How to be proper Yorkshire!

How to be proper Yorkshire!

Tomorrow marks the annual celebration for God’s Own County: Yorkshire Day!

As a proper born and bred Yorkshire lass, I thought I’d share some facts, lingo and general awesomeness about the UK’s largest county, to help you all become honorary Yorkshire folk and be astounded by its splendour!

Biased? Never…

So grab yer flat cap and whippet, stick kettle on fer brew and prepare to be educated ah kid!


The traditional attire for Yorkshire folk, is of course, the flat cap. No self-respecting gent, be they a lord, on’t tractor or darn pit, would leave the house without a tweed headpiece. Except Compo, but he was a law unto himself!


Unfortunately, these became somewhat trendy with southerners in recent years and the county had to rid themselves of the association by slinging them onto burning pyres. Turn up today wearing one and you’ll have to prove your heritage before being let across the border.

However, it’s not a bad idea to pack a sturdy pair of walking boots to ‘get up them there ‘ills‘ and wellies are essential if you don’t want to be covered in’t muck when traversing pasture land. But please no Chelsea boots, bowler hats or anything else worn by swanky toffs. Banned.


It’s important, as with any country, to try out the language with a few local phrases and at least have a basic understanding of what’s being said. However, the Yorkshire lingo has many dialect variations and it isn’t as simple as sticking a T in’t front o’ words.

Hello = AYE UP or NOW THEN. However, more formal occasions should use ‘OW DO‘.

Goodbye = TARA (pronounced ta-rah)

Yes = AYE (aye, it’s multi-functional!)

I’m good thanks. Yourself? = AM GRAND TA. THISSEN?

I’m okay = AM FAIR T’ MIDDLIN’.

Is anything wrong? = WHAT’S UP YER MARDY ARSE?

Everything will be okay = IT’LL BE REET.

Tea = BREW

Dinner = TEA

Lunch = DINNER

WEATHER TERMS – because we ARE British, even if we’d like independence…

Raining = SILING DOWN (torrential rain), SPITTING (a small spattering of wet stuff) THA’ RAIN THAT SOAKS YER THRU’ (drizzle / light rain).

Temperature = NITHERING (freezing, i.e. ‘I’m nithered’). MAFTING (hot and humid), PARKY (getting noticeably cooler).

Most of the above are universally accepted, with more information found by clicking this link.


However, where I grew up (Hull), we have a language unique to us (just like our telephone boxes), saying things such as, ‘Back in bit. I’m off dern rerd to bag a dress in sale fer narn narnty narn.’ (Translation: Back soon, I’m going shopping to the local high street to buy a dress in the sale for Β£9.99)

Or, ‘Ere, mate, thezza fern curl fer yer.’ (Translation: Hello my friend, there is a phone call for you.)

And if you miss the last bus home and have no money for a taxi, you can always flag down a passing cyclist and ask, ‘Giz a croggy?’ (Translation: Could you possibly balance me on your crossbar and give me a lift home please?)


Bearing in mind that you’ve mastered the names for main meals of the day, what should you be eating?

Well, apart from a good steak and ale pie, obviously Yorkshire Pudding is a given. And whether that’s with a traditional Sunday dinner (lunch!), blathered in gravy or a giant version filled to the brim with meat and veg, it’s a tasty piece of baked batter.


If you’re after actual pudding, try a Parkin, a ginger flavoured loaf, perhaps a bit of rhubarb crumble (we’re historically known for growing the stuff) or a Yorkshire Curd Tart – a traditional baked cheesecake, filled with currants and spices.


And whilst we’re on the subject of cheese, take a trip to Wensleydale and sample some of the crumbliest, tangiest dairy goodness ever. It belonged to Yorkshire long before Gromit got his paws on it!

Make sure you wash it all down with a good, strong brew. Tea should be served in a mug but made in a pot, unless you’re attending a poshed-up afternoon tea at Betty’s of York or Harrogate. In which case, china cups and saucers are acceptable. We’re not heathens!


If you want something stronger, ask for a ‘pint o’ mild’ (a pint of ale). Yorkshire is awash with traditional breweries, from Timothy Taylor’s to Black Sheep or Wold Top. But if you’re after something less mainstream, try beers from Atom (Hull), Magic Rock (Huddersfield) or Brass Castle (Malton), to name but a few.

And finally, you can’t go to Hull and leave without tasting a patty – mashed potato with sage and deep fried. Go outside the boundary, and it’s likely nobody will know what you’re talking about. This delight of fish and chip shops is generally never seen elsewhere in the country, unless a fan tries to imitate its flavour. It never works, there’s always some magic missing.


Famed for its breathtaking scenery, Yorkshire has something to appease everyone’s aesthetic taste-buds.

Wild open moorland or dramatic cliffs and coastline.


We have fairytale forests and chocolate box villages.

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Robin Hood’s Bay

There are Gothic cathedrals…

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York Minster

…and modern masterpieces.

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The ‘Cheese Grater’, Sheffield

Falls and follies…

…ruins and caverns.

What is there not to love?


If you’ve been t’ pub fer a pint o’ mild, chances are you might stick round to show off how clever yer noggin is in a pub quiz. So fill up the brain cells with these bits of Yorkshire trivia!

Did you know that…

  • Emperor Septimus Severus Snape ruled the entire Roman Empire from York for two years and is buried below the city?
  • Ripon is Britain’s oldest city, having been granted a charter in 886 by Alfred the Great?
  • William Bradley from Market Weighton, who lived 1787-1820, is the tallest known Englishman ever? Known as Giant Bradley, he was 7 foot, nine inches tall. Giant Bradley Way is a major route named after him.
  • The White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland is said to be based on a carving within St. Mary’s Church, Beverley?
  • Sheffield has the highest ratio of trees to people in Europe?
  • The Humber Bridge is the longest single-span suspension bridge in the UK and once the longest in the world?
  • There are six Michelin Star restaurants in Yorkshire, more than anywhere else outside of London?
  • Mother Shipton’s Cave, in Knaresborough, is the oldest registered visitor attraction in Britain, opening for the first time in 1630?

Now you do. And I could go on and on and on…


Love your football (soccer)? Then give praise to the founders of club footie as Yorkshire is where it all began. Sheffield FC is recognised by FIFA and UEFA as being the oldest football club in the world (established 1857) and the FA’s ‘Laws of the Game’, which are still used worldwide, were written by a Hull bloke, Ebenezer Cobb Morley.


Another Hull lad, William Wilberforce, who was MP for Yorkshire, was instrumental in the abolition of the slave trade and also founded the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), the oldest animal welfare organisation in the world, with his mates in 1824.

Toilets. We all need them and the flushing necessity that we use today is all thanks to, you guessed it, a Yorkshire man. Okay, so they were actually invented in the 1500’s for nobility by Jon Snow’s ancestor. But the aptly named Thomas Crapper, a plumber from Thorne, spread the word and made their usage more popular in 19th century.

‘Please keep your seat belt on until the light goes off.’ Well, if it wasn’t for Sir George Cayley from Scarborough, we wouldn’t have either seat belts OR possibly planes. An incredibly intelligent engineer, he not only invented the safety device (among many other things) but is credited with being the first person to understand the principles of forces of flight.


Cat’s Eyes. Not the ones found in your common moggy but those reflective studs in roads to mark lanes, slip roads etc. Invented by Percy Shaw, from Halifax. Yorkshire.

A plethora of celebrities, literary genii, sporting and artistic talent hail from the greatest county. The Bronte sisters, Amy Johnson, David Hockney, Sir Patrick Stewart, Sir Ben Kingsley, Sean ‘Papa Stark’ Bean, Jessica Ennis-Hill, Def Leppard and Ed Sheeran are just a selection!

And finally, if it wasn’t for our civil war against the Lancastrians (just don’t mention the result) the world would not have Game of Thrones. You’re welcome.

You are now armed with enough knowledge to mingle seamlessly with the natives and enjoy our beloved land. Don’t worry if you forget a phrase or two, we’re a friendly lot. Just don’t go asking for a frappe-choco-latte-mocha-whatnot with a hint of cinnamon. We haven’t got time for any of that barmpot nonsense!

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34 thoughts on “How to be proper Yorkshire!

  1. We were just talking about York, how fitting! Visited pre-children and loved it.
    As for the lingo, well I’m struggling to translate between Yorkshire and Fen. I don’t think it’s possible. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve just had to look up Fen lingo as I didn’t know there was a distinct type. Love it! And a lot similar but some ‘reet’ bizarre words! One list used the word ‘didopper’ and translated it as a dobchick. What the heck’s a dobchick?!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That could be a Grebe. My favourite though I have no idea how to spell it is hobnedodd – obviously a snail. πŸ˜‚
        My husband talks a bit fen, he calls wi-fi, ‘woi-foi’. Cracks me up. πŸ™ˆ

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel my spiritual home is Yorkshire (you don’t have to go too far back in my family tree to find us in Sheffield) and I LOVE Haworth. Can’t wait to take Freya. Now we will understand what everyone is saying. Hehe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m pleased I have been able to educate you about our ancient language! Yorkshire is, of course, the centre of the universe. So naturally all of human-kind can be traced back here eventually… πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this Post and Love that I found your Blog – Greetings from Way Across the Pond…New Mexico. My one trip to York included a visit to the Bronte Home…with my mom…it was a proper holiday to celebrate my passing the Bar Exam. And a fun memory…my mom (never a good student :)) had read only 2 books in her lifetime – Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights..,.how appropriate to visit the Bronte homestead on our venture through England…silly and fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well hello New Mexico! Pleased you enjoyed the post and it brought back good memories – very appropriate for you to visit Bronte country with your mom! Thanks for reading and following. I look forward to checking out your site πŸ™‚


  4. Thank you Yorks, for standing up to those snooty southern Lancastrians so I could blog about Game of Thrones.

    Thank you for this article! It was a delight. And it was Siling Down here last night. I wished I’d had some wellies.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. ‘Ark at you, using the lingo already! Awesome πŸ˜€ You are instantly inaugurated into the honorary Yorkshire club – not only because I hold honorary Sponaugle status but as a champion of the Starks!! Very pleased you enjoyed it 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Loved this, as a Hull (‘Ull) lass myself. I’m currently exiled in Cheshire but in process of moving back to God’ Own County. Have spent the last 30+ years trying to educate my other (southern) half into how to do things reet, so hopefully he’ll be accepted. He also knows to never ever diss Richard III. There are two things I really miss and always buy when I go back 1. Yorkshire cheese cake aka curd tart and 2. Wrights brandy snap ( instant memories of Hull Fair). Ta and ta-ra!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha, glad you liked it, fellow native! Cheshire is not a bad place to be exiled to but I hope you get to move back ‘home’ soon. Good old brandy snap – and Bob Carvers? Although I was never a fan of their patties!! Thanks for stopping by and commenting πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Good lass! πŸ˜‰ I have to confess though, that whilst I do like Yorkshire Tea, I grew up with (and still drink) Ringtons. It’s still a Yorkshire brand so I’m safe!


      1. Aaaah Ringtons tea, we used to get it delivered from the tea man along with stamps to collect for Rington’s products. This was before Yorkshire Tea was marketed in the late 70’s (which shows my age).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I remember Ringtons coming to my grandparents and them collecting stamps. Ringtons’ chocolate tea cakes and a hamper at Christmas were always a purchase!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, someone else Yorkshire has worked its magic on! Glad to hear it Rosie, we do love to welcome back our fans πŸ˜‰. And thank you for sharing with the Twittersphere!


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