Gammy foot.

Efterneun, I need to apologise to yers all, cause I hevnut post'd ought much this week. Well i's got a laal bit of a gammy foot, its varra sore and i've been a bit poorly of late. So thats yer word fwoor today.

Gammy - sore or lame.

Be back to it all really soon. WD

Yak or Yaak - in Cumbrian Dialect

Weel (Well) its Wednesday ageann and just fwoor a laal bit of fun lets look at Yak or Yaak. Do you know what this means in Cumbrian dialect?

Often you hear sumyan (somebody), particularly amongst the younger fwook when talking about food etc. that summats Yak or Yaki - and this of course means not very nice or a sticky mess. Anyways I's not yan hundred percent sure it is fra our dialect as Yaki seems to have Japanese origins. But if there anyyan oot there who know differnt, just git in touch. So lets look agaan at:

Yak - (C,E,SW) oak.
Yaak - (C,SW) oak.

Did you get it then? Another example fra m'dictionary is -

Yak cubbert - a large oak cupboard built into the internal walls of old Cumbrian farmhouses.

But please do not confuse it with a Yakker - which means of course, acre - a measure of land equivalent to 4,840 sq.yards or 0.405 of a present day hectare. So I'll leave yers with this sentence to practice -

How many yaks can yer git to a Yakker?


Afoor, Afwore, Afore

Gud morning agaan fra West Cummerland, Today am gaan to tell yers a laal bit aboot -

Afoor - (C) before; in front of; in preference to.

Afwore - (E, N, SW) before; in front of; in preference to.

Afore - (N) before; in front of; in preference to.

a laal example - "it'll rain afoor neet"

and we also have Affoorhan - (C) beforehand.

Up'til present, I've nut telt yer much aboot how our dialect changes from region to region. Many of the wuds and phrases in m'dictionaries have a laal letter after the entry to tell yer which area of the county it is spoken.

Dialect has no real geographical boundaries. So t'help yer understand mearr aboot this I've copied and peasst'd the readers notes fra m'big dictionary below.

ANYONE who has studied Cumberland dialect will be aware that many words often vary considerably in their pronunciation, spelling and even meaning as we move from district to district across the county. Mr Dickinson reflected these geographic variations by adding a key letter to an entry where it had particular regional significance.
Basically he believed that the county could be divided virtually horizontally into three distinct zones. The italic letter
C following a word or phrase refers to the central area, essentially that part of the county lying between Aspatria in the north and Egremont in the south. Above this zone is the northern area, denoted by the letter N. Likewise the region to the south is referred to by the letter S.
Sometimes further variations occur across one of these three main areas and are indicated by using key letters such as
SW and NE, which obviously refer to the South West or North East and so on. As the Borrowdale area has many of its own unique words or phrases, the letter B is used to highlight these entries. Where no italic letter follows an entry, that particular word or phrase is (or once was) in general widespread use across the county. The letter G is also used to indicate a general entry where appropriate.
Dialect however, has really no clearly definded boundaries and will often shade into and blend with its immediate neighbours. This occurs not only regionally, but also further afield. To the south of Cumberland, the words and the mode of pronunciation and expression gradually merges into those of the old counties of Lancashire and Westmorland. To the north into the Scottish regions of Dumfries and Liddlesdale and to the North East into the distinctive Northumbrian dialect

Blog to yer agaan tommorrow - WD

Meg-wi'-many-feet (aka Creeping Crowfoot)

M'big dictionary has many dialect words for plants, animals and birds. Some still in use but many lang forgotten. Thought I'd tell yers today aboot a plant call't in Cumbrian dialect -

Meg-wi'-many-feet - the creeping crowfoot plant, Ranunculus repens

It looks like this and was also referred to in south west of the old county of Cumberland as Meg-wi'-many-teazz. The reason why I's tellin yer aboot it is it's says in m'botanical dictionary (or m'laal garden booak) that its a herb. But its creeping all ower m'allotment and I can't seem to kill it off.

D'yer knaa of owt to help me?

Ho-way! lets gah fwoor sum ceakk

Hope yers had a gud weekend. Yer furst (first) wud fwoor today is still often heard, particularly in West Cumbria.

Ho-way - go along; come on.

"Ho-way! lets gah up town fwoor coffee and ceakk" - Come on lets go up into town for some coffee and cake.

Don't yers just love the word ceakk too. The double 'k' gives a great ending to a word. Try saying this example -

"Heamm beakk'd churry ceakk"

Which means of course Home baked cherry cake. The faster you say the better it sounds.

What a nice start to the week, speak agaan soon.

Snaffle or Snaflan

Just a quick yan today, cause I's just fund oot am gaan to the auction at Mitchells at Cockermuth.

Snaffle - to steal.

Snaflan, Snaf'lan - stealing, petty pilfering, trfling.

"t'Wallace lads are snaf'lan oald Jonty's apples agaan".

I'll try nut to buy ought at the auction. Speak agaan to yers soon.

Hapshy Rapshy

It's Wednesday agaan and heres yer wud fwoor today

Hapshy Rapshy
- at random, haphazard.

"T'brickwurk in yon wall is varra hapshy rapshy, if ivver I saw it"

Catch yers agaan soon!

A grand day out at Cockermuth Fell Gather

This is a laal post to all them who come't alang and said hello to me at the Fell Gather at Cockermuth (Cockermouth) on Saturday. There was a far few fwok thear on't day and I even selt yan or two dictionaires fwoor father's day gifts. Nivver had father's day when I were laal. I think it's just a new thing dreeam't up to mak mearr money fwoor t'shops. Reet'o I hear yer say, oald Dickinson is nowt but a crusty oald gadgee. Well thats yer word fwoor today -

Crusty - ill tempered or grumpy.

Speak to yers agaan soon

Do yer know a Hobblety hoy?

As its Wednesday agaan and we hev a bit of fun ivvery Wednesday. The phrase I have choosen fra m'dictionary today is –

Hobblety Hoy – a ungainly lad; a boy approaching manhood.

Speak to yers tomorrow.

Hev I mist a trick here?

Bob Bragg was reet chuft (thrilled) I telt yers aboot him in t’ post yisterday. Yer wud (word) to start the week in an easy yan.

Mist – missed.
Mistakken, Mistean, Misteann – mistaken.

I have chosen it cause Bob says I may hev (have) mist a trick on m’blog by nut telling yers all the low down on both my dictionaries. Says “I shud be blowin m’own trumpet”. Nivver really thowt of it afore.

The big yan costs £10 and is titled -

Dickinson’s Comprehensive Dictionary of Cumberland Dialect – A glossary 7000 words and phrases. 98 pages, book size 270mm x 200mm. ISBN 0953844773

And the laal yan costs £4.99 and is –

Dickinson’s Concise Dictionary of Cumberland Dialect – About 800 words and phrases. 52 pages, book size A5. ISBN 0953844773

We’ll put a few links on the blog really soon so you can order them on t'internet.

Twaddle on Twitter

A Mr Bragg email’d me yisterday and I thought at furst it was nice Lord Melvyn Bragg fra Wigton. But this was young Bob Bragg fra Whitehaven. Nice to hear fra yer marra. He telt me he bowt me large dictionary fra Michael Moon in Lowther Street (By god, that’s a reet grand bookshop) and he suggested I tell yers about the word ‘twaddle’, cause there's certainly a lot of it on that Twitter site.

Twaddle – unmeaning talk.

Yan gadgee (person) has also asked why I do nut post on Sundays. Simply cause in my day, Sunday was always a day of rest. We went to church and did varra little else. I know things have changed and all t'shops are open nowadays, but you divent really want to hear fra me iveryday anyways.

Hev yersel a grand week.

Twitter in Cumbria Dialect

Folks have telt me of late, people are really gittan carried away with twitterin on the net. Ivverybody, including the Queen and all them posh and fancy folk seem to be doing it. Ivverywhere yer gaa yer hear aboot it. But twitter has a varra different meaning in Lake District dialect.

Twitter – edge. ‘Just in a twitter’ or on the very edge.
In a twitter – soon, quickly.

In the Borrowdale valley (south of Keswick) it's slightly different.

Twitter – very near.

Of interest, when folk ‘twit’ – in Cumberland dialect means

Twit – to sneer at.

You can of course, also refer to a person as a ‘twit’ – meaning a idiot or acting in a silly or stupid manner(usually delivered in a light hearted way).

It's Wednesday ageann Marra

We still hear folk calling each other marra today, particularly to the west of the county around Whitehaven and Workington. So I thought I'd include it as yer wud fwoor today.

Marra - a friend, partner or mate, 'h's me marra'; an equal; a vegetable.
Marra to bran - much alike; a match for; equal to.
Marraless - not alike; not having a friend or partner.
Marra up - join together as friends or partners; join two pieces of anything to meet together correctly. ie in joinery or construction.

More to come varra soon. Why not subscribe to our email newsletter, its free and I promise never to share yer details.

And please email yer marras and tell em aboot this site.

Aboot our grand old dialect

Sum folk have email'd me of late to ask who else wrote Cummerlan dialect down afwore (before) I started. So I've cut and peasst'd (pasted) a laal bit fra a website I fund on that google sutch ingine. It was fra a lecture given by John Richardson of Keswick in 1876

The first who attempted to rhyme in the vernacular (of whom we have any authentic record) was the Rev. Josiah Relph, of Sebergham, who died in 1743. He was followed in succession by Evan Clark, of Wigton; Miss Gilpin, of Scaleby Castle; Miss Blamire, of Thackwood; Blind Stagg, of Burgh-by-Sands; and Robert Anderson, of Carlisle. The last has been commonly styled the Cumberland Bard, and has been the most popular of all the dialect writers. Then, there were Mark Lonsdale, John Rayson, and Woodcock Graves; and there was Alexander Craig Gibson, who, I have no doubt, was personally known to some here present. There are still living Mr. William Dickinson and Miss Powley; so that we have a continuous chain, or succession, of dialect writers, stretching from Relph to the present time.

It may be that but few educated persons take much interest in the dialect, nevertheless, if entered into without prejudice, or affectation, the study of it, as the study of most other things, may become very interesting. I have in my possession a letter which I received from the late Dr. Gibson, two or three years before his death, in which he styles it our "Grand old dialect;" and when we reflect that, to the people of Cumberland, it has for hundreds of years served every purpose for the inter- change of their ideas; that they have ever found in it words and phrases which were amply sufficient to express every emotion of their minds; that in it they have told their joys and their griefs; their hopes and their fears; and that in it they have sung their loves and their sorrows, their sports and their rejoicings,-I think that if we do not go so far as Dr. Gibson, to style it our "Grand old dialect," we may, at least, respect and value it as an old and faithful servant.

To read a laal bit more gaa to

Enjoy yer tuesday.

Nut bad weather.

What grand weather we are havin up here in Cumbria at present......Still not varra use with writing Cumbria. Cause I really know this fine part of the world where I have lived all me lang life as Cummerlan (Cumberland). Why they changed its name in 1972 I'd nivver know. But we've now had fower super days of hot sun on t'trot. But yer know what people say hereaboots - "nivver shed a sitch of clowt until May's out". So as its furst of June today I'll tak me vest off. LOL

Ok I'll help yer out - "nivver shed a sitch of clowt until May's out". Means never take off a layer of clothes until the end of May.

Yer word for today is yan to help yer decipher last weeks post about feutt bo.

Nut - not.

here a few more examples fra me dictionary

Nut i'shaft for - unable to accomplish it.
Nut reet - not right, incorrect; idiotic or simpleton "Yer Mary's nut reet in t'heed".
Nut to ride a watter on - Not to be depended upon: Some saddle-horses have a propensity to lie down in crossing water of a ford.
Nut verra reet - Not very right (see Nut reet)

And finally thought I' add this yan cause it maks me smile, even if its nut connected with t'days post.

Nutcrack feass - facial appearance where the nose and the chin approach.

Do yer kno anyyan with a nutcracker feass? - enjoy yer day.

Manchester United - but not feutt'bo as I knew it

It was varra sad last neet to see Barcelona beat Manchester United in t'Champions League final. Maks m'think aboot the past. When I was a laal bairn being browte up on m'fayther's farm at Arlecdon we nivver had feutt'bo. Well nut as ta knows it now. It was'nt invented then really. But we did gaa to Workington sum times to see t'Uppies an Doonies on an Easter Tuesday. Now that was real feutt'bo, for real men. Nean of this lassie-lad stuff t'sees wid them fancy players who git mare money each week than most of us see in a lifetime. I'll tell ta a greatt deal mare aboot Uppies and Doonies given time. But yer word for today is -

Feutt bo - football, 'Uppies and Doonies play feutt bo ivry Easter at Wukinton'.

If this post is a little hard to understand I'll tell yer more aboot t'difficult words in t'next few posts. Tak care now.

Lets mak a Wednesday a laal bit differnt

As I git used to postin to this blog, I think I'll mak iv'ry Wednesday a bit of fun like. Summat to mak yer really think about oar dialect. Lets try -

Lassie-lad - a term of opprobrium (reproach, contempt or distain) among boys, denoting effeminacy or undue preference for the society of girls. for example -

'Oar lad's nivver a lassie-lad, he's just tak'n with t'lasses'.

Got an email yesterday fra a Mr Toman (of Frizington). Asks me how he can get hod of yan of m'dictionaries. Well they have copies at Derwent Bookshop (Workington), Bookends (Carlisle & Keswick), Bluebell Bookshop (Penrith), Tullie House (Carlisle), Waterstones (Carlisle) and other places thearabouts, including the Made in Cumbria shop at Rheged. Git in touch if yer need more help.

Iver seen a cuddy

Well today ize gaan t'larn yer aboot iver or ivver - ever.
(OK I hear yer shout what did oald Dickinson just say, so I'll repeat it proper-like)

Well today I am going to teach you about iver or ivver - ever.
In m'dictionary I have listed it like this.

Ivver - ever.
Iv'ry, Ivry, Ivvery - every.

With yan or two examples -

Ivvery thing - everything.
Iv'ry like - every now and then.
Iv'ry whoar - everywhere.
Iv'ry whup while - every now and then.
Ivverly - frequently; continuously.

But t'best example is the oald saying

As’t thee ‘iver sin a cuddy
lowp a five bar geatt.

Have you ever seen a donkey
jump a five bar gate.

For kids (of all ages) click here to download a free colouring sheet and have some mear fun with dialect.

Have t'sel a gud day.

"Varra" - Yer second word this week

laal bit late today with t'post, cause I've been watching the Chelsea Flooar show to-neet.

Varra - very.

Varra nigh - very near or very close.

Varra weel - very well. Often used in relating news etc., "Varra weel than, I'll tell ye aboot it".

"Yer" - Yer word for today

This is a really easy one for starters

Yer - your,'Behave yer sel'; you are.

Yers - you, 'Where yers gaan'.

Yer sel - yourself, 'Help yer sels to minsh pies'.

Yer'l - you will or you'll, 'Yer'l git it on Setterday'.

More to come varra soon. Why not subscribe to our email newsletter, its free and we promise never to share your details.

About William Dickinson (part 1)

I can understand many of you will not be too familiar with the native folk speach of Oald Cummerlan. So fray now on I'l try till rite this blog proper like. So yers will git to grips with what am sayen. Or should I say - from now on I'll try to write this blog in modern english. So you will understand what I am trying to say. But I can't promise I'll not slip the odd word in here and than-abouts to keep yers entertained.
Isn't "blog" a funny word we nivver hed ought like it when I was a lad. Sorry there I go again - I really mean't to say never had anything like it when I was lad. We nivver hed computers either.
In truth I am not really yer average blogger because I was actually born in 1799. Suppose that makes me 210 years oald.
My father was call't John Dickinson and farmed at Kidburngill Farm, near Arlecdon in West Cumberland. My mother Mary, was a Fleming and browte up at Wright Green which is varra close to where me fayther lived at Kidburngill.
If yer want to know more about Arlecdon, yer should get hold of a history booak written by the oald vicar, Edward Haigh Sugden in 1897. You can still get it as it was reprent'd by Richard Byers in 1997 and is still available. It will tell you a lot about me as I am mentioned quite a bit in it.
Anyways I plan to give yers a new word or phrase iv'ry now and then, mostly I try and post yan iv'ry day. And I'll also tell yers a lot more about mysel given time.
To start you off the next few posts will help you read this one.