Tek a deek ut oor dialect in action.

This tyam roond - az bin hevvin a crack wid fowk aboot which ovt spots ont' West side ov oor Countee scran jam.

  • We link to a Whitehevun tyale aboot a button sticks.
  • We 'eer aboot Billy Broon's Mistak (in which Blackite Jam Scranning features!)
  • We add to oor Cumberland Wordhord - including chittering as thu might be needing as its back end oft'ear.

Keep tekkin' a deek at this pyage und ah'll update agyan on't 6th December.

If thoos got an account divvent mislikken tu'hev a natter wid oor marra's on't Fyacebeuk.

A Whitehaven Tale

A Whitehaven Tail about a local "Button Sticks" Character.

Billy Broon's Mistak

By John S. Elliot of Arlecdon c1900

Laal Billy Broon o’ Marranside

Wasweel kent far an’ nar;

Helikes a glass – he likes a lass

An’weel he likes a barr.

A famish appetite hed Bill,

He eat them oot et heam;

Nowt cum amiss, but - loavin days –

He could shift blackite jam.

His mudder kent his ways reet weel

An’yance she set a trap

An’muttert as she thowt it ower,

“Ah’ll suck that hungry yap”

She gat fower laal jars aw alike

An’ivvery yan did cram

Wid Grocer William’s best saft seeap

Asteedo’ blackite jam.

She gat them nicely fettled up

An’put them slyly by

On’t cubbert shelf – but reet at t’ front

Ta catch peer Billy’s eye.

He landit heeam leeat on at neet

Frae t’ Cockermuth horse fair,

He’d nobbut hed six meals, and he

Was ravenish fer mair.

He seaun drew t’ teable up ta t’ fire

An’while he beaked his shins,

Fullt t’ biggest plate wid beef an’ ham,

Stript taties o’ their skins;

An’then he fell te wark –

He gev his jaws full play;

There was nae need for t’ sarvant lass

Ta side Bill’s things away.

T’oald folk hed lang sen gone ta bed,

They kent ‘at Bill wad land

At supper time – he nivver missed

When meeal times war on hand –

An’seah they snoret on peaceably

An’dreamt aw mak o’ dreams

Tull aw at yance they beeath lowpt up

An’heeard some awful screams.

T’oald fadder’s brusslyhair stood up,

He lowpt up in his sark

An’struck a leet, while t’oald weyfe sed

“Oh, John, oh, John, wat wark”

An’still them wild unearthly yowls

Com’like ta split yan’s heid

Tull t’oald wumman went an’ hid hersel’

An’wisht as she was deid.

At last, John, trimmlen like an esh

Got t’ cannel lit, and than

Wentsneakin’ doonstairs hoddin’ his gun

As brave as enny man.

Heluikt through t’ crack in t’kitchen dooar

An’saw their oan lad, Bill,

Pullen sec a feeace an’ rowling his een

As if he’d teean a pill.

T’oald chap laid doon his gun, an’ gat

A gert thick hezzel stick

An’marchin’up tull Bill, he sez,

“Thoo’s turble white – ista sick?”

“Oh, fadder, fadder, is that thee?

Ah’s puzzent, an’ Ah’ll dee;

It’s aw that nasty blackite jam

As mudder med – whaur’s she?”

T’oald chap luikt dazed –

Just than t’oald deam

Com’doon an’ smurked an’ laft;

“It’s nobbut saft seeap, Bill me lad;

Ah allus thowt thoo was daft

But noo Ah’s sure, thoo maizlin feul,

Ah varra nar think sham

‘At ivver a lad o’ mine should tak

Saft seeap for blackite jam.”

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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!

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.