Tek a deek ut oor dialect in action.

Hest thu hed a barrie Easter? Didst the git thesell a brossenful ovt'ledge puddin' und pache eggs?

I wuz ut oot dooer Kirk abeun Wukkington on Easter morn und I tuk a deek ovt Marras scopping t'baa int'beck und garn in efter ont'Tuesduh. Thu Doonies gut a win, but it wuz t'Uppies thut wan 2024 Wukkington Uppies'n'Downies ovver al.

Reet. Fur April az' gut a tyale fra upt'Abbey Yham und why thu'shud nivver boil a sheep's heed und puddin' togidder.

Alsa, thu'll ov sen int'News pyage thut wev hed oor fust meet ovt'eer. Sah ah' linked tu t'Cumbria Crack film ovt' oor Len Hayton competition fra last 'eer.

Mebbee see the ut yan ovt git togithers this'eer eh?

Billy Brannan: A Tale of the Abbey Holme

Joseph Hutton ("Silpheo").

I'S warn you’ll aw hev h'ard tell o' Billy Brannan. If you hevvent, I'll give ye a leyle bit sketch ov his leyfe.

He was bworn on a farm, an' nut a varra big anowder, about a meyle fra' Silloth in t' Abba Holme. Fra' t varra first Mistress Brannan thowt theer nivver was a bairn leyke Billy. He began to tak nwotish lang afwore udder fwok's bairns, an' he cud say“Ded” an' “Mam” when he was ten months auld–at least, Mistress Brannan sed sea; an' when ennybody com' into t' house shewad talk aboot nowt but Billy.

He suin gat to runnen' about, an' when he grewbigger he amused hissel wud tying t cats' tails togidder, which set them on a feyten'; sae Billy was sent off to t’ skule. It was kept by a mistress; an' telt his mudder he wad “very leykely suin got maister on her.”

An' it turned out sea, for varra suin efter he begun she hed to mak' him put his heed through a chair-back, an' hur stan' at t udder seyde on 't for fear he punsh'd hur when she hat him a nope for nut sayen' his letters reet. It turned oot as Billy sed, for he suin gat 'at he wad nowder put his heed through t’ chair nor say his letters, sea he was ta'en away an’ sent to t'maister.

Efter he'd gaen two or three quarters his fwok fan' he grew nea better, for he'd nobbet single letter of, an' that was “A.” T’maister telt them he cuddent get him to larn at aw; but Mistress Brannan promised to give him a cheese an' a few puns o'butter, for by his quarter pence, if he cud get Billy to larn a few of his letters in anudder quarter.

Sea when Billy went neist Monday, t’maisterthowt he wad hev 't butter an cheese if he cud; sea he cawd Billy upto try him fairly.

Billy said “A” as usual, but cud gang nea farder. He tried him wid neist letter, an' pressed him varra sair to caw 't summat, sea Billy cawd it

“No,” ses t' maister. “Try summat 'at flees.”
Billy said “Peggywheytethroat.”–“No.”
“A heron-sue?”–“No.”
“A Jennyhewlet?”–“No," ses, t maister,“it's varra queer thoo cannot tell ‘B.’”
“Well,” ses Billy, “I was just thinkin' it mud be owder a bee or a wasp.”

Thant' maister let him see “I,” an' axt him what it was leyke.Billy sed “A thivel.”–“No.”
“A dyke-stower?”–“No.”
“A yet-stoup?”
Ses t'maister, “It's ‘I,’ an see 'at thou kens 't neist time”
Ses Billy, “It's aw my eye an' Betty Martin!”

T’ neist t'maister tried him wud “0,” an' Billy cawed it “Pan-lid.”–“No.”
“Gurdle keake?”–“No.”
“No,” sest’maister, “what wad teh say if I was to hit the' a slap owert’cheek?”
“I wad say, ‘Give ower.’”
Ses t'maister, “What wad teh say if I was to nip the?” Ses Billy, “I wad sweer.”
“But if I was to nip the' harder?"
“I wad sweer harder.”
Ses t’maister, “It's an ‘O.’”
Ses Billy, “I ken what haws is, an' catchoops an aw, as weel as you deu.”

Sea t' next letter he tried him wid was “S,” when Billy ses “Dar, maister, that's a cruikt un–I wish it dissent beat us beath, I think it's leyke a hay-cruik?”–“No.”
“A kurn-hannel?”–“No.”
“A colreake?”–“No,” ses t'maister; what wad teh say if thoo was sotten your dog on sumbody?
Ses Billy, “I wad say ‘Tek hoal on him, laddie; heel him.’”
“Bit what wad teh say if thoo was setten on anudder dog?”
“I wad say ‘Hirry, laddy, shek him!’”
Ses t maister, “Wad teh nut say ‘ess-s’?”
“Nae,” ses Billy, “that's what oor steg sed t' tudder day when it bit me leg, bit I telt fadder if it did that agean I wad rutewhelt it.”

“Well,” ses t' maister, “thou may gang heam ean' rutewhelt it, for I can mak' nowt o' the' here.”
“Than,” ses Billy, “hoo about t' butter an cheese?” Ses t maister, “Thoo may rutewhelt them an' aw, for thoo's maister o’ me.”

Ses Billy, “It's a varra queer thing 'at I'se maister ov everybody ; bit I’ll tak` me buiks an' gang heame. I'll varra leykely get maister o' them an' aw befwore lang."

When Billy was at heame he hed teh help his fadder wi bits o' jobs, an' when he wassent at wark he sumeteymes gallopedt’ cuddy roon' t' croft afwore t’ hoose. Through teyme it gattired wi' Billy, an wad kick an' throw him ower t’ heed on 't; but Billy wassent to be beat, for he gat on t’ wrang seyde afwore, an'set it off a galloping, saying, “How-way wi' the, how-way wi' the ,thoo'll nut git meh off noo widoot t' tail breks.”

An' Billy keept it gaun till it gat roun' to t'yet, 'at hed been left oppen, when it gallop't oot an' away tot’ watering whoal 'at was at t' hoose en." Billy thowt it was gaun to drink, bit whether it was tired wid him or t’ clegs was fashen 't, it laid doon an' weltert amang t' watter wid Billy on its back; an' as he cuddent git up for t' cuddy, he was baith varra n'ar droont an' chowkt wi durt.

Bit at last he gat up an' went into t' hoose, an'his mudder sed she diddont ken him, for he was just leyke a drownt ratten. She gat him changed an' he was varra leyle warse, bit he tuik care nivver to hev t’yet oppen agean when he gallopt t' cuddy.

Billy hed been a gud bit at heame, an' was growen'a big lump ov a chap, when Easter Sunday com – that was Billy's burthday – an his mudder sed she wad leyke to gang to t kurk, for she hedden't missed gaun that day for menny a year; and his fadder sed he wad leyke to gang an' aw, if Billy thowt he cud manish to keep hoose. Billy sed he cud, an' they wad fin'aw “as reet as a fiddle” when they com' back.

Sea Mrs. Brannan put t’ broth-pot on t’ fire wid a sheep heed an' a varra good puddin' in ’t as it was Billy's burthday, an' telt Billy teh tek care an' meyne t' fire till they com' back.

Billy promised to deu 't, an' when they hed left, Tom Rickerby, a lad aboot his awn age fra yen o' t' cottages, com’teh lake wid him. They sumtemymes trunnelt pase-eggs an’ than they loup’t t’ beck, bit Billy didden’t forgit to gang in sumteymes to stur t’ fire. T’ last teyme he went in, Tom went wid him an'axt him what theer was in t’ pot. Billy said theer was t'fwore-crop of a sheep and a good puddin’, as it was his his burthday.

Tom sed it was a lang teyme, since he'd gitten abit puddin'. Billy axt him if he wad leyke teh hev a sleyce, an' Tom sed he wad. Sea Billy gat oot t'puddin' an' sum sugar, an' they furst yan sleyced an' than t' udder till they eat it aw!

“Noo,” ses Tom, ”what will thee mudder say when she cums heame an' fin's nea puddin'?”

“O, nivver meyne," ses Billy, “I'll tell her a neyce teale o' sum swort.”

Varra suin efter t’ aul fwok wer' cummen doon t'rwoad, when Tom sed he wad away heame, for he dooted theer wad be “wigs o' t' green.”

Mrs. Brannan crackt sair o Billy for hevven sec a neyce fire on an' keepin t' pot boiling sea weel. She suin gat of her kurk-gaun claes an tuk off t’ pot-lid to set up t' broth, when she saw 'at t puddin' was geane. She axt Billy what hed com on 't.

Billy luikt as surprised as she did, an axt her if she was suer she put yen in. She sed she did, an' a sheep heed wudit.

Billy ses, “What, mudder, I thowt you wad kent better er putten them in togidder; what, t’ sheep heed's eaten t’puddin', theer's nea doot aboot that.”

“Well, well,” ses Mrs. Brannan, I nivver leykt t’luik o’ that sheep heed some way or anudder, bit I nivver thowt it wad eaten t' puddin'.”

“Nivver meyne, mudder,” ses Billy, “If t’sheep heed's eaten t’ puddin' we'll eat t sheep heed, sea it's awas yen.”

“Well, well,” ses Mrs. Brannan, “I’ve lost me gud puddin', but I'll tak' varra good care I’ll nivver boil asheep heed an' a puddin' togidder agean!”

Nor she nivver did.

Oor Dialect Competition at Dalston last 'eer.

Cumberland Wordhord

Lakeland Words 1898 - Bryham Kirkby

Barfin - A horse collar. A grand thing is a barfin ta gurn throo. (see Braffam - Braugham below)

Brim - Top

Brossen-full - Hed mair to eat than’s easy er good.

Dowin - Lunch, ten o’clock.

Aye! aye! thoo allus manishes ta land up aboot dowin time.

Gallases - Braces ta hod yan’s britches up.

Gurn - Gurn, an’ bide ’t. It’s good philosophy when ye ca’t run away frae ’t. Ah yance saw a fella gurnen throo a barfun fer a pun o’ bacca, an’ he gat it.

Howk - To scoop out;

howk a whol; howk t’ inside oot.

Kisened - To dry out (and I've heard kissend being used for burnt too).

As kisened as a kill stick. Noo Ah nivver saw a kill stick, but it’s summat varra dry wi’ neea natur left in’t, acos owt ’at’s kisened’s mortal near withoot any sap er owt worth niamen.

Lick-pot, Lang-Man - The first and second fingers.

Roke - Scratch.

That barn’ll roke ivvry mortal thing i’ t’hoose wi’ that nail if tho’ll let it, ’at will ’t.

Shive - Slice

A slice of bread. To cut a neat swathe.

From the Dialect of Cumberland 1873 - Robert Ferguson

Braffam, Braugham - A collar for a horse.

Clev. bargam. Referred by Wedgwood with much probability to the same origin as the word hamberwe, or hanahorough, a coarse horse-collar, made of reed or straw, from beiwe or borough, protection from the hames, the two words of the compound being in this case reversed. (See Barfin above).

Hag - To chop

Dutch:hakken, Old Norse: hiacka, Swedish: hagga, German hacken, to chop, hack.

Kizzent - adj. Parched or shrivelled.

Crav. kizzened. I think the author of the Crav. Gloss, is right in taking the word to be the same as guizened, which Ray gives as applied to tubs or barrels that leak through drought. The origin, then, is evidently to be found in Old Norse gisinn, leaky (of tubs and vessels.) (see Kisened above).

Lick - To beat.

Welsh llachio, to beat, cudgel, Suio-Goth, laegga, to strike.

Lonnin' - A country lane

Frisian Lona, Laan a lane or narrow passage. Perhaps from Old Norse leyna, to hide.

Mislikken - To neglect or forget.
Dut. misselick, ambiguus, dubius, in quo errare, aut de quo dubitare potest.

Smeeth - Smooth

Ang.-Sax. smzthe, smooth.

Teanel - A Basket (West and Cumberland Dialect)

Ang.-Sax. teanel, a basket, from tan, a twig.
Similarly swill, (contraction of swigel,) from Old Norse svigi, a twig.

Waits - Nightly musicians who used to play in the streets at Christmastide.

"Wayte, waker, vigil" Old Norse vakta; Old High German wahten; German wachten - to watch or keep awake.

From a Glossary of Words and phrases pertaining to the Dialect of Cumberland 1878 - William Dickinson

Brek - Fun; a practical joke. A good story, generally of the sporting type; an amusing incident.

Curly kue - G. a flourish in writing, &c.

Fash - G. trouble ; inconvenience.

Fasten eve - Shrove Tuesday evening or the eve of the feast before Lent.

'At Fasten eve neet
Ceuks find cannel leet.'

After this night the cooking is to be done by daylight for the season, or the cooks must provide candles.

Frosk - The Frog (back in 1878 the author noted that the word was nearly obsolete!)

Gowpin - A handful; or the two hands full

Lang-end - The final end.

Pissibeds - The flowers of the dandelion plant.

From the Bank of the River Derwent near the Yearl in Wukkinton' und t'other spots roond aboot.

Beckie - (Workington) A water bailiff who makes sure that the fisherfolk have permission to tickle the trout and salmon!

Brossenful - (sometime Brussenful) To be pleasantly full after after your meal.

Blackite - A bramble, A blackberry.

(Efter picking this yer' crop, ah telt the t'Cumberland Blackite Broonie Recipe)

Button Sticks - (Whitehaven) At the start of the Industrial Revolution poor country folk coming to work in the mines may have used sticks rather than buttons to hold their clothes together.

Chittering - Cold. Linked to shivering or trembling.

Kaylieghed - Supped ower much. Inebriated

Kersmas - Christmas