, owr 's thi teeam?
Are all thi bairns quiet fresh at yam an' t' De'ame?
Ah sud a'e thowt you 'd all been thrang at t' farm
Mang t' haay an' coorn, for this is t' thrangest tahm.
Bob .Wi sum folks it may be; bud, bairn, mah haay
Hez all been steck'd an theeak'd this monny a day;
An' as t' wheeat weean't be ripe a fo'tnith yit,
An glooarin at it weean't mak it fit,
Ah 's cum'd ti Yorrk ti weeast an hoor or seea,
Sin' ah had nowt partik'lar else ti deea;
An', mun, for sum tahm past ah 's seear ah 's been
Just crazed ti knaw aboot this 'Minstther Screen.
T' newspapers used ti talk o' nowt mich else,
It meead mair noise 'an yan u' t' Minstther bells;
An' seea ah 's cum'd ti see what it be leyke
Diz thoo knaw owt at all aboot it, Meyke?'
Mike hereupon assures his friend that he is just the man to act as guide ; the nag is put up at a stable hard by and carefully looked after; the two then enter the Minster together.
Bob. Bon it 's a stthrange greeat pleeace, an dash it, Meyke,
It maks a chap feel desprit lahtle leyke;
Ah feels all iv a tthrimml with the dreead
Lest onny bad thowt noo sud fill mah heead.
Bud show us owre this Screen is ti be funnd;
Is 't summat up o' t' reeaf or doon o' t' grunnd?
Mike. Whah ! sootha, lootha, leeaks tha, theer it stan's,
T' bonniest wark ere meead by mottal han's
That thing all claam'd wi lahtle dolls is t' Screen,
About which all this noise an' worrk hez been;
An' if thou 'll whisht a minnit, mun, or seea,
Ah 'll seean insense tha inti t' yal ti deea.
Thou sees when Martin wiv his crackbraan'd tthricks
Set fire t' Minstther leyke a heeap o' wicks,
Fooaks frey all pairts o' t' coontthry varry seean
Clubb'd brass ti pay fur reetin it ageean;
Seea ah, mang t' rest u' quality, put doon
(For ivvry lahtle helps thou knaws) a croon.
Noo seean as t' brass was getten, afoor lang
Frey ivvry pairt a soort o' chaps did thrang;
Steean-meeasins, airtchitecks, an' sike like straight
All clustthered round leyke mennies at a bait,
Sum ti leeak on an' give advice, bud Bob,
Neea doot meeast on 'em com ti laate a job.
Bud when ti leeak thruff t' Minstther they began,
They started ti finnd fau't wi 't tiv a man;
This thing wer ower big, that ower small,
Whahl t' uther had neea business theer at all.
If ivver thou did tiv a cobbler send
A pair o' sheun he did nut mak, ti mend,
Thou 's heeard what scoores o' fau'ts he varry seean
Wad start ti fund out wi thae poor o'ad sheun;
T' sowing wad be bad, an' seea wad t' mak,
An' t' leather good ti nowt at all bud crack.
Just seea theeas chaps funnd fau't wi neea pretense
Bud just 'at t' pleeace was nut belt by thersens;
Noo when they com ti t' Screen it strake 'em blinnd,
For nut yah sing'l fau't wi 't could they finnd,
Until yah cunning chap ti show his teeaste
Threeap'd out leyke mad 'at it wer wrangly pleeaced.
He said it sud a'e been thrast fodther back,
For t' Neeave leeak ower lahtle it did mak,
An' that it seea cunfahn'd his view o' t' pleeace
Ti let it bahd wad be a sair disgreeace.
Bob. Whya, sike a feeal as that sud nivver stop
Doon heer belaw, bud gan an' glooar fra t' top;
Ah mud as weel ding mah back deear off t' creeaks
An' then tell t' weyfe 'at it confahn'd mah leeaks
Mah wo'd sha 'd seean confahn mah leeaks for me
Wiv what ah weel sud merita black ee.
Mike.- -Yah feeal maks monny is a thing weel knawn,
An' t' trewth on it was heer meeast tthrewly shown;
A soort o' chaps 'at scarcelins could desarn
T' diff'rence twixt an o'ad chetch an' a barn
Fra t' cuntthry sahd all round about did thrang,
An swar it sud be shifted reet or wrang.
Noo deean't thou think 'at ah had nowt ti say,
Bud just did let 'em hey ther oan fond way
Nay; hundhreds, bairn, o' foo'aks agreed wi me
'At stoored it owt nut, an' sud nivver be.
Disputes an' diff'rences 'at had neea end
Began ti start, frinnd quarrelled seean wi frinnd;
Mair non-sense teea about it, bairn, was writ,
'An ivver hez been fairly read thruff yit,
For monny a feeal his help each way ti lend
Geease quills an' feealscap weeasted bedoot end.
Meetins were held, men spak whahl they gat hoo'arse
An' barley-seeager rase i price o' coo'arse,
Whahl sum fooaks ti ther frinnds said seea mich then
Yah wo'd togither they 've nut spokken sen.
Bud thaugh seea dispritly they talked an' fowt,
Neean o' theeas meetins ivver com ti owt.
At last they did resolve ti call anuther
Ti sattle t' quesh'n at yah way or t' uther;
When eftther beeals an shoots an' claps an' greeans
Eneeaf ti wakken t' varry to'npike steeans,
T' quesh'n ti t' subscrahbers theer was put
Whether it sud be shifted or sud nut.
Wa gat it, mun, as seeaf as seeaf could be;
For ivvry man o' sense did vooat wi me;
When lo! t' oad chairman frey his pocket beuk
A lot o' vooats lapt up i paper teuk,
Wi which i speyte of all 'at we could say
He to'nn'd t' quesh'n cleean ti t' other way,
An thus desahded it sud shifted be;
Bud shifted 't nivver was, as thoo may see.
. . . . . . . .
Bud what did seeam ti me uncommon hard
An vexed ma seea ah knew nut hoo ti bahd,
Was 'at mah money, dash it, sud be ta'en
Ti deea that wi, ah wished sud nut be deean.
Could ah a'e gitten mah croon back, ah sware
'At egg nor shell on 't they sud nut see mair.
Bob.Thah keeas just maks ma think o' Jamie Broon,
T' o'ad dhrunken carpentther of oor toon.
Thoo sees yah day ti Jamie's hoose ah went
An' fan' he'd gitten t' bailiers in for rent:
His weyfe, poor thing, was ommost flay'd ti deead,
An' rahv'd off t' hair by neeavesful frey her heead,
An' t' bairns all roored ti see ther muther roor,
Ah nivver i my leyfe seed sike a stoore.
O'ad Jamie he was set i t' ingle neuk
Glooarin at t' fire wiv a hauf fond leuk.
. . . . . . . .
For him thoo sees ah caredn't hauf a pin,
For dhrink had browt him ti t' staate he was in;
Bud mah heart warked ti see t' poor bairns an t' deeame;
An' seea ah moonted t' meer an' skelped off heeame
An' theer ah teuk fahve poond, pairt of a hooard
Ah 'd felt i t' Bahble ti be oot o' t' rooad
(For ah 's yan o' thor chaps at 's ommost seeaf
Ti spend all t' brass at 's handy ti my neeaf),
An' sent it tiv him by wer dowtther Nance
'At he mud pay off t' bailiers at yance.
Wad you believe as seean as t' brass he gat
He off ti t' public-hoos, an' theer he sat,
An' sat an smeuk'd, an' smeuk'd an' dhrank away
Fra two'alve o'clock ti two'alve o'clock next day.
Just then ah enttherd t' hoose as ah past by
Ti git a dhrink, for ah wer desprit dhry;
An' theer ah fan t' oad raggil ti be seear
Stthritch'd ov his back deead dhrunk o' t' parlour fleear.
Ah thrast mah han' intiv his pocket neuk
An' back ageean mah fahve poond nooate ah teuk;
For when ah gav him 't it wer mah intent
'At he sud deea nowt wi 't bud pay his rent.
Just seea ah think thoo had a reet ti tak
T' croon thoo subscrahbed, could thoo a'e gitten 't back,
Sen they ti whom t'was gi'en had got neea reet
Ti deea owt else bud what t'was gi'en for wi 't.
. . . . . . .
Mike.An noo ah thinks ah 've tell'd tha all ah ken
An meead tha just as wahse, mun, as mysen;
Seea cum thoo yam wi me an see t' oad lass
An' git a beyte o' summat an' a glass:
For ah 's se'a hungered t'onnd ah scarce can bahd,
Ah 've gitten quiet a whemlin i t' insahd.
Bob.Ah 've neea objections, bud afoor ah wag
A single leg ah 's tied ti see mah nag.
Mike.Thoo needn't, mun, i Moss's yard he 's seeaf,
Ah 's warrant, ti get haay an' coorn eneeaf;
His isn't t' inn wheer rogueish hostlers cheeat,
An' greease t' hoss mooths ti set 'em past ther meeat.
Nay, Moss's man 'll tak mair tent o' t' beeast
'An onny muther of her bairn ommeeast.
Bob.Neea doot, neea doot he 'll tent it weel, bud, bon,
Ah mud as weel just see hoo he gits on;
He may a'e slipp'd his heltther wiv a tug
Or gitten yah leg owr 't ti scrat his lug.
Mike. Aweel, leeak sharp, an deeant be owr lang,
Or yam bedoot tha ah 'se be foorc'd ti gang.
Bob.Yah minnit for ma, bairn, thoo needn't stop,
For ah 'll be back i t' crackin' of a lop.'
I may observe in passing, that the author of the above dialogue gives it as a specimen of the North Riding dialect; but beyond one or two words, such as bedoot and heeame, which are confined to that division of the county, it might as appropriately be assigned to the East Riding, thus confirming the opinion I have expressed elsewhere, that the dialectical usages peculiar to either Riding are, comparatively speaking, few.
The following example of the country talk which I give, consists of an absurd story I heard told many years ago by the master of a well-known grammar school in the East Riding, whose capacity for relating amusing incidents and reminiscences of various kinds was quite phenomenal, and whose presence at a dinner party was a guarantee to its success. His only fault was that he was not a Yorkshireman, and do what he would he could not frame to pronounce our vernacular aright. I have therefore been compelled to turn the language into as 'classical' Yorkshire as my limited powers would allow. I never heard any title given to the story, and so for lack of a better, let us call it Bill and I, or, Drinkers, beware! The scene of the incident is laid at a wayside inn. One of the eye-witnesses of the event described it in his own way pretty much as follows:-
'Yah day ah wer gannin doon t' rooad ti Bo'lli'ton wi Bill, an' Bill wer gannin wi me, an' seea wa beeath on us wer gannin wi yan anuther. It wer a varry wahrm day, an efthur a bit wa com tiv a public-hoos: seea Bill says ti ma, "wilt ta com in, mi lad, an' git a glass o' summat?"
'"Whya," ah says, "it 's varry wahrm an' ah 's dhry: ah 's neea objections."
'An' seea wa beeath on us gans in ti t' public-boos. An' as wa was set suppin wer yal an' ho'ddin a bit o' pross wi yan anuther, ah seed a greeat lang swanky chap set it' lang-settle ower anenst us. Noo ah seed him all t' tahm gloorin at us despert hard ; an' eftther a bit ah says tiv him:
'"Noo, mi lad, what 's ta gloorin at si hard forr?"
'"Whya," says he, "when yan hez'nt nowt ti sup yanssen, ah thinks 'at t' next best thing ti deea is ti leeak at them 'at hez."
'Wa laff'd, an' ah says, "Whya; bud wa can seean mend that : what wilt tha tak?"
'"Aw," says he, "ah 's nowt partiklar."
'"Whya, bud thoo mun give it a neeam," ah says.
'"Then," says t' man, "ah 'll tak a quahrt o' yal."
'"A quahrt ! " ah says, "wad n't a pahint sarve ya?"
'"Ah deean't think it wad," says he; "thoo sees ah 's gitten sikan a greeat thropple 'at a pahint nobbut wets yah sahd."
'Seea ah tells t' sarvant-lass an' sha fetches him a quahrt o' yal.'
'Noo t' man had gitten sikan a mooth as ah nivver seed; it war a month; it war a reg'lar frunt deear: an' he oppens his mooth an' he sups t' quahrt n' yal at yah slowp. Noo ah seed him deea it, an' Bill seed him an' all ; wa beeath on us seed him, an' seea what ah 's tellin o' ya 's reet.
'He sets t' mug doon, an' ah leeaks at him; an' ah says tiv him; "Noo, my lad, dost ta think thoo could deea that ageean?"
'"Whya," says he, "ah thinks ah mebbe mud"
'"Then thoo s'al." An' seea ah gans mysen an' ah fetches him anuther quahrt o' yal. An' as ah wer cumin' thrufft' deear-steead ah seed a moose-trap setten aback o' t' deear, an' there wer a moose, iv it an' all; it warn't a varry big moose, an' it warn't a varry lahtle moose, it wer just a middlinish sahz'd soort of a moose; an' ah taks up t' trap an ah pops t' moose inti t' jug, an' ah teeams t' yal inti mug, an' froths it weel up, an' ah gies it ti t' man. Then he taks t' mug intiv his han' an' oppens his mooth-(noo ah seed him, an' Bill seed him an' all; wa beeath on us seed him, an' seea what ah 's tellin' o' ya 's reet)aye; he oppens his mooth an sups off t' yal, moose an' all, at yah slowp. An' then ah leeaks at him, an' ah says tiv him, "Noo, my lad, hoo didst ta leyke that yal ?"
'"Aw," he says, "t' yal aals nowt; varry good yal; bud ah thinks there wer a bit o' hops i that last!"
A correspondent from the Holderness district, whose knowledge of the dialect is well known by what he has written on it and in it, was good enough to send me a number of his compositions, among which was an account of a visit to the country of a quick-witted little lame laddie, whose lot had been cast in a dingy alley of a large town. He gives a description of what the boy saw, and tells some of his impressions of country life, and how he revelled in it.
I will only here quote a short extract which refers to what Tommy thought about the country talk which was so strange to him. It aptly illustrates a few homely words and expressions. He says:-
'The words that they use are so funny,
I laugh very much at their talking.
When a woman is dressed up a fright,
They say-" Sha 's a greeat mollymawkin."
If you spill any soup on the table,
They cry out "Aw! leeak hoo thoo 's slutherin."
And if anyone's weeping and wailing
She 's sure to be "blairin' an' blutherin."
Whenever I laugh very much
"Aw ! leeak hoo he werricks an' gizzens."
And a shirt that is scorched at the fire
"Diz tha see? Lawks a massy! it swizzens!"
When anyone shivers with cold,
"He's all of a ditherum dotherum,"
And when you 're a tease or a plague
They say that you "werrit an' bother 'em."
A door never creaks on its hinge,
It always "beeals oot on it jimmer,"
And a pot always "gallops an' boils"
When it gets much beyond a good simmer.
If you walk pretty hard round the house
They say that you "rammack an' cluntther,"
And a woman who's not very neat
Is a "macktubs, a bummax, a buntther."
A blow on the nose is a "snevitt,"
And scissors are always called " sithers,"
Whenever the road 's very dirty
They say that it "closhes an' slithers."
A man never grumbles and growls,
Though he frequently "chitthers an' chuntthers,"
And pigs are called "nackies" and "chackies"
Before they grow into big grunters.
Dull people are said to feel "dowly,"
A spendthrift is always a "weeastther,"
And when you don't walk very smart
They say that you "slammock an' sleeastther."
A trap for a hare is a "snickle,"
A thing that is brittle is " smopple,"
And when they are milking a cow
They tie her hind legs with a "hopple."
They say that a man 's in a "pankin"
Whenever he flies in a passion,
And an old woman dressed like a girl
Is described as "oa'd yow i lamb fashion."
I could tell you some scores of queer words,
And I would if my paper was longer,
So I'll keep 'em until I come home,
As soon as I grow a bit stronger.'
It will be found that a few of the words in the above extract are not contained in the Glossary; for, interesting though they may be, they seem to partake of the nature of many other terms of a similar, scarcely 'classical,' character, which might be almost indefinitely multiplied. I have consequently thought it better to omit them.
A good bit of Yorkshire, is that which I heard told about twenty years ago by a gentleman whose powers of imitation in the dialect were remarkable. It was called Nannie Nicholson Taatie Pie. The said Nannie Nicholson had a potato 'pie 'in her garden : one morning, to her dismay, she found her store of potatoes in sad disorder, holes and rents were made in it, and the potatoes were strewn in all directions; it was in fact 'a bull in a china shop' sort of business. To make matters worse, she could not tell how it had happened. At length one of her neighbours volunteered to make enquiries, and after minute and careful investigation, he came to the old lady and said that he'd fan' it oot and he thus related the concatenation of circumstances that led to the disaster:-
'It wer all along o' t' rezzil a scrattin' under t' hen bauk: t' rezzil flaayed t' au'd cock, t' cock flakkered ower t' wall an' flaayed t' bull, an' t' bull rooam'd agaan t' yat-stowp an' deng'd t' staggarth yat off t' creeaks an' went beldherin doon t' looanin leyk owt mad; then he met Jamie Broon wi a lahtle yeffin dog, t' dog yeff'd, an' he flaay'd t' bull, an' t' bull teeak ower t' hedge an lowped reet inti Nannie Nicholson taatie pie.'
Other versions of this well-known story have been circulated, one at considerably greater length, which records some additional exploits of the bull, how that after 'lowping' the hedge he made a 'bonny blash i t' dike' and then got on to a moor and 'tthrade an au'd steg ti deeath,' and how that the lads gave chase and ultimately captured him. But I have recorded the story almost verbatim as it was told me.
As a rider upon the following example, I will add one of a similar kind which I have received from Holderness. A countryman of that district once related how a wasp made the churning of butter too salt, and so spoilt it: this he described as follows, in answer to a question how such a thing could possibly be:-
'Whya, t' wasp teng'd t' dog, an t' dog hanched at t' cat, an' t' cat ran owerquart t' staggarth an' flaay'd t' cockerill, an' t' cockerill fligg'd ower t' wall an' flaay'd yan o' t' beeos, an' t' beeos beeal'd an' stack it heead thruff t' dairy windther an' flustthered t' lass seea awhahl sha let t' sau't-kit tumm'l inti t' kennin' o' butther.'
It is matter for regret that any of our folk should ever be ashamed of their broad speech, which they have inherited from their fore-elders; but this not infrequently is so. An acquaintance of mine, who till lately lived in Hull, one day took a walk to a village a few miles distant from that busy centre. Being a native Yorkshireman himself he always enjoyed hearing the, to him, familiar and expressive cadences and phrases of the Holderness vernacular. One good old soul whom he visited on this occasion, thinking his ears might be shocked by her every-day rough honest speech, made some attempts to refine herself into polite English, which were as needless as they were laughable. The father was nursing his child, and telling it he 'wad a'e ti be up afoor t' craaks i t' mornin' an' tak his braykus wiv him.' Says the wife, 'nut braykus, faether, say breekus; wa maun't a'e t' bairn browt up broad spokken; naw, bliss her, she shan't be browt up broad spokken.' At another house our friend heard an irate parent threatening to 'sowle' his refractory son 'like a dog sowlin a pig.'
Let me here insert a very typical piece from the Pickering Moors; it was sent to me from that neighbourhood by one whose knowledge of the Yorkshire tongue is well known.
The dialogue is between two farm labourers in the ploughing field, during a short pause in their work:-
Assy Gooadge .What 's tha want noo, sum bacca?
Mate.Naw. We 'r gahin' ti a'e waint deed seean, a'e n't wa?
Assy G .Aye, ah heeard seea mysen. What 's it all aboot?
Mate.Whya, ther nobbut hez ti be yah guardian for oor toon, an' ther 's tweea on 'em wants ti be in, seea ther 'll be a contest.
Assy G. Sall we a'e ti deea owt?
Mate.A ye; ther 'll be paapers sent roond, an' then thoo 'll a'e ti vooat wheea thoo 's forr.
Assy G. Bud ah can't reyte. Canst ta giv uz a leet?
Mate. Here 's a match. Ah gi'en ower smeukin' mysen ommost. T' weyfe can sahn thi vooat fo' tha, ah 's think.
Assy G. Aye, sha 's a good scholar, an' lahrnt hersen; sha reytes all oor letthers, sumtahmes gans ti t' skeealmaastther ti ax him ti dhriss t' onvallops for her. Bud what deen tha git for bein' guardian ah wundher?
Mate.Aw, nowt 'at ah knaw on.
Assy G. Well howivver! That caps owt, it diz ah 's seear. Wheea 'll a'e ti pay t' expenses o' t' election then?
Mate.It 'll a'e ti cum oot o' sike feeals as us mebbe. Ah 's feelin' cau'd. Gee-up, hoss!
Assy G. Aye; it 's snahrly an' cau'd ti-day, bud it 'll seean be lowsin' tahm noo. Cum here, ahrve; wo-hop!
A man at Ampleforth some years ago attended the funeral of an old friend there who was a Roman Catholic, and was buried with the usual ceremonial of that Church. The somewhat ornate ritual and 'the, to him, unusual length of the service, exercised the poor man s mind a good deal; in fact, he was profane enough to describe the ceremony as a whole, as 'weeant gannins on,' and as to some of the details he expressed himself somewhat thus:-
'Aye, they've gitten poor au'd Kit (Christopher) sahded at last. They wur a long whahl ower t' job, bud they 've deean it at last. They had sum lahtle lads i wheyte goons; an' they put t' coffin upon a bink i t' Chetch, an' read summat 'at ah could mak nowt on. Then t' lads started ti reek t' preeast, an' they reek'd t' am t' uther an' they reek'd au'd Kit; an' then they all bood ti t' preeast. Eftther a bit they started ti degg t' preeast, then they degg'd t' ain t' uther, an they degg'd au'd Kit. Bless ya, bairn, it wer a lang job, bud they 've gitten him happ'd up at last.'
It need hardly be observed that the 'reeking' and the 'degging' referred to the use of incense and holy water at certain parts of the impressive service.
It is not often that one forgets the stories of one's childhood. There is a bit I heard my father tell as it was told to him many years ago by a North Riding rector. The said clergyman was standing talking to a parishioner one day when a lad passed on the other side of the 'toon stthreet' that he did not recognise. Enquiring of the woman to whom he was speaking who it was she soon 'insensed' him.
'Whya, Sorr,' says she, 'deeant ya knaw? They call him Timmy James's cute lad.'
'And what do they call him Timmy James's cute lad for?'
'Whya! then ah 's leyke ti tell ya. Ya see yah day his meeastther sent him ti Hoonton wiv a cart wi a toop; an' as he wer gannin doon t' lonnin he meets yan o' thor Pedlars wi seein-glasses. Says t' chap, "mah lad, wilt ta bahy a seein-glass?" "Naay," says t' lad, "ah a'e na brass for seein-glasses." Seea then they gans banttherin along wi yan anuther. Says t' lad, "Nobbut thoo 'llt let mah toop see hissen iv a seein-glass, ah 'll gie tha saxpence." (Noo he kenn'd 'at t' toop wer varry guilty o' buttin.) An' seea he said he mud. An' t' lad ho'ds yan o' t' seein-glasses up afoor t' toop, an' t' toop runs at it wi sikan a mash! Says t' chap, "Thoo young raggil, bud ah 'll mak tha pay for this." Seea he gans eftther him ti Hoonton an' he pleeans tiv his maastther on him. Bud t' lad varry seean cums in an' he shoots out " Maastther, Maastther, gi'e him nowt ; a bargin 's a bargin; ah gay him saxpence ti let t' toop see hissen iv a seein-glass." An' seea t' oa'd chap went away an' he gat nowt.'
The story of the cat and the drowning mouse has been frequently told, but I give it here as another short example of Yorkshire, 'as she is spoke.' I have not seen it written, and so I write it from memory. There may be other versions in existence, but the moral of the story is in all cases one and the same.
'Ther wer yance a moos 'at had gitten it hooal just agaan a greeat vat iv a briewery; t' vat wer full o' liquor iv a gen'ral waay, an' yah day t' lahtle moos chanced ti tumm'l in an' wer leyke ti he dhroonded. An' seea, says t' moos tiv itsen, what mun i deea? T' sahds is seea slaap an' brant ah doot ah sa'll nivver git yam na mair; ah 's flaayed ah sall a'e ti gan roond an' roond whahl ah 's dhroonded. Bud eftther a bit t' cat pops it heead ower t' top o' t' vat, an' sha leeaks at t' moos an' says, what wilt tha gie ma if ah git tha oot o' t' vat? Whya, says t' moos, thoo s'all a'e ma. Varry weel, says t' cat, an' seea sha hings hersen doon o' t' insahd ; t' moos varry seean ran up t' cat back and lowp'd reet fin t' top o' t' vat intiv it hooal an' t' cat eftther it; bud t' moos wer ower sharp an' gat fo'st ti t' hooal, an' then to'ns roond an starts ti laff at t' cat; t' cat wer ommost wahld at that, an' shoots oot, did'nt thoo saay 'at if ah gat tha oot o' t' vat ah sud a'e tha. Aay, bud, says t' moos, folks 'll saay owt when they 're i dhrink!'
The following short passage is a specimen of our dialect, in which a farm lad attempts to describe to his friend the symptoms of an attack of the influenza, and how he contracted the ailment, or rather, we should say, how it was brought to a crisis.
This friend, whom we will call Dick, remarked how, a month ago, with some concern, he had noticed that Jack, the other dramatis persona, had 'leeak'd a bad leeak'; whereupon Jack gives an account of himself in these words:-
'Whya! noo then ah 'll tell tha hoo ah is. Thoo sez 'at ah leeak'd a bad leeak when thoo seed ma a bit sen. Ah laay thoo wad a'e leeak'd a bad leeak an' all if thoo'd been hann'ld as ah 've been hann'ld. Fooaks calls this complaint 'at 's stirrin t' inflewenza; but as ah tells 'em, it 's neean it; it 's summat a vast warse. Thoo knaws yah day at t' forend o' t' year ah 'ed ti tak fower beeos for oor maastther ti Bev'la:
it wer a varry cau'd daay, an' afoor ah gat ti t' far end it started an' it fair teeam'd doon wi raan, an' varry seean ah 'ed n't a dhry threed ti mi sark.
'When ah gat ti t' spot, t' man war n't theer; an' seea ah gans ti t' hoos ti see t' missis, an' sha sends a lahtle lad ti laate him. Noo then, as ah was stood it' deear-steead wit' missis, yan o' t' beeos see'd t' coos iv a pastur, an' afoor ah could git tiv im he was ower t' hedge an' dyke an' intiv a seed clooas, an' went beealin an' lowpin' ower t' lan's fit ti rahve up t' grund: ah eftther him wit' dog, an' he runs fo'st ti yah sahd o' t' clooas an' then ti t' uther, whahl ah thowt ah wer boun ti be fair bet wiv him, bud at last wa gat him thruff t' yat an' back ti t' uthers. Ah left mi beeos and started back for yam.
'Noo, bairn, when ah gat tiv oor pleeace, ah felt mysen iv a varry queer waay. T' cau'd had clapp'd on ti ma, an when neet com ah wer all iv a atterill: an' seea ah varry seean fligged up ti t' bauks as t' au'd hens diz; an' then ah wer bed-fast for ommost a fo'tnith. Tahm 'at ah wer liggin i bed ah could hardlins bahd; mi heead wark'd an' mi beeans wark'd; bud ah was t' warst i mi limbs reet fra mi lisk ti mi teens. T' doctther com, an' he ga' ma sum stuff ti dill t' paan, bud next daay 't wer as bad as ivver ageean. T' Settherda eftther t' Doctther com'd, ah started ti boaken hard, an' ah think 'at that did ma t' maist good of owt, bud all t' tahm ah felt that waak an waffy an' doddery whahl ah thowt yance ower at it wer boun ti be owered wi ma. Bud howivver, at t' week end ah started ti mend, an' ah teeak anuther bottle o' stuff an that meead ma 'at ah could eeat a bit, and then ah teeak anuther an' that just capp'd ma; an' noo thoo sees ah 's aboot at t' aud bat: bud mahnd ya, Dick, ah a'e n't fair kessen 't yit. Sum fooaks says at it 's smittin, bud ah 's seear ah knaw nowt aboot that neeways. Bud ah'll tell ya, lad; thoo maunt git it yoursen, or else it 'll fleeace ya, an varry sharp an' all.'
Although the scene of what I am next going to relate is, strictly speaking, beyond the border of the North and East Ridings, though still in the county of broad acres, I cannot withhold it. I am indebted to a correspondent for it.
Among the inhabitants of a country village in the West Riding, were a goodly number of folk whom Apollo had inspired to tune a variety of instruments of music, both for strings and wind, as well as to make melody with the voice. And so it came to pass that these good people determined to give a concert. A conductor was invited from a neighbouring town, and after much practising a night was fixed, and the performance came off. Among the attractions of the programme was an orchestral piece, which everybody was looking forward to with intense pleasure. All went in splendid style until the fourth movement, an adagio. In the middle of this the trombone all by himself; gave out a sound almost loud enough to blow the roof off. The audience were startled, while the conductor looked furious; and when the grand finale of the piece was reached, he took the trombone-player to task, and blew him up sky high for such erratic conduct; 'Why,' said the man, by way of apology, 'ah thowt it wur a nooat, an' it wur nobbut a fly - bud ah plaayd it!'
Nothing illustrates our folk-speech better than those short, homely, every-day phrases and sayings which may be constantly heard round cottage doors, or in the fields, by those whose ears are open for them. With few exceptions, all the short sentences which are here added I have myself heard at various times, and I give them as they were spoken.
- Cum thi ways in an' sit ya doon.
- T' hosses was good 'uns; they 'd buckle undher wither bellies ommost ti t' grunnd when wi was teeaglin up t' tim'er on ti t' waggin ; aye, poor things, they was grand 'uns.
- Ah deean't gan bauboskin' aboot leyke sum on 'em; ah sticks ti t' heeaf.
- Ah 'll wahrm tha thi jacket if thoo deean't give ower this minnit - noo, ah 's tellin o' ya.
- T' pales has ommost whemm'ld ower inti t' plantin.
- When t' hoss wer new yauk'd it lowp'd reet on end.
- Hoo 's yoor fooaks?
- Ah 's sadly tew'd aboot oor Dick; he gits set it' public hoos of a neet, an' then he cums yam as meean as muck, whahl he 's fit ti rahve all afoor him.
- T' pigs has been makkin sad deed reeatin up t' swath.
- Yan 'll nivver see t' marrow tiv him.
- Sum daays ah 's middlin'; an' uther sum ah 's as waffy an' waake as owt.
- Ah put a bit o' ass uppo t' cauzerau'd fooaks falls numb. (Said by one who had strewn ashes on the foot-path in frosty weather.)
- Q.-What sort of work had you to do?
A.-Wa striked, an' lowsd shaffs an' helped ti windher lahn an' all soorts; we was nivver fast.
- Is ta laatin oor maastther?
- He nips aboot as cobby as can be.
- Ah wrowght an' tew'd amang t' taaties an' wezzels ti scrat eneeaf ti feed t' pig.
- Wa didn't want ti hing him oot o' t' way. (Spoken with reference to hanging a dog.)
- Wheer a'e ya felt yoursell; we 've laated ya all ower.
- Thoo fraames leyke an au'd woman i stthraw boots. (Said of one working indolently.)
- A.I am sorry to hear your husband has been getting drunk frequently lately.
B.He did cum yam a bit fresh yah neet; bud ya see it 's Kessmas tahm!
- They meead nowther end nor sahd oot; it was nowt bud differin' an' threeapin.
- Pleeas 'm will ya wakken us at fower, acoz it 's weshin mornin.
- Ah s'all nivver mannish widoot Jack gans an' all.
- Stop a bit whahl wa git wer dinners.
- Sha tell'd sike teeals as nivver you heeard.
- Noo deean't be neyce (i. e. shy); help yoursells.
- Pleeas, we're oot o' streea; there 's nowt bud a bit o' mushy stuff at t' far end o' t' loft fleear.
- Nowt o' t' sooart.
- T' lass sets her ti t' stee, an' her muther taks her t' rest o' t' waay yam.
- Ah teeak cramp i mi leg, an' all t' guidhers cotthered up all ov a lump.
- Sha dhropt t' pankin uppo t' fleear an' pashed it all bits.
- He was bitten wiv a ratten an' gat prood flush intiv it, an' his hand was all ov a atterill.
- Baa'n, ah was ommost mafted, it wer that wahrm: ah did feel putten oot o' t' waay, it was seea maftin'.
- They 'd mutton ti ther dinners, bud it wer nowt bud glorr.
- Ah 'll gie tha yan on thi nappercracker (head).
- He hackered an' stammered leyke an au'd ganthert chooakin wi bran.
- T' craws is varry throng; they 're fettlin up ther nests ageean; bud sum on' em 's been rahvin 'em all i bits leyke all that, an' they 've been feyghtin yan anuther reet doon ti t' ground.
- Q.----Is there much corn out northwards?
A.Aye, a vast; ah seed sum i peyke; an' sum sweeathe, an' sum i all forrms.
- T' lahtle lass is nobbut badly; sha 's cuttin' her assel teeth.
- Tak t' bands off t' shelvin' an' ah 'll fetch t' lad ti tak t' au'd meer yam.
- Thoo hang-gallas thief, thoo, ah 'll wahrm tha thi jacket fo' tha, nobbut ah could catch tha.
- Let 's feeal it, an' gang laat it. (Let us hide it and go and seek it.)
- Jack, standing among a group of lads, loq. Jim; a'e ya a bit o' bacca on ya?
Jim.Naw, ah 's seear ah a'e n't.
Jack.A'e ya ony o' ya ony on 't on ya? (This specimen was told me many years ago.)
- Q.Well, N., how do you manage to get your pigs to look so well?
A.Whya, ah gi'es 'em a bit o' slap i t' mornins' an' a bit o' wo'zz'l at neets, an' they corresponds wi yan anuther.
- Thoo 's a dossel-heead. (Dossel is the straw knob on the top of a stack.)
- Ah 've stthraan'd t' guidhers o' my shackle.
- We 've gotten him neycely sahded, i. e. we have got him decently buried.
- He stack t' au'd ass wi t' shill (shaft) end.
- He gans wiv his nooaze uppo t' grunnd. (Said of a man who was very much bent.)
- Whyah, noo! ah think this dinner tahm 'll set him, (Said of one who was lying in extremis.)
- Sha hings an' trails aboot t' hoos; sha 's sadly oot on 't.
- Cloot his lugs. (Box his ears.)
- Wheea 's owes ya, an' wheer deea ya cum fra? (Said to a small boy by a stranger.)
- Q.Well, how are you to-day?
A.Whya! ah 's aboot at t' au'd spot; ah 's neea forrarder, ah 's backarder if owt.
- Now, A., how is your wife this morning?
A. It 's ti neea use tellin o' ya a stooary; sha 's been i bed a good bit an' ah think sha 'll nivver cum oot neea mair awhahl sha 's hugg'd oot; ya see sha 's been a woman 'at 's wrowght hard an' had a stthrang fam'ly.
- Q.Are you still at the same work, John? A.Naw; ah 've lapp'd up wi Joe; ah seean lowsened fra t' job.
- In a former parish of my father's an old woman fell down and broke her leg, and on his asking her how it happened, she said, 'Ah chipp'd ma teea i t' pooak on fleear.' (I tripped up, or caught, my toe in the sack on the floor.)
- They weean't a'e ti be varry numb-heeaded uns ti start at that job.
- Q.Well, William, what 's it gahin ti deea? A.Whya, ah doot it 's gahin ti be blethery.
60. Ah nivver sees him noo bedoot ah git a glent on him ov a Sunda as he passes.
- Thoo leeaks as thoff thi poddish was welsh (i. e. you put on a wry face).
- What wi coughin' an' spittin' ah 's kept agait.
- Q.But who is to pay for the pump being mended?
A.Wa s'all a'e ti mak a getherin.
- Q.How is your husband?
A.He 's gotten ti worrk ageean, an' ah thinks he betther for 't; ya see, when he 's set it' hoos he gits agait o' studyin', an' he maks hissen that nerrvous whahl yan dizn't knaw what ti deea.
- When ah wed mah missis sha wer a lahtle cobby lass, bud noo sha 's a greeat poshy body.
- They went thruff t' hooals at t' backsahd o' t' hoosen. (This was heard by me not long since near Whitby; the old plural hoosen is now rarely used.)
- We 've awlus letten him mootther oor bit o' stuff. (Said of a miller grinding corn for a farmer, which he did by multure, i. e. taking a portion of the corn as payment for grinding.)
- Thoo mun think ma on ti remmon it.
- Ah doot thoo 'll nut a'e tahm ti put t' bell in for au'd John afoor t' Chetch.
- They yan lited on t' uther ti deea 't. (They depended on one another to do it).
- Are t' broth cau'd eneeaf ti sup. (Broth is always spoken of in the plural number.)
72. Ah 've ta'en t' top off'n t' clock; ah 's freetened o' nappin' t' glass.
- You 've gitten a grand leeak-on o' gess ti year (i.e. there is every prospect of a good crop).
- What 's ta nestlin at? Wheer ivver is t' meer gahin ti git crowled teea? (Blacksmith to a mare he is shoeing.)
- They nivver diz neea good eftther they git ankled in wi them lot.
- Deean't fash thysel ower 't.
- Tak care t' hansel thi new bonnet o' Eeastther Sunda; it suits tha tiv a pop.
- Ah weean't a'e ya scrattin up mah new tthrod; noo then, ah 's tellin o' ya.
- Ah 's had a weary whahl on her, bud ah 's gitten shot on her noo. (Said by a man who had recently lost his wife !)
- Ah 's jealous ah sal nivver be quiet betther.
- Thoo mucky bairn! what hivver hez ta been deeain' ti git thi feeace all setten in wi muck leyke that: gan thi waays ti t' beck an git thisen weshed, or ah 'll help tha.
- Mah wo'd, bud them 's gran' uns.
- Noo he did leeak sadly begone did poor au'd Frank as seean as he fan' it not.
- Jack. Bill, what tahm hez 't gitten teea?
Bill.If ah 's reet it 'll be fahve or a bit betther mebbe.
Jack.Then ah mun lap up, an' away an' git t' beeos foddhered.
- Dick; whau 's yon?
Dick.Ah 's seear ah deean't knaw; ah 's neea kennin for him.
- They 're awlus differin' an threeapin aboot summat.
- Au'd Mary 's gotten t' heart diseeas: an' sha can't bahd ti be clash'd or putten aboot or owt; it tews her sadly.
- Ah leeamed mysen sadly wi t' axe, bud ah lapp'd t' pleeace up: it blooded t' clout despertly at fo'st, bud it varry seean mended.
Examples of this kind might be indefinitely multiplied, but enough perhaps have been cited to show the general character of the folk-talk at the present date.
Transcribed by Colin and Pauline Hinson © 1997