Ey up, moving to Sheffield? Packing your life up and going to another city can be extremely daunting at first. Especially when you feel that you stick out like a sore thumb to locals when they hear you speak. Having lived as a student in Sheffield for almost three years, I’ve begun to pick up phrases. In this time, I have noticed certain words and phrases that are synonymous with the city.
As a northerner from just across the Peak District in Manchester, it hasn’t been too different. Apart from the Yorkshire accent and a few specific phrases. Working with and having friends who are from Sheffield means I’m used to the dialect. However, if you’re from another city or country and are thinking of moving to Sheffield, whether that be for work or education, this article will tell you about what you can expect to hear from locals.
This word can mean many different things, depending on the context. If someone says ‘that’s reyt good’, they’re describing something as very good. If someone says ‘he’ll be reyt’, they’re shortening ‘alright’ or saying someone is fine. This is probably the word you will hear the most in lots of different situations.
What some might call a bread roll or barm cake, is actually called a breadcake by Sheffielders. This is one of those common debates like what time do you have lunch, tea or dinner, or how do you pronounce scone. In this hilly city, and across a lot of Yorkshire, it’s commonly called a breadcake.
Being called ‘love’ by a stranger might sound strange to some, but ‘love’ is what I would call the equivalent in Sheffield to ‘mate’ or ‘pal’ in other parts of the country. It’s words like this that are used in Yorkshire that I think add to the friendly persona the county gets. As opposed to places like London where it is unlikely you’d spark up a conversation with a random person when you’re on the tube.
Dropping letters in some words or some words completely such as ‘the’
This didn’t really seem any different to me when I moved to Sheffield for university because we also drop letters and sometimes words in Manchester too. It’s definitely more noticeable here though.
This essentially means moody or grumpy, and you may have heard this word used in the title and lyrics of a song by a very famous band from Sheffield (Arctic Monkeys, but I’m sure you knew that already).
Ey up/ Alright
You’ll hear this a lot. This is a proper Sheffield greeting to say hello and ask how you are.
Usually said by someone from Yorkshire when they’re in shock about something they’ve heard or seen.
Nowt is the shortened version of nothing so, if you asked someone if they’re busy, they might reply that they’re doing nowt.
‘Sheff United’ or ‘Wednesday’
For someone who doesn’t really take any interest in football, this confused me a lot to begin with, as I wasn’t aware there were two football clubs in Sheffield. If you are like me and hear someone refer to Wednesday a lot, they’re most likely not talking about the day of the week. They’re talking about Sheffield Wednesday.
I hope this article has helped give you an insight into the local dialect of a great city.
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