Yorkshire Sayings: Expressions and Phrases Explained

Yorkshire’s a diverse region with a big history. As well as being known for sport, music, stunning landscapes and vibrant culture, it has one of the most recognisable accents in the country.

Yorkshire dialect is a dying vocabulary. However, we’re here to try keep it alive, by sharing our very own Yorkshire dictionary, which will help you converse with those of us who still use Yorkshire expressions.

What is the Yorkshire accent?

I have a relatively soft Yorkshire accent, (I’m from Bradford in West Yorkshire.) As a result, I’m easily understood by other English speakers in most regions without much trouble. I’ve rarely had to alter my accent in the various places I’ve traveled. 

However, there have been times where people have misunderstood where I’m from. For instance, whilst traveling in Southern USA it was common for people to ask which part of Australia I was from, or what the weather’s like in Scotland. 

Granted, It’s not that the accents are alike, it’s just not very common to hear Yorkshire folk in the mainstream media in the US. Fair play to them.

Having said that, Game of Thrones gave the accent more exposure than ever before on the global stage. A number of the main characters speak with a Yorkshire accent and the first season (sorry for the spoiler if you’ve not watched it yet) stars Sean Bean with his authentic Sheffield accent. 

Since then, it’s become more recognisable – although being mistaken for a wildling isn’t the most flattering! 

How to speak Yorkshire

Probably the most recognisable feature of a Yorkshire accent is how we drop the “H” sound in most instances. This is something that exists in a few different UK accents as well. Dropping sounds like this, is known as a Glottal Stop.

For example, “How are you” is “‘ow are you” in Yorkshire. 

Another common characteristic is that we hate saying “The.” It’ll almost always be replaced with “T” (more efficiently if you ask me). 

“I’m going to the pub” is transformed into “Am goin’ t’pub.”

We also have a disdain for the word “with,” preferring to shorten it to “wi'”. For example “Am off t’shop wi’ Dave.” In the same vain, we also don’t enjoy pronouncing “ing” at the end of words. Opting to drop the G. Further, we like to merge words wherever possible – “Avin’ a good’en” = “Having a good one.”

Here’s a great video from Yorkshire Tea featuring Sean Bean, who gives us a great example of the Yorkshire voice:

Yorkshire Speak - Where does it come from?

Some southern comedians like to poke fun at the Yorkshire accent and dialect by portraying it as a lazy and somewhat stupid variation of the Queens English. 

However, this is far from the reality of the situation. The Yorkshire tongue has a rich history and dates back to the Viking invasion of England. This means that it’s less a variation of “Proper” English, but an evolution of the language in its own right. So there.

Unfortunately, “proper” Yorkshire accents are become less common, and to find it in its purest form, your best bet is to travel to some of the more rural areas of the region. 

Having said that, Yorkshire men and women are some of the proudest you’ll find, and more people are embracing their heritage by speak the Yorkshire tongue proudly.

Here’s an adorable video of a young Yorkshire lad living his best life and proudly giving us an example, you’ll notice many of the nuances of Yorkshire speak, including some of the characteristics we mentioned above:

Yorkshire Phrases

Although there’s not really such a thing as Yorkshire slang, there are countless phrases that only people from the region will understand. Here are a few examples, with a brief explanation of what they mean:

M’off t’shop, d’yawanowt?

Translation: I’m going to the shop, would you like me to get you anything?

Put t’wood int ’ole 

Translation: Close the door. “T’wood” meaning door and “t’ole” meaning the doorframe.

Sit thi sen Darn

Translation: Sit down. This can be said as an insult or as a polite welcome. 

Shut thee cake oyle

Translation: Shut your mouth. If you’re talking nonsense, expect to be here this!

There’s nowt like a proper brew.

Translation: There’s nothing better than a cup of tea.

Yorkshire Dictionary


A’gate – meaning ‘get on your way’, ‘be off with you’. “Get a’gate or tha’ll be late fur school”
Ah’m – I am. “Ah’m off t’shop”
Allus – Always. “I allus eat my tea”
‘appen – Perhaps. “’appen it was reet”
‘appin – Bed sheets.
Arse/arse end – Bottom, terrible. “We got the arse end of . “You arse”
Arsing – Acting foolishly – “Stop arsing about”
Aye – Yes. “Aye, that’s reet”


Back end – The last bit – “If we hurry, we’ll catch the back end of the film”
Ba’ht – to be without. “Ah’m ba’ht me coat.” (without my coat).
Bagsy – claiming ownership of something. “Bagsy the last biscuit.”
Bairn – referring to a child. “The wee bairn is cold, give er’ a jacket.”
Beck – a stream or creek of water. “We’re dippin our toes in the beck.”
Berk–  Not a pleasant word, it means idiot.
Beefin’ – Crying or getting flustered about something 
Belt – Punch – “I’ll belt you if you don’t give over”
Be reight – The Yorkshire equivalent of Hakuna Matata – meaning it’ll be ok! “It’ll be reight.”
Black bright – dirty. 
Bogeyed– Very tired – half asleep. “I were bogeyed last night”
Boits. – Boots or shoes 
Bog – toilet – Ah’m off t’bog”
Bray – Punch, smack or hit. “Give ‘im a good braying”
Brussen– Stubborn or determined
Brew – one of our favourite words – cuppa tea!
Butty – Sandwich. “I’ll ‘ave brown sauce in that butty lass”
Button– A nose
By ‘is Sen– On his own
‘er sen – On her own


  • Cack-handed – not good with their hands. “’e were all cack-handed”
    Cake ‘oil – Mouth. It’s where cakes go after all!
    Casey – football made of leather
    Champion – amazing. “Champion that butty were”
    Chelpin’ – Talking/chatting. “Thi’ were chelpin’ away all afternoon”
    Chippy/chip ‘ole – Fish and chip shop.
  • Chip – Go “Let’s chip, it’s boring here”
    Chuddy – Chewing gum. “tick us a chuddy lad”
  • Chuffed – Happy/pleased. “I were chuffed to bits wi’ that butty.” 
  • Cloise. – Field
  • Cod – Foreman/supervisor at work
  • Cog – Meaning to jump on the back of someone else’s bike for a lift.
  • Coil / Coyl – Coal.
  • Coil oyle  – Coal cellar
    Corser edge – Kerb/side of the pavement.
    Creel – Wooden drying rack for clothes 
    Croggy –  a lift on the crossbar of a bicycle. 


  • Dales – Valley. “Ah’m off for a reet nice roast in’t dales this weekend” 
  • Delve – Dig, explore something. “Don’t delve too far into tha’”
  • Ding – knock or damage. “I dinged my head on the door frame” 
  • Dollop – A bit of food. “Give us a dollop of tha’ ketchup will thee”
  • Down’t – down the. “ah’m off down’t pub,”


  • ‘ead – head. “Me ‘ead ‘urts after goin t’pub”
  • ‘eck – hell. “Ooh flippin’ ‘eck!”
  • Eeh by gum – ‘oh my god’. “Eeh by gum, that were a near miss!” – not commonly used
  • Eh – pardon – “Eh? What you on about?”
  • Ey up – Hello,  “Ey up! ‘Ow’re you?”


  • Faffin’ – fooling around. “Stop faffin’ and get t’school”
  • Fair t’middlin’ – I’m ok. “I’m fair t’middling, ta.”
  • Fettle – mend or tidy “fettling me ‘ouse today” 
  • Fill thi boits – Help your self – “Can I ‘ave a crisp?” “Fill thi boits”
  • Fish and fernerkers – Fish and chips. 
  • Flaggin’ – getting tired. “I was flaggin by the end of the day” 
  • Flags – pavement.
  • Flippin’ eck – oh my god, a term of shock or surprise. “Flippin’eck! Didn’t see you there.”
  • Flit – Move around quickly.  “He was flitting about the rookm”
  • Flummoxed – dazed or confused. “I was getting flummoxed with all the choices” 
  • Frame yourself – Sort yoursefl out.
  • Friggin’ – a swearword “Friggin’ idiot, Frig off”


  • Gaffer – boss, manager, landlord. “Is your gaffa about, need to ask them something”
  • Gander – having a look. “Just went to York for a gander at the Viking centre”
  • Gi – give. 
  • Gi o’er – give over, typically said in South Yorkshire.
  • Ginnel – a small alleyway or snicket “It’s just down that ginnel and to the left”
  • Gip – retch, almost throw up. “That mouldy bread’s making me gip”
  • Giz – meaning give me. “Giz a look at that”
  • Goffs – smells horrid. “It goffs at that farm”
  • Guff – to pass wind or mess something up. “Did you guff?!” “He guffed it right up.”


  • Hacky – dirty or sticky.
  • Hell Fire – oh my god. “Hell Fire! Can’t believe it”


  • If in doubt-do nowt! – if you’re not sure, don’t do anything
  • Inabit – goodbye “Inabit lad, I’m off”
  • In t coil – coal. 
  • In’t –  in the. “It’s new in’t shop.”
  • In’t puddin’ club – pregnant.


  • Jammy – lucky. “You won a tenner? Jammy bugger”
  • Jiggered – exhausted. “I can’t come tonight, I’ve been working all day and I’m jiggered.”


  • Kegs – pants or trousers. “he had his kegs round his ankles”
  • Kiddin’ – joking. “I’m only kiddin’ don’t cry.”


  • Laik, laiking, larking – playing, fooling around. “Stop larking about and get t’school!” 
  • Lamp – hit or punch. “If you don’t get moving I’ll lamp you”
  • Lass – girl, wife or woman. “How’s your lass?” 
  • Lad – boy, man, son – “How’s you lad?”
  • Leave them be – leave them alone. 
  • Liggin’ – Being lazy “Stop liggin’ and get t’school lad”
  • Lug – pull or carry. “Just lug that table in ‘ere will you.”
  • Lug ‘ole – ear. “clean your  lug’oles and listen to this” 
  • Lugs – knots in your hair.


  • Macca – a big stone. 
  • Maftin’ – hot, clammy. “it were 40% degrees, absolutely maftin’”
  • Manky – disgusting. “That ginnel is all manky”
  • Mardy – moody. “Stop being mardy will you” 
  • Mash –  to brew tea.
  • Maungy – sulky. “She was a reet maungy lass.” 
  • Mebee – may be or might do. 
  • Mi’sen – myself. “I’ll get mi’sen down there soon”
  • Mind – be careful. “Mind who you’re talking to there!”
  • Middlin’ – okay, fair, average. “I’m fair t’middlin, thanks.”
  • Mingin’ – meaning disgusting. “He never washed, he was mingin’.”
  • Mithering – annoyingly pointless behaviour. “he were mithering about nowt”
  • Monk on – to be grumpy. “She has a right monk on when she lost that scarf.”


  • Nah then – hello.
  • Nang – meaning troublesome and irritating. “Putting that engine back together was a nanglin’ task.” 
  • Nar’n – hello/now then. “Nar’n, where you off?”
  • Narky – moody, sulky. “He were all narky about that bad pint.”
  • Nay – no.  
  • Neb – nose. 
  • Nithered, Nitherin’ –  cold. 
  • Nobbut – Nothing but.
  • Now then – hello. “Now then! What you suppin’” 
  • Nowt – nothing. “Cost nowt that”


  • ‘ow do – How are you 
  • Ocker – Indecisive. 
  • Oh aye? – really?
  • Over Yonder – over there.
  • Owt – anything. “Do you have owt left?”


  • Pack it in – stop it. “Pack it in fighting you two or there’ll be no pocket money for a month.”
  • Paggered – meaning shattered, knackered, exhausted or broken. “No point turning that telly on, it’s paggered.”
  • Parky – meaning cold. “It was a bit parky earlier so I put the fire on.” 
  • Pauping – Meaning messing about.
  • Playin’ pop – meaning to get angry with someone or tell them off. “When I got ‘ome our Keith were playin’ pop wi’ the neighbours for playin’ their music so loud.” 
  • Pobs – Meaning peices of bread dipped in milk.
  • Pop – meaning fizzy drink “Get us a pop from t’ shop.”
  • Pudgy – meaning a fat or chubby person. “She was pudgy as a baby, but she’s a beauty now!” 
  • Push Iron – Meaning bicycle.
  • Put wood in t ‘ole – meaning shut the door. “Put wood in t’ ole, you’re lettin’ t’cold in.”


  • Radged – angry. 
  • Rank – disgusting. 
  • Reckon – to think or figure out. 
  • Reeks – smells bad. 
  • Reight/reet – right.
  • Roaring – cry.


  • Sarnie – sandwich. 
  • Scran – food.
  • Sen – Self. 
  • Si – meaning see.
  • Si Thi – Goodbye.
  • Si This – See this.
  • Sithee – Goodbye
  • Skift – move.  
  • Snap – food.
  • Snap Tin – lunch box. 
  • Snicket – alleyway. 
  • Spell/Spelk – splinter.
  • Spice – sweets.
  • Spogs – sweets.
  • Sprog – child. 
  • Spuds – potatoes. 
  • Stoddy – awkward.
  • Summat – something.
  • Sup – to drink. 
  • Swill – drink.


  • T’werk – to work
  • Ta –  thank you. 
  • Ta’ra – goodbye. 
  • Tek – take. 
  • Tha – you. 
  • Thissen – yourself. 
  • Thoil – Meaning I couldn’t bear to. “I couldn’t thoil paying that much”
  • Trod – Stand on
  • Twiny – awkward.
  • Twonk – idiot.
  • Tyke – Yorkshire person.


  • Un – one. 


  • Vexed – angry. 


Wang – to throw. 
  • Wanged – thrown.
  • Wasak – idiot.
  • Watter – water. 
  • Weerz – where is.
  • While – until. 
  • Wi or wee – with. 
  • Wick – lively


  • Yam – home. 
  • Ye – you. 
  • Yonder – over there. 
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