“If you don’t eat yer dinner, I’ll tell thee Fatha” is something that my Grandma used to say to us grandkids when we were acting up and being little wotsits. At first it made us worry that we were going to get mega done off our Dad’s, but she would never in a million years have grassed us up! It’s 20+ years since she used to say that, and it’s still a running joke in the family amongst other hilarious things she used to say to us.
I think it used to make me laugh because I’ve never called my Dad “Fatha” and never said “thee”…and probably never will! But isn’t language and dialect such a wonderful thing? There’s 61 years between me and my Gran which meant we spoke a totally different language to each other, but it did mean we had some good laughs. Her choice of words was from a time gone by that we’ll never have again, and I really miss her for that – except for ‘bleedin’ ‘ell fire’ because I did get very done when I repeated that one and I will never forget it!
But me Fatha was the one who would pick up on my grammar, and tell me I wasn’t talking proper(ly). I fought back so many times and claimed it’s because of where I’m from. It has driven me mad over the years – and obviously him too. I think I’ve just always felt that how I speak is part of who I am and where I’m from, regardless of what anyone thinks. I’m Yorkshire and very proud of it.
And then I married a southerner! After almost 10 years, I’ve given up trying to teach him our Yorkshire ways. Bless him. But between us we can’t believe just how Yorkshire our 4 year old daughter speaks. It’s absolutely brilliant! She never met my Gran, but they are so alike.
I wonder if I’ll end up saying “if you don’t eat yer dinner, I’ll tell thee Fatha?” Only time will tell!