Northern British Sayings #1: Ha’porth

Been thinking about this for a while, so here goes. For the amusement,  amazement or probably just the general bemusement of all, I present the first in a series of, “Northern British Sayings”. Could be just a word, or maybe an expression. Probably some dialect things. I’m going to give my interpretation of these, be interesting to hear alternatives in the comments. Since I am a Yorkshireman, my interpretation will generally have a “Yorkshire” perspective. Yes, these are things that people actually say, today (for the benefit of my American friends). 🙂

#1 Ha’porth 

As in, “He doesn’t have an ha’porth of sense.” Or, “You daft ha’porth.”

Pronounced, “aye-peth”, this is a contraction of “Half-penny worth”. So, “He doesn’t have a half-penny worth of sense.”

Incidentally, a half-penny is known as an “ha’penny”, pronounced “aye-penny”. 

Posted by Steve Wetherill


Well, 20 years in Northumberland now allow me to say,

“Ee well, will ya deek at the cantle on yon gadgeys jugle, ah var nai skelped it wi yon muckle clemmy”

At regular intervals.


Ian! I had no idea what most of that is, Googling gets me to:

“I say, will you look at the head on yonder old fellows dog, I very nearly whacked it with yonder big stone.”


Updated with Ian’s input. Parses now, but still makes very little sense. 🙂

” var nai” = very nearly
gadgey = old bloke

other wise … there may be a ajob for you in Google translate 😉

Were reet darn int cilleroil
where t’muck slarts on t’windaz
weve use all us coil up and were
reet darn tat cinders
if yonder bond baliff comes
eel never findus
coz were reet darn in cilleroil
where t’muck slarts on t’windaz

Your time starts now …

We are well down in the cellar
Where the dirt splashes onto the windows
We have used up all of our coal
Right down to the cinders
If yonder bailiff comes
He will never find us
Because we are well down in the cellar
Where the dirt splashes onto the windows

Or summat.

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