Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Unique to Hull - its Accent! (Repost)

'Ave ya gorra 'ull accent?!!

Many moons ago, when I was growing up, my mother imprinted into my brain the importance of good speech and elocution. She would often be referred to "as someone who spoke the Queen's English"! (Rather posh!).

By the time I reached my rebellious teenage years I had adeptly mastered the art of having 2 ways of speaking…. one for my mother, not drooping any letters, never saying what, and always maintaining eye contact! The other for my school friends, where I fell into "'ull speak" (The art of talking Hull slang) or sloppy talking as my mother would say, I did, quite easily. Peer pressure at school dictated how we all spoke, I never wanted to appear different in any way from my fellow school friends.

However, on leaving school I made a mental decision, my speech would be 'proper' and well elocuted from then on and not associated with anywhere geographically accented!

My accent has served me well in many ways, with building my confidence, different 'people' jobs, and the most noticeable, when Eric, my husband arrived for the first time in England from Lebanon, to Hull my hometown.

Eric's English was good when he arrived here, learnt in America/Canada and spoken fluently daily.

Unfortunately for him, all over the UK different accents and dialects can be heard, but Hull is the exception, we have a language of our own. A sort of mix of shortened words and ALWAYS never pronounce 'H'!

These are a few examples of what poor Eric had to contend with….

"I'll bray yer eddin!!"

I am going to fight you.

"It's maftin' in ere"

It's rather hot in here.

"It's silin' down awtside"

It's raining outside.

"Shut yer cake ole"

Please be quiet.

"I gorrit far nawt"

I did not pay anything.

"Yer for-ever mernin"

You do complain a lot.

"Ayer gorra bruvva?"

Have you got a brother?

There are many, many more and I became the 'translator' for once. Eric often referred to those early days "as a pain in the ass", he swore a lot and often said "I want to go home, I can't deal with this shit"!!

Today when I listen to him talking to his friends and neighbours, he himself has developed 'ull speak' he has come to realise that if he doesn't learn the lingo, he can't communicate!

He was fortunate to have had a 'home grown' translator in the beginning. (Me!!).

Many of the foreigners coming into Hull must have a hell of a hard time understanding anything!

So the motto "When in Rome, do as the Romans do", rings very true in this case…..

Learn the Lingo or be Left Behind!

Do you have a dialect hard to understand in your town?

What slang words do YOU use that are queer or peculiar to

your town?

Thanks for reading, and do please comment, your input is much appreciated.

Written by Cinnamon , Sue - Raphael's Mum


Shakespeare's Housekeeper said...

Hi Cinnamon,
Great post!
My gran was from Scotland and my dad always had to have my mum interpret for him.
You'll see through my posts, my hubby has a beautiful voice (drama school training) and my speech is flat west midlands with a dash of Gloucestershire thrown in!
We have a wonderful dialect round here- one thing i seem to do, although i've never heard anyone else do it, is put the word 'else' (pronounced owlse)on the end of a sentence.
'we'd better git goin' or we'll be late, else.'
Ahhhh...country life (pronounced 'loife' Ha!.

SH xx

Cinnamon said...

Hiya SH, thanks for the compliment. I think that Eric would have a hell of a time if we ever visited Scotland!

Bit of Gloucestersire......that sounds posh lol ;-)!

I have never heard of the expression owlse... although it sounds like has a bit of Lancashire in it?? I know Lancastrians say "ye know" after every sentence....that really grates on me!

Great to see you as always, and I appreciate your comments, have a great day... is it super cold with you still?? Warming up abit today here in the North!

Ta Ta for now :-)

The Dotterel said...

I could never understand, as a small boy buying bags of penny sweets, why the shopkeeper - before telling me how much money he wanted, always went on about his turtle. Hull speak can be very confusing!

Cinnamon said...

Hiya Dotterel, does that mean you were a small boy in Hull, and if so whats with the turtle? I laughed when I read your comment, but not sure what you meant.. do enlighten me ;-)

Thanks for commenting, have a great day.

catsmum said...


Now come on over to see my bit of the planet.

Laura Jayne said...

Just live in boring Southern California. So other than a brief bit of Valley Girl speak in my high school years... Oh my God, like fur sure, ya know... it is pretty much bland American.

However, I do have a good friend who I chat with on IM regularly from Scotland. And strangely enough all my yes answers have morphed into aye. I even answered a question here with an aye the other day and didn't think anything of it until later when I remembered the odd look on the waiter's face.

catsmum said...

My mum was from Kent and to other's [not me, she just sounded like mum to me] here in Oz she sounded posh!
This set us aside a bit as kids living in the 'burbs' we felt a bit higher class than the rest of them.
Mum phoned me at work one day and the receptionist put her through to me saying 'There's a woman here for you. I think it's the queen'.


Cinnamon, Sue, Raphael's Mum said...

Hiya Catsmum, good to see you...I will be coming over to yours very soon :-).

Kent is a long way from where we are, and yes I can imagine it sounding "posh"!

I did laugh when I read that. Have a great day wahtever you are doing.

Cinnamon, Sue, Raphael's Mum said...

Laura Jayne, good to see you, when I read your comment I could hear your accent in your words, nice :-). some American accents I have terrible trouble understanding, it happens alot during action movies. Eric translates for ME then lol!

Thanks for commenting and have agreat day :-)

The Dotterel said...

Sorry, C - only just picked up on this: 'turtle' was what I thought shop-keepers were asking my mum for when we both went shopping. (Yes, I was a very small boy once in Hull!) Of course, what they really meant was 'total'. Hull-speak is wonderful, isn't it?

Shakespeare's Housekeeper said...

Hi Cinnamon!
I've tagged you on my blog to do an 'Honest Scrap'.

Fancy having a go?

ps- come on, let's have an update!

Cinnamon, Sue, Raphael's Mum said...

Dotterel, Hiya welcome back and thanks for taking the trouble to explain.

I gotcha now.... you are right when I thought about it, Hullarians always say "turtle" for total !!! Lol

Have a great evening.

Cinnamon, Sue, Raphael's Mum said...

SH.. I did the tag.... on my other site :-). Thanks for including me.

Brian said...

im an 'ull lad aswell , innit :P

Glenda said...

I love this page. For the second time, I visited Hull. Lucky for me I have a couple of friends there and have been teaching me.

Last year, I was lost when my two friends would talk amongst each other. This time, I must admit, I was OK, but I have far long to go to learn the Hull language (which I just learned this this time around is much different than other areas in the UK).
Thank you for posting some slang phrases. Perhaps next year I can impress my friends with a little of there "language",

Paul said...

I love Hull and spend my Holidays there from Norteast USA, Ohio to be exact. Not much from my accent either but i pick up well over there and saying words that way by the time i leave.


Paul said...

I am also a diehard Robins and Tigers fan. Tigers since 1998, my very first Ull trip and the Robins since 2006 when i got into Rugby. I was at last years rival match at MS Craven Park

Peter Milson said...

Hi, I know I'm late into this but my easy translation for beginners is -I becomes A, ie Time becomes Tarm. U becomes E When followed by an R, ie Burger becomes Berger. And H is void at the start of any word, ie help becomes 'Elp.

Anonymous said...

I happen to like the way we speak in hull thank you !! And it is English people in other towns shorten words too like Essex and London at least we have a bit of personality and if you truly don't like our accent as we say in hull 'do one'

Anonymous said...

My son was once on holiday in Canada and was overheard talking to his girlfriend. A guy standing nearby at the bar said to him "What part of Hull do you come from?"
Although he was not from Hull he had lived there for a while and recognised my son's accent.

Anonymous said...

Have you got out else "

wippity woowa said...

hiyya im ull born and bred and i find it funny when i go visit my family up in scotland they cant understand me. we really do ave a unique language

PAUL W said...

Due to my dads job, I had to move away from Hull, when I was only seven and everyone would be startled, shocked and laugh, whenever I said the words "five, nine, mine, wine, fine" and any word that had an "I" in it.
In Hull, five is pronounced as "farv" and nine as "narn", which the people in West Yorkshire would find absolutely hilarious and I would be mocked about it, when I was at school, but I quickly started to pronounce those words, as everyone else in England pronounces them, just to reduce my embarrassment.
I had an uncle in Hull, who would pronounce four as "four-wer", but his wife, my auntie, pronounced four as "furr". My grandma would also say "dossent", instead of saying daren't.
The word "tansad" will also get some questionable looks from anyone living outside of East Yorkshire or "Humbersard", as it was once known as.
Hull certainly has its own unique accent, which is very easy to identify, just as the Newcastle, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol and London accents.

PAUL W said...

Another Hull word for a Miser or "Marzer" is a "Nip Cheese" and someone who is a fool is called "Poonoad".
Both are words that make me smile, even when thinking about them.

Anonymous said...

As a child growing up in "my home town" in the 1970's I thought nothing of the 'ull' dialect, as this was the norm here, everyone spoke this way. Having moved away in my 19th year and having only infrequent visits back to see family and friends I still have a distinct accent which, although tempered over the intervening 30 plus years still identifies me as a "northerner", a "Tyke" and if someone is aware of the 'ull' twang, as being for "the East Riding", and maybe, just maybe as a 'ull' lad (or as friends south of the Humber say, an 'Hully-gully'.

I have read with fond amusement the various ways of saying phrases in the 'ull' manner, especially as with the town becoming the 2017 City of Culture, there has been a wider spread discovery of the 'ull' way of speech, and a rediscovered pride of city dwellers in being recognised as having a somewhat different and unique way of communication from those in the rest of Yorkshire, the North, or the country as a whole.

One word I recall as a child (and the reason for this rambling post) is the word 'playgie / playghe'. To my generation saying "we're off to the 'playgie' was a common utterance, obviously translated in English to "we are off to the play-ground". Just thought I would share :-)
Derian Ranger

Anonymous said...

In Hull people say Farly, instead of Filey and Karly, instead of Kylie.

About Me and My Family

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Urban Chicken Farmer, World Traveller, Creative Photographer, Year Round Gardener, Homemaker and Loving Wife and Beautiful mum to Raphael our 11 year old son.