Thursday, 27 November 2014

Yorkshire Lass (Honest)

As mentioned on the About page of this blog: I am from Yorkshire.

As also mentioned on the same page: Some people are disinclined to believe this.

The first time I met one of my best mates in person, he remarked: "If I didn't already know that you were, I wouldn't have thought you were from Yorkshire."

I drink cider rather than ale; coffee rather than tea. I've spent a bit of time in the Peaks and Lakes but have never been to the Moors or Dales. (Though, in my defense, some of the Peak District is technically in Sheffield)

And to top it all off, I have what keeps being referred to as "wandering accent syndrome"*; so half of the time, my Shropshire boyfriend sounds more Yorkshire than I do.

But I am a Yorkshire lass. Honest.

I could show you my birth certificate, talk pointedly about how I moved back to Yorkshire after 6 months in Lancashire even though it meant a 100-mile round commute to uni, or explain how I come from a long line of very broad people.

I could mention how I used to be broad until I went away for uni - and only tempered my accent because people couldn't always understand me in seminars.

I could admit that I fit the old stereotype and that, yes, my dad and grandads worked in steel mills and down the pit.

I could point out that I grew up in a mining village, and went to school in another mining village down the road.

I could talk about how I used to eat bonfire toffee, which had the sweetest taste and a texture like tough glass - and how when I showed it to my Southern friends, they'd never seen anything like it.

I could remember with a sad smile my Grandad Jack's flatcap and how he was so broad my Leicestershire ex couldn't understand him. Or how my Deedar Nan would command me to"gerrup them stairs n gerra wesh".

Or how, when I asked her why she said "tha'"(thy) and "thi'" (thee) even though that was "bible talk" (I was quite young) she calmly and matter-of-factly replied with "Well, Yorkshire's God's country".

But I won't... and not just because I just did then anyway.

It feels like something you just know. Something that's in your bones. That if they cut you in half you'd have "Yorkshire" running right through you like a stick of rock.

Maybe I'd feel exactly the same if I came from somewhere different. But I don't; I come from Yorkshire.

Daughter of a former pit sparky. Grandaughter of a miner and a steel worker. User of "yar'reight?". A very nesh person.

As my amazing birthday present from my best mate (pictured at the top) - declares to the world - and quietly reminds me:

I'm a Yorkshire lass.


*In short, my accent seems to be an amalgamation of South Yorkshire (where I'm from), South London (where I went to uni originally), Hull (this is particularly rare but does crop up; I think it's from my best friend's altered accent from her time at uni there), and "no accent", which is apparently a thing. At this point, I'm just waiting for a Mancunian twang to find its way in.

So often, I will talk without much of any kind of accent and then randomly start dropping "the", mispronouncing 'getting' as "gerrin", and saying the word "reight/reyt". The London usually finds its way in with words like "water" and "forty", and massively annoys Sam when it does.

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