The Barguest & the Padfoot – A Few Favourite Yorkshire Words

As part of my research for Dogtooth Chronicals I did a fair bit of reading into dialects of Northern England, both Yorkshire & Northumberland. Often the two cross over, especially in Scandinavian influence. As I still use a few of these, I thought I’d do a short post on my favourites. I recently posted a bit of flash fiction set in Sheffield, called The Graveyard Shift in which I used ‘padfoot’. So without further ado, here are my half-remembered definitions, with apologies to professionals who study such things. But as Wolfgang says “All knowledge is hear-say.”

Padfoot – Ghostdog

Barguest – Unwelcome visitor/ghoul/poltergeist

Fizzog – Face

Fernticles – Freckles

Brattle – thunder-clap

Bellywark – Stomach ache

Musweb – Cobweb

Molly Mawkin – Overdressed woman (mawkin can also mean Scarecrow).

Grand-owt – This means ‘everything is great’, but with typical Yorkshire understatedness.

Notes: For the non-UK audience out there ‘Owt’ (Everything) & ‘Nowt’ (Nothing) are common words in local British dialect, particularly Yorkshire.

Beclarted – Caked in mud

Glum – Sad

Mardy/Having a mard – Grumpy/Unhappy/In a mood

Narky/Narked – Mardy

Nippy – Either very cold ‘a nip in the air’ or speedy

Boggart – Bogeyman




4 responses to “The Barguest & the Padfoot – A Few Favourite Yorkshire Words

  1. thehowlingfantogs

    I love Mardy. None of my southern friends get it. Don’t forget ‘cob on.’

  2. ey up, thort ad put my two penneth in, I like nobbut, it’s a frequent word in Yorkshire too, meaning ‘nothing but’.
    By the way If someone sez ‘owr you?’ yud appen answer ‘fair ta middlin’ or appen yud say ‘champion’ but that’s getting less as I get older.
    ey up can mean anything from good morning, good afternoon etc to hello.
    It’s such a shame that children are taught to speak without their dialects nowadays.
    I like the word ‘tumblin’ too [meaning falling], it brings back memories from when I was a youngen and me grandad ud seh don’t go too fast downt ‘ill or thal end up tumblin over.
    Well thas erd enough o me so si thi then.

  3. I forgot ‘nobbut’, I just remembered one of my favourite lines I put in DC was ‘…where nobbut trouts and porriwiggles swam.’ Porriwiggle is another one I missed.

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