White rose of Yorkshire
White rose of Yorkshire 

"There are no really sharp dialect boundaries in England, and dialects certainly do not coincide with counties. Yorkshire Dialect, for instance, does not suddenly change dramatically into Durham Dialect as you cross the County Durham boundary. Indeed, the dialects of northern Yorkshire are much more like those of County Durham than they are like those of southern Yorkshire. Dialects form a continuum , and are very much a matter of more-or-less rather than either / or. There is really no such thing as an entirely separate, self-contained dialect." (Trudgill 1990: 6)


These pages are devoted to the description of traditional Yorkshire dialect. Although some reference is made to the modern administration areas of North, East and South Yorkshire, the variation in dialect is discussed in terms of the three Ridings. The subject matter is broken down into four sections:


examining the sounds of Yorkshire dialect.


looking at the structure of the dialect


exploring Yorkshire words and expressions.

Definite Article Reduction

the Yorkshire t'

Dialect Words

a glossary of Yorkshire words



It should be noted that the information given is by no means exhaustive and that a great deal more is provided in the source material:

Halliday, W.J. and Umpleby, A. S. (eds) (1949) The White Rose Garland, London: Dent and Sons.

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

Kellett, A. (1992) Basic Broad Yorkshire, Revised Edition, Otley: Smith Settle.

Trudgill, P. (1990) The Dialects of England, Oxford: Blackwell.

Witty, J.R. (1927) Sheep and sheep-scoring. In A. Kellett and I. Dewhirst (eds), (1997) A Century of Yorkshire Dialect,

Otley: Smith Settle Ltd.