Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Quit that "Yellowbellyaching": Why I Love The Lincolnshire Dialect

Ey up folks!

Ye Olde Map of Lincolnshire
Despite my Irish and Scandinavian heritage; it may shock some of my blog readers to know that I'm a born and bred Lincolnshire person. Lincolnshire has a proud heritage that gets discussed very rarely in History textbooks and drab sociological/linguistic journals. One of the reasons why I'm proud to be a "Yellowbelly" is because we have a rich and diverse and rather hilarious dialect. Anyone wishing to emigrate to Lincolnshire would be well advised to learn a little of our native tongue because  a) you'll impress your employer, b) native Yellowbellies you might meet down the local may be more willing to buy you a "bevvy" and c) you'll be able to disarm any haggard xenophobe who wants to make the argument that migrants do not want to integrate with the local population. It has been noted that the Lincolnshire dialect has been slowly dying out as the population in the county becomes more ethnically diverse and there is more intra-national migration with more native Yellowbellies move to urban centres to find employment. However your efforts will not go unappreciated and may make you more friends in the longer term!

Here are a few words, verbs and phrases to get you started:
Even Shakesy knew this term!
  1. Duck: In Lincolnshire "duck" is a term of endearment that you'll often hear when you are travelling on public transport or being served down the local corner shop. Its usage has reduced lately due to concerns it may be interpreted as being patronising, especially to women. I don't use it but accept older folks do.
  2. Tates : If anyone asks if you want tates they are referring to the humble potato, which is very popular down Boston and Grantham way in chippins form (i.e. fried till golden brown and served with battered or breaded cod and lashings of salt n vinegar).
  3. A Gofer is someone that comes from a different county; my Dad uses "gofer" when he's with his Leicester city supporters down our local pub because he grew up in Leicester and was called a "gofer" ever since he moved to Lincoln in the mid 1960s.
  4. Frim Folks are non Lincolnshire natives; anyone from Newark all the way up to Aberdeen would be classified as such which Newark inhabitants hate profoundly!
  5. Gawster means "to laugh uncontrollably"; if you tell a joke about how you don't understand Geordie or Brummie accents to a Yellowbelly you're likely to hear this verb accompanied by minutes of marauding laughter. (Even native born UK folks can't understand these accents half the time!)
  6. A Hotchin is a hedgehog; I first heard this word when a hedgehog family was found living in our back garden; hedgehogs are fairly common in Lincolnshire but make sure you contact your local animal rescue shelter when you do find one in distress or one that has been injured.
  7. A Morgan Rattler is a "good boxer"; you could say that Muhammad Ali was a "Morgan Rattler" because he won so many fights even if he considered himself (and I consider him to be) the greatest!
  8. Snecking means to have a "nose around" a house or a shop; people in Lincoln tend to drop the s and say "wind your neck in" if you're poking your nose into business that doesn't concern you!
  9. Mizzling is a fine kind of rain; the type that makes your clothes feel damp and cold.
  10. Haar is an even finer type of rain which soaks into your skin and makes you feel cold (oh Yellowbellies love to moan about the rain even though we need it to make our veggies grow healthily!)
  11. If someone asks you for some Chuddy they are wanting to borrow a stick of chewing gum from you (most are smokers wanting to disguise the smell of tar before going back to work after a "fag break" and are extremely embarrassed and self conscious about their need to smoke.)
  12.  Cock-Apparel is an attempt to do something overly unnecessary for an event like a birthday or a Christmas office party; "it's overly pomp and ceremony". Hiring Old Doddington Hall when you only have 30 guests coming to celebrate an extortionately expensive clothing line that only Kim Kardashian would choose dresses from kinda launch would fit the Cock-Apparel tagline. 
  13. If someone accuses you of putting forward an argument full of a "load of kilter and rammel" , they are saying that your argument is completely rubbish and wouldn't convince Eskimos to buy ice from their own land let alone yours.
  14. If you've heard someone tell you they've heard a bunch of "old fogies chuntering", it means they've heard some elderly residents moaning about an issue (usually of no importance.)
  15. If you meet a Yellowbelly guy and fall in love with him after an incredibly short amount of time, some residents may take it that he's fallen "Arsey-varsey" for you.
  16. If you get called a "mardy bum", people are hinting at the fact that you're in a bad mood or acting petulantly for no reason. Lincoln City's goal scoring record alone would make any Yellowbelly mardy!
  17. Be careful that you're not slacking when carrying out database entry work for your employer on NMW or he might start accusing you of being too smopple or weak for the job.
  18. If you hear a potential employer offer you a "Barrer job" be careful; they are wanting to pay you cash in hand. With some casual jobs it is OK to accept this (like being a window cleaner) but not if you are a temporary or permanent employee in an office where you should have a contract or written statement of particulars detailing your pay and hours of work after 28 days (an EU directive guaranteed right by the way!)
  19. Some perverts and paedophiles will be labelled as "slim" by Yellowbellies; this is because they consider them to be depraved and not because they are of slight build! They might double it up and say "oh that builder guy's a slim kind of slim but even native Yellowbellies would get confused!
  20. Finally, if you are asked to "scrag" in a playground and you're over the age of 18, the likelihood is that they want to have a "tussle", "jostle" or fight with you for no real reason other than to cause you harm. Watch out!
So there you go folks, 20 pieces of Yellowbelly lexicon to get you gob around of a Tuesday morn! I shall be adding a lot more words, verbs and phrases on this blog as I go along, along with some Lincolnshire history and trivia. I hope this will amuse you and also show you that even Yellowbellies have a funky, spunky possibly hunky kinda humour that should be cherished and celebrated and protection from further linguistic erosion!. So avoid those mardy EU referendum blues and embrace the gawsting, Yellabelly style!