Aud Wheeaist - a poem in Yorkshire dialect
Nicholas Rhea is a member of the Yorkshire Dialect Society and served on its council for a number of years. With more than a hundred dialects with Yorkshire alone, there is a considerable variety of local speech; the society exists to preserve those dialects in both the spoken and written form. Nicholas Rhea speaks and writes in the North Riding dialect as spoken in the north-eastern corner of the North York Moors and under his own name of Peter N. Walker, has written both prose and verse in his native dialect. As dialect writing is largely based on phonetic speech, some of the words might be difficult to understand - but he does use it occasionally in his Constable books. Here then is one of his poems.
"Wheea's that?" yelled oor missus
When Ah waved as a tractor com near.
"Whey, it's Aud Wheeaist," Ah said,
"E's varry wheel knawn aroond here."
"'Ow come thoo knaws him?" she aksed.
"Thoo's nivver waved afoor!"
Ah says, "Ah dissn't wave at sthrangers, ma,
Aud Wheeaist lives ower t'moor."
"Ah've knawn him for a lang, lang while,
It's him that browt them logs,
Last Christmas it was, thoo'll remember that,
An' 'e breeds them Collie dogs."
"Thoo'll 'ave seen 'im aroond," Ah said,
"'E's nivver misses Thosk mart
'E's gitten an oss, an aud grey mare
Ti tow his tonnup cart."
"'E's a grand chap, Aud Wheeaist," Ah said,
"An' 'e likes his drop of ale,
'E's in t'White Swan quite reg'lar away,
Ivvery Thossder, wivoot fail."
"Whey, Ah can't say Ah knows him,"
She chuntered and suffed and sighed,
"Yis thoo dis," Ah said inoo.
"That's 'is sister thoo can't abide!"
"Noo 'od 'ard and mind that tahme,
We went ti t'Yorkshire Show,
Aud Wheeaist was there, 'e won that cup
Wiv his pure-bred Masham yow!"
"Was that Aud Wheeaist?" she aksed.
"It was!" Ah was capped she'd kenned.
"E' fettled that lawnmower that wadn't start
And that kettle thoo took him ti mend."
"'Im wi' them Friesians, that's Aud Wheeaist,
An' 'is missus is good wi' lamb chops,
She fettles rare tatie and onion pies
An' sells 'em in t'village shops."
"Aye well that might be," she said inoo,
"But Ah deearn't knaw him at all,
Seea 'ow's thoo ken him as wheel as thoo dis,
While Ah's nivver bidden ti call?"
"Whey," Ah says, "Ah've known Aud Wheeaist,
Varry near for all of me life,
But Ah can't just fetch his name ti mind,
Nor t'lass he tyook as his wife."
PETER N. WALKER