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Sheffield Slang For A Story

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Hi all!

 

My name's Virginia and I'm a student/writer. I was hoping you guys could help me with something. I'm writing a story (well really, it's a novel, but just for now it's an introduction) and the main character (20s, upper middle class) is from Sheffield and I'm having trouble finding the right slang words or ways to word my sentences so they sound Northern instead of Southern/London-y (which is kind of hard, since London slang is so much more known, even here in America)

 

Mainly what I need help with are just general slang words used in Sheffield. My character in the introduction is interacting with people from Southern England and America, so he won't go completely "full out" as if he were talking to someone from Sheffield. However, I know that no matter what area you come from, you can never truly leave it, and I want that to be prevalent in his language. There is a convo between him and someone from London, and I want that distinction to be up front. He's proper, but he's obviously not from London.

 

Specific things I need help with...

 

- The way you guys speak, kind of backwards - is that only with certain phrases or do you think this is prevalent in just everyday speech? Can you give an example?

 

- You guys seem to have your own phrases. What about these "proper" (I guess you can call it that) phrases/words: "Shut the f**k up" (I know "shut up" is shut ya gob, right? But I'm not sure where that extra word would fit or if it's just another phrase altogether), "Blimey, do you hear me boy?" (I'm just not sure if you guys use blimey in the North or if it's a Southern thing), " to tear/rip someone apart....to be torn apart" (another phrase?).

 

- Would you guys say: "Let me ask y'love", or would it be "Let me ask you love"

 

- Is the use of "me" instead of "my" a northern thing or just an English thing?

 

Any other little thing you guys could think of that would help, I'd appreciate it.

 

I know that's a lot, but I just want this story to be as authentic and respectful of Sheffield's dialect and language as it possibly can be. Thanks!

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Hi Vas8849,

 

not sure if this is much help... but in my opinion 'shut up' would be 'shurrup' if said on its own, 'Shut the ***** up' would be the same... if you were saying 'shut ya gob' and wanted to add the swearing it would probably be 'shut ya f*cking gob'. but... after saying that, if it was a Yorkshire thing it would be shut 'thi' gob.

 

most peope do say 'me' instead of 'my' (or 'mi'), I'd say 'mi mother', the 'i' sounding as you would say it in 'big'

 

not sure if any of that helps... I'm confused myself now...not a hard thing to do to me though...LOL

 

Good luck with the writing :)

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It's a tricky one, because not everyone from Sheffield/Yorkshire/The North speaks with a broad accent but might have some local ways or saying things (just the same as everywhere in the world I guess). eg not pronouncing "the", just making a "t" sound!

 

Try having a listen to Sean Bean being interviewed when he's speaking in his own accent (and not one put on for acting) - that might give you a few ideas.

 

Good luck

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If your character was upper middle class, then they would probably not use any dialect words at all.

The working class people are the ones who have speech which has all the slang and dialect.

 

when I went to college at 16 and met people from the wealthier part of sheffield for the first time who were my classmates from places like Lodge Moor, Whirlow and Dore, ( typically upper middle class areas ) many of them spoke with a different accent and didn't know many of the sheffiledish words I was brought up with in hillsborough, which is traditionally more of a working class area.

They even tried to take the **** out of my accent because I sounded more northern then they did.

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One notes that the original poster has omitted to identify just when this novel is set.

There are other pointers to watch out for:

1. How many of us would refer to that street as The Wicker?

2. How many still refer to the store as Cole's even though it's not been that for donkey's years?

3. Do people still go shopping at The stores?

 

Certain places may officially change their names, but it takes ages for the new name to gain acceptance. How long were Zavvi at the top of Fargate?

Edited by Hopman
correcting typing error

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One notes that the original poster has omitted to identify just when this novel is set.

There are other pointers to watch out for:

1. How many of us would refer to that street as The Wicker?

2. How many still refer to the store as Cole's even though it's not been that for donkey's years?

3. Do people still go shopping at The stores?

 

Certain places may officially change their names, but it takes ages for the new name to gain acceptance. How long were Zavvi at the top of Fargate?

 

well, just a suggesion... (FWIW)

 

1)The Wicker is generally "T'Wikker"

 

2) Most "comers" (that is, Non-natives) call it "John Lewis" but most Sheffielders still persist in calling it "Coles" (despite it having been taken over by JL many, many years previously. I mean, My God! They only altered the name on the fascia of the shosp in 2002 to "JL" from "Coles") indeed A freind and I had a discussion as to where we were going to browse electrical departments for the new TV he was looking to buy to replace his old set.. and, yes, you guessed it, we said to each other "Well, we could try 'Coles' "!!

 

3) If there's a "stoo-ers" nearby, then I'm sure people still shop there. our family still call the Co-Op by that name. ( My 70 year old father can still remember my Grandma's 'Divvi' {Dividend } number!!

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Hi all! and the main character (20s, upper middle class) is from Sheffield !
The only way you'd possibly be able to tell that an upper middle class person was from the North might be that they'd pronounce with a flat 'a' .

The upper middle classes wouldn't normally go to a state school, they'd go to a private prep school, and then probably onto public school, and would be highly unlikely to talk with a broad accent or use dialect. They certainly wouldn't be saying 'shut thi gob' or calling people 'love' :)

 

When you say upper middle class what do you actually mean, have you a background pencilled in for this character? Put some flesh on his bones, what does his father do. for instance?

 

muddycoffee has it pretty much right in his post, two different worlds :)

Edited by rubydazzler
add a bit

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Hi all!

 

My name's Virginia and I'm a student/writer. I was hoping you guys could help me with something. I'm writing a story (well really, it's a novel, but just for now it's an introduction) and the main character (20s, upper middle class) is from Sheffield and I'm having trouble finding the right slang words or ways to word my sentences so they sound Northern instead of Southern/London-y (which is kind of hard, since London slang is so much more known, even here in America)

 

Mainly what I need help with are just general slang words used in Sheffield. My character in the introduction is interacting with people from Southern England and America, so he won't go completely "full out" as if he were talking to someone from Sheffield. However, I know that no matter what area you come from, you can never truly leave it, and I want that to be prevalent in his language. There is a convo between him and someone from London, and I want that distinction to be up front. He's proper, but he's obviously not from London.

 

Specific things I need help with...

 

- The way you guys speak, kind of backwards - is that only with certain phrases or do you think this is prevalent in just everyday speech? Can you give an example?

 

- You guys seem to have your own phrases. What about these "proper" (I guess you can call it that) phrases/words: "Shut the f**k up" (I know "shut up" is shut ya gob, right? But I'm not sure where that extra word would fit or if it's just another phrase altogether), "Blimey, do you hear me boy?" (I'm just not sure if you guys use blimey in the North or if it's a Southern thing), " to tear/rip someone apart....to be torn apart" (another phrase?).

 

- Would you guys say: "Let me ask y'love", or would it be "Let me ask you love"

 

- Is the use of "me" instead of "my" a northern thing or just an English thing?

 

Any other little thing you guys could think of that would help, I'd appreciate it.

 

I know that's a lot, but I just want this story to be as authentic and respectful of Sheffield's dialect and language as it possibly can be. Thanks!

 

Vas, I can tell that youre a Yank, as you keep saying " you guys". I have lots of relatives in America, and they all say that.:D:D:D

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Haha, I'm not a yankee - born and raised in South Louisiana - cajun country! I do say "ya'll" but only when I talk to people. It sounds more right to type "you guys", I don't know why though.

 

A little more about my main character...

 

His family is more of a working upper class family. I imagine he was raised in Hillsborough up until about the age of 12, probably got made fun of at his new private school for his accent. Although, as an adult his accent would be toned down by now - kind of like Alex Turner (The Arctic Monkeys) in an interview, and of course as heard in his music as well, as his music is pretty influential to the story...

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I'm confused, do you mean an 'upper working class' family - as in his father would be some sort of foreman in a factory, be a police constable or maybe run a newsagents or a post office, or be an office clerk? His mother might be a secretary or work in high class shop. They'd live in a larger type terraced house or a semi-detached house. That sort of background? And what period is the story set in? If it's in the 50s, 60s, 70s or 80s they'd all be different.. Did they win the lottery or something, or did he get a scholarship to his new school?

 

I'm not sure if Alex Turner has a 'toned down' accent, as I've never heard him speaking.

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Whoooa, Hillsborough - Private School ??????

 

We need a decade for this plot, a big change happened in the mid 70s when huge numbers of southerners emigrated from the south with the relocation of the Midland Bank HQ, followed in the Early 80s with the second wave of civil servants with the Manpower Services Comission. And that's another building that changed its name in 1986 but is still known as the MSC building. As for Coles then there are plenty who still refer to Coles Corner, so there's a long way to go before Coles becomes JL?

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It's definitely modern - for some reason I forgot to mention that. Whatever is relevant currently is relevant for the story. He's in his mid 20s right now, so he was a kid/adolescent in the 90s.

 

He lived in Hillsborough till he was 12 - his parents were artists (I haven't decided completely, but I'm thinking his dad was more like a craftsman and his mom was a sculptor/painter) - and sometime in the mid-late 90s their career kind of took off which is why they could afford to move to an upper class area and him attend a private school.

 

Even though I'm pretty happy with that, I did just came up with it so I guess some of the gritty details, like occupation, could change. But that's the basic outline of what I'm trying to get at with his family history, and his childhood in Sheffield.

Edited by vas8849
some detail

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