I think that this might be close to: Wɪər ðæ gɔːwɪn? This would roughly be Wi-er tha gaw-in? In this example, the first word would be the two words where and are put together Wɪər, but somewhere in my memory, I have maybe heard an s find its way in to give something like Wɪərs ðæ gɔːwɪn?(Wi-ers tha gaw-in?), but I am not not so sure about this.

Now I know that Yorkshire is a big place with many different regions and dialects, but I'm sure we can keep this topic peaceful. (No Lankies allowed)

  • 2
    Writing dialect is a touchy, tricky business. An American and a Londoner might have different ideas about what sounds odd in the Yorkshire accent, because they are comparing it to their own, and they would write those differences in spellings that would sound-out appropriately in their own accents. In effect, what you are expressing is the difference between TWO accents. So the question becomes, Yorkshire as compared to what?
    – frances
    May 1, 2014 at 14:29
  • Good point Frances! Yorkshire compared to a rather bland standard English accent.
    – RoDaSm
    May 1, 2014 at 14:42
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    You would best write: "Where are you going?" the Yorkshireman asked in a heavy accent.
    – Oldcat
    May 1, 2014 at 16:39
  • In my Australian dialect we tend to run words together and it would be something like this - Weyagoin? Another favourite of ours is - Have a good weekend = Avagoodweegend!
    – user74494
    May 10, 2014 at 5:40
  • 4
    It's worth mentioning that "thee"/"thou" is not just the Yorkshire version of "you". It's more like using "tu"/"toi" in French in that it implies familiarity. "You" is comparable to "vous" in that context. I remember this in the context of a teacher who started work at a school in Barnsley. The children theed and thoued, which he found charming. It wasn't until after a few weeks had passed, that it was explained to him that they were being rude. :)
    – Steve
    May 15, 2014 at 13:08

1 Answer 1


In the past tense your recollection of a final 's' comes from the auxillary verb used with thee/thou as mentioned Steve's comment.

Where hast thou been? (Where's tha bin?).

This is probably best known in the song On Ilkley Moor Baht 'at, which has numerous online attempts at transcribing the dialect:

Wheear 'ast tha bin sin' ah saw thee, ah saw thee?

    On Ilkla Mooar baht 'at

Wheear 'ast tha bin sin' ah saw thee, ah saw thee?
Wheear 'ast tha bin sin' ah saw thee?

    On Ilkla Mooar baht 'at - etc etc

Listen to it HERE

(Where hast thou been since I saw thee? On Ilkley Moor without a hat). This, as opposed to "Where have you been" (in whatever accent you fancy).

So if you were to attempt to write it as dialect at all, you ought to have the 's'.

This doesn't quite work with the present tense however, which by rights should be:

Where art thou going?

But I'm sure I recall hearing "Where's tha going?" too. Maybe someone else can add an explanation?

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