Yorkshire Folk Talk







Sackless, adj. F. Idiotic, simple-minded.
Ex. He 's nobbut a poor sackless bairn.

Sad, adj. C. Heavy, as applied to articles of food; esp. bread, cake, &c. Sometimes applied to soil or land that does not 'work' well.
Ex. He weean't bring t' barm; t' breead 's as sad as sad ageean.

Sadly begone, part. C. Deceived, taken in, disappointed; esp. when outward signs of the deception &c. are visible.

Safe, adj. C. (pr. seeaf). Certain, sure.
Ex. He 's seeaf ti com.It 's seeaf ti raan.

Sag, v. C. To hang like a chain suspended at each end, which naturally sinks towards the middle; to sink down.

Said, part. C. Persuaded by argument.

Saim, n. C. (pr. saam and seeam). Lard. Wel. Saim (grease).
Ex. Ah 'd nowt bud a bit o' saam ti mi breead.

Sair, adj. C. Sore. Dan. Saar (sore).

Sair, sairly, adv. C. Sorely, greatly.
Ex. Ah wer putten aboot sair.

Sam, v. C. To collect together. This word is used in a variety of ways, sometimes e.g. in gathering of corn or other farm produce, or in the house in tidying or 'siding' up things that are scattered about. Dan. At samle (to collect).
Ex. Noo ah mun away an' git them things sam'd up.

Sammer, n. F. Anything large of its kind.
Ex. Sitha ! yon 's a sammer.

Sark, n. F. A shirt, of any kind. Dan. En Saerk (a smock, a shift).

Sarra, v. R. To serve, esp. as regards supplying animals with food. This old word has about died out and given place to sarve.

Sarve, v. C. (This pr. is universal; also sarvent, sarvent, lass, &c.). To serve, to feed.
Ex. Ah 'll gan an' sarve t' pigs.

Sattle, v. C. To settle, esp. in a new place, whether of men or beasts; also to fall in price.
Ex. Wa 've gotten t' new pig, an' it 's sallied as neyce as can be. Barley sattled a bit t' last Settherda.

Sauce, n. C. Impudence in word; used also as a verb.
Ex. Sha sauced her missis, i.e. she was impudent, insolent, towards her.T' lad gav him nowt bad sauce.

Sau't, n. F. Salt.

Sau't-kit, a. F. A small tub in which salt is sometimes kept at farm-houses. Vide Kit.

Sauve, n. C. Salve, ointment; also used as a verb.

Saw, saw, interj. R. For shame!
Ex. Saw, saw, lads! ah 'll tell t' maasther o' ya.

Saw-cum, Saw-coom, n. C. Saw-dust.

Saw-horse, n. C. An extemporised frame for sawing, raised on tressels, instead of a sawpit.

Scale, v. C. To spread, to scatter; esp. used of the spring spreading of manure, lime, &c, with a sort of toothed hoe. Dan. At skille (to separate).
Ex. Q. 'Where is your mother?' A. Scaalin at Robert Smith's (without mention of the thing scaled). Thoo mun scaal it weel.

Scallibrat, n. C. A noisy, screaming child; also used as a verb in the sense of using loud and vituperative language.
Ex. Ah scallibrats 'em i t' stthreet.

Scaup, n. F. The head; a pr. of scalp. The word is generally used in anger, when two people are quarrelling.
Ex.- Ah 'll brek thi scaup if thoo deean't mahnd.

Scopperill, n. C. A teetotum; generally made of a button or part of a button, having a hole pierced in the centre.

Sconce, n. F. A ruse, a deception.
Ex. It wer all a sconce on 'em.
It would seem as if this word were derived from the O. Fr. esconer (to hide), as conveying with it the idea of a hidden motive or meaning.

Scow, v. C. To place hark on the top of a pile of oak to dry, the smaller pieces being put at the bottom and the larger ones above.

Scraffle, v. R. To move with difficulty, as through a crowd; to work one's way along. Dan. At skravle (to walk in a tottering manner, as old or infirm people do).

Scran, n. F. Victuals; meal-time being sometimes called scran-time.

Scrat, v. C. To scratch; also, to save money with difficulty and by hard toil. Dan. Kratte (to scratch).
Ex. Wa manished ti git wer rent scratted up. See ya ! there 's t' hens scrattin undther t' berry trees.

Scraumy, adj. C. Straggly, untidy in shape, ungainly; often applied to plants, shrubs, &c.
Ex. It 's a greeat scraumy thing is yon.

Screed, n. C. An edge or border of any material; e.g. a capscreed.

Screeve, v. F. To mark wood or other substance by scratching the surface; the instrument with which the mark is made is called a screeving-iron.

Scrogs, n. F. Stunted shrubs; the hazel for instance.

Scroggy, adj. F. This word is applied to trees that are badly grown and so become bushy and stunted.

Scruffle, v. C. To apply the horse-hoe for working between the turnip-rows. Dan. At skraelle (to pare); skraelle Ploy (paring plough).
Ex. Hez oor Jack gitten them tonnops scruffled ?

Scruffler, n. C. A horse hoe for weeding between turnip-rows.

Scuff. n. C. The back of the neck; also as a verbto strike, shake, &c. on the back of the neck.
Ex. Ah 'll scuff him weel.

Scug, v. R. To hide; hence scuggery (hiding).

Scunchins, scrunchins, n. R. Remnants of food, broken meat, remains of a feast.
Ex. Ah a'en't monny scunchins left.

Sea-fret, n. F. Vide Fret.
n. F. The long smock formerly worn by labourers ; also, and usually, now applied to the short smock which does not come below the waist. A Holderness word.

Seea, sae, adv. C. So. The pr. of this word is twofold, viz. seea and si (short), thus we say an' seea, and ivver si monny. It is preferable to adhere to the form seea in writing.

Seear, adj. C. Sure; the corresponding adverbial being for seear.
Ex. Ah 's seear ah a'en't. Aye, for seear.

Seed, v. pf. t. C. Saw.
Ex. Ah seed 'em nobbut a bit sen.

Seed-lip, n. C. A long-shaped basket suspended from the shoulder, from which seed-corn is taken by the sower. A. S. Leap (a basket); Dan. En Saede-lov (a seed-basket made of straw).

Seeing-glass, n. C. A looking-glass.

Seemlings, adv. F. (pr. seemlins). Apparently, seemingly.

Seeve, n. C. (pr. seeav). The common rush, which grows in moist ground; formerly used in making rushlight candles. Dan. Et Siv (a rush).

Sega, n. C. Rushes, sedges; this latter being another form of the word.

Seize the heart, v. C. To take to heart.
Ex. It 's seized her heart sadly, i.e. she has taken it greatly to heart.

Sen, adv. C. Since. Dan. Siden (since).
Ex.- Ah tell'd him a bit sen.

Sessions, a. R. A disturbance; a to-do, such, for instance, as many people quarrelling, or a number of cattle fighting one another.
Ex. Noo there 'll be a bonny sessions aboot it. There was a bonny sessions amang 'em.

Set, v. C. (1) To accompany a person on a journey or part of a Journey. (2) To fix a rent for a holding.
Ex. Ah 'll set tha a piece o' waay yam. Thoo mun set her ti t' to'n, an then sha can gan wiv hersen. He set him t' spot at fo'tty pond.

Set on knees, v. C. To kneel.
Ex. Ah seed him set ov his knees peerin' thruff t' smout hooal.

Setten on, part. C. Short, stunted.
Ex. He 's setten on.

Setten up, part. C. Highly pleased, elated.
Ex. T' lahtle lass is weeantly setten up wi startin scheeal.

Set-pot, n. R. A large boiler fixed by masonry in its place. These were formerly common, but are at present seldom seen.

Settle, n. C. Vide Lang-settle.

Shackle, n. C. The wrist.
Ex. Ah 've ho'tten t' gahdhers o' mi shackle sadly.

Shade, n. C. A shed. This pr. is universal.

Shaffle, v. C. To shuffle (in its various senses).
Ex. They want ti shaffle thersens oot on 't.

Shaft, n. C. The handle of anything, e.g. a rake, fork, &c. Dan. Et Skaft (a handle).

Shak, v. C. To shake.
Ex. It shak'd it heead.

Shak-bag, n. C. One who is not to be trusted; a term often applied to one who has deceived another.
Ex. Ah calls him nowt bud a shak-bag.

Shak-fork, n. F. A wooden fork used for shaking grain out of straw in a barn.

Shape, v. R. (pr. shap). To give promise of; to make an attempt, as by a beginner; equivalent to frame.
Ex. T' lad shaps weel.

Sharp, v. C. To turn up the ends of horse-shoes to prevent slipping in frosty weather.
Ex. T' rooads is that slaap wa mun a'e t' meer sharp'd.

Sharp, adj. C. Quick; also used adverbially.
Ex. Be sharp ! the invariable expression for 'make haste !' be quick

Shaum, v. F. To warm one's legs by sitting near the fire. This word may be derived from the French jambe.
Ex. He 's set shaumin' ower t' fire.

Shear, v. F. To cut corn with the sickle. Now that machinery is so much used, this word is seldom heard, except when speaking of bygone days. Dan. At skjmre (to cut with a knife or other instrument) ; Leen skjzorer godt (the scythe cuts well).

Shearling, n. C. A sheep of the first year from the time of shearing.

Shelvings, n. C. The moveable four-sided framework of two rails put on an ordinary cart when leading hay or corn.
Ex. Tak t' shelvins of o' t' cart.

Shibbin, shubb'n, shoven, n. C. That which binds or ties a shoe, a shoe-lace.
Ex. Sitha ! thi shubb'n 's lowse.

Shift, v. C. Besides the ordinary meaning of changing places, another very common one is to change clothes.
Ex. Q. Wilt tha gan wi ma? A. Aye, if thoo 'll stop a bit whahl ah shift mysel.

Shifty, adj. C. Untrustworthy.

Shill, shilly, adj. C. This word is commonly applied to a high wind. Some think it is merely another pronunciation of chill; its meaning, however, is clearly 'noisy,' 'shrill,' &c.

Shill, v. C. To separate, to put asunder; to curdle milk.

Shill-horse, sill-horse, n. C. A shaft-horse.
'Thou hast got more hair on thy chin than Dobbin my thill-horse has on his tail.'Merchant of Venice, ii. 2.
Thill seems to have given place to shill or sill in the dialect, though I am inclined to think the two words are distinct. Dan. At skille (to separate).

Shillookers, n. F. Ivory needles with a knob at one end and a kind of hook at the other, something like a large crochet needle; they are used for doing a species of worsted work.

Shills, sills, n. C. The shafts of a cart, &c. Also called thills and limmers.

Shim, v. F. To give a glancing cut. Dan. At skimte (to catch but a glimpse of anything). Icel. Skimi (a glimpse).

Shim-hoe, n. C. A Dutch-hoe, so called because of the glancing way in which it cuts.

Shin, v. C. To trump at whist after playing false. To shin oboon shin is to overtrump.

Shinnop, n. C. Hockey (a game).

Ship-starnel or shipster, n. C. The common starling.

Shirl, v. C. (pr. sholl). To slide; to glide, esp. on ice.
Ex. They 're shollin' yonder uppo t' pownd.

Shiv, n. C. (pr. as in give). A broken particle of line-stalk, husk of corn, &c. Dan. En Skjmve (a particle).

Shive, n. C. (pr. shahve). A slice, a thin piece cut off anything. Dan. En Skive (a slice).
Ex. Wilt ta gie ma a shahve o' breead.

Shog, v. C. To jog; to shake or jolt in motion; to proceed at a slow pace in driving, something between a walk and a fadge.

Shoglin, n. C. Vide Ice-shoggle.

Shool, n. R. A shovel.

Shool, v. F. To seek to obtain a trifling advantage from another; to sponge upon.

Shoon, n. F. The plural of shoe. (At the present time this form of the word is thought not so 'refined' as shoes.)

Shoot, v. C. (The oo is pr. as u in put). To break into ear (of corn). Dan. Skyde (to push) Skyde Knopper (to put forth buds).

Shot, adj. C. (sometimes pr. shot, and sometimes shut). Rid, free.
Ex. Ah thowt wa 'd gitten shut o' ya. Ah can't git shot on em.

Shout, v. C. (pr. shoot). To call, but not necessarily in tones of more than ordinary loudness.
Ex. Thoo maun't shoot on him whahl ah 's riddy ti gan.

Showd, n. F. A shallow place in a river, across which vessels have to be navigated with caution. The word is used of points on the Ouse where such places occur; particular names being sometimes given to them: e.g. man showd, woman showd.

Shudder, v. C. (pr. shoodther, the oo being rather short). To shake; used both in an active and neuter sense.
Ex. He cam up an' shoodthered ma. T' au'd helm fair shoodthered ageean; it wer ommost fit ti whemm'l ower.

Shut, v. C. (pr. as put). To shoot with a gun. Also the word shutters is commonly used for a shooting-party in the same way as weddiners would be for a wedding-party.

Shy, adj. C. Bitter and piercing, of the wind.

Side, v. C. To remove, esp. out of sight; to bury.
Ex. Noo ! you 've gotten au'd Willie Barker sahded.

Side-line, side-long, v. F. (pr. sahd-lahn, sahd-lang). To tie the fore and hind leg of a sheep together, and sometimes also the head, to prevent it from straying.

Side up, v. C. (pr. sahd up.) To put into order, to make tidy, to remove things that are lying about.
Ex. Be sharp, Jane, an' git them things sahded up.

Sidelings, adv. F. (pr. sahdlins). By the side of, near to, alongside of.
Ex. He went somewheers sahdlins o' Lon'on.

Sideway, adv. C. Aside, out of the way.
Ex. Ah put it sahdewaay.

Sie, v. F. To stretch; also to fall in drops. Dan. At si (to filter).
Ex. He 's siein' hissen out, i.e. he is stretching himself.
Sike, adj. C. Such.
Ex. There nivver was sike deed afoor. Ah nivver seed sike apples.

Sike-an, sikan, adj. C. Such. This and the foregoing word are sometimes confounded. They may be distinguished thus: sike is always used when followed by a word without the article before it, or when followed by a or an with a noun simply, but when an adjective intervenes then sikan is used. E.g. Such apples = sike apples; such an apple sike an (not sike-an) apple; such great apples sike greeat apples; such a great apple = sikan a greeat apple. Dan. Sikken (such a, what a).

Sike-like, adj. C. (pr. seyke-leyke). Suchlike, so forth.
Ex. Q. 'What had you to do?' A. Deea? Whya ! Ah had ti muck oot t' pigs, an' fodther t' hosses, and leeak eftther t' beeos, an' seyke-leyke.

Sile, n. C. (pr. sahl). A strainer; generally applied to a milk strainer. A wooden or tin vessel with a hole at the bottom across which fine gauze or canvas is stretched N. Sil (a strainer).

Sile, v. C. To strain by means of a sile. N. Sila (to strain).
Ex. Thoo sahl t' milk an' ah 'll sahd t' childer.

Sile-briggs, n. C. Two pieces of wood united by two cross pieces and placed across the milk-bowl for the sile to rest upon when the milk is poured through it from the pail.

Sills. Vide Shills.

Silly, adj. C. In a poor state of health.
Ex.Q. 'How is your wife?' A. Sha 's nobbut silly, an hez been of a good bit.

Sind, singe, v. F. To wash out, to rinse, as e.g. a dirty pail.

Sing, v. C. To purr.
Ex. Oor cat sings weeantly ti-neet.

Sipe, v. C. To drain away gradually; to sink away, as water into the ground.

Siss, v. C. To hiss; commonly used to express the sound made by water dropping on a fire, &c.
Ex. It 's tahd ti be raanin hard, t' fire sisses seea.

Sit fast, set fast, n. C. The central part of a wound, boil, &c.

Sitha, sutha, interj. C. Calls to attract attention. Sutha is sometimes used in the form of a question, being then equivalent to 'saw thou?' Sitha is the same as 'see thou!'

Sittings, n. C. Statute hirings: these are held at the market towns throughout the district annually at Martinmas. Sometimes they are called statties.
Ex. We 're off for Pockli'ton sittins.

Skare on, v. F. lo splice two pieces of wood together in such a way that the thickness at the Juncture is not greater than the rest: oars are commonly spliced thus. Jutl. D. At skarre ved (to join two pieces together).

Skeet, n. R. The front wheel of a plough, used formerly instead of the coulter for cutting the ground.

Skeel, n. F. A large wooden pail into which the milk was put at milking time and carried home on the head. A piggin was used for milking into, and the milk was poured from the piggin into the skeet. Tin cans have now almost universally taken the place of wooden pails: still the word skeel is very familiar to old people. The derivation of this word appears to be uncertain. There would seem to be a connection between it and the Danish Skaal, but this word applies to a bowl of crockery or cup. The O. N. word Skiola (a milking-pail) seems a more probable derivation, the root of the word being the same in each case.

Skeg, n. F. A glance (of the eye); also a squint, a cast. Dan. Skjaev (oblique); se skjaevt til (look askance at).
Ex. A skeg o' t' ee.

Skeggle, v. F. To sway from side to side, as a horse sometimes does.

Skel-beast, n. F. The partition which separates the cows in a cow-shed. Dan. At skille (to separate).

Skell up, v. C. (pr. skell and skeyl). To tilt, esp. a cart when the body is sloped to the ground while the shafts remain in a horizontal position. O. N. Skaela (to turn aside).

Skelp, v. C. To heat with the palm of the hand; also to ride or walk quickly.
Ex. Whisht! or ah 'll skelp thaHe skelp'd off yam.

Skelping, adj. C. Very large; generally preceded by greeat.
Ex. Sha 's a greeat skelpin meer.

Skep, n. C. A basket; esp. a garden basket with an arched handle across it. It was formerly used as a measure, and is so still in Denmark, where a Skjoeppe equals half a tonde. This purely Danish word, so commonly used in East Yorkshire, seems to be unknown in Westmoreland.

Skill, v. R. To distinguish, to make out. Dan. D. At skelle (to discriminate between).
Ex. It 's bad ti skill, i.e. It is difficult to distinguish.

Skillet, skellit, n. R. A small pot for the fire, with a long handle, generally made of tin.

Skime, v. F. (pr. skahm). To squint, to look scowlingly. Dan. At skimte (to see faintly); skimte efter (to gaze after).
Ex. He skahms oot ov his een. He skahms wi yah ee.

Skimmer, v. F. To shimmer, to glisten. Dan. At skimte frem (to glimmer forth).

Skin, v. C. To scream ; hence skirling. a screaming. Dan. At skralde (to peal forth).
Ex. He skirls leyke a pig iv a yat.

Skirting, part. F. Under-cutting a haystack three feet or so upwards from the ground. After due settlement from 'sweating,' a stack (always called 'she ') would be 'pulled,' 'skirted,' and 'topped out.'

Skirts, pair of, n. C. (pr. ske'ts). This is the common equivalent for a petticoat.

Skrike, v. C To screech. Dan. At skrige (to screech).
Ex. Ah fair skrik'd oot i paan.

Slack, n. C. The hollow part of an undulation in the ground. A slack scarcely amounts to what would be called a valley: a good specimen, among many, of a slack, is on the road from Driffield to Nafferton, which always goes by the name of The Slack. Also used as an adj., in the sense of depressed, easy, light, &c. Dan. Slak (slacka nautical term).
Ex. It wer a varry slack market yisttherda. Wa s'all 'ev a slack tahm inoo.

Slafter, n. F. Slaughter. There is also a similar verbal form.

Slain, n. F. (pr. slaan or sleean). The bluish-black blight on wheat; hence also the adj. slainy, with corresponding meaning.
Ex. There 's a vast o' slaany ears amang t' coorn.

Slair, v. F. To idle away one's time.

Slaister, v. C. To idle, or do work in a slip-shod manner; hence slaisterer and slaistering, also in common use.
Ex. He 's a slaisterin' soort ov a man.

Slake, v. F. To lick.
Ex. Sitha ! he s slaakin' t' treeacle off.

Slap, v. C. To spill water. Jutl. D. Slap (to lap); slap-tid (slack water).
Ex. Thoo maun't slap it.

Slape, adj. C. Slippery, smooth; also used figuratively for an untrustworthy person. O. N. Sleipr (slippery).
Ex. T' rooads is varry slaape.Sha 's a nasty slaape soort ov a woman.

Slappy, adj. C. Soft and wet, puddly, esp. under foot; but sometimes also applied to the cause, viz, rainy weather.
Ex. T' trod 's varry slappy.It 's a slappy tahm been.

Slaps, slap, n. C. Rinsings, dirty water, pig-wash, &c.
Ex. Ah gi'es 'em a bit a' slap i t' mornin's.

Slash, v. C. To trim hedges with a slasher, or long straight blade with a handle.

Sleck, v. C. To apply liquid to a fire with a view of putting it out; also used frequently as a noun, in the sense of any draught that allays thirst well. Dan. At slukke (to quench,.
Ex.- T' lahm wants sleckin' a bit mair.Aa! ah was dhry, bud t' yal maks a good slack.

Slidder, v. C. (pr. slidther). to slide.
Ex. Sha went slidtherin doon t' ramper. Ah thowt sha wer nivver boun ti stop slidtherin.

Sliddery, adj. F. (pr. slidthery). Slippery, equivalent to slape.

Slight, adj. R. Smooth, glossy. Dan. Slet (level).

Slip, n. C. A case for a pillow.

Slipe, v. C. To remove any substance rapidly from the surface of anything.
Ex We sliped off a bit o' t' shaff

Sloke, n. F. Scum; also refuse or loose straw that attaches itself to line, which is removed prior to ruckling, and which brings with it a portion of the line itself, this being twisted at the top of the sheaf when placed upright on the ground.

Slope, v. C. (pr. slowp). (r) To leave a place in debt. (2) To make a noise in drinking, to gulp; also used as a noun in the sense of a gulp.
Ex. (2) Hoo thoo diz slowp. He supped it at yah slowp.

Slough, n. C. (pr. sluff). The outer skin, esp. of fruit; e.g. the gooseberry. This word is never applied to a skin which cannot be easily taken or cast off. Sometimes the act of taking the heads and tails off gooseberries preparatory to preserving was called sluffing berries, though strictly speaking the sluff is only the skin of the fruit.
Ex. Thoo maun't eat them berry stuffs.

Slowdy, n. and adj. C. One who goes with his clothes in a very untidy and dirty state.
Ex. Sha 's a big stowdy.

Slubbard, n. R. A basin for drinking milk out of.

Sluddery, adj. C. (pr. sludthery). Dirty and untidy Dan. Slud (rain and snow mixed).
Ex. Sha 's a sludthery sooart ov a woman.

Slushing, adj. C. This word is commonly applied to a situation where there is much rough work to be done; a slushing-pleeace or a slashing-spot are common expressions for such places.

Slythe, n. R. An oppressive smell, foul air; sometimes also applied to cold or chilliness.
Ex. We 'll leet t' fire to be rid o' t' slythe.

Transcribed by Colin and Pauline Hinson © 1997