Appleby in Westmorland

Cumbrian Dialect

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Cumbria is a large county with several relatively isolated areas, so there is quite a large variation in accent, epecially between north and south or the coastal towns. There are some uniform features that should be taken into account when pronouncing dialect words.

General words

ah I

ars I am

me my

us me

aye yes

nah no

thew you

areet alright (can be used as a greeting and return, and as per the normal use)

eh (generally used at the end of sentences to indicate that the phrase is a question. It can be inserted simply by habit and then has no particular meaning. The use of "eh" is more often linked to Carlisle than the Cumbrian dialect as a whole)

like (generally used as an intensifier midway thorugh or at the end of sentences)

owie, howie come on

wherst where is the

wi, wid with

yous you all, plural of you


aald old

bad sore, painful

badly ill, unwell (a bad 'ed is a headache)

barie good or nice

cack bad, horrible or awful

clarty muddy or messy

gammerstang awkward person

kaylied intoxicated

la'al small

ladgefull embarrassing

radge, radgy mad

reet right

slape slippery or smooth as in slape back colly, a border colly with short wirey hair

wam warm


gey very

kysty squeamish or fussy

owwer over ("ars garn owwer yonder fer a kip" - I'm going over there for a sleep)

vanya almost, nearly

vanear as above, coastal variant


biddies fleas/old people

britches trousers

crack news/gossip; can also mean a conversation in the context of "having a crack with" someone

dookers swimming trunks's

Jackal wild dog

keks, kegs underpants or trousers

knock-e-i-do a game played where the aim is to knock on someone's door then retreat without being caught

lug ear

nowt nothing

owt anything

scran food

scrow a mess

twining whinging or complaining


bray beat (as in beat up someone)

chess chase

clarten messing about

deek look

gander look

gar go

garn going

jarn doing

laik play

loan borrow ("can ah loan 2 quid off yer?")

lowp jump

mek make

scower look at

skit make fun of

twat hit someone ("I twatted him in the face"), a woman's genitalia most likely from 'thwaite' meaning 'fertile valley,' also an insult.

wuk work


buwer unattractive girl

gadge person (usually a stranger, or someone whose name is not known)

lad young man

lass young woman

marra friend, companion, mate (mainly used in West Cumbria) mining slang

offcomer a non-native in Cumbria

potter gypsy

yakker a farmer

Places, landscapes, buildings etc

beck stream

crag stone or rock or cliff

fell a large hill or small mountain

ginnel a narrow passage, a back alley

hingins, hangins hinges

jam eater, a miner and common insult around Egremont/Whitehaven; jams like strawberry and raspberry being the one of the few things that coal dust isn't as noticeable in.

lonnin a lane

sneck door latch

tarn small lake

yam home

yat gate

Farming Terms

boos a division in a shuppon

bowins ragwort

cop the bank of earth on which a hedge grows

coo cow

cuddy horse

dyke a hedge, often on an earth-and-stone wall > dyking means to build a dyke

fodder gang passage for feeding cattle (usually in a shuppon)

gimmer female which has not had a lamb

hogg yearling sheep

hoss horse

liggin' kessin when an animal is lying on its back and can't get up

mowdy mole

mowdiing catching moles

shuppon/shippon a cow shed originally used for milking

stoop a gate post

syke a gutter or ditch between a cop and the road for drainage

tup a ram sheep

yowe ewe sheep (rhymes with cow)

The Weather

glisky when the sky is really bright so you can't see properly

mizzlin misty drizzly rain

syling pouring rain


It'll be reet It will be alright

Garn yam Going home

ars garn yam I'm going home

oust fettal How are you

fine fettal Good health

werst thew of te where are you going

















2 tyan tyan taena peina taen dau/dwy dew/diw  
3 tethera tetherie teddera para tedderte tri/tair tri/teyr  
4 methera peddera meddera pedera medderte pedwar/pedair peswar/peder  
5 pimp gip pimp pimp pimp pump pymp  
6 sethera teezie hofa ithy haata chwe(ch) whegh  
7 lethera mithy lofa mithy slaata saith seyth  
8 hovera katra seckera owera lowera wyth eth  
9 dovera hornie leckera lowera dowera naw naw  
10 dick dick dec dig dick deg dek  
15 bumfit bumfit bumfit bumfit mimph pymtheg pymthek  
20 giggot - - - - ugain ugens