Monday, 7 November 2011

Wars of the Roses

Most parents argue about their children even before they're born. Names are a popular cause of pre-birth rows. My own parents were so completely unable to agree on a name for their first child (not me, by the way) that they ended up exhaustedly agreeing on the only name that they could think of that neither of them hated. I was proud to have dodged this particular bullet. Mon Geek and I agreed on names with the minimum of discussion. I felt that I was entitled to feel a little smug.

No more. For this week, we realised that our child will be half-Lancashire, half-Yorkshire. It will be a Tudor rose. It will be a cross between perky buxom Lancashire lass (think Gracie Fields) and dour old Yorkshire bumface (think Fred Trueman). And this hideous realisation that we have produced a Lancashire/Yorkshire hybrid child, who will be growing up in Nottingham, has led to many, many rows.

Will our child say "barmcake" or "breadcake"? Will it aim for holidays in Blackpool or in Filey? Will it crack a superb deadpan joke, or will - No, there aren't any Yorkshire comedians. Even Boyfriend can't think of any, thus proving my natural Lancashire assumption that the Yorkshire temperament is naturally grumpy and miserable. (Boyfriend, aided by Wikipedia, has just come up with Charlie Williams, which, but he's the only one either of us can think of.)

We finally managed to compromise on bilingualism. We will teach our baby some of the great and deathless words in both our dialects. From his, words like, "maungey" and "fettle" and "How do"; from mine, ""ginnel", "skrike", "sken" and "mither". Compromise is key. My baby may end up eating haslet, but at least this way, it'll be in a barm. With black pudding.

And dripping.


  1. And Yorkshire gave us the kings of comedy. All hail the Chuckle Brothers!

  2. Breadcake is a miserable compromise. Mon Geek also refers to it as a teacake, which in my view is a spiced article with currants in.

    On the score of comedians, we did later come up with Michael Palin and Ernie Wise, but I was amused that he couldn't come up with anyone at first. He even tried to co-opt Les Dawson for Yorkshire. In your dreams, boy. In your dreams.

  3. Pfft. Everybody knows it's a teacake! I thought the currants thing was a southern thing (a la my parents)
    Your child will be a beacon for mediation in the new post-War of the Roses era (since, you know, it only just ended)
    He/she will be bilingual and have an inherent understanding of the two cultures. He/she will be able to effortlessly translate in Yorkshire/Lancashire peace negotiations, slipping easily between idioms. It will be a new era, a new world!

    I think possibly Yorkshire has fewer comedians due to not having quite so much to need to develop a sense of humour about.
    But what of Nottinghamshire? Will the child perhaps be a Midlander? An uber Lancs/Yorks/Notts king or queen...

    There can be only one.