Thursday, May 18, 2017

Bumfitt

lamb at Slate Run Farm lambs at Slate Run Farm sheep at Slate Run Farm Many years ago I was a spinner, natural dyer, and weaver.  Spinning was a gentle, relaxing activity.  At that time I was able to buy a whole, raw fleece or buy roving, which I didn't enjoy spinning.  After my daughters were born a whole fleece was just too much to deal with and I laid aside both spinning and weaving. 

I love sheep -- or maybe it's the idea of sheep and what they give us  that I love.  I've never personally known a sheep and had only a passing acquaintance with them at fairs, farms, or living history sites.  But they look so sweet and most give such wonderful wool.  I love burying my nose in the fleece of a freshly shorn sheep.  A little bit of heaven.

My daughter and her husband have sheep on their farm.  Their little flock is growing, especially after many lambs were born this spring.

lamb at Slate Run FarmThis reason for this post is to share this bit of fun information.  Not long ago I learned that there are alternative numbering systems for counting sheep which seem to have originated in various parts of the rural sheep country of England. 

One variation goes like this:
 1  Yain
 2  Tain
 3  Eddero
 4  Pederro
 5  Pitts
 6  Tayter
 7  Layter
 8  Overro
 9  Coverro
10  Dix
11  Yain-dix
12  Tain-dix
13  Eddero-dix
14  Peddero-dix
15  Bumfitt
16  Yain-o-bumfitt
17  Tain-o-bumfitt
18  Eddero-o-bumfitt
19  Peddero-o-bumfitt
20  Jiggit

Can't sleep, you say?  Imagine counting sheep with the English shepherd's version:  yain, tain, eddero, peddero, pitts....  Perhaps I would chuckle my way to sleep or fall asleep trying to remember the numbers.  We have it easy with our English numbers, don't you think?

And now I'll tell you how many lambs my daughter's sheep had this spring:  bumfitt.  Or maybe there were only tain-dix lambs.  I lost count.

This is a Really Random Thursday post.

--Nancy.
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18 comments:

  1. Ha!ha! Entertaining and informative! 😀

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    1. Thanks, Allison. I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

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  2. Really random is right! LOL. I hadn't heard of that before, the etymology would be interested to research. "Dix" is French, but I am at a loss for the rest! And the photos are cute too!

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    1. Yes, definitely random. LOL Some things just tickle my funny bone, and sharing them on my blog is one way to share the humor and save the thought.

      I agree that it would be interesting to search the etymology. The link in the post tells a little (the words derive from a Brythonic Celtic language -- which is definitely a foreign language to me!) but I didn't do any further research.

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  3. So funny! The other day I was counting the lambs my BIL's sheep had this Spring--I can see them from my sewing room window. Can't imagine using this counting system!! Thanks for the smiles this morning, Nancy.

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    1. Lucky you to have a pasture of sheep you can see every day, Janet! My daughter's lambs were very new when we saw them and still in the barn with their mothers so I didn't get to see them jumping and playing. One of these years! I can't imagine this counting system, either, especially because it only goes to 20! You're welcoming for the smiles.

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  4. Love these charming number words! I think I'll memorize them to recite during sleepless nights :)

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    1. They are fun, aren't they, Jeanne. The information about them commented that they have a rhyming sound to them which, I suppose, could help a person fall asleep.

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  5. Well, I love sheep too and I have never heard of this counting method. I think it would only keep me awake! I do love the smell of a new born lamb.

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    1. I don't think this is a commonly use method, especially not in the U.S., Wendy. I tried this method the other night was I didn't fall asleep when my head hit the pillow and I almost had to get up, turn on the computer, and read the post to remember what the numbers were! I talked myself out of it.

      Maybe one year I'll get to smell a newborn lamb. When we visited my daughter the lambs were new but they were also a little skittish so I didn't ask to hold one. When they're new next year I will!

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  6. Awwe! Little lambs are so sweet - and I love your post. Just fun!

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  7. Too funny! Either way, that's a lot of lambs to care for.

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    1. Yes, a lot of lambs, Robin. Thank goodness all the mothers lived this year. Last year they had a set of twins to nurse along and that really takes a lot of time!

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  8. We used to call our babies with no mothers "bummers", so your lamb story spoke to my heart!

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    1. I think I've heard that turn used for orphan lambs, Julie, but forgot until I read your comment. Did you grow up on a farm?

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  9. Pure entertainment, and knowledge enhancement! Thanks.

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    1. Entertainment, yes, and perhaps a little nonsense to some readers, Susan. I like words, I like lambs, I like putting the two together.

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