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Yorkshire Dialect: Mekkin Sure Ah Know Mi Onions

Could knicker elastic be the key to success when showing vegetables? Mike Shaw tells another choice dialect tale.

Awl t’ talk daan at t’ club last week were abaat t’looacal flair an’ vegetable show comin’ up on t’ Satdy.

“Arta baan ter show owt this yeear?” asked Jack Bamforth as we settled daan wi a pahnt apiece.

“Well, Ah’ve nooan fair decahded yet,” Ah replahd. “It’s bin a poor yeear fer mooast o’ mah stuff, apart fra th’ onions.”

Jack ‘ad a little grin on ‘is face wen he answered. “By gum, tha’r tekkin summat on if tha shows onions,” ‘e sed.

“Yond clever dick, Jim Murgatroyd, ‘at lives near t’ chapel, is th’ onion champion. Ah think ‘e’s won first prahze fer t’ last two yeears.”

“Then it’s abaat tahme sumdy else came aat on top,” Ah sed. “Tha’s med mi mahnd up fer me naah. Ah’ll show ‘im a thing or two abaat growin’ onions.”

On ‘t mornin’ o’ t’ show Ah gate me three onions ready an’ Ah wer jist layin’ ‘em aat on t’ show table wi’ th’ entry card number six wen Murgatroyd cums in wi’ ‘is lot an’ puts ‘is three aat under number nahne.

Wen t’ judgin’ wer ovver in th’ afternooin Jack an’ me walked daan ter t’ show an’ Ah wer nivver mooar capped in mi lahfe wen Ah saw Murgatroyd ‘ad getten first prahze an’ me second.

“Wat did Ah tell thee,” sed Jack. “Ah reckon yond Murgatroyd’s well in we’ t’ judges or summat.”

Ah ‘ad another gooid luk at mah onions an’ then fot t’ show secretary over.

“Tha sees wat Ah meean naah, dun’t ter,” Ah sed to ‘im. “Ah can tel mah onions baat onny bother an’ Ah reckon tha’s getten numbers six an’ nahne mixed up.”

T’ secretary turned t’ cards over an’ ‘ad a reight cloise luk, then sed: Tha’r reight, Bill, ther’s bin a mistake ‘ere awl reight. We allis mark t’ backs o’ t’ six an’ nahne cards cos we ‘ad a mix-up once afoor.”

“Well, Ah’ll be jiggered,” sed Jack as ‘e shook me ‘and. “Ah’ve nivver known onnybody afooar ‘at cud tell fer certain which onions wer ‘is.”

“Nay, it’s simple enuf,” Ah chuckled. “Ah allis mek sure t’ tops o’ mahne are teed up wi yar Ethel’s knicker elastic sooa Ah can’t mistek them in a ‘urry!”


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