Stereotypes of the north are rarely positive. We may be frequently cast with a kind of back-woods, simplistic “friendliness,” but it’s always overlaid with a “grim” reality full of socio-economic disadvantage, dilapidated pit workers coughing in the carcinogenic air of a broken-down working men’s club and factory-blackened skies. But Yorkshire lads and lasses aren’t actually ripped straight from bleak comedy-dramas. You don’t need a flat-cap permanently fused to your head, whippets and an appreciation of the delicate sport of ferret-legging; really, you know you’re a Yorkshire lad or lass when...
\#1 “Gi’ore” is a perfectly acceptable phrase
Phonetic spellings of Yorkshire phrases undoubtedly look like anything from French to Cantonese to anyone from outside of the county. “Gi’ore” is what happens when people from Yorkshire encounter a phrase which requires delicate pronunciation like “give over.” The solution? Forget the Vs and cram it all together into one drunken slur. It’s often yelled at misbehaving children by their mothers.
\#2 You visited Eden Camp, York Minster or Eureka with school
School trips either involved standing in the biting weather staring at questionably interesting local landmarks or wandering aimlessly through patronising museums. Three of the classics are trips to Eden Camp (modern history museum – translation: grim World War II stuff), the York Minster (a cathedral, or in other words a big, pretty, boring building) and Eureka! (an interactive children’s museum so “exciting” it needs an exclamation mark in its name).
\#3 You go “t’t pub,” not “to the pub”
Although it’s used as a linguistic caricature by unimaginative impressionists, there’s no denying that proper Yorkshire lads and lasses say they’re going “t’t pub.” Anyone who bothers with “to the” is a couple of jellied eels away from being a southern fairy.
\#4 You can call people “cock” without being offensive
“Duck”, “chick,” “chuck” and “love” might be the favoured friendly nicknames when talking to strangers or greeting friends, but if you’re a thoroughbred, broad Yorkshire lad or lass you can say “ayup cock” without offending anyone. If you’re thinking of experimenting outside of home territory, wear a flat-cap to signal your deep-seated Yorkshire-ness.
\#5 You say “nine while five,” not “nine ‘til five”
Say you’re working “nine while five” to somebody outside of Yorkshire and they’ll look at you as if you told them that your mother is also your half-sister and you have 11 toes. In Yorkshire, we make our own grammar.
\#6 It’s a bread cake
They aren’t buns, baps, rolls or barms. It’s a bread cake, and it doesn’t matter that “cake” is a wildly misleading way to describe bread.
\#7 If you’re not in Yorkshire, you are talking about Yorkshire
Yorkshire is your homeland, and anything unfamiliar can be easily cast aside with a simple, “it’s not Yorkshire.” You could be trekking through the Amazon rainforest or a jungle in Borneo, but you’ll still be reminiscing about walking on the Yorkshire Dales.
\#8 You own a flat cap, or at least appreciate them
The flat cap is a Yorkshire icon. It doesn’t matter if you wouldn’t be caught dead wearing one or they make you look like you got dressed in the 19th century, you still can’t help but smile in appreciation when you see an old man proudly shuffling down the street in a flat cap.
\#9 You don’t need the Arctic Monkeys to tell you what a “mardy bum” is
The Arctic Monkeys single “Mardy Bum” introduced the rest of the UK to a phrase that’s been part of the Yorkshire lexicon for years. If you’re habitually moody and stroppy, in Yorkshire you’re "mardy."
\#10 “Aah much?!” is a regular exclamation
Yorkshire lads and lasses have a reputation for being tight. The Yorkshire Motto even includes the line “eyt all, sup all, pay nowt,” or in English: eat all, drink all and pay nothing. When confronted with something particularly expensive (like a drink in a London pub), a Yorkshire lad or lass immediately responds, “aah much?!” as if personally offended.
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\#11 Anywhere south of where you live is “the south”
Yorkshire folk are proud of being northern, but the precise border between the north and south is very poorly defined. There is a simple solution in Yorkshire: everything below you on a map is “the south.” If you’re from York, someone from Sheffield is a basically a southerner, but to people from Sheffield the south officially begins at Chesterfield.
\#12 A roast dinner without a Yorkshire pudding is incomplete
Just like a full English breakfast isn’t complete without bacon, a roast dinner is a sorry affair without the addition of a good Yorkshire pudding. The Royal Society of Chemists published guidelines stating that a Yorkshire pudding has to be at least 10 cm (4 inches) tall, and scientist John Emsley maintains that “native Yorkshire blood” is an essential ingredient. If they don’t rise, you’re just not Yorkshire enough. Don’t argue: it’s science.
\#13 One-upmanship always descends into the Four Yorkshiremen sketch
If you’re swapping stories of childhood hardship with your friends, it’s pretty much guaranteed to turn into an intentional or unintentional performance of Monty Python’s Four Yorkshireman sketch. Compulsory elements include having to get up absurdly early in the morning, increasingly long walks to and from the pit and inhumanely pitiful meals.
\#14 You pronounce “right” as “reyt”
You’re not a proper Yorkshire lad or lass if you actually say “right” or “alright.” It’s “reyt” or “alreyt,” and all the more noticeable to outsiders because of the habitual use of “alreyt” in place of “hello.”
\#15 You’re disproportionately proud of anything from Yorkshire
You can’t pull out a piece of Sheffield steel, make a Yorkshire pudding or mention the Arctic Monkeys, Sean Bean, the Kaiser Chiefs, Michael Palin, Def Leppard, the Bronte sisters, Pulp or Jessica Ennis in the presence of a Yorkshire lad or lass without being reminded that they, it, he or she comes from Yorkshire. Anybody who doesn’t think that Yorkshire is the best place in the entire universe either hasn’t visited or is in a constant state of denial.