This book will help you understand the unique and ancient local dialect and have you talking like a native in no time. The book includes a dictionary to help you develop an altogether new vocabulary, plus a wonderful collection of tales and anecdotes, all chosen to illustrate different aspects of the delightful local dialect.
Is dialect more about a place’s past or its present? When it comes to the Lake District and Cumbria, it’s very much about both. These parts of the country are fortunate to have many champions and a lively passion for local words, phrases and pronunciation, making them alive with their own distinctive language.
When most of us think about words and the Lake District, we think of Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter. While these figures made an important contribution to the perception of the place, the links between place and language are even richer and more varied than this. Cumbria boasts a proud heritage of dialect writers, a line of people from all walks of life who made sure that the words that they heard in their day (and before) were celebrated.
In The Stories of English, David Crystal comments that, in the past, ‘Dialects were not usually viewed as a living medium of expression, offering a window into cultural diversity; rather they were thought of as relics of past times, quaint curiosities to be cherished and preserved.’
In contrast with this, in Lakeland and Cumbria, as this book explores, there are clear signs that the local dialects are not simply fascinating parts of the past, but living languages still very much in use. There is no doubt that many of the words and sayings featured in our glossary are no longer part of everyday life, but some of them certainly still are. The continuing line of local dialect writers in the area also shows that the dialects of Cumbria are alive rather than just preserved. Even the response to Cumbria’s rapping farmer shows that the dialect is alive and that public interest in it is too!
Sadly, there is only time in this short book to look at the subject in brief. Enthusiasts keen for more will find plenty to explore locally and in person. Whether you’re taking a peek at the way local people referred to their working life, or looking at legendary tales of the area or the varied industries that have connections with the place, one thing is clear: there’s a great deal more to the Lake District than Wordsworth and his celebrated daffodils. But dialects don’t stand still. Neither do places. Like everywhere else, the Lake District is affected by commercial developments and other forces around it. While there’s no denying that the area is currently going through change, its identity will always be closely associated with the words and language of its people.
Released: July 2015
Publisher: Bradwell Books
Size: 180 x 110mm
Author: Glen Ridding