A trio of related words this time.
- Nowt. “Nothing” (likely derived from naught). Rhymes with “out”. Example:”We’ve got nowt in for dinner.” We
- have nothing in for dinner.
- Owt. “Anything” (likely derived from aught). Pronounced “out”. Example:”I dun’t want owt!” I don’t want anything.
- Summat. Quite simply, “something”. Used in Yorkshire, an example of this might be, “Tha dun’t get summat for nowt.” You do not get something for nothing. I have read alternative definitions suggesting that summat is a contraction of “somewhat”; however, that was definitely not the common usage in Barnsley or Sheffield.
Update on nowt/owt, a couple of people have pointed out to me that there are one or more other pronunciations of these words. One variation would rhyme with note/oat. Can’t really say I have ever used that variation myself. The other would be using a short ‘o’ sound, such as in the word “on”. I can’t actually think of a “regular” word that has that combination, but take the ‘o’ from ‘on’ and replace the ‘n’ with ‘wt’ and you’ll be close.