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Yorkshire Dialect: Jooa's Lost For Words Ovver A Square Meal

When Joe asks for a square meal he gets less than he bargained for, as Mike Shaw's dialect tale reveals.

One thing Ah can say abaat yar Ethel is 'at shoo allis meks sure Ah'm well fed. "T' way ter a man's 'eart is through 'is stomach," shoo once telled Barbara Riley wen shoo wer courtin'.

Barbara'd been gooin' aat wi this chap fer ovver 12 months, but ther wer nooa sahn of an engagement.

Barbara wer gettin' a bit desperate, Ah reckon, cos shoo mentioned it ter Ethel, who 'ad 'er sooarted aat i' nooa tahme.

"Get 'im invahted up ter t' Sunday teea," Ethel advahsed 'er, "an mek a reight gooid trahfle an' a creeam sponge cake ter gooa wi' it."

A couple o' months later, when they met up ageean, Barbara wer awl smahles. "'E sed it wer t' best teea 'e'd ivver 'ad, an' a few days afta 'e asked me ter wed 'im," shoo telled Ethel.

Awl that came ter mahnd last week wen Jooa Sykes's missus wer called away ter look afta 'er poorly sister i' Newcastle.

Jooa's nooa idea abaat lookin' afta issen an' Ethel took pity on 'im wen 'e wer raand at yar haas tellin' abaat aah 'e wer livin' off jam an' bread.

"Wat Ah'd giver fer a gooid square meal," e' wittered, castin' a 'opeful look at Ethel.

Raither ter mah surprahse Ethel softened an' sed 'e could come raand ter yar haas fer 'is Sunday dinner. "It's nobbut one mooar an' Ah'll see tha gets a square meal awlreight," shoo telled Jooa, who wer as pleeased as Punch.

Sunday came raand an' as Jooa an' me sat daan fer t' dinner 'e sed aah much 'e wer lookin' forrard to it.

But 'is een ommost popped aat on 'is yed wen Ethel comes marchin' in wi an Oxo cube an' creeam cracker on 'is plate.

"By gum, Ethel, Ah dooan't know wat ter say," stammered poor owd Jooa, who couldn't see a plate o' rooast beef an' Yorkshire puddin' 'at Ethel wer owldin' behand 'er back.

"Dooan't say owt, just tuck in," shoo replahd, grinnin' fra ear ter ear an' givin' me a crafty wink. "Tha asked for a square meal an' that' just wat tha's getten."


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