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Yorkshire Dialect: Brass Nekked Abaat Pay Rahses

Nah then yaw lot, ahm bahn ter tell yet a wor browt up ter speyk this rooad. Aw didn’t reightly start to speyk yer proper BBC English till ah went on t’urt big schooil when a wer eleven year owd. Ah nivver thowt in them days as ‘ow ad end up editin a Web magazine called Ooepen Wrahtin…

Yes dear readers, this is me, Peter Hinchliffe, the editor of Open Writing, giving you a sample of my native tongue, Broad Yorkshire.

The Yorkshire Dialect comes in many forms. A life-long resident of Thirsk, a small market town in North Yorkshire, would have some small difficulty in understanding someone brought up in a village on the outskirts of the West Riding mill town, Dewsbury, as I was.

Up to the age of eleven, when I started to attend Dewsbury Grammar School, I spoke in the broadest of broad Yorkshire tongues.

Our Yorkshire “language’’ has an honourable history. Many of our words date back to Viking times, and pre-Viking times.

A former colleague of mine, Mike Shaw, hails from the Colne Valley. We first worked together as reporters on the Huddersfield Daily Examiner way back in 1958.

Mike went on to edit the Colne Valley Guardian. He is no newcomer to Open Writing Web magazine. He writes a fortnightly column under the title Backwords.

And now Mike launches a weekly Broad Yorkshire column. To all those born in the county of broad acres it will doubtless become must reading.

And to all those unfortunate not to be Yorkshire folk, do read it. Work out the meaning as you go. Regard is a new kind of word puzzle – with a weekly thought-provoking message.

Today Mike’s characters ruminate on the fraught question of pay rises.

Yar Ethel wer wetchin t' news on t' telly last week wen shoo turned ter me an' sed: "It's reight wat they say, in'tit?"

"Wat's reight?” Ah replahd, peeepin' raand t' front page o' th' Examiner.
"Money's t' rooit of awl evil, they reckon, an' by gum it is an' awl," shoo sed.

"Ther's allis sumdy wantin' mooar ner they'n getten, nooa matter aah well off they are.

"Watter an' electric bosses are gettin' pay rahses 'and ovver fist, an' naah th' MPs are baan ter gie thersen another big increase.

"It must be varry nahce ter gooa back ter Parliament afta a two month summer 'oliday, knowing tha'll sooin be pocketin' another couple o' thaasand quid a yeear."

Ah put mi paper daan an towld 'er 'at it's awl ter do wi wat they call performance related pay. "If tha wants an increase tha's ter improve thi output. At leeast, in theory."

Ethel went red i' t' face at that an' spluttered: "Theory's abaat awl it is an' awl. We're runnin' shooart o' watter bi naah, an' th' electric's allis gooin' off.

"As fer th' MPs, they can 'ardly talk mich longer ner they do already.

"Ah reckon awl this talk abaat performance is just a looad o' rubbish."

"Aye," Ah replahd, "an' tha nooas wheer they put t' rubbish. It's same as they say — muck ter t' middin!"


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