Wednesday, March 15

Yan Tan

I took an old guy to Ulverston one morning and when he counted the coins out to pay the fare he said “here’s dick tan lad keep the change,” This had me baffled so I asked him to explain what he had said. He told me that it’s an ancient form of counting still in use by some of the upland sheep farmers to count their flock. So here goes with one to ten, don’t know if any of the spellings are correct this is just as he said them. 1 yan 2 tan 3 teddera 4 meddera 5 pimp 6 settera 7 lettera 8 hovera 9 dowra 10 dick .It sounds like it may come from the Old Norse but best of all I like the one for 15 bumfit and the one for 20 jiggot. Right I’m off for a dick minutes rest might catch you in bumfit or so.


wil said...











"We have ignition!"


I wonder if the ESA will try it this way?

Barnze said... Interesting stuff.Seems the phrases change a bit in different places!

Nic said...

From what I remember when I used to live in whitehaven and talking to some old guys who had retired from farming, the old cumbrian counting system was based on 10 like out counting system, but on fifteen. there's a house in Keswick called Yan Tan Tethera, and yes, it is number 123!

OJW said...