Saturday, 15 January 2011

New Online Dictionary of the Cumbrian Dialect

I'd like to make you all aware of a recent publication documenting the unique Cumbrian dialect, made available online by author Richard Byers, entitled 'A Comprehensive Dictionary of the Cumberland Dialect". Byers has worked on the dictionary over the last two years, adding to William Dickinson's 1859 'Glossary of the Dialect of Cumberland', and has recorded over 7000 words in his e-book, which is also available for the Kindle.

Byers spoke to the Westmorland Gazette about his venture, and added, “It's essential that dialect isn't lost for future generations...It's changed through each generation – even text messaging has had an influence on the words we use in Cumbria today”.

The dictionary is £3.60 online, and makes for a very interesting read. Next time you're up in the Lakes, listen for some of the colloquialisms noted in the dictionary, such as Mayzlin – a simpleton or fool – and O’as yan, which means 'all the same'. This publication is essential for the preservation of the dialect and of terms which are no longer in use, such as those used for farming before the modernization of the industry.

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Yan Tan Tethera: A rhyme derived from a Brythonic Celtic language used by shepherds to keep sheep in many parts of England and Southern Scotland.

Until the Industrial Revolution, the use of traditional number systems was common among shepherds, especially in the Dales of the Lake District.

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