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Tek a deek ut oor dialect in action.


Divvent fash the'sell if the hurd aboot t'Tattie Pot recipe. Az put it on its ahn pyage wid the Traditional Cumberland Blackite Broonie recipe. Its just below this yan or the can click 'ere.


Its vanna Fasten eve wen az telling the this. Me mudder telt uz sum tyales aboot t'weather on Calamas (2nd Feb sah just gan) und az been given t'full rhyme fra a Marra int'Lakeland Dialect Society. Tek the'sel a deek below. Calamas (Cannelmas / Candlemas) is end ot'Kermastide int Kirk, sah ahv got a tyale on keeping bak t'holly t'use ont'range to cook the pancyaks.


Last up is the rhyme fur t'severa Sundaes thut mek up Lent.


If thoos got an account divvent mislikken tu'let uz kna how the gits on ont' Fyacebeuk. Ah'll also tek a deek @workytown on Chunter (Twitter / X).

After Adamas Voces - Epiphany and Candlemas Service - Our Lady and St Michael - Workington (3rd February 2024)

Cannelmas Day


If Cannelmas Day be cloody an' back

'Twill carry aw winter on it's back;

But if t' sun shine afore it's neun

Winter depend on't isn't hawf deun.

If Cannelmas Day befine an cear

We'll hev twae winters in yah year

If Cannelmas Day be sunny an' warm

Ye mun mend yer auld mittens and leuk fer a storm.

Clearing the Kermas Decorations before Lent

As told by Jean from the Lakeland Dialect Society.


Now mind on that all the Christmas decorations are down including holly before Lent begins:


Around Shrovetide long ago, the gentry would send their maid servants to church to clear their private pews of Christmas holly and ivy; The pews were then decorated with sprays of box for Lent.


I always keep some holly up until Shrove Tuesday; that was what my mother did; then the holly was used on the fire when the pancakes were cooked (we had a big open range back then). Holly burns with a very hot flame - just what you want for cooking pancakes. Nowadays the holly is used to light the wood-burner on Shrove Tuesday!

Down with the rosemary and bays

Down with the mistletoe;

Instead of holly now upraise

The greener box for show.


The holly hither to did sway

Let box now domineer,

Until the dancing Easter day

Or Easter's eve appear.

Severa Sundae til Easter

Anudder yan thut kem doon to me fra me Mudder. (Altha we say Kid und nut Tid). 

When we git tull just afowr Easter ahl lairn the how to mek pache eggs und how t'dump them.


Tid, Mid, Miseray, Carlin', Palm und Pache Egg Day


  1. Tid - Probably a corruption of Te Deum (A Hymn of Praise and Thanksgiving to God).
  2. Mid - Refers to Mid-Lent Sunday
  3. Miseray - The opening of Psalm 51: Miserere Mei (Have Mercy on me O'God)
  4. Carlin' - Is Passion Sunday when Carlins (a type of black pea) are cooked with butter and seasoning. There is a link with Scot's Seige of Newcastle.
  5. Palm - Palm Sunday - The Triumphant Entry.
  6. Pache Egg Day - Easter Day.

Cumberland Wordhord

Lakeland Words 1898 - Bryham Kirkby


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


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).


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!)


Lang-end - The final end.

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