God's Own Country: the nation of Yorkshire
September 20, 2016 12:41 PM   Subscribe

Yorkshire is a county in t'north of England. It has a distinct range of dialects; for example 'nowt' means 'nothing', 'who?' means 'what?' and 'how are you?' is asked ... differently, with further variations across the county. Yorkshire is famous for its pudding, caustic cricket commentary, rhubarb, having its own day, one of the earliest surviving film fragments, the chocolate bar, poetry, tea, and ferret legging (alternative explanation). The anthem of Yorkshire, On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at, is about hats, death and cannibalism. Like other English regions, such as Cornwall and Wessex, Yorkshire has movements towards devolution, greater autonomy and ultimately independence. But what is the essence of Yorkshire?

As Yorkshire people will happily inform you (at length and frequently), the ridings which make up the country contain some fantastic and well-visited landscapes. Amidst the scenery of the county are old railway trains, some dales, Whitby, drystone walls, valleys, York Minster, and a stretch of coastal land.

More on the famous no-nonsense language(s) of Yorkshire
- A Yorkshire to English online dictionary.
- Common phrases.
- The Liam Neeson Taken phone call, in a Yorkshire accent.
- South Yorkshire and the equivalent Received Pronunciation (posh southern English).
- (NSFW) Southerners fail miserably at interpreting t'language of Yorkshire, and a politician fails miserably at doing it.
Related: a simple quiz to check whether you have mastered Yorkshire.

Yorkshire is the second most renowned region of England for cheese, after the West Country (note: Yorkshire's most famous cheese eater prefers West Country cheese). The most well-known variety is Wensleydale, originally from Hawes. Other varieties include Swaledale from Richmond, a distinctive Brie called Barncliffe, a ewes milk blue cheese called Mrs Bells Blue, a hand made cheese from Thirsk called Fine Fettle, and Cotherstone, a mild, creamy semi-hard cheese handmade on a Teesdale Farm. Other Yorkshire cheeses are available.

Yorkshire is also known for...
- Last of the Summer Wine.
- Anne, Branwell, Charlotte and Emily Brontë.
- Alan Bennett.
- Dame Judi Dench.
- Jarvis Cocker and his greatest moment.
- Helen Sharman.
- its own airline.

Yorkshire folk are very particular about their food; get it wrong at your peril. Tum fillers from Yorkshire include nettles on toast, Parkin, Tetley tea, Terry's Chocolate Orange (how to unbox one), John Smith's bitter, and a bag of Seabrook potato crisps.

There is a bit (massive understatement) of a rivalry with the adjoining county, Lancashire. It's been going on a while.
- At cricket.
- The Emley Moor Mast is far taller than Blackpool Tower.
- Yorkshire is more known for its curries, and also has the world's 'largest' curry house.
- Ditto quality fish and chips.
- But, for balance, Lancashire is the home of the more well-known regional martial art.

Previously on MetaFilter...
- The BBC goes slow again with a two-hour Yorkshire Dales bus trip.
- It's really hard to mess up a Yorkshire Pudding.
- The perfect Yorkshire pudding.
- Reet good.

Bonus:
- Advice for riders in the Tour de France passing through Yorkshire.
- AND GOD MADE YORKSHIRE.
posted by Wordshore (36 comments total) 79 users marked this as a favorite
 
It's the Texas of England, and I can pay no higher compliment.
posted by lefty lucky cat at 1:02 PM on September 20, 2016 [3 favorites]


Yorkshire: I blame the Vikings.
posted by Diablevert at 1:11 PM on September 20, 2016 [6 favorites]


There's also Palin and Jones' Ripping Yarns - The Testing of Eric Olthwaite too! (I can't find a full version of the show on a quick search.)
posted by Zack_Replica at 1:11 PM on September 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


Obligatory Four Yorkshiremen
posted by OHenryPacey at 1:21 PM on September 20, 2016 [4 favorites]


*gasps in horror* Wallace and Gromit live in Lancashire, not Yorkshire!
posted by BinaryApe at 1:26 PM on September 20, 2016 [5 favorites]


I really wish I could find the original link here somewhere on the blue, but this example of a Yorkshire accent by a three-year-old gal is obligatory viewing.

Edit: FOUND IT!
posted by TheNewWazoo at 1:31 PM on September 20, 2016 [12 favorites]


I may not have lived there for nearly 20 years, but the simple fact that I'm planning to go to a distant supermarket just to get some Seabrooks Prawn Cocktail crisps tomorrow I think demonstrates that the place has a pervasive influence.

(I've never heard of nettles on toast, but you can't get a decent chip butty in Scotland and suddenly I want one...)
posted by Vortisaur at 1:31 PM on September 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


*gasps in horror* Wallace and Gromit live in Lancashire, not Yorkshire!

Ecky-thump! Well spotted on the deliberate herring. (Side point) four time oscar winner Nick Park himself is from Preston in Lancashire, a place he wasn't keen on growing up in much hence the naming of the antagonist in one Wallace and Gromit outing. However, he did return there last Friday gone to get married. Now back to Yorkshire-matters.
posted by Wordshore at 1:38 PM on September 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh damnit. That link is in the previously section. Oh well, it's worth watching twice.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 1:42 PM on September 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


Samuel Smiths and Old Peculiar be the essence for this person in San Francisco.
posted by njohnson23 at 1:51 PM on September 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


Heck, there are a *lot* of Flickr groups dedicated to Yorkshire.
posted by Wordshore at 1:54 PM on September 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's the Texas of England, and I can pay no higher compliment.

I've moved to Yorkshire from the US and have visited Texas and Yorkshire and Texas aren't even remotely similar. Even if they were, it would obviously be that Texas is the Yorkshire of the USA as the Republic of Texas dates from 1836, while the Parish Church near me dates from 1100.
posted by koolkat at 2:04 PM on September 20, 2016 [5 favorites]


"I may not have lived there for nearly 20 years"

20 years! You were lucky. I haven't seen Yorkshire in over 50 years and when I last saw it, it was raining, a terrible storm.
posted by Damienmce at 2:17 PM on September 20, 2016 [8 favorites]


I've moved to Yorkshire from the US and have visited Texas and Yorkshire and Texas aren't even remotely similar.

I've spent plenty of time in both places and... I disagree. They're of a kind. The best kind.
posted by lefty lucky cat at 2:45 PM on September 20, 2016


People here in Yorkshire cannot comprehend why I left California to live here. Now I have a very comprehensive response. Thanks, Wordshore!

Previously, I just talked to them about local cheese an awful lot.
posted by iamkimiam at 3:23 PM on September 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


There's also Palin and Jones' Ripping Yarns - The Testing of Eric Olthwaite too! (I can't find a full version of the show on a quick search.)

The two Ripping Yarns episodes that cut closest to home (and are also the most Yorkshire... which might be the seeds of my affinity for the county despite being Californian to the core), are The Testing of Eric Olthwaite and Golden Gordon. My anorak behavior for South Yorkshire football can be blamed on Palin and those two episodes setting example of what I now recognize as anti-social behaviour.

And really, no post about Yorkshire can be complete without a nod to Henderson's Relish aka Hendo's.

(Sidenote/humble brag: Years ago when Richard Hawley was playing in SF, I went with a friend to interview him before the show for our radio station. The whole interview devolved into a right moan about how Brian Laws was managing Wednesday into the ground because it was cold and I was wearing my Wednesday scarf. That man is Sheffield through and through. "[He] has some respect for the Blades. Very little, but some." Up the Owls!)
posted by kendrak at 3:28 PM on September 20, 2016 [3 favorites]


The porter in the uni hall where I lived in 1992 was a Yorkshireman. He was named Norman and every night took an enormous ration of shit from everyone (except the one polite Welsh kid) as he served pints.

And he never cared a bit -- he just laughed at them. That guy was a lot of fun.
posted by wenestvedt at 3:31 PM on September 20, 2016


OHenryPacey: "Obligatory Four Yorkshiremen "

Thank you, I thought it must have been hidden under a blind link.

Yorkshire to me will always be All Creatures Great and Small country, although I suppose that's some 70 years out of date now.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:23 PM on September 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


As a West Country lad, I can confirm that the most fun you can have with a Yorkshireman or Yorkshirewoman is to call them Lancastrian.
posted by Devonian at 5:47 PM on September 20, 2016 [3 favorites]


Fantastic post!

Apologies if I missed it above, but even if I did, the Yorkshire Sculpture Park is worth mentioning twice
posted by cotton dress sock at 6:35 PM on September 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


A long time ago in a galaxy far far away (well, Barnsley). Hits every Yorkshire trope.

(previously)
posted by KirkpatrickMac at 11:06 PM on September 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


Everything I know about Yorkshire I learned from reading James Herriot novels and watching the related television series and so I know living there is mostly about having to reach into a cow's vagina to straighten out a calf for birth and getting tins of goat shit as gifts from eccentric old women. Plus Peter Davison.
posted by hippybear at 12:27 AM on September 21, 2016 [8 favorites]


Due to the Yorkshire folks propensity to have voluble pride in their region we have the following joke-
Why should you never ask someone if they are from Yorkshire?
If they are not they'll be embarrassed; if they are they will have already told you.
posted by Gratishades at 12:44 AM on September 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm from Ireland but I spent nearly all of the 1990s in South Yorkshire. Not long after I arrived I had to sign for something in a shop. The staff member requested this as follows:

"Slap us thi moniker on theer, kidder."

Joke summing up the essence of Yorkshire:

Several dignitaries from Leeds are invited to visit the United States, specifically Niagara Falls. Their guide enthusiastically describes the history and geography of the falls, ending with the fact that 2 million gallons of water passes over the falls every minute. To which the lead Yorkshireman puts his thumbs in his braces, shrugs and says "well - there's nowt stopping it."
posted by GallonOfAlan at 1:42 AM on September 21, 2016 [3 favorites]


David Hockney and Goths are also Yorkshire born.
posted by asok at 2:11 AM on September 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


Why should you never ask someone if they are from Yorkshire?
If they are not they'll be embarrassed; if they are they will have already told you.


Ha, this is so true. The two guys from Yorkshire I know both pretty much managed to insert "I'm a Yorkshire man." into the first conversation I had with them.

A strange and beautiful country. The Dales, Knaresborough, Harrogate, York are the bits I've seen. York is a perfect little town with its pretty Minster, its castle walls and incredible food and beer. I've had the best Indian food in the UK there (Mumbai lounge) as well as the best Italian (Le Langhe)
posted by vacapinta at 2:13 AM on September 21, 2016 [2 favorites]


that video of the little girl is amazing. i love when i can finally place an accent from my period drama/murder mystery bbc shows.
posted by sio42 at 2:18 AM on September 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


Nettles on toast?! Admittedly I'm only from North Yorkshire and it's a big area, but I've never heard of this. Also, the current video is for making nettle soap, but I did find someone making some nettle rarebit.
posted by Stark at 2:31 AM on September 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


Mmm, parkin. I should make some parkin.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 3:50 AM on September 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


Recent episode of Tom Wrigglesworth's Hang Ups that centres on trying to get Henderson's Relish out of Sheffield.
posted by crocomancer at 4:15 AM on September 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


What, no Downton Abbey?! How quickly they forget...

Otherwise, great post, and of course I especially appreciate the language links.
posted by languagehat at 6:32 AM on September 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


Re: "who" for "what", I have noticed this a lot recently from African-Americans. Can anyone explain this phenomenon from either blacks in America or Yorkshire-ers?
posted by koavf at 7:16 AM on September 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


Am goin twerk, Miley!
posted by lalochezia at 8:07 AM on September 21, 2016 [2 favorites]


Welcome to t' Yorkshire Translator! Jus' type in' summat' tha'd like' ter seh un' this eer' site'll translate it fothy.
posted by Wordshore at 4:37 AM on September 22, 2016


No mention of Geoffrey Boycott or Michael Parkinson? Its like you're in denial about the professional Yorkshireman.
posted by biffa at 12:53 PM on September 22, 2016


No mention of Geoffrey Boycott...

... its pudding, caustic cricket commentary, rhubarb...

or Michael Parkinson?

Fair enough. Michael Parkinson interviews Richard Burton, Dolly Parton, Orson Wells, Bette Davis, and his greatest verbal sparring partner.
posted by Wordshore at 1:59 PM on September 22, 2016


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