This was a favourite expression of my Cumbrian grandfather, and I had never heard anyone outside of my mother’s family using it. (It means carrying too much at once in order to save a return trip).
I was therefore intrigued to find it in the English subtitles (I know, I know …) of “Rownd” a Rownd", 23 Mehefin 2015, just over 4 minutes in, Iolo speaking.
The original Welsh was: “Am bod gen ti faich dyn diog”.
The last three words are a literal equivalent of the English.
I’m not familiar with the “Am bod” construction. Of course “mae gen ti …” would be the normal northern way of saying “you have …”.
In the English subtitle it is “That’s a lazy man’s load”.
Googling around, I found the following in http://kimkat.org/amryw/1_diarhebion/13_diarhebion_cyffin_1890_POPETH_0962ke.htm
"Baich y gwâs diog
(A lazy man’s burden)
A large burden to save a journey "
(gwâs or gwas is “servant”).
Is anyone else familiar with this expression, in English or Welsh?
I’m in Cumbria and I’ve never heard that saying. I am in the very south, so it could be a more northerly thing. Their accent is quite different from ours and they have different words and stuff.
It is something I’m quite likely to do, though!
My Grandad lived in south Cumbria (“South Lakes” - their bit was actually in Lancashire at that time)) for most of his adult life, but was originally from up Whitehaven way I think. He died in 1968 well into his 80s, so this is probably an old saying.
O, fi hefyd!
This is a saying that I was familiar with growing up in Cornwall in the 1960’s and was also used by my wife’s family from North Wales who speak Welsh as a first language - Llwyth dyn diog.
@Millie I found this interesting theme for your Glossologics blog. If you didn’t write about this a while ago and I’ve maybe missed it.
And yes, I tend to do this often too.
So strange to see this phrase in the thread title, as only the other day it popped into my head as I was putting away dishes and wondering if I was carrying too many in one journey…
I’m from Brum, but picked up the phrase from my Irish mother. She was from Sligo which is north Eire. She always used the phrase with some hint of jeopardy, as if being lazy and making one journey with a large load instead of 2 smaller loads would mean you’d come a cropper. Like me dropping those plates!
I had always wondered if she had made the phrase up herself; quite nice to know it’s actually in wider use.
Cumbria, Cornwall, Cymru gogledd…and now Ireland where there was a lot of coming and going over the centuries…
Well my Grandma, although born in England, was from parents who had come over from Ireland at around the turn of the 19th century, so possibly Grandad got it from her originally.
(And i’ve just remembered there had been Cornish miners in the area where they lived. In fields opposite, there were deep mineshafts which had filled with water and become like small lakes, and the locals called this area “Mousle”, which was supposed to have been derived from the “Mousehole” in Cornwall. (Don’t think the name “Mousle” ever made it to the OS map though).
I’m trying to figure out if we have some equivalent in Slovenia but I can’t remember anything and it’s hard to put comparrisons in languages though. We have many “wise” sayings but I can’t find this one.
I know this expression! My father’s family used to say it. Probably still do, actually. Thankyou for the reminder, fascinating how so many of these things have survived across languages.
Is that in Dalton-in-Furness?
Spot on. They actually lived at Green Haume.
My wife & in-laws from Bethesda/Bangor use the phrase, so I had always assumed it was a Gog thing!
Growing up I lived at the bottom of the track that led up to Mouzel. I used to walk the family dog up there most days. Now the Dalton bypass runs right through that track. To get there now you have to park in the layby on the bypass. The whole area was mined extensively for iron ore. The mud is really red and stains things pink - even the animals in the zoo. The village of Newton, just outside Dalton, was recently cut in half when a big hole just opened up in the road in the middle of the village. After 12 months the council finally filled it in.
Do you mean at the Dalton end? I used to know the way from Green Haume to Dalton proper via Mouzel. I think the path came out near Tudor Square. Not sure if I could find it now, and as you say, it’s completely changed with the bypass.
Growing up in a city, the area around Dalton seemed like a rural paradise to me when we used to spend summer holidays with my Grandma. It was only later that I realised that it had been a hive of industrial-type activity years ago, with mines, iron works, quarries and what have you. There had been a railway line behind the Green Haume houses that used to serve the mines, although the actual rails had been torn up well before my day. (Grandad kept chickens on part of the embankment that was left!).
Oh dear! Perhaps they were waiting to see what else would cave in.
Small world indeed!
Yes I lived at the Dalton end. The lane comes out not far from Tudor Square. I always thought the town had a bit of an industrial feel with it’s narrow streets and terraced houses, but within minutes of walking you are in the countryside. I often think how lucky I am to live in this part of the country.