Friday, June 29, 2007

Friday Fun

Okay, since a few of you wanted to know what yampy meant I think the next few Fridays will be devoted to teaching you all Black Country.
The Black Country dialect is one of the oldest in Europe, it is very similar to old german and the english that was spoken in the middle ages. Many scholars have said that if Chaucer were alive today he would have no trouble communicating in the Black Country. The dialect varies a little from village to village with Darby End and my village of Gornal having the strongest dialects.
Many words still end in -en as in gooen meaning going. The A sound is often pronounced as an O. Man becomes Mon for example. So here are some words and phrases to start you off.
Bin - this is not a receptacle for rubbish but instead means been. So you may be asked 'Where have yow bin?' which means 'Where have you been?'
An answer might be 'Ah've bin ter Brummagem' This means 'I've been to Birmingham.'
A good example of old english words that are still used would be the words Midden or miskin. In anglo saxon it meant a dung heap but was often used to mean rubbish heap. Today it means the outside bin or rubbish as in 'Ah threw it on the midden,'
Next Friday I'll post some more about the Black Country and our dialect with some pictures.


Judy Jarvie said...

Oh Nell - I want to hug you fiercely right now. I spent three years at Wolves Poly (these days called the University of Wolverhampton) Dudley Campus and Black Country dialect will forever twang heart strings for me in the most delightful of ways! The dinner ladies in the refectory that it took me about two years to understand were the pinnacle(and who I'm sure were the inspiration for Victoria Wood's Dinner Ladies). Anyway I digress.
I'll only add "Yowm be wanting chips wi yor salad?" is the nearest impression I can do. And I'm sure the dinner ladies are still waxing lyrical about Rita Hayworth and offering 'chips with everything' every term night to this day. How I miss my yoof.
Judy x
Please don't start me on the topic of going to JBs with the Dudley rockers. Treasured memories indeed. Is JBs yampy??!?
I remember Gornal well.

Nell said...

Yow'm welcome ma wench. lol

Kate Hardy said...

LOL. I had to google it to find out what it means. (Well, I would *g*)

And that's very true about Chaucer. Even more so would be Langland. (Don't get me started. I'm very nerdy on this subject. Kate W's husband is one of the few I can talk to about Middle English and Old English and... let's just say, KW and my DH didn't get many words in edgeways...)