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Why are Yorkshiremen called Tykes?

Posted by James Briggs on February 25, 2004

In Reply to: Why are Yorkshiremen called Tykes? posted by Shae on February 25, 2004

: : Cem up in conversation at work t'other day. Why dost tha' call thi'sen Tykes someone asked mi. Eeh, lad, ah'll not mind confessing that am bahrt knowledge on such a reason ah said to 'im.

: : I can't find it on the net.
: : Does anyone else know why us Yorkshire men are called Tykes?

: 'According to Dr Arnold Kellett' s book 'The Yorkshire Dictionary', a tyke is another word for a dog or cur (from Old Norse tika, meaning bitch), especially a small mongrel terrier used for catching rats etc. From the common sight of a Yorkshireman owning such a dog, the nickname was commonly applied to anyone born and bred here. Arnold is a regular contributor to Dalesman Magazine.'


'Tyke' is well known throughout much of the UK as a word for a dog. I certainly knew it in the East End of London. So, perhaps, not just Yorkshire? Origin is interesting - thanks.