Ah, the North of England. The promised land, the hallowed turf, the place where you’ll find the highest incidences of heart disease and cancer. What’s not to love? It’s the place that gave us Corrie, Emmerdale and a Pasty on a Barmcake.
Here are 15 things only people from the North will understand.
Do you live in a barn?
The favoured question of Dads all over the north, if, as a child you left the door open when you walked in or out of a room. And now? We say it to our kids too – after we swore we wouldn’t.
There’s a Greggs bakers in every town.
Sometimes, if you’re lucky – there’s two or three. In London, you might get a lethal addiction to Cabernet Sauvignon. In Manchester, it’s Steak Bakes. *wipes crumbs away from mouth*
The word “proper” is almost like punctuation
Every story you tell is peppered with the word “proper” to make it sound more real, more true and more flippin’ honest. Cos’ we’re northern and we’re keepin’ it real.
Put the big light on
If you’re ever struggling to read, or watch the TV in the seductive low-lighting, in your council house in Salford, you ask yer mam to “put the big light on”. All of a sudden you can see Rita Fairclough’s roots need doing and that you’ve spilled gravy down your kagoule.
It’s fighting talk if someone insults where you came from
Don’t ever insult Wigan, or Bolton, in front of a Wiganer or Boltoner. Not only will you get short shrift – you’ll never be safe to walk the streets with a pie again. It’s feytin’ talk to insult a good, solid northern town.
Everyone assumes there’s only one seaside resort and that you all holiday there
There are some pretty excellent seaside towns in the north apart from Blackpool. Southport, Morecambe and Grange-over sands (OK, we’re stretching it a bit with the last one). But us northerners do go to other places for our holidays now, so stop assuming we all pile out of the mill and take Wakes Week in Blackpool!
The main food groups are protein, carbs, fats, dairy and gravy. The latter is essential if you’re northern. You must cover everything you eat in it, or it’s not a proper meal. Proper.
Darling and Love are used to address everyone
If you don’t like being called “love” or “darling” find somewhere else to live. It’s endemic here. We even call people we don’t like, “love”. eg “You’ve got a brass neck, love – beggar off”
You have to say everything twice, so people can understand your broad accent
“Come again, I didn’t get that” is a phrase we hear a lot, especially down south – no-one can understand our broad accents.
Everyone thinks you know Peter Kay
Well, we don’t (your genial writer met him once, but that was it!) There are loads of other towns besides Bolton, and although we’re friendly and close knit, we don’t all know each other
You call your mum’s friends Auntie
“Just nip next door to Aunty Pat’s and see if she’s got any paracetamol in – me ‘eads bangin’ and I’ve nowt in t’first aid cabinet” Aunty Pat and your mum have been friends for 27 years, but are in no way related.
You know how to correctly categorise your meals
It’s breakfast, dinner, tea and supper – NOT – breakfast, lunch and dinner. Yuck!
We use the word “alright” to say hello, to ask if someone’s OK and…just well…all the time really. For everything.
You say “I’m not being funny, but”
“I’m not being funny, but you’re a right tray-cloth, you are” “I’m not being funny, but you’re proper getting on my nerves you are”
We call soft drinks “pop”
Because that’s what cola, lemonade and Tango are. Pop. Fizzy pop. Not soda, soft drinks or anything else.