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Last Updated: Monday, 15 November, 2004, 10:05 GMT
Farm dialect 'under threat'

By Brady Haran
BBC iCan reporter

Titch Rivett
Titch Rivett lives near Osgodby

Titch Rivett blames tractors, among other things, for the demise of her dialect.

When the machines replaced horses, many words and terms associated with the animals became redundant.

She says: "There are all sorts of terms that were associated with horses and now we have not got them - nobody uses them."

Ms Rivett, 50, is one of the few people trying to keep Lincolnshire's dialect alive.

She runs a 10-week course on the subject and makes audio recordings of its quirky terms, such as wozzle (root vegetable) and gimmer (a ewe which has never given birth).

Titch Rivett as a girl
At grammar school I was reprimanded for speaking with a dialect
Titch Rivett

However the course is in danger of being cancelled due to lack of interest.

Ms Rivett says: "I think (dialect) is as much a valid part of our heritage as the buildings that are out there that we try to preserve.

"It's almost like part of the folklore of the county and once it's gone you can't come back and say 'we'll have it now' because it's been lost.

"When I got to grammar school I was reprimanded for speaking with a Lincolnshire dialect... from that point on, it really made me aware that it was almost a different language.

"It's not a case of us not being able to talk properly, or being uneducated or ignorant. It's just another way of speaking, an old-fashioned way.

Sneck - a metal hook
Blather - mud on clothing
Dowking - wilting vegetation

"The folk that talk Lincolnshire dialect are talking an old form of what was an accepted English... it's just that we are maybe 100 or 200 years out of date."

While Ms Rivett says the dialect was hit hard by the introduction of farm machines, such as tractors, she also blames the moving population.

She explains: "More recently 'frim folk' (people from other areas) have come to the county and Lincolnshire folk have moved out of the county and you take your voice with you.

"So now we've got a mixture of voices... you haven't got that single Lincolnshire voice."

Ms Rivett's real name is Loretta (Titch is a childhood nickname).

She lives on farm land near Osgodby, north of Lincoln, and has been involved in farming and horticulture all her life.

Her dialect course is run by Lincolnshire County Council through De Aston Community Education and, despite its dwindling popularity, has previously attracted pupils from across the UK.

The BBC's Brady Haran
"Answering machines with Lincolnshire accents?"

Extra footage
Join Titch Rivett on a tour of farms near her home

Poetry recital
Titch Rivett reads a poem in her thick Lincolnshire accent

Dialect archive put on t'internet
11 Feb 04 |  West Yorkshire
Dialect guide is 'gurt lush'
20 Nov 03 |  Bristol/Somerset

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