Grasshopper Mind


JUNE 11, 2022


My Brother and niece who live in Lancashire visited recently. Lancashire is a county with its own dialect. Some would say its own language.  It was fun hearing words and phrases from my growing up years.  No matter how long we are away, hearing our hometown dialect brings back all kinds of memories. 


Not everyone, even in the rest of England, can easily translate some Lancashire sayings.  One that amuses friends is the statement.  Oh, they live next door but two from me.  Translation – but for the two houses in-between they would live right next door.


A phrase with more depth:  Our Marie got a scholarship.  Not just ‘Marie’ – OUR Marie.  She is one of our family.  We are responsible for her, and she for us.  Take note - She is ours.


You’ll hear: Arnold was really chuffed.  Lancashire: He was puffed up with pride. North Carolina: He was bursting his buttons.


During a rare heatwave Lancashire natives will say:  I’m sweating cobs, it’s cracking flags out there: Sweating cobs (large globules of sweat).  Flags means pavement.   In the South we’d say. It’s hot as Hades - you could fry an egg on the sidewalk.


Hearing the familiar dialect brought back hilarious and horrible memories of neighbors, juvenile misdeeds, and proud family accomplishments.  It allowed me to wallow momentarily in the good and interesting life I’ve been fortunate to live.  Maybe even recall a few still applicable lessons I can share with grandchildren.


My early days in the South caused a different dialect challenge. Running a little late for lunch (too many streets with the same name, and none on a grid) I hear:  Where you at? J’eat yet?  Notchet? Whyncha join us?  I loved it. It was like learning a new language.


Why share such trivia? Perhaps to emphasize the value in remembering where we came from. Good memories. Bad memories. Blurred memories.  People, places and things that made us who we are.  Refresher courses balance our lives.


Take that trip down memory lane.  Do not take up residence there.


Ta-rah (Lancashire for goodbye)


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