The Yorkshire Dialect Dictionary

Our second major announcement of this week!

YAHS is proud and excited to announce a ground-breaking venture – collaborative and community-sourced, presenting the life’s work of one eminent member and celebrating the memory of another. The Yorkshire Dictionary will appear in two formats: as conventional volumes in the YAHS Record Series, and also online, interactive, inviting contributors to share information and sources.

Dr George Redmonds has worked on Yorkshire records for more than 60 years, collecting historical information about how words were used and what they meant. He is now editing and converting his index cards into machine-readable form. The work of developing open-source software and publishing the material online is to be funded by the Marc Fitch Fund, as a memorial to their former chairman, Professor David Hey, who was a good friend of George.

The Fitch grant of £67,500 will employ a researcher and a web developer at the Borthwick Institute for Archives, starting in autumn 2017. Chris Webb, Keeper of Archives at the Borthwick, who is also general editor of YAHSRS, secured this funding on behalf of the partners (Dr Redmonds, YAHSRS and the Borthwick) and will oversee the project. The University of York is providing facilities and support, and longer term web-hosting. YAHS has committed to funding publication of the YAHS Record Series volumes.

This is a taster of the kind of entry we’ll be seeing:

Calgarth Literally ‘cabbage yard’, although the evidence suggests that it may have been more generally ‘garden’. The word is dealt with very briefly in the OED and yet in Yorkshire it was widely distributed and significant enough to give rise to a surname and several place-names: c.1270 Roger del Calgarth, Drax (YRS12/124); 1349 Thoma del Calgarth, Ripon (SS74/141): c.1290 cum quadam cultura que vocatur Kalegarth, Appletreewick (YRS160/90); 1346 ‘of the acres two … lay in Hughcalgarth in the same field’, Kirby Knowle (YRS65/86). As a lexical item it survived into the early eighteenth century at least: 1518 one place in Esholte with the callgarthe thereto belongynge (YAJ9/324); 1575 j old calgarth spade, Burton in Bishopdale (SS26/255); 1621 I will that Jane Metcalffe shall have … one calgarth during her natural life, Askrigg (YRS130/43); 1693 the Great Calgarth or garden on one side of Hebden farm (EG88). See GRYD8-10

Extensive media coverage is expected when the researcher starts work, which we hope will be early in October. We should brace ourselves for considerable eeh-bah-gumming.