Westmorland, and I would like to play a small part in the preservation and promotion of this fascinating, yet rapidly declining local dialect. I was lucky enough to learn the traditional sheep counting numbers first-hand when I was a child from my grandfather, Mr. George Henry Rowlinson Esq., when he worked as a dairy farmer in the Dales, and I've had an interest in the history of the local dialect ever since.
The Cumbrian dialect contains Norse and Celtic influences, and there are distinct variations in the dialect between the county regions; for example the North/West Cumbrian accent was greatly influenced by the Scottish and Geordie dialects, in contrast to the South which preserves aspects of both the Lancashire and Yorkshire dialects.
The beauty of the dialect is that it even varies from village to village in the same region. One of the most noticable features of the Cumbrian dialect is the dropping of vowels and the shortening of adjoining words, especially when associated with the word 'The'; for example instead of 'On the', a Cumbrian would say 'Ont'.
I would highly recommend a visit to the webpage of the Lakeland Dialect Society, which was founded in 1939 to support the preservation of the Cumbrian dialect, and to hear a reading of a poem entitled "Use It or Lose It" by the President of the Society, Ted Relph. An article of Ted's in the Cumberland News makes for an interesting read. Another entertaining recital of the dialect can be found in the form of a Bible reading in the traditional Cumbrian dialect by Rene Roberts on BBC Radio Cumbria.
One of my favourite choice of words has to be:
"Brossen - Adj. Bloated and round with food particularly as applied to a cow, sheep or other herbivore (Think of a Thelwell pony)", taken from Low Nest Farm's website.