That Word Is “Thoil”

Miss Thrifty4 April 1, 2009


Here in Yorkshire, United Kingdom, people have a reputation for being very friendly – but very tight with their money. I thought it was an unfair stereotype, until I saw a chap at the deli counter in Sainsburys, sucking air through his teeth and asking the wearied sales assistant to “do him a price” on a slice of ham. On the bright side, the beer here is very cheap.

Recently I was reading the Yorkshire Post and came across an interview with a couple of farming sisters. They spoke of something called thoil; apparently it’s an old Yorkshire word that means to be able to afford something, but to be unable to justify the expense.

As in: “I can’t thoil the flatscreen TV and the Blu-Ray DVD player”.

I’d never heard it before, so I looked it up – and it exists all right. It’s delightfully Yorkshire, isn’t it? I think it’s a wonderful word!

I like the idea behind it: the noisy sentiment that just because you have the money, you don’t have to spend the stuff all at once. And why should you?

Image credit: tricky.

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4 Responses to “That Word Is “Thoil”

jane says:

your definition of the word is spot on but there is a very subtle difference in the way it is used to the one you offer.
It is a word related to currency be that time or money, so you would never say I can n’t thoil flat screen tv etc as they are not currency you would say
I can n’t thoil cost or money or time or just it
I can n’t thoil it
and it is can n’t spoken can n’t not carnt this was not a spelling error

July 1, 2010 at 4:58 pm

missthrifty says:

Thanks Jane – that’s good to know. I have kept my ears pricked but haven’t heard anyone round here using the word. Maybe I’ll have to kick off a (re)new(ed) trend!

July 3, 2010 at 9:56 am

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