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Local Dialect: Gert!


Small white elderflowers against a background of fresh green elder leaves
Spray of elderflowers

There's a saying that summer begins when the elder comes into flower and ends when the berries are ripe. So, summer has officially begun! The elderflowers are in bloom and they're beautiful.


As we were wandering along a lane the other day, I noticed them and commented to Andy that the sprays of them are looking well gert this year. Further down the path, Andy pointed out that there were gert loads of them. Gert. It's a word we use a lot! Unless you're from the southern half of England though, especially the West Country, you probably won't really have come across it before.


Gert is a word from middle English apparently, and it basically means big. Sometimes the sounds in words get interchanged (like aks and ask) and it's the same in this case - gert is derived from great.

White elderflowers against a background of rich green leaves
Elderflowers

So, you might spot some gert big sprays of elderflowers on your daily walk, or you might say the hare you saw was pretty gert or that you saw a well gert yew tree!


If you'd just discovered some tasty wild raspberries and, you're really going for it with the West Country words, you'd describe them as gert lush.


So, there you go - gert ^_^


Your turn - please add comments below with your similar local dialect words. They're always good to hear!

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3 Comments


One word that always reminds me of my grandmother is 'dreckly'. It was years before I figured out it's 'directly' , as kids we just knew we'd have to wait

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woodlarker
woodlarker
Oct 05, 2023
Replying to

Oh yes, that's a real west country word isn't it! I lived in Cornwall for a few years and I soon learned that everything was done dreckly 😂 And that everyone's called "my lover". There was a lovely, very elderly lady who always used to ask after my baby by saying "'ow's 'ee doing my lover?"

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clare.t
clare.t
Jun 15, 2023

Love this ❤️ I live up North now and it reminds me of home….. please can you send me up a gert big pasty 🤣😋

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