Thursday, March 06, 2008

Next Step: The Republic of Yorkshire

Next Step: The Republic of Yorkshire

It is Sunday morning, I am at home, half awake, flicking through the pages of The Observer in the blissful knowledge that for the first time in weeks it is a Sunday where I neither have to work nor travel. The conversation is the type of Sunday morning discourse that fades in and out, going nowhere in particular.

There has, I am aware, been talk of my mother's broken foot for the last couple of minutes, for, like numerous footballers before her, she has broken her metatarsal.

"If you said the word 'ginnel' to someone whose first language wasn't English they wouldn't know what you meant".

For the accident occurred in a ginnel.

"They wouldn't know what you meant outside of Yorkshire" I add.


"Yes, ginnel's very much a Northern word". I pause. A conversation I had on a bus in the middle of South London comes to mind. "It's like the word 'breadcake'; Dean said that [Director Boy] didn't have a clue what he meant".

"They don't use the word breadcake in London?". I can tell that my mother is adding this to the list of reasons why the North is infinitely superior to anywhere below Sheffield.

"Apparently not".

"Then, what on earth do they call a breadcake?"

"Erm" I make some gesture with my hands, as if that is going to help the situation. Because obviously I cannot comprehend a world where the word breadcake is not used either. And I have lived in the south. "A roll?"

"But that's not a roll".

"No it isn't" my father contributes.

I nod. Those Southerners with their southern ways. They shall be getting us to call dinner 'lunch' and tea 'dinner' next. "I know".

We all sink back into the silence of our Sunday papers, safe in the knowledge of the linguistic superiority of our county.


Nik said...

you forgot the whole 'pot' issue...

Corinne said...

Oh my god, I can't believe I forgot that! Thematically so much better fitting than breadcake!

Director Boy said...

We would indeed call it a bread roll... or for that matter a bap... surely they are baps??

Linguistic superiority? I'll have you know that as a midlands lad I hail from closer to Shakespeare country than you northerners so get back to yer whippets and flat caps... back, back I say!


Val said...

It reminds me of a conversation I had in the 'sarff' on Monday. We ate the same meal, but I had my tea, and she had supper.

(and I think 'breadcake' is more West Yorks - I'd call it a bread bun')x

cat said...

The baked good you refer to is clearly a cob. Buns have icing and, if you're lucky, a cherry, or Hundreds and Thousands. Cake is served by the slice, with tea, at 5pm. Neither is made of bread.

I understand ginnel, but much prefer the good old north Notts "snicket".

cat said...

PS - hope your mum is on the mend soon :o)

gayle said...

You clearly all mean a barmcake...
PS - there's a ginnel at the back of my house! x