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Counting sheep

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djgordy
1214372.  Sat Dec 03, 2016 1:00 pm Reply with quote

The reason counting sheep is supposed to send you to sleep is because of the way the counting was done. There are regional variations but the Derbyshire manner is;

Yain, tain, eddero, peddero, pitts, tayter, layter, overro, covvero, dix (dix = 10)
Yain-dix, tain-dix, eddero-dix, peddero-dix, bummfit (which is 15 if you haven't been keeping count).
Yain-o-bumfitt etc to 19 then jiggit for 20.

 
Spud McLaren
1214379.  Sat Dec 03, 2016 2:29 pm Reply with quote

A Yorkshire version was used by Jake Thackray in his song Molly Metcalfe.

Comparison chart for different locations given here.

 
'yorz
1214386.  Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:16 pm Reply with quote

Hi djgordy! Nice to see you back.

 
djgordy
1214390.  Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:28 pm Reply with quote

Obviously we will not comment on the fact that 15 sheep are a bummfit...

 
Zziggy
1214392.  Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:29 pm Reply with quote

Where is "yan, tan, tethra" from then? Or did I just make that up somehow ...

 
'yorz
1214393.  Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:31 pm Reply with quote

A simple googling will show that there will be regional differences/varieties in the counting.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yan_tan_tethera

 
Zziggy
1214395.  Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:35 pm Reply with quote

Ok.

Serves me right for trying to engage in chit chat I guess ...

 
Spud McLaren
1214403.  Sat Dec 03, 2016 4:17 pm Reply with quote

Zziggy wrote:
Where is "yan, tan, tethra" from then? Or did I just make that up somehow ...
Post 1214379 covers it, I think.

 
Zziggy
1214404.  Sat Dec 03, 2016 4:45 pm Reply with quote

Sorry Spud :)

 
djgordy
1214405.  Sat Dec 03, 2016 4:53 pm Reply with quote

The version I originally learned was "yan tan tethera methera pip" etc but, not being a professional sheep counter, it was an academic learning rather than a practical one. It comes up in quizzes from time to time. As noted above, the proper Derbyshire one is slightly different but I live in cattle lands rather than sheep country*.

*As different as chalk and cheese = upland chalk areas for sheep, used for meat: lowland areas for cattle producing milk.

 
suze
1214407.  Sat Dec 03, 2016 5:24 pm Reply with quote

That version - yan, tan, tethera, methera, pimp, sethera, lethera, hovera, dovera, dick - is probably the best known, even though it doesn't fit exactly with any of the versions given on the Wiki page.

It's usually claimed as Cumbrian, and writers like Melvyn Bragg, Roger McGough, and the late Terry Pratchett have all used it in their works.

I had a bit more to say about it in post 654945.

 
Bondee
1214408.  Sat Dec 03, 2016 5:29 pm Reply with quote

djgordy wrote:
Obviously we will not comment on the fact that 15 sheep are a bummfit...


A tv programme called QI commented on it several years ago.

Quote:
Stephen [to Charlie]
Do you know about Yan Tan Tethera? That'll get you some points back. It's a counting system, possibly Celtic in origin . . .

Alan
What, the counting?

Phill
Is it . . . sheep counting?

Stephen
Yes. It's for counting sheep. It actually goes: Yan,Tan, Tethera--this is the Borrowdale version--Yan, Tyan, Tethera, Methera, Pimp, Sethera, Lethera, Hovera, Dovera, Dick, Yan-a-dick Tyan-a-dick, Tethera-dik, Methera-dick, Bumfit . . . suddenly appears, which is 15. And it goes all the way up to Giggot, which is 20.

Alan
So one in every 15 will--

Stephen
Will be a bumfit.

Alan
--be a bumfit.

Stephen
Absolutely.

Sean
I think you actually might have just summoned up the devil, Stephen.

Phill
Are the last three sheep Cuthbert, Dibble, and Grub?

 

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