room

APPLE CATCHERS

These are attractive huge pants. Pants that are big enough to collect a lot of apples in. Another term for this sort of commodious pant is ‘Harvest festivals’ i.e. all is safely gathered in.

BAGSIE

If you say this it means ‘Oy, that is mine’ meaning ‘Oy, I have bagged that.’ It’s probably an old poachers’ term. And believe me there are a lot of old poachers in the North.

BARM POT

A fruitcake. If you say ‘You barm pot’ it’s not like saying ‘You loonie’, it’s more sort of affectionate. Like saying ‘Oooh, you slight idiot.’

BEJESUS

This is from Hiddly Diddly land (Oireland). It’s not too naughty swearing. Like ‘Oh my word, you caught me on the knee with that hockey ball.’ Or Gadzooks. Is that any help? No, I thought not.

THE BRONTË SISTERS

Em, Chazza and Anne. They lived in Haworth in Yorkshire in…er… well, a while ago. And they wrote Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and loads of other stuff about terrible weather conditions and moaning. But in a good way.

CORKERS

Another word for girls’ jiggly bits. Also known as norkers. Honkers etc. Cousin Georgia calls them ‘nunga-nungas.’ She says it’s because when you pull them out like an elastic band, they go nunga-nunga-nunga. I will be the last to know whether this is true or not.

CORKIE HARNESS

Something to hold the corkers pert and not too jiggly. A bra.

CAT’S PYJAMAS

When someone (like Cain for instance) thinks they are just too great for words. Like when a cat is so full of itself it shows off in its pyjamas. OK, I’ve never really seen cats out shopping for pyjamas, but they must do it sometime otherwise why would this be a saying? Grammar never lies.

MR DARCY (AND MRS ROCHESTER)

Two characters well known for their sense of fun. Not. Mr Darcy was in Pride and Prejudice and at first he was all snooty and huffy, then he fell in a lake and came out with his shirt all wet. And then we all loved him. In a swoony way. Mrs Rochester was Mr Rochester’s secret wife in Jane Eyre who he kept in a cupboard upstairs. She was mad as a snake and would only wear her nightie. In the end it all finished happily because she set fire to the house, went up on the roof for a bit of a dance about and tripped over her nightie and fell to her death. Leaving Mr Rochester blind. This is one of Em, Chazza and Anne’s more comic novels.

DUNDERWHELP

A polite Yorkshire way of saying ‘You are an absolute disgrace of a person. Look at your knees.’

EGG COSIES

Little knitted hats for keeping boiled eggs warm.

FOGWEAR

Yes. What is fogwear? A car headlight strapped to your cap perhaps? A foghorn handbag? It doesn’t matter, no one is going to see it anyway.

GET A COB ON

To have the monk on. You don’t know what that means either do you? Erm… To have a face like a smacked arse. Does that help? Well I’m trying to help, don’t get a cob on.

HEAVENS TO BETSY

An expression of astonishment like… ‘Gosh!’ or ‘Crikey.’ Or, as they say in Yorkshire, ‘Well, I’ll go to the top of our stairs!’ I know it makes little sense but believe me, it’s best not to argue about these things with Yorkshire folk. Or they will very likely get a cob on (see previous).

HIDDLY DIDDLY DIDDLY

The sound of all Irish songs (and dances). It fits them all. Try it.

GINNEL

Now this is Viking. It is. I do know this. A ginnel is a narrow passageway that runs between two sets of terraced houses. So there is a wall on either side. And it’s narrow. I don’t know why the Vikings had anything to do with it though, because terraced houses weren’t invented when they were in Yorkshire pillaging stuff.

GARYBOY

Anyone called Gary is a gay person. By that I mean Cain, Seth and Ruben Hinchcliff say this. And even if someone called Gary wasn’t gay at first they would be by the time they had been told they were for fourteen years.

GOGGLERS

Eyes. To goggle is to look at stuff. If you couldn’t see anything then you would need gogs.

GOLDEN SLIPPERS OF APPLAUSE

Sidone, the revered and possibly mentally unstable principal of Dother Hall, has her own unique view of the world. Especially the showbiz world. In this world she is obsessed by feet. So her opposite of the ‘golden slippers of applause’ are ‘the bleeding feet of rejection.’

HEATHCLIFF

The ‘hero’ of Wuthering Heights. Although no one knows why. He’s mean, moody and possibly a bit on the pongy side. Cathy loves him though. She shows this by viciously rejecting him and marrying someone else for a laugh. Still, that is true love on the moors for you.

IRON MAN GROUP

An all-men group that hang around with other men so that they can find their inner man-iness. Usually they knit a lot. In caves.

JAZZ HANDS

Sidone loves jazz hands. Essentially it’s sticking your hands out a lot whilst lurching around to jazz.

JUMPING JEHOSOPHAT

Now you’ve got me here. I know it’s one of those ‘Oh my word’, ‘Gadzooks’ sort of things, but to be honest I don’t know who Jehosophat was. Or why he liked jumping so much. Perhaps he was a kangaroo in biblical times. Or a trampolinist. We may never really know.

LAWKS-A-MERCY

‘Crikey’ but longer.

NOBBLINESS

I’m on firmer ground here. Nobbly bits are usually boney bits that look, well, nobbly. I have loads of it. In the knee area.

LOOSEY GOOSEY

You know. All floppy. Like a floppy – er – goose.

MARDY BUM

Someone who is so bad tempered and ‘mardy’ that even their bottom is annoyed. Like Beverley when she found out that although she was engaged to Cain he had another girlfriend. Which is why she flung herself in the river. And ruined her dress because the river was only two inches deep.

MUMMERS PLAY

Not a mummys play which is what I thought at first. Because a mummys play would be quite dull. People all wrapped up in bandages and dead. No, a mummers play was in Medieval times; actors would dress up in rags with their faces painted blue and go into pubs to entertain people. They would do this by pretending to fight and hit the audience over the head with sheeps’ bladders. Much like The Blind Pig at the weekend.

NODDY NIDDY NODDY

A person who doesn’t have much furniture upstairs. Or, to make it clearer, a person who has the lights on, but no one is home.

NORTHERN GRIT

Umph and determination. If you say to a northern person ‘Don’t go out in that storm, you barm pot, the rain is coming down so hard you will be reduced to half your height.’ The northerner would say ‘What rain?’ and go out in their underpants.

MANKY PILLOCK

Manky means smelly and pillock… well, pillock is a combination of dunderwhelp and barm pot with just a hint of the garyboy.

ON ILKELY MOOR BAR T’AT

A song about someone who goes out on Ilkley Moor without a hat. Yes it is. There is probably another one that goes ‘Went down t’shops to get some lard.’

QUAKEBOTTOM

Someone who is so nervous and frightened that even their bottom is shaking.

SJUUGE

When toddlers don’t have many teeth (or brains) they can’t say words properly. So this means huge. Either that or they do know how to say ‘huge’ and are just being annoying. Maybe toddlers can really secretly talk from birth. I bet they can. I bet they can read as well. They are just having a laugh. And being lazy.

SPLICE THE MAINBRACE

A bit like ‘Swab the poop deck!’ A nautical term of astonishment. Like ‘Shiver my timbers’ and ‘Left hand down a bit.’

STEP BALL CHANGE

A tap dancing technique i.e. hopping.

SLED-WERK

An artistic term used to describe the ‘Sled-ists’ of Norway who painted with sledges. So Georgia tells me.

RUFTY TUFTY

Tough (tuf ) and rough (ruf ) and ty (ty).

THE DANE

(Hamlet) All actors do this. Refuse to tell you what’s going on. It’s like never saying Macbeth, and always calling it ‘The Scottish play.’ If we all did this where would we be? I don’t know. No one would know.

YAROOO!

Hurrah only spelt wrong.

YEPPITY DOO DAH

I think this can be laid firmly at the feet of the American nation. It was them who invented a song called ‘Zippity doo dah’ and because that made little sense we now say ‘Yeppity doo dah.’ To mean yes.