At the weekend over a family lunch, we played a game I like to refer to as ‘arse’ versus ‘ass’. Ever heard of it? If your family is a mix of southerners and northerners then the chances are you’ve played it.
In case you didn’t know, I’m northern.
I was born in Sheffield, grew up in Lincoln and then moved back to Sheffield for half of my twenties. (OK, technically Lincoln could be classes as the Midlands, but it’s northern compared to where I live now). I will always be northern, no matter how long I live in the south (ten years and counting).
Husband, on the other hand, couldn’t be more southern if he tried. He’s from Hayling Island and he grew up a street away from the beach on the south coast.
(Yes I know this is a picture of London, not Hayling, but you get the idea).
The game began with Husband pointing to his glass of drink and asking the boys what it was. T2 told him it was a ‘gl-ass’. Husband corrected him and told him it was called ‘gl-arse’. T1 stepped in and told him he was being silly and it was definitely a ‘gl-ass’, not a ‘gl-arse’.
I chuckled quietly in the background. Husband then went on to ask what the green stuff outside was. The boys both shouted ‘gr-ass’ in unison. After a sharp intake of breath, Husband went on to explain that it was pronounced ‘gr-arse’. Then he told them to say ‘ca-r-stle’ not ‘castle’ and ‘barth’ not ‘bath’. The boys thought he was being hilarious and couldn’t stop laughing at him.
I’ve obviously taught them well.
He finally gave in when one of them offered him another ‘breadcake’ for his ‘dinner’*.
*For the non Sheffielders out there, a breadcake is what we call a roll/bap, and dinner is what we call lunch, because our evening meal is called tea.
Dawn Frazier says
Ha ha! This made me laugh (larf not laff). I’m a southerner through and through, born in Fareham and grew up there and my husband was born in Birmingham and grew up in Havant so speaks like a southerner, whereas his parents are more northerners (both from Birmingham) so they would say gr-ass and b-ath. We’ve often had those conversations. Oddly enough I did know what a breadcake is because I have a friend who lives in Whiteley who’s from Sheffield and she asked me to pick some up for her when I was on my way over once. I had to ask her what it was!
Although they say northern words they definitely have a southern twang to their accent. It makes me laugh a lot to see how they’ve taken something from both of us. Everyone down here looks at me like I’m a nutter when I ask for breadcakes! x