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What does it mean to be a northerner

Updated: Dec 2, 2020

In a world full of bad news. Here is Lancashire Day to bring a smile upon your face. I always ponder, what does it mean to be from Lancashire, to be northern?!

As much as I hate to admit this there is an identity in being from the north, and in all honesty this is part of what drew me back to the region. It’s not something that I can fully put my finger on or find the right words to explain what ‘it’ is, and it’s not something I don’t think I truly understood or that I even noticed until I came back to Lancashire after being away for place for 13 years.

Yes it’s geographically my home and where I was raised but it’s the ‘homeliness that makes the north so charming.

Northerners know how to connect, whether it’s over a cuppa or in the pub, or likely a passerby on a countryside dog walk. We are born with an overwhelming need to speak to strangers or help someone out who’s in need of a favour. Side note - it’s very un-northern to take advantage of favours, and your card will be marked for future favours, and let’s be clear this is not to say that every single northerner is just bloody lovely, we have our fair share of wrongens but more often than not, the smiles, the head nods, the thumbs up, or ‘now then’s’ are coming from a warm and hearty place.

When outside of the north one realises just how cosy it is to be a northerner. We love our hearty nourishing food, like warm stews, soups and indulgent pub grub. A countryside walk with dog, family, friends to finish up with a refreshing drink in a pub sat next to an open fire where you’ll most likely bump into some you know is what we’re all about.

Sometimes I’ve found (when outside the north) people can be taken a back by your friendliness or forwardness, it can often be mistaken for being brash, or that you want something in return or mistakenly that you’re coming on to someone. Not the case. You’re just interested and let’s face it, you never learned nowt staying at home, and when we’re out of the north, hell we’re curious folk.

Nothing excites a northerner more than meeting another northerner outside of the north, this is especially exciting when in a different country. You could be on the beach and all of a sudden your ear pricks up to the sound of a regional accent… you simply cannot help yourself but to go over, next thing you know you’re best mates and you realise you have 20 mates already in common. The rest is history.

It’s not all love and hugs in the north, in fact rather the opposite, our ways of giving affection are rather peculiar, we’d rather punch you in the arm than tell you we love you, or phrases like ‘you big ginger knob head’ mean you’re my best mate and I’ll do anything for you. A lot of reading between the lines is needed. we’re a feisty bunch. Amongst the many negative stereotypes we’re often assumed “the underdogs”, loud, uneducated and so on but we say bollocks to that. There’s class in kindness, class in community, class in culture and class in our countryside.

I LOVE the local dialect in the north, from town to town you’ll find different words you’ve never heard of and a different broad accent (which you’ll undoubtedly think is more brand than your own) just 15 minutes down the road. Phrases like ‘he’s a rum lad” or “tal’reet cock” tend to baffle non-northerners and they’re often quite difficult to explain, but we just know.

There are so many things, ways, sayings, unwritten customs that mean what it means to be northern but I’d just thought I’d share a few of my favourites on the day that is Lancashire Day, the best county in the north!

And next time you hear someone say #itsgrimupnorth just smile inside knowing you absolutely know and own a part of something that ‘they’ aka non northerners never will.

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