This is more for the amusement of people outside of the UK, for whom it might prove a revelation.
In parts of Britain they use totally different words for the numbers 1 to 20. Not for when buying Bananas, but for when counting Sheep. This ancient Brythonic Celtic language is apparently also used in Knitting.
The examples below come from six different parts of Yorkshire. As a boy I can remember learning Yan Tam Eddera Teddera Pit, which was probably something I'd gleaned from the radio. I'm sure we didn't use the words in Surrey.
Now get learning those numbers, I shall be asking questions later!
|20||Jiggit||Gun a gun||Jiggit||Jigget||Jiggit|
I have come across this before but have never been aware of it being used round here. My father in law - a farmer in The Dales all his life - certainly never spoke of it so perhaps it went back long before his time.ReplyDelete
I was expecting you to say that you'd used them for most of your life! I'm rather disappointed.Delete
I read those with interest. Looking for any that sounded like Greek. Jiggit, bumfit, I don't think so.ReplyDelete
Just ye olde Yorkshire.
I understand they are Celtic, but I would have put my money on Viking.Delete
I also read it with interest. Maybe some Yiddish word entered the list.ReplyDelete
A lot of Yiddish words stayed in London where they became a part of East End 'Cockney'; often associated with the tailoring business.Delete
Yes, you can see both northern and southern Celtic influence thereReplyDelete
Cro have a look at Polari....now there is an interesting mixReplyDelete
I witnessed 'polari' when it first emerged. The gay community in Chelsea, where I lived, used it openly. I did once write a piece about it.Delete
How strange. And very interesting--thanks Cro!ReplyDelete
There are some strange folk in GB.Delete
Most unusual. Inventing new names for numbers 1-20 and used only for knitting and counting sheep. It seems very regional and never caught on beyond the region.ReplyDelete
I think it was Sheep rearing regions who used it. Similar counting is found in parts of Wales and Scotland.Delete
To understand this. One can say with a straight face, "I have phubs sheep?"ReplyDelete
I have the feeling one might be asked who phub is.Delete
Oops. My first post disappeared.Delete
To understand. One can say with a straight face, "I have phubs sheep."
The counting was used for counting Sheep as they passed through a gate. When they got to 20 (jiggit), they carved a notch on a 'tally stick', then started again from 1 (yan).Delete
I learned the Bowland way of sheep counting from my Grandfather, his Father would visit the livestock markets regularly.ReplyDelete
I could only ever get as far as ten before getting confused though!
It did, however, start a lifetimes obsession, I love learning to count to ten in many different languages!
A totally useless skill to have of course, but fun all the same.
I was also taught the names of all the American State Capitals, this time by my Grandmother, who had lived in Vermont from the age of eight and twenty.
I don't have many talents, but I'm quite useful on a pub quiz team! X
It's good to hear that at least one person knows the system. I only managed to get to 5; you have a better memory than me.Delete
For some crazy reason this blog topic reminds me of Sir Issac Pittman and his Pittman's Shorthand. My Grandparents were antiques dealers and visited the UK twice a year on buying trips. They once bought a ton of books to fill out a shipping container. When they arrived it was my job was to sort them and log them into the inventory. Amongst them were journals containing some bizarre notations looking like short hand. I set them aside and years later upon the grandparents deaths I was selling out the shop. A man brought the dozen or so short hand journals to me and asked if I had more. I said no but did he know what they were. He said Pittman's journals. I was still not sure what he was saying. He said that they were Sir Isaac Pittman's personal journals. He had to explain who Pittman was and only then did I understand. Pittman was English and had developed a short hand that was also spoken. He also told me Pittman's brother had lived in Cincinnati which is a fact that I use in trivia sessions from time to time. Today it is somewhat obscure and little is known of it by Americans. What is a really crazy coincidence is that among my late great aunt's things was a small leather bound little black book with this same Pittman's shorthand. Thanks to the buyer of the journals I was able to figure out what she had written. She had listed the names and ages of her beaus and rated them on their kissing abilities and other manly attributes like possible size of a certain appendage and makes me laugh because she died an old maiden lady. Cro, have you ever heard of Pittman Shorthand?ReplyDelete
Indeed I have. It was the shorthand of choice for all who passed through 'Secretarial College'. They had their own college too, I remember their adverts on 'the tube'.Delete
I am Cro's sister and learnt Pitman's shorthand at Secretarial College in the 1960'sDelete
I had thought about about mentioning that. And even The Langham in Park Lane. Did you know they have an 'old girls' Facebook page?Delete
A lot goes on here in GB that most are unaware of.Delete
You say those words are used for knitting as well? I've never heard of them. Perhaps Australia is too far away for them to have travelled this far.ReplyDelete
Probably only in Yorkshire and Lancashire.Delete