Monday, September 08, 2008


Since coming here, I've been listening carefully to the local accents and the remnants of older and regional English. There's still quite a lot of it about.

My aunt, whose ancestry is all Manchester, uses "mither" quite a bit. "I'm not mithered about it".

Late 17th century, unknown origin, possibly Welsh moedrodd to worry or bother. Possible alternative from the Welsh meidda (“‘to beg for whey’”) or perhaps meiddio (“‘to dare or venture’”). Bear in mind that the "dd" in Welsh corresponds in sound to the "th" in mither.


* IPA: /ˈmaɪθər/, SAMPA: /"maIT@r/


to mither

Third person singular

Simple past

Past participle

Present participle

to mither (third-person singular simple present mithers, present participle mithering, simple past and past participle mithered)

1. (intransitive, Northern England) To make an unnecessary fuss, moan.
2. (transitive) To pester or irritate someone. Usually directed at children.

"Will you stop mithering me!"


Ttony said...

If there's nowt to be mithered about, then don't mither.

May you enter into your Mancunian inheritance.

Chimera said...

In the Welsh language (and in Irish and Scots Gaelic, as well), "m" and "b" can be seen as interchangeable, depending on what letters precede and/or follow (f'rinstance, "mh" and "bh" have the same pronounce them both like "v"). There will be regional differences in pronunciation, and then given enough time, the spelling will also change, but the meaning will stay.

Short answer: "mither" means "bother."