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The Language of Stoke

New 17th June 2023 - See HERE

“How you be on then?” said Herchie to Mushie. One of my first memories of Stoke over 40 years ago. Eric and Maurice would probably still use the same words to ask about each other’s health today, but we don’t hear the phrase so often now. Stoke is still a Saxon village, but it may have got a little diluted.


The Saxon Invaders came over in clans, each clan speaking a separate dialect of the same language, and the county dialects still mark, roughly, the districts in which each settled. Some tribes came from the east and others came up from the south coast through Devon. The Parrett had always been a significant boundary, and remained so, even during the period of Saxon dominance. East of the river ‘rhyne’ rhymes with green. On our side it rhymes with mine, although the plural rhymes with beans.


In his book, ‘Winter Harvest’ Eric Hembrow (Sue’s Father) gave us a list of words that he felt were not only ‘West Country’ but were maybe only in everyday use (1990) within a few miles of the village. My own recollection of those times is of the children leaving school in the afternoon. They had obviously been talking ‘proper’ English in their lessons, but on the way home they reverted to their ‘hearth language’ - a wonderful collection of phrases, but already being coloured by accents acquired from TV Soaps such as Neighbours and Eastenders. Eric offered these examples, with their meanings:

Colley - Blackbird

Homescreech - Mistlethrush

Lady Washdish - Pied Wagtail

Want - Mole (animal)

Emmet - Ant

Dumpsey - Twilight

Emt - To draw or to take everything out

Davered - A plant or flower past its best

Wasted - To spill

Haps - The catch on the door or gate

Beatle - A large mallet

Bisgy - A long mattock

Nosset - A delicacy

Dumps - Sweets

Sneery - Cold wet rainy weather

Sked - A light shower of rain

Suent - Regular

Slew - To move at an angle

Croupee down - To squat

Slumicky - Untidy

Stivvie up - To show anger

Directly - For us means later

Crandid Gutted - Refers to someone to someone fussy about their food

Leery - To feel tired, or machinery running in neutral

Guide it on - To make something last

Pokie on - To leave

Sloight - A section of land

Knapp - A small piece of land higher than the surrounding area

Shard - Broken crockery or wilful damage to a hedge

Varmit - A person misbehaving

Momet - A naughty child

Telty - Irritable

Poochie - Sullen or ill tempered

Boughten - Anything purchased as opposed to being home made

Thank you, Eric (Herchie)

One word not listed by Eric Hembrow was the verb to ‘hunt’, maybe because it was such a common term that it was not worth mentioning. If someone has access to the full OED please look it up, but I have had no success in finding the local definition of moving stock around, especially along droves and roads. I have found is an American childrens’ song about ‘Hunting The Cows’ as in bringing them in for milking. The song is HERE, but even this is not what we mean in Stoke - it is still a case of looking for the cows rather than moving them.


New 17th June 2023 - Hunting stock

I found this on an Irish farming chat room:

"A question for those with pig feeders , do ye put the ration in first then let up the cows or do ye let cows in and then let down the feed? I'm considering them and I am wondering would you fill the row better if you fed the ration after the cows are in as at the moment with the bucket you have to hunt the cows up the row as they are eating."

The only other reference I have found to hunting stock is also Irish, and comes from Shanoon, near Waterford, Ireland:

". . . during the 1950s, William Power of Powers Bar, who has had a butcher’s shop beside the pub, rented the Shanoon from the Office of Public Works (OPW) for the purpose of grazing some of his cattle. The nuns teaching in the nearby Convent School often became alarmed when they looked out and saw cows dangerously grazing right at the very edge of the cliff on the harbour side of Shanoon. As a pupil in school, until I was aged eight years old, I can still recall the nuns despatching a senior girl up the village to raise the alarm and witness Andy Taylor, the butcher, still in his butchers apron, and a young Billy Power running down the road with sticks to hunt the cows back from the edge of the cliff."

If anyone can throw any more light on this, do please get in touch. In the meantime here are some more Somerset words you may like to drop into conversation. The book they are taken from (out of print and out of copyright) was written in 1873 by William Williams, Vicar of Bishops Hull, and William Arthur Jones.


A, pron.  He, ex. a did’nt zai zo did a?

A, adverbial prefix, ex. afore, anigh, athin

A, for “have”

A, participal prefix, corresponding with the Anglo-Saxon ge and y, ex. atwist, alost, afeard, avroze, avriz’d

Abeare v.  bear, endure, ex. for anything that the Court of this Manor will abeare.  Customs of Taunton Deane

Abbey s.  great white poplar.  Abbey-lug, a branch or piece of timber of the same (D. Abeel)

Abbey-lubber s.  a lazy idle fellow, i.e. worthless as abbey wood

Addice, Attis s.  an adze

Addle s.  a fester (A S adl disease)

After, along side

Agallied, past part, frightened

Agin pr.  against.  Auverginst, over-against, up to, in preparation for, as Agin Milemas

Agon, past part.  gone by.  Also adv.

Ail s.  ailment, a disease in the hind-quarter of animals, ex. Quarter-ail

Aine v.  to throw stones at (A S hænan to stone)

Aines, just as.  Al-aines, all the same, or all one

Al-on-een, on tip toe, eager

Aller, (A S alr) alder tree.  Allern made of alder

Amper, Hamper s.  a pimple.  Ampery, pimply

An prep.  If

An-dog, Handog s.  andiron

Angle-dog, or Angle-twitch s.  a large earth-worm (A S Angel-twicce), Angle a fish-hook

Anpassey, Anpussey, the sign of &, i.e. and per se

Anty, empty

Appropo, (Fr. Apropos) but used as one of a small group of Norman French words which have got into popular use

Apse, Apsen-tree, (A S aeps) the aspen tree

Ar-a-one, ever-a-one.  Nar-a-one, never-a-one

Arry, any.  N’urry, none

Asew, drained of her milk: applied to a cow at the season of calving.  From sew to drain, hence sewer

Aslun, Aslue, Aslope, adv.  indicate oblique movements in different directions and levels

Asplew adv.  extended awkwardly

Astroddle adj.  astride

Auverlook v.  to bewitch

Ax v.  to waddle

Axe, (A S ascan) v.  to ask, always used in Wiclif’s Bible

Axen, (A S ahse. æxse) s.  ashes, ex. Here maaid, teeak showl and d’up axen

Axpeddlar s.  dealer in ashes


Backlet s.  the back part of the premises

Back-stick, Backsword s.  single-stick, a favourite game in Wedmore

Backsunded adj.  with a northern aspect

Bal-rib s.  spare-rib

Bally-rag v.  to use abusive language

Ban v.  to shut out, stop, ex. I ban he from gwain there

Bane s.  liver disease in sheep, east of the Parret; west of the river the term Coed  or Coathed is used, ex. I count they be beünd

Bannin s.  That which is used for shutting out, or stopping

Bannut s.  Walnut

A woman, a spaunel, and a bannut tree,
The mooar you bate ’em the better they be

Barrener s.  a cow not in calf

Barrow s.  a child’s pilch or flannel clout

Barrow-pig s.  a gelt-pig

Barton s.  a farm-yard, the Barn-town

Bastick s.  basket

Bat, But, the root end of a tree after it has been thrown, also spade of cards, the stump of a post

Batch, a sand bank, or patch of ground, or hillock, “a hill,” as Churchill-batch, Chelvey-batch, (lying within, or contiguous to, a river); emmet-batches, ant-hills.  Duck-batches, land trodden by cattle in wet weather

Bats s.  corners of ploughed fields: low-laced boots

Bawker: Bawker-stone s.  a stone for whetting scythes

Be, indic. ex. I be, thou bist, he be

Bear-hond v.  to help

Bear-nan, Bear-in-hond, Bean-hond v.  to intend, purpose, think, suspect, conjecture, ex. I do beanhond et’l rain zoon

Beat the streets, to run about idly

Beeastle, Beezle v.  to make nasty

Bee-bird s.  the White-throat

Bee-but, Bee-lippen, a bee-hive (lepe, a basket, Wiclif Acts ix, 25)

Beetel, Bittle, or Bitle s.  a bron-bitle, or brand-bitle, a heavy mallet for cleaving wood.  Shaks. Hen. IV. “fillip me with a three man beetle.”  Bitle-head s.  a blockhead

Becal v.  to abuse, to rail at

Bedfly s.  a flea

Bed-lier s.  a bed-ridden person

Beever s.  a hedge-side encumbered with brambles

Begaur, Begaurz, Begumm, Begummers, words of asseveration and exclamation

Begrumpled adj.  soured, displeased

Begurg v.  begrudge

Behither adv.  on this side

Belge, or Belve v.  to bellow

Belk, or Bulk, v.  to belch

Bell flower, Bell-rose, a Daffodil

Belsh v.  to clean the tails of sheep

Benet, Bents s.  Bennetty adj.  long coarse grass, and plantain stalks

Benge v.  to continue tippling, to booze

Benns, or Bends, ridges of grass lands

Bepity v.a.  to pity

Beskummer v.  to besmear, abuse, reproach

Bethink v.  to grudge, ex. He bethink’d I but everything

Betwattled v.n.  to be in a distressed state of mind, also v.a.

Betwit, to rake up old grievances

Bevorne, before

Bibble v.  to tipple.  Bibbler s.

Biddy s.  a chick.  Chick-a-Biddy, a term of endearment

Biddy’s eyes s.  pansy

Bide v.  to live or lodge in.  Bidin s.  a place where a man lives

Big, Beg, Begotty adj.  grand, consequential, ex. Too big for his birches

Billid adj.  distracted, mad

Billy s.  a bundle of straw, or reed, one-third part of a sheaf

Bim-boms s.  anything hanging as a bell, icicles, or tags of a woman’s bonnet, or dress

Bin, Bin’swhy conj.  because, seeing that, prob. “being,” provided that

Binnic, or Bannisticle s.  stickle-back

Bird-battin v.  taking birds at night with a net attached to two poles.  Shaks. bat-fowling

Bird’s-meat, Bird’s-pears s.  hips and haws

Bisgee, (g hard), (Fr. besaigue.  Lat bis-acuta) s.  a mooting or rooting axe, sharp at both ends and cutting different ways

Bis’t v.  Art thou? (Germ. bist du)

Bit s.  the lower end of a poker v.  to put a new end to a poker

Bivver v.  to shake or tremble, ex. They’ll make he bivver, (A S bífian, to tremble)

Blackhead s.  a boil, a pinswil

Black-pot s.  black-pudding

Blacky-moor’s-beauty s.  Sweet scabious

Blake v.  to faint (A S blaecan, to grow pale)

Blanker, Vlanker, Flanker s.  a spark of fire

Blanscue s.  an unforeseen accident

Blather s.  Bladder v.  to talk in a windy manner, to vapour

Bleachy adj.  brackish

Blicant adj.  bright, shining (A S blican, to shine)

Blid s.  applied in compassion, as poor old blid—blade

Blowth s.  bloom, blossom, ex. A good blowth on the apple trees

Blunt s.  a storm of snow or rain, snow-blunt

Boarden adj.  made of board

Bobsnarl s.  a tangle as of a skein of twine

Booc s.  a wash of clothes, (A S buc water vessel)

Bodkins s.  swingle-bars.  Weys and Bodkins, portions of plough-harness

Body-horse s.  the second horse in a team, that which draws from the end of the shafts

Boming adj.  hanging down, like a woman’s long hair

Boneshave s.  hip-rheumatism

Bore, the tidal wave in the river Parrett

Borrid adj.  applied to a sow when seeking the boar

Bos, Bus s.  a yearling calf, a milk sop (Lat. bos)

Bottle s.  a bubble, a small cask for cider v.  to bubble

Boughten past part.  of to buy

Bow s.  a culvert, arched bridge, arch, as Castle-bow, Taunton

Bowerly adj.  portly, tall, well-made, quy. buirdly

Bowsin s.  fore part of a cattle stall

Brandis s.  an iron frame to support a pan or kettle over a hearth-fire (A S brand-isen)

Brash s.  a row, tumult, crash (A S brastl a noise)

Brave adj.  in good health

Brazed past part.  cramped with cold

Br’d, or Bard, Breaze v.  to bruize, to indent, as on an apple

Breath s.  a scent, a smell

Breeze v.  to braize or solder a kettle

Brickle, Burtle adj.  brittle

Brineded adj.  brindled

Bring-gwain v.  to get rid of, to spend, to accompany a person some way on a journey, bring-going

Brit, Burt, to leave a dent or impression

Brize, Prize v.a.  to press down

Broom-squires s.  Quantock broom-makers

Brock s.  a piece of turf for fuel (Du. brocke, a morass)

Broller, Brawler s.  a bundle of straw

Brow-square, an infant’s head cloth

Bruckley, Brode adj.  as applied to stock given to break fence, to cheese that breaks into fragments

Brummle, Brimmel (A S brimel) s.  bramble

Bucked adj.  having a strong hircine taste, applied to cheese

Buckle v.n.  to bend, to warp

Buckle s.  a dispute v.  to quarrel.

Buddle v.  to suffocate in mud

Bug s.  beetle, as water-bug, may-bug, cockchafer

Bullen s.  large black sloes; bullace-plum

Bullworks, Bullocking adj.  rude, romping

Bumtowel s.  long-tailed tit

Bungee, (g hard), adj.  short and squat

Burcott s.  a load

Burge s.  bridge

Burr s.  a sweet-bread

Bursh s.  brush

Busket s.  a bush or brake

But s.  a basket for catching salmon; also a bee-hive.  But, for Put, a heavy cart

Butter and Eggs s.  toad-flax, linaria vulgaris

Button stockings s.  gaiters

Butty s.  a partner

Buzzies s.  flies

Byes s.  furrows

By-now, a short time ago


Caddle s.  bustle, ex. We’rn jussy caddle to-day

Cadock s.  a bludgeon, a short thick club

Cag v.  to annoy, vex

Cag v.  to irritate

Callenge s. and v.a.  challenge

Cal-home, or Cal-over v.  to publish or call the banns of marriage for the last time

Callyvan’ or Carryvan, also Clevant and Vant, a pyramidal trap for catching birds, quy. colly fang, (A S fangen, to take)

Cannel, Cannal s.  the faucet of a barrel—tap-and-canal

Car v.  to carry, ex. Cassn’t car’n?

Carry-merry s.  a kind of sledge used in conveying goods

Carvy-seeds s.  carraway seeds, (carvi sem:)

Cauk v.  to turn down the ends of shoes for a horse to stand on ice

Caxon s.  a sorry wig

Chaccle v.  to caccle as a hen

Chaity adj.  careful, nice, delicate

Chaine s.  a weaver’s warp

’Ch’am, (A S ic eom: Germ. Ich bin) I am.  ’Ch’ave, I have.  ’Ch’ad, I had.  ’Ch’ool, I would.  Uch’ll go, I will go.  “Chill not let go, zir, without vurther ’casion.”  Shaks. Lear, iv, 6.  This form occurs chiefly in the neighbourhood of Merriott.

Cham v.  To chew

Charm s.  confused noise as of birds

Cheaymer, Chimmer s.  a bed-room

Cheese-stean s.  a wring or press for cheese

Chibbole s.  (Sp. cepolla, Fr. ciboule) a young onion, before the bulb is fully formed

Chilbladder s.  a chilblain

Chilver, (A S cilfer-lamb), an ewe lamb.  Pur, the male lamb

Chilver-hog and Pur-hog, sheep under one year old

Chine s.  that part of a cask which is formed by the projection of the staves beyond the head.  Chine-hoops top-hoops

Chissom, Chism v.  to bud, to shoot out; also, s.  a bud

Chowr v.  to grumble, to mutter (A S ceorian, to murmur)

p. 8Clam v.  to handle in a slovenly manner

Clamper s.  a difficulty, ex. I zined once and a got meself in jissey clamper I never w’ont zine nothing no more

Claps v.  clasp

Clathers s.  clothes or rags

Clavy, a shelf.  Clavel-tack, a mantel-piece, a place where keys (claves) are kept, a shelf for keys.  Holmen-clavel, an inn on Blagdon hill, so called from having a large holm-beam supporting the mantel-piece

Cleve-pink, or Cliff-pink, a species of pink growing wild in the Cheddar cliffs, dianthus deltoides

Clim, Climmer, Climber v.  to climb.  Clammer s.  a worn footpath up a steep bank

Clinkers s.  hoof marks.  Clinker-bells, icicles

Clint, or Clent v.  to clench

Clit v.  Clitty adj.  applied to bread not properly kneaded

Clittersome adj.  troublesome

Clivver-and-shiver adv.  completely, totally

Clize, Clice s.  a swinging door, or valve of a dike or rhine, (A S clysing)

Cloam, Cloamen, coarse earthen ware

Clothen adj.  made of cloth

Clotting, Clatting s.  fishing for eels with a knot or clot of worms, which is also called reballing

Clout s. and v.  a blow in the face or head, to beat about the head

Clumber s.  a clump, or large piece

Cly, Cliver, Clider, or Clidden s.  goose-grass

Coathe, or Coe v.a.  to bane, applied to sheep, rabbits, and hares

Cock-and-mwile s.  a jail

Cock-lawt, Cock-lart s.  a garret or cock-loft

Cock-squailing s.  an old Shrove Tuesday sport—(in Somerset, Shaff Tuesday), flinging sticks at a cock tied by the leg, one penny per throw, whoever kills him takes him away

Cob-wall s.  made of mud and straw, mud-and-stud, or wattle-and-dab

College s.  an assemblage of small tenements, having a common entrance from the street, and only one

p. 9Colley  blackbird; Water-colley  water-ouzel; Mountain-colley  ring-ouzel

Colt  a person entering on a new employment; Colting, Colt-ale  a fine on entering; footing; also, a thrashing

Comb-broach s.  tooth of a wool-combe, a spit, knitting-needle (Fr. broche)

Commandement s.  (Four syllables as in Chaucer and Wiclif), command

Conk, or Skonk s.  a collection of people (Lat. concio)

Connifle v.  to embezzle, to sponge

Cop-bone s.  knee-pan, patella

Count v.  to think, to esteem

Couples, Cooples s.  an ewe with her lambs; Double-couples s.  an ewe with twins

Coy v.  to decoy; Cway Pool s.  a decoy

Cowerd Milk s.  milk not skimmed

Cow-babby s.  a great childish fellow

Crab-lantern s.  a cross froward child

Crap  a bunch or cluster (Fr. grappe)

Crap, Crappy v.  to snap, to crack

Craze v.a.  to crack

Crease s.  crest of a horse’s neck, a crestaline of a roof

Creem s. and v.  a cold shivering, to shiver; to creemy adj.  subject to shivers

Creem v.  to crush or squeeze severely the limbs of a person

Crewel s.  a cowslip

Creeze adj.  squeamish, dainty

Crip v.  to clip—as the hair

Cripner, Kr’pner s.  crupper strap

Crips, or Curps adj.  crisp

Criss-cross-lain the alphabet, because in the Horn-book it was preceded by a X (Fr. croissette)

Crope pret. of creep crept, ex. A craup’d in

Cross-axe s.  an axe with two broad and sharp ends, one cutting breadth-wise, the other length-wise, called also grub-axe and twibill

p. 10Crowdy, Crowdy-kit (Celtic crwth) s.  small fiddle; to crowd v.  to grate as the two ends of a broken bone, to make a flat creaking; Crowder s.  a fiddler (W. crwthwr)

Crown v.  Crowner’s quest s.  Coroner’s Inquest.  To be crowned, to have an inquest held over a dead body by the direction of the coroner

Crub, Croost s.  a crust of bread

Cruel adv.  intensive, as cruel-kind, very kind

Cry s.  to challenge, bar, or object to

Cubby-hole s.  a snug comfortable situation for a child, such as between a person’s knees when sitting before the fire

Cuckold s.  the plant Burdock; cuckold-buttons, the burs, (A S coccel, darnel, tares)

Cue s.  the shoe on an ox’s hoof, or tip on a man’s boot

Curdle v.a.  to curl, also, v.n.; Curdles s.  curls

Cut s.  a door hatch

Curse s.  cress

Cuss v.  to curse; Cussin Sarvice  the Commination

Custin s.  a kind of small wild plum

Cutty adj.  small, as cutty-pipe, cutty-wren; Cutty-bye, a cradle, a hob-gobblin


Daddick s.  rotten-wood; Daddicky adj.  perished like rotten-wood, applied metaphorically to the old and feeble

Dag-end s.  applied to a sheaf of reed

Daggers s.  sword-grass, a kind of sedge

Dame s.  never applied to the upper ranks of society, nor to the very lowest, but to such as farmer’s wives, or the schoolmistress: rarely if ever applied to a young woman

Dandy adj.  distracted

Dap v.  to hop as a ball

Dap s.  the hop, or turn of a ball; also habits and peculiarities of a person, ex. I know all the daps on’m

Dor, Dare v. and s.  to frighten, stupify: ex. Put a dor on’n

Dare-up v.  to wake or rouse up a person that is dying or asleep

Dave v.  to thaw

Davver, or Daver v.  to fade, to droop; Davered  drooping

Dawzin s.  a conjuring device to discover minerals by the twisting of a hazel-rod

p. 11Devil-screech, Devil-swift, or Devilling s.  the Swift

Devil’s Cow s.  a kind of beetle

Dew-bit s.  an early morsel before breakfast

Diddlecum adj.  distracted, mad

Diff adj.  deaf

Dilly adj.  cranky, queer

Dir’d s.  thread, ex. Whaur’s my d’r’d and niddel?

Dish-wash, or Dippity-washty s.  a water-wagtail

Dirsh, Drush, or Drasher s.  a thrush

Dirt s.  earth generally, as mould in a garden

Dirten adj.  miry, dirty, or made of dirt

Dock s.  the crupper of a saddle

Dockery-stick s.  phosphorescent wood

Donnins s.  dress, clothes

Double-spronged  when potatoes lying in the ground throw out fresh tubers

Dough-fig s.  a Turkey-fig

Douse, or Touse s.  a smart blow, particularly on the face, ex. A douse on the chaps

Down-arg v.  to contradict, ex. He ’ood downarg I

Down-daggered adj.  disconsolate, cast-down

Draen, Drean v.  to drawl (Fr. trainer)

Draffit s.  a tub for pigs’-wash (draught-vat)

Drail s.  the piece of leather connecting the flail with its handle

Drang s.  a narrow path or lane

Drang-way  a drove or gate-way

Drapper s.  a small tub

Drash v.  to thrash; Drashel, or Thrashle s.  a flail (A S therscel)

Drashold, or Dreshol s.  a threshold

Drawl, Dräil s.  the forepart of the sull of a plough; in West Somerset, weng (A S wang or weng a cheek)

Drift s.  a lask, or looseness

Drimmeling adj.  slow, continuous pain

Dring v.  (pret. Drang) to throng, crowd, s.  Dringet, a crowd (Dutch, dringen, to press)

p. 12Drink s.  small beer, or cider

Droot v.  to drivel

Dro v.  (part. Dro’d) to throw, ex. The tree wur dro’d

Drow, or Drowy v.  to dry, ex. It do drowy terble now, as applied to grass; Muck-adrowd, or Muck-adrowy s.  dust

Drub, Drubby v.  to throb

Druck v.  to cram or thrust down

Druck-pieces s.  pieces of wood let into a wall to support the pipe of a pump

Drug v.  to drag, also pret. of drag; ex. He drug un out of the pond; Drugs s.  harrows or drags

Dub, Dubby, Dubbid adj.  blunt, squat

Dubbin s.  suet or fat for greasing leather

Duck v.  to carry a person under the arms in a suspended state

Dudder v.  to confound with noise

Duds s.  foul linen

Dumbledore, Dumbledory s.  a humble bee, stupid fellow

Dummic, Dunnic s.  a hedge-sparrow

Dumps s.  the twilight, ex. Dumps of the yavening; Dumpsy towards twilight

Dunch adj.  deaf

Dunder-daisy s.  large field daisy

Dungmixen s.  a dung-heap

Durgin (g hard) s.  a great stupid fellow

Durns s.  side-posts of a door, (? doorings)


Ear-burs s.  a swelling behind the ear

Ear-grass, or Hay-grass s.  grass after mowing, from A S erian, to till; the grass of tilled land

Ear-keckers s.  the tonsils of the throat

Eave, Heave v.n.  to give out moisture, as flagstones in wet weather

E’en-to, Ee’nsto adv.  up to, all but, ex. There were ten e’ensto one or two

Element s.  the sky, used in this sense by Shakespeare in Twelfth-night

p. 13Elem’n, or Elm’n adj.  made of elm

Eldern adj.  made of the elder

Elt-pig s.  a young sow

Elver, Eelver, or Yelver s.  the young eel

Emmers s.  pl. embers

Emp, or Empt v.  to empty

En, or Un pron.  Him, ex. A zid’n: he saw him (A S hine)

Er pron.  He, ex. Er ziden: he saw him

Errish, Arrish, or Herrish s.  stubble

Evet s.  eft, or newt

Ex s.  an axle

Eye s.  the cavity beneath the arch of a bridge


Fadge v.  to fare, to be in good condition.  “How will this fadge?” Shaks. Twelfth-night

Fags interj.  truly! indeed!

Fairy, Fare, Vare s.  a weasel (old Fr. vair, ermine)

False adj.  forsworn, perjured

Falsing adj.  coaxing

Fardel s.  a small bundle, Shaks. Hamlet

Faut (faät) v.  to find fault

Fauty (faäty) adj.  given to find fault

Fauth, Foth, Voth s.  the turning place of the plough at the side of a field

Feäty adj.  pretty, neat

Feäze v.  to harass, or ferret

Feaver-largin (g hard), s.  a fit of indolence

Fell v.  to sew down a hem

Fend v. to forbid (Fr. defendre)

Fess adj.  gay, smart, ex. A fess fellow

Few, Veo adj.  little, as a few broth

Fie s.  to succeed, ex. Che-ating pl’y’ll never fie

Fig s.  raisin: figgety-pudden, figgy-cake, rich with raisins

Fildefare, Veelvare s.  a fieldfare: varewell veelvare, farewell winter

Filtry s.  rubbish

Fitch, Fitchet s.  a pole cat, ex. As cross as a fitchet

p. 14Fitten s.  an idle fancy, whim

Flap-jack s.  small pancake, fritter

Flanker, Vlanker s.  a spark of fire

Flannin, Vlannen s.  a flannel

Fleet s.  the windward side of a hedge

Fleet v.  to float

Flick s.  the inside fat of animals; also flitch of bacon

Flittermouse s.  a bat (Ger. Fledermaus)

Flook s.  a flounder; also a parasite in the liver of sheep

Flush adj.  fledged, in full feather adv.  even with

Foäse v.  to wheedle, to deceive adj.  false

Fob s.  froth, slaver v.  to put off with a pretence

Fog s.  old, withered or spoilt grass

Fog-earth s.  bog-earth, peat

Foggy adj.  fat, corpulent

Fooäse, or Vooäse v.  to force, to oblige

Footer s.  a worthless shabby fellow adj.  footy

Fore-spur, or Vore-spur s.  the fore-leg of pork

Fore-right, Vore-right adj.  rash, head-long, head-strong

Forrel s.  the cover of a book, the selvage of a handkerchief

Forware, or Verware v.  to indemnify

Forweend adj.  hard to please, wayward, spoilt in nursing

Frame v.  to form, fashion the speech, ex. If I wur axed I could’nt frame to spake it so

Frange s.  fringe (Fr. frange)

Free-bore adj.  free, free-born

French-nut s.  walnut

Fret v.  to eat, as the lower animals (G fressen, A S fretan, as opposed to G essen, A S etan, applied to man): ex. The moth fretteth the garment; a use of the word retained in the West, and usually applied to the browsing of cattle

Furcum, or Vurcum s.  the whole, even to the bottom

Furr, or Vurr v.  to cast a stone far

Fump s.  the whole of a business

p. 15Fuz, Fuzzen, Furze s.  gorse, prov.

When fuz is out o’ blossom
Kissing’s out o’ fashin

Fuz-pig s.  hedge hog


Gad s.  a fagot-stick; Spar-gad a twisted stick picked at both ends to spar (Ger. sperren) or fasten down thatch.  Near Bath, spick-gad

Gain adj.  handy; Gainer  more handy

Gale s.  an old bull castrated

Gall s.  a wet place, abounding in springs

Gally, Gallow v.  to frighten; Gallied  frightened Shak. K. Lear, iii, 2, “Skies gallow the wanderer”

Gally-baggur s.  bug-bear, a trace of the time when gallows were a more common sight

Gamble s.  a leg, (Ital. gamba)

Gambril s.  a crooked stick used by butchers to suspend a carcase

Gammets, Gamoting s.  whims, tricks, pranks

Ganny-cock s.  a turkey-cock

Ganny-cock’s nob s.  the appendage to a turkey-cock’s beak

Gapes-nest s.  an idle spectacle

Gare s.  gear; Ire-gare s.  plough-gear, iron-work

Garn, or Gearn, Gearden s.  a garden

Gatchel s.  the mouth

Gate-shord, or sheard s.  a gate-way, a place for a gate

Gatfer s.  an old man (good father)

G’auf  to go off; G’auver  to go over; G’in  to go in; G’on  to go on; G’out  to go out; Go’vorn  go before him or them; G’under  to go under; G’up  to go up: ex. Thear I wur’, d’ knaw, carnared (in a corner); coud’n g’auver, g’under, g’in, nor g’out

Gawcum, Gawcumin s.  a simpleton, a gawkey

Gee-wi’ (g soft), v.  to agree; Gee  (g hard), to give, ex. To gee out—to thaw

Gib, or Gibby (g hard), s.  a pet lamb

Gibby-heels (g hard), s.  kibed-heels

Giffin (g hard), s.  a trifle, a small portion of time

Gilawfer, Gillifer, Gilliflower  (g soft), stocks; Whitsun Gilawfer, carnation, also the wallflower

p. 16Giltin-cup (g hard), s.  butter-cup

Gimmace (g hard), s.  a hinge

Gimmaces (g hard) s.  a criminal is said to be hung in gimmaces, when he is hung in chains

Glare v.  to glaze earthenware.  Also s.  ex. The roads are all a glare of ice

Glassen adj.  made of glass

Glou, Glouie v.  to stare

Glou-beäson s.  a glow-worm, a bold impudent fellow

Glutch, Glutchy v.  to swallow s.  the act of swallowing, Glutcher s.  the throat

Gold s.  sweet willow; Myrica gale, abundant in the moors of Somerset, in the herbalists called Gaule

Go-lie v.  spoken of corn falling after rain; applied to wind, to subside

Gool-french a gold-finch, a proud tailor

Gollop s.  a large morsel

Gommer s.  an old woman (good mother)

Good-hussy s.  a thread-case

Goody v.  to appear good, to prosper

Goose-cap s.  a giddy, silly person

Goose-herd, or Goosier s.  one who breeds or looks after geese

Gore-in, Gore-with v.  to believe in, to trust

Gossips s.  sponsors; Gossiping  the festivities of the christening

Gout s.  a drain, a gutter

Gowder s.  a higgler of fruit

Grainded, Grainted adj.  ingrained, dirty

Granfer, Grammer s.  grandfather, grandmother

Granfer griggles s.  wild orchis

Gribble s.  a young apple tree raised from seed

Grig v. and s.  to pinch, a pinch

Griddle, Girdle s.  a gridiron

Gripe, or Grip s.  a small drain or ditch v.  to cut into gripes

Grizzle v.  to laugh or grin

Gronin s.  labour, childbirth; Gronin-chair  nursing chair; Gronin-malt  provision for the event

p. 17Ground s.  a field, a piece of land enclosed for agricultural purposes

Grozens, Groves s.  duck-weed

Gruff, Gruff-hole s.  a trench or groove excavated for ore

Gruffer, Gruffler s.  a miner, one who works in a gruff or groove

Gumpy adj.  abounding in protuberances

Gurds s.  eructations; Fits and Gurds  fits and starts

Gurl, or Gurdle v.  to growl

Gush v.  to put the blood in quicker motion by fright or surprise, ex. A’ gied I sich a gush

Guss v. and s.  to gird, a girth

Gurt adj.  great


Hack s.  the place where bricks newly-made are arranged to dry

Hack, Hacket, Hick, Heck v.  to hop on one leg, to play hackety oyster, hopscotch, or hack-shell

Hacker v.  to chatter with the cold, to stammer

Hackle s.  a good job

Hag-mal s.  a slattern, a titmouse

Hag-rided adj.  subject to night-mare

Hag-ropes  traveller’s joy, wild clematis (A S Hage, a hedge)

Haïn v.  to let up grass for mowing

Halfen-deal s.  moiety adj.  composed of different materials

Half-strain adj.  mongrel, half-witted

Halipalmer s.  the palmer-worm, (holy-palmer)

Hallantide s.  All Saints’ Day, (hallow-een-tide)

Halse s.  hazel; halse coppice

Halsen, Hawseny, Noseny, Osney v.  to divine, predict, forebode (A S hälsen, from the hazel divining rod)

Halve, or Helve v.  to turn over, to turn upside down

Ham s.  an open field, usually near a river: on Mendip, old calamine pits

Hame v.  “rem habere” (A S hæman)

Hames, Heamsies s.  parts of harness

Hang-fair, Hanging-vayer s.  an execution

p. 18Hanch v.  to gore as a bull

Hangles, (a pair of hangles) s.  a pot or kettle-rack suspended over the fire

Hank s.  dealings with

Happer v.  to crackle, rattle like hail

Hard adj.  full grown, as hard stock, or sheep; a Hardboy a boy of about 13 years old

Harr s.  the part of a gate which holds the hinges, ex. Heads and harrs

Hart s.  haft, or handle as of knives, awls

Hat, or Het pret. of v.  to hit

Hathe s.  to be in hathe, i.e., to be thickly covered with pustules, to be closely matted together

Haydigees, (g hard and soft) s.  high spirits

Hay-sucker s.  the white-throat

Hayty-tayty  seesaw, also interj.  what’s here!

Hay-ward s.  pound-keeper, a keeper of hedges or hays (A S hæig-weard)

Hedge-bore s.  a rough workman

Heel, Hell v.  to pour out or in, hence Heel-taps

Heel v.  to hide, to cover (A S helan)

Heeler s.  one who hides or covers.  Proverb: The heeler is as bad as the stealer

Heft s. and v.  weight, to lift up, from v.  to heave

Hegler, or Higler s.  an egg or fowl collector and dealer

Hellier s.  a tiler, one who covers

Hel’m s.  haulm of wheat, beans, peas, potatoes (A S healm)

Hem pron.  he or him, ex. If hem had hat hem as hem hat hem, hem ’oud a kill’d hem or hem ’oud a kill’d hem

Hen v.  to throw, see Aine

Hen-hussey s.  a meddling officious person, a woman who looks after poultry

Hent, or Hint v.  to wither or dry up

Hern, His’n pron.  her’s, his

Herret s.  a pitiful little wretch

Hevel-twine s.  a fine sort of twine

p. 19Hike off v.  to steal away slily, to skulk off

Hirddick, Ruddick s.  robin, ruddock

Hird-in, Hird-out v.  to remove one’s goods.  Transp. for rid

Hirn, Hurn, Hirnd v.  pret. and part.  to run (A S yrnan)

Hive, or Heave  v. to urge in vomiting

Hizy-prizy s.  Nisi-prius

Hoak v.  to goar as an ox

Hob v.  to laugh loudly s.  a clown

Hob s.  a cheek of a grate

Hod s.  a sheath, a cover

Hoddy adj.  hearty

Hog, Hogget s.  a sheep or horse one-year old

Hogo s.  strong savour or smell (Fr. haut gout)

Holders s.  fangs of a dog

Holmen adj.  made of holm or holly, as Holmen Clavel a holly mantle piece

Holme-screech s.  the missel-thrush, from its eating the berries of the holly or holme tree

Homany s.  a noise, disturbance

Home-to adv.  up to

Honey-suck s.  red clover

Hoop s.  a bullfinch, ex. Cock-hoop, hen-hoop

Hoppet v.  to hop

Hornen, Harnin adj.  made of horn

Horse-godmother s.  a masculine woman

Houzen s.  houses

Hove v. and s.  to hoe, ex. To hove banes, hove turmits with an auld hove

How v.  to long for

Huck-muck s.  strainer over the faucet

Hud s.  as of gooseberry, the skin, hull, husk

Huf-cap s.  a weed commonly found in fields

Hug s.  the itch

Hulden v.  to conceal, harbour

Hulley, or Holley s.  a basket-trap for eels

p. 20Hull v.  to hurl

Hum-drum s.  a three-wheeled cart

Hūmacks s.  wild-briar stocks on which to graff roses


Ich (soft), pron.  I  ’Cham  I am; ’Ch’ool  I will; ’Ch’ood  I would, &c.

Idleton s.  an idle fellow

Infaring adj.  lying within, as an infaring tithing, i.e., a tithing within a borough

Insense v.  to inform

Ire s.  iron, “ire or mire” said of stiff clay soil

Ire-gaer s.  iron work or gear

Ize pr. I, ex. Ize warrant you wunt


Jib s.  the wooden stand for a barrel

Jigger s.  a vessel of potter’s ware used in toasting cheese

Jitch, Jitchy, Jissy adj.  such, ex. Jitch placen, such places

Joan-in-the-wad s.  will-of-the-wisp

Jonnick adv.  fair, straight-forward

Jot v.  to disturb in writing, to strike the elbow

Junket s.  curds and cream with spices and sugar, &c., from Ital. giuncata, cased in rushes; from giunco, a rush; a name given in Italy to a kind of cream-cheese


Kamics, Kramics s.  rest-harrow

Keamy adj.  covered with a thin white mould; applied to cider

Kecker, Kyecker-pipe, Kyecker, Kyeck-horn, the wind-pipe, a pervious pipe, from kike to look through

Keeve, or Kive s.  a large tub used in brewing or cider making v.  to put the wort or cider in a keeve to ferment

Keep s.  a large basket

Keffel s.  a bad, worn-out horse (Welsh, Keffyl)

Kern v.  to coagulate as milk; also applied to fruit and wheat becoming visible after the blossoming

Kex, Kexy s.  dry, pervious stalks, as of cow-parsley and hemlock Kexies, see Kecker

Kid s.  a pod To Kiddy v.  ex. They do kiddy, but they don’t villy

p. 21Kilter s.  money

Kircher s.  caul, used by butchers

Kittle, or Kettle-Smock s.  a carter’s frock

Knap s.  a rising ground

Knee-sick adj.  applied to corn when the stalk is not strong enough to bear the ear

Knottle v.  to entangle with knots

Knottlins s.  the intestines of a pig prepared for food

Knot s.  flower-bed

Knot-Sheep s.  sheep without horns

Kowetop s.  the barm which rises above the rim of the tub

Kurpy, Kerp v.  to speak affectedly; scold (Lat. increpare)


Labber v.  to loll out the tongue

Lades, or Ladeshrides s.  the sides of a waggon which project over the wheels

Ladies-smock s.  bindweed Convolvulus sepium, Cardamine pratensis

Lady-Cow s.  lady-bird Coccinella septempunctata,

Laiter s.  the whole number of eggs laid by a hen before she becomes broody, ex. She ’ve laäid out her laiter

Lamiger s.  lame, a cripple

Lar s.  bar of a gate

Larks-lees, Leers v.  neglected lands

Lart, Lawt s.  a loft, as cock-lart, hay-lart, apple-lart

Lary, Leary, Lear adj.  empty, thin s.  flank; Lear-quills, small quills

Las-chargeable interj.  be quiet! i.e., he who last speaks or strikes in contention is most to blame

Lāt, or Lart s.  a lath, ex. Lartin nails

Lāt s.  shelf

Latitat s.  a noise or scolding

Lattin-sheet s.  iron-tinned; also as adj.  made of tin, as a Lattin Saucepan

Lave v.  to throw water from one place to another; to gutter, as a candle

Lay-field s.  a piece laid down to grass

p. 22Lea, Leaze, Leers s.  an open pasture field

Leapy, Lippary s.  wet, rainy weather

Learn, Larn v.  to teach, ex. Who larned ’e thay tricks

Leathern-bird, Leather-wing s.  the bat

Ledge v.  lay hands on; to lay eggs

Lent-lilies s.  daffodils

Lescious  ex. She is lescious of a place, i,e., knows of it and thinks it may suit

Levers s.  a species of rush or sedge

Levvy s.  a level (Fr. levèe)

Lew, Lewth, Lewthy  shelter, sheltered, lee-side

Libbets s.  tatters; little-bits

Lidden s.  a story, a song (Ger. lied)

Lief, Leaf v.  leave; ex. I would as lief

Ligget s.  a rag

Lijon s.  the main beam of a ceiling

Lip, or Lippen s.  applied to certain vessels, as Ley-lip, Seed-lip, Bee-lippen  bee-hive (Wiclif’s Test.: Leten hym doun in a lepe be the wall Acts ix. 25)

Limmers, Limbers s.  the shafts of a waggon or cart

Linch v.  a ledge, hence “linch-pin” (A S hlinc)

Linney, Linhay s.  an open shed

Lirp v.  to limp

Lirripy adj.  slouching

Lissom a. lithesome, active, supple

Lissum, or Lism s.  a narrow slip of anything

Locking-bone s.  the hip joint

Long-tailed Capon s.  the long-tailed titmouse

Lug s.  a pole; a measure of land, perch or rod

Lug-lain s.  full measure

Lumper-scrump s.  cow-parsnip Heracleum sphondylium

Lurdin s.  a sluggard (Fr. lourd)

Lizzom s.  a shade of colour in heavy bread, or in a mow


Mace s.  pl. acorns, mast

p. 23Macky-moon s.  a man who plays the fool

Maethe (th soft)  sweet as meathe (Welsh Medd, mead)

Maggems, Maay-geams s.  May games, larking

Magne adj.  great

Make-wise v.  to pretend

Manchet s.  a kind of cake eaten hot

Mandy adj. and v.  haughty, domineering Commandy

Mang v.  to mix

Mang-hangle adj. and s.  mixed-up in a confused mass

Math s.  a litter of pigs

Maules s.  measles

May-bug s.  cockchafer

Mawkin (maäking)  an oven swab; scare-crow; a bundle of rags

Mawn s.  a basket (A S mand)

Maze-house s.  madhouse

Mazy adj.  mad, ex. I be mooast maazed; a mazy ould vool

Mear, Mear-stone  boundary (A S meare)

Meat-weer adj.  applied to land capable of producing food that is good, fit to eat; applied to peas, beans, &c.

Meg s.  the mark at which boys play pitch and toss

Meg’s, or Maggotts Diversions s.  rattling or wanton fun

Meg-with-the-wad s.  will o’ the wisp

Melander s.  a row (Fr. melée)

Me’ll v.a.  to meddle, touch; ex. I’ll neither mell nor make; I ont mell o’t, i.e., I will not touch it

Mesh s.  moss; lichen on apple-trees

Mesh s.  a hare’s creep or run v.  to run through the same

Mess, Messy v.  to serve cattle with hay s.  Messin

Mid, Med v.  might, ex. Nor zed a mid; midst, medst, ex. Thou medst if wouldst

Midgerim s.  mesentery

Mid’n  might not, ex. I mid or I mid’n

Mig  in the same sense

Milemas s.  Michaelmas

p. 24Mind v.  to remember

Misky  form of misty

Miz-maze s.  confusion

Mog v.  to decamp, march off

Mooch v.  to stroke down gently

Mood s.  the mother of vinegar

Mole s.  higher part of the back of the neck

Mommacks s.  pl. fragments, scraps

Mommick, Mommet s.  a scarecrow (Wiclif’s N.  Test.: “a sacrifice to the mawmet” Act vii. 41)

Moocher, Mooching, Meecher s.  one who skulks; absents himself from school

Moor-coot s.  a moor-hen

More s.  a root

Moot v.  to root up s.  Mooting-axe

Moot s.  that portion of a tree left in the ground after it has been felled

Mop s.  tuft of grass

More, Morey v.n.  to take root; applied to trees

Mother, Mothering s.  white mould in beer or cider

Mothering-Sunday s.  midlent Sunday, probably from the custom of visiting the mother-churches during that season

Mought  for might  aux. verb

Mouse-snap s.  a mouse-trap

Mouster v.  to stir, to be moving

Mow-staddle s.  a conical stone with a flat circular cap, used for the support of a mow or stack of corn

Muddy-want s.  a mole

Mullin s.  metheglin

Mumper, Mump, Mumping  a beggar, to beg


Nacker s.  a nag

Nagging adj.  applied to continued aching pain, as toothache; also, teasing with reproaches

Nammet, or Nummet s.  luncheon; a short meal between breakfast and dinner.  Noon-meat

Nan, Anan interj.  Eh! what? (Shakes.)

p. 25Nap s.  a small rising, a hillock

Nä-poäst s.  gnaw-post, a fool.

Narn, or Norn pron.  neither, ex. Narn on’s

Nasten v.a.  to render nasty

Nathely adv.  nearly, as a baby is nathely pining away

Nâunt s.  aunt

Nawl s.  navel; Nawl-cut  a term used by butchers

Neel, Neeld s.  a needle (Shaks. Mid. N. Dr. iii. 2)

Nesh, Naish adj.  tender, delicate (A S hnesc)

Nestle-tripe s.  the poorest bird in the nest; weakest pig in the litter; puny child

Never-the-near  to no purpose

Newelty s.  novelty

Nickle v.n.  to move hastily along in an awkward manner adj.  beaten down, applied to corn

Nicky, Nicky-wad s.  a small fagot of thorns

Niddick s.  the nape of the neck

Nif conj.  if and if

’Nighst, Noist prep.  nigh, near

Ninny-watch s.  a longing desire

Nippigang, Nimpingang s.  a whitlow

Nitch s.  a burden, a fagot of wood

Nix v.  to impose on, to nick

Northern, Northering adj.  incoherent, foolish

Nosset s.  a dainty dish such as is fit for a sick person

’Nottamy s.  applied to a man become very thin (anatomy)

Nug s.  unshapen piece of timber, a block

Nug-head s.  a blockhead

Nuncle s.  uncle v.a.  to cheat

Nurt, or Nort  nothing (w. of Parret)

Nüthen s.  a great stupid fellow


Oak-web (wuck-ub) s.  cock-chafer, may-bug

Oak-wuck s.  the club at cards

Oaves s.  the eaves of a house

p. 26Odments s. pl.  odd things, offals

Oh v.  to long greatly

Old-man’s-Beard s.  clematis

Old-rot s.  cow-parsnip (heracleum)

Onlight v.n.  to alight from on horse-back

Oól  will; o’ot  wilt o’ot’n’t  wilt not

Ope s.  an opening

Open-erse s.  a medler (A S open-œrs), a fruit used medicinally

Ordain v.  to purpose

Orloge s.  a clock (horologe)

Or’n pron.  either, ex. O’rm o’m, either of them

Ort pron.  aught, anything

Orts s.  scraps, leavings

Oseny, or Osening v.  to forbode, predict (A S wisian)

Ourn  ours

Out-ax’d part.  to have the bands fully published

Out-faring s.  lying outside the borough

Over-get v.a.  to overtake

Over-look v.a.  to bewitch

Over-right (auver-right) adv.  opposite

Ovvers s. pl.  over-hanging bank of rivers, edge of rivers (A S ofer)


Pair-of-Stairs s.  a staircase with two landings

Pallee adj.  broad, as pallee-foot, pallee-paw

Palme s.  catkins of the willow (salix caprea)

Pame s.  the mantle thrown over an infant who is going to be Christened

Panchard-night s.  Shrove-Tuesday night

Pank v.  to pant

Papern adj.  made of paper

Parget v.a.  to plaster the inside of a chimney with mortar made of cow-dung and lime

Parrick s.  a paddock

Paumish adj.  handling awkwardly

p. 27Pautch, Pontch v.  to tread in mire

Payze, ’Pryze v.  to upraise with a lever (Fr. peser)

Pëart adj.  brisk

Pease v.  to run out in globules

Peasen s. pl.  of pea adj.  made of peas, ex. Peasen-pudding

Peazer s.  a lever

Peek, Peeky, Peekid adj.  pinched in face by indisposition

Peel s.  a pillow

Pen, Penning, Pine, Cow-pine s.  an enclosed place in which cattle are fed

Pen s.  a spigot

Pick, Peckis s.  pick-axe

Pick, Peek s.  hay-fork

Pigs s.  pixies, fairies, as in the common saying, “Please God and the pigs”

Pig’s-hales s.  hawes

Pig’s-looze s.  pig’s-sty

Pilch, Pilcher s.  a baby’s woollen clout

Pill s.  a pool in a river

Pill-coal s.  peat from a great depth

Pillow-tie, Pillow-beer s.  pillow-case

Pilm, Pillum s.  dust

Pin, Pin-bone s.  the hip

Pind, Pindy adj.  fusty, as corn or flour

Pin’d adj.  applied to a saw which has lost its pliancy

Pine, Pwine, Pwining-end, and Pwointing-end s.  the gable-end of a house

Pinions s. p.  the refuse wool after combing (Fr. peigner)

Pink-twink s.  chaffinch

Pinswheal, Pinswil, Pensil s.  a boil with a black head

Pirl, Pirdle v.  to spin as a top

Pix, Pex, or Pixy v.  to pick up fruit, as apples or walnuts, after the main crop is taken in

Pixy s.  a fairy Pixy-stool s.  toad-stool

Planch s.  Planchant adj.  a wood floor (Fr. planche)

p. 28Plazen s. pl.  places

Plim, Plum v.n.  to swell, to increase in bulk, as soaked peas or rice

Plough s.  a team of horses; also a waggon and horses, or a waggon and oxen

Plough-path s.  bridle-path

Plud s.  the swamp surface of a wet ploughed field

Pock-fretten, Pock-fredden adj.  marked with small-pox

Pog v.  to push, to thrust with a fist

Pomice, Pummice, Pummy, or Pumy-Squat s.  apples pounded for making cider (Fr. pomme)

Pomple adj.  responsible, trustworthy

Pompster, or Pounster v.  to tamper with a wound, or disease, without knowledge or skill in medicine

Ponted adj.  bruised, particularly applied to fruit, as a ponted apple

Pooch v.  to pout

Pook s.  the stomach, a vell

Pook s.  a cock of hay

Popple s.  a pebble

Porr v.  to stuff or cram with food

Pot-waller s.  one whose right to vote for a member of Parliament is based on his having a fire-place whereon to boil his own pot, as at Taunton

Pound-house s.  house for cider-making

Prey v.  to drive the cattle into one herd in a moor, which is done twice a year (i.e., at Lady-day and at Michaelmas), with a view to ascertain whether any person has put stock there without a right to do it

Proud-tailor s.  gold-finch

Pulk, or Pulker s.  a small pool of water

Pumple, or Pumple-foot s.  club-foot

Pur, or Pur-hog s.  a one-year-old male sheep

Purt v.  to pout, to be sullen

Puskey adj.  short-breathed, wheezing

Putt s.  a manure cart with two or three broad wheels

p. 29Puxy s.  a slough, a muddy place

Pyer s.  a hand-rail across a wooden bridge (Fr. s’apuyer)


Quar v.  to coagulate—applied to milk in the breast

Quarrel, Quarrey s.  a pane of glass

Quat adj.  full, satisfied

Queane s.  a little girl, a term of endearment

Queest, Quisty s.  a wood-pigeon or blue-rock.  A quarish queest s.  a queer fellow

Quilled, or Queeled adj.  withered, as grass

Quine s.  a corner (Fr. coin)

Quirk, Quirky v.  to complain, to groan, grunt

Quat, or Aquat adj.  sitting flat, like a bird on its eggs to quat v.n.  to squat (It. quatto)

Qwerk s.  the clock of a stocking


Rade, or Rede s.  part of the tripe or stomach of a bullock, the maw

Raening adj.  thin, applied to cloth

Raft-up v.  to disturb from sleep

Rain-pie s.  woodpecker, yuckle

Rake v.n.  to rouse up

Rally v.  to scold

Ram v.  to lose, by throwing a thing beyond reach

Rammel adj.  (raw milk), applied to cheese made of unskimmed milk

Rams-claws s. p.  crow’s foot

Rampsing adj.  tall

Range s.  a sieve

Rangle v.  to twine, move in a sinuous manner

Rangling Plants s.  such as entwine round other plants, as hops, woodbine

Rap v.  to exchange

Rape v.  to scratch

Rare adj.  raw, or red, as meat

Rasty, Rusty adj.  rancid, gross, obscene

Ratch v.  to stretch

p. 30Rathe, Rather  early, soon  Milton: “the rathe primrose”

Rathe-ripe s.  an early kind of apple; also a male or female that arrives at full maturity before the usual age

Raught part. and past tense  reached, ex. E’ raught down his gun

Rawn v.a.  to devour greedily

Rawning-knife s.  the large knife with which butchers clear their meat; cleaver

Rawny adj.  thin, meagre

’Ray v.a.  to dress.  Unray to undress

Read, Reed v.  to strip the fat from the intestines

Readship, or Retchup, Rechip, Rightship s.  truth, dependence, trustworthiness

Ream v.a.  to widen, to open, to stretch s.  an instrument or tool for widening a hole (generally used for metals) v.n.  to bear stretching.  Reamy adj.

Reams, Rames s. pl.  the dead stalks of potatoes, &c.; skeleton (Query Remains)

Re-balling s.  the catching of ells with earthworms (yeasses) attached to a ball of lead

Reed s.  wheat-straw prepared for thatching (w. of Parret)

Reen, or Rhine s.  watercourse, or dyke; an open drain

Reeve v.n.  to shrivel up, to contract into wrinkles

Remlet s.  a remnant

Reneeg v.  to withdraw from an engagement (Lat. renegare)  (Shaksp. Ant. and Cleop. i. 5)

Rere-Mouse s.  a bat (A S hrere-mus)

Revel-twine s.  same as Hevel-twine

Revesse s.  the burden of a song, from vessey, v.  to make verses

Rew s.  row v.  to put grass in rows

Rexen s. p.  rushes (A S rixe)

Rip v.  to rate or chide

Riscous  applied to bread imperfectly baked

Robin-riddick, or Ruddock s.  redbreast

p. 31Roddicks, Roddocks s.  ex. Off the roddocks, as a cart off the grooves of the axle

Rode v.n.  to go out to shoot wild fowl which pass over head on the wing early at night or in the morning; also applied to the passage of the birds themselves, ex. The woodcocks’ rode

Roe-briar s.  the large dog-rose briar

Roller, Rawler, Brawler s.  a bundle of reed, ex. As weak as a rawler

Rompstal s.  a rude girl

Ronge v.  to gnaw, to devour (Fr. ronger)

Room, Rhume s.  scurf of the scalp

Root-chains s.  main plough chains

Roozement s.  a slip or falling-in of earth

Ropy adj.  wine or other liquor is ropy when it becomes thick and coagulated; also bread when a kind of second fermentation takes place in warm weather

Rose v.n.  to drop out from the pod or other seed-vessel when the seeds are over ripe

Rose, Rooze-in v.  to fall in, as the upper part of a quarry, or well

Round-dock s.  the common mallow

Rouse-about adj.  big, unwieldly

Rout v.  to snore

Rowless adj.  roofless.  A Rowless Tenement  an estate without a house

Rowsse v.  to rush out with a great noise

Rozzim, Rozzums s.  quaint sayings, low proverb

Ruck v.  to couch down

“What is mankind more unto you yhold
Than is the shepe that rouketh in the fold.”

(Chaucer, Knight’s Tale)

Rudderish adj.  rude, hasty

Ruge v.n.  to hang in folds, to wrinkle (Lat. rugæ)

Rungs, Rongs s. pl.  the rounds of a ladder, also of a chair

Rushen adj.  made of rushes


Sand-tot s.  sand-hill

p. 32Sape s.  sap of trees, juice of fruit.  Sapey adj.  as fruit-tart

Sar, Sarve v.  to earn wages

Scad s.  a sudden and brief shower

Scamblin s.  irregular meal

Scarry-whiff adv.  askew

Scorse, Squoace, Squiss v.  to exchange, barter

“And there another, that would needsly scorse
A costly jewel for a hobby-horse”

(Drayton’s Moon Calf)

Scottle v.  to cut into pieces wastefully

Scourge-mettle s.  the instrument with which a boy whips his top

Scovin, Scubbin s.  the neck and breast of lamb

Scrambed, Shrambed adj.  deprived of the use of some limb by a nervous contraction of the muscles; benumbed with cold

Scrint v.  to scorch, singe; also to shrink a good deal in burning, as leather, silk, &c.

Scun v.  to reproach with the view of exposing to contempt or shame (A S scunian, to shun, avoid)

Scurrick, Scurrig s.  any small coin, a mere atom; ex. I havn’t a scurrick left

Scute s.  a sum of money, a gratuity, the impress on ancient money, from scutem, a shield.  So ecu, Fr., a crown; shilling, from A S scild, a shield.  Chaucer uses shildes for ecus, i.e., crowns

Seam s.  a horse-load (A S seam)

Seed-lip s.  a sower’s seed basket

Seem, Zim v.  to think, to be of opinion; ex. I do zim, or zim t’ I

Seltimes adv.  seldom

Sense v.  to understand

Seven-sleeper s.  dormouse

Shab s.  itch or mange in brutes adj.  Shabby

Shaff-Tuesday s.  Shrove-Tuesday

Shalder s.  rush, sedge growing in ditches

Sham s.  a horse-hoe

p. 33Share, Sheare s.  the quantity of grass cut at one harvest, a crop

Sharps s.  shafts of a cart

Shaul v.  to shell, to shed the first teeth

Shaw v.  to scold sharply

Sheen adj.  bright, shining

Sheer s.  a sheath, ex. Scissis-sheer

Shelving-stone s.  a blue tile or slate for covering the roofs of houses

Shod part. of v. to shed  ex. No use crying for shod milk

Showl s.  for shovel

Shrig v.a.  to shroud or trim a tree

Shrowd, Shride s.  loppings of trees

Shuckning adj.  shuffling

Shut v.  to weld iron

Shuttles, Shittles s.  floodgates

Sife, Sithe v. and s.  to sigh

Sig s.  urine (Dutch v. zeycken)

Silch, Sulch v.  to soil, daub

Silker s.  a court card

’Sim t’ I  it seems to me

Simlin s.  a kind of fine cake intended for toasts

Sin, Sine conj.  since, because

Sinegar s.  the plant stocks

Singlegus s.  the orchis

Skag s.  a rent, tear, wound

Skenter, Skinter adj.  relaxed, as applied to oxen

Skiff-handed adj.  awkward

Skiffle s.  as to make a skiffle, to make a mess of any business

Skiffling s.  the act of whittling a stick

Skilly s.  oatmeal porridge

Skimps s.  the scales and refuse of flax

Skimmerton-riding s.  the effigy of a man or woman unfaithful to marriage vows carried about on a pole accompanied by rough music from cows’-horns and frying-pans.  Formerly it consisted of two persons riding on a horse back to back, with ladles and marrow-bones in hand, and was intended to ridicule a hen-pecked husband

p. 34Skir v.  skim, mow lightly, as thistles

Skir-devil s.  a black martin, swift

Skirrings s.  hay made in pasture lands from the long grass left by the cattle

Skitty s.  a water-rail

Skitty-vamps s.  laced half boots

Skred, Skride v.  to stride

Slat, Slate v.  to split, crack, crumble

Slate s.  a sheep-run.  Slated adj.  accustomed to, contented

Slerib s.  a spare rib of pork

Sley  for “as lief,” ex. I would sley do it as not

Sliden, Slidder, Slither v.  to slide

Sliver s.  a thin slice

Slock v.  to encourage the servants of other people to pilfer

Slooen adj.  of sloe, ex. A slooen tree

Slop adj.  loose (Dutch slap)

Slope v.n.  to decay, rot, as pears and potatoes

Srnitch, Smit, Smeech s.  smut, or fine dust

Snag s.  a tooth standing alone; a small sloe

Snag-blowth s.  the blossom of the black-thorn

Snake-leaves s.  ferns

Snap-jack s.  stitch-wort (stellaria holostea)

Snare s.  the gut or string stretched tightly across the lower head of a drum

Snell, or Snull s.  a short thick stick about 4 inches long, called a “cat,” used in the game called cat and dog

Sneyd s.  the crooked handle of a scythe

Snicker, Snigger v.  to laugh in an insulting way

Snoach v.  to snuffle, to speak through the nose

Snoffer s.  a sweetheart (Dutch snoffen, to sigh)

Snool v.  to smear anything by rubbing the nose and mouth over it (Dutch snavel, a snout)

Snop s.  a sharp blow

Soce, Zuez s. pl. voc.  friends (Query socii)

p. 35Sog, or Sug s.  a morass.  Soggy adj.  boggy; also as a verb, to be sugged-out by the wet

Sowle v.  to handle rudely, to hale or pull

“He’ll go, he says, and sowle the porter of Rome gates by the ears”

(Shaks. Coriol. iv. 5)

Spane s.  the prong of a fork

Sparcled, Sparkéd, Spicotty adj.  speckled

Spar-gad s.  sticks split to be used for thatching

Sparrables, Spurbles s.  shoemaker’s nails, ex. Sparrable boots

Spars s.  twisted hazel or willow for thatching

Spawl v.  to scale away s.  a scale broken off from the surface of a stone

Speard s.  spade

Spine s.  the sward or surface of the ground; the fat on the surface of a joint of meat

Spinnick s.  Spinnicking adj.  a person every way diminutive

Spittle v.  to dig lightly between crops

Splat s.  a row of pins as sold in paper

Sprack, Spree, Spry adj.  nimble, alert, active

Sprackles s. pl.  spectacles

Sprank v.  to sprinkle with water.  Spranker, Sprenker s.  a watering-pot

Spreathed adj.  said of skin harsh and dry with cold, but not chapped

Spried, Spreed adj.  chapped with cold

Spounce v.  to spatter with water

Spuddle v.  to be uselessly or triflingly busy

Spur v.  to spread abroad or scatter, as manure over a field (Lat. spargere)

Squail v.  to throw a short stick at anything.  Squailer s.  the stick used in squirrel hunting

Squails s.  nine-pins

Squap v.  to sit down without any employment

Squatch s.  a chink or narrow clift

Squelstring adj.  sultry

Squinny v.  to squint “Dost thou squinny at me?”  (Shak. King Lear)

p. 36Squittee v.  to squirt

Squoace, or Squss v.  to truck or exchange

Staddle s.  foundation of a rick of hay or corn, a mark left by a haycock, or anything allowed to remain too long in one place

Stag s.  a castrated bull

Stagnated adj.  astonished

Stang s.  a long pole

Stap v.  for to stop

Stare-basin, Glow-basin s.  glow-worm

Stean v.  to stone a road.  Steaned  part. s.  a large stone pitcher (Dutch steen)

“Upon an huge great earthpot stean he stood”

(Spenser, Faery Queene)

Steanin s.  a stone-pitched ford

Steeve v.  to dry, to stiffen (Dutch styven)

Stickle s.  shallow rapids in a stream.  Steep adj.  steep as a hill

Stitch s.  a shock of corn, ten sheaves

Stive v.  to keep close and warm

Stiver s.  a bristling of the hair

Stocky adj.  short, stumpy

Stodge s.  thick slimy mud adj.  miry; ex. “Pendummer, where the Devil was stodged in the midst of zummer”

Stodged adj.  stuffed with eating

Stool s.  the stock of a tree cut for underwood

Stoor, Storr v.  to stir, move actively (Dutch stooren)

Stomachy adj.  proud, haughty

Stout s.  a gnat-fly

Strablet s.  a long, narrow strip

Strame s.  a streak, mark, trace v.  to trace (Dutch stram)

Straw-mote s.  a bit of straw

Strickle adj.  steep as the roof of a house

Strod s.  a leathern buskin worn by peasants

Strout v.  to strut, stand out stiff

“Crowk was his hair, and as gold it shon
And strouted as a fan large and brode”

(Chaucer, Miller’s Tale)

p. 37Stub-shot s.  the portion of the trunk of a tree which remains when the tree is not sawn through

Stun-pole s.  a stupid fellow

Stwon s.  stone Stwonen adj.

Suant adj.  even, regular, applied to rows of beans or corn; grave as applied to the countenance (Fr. suivant)

Sull s.  plough-share (A S sul)

Suma s.  a small cup made of blue and white stoneware

Surge v. and s.  to bear heavily on, impetuous force

Swallow-pears s.  service-pears, sorb-apples

Swāther, or Swother v.  to faint (A S sweothrian)

Sweem v.  to swoon.  Sweemy, Sweemish adj.  faint (Dutch swiim)

Sweet-harty v.  to court.  Sweet-harting s.  courtship

Swile s.  soil, also Swoil-heap


Tack s.  a shelf, bacon-rack.  Clavy-tack chimney-piece

Taffety adj.  nice in eating

Tallet s.  the space next the roof in out-houses (Welsh tavlod)

Tame v.  to cut, to have the first cut (Fr. entamer)

Tanbase s.  unruly behaviour

Tan-day s.  the second day of a fair

Tang s.  to tie; that part of a knife which passes into the haft

Tave v.  to throw the hands about wildly

Tavering adj.  restless in illness

Tawl-down v.  to strike or smooth down a cat’s back

Teak s.  a whitlow

Teap s.  a point, peak

Tëart adj.  sharp, sour, painful

Ted v.  to turn hay or flax to dry.  Ted-pole the pole used for the purpose

Teg s.  a last year’s lamb not sheared

Teem v.  to pour out

Terrible adv.  intensitive, ex. Terrible good

p. 38Thic, Thicky, Thicky-there, Thickumy, Thickumy-there pron.  that (Chaucer thilk)

Thiller s.  the shaft horse

Thill-harness  opposed to trace harness

Tho adv.  then, ex. I couldn’t go tho, but I went afterwards

Thong v.  to stretch out into viscous threads or filaments

Thongy adj.  viscid, ropy

Thornen adj.  made of thorns

Thurt v.  to thwart, to plough crossways

Thurt-handled adj.  thwart-handled

Thurt-saw s.  a thwart-saw, a cross-cut saw

Tilty adj.  irritable, i.e., easily tilt or lifted up

Timmern adj.  wooden

Timmersom adj.  timorous

Tine v.  to light, ex. Tine the candle (root of tinder) v.  a tooth as of rake or spear (A S tine)

Tine-in v.  to shut, to enclose.  Tinings s.  enclosures (A S tynan)

Tip-and-tail  heels over head

Titty-todger s.  a wren

To  appended to adverbs, as where-to, to-home, to-year, to-week, as to-day

Toak v.  to soak

Toggers s.  the handle-pieces of the scythe

Toke v.  to glean apples

Toll v.  to decoy, entice, ex. A bit o’ cheese to toll down the bread wi’

Toll-bird s.  a decoy bird

Tongue, or Tonguey v.  to talk immoderately

Tossity adj.  drunken (’tossicated)

Tranter s.  a carrier.  Coal-tranter a beggar

Trapes s.v.  a slattern, to walk in the dirt

Trendle s.  a brewer’s cooler of an oval form

Trig v.  to prop up adj.  sound, firm, well in health, neat, tidy

Trig-to v.  to open, set open, as a door

p. 39Trill v.  to twirl

Trop intj.  used by riders to excite a dull horse

Tuck v.  to touch

Tucker s.  a fuller, also Tucking-mill

Tun s.  upper part of the chimney

Tunnegar s.  a wooden funnel

Tup s.  a ram

Turmets, Turmits s.  turnips

Turve s.  turf

Tut s.  a hassock

Tutty s.  flower.  Tutty-more flower-root

Tut-work, Tuck-work s.  piece-work

’T’war  it was

Twibill s.  a sort of axe with bill of two forms

Twily adj.  restless

Twink, or Pink s.  a chaffinch

Twi-ripe, Twi-ripy adj.  unequally ripe

Twistle, Twizzle s.  that part of a tree where the branches divide from the stock


Under-creepin adj.  sneaking

Ungain (from gain)  unhandy

Unkit et. id. adj.  lonely, dismal (A S cwyde, speech; uncwyde, solitary, having no one to speak to)

Unray v.  to undress, ex. I do ston to ray, and I do ston to unray

Untang v.  to untie

Up, Uppy v.  to arise, to get up

Uppin-stock, Lighting-stock s.  a horse-block

Uppings s.  perquisites

Upsighted s.  a defect of vision rendering a person unable to look down

Ur, Hur pron.  he, she, or it

Urn, Hurn v.  to run (A S yrnan)

Utchy pron.  I (Ger. ich)


Vage, Vaze v.  to move about or run in such a way as to agitate the air

p. 40Valch v.  to thrust with the elbow or fist

Vang v.  to take or catch, to receive as well as earn wages; ex. To vang a fire, to vang money; also to stand sponsor (A S fangen)

Vare s.  weasel or stoat.  Vair ermine

Vare v.  to bring forth young, applied to pigs (from farrow)

Varmint s.  a vermin

Vaught part.  fetched, hence the proverb

vur vaught
dear a-bought

Vawth s.  a bank of dung or earth prepared for manure; litter of pigs

Vay, or Vie v.  to go, to succeed, to turn out well (Fr. va’tail) ex. How doe’t vay wi’ye?

Veelvare, Veldevere s.  field-fare

Vell s.  a part of the stomach of a calf used for making cheese; membrane

Vent, Vent-hole s.  the wrist of a shirt, the button-hole

Verdi, Verdit s.  opinion, ex. Thats my verdit therefor I zay ’t

Vester s.  a pin used to point out the letters to children learning to read

Vier s.  fire

Vig v.  to rub gently by a quick motion of the finger forward and backward (Dutch ficken)

Vinnid, Vinny adj.  mouldy, as bread; humoursome, as a spoiled child; affected

Vitten, Vitty adj.  fitly, featly, properly applied s.  a whim or pretence

Vleër s.  flea

Vlother s.  incoherent talk, nonsense

Voccating adj.  going about chattering in an idle manner

Vore-right adj.  blunt, rude, impertinent

Voss, Voth s.  a side furrow

Vouce adj.  strong, nervous

Vug v.  to strike with the elbow s.  a blow with the elbow

Vyer s.  the fair, ex. Guaine to vyer?


W an initial W is often pronounced as in Welsh oo, ex. Walter, oolter; witness, ootness; Wells, ools

p. 41Wallet s.  brushwood, bramble-wood

Wamble, Wammel v.n.  to move in an awkward manner, applied chiefly to machinery

Want, Wont s.  a mole

Want-wriggle s.  mole-track

War v. pret. of the verb “to be”  I war, he war, we war, &c.

Wash-dish s.  the wag-tail

Wassail v.  drinking success to the apple crop

Way-zaltin s.  a play in which two persons standing back to back interlace each others arms, and by bending forward alternately raise each other from the ground

Weepy adj.  moist, abounding in springs

Welch-nut s.  walnut (Ger. welsche-nüss)

Well s.  a running spring, a source (Ger. quelle, as distintinguished from a wenk or wink)

Weng s.  the front rack of the sull

Wevet s.  a spider’s web

Whippences s.  bodkins or swingle-bars of a plough

Whipper-snapper s.  a little, active, nimble fellow

Whipswhiles s.  a short interval, as between the strokes of a whip

Whister-twister s.  a smart blow on the side of the head

Whiver v.  to hover, to flutter.  Whiver-minded adj.  wavering

Widow-man s.  a widower

Wim v.  to winnow.  Wim-sheet, Wimmin-sheet, Wimmindust s.

Windle, Windle-thrush s.  red-wing

Wink s.  an excavated or sunken well (Query supplied with a Winch?)

Wipes s.  faggots for draining or fencing

Wisht adj.  sad, untoward

Without  unless, except

Woek, Wuk s.  oak

Woeks s.  clubs on playing cards, from their shape

Wont-heeave, Want-snap s.  a mole-hill, mole-trap

Wood-quist s.  wood-pigeon, cushat

p. 42Wood-wall s.  woodpecker

Worra s.  part of the centre of the old spinning-wheel

Wosberd, Whisbird, Whosbird s.  a term of reproach.

Wrede v.  to spread abroad, as wheat is said to wrede when several stalks shoot out of the ground from a single grain.

Wrick v.s.  strain

Wrîde v.n.  to stretch, to expand

Wring s.  press, ex. A cider-wring

Writh-hurdles s.  plated hurdles

Wrizzled, Wrizzly adj.  shrivelled up, wrinkled


Yails s.  the uprights in hurdles

Yal, Yalhouse, Yarm, Yel, &c. s.  ale, alehouse, arm, eel, &c.

Yap v.  to yelp like a cur

Yappingale, Yaffler, Yuckle s.  woodpecker

Yeass s.  an earthworm pl.  yeasses

Yeo s.  main drain of a level

Yeth s.  hearth.  Yeth-stone  hearth-stone

Yoak s.  the grease in wool

Yoaky adj.  greasy, applied to wool as it comes from the sheep

Yokes s.  hiccups

Yourn  yours

Yow v.  to cut the stubble short, to cut with a hook


Zam v.a.  to heat for some time over a fire, but not to boil

Zam-sod, Zam-sodden  half baked

Zand-tot s.  sand hill

Zāte adj.  soft

Zatenfare s.  softish, a foolish fellow

Zead v.  for has seen

Zead s.  seed.  Zëad-lip  seed-lip

Zenvy s.  wild mustard

Zinney s.  sinews

Zwail v.  to move about the arms extended, and up and down

Zwell v.  to swallow

Zwodder s.  a drowsy and stupid state of body and mind

Zwound v.  to swoon

Swill, Swell, Zwell v.  to swallow

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