Specimens of the Yorkshire Dialect by J Kendrew


Specimens of the Yorkshire Dialect transcribed by Graham Metcalf




The Yorkshire Dialect

Part I.

To which is added,


Of such of the YORKSHIRE WORDS



By those unacquainted with the Dialect





Printed and sold, Wholesale and Retail, by J. Kendrew



Note on flysheet:
"No more than this part was ever published."

Chapter 1


Mar. Sur, an Ah may be so bowd, Ah'se come to ax an ye've sped about t'woman sarvant 'at ye advertis'd for ?
Gulwell. I have not, come nearer, young woman.
Mar. Let ma steck t'deer first, an' ye please. (Shuts the door).
Gulwell. What country woman are you ?
Mar. Ah'se Yorkshire by my truly! Ah was bred and boorn at Canny Yatton aside Roseberry Topping. (Canny Yatton = Great Ayton)
Gulwell. Roseberry Topping! Where is that, my pretty maid ?
Mar. Sartainly God! Ah thowght onny feeal hed knawn Roseberry. - It's biggest hill in all Yorkshire. It's aboon a mahle and a hawf heegh an' as cawd as ice t' top on't i' t' yattest day i' summer; that it is.
Gul. You've been in some service, I suppose.
Mar. Hey, Ah'll uphod ye hev E: ivver sen Ah wor neen yeear awd. Nea makkins Ah'd a Gowds-penny at Stowseley market, aboon hawf a yeear afore 'at E wor neen. An' as good a sarvant Ah've been thof Ah say't mysel, as ivver com within a pair of deers. Ah can milk, ken, fother, beeak, brew, shear, winder, caird, spin, knit, sew, an' deea ivvery thing 'at belangs tiv a husbandman, as weel as onny lass 'at ivver ware clog shune; an' as to my karacter, Ah defy onny body, gentle or simple, to say black's my nail.
Gul. Have you been any place in London ?
Mar. Hey, an ye pleease, ah've liv'd wi' Madam Shrillpipe in St Pole's Kirk-Garth, but wor foorced to leeave afoore 'at I had been a week o' days in 't.
Gul. How so ?
Mar. Marry, becose she ommost flighted and scauded ma out o' ma wits, she wor't arrandest scaud 'at ivver Ah met wi' in my boorn days, - she hed seerly sike a tongue as nivver wor i' onny woman's heead but her awn - it wad ring, ring, ring, ring, like a larum, frae moorn to neeght. Then she wad put hersel into sike flusters, that her feeace wad be as black as t'reckon creeak - Nay, for t'matter o' that, Ah wor nobbut reightly sarrad. For Ah wor tell'd afoorehand by some varra 'sponsible, foak, 'at she wor a meer donnot: hoosomivver as Ah fand ma money grow less an' less ivvery day; (for Ah'd browght my good seaven an' twenty shilling to neen groats and two-pence,) Ah thowght it wad be better to tak' up wi' a bad pleeace than neean at all.

Gul. And how do you like London ?

Mar. Marry, Sur, Ah like nowther egg nor shell on't. They're sike a set o' foak as E nivver seed wi' my een - they laugh an' fleer at a body like onny thing - Ah went nobbut t'other day ti t' beeaker's shop, for a layaf o' breead an' they fell a giggling at ma as in Ah'd been yan o' t'biggest gawvisons i' t' warld.
Gul. Pray, what is a gawvison ?
Mar. Whah, you're a gawvison for nut knawing what it is - Ah thowght you Lunnuners hed knawn ivvery thing - a gawvisons a ninny hammer. - Noo d' ye think, Sur, 'at Ah leeak owght like a gawvison ?
Gul. Not in the least, my pretty damsel.
Mar. They may boost as they will o' ther manners; but they've na mair manners than a millner's horse, Ah can tell 'em that, that Ah can. - Ah wish Ah'd been still at Canny - Yatton.
Gul. As you have so great a liking for the place I wonder you should leave it.
Mar. Marry, Sur, Ah wor foorc'd as yan may say to leeave 't; t'squire wadn't let ma be: by my truly, Sur, he wor efter me moorn, neean, an' neight. - If Ah wad but hae consented tiv his wicked ways, Ah mud hae hed gowld by goppins, that Ah mud, - Leeak ye, squire, says Ah, you're mistaken I' me, Ah's neean o' ther sort o' cattle - - Ah's a varteous young woman, Ah'll asseer ye. Ye're other foakes foake - - wad ye be sike a teearstril as to ruin ma ? - - But all wadn't deea; he kept follo'in' an' follo'in' an' teazing me. - - At lang run , Ah tell'd my awd deeame an' she advahs'd ma to gang to Lunnon, to be out of his way, that she did, like an onnist woman as she wor, - - Ah went to my cousin Isbell, and says Ah tiv her, Isbel, says Ah, wilt'o gowa to Lunnon? An tell'd her t'yal affair atween me an' t' squire. - - Oddsbobs! my lass, says she, Ah'll gang wi' thee to t'warld's end. An' away we com i' good yearnest.

Gul. It was a very varteous resolution. Pray, how old are you?
Mar. Ah's neenteen, cum Collop - Monday.

Gul. Would you undertake a housekeeper's place?
Mar. Ah's flayed. Ah can't mannish it, unless it wer in a husbandman's house.
Gul. It is a very substantial farmer's in Buckinghamshire. I'm sure you will do - - I'll set you down for it. Your name?
Mar. Margery Moorpoot, an ye pleease.
Gul. How do you spell it?
Mar. Neea makkins! Ah knaw nowght o' speldering. Ah's neea scollard.
Gul. Well, I shall write to him this evening - - What wages do you ask?
Mar. Neea marry, for that matter, ah wadn't be ower stiff about wage.
Gul. Then I can venture to assure you of it. You must give me half a crown, my pretty maid - our fee for a common place is only a shilling, but for a housekeeper's we have always half a crown.
Mar. There's twea shilling, an' yan. - - twea, three, four, fahve, six penn'orth o' brass, wi' a thoosand thanks - - God's prayer leight o' ye! for Ah's seer ye'rt best frynd Ah've met wi' sen Ah com fra Canny - Yatton, that ye are - - When mun E call ageean, Sur.
Gul. About the middle of next week.
Mar. Sur, an ye pleease, your sarvant.

Chapter 2


By the Revd. Thomas Browne


Geo. Weel met, good Robin, seed ye my awd meer?
Ah've lated her an hoor i' t' looanin' here,
But hoosomivver, spite all my care,
Ah cannot spy her, nowther heead nor hair
Robin Whah, Geoorgy, Ah've te tell ye dowly news,
Sike as Ah's varra seer will mak ye muse :
Ah just this minute left your poor awd tike
Deead as a steean, i' Joonny Dobson's dyke.
Geoorgy. Whoor! what's that, Robin? Tell ower ageean,
You're joking - - - - or you've mebby been misteean.
Robin Neea marry, George, Ah's seen, Ah can't be wrang,
You knaw Ah've kenn'd awd Deeasy noo
Her breead ratch'd feeace, and tweea white hinder legs,
Preeav'd it was her, as seer as eggs is eggs.
Geo. Poor thing! what deead then? --- had she lig'd there lang?
Whoor abouts is she? Robin, will ye gang?
Robin Ah caren't Georgy, Ah haen't mitch te deea,
A good hour's labbour or may happen twea.
Bud as Ah nivver like to hing behinnd,
When Ah can help ye wi' my hand or teeam,
Ah'll help to skin her or bring her heeame.
Geo. Thenk ye, good Robin. --- Ah can't think belike,
Hoo't poor awd creature tummel'd into t' dyke.
Robin You mind she'd fun hersel just boun to dee,
An' seea laid doun by t' side, (as seeams to me,)
An' when she felt the pains of deeath within
She fick'd and struggl'd, an' seea towpled in.
Geo. Maist likely --- but --- what, was she deead outreight,
When first ye fand her; when ye gat t' first seight?
Robin You's hear. --- As Ah was gaun doon t' looan, Ah spy'd
A scoar or mair o' craws by t' gutter side.
All se thrang, hoppin' in an' hoppin' out,
Ah wonder'd what I' t' warld they war about.
Ah leeaks, an' then Ah sees an awd yode
Gasping an' panting sare an' ommost deead
An' just as they pick'd it een, an' pick'd ageean
It just cud lift it leg an' give a greean.
But when Ah fand awd Deeasy was tuck prey,
Ah wav'd my hat an' showed 'em all away.
Poor Deeas! You mind, she's noo worn fairly out;
She's lang been quite hard set te trail about
But yonder Geoorgy, too' ye whoor she's leead,
An' twea or three nanpies chattring ower her heead.
Hey, marry! This Ah nivver wish'd to see,
She's been se good --- se true a frynd to me.
An' is thou come to this, my poor awd meer?
Thoo's been a trusty sarvant monny a year;
An' better treatment thoo's desarv'd fra me
Then thus neglected in a dyke te dee,
Monny agood day - wark we've wrought togither,
An' bidden monny a blast o' wind and weather;
Monny a lang cree mahle, ower moss an' moor,
An' monny a hill an' deeale we've toddled
But noo, wae'st me! Thoo'll nivver trot ne mair,
Te nowther kirk nor market, spoort nor fair;
An' noo for t' future, thof Ah's awd an' leeame,
Ah sal be foorc'd te walk; or stay at heeame
Ne mair thoo'll bring me cooals fra Blakey Broo,
Or sticks frae t' wood, or turves frae Leaf-hoo Coo.
My poor awd Deeas! Afoore Ah dig thy greeave,
Thy weel worn shune Ah will for keepseeakes seeave;
Thy hide, poor lass! Ah'll hev it tann'd wi' care.
'Twill mak a cover to my awd airm chair;
An' pairt --- an appron for my wife to weare
When cardin' wool, or weshin' t' pairlour fleer.
Deep i' t' cawd eearth, Ah will thy carcass pleeace;
That thy poor beeans may lig an' rest in peeace;
Deep i' t' cawd eearth, 'at dogs mayn't scrat thee oot,
An' rahve thy flesh, an' trail thy beeans aboot,
Thoo's been se faithful, for se lang, to me,
Thoo sannot at thy deeath, neglected be.
Seldom a Christian, 'at yan noo can finnd,
Wad be mair trusty --- or mair true a frynd.

Chapter 3



On the present Indecent Mode of DRESS,

Adopted by fashionable Ladies.

Good morrow, Johnny, --- hoo deea ye deea?

If you're doon my road, A'll gang wi' ye:

Hoo cawd this moorning t' wind dus blaw,

Ah think we seen sal hae sum snaw.


Heigh, Simon, seea we sal, ere lang:

Ah's boon to t' toon, Ah wi' ye'd gang,

For ah've a dowghter leeatly deead,

Ah's boon to git hur coffin meeade.


Heigh! Johnny! Deead! Wah seer you're wrang,

Fur she wor wi' us e'er seea lang,

And oft wi' hur, i' yonder booer,

Ah've jooak'd an' laugh'd full monny an hour:

Bud first, good Johnny, tell me this,

What meeade hur dee? what's been amiss?


To tell thee Simon, noo Ah's boon,

Thoo sees Ah sent hur to yon toon

To t' Skeeal; and next to larn a trade,

By which she was to get hur breead:

Bud, when she furst cum'd back to me,

She had neea petticoats, you see:

At first Ah fan she'd bud hur smock,

And ower that hur tawdry frock;

Sike wark as this it rais'd my passion,

An' then she tell'd me, it was t' fashion.

Besides hur appron, efter all,

She'd quite misteean it for a shawl:

A sartain sign the sense did lack.

She'd teean an' thrawn it ower hur back;

Hur shoon had soles se varra thin,

They'd nowght keep out, but let wet in:

And round hur neck she lapp'd a ruff,

Of rabbit-skin or sum sike stuff,

Instead of wearing a good cloak,

Teea keep hur warm, when she did walk

Fra heeame to Market or to Fair,

Or yance a week to Church repair:

Besides, thoo sees, she hed neea stays,

And scarce eneeaf by hoaf of clais:

And hur white hat turn'd up befoore,

All meead hur leeak just like a Wh-re!


Wah, Johnny, stop, you're oot o' breath,

Bud hoo com she to git hur deeath?


Wah, Simon, stay, and thoo sal hear,

I' t' next pleeace, mon, breeasts wor bare,

Hur neeak'd airms, teea, she like'd to show,

E'en when t' cawd bitter wind did blaw:

And when Ah talk'd about it, then,

(You see Ah'se awlus by my sen,)

Hur mother awlus leean'd hur way,

It matter'd nowght what Ah'd to say:

Ah tell'd my wife hoo it wad be,

An' seea she can't lig t' bleeame o' me:

Says Ah, foore she's twice ten year awd,

She's seer to git hur deeath o' cawd.

For this mishap Ah bleeame that feeal,

For spoiling hur at Booarding-Skeeal:

Noo hed she meeade hur larn hur letters,

Insteead o' dressing like hur betters,

She nut so seean hae gitten cawd,

And mebby liv'd till she wor awd.

Ah'se seer it's all great fowks pursuit,

To hev, like Eve, a birth-day-suit.


Thoo's reeght, good Johnny reeght Ah say,

That Ah've obsarv'd afoore to-day:

And noo i' toon, as each yan passes

Yan can't tell Ladies fra bad Lasses:

And oft Ah've thowght, when t' cawd wind blaws,

They'd deea reeght weel to freeghten craws.

For it wad blaw 'em seea aboot,

They'd be neea 'cashion then to shoot:

Just seen as if that thee and me

An ugly, monstrous thing sud see,

Away we baath sud run reeght fast,

As land as ivver we could last.


Hey, Simon, seea we sud, Ah sweear;

Bud noo to t' toon we're drawing neear,

Thoo needn't tell what ah hev sed,

Aboot my dowghter being deead;

Good morrow, fare thee weel:-

Ah say! - noo mind thoo doesn't tell.


Neea, that ah weean't, whahl Ah hev breeath,

Ah'll nobbut say --- She's starv'd to deeath.

Chapter 4


I leotly lov'd a lass right weell,

Was beautiful and witty,

Bud all I sed (an it was a deal,)

Could never raise her pity,

Or mak her love me

I tell'd her owre and owre again,

(Did monie reasons render,

Shy'd never fyn'd another swain,

Wad be se fond and tender,

If she'd bud love me.

I'd tent my sheep i' field or faud,

Wi' spirits light and cheary,

Thro' summer's heat, and winter's caud,

If she wad be my deary,

An say she'd love me.

I's nobbut a poor shepherd lad,

My hands aleean mainteean me.

Waes me! weel may I be se sad,

That maks the lass disdeean me,

'At winnot love me.

I thought at first, i' my dispair,

I'd gang and get me listed,

And bravely meet my death i' war,

Becauce the lass insisted

She wad not love me

Bud now I've teean another mind,

I'll try to quite forget her;

Another lass may be mair kind,

I'se like as weel or better,

An' she may love me.

Transcribed by Graham Metcalf ©2005