England: Life in the Dales
Yorkshire Born, Yorkshire Bred!
I am a "Yorkshire lass" through and through; I was born and bred here and love everything about it. I can't thank my parents enough for raising me in such a beautiful place. Many people take the views surrounding their local area for granted, not really noticing them as they go about their day to day life. I, on the other hand, can't get enough of the greenery around me. Even as you stand on the netball courts in my college, you look across and see field after field perfectly framed with bushy trees and carefully constructed dry stone walls. When the sun shines, the trees glow a bright golden colour. When it snows, a thick white blanket covers the fields like a giant sheet. In autumn, the ground is covered in a layer of crisp orange and golden leaves. It's a beautiful place to be.
Dry Stone Walls
Something Yorkshire is famous for is its dry stone walling. Nowhere else in the world does this and, sadly, it is a tradition that is dying out. Dry stone walling is when walls are built by locking the stones together, one on top of the other, in such a way that no cement is needed. They are found throughout the Dales, usually running beside roads and in and through fields, separating the farmers' lands. [See the photo at the top of this page]
"Ee, By Gum, Lass!"
One thing that makes Yorkshire somewhat special is its accent and dialect. Like anywhere else in the world, Yorkshire has its very own unique dialect. Vowels tend to be elongated (for example, the "o" in the word "no" would be pronounced like "n-ohh") or flattened (something for which I'm often mocked is the word "butter", pronouncing the "u" very flatly, giving it a more accented feel). However, in words like "bath" and "master", the vowels are shortened, so where other parts of England may pronounce them "baaath" and "maaaster", we say "bath" and "master", with harsh emphasis on the "a". Of course, not everyone who was born and bred in yorkshire speaks like this, because there are other factors which influence a person's accent, such as others around them (family, friends, teachers etc).
A common feature of Yorkshire is that the word "the" tends to disappear and become a simple "t" sounds. For example, "Put the kettle on" would become "Put t'kettle on". We also have our own words and phrases for particular things. Something I always say is, "Put wood in't 'ole!" which means "Shut the door!" (literally, "put the wood in the hole"). Others include: [ * = those which are regularly used]
Aye* = Yes
Ta* = Thanks
Snicket* = an Alleyway
Chuffed* = Pleased
Hey up!* = Hiyah!
Gannins-on = Goings-on
Jiggered* = Exhausted / Broken
Beck* = Stream
Lad* = Boy
Lass* = Girl
Owt* / Nowt* = Anything / Nothing
Spell = a Splinter
"Any road,..." = "Anyway,..."
By gum! = By God!
There are, of course, many more, but this just gives you a little taster of the way we speak "here in't Dale!"
Everywhere you look in Yorkshire, there is evidence of our past, castles being a major piece of that evidence! Most things are kept very traditional here; the buildings are preserved and in good condition. Hundreds of tourists who come to visit Yorkshire end up venturing inside one our our castles, visiting our museums or just picnicing and enjoying the nice view.
And where would we be without those good old Yorkshire Puds?!
Food, Glorius, Food!
Apart from the good old English breakfast and our famous fish and chips, something else we are famous for is our Yorkshire puddings (or "Yorkshires" for short). The majority of households in England eat "Sunday dinner" every Sunday, which usually includes Yorkshire puddings along with mashed potato, swede, broccoli, carrots, peas, beef or chicken and "roasties" (roast potatoes). Yorkshires are made from the same mixture as pancakes (flour, milk and eggs) but placed in a special Yorkshire pudding tray, so that when placed in the oven they will rise and form a bowl shape, as you can see in the photo above. Finish them off by dowsing them in gravy and voila! Bon appetite!
2009 By Daniella Wood