​Cumbrian dialect words and phrases

 

From William Dickinson's Dialect Dictionary. If ye hear a Cumbrian an' divven knaw what they're gaan on aboot:

 

Aald: Old; Badger body: A travelling dealer in meal or butter etc; Cap't: To surpass or better; Deg: To ooze, like a moist ulcer (a deggan sare); Eebnin: evening; Famish: Famous, famish'd: hungry; Gawky: Ungainly; Heamly: Homely; Inklin: A slight hint or intimation; Joggle: To push or disturb; Ken: To know; Laal: Little; Maffin: A simple person; Naebody: No one; Ower: Over; Paddick or Paddock: A frog or toad; Quishin: A cushion; Rake: A journey; Scrowe: Disorder; Teabbel: Table; Up wid: Even; Varra: Very; Wallop: To beat; Yenanither: One another

 

... Or, if ye fancy tawkin lyke yan o' them frae up north:

 

 

Able: Yabble; Beat: Flail; Confused: Maddl't; Easy come, easy go: Leetly  gitten, leetly geann; Full: Pang't; Hurry: Tatter; Maintenance: Up hod; Neat: Wunsom; Pocket-knife: Jackalegs; Quickly: Hand runnan'; Receipt: Quittance; Strange: Naud; Tedious: Langsom; Verse: Varse; Wet: Sap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

eg. Rowk/ Rowky - frosty fog/ frosty and foggy. "It's a lang time sin we hed sic a rowky day. The rowk was hingen like snaa on the dykes till dinner-time." It's a long time since we had such a frosty, foggy day. The frosty fog was hanging like snow on the hedges will midday.

 

Menna - must not. "Thoo menna gan aboot we'oot thee glogs on, billy - Tho'll git thee deeth o' call like that." You must not go around without your clogs on, boy. - You will catch a fatal cold in that state. 

 

OOR FAVOURITE BITS O' DIALECT 

Gannings-on - mischievous conduct. "Ah nivver did ken sic gannings-on as there is atween that beesum next door an that lad as cums theer." I never knew such irregular conduct as takes place between that impudent female next door and that lad who visits them.

 

That is the briefest taste of Mr Mason's Longtown Glossary. His hugely entertaining (and humbling) Longtown Glossary is available from the Lakeland Dialect Society for £8. Call or email below to order a copy and have a little history on your bookshelf.

 

 

 

Many people have attempted to record for posterity the traditional words and phrases of old Cumbrian. As well as 19th century William Dickinson, above, in the 20th century, John Mason of Longtown noted every word and phrase he could recall. His observations make wonderful reading, painting a picture of the lives of the speakers as well as their conversations.

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