Yorkshire Words Of The Week

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From: Joy Neal, Flamborough Road, Bempton.

READING the “My Yorkshire” column by Stephanie Moon recalling going to Hellifield reminded me of my great-grandad, who in the days when swearing was confined to men only and never in front of ladies, would say if he was astonished: “Well, I’ll go to Hellifield.”

My grandad who worked on the railway would say: “I’ll go to Elsecar” and grandma would say: “The foot of our stairs.” Any more variations on this? On the subject of “ruddle stone”, your correspondent from Batley who remembers his mum buying from a handcart, this would most likely have been “Ruddle” Annie who I think lived in Batley Carr. I was told she was left a widow with children and sold the ruddle stones to keep body and soul together. Has anyone else heard of her?

From: Alan Beck, Dearne Hall Fold, Low Barugh, Barnsley.

WHEN I was nobbut a lad, I came across this poem in, I believe, a copy of Punch magazine from the 1920s. It may be necessary for your southern readers to explain that Slaithwaite is pronounced “sloughwhit”.

I work a one man farm in Slaithwaite,

My farm has but one field,

I plaithwaite,

In saxon linchests to allaithwaite,

Proper crop rotation,

Naithwaite bears beet, peas, wheat grass,

And one caithwaite won’t support two,

And a saithwaite it has nine piglets,

‘Ee by gaithwaite is by the sweat of my

Braithwaite shows a profit,

Haithwaite does,

Caps all t’farming chaps I’Slaithwaite.

From: Anne Whittaker, Sheffield.

My dear mum aged 88 suffers from Altzheimer’s dementia.

She recently said “You never know your luck ‘till you take your barrow back”. It’s a phrase that we have never heard her use before or heard of ourselves and wonder if anyone can help with its origin and meaning.

From: Audrey Bemrose, East Riding Dialect Society.

Our next meeting, Thursday June 16, 7.30pm is at the Rose and Crown, Little Driffield.The following evening there’s a Yorkshire Dialect Evening at Skipsea Village Hall starting at 7.30pm, admission £5, including light refreshments. Publications and CDs on sale. Tickets available at Skipsea Post Office or on the door. Phone 01262 673995 for information.