Yorkshire Sayings, Phrases and Expressions and what they mean

Nah then, ‘ere’s a guide to chattin’ reight Yorkshire! (Hello, here is a guide to proper Yorkshire dialect)

You’ll learn both funny and old Yorkshire sayings, quotes, and proverbs. Some are broad Yorkshire, and others are more subtle. These Yorkshire dialect phrases come from all over God’s own county. Follow these and you’ll be speaking like a tyke in no time.

Jump to Yorkshire Dictionary

How to speak “Yorkshire”

Firstly, ye ‘ave tuh drop yer ‘H’ as in ‘has’ and ‘her’, and yer ‘T’ as in ‘that’ and ‘cat’, replacing the ‘T’ with a slight ‘h’ sound, known as a Glottal Stop (try not to choke!).

Everyone has heard of the phrase “Tin Tin Tin”, usually spoken as if it means something. Actually, it should be written more like: ‘t’in’t in’t tin.. as in “It isn’t in the tin”. See how it works? Lots of dropping of T’s.

Nobody really uses that phrase by the way.

As for H’s at the start of words and G’s after INGs, Yorkshire folk tend not to bother with them if they’re not too important. We’re far too busy.

So we aren’t having a very nice time on holiday staying in a hotel. Instead we would be ‘avin’ a reet good ‘olidee at an ‘otel.

You’ll notice AY sounds tend to be more of an EE sound, as do some I sounds (as in right). So nothing is very nice, it’s reet good.

Other rules of Yorkshire speak

We tend not to say “OUR”, instead we say “US” as in “Where’s us car?”

THE almost always becomes a Glottal Stop. As it AM OFF T’ SHOP (I’m going to the shop).

GOING usually gets replaced with OFF.

I’M sounds more like AM.

TH can be dropped into a Glottal Stop at the end of a word. WITH would become WI’ – as AM ‘ERE WI’ JOHN.

Anyone can be called “LOVE”, “M’LOVE” “PAL” or “FELLA”. it’s one of the things that makes Yorkshire folk seem so friendly.

As mentioned above, Yorkshire dialect rarely uses “VERY”, instead “REET”. We also have some very old-English based words for that, such as “GRADLY” and “GRAND”. Something great would be “REET GRAND” instead of “VERY GOOD”.

And don’t forget to speak to EVERYONE, including strangers. We know some of you southern types will be wincing into your shandies at that thought, but a “MORNIN’ LOVE, GRAND DAY I’N’IT” can really make someone’s day.

If you’ve come this far in learnin’ Yorkshire, yer might as well be friendly wi’ it!

Friendliness and politeness are heavily implied in the way we speak. Any compliment we give you is laced with true and deep feeling – otherwise you wouldn’t get one.

Beware the non-Yorkshire folk speaking Yorkshire

You’ll hear some southern comedians simply trying to add a T onto words to do a Yorkshire accent (Michael McIntyre, we’re looking at you pal. We’ll ‘av yer). Honestly, they look more stupid than they are trying to make us look. The Yorkshire tongue is far more subtle than that.

Yorkshire is more than just an accent and dialect and there isn’t really such a thing as “Yorkshire Slang”. Our dialect has historical roots going back to the Viking Invasion of Britain and is the basis for quite a lot of Modern English.

So forget the Queen’s English, Yorkshire is the basis for the entire English language. We’re reet, you’re not… an’ dunt le’ anyone tell thee utherwise!

Ready to practice some Yorkshire phrasing?

‘er ca’ ‘as a fa’ ra’ stashed in t’coil ‘oyle

TRANSLATION “Her cat has a fat rat stuffed in the coal cellar”.

‘ere, wot’s f’r us tea Mutha?

TRANSLATION “Excuse me Mum, what are we having for dinner?”

eee, tha’s a reet gradly brew tha’

TRANSLATION “oh my goodness, this is a wonderful cup of tea. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart”

Want to learn more about Yorkshire’s language?

Well ‘ere’s a glossary for yer. Tha’ll be giving Sean Bean a run fer ‘is moneh in nor tarme!

Below is a list of common Yorkshire Words, Sayings, Phrases and Expressions, along with their meanings…

The Ultimate Yorkshire Sayings Dictionary


  • A’gate – meaning ‘get on your way’ or ‘be off with you’. “Get a’gate or tha’ll be late fur school”
  • Ah’m – meaning I am. “Ah’m off t’ bog.”
  • Allus – meaning always. “I allus wash behind me ears.”
  • ‘appen – meaning perhaps. “I’ll ‘appen that’s true.”
  • ‘appin – meaning bed sheets.
  • Arse/arse end – meaning posterior, back of something, bottom. Originating in old Norse dialect. “She looks like the arse end of a donkey”. 2. Used to describe a person behaving stupidly. “You’re such an arse at times.”
  • Aye – meaning yes. “Aye lass, I’ll be down for tea in ten.”


  • Ba’ht – meaning without. “On Ilkey Moor bah’t at” (without a hat).
  • Back end – meaning Autumn. “We’re waiting ‘til back end to go away.”
  • Bagsy – meaning to claim something for yourself. “Bagsy me in the front seat” (of the car).
  • Bairn – meaning child. “The poor bairn needs a nap.”
  • Be reight / reet – meaning it’ll be okay. “Don’t worry about her, she’ll be reight.”
  • Beck – meaning a stream or brook. “We’re off fur a swim in’t beck.”
  • Bed side table, drawers and wardrobe – meaning you’ve eaten too much.
  • Beefin’ – meaning crying or complaining. “Stop beefin’ you big baby.”
  • Belt – meaning hit. “Shut up or I’ll belt yer!”
  • Berk – meaning idiot. “He’s a reet berk”.
  • Black bright – meaning very dirty. “He was black bright when he got in from footie.”
  • Black Leg – meaning someone who won’t join in the strike.
  • Bog – meaning toilet. “I’m off t’ bog.”
  • Bogeyed – meaning half asleep. “I didn’t have a good sleep last night, I’m bogeyed.”
  • Boits / Booits – meaning shoes or boots. “You’re in t’ouse tek yer boits off!”
  • Braunging – meaning bragging or boasting.
  • Bray – meaning to hit someone. “I’m gonna bray you!”
  • Brew – a cup of tea. Preferably Yorkshire tea. “Pour us a brew will yer love?”
  • Brussen – stubborn, can also mean brazen.
  • Buint over – meaning pregnant.
  • Button – meaning nose. “Your button’s cold.”
  • Butty – meaning sandwich. “Ooh I think I’ll have a nice spam and egg butty for me breakfast.”
  • By his/her/their sen – meaning he/she/they are on their own.


  • Cack-handed – meaning left handed. “No wonder ‘he can’t use tin opener properly, hes cack-handed.”
  • Cake ‘oil – meaning mouth. “Shut thi’ cake ‘oil”.
  • Casey – meaning a football made from leather.
  • Causiway – meaning pavement. “Follow t’causiway t’get t’shop.”
  • Champion – meaning excellent. “Thanks for the cakes, they’re champion!”
  • Chelpin’ – meaning talking. “Stop chelpin’ and get some work done.”
  • Chippy/chip ‘ole – meaning fish and chip shop. “You want owt from t’ chippy?”
  • Chuddy – meaning chewing gum. “Gis some chuddy mate.”
  • Chuffed – meaning happy, pleased. “I were well chuffed wi’ me new boots.”
  • Clarht-eead – meaning silly funny lad/lass.
  • Clarty – meaning either dirty, muddy or sticky. “Ooh these cakes are lovely, the cream’s really clarty.”
  • Cloise – meaning field (in that cloise). “Which way did you walk home?”, “Over t’cloise.”
  • Cod – meaning a foreman/supervisor of an area in the work place.
  • Coddin’ – meaning lying or kidding (joking).
  • Cog – meaning to jump on the back of someone else’s bike for a lift.
  • Coil/Coyl – meaning coal.
  • Coil oyle/coal ‘ole – meaning coal cellar. “They’re in t’ coil oyle, Margaret.”
  • Cop od o’ this – meaning please hold this.
  • Corser edge – meaning kerb.
  • Crate egg – meaning inferior.
  • Creel – meaning rack for drying clothes on with wooden slats. “Put washin’ on t’creel.”
  • Croggy – meaning to give or catch a lift on the crossbar of a bicycle. “I’ll give ya a croggy to the shop if you want.”
  • Crouterin’ – meaning moaning.


  • Dale – meaning valley. “Off camping in the Dales this weekend, can’t wait!”
  • Dee Dah – (someone from Sheffield) “nah den dee whats dah dooin?” meaning “now then you what are you doing?”.
  • Delve – meaning to dig. “No need to delve into that any further.”
  • Derrived from liggin’ – meaning wasting your time with no purpose.
  • Ding – meaning to hit heavily, to knock. “I dinged my car door on the wall getting out earlier. Gutted!”
  • Do it thisen/thi’ sen – meaning do it yourself.
  • Dog Shelf – meaning floor.
  • Dollop – meaning a lump of something, usually food. “Can I have a dollop of mash wi me pie please?”
  • Down’t (road) – meaning down the road. “I’m off down’t road, will be back in an hour.”
  • Doy Meaning – meaning darling. “Ey up doy, how are we?”


  • ‘ead – meaning head. “Whacked me ‘ead on t’ doorframe, it ‘urt like ‘ell.”
  • ‘eck – meaning hell. “Ooh blooming ‘eck, are you alright?”
  • Eeh by gum – meaning ‘oh my god’. “Eeh by gum, that were a near miss!” – Primarily used by Southerners mistakenly thinking we say it all the time.
  • Eh – meaning what, or pardon, or an expression of confusion. “Eh? I didn’t hear you.”
  • Ey up – meaning ‘watch out’, ‘be careful’, or to be used as a greeting, especially when seeing someone/something you weren’t expected. Ey up Lad! Not seen you in ages.”


  • Faffin’ – meaning messing about. “Stop faffin’ wi yer ‘air, it looks fine.”
  • Fair geffered – meaning wearing me out. “tha’s leaving me fair geffered.”
  • Fair t’middlin’ – meaning fair to middle. “How are you today Sandra?” “I’m fair t’middling, thanks for askin.”
  • Fettle – meaning to make, tidy or mend. “I’ll be in the garage, fettling the suspension on the motor.”
  • Fill thi boits/booits – meaning enjoy your self. “Can I get a biscuit from t’tin?”, “Aye go on then, fill thi boits.”
  • Fish and fernerkers – meaning fish and chips. “Are we having fish and fernerkers for tea?”
  • Flaggin’ – meaning getting tired. “We ought to stop for a cuppa, I’m flaggin.”
  • Flags – meaning pavement.
  • Flippin’ eck – meaning bloody hell, a term of shock or surprise. “Flippin’eck! Where’d you appear from?”
  • Flit – to move house frequently. From old Norse. “We’re flitting again this summer.”
  • Flummoxed – meaning confused. “Well I’m flummoxed as to where me car keys went, I ‘ad ‘em in me ‘and a second ago.”
  • Frame yourself/thi’ sen – meaning try harder.
  • Friggin’ – meaning a curse, alternative to flaming, bloody, etc. “Friggin’ ell, not again!”


  • Gaffer – meaning boss. “I’ll ask the gaffer if he can gimme the day off.”
  • Gander – meaning look. “Gis a gander at that!”
  • Gannin – meaning going.
  • Gansey/Gansy – a hand knitted woollen jumper worn by fishermen.
  • Gawp/Gawping – meaning look or stare. “What are you gawping at?”
  • Gi – meaning give. “Gi us a sweet.”
  • Gi o’er – meaning give over. “Gi o’er chelping you two.”
  • Ginnel – meaning alleyway. “They ran off down the ginnel!”
  • Gip – meaning retch. “That reeks, it’s making me gip!”
  • Giz – meaning give me. “Giz it now!”
  • Goffs – meaning smells horrid. “Urgh, it goffs in ‘ere, has sommat died?”
  • Goosegogs – meaning gooseberries. “Got a load of gogs to mek jam wi’ this year.”
  • Gormless – meaning clueless. “Frame thi’ sen, you look gormless.”
  • Gripe – meaning fork. “Grab me a gripe out o’drawer.”
  • Guff – meaning fart. “Who’s guffed? It stinks!”
  • Guzunder – meaning chamber pot.


  • Hacky / Hackie– meaning dirty or sticky. “Your face is all hacky after eating them sweets.”
  • Haver – meaning oats. “Nice havercakes these.”
  • Hell Fire – meaning oh my god. “Hell Fire! When did this happen?”


  • Ice-shoggles – meaning icicles. “Look at the ice-shoggles on that gutter.” 
  • If in doubt-do nowt! – meaning if you doubt something then don’t do it.
  • I’ll stand drop o’York – meaning you don’t believe it.
  • In a bit – meaning goodbye, see you later. “I’m off t’work Deirdre.” “All reight, in a bit then Bob.”
  • In t coil – meaning coal. “Darn coil oil where t’muck larts on t’winders”.
  • In’t – meaning in the. “They’re in’t cupboard Bob.”
  • In’t puddin’ club – meaning pregnant.
  • It sempt / sem’t reight good (Sheffield) – meaning it seemed really good.
  • Inuit – The man had previous knowledge. “He’s a jammy sod and inuit”


  • Jammy – meaning lucky. “I passed my exam with 90% and didn’t even revise. How jammy am I?”
  • Jennel – meaning alleyway, another way to say Ginnel.
  • Jiggered – meaning tired, exhausted. “Not tonight love, I’m jiggered.”


  • Kalling – meaning talking. “She’s kalling wi’ our John.”
  • Kegs – meaning pants or trousers. “Where’re me kegs? I need em for work.”
  • Ketty – meaning nasty or rancid, referring to raw meat, offal or rubbish. From Icelandic or Swedish origin. “We can’t eat this chicken, it’s ketty.”
  • Kiddin’ – meaning joking. “I’m only kiddin’. She didn’t really.”
  • Kittlin – meaning kitten. “Aww look at the little kittlin, in’t he cute?!”


  • Laik, laiking, larking – meaning playing. “Are you laikin today or you workin’?”
  • Lamp – meaning to strike or hit.
  • Lass – meaning girl, wife or woman. “Our lass is coming out tonight too.”
  • Leave ‘er/’im /them be – meaning leave her / him / them alone.
  • Liggers – meaning the hair combed over a bald patch.
  • Liggin’ – meaning to lie around in a gormless fashion, without purpose, lazy. “Stop liggin’ in bed”
  • Lop – meaning flea. “The dog was covered in lops when we found ‘im.”
  • Lug – meaning to pull or tug. “I had to lug me suitcase all the way home from t’ station.”
  • Lug ‘ole – meaning ear. “lend me your lug’oles, I have some news for yer.”
  • Lugs – meaning knots in your hair.


  • Macca – meaning a big stone. “Wanged a macca”
  • Maftin’ / Mafted – meaning hot, clammy. “Open a window, it’s maftin’ in ‘ere.”
  • Mamamia – meaning mum I’m here/home.
  • Manky – meaning disgusting. “That sandwich was manky, must have been in there a month!”
  • Mardy – meaning moody. “Stop being such a mardy arse and come out!”
  • Marra Tivvit – meaning the other one of a pair – two of a kind.
  • Mash – meaning to brew tea.
  • Maungy – meaning whiny, sulky. “He’s always maungy when he’s hungry.”
  • Mebee – meaning may be or might do.
  • Mi’sen – meaning myself. “I don’t like cricket much mi’sen.”
  • Mind – meaning be careful. “Mind how you go Beryl, it’s icy out there!”
  • Middlin’ – meaning okay, fair, average. “I’m fair t’middlin, thanks.”
  • Mingin’ – meaning disgusting. “Have you seen the state of his room? It’s mingin’.”
  • Mithering – meaning annoying or bothering. “Stop mithering me with your whining and go play outside, kids!”
  • Moff ooem – meaning I’m going home.
  • Monk on – meaning to be grumpy. “He got dumped last week so he’s got a monk on.”


  • Nah then – meaning hello, dialect version of “Now Then”. Nah then! What yer bin up t’?”
  • Nang – meaning troublesome and irritating. “Putting that engine back together was a nanglin’ task.”
  • Nar’n – meaning now then. “Nar’n, how’s tha been?”
  • Narky – meaning moody, sullen, sulky. “She’s narked off at sommat.”
  • Nay – meaning no. “Nay lad, it’s too late to go fishin’.”
  • Neb – meaning nose. “Keep your neb out of my business!”
  • Nesh – meaning to feel the cold. “Nesh southerners, can’t hack a Yorkshire winter!”
  • Nithered, Nitherin’ – meaning very cold. “By ‘eck it’s nitherin’ out theer, am ruddy nithered!”
  • Nobbut – meaning ‘just’, ‘literally’, ‘nothing but’.
  • Now then – meaning hello. “Now then! How about a catch up over a pint?”
  • Nowt – meaning nothing. “I’ve got nowt to do today. I’m bored.”


  • ‘Ow do – meaning how do you do? “’ow do love? You well?”
  • Ocker – meaning indecisive.
  • Od thi dog back. – meaning wait a minute/slow down. “Od thi dog back, yer walkin’ too fast”.
  • Oh aye? – meaning ‘oh really’, or ‘oh yes?’ “We’re getting married next year”. “Oh aye? Well congratulations!”
  • Ooer – meaning ‘our’.
  • Oowashiwi? – meaning who was she with? “I’ve just seen ‘ar Linda!”, “Oh aye oowashiwi?”
  • Oss (thisen) – meaning make an effort.
  • Over Yonder / Ower Yon – meaning over there.
  • Owt – meaning anything. Opposite of nowt. “Have you bought owt for tea?”


  • Pack it in – meaning 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 pieces 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. “It wor hard cycling that push iron up that big ‘ill”
  • Put wood in t ‘ole – meaning shut the door. “Put wood in t’ ole, you’re lettin’ t’cold in.”


  • Radged – meaning angry. “He were radged about his shed being broken into.”
  • Rank – meaning disgusting. “Urgh, Lancashire ‘ot pot? that’s rank.”
  • Reckon – meaning to think or figure out. “What you reckon to the news, eh?”
  • Reeks – meaning it smells bad. “Hmm it reeks of eggs in ‘ere.”
  • Reight/Reet/Reyt – meaning right or very. “We had a reight good night.”
  • Riding– meaning one of the three former administrative parts of Yorkshire. “The Yorkshire Ridings were disbanded in 1974, which stimulated the initiation of an annual Yorkshire Day (1 August) by the Yorkshire Ridings Society, which continually urges the reinstatement of these Viking-originated divisions. The East Riding has since been restored.”
  • Rig-welted – meaning a sheep that has been stranded by lying on its back. “Go and help Mr. Wooly, he’s rig-welted.”
  • Roaring / Rurin – meaning crying. “T’bairn started roaring when she dropped ‘er ice cream”.


  • Sackless – meaning clueless. “He’s a reight sackless beggar”.
  • Sam up – meaning to collect together. “Sam up your belongings, the bus is here.”
  • Sarnie – meaning sandwich. “Ham and mayo sarnies for lunch, my favourite.”
  • Scran – meaning food. “I can’t wait to get some scran, I’m starvin’.”
  • Sempt / Sem’t – meaning seemed. “Is Barry alright? He sem’t vexed?”
  • Sen – meaning self. “I’m tekin’ mi sen off t’pub”
  • Shiverthewink – meaning a rascal.
  • Si – meaning see.
  • Si Thi – meaning see you.
  • Si This – meaning see this.
  • Silin’ – meaning raining heavily. “I’m soaked, it’s silin’ it down out there!”
  • Sithee/Sithi – meaning goodbye, see you later, contraction of ‘See Thee’. Aye lad, Sithee!
  • Skift – meaning to move. “Skift on out of ‘ere.”
  • Slape – meaning a bit dodgy or slippery (in terms of weather).
  • Snap – meaning food, usually a packed lunch.
  • Snap Tin – meaning a sandwich box.
  • Snek – meaning door threshold.
  • Snek Lifter – meaning pint. “Do you fancy a quick sneck lifter?”
  • Snicket – meaning alleyway. “Let’s take a shortcut through t’ snicket.”
  • Spell/Spelk – meaning splinter. “I’ve got a spell in my hand from the bramble bush.”
  • Spice – meaning sweets.
  • Spogs – meaning sweets.
  • Sprog – meaning child. “She’s having another sprog!”
  • Spuds – meaning potatoes. “We’re having jacket spuds and beans for tea.”
  • Spuggy/Spuggies/Spoggies/Spadge – meaning sparrow. “I saw the spuggy again on the bird table this morning.”
  • Stepmothers blessing – meaning hang nail/a wick.
  • Stoddy – meaning awkward or stubborn.
  • Summat – meaning something. “I need summat to do at the weekend.”
  • Sup – meaning to drink. “Sup up, we’re off to the next pub!”
  • Swill – meaning drink.


  • T’werk – where Yorkshire people go from 9-5 Monday to Friday. “I’m off t’werk love.” 😉
  • Ta – meaning thank you. “Ta very much. Keep the change.”
  • Tarra – meaning goodbye. Tarra love, see you next Sunday.”
  • Tek – meaning take. “You’re tekking the mick now.”
  • Tek n’gorm – meaning ignore him/her/it. “He’s pulling faces mam!”, “Tek n’gorm of yer brother”
  • Tha – meaning you. “Where’s tha been lad? We’ve been worried about ya.”
  • Tha laykin darn’t reck – meaning are you playing in the park
  • Tha meks a better door than a winder – meaning I can’t see what’s going on because you are in the way.
  • Tha mun think on – meaning watch what you’re doing.
  • Tha’s thrang – meaning you’re busy
  • Theerz nowt s’queer as folk – meaning there’s nothing so queer as folk. People do the strangest/most unexpected things.
  • Thissen – meaning yourself. “How’d ya feel about it thissen?”
  • Thoil – meaning I couldn’t bear to. “I couldn’t thoil paying that much”
  • Tintintin – meaning it isn’t in the tin.
  • Traipsin’ – meaning walking around for a long period of time “I’m fed up o’ traipsin’ roun’ shops”.
  • Trod – meaning garden footpath.
  • Tuskey – meaning rhubarb.
  • Tutty – An all round word for “a bit of something”. “You need to change the tutty in the engine”, “put some tutty on that spot”
  • Twiny – meaning awkward minded and moany.
  • Twonk – An insult, similar connotations to “idiot”.
  • Tyke – meaning Yorkshire person, sometimes used as an insult. “What a tyke he is!”


  • Un – meaning one. “He’s a reight un, that un.”
  • Underdrawin’ – meaning loft. “Put this box in t’ underdrawin’.”
  • Up them dancers – Get up those stairs


  • Vexed – meaning angry. “My car won’t be fixed for another 3 weeks. Man, I’m vexed.”


  • Waller – meaning person
  • Wang – meaning to throw. “Wang it over here!”
  • Wanged – meaning thrown.
  • Wasak – meaning useless person/idiot.
  • Wat yer playing at – meaning what are you doing.
  • Watter – meaning water. “It’s only watter, don’t cry!”
  • Way’od or Way’up – meaning wait, hold up or hold on.
  • Weerz – meaning where is.
  • Weerzt – meaning where is the. “Wheerzt tv remote?”
  • Wemmel – meaning to wobble about in a precarious fashion.
  • Where’s tha bin – meaning where have you been.
  • Where’s tha gooin – meaning where are you going.
  • While – meaning until. “I’m working while six tonight.”
  • Wi or wee – meaning with. as in “oo wer she wee war she wee im or wa she wee er sen”.
  • Wick – meaning lively
  • Wist tha Bahn/bin/been – meaning where have you been?


  • Yacker – meaning acre, an ancient measurement of land. “The lord has 500 yackers in the dales.”
  • Yam – meaning home. “I’m off yam.”
  • Ye – meaning you. “Where ye off to now?”
  • Yonder – meaning over there. “What’s that yonder I see?”
  • Yonderly – meaning vague. “Tha’s bein’ yonderly.”