Dialect (Twang)

Cumbrian twang can seem like gobbledygook to an offcomer, so here’s a fun guide to help you understand the difference between a yat and a fyass, so that you don’t feel like a divvy.

  • Words and numbers can be pronounced differently, depending on which part of Cumbria someone is from. We don’t make it easy for people from outside the area 😁

Tek A Deek:

aye yes
thee’s/thou’s/thine yours
thee/thou you (singular)
yous/thous you (plural)
yat gate
us/es me
our mine
divvy idiot
wherst where is the
djarn doing
divn’t don’t
hoo’doo how are you doing?
canna can’t
djur do
frae from
yon that
reet right
(h)arreet all right? (greeting)
be reet it’ll be all right
nae no
yonder there
owt/aught anything
nowt/naught nothing
bevvie drink (alcoholic)
eh? what/isnt it?
yan/yaa one

Adjectives

clarty messy, muddy
kaylied intoxicated
kystie squeamish or fussy
la’al small
t’ol old
ladgeful embarrassing
slape slippery
yon over there

Adverbs

barrie good
geet/gurt very
gey very
owwer/ovver over
secca/sicca such a
vanna/vanya almost, nearly

Nouns

bab’e/bairn baby
bait packed meal
bait bag bag in which to carry bag
pun pound
biddies fleas or old people
britches trousers
kecks trousers/pants or underpants
byat boat
ginnel a narrow passage
byuts boots
cack faeces
cheble/chable table
clout/cluwt punch; also clout means a cloth
crack/craic gossip
cyak cake
keppards ears
yhuk hook
cur dog sheepdog – collie
den toilet
bog toilet
fratch argument or squabble
fyass face
dookers swimming trunks
jinnyspinner a daddy long legs
kets sweets
lewer money
mebby maybe
mockin/kack faeces or turd
push iron bicycle
scran food
scrow a mess
shillies small stones or gravel
skemmy/skem beer
snig small eel
styan stone
kebbie a stick
watter water
wuk work
yam home

Verbs

bowk retch
bray beat
bubble cry
chess chase
chor steal
chunder vomit
clarten messing about
clout/cluwt hit
deek look
doss idle
fettle to fix or mend
fistle to fidget
gander look
gar/gaa go
gan going to somewhere
git go
yit yet
garn/gaan going
hoik to pick at or gouge out
hoy/lob throw
jarn/jurn doing
ladgeful embarrassing
laik play
lait look for
liggin lying down
lowp jump
nash run away
radged broken
ratch to search for something
scop to throw
yuk to throw
scower look at
sow sexual intercourse
skit make fun of
smowk smoking
tek take
twat hit someone
twine to whine or complain
wisht be quiet
wukn working

People

bairden/bairn/barn child
boyo brother/male friend
buwler/bewer ugly girl
cus/cuz friend (from cousin)
gammerstang awkward person
mot woman/girl/girlfriend
offcomer a non-native
potter gypsy
gadgey man
charva man/friend
t’ol fella father
t’ol lass mother
our lass wife/girlfriend
laddo male of unknown name
lasso female of unknown name
jam eater used in Whitehaven to describe someone from Workington, and vice versa.

Farming terms

cuddie donkey
dyke raised bank
fodder gang passage for feeding cattle
liggin’ kessin when an animal is lying on its back and can’t get up
stoop a gate post
lonnin country lane
yat gate
ky cow
tup ram
yow sheep (ewe)
yakka farmer

Weather

hossing raining heavily
glisky bright sky
mizzlin misty drizzly rain
syling pouring rain
hoyin it doown raining
yukken it down raining
whaarm warm

Places

Barra Barrow
Merrypoort Maryport
Spatry/Speeatry Aspatria
Whitehevven Whitehaven
Wukiton Workington
Pereth Penrith
Kendul Kendal
Cockamuth Cockermouth
Kezik/Kesik Keswick
Sanneth Sandwith
Trappena Torpenhow

Counting

1 Yan
2 Tyan
3 Tethera
4 Methera
5 Pimp
6 Sethera
7 Lethera
8 Hovera
9 Dovera
10 Dick
11 Yan-a-Dick
12 Tyan-a-Dick
13 Tethera-Dick
14 Methera-Dick
15 Bumfit
16 Yan-a-bumfit
17 Tyan-a-bumfit
18 Tethera Bumfit
19 Methera Bumfit
20 Giggot

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