Yorkshire Slang – Ey Up Lad

We all speak differently, or do we all talk differently? I’m not meaning accents alone, but the local phrases you never seem to hear outside of where you grew up. When I go back to Yorkshire, I smile when I hear some of the words, never used in the same context outside of the White Rose County.

Yorkshire Slang – Bunk Off, Skive Off Or Dog Off?

What did you use to do on the days you or your friends didn’t want to go into school on that particular day?

Being British is partly defined as to where you come from and the way you speak. I’m not having a dig and the plum in your mouth brigade or those who went to Harrow or Eaton. I’m referring to the genuine local, regional accents. Being from Yorkshire we have some great, old sayings and phrases many of which are still in use today. I’ve never heard of dog off, but we used to use skive or bunk off, when we were school age.


Some Yorkshire Phrases From Days Past.



I remember in the pub hearing blokes at the bar ordering a drink and saying to the landlord, “have one yourself”. The reply often came back, “thanks, I’ll have a Gill with you”.
A Gill ( pronounced with a hard G, so sounding like Jill) is a measure of ale, of a third of a pint. Now pubs sell in half a pint and pint, so this measure was taken to mean a half.



More often used to describe someone who isn’t the brightest person, or is a bit foolish. Back in the 70s when I was growing up, it was the word we used when we went to scavenge and collect wood for bonfire night.



We didn’t have alleyways in Yorkshire, we had ginnels and snickets. These were the footpaths between properties such as mill sites, used as a shortcut by people walking, instead of having to go around the longer route.



Nope, not an all you can eat spread of food. This is pronounced as ‘tuffet’ and was used to describe a small wooden stool or the more feminine sounding pouffe which is a cushioned footstool.


Another popular one back when I was at school. Sweets were called spogs. Back then you had the small corner shops which were often newsagents, they had the local papers on the shelves, sold cigarettes and most importantly for the kids had the jars of sweets ready to weigh out. You’d go in and ask for a quarter of your favourite sweet, clutching your coins in your hand staring at the big, scales as the shop keeper weighed out as precisely as possible your order. Then these were poured into the white, paper bag which you then put in your coat pocket and went off to share with your mates. Did you know it’s still possible to buy these ere spogs still, ont’ t’interweb? Just click here to buy; Handy Candy Ltd.

Yorkshire Slang - Spogs & Spice

Yorkshire Slang – Spogs & Spice


The older generation used to refer to spogs as spice. I often used to hear my grandad refer to sweets as spice. “Pass me that bag of spice and get yoursen one out” was one way he’d offer me a sweet and hint he wanted one himself.

If yer still want some spice, here’s a place to fill yer boots;
Buy Retro Sweets at the UKs No1 online Sweet Shop since 2004


“It’s like Blackpool illuminations in ‘ere.”

Heard that a time or 2 in my youth. When we had the side light on and the big light in the room on too. More often me or my sister would be sat with the lamp on reading and my other sister would come in and flick the main room light ( ie the big light ) on so when one of our parents came in, both lights would be on.

Peter Kay explains what the Big Light is, here


Where Are You From?

I came across this wonderfully put together quiz, which actually is pretty accurate based on answering truthfully.


I completed all the questions and it showed I am from Leeds, which is not too shabby a result.

Get yersen a brew and take 5 minutes to give it a go, answer honestly and see if it matches up where you grew up.


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