As I walked through West Haddlesey

I clocked a bloke an’ ‘e clocked me

I nodded and bid ‘im “Good Day”

But all the old git had to say

Wa’ “Naar Then!”


Then nowt more said as ‘e trudged by

I puzzled this confused reply;

Whilst not the greatest o’ life’s shocks

It seemed a perfect paradox.


Naar ,

A paradox is when two bits

O’ thought are polar opposites

And yet mek sense in their own way

Like when I heard this owd git say

“Naar then!”



There seems no reconciling when

“Naar” is naar while “Then” wa’ then

Like swearing you can hear the purr

O’ that there cat o’ Schrodinger.


I watched ‘im mooch along ‘is trek

An’yet again I heard ‘im mek

This greetin’ to a second bloke

(I guessed it long before ‘e spoke)

“Naar then!”


So on ‘e shuffled through the night

Completely unaware ‘e might

Have found in Yorkshire’s Ridings three

New concepts of philosophy.

“Naar then!”




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John Coopey

Mon 6th Feb 2023 08:04

Thankyou, Pete and Kevin.

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kJ Walker

Sun 5th Feb 2023 23:33

very funny.
hope to hear it this week (covid permitting)

al sithee

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Pete (edbreathe)

Sun 5th Feb 2023 18:47

I love your stuff , I was brought up on a diet of music hall and folk
Clubs, Bernard Rigley etc etc
There’s nought like Northern humour , yoth !

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John Coopey

Sat 4th Feb 2023 18:35

That brings AI to a whole new level, Uilleam - an app capable of patronising and bullying.
And thanks for the Likes, Stephen G, Stephen A and Kevin.

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Uilleam Ó Ceallaigh

Sat 4th Feb 2023 12:27

I pride myself in my contempt for the patronising, bullying spellcheck😊

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John Coopey

Sat 4th Feb 2023 12:16

You are quite right, Uilleam. “Naar then” on the printed page can mean anything. Only when it’s spoken is it clear which of its variants it means.
Incidentally, it plays havoc with spellcheck.

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Uilleam Ó Ceallaigh

Sat 4th Feb 2023 09:54

Thanks John.
I find dialect endlessly fascinating, we use it without a second thought in the pub, cafe or street.

In Lanky Twang County (Lancashire ) we have a similar expression.

"Nethen!" (literally, now, then) appears to express a degree of indecision.

Someone setting out to fix something that's broken might mutter: "nethen, what's the matter with this?"

Or it can be used more forcefully as a warning, say to two children squabbling: "NETHEN you two!"

Or as words of comfort to a child who's upset: "Nethen, nethen, don't fret".

Or, having lost one's train of thought when making a convoluted explanation: "nethen, where was I...?"😕

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John Coopey

Fri 3rd Feb 2023 17:02

Thankyou, Helene. I confess it is a derivative of a Marriott Edgar poem, “Uppards”. And it may not be a lot of help to you but “Naar then” translates as “Sithee”.
And thanks for the Like, Stephen.

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Fri 3rd Feb 2023 16:12

Well then, true confessions from Anglo me in California; I had to google the meaning of Naar. Now I know it's meaning....what would I do without google (in olden days I went to the reference section of the library & asked the librarian for help). Great poem, John! Felt the encounter of the walk passing the old git. Made me smile.

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