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 I think there are methera-a-giggor 
        of these Swaledale ewes here
I think there are methera-a-giggor of these Swaledale ewes here.

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Counting Sheep . . .

May 2006
I'm adding this interesting tit-bit to pass the time whilst I'm unable to go walking.


Yan Lonk ewe in the Howgill Fells
Yan Rough Fell ewe in the Howgill Fells

This may sound like a subject to put you to sleep, but I think it's quite interesting. In Cumbria and the Yorkshire Dales there is a tradition that still just survives (I heard an item on the radio about it only a few months ago) of counting sheep using old dialect numbers which derrive from the old Norse settlers in the area. Yes the Vikings were settlers & farmers and not just raiders and warriors. The exact words used for each number vary from valley to valley, but a typical example used in the Howgill Fells is shown below.

1. Yan 2. Tyan 3. Tethera 4. Methera 5. Pimp
6. Sethera 7. Lethera 8. Hovera 9. Dovera 10. Dick
11. Yan-a-dick 12. Tyan-a-dick 13. Tethera-a-dick 14. Methera-a-dick 15. Bumfit
16. Yan-a-bumfit 17. Tyan-a-bumfit 18. Tethera-a-bumfit 19. Methera-a-bumfit 20. Giggor

There was also a tradition in some parts of the country of counting livestock including sheep in pairs so that by the time you had used both hands you had counted a score of animals and the tally of livestock was kept in scores. This tradition persisted until the start of the 20th. Century and you can see an example of it reflected in the toll charges levied per score of animals at Whorlton suspension bridge