Putting SY on the Wordmap
Doncastrians have a special way of saying you're good-looking, and Sheffield folk are unique when they're feeling the cold. Find out what the Voices wordmap reveals about the way South Yorkshire people talk.
Do you think you're smart? If someone from Doncaster says you are then you could be on to a winner, or at least a hot date, because Donny is one of only two places in the country where "smart" means good looking.
You're smart but my gosh don't you know it!
Across the rest of the country, "fit" is the top term for an attractive person and "smart", as far as we know, is reserved for those suit-wearing or particularly clever moments.
In other parts of Yorkshire as well as parts of the North East, you might be described as "bonny." Interestingly, the North East is the other area of the country where the word "smart" is used to mean good looking.
BBC Voices survey, 2005
People across the UK use a variety of different words for every day things. In 2005, the BBC Voices survey mapped some of the idiosyncratic ways we express ourselves.
It asked people to tell us what words they use for common ideas and things, from "child's soft shoes worn for PE" [pumps/plimmys] to "young person in cheap trendy clothes and jewellery" [chav].
The survey pinpointed our local lingo down to the postcode and it reveals fascinating detail about how we talk - as well as exploding some myths and stereotypes.
For example, Welsh people might be relieved at the confirmation that only one person in Wales nominated the word "boyo." Phew!
Sheffield has the distinction of its very own word for cold: "clemmed." The Voices survey identified a small pocket of the word in the city and nowhere else. That's despite the fact that Yorkshire has several other ways to say the same thing, like "nithered" and "nesh."
Perhaps surprisingly, "nesh" is also used in quite a few other areas such as the North West and East Midlands, and even as far away as the South West. So if you're ever feeling chilly in Taunton, you know what to say.
Yorkshire as a whole bucks the trend that describes those lightweight shoes children wear for PE as "daps" or "plimsolls." We call them "pumps", but are not unique in doing so.
An alley or a ginnel?
Ginnels and pumps
When describing a narrow walkway alongside a building, Yorkshire people were quite clear in picking the word "ginnel", whilst in every other region of the country "alley" came out as the top choice.
But again, the word did appear in the top 10 throughout the country, suggesting that a Yorkshire person could be understood describing a passageway or snicket that way just about anywhere.
You can find out more about the changing dialects and accents of the UK by following the link below.
last updated: 04/06/2008 at 11:33
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