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25 Norse words used in Yorkshire English

Being born and raised in York, England and looking forward to my holiday visiting friends in Sweden, I started to think about the words that connect our cultures. Many of these words are still used in Yorkshire and are of Old Norse origin. Here are a few examples:

Barn (pronounced Bairn) - a young child
Beck - a stream
Berserk - going mad
Brigg - a bridge
Cleg - a horse fly
Crake - a crow (my parents live in a village called Crayke)
Dale - a valley
Fell- a hill or mountain
Flags - paving stones
Flit - to move house ( Are you flitting? )
Foss - waterfalls or rapids - (there is a River Foss in York)
Gat - got
Gate - Street - Micklegate is a street in York
Gawp - look
Hey up (sey upp) - look out, be careful (now used as a greeting "Hey up lad")
Laik - play ( Are you laking out today? )
Lug - to pull or carry ( Lug it over here )
Middin - an outside toilet
Mucky - dirty/messy
Ram - smelly
Rive - to tear or pull
Reckon - to think/consider
Skutil - scuttle - a bucket for carrying coal
Siling - raining heavily
Yest - yeast

Unit 35 of Spellzone (Why is English spelling so hard?) explores how English spelling has developed over the years and the influence of old languages on English spelling.

It would be very interesting to hear of more examples of these cultural connections.


02 Jul 2011
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