Yorkshire Words Of The Week

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From: Ron Farley, Croftway, Camblesforth, Selby.

W H Bradley (Country Week, October 8) wrote about a straw hat being referred to as a straw benji.

I am 82 and remember as a lad straw hats being called straw benjamins particularly boaters.

Anyone spotting someone wearing one could immediately say: “Nip straw Benjamin” and nip (pinch) the nearest person. This was in Selby 70 to 75 years ago.

Incidentally, I wrote to you about my grandfather saying: “Thou wants a kick up’t jeer” meaning backside but it was not printed and I would have liked to ask if anyone else remembered it?

Another expression used in Selby when a child came home after playing out was: “Where’ve you been? You’re black bright”.

From: Mrs A Holdsworth, West Garth, Sherburn, Malton.

I SPENT my teens and early twenties in Worcestershire and I know the word hobble-di-hoy mentioned in W H Bradley’s letter (Country Week, October 8) so perhaps it is from there.

My Yorkshire father-in-law couldn’t bear to hear a woman whistle. He said it was “worse than a crowing hen”.

One weekend, when my mother-in-law was away, he asked me to go and “frizzle” him some bacon (ie get the meals). To me that meant “well done”. My offering of crisp bacon was not to his liking. He just meant cooked normally.

My father was a Brummie and wanted his Yorkshire pudding with his main course. We loved to go to granny’s in Huddersfield and have it served on its own first.

I always served it this way after my marriage to a Yorkshireman. However, my first effort wasn’t acceptable, as it wasn’t “seasoned” – meaning no herbs added.

Pudding always had to be seasoned before pork or poultry. He had a Yorkshire accent but nothing extreme.

When Barnsley town centre was first being redeveloped he went to one commercial property and said: “Good morning, I’m from the town hall”. The reply he got was: “You’re from Huddersfield”. Yes he was, how could she tell?

When we moved from West/North Yorkshire to the border of East/North Yorkshire in 2000 we had problems with lots of words and we used words they didn’t understand.

Carry on with As I Was Saying – it’s brilliant.

From: Mrs I Padgett, Lesmere Grove, Bradford.

The hat known as a benji had a flat top, straight sides and a stiff brim, with a bright ribbon round the crown. I think they were worn by young men in the days when girls were known as flappers.

My grandmothers used the word “stalled” very often when they were tired and needed a break.