Treated / 'tret'

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Broccolicious, May 9, 2008.

  1. Broccolicious Senior Member

    Glorious Devonshire
    English - England
    Hi all

    One of my colleagues said this today: "And the most important thing is to make sure they're tret like royalty."

    Has anyone else ever heard 'tret' instead of 'treated'? This colleague is from the North of England, so I wonder if it's a regional thing.

  2. cropje_jnr

    cropje_jnr Senior Member

    Canberra, Australia
    English - Australia
    Well, I can tell you that in Australian English, this would be thoroughly incorrect... :D
  3. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    Another Country
    English English
    I'm from the North of England too, Broc, (I may have mentioned this earlier), and yes, I've heard it loads of times.
    (Plus one or two other 'unconventional' past participles I can't think of off-hand ... which I've only heard here.)

    EDIT: In fact, my best mate says tret ~ probably why I've heard it so often!
  4. jamesjiao

    jamesjiao Senior Member

    New Zealand English and Mandarin Chinese
    Which part of 'Northern England' is he/she from? I believe this is a regional variation from mostly Norfolk?
  5. Broccolicious Senior Member

    Glorious Devonshire
    English - England
    Really, Ewie? The North? Really? Man alive. Have you also heard 'gret' instead of 'greeted'? I think he has said that too, at some point.

    James - I don't know, I'm afraid. Further north than Norfolk, I think, but to be honest it's all my Southern ears can do to make out the occasional word..! ;)
  6. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    No, sorry, never heard of it.

    Would it be understood here?
    Probably, because as an outpost of the BE world we are well-accustomed to understanding the bizarre.

    Would we use it?
  7. Matching Mole

    Matching Mole Senior Member

    England, English
    It's familiar to me from Yorkshire, too. "If e'd a' tret 'er reet she wun't a' left 'im."
  8. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    Another Country
    English English
    That's If he'd have treated her right, she wouldn't have left him, Broc:D
    JamesJ: I've tried saying tret in my best facsimile of a Norfolk accent (which is poor) and it sounds okay ~ poor but okay, if you see what I mean.
    Brocco: I don't remember hearing gret, no.
  9. Broccolicious Senior Member

    Glorious Devonshire
    English - England
    Ah - thank you. All I understood was something wise about whippets.
  10. Scalloper Senior Member

    UK, English
    I'd see either pronunciation as equally valid, although "treated" sounds slightly stilted. I would spell the other as "treat" rather than "tret", though.
  11. Wynn Mathieson

    Wynn Mathieson Senior Member

    Castell-nedd Port Talbot
    English - United Kingdom
    Really, Scalloper?! Where are you from originally? "Treat" (tret) always sounds very Yorkshire to me.

    As a matter of interest, would you only say it in sentences like "I couldn't believe the way we were treat" -- which I've heard loads of times, though practically always from Northerners -- or would you use it too in, for example, "He treated me to a drink"?

  12. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English



    Wow. Very confusing.

    Have a seat. I'm glad we met. You're buying the drinks. It's been a long time since I've been tret this way.
  13. Broccolicious Senior Member

    Glorious Devonshire
    English - England
    And would you write it, too?
  14. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    Another Country
    English English
    Wynn, I'm pretty sure my best-pal-I-hate-him [post #3] uses tret as the past tense of treat regardless of meaning.
  15. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima (English Only)

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    There is a short story by Catherine Cookson called 'An out-and-out snob' where a woman from the north (specifically Geordie - in Tyneside) puts on all kinds of airs in London.
    Here's the husband-and-wife conversation.
  16. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    Another Country
    English English
    Oh yes, Nat, it sounds perfect in a Tyneside accent (even my poor facsimile [> #8]).
  17. socks_uk New Member

    English - England
    I live in Grimsby and, much to the disgust of one of the teachers at the school I work at, we use the word 'tret' all the time. Even our headteacher used it in assembly the other day and the 'snobby' teacher never let us forget it in the staffroom afterwards. In fact, that's how I found this thread when I was 'googling' the word and its origin.

    When a word is passed down the generations and we heard our parents and grandparents use it, why would we question if it is a 'real word'? Maybe if so many thousands of people in the north use it then it should be in the dictionary, after all, 'new' words are added all the time.

    I'm sat here thinking of other words I heard my grandparents say and wondering if they too are in the dictionary, such as 'bearn'? (not sure how it would be spelt but it was used to mean baby or small child).

    I'd love 'tret' to be put on the map and in the dictionary for us northerners and the generations before us!
  18. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima (English Only)

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Thanks, socks_uk, and welcome to the forum. I think some of these words would be in decent dictionaries. You can also look up 'bairn' (the normal spelling) in many dictionaries.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2009
  19. mplsray Senior Member

    In A Handbook of Varieties of English by Bernd Kortmann and Edgar W. Schneider, available in a Google Books preview, it says, "Tret for Standard English treated is found in Tyneside (Beal 1993), and West Yorkshire (Petyt 1985: 232), but not in Bolton (Shorrocks 1999)."
  20. Nymeria Senior Member

    English - Barbadian/British/educated in US universities blend
    I have never heard 'tret' all my life and I was quite stunned to see that its use is so popular! If ever I heard that variation I would be rather shocked.
  21. Sprache Senior Member

    United States
    Wow. I am from western Pennsylvania and my father and his whole family always say tret as the past tense of treat. I never would have thought I'd hear anyone else say that.
  22. kalamazoo Senior Member

    US, English
    Western Pennsylvania preserves a number of archaic or dialect forms (e.g "redd up") I have never heard "tret" anywhere in the US though.
  23. Sprache Senior Member

    United States
    Well, come here and you'll hear my father say it. :D

    He and his family and maybe very few older people are the only ones whom I've heard say that word, though. So it's not even common here.
  24. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    I've never heard it spoken either (or written). I don't think I'd suffer with any angst if I did (or appalled shock) but I would raise an eye brow. It would sound very "uneducated" to me.
  25. uktom New Member

    Cumbria, England
    English - England
    I have heard this before and the person who used it when questioned defended her accent pretty strongly! I am pretty sure it is just an North England thing looking at this forum, I think it does sound like it originated from Yorkshire.

  26. Waylink Senior Member

    English (British)
    Although such forms as tret for treated are certainly not standard British English, they are not all that uncommon in regional varieties of English not only in the North and (someone said) in Norfolk.

    Don't forget British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's 1983 use of a Lincolnshire expression "frit" ( = frightened) in parliament.
  27. danilius New Member

    English - England
    I understand that this thread is old, just thought you might be interested, and to put in a word for East Anglia. I live in North Essex, and the local accent round here has changed significantly within one generation. Older generations speak with what would be deemed a "country accent". Features the East Anglian Dialects generally have in common is simplicity. If there is an easier way to say something with it still being understood, it usually is said that way.
    To give you a brief history: Old English, which is often called Old Saxon (perhaps more appropriate due to the huge differences) was a highly declined language. Much like Latin and other languages. Verb endings changed depending on if "I" did something, "you" did something, "they/he" did something "we did something" etc..This was a well regulated language, much like modern languages are, with the "standard" being driven by scholars, scribes, teachers, authors, poets and priests, centered around Wessex. In those days discussions like this would not have existed, there was a clear definition of what was correct, whether or not the lower classes spoke correctly. An example of one of these verbs:
    To heal : tō hǣlanne
    I heal : ic hǣle
    You heal : þū hǣlst
    He heals : hē hǣlþ
    We/They heal : wē/gē hǣlaþ
    (þ is a letter which represented the non voiced "th" sound in the word "the" or "thou" )
    When England was conquered by the Normans in 1066AD who spoke a language similar to French, Old English ceased to be the official language, hence poets, authors, priests and gentry all spoke Norman for hundreds of years. Old English was of course still the language of the locals, but the de-regulation mean that huge regional differences arose, and there was no standard "correct english" anymore. Verb and pronouns changed willy nilly. Some undergoing small changes, some large ones. Norman words entered the everyday vocabulary, and after a few hundred years even the royalty were speaking what was called "Middle English". Which of course was a wildly varying language. Some plurals were "en" some were "es" hence one ox, two oxen or one fox, two foxes. Some things were retained, such as "I heal/thou healst"
    (I heal/you heal) but even most of those retentions gradually dissapeared. Then English underwent huge sound changes, called the Great Vowel Shift in the first half of the 1400s with the sounds of most, but not all words changing in a regular pattern. At the SAME TIME as English became standardised due to the printing presses (mechanical printering machines) starting up. This means that spellings are often illogical, as the sound of some words had changed before standardisation, others had not quite.
    This also meant what had been a wildly patterned language suddenly became standard. Fixed for the most part, and has changed only little since then, thus remaining wildly varying in terms of word endings. One pattern linguists do see however, is that regional accents, which pass words down mouth to mouth without study of what is "correct" tend to preserve more archaic pronunciations and more archaic forms of words.

    I have collected some examples of favourite verbs here with past tenses (my local variants in italics)

    Present Treat Eat Meet Ride Drive Keel Lead Write Bend

    Past Regional Tret Et Met Rid Driv Knelt Led Writ Bent
    Past Standard Treated Ate Met Rode Drove Knelt/kneeled Led Wrote Bent

    If the past tense of Meet is met, why is tret as the past tense of treat so incorrect? If Lead's past tense is Led, and Kneel's is Knelt, why is Rid and Drive and Writ wrong? I can see why for example the past tense of "mend", isn't "ment" that would cause confusion with the unchanged "meant", but I find it funny, yet rather annoying that someone would laugh at you for saying both "I meeted someone earlier" and yet for saying "I tret myself to a new car" also... The oddities of the english language:D
    I have not heard someone say gret, I have heard frit, but not much. But you can rest assured I would understand them instantly it seeming a perfectly logical way to signify past tense, and going back to what I said at the start, one big feature of the East Anglian dialect, is that if there's an easier way to say something it usually is said that way.

    So to summarise that gives a slightly different perspective to those that would question the "correctness", or perhaps deemed "simplicity" of people who speak with regional dialects. You may be speaking "standard english", but how correct is it?
  28. Marwood_the_mackem New Member

    I can see this thread is nearly a decade old. I hope I can shed some more light for others who end up reading this. I was typing out a message to a friend on an instant messaging site. Without thought I used 'tret'. As a past tense for 'treat'. I was unsure of the spelling so a Google search led me here. I'm from a city in the northeast of England called Sunderland. For those who don't know, Sunderland is about 20 miles from Newcastle upon Tyne. This means to non locals, or those who are unfamiliar with the area, we sound like geordies. Although there is significant differences. Anyway. 'Tret' is not an 'English' word as far as I am aware. Although most people in the northeast will use it as if it was. 'Tret' will be used as past tense for 'treat'. As in '' wey, whev been down tha beach, an a tret wah kid to some scran at the pub''. This literally means, ''well, we have been down the beach and I treated my younger brother to some food at the pub.''. As a northerner. It feels wrong to so 'treated'. Although I say this. My grandfather is also from Sunderland, he lived there all his life too. He would never say 'tret' or any other colloquialism. At least not to me when I was growing up. He would speak correct English. Still with the accent though.

    Also in response to the post above. The northeastern dialect is one of a kind in the sense that. During the vowel shift hundreds of years ago, the northeast didn't shift. So people from the northeast pronounce vowels very, very closely to how they would of sounded hundreds of years ago. Saxon and Scandinavian influence remained, rather than full Norman influence to be precise. We still use similar words meaning the same thing. For example. 'Bairn' in the northeast means 'child'. 'barn' is 'child' in swedish.

    I hope this is food for thought and you enjoyed my grammatically terrible but interesting post.
  29. cando Senior Member

    English - British
    Past participles of verbs are often irregular in standard English, but other forms frequently survive in BrE dialects for the reasons explained by danilius. Another example is found in the unofficial motto of the county of Sussex (South coast of England), “We wunt be druv” = “We won’t be driven”.

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