Friday, March 25, 2016

Old Wives' Tales---Trouble up North

So maybe I've been a little sneaky!

...and maybe, just maybe, I've been keeping stuff from you...

Well there's a very good reason for this: A large portion of my readers are based in America (according to my stats) and would probably have more than a little trouble with the the words used in my cartoon feature, 'Old Wives' Tales'; samples below. Actually, some of my British readers would, and let's not even go near my European fans, who would probably have some internal circuitry blow up and have them charging to their English language teachers and demanding 'what the hell is being said here?' 

But I make no apologies. The cartoons below are from a northern English magazine called the Dalesman and deal with all things Yorkshire; hence the local-centric dialogue.

For quite some time I had been producing humorous gags and twists on features and stories local to the North of England---specifically the Dales---but about a year ago, Adrian Braddy, the editor, asked me if I would produce a stand alone cartoon panel about stereotypical Yorkshire folk.

Now before we go any further I think it only fair to point out that I am not from Yorkshire---I have

visited it, and it is a beautiful area---take a look yourself---but I have never lived there; so the dialogue I use in the strip is from memory and more than a little editorial guidance from those who work at the Dalesman offices.

But I felt that with the world wide appeal and popularity of such programmes as the Last of the Summer Wine, and All Creatures Great and Small and to a lesser degree, the cartoon strip Andy Capp  you were maybe ready for a bit of Northern tom-foolery.

But before I launch you---unsuspecting and totally unprepared into the world of 'Old Wives' Tales'--- I've added this little list of helpful handy hints on the way people 'Up North' communicate:

  1. 'T' this is an abbreviation for the work 'the'. Example: "I am going to the shop." would become 'I'm goin' to t'shop
  2. The existence of the letter 'G' is somewhat of a mystery to these dour and forthright people. So a sentence that says,---in percieved English: "If you are going this way, I'll be heading out that way" would suddenly, and without warning, become "If tha's goin' this way, I'll be headin' that way, tha's knowest" Now I see you all looking a little blank and asking 'Wha...Hey! What's with the 'Tha's' and 'Tha's nowest'? Fear not. Let me explain
  3. The introduction of 'Tha' or Tha's' is simply a bastardisation of the words you, your or you'll as in 'If you are going' and you'll as in Tha's knowest. Knowest is an elongation of the word Know.
  4. 'Allus' is another bastardisation of the word 'Always'
  5. 'Reet' means quite literally 'Right'
  6. 'Thy' equals 'Your' which is confusing. As the sharp sighted amongst you will already have noticed that 'Tha' and 'Tha's' also means 'Your'. Confused? Pity me, I've got to write this stuff.
Now there are probably many, many more, linguistic anomalies that I haven't mentioned; and a single blog post could never do justice to a millenia of the happy mangling of the English language perpetrated by these wonderfully eccentric folk,  I will leave you now with a selection from my comic feature 'Old Wives' Tales' published monthly in the Dalesman about two strong minded northern lasses (ladies) and their perception of married life to their hard nosed, hard headed and delightfully stubborn northern men.


I sincerely hope you enjoyed this post. If you did then please share it like a demented sharing person and keep on coming back for more of the same, and a whole lot more.

All cartoons are copyright Karl Dixon. Please feel free to blog about and repost my work for free but also please acknowledge me as the author and link back. Thank you.

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