What is a Yellowbelly? ...and how do you know if you are one? Kate Chapman reports

17 - As a child, wheat fields were your parks ANL-150428-140302001
17 - As a child, wheat fields were your parks ANL-150428-140302001
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It’s a good question, and there seems to be several explanations floating about as to how the name came about.

But it also leads to another – how do you know if you are one? Given that I’ve lived all my 36 years in the Lincolnshire fens (minus a three-year stint over the county border in Nottingham) I figured I was fairly well placed to comment.

Using my own first-hand knowledge, that of some friends and family and the power of the internet, I devised my own little list – 24 Signs You Might Actually Be A Lincolnshire Yellowbelly – which featured on the Buzzfeed news website last week.

Points included knowing the difference between a sausage and a Lincolnshire sausage, being good at driving on bumpy country lanes, eating dinner and tea rather than lunch and dinner and knowing how to pronounce all our weird and wonderful place names, which often trip up outsiders.

Some 36,000 views later and it appears there’s quite a bit of controversy surrounding what actually constitutes a true Lincolnshire Yellowbelly – or rather what I think makes one.

What was only intended as a bit of fun appears to have caused quite a stir – with several readers questioning my Lincolnshire-ness and asking if the writer had “even been to Lincolnshire before?”

Kate Chapman ANL-150428-140313001

Kate Chapman ANL-150428-140313001

Many suggested the article was “absolute rubbish”, with some commenting it was 100 years out of date, while others vigorously nodded along in agreement and gave it the thumbs-up.

Lincolnshire is a huge county. Of course, there will be differences between living in Lincoln city and its rural heartlands – the latter being flat as a pancake, while the former is situated on a giant hill. There seems to be other north / south divides, too.

I was also quite surprised to find lots of people hadn’t heard of stuffed chine before, but there was one thing we were all unanimous on – Lincolnshire sausages are definitely the best!

What do you think makes a Lincolnshire Yellowbelly? Am I right? I’d love to hear your views and any points you think I’ve missed. Send your comments to spaldingeditor@jpress.co.uk

there’s quite a bit of controversy surrounding what actually constitutes a true Lincolnshire Yellowbelly


There are several possible explanations as to the origin of the phrase Lincolnshire Yellowbelly.

One suggests it stems from the officers of the Royal North Lincolnshire Militia who used to wear bright yellow waistcoats, while another claims a species of newt (pictured), frog or eel found in the Lincolnshire fens had a yellow underside.

One of my favourites is that it was a derogatory name implying that Fen-dwellers creep around in the mud and so got yellow bellies.

Another explanation is that farmers used to remove their shirts during harvest-time and as a result got tanned yellow bellies from the sun.

24 signs you might actually be a Lincolnshire Yellowbelly

1 You know what stuffed chine is – and you’re willing to eat it

2 You can tell the difference between a sausage and a *Lincolnshire sausage*

3 You know there’s nothing quite like a fried aslet sandwich…

4 …which you’ll happily eat at dinner or tea, but never lunch or dinner

5 You say “hello” to complete strangers when you pass them in the street

6 Actually you greet them with the “Ay up mi duck”

7 You’re a dab hand at driving along country lanes…

8 … but you have no idea how to drive on a motorway

9 And you panic if you have to drive up a hill

10 You know your King Edwards from your Maris Pipers

11 And that a “tate” is a potato not an art gallery

12 You yock on a trailer, 
unlike everyone else who hitches it on

13 And no matter where you’re going, you’re always late because you got stuck behind a tractor

14 If someone asks you for directions you’ll say “over younder” or “down yon end”

15 When you’ve been away for a while you get emotional at the sight of a windmill upon your return

16 You know a Lincoln Red is an animal and nothing to do with football

17 As a child, wheat fields were your parks

18 You make sure you never miss Lincolnshire Day

19 You know exactly how to pronounce Folkingham, Cowbit and Mavis Enderby

20 And you know what a wozzle, goosegog, noggin and gimmer are

21 You’re actually getting into cabbage hurling

22 And you’ve learnt to love the smell of the countryside that surrounds you

23 Farmer Wink is your hero – and you can even understand what he says

24 And finally, you’ve accepted that you’ll never have decent broadband because you live in the sticks.

And you’re Ok with that.