Friday, 20 July 2018
The village of Muker in Swaledale was our next stop, and a pretty little place it is, too. The area has been inhabited since the Bronze Age. Agriculture has always been its basic driver, although in the late 18th/early19th century lead mining was an important source of employment. Nowadays, tourism helps and the village has a couple of teashops, craft shops and a pub. And how do you pronounce its name? I'm fairly sure it's 'Mooka'. There is a very strong, historic dialect in the area, still spoken by some older residents. Swaledale is locally pronounced 'Swardle' and the local dialect uses many specific local words, especially farming-related terms, and ancient words like 'thee' and 'thou'. There is concern that the dialect is dying out and I believe recordings have been made in an attempt to preserve it.