top of page

Yorkshire Things I've Had to Teach My Southern Boyfriend

Updated: Oct 10, 2020

Meet Harry, my boyfriend from Surrey.

The first time I brought Harry to Sheffield to meet my friends and family, I thought it would be a good idea to give him a crash course in everything 'Yorkshire.' Upon meeting them, it soon became clear that Harry would've been better off with subtitles. Over the past year and a half that we've been together, I've furthered Harry's Yorkshire education and I'd say we're getting close to graduation. Just last week when I asked him who'd eaten all the chocolate biscuits he replied with, 'it wont me.' Although this sounded very odd with a southern accent, I felt proud knowing that my hard work had paid off. He's come a long way.

Incase anyone else needs to educate their own southerner or you're a southerner who wants to learn, I've compiled a short list of the most important things you need to know when it comes to 'God's Own Country'.

Lesson One: Yorkshire Sayings

One of the most important things about Yorkshire is its beautiful dialect. Unfortunately, very few of us live up to the coal mining, flat cap wearing, whippet walking stereotype. We don't actually say things like 'ee by gum' anymore. However, these words and phrases are ones I use regularly and would probably confuse the heck out of anyone south of Stoke-on-Trent.

1) Ey up- Simply means 'hello'. ('Ey up pal!')

2) Gi o'er- A term meaning 'give over'. ('You best gi o'er doing that!')

3) Thi sen/ Mi sen- Translates to 'Yourself' or 'Myself'. ('Stop embarrassing thi sen.') ('I've hurt mi sen.')

4) Mardy- To be moody or sulky. ('Why are you being so mardy?)

5) Nesh- Means you easily feel the cold. ('You don't need a coat. Stop being so nesh.')

6) Lug Oil- Literally means ears. ('Behave thi sen or you'll get a clip round lug oil')

7) Gipping- To wretch. ('That smells disgusting, it's making me gip')

8) Tah- Thank you. ('Tah love.')

9) Fettle- To change, alter or fix something. ('Oh no it's broken! Can you come give it a quick fettle?')

10) Owt & Nowt - Something/Anything & Nothing. ('You shouldn't do owt for nowt')

12) Reyt- A slight variation of right. ('It was reyt good!') ('She'll be reyt.')

13) Bobby Dazzler- Attractive/Beautiful. ('She's a reyt bobby dazzler!)

14) Chuffed- To be pleased. ('I'm proper chuffed with mi sen.')

15) Chuffing- A politer term for 'f*ck.' ('What a chuffing idiot!')

Other popular phrases include:

'It's like Blackpool illuminations in 'ere'- Someone left too many lights on.

'Put wood int 'ole'- Shut the door.

'Tha meks a better door than a window'- Move! You're blocking the TV.

'Arse end of nowhere'- We're now lost in the middle of nowhere.

Lesson Two: Terms of Endearment

I'll admit it, Yorkshire folk call each other weird things to show affection. If you're called any of the following please don't be offended, it means we like you.

1) Love

2) Duck

3) Cock

4) Flower

5) Bugger Lugs

6) Nipper

7) Lad/Lass

8) Bobby Dazzler

Lesson Three: The Unwritten Jacket Rule
Who Needs A Coat?

If you're on a night out in Yorkshire, or just the north in general, never take a coat/jacket (unless you want to be branded a wuss.) I've never understood why you would bother with a coat- 99% of the time you don't need it and it ruins your outfit.

Picture my dilemma: It's always way too hot to wear your lil puffa jacket in the club/bar and I haven't been to a single club in the north that has a reliable and fully functioning cloakroom. (I'm assuming because nobody uses them.) With no cloakroom you're left with one of two options. 1) Awkwardly tie the thing around you and spend the night constantly readjusting it or 2) Hide it somewhere in the venue and probably forget where it is by the end of the night. I really wouldn't recommend either. To keep warm en route/between bars just make sure you have enough alcohol in your system. (Dancing also helps!)

Lesson Four: The Breadcake Debate

This isn't really a debate. It's a breadcake. Not a bap, roll, cob, teacake, barmcake, bun or stotty. Just a plain simple breadcake. End of. Similarly, the age old debate of what you call the small passage way between two buildings is resolved with a 'gennel'. Other Yorkshire folk might use 'ginnel', which I guess is close enough, but it certainly isn't a 'snicket' or an 'alley'.

Last one for you: Is it dinner or tea? Who knows? I tend to use both depending on what time I'm eating my evening meal. Some people from Yorkshire use dinner for lunch and tea for dinner. It's all very confusing.

Lesson Five: Northern Cuisine

There are many fine dishes that have come from Yorkshire. From the humble Yorkshire pudding to Wallace & Gromit's Wensleydale cheese, to the Yorkshire Curd Tart in Betty's Tearoom- I feel we have a lot to offer. But what I'm really here to talk about are the northern food quirks we so famously love. The types of food that just aren't as accepted in the south.

Perhaps the best of all is 'Cheese, Chips and Gravy'- your quintessential drunk food. If you tell a southerner about this, they usually wrinkle their nose in disgust. I guess it doesn't sound the most appetising but please don't knock it till you try it! Other food quirks include: chip butties in general, chips with curry sauce, fish & chips with scraps, munchie boxes and Greggs. Obviously these things still exist in the south, they're just not as widely celebrated as they should be.

When it comes to condiments, one of the best things to come out of my hometown is 'Hendo's' (Henderson's Relish). Considered a delicacy throughout Sheffield, you can whack it on just about anything and it'll taste delicious.

Lesson Six: Never Pay More Than £5.00 For A Pint

Seriously. You're getting ripped off.

#Yorkshire #Lifestyle #UK #Dialect #Food #Debate


Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page