Yorkshire Folk Talk






v. F. To hesitate in speech, to stammer.
Ex. He hackered an' stammered.

Hackle, a. C. The natural covering of any animal, the human skin; a good hackle implies good-looking, well-cared-for; a good 'coat' is the common equivalent.
Ex. He 's got a good hackle ov his back.

Haddock, a. R. A shock of corn consisting of eight sheaves. In some districts a haddock was distinguished from a stook by the latter having two additional sheaves placed on the top of the other eight, as an extra precaution against injury from rain.

Hag, n. R. A hedge, or a low, bushy wood. This word is now not used except in field or other names. Dan. En Hegn or Htek (a fence, a hedge).

Hag-berry, a. F. The bird-cherry. Dan. Hteg (birdcherry).

Haggle, v. F. To hail. This word is most frequently in use in the E. R., where hailstones are in some places called haggle-steeans. Dan. At hagle (to hail).
Ex. It haggled heavy t' last neet.

Hag-snar, n. R. A stump of a tree.
At Linton-on-Ouse there are two contiguous fields called T' hag and Snahry clooas. A hundred years ago this part of the township was wood, as the names imply, Snahry clooas having had in it many snars or stumps of trees which have been felled.

Hagworm, n. C. A snake : the word is used generically rather than specifically. Robinson, in his Whitby Glossary, gives the Cleveland usage of the word as synonymous with viper. Dan. En Hugorm (a viper).

Hake, v. R. To follow with enquiries, to annoy, to pester to hurry on.
Ex. Hake 'em away, i.e. urge them on almost faster than they are able to go.

Hale, v. R. To pour water from a vessel. Dan. At haedle ud (to empty).
Ex.- Hale it oot.

Hales, n. F. The handles of a plough; the left-hand one being called the Steer-tree: also used for the handles of a wheelbarrow.

Half-rocked, adj. F. Lacking in intellect, not very sharp, silly. The idea implied by the word is not properly nursed, only half-rocked in the cradle.

Hallock, v. C. To wander idly from place to place without any definite aim; to loaf.'
Ex. He gans hallockin' aboot frev hoos ti hoos.

Hames, n. C. (pr. heeams). The moveable fittings attached to a barfam or horse-collar, to which the traces are fixed by a hook.

Ham-skackle, v. R. To tie the head of an animal to one of its legs to binder easy motion.

Hanch at, v. C. To make a grab at with intent to bite; almost always used of the dog. Possibly this word was originally a coursing term.
Ex. That dog o' yours hanched at ma when ah tried ti clap him.

Hand-clout, n. C. (pr. han'-cloot). A towel, sometimes also called a hand-towel.

Handle, v. C. In passive voice this word is used in the sense of to be afflicted with sickness.
Ex. He 's very queerly hannl'd.

Hand-running, adv. C. (pr. han-runnin'). One after another in regular succession.
Ex. We 've had three deeaths i' t' toon three tahms han'runnin.

Haudsel, v. F. (pr. hansel). To use for the first time. Dan. Handsel (earnest-money).
Ex.- Ah handsel'd mak new dhriss last Sunda.

Handstaff, n. C. (pr. han'-staff). The handle of a flail, at the end of which is the cap to which the swipple is attached.
Ex.-It 's as good a han'-staff as onny i' t' toon.

Hand-turn, n. C. (Pr. hanton). A stroke of work.
Ex. Ah a'en't deean a han'to'n this backend.

Hangedly, adv. C. Unwillingly, sulkily; in a hang-head way: from which idea the word possibly has its derivation.

Hank, n. C. A hitch or loop of a band or rope. Dan. Hank (the ear of a pot). Norse Hank (a ring), Swedish (string for tieing).

Hank. v. C. To tie a horse to a gate &c. by the bridle.
Ex. To hank a band, i.e. to fasten or secure a band.

Hankle, v. C. To be in a state of entanglement or in a confused mass; to be mixed up with; to unite with: generally used passively.
Ex. It 's a dree job; they 're all seeah ankled tigither. (The reference is to the cutting of a field of beans much overgrown with rubbish.) Ah is vexed at oor Tom 's gitten hankled in wi sike a rafflin lot.

Hap, v. C. To cover over, to put on clothes, esp. of a heavy kind; to throw earth over anything; to bury.
Ex. Hap ma. Thoo mun hap thysen weel; it 's varry cau'd. Then you 've gitten poor au'd Willie happed up at last.

Happen, v. C. To meet with, to fall out; hence the sense in which it is often used, viz. 'possibly,' 'perhaps' this is an elliptical form of 'it may happen.' The word is often used in the sense of 'if by chance,' 'if it happen that,' 'perhaps.'
Ex.- Ah 's happen'd a bad accident.Q. Is 't bonn ti fair up, thinks ta? A. Happen it mud eftther a bit. Ah 'll waat happen sha cums.

Happing, n. C. A covering of any kindvery commonly applied to bed-clothes.
Ex. A'e ya happins eneeaf?

Hard, adv. C. Surelyonly used in this sense in connection with enough.
Ex. Aye! that 's him hard eneeaf.

Harden, v. C. (1) To encourage, to incite, to egg on. (2) To clear up gradually after long or heavy rain.
Ex. He 's awlus hardenin 'em on intiv a mischeef He hardened hissen up at last, i.e. he took courage. It 'll a'e ti harden oot afoor wa git onny matters o' sun.

Harding, n. C. (pr. hard'n). Coarse linen for kitchen purposes, wrappers, &c.
Ex. Wheer 's my au'd hard'n appron?

Hardlings, adv. C. (pr. hardlins). Hardly, scarcely
Ex. Ah 's hardlins fit yit.

Hard-set, adj. C. With difficulty able.
Ex. Ah lay he 'll be hard-set ti a'e deean afoor neet. Ah 's hard-set ti walk.

Hark yer, or Hear yer, v. C. Hear you ; sometimes also repeated, as 'just fancy that' is said.

Harrygaud, n. F. One given to riotous and noisy behaviour; also a great eater.
Ex. Whau 's them harrygauds 'at gans shootin' an' beealin an' gaapin it' toon ?

Hartree, n. C. The tail-piece of a gate.

Harv, v. C. A call to a horse to go to the left hand.

Hask, hasky, adj. C. (pr. ask, asky). Dry, rough, harsh. This word is very commonly applied to a dry cold wind, such as one gets in March; also to bread which is dry and coarse; but it may be applied in many other ways. Dan. Harsk (rusty, rancid).
Ex.- T' grass is bad ti cut, it 's varry ask at t' boddum. - T' breead 's that asky ah can't eeat it.

Haunt, n. C. (pr. hant). A habit or custom.

Haunted, part. C. (pr. hanted). Accustomed.
Ex.- Ah s'all nivver git hanted ti t' job. Hanted ti t' spot.

Hauvy-gauvy, n. F. A stupid lout.

Haver, a. F. (pr. havver). Oats. The word is now seldom heard except in connection with cake, haver-cake being thin cake made of oatmeal, called also haver meal. Dan. Havre (oat); Havre-mel (oatmeal).
Ex.- Havver-cake. Havver-sack.

Hawbuck, n. C. A vulgar, mean, ignorant fellow.

Hay-bauks, n. C. Loose poles in a cowhouse, arranged for holding hay for the use of the cattle.

Hazel, n. C. (pr. Hezzle). To chastise with a stick.

Hazeling, a. C. (pr. hezzlin). A flogging: heshing or eshing has a similar meaning, the derivation from the hazel or the ground-ash being obvious.

Hazzled, adj. R. Speckled with red and white applied to beasts so coloured.

Head-rigg, n. C. The headland of a field, where they turn when ploughing, and which is itself finally ploughed horizontally to the rest of the field.

Head-stall, n. C. A halter.

Heart-grown, adj. R. Strongly attached to.
Ex.- They were despertly heart-grown on it.

Heave, v. C. To throw corn from one place to another so as to expose it to a current of wind in order to roughly winnow it.

Heck, a. C. A rack for fodder. Dan. En Haek (a rack), also called Foderhaek. There is another application of this word, or rather another word of the same form, signifying the inner door of a house opening towards the outer door. It is also used of the double doors on the floor of a granary through which the sacks of corn are hauled up; in this sense it is sometimes pronounced hetch.
Ex. It blaws cau'd; sleck t' heck.

Heckling, n. C. A scolding.
Ex. He gay him a good heckling.

Heeall, yal, adj. C. Whole.
Ex. Ah 've drean t' heeal on 't.Ah tell'd him t' yal ti deea.

Heeze, v. R. To breathe thickly or hoarsely; hence heazy (wheezy). Dan. Haes (hoarse).

Heft, v. F. To supply with a handle; most frequent in passive -to be supplied with a handle; hence, to be fitted with, or simply to be supplied with.
Ex. He 's weel hefted wi brass, i.e. he is well off.

Heft, n. C. (1) A handle. (2) An excuse, a pretence. Dan. En Hefte (a hilt or handle of a sword).
Ex. It 's all heft, i.e. it's a mere excuse.

Helm, n. C. (sometimes pr. hellum and sometimes helm). A shed (generally roughly built) in the fields or elsewhere for cattle; a hovel. Dan. Hjaelm (a kind of open shed on four posts, for corn, the cover of which rises and falls as occasion requires). Icel. Hjalmr.

Helter, n. C. A halter; hence heltering a term applied to the first lesson in breaking ' a young colt or filly, when a long halter shank or cart rope is attached, and when it often takes half a dozen or more men and lads to drag the animal forward nolens volens.

Hemmel, n. R. A wooden bar or hand-rail. Dan. En Hammel (a splinter-bar). Jutl. D. Hamlestok (the beam fastened by a bolt to a waggon pole, to which the two swingle-trees are secured).

Hempy, adj. R. Mischievous.

Henbauk, n. C. The beam on which fowls roost; hence a hen-roost, sometimes termed bauk for shortness; also used figuratively for bed.
Ex. Ah 's boun ti flig up ti t' bauks, i.e. I am going to bed.

Hen-bird, n. C. The domestic fowl. Cocks and hens are generally designated male bo'ds and hen bo'ds.

Heronsew, n. C. The heron. O. Fr. Heronceau (the heron).

Heshing, eshing, n. C. Vide Hazeling.

Hesp, n. C. The fastening of gates, doors, windows, &c.; but esp. of gates, that being also called a sneck. Dan. En Hasp (a bolt or fastening of a door).

Hetch, n. F. The loose back-board of a cart; an E. R. word. Vide Heck.

Hig, n. (1) C., (2) F. (1) Offence taken. (2) A. sudden shower of rain.
Ex. (1) Sha 's ta'en t' hig. This is a very common expression when a person previously on good terms passes an acquaintance without speaking.) (2) March higs.

High-larnd, adj. C. Highly learned; i.e. highly educated, well-read. High-up is similarly used for one in a high position in society.

Hind, n. C. A higher class agricultural labourer; i.e. one who has a house on the farm rent-free, and who acts as manager of a farm or part of a large farm under the farmer or owner of the property. The hind is in quite a different position from a bailiff in this, that the hind always works with his own hands of necessity, which the bailiff does not. Again, the hind is to he distinguished from the foreman, who is simply primus inter pares, whereas the hind is in a somewhat higher position, inasmuch as he has more control and responsibility than a foreman, besides, as a rule, having higher wages. A farmer who rents two farms generally puts a hind into one of the houses and lives himself in the other. (This word is frequently pr. hine.)

Hinderends, n. C. Tail-corn; i.e. corn which is light and poorer in quality than the rest, and so is blown by the winnowing-machine along with the chaff. Such corn is generally used as food for chickens.

Hing, v. C. To hang; to cling to, esp. as an ailment.
Ex. It hings for rain; i.e. it threatens or looks likely to rain. Sha hings an' trails aboot.

Hing-by, n. R. A hanger on. Dan. Haeng paa (dependent). Hipe, v. C. To push with the horns (said of cattle); also used metaphoricallyto attack or assail with accusations as to character or conduct.
Ex. They 're awlus hiping at ma.

Hiper, n. C. A mimic.

Hirple, v. R. (pr. hopple). To stick up the back, as cattle under a hedge in cold weather.

Hirsel, v. R. To move restlessly.

Hissen, pron. C. Himself. His-sel is also very common, but not so frequently heard in the E. R. as His-sen.
Ex. He 'll a'e ti gan wiv hissen.

Hitch, v. C. To hop.
Ex. Ah 'll hitch tha ti yon yat (a boy's challenge).

Hitch, strahd, an' loup, n. C. Hop, step, and jump. A slight variation of this, the orthodox form, is Hitch, strahd, jamie, strahd, loup, the jamie being a crossing of the legs after the hitch.

Hoarst, adj. C. Hoarse.
Ex. Ah 's that hoarst ah can hardlins talk.
The old dialectical word, now obsolete, for the throat was hause, with which hoarst is connected.

Ho'd, v. C. To hold. This word, with the corresponding noun, is used in a great many connections, but all more or less with the sense of holding or retaining: e.g. Tak ho'd is 'take hold'; Ho'd thi noise is keep quiet'; a ho'd is 'a holding of land'; ti ho'd fair is 'to continue fine weather'; ti ho'd talk or pross 'to have a gossiping talk,' the Dan. equivalent to this use being At holde Snak.

Hog or Hogget, n. C. A young sheep from the time of its being weaned to that of first shearing. Hogs are of two kinds, wether-hogs and gimmer-hogs, so called according to sex ; after shearing they are all called shearlings.

Hoit, v. F. To play the fool; hence the noun, one who plays the fool.
Ex. He 's a hoit.

Holl, n. R. A hollow in land.

Hollin, n. C. The holly.

Holm, n. C. (as a place-name) (pr. home or howm; in Dan. the I is sounded). Land which at times is or has been liable to be surrounded or partly surrounded by water. Dan. Holm (an islet).

Honey, n. C. (pr. hunny, i.e. with the u-sound as in put). A word addressed continually to children, and often, too, by the old to grown-up people, as a term of endearment; it corresponds to 'dear' in Std. Eng., that word being never so used in the dialect. The derivation is obvious.
Ex. Cam thi waays, hunny.
This word is frequently found in Shakespeare in a similar sense.

Hoodend, n. C. The ends or corners of the large open fire and chimney place such as was always to be found in old houses, and which may still be seen occasionally. In the hoodend there was space for seats, and in the evenings generally was to be seen t' au'd man at one side, and t' au'd lass at the other; these were comfortable corners. At the present time, when houses are differently designed, the hoodend, properly so-called, is done away with, but the name is retained, and I have frequently heard it applied to the bobs of an ordinary iron fire-grate a poor substitute for the hoodend of older days. The hoodend evidently gets its name from the fact of the fireplace and chimney being built somewhat like a hood in shape, the part in question forming the end of the hood, so to speak. It was formerly, and is still often called simply the hood.

Hoof, Hofe, n. R. (pr. heeaf). The abode whether of man or beast, esp. sheep; when sheep were assigned a pasture on the Moors, they were said to be 'hoofed' to it.

Hooind, part. F. Harassed, fatigued. I have only heard of this word being used in the E. R.

Hoomer, n. R. The grayling.

Hopper, n. C. The basket containing the seed-corn, and hung by a strap across the shoulder of the sowercalled also a seed-lip.

Hoos-lek, n. C. The houseleek, commonly planted on the ridge of thatched houses. When bruised with cream it is supposed to be good for scalds or burns.

Hopple, v. C. To tie the legs of an animal so as to retard free motion, that with which the legs are tied being called a hopple. This word is also used in the sense of to limp, which of course would be the natural result of tieing the legs; but the word is used when the legs are free, though the motion is of a limping character. It is another form of hobble.
Ex. He gans hopplin' aboot.

Horse-gags, n. C. A yellow plum which hangs on the tree till nearly Christmas. They were very common near Raskelfe. Atkinson applies the word to a highly astringent blue plum which grows abundantly in the Cleveland district.

Hotter, v. R. (pr. hotther). To shake up, to throw into a state of confusion, to romp or play, especially with an animal inclined to be playful. The word is also used as a noun, a hotter being equivalent to a shaking-up; e.g. a dog-hotter would mean a game of romps with a dog, such as a child would indulge in.
Ex.-They were all hotthered tigither.

Hound, v. R. To incite others, to some unworthy purpose (as a rule). The usual term is to harden.
Ex. Jack was au'd eneeaf ti knaw better, bud he nobbut hoonded t' others on (said of lads maltreating a donkey).

House, n. C. The use of this word is quite peculiar: it does not signify the entire house in the ordinary sense of the word, but only the daily room in which the occupants sit; this single room, however small it may be, is called t' hoos, the upper rooms being called cham'rs, i.e. chambers. Dan. Et bus (a house).
Ex. Sha 's nut i' bed, sha 's i' t' hoos.

Housefast, adj. C. Confined to the house through illness or some infirmity.

Housen, n. R. (pr. hoosen). Houses. An old plural. I have occasionally heard this old form used even recently on the moors in Cleveland.
Ex. Aback o' t' hoosen.

Hout, interj. F. An expression denoting incredulity on hearing some statement, and corresponding to 'nonsense 'surely not,' &c.

Hover, v. C. (pr. hower or 'ower). To hang over: it is however generally used in the sense of to wait, to stop, to take time.
Ex. Hower whahl they come up. Thoo mun 'ower a bit.

Howeomever, conj. R. (pr. hoosumivver). Howsoever.

Howze, Ouse. v. C. To bale out water from a vessel or receptacle. Dan. At ose (to bale), ose en baad (bale a boat).
Ex. A'e ya owz'd t' watther oot on 't.

Hubbleshoo, n. R. A great commotion among people.

Huffil, hoffil, n. C. A finger-stall, or finger-poke. O. N. Hufa (a hood).

Hug, v. C. To carry. This word is used to express every kind of carrying, whether e.g. carrying out for burial, or holding any light article, like a stick; it is never used in the ordinary sense, to embrace.
Ex. Hug it. Sha 'll nivver cum oot na mair whahl sha 's hugg'd oot. Wheea hugs t' kei? (who carries the key?)

Huggan, Ooven, n. F. The hip.

Huke, n. R. The bin. This word is another form of yuk (a hook). Dan. At huke (to hook).

Hull, Hullin, n. C. The shell or outer covering of peas, nuts, &c. Also used as a verb. Dan. At haele (to conceal).
Ex. Thoo mun braay it weel ti git t' hullins off.

Hummel, v. C. To break off the awns of barley after thrashing. The past part. (hummel'd) signifies hornless, being applied generally to a cow without horns, such an animal being termed a hummeld coo.

Hunger, v. C. (The g is pr. as in singer.) To suffer from hunger; to starve.
Ex.- Ah 's ommost hungered ti deead. Ah 's that hungered whahl ah can hardlins bahd. T' pigs is beealin seea, ah lay you 've been hungerin' 'em.

Hurne, n. O. A corner by the side of the hoodend in old houses, in which 'fire-eldin' was kept. Jutl. D. Hjorne (a corner).

Hussocks, n. C. Tufts of coarse grass growing in pastures, esp. in moist ground.

Hut, n. F. A ridge of clay in the bed of a river. This word, to which clay is generally prefixed, is well known in places on the banks of the Ouse.



I, prep. C. (pr. i-short). In. Before a vowel v is generally added for euphony. Dan. I (in).
Ex. It brak i two iv 'er han's.

Ice shoggle, or shoglin, n. C. Icicle. Jutl. D. En Egle (an icicle).

If in case, if so be that, conj. C. Common redundancies for 'if.'

If no more, C. If not more.
Ex. There 'll be a scoore on 'em if no maw.

Ill, adj. C. Bad. This word is commonly used in the dialect in the same way as in the old proverb, 'It is an ill wind that blows nobody any good.' Dan. Ild (ill).
Ex.-Sparrow-feathers diznt' mak an ill bed when weel cleeaned an' ruddled. There was ill deed amang 'em.

Illify, v. C. To speak evil of people behind their hacks; to take away a person's character. Dan. Ilde (ill).
Ex. Sha diz nowt bud illify ma. They're awlus illifyin' yan anoother.

Ill thriven, adj. F. Feebly or imperfectly developed; having the appearance of illness. The prefix ill is here, as in other instances, used in the sense of badly.

Ill-turn, n. C. Mischief, harm, an injury.

Imp, n. F. An added ring of straw or other material inserted at the base of a beehive to increase its size. Dan. En Ympe (a graft).

Ings, n. C. Grass-land near water, generally low-lying. The singular number of the word is never used; a double plural ingses is frequently heard. Dan. En Eng (a meadow near water). In West Jutland the low-lying fields or grazing-land close to the sea are called Enge.
Ex.-T' watther 's gitten all ower t' ingses. T' beeas was i' t' ings last neet.

Ingate, n. F. A way in, an entrance.

Ingle, n. R. Fire ; hence ingle neuk, the fireside corner, called also ingle-neeakin.

Inkleweavers, n. F. Weavers of inkle, i.e. a narrow fabric something like tape, and formerly used somewhat as tape. The word is also used as an opprobrious epithet, and is applied collectively to those who cause trouble.
Ex.- They 're all inkleweavers tigither is that lot.

Inow, adv. C. (pr. inoo). Shortly, soon, presently. The derivation of this very common expression is not clear, and its meaning rather variable according to circum stances, being sometimes almost equivalent to at once,' and sometimes to 'after some little time.' When in Denmark, I have been much struck by the identical pronunciation of the Danish endnu (yet, as yet, even now), and the Yorkshire inoo: the following sentence, Da maa ei komme endna (you must not come yet, i.e. at once), when pronounced quickly, sounds exactly the same as Thoo maunt com inoo. In this connection yit would be used in the dialect; still, the sentence as it stands would be quite understood, except that ei for not is dissimilar.

Insense, v. C. (the accent is on the second syllable). To inform, to enlighten a person, to instruct or explain.
Ex. Ah 'll seean insense tha inti t' yal ti deea (' York Minster Screen.') He 'll gie tha t' brass hard eneeaf nobbut he 's reetly insensed.
This word is found in Shakespeare apparently with a similar meaning.

Intak, n. F. Land enclosed from a common, road, &c., generally a small piece. Dan. At indtage (to take in).

Inti, intil, intul, intiv, prep. C. Into. It is impossible to give a fixed rule as to the uses of the different forms of this word; inti however is used before a consonant, and intiv before a vowel; intil and intul, though not so frequent, are still very common, esp. at the end of a sentence and before 'it.'
Ex. There 's neea spot ti put t' gallowa intul. Noo, lads, ram awaay intul 't.

Intiv, prep. C. Vide Inti.

Iv, prep. C. Vide I.

Transcribed by Colin and Pauline Hinson © 1997