Yorkshire is an English county, formerly an administrative county. It is the largest English county, and was divided administratively until 1974 into the West, North and East Ridings (from Old Norse þriðing, "third part", a legacy of the area's ninth-century Scandinavian settlers).
The administrative county currently consists of West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, the East Riding of Yorkshire, and the City of York in the sphere of government administration, although the Ridings still exist as historic boundaries which the administrative boundaries are largely based on.
In 1974 most of the area was reorganised as West, North and South Yorkshire, based respectively on the cities of Leeds, York and Sheffield (although Barnsley was the administrative centre for S.Yorks). Most of the East Riding became administered as the northern part of the new administrative "county" of Humberside (based around the city of Hull), while Middlesbrough and neighbouring districts were administrated as the southern part of Cleveland. A part of the North Riding was incorporated in the administrative county of Durham while part of the West Riding went to the administrative county of Lancashire and a smaller administrative district to the administrative county of Cumbria.
The metropolitan counties of West and South Yorkshire were abolished as administrative entities in 1986 and broken up into their constituent districts, to be followed a decade later by Humberside and Cleveland. The city of York also became a unitary authority at the latter reorganisation, incorporating parts of neighbouring North Yorkshire administrative districts.
The former undivided administrative county of Yorkshire covers some 15,000 sq km with a population of some five million.
The Yorkshire dialect is colloquially known as "Tyke", and this is also the affectionate term for a Yorkshireman. The social stereotype of a Yorkshireman has a tendency to include such accessories as a flat cap and a whippet.