The Dialect of the West of England Particularly Somersetshire
by James Jennings
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"Goo little Reed! Aforn tha vawk, an vor me plead: Thy wild nawtes, mAc-be, thAc ool hire Zooner than zActer vrom a lAcre. ZAc that thy Maester's pleas'd ta blaw 'em, An haups in time thAc'll come ta knaw 'em An nif za be thAc'll please ta hear, A'll gee zum moor another year."—The Farewell.

THE Dialect of the West of England








Late Scholar and Librarian, Queens' College, Cambridge; Vicar of Hagbourn, Berkshire; and Minister of Calcott Donative, Somersetshire.


Tha Fruit o' longvul labour, years, In theAze veo leaves at last appears. Ta you, tha dwellers o' tha West, I'm pleas'd that thAc shood be addresst: Vor thaw I now in Lunnan dwell, I mine ye still—I love ye well; And niver, niver sholl vorget I vust drAcw'd breath in Zummerzet; Amangst ye liv'd, and left ye zorry, As you'll knaw when you hire my storry. TheAze little book than take o' me; 'Tis Acll I hAc just now ta gee An when you rade o' Tommy Gool, Or Tommy Came, or Pal at school, Or Mr. Guy, or Fanny Fear,— I thenk you'll shod vor her a tear) Tha Rookery, or Mary's Crutch, Tha cap o' which I love ta touch, You'll vine that I do not vorget My naatal swile—dear Zummerzet.



In preparing this second edition of my relative's work, I have incorporated the results of observations made by me during several years' residence in Somersetshire, in the centre of the district. I have also availed myself by kind permission, of hints and suggestions in two papers, entitled "Somersetshire Dialect," read by T. S. Baynes in 1856, and reprinted from the Taunton Courier, in London, in 1861.

During the forty years which have elapsed since the first edition, very much light has been thrown on the subject of Provincial Dialects, and after all much remains to be discovered. I consider with Mr. Baynes that there is more of the pure Anglo-Saxon in the west of England dialect, as this district was the seat of classical Anglo-Saxon, which first rose here to a national tongue, and lasted longer in a great measure owing to its distance from the Metropolis, from which cause also it was less subject to modern modification.

I shall be happy to receive any suggestions from Philological scholars, which may increase the light thrown on the subject, and by which a third edition may be improved.

Hagbourn Vicarage, August, 1869.


The usefulness of works like the present is too generally admitted to need any apology for their publication. There is, notwithstanding, in their very nature a dryness, which requires relief: the author trusts, therefore, that, in blending something imaginative with the details of philological precision, his work will afford amusement to the reader.

The Glossary contains the fruit of years of unwearied attention to the subject; and it is hoped that the book will be of some use in elucidating our old writers, in affording occasional help to the etymology of the Anglo-Saxon portion of our language, and in exhibiting a view of the present state of an important dialect of the western provinces of England.

A late excursion through the West has, however, induced the Author to believe that some valuable information may yet remain to be gathered from our Anglo-Saxon dialect—more especially from that part of it still used by the common people and the yeomanry. He therefore respectfully solicits communications from those who feel an interest in this department of our literature; by which a second edition may be materially improved.

To a native of the west of England this volume will be found a vade-mecum of reference, and assist the reminiscence of well-known, and too often unnoted peculiarities and words, which are fast receding from, the polish of elegance, and the refinement of literature.

In regard to the Poetical Pieces, it may be mentioned that most of them are founded on West Country Stories, the incidents in which actually occurred. If some of the subjects should be thought trifling, it must not be forgotten that the primary object has been, to exemplify the Dialect, and that common subjects offered the best means of effectuating such an object. Of such Poems as Good Bwye ta thee Cot; the Rookery; and Mary Ramsey's Crutch, it may be observed, that had the Author felt less he might, perhaps, have written better.

Metropolitan Literary Institution, London, March 25, 1825.


- Dedication

- Preface to the Second Edition

- Preface to the First Edition

- OBSERVATIONS on some of the Dialects of the West of England, particularly Somersetshire

- A GLOSSARY of Words commonly used in Somersetshire

- POEMS and OTHER PIECES, exemplifying the Dialect of the County of Somerset

- Good Bwye ta Thee Cot

- Fanny Fear

- Jerry Nutty

- Legend of Glastonbury

- Mr. Guy

- The Rookery

- Tom Gool

- Teddy Band—a Zong—Hunting for Sport

- The Churchwarden

- The Fisherman and the Players

- Mary Ramsey's Crutch

- Hannah Verrior

- Remembrance

- Doctor Cox

- The Farewell

- Farmer Bennet an Jan Lide, a Dialogue

- Thomas Came an Young Maester Jimmy, a Dialogue

- Mary Ramsay, a Monologue

- Soliloquy of Ben Bond

- Two Dissertations on Anglo-Saxon Pronouns

- Miss Ham on the Somerset Dialect

- Concluding Observations


The following Glossary includes the whole of Somerset, East of the River Parret, as well as adjoining parts of Wiltshire and Gloucestershire. West of the Parret many of the words are pronounced very differently indeed, so as to mark strongly the people who use them. [This may be seen more fully developed in two papers, by T. Spencer Baynes, read before the Somersetshire Archaeological Society, entitled the Somersetshire Dialect, printed 1861, 18mo, to whom I here acknowledge my obligations for several hints and suggestions, of which I avail myself in this edition of my late relative's work].

The chief peculiarity West of the Parret, is the ending of the third person singular, present tense of verbs, in th or eth: as, he lov'th, zee'th, &c., for he loves, sees, &c.

In the pronouns, they have Ise for I, and er for he. In fact the peculiarities and contractions of the Western District are puzzling to a stranger. Thus, her is frequently used for she. "Har'th a doo'd it," is, "she has done it," (I shall occasionally in the Glossary note such words as distinguishingly characterise that district).

Two of the most remarkable peculiarities of the dialect of the West of England, and particularly of Somersetshire, are the sounds given to the vowels A and E. A, is almost always sounded open, as in _fAther_, _rAther_, or somewhat like the usual sound of _a_ in _balloon_, _calico_, lengthened; it is so pronounced in bAll, cAll. I shall use for this sound the _circumflex over the a_, thus Ac_ or A_. E, has commonly the same sound as the French gave it, which is, in fact, the slender of A, as heard in _pane fane_, _cane_, &c. The hard sound given in our polished dialect to the letters _th_, in the majority of words containing those letters [as in _through_, _three_, _thing_, think_], expressed by the Anglo-Saxon _A _, is frequently changed in the Western districts into the sound given in England to the letter _d_:

as for three, we have dree

for thread, dread, or dird,

through, droo, throng, drong, or rather drang;

thrush, dirsh, &c. The consonant and vowel following d, changing places. The slender or soft sound given to th in our polished dialect, is in the West, most commonly converted into the thick or obtuse sound of the same letters as heard in the words this, these &c., and this too, whether the letters be at the beginning or end of words. I am much disposed to believe that our Anglo-Saxon ancestors, used indiscriminately the letters A and A for D only, and sounded them as such, as we find now frequently in the West; although our lexicographers usually have given the two sounds of th to A and A respectively. The vowel O is used for a, as hond, dorke, lorke, hort, in hand, dark, lark, heart, &c., and other syllables are lengthened, as voote, bade, dade, for foot, bed, dead. The letter O in no, gold, &c., is sounded like aw in awful; I have therefore spelt it with this diphthong instead of a. Such word as jay for joy, and a few others, I have not noted. Another remarkable fact is the disposition to invert the order of some consonants in some words; as the r in thrush, brush, rush, run, &c., pronouncing them dirsh, birsh, hirsh, hirn; also transposition of p and s in such words as clasp, hasp, asp, &c., sounded claps, haps, aps, &c. I have not inserted all these words in the Glossary, as these general remarks will enable the student to detect the words which are so inverted. It is by no means improbable that the order in which such sounds are now repeated in the West, is the original order in which they existed in our language, and that our more polished mode of expressing them is a new and perhaps a corrupt enunciation. Another peculiarity is that of joining the letter y at the end of some verbs in the infinitive mood, as well as to parts of different conjugations, thus, "I can't sewy, nursy, reapy, to sawy, to sewy, to nursy, &c. A further peculiarity is the love of vowel sound, and opening out monosyllables of our polished dialect into two or more syllables, thus:

ay-er, for air; boo-Ath, for both; fay-er, for fair; vi-A"r for fire; stay-ers for stairs; show-er for sure; vrAo-rst for post; boo-ath for both; bre-ash for brush; chee-ase for cheese; kee-ard for card; gee-ate for gate; mee-ade for mead; mee-olk for milk; &c.

Chaucer gives many of them as dissyllables.

The verb to be retains much of its primitive form: thus I be, thou, or thee, beest, or bist, we be, you be, they be, thA be, are continually heard for I am, &c., he be is rarely used: but he is. In the past tense, war is used for was, and were: I war, thou or thee wart, he war, &c., we have besides, we'm, you'm, they'm, for we, you, they, are, there is a constant tendency to pleonasm in some cases, as well as to contraction, and elision in others. Thus we have a lost, agone, abought, &c., for lost, gone, bought, &c., Chaucer has many of these prefixes; but he often uses y instead of a, as ylost. The frequent use of Z and V, the softened musical sounds for S and F, together with the frequent increase and multiplication of vowel sounds, give the dialect a by no means inharmonious expression, certainly it would not be difficult to select many words which may for their modulation compete with others of French extraction, and, perhaps be superior to many others which we have borrowed from other languages, much less analogous to the polished dialect of our own. I have added, in pursuance of these ideas, some poetical and prose pieces in the dialect of Somersetshire, in which the idiom is tolerably well preserved, and the pronunciation is conveyed in letters, the nearest to the sound of the words, as there are in truth many sounds for which we have neither letters, nor combinations of letters to express them. [I might at some future period, if thought advisable, go into a comparison between the sound of all the letters of the alphabet pronounced in Somersetshire, and in our polished dialect, but I doubt if the subject is entitled to this degree of criticism]. The reader will bear in mind that these poems are composed in the dialect of Somerset, north east of the Parret, which is by far the most general.

In the Guardian, published about a century ago, is a paper No. 40, concerning pastoral poetry, supposed to have been written by Pope, to extol his own pastorals and degrade those of Ambrose Phillips. In this essay there is a quotation from a pretended Somersetshire poem. But it is evident Pope knew little or nothing about the Somersetshire dialect. Here are a few lines from "this old West country bard of ours," as Pope calls him:

"Cicely. Ah Rager, Rager, cher was zore avraid, When in yond vield you kiss'd the parson's maid: Is this the love that once to me you zed, When from tha wake thou broughtst me gingerbread?"

Now first, this is a strange admixture of dialects, but neither east, west, north, nor south.

Chez is nowhere used; but in the southern part utche or iche, is sometimes spoken contractedly che. [See utchy in the Glossary].

Vield for field, should be veel.

Wake is not used in Somersetshire; but revel is the word.

Parson, in Somersetshire, dealer, is pAcson.

In another line he calls the cows, kee, which is not Somersetian; nor is, be go for begone: it should, be gwon; nor is I've a be; but I've a bin, Somersetian.

The idiomatic expressions in this dialect are numerous, many will be found in the Glossary; the following may be mentioned. I'd 'sley do it, for I would as lief do it. I have occasionally in the Glossary suggested the etymology of some words; by far the greater part have an Anglo-Saxon, some perhaps a Danish origin; [and when we recollect that Alfred the Great, a good Anglo-Saxon scholar, was born at Wantage in Berks, on the border of Wilts, had a palace at Chippenham, and was for some time resident in Athelney, we may presume that traditional remains of him may have influenced the language or dialect of Somersetshire, and I am inclined to think that the present language and pronunciation of Somersetshire were some centuries past, general in the south portion of our island.]

In compiling this Glossary, I give the fruits of twenty-five years' assiduity, and have defined words, not from books, but from actual usage; I have however carefully consulted Junius, Skinner, Minshew, and some other old lexicographers, and find many of their definitions correspond with my own; but I avoid conjectural etymology. Few dictionaries of our language are to be obtained, published from the invention of printing to the end of the 16th century, a period of about 150 years. They throw much light on our provincial words, yet after all, our old writers are our chief resource, [and doubtless many MSS. in various depositories, written at different periods, and recently brought to light, from the Record and State Paper Office, and historical societies, will throw much light on the subject]; and an abundant harvest offers in examining them, by which to make an amusing book, illustrative of our provincial words and ancient manners. I think we cannot avoid arriving at the conclusion, that the Anglo-Saxon dialect, of which I conceive the Western dialect to be a striking portion, has been gradually giving way to our polished idiom; and is considered a barbarism, and yet many of the sounds of that dialect are found in Holland and Germany, as a part of the living language of these countries. I am contented with having thus far elucidated the language of my native county. I have omitted several words, which I supposed provincial, and which are frequent to the west, as they are found in the modern dictionaries, still I have allowed a few, which are in Richardson's Johnson.

Thee is used for the nominative thou; which latter word is seldom used, diphthong sounds used in this dialect are:

uai, uoa, uoi, uoy, as guain, (gwain), quoat, buoil, buoy;

such is the disposition to pleonasm in the use of the demonstrative pronouns, that they are very often used with the adverb there. TheAze here, thick there, [thicky there, west of the Parret] theAsam here, theazamy here, them there, themmy there. The substitution of V for F, and Z (Izzard, Shard, for S, is one of the strongest words of numerous dialects.)

In words ending with p followed by s, the letters change places as:

hasp—haps; clasp—claps, wasp—waps;

In a paper by General Vallancey in the second volume of the Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy, read Dec. 27, 1788, it appears that a colony of English soldiers settled in the Baronies of Forth Bargie, in the county of Wexford, in Ireland, in 1167, 1168, and 1169; and that colony preserved their customs, manners, and language to 1788. There is added in that paper a vocabulary of their language, and a song, handed down by tradition from the arrival of the colony more than 600 years since. I think there can be no question that these Irish colonists were from the West of England, from the apparent admixture of dialects in the vocabulary and song, although the language is much altered from the Anglo- Saxon of Somersetshire. [Footnote: This subject has been more fully treated in the following work: A Glossary, with some pieces of verse of the old dialect of the English colony in the Baronies of Forth and Bargy, Co. Wexford, Ireland. Formerly collected by Jacob Poole, of Growton, now edited with Notes and Introduction by the Rev. W. Barnes, author of the Dorset Poems and Glossary, fcap. 8vo, 1867.] The words nouth, knoweth; zin, sin, vrast, frost; die, day; Zathardie, Saturday; Zindii, Sunday; and a few others, indicate an origin west of the Parret. There are many words which with a trifling alteration in spelling, would suit at the present time the north eastern portion of the county: as blauther, bladder: crwest, crust; smill, smell; skir, to rise in the air [see skeer]; vier, fire; vier, a weasel; zar, to serve; zatch, such, &c. From such words as ch'am, and ch'uh, the southern part of the county is clearly indicated. I think the disposition to elision and contraction is as evident here as it is at present in Somersetshire. In the song, there are marks of its having undergone change since its first introduction.

Lowthee is evidently derived from lewth [see Glossary] lewthy, will be, abounding in lewth, i. e. sheltered.

The line

"As by mizluck wus I pit t' drive in."

would in the present Somerset dialect stand thus:

"_That by misluck war a put ta dreav in."

That by mis-luck was placed to drive in.

In the line

"Chote well ar aim wai t' yie ouz n'eer a blowe."

the word chete is, I suspect, compounded of 'ch' [iche] and knew, implying I knew, or rather I knew'd, or knewt. [Footnote: The following is from, an amatory poem, written, in or about the reign of Henry II., during which the colony of the English was established in the county of Wexford.

"Ichot from heune it is me sent."

In Johnson's History of the English Language, page liii. it is thus translated—

"I wot (believe) it is sent me from heaven."

To an admirer of our Anglo-Saxon all the lines, twelve in number, quoted by M. Todd with the above, will be found a rich treat: want of space only prevents my giving them here.]

The modern English of the line will then be,

I knew well their aim was to give us ne'r a blow.

I suspect zitckel is compounded of zitch, such, and the auxiliary verb will. I view ame, is a veo o'm; that is, a few of them. Emethee, is emmtey, that is, abounding with ants. Meulten away, is melting away.

Th'ast ee pait it, thee'st a paid it; thou hast paid it.

In the English translation which accompanies the original song in General Vallancey's paper, some of the words are, I think, beyond controversy misinterpreted, but I have not room to go critically through it. All I desire should be inferred from these remarks is, that, although this Anglo-Saxon curiosity is well worthy the attention of those who take an interest in our early literature, we must be careful not to assume that it is a pure specimen of the language of the period to which, and of the people to whom, it is said to relate.





A. adv. Yes; or pron. He: as a zed a'd do it; he said he'd do it.

Aa'th. s. earth.

Ab'bey. s. The great white poplar: one of the varieties of the populus alba.

Ab'bey-lubber. s. A lazy, idle fellow.

Abought. part. Bought. See VAUGHT.

Abrood'. adv. When a hen is sitting on her eggs she is said to be abrood.

Ad'dle. s. A swelling with matter in it.

Ad'dled. a. Having pus or corruption; hence

Ad'dled-egg. s. An egg in a state of putrefaction.

Affeard'. a. Afraid.

Afo're, Afo'rn. prep. and adv. Before; afore, Chaucer.

Again. prep. Against.

Agon', Agoo'. adv. [these words literally mean gone.] Ago; agoo, Chaucer; from the verb to goo, i.e. to go; he is up and agoo; he is up and gone.

Alas-a-dAcy. interj. A-lack-a-day.

Ale. s. A liquor, brewed with a proportion of malt from about four to six bushels to the hogshead of 63 gallons; if it contain more malt it is called beer; if less, it is usually called small beer.

Al'ler. s. The alder tree.

AllA"s. adv. Always.

All'once. pron. [all ones] or rather (all o'n's) All of us; Let's go allonce; let us go all of us.

All o's. pron. All of us.

Alost'. part. Lost: ylost, Chaucer.

Amang. prep. Among.

Amawst', Amoo'Ast adv. Almost.

Amper. s. A small red pimple.

Anby'. adv. Some time hence; in the evening.

Anear', Ane'ast, Aneoust'. prep. Nigh to; aneast en, near him.

Aneen. On end, upright.

An'passy. s. The sign &, corrupted from and per se.

Anty. adj. Empty.

Apast'. part. and prep. Past; apast. Chaucer.

A'pricock. s. An apricot.

Aps. s. The asp tree; populus tremula.

Aps'en. a. Made of the wood of the asp; belonging to the asp.

To Arg. v. n. To argue.

To Ar'gufy. v. n. To hold an argument; to argue.

Ascri'de. adv. Across; astride.

Aslen'. adv. Aslope.

Assu'e. adj. When a cow is let up in order that she may calve, she is said to be assue—having no milk.

Ater. prep. After. Goo ater'n: go after him.

Athin. adv. Within.

Athout. prep. Without.

Auverdro. v. a. Overthrow.

Avaur', Avaur'en, Avaurn.prep. Before.

Avoordin. part. Affording.

Avraur'. adj. Frozen; stiff with frost.

Awakid. adj. Awake; awakid, Chaucer.

To Ax. v. a. To ask; ax, Chaucer.

Ax'en. s. pl. Ashes.

Axing. s. and part. Asking; axing, Chaucer.

Ay'ir. s. Air.


Back'sid. s. A barton.

Back'y. s. Tobacco.

Bad. adv. Badly.

Bade. s. Bed.

Ba'ginet. s. Bayonet.

Bai'ly. s. A bailiff; a superintendent of an estate.

Ball. adj. Bald.

Bal'let. s. Ballad.

Ball'rib. s. A sparerib.

To Bal'lirag. v. a. To abuse with foul words; to scold.

To Ban. v. a. To shut out; to stop.

To Bane. v. a. To afflict with a mortal disease; applied to sheep. See to COATHE.

To Barenhond', To Banehond'. v. n. (used chiefly in the third person singular) to signify intention; to intimate.

These words are in very common use in the West of England. It is curious to note their gradation from Chaucer, whose expression is Beren hem on hond, or bare him on hand; implying always, it appears to me, the same meaning as I have given to the words above. There is, I think, no doubt, that these expressions of Chaucer, which he has used several times in his works, are figurative; when Chaucer tells us he beren hem, in hond, the literal meaning is, he carried it in, or on, his hand so that it might be readily seen. "To bear on hand, to affirm, to relate."—JAMIESON'S Etymological Scots Dictionary. But, whatever be the meaning of these words in Chaucer, and at the present time in Scotland, the above is the meaning of them in the west of England.

Banes. s. pl. The banns of matrimony.

Ban'nin. s. That which is used for shutting out or stopping.

Ban'nut. s. A walnut. [Only used in northern parts of county.]

Barrow-pig. s. A gelt pig.

Baw'ker, Baw'ker-stone. s. A stone used for whetting scythes; a kind of sand-stone.

To Becall'. v. a. To censure; to reprove; to chide.

Bee'As, Bease. s. pl. [Beasts] Cattle. Applied only to Oxen not Sheep.

Bee-but, Bee-lippen. s. A bee-hive

Bee'dy. s. A chick.

Beedy's-eyes. Pansy, love-in-idleness.

Beer. s. See ALE.

Befor'n. prep. Before.

To Begird'ge, To Begrud'ge. v. a. To grudge; to envy.

LORD BYRON has used the verb begrudge in his notes to the 2nd canto of Childe Harold.

Begor'z, Begum'mers. interj.

These words are, most probably, oaths of asseveration. The last appears to be a corruption of by godmothers. Both are thrown into discourse very frequently: Begummers, I ont tell; I cant do it begorz.

Begrumpled. part. Soured; offended.

To Belg. v. n. To cry aloud; to bellow.

Bell-flower. s. A daffodil.

To Belsh. v. a. To cut off dung, &c., from the tails of sheep.

BeneApt. part. Left aground by the recess of the spring tides.

To Benge. v. n. To remain long in drinking; to drink to excess.

Ben'net. v. Long coarse grass.

Ben'nety. adj. Abounding in bennets.

Ber'rin. s. [burying] A funeral procession.

To Beskum'mer. v. a. To foul with a dirty liquid; to besmear.

To Bethink' v. a. To grudge.

Bettermost. adj. The best of the better; not quite amounting to the best.

Betwat'tled. part. In a distressing and confused state of mind.

To Betwit'. v. a. To upbraid; to repeat a past circumstance aggravatingly.

To Bib'ble. v. n. To drink often; to tope.

Bib'bler. s. One who drinks often; a toper.

Bil'lid. adj. Distracted; mad.

Billy. s. A bundle of wheat straw.

Bi'meby. adv. By-and-by; some time hence.

Bin. conj. Because; probably corrupted from, being.

Bin'nick. s. A small fish; minnow; Cyprinus phloxinus.

Bird-battin. s. The catching of birds with a net and lights by night. FIELDING uses the expression.

Bird-battin-net. s. The net used in bird-battin.

Birch'en. adj. Made of birch; relating to birch.

Bis'gee. s. (g hard), A rooting axe.

Bisky. s. Biscuit. The pronunciation of this word approximates nearer to the sound of the French cuit ["twice baked"] the t being omitted in this dialect.

To Bi'ver. v. n. To quiver; to shake.

Black-pot, s. Black-pudding.

Black'ymoor. s. A negro.

Blackymoor's-beauty. s. Sweet scabious; the musk-flower.

Blanker. s. A spark of fire.

Blans'cue. s. Misfortune; unexpected accident.

Blather. s. Bladder. To blather, v. n. To talk fast, and nonsensically [to talk so fast that bladders form at the mouth]

BleAcchy. adj. Brackish; saltish: applied to water.

Blind-buck-and-Davy. s. Blind-man's buff. Blindbuck and have ye, is no doubt the origin of this appellation for a well-known amusement.

Blis'som. ad. Blithesome.

Blood-sucker. s. A leech.

Bloody-warrior. s. The wall-flower.

Boar. s. The peculiar head or first flowing of water from one to two feet high at spring tides, in the river Parret a few miles below and at Bridgewater, and in some other rivers.

[In Johnson's Dictionary this is spelt bore; I prefer the above spelling. I believe the word is derived from the animal Boar, from the noise, rushing, and impetuosity of the water, Todd gives it "a tide swelling above another tide." Writers vary in their opinions on the causes of this phenomenon. St. Pierre. Ouvres, tom vi., p. 234, Ed. Hamburgh, 1797, describes it not exactly the same in the Seine as in the Parret:—"Cette montagne d'eau est produite par les marA"es qui entrent, de la mer dans la Seine, et la font refluer contre son cours. On l'appelle la Barre, parce-qu'elle barre le cours de la Seine. Cette barre est suivA(e d'une seconde barre plus elevA"e, qui la suit a cent toises de distance. Elles courent beaucoup plus vA(te qu'un cheval au galop." He says it is called Bar, because it bars the current. In the Encyclop. Metropol., art. Bore, the editor did not seem more fortunate in his derivation.]

Bobbish. adj. In health, and spirits. [Pirty bobbish, pretty well.] Bonk. s. Bank.

BooAt. s. Boat.

BooAth. pron. Both. "Boo'Ath o' ye; both of you.

Bor'rid. adj. A sow is said to be borrid when she wants the male.

Bote. part. Bought.

Bow. s. A small arched bridge.

Boy's-love. s. Southernwood; a species of mugwort; artemisia abrotonum.

Brave. adj. Well; recovering.

Bran. s. A brand; a stump of a tree, or other irregular and large piece of wood, fit only for burning.

Bran-viA"r. s. A fire made with brands.

Bran'dis. s. A semicircular implement of iron, made to be suspended over the fire, on which various things may be prepared; it is much used for warming milk.

Brash. s. Any sudden development; a crash.

Brick'le, Brick'ly. adj. Brittle; easily broken.

Brim'mle. s. A bramble.

To Bring gwain. v. a. [To bring going.] To spend; to accompany some distance on a journey.

To Brit. v. a. To indent; to make an impression: applied to solid bodies.

Brock. s. An irregular piece of peat dried for fuel; a piece of turf. See TURF.

Bruck'le, Bruck'ly. adj. Not coherent; easily separable: applied to solid bodies. "My things are but in a bruckle state." Waverley, v. 2, p. 328, edit. 1821. See BRICKLE.

Bruck'leness. s. The state of being bruckle.

To Buck. v. n. To swell out.

To Bud'dle. v. To suffocate in mud.

To Bulge. v. a. To indent; to make an irregular impression on a solid body; to bruise. It is also used in a neuter sense.

Bulge. s. An indentation; an irregular impression made on some solid body; a swelling outwards or depression inwards.

Bul'len. adj. Wanting the bull.

Bul'lins. s. pl. Large black sloes; a variety of the wild plum.

Bun'gee. s. (g hard), Any thing thick and squat.

Bunt, Bunting, s. Bolting cloth.

Bunt. s. A bolting-mill.

To Bunt. v. a. To separate flour from the bran.

Bur'cot. s. A load.

Buss. s. A half grown calf.

But. s. A conical and peculiar kind of basket or trap used in large numbers for catching salmon in the river Parret. The term but, would seem to be a generic one, the actual meaning of which I do not know; it implies, however, some containing vessel or utensil. See BEE-BUT. But, applied to beef, always means buttock.

Butter-and-eggs. s. A variety of the daffodil.

Bwile. v. Boil.

Bwye. interj. Bye! adieu. This, as well as good-bye and good-bwye, is evidently corrupted from God be with you; God-be-wi' ye, equivalent to the French A Dieu, to God. Bwye, and good-bwye, are, therefore, how vulgar soever they may seem, more analogous than bye and good-bye.


Callyvan'. s. A pyramidal trap for catching birds.

Car'riter. s. Character.

CAcs. Because.

Cass'n, Cass'n't. Canst not: as, Thee cass'n do it, thou canst not do it.

Catch corner. A game commonly called elsewhere puss in the corner.

Cat'terpillar. s. The cockchafer; Scarabeus melolontha.

West of the Parret this insect is called wock-web, oak-web, because it infests the oak, and spins its web on it in great numbers.

ChaA-ty. adj. Careful; nice; delicate.

To Cham. v. a. To chew.

ChAimer. s. A chamber.

Change, s. A shift; the garment worn by females next the skin.

Chay'er. s. A chair; chayer—Chaucer.

Chick-a-beedy. s. A chick.

'Chill. I will.

Chim'ley. s. A chimney.

Chine. s. The prominence of the staves beyond the head of a cask. This word is well known to coopers throughout England, and ought to be in our dictionaries.

To Chis'som. v. n. To bud; to shoot out.

Chis'som. s. a small shoot; a budding out.

Chit'terlins. s. pl. The frills around the bosom of shirt.

Choor. s. A job; any dirty household work; a troublesome job.

Choor'er, Choor'-woman. s. A woman who goes out to do any kind of odd and dirty work; hence the term char-woman in our polished dialect; but it ought to be choor-woman.

To ChoA ry. v. To do any kind of dirty household work.

Chub'by. adj. Full, swelling; as chubby-faced.

Claps, s. A clasp.

To claps, v. a. To clasp.

ClAivy and ClAivy-piece. s. A mantel-piecce.

[Clavy was probably given to that piece of wood or other material laid over the front of the fireplace, because in many houses the keys are often hung on nails or pins driven into it; hence from clavis (Latin) a key, comes clavy, the place where the keys are hung.]

Clavy-tack. s. The shelf over [tacked on to] the mantel- piece.

Clear-and-sheer. adv. Completely; totally.

Cleve-pink. s. A species of Carnation which grows wild in the crannies of Cheddar-cliffs: a variety of the Dianthus deltoides; it has an elegant smell.

To Clim, to Climmer. v. a. To climb; to clamber.

Clin'kers. Bricks or other earthy matter run into irregular shapes by action of heat.

Clinker-bell. s. An icicle.

Clint. v.a. To clench; to finish; to fasten firmly.

Cliver-and-Shiver. adv. Completely; totally.

Clit. v. n. To be imperfectly fermented: applied to bread.

Clit'ty. adj. Imperfectly fermented.

Clize. s. A place or drain for the discharge of water regulated by a valve or door, which permits a free outlet, but no inlet for return of water.

CoAse. adj. Coarse.

Coathe. v. a. To bane: applied to sheep.

Cob-wall, s. Mud-wall; a wall made of clay mixed with straw.

Cockygee. s. Cockagee; a rough sour apple.

Cocklawt. s. A garret; cock-loft.

Originally, most probably, a place where the fowls roosted.

Cock-squailing. s. A barbarous game, consisting in tying a cock to a stake, and throwing a stick at him from a distance till he is killed.

Cock-and-Mwile. s. A jail.

Col'ley, s. A blackbird.

To Collogue, v. n. To associate in order to carry out some improper purpose, as thieves. [Two such rascals collogue together for mischief. Rob Roy, p. 319, ed. 1821.]

Collo'gin. s. (g hard). An association for some improper purpose.

[Johnson defines it flattery; wheedling; which does not convey the correct meaning.]

Colt-ale, s. (Sometimes called footing or foot-ale) literally ale given, or money paid for ale, by a person entering on a new employment, to those already in it.

Comforts (comfits.) s. pl. Sugared corianders, cinnamon, &c.

Com'ical. adj. Odd; singular.

Contraption. s. Contrivance; management.

Coop. interj. Come up! a word of call to fowls to be fed.

To Cork. v. a. Cawk; calk; to set on a horse's shoes sharp points of iron to prevent slipping on ice.

To Count, v. n. To think; to esteem.

Cow-baby, s. A coward; a timid person.

To Crap, to Crappy. v. n. to snap; to break with a sudden sound; to crack.

Crap. s. A smart sudden sound.

Craup. preterite of creep.

Cre'aped. Crept.

Creem. s. Sudden shivering.

CreA(my. adj. Affected with sudden shivering.

Creeplin. part. Creeping.

Crips. adj. Crisp.

Criss-cross-lain. s. The alphabet; so called in consequence of its being formerly preceded in the horn-book by a cross to remind us of the cross of Christ; hence the term. Christ-Cross- line came at last to mean nothing more than the alphabet.

Crock, s. A bellied pot, of iron or other metal, for boiling food.

Croom. s. A crumb; a small bit.

Crowd-string, s. A fiddle-string.

Crowdy-kit. s. A small fiddle.

Crow'ner. s. A coroner.

To be Crowned. v. pass. To have an inquest held over a dead body by the coroner.

Crowst. s. Crust.

Crow'sty. adj. Crusty, snappish, surly.

Crub, Crubbin. s. Food: particularly bread and cheese.

Cubby-hole. s. A snug, confined place.

Cuckold s. The plant burdock.

To Cull. v. n. To take hold round the neck with the arms.

Cute. adj. [Acute] sharp; clever.

Cutty. adj. Small; diminutive.

Cutty, Cutty-wren.s. A wren.


DA'. s. Day.

DA yze. Days.

Dade. Dead.

Dad'dick. s. Rotten wood.

Dad'dicky. adj. Rotten, like daddick.

Dame. s. This word is originally French, and means in that language, lady; but in this dialect it means a mistress; an old woman; and never a lady; nor is it applied to persons in the upper ranks of society, nor to the very lowest; when we say dame Hurman, or dame Bennet, we mean the wife of some farmer; a school-mistress is also sometimes called dame (dame-schools).

Dang. interj. Generally followed by pronoun, as dang it; dang Am; od dang it: [an imprecation, a corruption of God dang it (God hang it) or more likely corruption of damn.]

Dap, v. n. To hop; to rebound.

Dap. s. A hop; a turn. To know the daps of a person is, to know his disposition, his habits, his peculiarities.

Dap'ster. s. A proficient.

To Daver. v. n. To fade; to fall down; to droop.

Dav'ison. s. A species of wild plum, superior to the bullin.

Daw'zin. s. The passing over land with a bent hazel rod, held in a certain direction, to discover whether veins of metal or springs are below, is called Dawzin, which is still practised in the mining districts of Somersetshire. There is an impression among the vulgar, that certain persons only have the gift of the divining rod, as it has been sometimes called; by the French, Baguette Devinatoire.

Ray, in his Catalogus Plantarum AngliA , &c., Art. Corylus, speaks of the divining rod: " Vulgus metallicorum ad virgulam divinum, ut vocant, quAc venas metallorum inquA-rit prA cA teris furcam eligit colurnam." More may be seen in John Bauhin.

Des'perd. adj. [Corrupted from desperate.] Very, extremely; used in a good as well as a bad sense: desperd good; desperd bad.

Dewberry, s. A species of blackberry.

Dibs. s. pl. Money.

Did'dlecome. adj. Half-mad; sorely vexed.

Dig'ence. s. [g hard, diggunce, Dickens] a vulgar word for the Devil.

Dird. s. Thread.

Dirsh, s. A thrush.

Dirten. adj. Made of dirt.

Dock. s. A crupper.

Doe. part. Done.

To Doff. v. a. To put off.

To Don. v. a. To put on.

Donnins. s. pl. Dress; clothes.

Dough-fig. s. A fig; so called, most probably, from its feeling like dough. JUNIUS has dotefig: I know not where he found it. See FIG.

To Dout. v. a. To extinguish; to put out.

To Downarg. v. a. [To argue one down]; to contradict; to contend with.

Dowst. s. Dust; money; Down wi' tha dowst! Put down the money!

Dowsty. adj. Dusty.

[Dr used for thr in many words:] as droo for through.

Draffit. s. [I suppose from draught-vat.] A vessel to hold pot-liquor and other refuse from the kitchen for pigs.

Drang. s. A narrow path.

To Drash. v. a. To thresh.

Dras'hel. s. The threshold; a flail.

Dras'her. s. A thresher.

Drauve. s. A drove, or road to fields.

Drawt. s. Throat.

To Drean. v. n. To drawl in reading or speaking.

Drean. s. A drawling in reading or speaking.

Dreaten. v. Threaten.

Dree. a. Three.

To Dring. v. n. To throng; to press, as in a crowd; to thrust.

Dring'et. s. A crowd; a throng.

To Droa. v. a. To throw.

Droa. Throw.

DrooAte. Throat.

Drob. v. Rob.

Drode (throw'd). part. Threw, thrown.

Droo. prep. Through.

To drool. v. n. To drivel.

To Drow. v. n., v. a. To dry.

The hay do'nt drowy at all. See the observations which precede this vocabulary.

Drowth. s. Dryness; thirst.

Drow'thy. adj. Dry; thirsty.

Drove. s. A road leading to fields, and sometimes from one village to another. Derived from its being a way along which cattle are driven. RAY uses the word in his Catalogus Plantorum AngliA , &c., Art. Chondrilla.

To Drub. v. n., v. a. To throb; to beat.

Drubbin. s. A beating.

To Druck. v. a. To thrust down; to cram; to press.

Dub, Dub'bed, Dub'by. adj. Blunt; not pointed; squat.

Dub'bin. s. Suet.

Duck-an-Mallard. s. (Duck and Drake) a play of throwing slates or flat stones horizontally along the water so as to skim the surface and rise several times before they sink. "Hen pen, Duck-an-Mallard, Amen."

To Dud'der. v. a. To deafen with noise; to render the head confused.

Duds. s. pl. Dirty cloaths.

Dum'bledore. s. A humble-bee; a stupid fellow.

Dunch, (Dunce?). adj. Deaf.

As a deaf person is very often, apparently at least, stupid; a stupid, intractable person is, therefore, called a DUNCE: one who is deaf and intractable. What now becomes of Duns Scotus, and all the rest of the recondite observations bestowed upon DUNCE?—See GROSE.

I have no doubt that Dunch is Anglo-Saxon, although I cannot find it in any of our old dictionaries, except Bailey's. But it ought not to be forgotten, that many words are floating about which are being arrested by our etymologists in the present advancing age of investigation.

Durns. s. pl. A door-frame.

Dwon't, Dwon. v. (Don't) do not.


Eake. adv. Also.

Ear-wrig. s. Earwig.

This word ought to be spelled Earwrig, as it is derived, doubtless, from wriggle. See WRIGGLE.

Eese. adv. Yes.

Eet. adv. Yet.

El'men. adj. Of or belonging to elm; made of elm.

El'ver. s. A young eel.

Em'mers. s. pl. Embers.

Emmet-batch, s. An ant-hill.

To Empt. v.a. To empty.

En. pron.Him; a zid en; he saw him.

Er. pron. He. [Used West of the Parret.]

Eth. s. Earth.

To Eve. v.n. To become damp; to absorb moisture from the air.

Evet. s. A lizard.

Ex. s. An axle.


Fags! interj. Truly; indeed.

Fayer. s. and adj. Fair.

To Fell. v.a. To sew in a particular manner; to inseam.

This word is well known to the ladies, I believe, all over the kingdom; it ought to be in our dictionaries.

Fes'ter. s. An inflammatory tumour.

Few, Veo. adj. More commonly pronounced veo. Little; as a few broth.

Fig. s. A raisin.

Figged-pudding. s. a pudding with raisins in it; plum- pudding.

FildA"fare. s. A Fieldfare. "Farewell fieldA"fare." Chaucer. Meaning that, as fieldfares disappear at a particular season, the season is over, the bird is flown.

Fil'try. s. Filth; nastiness; rubbish.

Firnd. v. To find.

Firnd. s. Friend.

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

Fit'ten, Vit'ten. s. A feint; a pretence.

Flap-jack. s. A fried cake made of batter, apples, &c.; a fritter.

To Flick. v.a. To pull out suddenly with some pointed instrument.

Flick-tooth-comb. s. A comb with coarse teeth for combing the hair.

Flick. s. The membrane loaded with fat, in the bellies of animals: a term used by butchers.

Flook. s. An animal found in the liver of sheep, similar in shape to a flook or flounder.

Flush. adj. Fledged; able to fly: (applied to young birds.)

FooAse. s. Force. See VooAse.

To FooAse. v.a. To force.

Foo'ter. s. [Fr. foutre] A scurvy fellow; a term of contempt.

Foo'ty. adj. Insignificant; paltry; of no account.

For'rel. s. the cover of a book.

Forweend'. adj. Humoursome; difficult to please: (applied to children).

Fout. preterite. of to fight.

French-nut. s. A walnut.

To Frump. v.a. To trump up.

To Frunt. v.a. To affront.

To Fur. v.a. To throw.

Fur'cum. s. The bottom: the whole.

Fur'nis. s. A large vessel or boiler, used for brewing, and other purposes; fixed with bricks and mortar, and surrounded with flues, for the circulation of heat, and exit of smoke.


Gaern. s. A garden.

Gale. s. An old bull castrated.

Gal'libagger. s. [From gally and beggar] A bug-bear.

Gal'lise. s. The gallows.

Gallid. adj. Frightened.

To Gal'ly. v. a. To frighten.

Gallant'ing, Galligant'ing. part. Wandering about in gaiety and enjoyment: applied chiefly to associations of the sexes.

Gam'bril. s. A crooked piece of wood used by butchers to spread, and by which to suspend the carcase.

Gan'ny-cock. s. A turkey-cock.

Ganny-cock's Snob. s. The long membranous appendage at the beak, by which the cock-turkey is distinguished.

Gare. s. The iron work for wheels, waggons, &c., is called ire-gare; accoutrements.

Gate-shord. s. A gate-way; a place for a gate.

Gat'fer. s. An old man.

Gaw'cum. s. A simpleton; a gawkey.

Gawl-cup. s. Gold cup.

To Gee. v.n. [g soft] To agree; to go on well together.

To Gee. v.n. [g hard; part, and past tense, gid.] To give. Gee often includes the pronoun, thus, "I'll gee" means I'll give you; the gee, and ye for you, combining into gee.

To G'auf. v.n. To go off.

To G'auver. v.n. To go over.

To G'in. v.n. To go in.

To G'on. v.n. To go on.

To G'out. v.n. To go out.

To G'under. v.n. To go under,

To G'up. v.n. To go up.

Gib'bol. s. [g soft] The sprout of an onion of the second year.

Gid. pret. v. Gave.

Gifts. The white spots frequently seen on the finger nails.

Gig'letin. adj. Wanton; trifling; applied to the female sex.

Gil'awfer. s. A term applied to all the kinds of flowers termed stocks; and also to a few others: as a Whitsuntide gilawfer, a species of Lychnidea.

Gim'mace. s. A hinge.

Gim'maces. s. pl. When a criminal is gibbeted, or hung in irons or chains, he is said to be hung in Gimmaces, most probably because the apparatus swings about as if on hinges.

Ginnin. s. Beginning.

Girnin. part. Grinning.

Girt. adj. Great.

Gird'l. Contracted from great deal; as, gird'l o' work; great deal of work.

To Glare. v. a. To glaze earthenware.

Glare. s. The glaze of earthenware.

G'lore. adv. In plenty.

This word, without the apostrophe, Glore, is to be found in Todd's Johnson, and there defined fat. The true meaning is, I doubt not, as above; fat g'lore, is fat in plenty.

Gold. s. The shrub called sweet-willow or wild myrtle; Myrica gale.

This plant grows only in peat soils; it is abundant in the boggy moors of Somersetshire; it has a powerful and fragrant smell.

Gold-cup. s. A species of crow-foot, or ranunculus, growing plentifully in pastures; ranunculus pratensis.

To Goo. v. n. [Gwain, going; gwon, gone.] To go.

Gookoo. s. Cookoo.

Goo'ner. interj. Goodnow!

Good'-Hussey. s. A thread-case.

Goose-cap. s. A silly person.

Graint'ed. adj. Fixed in the grain; difficult to be removed; dirty.

Gram'fer. s. Grandfather.

Gram'mer. s. Grandmother.

To Gree. v. n. To agree.

Gribble. s. A young apple-tree raised from seed.

To Gripe, v. a. To cut into gripes. See GRIPE.

Gripe. s. [from Dutch, groep.] A small drain, or ditch, about a foot deep, and six or eight inches wide.

In English Dictionaries spelled grip.

Griping-line. s. A line to direct the spade in cutting gripes.

Groan'in. s. Parturition; the time at which a woman is in labour.

Ground, s. A field.

Gro'zens. s. pl. The green minute round-leaved plants growing upon the surface of water in ditches; duck's-meat; the Lens palustris of Ray.

Gruff. s. A mine.

Gruf'fer. Gruf'fier. s. A miner.

To Gud'dle. v. n. To drink much and greedily.

Gud'dler. s. A greedy drinker; one who is fond of liquor.

To Gulch, v. n. To swallow greedily.

Gulch. s. A sudden swallowing.

Gump'tion. s. Contrivance; common sense.

Gum'py. adj. Abounding in protuberances.

Gurds. s. pl. Eructations. [By Fits and gurds.]

Guss. s. A girth.

To Guss. v. a. To girth.

Gwain. part. Going.

Gwon. part. Gone.


Hack. s. The place whereon bricks newly made are arranged to dry.

To Hain. v. a. To exclude cattle from a field in order that the grass may grow, so that it may be mowed.

Hal'lantide. s. All Saints' day.

Ham. s. A pasture generally rich, and also unsheltered, applied only to level land.

Hame. sing., Hames. pl. s. Two moveable pieces of wood or iron fastened upon the collar, with suitable appendages for attaching a horse to the shafts. Called sometimes a pair of hames.

Han'dy. adv. Near, adjoining.

Hang-gallise. adj. Deserving the gallows, felonious, vile; as, a hang-gallise fellow.

Hange. s. The heart, liver, lungs, &c., of a pig, calf, or sheep.

Hang'kicher. s. Handkerchief.

Hangles. s. pl. A pair of hangles is the iron crook, &c., composed of teeth, and hung over the fire, to be moved up and down at pleasure for the purpose of cookery, &c.

To Happer. v. n. To crackle; to make repeated smart noises.

To Haps. v. a. To Hasp.

Haps. s. A hasp.

Hard. adj. Full grown. Hard people, adults.

Harm. s. Any contagious or epidemic disease not distinguished by a specific name.

Har'ras. s. Harvest.

Hart. s. A haft; a handle.

Applied to such instruments as knives, awls, etc.

Hathe. s. To be in a hathe, is to be set thick and close like the pustules of the small-pox or other eruptive disease; to be matted closely together.

To Have. v. n. To behave.

Haw. See ho.

Hay-maidens. s. pl. Ground ivy.

Hay'ty-tay'ty, Highty-tity. interj. What's here! s. [height and tite, weight]. A board or pole, balanced in the middle on some prop, so that two persons, one sitting at each end, may move up and down in turn by striking the ground with the feet. Sometimes called Tayty [See-saw].

In Hay'digees. [g soft] adv. To be in high spirits; to be frolicsome.

HeAt s. Pronounced He-at, dissyllable, heat.

Hea'ram-skearam. adj. Wild; romantic.

To Heel, v. a. To hide; to cover. Chaucer, "hele." Hence, no doubt, the origin of to heal, to cure, as applied to wounds; to cover over.

Heeler, s. One who hides or covers. Hence the very common expression, The healer is as bad as the stealer; that is, the receiver is as bad as the thief.

Heft. s. Weight.

To Hell. v. a. To pour.

Hel'lier. s. A person who lays on the tiles of a roof; a tiler. A Devonshire word.

Helm. s. Wheat straw prepared for thatching.

To Hen. v. a. To throw.

To Hent. v. n. To wither; to become slightly dry.

Herd s. A keeper of cattle.

Hereawa, Hereaway. adv. Hereabout.

Herence. adv. From this place; hence.

Hereright. adv. Directly; in this place.

Het. pron. It. Het o'nt, it will not.

To Het. v. a. To hit, to strike; part. het and hut.

To Hick. v.n. To hop on one leg.

Hick. s. A hop on one leg.

Hick-step and jump. Hop-step and jump. A well known exercise.

To Hike of. v. n. To go away; to go off. Used generally in a bad sense.

Hine. adj. (Hind) Posterior; relating to the back part. Used only in composition, as, a hine quarter.

To Hire tell. v. n. To hear tell; to learn by report; to be told.

Hip'pety-hoppety. adv. In a limping and hobbling manner.

Hirches. s. riches.

Hir'd. v. [i long] heard.

To Him. v. n. [hirnd, pret, and part.] To run.

To Hitch, v. n. To become entangled or hooked together; to hitch up, to hang up or be suspended. See the next word.

To Hitch up. v. a. To suspend or attach slightly or temporarily.

The following will exemplify the active meaning of this verb:

Sir Strut, for so the witling throng Oft called him when at school, And hitch'd him up in many a song To sport and ridicule.

Hiz'en. Used for his when not followed by a substantive, as, whose house is that? Hiz'en. [His own].

Hi'zy Pi'zy. A corruption of Nisi Prius, a well known law assize.

To Ho for, To Haw vor. v. a. To provide for; to take care of; to desire; to wish for.

Hob'blers. s. pl. Men employed in towing vessels by a rope on the land.

Hod. s. A sheath or covering; perhaps from hood.

Hog. s. A sheep one year old.

To Hoke. v. a. To wound with horns; to gore.

Hod'medod. adj. Short; squat.

Hollar. adj. Hollow.

To Hollar. v. a. To halloo.

Hollar. s. A halloo.

Hol'lardy. s. A holiday.

Hollardy-day. s. Holy-rood day; the third of May.

Hollabeloo'. s. A noise; confusion; riot.

Hol'men. adj. Made of holm.

Holt. interj. Hold; stop. Holt-a-blow, give over fighting.

Ho'mescreech. s. A bird which builds chiefly in apple- trees; I believe it is the Turdus viscivorus, or missel.

Hon. s. hand.

Honey-suck, Honey-suckle. s. The wodbine.

Honey-suckle. s. Red Clover.

Hoo'say. See WHOSAY.

Hoop. s. A bullfinch.

Hor'nen. adj. Made of horn.

Hornen-book. s. Hornbook.

Horse-stinger. s The dragon-fly.

Hoss. s. horse.

Hoss-plAcs s. pl. Horse-plays; rough sports.

Houzen. s. pl. Houses.

Howsomiver. adv. However; howsoever.

Huck'muck. s. A strainer placed before the faucet in the mashing-tub.

Hud. s. A hull, or husk.

Huf. s A hoof.

Huf-cap s. A plant, or rather weed, found in fields, and with difficulty eradicated.

I regret that I cannot identify this plant with any known botanical name.

Graced with huff-cap terms and thundering threats, That his poor hearers' hair quite upright sets.

Bp. Hall, Book I, Sat. iii.

Some editor of Hall has endeavoured to explain the term huff-cap by blustering, swaggering. I think it simply means difficult.

Hug. s. The itch. See SHAB (applied to brutes. )

Hug-water. s. Water to cure the hug. See SHAB.

To Hul'der. v. a. To hide; conceal.

Hul'ly. s. A peculiarly shaped long wicker trap used for catching eels.

To Hulve. v. a. To turn over; to turn upside down.

Hum'drum. s. A small low three-wheeled cart, drawn usually by one horse: used occasionally in agriculture.

From the peculiarity of its construction, it makes a kind of humming noise when it is drawn along; hence, the origin of the adjective humdrum.

Hunt-the-slipper. s. A well-known play.


I. ad. Yes; I, I, yes, yes; most probably a corrupt pronunciation of ay.

Inin. s. Onion.

Ire. s. Iron.

Ire-gare. s. See GARE.

Ise. pron. I. See UTCHY, [West of the Parret].

Ist. [i long]. s. East.

Istard. [i long]. adv. Eastward.

It. _adv._ Yet, [pronouced both _it_ and _eet>]. see N'eet.


Jack-in-the-Lanthorn, Joan-in-the-Wad. s. The meteor usually called a Will with the Wisp.

Ignis Fatuus.—Arising from ignition of phosphorus from rotten leaves and decayed vegetable matters.

Jaunders. s. The jaundice.

To Jee. v. n. To go on well together; see To GEE. Jif'fey. s. A short time: an instant.

Jist. adv. Just.

Jitch, Jitchy. adj. Such.

Jod. s. The letter J.

Jorum. s. A large jug, bowl, &c., full of something to be eaten or drank.

To Jot. v. a. To disturb in writing; to strike the elbow.


The sound K is often displaced by substituting qu, as for coat, corn, corner, cost; quoat or (quA"t) quoin, quiner, quost.

Keck'er. s. The windpipe; the trachea.

Keep. s. A basket, applied only to large baskets.

To Keeve. v. a. To put the wort in a keeve for some time to ferment.

Keeve. s. A large tub or vessel used in brewing. A mashing- tub is sometimes called a keeve.

Kef'fel. s. A bad and worn out horse.

To Kern. v. n. To turn from blossom to fruit: the process of turning from blossom to fruit is called kerning.

Kex, Kexy. s. The dry stalks of some plants, such as Cows- parsley and Hemlock, are called Kexies. As dry as a kexy is a common simile.

Kill. s. A Kiln.

Kil'ter. s. Money.

King'bow, or rather, a-kingbow. adv. Kimbo.

Chaucer has this word kenebow, which is, perhaps, the true one—a kenebow, implying a bow with a keen or sharp angle.

"He set his arms in kenebow."

CHAUCER, Second Merchant's Tale.

Or place the arms a-Kingbow, may be to place them in a consequential manner of commanding, like a king.

Kir'cher. s. The midriff; the diaphragm.

Kirsmas. s. Christmas.

Kirsen. v. a. To Christen.

[These two words are instances of the change of place of certain letters, particularly r.]

Kit. s. A tribe; a collection; a gang.

Kit'tle, Kittle-smock. s. A smock frock.

Knack-kneed. adj. In-kneed; having the knees so grown that they strike [knock] against each other.

Knot'tlins. s. pl. The intestines of a pig or calf prepared for food by being tied in knots and afterwards boiled.


Lade-Pail. s. A small pail, with a long handle, used for the purpose of filling other vessels.

LAideshrides. s. pl. The sides of the waggon which project over the wheels. See SHRIDE.

Ladies-smock. s. A species of bindweed; Convolvulus sepium. See WITHY-WINE.

Lady Buddick. s. A rich and early ripe apple.

Lady-cow. s. A lady-bird; the insect Coccinella Septempunctata.

Lady's-hole. s. A game at cards.

Lai'ter. s. The thing laid; the whole quantity of eggs which a hen lays successively.

She has laid out her laiter.

Lamager. adj. Lame; crippled; laid up.

Larks-leers. s. pl. Arable land not in use; such is much frequented by larks; any land which is poor and bare of grass.

Lart, Lawt. s. The floor: never applied to a stone floor, but only to wooden floors; and those up stairs.

Las-charg'eable! interj. Be quiet! The last chargeable: that is, he who last strikes or speaks in contention is most blamable.

LAct. s. A lath.

Lat'itat. s. A noise; a scolding.

Lat'tin. s. Iron, plates covered with tin.

Lattin. adj. Made of lattin; as a lattin saucepan, a lattin teakettle, &c.

Laugh-and-lie-down. s. A common game at cards.

To Lave. v. a. To throw water from one place to another.

To Le'At. v. n. To leak.

Le'At. s. A leak; a place where water is occasionally let out.

Leath'er. v. a. To beat.

Leathern-mouse, s. A bat.

Leer. adj. Empty.

Leer. s. The flank.

Leers. s. pl. Leas; rarely used: but I think it always means stubble land, or land similar to stubble land.

Lent. s. Loan; the use of any thing borrowed.

Lew. adj. Sheltered; defended from storms, or wind

Lew, Lewth. s. Shelter; defence from storm or wind.

Lib'et. s. A piece; a tatter.

Lid'den. s. A story; a song.

Lie-lip. s. A square wooden vessel having holes in its bottom, to contain wood-ashes for making lie.

Lights. s. pl. The lungs.

Lighting-stock. s. A horse-block; steps of wood or stone, made to ascend and descend from a horse.

Lim'bers, Lim'mers. s. pl. The shafts of a waggon, cart, &c.

Linch. s. A ledge; a rectangular projection; whence the term linch-pin (a pin with a linch), which JOHNSON has, but not linch.

The derivations of this word, linch-pin by our etymologists, it will be seen, are now inadmissable.

To Line. v. n. To lean; to incline towards or against something.

Lin'ny. s. An open shed, attached to barns, outhouses, &c.

Lip, Lip'pen. s. A generic term for several containing vessels, as bee-lippen, lie-lip, seed-lip, &c. which see.

Lip'ary. adj. Wet, rainy. Applied to the seasons: a lipary time.

To Lir'rop. v. a. To beat.

This is said to be a corruption of the sea term, lee-rope.

Lis'som. adj. Lithe; pliant. Contracted from light- some, or lithe-some.

List, Lis'tin. s. The strip or border on woollen cloth.

Lis'tin. adj. Made of list.

To Lob. v. n. To hang down; to droop.

Lock. s. A small quantity; as a lock of hay, a lock of straw.

Lock-a-Daisy. interj. of surprise or of pleasure.

Lockyzee. interj. Look, behold! Look you, see!

To Long. v. n. To belong.

Long'ful. adj. Long in regard to time.

Lose-Leather. To be galled by riding.

Lowance. s. Allowance: portion.

Lug. s. A heavy pole; a pole; a long rod.

I incline to think this is the original of log.

Lug-lain. s. Full measure; the measure by the lug or pole.

Lump'er. v. n. To lumber; to move heavily; to stumble.


Mace. s. pl. Acorns.

Madam. s. Applied to the most respectable classes of society: as, Madam Greenwood, Madam Saunders, &c.

Mallard. s. A male duck.

To Manche, to Munche. v. a. To chew. Probably from manger, French.

Man'der. s. A corruption of the word, manner, used only in the sense of sort or kind: as, Acll mander o' things; all sorts of things.

To Mang. v. a. To mix.

Mang-hangle. adj. Mixed in a wild and confused manner.

To maw. v. a. To mow.

Maw'kin. s. A cloth, usually wetted and attached to a pole, to sweep clean a baker's oven. See SLOMAKING.

May. s. The blossom of the white thorn.

May-be, MAc-be. adv. Perhaps; it may be.

May-fool. s. Same as April fool.

May-game, MAc-game. s. A frolic; a whim.

To Meech. v. n. To play truant; to absent from school without leave.

Meech'er. s. A truant.

To Mell. v. a. To meddle; to touch. I'll neither mell nor make: that is, I will have nothing to do with it. I ont mell o't, I will not touch it.

"Of eche mattir thei wollin mell."

CHAUCER'S Plowman's Tale.

Mesh. s. Moss; a species of lichen which grows plentifully on apple trees.

To Mess, To Messy. v. a. to serve cattle with hay.

Messin. s. The act of serving cattle with hay.

Mid. v. aux. Might, may.

To Miff. v. a. To give a slight offence; to displease.

Miff. s. A slight offence; displeasure.

Mig. s. As sweet as mig is a common simile; I suspect that mig means mead, the liquor made from honey.

Milt. s. The spleen.

Mi'lemas. Michaelmas.

Min. A low word, implying contempt, addressed to the person to whom we speak, instead of Sir. I'll do it, min.

Mine. v. Mind; remember.

Mix'en. s. A dunghill.

Miz'maze. s. Confusion.

Mom'macks. s. pl. Pieces; fragments.

Mom'met, Mom'mick. s. A scarecrow; something dressed up in clothes to personate a human being.

Moor-coot. s. A moor hen.

To Moot. v. a. To root up.

Moot. s. A stump, or root of a tree.

To More. v. n. To root; to become fixed by rooting.

More. s. A root.

Mought. v. aux. Might.

Mouse-snap, s. A mouse trap.

Mug'gets. s. pl. The intestines of a calf or sheep. Derived, most probably, from maw and guts.

To Mult. v. To melt.

Mus' goo. must go.

'Mus'd. Amused.


Many words beginning with a vowel, following the article an, take the n from an; as, an inch, pronounced a ninch.

Na'atal. adj. natural.

Na'atally. adv. naturally.

NaAse. s. noise.

Nan. interjec. Used in reply, in conversation or address, the same as Sir, when you do not understand.

NAcnt. s. Aunt.

Nap. s. A small rising; a hillock.

NAction. adv. Very, extremely: as nation good; nation bad.

Nawl. s. An awl.

Nawl. s. The navel.

Nawl-cut. s. A piece cut out at the navel: a term used by butchers.

N'eet, N'it. adv. Not yet.

Nestle Tripe. s. The weakest and poorest bird in the nest; applied, also, to the last-born, and usually the weakest child of a family; any young, weak, and puny child, or bird

New-qut-and-jerkin. s. A game at cards in a more refined dialect new-coat and jerkin.

Nif. conj. If.

Nill. s. A needle.

Nist, Nuost. prep. Nigh, near.

Niver-tha-near. adv. (Never-the-near), To no purpose, uselessly.

Nona'tion. adj. Difficult to be understood; not intelligent; incoherent, wild.

Nor'ad. adv. Northward.

Nora'tion. s. Rumour; clamour.

Nor'ra un, Nor'ry un. Never a one.

Norn. pron. Neither. Norn o'm, neither of them.

Nor'thering. adj. Wild, incoherent, foolish.

Nort. s. Nothing. West of the Parret.

Not-sheep. s. A sheep without horns.

Not. s. The place where flowers are planted is usually called the flower not, or rather, perhaps, knot; a flower bed.

Not'tamy. s. Corrupted from anatomy: it means very often, the state of body, mere skin and bone.

Nottlins. s. pl. See KNOTTLINS.

Num'met. s. A. short meal between breakfast and dinner; nunchion, luncheon. Nuncle. s. An uncle.

To Nuncle. v. a. To cheat.

Nuth'er. adv. Neither.


O'. prep. for of.

Obstrop'ilous. adj. Obstinate, resisting [obstreperous.]

Odments. s. pl. Odd things, offals. Office. s. The eaves of a house.

Old-qut-and-jerkin. s. A game at cards; in a more refined dialect, old-coat-and-jerkin; called also five cards.

To Onlight. v. n. To alight; to get off a horse.

O'Ant (for w'on't). Will not. This expression is used in almost all the persons, as I Ant, he Ant, we Ant, they, or thAc Ant; I will not, he will not, etc.

Ont, O't. Of it. I a done ont; I a done o't: I have done of it.

Ool. v. aux. Will.

Ope. s. An opening—the distance between bodies arranged in order.

Or'chit. s. An orchard.

Ornd. pret. Ordained, fated.

Orn. pron. Either. Orn o'm, either of them.

Or'ra one, Or'ryone. Any one; ever a one. Ort. s. Anything. [West of the Parret.]

Ort. s. Art.

Oten. adv. Often.

Ourn. pron. Ours.

To Overget. v. a. To overtake.

To Overlook, v. a. To bewitch.

Overlookt. part. Bewitched.

Over-right, Auver-right. adv. Opposite; fronting.

Overs. s. p. The perpendicular edge, usually covered with grass, on the sides of salt-water rivers is called overs.


Pack-an-Penny-Day. s. The last day of a fair when bargains are usually sold. [Pack, and sell for pennies.]

Parfit. adj. Perfect.

Parfitly. adv. Perfectly.

To Par'get. v. a. To plaster the inside of a chimney with mortar of cowdung and lime.

Par'rick. s. A paddock.

To Payze. v. a. To force, or raise up, with a lever.

To Peach. v. a. To inform against; to impeach.

Peel. s. A pillow, or bolster.

To Peer. v. n. To appear.

Pen'nin. s. The enclosed place where oxen and other animals are fed and watered; any temporary place erected to contain cattle.

Pick. s. A pitch-fork: a two pronged fork for making hay.

Pigs-Hales. s. pl. Haws; the seed of the white thorn.

Pigs-looze. s. A pigsty.

Pilch, Pilcher. s. A baby's woollen clout.

Pill-coal. v. A kind of peat, dug most commonly out of rivers: peat obtained at a great depth, beneath a stratum of clay.

Pil'ler. s. a pillow.

Pilm. s. Dust; or rather fine dust, which readily floats in air.

Pink. s. A chaffinch.

Pip. s. A seed; applied to those seeds which have the shape of apple, cucumber seed, &c.; never to round, or minute seeds.

To Pitch. _v. a. To lay unhewn and unshaped stones together, so as to make a road or way.

To Pitch, in the West of England, is not synonymous with to pave. To pave, means to lay flat, square, and hewn stones or bricks down, for a floor or other pavement or footway. A paved way is always smooth and even; a pitched way always rough and irregular. Hence the distinguishing terms of Pitching and Paving.

Pit'is. adj. Piteous; exciting compassion.

Pit'hole. s. The grave.

To Pix, To Pixy. v. a. To pick up apples after the main crop is taken in; to glean, applied to an orchard only.

Pix'y. s. A sort of fairy; an imaginary being.

Pix'y-led. part. Led astray by pixies.

PlAcd. v. Played.

Pla'zen. s. pl. Places.

To Plim. v. n. To swell; to increase in bulk.

Plough. s. The cattle or horses used for ploughing; also a waggon and horses or oxen.

Pock'fredden. adj. Marked in the face with small pox.

To Pog. v. n. and v. a. To thrust with the fist; to push.

Pog. s. A thrust with the fist; a push; an obtuse blow.

Pollyantice. s. Polyanthus.

To Pom'ster. v. n. To tamper with, particularly in curing diseases; to quack.

Pont'ed. part. Bruised with indentation. Any person wkose skin or body is puffed up by disease, and subject to occasional pitting by pressure, is said to be ponted; but the primary meaning is applied to fruit, as, a ponted apple; in both meanings incipient decay is implied.

Pook. s. The belly; the stomach; a vell.

Popple. s. A pebble: that is, a stone worn smooth, and more or less round, by the action of the waves of the sea.

Pottle-bellied. adj. Potbellied.

To PooAt, To Pote. v. a. To push through any confined opening, or hole.

PooAt-hole, Pote-hole. s. A small hole through which anything is pushed with a stick; a confined place.

PooAty. adj. Confined, close, crammed.

Port'mantle. s. A portmanteau.

Poti'cary. s. An apothecary.

To Poun. v. To pound [to put into the pound, to "lock up"].

A Power of rain. A great deal of rain.

Pruv'd. v. Proved.

To pray. v. a. To drive all the cattle into one herd in a moor; to pray the moor, to search for lost cattle.

Prankin. s. Pranks.

Pud. s. The hand; the fist.

Pulk, Pulker. s A small shallow-place, containing water.

Pull-reed. s. [Pool reed.] A long reed growing in ditches and pools, used for ceiling instead of laths.

Pultry. . Poultry.

Pum'ple. adj. Applied only, as far as I know, in the compound word pumple-voot, a club-foot.

Put. s. A two-wheeled cart used in husbandry, and so constructed as to be turned up at the axle to discharge the load.

Pux'ie. s. A place on which you cannot tread without danger of sinking into it; applied most commonly to places in roads or fields where springs break out.

Pwint. s. Point.


} The sharp-pointed end of a house, where the wall rises perpendicularly from the foundation. Pwinin-end./

Py'e. s. A wooden guide, or rail to hold by, in passing over a narrow wooden bridge.


Qu is in many words used instead of K.

Quare. adj. Queer; odd.

Quar'rel. s. [QuarrA(, French.] A square of window glass.

To Quar. v. a. To raise stones from a quarry.

Quar-man. s. A man who works in a quarry [quar].

Quine. s. Coin, money. A corner.

To Quine. v. a. To coin.

Quoin. Coin.

Quoit. Coit.

QA"t (Quut). s. Coat.


R in many words is wholly omitted, as, Arth. CoAse, Guth, He'Ath, Pason, Vooath, Wuss, &c., for Earth, Coarse, Girth, Hearth, Parson, Forth, Worse.

To Rake Up. v. a. To cover; to bury. To rake the vier. To cover up the fire with ashes, that it may remain burning all night.

Rames. s. pl. The dead stalks of potatoes, cucumbers, and such plants; a skeleton.

Rams-claws. s. pl. The plant called gold cups; ranunculus pratensis.

Ram'shackle. adj. Loose; disjointed.

Ram'pin. part. Distracted, obstreperous: rampin mad, outrageously mad.

Ran'dy, Ran'din. s. A merry-making; riotous living.

Range. s. A sieve.

To Rangle. v. n. To twine, or move in an irregular or sinuous manner. Rangling plants are plants which entwine round other plants, as the woodbine, hops, etc.

Ran'gle. s. A sinuous winding.

Ras'ty. adj. Rancid: gross; obscene.

Rathe-ripe. adj. Ripening early. Rath. English Dictionary:

"The rathe-ripe wits prevent their own perfection."


Raught. part. Reached.

Rawd. part. Rode.

To Rawn. v. a. To devour greedily.

Raw'ny. adj. Having little flesh: a thin person, whose bones are conspicuous, is said to be rawny.

To Ray. v. a. To dress.

To Read. v. a. To strip the fat from the intestines; to read the inward.

Read'ship. s. Confidence, trust, truth.

To Ream. v. a. To widen; to open.

Reamer. s. An instrument used to make a hole larger.

Re'balling. s. The catching of eels with earthworms attached to a ball of lead, hung by a string from a pole.

Reed. s. Wheat straw prepared for thatching.

Reen, Rhine. s. A water-course: an open drain.

To Reeve. v. a. To rivel; to draw into wrinkles.

Rem'let. s. A remnant.

Rev'el. s. A wake.

To Rig. v. n. To climb about; to get up and down a thing in wantonness or sport.

Hence the substantive rig, as used in John Gilpin, by COWPER.

"He little dreamt of running such a rig."

To Rig. v. a. To dress.

Hence, I suspect, the origin of the rigging of a vessel.

Righting-lawn. Adjusting the ridges after the wheat is sown.

Rip. s. A vulgar, old, unchaste woman. Hence, most probably, the origin of Demirip.

Robin-Riddick. s. A redbreast. [Also Rabbin Hirddick; the r and i transposed.]

Rode. s. To go to rode, means, late at night or early in the morning, to go out to shoot wild fowl which pass over head on the wing.

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

To Rough. v. a. To roughen; to make rough.

Round-dock. s. The common mallow; malva sylvestris.

Called round-dock from the roundness of its leaves. CHAUCER has the following expression which has a good deal puzzled the glossarists:

"But canst thou playin raket to and fro, Nettle in, Docke out, now this, now that, Pandare?"

Troilus and Cressida, Book IV.

The round-dock leaves are used at this day as a supposed remedy or charm for the sting of a nettle, by being rubbed on the stung part, with the following words:—

In dock, out nettle, Nettle have a sting'd me.

That is, Go in dock, go out nettle. Now, to play Nettle in Docke out, is to make use of such expedients as shall drive away or remove some previous evil, similar to that of driving out the venom of the nettle by the juice or charm of the dock.

Roz'im. s. A quaint saying; a low proverb. s. Rosin.

Rud'derish. adj. Hasty, rude, without care.

Ruf. s. A roof.

Rum. s. Room; space.

Rum'pus. s A great noise.

This word ought to be in our English Dictionaries.

Rungs. s. pl. The round steps of a ladder.


The sound of S is very often converted into the sound of Z. Thus many of the following words, Sand-tot, Sar, Seed-lip, Silker, Sim, &c., are often pronounced Zand-tot, Zar, ZeeAd-lip, Zilker, Zim, &c.

SAc'cer-eyes. Very large and prominent eyes. [Saucer eyes.

Sand-tot. s. A sandhill.

To Sar. v. a. To serve—Toearn; as, I can sar but zixpence a day.

Sar'ment. s. A sermon.

Sar'rant. s. A servant.

Sar'tin. adj. Certain.

Sar'tinly. adv. Certainly.

Scad. s. A short shower.

Schol'ard. s. A scholar.

Scissis-sheer. s. A scissors-sheath.

Scollop. s. An indentation; notch; collop.

To Scollop. v. a. To indent; to notch.

Scoose wi'. Discourse or talk with you.

To Scot'tle. v. a. To cut into pieces in a wasteful manner.

Scrawf. s. Refuse.

Scrawv'lin. adj. Poor and mean, like scrawf.

Screed. s. A shred.

To Scrunch. v. a. and v. n. The act of crushing and bringing closer together is implied, accompanied with some kind of noise. A person may be said to scrunch an apple or a biscuit, if in eating it he made a noise; so a pig in eating acorns. Mr. SOUTHEY has used the word in Thalaba without the s.

"No sound but the wild, wild wind, "And the snow crunching under his feet."

And, again, in the Anthology, vol 2, p. 240.

"Grunting as they crunch'd the mast."

Scud. s. A scab.

Sea-Bottle. s. Many of the species of the sea-wrack, or fucus, are called sea-bottles, in consequence of the stalks having round or oval vesicles or pods in them; the pod itself.

Sea-crow. s. A cormorant.

Seed-lip. s. A vessel of a particular construction, in which the sower carries the seed.

Sel'times. adv. Not often; seldom.

Shab. s. The itch; the hug. Applied to brutes only.

Shab-water. s. A. water prepared with tobacco, and some mercurial, to cure the shab.

Shabby. adv. Affected with the shab. Hence the origin of the common word shabby, mean, paltry.

Shackle. s. A twisted band. Shal'der. s. A kind of broad flat rush, growing in ditches.

Sharp. s. A shaft of a waggon, &c.

Shatt'n. Shalt not.

Sheer. s. A sheath.

Shil'lith. s. A shilling's worth.

Shine. s. Every shine o'm, is, every one of them.

To Shod. v. a. To shed: to spill.

Sholl. v. Shall.

Shord. s. A sherd; a gap in a hedge. A stop-shord, a stop-gap.

Shower. adj. Sure.

Showl. s. A shovel.

To Showl. v. a. To shovel.

To Shride, To Shroud. v. a. To cut off wood from the sides of trees; or from trees generally.

Shride, Shroud. s. Wood cut off from growing trees. It sometimes means a pole so cut; ladeshrides—shrides placed for holding the load. See LADESHRIDES.

To Shug. v. a. To shrug; to scratch; to rub against.

Shut'tle. adj. Slippery, sliding: applied only to solid bodies. From this word is derived the shuttle (s.) of the weaver.

Sig. s. Urine.

Sil'ker. s. A court-card.

To Sim. v. n. To seem, to appear. This verb is used personally, as, I sim, you sim, for it seems to me, etc.

Sim-like-it. interj. (Seems like it.) Ironically, for very improbable.

Sine. conj. [Probably from seeing or seen.] Since, because.

Single-guss. s. The plant orchis.

Single-stick. s. A game; sometimes called backsword.

Sizes. s. pl. The assizes.

To Skag. To give an accidental blow, so as to tear the clothes or the flesh; to wound slightly.

Skag. s. An accidental blow, as of the heel of the shoe, so as to tear the clothes or the flesh; any slight wound or rent.

To Skeer. v. a. To mow lightly over: applied to pastures which have been summer-eaten, never to meadows. In a neuter sense, to move along quickly, and slightly touching. Hence, from its mode of flight,

Skeer-devil. s. The black martin, or Swift.

Skeer'ings. s. pl. Hay made from pasture land.

Skent'in. adj. When cattle, although well-fed, do not become fat, they are called skentin.

Skenter. s. An animal which will not fatten.

To Skew, To Ski'ver. / v. a. To skewer.

Skiff-handed. adj. Left-handed, awkward.

Skills, Skittles. / s. pl. The play called nine-pins.

Skim'merton. s. To ride Skimmerton, is an exhibition of riding by two persons on a horse, back to back; or of several persons in a cart, having skimmers and ladles, with which they carry on a sort of warfare or gambols, designed to ridicule some one who, unfortunately, possesses an unfaithful wife. This may-game is played upon some other occasion besides the one here mentioned: it occurs, however, very rarely, and will soon, I apprehend, be quite obsolete. See SKIMMINGTON, in Johnson.

Skiv'er. s. A skewer.

To Skram. v. a. To benumb with cold.

Skram. adj. Awkward: stiff, as if benumbed.

"With hondis al forskramyd."

CHAUCER, Second Merchant's Tale.

Skram-handed. adj. Having the fingers or joints of the hand in such a state that it can with difficulty be used; an imperfect hand.

To Skrent. v. a. [An irregular verb.] To burn, to scorch.

Part. Skrent. Scorched.

Skum'mer. s. A foulness made with a dirty liquid, or with soft dirt.

To Skum'mer. v.a. To foul with a dirty liquid, or to daub with soft dirt.

Slait. s. An accustomed run for sheep; hence the place to which a person is accustomed, is called slait.

To Slait. v. a. To accustom.

To Slait. v. a. To make quick-lime in a fit state for use, by throwing water on it; to slack.

To Slat. v. a. To split; to crack; to cleave. To Sleeze. v. n. To separate; to come apart; applied to cloth, when the warp and woof readily separate from each other.

Sleezy. adj. Disposed to sleeze; badly woven.

Slen. adj. Slope.

'Slike. It is like.

Slipper-slopper. adj. Having shoes or slippers down at the heel; loose.

To Slitter. v.n. To slide.

To Slock. v. a. To obtain clandestinely.

To Slock'ster. v. a. To waste.

Slom'aking. adj. Untidy; slatternly (applied to females.)

This word is, probably, derived from slow and mawkin.

Slop'per. adj. Loose; not fixed: applied only to solid bodies.

To Slot'ter. v. n. To dirty; to spill.

Slot'tering. adj. Filthy, wasteful.

Slot'ter. s. Any liquid thrown about, or accidentally spilled on a table, or the ground.

Slug'gardy-guise. s. The habit of a sluggard.

Sluggardy-guise; Loth to go to bed, And loth to rise.

WYAT says—"Arise, for shame; do away your sluggardy."

Sluck'-a-bed, Sluck'-a-trice, } s. A slug-a-bed; a sluggard. Slock'-a-trice. /

Smash. s. A blow or fall, by which any thing is broken. All to smash, all to pieces.

Smeech. s. Fine dust raised in the air.

To Smoor. v. a. To smooth; to pat.

Snags. s. Small sloes: prunus spinosa.

Snag, Snagn. / s. A tooth.

Snaggle'tooth. s. A tooth growing irregularly.

Snarl. s. A tangle; a quarrel. There is also the verb to snarl, to entangle.

SneAd. s. The crooked handle of a mowing scythe.

Snip'py. adj. Mean, parsimonious.

Snock. s. A knock; a smart blow.

Snowl. s. The head.

Soce. s. pl. Vocative case. Friends! Companions! Most probably derived from the Latin socius.

To Soss. v. a. To throw a liquid from one vessel to another.

Sour-dock. s. Sorrel: rumex aceiosa.

Souse. s. pl. Sousen. The ears. Pigs sousen, pig's ears.

Spar. s. The pointed sticks, doubled and twisted in the middle, and used for fixing the thatch of a roof, are called spars: they are commonly made of split willow rods.

Spar'kid. adj. Speckled.

Spar'ticles. s. pl. Spectacles: glasses to assist the sight.

Spawl. s. A chip from a stone.

Spill. s. A stalk; particularly that which is long and straight. To run to spill, is to run to seed; it sometimes also means to be unproductive.

Spill. s. See WORRA.

To Spit. v. a. To dig with a spade; to cut up with a spitter. See the next word.

Spitter. s. A small tool with a long handle, used for cutting up weeds, thistles, &c.

To Spit'tle. v. a. To move the earth lightly with a spade or spitter.

Spit'tle. adj. Spiteful; disposed to spit in anger.

To Spring. v. a. To moisten; to sprinkle.

To Spry. v. n. To become chapped by cold.

Spry. adj. Nimble; active.

To Squall. v. a. To fling a stick at a cock, or other bird. See COCK-SQUAILLING.

To Squitter. v. n. To Squirt.

To Squot. v. n. To bruise; to compress. v. n. To squat.

Squot. s. A. bruise, by some blow or compression; a squeeze.

Stad'dle. s. The wooden frame, or logs, &c., with stone or other support on which ricks of corn are usually placed.

Stake-Hang. s. Sometimes called only a hang. A kind of circular hedge, made of stakes, forced into the sea-shore, and standing about 6 feet above it, for the purpose of catching salmon, and other fish.

Stang. s. A long pole.

Stay'ers. s. pl. Stairs.

SteAn. s. A large jar made of stone ware.

SteAnin. s. A ford made with stones at the bottom of a river.

Steeple. s. Invariably means a spire.

Steert. s. A point.

Stem. s. A long round shaft, used as a handle for various tools.

Stick'le. adj. Steep, applied to hills; rapid, applied to water: a stickle path, is a steep path; a stickle stream, a rapid stream.

Stick'ler. s. A person who presides at backsword or singlestick, to regulate the game; an umpire: a person who settles disputes.

Stitch. s. Ten sheaves of corn set up on end in the field after it is cut; a shock of corn.

To Stive. v. a. To close and warm.

To Stiv'er. v. n. To stand up in a wild manner like hair; to tremble.

Stodge. s. Any very thick liquid mixture.

Stonen, Stwonen. adj. Made of stone; consisting of stone.

Stom'achy. adj. Obstinate, proud; haughty.

Stook. s. A sort of stile beneath which water is discharged.

To Stoor. v. a. and v. n. To stir.

Stout. s. A gnat.

Strad. s. A piece of leather tied round the leg to defend it from thorns, &c. A pair of strads, is two such pieces of leather.

Stritch. A strickle: a piece of wood used for striking off the surplus from a corn measure.

To Strout. v. n. To strut.

Strouter. s. Any thing which projects; a strutter.

To Stud. v. n. To study.

Su'ent. adj. Even, smooth, plain.

Su'ently. adj. Evenly, smoothly, plainly.

To Sulsh. v. a. To soil; to dirty.

Sulsh. s. A spot; a stain.

Sum. s. A question in arithmetic.

Sum'min. s. (Summing) Arithmetic.

To Sum'my. v. n. To work by arithmetical rules.

Summer-voy. s. The yellow freckles in the face.

To Suffy, To Zuffy. v. n. To inspire deeply and quickly. Such an action occurs more particularly upon immersing the body in cold water.

Suth'ard. adv. Southward.

To Swan'kum. v. n. To walk to and fro in an idle and careless manner.

To Swell, To Zwell. v. a. To swallow.

To Sweetort. v. a. To court; to woo.

Sweetortin. s. Courtship.


Tack. s. A shelf.

Tac'ker. s. The waxed thread used by shoemakers.

Ta'A"ty. s. A potato.

Taf'fety. adj. Dainty, nice: used chiefly in regard to food.

Tal'let. s. The upper room next the roof; used chiefly of out-houses, as a hay-tallet.

Tan. adv. Then, now an Tan; now and then.

To Tang. v. a. To tie.

Tap and Cannel. s. A spigot and faucet.

Tay'ty. s. See A hayty-tayty.

Tees'ty-totsy. s. The blossoms of cowslips, tied into a ball and tossed to and fro for an amusement called teesty- tosty. It is sometimes called simply a tosty.

Tee'ry. adj. Faint weak. [proofer's note: missing comma?]

Tem'tious. adj. Tempting; inviting. [Used also in Wiltshire].

ThAc. pron. They.

Than. adv. Then.

Thauf. conj. Though, although.

TheAze. pron. This.

TheeAzam,TheeAzamy. pron. These.

Them, Them'my. pron. Those.

The'rence. adv. From that place.

ThereawAc, Thereaway. adv. Thereabout.

Therevor-i-sayt! interj. Therefore I say it!

Thic. pron. That. (Thilk, Chaucer.) [West of the Parret, thecky.]

Tho. adv. Then.

Thornen. adj. Made of thorn; having the quality or nature of thorn.

Thorough. prep. Through.

Thread the Needle, Dird the Needle. s. A play.

"Throwing batches," cutting up and destroying ant-hills.

Tiff. s. A small draught of liquor.

To tile. v. a. To set a thing in such a situation that it may easily fall.

Til'ty. adj. Testy, soon offended.

Tim'mer. s. Timber; wood.

Tim'mern. adj. Wooden; as a timmern bowl; a wooden bowl.

Tim'mersom. adj. Fearful; needlessly uneasy.

To Tine. v. a. To shut, to close; as, tine the door; shut the door. To inclose; to tine in the moor, is to divide it into several allotments. To light, to kindle; as, to tine the candle, is to light the candle.

QUARLES uses this verb:

"What is my soul the better to be tin'd With holy fire?"

Emblem XII.

To Tip. v. a. To turn or raise on one side.

Tip. s. A draught of liquor. Hence the word tipple, because the cup must be tipped when you drink.

To Tite. v. a. To weigh.

Tite. s. Weight. The tite of a pin, the weight of a pin.

Todo'. s. A bustle; a confusion.

To Toll. v. a. To entice; to allure.

Toor. s. The toe.

Tosty. s. See TEESTY-TOSTY.

Tote. s. The whole. This word is commonly used for intensity, as the whol tote, from totus, Latin.

To Tot'tle. v. n. To walk in a tottering manner, like a child.

Touse. s. A blow on some part of the head.

Towards. prep., is, in Somersetshire, invariably pronounced as a dissyllable, with the accent on the last: to-ward's. Our polite pronunciation, tordz, is clearly a corruption.

Tramp. s. A walk; a journey. To Tramp. v. n. and Tramper. s. will be found in Johnson, where also this word ought to be.

To Trapes, v. n. To go to and fro in the dirt.

Trapes, s. A slattern.

Trim. v. a. To beat.

Trub'agully. s. A short dirty, ragged fellow, accustomed to perform the most menial offices.

To Truckle, v. a. and v. n. To roll.

Truckle. s. A globular or circular piece of wood or iron, placed under another body, in order to move it readily from place. A Truckle-bed, is a small bed placed upon truckles, so that it may be readily moved about.

These are the primary and the common meanings in the West, of To truckle, v. Truckle, s. and Truckle-bed.

Tun. s. A chimney.

Tun'negar. s. A Funnel.

Turf. s. pl. Turves. Peat cut into pieces and dried for fuel.

Tur'mit. s. A turnip.

Tur'ney. s. An attorney. Turn-string, s. A string made of twisted gut, much used in spinning. See WORRA.

To Tus'sle. v. n. To straggle with; to contend.

Tut. s. A hassock.

Tut-work. s. Work done by the piece or contract; not work by the clay.

Tuth'er. pron. The other.

Tuth'eram. } pron. The others Tuth ermy. /

Tut'ty. s. A flower; a nosegay.

'Tword'n. It was not.

To Twick. v. a. To twist or jerk suddenly.

Twick. s. A sudden twist or jerk.

Twi'ly. adj. Restless; wearisome.

Twi'ripe. adj. Imperfectly ripe.


Unk'et. adj. Dreary, dismal, lonely.

To Unray'. v. a. To undress.

To Untang', v. a. To untie.

To Up. v. a. To arise.

Up'pin stock. g. A horse-block. See LIGHTING-STOCK.

Upsi'des. adv. On an equal or superior footing. To be upsides with a person, is to do something which shall be equivalent to, or of greater importance or value than what has been done by such person to us.

Utch'y. pron. I. This word is not used in the Western or Eastern, but only in the Southern parts of the County of Somerset. It is, manifestly, a corrupt pronunciation of Ich, or IchA", pronounced as two syllables, the Anglo-Saxon word for I. What shall utchy do? What shall I do.

I think Chaucer sometimes uses iche as a dissyllable; vide his Poems passim. Ch'am, is I am, that is, ich am; ch'ill, is I will, ich will. See Shakespeare's King Lear, Act IV., Scene IV. What is very remarkable, and which confirms me greatly in the opinion which I here state, upon examining the first folio edition of Shakespeare, at the London Institution, I find that ch is printed, in one instance, with a mark of elision before it thus, 'ch, a proof that the i in iche was sometimes dropped in a common and rapid pronunciation. In short, this mark of elision ought always so to have been printed, which would, most probably, have prevented the conjectures which have been hazarded upon the origin of the mean- of such words chudd, chill, and cham. It is singular enough that Shakespeare has the ch for iche I, and Ise for I, within the distance of a few lines in the passage above alluded to, in King Lear. But, perhaps, not more singular than that in Somersetshire may, at the present time, be heard for the pronoun I, Utchy, or ichA(, and Ise. In the Western parts of Somersetshire, as well as in Devonshire, Ise is now used very generally for I. The Germans of the present day pronounce, I understand, their ich sometimes as it is pronounced in the West, Ise, which is the sound we give to frozen water, ice. See Miss Ham's letter, towards the conclusion of this work.


[The V is often substituted for f, as vor, for, veo, few, &c.]

Vage, Vaze. s. A voyage; but more commonly applied to the distance employed to increase the intensity of motion or action from a given point.

To Vang. v. a. To receive; to earn.

Varden. s. Farthing.

Vare. s. A species of weasel.

To Vare. v. n. To bring forth young: applied to pigs and some other animals.

Var'miut. s. A vermin.

Vaught. part. Fetched.

Vur vaught, And dear a-bought.

(i.e.) Far-fetched, and dear bought.

Vawth. s. A bank of dung or earth prepared for manure.

To Vay. v. n. To succeed; to turn out well; to go. This word is, most probably, derived from vais, part of the French verb aller, to go.

It don't vay; it does not go on well. To Vaze. v. n. To move about a room, or a house, so as to agitate the air.

Veel'vare. s. A fieldfare.

Veel. s. A field; corn land unenclosed.

To Veel. v. To feel.

Yeel'd. part. Felt.

Vell. s. The salted stomach of a calf used for making cheese; a membrane.

VeA. adj. Few, little.

Ver'di, Ver'dit. s. Opinion.

To Ves'sy. v. n. When two or more persons read verses alternately, they are said to vessy.

Ves'ter. s. A pin or wire to point out the letters to children to read; a fescue.

ViA"r. s. Fire. Some of our old writers make this word of two syllables: "Fy-er."

Vin'e. v. Find.

Vine. adj. Fine.

Vin'ned. adj. Mouldy; humoursome; affected.

Vist, Vice. s. [i long.] The Fist.

Vitious. adj. Spiteful; revengeful.

Vitten. s. See Fitten.

Vit'ty. adv. Properly, aptly.

Vlare. v. n. To burn wildly; to flare.

VleA"r. s. A flea.

Vlan'nin. s. Flannel.

Vleng'd. part. Flung.

Vloth'er. s. Incoherent talk; nonsense.

Voc'ating. part. Going about from place to place in an idle manner. From voco, Latin. The verb to voc'ate, to go about from place to place in an idle manner, is also occasionally used.

Voke. s. Folk.

To Vol'ly. v. a. To follow.

Vol'lier. s. Something which follows; a follower.

VooAth. adv. Forth; out. To goo vooAth, is to go out.

To VooAse. v. a. To force.

Vorad. adv. adj. Forward.

Vor'n. pron. For him.

Voreright. adj. Blunt; candidly rude.

Voun. Found.

Vouse. adj. Strong, nervous, forward.

VroAst. s. Frost.

To Vug. v. a. To strike with the elbow.

Vug. s. A thrust or blow with the elbow.

Vur. adv. Far.

Vur'der. adv. Farther.

Vurdest. adv. Farthest.

Vur'vooAth. adv. Far-forth.

Vust. adj. First.


To Wal'lup. _v. a._ To beat. Walnut. _s._ The _double_ large walnut. The ordinary walnuts are called French nuts_.

To Wam'mel, To Wamble. v. n. To move to and fro in an irregular and awkward manner; to move out of a regular course or motion.

Applied chiefly to mechanical operations.

War. interj. Beware! take care! War-whing! Take care of yourself.

War. v. This is used for the preterite of the verb to be, in almost all the persons, as I war, he war, we war, &c.

To Ward. v. n. To wade.

To Warnt. To Warnd. a. To warrant.

Wash-dish, s. The bird called wagtail.

To Way-zalt. v. n. [To weigh salt.] To play at the game of wayzaltin. See the next article.

Way-zaltin. s. A game, or exercise, in which two persons stand back to back, with their arms interlaced, and lift each other up alternately.

Weepy. adj. Abounding with springs; moist.

Well-apaid. adj. Appeased; satisfied.

Well-at-ease, Well-at-eased. adj. Hearty. healthy.

Wetshod. adj. Wet in the feet.

Wev'et. s. A spider's.web.

To Whack. v. a. To beat with violence.

Whack. s. A loud blow.

Whatsomiver. pron. Whatsoever.

Whaur. adv. Where.

To Whec'ker. v. n. To laugh in a low vulgar manner; to neigh.

Where. adv. Whether.

Wherewi'. s. Property, estate; money.

Whim. s. Home.

Whing. s. Wing.

Whipper-snapper. adj. Active, nimble, sharp.

Whipswhile. s. A short time; the time between the strokes of a whip.

Whir'ra. See WORRA.

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

To Whiv'er. v. n. To hover.

Whiz'bird. s. A term of reproach.

To Whop. v.a. To strike with heavy blows.

Whop. s. A heavy blow.

Who'say, or Hoosay. s. A wandering report; an observation of no weight.

Whot. adj. Hot.

Whun. adv. When.

Wi'. With ye.

Wid'ver. s. A widower.

Willy. s. A term applied to baskets of various sizes, but generally to those holding about a bushel. So called from their being made commonly of willow: sometimes called also willy-basket.

To Wim. v. a. To winnow. Wim-sheet, Wimmin-sheet. s. A sheet upon which corn is winnowed.

Wimmin-dust. s. Chaff.

Win'dor. s. A window.

Wine. s. Wind.

With'er. pron. Other.

With'erguess. adj. Different.

With'y-wine. s. The plant bindweed: convolvulus.

Witt. adj. Fit.

With'erwise. adj. Otherwise.

Wock. s. Oak.

Wocks. s. pl. The cards called clubs; most probably from having the shape of an oak leaf: oaks.

Wont. s. A Mole.

Wont-heave, s. A mole-hill.

Wont-snap, s. A mole-trap.

Wont-wriggle, s. The sinuous path made by moles under ground.

Wood-quist. s. A wood-pigeon.

Wordle. s. World. [Transposition of l and d.]

Wor'ra. s. A small round moveable nut or pinion, with grooves in it, and having a hole in its centre, through which the end of a round stick or spill may be thrust. The spill and worra are attached to the common spinning-wheel, which, with those and the turn-string, form the apparatus for spinning wool, &c. Most probably this word, as well as whir'on, is used for whir, to turn round rapidly with a noise.

Wrassly. Wrestle.

To Wride. v. n. To spread abroad; to expand.

Wriggle. s. Any narrow, sinuous hole.

Wrine. s. A mark occasioned by wringing cloth, or by folding it in an irregular manner.

Wring, s. A. Press. A cyder-wring, a cyder-press.

To Wrumple. v. a. To discompose: to rumple.

Wrumple. s. A rumple.

Wust. adj. Worst.


Yack'er. s. An acre.

Yal. s. Ale.

Yaller. adj. Yellow.

Yal'house. s. An ale-house.

Yap'ern. s. An apron.

Yarly. adj. Early.

Yarm. s. Arm.

Yarth. s. Earth.

Yel. s. An eel.

Yel-spear. s. An instrument for catching eels.

Yes. s. An earthworm.

Yezy. adj. Easy.

Yokes. s. pl. Hiccups.

Yourn. pron. Yours.


See the observations which precede the letter S, relative to the change of that letter to Z.

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