The Dialect of the West of England Particularly Somersetshire by James Jennings

Produced by Miranda van de Heijning, David Starner, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team “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
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Produced by Miranda van de Heijning, David Starner, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team

“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 theA¤ze 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. TheA¤ze 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 _fA¤ther_, _rA¤ther_, or somewhat like the usual sound of _a_ in _balloon_, _calico_, lengthened; it is so pronounced in bA¤ll, cA¤ll. 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-A¤th, for both;
fay-er, for fair;
vi-A”r for fire;
stay-ers for stairs;
show-er for sure;
vrA¶o-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_. _TheA¤ze here, thick there_, [_thicky there_, west of the Parret] _theA¤sam_ 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:


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’A¤st _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’A¤s, 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.

BeneA¤pt. _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.

BooA¤t. _s._ Boat.

BooA¤th. _pron._ Both. “_Boo’A¤th 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.

CoA¤se. _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 Aªm_; _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.

DrooA¤te. 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.)

FooA¤se. _s._ Force. See VooA¤se.

To FooA¤se. _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.

HeA¤t _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-