Author publishes book about Derbyshire dialect

Derbyshire Dialect author Mike Smith
Derbyshire Dialect author Mike Smith
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Y’orate, duck? Hang t’tab on – there’s a new book about Derbyshire dialect out.

To help you familiarise ya’sen with our county’s cant, Mike Smith has penned a definitive guide to Derbyshire’s varied vernacular.

“When I moved to Derbyshire 40 years ago, I thought there was something wrong with me,” said Mike, “because people kept passing me in the street and saying y’orate?

“I had never heard that before, but it didn’t take me long to realise it is just a way of greeting.”

Originally from Leeds, Mike was also struck by the friendly term ‘duck’, used by bus drivers the county over in place of ‘love’, as in his native Yorkshire tongue.

“Another thing that I found interesting is the use of diminutives for place names, like Tidza for Tideswell and Boza for Bolsover.

“That and an economy with words. You hear, ‘Goin’ Tidza?’ meaning ‘Are you going to Tideswell?’. Why use five words when two will suffice?”

Magazine writer, Mike, 70, has spent three months compiling the book, which is in two parts.

The first is a dictionary of terms, with part two featuring stories from across the county.

He said: “A favourite story of mine is about Youlgreave, who are nicknamed ‘Pommies’.

“They are called that because when the Silver Band first got their instruments they couldn’t actually play them.

“The best they could come up with was a simple ‘Pom, Pom, Pom’ as they marched up the village street!”

Mike reckons the richest example of Derbyshire’s dialect can be found in the rural areas, where both accents and regionalisms are much more pronounced.

“Because of the county’s landscape, which is very hilly, you get areas which are quite secluded.

“That makes communities develop their own dialogue and stick to it.”

Derbyshire Dialect is published by Bradwell Books and is available from Waterstones, WHSmith and other outlets priced £3.99.

Here are a few translations from Mike Smith’s book:

Couldna knock skin off a rice pudding - Very weak.

Black ower Bill’s mothers - The sky is dark in the distance and it’s looking like rain.

Hang t’tab on - Listen.

Let dog see th’ rabbit - Move up, please.