YORKSHIRE FOLK TALK: Glossary
Unbeknown, part. C. Unknown. This word is in common use in the Pickering neighbourhood.
Unbethink, v. F. To think over again and find out a mistake. To call to mind, to recollect.
Ex. Ah can't unbethink mysen.
Underdraw, v. C. To cover the underpart of a floor or roof with lath and plaster.
Underhanded, adj. C. (pr. un'erhan'ed). Of puny growth, undersized, not fully developed.
Ex. It 's nobbut a lahtle un'erhan'ed thing.
Ungain, adj. C. Inconveniently situated, difficult of access.
Ex. Yon 's a varry ungain spot o' yours.
Unmenseful, adj. F. Unfitting, unseemly, indecent. Vide Mense.
Up account of, prep. C. On account of. An abbreviation of 'upon account of.'
Upgang, n. F. A road or track up a hill. Dan. En Opgang (an uphill way).
Up-grown, adj. C. (pr. up-grawn). Grown-up, adult. This form of the word is quite universal, the ordinary form, grown-up, being never heard.
Ex. Sha 's an up-grawn woman noo. All 'at ah'seed was up-grawn folks.
Uphold, v. C: (pr. upho'd). To answer for, to aver, to maintain, esp. in argument or in life.
Ex.- Aye ! bud ah 's seear on 't; ah 'll upho'd it. That 's reet eneeaf, ah 'll upho'd it Ah doubt he weean't upho'd hissen mich langer.
Upset (or upsetten) with, part. C. Elated, highly pleased with.
Ex. He 's weeantly upsetten wi gannin ti skeeal.
Up of, C. Grown up ; arrived at (maturity). This very common expression is equivalent to upgrown, q. v.
Ex. He 's ommost up of a man noo; i.e. he has now nearly reached man's estate.
Ure, n. C. Vide Yuer.
Use, to no. C. Of no use, useless.
Ex. It 's ti neea use; ah can 't finnd it. Them 's ti neea use; they 're good ti nowt.
Varry, adv. C. Very. (This pr. is universal.)
Varry weel, adv. C. Very much.
Vast, adj. C. A large number; commonly used as a noun of multitude.
Ex. A vast o' folks thinks seea, an' all. Sitha, what a vast o' craws there is i yon pastur. There 's a vast on 'em cum'd.
Viewly, viewlysome, viewsome, adj. C. Of good appearance, fine, handsome.
Ex. Them 's as viewly a pig as onny man need wish ti see.
Wa, pron. C. (pr. very short). We.
Wad, v. C. Would. (It is difficult to describe the pr. of this word, it is neither such as to rhyme with had nor yet with rod, but more like the former than the latter.)
Ex. Ah wadn't gie ya a haupenny for 'em.
Wae 's t' heart, R. An abbreviation for 'wae (woe) is to the heart,' an exclamation that was formerly commonly used on hearing of anyone's misfortune, affliction, &c.
Waff, v. C. To bark as a dog. This word is probably merely another form of Yeff.
Waffy, Waufy, adj. C. (pr. almost as wahffy, but not quite so open in the ah as ordinarily). Weak, feeble, esp. after an illness.
Ex. T' au'd man s as waffy an' waakly as owt.
Waft, n. C. (pr. waft). A puff or sharp blow of wind.
Ex. A waif o' wind.
Wag, v. C. To beckon with the hand or finger.
Ex. He wagged ti ma as he passed.Let 's wag on him.
Waint, adj. and adv. C. (pr. weeant). Great (when applied to quantity). It is also commonly used as an intensive, being equivalent to very or greatly.
Ex. A weeant deal on 'em.Ah 's weeant an' glad on i.e. very glad.
Waintly, adv. C. Very greatly, exceedingly.
Ex. Ah 's weeantly pleeasd.
Waintly off, C. In great trouble.
Ex. Oor Jack 's weeantly off aboot it.
Wait of, wait on, v. C. To wait for.
Ex. Thoo maun't wait of us.Ah can't wait on' him neea langer.
Wake, wakely. adj. C. (pr. waak). Weak.
Ex. Sha 's nobbut a varry waakely soort ov a body.
Wakken, v. (act. and neut.) C. To awake.
Ex. Ah nivver, yance wakken'd up. Ho'd thi noise or else thoo 'll wakken t' bairn. Lad ! thoo 's asleep, wakken up. 'They're wakken'd at Eeasby! The Lord is amang 'em.'Castillo.
Wakken, wakkensome, adj. C. Easily roused from sleep, lively.
Ex. He's varry wakken.
Wale, v. F. (pr. waal and weeal). To flog with a whip or stick.
Waling, n. C. (pr. waalin' and weealin'). (1) This word is applied to the horizontal planks or beams which are fixed to piles on a river side or elsewhere to strengthen and protect the work; originally the word meant a rod hence, (2) a flogging. Old Friesic Walu (a rod) ; Icel. Volr (a round stick).
Walk with, v C. To court.
Ex. They 've been walkin' wi yan anuther a good bit, ah lay they 'll be gittin' wed i-noo.
Walsh, Welsh, adj. F. Lacking in flavour, watery; also sour.
Ex. It tastes varry walsh; i.e. it lacks flavour. T' milk 's welsh.
Wangle, v. F. To shake, to totter, to waver; to be in a sensitive state. Dan. At vakie (to shake, or totter).
Ex. Thoo mun put it varry wangling (in setting a trap).
Wankle, adj. F. Unsteady, wavering, unsettled; esp. of weather, e.g. showery. This word is another form of wangle.
Ex.It 's a wankle tahm been. We 've had nobbut wankle weather.
Wankling, adj. R. Shaky from weakness.
Ex. Ah feels weeak an' wanklin.
Want, v. C. The dialectical use of this word is very peculiar, and is not confined to any particular class, but is heard more or less with people of all classes. Want, followed by a present participle, forms a kind of middle voice unlike other constructions in our language. It will best be understood by one or two examples thus, Do those letters want posting ! is equivalent to 'are those letters to be posted?' or I want my hair cutting, is the same as saying I wish my hair to be cut.'
War, v. C. Was. Dan. Var (was).
Ex. Ah warn't bonn ti ax him nowt.
Warbells, n. F. (pr. wahrbills). Swellings on the 'rigg' of a beast's back, caused by the larvae of the gad-fly being embedded there.
Wardays, n. C. Every day in the week but Sunday. Dan. Hverdag (every day except Sunday).
Ex. Ah 's awlus working, Sundays an' wardays, it 's all seeam wima.
Wards. A common suffix signifying direction.
Ex. Ah seed him cumin fra Newton-wards; i.e. I saw him coming from the direction of Newton. In Cleveland the word way is inserted between the place-name and the suffix, e.g. Ah seed him ganning Danby-way-wards.
Ware, v. C. 'To spend (money).
Ex.- He dizn't ware a deal o' brass i cleeas, i.e. doesn't spend much on clothes. He wares nowt for he addles nowt, i.e. he spends nothing because he earns nothing.
Wark, v. C. To ache, also commonly as a noun. Dan. At vaerke (to ache); Hoved-vaerk (head-ache).
Ex. Mah heead warks weeantly. It 's a back-warkin job. Ah 've gitten t' teeath-wark.
Warp, v. C. To bring water over land by artificial means in order that a deposit may be left upon the surface when the water recedes. This can only be done in places which the tide reaches. Through the constant ebb and flow of the tide, new soil, several inches in thickness, is thus formed in course of time, and land which was before worthless becomes valuable. The same term is of course applicable to the same process which takes place by natural means. This new soil is termed warp.
Warridge, n. C. (pr. warridge and warrish). The top of the shoulder-blade of a horse.
Ex. He 's weel up (or low) iv his warridge.
Warse, adj. C. (pr. wahs). Worse. There is also another pr. of this word, viz, between woss and waus.
Warsen, v. F. To grow worse, esp. as to health. Dan. Forvaerres (to grow worse).
Ex. He 's neea better; he warsens if owt.
Warzle, v. F. To creep along softly in and out, like the motion of a snake; hence to wheedle, to obtain by flattery.
Ex They warzled him up, i.e. they flattered him.
Wastrill, n. F. A spendthrift.
Wath, n. O. (except as a place-name). A ford across a stream. Dan. Et Vad (a ford).
Watter, n. C. (pr. watther, the a-sound here approximates to that in what, but with less of the o-sound; the pr. in fact lies between this word and bat: there is nothing of the au-sound in the pr. of watter). Water.
Wax-kernels, n C. Swellings in the hollow of the jaw, neck, &c.; so called because they are thought to be commonest among young people who are still growing.
Wax, v. F. To grow, often used redundantly. Dan. At voxe (to grow).
Ex. Sha waxes an' grows.
Way-corn, n. F. Oats or barley.
Ways, n. C. Way; only used in such expressions as cum thi ways, gan thi ways, git thi ways wi tha, &c.
Wear in, v. F. To accustom to anything. This expression is used in identically the same sense as to break in, except that it is used of people as well as of animals.
Wean, n. F. (pr. weean). A female. This word is another form of queen, and is used for the most part in a bad sense. Dan. En Kvinde (a female).
Ex. Sha 's a meean weean.
Weaky, adj. F. Moist; the opposite of ask.
Weeks, n. F. Corners (of the mouth). Dan. En Vig (a creek, inlet); Mundvig (corner of the mouth).
Ex. They 've awlas gitten peyps i t' weeks o' ther mooths.
This word has the same derivation as wyke, a not uncommon termination in one form or another to place-names on the Yorkshire coast and elsewhere.
Weight, adj. C. (pr. wite). Many.
Ex. There was a girt weight o' folks theer. There 's neea girt weight on 'em.
Well, very, adv. C. (pr. weel). Very much.
Ex. He leykes it varry weel.
Welted, part. C. Vide Rigged.
Wengby, n. R. Skim-milk cheese; commonly applied to anything very tough and hard. This word is probably connected with wheng.
Ex. That cheese is reg'lar wengby, it 's nobbut fit ti pat inti ratten hooals.
Wer, pron. C. (pr. wer, short, and oor, the former generally when it occurs in the middle of a sentence and the latter when it begins a sentence; though this rule is by no means without exception). Our. There is also another common use of this word, viz, to express the fact that the person to whom the pronoun is applied belongs to the family of the speaker: e.g. Our Jack would mean our son or brother Jack. Dan. Vor (our).
Ex.A'e ya seen owt ov oor Bet. Wa like wer new spot varry weel. Oor maasther com'd an' telld ma.
Werrick, v. F. To laugh in a semi-suppressed manner.
Ex. What 's ta werrickin' at?
Wersens, wersells, pron. C. Ourselves.
Ex. Wa s'all a'e ti fend for wersens.
Wether, n. C. A male lamb from the time of castration till it is weaned, after which it is called a hog.
Wet-shod, adj. C. Wet as to the feet.
What for ? adv. C. Why? This interrogation is universally used throughout the district: it corresponds to the Fr. pourquoi.
Ex. What for a'en't ya deean it ? Ah deeant knaw what for he nivver tell'd ma. What for not?
Whatsomivver, pron. F. Whatever. Dan. Hvadsoiuhelst (whatever).
Wheea, pron. C. Who. Another very common form of this pron. is whau.
Ex. Whaa is 't? i.e. Who is it ? Wheea see'd 'em? i.e. Who saw them ?Whaa 's yon? i.e. Who is that ?Ah can't ken wheea sha is, i.e. I can't recognise who she is.
Whemmle, v. C. To totter, to shake, as before falling; to fall over, to upset. To whemmle seldom, if ever, is used to signify the act of falling simply, the premonitory symptoms of falling being also included in this expressive word.
Ex. It whemmled ower: this expression is equivalent to it tottered and fell.
Wheng, or whang, n. C. A long strip of leather. The word is now generally used for the tough white leather made of horse-hide, commonly employed for uniting the ends of machine straps, or for the end of a lash.
Ex. Pat a bit o' wheng at t' end on 't.
While, adv. C. (pr. whahl). Until (the correlative to so).
Ex. Thoo mun wait whahl t' lad cums. T' meer wer that full o' play whahl ah could hardlins ho'd her.
Whins, n. C. Gorse bushes. The adj. whinny, i.e. covered with whins, is in use. Wel. Chwynd (weeds).
Ex.- T' whinny garth (a field-name).
Whisht, interj. C. Hush, keep quiet.
Ex. Whisht, or ah 'll skelp tha. Whisht wiya. Ho'd yer whisht, i.e. keep silence.
This word is also commonly used as an adverb in the sense of noiselessly.
Ex. Sha gans varry whisht.
Whistle-jacket, n. F. A mixture of gin and treacle, used by old-fashioned people as a cure for a cold. An E. R. word.
Whoats, n. C. Oats. It is not clear how best to give the orthography of this word: the pr. is something like a short oo followed by ats; thus oo-ats, pronounced rapidly as one syllable, will perhaps afford the best idea as to the correct pronunciation.
Whya, interj. C. Well at the beginning of a remark; also very well, in assenting to anything.
Ex. Whya ! ah deeant knaw; they mebbe mud. Q. Noo, thoo mun think on. A. Whya.
Wi, prep. C. (pr. wi, short). With; always used before a consonant and sometimes before a vowel or h. Vide Wiv.
Ex. Wi sum on 'em Gan wi 'em (or wiv 'em).
Wick, adj. C. Alive, living; also lively, sprightly. This word is another form of quick (living).
Ex. Is 't wick yit? i.e. Is it still alive ? Them 's varry wick 'ans, i.e. Those are of a very lively sort.
Wickens, n. C. Another form of wicks, the common couch-grass.
Ex. Sha 's getherin wickens.
Wicken-wood. n. F. Vide Witch-wood.
Wicks, n. C. (1) The common couch-grass, esp. the roots. (2) Quickset hedge seedlings, or young plants of the same.
Ex.Q. What are they bonnin yonder? A. Ah laay they 'll be wicks. Them wicks 'll mak a good hedge eftther a bit.
Widdy, n. C. A willow shoot of a year's growth.
Wike, n. Vide Weeks.
Wilf, n. F. The willow; an E. R. word.
Wind, to loss, F. To die. Wind is not unfrequently used for breath in this and other phrases.
Winder, v. C. (pr. windther). To winnow.
Windering machine, n. C. A winnowing-machine.
Windle-straw, n. C. (pr. winn'l-stthreea). A dead stalk of grass, &c.
Ex. There 's fowl bud a few winn'l stthreeas, i.e. a very poor crop.
Winge, v. C. To threaten or begin to kick, to show signs of kicking, esp. of a horse.
Ex. Noo thoo mun mahnd, he 's wingein.
Wingey, adj. C. (pr. g soft). Inclined to kick, having a tendency to kick, esp. of a horse.
Ex. T' meer 's varry wingey.
Winter hedge, n. F. A clothes-horse.
Witch-wood; also called Wicken-tree, and Wicken-wood, n. F. The mountain-ash. This wood was commonly used as a charm against witches.
Wiv, prep. C. With, by. Only used before a vowel or h.
Ex. Ah seed him stannin' wiv hissen. He 's cumin' yonder wiv aud Matty.
Wivoot, prep. and adv. F. Without, unless. Widoot and bedoot are commoner forms of this word.
Ex. Ah deean't knaw, widoot it's t' cat 'at's deean it
Wold, n. C. (pr. wau'd); or, at the end of a word, as e.g. in Easingwold, almost as wood). A hill or rising ground, more or less flat at the summit. The Wolds form an extensive range of such hills in the East Riding. Dan. En Vold (a mound),
Woomle, n. F. An auger.
Wrang, adj. C. Wrong. Dan. Vrang (wrong); Icel. Rangr.
Ex. Thoo 's wrang.
Wreckling, n. C. Vide Reckling.
Wringe, v. C. To scream Like a pig; to whine like a dog; to utter a loud noise, as if in pain.
Ex. T' pigs gans wringein aboot weeantly ti-daay.
Wrong with, To get, C. To get across with, to heat variance with anyone.
Wrought, v. C. (pr. between rote and rout). Worked. The perfect tense of 'to work.'
Ex. Ah wrought an' tew'd mang t' taaties. Ah 've wrought hard i mah tahm.
Wye, n. C. A heifer under three years of age. Dan. Kvie (a young heifer).
Ex.--- We 've gitten anuther wye cauf Is 'ta bull or a aiye?
Wyke, n. F. A small hay on the sea-coast. A place-name. Vide Weeks.
Yacker, n. C. Acre; commonly used as a plural also.
Ex. We 've nobbut fahve yacker mair ti plew.Neenty yacker.
Yah, yan, C. One. These two words are sometimes confounded by strangers to the dialect. Yah is a numeral adj. and always has a word agreeing with it, e.g. yah pleeace, yah neet, &c.; yan is an indefinite pronoun, and a numeral adj. when used singly, the noun being understood.
Ex Yan on 'em. Yan said yah thing an' anuther said anuther. Yah neet as ah com yam. Q. 'How many are there?' A. Nobbut yan. Yah daay yan o' t' lads cum ti ma wi nobbut yah hoss ti be sharp'd.
Yaiting, n. R. Vide Gait.
Yak, n. C. Vide Ak.
Yakkron, n. C. Acorn.
Yal, n. C. Ale. Dan. 01 (ale).
Ex.- A sup o' yal.T' yal aals nowt; i.e. The ale is good. Yal-hoos, n. F. Ale-house.
Ex.- Ah seed him i t' yal-hoos suppin yal.
Yam, n. C. Home. There are no less than three distinct pronunciations to express home, viz, yam, heeam, and worn. The latter, which is very common in the E. R. seems to be a corruption of the Std. Eng. form, home; the other two approach more nearly the modern Danish form, Hjem, which is pr. almost as yem.
Yam, v. C. Vide Aim.
Yan, num. adj. and indef. pron. C. One. Jutl. D. Jen (one). Vide Yah.
Yance. adv. C. Once.
Ex. Ah mahnd yance 'at, &c; i.e. I remember once that, &c. Nivver bud yance.
Yannerly, adj. and adv. R. Solitary, alone, lonely. This very expressive word also conveys the idea of fond of retirement, shy. It is derived from yan (one). The word is seldom if ever heard now.
Ex. He left her all yannerly at yam.He 's varry yannerly. Whya ! yoor maistther 's geean doon ti Whidby; you 'll be quiet yannerly.
Yap, n. R. An opprobrious epithet.
Yark, v. C. To inflict a blow; to flog: also commonly used as a noun.
Ex. Ah 'll yark yer rigg. He gav him a yark ower t' back.
Yat, adj. F. Hot. It is to be observed that this word is never applied to the weather, no matter how high the temperature may be; even 9O degrees in the shade would only be termed wahrm or varry wahrm. To other things of high temperature yat is frequently applied, e.g. a yat fire, a yat yewn, &c.
Yat, n. C. A gate. Dan. En Gade (a gate).
Ex. T' au'd yat 's fit ti fal fra t' creeaks.Sneck t' yat. T' yat-stoup 's lowzen'd at t' boddum.
Yat-steead, n. F. The part covered by the 'sweep' of a gate in opening and shutting.
Yaud, n. C. A horse; sometimes restricted to a riding-horse, or applied to an animal in poor condition.
Yedder, n. C. (pr. yether, th soft). A pliant twig or young shoot in a hedge, which may conveniently be utilised for strengthening a fence by twisting it in and out along perpendicular stakes. Hedging down in this fashion is said to be i stake an' yedder, and the expression nowther a stake nor a yedder signifies the same as 'neither one thing nor the other,' and is frequently applied in that sense to a person of whom nothing can be made and who succeeds at no kind of work.
Yeff, v. F. To bark as a dog. Vide Waif.
Yenk, v. F. To flog, to thrash. An E. R. word.
Yet, adv. C. Still. This usage is universal; e.g. 'Is the man here yet?' would not mean Has the man arrived? but is he still here? 'Does it rain yet?' would not mean Has it begun to rain? but, Is it still raining? &c.
Yeth, n. C. Earth.
Yeth-worrm, n. C. An earth-worm.
Yetling, n. F. A pan or pot made of iron and used in cooking. An E. R. word.
Yewn, n. F. Vide Yown.
Yocken, yotten, v. C. To gulp; to swallow greedily or with a noise.
Ex. Sitha! he 's yockenin' it doon.
Yoke, v. C. (pr. yauk). To join a horse to a cart or other carriage by means of harness of some kind.
Ex. A'e ya getten t' meer yaak'd? We 've yauk'd tiv.
Yon, pron. C. That (over there) used demonstratively of persons or things.
Ex. Q. Whaa 's yon? i.e. Who is that there? Yon 's yan o' Tommy Otch'n ba'ans. Whau 's owes yon hoos?
Yorken, v. C. To swallow; another form of yocken.
Yow, n. C. A ewe.
Ex. Wheea 's owes them yows?
Yawn, yewn, n. F. An oven. Dan. En Ovn (an oven).
Ex. T' yewn isn't yat yit.
Yuer, ure, n. C. The udder of a cow. Dan. Et Yver (an udder) ; also commonly used as a verb, to express the swelling of the udder prior to calving.
Yuk, n. F. A hook; also the top of the femoral bone.
Yuk. v. F. To beat, to flog; the corresponding noun being yukking.
Ex. Ah gay him a good yukkin.
Yule-cake, n. C. A plum-cake made specially for Christmas-tide. Dan. Jule-kage (Christmas-cake).
Yule-candle, n. C. (pr. yule-cann'l). A candle of extra large size, specially burnt in houses on Christmas Eve, according to an old custom.
Yule-clog, n. C. A log of wood burnt in houses on Christmas or New Year's Eve.