Oral History

Village Dialect

by Joe Bartley

'A poem about the village of Earl Shilton in dialect'

It’s a funny place is Shilton - they talk in a funny way.

I don’t mean funny as nasty - I mean in what they say,

If you come to live here - you’ll have to learn the ‘lingo’

They’ve got a language all their own - like a caller at ‘Bingo’.

Another thing about this place - that could be underrated.

Is the fact, that all of them - in some way, are related,

You have to be careful what you say - or who you say it to,

Never spread gossip about anyone - they could be related to you.

Listen to the way they greet you - they say, “How are then me’ duck.

And if you want to cadge a sweet it’s, gis a bit er’ Suck”

Then if you want to find out - about a person whose been sick,

You don’t say, “Feeling better now” - but How are yer’ then me’ duck”.

I think a pavement is a pavement - no matter where you are at.

But a pavement is a “Corsey” here - what do you think of that?

And if your yard is dirty - and you want to get it clean,

You ask em’ for a “Corsey Brush” - they’ll know just what you mean.

“Ah yer’ going to chuck it nar” - is another favourite saying.

Meaning, “are you going to stop it - I tell you I’m not playing”

And when you see a person - drinking his ale too fast!

You say, “Don’t guzzle it down yer’ “which means - “Make it last”.

Then theres, “Guz an Gis him hissen’”- about which I’m not quite clear.

But the phrase, “mekkase’ me’ duck”means, Hurry up my dear”

“Safto” means - “this afternoon”, and I would lay a pound~

“Gooin’numb’ this Safto means that I’m homeward bound.

They’re very nice people really - it’s this dialect they’ve got.

Just try and understand them - They’re quite a friendly lot.

It’s really quite a nice place - I’m sure you’ll find it so.

Lovely walks up “Gaffers Alley”, - down “Klondike” and “Old Tub Row”.

So, why don’t you come and stay here - learn the dialect.

No matter where you come from - it’s something they’ll respect,

You’ll have to chat with everyone - you can’t learn it from a book,

And when I see you up the street, I’ll say, “Well done me’ Duck”.