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Somersetshire Words & Sayings

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#1 Rídend



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Posted 03 December 2009 - 06:10 AM

Well since we had a Suffolk words and sayings post, why not a Somersetshire list. . .land of my spear-side. Some are quite amusing and archaic sounded, and even a few are directly O.E. Hopefully it is not too long as to break the forum. .thumbsup


Aah and aarr: Yes (eg: well aah)
Acker: Friend
Adder: After
Addle: A pus-filled swelling
Addled: Gone off (as in a bad egg)
Again: Against
Agen: Again
Aggy: Gather eggs (eg: I be gwain aggy)
Agin: Against
Agon: Gone
Aiyer: Air
Alasadaizey/Alackaday: alas
Ale: A weak beer, generally meaning it had fewer than five bushels of malt per hogshead
Alice: Ulcer
Allus: Always
Anigh, anear: Nearby
'Ankicher: Handkerchief
'Ammered: Drunk
Amper: Pimple
Ann Summer: More handsome
Anyhroad: Anyway
Anywhen: Anytime
Apiggy: back, Carried on shoulders, as for a child
Appleplexus: Apoplexy
Apricock: Apricot
Apse: Abcess
Apse: Hasp, fasten
Apsen: Made from the wood of the Aspen tree
Arg or Argify: Argue
Art'noon: Afternoon
Ass backwards: Back to front
Ast: Asked
Astooded: Sunk into the ground
Athirt: Across
Auver: Over
Aveard: Afraid
Avord: Afford
Avore: Before
Awakid: Awake
Awmos': Almost
Awrigh': Alright
Ax: Ask
Ayeard: Heard

Back house: Out house
Backalong: Sometime ago
Bade: Bed
Bailly: Bailiff
Baint: Is not
Ballyrag: To scold, tell off especially with foul language
Bandy legs: Crooked legs
Batch: Hillock
Baven: Faggot of unprepared twigs and branches
Becall: Tell off
Bedstick: Stick used for bed turning, especially feather beds
Beer: A woodland suitable for feeding pigs on acorns and beechnuts
Beesom, bessom: Broom made of twigs
Begrumpled: Offended
Begurge: Begrudge
Beknown: Known about
Benapt: Left high and dry by the tide
Bestest: Best
Betwaddled: Confused
Bibber: Shiver
Bibbler: A drinker
Biddle: Beetle
Bide: Stay
Biden: Staying
Bin: Been
Birchen: Made of birch wood
Bisghee: Axe for removing tree roots
Bissen: Are not
Bist: Are
Bit and drap: Meal
Blather: Fuss, uproar
Blind Buck and Davy: Blind Man's Bluff
Bobbish: In full health and high spirits
Bog baler: Long-handled scoop for emptying outdoor toilets
Bog house: Toilet
Bone shave: Sciatica
Bore: Tidal wave, especially on the River Severn and River Parrett
Borrid: A sow ready to receive the boar
'Bout: About
Bow: Small arched bridge
Brassen: Made of brass
Breze: Press down
Brickle: Brittle
Brown kitties or Brown Titus: Bronchitis
Bruckly: Brittle, crumbly, falls apart easily
Bucket and chuck it: The outdoor toilet
Bull-beggar: Hobgoblin
Bundle along: Bound rapidly
Buppo or Bup-horse: Stick with a horse's head handle
Bwile: To boil
By me by: By and by

Cack-handed: Left-handed
Caddle: Confusion, muddle
Cancervells: Icicles
Cannee: Can you
Cardin: According
Cassen: Can not
Cassen thee: Can you not
Catcheldy: Changeable, indecisive
Chammer: Chamber
Chayer: Chair
Chimbley: Chimney
Chittlens: Pig's intestines
Chockful: Absolutely full
Chuffed: Pleased
Cider ring: Cider press
Cidered up: Drunk
Circoo: Circle
Claggy: Lumpy, muddy, as in heavy clay
Clapse: Clasp
Clavel: Fireplace beam
Clavel-tack or clavey-tack: Shelf over a fireplace beam, a mantlepiece
Cleeve: Steep slope
Clim, climmer: Climb
Clyce: River or land drain outlet controlled by a valve to let water out but in
Cloam: Pottery
Cob: Mud and straw mix used to build house walls
Combe: Pronounced 'coom', a deep hollow valley
Comferbull: Comfortable
Cow-baby: Coward
Craddlehood: Infancy
Cre-apped: Crept
Creem: Sudden shiver
Crips: Crisp (as in sharp)
Crock: Metal cooking pot
Croopy down: Squat down
Crousty: Ill-tempered
Cubby hole: Small cupboard
Cursmas: Christmas
Cuz: Because

Dabster: Expert
Dadder: Confuse
Dang I: Well, I damned!
Dank: Damp and dark
Dap: Boung along
Daps: Trainers, plimsoll, plimsole
Darter: Daughter
Daver: Wilt, fall over
Deb'n: Devon
Desperd: Desperate
Dewbit: Breakfast
Dibs: Money
Diddee: Did you
Didden: Did not
Diddiky: Rotten, crumbling
Dimmet: The period of dusk after sunset
Dimpsey: Half lit, at twilight or dusk / Can also be used to describe partial sight or short sightedness
Din I: Didn't I
Dinner: Didn't he
Dinnum: Didn't they
Dinnuz: Didn't we
Dirn: Upright post supporting a doorway
Dish o' tay: Cup of tea
Dollop: Large lump
Donnins: Clothes
Dough baked: Simple (eg: 'e be dough baked)
Dough boys: Dumplins
Downarg: To put down by argument
Draffit: Vessel in which to collect pig swill
Drang: Alleyway
Drash, drasher: Tresh, thresher
Drashel: Threshold
Drauve: Drove, a track between fields
Drawed: Drawn
Drawt: Throat
Dreckley: Soon
Dree: Three
Dre'un: Threaten
Dring, dringet: To gather as a crowd, a crowd
Drong: Narrow passageway
Drode: Threw
Droo: Through
Droe: Throw
Drub: Beat, drum out
Drubbin: Thrashing, beating
Ducks and Drakes, Ducks and Mallards: Game of skimming stones over the surface of water
Dudder: Deafen or confuse with loud noise
Dun: Brown
Dungery: Toilet
Durnt: Dare not

Easement: Relief
Edification: Education
'Ee: You
'ees: Yes
Eezelf: Himself
Eller: Mischievious child (eg: a righ' little eller)
Elmen: Made from elm
Emmets: Tourists in large numbers
Empt: To empty out
Er: Him or it
Eyesore: I saw

Fair t'middlin: So so
Fairy Rade: Procession of fairies
Farty: Forty
Figgety puddin': Plum pudding
Finnikee: Fussy
Firnd: Friend
Fi-yul: File (of soldiers, but not the tool)
Frump: Trump up, falsify
Fuddled: Confused

Gad: Whipping stick, for horse riding, or a stake
Gaffer: Old man
Gallivantin: Straying from home
Gallox: Gallows
Gally: Frighten
Gallybeggar: Bugbear, hobgoblin
Garn: Garden
Gate shord: Place for a gate
Gawk: Gape, stare
Ghostisiz: Ghosts

Gi': Give
Gi'd: Gave
Gimmaces: Chains in which a prisoner is hanged
Girnin: Grinning
Gob: Mouth
Goozegogs: Gooseberries
Gore: Triangular piece of land
Gramfer: Grandfather
Grammer: Grandmother
Grockle: Tourist
Grockle shells: Caravans
Gruff, gruffer: Mine, miner
Gulch: Swallow fast
Gullivers: Masked men wearing tall hats and bedecked in ribbons. They are akin to Morris Dancers and travel with the Hobby Horse in May Day celebrations. They collect money from passers-by.
Gurt, girt: Great
Gurt big dollop: Large lump
Gwain: Going
Gwains on: Affairs, unacceptable behaviour
Gwon: Gone

Haaf: Half
Hag-rod: Bewitched
Hang gallis: Fit for hanging, villainous
Hangles: Fire crook. A hanging rod with teeth at intervals from which a cooking pot can be hung at different heights
Haps: Fasten
Hard Cheddar: Bad luck
Hassen: Haven't
Hassen thee: Haven't you
Hele: hell, To pour
Hele tap: Residue left after pouring
Hellier: Roof tiler
Here away: Hereabouts
Hick: Hop on one leg
Hirches: Riches
Hizzen: His own
Hobblers: Men who haul and moor boats by rope
Hold wi' : Agree with
Holler: A hollow
Hollerday: Holiday
Holman: Made of Holm Oak
Hoppy Cough: Hooping cough
Hornen: Made of horn
Hullerburrloo: A noisy confusion
Hulve: Turn or tip over
Hunky punks: Will-o-the-wisps, the souls of unbaptized children
Hurdy 'ead: Red head

Idden: Isn't
Influrmayshun: Inflammation
Inner, Inshee: Isn't he, isn't she

Jack-o-lanterns: Will-o-the-wisps, the souls of unbaptized children
Jaunders: The jaundice
Jis: Just

Kecker: Windpipe
Keep: Large basket
Keeve: Large vessel used in brewing
Kirsmas: Christmas
Kirsen: Christen
Kittle Smock: Smock frock

Lamb's wool: Mulled ale with spiced apple
Lameger: Crippled
Lants: Sand Eels
Larn: Teach
Lart: Wooden flooring
Leastways: Anyhow
Leat: Water channel to supply a mill
Leb'm: Eleven
Lew: Sheltered from the wind
Lights: Lungs
Lookzee, lookeezee: Pay attention
Lookzo: So it appears
Lug: Long heavy pole
Maister: Mister
Maized: Mad, insane
Manchit, Manchip: Jam-filled rolled pastry. It's almost unique to Bridgwater
Mang: Mix
Marnen: Morning
Meach: Play truant from school
Mell: Meddle
Mid: Might (verb)
Midlen: Fairly well
Miff: Cause offence
Mind: Remember. (eg: I d'mind my childhood)
Minded: Inclined
Mommets: Effigies
Mote: Small piece
Mucker, Ole mucker: Friend, friend of long standing
Mud horse: A type of sled with a ski-shaped base and wicker basket. Used on the Somerset coast for fishing
Mugglin: Struggling
Mumper: Beggar
Mussen: Must not

Nappy: Uneasy
Natch: Natural dry cider
Natomy: Anatomy, skeleton
Nestle tripe: Runt, especially of pigs
Nipper: Small boy
Nippy: Sharp
Noggerhead: Idiot
North eye: Squint eyed
Nosebag: Nosey parker
Nottled, nottlin': Really cold
Nottlins or nettlins: Intestines of pigs or calves. The intestines are tied in knots and boiled for eating.
Nummet, nammet: Consequences. (eg: wha' odds izzit to I? (of what consequence is it to me?))
'Ood: Would
'Ooden: Would not
Ope: Opening
Ourn: Ours
Overlook: Bewitch
Ower: Our

Pantiles: Roof tiles
Parget: Plaster the inside of a chimney with cow dung and lime mix
Passen: Parson
Peart: Lively
Peer: Appear
Pelm or pellum: Dust (as in pelmet to keep the dust off curtains)
Pew Moanier: Pneumonia
Piller: Pillow
The Pins: Cataracts
Pitch: To settle, particularly with snow
Pixie led: Simple minded, crazed
Plim: Swell
Pole: Nape of the neck, as in pole axed
Privy: Outdoor toilet
Privy ladle: Long-handled scoop to empty the privy
Puggle 'eaded: Drunk, stupid. Cider drinkers can often be recognised by their rosy faces and inability to articulate. They are then considered puggle 'eaded.
Punkies: Will-o-the-wisps, the souls of unbaptized children
Purdy: Pretty

Rafty: Rancid
Rampin: Raving mad
Ramshackle: Ricketty
Rawd: Rode
Ray: To dress
Ream: Widen out
Revel: A wake
Rig: Struggle with walking
Rise: Raise
Rumatics: Rheumatism

Quag: Quagmire
Quarter aled: Paralysed
Quirky: Argumentative

Scollared: Taught
Scrammed: Shivering with cold
Scrape: Dripping, animal fat when spread on bread
Scud: Scab
Screws: Rheumatism
Sexton's bones: Rheumatism
Shard: Slither of wood or metal
Shower: Sure
Skag: Catch in such a way as to tear
Skimmerton: A ride on horseback as a form of ridicule or punishment
Small beer: A weak beer, fewer than five bushels of malt per hogshead
Smeech: Smoky smelling
Smitch: Dust cloud
Sno: You know
'Spec: Expect
'spoase: Suppose
Spunkies: Will-o-the-wisps, the souls of unbaptized children
Starn: Starving
'stead: Instead
Stummick: Stomach
Swaller: Swallow

Tacklacky: Footman who runs alongside his master
Tamp: Pat down soil
Taiters: Potatoes
Tetchy: Irritable
Tharns: Thorns
Thees: You
Theezelf: Yourself
Thik: That
Thiky one: That one
Thunder box: Toilet
Thur: There
Tidden: It isn't
Tiddivale: Decorate
Tooked: Taken
T'other: The other
Traipse: To tramp around
Trow: Sailing barge. Designed for use on the Rivers Severn and Parrett
Truckle: A circular piece of wood or metal placed under an object in order to lift and carry it
Turbul: Terrible
Tuther: The other
Tuttey: Small bunch of flowers, posy
Twer: It was
Twoant: It won't
T'whirr: It was
T'whirrdun: It was not
'Twoodden: It would not

Um: Them, they
Un: One (eg: 'ees a good'un, in'ur? (he is a good one, isn't he?))
Unket: Uncanny
Unray: Undress
Up: Arise (eg: she ups and goes)
Ur: He, it
'urdy: Ruddy
Urn: Run
Ut: It

Vadder: Father
Var: For (eg: whadee do tha' var? (what did you do that for?))
Vardin: Farthing
Var'n or vor'n: For him
Vast: Fast
Vayer: Fair, as in a market or funfair, but not as in fair play, which remains as fair
Verkin: Firkin, a stone, cider-carrying jar
Vine: Fine or find
Vitten: Fitting
Vive: Five
Viyur: Fire
Vlood: Flood
Voaks: Folk
Volly: Follow
Vool: Fool
Vor: For
Vower: Four
Vorgit: Forget
Vright'n: Frighten
Vug: Blow with the ebow
Vurdur: Further
Vurdurmost: Furthest
Vurgot: Forgot
Vust: First
Vy-yul: File (tool)
Walkin' out: Courting, dating
Wapse: Wasp
Warshin: Washing
Werden: Were not
Wetshod: Wet footed
Whirr: Where
Whitpot: Bread pudding
Whiver: Hover
Withy: Willow
Wuss: Worse

Yeow: Ewe
Yer: Here
Yer: Your
Yer tiz: Here it is
Yer uz be: Here we are
Yorn: Yours

Zackly: Exactly
Zeben: Seven
Zed: Said
Zez: Says
Zich: Such
Zim: Seem
Zix: Six
Zmarnin: This morning
Zummat: Something
Zummerzet: Somerset
Zyve: Scythe

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#2 Penda



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Posted 03 December 2009 - 06:48 AM

Cheers Rídend, a good read. .thumbsup It's funny, you can picture those words being spoken by an old man in an orchard, drunk on the cider he just made :suttonhoo:
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Moral values are totally absent from 'New Britain', the very antithesis of 'Old England'.

#3 Rídend



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Posted 03 December 2009 - 04:13 PM

Cheers Rídend, a good read. :unsure: It's funny, you can picture those words being spoken by an old man in an orchard, drunk on the cider he just made :rune20:

:rune19: Indeed that is the stereotypical image one gets. :( I suppose we can blame that on the fact that in the past many agricultural labourers had some of their wages paid in cider. . .this is of course after countless good folk were slowly booted off the land with help as such things as the Inclosure Acts, and then they had to work the same land for lousy wages. The behaviour and practices of the Norman descendants was well and truly alive.

Back to the topic at hand, we may look on such word lists as quaint but what they contain is an aspect of culture. Indeed languages ebb and flow but today's access too rapid communication and ease of travel imposes a levelling effect. In such an environment what chance do regional dialects have in surviving? I suppose all of you over there could tell me: are any of the young still picking up dialects including the local vocabulary? My guess that they are not, and given their exposure to the media and what is 'cool' probably have picked up more 'ethnic' sounding ways at the expense of their own heritage.

Even over here I can see this happening with the young of today sounding strange to my ears usually based on some subculture. For example I noticed that all those involved in snowboarding assume this weird Californian warble to their voice and I half expect the word 'dude' to pop out every minute. Mostly this is purely affectation which just goes to show you how hollow things have become culturally. Even over in Newfoundland I know they are going around recording dialects and unique vocabulary for preservation since they are finding that the young are not learning and it will all soon be confined to the past.

I find it sadly ironic that we have those forcing diversity on us in a cross-cultural manner, yet in the same instance the Englisc are being denied identity and English as a common cultural tongue is losing its internal diversity. Go figure. :rune19:
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#4 Guthlac



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Posted 04 December 2009 - 01:20 AM

Thanks Rid :rune18:
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#5 Beorwulf



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Posted 07 December 2009 - 05:05 PM

Thanks Ridend, great stuff. There are a lot of these words in Hardy's novels and a lot are used in Devon too - I particularly recall one old fellow saying crossly "you'm be proper maized" as I ran about making a noise when I was a little tacker. 'Emmets' are actually ants, which is why it's applied to tourists!

The only dialect words we seem to get fed to us by our media now are black patois, our own dialects are subjects of ridicule it seems. More establishment attempts to pretend we never had a culture worth preserving.

:rune19: .thumbsup :rune20: :wd: :rune19:
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Waes Hael!

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#6 Alda


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Posted 07 December 2009 - 06:44 PM

'Emmets' are actually ants, which is why it's applied to tourists!

My grandmother always called ants emmets
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"William the Conqueror had turned the English out of their birthrights; and compelled them for necessity to be servants to him and to his Norman soldiers" - Gerrard Winstanley

We always have been, we are, and I hope that we always shall be detested in France - Duke of Wellington

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#7 Woden's Child

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 01:46 PM

Yes, several of those words are used by me too, and I'm not from Somerset - another favourite part of England of mine.
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#8 Steven


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Posted 08 December 2009 - 02:31 PM

Great list Ridend. As a boy I used to earn a few shillings helping out at a farm. Great times, summer holidays away from school, cycling miles down old dusty tracks to get to the farmhouse for breakfast - built my thigh muscles anyway, which came in handy later when I did commando training. All the old folk (I wasn't even a teenager yet so every adult was old to me) who worked on the farm were happy, they whistled and sung the whole day through. The most curious thing was they could never pronounce the letter 's', it sounded like 'z', as in Dorzet or Zomerzet. They spoke in dialect as well and would roar with laughter when I looked blank after they'd said something I didn't understand. They would smile and say "but you be a Dorzet lad, yume folk, like we all iz?" What have we lost with these lovely Englisc folk passed away now. I'm not ashamed to say it brings a tear to my eye. Happy memories, though sometimes they hurt when you let them.

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hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare þe ure mægen lytlað