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Yorkshire Countryside, Yorkshire Sayings Feature

Discover the essence of this region’s culture through its unique Yorkshire slang! From “‘ey up” to “nowt,” this blog unravels the colourful expressions that make Yorkshire truly special.

Join us on a linguistic journey as we delve into the heart of Yorkshire’s charm and wit by revealing 13 must-know phrases. From Old Norse origins to influences from neighbouring regions, each phrase we explore holds a piece of Yorkshire’s fascinating past.

Keep reading to learn the lingo that brings this vibrant region to life…

1. ‘Ey up

man and woman greeting each other

Beginning our Yorkshire slang list is “‘ey up”.

Meaning “hello”, you’ll often hear this when people are greeting each other here! “‘Ow do” is another way to greet people in the county.

This Yorkshire phrase is derived from the Old Norse saying of “sey up” which means “watch out!”

2. Si’ thi

woman saying goodbye to man with child

Opposite to “‘ey up”, “si’ thi” means “goodbye” in Yorkshire slang. Another Yorkshire saying for this is “ta-ra!”

Wondering about the meaning behind “si’ thi”? It is simply a contraction of “see you later”.

3. T’

t yorkshire slang

When it comes to using the words “to the” in a sentence, you’ll find that Yorkshire slang reduces them to “t'”.

Not sure how it’s used in a sentence? Don’t worry, here’s an example!

“I’m going t’ market on Saturday.”

4. Reyt

reyt yorkshire slang

Next on our Yorkshire phrases guide is “reyt”. One of the most popular Yorkshire sayings, this means “alright”.

It can be used as a greeting:

“Reyt lad?”

And it can be used as a way to reassure others:

“It’ll be reyt.”

5. Nesh

cold lady in the snow

“Nesh” is the Yorkshire saying for being unusually affected by the cold.

The slang was first used in Nottingham, however, it is very popular in South Yorkshire. Despite its meaning being to do with cold weather, it is often used as a derogatory term to refer to someone as “soft” or “fragile”.

The word itself actually originated from the term 16th-century Dutch term “nesch” which means someone is being foolish/damp.

6. Snicket

alleyway full of greenery

The term “snicket” actually originates from 16th-century Northern England. It’s the name given to narrow passageways between houses, which are often filled with plants.

Whilst you may not hear this word much throughout the UK anymore, it’s still very much used as a Yorkshire phrase.

7. Bray

man being hit in face by basketball

The Yorkshire saying “bray” means to hit something or someone.

As you can see in the picture above, this poor guy got brayed in the face by a basketball – ouch!

8. Ding

ding yorkshire phrase

Another Yorkshire phrase that’s a verb, “ding” means to knock or hit something heavily.

You’ll often hear this phrase in Yorkshire when someone has had an accident, for example:

Ow! I dinged me elbow on the door.

9. Nowt

man showing empty pockets

In Yorkshire slang, “nowt” means “nothing”. In the image above, you can see that the man has nowt in his pockets!

It’s a very common part of the Yorkshire dialect, deriving from the old English words “ne whit”. This Yorkshire saying has been in several pieces of iconic literature, including Wuthering Heights and The Secret Garden.

There’s also an opposite term for nowt: “owt”, which means “something”. You’ll rarely go a day in Yorkshire without hearing either of these words!

10. Tha’

man pointing at lens

If you couldn’t tell from the image, “tha'” is a Yorkshire phrase meaning “you”.

This term originates back to 14th century England, when instead of “you”, people said “thou” and “thee”. By the 17th century, this had stopped, however, Yorkshire still kept part of this word.

11. Mashin’

pouring cup of tea

The Yorkshire word “mashin'” means to make a cup of tea.

It can be used in several ways, such as asking someone if they’re making a cup of tea:


Or, saying you’re going to make a cup of tea:

I’m off to mash up a brew.

12. Got face on

child arguing with parent

When it comes to saying someone is in a bad mood in Yorkshire slang, you’d say they’ve “got face on”.

In the picture above, you’d use this Yorkshire saying to say:

That kid’s got face on after rowing with his dad!

13. Chuffin’ ‘eck

surprised monkey

Last but certainly not least on our Yorkshire sayings guide is “chuffin’ ‘eck”! It is a way to express surprise in the Yorkshire dialect.

This phrase is actually two Yorkshire slang terms: “chuffin'” meaning being extremely happy, and “‘eck” meaning another way to say “hell” (in a positive or negative way).

I’m sure if this monkey could speak English, that’s what it would be saying when this image was taken!

Intrigued by these Yorkshire sayings? Experience them first-hand when staying at a Yorkshire cottage. Alternatively, learn more about UK lingo with our illustrated guide to British slang and expressions.

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