Ten words and phrases that prove you're Somerset born and bred

This is The West Country: Words and phrases that prove you're Somerset born and bred Words and phrases that prove you're Somerset born and bred

HOW be on? It be a bit dimpsy, bain't it? Gi's a gurt big pint of thee best zider.

Did you understand that sentence? If you did, the chances are you're fluent in the Somerset dialect.

If you don't have a clue what the words mean, I asked the person behind the bar how they were, said it was going a bit dark outside and asked for a large pint of their best cider.

Over the years, most of us lose our accents as the world becomes a smaller place and you interact with people over the telephone that live hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away.

But the native tongue of “ooh-aars” still survives in the school playground, and reference to “Zummerzet Zyder” in the bars of village pubs and the homes of farming communities.

The West Country lingo is popular among film writers and television programmes and became most famous after The Wurzels topped the UK music charts with their rendition of Combine Harvester.

To pick up the Somerset twang, which dates back to the Anglo-Saxon period, actors learn 'Mummerset' which is a mixture of dialects from across the South-West by replacing the 'S' in words with 'Z' and changing an 'F' with a 'V'.

In films, the Somerset accent can almost be described a 'pirate talk' with the ooo-arrs and is most famous in the action comedy movie, Hot Fuzz, which was filmed in Wells.

Other characters, including Hagrid in the Harry Potter series and Little Britain character Vicky Pollard are also portrayed with a thick West Country accent.

To get you started, here are ten words or phrases that prove you're from Somerset and while you're at it, have a go at our quiz below.

If you can think of any more add them to this story by commenting below or tweet reporter Daniel Milligan @GazetteDMilli

1 - GURT - “big or very”

Usage: That's a gurt big pothole.

2 - DIMPSEY - “That murky half-light which comes at the end of the day”

Usage: It be a bit dimpsy, bain't it?

3 - SPUDDLING - “To cause trouble, to bicker”

Usage: I told him off for spuddling with his brother.

4 - GROCKLE - “A holidaymaker or someone from out of town”

Usage: I wish those grockles would all go home, 'cos I can't find anywhere to park thee car.

5- PROPER JOB - “Great work or good job”

Usage: I passed my exams today, proper job.

6- G'WOAM - “Going home”

Usage: I'll be g'woam after work.

7- ZUMMERZET ZYDER - “Somerset cider”

Usage: I'll be down the cricket drinking zum Zummerzet Zyder.

8- HOW BE ON? - “How are you doing?”

Usage: I've not seen you for a while, how be on?

9- WHERE YOU TO? - “Where are you?”

Usage: I'm just going out to the shops, where you to?

10- INNIT SNUGH - “Yes it is, isn't it?”

Usage: The weather is bad tomorrow innit snugh?

QUIZ

1 - Wha' be gwain 'ave?

A: What are you going to have?

B: What are you doing?

C: What are you looking for?

2 - Whirr zer bin to?

A: What have you been doing?

B: What has he been doing?

C: Where has he been?

3 - Sright nottlin, sno. Spec me rumatics'll zoon be yer

A: It's really cold, you know. I expect my rheumatism will soon be here

B: It's snowing. I expect Christmas will soon be here

C: It's expected to snow heavily soon, but I have lost my spade

4 - S'getting dimpsey so you d'mind y'doan go vallin auver they ruckles on yer way cross mower.

A: I'm feeling tipsy. Do you mind giving me a lift home on your tractor?

B: It's just getting dark so mind you don't fall over the peat stacks on your way across the moor

C: It's just getting dark. Do you mind giving me a lift home?

5 - Eye sorer war shin

A: I've got a sore, raw shin

B: I saw her washing

C: Her washing is an eyesore

6 - Cordin eye, stimey wenoam

A: According to me, it's time he went home

B: According to me, she is a very drunk woman

C: Come and now, it's time to drink up.

 

Answers: 1) A 2) C 3) A 4) B 5) B 6) A

Comments (11)

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10:20am Mon 17 Feb 14

Blue Owl says...

I Welcome this Charitable Event to raise Monies for the Flood relief, @ the Palace Bridgwater. Somerset. Perhaps a revamped original, Song for the Event.
Would the Wurzels consider Making a CD on the Night, in order to raise even More for this Flood Effort, with modern Mobile Recording Machines and the Ability to Burn Discs almost instantly.
I'm sure the Wurzels, would be up for this, as a Potential Revenue Raising Addition.
I Would Certainly Contribute to it, and if any tickets Left , 2 for me Please
Clive.........
Regards Blue-Owl
David L Preece
it was a pleasure to Drive you around the Carnival Route a few years ago, my Hansom, Wurzel. Cheeers David
I Welcome this Charitable Event to raise Monies for the Flood relief, @ the Palace Bridgwater. Somerset. Perhaps a revamped original, Song for the Event. Would the Wurzels consider Making a CD on the Night, in order to raise even More for this Flood Effort, with modern Mobile Recording Machines and the Ability to Burn Discs almost instantly. I'm sure the Wurzels, would be up for this, as a Potential Revenue Raising Addition. I Would Certainly Contribute to it, and if any tickets Left , 2 for me Please Clive......... Regards Blue-Owl David L Preece it was a pleasure to Drive you around the Carnival Route a few years ago, my Hansom, Wurzel. Cheeers David Blue Owl
  • Score: 0

1:32pm Tue 18 Feb 14

A_Bridg_too_far says...

Cheers Drive!

Perhaps you and your readers might be interested in my blog - Somerset Speaks (http://somersetspea
ks.wordpress.com/) where I discuss Somerset dialect and accent and other linguistic points of interest about language change.

Similarly, I will soon be conducting further research into aspects of 'Somerset Speak' - and would welcome input from anyone who's interested in taking part. So if you are interested, Daniel, why not follow the blog!

Vicky Garnett
Cheers Drive! Perhaps you and your readers might be interested in my blog - Somerset Speaks (http://somersetspea ks.wordpress.com/) where I discuss Somerset dialect and accent and other linguistic points of interest about language change. Similarly, I will soon be conducting further research into aspects of 'Somerset Speak' - and would welcome input from anyone who's interested in taking part. So if you are interested, Daniel, why not follow the blog! Vicky Garnett A_Bridg_too_far
  • Score: 3

2:24pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Steve Hale says...

I've lived in Somerset all my lufe, and to be honest think this article is the biggest load of rubbish i've ever read. Obviously written by a college boy who has no idea what it means to be from the west country!
I've lived in Somerset all my lufe, and to be honest think this article is the biggest load of rubbish i've ever read. Obviously written by a college boy who has no idea what it means to be from the west country! Steve Hale
  • Score: 3

5:32pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Alex@SDA says...

Spec tiz a bit too generalised. There are definitely little nuances as regards areas in Somerset. Bristol for example puts an L on the end of anything that sounds like it ends with an A. We down yer do use an R and maybe for the hell of it and in Bridgwater chuck in an S

For example. ... Bristol; I'm going Shopping at Asdal. Somerset; I'm goan shopping at Asder. Bridgwater; I be goan shopping at Asders.

Something was quite right though on the original article. The greeting you often hear in fore street is "Yer, Wos On Boss"?

Then we get "Be Thickyun Yourn?" (Is that one yours?) Another one could be "Our Mother do live up the road from I"

From my days in the washing machine repair business a common foat (fault) if the Worshing Machine didn't drain," Er Oant Epmt".

I say protect your accent, it makes us who we are.
Spec tiz a bit too generalised. There are definitely little nuances as regards areas in Somerset. Bristol for example puts an L on the end of anything that sounds like it ends with an A. We down yer do use an R and maybe for the hell of it and in Bridgwater chuck in an S For example. ... Bristol; I'm going Shopping at Asdal. Somerset; I'm goan shopping at Asder. Bridgwater; I be goan shopping at Asders. Something was quite right though on the original article. The greeting you often hear in fore street is "Yer, Wos On Boss"? Then we get "Be Thickyun Yourn?" (Is that one yours?) Another one could be "Our Mother do live up the road from I" From my days in the washing machine repair business a common foat (fault) if the Worshing Machine didn't drain," Er Oant Epmt". I say protect your accent, it makes us who we are. Alex@SDA
  • Score: 4

9:08pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Newsreader1982 says...

I'm from Somerset and don't understand those sentences. I have, however, heard people in the area talking in a similar way.
I'm from Somerset and don't understand those sentences. I have, however, heard people in the area talking in a similar way. Newsreader1982
  • Score: 2

3:37pm Wed 19 Feb 14

Monument says...

Stereotyping at its worst.

At a time when we need Somerset to be taken seriously suggesting that we all talk in mindless drivel is not helpful
Stereotyping at its worst. At a time when we need Somerset to be taken seriously suggesting that we all talk in mindless drivel is not helpful Monument
  • Score: 1

5:22pm Wed 19 Feb 14

GreatOdin'sRaven says...

I agree with Monument. What an absolute load of gibberish! I can quite honestly say that I've never heard anyone speak in such a way in the ten-ish years I've lived in the county.

Top quality 'journalism' as always, well done.
I agree with Monument. What an absolute load of gibberish! I can quite honestly say that I've never heard anyone speak in such a way in the ten-ish years I've lived in the county. Top quality 'journalism' as always, well done. GreatOdin'sRaven
  • Score: 4

1:02am Thu 20 Feb 14

Blue Owl says...

All I can add to this dribble, is we might be Green and Cabbage looking, but do not treat us as Swede heads.!!!!!
In other words, whilst you think we are stupid, look out as we will soon show you we are not !!
We may talk with a local Dialect, which is rounded and a pleasure to hear, but do not treat us as Fools, or you will soon realise as to who is actually the Fool. Twer Not I. !!
David L Preece
Blue Owl
All I can add to this dribble, is we might be Green and Cabbage looking, but do not treat us as Swede heads.!!!!! In other words, whilst you think we are stupid, look out as we will soon show you we are not !! We may talk with a local Dialect, which is rounded and a pleasure to hear, but do not treat us as Fools, or you will soon realise as to who is actually the Fool. Twer Not I. !! David L Preece Blue Owl Blue Owl
  • Score: 1

6:49am Thu 20 Feb 14

ladybird14 says...

I agree I've was born in Somerset and come from farming back ground and I really don't know most of the rubbish you are making up I think parts of Cornwall may say things differently
I agree I've was born in Somerset and come from farming back ground and I really don't know most of the rubbish you are making up I think parts of Cornwall may say things differently ladybird14
  • Score: 1

11:32pm Thu 20 Feb 14

Taunton-Somerset says...

Firstly, the Somerset DIALECT does not exist. It became extinct many generations ago and long before living memory.
Secondly, The Somerset ACCENTS ( yes, four major varieties and a few more local ones) are as different from what is described as West Country, as chalk is to cheese.
Most of the words quoted by the reporter are not even Somerset words! Try Gloucestershire Devon and Cornwall for the real roots of what you quote.
Your "phonetic spelling" attempts clearly indicate that you have not spoken to any Somerset people, only strange immigrants or actors!

Why am I wasting my time commenting on such a poor article.
Somerset born, bred, and resident for my 3 score and ten - and still speaking in my natural Somerset accent.
Firstly, the Somerset DIALECT does not exist. It became extinct many generations ago and long before living memory. Secondly, The Somerset ACCENTS ( yes, four major varieties and a few more local ones) are as different from what is described as West Country, as chalk is to cheese. Most of the words quoted by the reporter are not even Somerset words! Try Gloucestershire Devon and Cornwall for the real roots of what you quote. Your "phonetic spelling" attempts clearly indicate that you have not spoken to any Somerset people, only strange immigrants or actors! Why am I wasting my time commenting on such a poor article. Somerset born, bred, and resident for my 3 score and ten - and still speaking in my natural Somerset accent. Taunton-Somerset
  • Score: 1

11:35am Fri 21 Feb 14

Blue Owl says...

Taunton-Somerset wrote:
Firstly, the Somerset DIALECT does not exist. It became extinct many generations ago and long before living memory.
Secondly, The Somerset ACCENTS ( yes, four major varieties and a few more local ones) are as different from what is described as West Country, as chalk is to cheese.
Most of the words quoted by the reporter are not even Somerset words! Try Gloucestershire Devon and Cornwall for the real roots of what you quote.
Your "phonetic spellingLet's put this one too Bed, the issues we need to Adress are the Folk, who no fault of their own, The Environment Agency, is Squarly to BLAME, they must be held Accountable. When the present issues are Adressed.
I for one will be ensuring that this happens in due Time.
I like the post above from Taunton-Somerset, can give him 10, but like himself my family is from Local Farming Families, Moorlynch, Chadzoy, Bawdrip, Athelney, Aunt Joan Morgan 98 still on the farm with Tim my Cousin, where Alfred the true King of Wessex burnt the cakes/ Bread in local history. My gran was 106 when she died in 2008, born 1901 and was the Eldest of Nine of the Fry Family, Tracable back to 1745, Locally, in and around those villages I afore mentioned. With the marriage to my grandfather! another local Farming Family -Wilkins, from Bawdrip . So as was posted by my Quote.
We have a rounded, soft , Pleasent Charactar to our Speech / Dialect.
Unlike, Cornish, Bristolians, or even Dorset. ,!!!!!!
Let's concentrate all our efforts to helping those who are already in 3-4 foot of water, in their Homes, not properties! their personal Homes !!!! Where they will not be able to live, if at all N4 next Christmas, if this weather Breaks and we have 6 Weeks of Dry, even Frosty Weather, until the end of April....
David L Preece
Blue- Owl
Bridgwater Masonic Brother A Blake 4692
[quote][p][bold]Taunton-Somerset[/bold] wrote: Firstly, the Somerset DIALECT does not exist. It became extinct many generations ago and long before living memory. Secondly, The Somerset ACCENTS ( yes, four major varieties and a few more local ones) are as different from what is described as West Country, as chalk is to cheese. Most of the words quoted by the reporter are not even Somerset words! Try Gloucestershire Devon and Cornwall for the real roots of what you quote. Your "phonetic spellingLet's put this one too Bed, the issues we need to Adress are the Folk, who no fault of their own, The Environment Agency, is Squarly to BLAME, they must be held Accountable. When the present issues are Adressed. I for one will be ensuring that this happens in due Time. I like the post above from Taunton-Somerset, can give him 10, but like himself my family is from Local Farming Families, Moorlynch, Chadzoy, Bawdrip, Athelney, Aunt Joan Morgan 98 still on the farm with Tim my Cousin, where Alfred the true King of Wessex burnt the cakes/ Bread in local history. My gran was 106 when she died in 2008, born 1901 and was the Eldest of Nine of the Fry Family, Tracable back to 1745, Locally, in and around those villages I afore mentioned. With the marriage to my grandfather! another local Farming Family -Wilkins, from Bawdrip . So as was posted by my Quote. We have a rounded, soft , Pleasent Charactar to our Speech / Dialect. Unlike, Cornish, Bristolians, or even Dorset. ,!!!!!! Let's concentrate all our efforts to helping those who are already in 3-4 foot of water, in their Homes, not properties! their personal Homes !!!! Where they will not be able to live, if at all N4 next Christmas, if this weather Breaks and we have 6 Weeks of Dry, even Frosty Weather, until the end of April.... David L Preece Blue- Owl Bridgwater Masonic Brother A Blake 4692 Blue Owl
  • Score: -1

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