A Crash Lesson in Cumbrian English


If you’ve never been to the furthest North-West parts of England before, your first experience of Cumbrian dialect could have you thinking you’d walked into a glorious, picturesque foreign country. Luckily, there’s a decades-old, dedicated online Cumbrian dictionary that’ll help you separate your ‘ackers’ from your ‘marras...’


The GonMad Cumbrian Dictionary and Phrasebook, created by Cumbrian expat Dan Gibson, has been online since 1997 - a full 22 years - making it as old as the BBC’s website and older than the vast majority of the World Wide Web. It was set up to preserve the region's language of old and provide insight into the meanings behind some of the dialect still heard in parts of the county today.

With every Cumbrian word comes a handy description, and a large chunk of them revolve around the traditional Cumbrian pastime of jumping over gates (which is translated as ‘lowpin’ ower t'yat’).

The dictionary covers words and phrases still very much heard and commonly used across the region today, such as ‘kecks’ (trousers), ‘grotts’ (underpants), bait (lunch) and ‘bar’ (pounds sterling). But the dictionary also celebrates and maintains the memory of lesser-common phrases that might otherwise be lost to time. 


So, before you and your jewkle (dog) embark on your visit to the Lakes for a stay with us at Littlemere and a dip in the parney (water), it might be worth paying the site a visit. You divn’t (don’t) want to risk being shant (embarrassed) when you’re being yattered (spoken) to by a local yacker! (farmer).

Go and have a deek now at https://www.cumbriandictionary.co.uk/