Yorkshire Folk Talk







Jack, n. C. Half a gill; i.e. a quarter pint.

Jag, n. C. A light load, as much as will fill the body of a cart without being piled up.

Jannock, adj. C. Even, level; hence, fair, just and rightthe sense in which the word is generally used. Dan. Jaevn (even, equal).
Ex. Jannock (a common quasi-interjection when two parties are bargaining). It isn't jannock.

Jaup, v. C. To shake violently water or other liquid in a vessel.
Ex. Deean't jaup it aboot.

Jealous, adj. C. Apprehensive, afraid lest.
Ex. Ah wer jealous sha wer boun' ti be awk'ard. Ah 's jealous he weean't cum.

Jenny-owlet, n. C. (pr. jinny-ullot). The screech-owl.

Jimmer, n. F. The hinge of a door; also applied to small hinges. A Holderness word.
Ex. T' deear beeals oot on t' jimmer, i.e. the door creaks on the hinge.

Job, v. C. To trade in.
Ex. Q. What diz he deea? A. He jobs a few hens or owt.

Jodder, n. F. (pr. .jodther). A state of shaking or quivering.
Atkinson gives an amusing example of the use of this word, viz. 'Well, how did you like your ride on the railway, Mrs. B?' (A very stout unhealthy fat woman.) Wheea, sae badly, ah 'll nivver gan i yan o' thae nasty vans nae mair. Ah trimml'd an' dither'd whahl I war all iv a jother.

Joggle-stick, n. C. The movable stick in a cart, with which the body of the cart is secured to the shafts, the stick being removed when the cart has to be tilted.

Joskin, n. F. A country lad. I have only heard of this word being used in the E. R.

Joul, v. C. (pr. jowl or jaul). To jolt, to shake.
Ex. They ga thersens sadly jauled wi t' rahd.



Kate, Kail, Cael, n. F. (pr. keeal). Porridge, broth; hence kale-pot, F. Dan. Kaal, Kaal-potte. Wel. Caulen (colewort), Cawl (broth). Lat. Caulis. Gr. kavlos (a cabbage).

Kame, n. C. (pr. keeam). A comb; also used as a verb, of which the p.p. is kem't. Dan. At kjaemme, p.p. kjaemmet (combed).
Ex.- Git thi hair kem't.

Kansh, n. F. (1) A hard ridge of gravel or rock in the bed of a river, dangerous to navigation. (2) A rough channel cut on a road to carry off the surface water sideways into the ditch.

Kave, v. C. (pr. keeave). To rake the 'pulls' and 'caff' from corn in thrashing; also to paw the ground impatiently, as a horse in good condition does. Norse Kava (to scrape with the hands); Swedish Kafva; Icel. Kafa.

Keck, v. F. To make the effect produced by something between a cough and a choke; also used as a noun.

Keckenhearted, adj. C. Over particular in the matter of food, dainty, loathing the sight of food.
Ex. They 're varry keckenhearted 'uns.

Kedge, v. C. To fill; generally applied to eating and drinking. Hence a hedge, one who eats greedily; also hedging, food of any kind.
Ex. They 're kedgin' ther insahds wi mull'd yal an' whistlejacket. He 's ower-kedg'd hissen.

Keek, v. R. (pr. keeak). To raise perpendicularly; to tilt up a cart, or partially so, in order that it may be the more readily loaded.

Keld, n. O. (pr. kel). A spring of water. This word is now only to be found in place-names. Dan. Kilde; Jutl. D. Kel (a spring).

Kelk, n. C. (1) A heavy blow or thump. (2) The common foetid parsley of the hedgerows.
Ex.- He gay him sikan a kelk ower 't shoodthers.

Kelter, n. C. Condition, state, case; esp. when applied to an animal, e.g. a horse. This word has also sometimes the meaning of money.
Ex. He 's a bit o' good keltther aboot him.

Kelterment, n. C. Things of no real value, odds and ends, rubbish.
Ex. Ah nivver seed sike kelterment; they 're good ti nowt.

Ken, v. C. To know, to recognise, to be acquainted with. The use of this word is not so general as it used to be. Dan. At kjende (to know).
Ex. Ah can't ken ya, bairn . Di ya ken whau yon man is? Yan wadn't ken t' hoos noo (said after a house had been re-furnished).

Kenning, n. C. Knowledge, recognition. Dan. Kjending (acquaintance).
Ex. Ah 've neea kennin' for him, i.e. I do not recognise him.
This word is also the common pr. for churning; e.g. a kennin o' batther is a churning of butter.

Kenspack, adj. F. Easy to be distinguished or recognised. This is no doubt the right form of this old word, though kensmak may be sometimes used. Jutl. D. Kjendespag (one who easily distinguishes).
Ex. That 's maist kensmak'd o' t' two, i.e. that is the better likeness of the two.

Kep. v. C. To catch anything that is thrown or tossed, as a ball, brick, &c. Icel. Kippa (to catch hold of).
Ex. Kep it.Noo! canst ta kep?

Kern, n. C. (pr. ken, approximately). A churn; also commonly used as a verb for the act of churning or being churned.

Kern, n. R. The form which this word generally takes is kerning, and may be equivalent to kerneling: e.g. a good kerning time is a good time for the grain to set after the blooming; and when it has well set it is said to be weel coornea.

Kess'mas, Kess'nmas, n. C. Christmas.

Kess'n, v. C. To christen ; hence Kess'nd name (Christian name).

Kest, v. C. To cast, to throw offthe past part being kess'n. This word is commonly applied to throwing off any ailment, e.g. a severe cold.
Ex. T' lahtle lass has had t' kincough a fotnith, an' sha hesn't kess'n 't yit. Wa maunt kest wer flannin skets yit; it 's ower caud bi hauf

Ket, n. C. Carrion, tainted meat; also used as an adj. in the sense of' high.' Dan. Kjod (flesh meat).
Ex. Ah can't eeat sike ket.

Ket-man, n. F. One who deals in dead animals, a knacker.
Ex. T au'd hoss is fit for nowt bud t' ket-man.

Ketlock, n. C. The common charlock; also called brassic, esp. in the East Riding.
Ex. They 're puttin ketlocks yonder, see ya.

Kevel, n. R. A large hammer used in quarrying.

Kex, n. F. The dry seed-stem of the fools-parsley, cow parsnip, &c.
Ex. As dhry as a kex.

Kid, n. R. A bundle. It is noteworthy that this word is only retained in connection with 'whins' or thorns; e.g. A kid o' whins.
The form kidding is also in use in Holderness, and signifies strengthening the bank of a river, &c., by laying bundles of thorns along the weak places. Wel. Cidysen (a faggot).

Kindling, n. C. (pr. kinlin). Material for lighting a fire, generally wood.

Kink, v. C. To laugh so as to gasp for breath.
Ex. He fair kinked ageean wi laughin'.

Kink, n. C. A twist in a rope; also used participially in the sense of twisted. The word is commonly applied, too, to a violent fit of coughing. Dan. Kink (a nautical term for a twist on a rope).
Ex. A kink o' laughter. T' raupe 's gotten kinked.

Kink-cough, n. C. (pr. kin'-cough). The whooping-cough. Jutl. D. Kink-hoste (whooping-cough).

Kirk, n. R. A church. This word is now seldom heard except in place-names, chetch having pretty generally supplanted it. Dan. Kirke (church).

Kirkgarth, n. F. A churchyard. Dan. Kirkgaard (churchyard).

Kirk-warner, n. F. A churchwarden; now generally called chetch-warner.

Kist, n. C. A chest, in its various senses. Dan. Kiste (a chest), Ligkiste (a coffin).

Kit, n. F. A small pail for milking, and having a perpendicular handle. Sometimes the kit was carried on the head. The word is also used for a small kind of tub of similar shape, e.g. a sau't-kit, a kit for keeping salt in.

Kite, n. C. The belly; hence the adj. kity.

Kitling n. C. (pr. kitlin). A kitten. Dan. Killing (kitten).

Kittle, kitling, adj. C. Easily put in motion, ticklish, excitable Dan. Kilden (ticklish).
Ex. As kittle as a moos-trap.A killing cough.

Kittle, v. C. To tickle, to excite. Dan. At kildre (to tickle). Kitty-keis, n. F. The seeds of the ash-tree; called also cats and eyes.

Knack, v. C. To talk affectedly, to talk in a mincing manner.
Ex. Ah deean't ken their knick-knackin talk.He spoils hissen sadly wi knackin.

Knag, n. F. A stubble rake. Dan. En Knag (a wooden peg to hang anything upon).

Knap, v. C. To give a short but quick blow, esp. with a stick ; to knock; also to crack anything into pieces which is brittle, as a grain of corn between the teeth, a stone, &c. Also used correspondingly as a noun.
Ex. Keep them fingers oot o' t' tthreeacle or they 'll git knapp'd inoo.

Knep, n. C. A rogue, a knave.

Knar, n. F. A knot or small piece of hard wood for playing the game of 'knar and spell,' called more commonly in the North Riding 'dab and spell,' dab being the short blow or knap requisite to raise the knar, and spell being properly not the 'trap' but the act of playing. From Dan. Spil (play).

Knep, v. C. To nibble, to bite off. Dan. Knibe (to pinch). Vide Nip.
Ex. T' au'd coo 's been kneppin t' young shuts off ageean.

Knodden, part. of Knead. Jutl. D. Knaede (to knead).

Knoll, v. F. To toll a bell, esp. a church bell; e.g. at a funeral. Dan. Knald (a report).
Ex. Wheea 's t' bell knollin' for?

Kye, n. F. Cows. Whether this be an old plural of cow or not is uncertain ; there is however a seeming analogy between the Yorkshire Koo Kye and the Danish Ko Koer. Icel. Kyr.


v. R. To splash about in water or mud. Dan. At labe (to lap).
Ex. He labbered aboot i' t' watther.

Laboursome, adj. F. Laborious and fatiguing.

Lae, n. C. (pr. lay and leea). A scythe; hence Leen-sand, i.e. sand of a biting kind for sharpening a scythe. Dan. En Le (a scythe). This word is most common in the E. R. at the present time. Another form of the word was lye this was used in the Northallerton district, and may he so still, My au'd lye being there a common expression; lae, however, was a much commoner form.

Lafter, n. C. A 'sitting' of eggs, i.e. the whole number on which a hen sits at one time. Sometimes also the word is applied jestingly to a large family of children. When the hen has Laid the last egg before sitting she is said to have 'laid her lafter'; hence some have called that egg only the lafter, but generally it is applied to the entire number.
Ex. Ah aims she 's ligged her lafter (Atk., Cl. Gloss.).

Lag, n. C. One of the wooden divisions of a cask or tub. Lagged, part. F. Tired, exhausted.
Ex.-- Ah feels ommaist lagged ti deead.

Lahtle, adj. C. Little. Vide Lile. O. N. Litill.

Lair, n. F. A barn; mostly used in the E. R. Dan. En Lade (a barn).
Ex. It 's liggin ov oor lair fleear.

Lake, v. C. (pr. laak). To play. Dan. At lege (to play). Icel. Leikr (a game). This word is commonly added as a suffix to a specific game, e.g. ball-laakin, creckit laakin, &c.
Ex. Will ta com an' laak a bit, Jack?

Lame, v. C. To hurt; to damage; to render any member of the body incapable of performing its functions properly.
Ex. Ah 've laamed my han' sadly.Ah 's weeantly laam'd i' my shoodher wi t' rheumatics.

Land, n. C. (pr. Ian). The space between two adjacent furrows in a ploughed field.

Land, v. C. (1) To reach one's destination. (2) To succeed.
Ex.(1) Ah had ti put t' au'd meer intiv a muck lather, bud it 's owered an' ah 's landed (said by one who had driven hard to catch a train).(2) Dust ta think thoo 'll land?

Lang, adj. C. Long. Dan. Lieng (long).
Ex.- Deean't be ower lang.

Lang-length, adv. C. (pr. lang-lenth). At full length.
Ex.--Ah see'd him stthritch'd lang-lenth upo' t' grunnd.

Langsettle, n. C. A long wooden seat with high hack and an arm at each end; used to be common in public-houses, and may still be seen pretty frequently. A. S. Setl.
Ex. Ah seed him set i' t' langsettle ower anenst us.

Langsome, adj. R. Long and tedious. Jutl. D. Langsom (slow). Lantered, part. R. Belated, delayed instarting, esp. on a journey. Dan. Laente (to linger).

Lantern light, n. C. (pr. lantron leet). The horn of a lantern through which the light shines.

Lanty, n. F. Late one, slow-coach ; generally addressed to one who keeps others waiting.
Ex. Noo ! lanty.

Lapband, n. F. Hoop-iron.

Lapcock, n. C. The first form of collected hay after spreading, consisting in twisting a 'fold' of hay in the arms and laying it lightly on the ground. In a wet 'hay time' this was commonly done in certain districts, and is so still occasionally; in this state, by a facon deparler the hay is said to be 'off the ground.'
Ex. Wa mun a'e wer haay inti lapcock.

Lap, v. C. To wrap; generally followed by up, but by no means always so; when so followed it has also the meanings to finish, to give up, to stop work, &c.
Ex. T' stuff were lapp'd iv a bit o' paaper. It wer lappd roond wi band. Ah think Willie 's varry seean lapp'd up wi t' job. It's aboot tahm ti lap up.

Larkheeld, adj. C. Having receding heels, the opposite of duck-heeled; said of persons.
Ex.- Sha 's a reglar larkheel'd 'un yon.

Lasty, adj. C. Durable, esp. of wearing apparel, or indeed of any fabric or material.
Ex.- It's a bit o' good lasty stuff.

Lathe, n. R. A barn; sometimes the word was used for the ends of a barn only. Another form of lair. Dan. Lade (barn).

Lat, n. C. A lath.

Late, v. C. To seek. Dan. At lede (to seek).
Ex.Q. Wheer 's that lad ov 'oors? A. Ah deeant knaw; ah laay he 's laatin bo'd nests.

Later, n. F. A seeker.
Ex. When something had been lost, boys, as they begin to search, will sometimes say to one another, Lossers, laters; findders, keepers; i.e. You who have lost and you who seek, let it be understood that those who find what you have lost will keep it.

Latty, adj. C. Thin, like a lat.
Ex. Mr. A. 's a tall latty man.

Lax, n. C. Diarrhoea, or complaints of a similar nature.

Lay, v. C. To half cut a hedge. Vide Lig.
v. C. (1) To convey goods on a cart; to carry, cart, haul. (2) To navigate a vessel through a short bend in a river. Vide flack.
Ex.(1) Wa start leadin' ti-morn. Matty 's gitten his haay led, then. T' parson's on leadin'. (2) They're leading t' rack.

Lead-eater, n. R. India-rubber. In former years this was the term always applied to this article.

Leafs n. C. The thick lines of fat along a pig's carcase.

Learn, v. C. (pr. lam). To teach.
Ex. He nivver larnt ma nowt.

Lease, v. R. To pick out, to gather by picking; hence leasing, i.e. the separating of two kinds of corn in the sheaf

Leathe-Wake, adj. F. (pr. leeath-wek). Pliant or supple in limb. Jutl. D. Lede-myg (joint-supple). This word is applied generally to flexibility of limb shortly after death, or in the case of a stiff joint when it begins to show signs of returning suppleness.
Ex. It 's quiet leeath-wek yit (said on picking up a dead bird).

Leavelang, adj. C. (pm. leeavelang). Oblong.

Leave loose, v. C. (pr. leeav lowse). Let go, e.g. of a rope, chain, &c. 'Leave hold' is also in use.
Ex. Leeav lowse han's (said by a child walking hand - hand with another).

Leck, v. C. To leak; also to cause to drop or sprinkle. To leck on means to add more water, &c. Dan. Laekke (to leak). Icel. Lek. The substantive also retains this form, which has been evidently handed down unchanged through many generations.

Lee, n. C. The watery discharge from a wound. This is also the pronunciation of lie (a falsehood) and the corresponding verb. Dan. Lud (lye); Icel. Lang.

Leef, lief, adv. C. Willingly; also common in the comparative, leefer.
Ex. Ah 'd as leef gan as stop.

Leets, n. C. The lungs.

Leetsome, adj. F. Vide Lightsome.
n. C: The linnet.

Lesty-day, interj. R. An exclamation, equivalent to 'alas!' I suspect this word is wellnigh obsolete: a correspondent who lived for many years near Northallerton tells me he never heard but one person use the expression.

Let on, v. F. To divulge, to tell a secret.
Ex. Jack knew all t' tahm, bud he nivver let on aboot it.

Leve, v. C. To raise by leverage.
Ex. Wa mun leve it up.

Liberty, n. C. The area of territorial rights; often applied to a parish or township, sometimes also to a manor or even small freeholds.
Ex. Sha 's gitten inti Bo'nby liberty.

Lie on, v. C. To apply force to.
Ex. He didn't lie on a deal. Lie mair on (said of hitting out at cricket).

Lig, v. C. To lie, to lie down in sleep, to be situate; also in a transitive sense, to lay down, esp. to half cut a hedge. Dan. At ligge (to lie).
Ex. Wheer does sha lig? i.e. sleep. Lig doon. It ligs ower agaan Uskill (Ulleskelf). Thoo maun't lig it doon. Whau 's that liggin yon hedge?

Light, v. C. (pr. leet). (1) To alight, to settle upon. (2) To fall in with, to meet.
Ex. Q. Wheer did them bo'ds leet? A. They let iv oor coo-pastur. Ah let on him at t' toon-end. A'e ya letten on a job yit?

Light, in that, C. (pr. I that leet). Like that.
Ex. Thoo maun't deea it i' that leet. Just i' that leet, sitha (suiting the action to the word).

Light on, v. C. (pr. leet on). To fare.
Ex. Hoo sal wa leet on this tahm, thinks ta? Your Dick 's letten on middlin', ah expect.

Lightsome, adj. F. (pm. leetsom). Light, cheerful, bright.
Ex. Ah feels a bit leetsomer.

Like, adj. used adverbially, C. (pr. leyke). Likely, highly probable, in duty bound; to be expected. Dan. Lige (like). Cf. Jeg var lige ved at tumle (ah war like ti tumm'l).
Ex. He's leyke ti knaw. Ah 's leyke ti gan, i.e. It is to be expected I should go. Thoo 's leyke ti cum, i.e. you must come.

Like all that, C. Like anything.
Ex. He ran teyke all that. T' bairn roored teyke all that.

Lile, adj. C. (pm. lahl and leel). Little. I am inclined to think that lahl is the commoner pr., although leel more nearly approaches the Danish lille from which this comes. the Danish sound of the word being as nearly as possible leela. Leel is a pr. seldom if ever heard in the E. R. The usual equivalent is lahtle, which is heard all the district through more or less, though the form laitle is also used.

Lillilow, n. R. A flame, a blaze, the light as from a candle. Dan. Lue (a flame). It is possible this word may be a combination of ild and lue.

Lilting, adj. F. Lively, frolicsome.
Ex. They were liltin' aboot (i.e. jumping about).

Limmers, n. F. Shafts of a cart, &c. O. N. Lim (the branch of a tree).

Lin, n. C. (pr. line or lahn). Flax. Dan. Liin (linen); linned klud (linen clout).

Ling, n. C. Heather: hence ling watther, i.e. water from off the moors, easily distinguished by its yellowish brown colour. Dan. Lyng (heather).

Ling-nail, lin-nail, n. C. The lynch-pin of a wheel. Dan. Lund-pind (lynch-pin).

Lingy, adj. C. (pr. linjy. Active, supple of limb said of men, esp. if somewhat tall.
Ex. Mr. A 's as lingy as a lad. A lingy chap.

Lisk, n. C. The groin. Dan. Lyske (groin).

Lite, v. F. To rely upon, to wait for. Dan. At lide paa (to depend upon).
Ex. Ah lited ov him, an he lited o' me. Ah 've lited ov him ivver sae lang.

Lithe, v. C. To thicken anything boiled with flour, linseed, &c.; hence lithing, that which thickens anything boiled.

Liver, v. C. To deliver. Dan. Levere (to deliver).
Ex. He 's throng liverin' cauls.

Live upright, v. F. To live in independent circumstances.

Loan, Loaning. n. C. (pr. lonan, loanin, lonnin, lounin. A lane, a by-road, a road. Icel. Leyningr (a hollow way).
Ex. Ah see'd him gannin' doon' t looanin.T' coos is i' t' looans noo, an' oor Fred's tentin on 'em.

Loggin, n. C. A bundle (of straw).

Long-strucken, part. C. Having legs long in proportion to the size of the animal, esp. a horse ; this is seen when, in running, the hind feet strike the ground in advance of the previous tread of the forefoot.

Look a bad look, C. To look very ill.
Ex.- Poor Jamie leeaks a bad leeak.

Loose end, n. C. The phrase, to be 'at a loose end,' signifies to have 'gone to the bad' or verging towards it.
Ex. Ah doot at sum on 'em 's nobbut at a loose end.

Loosing, part. R. Going about idly from place to place.

Loo' ya! interjectionally used, C. Look ye !

Lop, n. C. A flea. Dan. En Loppe (a flea).
Ex. Ah 'll be back i' t' crackin of a lop.

Loss, v. C. To lose.
Ex. Thoo 'l1 a'e ti mahnd an' nut loss it.

Lound, adj. C. (pr. lown'). Calm, still, free from wind, sheltered. Dan. Lun (sheltered).
Ex. It 's varry loun' this efttherneean. T' wind 's loun'.

Loup, v. C. (pr. neither lope nor lowp but between the two). To leap, jump. Dan. Lobe (to run).
Ex. T' beeos is loupin aboot weeantly.
This word is also used as a noun.

Low, n. C. A flame, blaze, glow. Dan. Lue (a flame).
Ex. It brak intiv a low just as ah gal theer;' (said in describing the outbreak of afire). T' low o' t' cann'l. T' low 's catched it.

Lowance, n. C. The allowance of ale drunk at hay and harvest time; this is brought into the field in large stone jars and drunk at about 4 p.m. during a half-hour's pause from labour. Sometimes this refreshment is called 'drinkings,' but the more familiar term is lowance (sometimes pr. launce).

Lowse, v. C. (pr. loze, nearly). To loose, to unfasten; also to terminate. Dan. At lose (to loose).
Ex. Hez t' chetch lowzed yit? i.e. has the congregation broken up yet?

Lowzin tahm, n. C. The time for unyoking the horses after a day's work, preparatory to taking them home, generally about 5 p m.

Luby, n. R. Cloth clothes; generally used for better or Sunday clothes. Dan. Lu (nap of cloth).
Ex. Git that theer luby off.

Lug, n. C. The ear; the handle of a jug, &c.
Ex. What fahin lugs t' dog 's gitten.

Luke, v. C. To pull up weeds from fields of corn. This is commonly done by gangs of women and children in the Wold country. Dan. At luge (to weed) ; Icel. Lok a weed).
Ex. There 's a deeal on 'em lukin i' yon field seem'nly.
Weeds of any kind pulled up by the hand are said to be han' luked.

Lungeous, adj. F. Revengeful.
Ex. They 're a varry lungeous thing is an elephant.

Transcribed by Colin and Pauline Hinson © 1997