These pages are currently under construction and at the moment only those dialect words that have had their origins researched are included.This is a long-term project and words will be added as soon as their etymologies have been investigated.


It is well known that English is a mongrel tongue, its word-stock having been drawn from a number of different languages over the centuries. For example there is Old English, the language of the Anglo-Saxons whose incursions into these islands began from the end of the 5th century. Following the invasion of the Vikings towards the close of the 9th century Old Norse began to have some influence on our mother tongue. Similarly, many Old French words were absorbed into the language in the period following the invasion of the Normans in 11th century. Out of this mélange arose Middle English,the form of speech employed during the 12th to the 15th centuries and the native tongue of such as Langland, Trevisa and Chaucer.

Yorkshire dialect arose from these same roots but many of its word forms are now obsolete in Standard English. Furthermore, their pronunciation reflects more closely the sounds of the source languages.

As can be seen below, the lists of dialect words have been arranged alphabetically and may be accessed by double clicking the appropriate live link. Each list shows the dialect word followed by its definition in standard English (These definitions are for the most part taken verbatim from the sources listed below). Where possible the relevant historical source word (e.g. Old English, Old Norse) is also provided. An asterisk preceding such a word (e.g.*bōs) indicates that the form is a reconstruction rather than one recorded in texts.


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Abbreviations




Burrows, J. A. and Turville-Petre, T. (1996) A Book of Middle English, Second Edition, Oxford: Blackwell.

Bill Griffiths, (1999) North East Dialect: Survey and Word List, Newcastle upon Tyne: The Centre for Northern Studies, Department of Historical and Critical Studies, University of Northumbria.

A. Kellet (1994) The Yorkshire Dictionary of Dialect, Tradition and Folklore, Otley, West Yorkshire: Smith Settle Ltd

Mayhew, A. L. and Skeat, Walter W. (2004) A Concise Dictionary of Middle English - From A.D. 1150 To 1580

The electronic Middle English Dictionary:

Mitchell, B. and Robinson, F.C. (1968) A Guide to Old English, Second Edition, Oxford: Blackwell.

OEME (2005) Old English Dictionaries

Orton, H. and Halliday, W.J. (1963) Survey of English Dialects: The Basic Material, Vol. 1, Parts1, 2, and 3, Leeds: Arnold.

The Oxford English Dictionary Online:

Paynter, D., Upton, C. and Widdowson, J.D.A. (1997) Yorkshire Words Today: A Glossary of Regional Dialect, Sheffield: The Yorkshire Dialect Society, The National Centre for English Cultural Tradition and The University of Sheffield.

Simpson, J. A. and Weiner, E. S. C. (1989) The Oxford English Dictionary, Vols I - XX, Second Edition, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Thompson, D. (ed.) (1996) The Concise Oxford Dictionary, Ninth Edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Zoëga’s A Concise Dictionary of Old Icelandic: