Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Saturday, January 03, 2009

Since I've had a run on words, I thought I'd add these. It's a count to 5 in old Cumbrian. I was taught it nearly 30 years ago in Whitehaven. There's a article at http://www.lakelanddialectsocietyorg/counting_sheep.htm if you are interested.

I'm particularly taken by the emphasis on scores because growing up then (school apart) brace, dozen and score always seemed more important than ten to the older adults around me. Ten I suspect has only really surged to dominance since decimilisation.

I was reminded of them when I stumbled on a blog discussing the revival of the lost Cumbric language (not that it was ever called Cumbric of course). Welsh survived because it was spoken over a much larger area which included centres of learning (where it was written down) and because Wales survived as a country where Cumberland / Westmorland didn't. It's interesting that Cornish survived to some degree though.

I may look into it some more as I've been working on the Wikipedia entries for Lune, Caton, Lancaster, Quernmore etc and the origin of those place names interests me. I'd always assumed that Lancaster was entirely of Latin origin but it's looking as though the 'Lan' (Lon? Lun?) part of it could be Cumbric instead. (That would mean underlying Gaelic roots for the name.)