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3167 



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GLOSSARY 



OF 



NORTHAMPTONSHIEE 



WORDS AND PHRASES, 



WITH 

EXAMPLES OF THEIR COLLOQUIAL USE, 

AND 

ILLUSTRATIONS FROM VARIOUS AUTHORS: 

TO WHICH ARE ADDED, 

THE CUSTOMS OF THE COUNTY. 



BY 

ANNE ELIZABETH BAKER. 



I twine 

m 

The hope to be remembered in my line 
With my land "a language — 

By noting e''er they fade away 
The words and sports of yesterday. 




VOL. L 



LONDON: 



JOHN RUSSELL SMITH, SOHO SQUARE ; 
ABEL & SONS, AND MARK DORMAN, NORTHAMPTON. 



M.DCCC.LIV. 



TO THE MEMORY OF 

A BELOVED AND LAMENTED BROTHER, 

AT WHOSE SUGGESTION 

THIS 
GLOSSARY OF 

NOR*THAMPTONSHIRE WORDS AND PHRASES 

WAS ORIGINATED, 
AND BY WHOSE KIND ENCOURAGEMENT IT WAS FOSTERED, 

UNTIL 
DEATH DEPRIVED HER OF HIS CHEERING SUPPORT, 

THESE YOLUMES 

ARE 

AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED 

BY HIS SISTER, 

ANNE ELIZABETH BAKER. 

yorlkampton, 12th August, 1864. 



LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS. 



THE ROYAL LIBRARY. 

Alford, Lady Marianne. 

Abbey, Mrs. Northampton. 

Abel, Mr. James, Bookseller, Northampton. 

Andrew, T. R. Esq. Harleston. 

Brooke, Sir Arthur de Capel, Bart. M.A. F.R.S. F.L.S. 

F.G.S. Great Oakley. 
Bayliss, John, Esq. London. 
Beam, Mr. William, Wellingborough. 
Beasley, Mrs. Thorplands.^ 
Becke, George, Esq. London. 
Becke, John, Esq. Northampton. 
Berry, Rev. Charles, Leicester. 
Bigge, Rev. Henry J., M.A. Rockingham. 
Birdsall, Mr. Richard, Northampton. 
Black, William Henry, Esq. Assistant Keeper of Public 

Records, London. 
Bliss, Rev. Philip, D.C.L. F.S.A. Principal of St. Mary's 

Hall, Oxford. 
Blore, Edward, Esq. D.C.L. F.R.S. F.S.A. London, 2 copies. 
Boddington, Miss, Kingsthorp. 
Bond, George, Esq. Netting Hill, London. 
Booths Mrs. Glendon Hall, 2 copies. 
Botfield, Beriah, Esq. F.R.S. F.S.A. F.L.S. F.G.S. Norton 

HaU. 
Bouverie, Edward, Esq. Delapr^ Abbey. 
Brackenridge,Geo. Weare, Esq. F.S.A. Brislington, Somerset. 
Brightman, J. Esq. Bristol. 
Britton, Charles, Esq. Northampton. 
Bro^, Mons. de. Chevalier de la Legion d* Honneur, Cor- 

beauvale, France. 



( 







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j^ g PBOPESTT OJf THB 

Vnw&si^of 
Mickigm 

ARTES SCIENTIA VERITAS 






L- 


J 



3167 



X LIST OP SUBSCRIBERS. 

Way, Albert, Esq. M.A. F.S*A. Wonham Manor, Reigate, 
Surrey, 2 copies. 

West, Rev. Charles, M.A. Northampton* 

Wetherell, Rev. John, M.A. Rushton. 

Wetton, G. N. Esq. Northampton. 

White, Rev. Samson Henry, Maidford. 

Whit worth, Henry BiUington, Esq. Northampton. 

Whitworth, Mrs. Northampton. 

Wilkinson, W. S. Esq. Guilsborough. 

WiUson, Mrs. Northampton, 2 copies. 

Wilson, Rev. William, Desborough. 

Wood, Mrs. George William, Singleton Cottage, Man- 
chester. 

Wood, William Rayner, Esq. Singleton, Manchester. 

Young, Sir Charles George, D.C.L. F.S.A. Lond. and Edin. 

Garter King of Arms. 
Yates, James, Esq. M.A. F.R.S. F.L.S. F.G.S. Lauderdale 

House, Highgate. 



PREFACE. 



In presenting this Glossary to the public, I desire 
to solicit the kind consideration of my readers, and to 
express the hope that my efforts may be viewed with 
indulgence by all, but more particularly by those who 
are best qualified to appreciate the labour and difficulty 
attendant upon such an undertaking. 

The utility of Provincial Glossaries in elucidating 
our early dramatists and poets, especially Chaucer and 
Shakspere, has long been acknowledged ; and the 
latter having been a native of an adjoining county it 
may be presumed that his phraseology was more in 
accordance with ours than with any other; and, as no 
copious Glossary of the midland district has been given 
to the world, with the exception of Evans's Leicester- 
shire Words and Phrases in 1848, and a small volume 
of the Dialect and Folk Lore of Northamptonshire, 
by Sternberg, published since the prospectus of the 
present work was issued, it is hoped these volumes 
will aid in explaining some of the controverted 
passages of the immortal Bard. 

The dialectical peculiarities of our language are 
much less strongly marked than formerly, and are fast 
disappearing; while various circumstances have con- 
spired to render it most desirable to preserve in re- 



xu PREFACE. 

membrance these remnants of our vernacular tongue. 
Many of the archaisms occurring in our old chronicles 
and poets are still preserved in our remote rural 
villages ; but the frequent and increasing intercourse 
occasioned by railroads must, however imperceptibly, 
greatly diminish their use, and, imless rescued from 
oblivion in works like the present, they are in danger 
of being totally lost. 

The words here brought together are more numerous 
than in any other Glossary, amounting with the 
phrases to upwards of 5000, of which number there 
are more than 2000 that have not been included 
in any previous publication of the kind. They 
have, with very few exceptions, been collected 
by myself, and, having been the companion of my 
lamented brother in his topographical excursions 
through the coimty, during the progress of his 
History, I was brought into contact with every grade 
of society from the peer to the peasant, and thus ob- 
tained a facility for observing the verbal peculiarities 
and customs of each district which, perhaps, no other 
individual ever possessed ; while from a love of every 
branch of natural history I have always been eager to 
note the local names connected with it. None could 
have felt more deeply interested in the pursuit, and 
what would otherwise have been a toilsome task, has 
proved to me the pleasurable employment of more than 
twenty years. 

Yet, though I have been for so many years engaged 
in making this collection, I cannot flatter myself that 
I have succeeded in marking all the lingual peculiari- 



PREFACE. xiii 

ties of this county. According to a calculation made 
by a late accurate philologist, there are 13,000 words 
in common use in England which do not appear in 
any dictionary, so that many no doubt are still afloat 
in every district which have not been arrested by the 
Glossarists. 

My greatest difficulty has been to decide what class 
of words were admissible — what would be considered 
strictly provincial. Some of my readers will say, 
perhaps, that many words are inserted that ought not 
to have found a place in a collection of localisms : I 
would answer in the words of the Hallamshire Glos- 
sarist, that " the great mass of archaical words, in 
every particular district, will, of course, be the same 
with those of any other district, since they are relics 
of a language once common to the whole of England,'' 
and who shall decide which county has the strongest 
claim to any particular word? On the other hand, I 
have inserted many words not strictly local; being 
admitted by my predecessors, their exclusion might 
have led to the supposition that they were unknown 
in this district, and would convert them into what 
they are not — provincialisms. I have also introduced 
words used among us with different significations to 
those assigned them by Johnson, or which, from 
their infrequent use, may now be fairly considered 
dialectical. 

Doctor Johnson observes that ** the Lexicographer 
is doomed to remove rubbish and clear obstructions 
from tlie paths of learning and genius;" but many 
may think that the Glossarist retains the rubbish, by 



xiv PREFACE. 

perpetuating vulgarisms; and it is often difficult to 
distinguish between the archaism and the vulgarism. 

Some of the words which appear vulgarisms ar 
only the residuum of oiir ancient mother tongue; 
other words admitted into this collection are un- 
doubtedly vulgarisms, or vicious pronimciations ; but 
they are nevertheless curious, as being characteristic 
of our county phraseology. In all these words I have 
endeavoured to give the orthography sufficiently 
broad to mark the distinctive pronunciation, buf not 
so broad as to degenerate into caricature. There are 
likewise many slang terms, not in the dictionaries, yet 
so miich employed as to claim a place here. 

At the foot of each word are given the initial letters 
of all the published Glossaries wherein that word 
occurs, to shew the extent of its circulation, and with 
what counties we most nearly assimilate. Those 
words which are in capitals in the definitions are 
localisms, and are to be found in their places in the 
Glossary. The first substantive is taken as the guide 
for the alphabetical arrangement of the phrases. 

I make no pretension to the erudite disquisitions of 
a Forby, or the etymological researches of a Harts- 
home, and have not therefore attempted to trace the 
etymology of the words beyond those which seemed 
obvious or probable derivations fi:om the parent stock 
of our language — the Anglo-Saxon, or Anglo-Norman: 
all other derivations I have borrowed from my prede- 
cessors in the same path. My principal aim has been 
to give full, clear, and accurate definitions of the 
words and phrases, with familiar colloquial examples 



PREFACE. XV 

of their use, without which it would have been im- 
possible to convey to the general reader the various 
shades of meaning. The examples are all genuine 
expressions which have either been heard by myself 
or communicated by friends who have supplied the 
words to which they are appended. 

In order to relieve the dryness of a mere list of 
words, and to make the work more generally interest- 
ing, and of more utility to the philologist, I have 
given numerous illustrations from ancient as well as 
local authors; and, though it has greatly increased my 
labour, it has afforded me pleasure when I have found 
my native dialect sanctioned by antiquity. 

I have been greatly assisted in the early illustrations 
by the loan of scarce works to which I could not have 
obtained access but through the kindness of friends, to 
whom I here beg to offer my grateful acknowledg- 
ments. I have also been much indebted to our native 
poets, Dryden and Clare, particularly the latter, who 
beautifully clothes his ideas in his own rustic idiom ; 
his manuscript poems which are quoted have all been 
written since his mental aberration, and during his 
confinement in the Northampton Asylum. 

The limited locality of many words is worthy of 
remark; many archaisms retained in one parish are 
unknown at the distance of a few miles. A farmer 
residing on the borders of Warwickshire removed to 
the Leicestershire side of the county, not more than 
eight miles distant, and found many of the agricul- 
tural terms quite new to him ; while some of those he 



xvi PREFACE. 

had always been accustomed to were never used, and 
scarcely understood : and a labourer who resided 
fourteen miles west of Northampton went seventeen 
miles east to see his relations, and said he could not 
imderstand them. This may readily be accounted for 
when we consider that the extremities of each county 
naturally adopt the verbal peculiarities of the one 
bordering upon it. 

In the progress of my visits through the county 1 
have never failed to collect the local customs, pro- 
verbial sayings, sports, pastimes, &c.; and I intended, 
at the time my prospectus was issued, to form them 
into a separate work ; but, as I have altogether aban- 
doned that idea, I have incorporated them into the 
present volumes, considering it *' a pity such particu- 
lars should be lost." 

Though a humble gleaner in the philological field, 
I trust my labour will not have been in vain, but that 
it may add an acceptable link to the dialectical chain 
which binds together our common language. I can 
truly affirm that, notwithstanding the imperfections 
of the work, no effi)rt has been spared on my part to 
render it faithful and accurate ; and I must leave it to 
its fate, saying with the dramatist — 

'Tis ended — but my hopes and fears begin, 
Nor can it be imputed as a sin 
In Me to wish it favour. 



A LIST OF THE PROVINCIAL GLOSSARIES WITH THEIR 
ABBREVIATIONS, AND OF OTHER WORKS REFERRED 
TO IN-THE COMPILATION OF THESE VOLUMES. 



M.S. Moor's Suffolk Words and Phrases. 1823. 

B.N.C. Brockett's Glossary of North Country Words. 2nd ed. 1829. 

J.S. Jennings's Somersetshire Dialect. 1825. 

W.C. WiLBRAHAM*s Cheshire Glossary. 2nd ed. 1826. 

C.C. (Carr's) Craven Dialect. 2nd ed. 2 vob. 1828. 

F.E.A. Forby's Vocabulary of East Anglia. 2 vols. 1830. 

H.H. Hunter's Hallamshire Glossary; 1829. 

C.S. Cooper's Sussex Glossary. 1836, 

L.H. (Lewis's) Herefordshire Glossary. 1839. 

A.W. Akerman's Wiltshire Glossary. 1842. 

H.S. Hartshorne's Salopia Antiqua, with Glossary. 1841. 

E.L. Evans's Leicestershire Words and Phrases. 1842. 

T.G. Teesdale Glossary. 1849. 

R.N.C. Rat's North Country Words. J Ray's Coll. of Eng. 

R.E.S.C. Rat's East and South Country Words. ) Words. 2d ed. 1691. 

G, Grose's Provincial Glossary. 2nd ed. 1790. 

G.&P. Grose's Glossary of Provincialisms. Supplement by Pegge. 

1839. 
H.P. Holloway's Dictionary of Provincialisms. 1840. 
H.A.D. Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words. 
1844. 

Bishop Kennett's Glossary. 8vo. 1816. 

Nares's Glossary. 4to. 1822. 

Toone's Glossary and Etymological Dictionary. 1834. 



XVIU 

Pynson's Promptorius Pucrorum, or Promptorinm Parvulomm, an 
English-Latin Dictionary. Black letter. Fol. 1499. 

Barclay^s Ship of Fooles, translated out of Latin into Englishe. 1608. 

Wynkyn de Worde's Ortus Vocabulorum, a Latin- English Dictionary, 
Black letter, sin. 4to. 1518. 

Palsgrave's L* Ecktrcisscment de la Langue Francoyse. Black letter. 
Fol. 1530. 

Barclay's Translation of the Mirrour of Good Maners, " compiled in 
Latin by Dominik Mancir, Priest and Monk of EUy," 

Barclay's Eglogues, "Gathered out of a Booke named in Latin 
Miseri^ Curialium, compiled by Eneas Silvius, Poet and Oratour. 
Folio, s. d. (in writing 1570.) " 

Tusser's Five Hundred Pointesof Good Husbandrie. Sm. 4to. 1575. 

Gascoigne's Pleasauntest Workes. Sm. 4to. 1587. 

Florio's World of Wordes, Italian and English. 1598. 

CoTGRAVE's Dictionarie of the French and English Tongue. Fol. 1611. 

MiNSHEU*s Dictionary. 2nd ed. fol. 1636. 

Sylvester's Du Bartas. 1633. 

Skinner's Etymologicon Ling. Angl. 1671. 

Phillips's New World of Words. 6th ed. 1706. 

Urry's Chaucer. Fol. 1721. 

Marshall's Rural Economy of the Midland Counties. 2 vols. 8vo. 1 790. 

Percy's Reliques. 1791. 

Tooke's Diversions of Purley. 2 vols. 4to. 2nd ed. 1798. 

Pegge*s Anecdotes of the English Language. 1803. 

Spenser's Works. Todd's ed. 8 vols. 8vo. 1805. 

Fosbroke's EncyclopsBdia of Antiquities. 2 vols. 4to. 1825. 

Jamieson's Scotch Dictionary. 2 vols. 4to. 2nded. 1840; and Supple- 
ment. 2 vols. 1825. 

Todd's Edition of Johnson's Dictionary. 3 vols. 4to. 2nd ed. 1827. 

Bosworth's Anglo-Saxon Dictionary. 1828. 

Stoddart's Grammar, in Encyclopedia Metropolitana, vol. i. 1829. 

Piers Ploughman's Vision, Whitaker's ed. 1831. 

Richardson's Dictionary. 2 vols. 4to. 1 836. 

Way's Promptorium Parvulomm. 1843. 

Anglo-Latin Lexicon, 1440. Harl. MS. 221, PI. Lxxiii. o. 

Bp. Kennett's MS. Glossary. Lansdowne MSS. 1033. 

Wiclif s New Testament. MS. (In possession of Sir Thos. Phillipps.) 





ERRATA. 




[i» 




P«8 


liu 


33, read pomam. 




104. 


12,Mgalirtadgom. 


3fl & 3T./or F.o. Tiad 




16i, 


26, a<lil the if/Wv briu? 


IS, for P.H. read H.P. 












305 


13,/«-fl.w.c.«arfB.N.c. 


35, r«u2 BBuk. 




213 


24,/(rr branches r. bunches. 


12, r^od padded. 




23ti 




11, read Becho. 




252 


lS,/uj-hireorfbi». 


33,/or 178 rani 170. 




311! 


13, ri"(i(( olericea. 


i, read bene. 




312 


23, for DiGit r»uj heat. 


83, read Gernutaier. 




318 


15,/urHechtorHechtr*><«( 








Hocht or Hecth. 


alL, nad H.i.i>. 




318 


26, add our V>" Aieize 


ult. Jws.c. twhIc.s. 






Court. 



10, for t\ohui Tiad alobaa. 
ull.,/or l.A.D. r<a<{ H.A.D. 
34,/or North r.North-light& 



'i, for joa read jour. 
I, 7, reini Sereniua. 
I, 1 5, ^r)r carbonate r. 
I, 22, /orj.jc, reorf J.: 
I, 31, rwui torrorV. 



NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 



A. 

A. We have various provincial peculiarities connected 
with this letter, most of which may be traced to our 
Saxon progenitors; as when it is interchanged with 
other vowels, or retained as an initial prefix ; in some 
of which latter cases it is now reduced to mere sur- 
plusage, whilst in, others it certainly gives a more 
pointed significancy to the word to which it is appended. 
A has generally the broad sound of ah^ but not unfre- 
quently the close, slender pronunciation of the interroga- 
tive. Sometimes it is used redundantly, as " How they are 
a-talking I " and at others with no more reason altogether 
omitted, as in "pothecary" for apothecary, "natomy" for 
anatomy, " sizes" for assizes, &c. Prefixed to different 
noims or verbs, it operates as a substitute for the pre- 
positions in J intOy to, on, of, and by ; as " atwo " in two ; 
"afield," into the field; " much ado," much to do; " the 
house is afire," on fire ; " out adoors," out of doors ; " a 
great," by the great. A' sometimes serves as a substi- 



■''*^r?-" 



•^ NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

tute for the pronouns he and she : there are many early 
authorities, and it is so used by Shakspere. 
Quickly, Nay, that d* did not. 
Boy, Yes, that a* did. 

Hen. v. ii. 8. 
And then my husband (Gh>d be with his soul, 
A* was a merry man;) 

Rom. & Jul. i. 8. 

A' serves as a contraction for the sign of the perfect tense, 
as " you might as well a*gone," i, e. have gone ; and it is 
used redundantly before active participles, as " a'going," 
" rt' walking," " a'riding;'' and it is equivalent to ^, in 
" rr'fore," before ; " a'twixt," betwixt. A and O are perhaps 
oftener and more indiscriminately interchange! than 
any other vowels, as in " drop " for drop, " rot " for 
rat, " crop" for crop, " gother" for gather. E is trans- 
muted into a before r, and perhaps some other conso- 
nants, as " sarmon " for sermon, " porfect " for perfect ; 
and when the two vowels e and a occur consecutively 
the first only is pronoimced in some words, as " ct " for 
eat, " crem " for cream, " bet " for beat, " gret " for 
great, and the last only in others, as in " laming " for 
learning, " mait " for meat. 

ABATE. To make bare ; to imcover ; to clear away or 
remove the superincumbent soil preparatory to working 
stone in a quarry. Bate, onbare, unbare, and unbate, 
are all cognate terms. Uncallow is correspondent in 
East Anglia. 

ABEAR. To tolerate; used with a negative to express 
aversion and dislike, as " I can't abear you." A.-Sax. 
abceran, tolerare. h.a.d. 

ABIDE. Used in the same sense as abear, " I can't abide 
you ;" and so in Shakspere, FalstafF says. 

Never, never, she would always say, she could 
not abide Master Shallow. 

2 Henby IV. iii. 2. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. ;i 

ABOUT. Engaged upon ; doing ; in hand. This expres- 
sive but inexplicable phrase is frequently applied to a 
wash, as " T\''eVe got a wash about; " and still mon* 
singularly to the domestic and other culinary etceteras 
resulting from a pig being killed for family use ; " We've 
got a pig about this week." 

ABROADEY. To walk abroad. It is commonly said to 
young children when they are going to be taken out of 
doors, " Come let's go abroadey," or " all abroadey.'' 

ACE. " Within an ace,^^ implies very near doing a thing, 
or almost accomplishing an object. Within an inch is 
the Scotch equivalent. See Jamieson. Todd defines 
ace, " a very small quantity; a particle; an atom;" 
which sanctions our phrase. 

ACETY. Acid. 

ACRESPIRE. Todd gives Acrospire as " a shoot or 
sprout from the end of seeds before they are put in the 
groimd." We restrict the use of this word to the germ of 
barley in the process of malting — ^the chitting or sprout- 
ing at that end of the grain from which the stalk rises. 
See Jamieson. w.c. M.S. B.N.c."Akersprit." 
H.A.D."Acrospire." 

ADAM'S ALE. Water. Bartlett in his Dictionary' of 
Americanisms supplies the following illustration : — 

To slake his thirst, he took a drink 
Of Adam^s Ale from river*s brink. 

Retnabd the Fox. 

CC U.P. 

ADAM AND EVE. The two bulbs of the orchis macu- 

lata, one of which nourishes the existing plant, the other 

the succeeding one. 
ADAM'S APPLE. The enlargement or bulb at the upper 

part of the throat. The medical term ponms Adami 

anglicised. 

H.A.D. 

b2 



f 

1 



4 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

ADAM'S FLANNEL. Great mullein, verbascum thap- 
8U8. (Hooker.) It may have obtained this name, says 
the Craven Glossarist, from the soft white hairs with 
which the leaves are thickly clothed on both sides. 
c.c. 

ADDLE. An adding or addition. " Two pence and three 
pence, is five pence ; and two groats and two pence is ten 
pence." A curious specimen of village arithmetic, called 
" the old woman's addle." 

2. To earn. A.-Sax. cedlian^ prsemium. Todd and Ash 
both consider it local, and Skinner and Bishop Kennett 
assign it to Lincolnshire. 

R.N.C. W.C. M.S. B.N.C. F.E.A. H.H. C.C. E.L. 
T.G. H.A.D. 

ADDLED. Decayed; rotten. A.-Sax. adl^ diseased; cor- 
rupted. It is well defined by Phillips in his " World of 
Words," " empty or rotten, properly spoken of an eg'gy 
and figuratively applied to a hare-brain'd, empty-scull'd 
fellow." The various senses and corresponding etymolo- 
gies wiU be seen in Todd, and it occurs in many of our 
standard dictionaries. Perhaps it may be considered in- 
admissible here, but, as it is found in most of the modem 
glossaries, it is inserted to shew that its use extends to 
the midland district. 

Thy head hath been beaten as addle as an egg. 

Boh. & Jul. ill. 1. 

B.N.C. G.&P. J.S. P.D. H.P. H.A.D. 

ADDLINGS. Earnings ; wages received for labour, 
w.c.app. B.N.C. c.c. T.G. 

ADEAL, ADELE, ADELL. Very much; very many. 
" She was adele like her mother." " There was adell of 
cattle at the fair." 

The following quotations prove it to be an archaism 
rather than, as may be imagined by some, a vulgarism. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 5 

These wormis, ne these moughtis, these mites 
Upon my parril fret them nevre^ adell. 

Chaucbr^s Wife of Bathes Pboloqub. 
Be it ryght or wrong these men among, 

On women docomplayne; 
Affjrrmynge this, how that it is 

A labour spent in vayne, 
To love them wele; for never adele 
They love a man agayne. 

Febct Ballads. 

ADMIRE. To like very much ; to be pleased or gratified. 
" The child admires to go a-walking." " I should ad- 
mire to go to London to see the Queen." According to 
Bartlett this absurd sense is current in the United States. 

ADLAND. See hadland. 

U.S. £.L. 

ADO. A familiar expression of hearty welcome; exces- 
sive, officious kindness. " They always make such ado 
with me, whenever I go to see them I can hardly get 
away." 

It is often used without the prefix ; and in that case to 
is frequently substituted, as " they made a great to do with 

me." 

We'll keep no great ado — a friend, or two : 

Rom. & Jul. iii, 4. 

A-DONE. A contraction for " have done," for which there 
are many early authorities. 

H.A.D. 

A-DOORS. Of doors. " He's gone out a-cfoors." 

Bat what, Sir, I beseech ye, was that paper 
Your Lordship was so studiously employed in 
When ye came out Ordoors t 

Beaum. and Flbtch. Woman Pleased, iy. 1. 
H.A.D. 

AFEARD. Afraid. A-Sax. afcered. A good old word; 
very general in all our early English writers, and still 
current amongst our villagers. Though now considered a 



*• NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

vulgarism, it was anciently as common as afraid is at 
present. It has been supposed that in Chaucer's time 
there was a difference between the significations of afeard 
and afraid, as in one instance he employs both in the 
same verse. 

His wife was neither afeard or afraid. 

Cant. Tales. 
A flake of fire, that flashing in his beard, 
Him all amazed, and almost made affeard, 

Spenser, Faerie Queene, b. i« c. 4. 
I was not much ajfeard; for once, or twice, 
I was about to speak. 

Winter's Tale, iv. S. 
Why do they run away ? this is a knaveiy of them to 
make me afeard. 

Mid. N. Dr. iu. 1. 
Till he cherished too much beard, 
And made love or me afeard. 

Ben Jonson. 

b.n.c. m.s. c.c. h.s. p.d. l.h. a.w. j.s. e.l. 

H.P. H A.D. 

A-FIELD. In the field. " The master's gone a-fidd^' or 
" wp a-field,^'' i, e. he is gone over his farm. 
Sweet lord, who*s a-fieJd to day. 
f Troil. and Ores. iii. 1. 

y.G. H.A.D. "A-feld." 
AFORE. The ancient form of before, still in use. 

Then gan she cry much louder than afore. 

Spenser, Faerie Queene, b. t. c. 2. 
If your diligence be not speedy, I shall be there afore you. 

Mid. N. Dr. iii. 1. 
Now afore God, God forbid, I say 'tis true. 

Richard II. iv. 1. 

B.N.C. 2nd ED. J.S. F.E.A. C.C. H.S. T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

AFORE-LONG. Ere long ; before long. " I shaU go a/ore 
Zo7?(7." This compound has escaped our lexicographers. 

C.C> H.S. f »Qtt 

AFTERMATH. The second crop of grass ; the after pas- 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 7 

turage or herbage after once mowing. A-.Sax. CBJiev- 
mert — mcBth. In strictness Aftermath is the second or 
latter mowing; but with us it is equally applied, 
whether the second crop be mown, or eaten off the 
ground. LATTERMATHis perhaps in more general use; 
ROWENS and eddish are also kindred terms, and will be 
noticed in their respective places. 

M.S. O.&P. H.H. app. H.P. H.A.D. 

AGE. To wear the appearance of advancing years. " He 
ages apace,^' t. e. looks older in a short space of time. 
Palsgrave has " I age or waxe olde." " Thought maketh 
men age a'pace." 

G.&P. H.S. A.W. T.G. H.P. ' H.A.D. 

AGEN. Again; against; in contact with; by that time. 
This signification has been overlooked by Todd, but 
is given by Ash. Johnson observes that this word is 
only written instead of the adv. again, for the sake of 
rhythm: but we use it more commonly for the prep, 
against, as " He lives agen me." " They ran agen me 
and knocked me down." "I shall be ready agen to- 
morrow." " I shall be there agen you come." A.- Sax. 
agen, Agen occurs in most of the provincial dialects. 

B.N.C. M.S. C.C. F.E.A. H.S. P.D. J.S. L.H. H.P. 

H.A.D. H.H."Ageean." 
AGG. To hack or cut unevenly. " How you agg the 
meat." The author of the Craven Glossary derives it 
from the Isl. hoeg, verber, Brockett suggests that it may 
be adopted from the Scottish Jiag, to hew : but with due 
submission to these learned glossarists, perhaps it is 
nothing more than a corrupted abbreviation of the syno- 
nyme haggle; or may it not be derived from the A. -Sax. 
kaccan^ to cut ? HaUiwell has ag, to cut with a stroke. 

A.W. 

2. An allotted portion of manual labour on the soil ; 
as digging, draioing, embanking, &c. " Have you done 



8 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

your agg ? " is a common inquiry amongst fellow-labourers. 
In Warwickshire, the rods which mark the boimdary of 
a fall of timber are called hagg-staffs ; and the separate 
portions so divided are called each man^s hagg: but I 
believe it has not the same extended signification there 
as in this county. 

H.s.^Hagg-work." 
3. To work by the job instead of by the day. ' 

AGG-MASTER. One who contracts for the completion 
of a specific work or portion of work, at a stipulated 
price, employing others to execute it under his super- 
intendence. 

AGOG. Anxious; eager. Todd remarks, that in the 
Yorkshire dialect, to set one agog is to make one long or 
desire ; and in this sense we use it, as, " Tve set him 
agog,^'' " He's all agog to go." Various etymologies are 
given in Todd and Boucher; Brockett deduces it from 
the Italian agognarej to long or desire. 

Neither am I come to thee, or to set the agog with a vain 
salutation, but I am come unto the as a messagier of a matter 
bothe passyng joyful and also verai great. 

Udal, Luke, c. i. 

Cowper fiimishes a familiar illustration in his divert- 
ing history of John Gilpin : 

Six precious souls, and all agog 
To dash through thick and thin. 

AGOO. An archaical pronunciation of ago. 

Hast thou not heard I have ordeyned such a thynge a great 
whyle a^foo, and have prepared it from the begynynge. 

2 Kings, c. zix. Bible, ed. 1589. 
AGGRAVATE. To irritate. " You aggravate me so I 
don't know how to bear myself." " You*re enough to 
aggravate the stones," is a very common expression. 

F.E.A. 

AGREAT, or AGRET. By the great; work taken or let 
out to be done by quantity instead of by the day. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 9 

AGREEABLE. Compliant ; assenting to any proposal ; able 
to agree. " Fm quite agreeable to it." 

W.Capp. F.EJL. C.C. P.D. T.O. H.A.D. 

AHTNT. Behind. A.-Sax. a-hindan. Not frequent, and 
confined I believe to the northern part of the coimty. It 
occurs in Spenser, Shakspere, and the Minstrelsy of the 
Scottish Border. 

B.N.C. C.C. H.A.D. E.L."Ahind or ahent." 

AHUH. Awry; askew; oblique. A.-Sax. aiw^, oblique. 
" YouVe put your shawl on all ahuh ;" " That rick 
stands all ahuhj^ are very common expressions. If, as 
is frequently the case, the word is preceded by the pro- 
noun onej the a is dropped, and it is said to be all of one 
huhJ* 

F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. H.s."Ayoh." H.H."A11 ahoh." 

AIL, or AYL. The beard or awn of barley; if any of the 
awns adhere to the com after it is dressed for market, it 
is is said to be oik/, referrible to the A.-Sax. egla^ the 
beard of com, or perhaps to a metaphorical use of the 
A.-Sax. eel, an awl or sharp-pointed instrument. Ash 
gives the word, and Bailey has it as an Essex term, for 
the beard of wheat instead of barley. Aum and Aicn 
are both cognate with ail — Moor and Forby " avel." 
Pile is synonymous in Staffordshire and Worcester- 
shire. 

G.&P. H.P. H.A.D. 

AILDY. Ailing, poorly. " I be very aildi/ to-day." 
AILSE, or ALLY. Alice. 

C.C H.A.D. 

AIR. The general meaning of this word is, I believe, as 
Bishop Kennett defines it, though he gives it as a pro- 
vincialism — ^grace, beauty, as, " He does a thing with 
an air;^^ but we use it pluraUy in rather a contemp- 
tuous sense, as a reproof for unwarrantable pretensions, 
or assiuned superiority. " She gives herself such airs.'' 

b3 



1 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

It also has another plural signification expressive of the 
humoiirsome fretiulness of children, as ** Let us have 
none of your atrs^ 

AIR-PEG. The vent-peg of a barrel. Same as Spile-peg. 

AISY. A vitiation of easy. 

AITCH-BONE. The extreme end of a rump of beef, cut 
obliquely ; probably a corruption of edge-bone. 

M.S. c.s. H.A.D. F.E.A."Ice-bone." c.c."Nache-bone." 

AJAR. Partially closed, neither quite open nor shut; 
applied exclusively to a door. " Leave the door o/ar." 
See JAR. ■ ' . 

XI. H. C.C. H.P. 

AL, or ALLEY. A superior sort of marble, used by 
boys in playing at the game of marbles, for shooting 
at the ring ; deriving its name fronj the term alabaster, 
as erroneously applied to the varieties of carbonate of 
lime which constitute marble, instead of restricting it 
to sulphate of lime or gypsum. These marbles are 
generally denominated white als, or alleys^ but when they 
exhibit any of the red veins they are caUed hhod alleys^ 
and are doubly prized by the possessor. The imitations 
made of painted clay in the potteries are called |X)i alleys. 
Taw is also a name given to any ornamented or varie- 
gated marble which is used for the same purpose. 

B.N.C. H.H. F.E.A. H.S. T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

ALABLASTER. A corrupt pronunciation of alabaster; 
an archaism. 

H.H. C.C. H.A.D. 

ALEHUS. A small public house ; or beer shop. Hus is 
the original Saxon form of house, though only now 
retained in compound words like the present, and 

BAKHUS, DOVEHUS, OUTHUS, &C. 

ALL. In spite of; notwithstanding. " I'll do it for all 
you." 

C.C. H.A.D. 



.V 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 11 

ALL-A-BITS or ALL-TO-BITS. All to pieces ; in rags. 

B.N.C. C.C. T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

ALL-ABROAD. An expression used when any under- 
taking has failed, and the person is at a loss what fresh 
steps to pursue ; equivalent to " all at sea." 

ALL- ALONG, Throughout; constantly; without inter- 
mission. " YouVe all along been my friend." 

ALL-ALONG-OF. Entirely owing to ; the cause or 
occasion of. " It's all along of you that this happened/' 
t. 6. through you. A.-Sax. gelang. 

That I have no child hidur till, 
Hit is al altmge on Goddes wille. 
CuBSOB MuNDi, MS. Coll. Trin. Cantab, t 64. (Haluwell.) 

Her, Yon mistress, all this ooyl is *l<mff of you, 

MiDS. N. Dr. iii. 2. 

ALL-AS-IS."-4ZZ as w, is this," meaning, " This is all I have 
to say about it." 

L.H. xi.A.I/. 

ALL'S-ONE. All the same. " It's aWs one whether you 

do it or not." 
ALL-IN-ALL. Very intimate. 

H.A.D. 

ALL-OUT. Throughout ; entirely ; in every respect. " It's 
not all out so good as I expected." 

H.P. H.A.D. 

ALL TO PIECES. A person who has failed, or been 

sold up, or in a state of bankruptcy, is said to be " all 

to pieces,^'' 
ALL. " For good and all," i. e. quite ; entirely. " He's 

gone^or good and all,^^ 
ALLS. Goods and chattels. " Come pack up your alls 

and be off" is a common form of dismissal to a laboiu*er 

or workman. 



12 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

I am indebted to the Craven Glossarist for the sub- 
joined illustration. 

Now reason callB, 

Of force they must pack up their awls. 

Mar. p. 136. 
Pack up your alls and come along. 

QuiB Genus, p. 225. 
ALLEY. The space between the two stones which mark 
the goal in the game of foot-ball. Fr. aller. 

T.G. 

2. The aisle of a Church is sometimes so called; " The 
middle allet/'^ or nave. 

H.H. H.A.D. 

ALLUS. Always. 

Where the water*s alius running, 
While the spring is just beginning, 
And the cowslips ever springing, 
Come looping o^er the lea. 

Glare's MS. Poems. 
M.S. A.W. H.A.D."AwlU8." 

AMAN G. A mixture ; applied to an eruption on the skin 
blended into a mass. " All of amangy A.-Sax. amang, 
gemang, 

j.s. c.c. H.A.D. T.G. A.W. H.p."Allemang.** 
A-MANY. A multitude; a great number. ToddremaAs 
that in the north of England " a many" and " a many 
people" is common ; with us it is universal. 

Lor And I do know 

A manr/ fools that stand in better place, 
Gamish'd like him. 

Merch. op Venice, iii. 16. 
If weather be £Eiyre, and tydie thy graine, 
Make spedely carrige for feare of a raine, 
For tempest and showers deceiveth a-many. 
And lingering lubbers lose many a peny. 

Tussea, ed. 1578, f. 55. 
B.N.C. C.C. G.&P. H.P. H.A.D. 

AMY FLORENCE. Any female loosely, untidily, and 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 13 

tawdrily dressed. " She is qxiite an Amy Fhrence.^^ " How 
she goes florencing about." Though this expression 
must have been adopted from some frail one of the name, 
it was current in different parts of the county, and may 
be traced back at least a century ; but is now nearly 
obsolete. 
AN. Equivalent to if. " An I were you." Often used 
familiarly by Shakspere, and other old dramatists. 

Right, Sir, 1*11 tell yoa when, an you'll tell me wherefore. 

Com. of Ebb. iii. 1 . 

1*11 give yoa Aquitain, and all that is his, 

An you give him for my sake but one loving kiss. 

Lovers L. Lost, ii. 1. 

F.E.A. CO. P.D. H.P. H.A.D. 

2. Of. " None an um," none of them. " I know 
nothing an it," nothing of it. 

3. Sometimes a contraction of and, or a prefix to if. 
" ^n if I did, what of that ? " 

ANBEBRY. Sometimes aspirated. A small excrescence 
at the end of a horse's nose. Phillips in his " World of 
Words " says, " a spungy wart growing on any part of 
a horse's body." I am informed we occasionally apply 
it to a wart on the heel. 

F.E.A. H.A.D. 

2. A disease in growing turnips or potatoes, caused by 
the puncture of an insect. Boucher thinks " the etymo- 
logy of the term, as well as the -term itself, seems to be 
local." 

F.E.A. H.A.D. M.S." Hanbury." 
ANCHOR. The tong and swivel, or transverse piece of a 
buckle which attaches to the chape. 

Brockett and Akerman consider it the chape of the 

buckle, and so do the Craven Glossarist, Forby, and 

Grose and Pegge. 

ANCHOR-FROST. When ice is supposed to have been 

formed on the bed of a stream or river, either previous 



14 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

to, or during the process of the freezing of the surface- 
water. It is however held by some philosophers to be natu- 
rally impossible that congelation shoidd take place at the 
bottom before the surface is frozen : when ice, then, is 
found resting on the bed of a stream, it must, on this 
hypothesis, do so in consequence of having been rendered 
specifically heavier than the surrounding medium; as 
when, for instance, it is formed on the surface along a 
bank, but is afterwards forcibly removed from its posi- 
tion by the ebbing or rising of the stream, carrying with 
it a portion of the earth to which it was attached, and 
which makes its specific gravity greater than the water 
— the ice necessarily subsiding to the bottom where it 
becomes stationary, and being seen in this position, it is 
supposed to have been formed there. 

Other similar instances might be given in illustration ; 
but the one above is sufficient to awaken the reader's 
observation, and enable him to explain all the cases of 
this nature which usually occur. 

This singular phenomenon frequently occurs in the 
neighbourhood of a mill-stream, and I remember once 
hearing a miller say, " We had a sharp anchor-frost last 
night, for my pole would stand upright in the water this 
paoming." 

Evans defines anchor-ice in his Leicestershire Glos- 
sary " Ice formed far below the surface of the water in a 
running stream." 

ANCLEE. The ankle. A.-Sax. ancleow. 

ANCLEE-JACKS or ANKLE-JOHNS. High shoes reach- 
ing up to the ankle. John, or Johnny, is a common 
generic term for rustics or country clowns, by whom these 
articles are worn ; hence the compoimd name. 

ANEAR. Nigh ; close to. " Don't come anear me." 

H.A.D. 

AN-EEND. Upright; elevated on one end. "Set that 
pole up a7i-6€wc?." " The horse reared up an-eend." 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 15 

" It made my hair stand an-end^^ is a common expression. 
It is adopted in this sense by the Cheshire and Suffolk 
glossarists ; but with us it is also used in a colloquial and 
singular sense, to denote adherence to any particular line 
of conduct. "I most an-eend do so and so," i. e, generaUy. 
" I most an-eend call when I go that way." 

" To go right aw-e/idJ" is to go straight forward to some 
given point. 

w.c. F.E.A. H.A.D. c.c."End," "Maast an-end." h.s. 
"Anind." 
ANG-NAIL. Sometimes aspirated. A troublesome and 
disagreeable little piece of reverted skin at the side of 
the finger nail ; more frequently called Idle Wheal ; but 
there are various other synonymes, as Back-friend, Fan- 
nail, Idle- WARTS, Idle-welts, Thang-nail, and Warty- 
WHEALS. Wilbraham gives " Step-mother's Blessings" as 
the provincial term in Cheshire. Boucher considers the 
etymology referable to the A.-Sax. ange, vexatus, 
pained, and nceil, nail ; he observes that in most, if not 
all the quotations which he has given, the word probably 
signifies corns ; and I suppose it was formerly so used in 
this county, as Lye, who was one of our local worthies, 
says, " Northamptoniensibus est clavus pedum gemursa 
pterogium." Palsgrave has " Agnayle upon one's too." 
Grose and Pegge give " Ang-nails, corns on the feet — 
peculiar to Cumberland." 

H.A.D. "Agnail." 
ANGRY. PainfiiUy inflamed. " It's a bad wound; it 
looks so very ang;ryP Forby remarks, that " in the Pr. 
Par. anger is given as a synonyme of anguish^ and 
rendered into Latin by angary 

F.E.A. T.G. P.H. H.A.D. 

ANIGH. Near ; close. " He lives anigh me." 

H*S. H.A.D. 

ANSTIFF. A corruption of handstaff; the handle of a 



16 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

flail. The lower end or part of the flail which strikes 
the com is called the swingel ; and the leather which 
connects the two, middle-band. 
ANY-HOW. In any way. " Make haste, put them 
things in the box any-how ^ very nearly allied to 
higgledy piggledy. 

All Nelson wanted was to go to Copenhagen ; and he 
said, 

'* Let it be by the Sound, or by the Belt, or any Aov.** 

Nelson's Despatches, tol. it. 

APIECES. In pieces, to pieces; so used by Beaumont 
and Fletcher. 

JIl*S. MwJL.D* 

APPERN. An apron. Brocket deduces it from the Fr. 

naferon, the Craven glossarist from the A.-Sax. aforan, 

and Hartshome from the Armoric appam, 

C.C."Apperon." H.s."Appam." T.G."Ap-ron." 

H.A.D."Apem." 
APPLE. To bottom at the root. Turnips apple well, 

when the roots swell, and assume a bulbous form. 
APPLE-HEADED. A term applied to a low, stunted oak 

with a round bushy head. 
APPLE-PIE-BED. A bed is so called when it is made 

with a single sheet, one end tucked under the pillow, the 

other turned over at the top, which doubles the sheet 

in the middle, and prevents the longitudinal extension 

of the occupant. A youthftd frolic, often practised at 

schools. 

P.D. H.A.D. 

APPLE-PIE-ORDER. A very common phrase expressive 
of great nicety and exactness. To have every thing in 
apple-pie-order, is to be particular and precise in per- 
sonal appearance and domestic arrangements. 

C.C H.A.D. 

APRICOCK. Apricot. This apparent vulgarism is used 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 17 

by Shakspere in the Midsummer Night's Dream, iii. 1 ; 
and Richard n., iii. 4. 

J.S. L.H. H.A.D. 

APRIL-FOOL-DAY. The first of April ; the day on which 
it is customary to practise some harmless deception, 
such as sending ignoramuses for pigeons* milk, stirrup- 
oil, or the History of Adam's Grandfather, &c., thereby 
making April Fools, as it is termed, of such as are silly 
enough to go on such errands. 

The first of April some do say, 
' Is set apart for All Fools'* Day, 

Poor Robin's Almanack, 1760. 

ARGUFY. To argue; to dispute. "Don't argufy with 
me any longer." 

c.c. 

2. To signify. "What does that ar^^.?" "That 
argufies nothing." 

f .fl.A. J.S. \j»\jm £L.S. xr.I/. v/.S. Lf.il. A.H. 

ARGUFICATION. Signification; import. "There's no 
argufication in that." 

H.A.D. 

A-RISE. Pronoimced arice. Rising; on the rise. A 
square piece of wood cut diagonally would be said to be 
cut a-rise. 

ARM. " At arm^s length," u e, at a distance. " He takes 
such liberties if I don't keep him at arm^s length." 
Shakspere has arms-end, in, " As You Like It." 

ARMS. L:on axle-trees for coaches and waggons. 

AR'N'T. An abbreviated corruption of the signs of the 
present and perfect tenses, with a negative, both singular 
and plural. " I ar'nH going to the fair, if you a^rrCV 
" I ar'nH got any money to spare, and I suppose you 
ar^rCt"' " Ar'rCte dun't ?" i, e. Have not you done it ? 

ARRAWIG or ARRAWIGGLE. Often aspirated. The 



18 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

Earwig. Forficula auricularia (Linn.) A very old name 
for this disagreeable insect; it is designated "Ar- 
wygyll worme, aureall,^^ in the curious and interesting 
M.S. Lexicon of 1440 in the Harleian MSS. in the 
British Museum ; and in the early vocabularies of Pynson 
and Wynkya de Worde, we have " Erewygyll, aurealisy 
A.-Sax. eanmgga, vermis aurictUaris, 
M.S. H.A.D. F.E.A."Erriwiggle." 

ARTER. By the side of. " Go arter the hedge," i. e. 
follow the course of the hedge. 

ARTER, AATER, AUTER. AfteT. Hence the compound 
(trtemoon. 

And att/r this his modir dide aryse. 
And lyfte him up softely into the stall. 

Ltdqate's MS. Poems, 260. (Halliwell.) 

j.s. p.D. c.s. H.p. H.A.D."Ater," "Atemoon." 
ARTICLE. A contemptuous epithet for a worthless crea- 
ture, or a miserable animal. " A pretty article he is !" 

F.E.A. H.p. H.A.D. 

AS. By; during; used redimdantly. " I expect him as 
next week." 

2. Which, that. " One as I have at home." Nares 
says obsolete, but it is still current with us. 

r.£.A. CC. Li.H. 

AS HOW. That. " He said as Aom; he'd come." 
ASHLER. Square hewn stone, set in regular courses with 
a close joint. Todd, Bailey, and Ash, describe it as 
" free stone, rough out of the quarry ;" and Grose inserts 
it as peculiar to Cumberland for " large free . stone." 
Forby agrees with our signification, citing examples of 
its use ; the same sense is recognised in Scotland accord- 
, ing to Jamieson; and " clene he wen stone" is constantly 
distinguished from " rough stone" in the contracts for 
building Fotheringhay Church in the Monasticon. 

C.C. G.&P. H.p. H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. lU 

ASH-KEYS. The seed of the ash. The failure of a crop 
of ash-keys is said to portend a death in the royal family. 

H.A.D. 

ASIDEN. Awry; askew; often used without the prefix, 
as " How siden your bonnet isl" 

H.S. L.H. H.P. H.A.D. 

ASKEB. A newt or lizard. Lacerta pahistris {Linn.) Bp. 
Kennett's Glossary, Lansd. MS. 1033, has this word as 
current in Staffordshire. 

B.N.C, W.C.app. C.C. G.&.P. H.H. H.S. H.P. H.A.D. 

ASKINGS. Publications of the banns of marriage. 

C.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

ASSHi-TREE. The axle of a wheel. I borrow the fol- 
lowing illustration from the Craven glossarist. 
Under the brayand of whelis and amltre 
The fludis strekis plane all over the see. 

DOUGL. VlBG. p. 155. 
B.NC. C.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

ASTONIED. Surprised, astonished. A.-Sax. stunian. 
Pynson and Wynkyn de Worde have " Aatoyned or cw- 
Umyed in mannys wit; attonitus (a dradde or aferd)." 
It occurs in the old version of the Bible, and in our old 
poets. See Todd v. Astonie, 

Of which I gan astonied to behold. 

Chaucer's Assemble of Foules. 
All sore astonied stood the Duke. 

Perot's Reliques. 
Astonied both stand senselesse as a blocke. 

Faerie Queene, Bk. 7. C. ii. 
H.A.D. 

ASTOUNDED. Astonished; affrighted; amazed; stunned 
with surprise; used much in the same sense as astonied, 
but more indicative of the effect of sudden fear or 
amazement. 

As we ere while astounded and amazed. 

Milton's Paradise Lost. 
W.C.app. 



20 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

ASTRUT or ASTROUT. Standing out; prominent. "It 
stands astruty Thus in Pynson, "Astrut or strowtingly, 
turgide (some dele swollen)." 

H.A.D. 

AT. A common mode of expressing residence or dwelling. 
" Now his mother's dead where is he cUT^ t. e. Where 
does he reside ? " He does not know where to he at now^" 
where to live. 

2. " What are you at?^^ i. e. What are you doing? 
" What are you going to be at?" is often said when any 
one is mischievously inclined. 

3. Frequently substituted for to, " Your house will 
tumble about your ears soon, if nothing is done at it." 

U.S. H.A.D. 

A-TmSSENS. In this manner. 

A-TWEEN, ATWIXT. Between, betwixt. A frequent 
pleonasm discarding the initial letters, as " twixt and 
tween," to express the medium or middle point. The 
" Ortus Vocabulorum" has " Atwixt, intery prepoaitio,^^ 

. • • . atwixt noone and prime. 

Chauceb, Troil. & Cbes. 
Attioeen too theevys nayled to a tre. 

Ltdgate's Minor Poems, 263. 
Atween midnight and the fresh morwe gray. 

Ltdoate^s Viboin Mart. Harl. MS. 2255. 
Her loose long yellow locks, like golden wire, 
Sprinkled with perl and perling flowers atvreen, 

Spenser*s Faerie Queen. 
But with outrageous strokes did him restrain. 
And with his body barr'd the way aiwixt them twain. Ibid. 

F.E.A. C.C. H.P. H.A.D. M.S."Atwin." 

A-TWO. In two ; divided into two parts. Tusser uses a;too ; 
and Todd says, "ancient but not obsolete." 

And eke an axe to smyte the cord cUwo, 

Chaucer^s Miller's Tale. 

A.W. H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 21 

AUD-RAFANT. Precocious ; prematurely wise ; early ripe. 
Bishop Kennett and Boucher give the same meaning to 
avd-farand^ and consider it as the participle of the verb 
fare^ from the Gk)thic and Saxon feran, Brockett refers 
avd-farant to the Dutch ervaren^ Danish erfaren, experi- 
enced. This word is very widely extended. We find 
it in one or other of these two forms, Aud-farand or 
Aud-farant, in most of the provincial glossaries, but our 
form Audrafant is peculiar to us, and all three have 
escaped the lexicographers. Our mode of spelling the 
word appears to suggest a probable etymology. The first 
syllable is obviously the early form of the word old^ and 
may not the succeeding ones be a corruption of enfant, 
I. e. old-infant or sage-child, which exactly corresponds 
with our meaning. It is now nearly obsolete, and con- 
fined to the southern division of the county. 
H.H. G.&.p."Audfarand.'' H.A.D."Audfarant." 

AUGERS. Osiers. Auger-holm is correllative with 
osier-holt. 

AUM. The beard of com ; less local than Ail, which see. 

AUTER. See Arter. 

AUWARDS. Cast. An animal is said to be auwards 
when it is cast on its back, and imable to rise. A.-Sax. 
cBwardSj perversus, aversus. 
B.N.C. H.A.D."Ackwards." 

AVERN. Uncouth in person, dress, and manners; ap- 
plied exclusively to the lower order of youthful females. 
A slatternly overgrown girl, or a strong, muscular, slo- 
venly servant would be called " a great avern thing." 
May this not be a figurative application of aver^ a labour- 
ing beast ? This term, though very general in the south 
and west, is quite unknown in other parts of the coimty. 
Halliwell gives, " Avum, slovenly in dress," and assigns it 
to Bedfordshire, a neighbouring county, which is the 
only notice I find of this word. 



22 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

A- WAY. A state of perturbation and irritation. " She's 
quite in a-way about it." " She's in such a-way you can't 
think." 

AWHILE. Have time. " Tm so busy I can't awhile f' 
simply implying I have not time. A.-Sax. hwile, 

U.S. L.H. £«L. H.A.D. 

AWN. The spire or beard of barley or other grain. 
See Ail. Awn seems to be less local than either Aum 
or Ail. It is found in our earliest Lexicons ; Todd and 
Jamieson insert it as a northern word; Boucher, who ad- 
duces several examples, says " We seem to have adopted 
this term from the Danes or Swedes, who got it from the 
(^ths." 

R. C.C. G.&P. H.A.D. 

AX. To ask. The publication of the banns of marriage 
is called " being axt to church." " Axt out," or " out aa;i," 
is the third publication of the banns. This, like many 
other old words which are considered vulgarisms, is pure 
Saxon, and seems to be current as a provincialism in 
most parts of the kingdom. A.-Sax. aocian. Nares cites 
several instances of its occurrence in our early writers : 
it is noticed by Jamieson, but appears to have escaped 
the diligence of Todd. 

Axe 36 & it shall be ^oven to 30U. 

WiCLiF MS. Matt. vii. 

If he shall axe a fishe wher he schal dresse to hi a serpent. 

Ibid. 

And for my werke nothing will I axe. 

Chaucer's M.O.'s Tale. 

Soreweful and mishappy is the condition of a poore beggar, for 
if he axe not his mete he dieth for hunger, and if he axe, he dieth 
for shame. 

Chaucer's Tale of Melibeus. 

A poor lazar, upon a tide 

Came to the gate, and axed meate. 

Gower. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 23 

Margaret, Countess of Eichmond and Derby, in a letter 
to her son Heniy VII. concludes with 

As herty blessings as ye can axe of God. 

A witty conundrum in one of our weekly journals 
supplies us with a modem illustration : 

If a tree is felled, why has it no reason to complain ? 
Because it was axed whether it would or not. 

M.S. B.N.C. C.C. F.E.A. H.H. C.S. P.D. LH. J.S. 
T.G. H.P. 

AXE- WORK. Building with stone that is prepared with 
an axe, in contradistinction to Ashler or chiselled stone. 
Axe-work is the usual mode of building in this county. 

AXING. Asking. 

J.S. 



B. 

BAALAMB. A juvenile epithet for a young lamb, so 
long as it is nourished by the mother ; compounded of 
the cry of the sheep, and the appellative. 

M.S. P.D. H.A.D. 

BAAN'T. Am not ; are not. " I haarCt a gooing, and 
they hcuirCt a gooing." 

H.A.D. 

BACCA. BACKA. BACKY. Tobacco, tinder one or 
other of these barbarous corruptions it may be found in 

W.C. M.S. J.S. B.N.C. P.D. H.P. 

BACHELOR'S BUTTONS. A name applied indiffer- 
ently to the double varieties of the Lychnis diotca, 
Achillea Ptarmica, and Ranunculus bulbosOy all aptly so 
called from the resemblance which the numerous and 
closely set petals, whether of the pink Lychnis, the 
white Achillea, or the yellow or white Ranunculus bear 



24 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

to a neatly worked button. Bachelor's buttons were 
formerly supposed to exercise a secret influence over 
the fortunes of rustic lovers. 

M.S. B.N.C. P.D. T.G. H.A.D. 

BACK. To endorse. " He's ruin'd himself a hacking o' 

bills for other people." 
BACK AND EDGE. Completely; entirely. " I gave it 

him hack and edge^'' t. e, I did not spare him, I told 

him my mind plainly. A similar expression to Hip and 

TfflGH, and Tooth and Nail. 

H.A.D. H.P. 

BACK-BAND. A chain passing in the groove of a cart- 
saddle to support the shafts. 

C.C. T.G. H.A.D. 

BACKEN. To check the growth of vegetation ; to hinder; 
to protract ; to retard. " The child would have walked 
before now, if its teeth hadn't hacken'd it." 

C.C. H.S. H.A.D. 

BACK-END. The latter end of the year; applied also to 
the end of a week. 

B.N.C. C.C. T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

BACKERD. Backward; behind hand. " The child's very 
hackerd wi' its feet." " It's a very hackerd spring." 
H.A.D." Backert." 

BACKERDER. The comparative of the preceding word. 
" Stand a bit hackerder, will you." 

H.S. 

BACK-FRIEND. See Ang-nail. 

H.A.D. 

BACKING. Refiise coal, or cinders, thrown at the back 
of a fire, for the double purpose of economising fuel and 
increasing the heat. In Staffordshire called slack. 

BACK-OUT. To retreat from any bargain or argument : 
to refiise to fulfil a promised engagement. 

BACK-SETTER. A stick or piece of wood placed out- 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 25 

side the back of a slaughtered animal: each end of the 
stick being inserted into a slit, for the purpose of keeping 
the body open and extended. 
BACKSIDE. The court yard at the back of a house, 
or any ground attached to the back of a house or pre- 
mises ; well known in Northampton under the com- 
pound form of " Backside- Westons," now modernized 
to Weston Street. 

The foUoAving " Memorand" in the Parish Eegister of 
Bugbrook, 1668, furnishes a very apt and curious illustra- 
tion of this word: — 

*' About this time that untoward generation of Quakers began to 
bury theirs distinctly by themselves in their gardens and orchards in 
severall places of the towne, all of which burialls (there being no 
notice given of them to the Min' or Parish Gierke) are therefore here 
omitted, nor have their names inserted in this Church register, though 
there was then a considerable mortality among them, as also those of 
several other sorts of phanaticks, who having forsaken the Church 
would not be buried in the Church yard, but in their orchards or hack- 
side of y' houses." 

Bakeb^s Northamptonshire, vol. i. p. 128. 

B.N.C. A.W. G.&P. T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

BACK-STITCH. A method of ornamenting wrist-bands, 
collars of shirts, &c., by a particular mode of sewing in 
which the needle is always returned to the last stitch ; 
whence the name. 
c.c. 

BACKSTONE. An iron for baking cakes, generally hung 
over the fire. It would seem, from the term stone, that 
a heated stone was formerly used for the purpose, though 
the practice has given way to the preferable material 
iron. 

B.N.C. H.H. c.c. H.P. H.A.D. 

BACK'S UP. " His back's up," or " Tve put his back 
up," are phrases denoting that offence has been given or 
taken. The back is said to be up, when the spirit of a 

G 



26 NORTH AMPTONSH I RK 

jierson is roused. " Her back was up in a moment," t. e. 
she was quick at taking offence. Bishop Kennett has 
" Baxup, angry, provoked. Oxfordshire." Jamieson, 
in his Supplement, observes, what is indeed universally 
obvious, " that it evidently refers to an animal, and 
especially to a cat, that raises its spine, and bristles up 
the hair, in token of defiance, or when about to attack 
its adversary." Both he and the Craven glossarist have 
adopted the following illustration : — 

" Weel, Nelly, since my bcLck is upf ye sail tak down the picture. ** 

St. Ronan's Well, vol. i. p. 65. 
C.C. 

HA.CK- WATER. The waste, or superabundant water of 
a mill, which is carried off by a sluice, h.h. Jamieson, 
Supp. C.C. H.S. 

BADGER. In most of our vocabularies is defined, " one 
that buyeth com or victuals in one place, and carrieth 
it into another," but we only apply the term to the 
former class ; and a general dealer in provisions is deno- 
minated a huckster. Grose says in the north a badger 
is a huckster, and in Derbyshire a meal-man. Badger 
was in general use in Ray's time, and it certainly cannot 
now be considered dialectical. 

B.N.C. C.C. H.H. G.&P. A.W. H.A.D. 

BADGER. To tease; to annoy; to endeavour to accom- 
plish an object by wearying importunity; to beat down 
in a bargain. " You needn't badger me any longer, I 
won't sell it no cheaper." Analogous, no doubt, to the 
baiting of the badger. 

C.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

BAFFLE or BOFFLE. To twist and entangle ; applied to 
com or grass irregularly beaten down by wind or rain. 
scRAiLY is synonymous ; but if grain be regularly beaten 
down in one direction it is said to be l aired ; which see. 

M.S. F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. '27 

BAG. The Long-tailed Titmouse. Fai^us Caudatus. (lAim.). 

The nest of this skilful little mechanist is called Bag's- 
NEST, and it has other appropriate local appellations, as 
Oven's-nest, Pudding-bag, Bum-barrel, and Bottle-tit ; 
all allusive to the singular and curious construction of its 
snug and elegant little mansion. 

2. To dismiss through dissatisfaction. " 1*11 ba^j 
him," or " I'U give him the fto^," are colloquial phrases 
in common use in certain trades ; and are simply notices, 
or rather threats of separation, from either the master or 
the workman; but most frequently from the master. 
Bailey defines this phrase to cheat, as does Nares, ad- 
ducing the following illustration from Green's Quip, &c. 
" You shall have those curses which belongs unto your 
craft; you shall be light-footed to travel farre, light- 
witted upon every small occasion to give your master the 
bagf which, however, accords equally well with our ap- 
plication of the term. 

H.AJD. 

3. To cut peas, or fitches (vetches) with a hook, or 
biU. 

H.S. LimB., 

BAG AND BAGGAGE. Goods and chattels. Commonly 
used to express the removal of a person accompanied by 
all his moveable possessions. " He went away hag and 
baggage:' 

According to Jamieson it is a hackneyed phrase in 
Scotland; and he suggests the probability of its being 
borrowed from the military custom of soldiers carrying 
their whole stock of goods in their knapsacks. 

Let us make an honorable retreat; 
Though not with hag and baggage, yet with 
Scrip and scrippage. 

As You Like It, iii. 2. 
H.A.D. 

c 2 



28 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

BAGGAGE. An opprobioiis epithet for a disorderly or 
dissolute female. " You good for nothing baggage,^'' As 
such persons are the frequent followers of the baggage of 
the military, it may probably be referred to the same 
origin as the preceding phrase. 

Thou haygay€y let me in. 

Com. of Errors, ili. I. 

It is one of the chiystal glasses my cousin sent me ! 
And the haggagt hath broke it where it cannot be mended. 

Beaum. and F. " Coxcomb." 
P.D. 

BAG OF MOONSHINE. An iUusory deception; a tale 
devoid of truth. " It's aU a hojg of moonshine.''^ As little 
to be relied on as the variable and fleeting lustre of the 
nightly luminary. 

BAGPIPES. The Labourer's or Tasker's name for a flail. 
BAILEY. Bailiff. Hence bum-bailey, a bailiff's assistant. 

(J.b. \j»\^» Jtl.S). 

BAIT. To endeavour to obtain anything by teazing, and 

importunity. Correlative with Badger. 
BAKED. Indurated; incrusted, as dirt subjected to the 
action of heat ; applied more particularly to dirt hardened 
on the skin. " The dirt is so baked on the child's face 
it won't come off." 

Shakspere furnishes an apposite illustration of this 
word; though some of his editors, ignorant of this local 
meaning, have converted it into barked. 
And a most instant tetter bak*d about. 
Most lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust, 
All my smooth body. 

Hamlet, i. 5. 

C.C. 
BAKER'S-DOZEN. Thirteen. Florio has, " Serqua, a 
dozen, namely of egges, or, as we say, a baker's dozen, 
that is, thirtecne to the dozen." 

H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 29 

BAKHUS. A bakehouse. See Alehus. 

M.S. B.N.C. H.H.app. 
BALE. The bowed handle of a bucket, pot, or kettle. 
The staples that the bale hooks into are called ears. 
Forbj traces it to the Fr. hailler. 

The frosty morning bites as sharp as fire, 
The rime e^en blisters on the bucket bale. 

Clare's MS. Poems. 
F.E.A. B.N.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

2. A suspended rail or bar to separate horses in a 
stable, in lieu of a boarded division or standing. 

BALCH. To plunge garden pots with growing plants into 
a bed of mould, level with the surface. "You had 
betler halch those pots of geraniums." 

2. To fall suddenly and heavily. " He came down 
fuU hakhr 

BALK. This word, being recognized in most of its signifi- 
cations in the dictionaries, is scarcely admissible ; but, as 
some of its senses may be considered provincial, and it is 
introduced into other local glossaries, it seems fairly en- 
titled to notice here. 

1. A large beam in a roof which unites with and 
supports the rafters ; made of the bole of a tree chopped 
square. 

Small trees when feUed, and before they are hewn, are 
also called balks. A.-Sax. Bale, trabs. Ort. Voc. ^^Trabes, 

a beame, or a balke of a hous." 

He can well in mine eye sene a staike. 
But in his own he cannot sene a balke. 

Chaucea's Miller's Tale. 
With his owen hand than made he ladders three. 
To olimben by the renges and the stalkes 
Unto the tubbes honging in the balkes. 

Ibid. 
f,ejl. H.H. H.s. T.G. B.N.C. and G.&p."BaBLk." :' ', 

2. A narrow slip of grass land dividing two ploughed 
or arable lands in open or conmion fields. Way in his 



:jo NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

PiiOMPTORiuM Parvulorum, Under " Balke," has the fol- 
lowing note : — 

" Crehro, a balke bitwyne two fiirrowes. Porca vocat 
furfiir, aratrinn vult vertere porcum,^^ Med. Habl. MS. 
2257. ** He hath made a balke in the lande, scannum 
fecit J sive ci'udwn solum et immotum reliquity Horm. 
" Banlke of lande, separaiaon" Palsg. A.-S. Bale, porca.'" 
Dykers and delvers diggeden up the balket. 

Piers Ploughman^s Vision. 
Upon the Sabbath, sweet it is to walk 

'Neath woodside shelter of oak's spreading tree, 
Or by a hedgerow track, or paddied balk, 

Clare's Village Minstrel, vol. iL p. 199. 
Now let me, hid in culturM plain, 

Pursue my evening walk. 
Where each way beats the nodding grain 
Aside the narrow balk, 

Clark's Rural Life, p. 33. 

F.E.A. H.S. T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

3. A wooden frame used for confining the head of a 
cow whilst being milked. This machine is minutely 
described in Moor's Suffolk Words. 

M.S. F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

4. A failure; a disappointment. "It was quite a 
balk:' 

Also used verbally, as " Don't balk your fancy if youVe 
a mind on't.'* 

F.E.A. 

BALIi. The palm of the hand. 

H.A.D. 

BALL. To cohere ; as snow to horse's feet, or shoe soles. 

T.G. 

BALL IT OFF. To finish quickly ; to do anything expe- 
ditiously. A phrase current amongst mechanics. 

BAM. Fudge. Obviously from bam, an old word for a 
cheat. 

C.C. H.r. H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 31 

BAMBOOZLE. To bilk ; to deceive. 

C.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

BANDY. A knobbed stick used to strike the ball at the 
game of hockey. 

F.E.A. 

2. The small fish called stickleback. Gasterosteu^ 
aculeatus. (Limi.) 
BANG. To beat; to strike with great force; to handle 
roughly. " Til hang you well." " How you hang the 
things about! " is often said to a careless servant. 

G. B.N.C. W.C. C.C. P.D. H.S. T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

2. To go with rapidity ; a person who rides or walks 
fast is said to " hang along." To depart hastily and with 
violence ; " she hanged out of the room." To fall to, or 
to close with a loud noise; a door or gate that is 
blown by the wind, or slammed with force, " hangs to,^^ 

The woodgate is hanging. 

Where hunters are seen ; 
The brown leaves are dancing 

About o*er the green. 

Clare's MS. Poems. 
H.H« H.A.D. 

BANGER. An obvious falsehood; a marvellous tale. 
" That's a hanger.'' 

H.A.D. 

BANGING. Anything imusually large of its kind ; of ex- 
traordinary size. " What a hanging child." " We've 
got a hanging pudding for dinner to day." 

G. B.N.C. F.E.A. C.C. H.S. H.P. H.A.D. 

BANGING. A beating. Minshew defines it a beating 

with a cudgel. 
BANISTERS. The pilasters or piUars and hand-rail of 

a staircase, probably corrupted from the Fr. Balustre, 
Randle Holmes and others confine the use of this 

word to the pilasters. 
BANKER. A stone-mason's bench. Referable to the 



32 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

A.-Sax. Banc, The Law Fr. Dictionary has, Barik^ a 

bench or stock. 
BARE-BUCK. A buck of six years old. 
BARGAIN. A small agricultural Take or Farm. " That 

piece of land, or close, is my neighbour's hargainy Grose 

gives it as a Norfolk word for an indefinite quantity or 

number. 
BARGAIN-WORK. Work ione by the piece, not by the 

day. 

E.L. 

BARK. The hard outside of dressed or undressed meat. 

BARLEYCORN, SIR JOHN. Malt Hquor. Our local 
poet Clare, to whom I shall frequently be indebted for 
illustration of his native dialect, no doubt had this meta- 
phorical personage in view, when he says, 

Yet still with talk and beer he does beguile 
His short releasement from his <iares and toil; 
Till Sir John't spirit stops his meny glee, 
And lays him quiet down. 

Clarets Village Minstrel, vol. i. p. 42. 

BARM. The subsided fermentation of malt liquor. A.- 
Sax. beorm, Shakspere uses it in Midsummer Night's 
Dream. 

And sometimes make the drink to bear no harm, 

11. 1. 
And Knight observes that Holland, in his translation 
of Pliny, speaks of " the froth or barm that riseth from 
these ales or beers." 

M.S. G. H.H. C.C. H.S. A.W. L.H. HJi..D. 

BARNACLES. Spectacles. A metaphorical application 
of the instrument applied by farriers to the nose of a 
restive horse whilst being shod. 

M.S. F.E.A. G. H.S. H.P. 

BARNED. Housed. 

M.S. H.A.D. 

BARTLE. A contraction for Bartholomew. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 33 

BASH. A pig is said to hash when it dwindles and de- 
creases in flesh, on being removed from good to bad food. 
" It goes back," or is " pulled down," are equivalent ex- 
pressions. 

BASHY. Dark ; gloomy ; dirty ; sloppy. " It's very 
hashy weather." 

BASS. A hassock to kneel upon at Church. 
G. B.N.C. H.A.D. w.c. and H.H."Boss." 

BASSEL-BOWLS. Bowling balls. A comiption of 
Bazle, the term for sheep-skin leather when it is dressed 
of the natural colour. Balls used in playing at the game 
of bowls are covered with Bazle leather. 

BASTE. To beat; to flog severely. " You'U catch a 
good hasting if you don't mind, my lad." Licking, 
Leathering, Thrashing, and Drubbing, are also signifi- 
cant of similar castigations. 

Take up thy 1)ow and get thee hence. 
Least we thy sides should haste, 

Evanses Old Ballads. 

For, as a top spins more the more you haste her, 
So, every lash you give, he writes the faster. 

Epil. to Dbtden^s " Maiden Queen." 

M.S. H.H. B.N.C. H.S. H.P. T.G."Baist." H.A.D. 

"Baaste," & "Baist." 

2. To tack work together slightly; to keep it in 
place preparatory to sewing; the basting thread to be 
withdrawn when the work's finished. This word is in 
common use ; but its insertion here is sanctioned by its 
occurrence in the Prompt. Parv. "Bastyn clothys. 
SvbsuOy Cath. sutahy To which Mr. Way appends the 
following note : — 

" This dublet was not well basted at the first, and 
that maketh it to wrinkle thus, ce pourpoyiit rCestoit pas 
Hen hastyy Palsg. Chaucer uses this word, Rom. of 

c3 



34 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

the Rose, " With a threde basting my slevis." " Besten, 
Fris. Sicambr. leviter consuereJ'^ Kilian. 

M.S. H.S. H.A.D. 

BAT. A blow or stroke. Cotgrave gives Bat, a stroke or 

beating. Brockett traces it to the Fr. hattre, to beat. 
BATCH. This word in its common acceptation, the quan- 
tity of bread baked at one time, may be considered uni- 
versal, though inserted by many of our glossarists ; but 
the figurative application is dialectical, though I believe 
not peculiar to us. A good batch of anything is equiva- 
lent to a " good bout," a " good set-to," or a " good quan- 
tity;" and the whole batch when applied to persons is 
synonymous with the " whole boiling^'* and generally used 
in the same opprobious sense, as " the whole hatch of them 
are good for nothing." 

Duke, What are they ? 
Hold, A whole haich, sir, 

Almost of the same leaven. 
Massinger, ♦* The City Madam," iv. 1. 
F.E.A. M.S. W.C. H.H. H.S. 

BATCII-CAKE. A cake made from dough prepared for 

bread, and baked with the batch of bread. 
BATE, vide ABATE 
BATS. Lamellae of indurated clay ; the slaty part of coal 

after it is burnt white ; called Bass in Shropshire, and 

Plate in Yorkshire. Also used adverbially, as " It's poor 

coal, it's so batty." 
l^ATTED. A stone-mason's term for stone when it is 

worked off with a tool instead of being rubbed smooth ; 

if a mason inquires how stone is to be worked, he asks 

"Is it to be batted or rubbed ? " 
BATTEN. A rail of indefinite length. Narrow deal 

boards of 7 in. wide by 2\ thick, are by builders termed 

battens ; if wider, they are caUed planks. 

F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 35 

BATTEN. To batten a wall, is to nail battens or laths to 
upright studs previous to papering or plastering a damp 
room, to prevent the paper or plaster from coming in 
contact with the wall. 

BATTEN-FENCE. A fence made by nailing two or three 
rails to upright posts. 

f rntimAm JjLaJr. 

BATTER. To lean ; to incline ; applied to a wall or par- 
tition that recedes from the perpendicular ; when it leans 
forward, it is said to over-hang. 

CC U.F. 

2. To splash with mud. 

H.A.D. 

BATTERED. Encountered; contended with. Halliwell 
gives " Batter, to fight one's way," as current in the Mid- 
land counties, and Clare furnishes the following illustra- 
tion :^ 

Think how many a bitter blast, 
When it snowM, and haiPd and blew, 
I have toil'd and battered through. 

BATTICLE. A moveable wooden cross-bar to which the 
traces of husbandry horses are secured; answerable to 
the splinter-bar of a carriage. Sway-tree , Swingel-tree , 
and Wat-tree, are synonymous in different parts of the 
county. 

BATTING. Working stone with a tool instead of rubbing 
it smooth, or dragging it down with a piece of steel plate ; 
each blow with the maUet is called a bat, and one mason 
will often say to another, such a one strikes a good bat. 

BATTING. A bundle or bottle of wheat or rye straw 
after threshing, bound with bands ; sometimes two or 
three, if large ; confined, I believe, to the southern dis- 
trict. Bolting and Bottle being in common use in 
other parts of the county. Bishop Kennett in his MS. 
Glossary considers it a Cheshire term, but it is not to be 
found in Wilbraham's valuable little Glossary. Brockett 



36 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

explains Battin, " the straw of two sheaves folded to- 
gether." • 
BATTLE. To go about a room with dirty, wet shoes. 
BATTLED. Bespattered with mud; splashed. "The 
pavement at the street door was battled all over as soon 
as it was cleaned." 

Who, nearly hattied to her chin, 
Bangs down the yard through thick and thin. 
Nor picks her road, nor cares a pin ? 

My Mary. 
Clabe's Poems, 2nd ed. p. 159. 
BATTLEDORE. A flat wooden instrument about a foot 
long and six inches broad, with a slit at one end for the 
hand. Used in mending thatch, to shore or push the 
ends of the new straw under the old thatch. Called on 
the eastern side of the county a Gillet, on the northern 
a Stin-ger. 
BATTLE-TWIGS. Earwigs. Grose inserts this as a 
Derbyshire word ; with us it is peculiar to the northern 
part of the county. 

E.L. H.A.D. H.P. 

BATTLING. Paddling and splashing in the water. When 
a dog had been so doing, I heard a poor woman exclaim, 
" Don't let the dog come battling aU over the floor." 

BAVIN. A faggot of brushwood with three bands, used 
for the draining of land. A bavin tied with two bands 
is a hedge-cutter's perquisite, in contra-distinction to a 
Kid, which has only one band, and is consequently 
smaller. The Lexicographers and Glossarists differ in 
explaining this term. Palsgrave says, " Baven, great 
faggottes, faullourde.^^ Cotgrave defines " FoUace, a great 
kid, baven, or faggot of small sticks." 

In Florio (1591) it is, "a little faggot." Skinner 
renders it the smaller trees whose sole use is for the fire; 
the fragments of trees cut for building. Cole gives a 
Baven "^asos," and a little Baven, ^^ fasciculus^ 

Kay amongst his S. E. Words has Bavens, " brush- 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 87 

wood faggots with the brush at full length." Webster 
recognises the term and calls it, " A stick like those 
bound up in faggots ; a piece of waste wood. In tear, 
brush fagots." Forby calls it, " a light, loose faggot." 
Grose and Pegge assign the term to Kent, and explain 
it, " a brush faggot." Holloway states that in Kent and 
Sussex it signifies a brush faggot. Halliwell says, " A 
brush faggot, properly bound with one withe. A faggot 
is bound with two." 

This distinction is opposed to ours ; but any or all of 
the significations given will elucidate the passage in 
Shakspere, I Hen. IV. iii. 2. — "rash bavin wits soon 
kindled and soon burnt," brushwood being soon ignited, 
and rapidly consumed. 

There is no fire, make a little blaze with a havin, 

Florio's *' Second Frutes." 
Baviiis will have their flashes and youths their fancies. 

O. P. Mother Bombie (1594). 

In stacking of having, and pieling of loggs, 
Make under thy haven a hovell for hoggs. 

TUSSER. 
M.S. G.&P. F.E.A. A.W. H.P. H.A.D. 

BATWELL. A wicker strainer, to put over the end of 
the spigot in the mash-vat to prevent the grains passing 
through. 

E.L. 

BAY. The space between the main beams in a building. 
A bam, to which it is principally applied, is said to con- 
sist of so many hays according to the number of beams ; 
each is termed a ten, fifteen, or twenty feet bay in 
accordance with the space between each beam, and the 
quantity of wheat lying on one side of a bam, or more 
correctly between the main beams, is designated, a hay 
of wheat. The passage which Todd brings forward from 
Mortimer, in illustration of this word, appears to coincide 
altogether with our definition. 



38 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

" There may be kept 1,000 bushels in each hay^ there 
being 16 hays^ each 18 feet long, about 17 feet wide, or 
300 feet square in each 6ay." Coles' Dictionary, 1667, 
explains it, "a hay of building, mensura viginti qiJuUuor 
'pedum^'' which no doubt refers to the frontage. Shaks- 
pere's adoption of this term has puzzled his com- 
mentators. 

If this law holds ten years in Vienna, I'll rent the fairest 
house in it after ^tm 'pence a hay. 

Mbas. fob Meas. ii. 1. 

M.S. F.£.A. CC ' 

BAZING. The rind or outer coat of a cheese. Probably 
from hose the bottom or foundation. Halliwell gives 
Basing as so used in Staffordshire. 

H.H. 

BE. A common prefix to many verbs, to give emphasis to 
a simple term; as 5«-daub, 6e-caU, 6e-drabble, 5e-spread, 
&c.- Writers, ancient and modem, seem unhesitatingly 
and without scruple to adopt this prefix at their pleasure. 
2. Am ; are. " I 5c very sadly." " Where he you 
gooing ? " Be often occurs in the Bible instead of are. 

Let them shew the former things what they be^ that we may con- 
sider them. 

Isaiah, xli. 22. 

BEANT. Am not ; are not ; be not. " I heant a gooing." 
" They heant a gooing." 

C.C U.S. 

BEAR. " To play the hear with." To operate to dis- 
advantage. A market-gardener says, " A wet Saturday 
plays the hear tvith \i8 ;" i, e. keeps our customers away, 
and injures our goods. 

BEAR A BOB. To aid and assist ; to take part in any- 
thing. 

H.A.D. F.E.A. 

BEAR THE BELL. To excel; to be first in estimation. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 39 

A well-authorised expression ; aUusiye probably to the 
bell-wether of a flock, or the bell-horse of a team. 

And let se whiohe of yoa shall here the bell. 

Chaucer^s " Troil and Creseide/' 
In Court whoso demaundes, 

What dame doth most excell ; 
For my conceit I must needes say, 
Faire Bridges hears the hel, 

Percy Ballads (ed. 1794) vol. ii. p. 140. 

The neatresse, longing for the rest. 

Did ^ge him on to tell 
How faire she was, and who she was : 

She bore, quoth he, the hell. 

Ibid. p. 249. 

BEARABLE. Supportable. " The pain is subsiding, it 
is bearable now." Anything very offensive is said to be 
scarcely bearable. Common, but not in the Dictionaries. 

BEASTINGS. The first milk given by a cow after calv- 
ing — ^more generally called Bisnings or Bicenings. A 
pudding made of the second milk after calving is by 
some esteemed a delicacy, and termed a bisning-pudding. 
A.-Sax. Beost, bi/st, bystmg. The Anglo-Latin Lexicon, 
Harl. MS. 221, has " Beestynge,^^ Pynson and Wynkyn 
de Worde, Bestnynge milke, colustimm. Biesting, I 
presume, was once current in this county, as it is so 
given by our native poet Dryden; it also prevails in 
other counties, as does Baselings, Beest, Beestings, and 
Beastlins. Bisnings and Bicenings appear to be peculiar 
to this district. 

And twice besides her hiestings never fail 
To store the dairy with a brimming pail. 

Dryden. 

M.S. B.N.C. F.E.A. C.C. G.&P. H.S. T.G. E.L. 
HJ». H.A.D. 

BEAT. Figuratively to hammer. Applied to any one 
dull of comprehension. " He is so stupid I can't beat it 
into him ; I can't make him understand." 

BEAT. " Beat about the bush ; " to reconnoitre ; to en- 



40 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

deavour to obtain information ; or attain an object by cir- 
cuitous means. 
BEAUFET. A comer cupboard, generally without doors, 
for the purpose of displaying glass and china. An old 
fashioned piece of furniture, now rarely to be seen. Moor 
gives it as a Suffolk word, and remarks that it was much 
in use in his recollection ; but the word as well as the 
thing itself is going out of fashion. 

M.S. H.A.D. 

BEAU-TRAP. A loose stone in the pavement, which tips 
up when trod upon, and scatters the dirty water col- 
lected under it over the unfortunate pedestrian. 

H.A.D. 

BECALL. To abuse; to stigmatize with opprobious 
epithets. A retention of the Saxon prefix. 

«r.S. H.P. H.A.D. 

BECKET. A mantle-piece. Not common. 

BECKY. A familiar abbreviation of Rebecca. 

BED. In masonry the under side of a wrought stone ; also 
the horizontal base of stone inserted in a wall. The 
term is used verbaUy in the same sense, as " Bed that 
stone well.'* 
c.c. 

2. A butcher's term for the round and white of beef 
when cut together. 

F.E.A. H.S. H.A.D. H.P. 

3. The body of a cart or waggon. Synonymous with 
Buck. 

4. " You got out of bed backwards this morning ; " t. e. 
you are irritable, and ill-tempered. 

H.A.D. 

BEDLAM COWSLIP. The Paigle, or larger kind of 

Cowslip. 

Bedlam Cowslips and Cuckoos 

With freck'd lip and hooked nose, 

Growing safe near the hazle of thicket and woods. 

Claab*8 MS. Poems. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 41 

BEEAST. Both singular and plural. A cow, or any kind 
of kine as distinguished from sheep or horses ; whereas 
in Teviotdale it is appUed exclusively to a horse. See 
Jamieson. 

F.E.A. M.S. E.L. c.c."Beoss." H.s."Beos." 
H.A.D."Beos." 

BEE-BREAD. " A brownish opake substance, with which 
some of the cells in a honey-comb are filled, for the food 
of tbe insect in a larva state." A.-Sax. heo-hread, 

F.EJL. C.C. H.A.D. H.P. 

BEE-SKIP. A bee-hive; a skip of bees. 

H.A.D. 

BEEF'S HEART. The heart of a cow or ox. Beef, or 
more properly " Beeve," was the common language for 
an ox or cow in the time of Elizabeth ; has since been 
disused in England, but still retained in Scotland. 

BEETLE. A large heavy wooden hammer or mallet, 

sometimes bound with iron. A.-Sax. hytL Has not the 

poet Clare converted this into a metaphorical participle, 

when he says ? 

And spite of every storm I've beetled in; 
With all thy insults, Winter, I do love thee. 

M.S. H.A.D. 

BEETLING. The act of striking with a beetle. 
BEGrGAR. Applied agriculturally to impoverishing and 
over-working land. 

H.S. 

BEGGAR-LICE. Cleaver's. Galium Aperine, (Hooker.) 
Called also Heiriffe, Gosling Grass, Scratchweed, 
Beggar-weed, Bur-weed, and Pigtail. 

BEGGAR-WEED. Synonymous with the preceding word. 

BEGrGARLY. Poor, bad land, and bad cultivation, are 
both characterized as beggarly. 

H.A.D. H.S. 

BEGGAR'S-BARM. The froth collected by running 
streams in ditches ; or in puddles by the road side. 



42 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

BEGRUDGE. To envy ; to repine. 

J.S. H.P. 

BEHAD. An expression of ironical commiseration ad- 
dressed to any one who magnifies trifling troubles. 
" You're sadly hehxidr 

BEHOLDEN. Indebted; obliged. " I won't be beholden 
to you." 

M.S. H.H. H.A.D. 

BEKAY. The jowl or lower jaw of a pig. This singular 

term has probably originated in its beak-like t«rmina- 

/^ tion« Fr. Bechri. "Hooked, or sharpe as a beake." 

COTGR. 

BEL ACE. To chastise with a strap. 
BELAGGED. Tired. 

H.A.D. 

BELAGGED. Left behind ; a person walking by the side 
of another, and unable to keep pace, would be quite 
helagged, 

H.A.D. 

BELDER. To roar. 

C.C. H.A.D. 

BELDERER. A roarer. 

CC xi.A.D. 

BELIKE. Probably ; perhaps. " Will you go to the fair? 

BeUke I shaU." 

Belike they had some notice of the people, 
How I had movM them. 

Jnuns Cjssar, iii. 2. 
F.E.A. H.S. G.&P. H.A.D. H.P. 

BELLOCK. To cry or roar passionately. "Why do 
you stand beUocking there?" 

H.S. H.A.D. L.H. 

BELLOWS. " To sing old rose and bum the bellows." 
A phrase indicating rejoicing over the termination of a 
long and troublesome job. 

BELLS. The ears of oats. When they are healthy, and 
promise to yield weU, the crop is said by the farmer to 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 43 

have heWd well. BeU appears to have a somewhat 
similar signification in Scotland ; for in Jamieson^s 
Supp. we find ^^ Bell, the blossom of a plant;" as "Lint 
in the bell," flax in flower. 
BELLY-BAND. A cart-saddle girth; also the chain or 
strap which connects the shafts of a cart. 

C.C. T.G. H.A.D. 

BELONG. A peculiar idiomatic use of this word is 
current with us, by which property and its possessor 
are transposed : thus, " Mr. A. belongs to that house," as 
though Mr. A. was the property of the house, instead of 
the house being the property of Mr. A. ; or, " Mr. A. 
belongs to that hat," instead of the hat belongs to Mr. A. 
BELT. To beat. " He got a good belting:' A kindred 
term to Strapping. Hartshome says, " This must be an 
old word, though its origin is hidden. It is twice em- 
ployed in the copious vituperation of Montgomery. 
Hell spark, scabbed dark ! an thou bark, I sail heit thee. 

The Flytino. 
Whether thou will let heli thy bawes, 
Or kiss all cloffes that stands besides. — Id. 

M.S. U.A.D. 

BELVERING. Noisy; blustering. " A great belvering 
feUow." 

BENCH. A quarry term for the shelf of a rock running 
to a main joint. In Morton, Post is synonymous. 

BENEFIT. Reward; used ironically for retaliation. " Til 
give 'em a benefit^'* 

BENJAMIN'S-MESS. A large quantity; an extra liberal 
supply. Obviously a scriptural allusion. 

BENNETS, or BENTS. Long, coarse, rushy stems of rye and 
other grasses running to seed, called grass Bents and hay 
Bents, according to the season. Jamieson considers bents 
as the agrostis vulgaris of Linn. The Suffolk and Craven 
Glossarists confine the term to the Triticum juncum, and 
Hartshome to the Sptca venti, quasi Spica benti; with 



44 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

us the application is so general that no specific name can 
be given. We find in Barret's Alvearia, Bente, a small 
rush. Marshall, in his Kural Economy of the Midland 
District, defines bents " the footstems of the blade 
grasses." Bent prevails in most parts of the kingdom, 
but Bennet is strictly provincial. Skinner derives it 
from Teut. BintZy juncus. Ray's old adage is still 
repeated by our rustics, 

The pigeon knows no woe 
Until a bentinff he does go. 

Spenser ftimishes an example of its early, and Clare of 
its present usage. 

He cared not for dint of sword nor speere, 
No more than for the stroke of straws or bents, 

Sp£NSEBy ** Faerie Queene.'" 

On each nodding rush be sprent ; 
Dancing on from bent to bent. 

Clare, « Rnral Life,'' p. 119. 

And mark the spider at his labour free, 
Spinning from bent to bent his silken thread. 

Clare, " VUlage Minstrel," vol. 2, p. 199. 

M.S. B.N.C. J.S. F.E.A. C.C. H.S. L.H. H.P. H.A.D. 

BERRIN. A iuneral; corrupted from burying. Early 

authorities are introduced in the Craven, Shropshire, and 

Hallamshire Glossaries. 
BE-SPELT. Bewitched; mischievous, but not vicious. 

" You are quite he-spelt " is a term of reproach often 

used to children. 

B.N.C. 

BE S'N'T. An ungrammatical corruption of " art not." 

"J?esV< thee angry?" 
BE-SLOBBER. To eat in a slovenly manner ; to scatter 

food from the mouth on the clothes. From he and 

slobberen, Teut. 

H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 45 

BE-SMIRCH. To be-spatter dirt lightly on the siirface of 
anything, particularly clean linen at a wash. 

Our gayness, and oar gilt, are all hesmirch*d 
With rainy marching in the painful field. 

Henbt v. iv. 3. 
H.A.D. 
BE-SMUDGE. To soil or blacken with dirt or soot ; imply- 
ing that the dirt is deeply insinuated. 
BESOM. A birch broom. Sax. bi/sm. Besom is unknown 
in London, where they say a birch broom, and a hair 
broom, for a besom, and a long house brush. 

B.N.C. W.C. L.H. T.G. 

BESPOKE. Bewitched. "The children are bespoke:' 
" What's the matter with you, you're quite bespoke:^ 
Now nearly obsolete. Bayly and Martin both give the 
same interpretation to bespeak; but this sense is un- 
noticed by Todd. 

BESS O' BEDLAM. A harmless, inoffensive, wandering 
maniac. 

F.E.A. H.A.D. 

BEST BIB AND TUCKER. A metaphorical expression 
for a female's holiday clothes. " Put on your best bib 
and tucker." Beaumont and Fletcher have an equiva- 
lent expression. 

Bid my wife make herself ready handsomely, 
And put on her best apron; it may be 
The noble gentleman will look upon her. 

Queen of Corinth, ii. 4. 

BETTER. More ; applied to number, not quality. Instead 
of more than a score, a market woman would say of her 
eggs, " I've got better nor a score on 'em." " It's better 
than a year since I saw him." Jamieson, in his Supple- 
ment, seems to think this sense unknown in English 
writing ; with us it is general. 

C.C. L.H. H.A.D. 

BETTERMOST. The superlative of better; not quite 



46 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

amounting to the best. " She has her bettermost gown 
on to-day." The use of this word is limited to apparel. 

J.S. P.D. H.P. 

BETWATTLED. Confused ; perplexed ; confounded. Todd 
says, still used in the North of England, and he might 
have added in the Midland Counties. 

B.N.c. G.&p. H.P. H.A.D. j.s."Betoatled." 

BETWIT. To upbraid; to reproach; to repeat an old 
grievance aggravatingly. 

J.S. H.P. H.A.D. 

BETWIXT AND BETWEEN. See Atween. 

F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

BEUK, BUKE. A vicious pronunciation of book. 
Germ. Imch. 

H.A.D. 

BEVER. Often pronounced bayver, and sometimes 
corrupted to maver. A subordinate subsidiary refresh- 
ment between meals; an allowance of ale to workmen 
and to agricultural labourers in hay time and harvest, 
generally given at eleven and four o'clock; indeed, so 
customary is the time, that the hour has been converted 
into one of the numerous synonyms for this intermediate 
refreshment ; and labourers frequently say, " Come, let's 
have our 'leven o'clock," or " I want my four o'clock." 
In the Ortus Vocabulorum we find, Bever, drinking time. 
Moor, in his facetious and elaborate remarks upon this 
word, says it is probably derived from the Fr. baiiveur, a 
drinker, or from the Ital. bevere, to drink. Todd and 
Nares both refer it to the latter. Way has the following 
interesting note on this word. " 3ferendula, a bever after 
none. Merenda, comestio in meridie vel cibus qui decH- 
nante die sumitur." Ort. Harrison, in his description 
of England, prefixed to HoHnshed's Chronicles, i. 17^, 
remarks that " of old we had breakefastes in the forenoone, 
beverages or nuntions after dinner, and thereto reare 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 47 

suppers, generallie when it was time to go to rest, a toie 
brought into England by bardie Canutus ; but nowe those 
are very well past, and eche one, except some yoong 
himgrie stomach that cannot fast till dinner time, con- 
tenteth himself with dinner and supper." The higher 
classes, he observes, dine at eleven, and sup at five; 
merchants seldom before twelve and six. This was 
written about 1579." Sherwood renders " Bever, or 
drinking, un reciner, collation, gouster. To bever, recineri'' 
and Cotgrave explains un reciner as "an aftemoones 
nuncheon, or collation, an Aunder's meat. See hereafter 
NuNMETA, which seems to have been much the same as 
the intermediate refection here called Bever. The word 
Bever still signifies, in Suffolk, an afternoon snack. 
Moor. Florio v. Pambere, " bread and drink together, a 

nuncheon, or bever,^^ &c. 

He is none of these same ordinary eaters 
That will devour three breakfasts, and as many 
Dinners, without any prejudice to their hevers, 
Drinkings, or suppers. 

Fletchbb's ** Womanhater." 

AU What, at your bever, gallants ? 

Mor. Wiirt please your ladyship to drink ? 

B. Jonson's *'* Cynthia." 

The sun^s increasing heat now mounted high. 
Refreshment must recruit exhausted power ; 
The waggon stops, the busy tooPs thrown by. 
And *neath a shock's enjoyed the hevering hour. 

Clare's Poems (1820). 

M.S. H.P. H.A.D. 

BEVIL. To slope. " Bevil it off." 

F.E.A. H.S. T.G. H.A.D. 

BEZZLE. To drink any liquor immoderately; nearly 
allied to guzzle. Ash calls it a local word. Moor 
says the word, like the practice, is old. 

H.H. C.C. H.S. H.A.D. 



48 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

BIB. A child's pinafore; also, a piece of cloth attached 
to an apron to protect the upper part of a dress. " A 
bib and apron." A small piece of cloth suspended under 
the chin of an infant to absorb the saliva, is called a 
slobbering bib, Florio v. Zinale, " an apron, a child's bib 
to put before his breast." Skinner says, " a bib is a 
cloth stretched over the breast of an infant, that it may 
imbibe the overflo^ving liquid." 

M.S. 

BIBBEB. To quiver or shiver with cold; also used sub- 
stantively, as, " I am all of a bibber^ Bishop Kennett 
and Grose consider it a Kentish word. Jennings gives, 
Biver, to quiver, to shake. 

B.N.c.2nd ed. g.&p. p.h. h.a.d. 

BIBBLER. A tipler; one who drinks to excess. 

J.P. A.W. H.P. 

BIDE. To abide ; to remain. A.-Sax. bidan, to dwell. 

M.S. W.C. G.&p. J.S. A.W. H.P. H.A.D. 

BIGrGEN. The under-cap of an infant ; a kind of scull- 
cap, used by old-fashioned nurses to give protection and 
warmth to the sutures of the scull of a new-bom infant ; 
but now almost exploded. All the lexicographers de- 
scribe it simply " a child's cap," except Palsgrave, who 
gives " Byggen," for " a childes heed beguyney Ben Jon- 
son in his " Epicene'* has, " You that have been a courtier 
from the biggen to the night-cap,'* — evidently meaning 
from childhood to old age. But in the following illus- 
trations Jonson, as well as Spenser and Shakspere, apply 
the term allusively to a cap or covering for the head, 
irrespective of youth or age. 

A biggin he had got about his braine, 

For in his headpiece he felt a sore paine. 

Spenser, *' Shep. Cal." 

Get you a higgin more; your brain breaks loose. 

B. Jonson, **Volpone, or the Fox." 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 49 

Sleep now ! 
Yet not so sound, and half so deeply sweet, 
As her whose brow, with homely higgen bound, 
Snores out the- watch of night. 

2 Hen. IV. iv. 4. 
G.&H. H.A.D. 

BILE. A boil, a large pustule. A.- Sax. bile. Prompt. 
Parv. Bjle, Sore. Pustule. 

H.S. T.G. H.A.D. 

BILLETS. Cuttings of sallow or withy; about two feet 
long for planting osier beds. 

2. Wood chopped into convenient lengths for fire 
wood. Fr. BilhUe. A billet of wood. CJotgr. 

BILLS. Bank notes ; all kinds of paper money. So used 
by Shakspere. 

BILLY-LAMB. A name given to a lamb brought up by 
hand. 

BIN, BING. An open or covered chest for com, wine, 
&c. A.-Sax. bin, prcesepe. Prompt. Parv. Bynge. 
Thecttj camera. 

M.S. F.E.A. B.N.C. H.S. T.G. H.A.D. 

BIN. Used both for are and been. " Bin you a gooing 
wi' uz? No, I a' bin by mysen." Le. Are you going Adth 
us? No, I have been by myself. 

C.C. H.S. H.A.D. 

BINGE. This word primarily signifies the act of soaking, 
and is applied substantively to persons, and adjectively 
and verbally to things. A man goes to the alehouse to 
get a good binge, or to binge himself. A heavy rain is 
a good bingeing shower : but the most general and fre- 
quent application of the term is to the soaking of tubs 
or wooden vessels to prevent leaking, when the chimes 
have become separated from dryness and disuse. " Put 
the tubs to Jen^e, ready for the wash." According to 

D 



50 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

Jennings, in Somersetshire, to Binge is to remain long 
in drinking; to drink to excess. 

J.S. E.L. H.P. H.A.D. 

BINK. A bench. A.-Sax. hen^. It appears to be in use 
in Scotland ; Jamieson in his Supp. defines it, the long 
seat beside the fire in a country house. 

B.N.C. 

BINSTEAD, or BINSTAY. A bay in a bam for housing 
com. Where there are two bays, one is called the 
threshing bay, the other the binstead or binstay ; where 
there are three bays, the centre one is the threshing floor. 

BIRD-BOY. A boy who is employed by farmers to scare 
the birds from the newly-sown or nearly-ripened com. 
The vociferations of the youthful sentinel are assisted by 
the constant shaking of a wooden clapper, and the fre- 
quent repetition of one of the following admonitory 
warnings : — 

Pigeons and crows, take care of your toes. 
Or 1*11 pick up my crackers, 
And knock you down backards. 
Shoo all away, Shoo away. Shoo. 

Away, away, away birds. 
Take a little bit, and come another day, birds ; 
Great birds, little birds, pigeons and crows, 
I'll up with my clackers, and down she goes. 

Shoo all away, birds and crows. 
Never come no more till barley grows. 

Shoo all away ! all away ! 

Black-a .top, donH eat all your master ^s crap 

While I lie down and have a nap, 

Shoo ! all away — all away. 

BIRD'S-EYE. The mouse-ear. Myosotis palustris. In 
some parts of the county the Germander Speedwell, 
Veronica chamoedrys^ obtains the same name. 

BIRD-SINGS. " A little bird has been singing in your 
ear," i.e. somebody has been telling you a secret. " I 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 61 

heard a little bird sing," is another form of the phrase, 

indicating that some secret information of an event in 

contemplation has been received. 

Shakspere, I presume, employed this phrase in the 

same sense in 2 Hen. IV. v. 5, when John of Lancaster 

says, — 

I will lay odds, that, ere this year expire, 
We bear our civil swords, and native fire, 
As far as France — / heard a bird so singt 
Whose music, to my thinking, pleased the king. 

Implying that the secret intelligence he had obtained 
was agreeable to the king. 
BIRD-TENTING. Bird keeping; frightening birds from 
the newly sown com. See Bird-boy. 

E.L. 

BIRGE. A bridge. Nearly obsolete. 
BISHOPED. Confirmed. A.-Sax. hiscoped, confirmatus. 
Palsgrave, ByssJwppyng of children, confirmation. 

F.E.A. H.S. H.P. H.A.D. 

BISHOFS-FOOT. When milk, or any other liquid com- 
bined with farinaceous ingredients adheres to the bottom 
or side of the vessel in which it is boiled, so as to im- 
part a burnt flavour, it is said " the bishop has set his 
foot in it." Grose, Brockett, and others offer conjectures 
as to the origin of this phrase, none of which appear 
satisfactory; and the phrase itself is now almost lost or 
superseded by the more common, appropriate, and ex- 
plicable expression Burnt to. Grewd is used in a cor- 
respondent sense. 

B.N.C. C.C. H.H. H.P. H.A.D. 

BISNINGS. See Beastlings. 

BIST. ' Art. How hist thee? the second person of the 
A.-Sax. heo, byst. 

H.S. A.W. H.A.D. 

BISTNT. Art not. " BistnH thee weU to day?" 
BIT. " As dark as UV This appears at first sight a sin- 

D 2 



52 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

gular comparison ; but if, as is probable, bit is a contrac- 
tion of bitumen, it is readily explained by its agreement 
with the more common simile " as dark as pitch." 

2. Amongst the various significations in Todd, the 
figurative applications of this word are omitted. It is 
often used with us in reference to time, " stop a 5eY;" and 
as expressive of diminutiveness, "A little bit of a thing,'' 
" A little bit of a creature." 
c.c. T.G. 

BIZ. Be. " There it bizJ' 

BIZZEN-BLIND. Purblind. A.-Sax. bism-blind. This 
word, with some orthographical variations, occurs in most 
of the vocabularies, and in many of the glossaries, but it 
is always simply defined blhid — a mere pleonasm ; whilst 
we give it a definite import, and in our sense it must 
have been tmderstood by Shakspere. 

What harm can your bisson conspectuities glean out of this 

character ? 

CORIOLANUS, ii. 1. 

BLAAT. To bleat. A.-Sax. blcetan, to bleat. 

CC. H.F. 

BLAATING. Spreading abroad news or scandal. A gos- 
siping, chattering female is always bloating about. 

BLAB, or BLOB. The under lip. " See how he hangs 
his blobJ^ " Hold your 5Za5," is a frequent reproof to a 
noisy, chattering person. 

Wit hung her hlob, e*en Humour seemed to mourn, 
And sullenly sat mogging o^er his urn. 

COLLINS'S MiSCELL. 1762, p. 122. 
H.A.D. 

BLACK-BALLS. Treacle and sugar boiled hard, and 

made into balls. 
BLACK-BOOK. A book of condemnation. " Til put you 

doAvn in my black-booky^ i.e. I will keep your misdeeds in 

remembrance. 

9.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 53 

BLACK-CAP. The Greater Titmouse. Paras Major. 
(Linn.) It sometimes has the additional appellative of 
" Black Capp'd Lolly ^^ the black plumage on the head 
designating this bird. 

In Lincolnshire, according to HaUiwell, the Bullfinch 
is called the Black-Cap. 

BLACK-CLOCK. The Cockroach. Blatta orientalis. 
(Linn.) The nocturnal visitant of the London kitchens ; 
commonly, but erroneously, called the black beetle. 

BLACK-DOG. " Stroke the black dog down." A phrase 
applied to ill-tempered children. " The child has got 
the monkey on her back," is a corresponding expression. 

BLACK-FROST. A frost unaccompanied with rime, as 
distinguished from a hoar frost. 
c.c. 

BLACK-JACK. A lackered tin jug, with a lid. 

M.S. H.A.D. 

2. A small black caterpillar which preys on growing 
turnips. Hillyard notices its ravages on the white tur- 
nip, in his work on " Practical Farming and Grazing." 

3. A particular kind of greens. 

BLACK JERUSALEMS. Another name for the same 
kind of greens. 

BLACK-OX. " The black-ox has trod on your toe," a 
proverbial phrase, implying that the cares of the world 
have taken hold of you. 

A proverbial phrase, says Nares, meaniag either to 
be worn with age or care : and Toone assigns an apocry- 
phal historical origin, signifying that a misfortune has 
happened to the party to which it is applied. Both give 
the following illustration : 

Slie was a pretty wench, when Juno was a young wife; now 
crowes foote is on her eye, and the black ox hath trod on her foot, 

O. P. Sappho and Phao. 



54 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

Ben Jonson and Sir Walter Scott ftimish the following : 

Well, young Squire, 
The hla4ih ox never trod yet o* your foot. 

Tale op a Tub, iv. 6. 

I'm fain to see ye looking sae weel, cummer; the mair that the 
black ox has trampled on ye since I was aneath your roof tree. 

Antiquabt. 

H.A.D. 
BLACK-SATURDAY. So called when a labourer or 
mechanic has anticipated his weekly wages, and has no 
money to receive ; or, in the language of the craft, has 
reckoned forward. 

He wanders seeking of his bread about; 
In dread of want; of a hUuih day in doubt. 

SlLYE8TB&*S DU BaBTAS, p. 218. 

BLACK AND WHITE. A metaphorical term for writing. 
If a person is making a bargain with a slippery customer, 
he would say, " I shoidd like it down in black and white.'''' 

BLAME IT. A harmless imprecation; a common inter- 
jectional exclamation of dissatisfaction. " Blame it! " 

M.S. F.E.A. 

BLAEING. Loud talking; crying vehemently. 

G.&P. 

BLART. To bleat. " There's a mess o' sheep blartingJ'^ 

E.L. 

BLASHY. Thin, poor liquor; as blashy beer, &c. 

B.N.C. G.&P. 

2. Wet and windy ; so wet as to be sloppy and splashy. 
Jamieson has Mash, a heavy rain; Brockett derives it 
from the Germ, platzen, 

B.N.C. C.C. T.G. E.L. H.P. H.A.D. 

BLATHER. A bladder. 

J.S. A.W. H.P. H.A.D. 

BLAUNCH. Rhyming to paunch. A patch of large pus- 
tides blended together. " The child has such a rash, it's 
aU in blaunchesJ'^ Probably from A.-Sax. blawenni/s, a 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 65 

puffing up; a windy swelling. Halliwell gives, Blaunch, 

a blain. 

BLEAK. Pallid; sickly. "The child looks a good bit 

better, but it's very bleak yet." A.-Sax. Ucbc^ pallidus. 

Palsgrave gives, " Bleke, wan of colour; blesme." 

Some one, for she is pale and bleche ; 
Some one, for she is soft of speche. 

GowER, ** Conf. Am." B. 3. . 

You look ill, methinks; have you been sick of late? 
Troth, very bleaJt ; doth she not ? 

Middleton's Works, iii. 2. 

E.L. H.P. HaA.D. 

2. Exposed to the weather. " That house stands 
hleak^'' " It's a hUak situation." 

No neighbouring dorp, no lodging to be found, 
But hleahy plaines and bare unhospitable ground. 

Drtden's ** Hind and Panther.*' 

When winnowing north winds cold and hleahy blew, 
How have I joy*d with dithering hands to find 
Each fading flower. 

Clare's "Village Minstrel," vol. i. p. 193. 
H.H.app. 
BLEASE. A blaze. A.-Sax. hlcese, 

C.C. T.G. H.P. 

BLEB, or BLOB. A bubble. Ash recognises the word, 
and says, not much used ; from the Germ, hlaen, to swell. 
Brockett in his 2nd ed. deduces it from the Dut. hobble, 
or Swed. biMo. Bishop Kennett and Grose both give it 
as a northern word. Clare, in the following quotations, 
has converted it from a notm to a verb : 

And there, while big drops bow the grassy stems 
And hleh the withering hay with pearly jems. 

Clare's "Village Minstrel,** vol. ii. p. 84. 

When the mist o'er the heath hills smokes mealy and grey. 
When the dew, like to beaded work, hlehs on the thorns, 
Which the morning wind flirts in a moment away. 

Clare's M.S. Poems. 



56 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

The violet by the woodland shed. 

No flower can be more sweet; 

Its eye in dew-drops silvery grey, 

Or blebs of sunny rain. 

Ibid. 

R.N.C. C.C. G.&P. T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

BLEA, or BLEE. High; exposed. "That garden lies 
fiill blee for the east winds." Perhaps a contraction of 
bleak, which has the same signification. 

Shades, still I love you better than the plain, 
For here I find the earliest flowers that blow, 

While on the bare blea bank do yet remain 
Old Winter's traces, little heaps of snow. 

Clare's " Village Minstrel," vol. ii. p. 177. 

BLEE-ER. The comparative of the preceding word. 

BLEED. To yield well. Com that is very productive 
bleeds well. A.-Sax. bled, fructus. This use of the 
word is by no means peculiar ; but it serves also with us 
to express free or niggardly contribution ; as, " He bleeds 
well," if a person is liberal ; or, " I could not make him 
bleed^^ if he refuses to contribute. 

R.N.C. M.S. B.N.C. G.&P. C.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

BLIND. Unproductive; abortive; applied chiefly to ve- 
getation, to blossoms that fail to produce fruit. Forby 
remarks, " this word shoidd rather be considered as a 
participle from the Saxon verb blinan ; an English verb 
blitie would come quite regularly; the part. pass, of which 
would be Mined, A.-Sax. blinan, cessarey 

M.S. F.E.A. H.S. H.P. H.A.D. 

BLIND-EYES. The com poppy. Papaver Bheas, This 
name is evidently suggested by the dazzling ejffect of its 
glaring colour on the sight. It has also other local ap- 
pellations allusive to its vivid colours, as Popes and 
Soldiers. 

BLIND-IVIAN'S-HOLIDAY. Closing twilight. When it 
is too dark to see to work. 

C.C. H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 57 

BLINK. To evade. " He hUnk'd the question," i.e. evaded 
giving an answer. 

H.A.D. 

BLIZZY. A blaze. " Blow the fire, and let's have a nice 
hlizzyP This, though now considered a vulgarism, is a 
retention of the original A.-Sax. hlysa^ a blaze. 

A.W. H.A.D. 

BLOB. A drop ; a bubble. The water hangs in blobs on 
the eaves of a building after a shower. 

C.C. H.S. H.A.D. 

2. The flowers of the Globe Ranunculus, called water 
blobs. 

C.C. A.W. 

BLOOD-WALL. The dark, double Wall-flower. The 
cultivated variety of Cheirantkus Cheiri. 

BLOODY-WARRIOR. Another name for the preceding 
flower. 

J.S. P.D. A.W. H.A.D. 

BLOTHER. To make a great noise to little purpose. 

C.C. H.S. 

BLOTHER'D. Foamed; bellowed. The Craven Glossa- 
rist deduces it from S. G. bladdra. Isl. hlaudur. 

C.C. 

BLOW. The blossoms of fruit trees, or flowers. " The 
pear trees are covered with hhw ; I expect we shall have 
a great crop." " Pve got a fine blow of roses this year ; 
they're just coming into blowJ^ Sax. bhwan, to bloom. 

M.S. B.N;C. F.E.A. H.S. T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

2. To divulge; to betray. Not restricted as in the 
Dictionaries to the mere spreading of a report, but im- 
plying a breach of confidence. " I told him not to tell, 
but he blowed me directly." 
BLOW-FLY. The large blue fly. Musca Vomitorius. 
(Linn.) Called in some places '* meat fly." 

BLOW IT. A frequent exclamation of vexation. In all 

d3 



68 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

probability familiar to the lower classes all over the 

kingdom. 
BLOW-UP. To scold; generally in an exalted tone. " I 

hhwed him up well." Sometimes used as a noun. " They 

had quite a blow up,^ i.e, a quarrel. 
BLOWED UP. Swollen; or puffed up from excessive 

eating. " Pve eaten nuts till Pm quite Mowed up." 

A plague of sighing and grief ! it blows a man up like a bladder. 

Hen. IV. ii. 4. 

BLOWN MEAT. Meat impregnated with the eggs of 
flies ; in other words " fly-blowed." 

BLOWZE. A female with disordered, dishevelled hair, 
hanging loosely about the face ; or with a loose, broad- 
bordered un-starched cap. " She's aU of a hlowse." 

Todd and the other Lexicographers designate a Blouze 
as " a fat, red-faced wench ;" but with us it has no refe- 
rence either to size or complexion, but only to the slo- 
venly state of the hair or head-dress. 

Tawdry, slatternly finery is the common attendant, 
but does not necessarily constitute a blowze. Bp. Ken- 
nett in his valuable MS. Glossary, considers it a Kentish 
word, and deduces it from the Sax. hlcesan^ or Isl. blaaza, 
flare. Todd furnishes several illustrations, but the fol- 
loAving appears the most apposite : 

Being such a blowse herself, a gipsy should not mock a Jew. 

Dr. Clarke's Sermons. 

P.D. F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D."Bl0USe." 

BLOWSY. Disordered, disheveUed. 

" How hlowsy your hair is. You'r quite a hhwsy Bess." 

B.N.C. F.E.A. 

BLUBBER. A bubble. Palsgrave has, " Blober upon 
water, houteillisy 

H.A.D. F.E.A. 

2. To bubble. " The water blubbers up." 
BLUBBERING. Weeping tiU the tears stand in bubbles ; 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 59 

most applicable to wayward children, as it generally 
results from passion rather than from grief. " You tire- 
some child, what do you stand blubbering there for." 

Palsgrave gives the verb " I blober, I wepe." 
Nnrse, Even so lies she, 
BlvJbberiTig and weeping, weeping and hlvhheriny. 

Romeo and Juliet, iii. 3. 
Her swollen eyes were much disfigured, 
And her leure £Etce with teares was fouly hlvhhered. 

Faerie Queene, B. i. C. 12. 
He, 
That yesternight was baffled and disgraced, 
And thanki4 the man that did it; that then kneel'd 
And hlubber'd like a woman, should now dare 
On terms of honour to seek reparation. 

Beaum. and Fl. " Love's Cure, or the Martial Maid." 
H.A.D."Blubber." 
BLUE. Disconcerted; discontented. " Why do you look 
so 6te," e.e. Why does your countenance express dis- 
pleasure or dissatisfaction? 

B.N.C. C.C. H.A.D. 

BLUE-BOTTLE. A large blue fly. Musca vomitorius 
(Linn.) 

M.S. 

BLUE-CAP. The com blue-bottle. Centaurea Cyanus 
(Hooker.) 

From the sweet time that spring's young thrills are born, 

And golden catkins deck the sallow tree, 
Till sunmier's hlv>e-caps blossom ^mid the com. 
And autumn's ragwort yellows o'er the lea. 

Clare's ** Village Minstrel," vol. 2, p. 131. 
BLUE-MILK. Skimmed milk ; also called sky-blue. 

C.C. T.G. H.A.D. 

BLUE-ROCK. The wild pigeon. Columba cenas. (Linn.) 
BLUE-TAIL. The Felt or Fieldfare. Turdus pilaris 

(Linn.) 
BLUNT. Money. A slang term. 

H.A.D. 

BLUSH. " At the first bliLsh,^^ i.e. at the first sight, or the 



60 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

first impression. A phrase commonly used to express 
the first view or appearance of any subject under consi- 
deration; allusive, probably, to the blushing horizon at 
the dawn of day. 

G.&P. 

BLUZZED. Darkened; shaded; blinded. Bluff bears 
the same interpretation in the Dictionaries, but I do not 
find this word any where ; the first time I heard it was 
from a witness at our Assizes, who came from Ketter- 
ing. He coidd not distinguish the person who was 
robbing his house, for " the window was hluzzed with 
a cloth before it." On inquiry, I find this term is in 
general use there, and is often applied to the game of 
Blind-man's-buff. " Come, let's have a game at hluzz^ 

BOAE-NECKED. A disease in sheep, causing the neck 
to be bowed or crooked. 

BOB. A bunch. " Bob up your hair ;" twist it up in 
paper. A bob-tailed horse is one with the long hair 
twisted and bunched up. Isl. bobbi, nodus. Fr. bube. 

B.N.C. C.C. H.A.D. 

2 . A small piece of money. A shilling is often called a bob. 

3. To balk; to disappoint. 

B.N.C. C.C. H.A.D. 

4. To pop in or out ; to move suddenly. 

The mice come out to chimble &uit, 

And take hips under ground; 

The husks of hips and haws lie round 

All chimbled, seed and skins, 

Their noses now peep from the ground 

And there the tails bob in. 

Clarets MS. Poems. 

BOBBIN AND JOAN. The flowers of the arum mam- 
latum. Probably from the fancied resemblance to a lace- 
maker's bobbin. Called also. Lords and Ladies, Cows 
AND Calves, Bulls and Cows, Dog-bobbins, and Lamb's- 
Lakens. 

S.C ^. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 61 

BOBBING. Fishing for eels with a bunch of worms tied 
to the end of a piece of worsted. Given as bobbing in 
most of the glossaries. 

BOBBISH. In good spirits; well in health or circimi- 
stances. Often used with the epithet pretty ; as, " How 
are you, pretty bobbish .^" 

M.S. J.S. F.E.A. H.S. A.W. H.A.D. 

BOB-MARBLE. A very large marble; used to play at 

boss and span. 
BODDUM. Principle. " Nobody has a better boddum.'" 

C.C. H.A.D. 

BODDUMMOST. Lowest. 

C.C. 

BODGE. To repair any thing clumsily, in an unwork- 
manlike manner. Synonymous with Botch. Palsgrave 
gives the verb " to botche, or bungyll a garment, as he 
dothe that is nat a perfyte workman, fatrouillery 

F.E.A. H.A.D. 

BODILY. Entirely ; all at once. 

In him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead hodily. 

CoLoss. ii. 9. 

I am indebted to the Craven Glossarist for the follow- 
ing illustration: 

I seem like a water-logged ship going down lodily. 

Dr. E. D. Clarke's Life. 

G.&P. C.C. F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

BODY-HORSE. The middle horse in a team. In some 
parts of the county the telm is not used unless the team 
consists of four horses, in which case the shaft-horse is 
the THiLLER, the second the body-horse, the third the 
LASH, and the fourth the leader or for-horse. 

L.H. H.A.D. 

BOFFLE. To thwart ; to counteract ; to impede. " The 
grass was so long, it quite boffled me to get through it." 

E.L. 



62 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

BOFFLERS. The legs of old worsted stockings, or twisted 
haybands, applied as gaiters, for agricultural labourers, 
to protect the feet and legs from snow; also called HoG- 
GERS. Skoggers, according to Brockett, is the North 
Country synonyme. 
BOG. To budge; to move off. " Come, hog off." 
BOG-BEAN. Marsh trefoil or buckbean. Menyanthes 
trifoliata, (Hooker.) 

C.C. H.A.D. 

BOGHT. Bought. A.-Sax. hohte. 

The comen of the oste hovM tham hors flesch, 
Or mules or assis roste, or haf bien mete lesse. 

R. Bbunne, p. 175. 

BOGIE. A spectre. Generally used with the epithet old. 
" Old Bogie:' 

L.H. 

BOGLE. Of similar import to the preceding word. Of 
limited currency with us ; but very general in the North. 
Todd derives it from the Celt. hwg. 

G.&P. B.N.C. H.H. C.C. T.G. 

BOGGLE. To bungle either in speaking or acting. " He 
couldn't get on with his speech, he made poor boggling 
work." Philips recognizes the word. 

BOILING. A collective word, expressive of an entire 
number, or class of persons. " The whole boiling of 'em 
are bad." A metaphor from brewing, as batch is from 
baking. 

C.C. B.N.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

BOLCH. See Balch. 

BOLCHIN. An unfledged bird ; frequently used with the 
characteristic prefix bald, as " A bald balchin,^^ and it is 
not improbably a vitiation of baldkin; the etymology of 
which from bald and the A.-Sax. diminutive kin would 
be obvious. 
E.L." Bolshen," " Baulchin." h.a.d." Balching." 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 63 

BOLD. Healthy, strong, ftill; applied to wheat in the ear. 

£.L. 

BOLE, or BOLL. The trunk or body of a tree. 

R.N.C. M.S. B.N.C. G.&P. H.P. H.A.D. 

BOLSTER. To prop ; to support. " I've bolstered him 
up a little while, but I think it will not be long before 
he fails." This sense occurs in Palsgrave. Bolsterying, 
stuffing, falsemenV^ 

Richardson's Dictionary supplies the following illus- 
trations:— 

On the world's idols I do hate to smile, 

Nor shall their names e'er in my page appear, 
To holster baseness I account it vile. 

Dratton's Pastorals, Eclogue iii. 

Ye saye it is a perfight ymitatio of Christ. What a shameless lye is 
thys, and what a bolde bragge to holster out of fylthynesse. 

Bale's Apology, p. 134. 

H.S. 

2. A rail between the axle-tree and body, or bed of a 
cart or waggon. Palsgrave, " Bolstarre, traversinJ'^ 

H.S. H.A.D. 

BOLT. To swallow food hastily without mastication. 

G. F.E.A. H.P. 

BOLTER. To cohere; to coagulate. When new fallen 
snow collects upon a horse's feet, so as to render it diffi- 
cult for him to proceed with safety, it is said to bolter ; 
or if, in mixing flour with milk or other liquids it forms 
into lumps, the same expression is used. The Shak- 
sperian commentators on this word furnish a striking 
instance of the superiority of local over bibliographical 
knowledge in the elucidation of our early poets. War- 
burton, Johnson, and others consider it to signify stained, 
or springled with blood, as from a bolter or sieve ; and 
Nares, by copying them without comment, may be pre- 



• 6 4 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

sumed to have adopted their error. Our provincialism 
gives the clear and simple meaning, and no epithet 

could be more appropriate and expressive than 

" The blood-boltered Banquo." 
The term is still current in Warwickshire, and is one of 
many instances in which the bard appropriated familiar 
localisms with singular felicity. 
H.A.D. "Baiter." 

BOLTING. See Batting. 

BOM-BARREL. The long-tailed titmouse. See Bag. 

There the humbarrel builds her nest, 
On early green whitethorn ; 
The chaffinch shows her ruddy breast 
0*er her lichen nest at mom. 

Clare's MS. Poems. 

H.A.D. 

BOMMOCK. To move awkwardly, and strike clumsily. 
" How you hommock the children." 

BONE, or BUN. To draw a straight line from one point 
to another by means of three upright sticks, for the pur- 
poses of surveying, staking out land, or marking timber 
for felling. 

A boy, who was assisting in measuring a piece of 
land, was directed to place one stick in a line with 
another, when he said, " I've got a good eye, I can bun 
it well." 

This word may possibly be derived from the A.-Sax. 
bunden, bound, or perhaps with equal probability from 
bune, a cane. 

BONE. " What's bred i' th' bone is never out o' th' flesh." 
A phrase expressive of the difficulty of rooting out 
innate bad habits or principles. 

He values me at a crackt three farthings, for ought I see ; it 
will never ovi o* W fiesh that* 8 bred V th* bone, 

Ben Jonson. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 66 

BONES. " To make no hones of a thing, u e. to do it 
without hesitation ; to make no diflSculty about it. 

The King bad him to tell this tale againe, which the other, 
making no bones thereat, did with good will. 

Dannett's " Hist, of Philip de Comines.*' 1614. 

BONE-DRY. Thoroughly dry ; as dry as a bone. 

F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

BOO. " He cannot say boo to a goose." A phrase imply- 
ing want of spirit, or want of understanding. He has 
not sense enough to say " boo to a goose." 
BOODIES. Broken bits of earthenware used by female 
children as " play platters," or " play planchions." Not 
general. 

B,N.c."Boodies or Babby-boodies." w.c."Booty-house." 
T.G." Boody-pots." 
BOODLE. The com marygold. Chrysanthemum segetum. 
(Hooker.) A great pest to the farmer. Tusser says, 
The brake and the cockle, be noisome too much, 
Yet like unto boodle no weed there is such. 
M.S. H.A.D. 

BOOKS. The phrase, " to be in your books" or " out of 
your books,^^ implies to be in or out of favour; and so 
Shakspere understood it, when, in "Much Ado about 
Nothing," the Messenger addresses Beatrice, 

I see, lady, the gentleman is not in your books. 
It also occurs in Beaumont and Fletcher's comedy of 

" Monsieur Thomas." 

But I^m sure this Monsieur, this fine gentleman. 
Will never be in my books like mad Thomas. 

Evidently meaning that he will never be so great a 

favourite. 

The expression is obviously of commercial origin. 

H.A.D. 

BOONING. " Going a booning" is going to assist a neigh- 
bour gratuitously. 

BOOT. To boot, is so much given in addition, or as 
gratuitous compensation in making a bargain. I'U have 



ee NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

it if you will give me something to boot. A. -Sax. 
betan, emendare. In the Anglo-Latin Lexicon, 1440, 
HarL MSS. 221, we find, Botyng, or encrease ynbyyng, 
lidtamentum. Palsgrave, I boote in corsyng or chaung- 
ing one thynge for an other ; I gyve money or some other 
thynge above the thynge. What wyll you bote by tweene 
my horse and yours? Eob. of Gloucester, Eob. of Brunne, 
and Chaucer, all use this word iu the same acceptation. 

Could I with boot, change for an idle plume. 

Measure fob Measure, ii. 4. 
I'll give you boot; 1*11 give you three for one. 

T&oiL. AND Ores. iv. 5. 

H.H. C.C. H.P. 
BOOTING. A harvest-home custom. When any one has 
misconducted himself in the field during harvest, he is 
subjected to a mock trial at the harvest-home feast and 
condemned to be booted; which is thua described in the 
Litroduction to Clare's " Village Minstrel," p. xxiii. "A 
long form is placed in the kitchen, upon which the boys 
who have worked well sit, as a terror and disgrace to the 
rest, in a bent posture, with their hands laid on each 
other's backs, forming a bridge for the hogs (as the 
truant boys are called) to pass over ; while a strong chap 
stands on each side with a boot legging, soundly strap- 
ping them as they scuffle over the bridge, which is done 
as fast as their ingenuity can carry them." 

The custom is still kept up at some of the neighbour- 
ing villages. It extends also into Warwickshire ; and, as 
Stevens suggests, Shakspere most probably had it in his 
eye when he makes Protheus, parrying Valentine's rail- 
lery, say. 

Nay, give me not the boots. 

Two Gent, of Verona, i. 1. 

BOOZE. To drink; to tipple. Phillips gives, "Booze, 
to drink stoutly." Himter says, to drink sottishly. 
A very early use of this word occurs in an old 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 67 

English ballad (long before Chaucer's time) in the Har- 
leian MSS. 

Hail 30 holi monkes wiss ^ur corrin 
late & rape ifiUed of ale & wine 
depe cun ^e botue y* is al 3111*6 care. 

Habl. MSS. 913, fo. 5 b. 

Come, prithee let*s shog off, and bowse an hour or two; there *s 
ale will make a cat speak at the Harrow. 

Beaum. & Fl. ** Coxcomb," ii. 1. 

H.H. H.A.D. 

BOOZED, BOOZY. Fuddled; intoxicated. Current in 
America, according to Bartlett. Metaphorically, wet. 

A coimtryman, describing his first voyage, said, " I was 
boozed aU over with the dashing of the waves," i. e. wet 
through. 

With a long legend of romantic things. 
Which, in his cups, the bomi/ poet sings. 

Dryden. 
H.A.D. 
BOOZING. Tipling ; long-continued drinking. " They Ve 
been boozing aU day." In BuUokar we find the sub- 
stantive booz, drink. 

Still as he rode, he somewhat still did eat, 

And in his hand did bear a bouzing'Can, 

Of which he supt so oft, that on his seat 

His drunken corse he scarse upholden can ; 

In shape and life more like a monster than a man. 

Faerie Queene, Bk. 1, c. iv. 22. 

BOOZING. An ox or cow stall ; generally made of bricks. 
A receptacle for the food of cattle, as a manger is for the 
food of a horse. " You need not feed the cows, there's 
hay left in the boozing!'^ A.-Sax. bosg^ prcesepe. Way's 
Prompt. Parv. has booe^ or boos^ netystalle. Ash calls it 
a local word. 

B.N.c."Booze." c.c."Booses." r.n.c. w.c. h.a.d. 
"Boose." H.s."Boosey." L.H."Boosy." E.L."Booson." 
T.o."Buse." 



68 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

BO-PEEP. A playful mode of amusing children by suc- 
cessively peeping at them from a hiding-place, and then 
withdrawing again. Florio in v. Basboo, " to play 
bo-peep with children." Baubau, " bo-peep ; boo, to fear 
children." 

H.A.D. 

BORE. A person who annoys by unwelcome attentions, 
ceaseless prating, or impertinent remonstrances. " What 
a bore.^^ A modem colloquialism that ought to be in 
our dictionaries. It is in very general circulation, but 
of more frequent occurrence in the dlrawing room than 
the cottage. 

2. To weary by persevering solicitation or impor- 
tunity. " How you do bore me." 

BORN DAYS. Life. " In all my bom days I never knew 
such a tiresome creature as you are." 

Odswinge ! this is brave ! canny Cumberland, oh ! 

In aw my bom days sec a sight I ne^er saw. 

Westm. and Cumb. Poems. 
H.A.D. 

" Bom with a silver spoon in his mouth." Bom to be 

fortunate through life. 

Mr. Hood, in his history of Miss Kilmansegg, says : 

She was one of those, by Fortune* s boon, 
Who are born, as they say, with a silver spoon 
In her mouth, not a wooden ladle. 

BOSSOCKING. Large, fat, gross, vxdgar; an epithet ex- 
clusively characteristic of females of this description. 
" A great bossocking woman." Probably its origin may 
be traced to the Fr. bossuer, to swell or puff up unevenly 
and unhandsomely. Cotgrave. Bussock, a thick, fat per- 
son, is inserted in Holloway's Dictionary of Provincial- 
isms as peculiar to Warwickshire ; we also use it sub- 
stantively as a " great fat bossock." 

BOTHER, BOTHERING, BOTHERATION. Noisy, 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 69 

disagreeable loquacity. " Hold your bother, don't stand 
bothering there, what a botheration you're a-making." 
Clare uses this word adjectively in his " Village Minstrel," 
vol. i. p. 122. 

Where flag-leaves spring beneath, or ramping sedge, 

Keep off the bothering bustle of the wind. 
Bj^.c."Botheration." 
BOTHER. To perplex ; to be troublesomely teazing and 
noisy. " Tm so bothered with my work, and you bother 
me so with your chattering, that I don't know what I'm 
about." 

How oft in my comer Vve bothered my pate, 

First moumM at my shilling and then at my fate. 

Clare's Poems. 
H.H. P.D. 

BOTHERING. A great scolding. " They made such a 

botheringJ^ 

H.A.D. 

BOTS. A common term with gardeners for all under- 
ground grubs; many of which feed on vegetables by 
night, and bury themselves by day, such as the larvae of 
the cockchafer, and the great red underwing. 

BOTTLE. A small wooden cask used to carry beer into 
the field for agricultural labourers. HaUiweU. 
And hand the stout hooped bottle round the ring. 

Clabe's " Shep. Cal." p. 72. 

BOTTLE OF HAY. A bundle, or burden of hay for the 
foddering of cattle, tied up with a string ; as distinguished 
from a truss, which is always banded. Bottle is also ap- 
plied to a bimdle of sticks collected from the hedges for 
firing. And in some parts of the coimty to a gleaner's 
burden. Fr. bateau, a bimdle or bottle, as of hay. The 
precise signification of this term appears to have been 
misunderstood by Johnson, Todd, and Nares ; the two 
former consider it " a quantity of hay or grass bundled 
up," and the latter simply " a truss of hay." Ash agrees 
more nearly with us, and explains it as " a quantity of 



70 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

hay bound up in a bundle; " and Shakspere, no doubt, 
uses it in accordance with our meaning, when in the 
Midsummer Night's Dream, Bottom transformed into an 
Ass, expresses such a great desire for a " bottle of good 
hay," as he certainly could not have required a truss of 
hay for a single meal. 

Mr. Nares is again mistaken in supposing that the 
phrase is now only preserved in the proverbial saying of 
" looking for a needle in a hottU ofJiayy A Northamp- 
tonshire shepherd would soon have imdeceived him. 

H.A.D. F.E.A. 

BOTTLE-TIT. The long-tailed titmouse. See Bag. 

While the bottle-tit hangs 

At the end of a twig, 
Where the humble-bee bangs 

That is almost as big. 

Glare's MS. Poems. 

BOTTLE-UP. To keep secret; to preserve in remem- 
brance. " Such a person is very close, he bottles up all 
he knows." " He bottles up his grievances until he has 
a good opportunity of complaining." Box-up, is another 
figurative expression of similar import. 

H.A.D. 

BOTTLE. See Battin. 

BOTTOM. A ball of thread formed by winding the 
thread round some substance in the centre. A.-Sax. botm. 
This word is so general, that it would not have been ad- 
mitted here, had not Toone in his Glossary remarked 
that " it is still in use in the midland counties," implying 
that he regarded it as a localism. He gives the follow- 
ing illustration : — 

Therefore as you unwind her love from him, 
Lest it should ravel and be good to none, 
You must provide to bottom it on me. 

" Two Gent, of Verona," iii. 2. 
H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 71 

2. To search out, to discover; particularly applied to 
an evil report. " Til bottom it before IVe done with it ; " 
«. e. I will not rest till I have discovered the originator. 

BOTTRY. Short, stunted, applied to trees. Not in com- 
mon use. Halliwell gives " Bottry, an elder tree," which 
is the only notice I find of this word. 

BOUDS. Weovils ; insects that breed in malt. 

Best dried, best speeds — ill kept, bowd breeds. 

TnssEB, p. 258. 

BOUGE. To swell, or bidge out. Fr. bouge, a swelling, 
strowting, or standing out. Cotgrave. 

F.E.A. E.L. 

BOUGH-POT. A large pot of flowers ; such as are fre- 
quently seen in the fireplaces of old-fashioned farm houses. 

Viola, Pray let me deck the chamber, shall I ? 

Nan, Yes, 

You shall; but do not scorn to be advisM, 

Sister, for there belongs more to that than 

You are aware on : why 

Would you venture so fondly upon the strewings ? 

There's mighty matters in them, I'll assure you, 

And in the spreading of a hough-pot, 

Beauh. and Fletch, " Coxcomb." 

H.A.D."BoW-pot." 

BOUK or BUCK. To wash coarse linen clothes, by placing 
them in a tub, and covering them with a cloth on which 
is spread a quantity of wood ashes ; water is then poured 
over them, and as it percolates through, the clothes are 
steeped in the lye ; a mode of washing now almost ex- 
ploded except in old fashioned farm-houses. The ludicrous 
adventure of Falstaff and the buck-basket shews that it 
was prevalent in Shakspere's time. Todd suggests 
various etymologies : hauche, G«rm. suds or lye. Su. hyke, 
from hucka to beat. Ital. Imcata, lye, to wash a buck 
with. The Craven Glossarist refers it to the Belg. 



7 2 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

huychen. May it not with equal probability be traced to 
the Fr. huce^ lye wherewith clothes are scoured; also a 
buck of clothes ? We find the word in Chaucer ; Nares 
cites many examples of its use ; and amongst others we 
find the following in Shakspere : — 

And throw foul linen upon him, as if he were going to bucking. 

Merry Wives of Windsor, iii. 3. 

BOUK-SHEET. The cloth upon which the ashes are 
spread for the making of lye, for bucking. 

BOUK-TUB. The tub which is used for the purpose of 
buck-washing. 

BOUNCING. Identical with banging ; imusuaUy large of 
its kind, as a bouncing girl. A great and incredible im- 
truth is a bouncing falsehood. This sense does not appear 
in Todd, though it certainly furnishes a rational expla- 
nation of the passage which he quotes from Beaumont 
and Fletcher: 

We have had a merry and lusty ordinary, 

And wine, and good meat, and a bouncing reckoning. 

** Wild Goose Chaae.'' 

The bouncing reckoning, means nothing more than an 
exorbitant charge, a very large biU. 

BOUND. To be bound is to give security for the debts or 
appearance of another. Correlative with bail. 
2. Apprenticed. 

BOUT. A term in ploughing ; once down the field and 
back again is a bout ; another bout is another turn. " The 
ploughman went ten bouts before dinner." 

M.S. H.S. H.A.D. 

2. An entertainment or set-to at anything. 

C.C. B.N.C. H.S. H.A.D. 

3. An attack of illness, " He's had a sad 6ow^; " t. e. a 
severe attack. 

T.G. E.L. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 73 

BOX. An inclosed standing for a horse. A modem word. 
BOX HAEEY, The origin of this phrase I know not, but 
it means to go without dinner. 

H.S. 

BOX IRON. An iron for smoothing of linen, inclosing a 
heater. 

H.A.D. 

BOX-UP. See Bottle-up. 

BOXING-DAY. The day after Christmas-day, when it 
is customary for journeymen and apprentices to call 
upon those persons who employ their masters, and solicit 
a small present of money, termed a Christmas-box. The 
custom extends to certain subordinate officials, as sexton, 
clerk, ringers, watchmen, scavengers, <fec. Formerly, 
and within remembrance. Grocers used to make their 
customers a present of plumbs for their Christmas pud- 
dings; and Bakers universally gave a plumb cake to 
their customers at this time. The name hox probably 
originated in the custom of carrying a box for depositing 
the gratuities received. 

While 'prentice boy, with ruddy face, 
And rime bepowder'd, dancing locks, 

From door to door, with happy pace, 

Runs round to claim his '* Christmas box,'"' 

Clabe, ** Shep. Cal." p. 96. 

BRACK. A flaw, a rent, or broken place ; always used 
negatively; "my gown has not a brack in it.'' A. -Sax. 
Braccariy to break. The use of this word is by no means 
imcommon with us ; Nares says not quite obsolete, and 
Home Tooke remarks, though as a noun it is not mucli 
in fashion at present, it was formerly in good and com- 
mon use, and produces an authority from Beaumont and 
Fletcher. 

Let not a brach V th' stuif, or here and there 
The fading gloss, a general loss appear. 

Epilogue to Valentinian. 
E 



74 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

Amongst Eaj's Proverbial plirases we find: 

You see a brach where the hedge is whole. 
£.L. H.A.D. 

2. To repair, or mend doors or rails by nailing a 
piece of wood on the broken part. " Brack it up." 

BRACKLE. To break; to crumble; to pulverise. When 
land works well and freely, a farmer would say, " It 
brachles well," or " It hrackles down nicely." Stone that 
breaks up with the tool in working is said to brackle. 

BRACKLY. Brittle ; crumbly ; ftdl of cracks or flaws, as 
applied to wood or stone. 

M.S. F.E.A. H.A.D. H.P. 

BRAD. A small headless nail. The awl which is used 
for the purpose of preparing the holes to receive the 
brads is called a brad-awl. 

W.C. H.S. H.A.D. L.H. 

BRAG. To boast. 

There was such betting and such brags. 
And galloping up and down with nags. 

Evans, " Old Ballads." 
H.H. 

BRAGGADOCIA. A boasting feUow. 

P.D. H.A.D. 

BRAIN-PAN. The scull. Forby says, it may seem in- 
tended for a ludicrous figurative expression; but is the 
very word used by our Saxon ancestors to express the 
cranium. A.-Sax. panne, cranium. 

F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

BRAKE. A narrow strip of land covered with bushes, 
frequently between two furlongs; a piece of ground in 
a coppice overrun with indigenous blackthorn, white- 
thorn, briars, &c. ; a thicket of bramble bushes. Bishop 

. Kennett, Lansd. MS. 1033, renders brake " a small plot 
or parcel of bushes growing by themselves." Shak- 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 75 

spere frequently Tises this word, but in some cases the 
precise meaning is not very obvious. 

I'll run from thee, and hide me in the hrakesy 
And leave thee to the mercy of wild beasts. 

Mid. N. Dr. iu. 2. 
This green plot shall be our stage, this hawthorn hraJee our 
tiring house. 

Ibid, iii. 1. 

Why kept he not amongst the fennes, 

Or on the copses by; 
Or in the wood and hraky glennes, 
Where hawes and acorns lie ? 

Brown, " The Shepherd's Pipe.*' 
P.D. H.A.D. 

2. A strong wooden frame, formed of four posts with 
two bars on each side, wide enough to confine colts or 
restive horses whilst being shod ; a frame of this kind is 
still to be seen in some of our villages. 

H.A.D. 

3. A harrow. 

H.A.D. 

BRAKEN, or BKAKE. Fern. 

Feame, or hrakef will die at the root in two years, if you will 
not suffer it to braunch, and grow above ground. 

Holland, Plinie, b. xviii. c. 6. 

Where the deer with their shadows passed swifter than thought, 
And the hare from the brahen went limping along, 
Where the pheasant's red eye for a moment was caught, 
Then vanished away like a spinning bee^s song; 
Ye green shades of Burghley ! how lovely you seem, 
Your sweet spreading oaks and your brahen so green. 
Your green plots as sweet as a shepherd boy^s dream, 
'Neath the shade of dark trees where I've many a day been, 
And sitting in broken or roots of the lime, 
Amusing my leisure in ballads and rhyme. 

Clarets MS. Poems. 

R.N.C. M.S. F.E.A. C.S. H.H. 

BRAND. To mark for distinction; for ownership. To 
brand cattle or horses previous to turning them on an 

£ 2 



76 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

open or free common. The day set apart for opening 
the freemen's commons at Northampton is called the 
branding day. 
BRANDER. The person who brands cattle. 

2. An iron over the fire. Brockett says, Brander, to 
broil or grill. Teut. brandeti, to bum. Brander-iron, 
the instrument on which meat is brandered or grilled, a 
gridiron. 

B.N.C. P.D. 

BRANDS. The pitch with which the sheep was branded, 
clipped from the fleece by the wool sorter. Brand-hole, 
the depository of pitch and dirt from fleece wool. 

BRAND or BRAN-NEW. Perfectly new," never having 

been used or worn before. Equivalent to spick and span 

new. 

Waes me ! I hae forgot. 
With hast of coming aff, to fetch my coat. 
What sail I do ? it was almaist brand netc^ 
'Tis bat a heliier since^t came aff the clew. 

Ross*s Helenore, p. 53 (Jamieson). 

The lovely mom in July's blushes rose, 
That brought the yearly feast and holiday, 
When villagers put on their hran-new clothes. 

Clare's Village Minstrel. 

M.S. B.N.C. G. C.C. H.S. T.G. A.W. H.A.D. 

BRANDY-SNAP. A round piece of thin crisp ginger- 
bread. 

B.N.C. H.A.D. 

BRANGLED. Confused ; intermixed. " His accounts are 
so brangled I could make nothing of ^em." Obviously 
a corruption of embrangled or entangled. A skein of 
silk or cotton that is very much entangled, and not 
easily wound, is called a brangled mess. 

E.L. H.A.D. 

BRASHY. Delicate ; weakly in constitution. 

B.N.C. H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 77 

BRASS. A common cant appellation for copper coin. 

W.C. B.N.C. C.C. T.Q. L.H. G.&P. 

BRAT. A young child. A large family of young children 
are " a lot of little ^afe." 

C.C. H.S. T.G. 

BRATTLINGS. Loppings from feUed trees. 

F.£.A.. M.x • 

BRAVELY. In good health ; vastly well. Todd says, a 
common expression in the North of England ; and so it 
is in the Midland Counties. 

B.N.C. F.E.A. H.H. C.C. P.D. 

BRAZEN. Lnpudent ; full of assurance. 

What a braeen-faced varlet art thou, to deny thou know^st me ? 

Kino Lear, ii. 2. 
Well said, brazen face, hold it out. 

Merrt Wives of Windsor, iv. 2. 
C.C. G.&P. 
BREAD. Loaves of bread. The seed-pod of the hen- 
bane. Hyoscyamus niger. (Hooker.) 

And hunting from the stack-yard sod. 
The stinking henbane's belted pod, 
By youth^s warm fancies sweetly led 
To christen them his loaves of bread, 

Clare, " Shep. Cal.'» p. 62. 

BREAD. " He knows which side his bread's buttered on," 
a phrase applied to those who always consider their own 
interest. 

I know what^s what. I know on which side my bread is buttered. 

Ford, « The Lady's Trial," ii. 1, 

BREAD. " There is no bread in nine loaves." A singular 
phrase, best explained by its application. " If I don't 
speak to such an one when I meet her, there will he no 
bread in nine loaves" i, e., she will fancy I am proud or 
offended. 

BREAK. To tear, or cut in pieces any garment that is 



78 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

worn out or useless. " This gown is worn out ; it is 
good for notliing but to hreak,^^ 

2. To disclose secret, disagreeable, or painfiil news 
with caution. " Her mother's dead ; I mufit break it to 
her." 

BREAKFAST. The length to which this social meal is 
often protracted has caused it to become proverbial. " A 
letter as long as a breakfaaV^ 

BREAK-UP. The periodical holiday of school children. 
When the joyful period approaches, boys frequently 
record the intervening time by cutting notches in a stick 
equivalent to the number of days which separates them 
from home, sweet home, and cutting one away every 
morning till the notchless stick annoimces the arrival of 
the long looked-for and happy day. 

The indented stick, that loses day by day 
Notch after notch, till all are smoothed away, 
Bears witness, long ere his dismission come, 
With what intense desire he wants his home. 

COWPER. 

These nick-sticks, as they are termed, are doubtless 
juvenile imitations of the tradesman's tally-stick, and 
the Catholic bead-stick. 

M.S. T.G. 

BRIAR-BALL. An excrescence from the briar, placed by 
boys in their coat cuffs, as a charm to prevent flogging. 
Sjmonymous with Savelick. 

BREAST and HAND. A name given to the lower part of 
a fore quarter of pork, divided from the neck. Some- 
times called a Spring, but less frequently. 

BREATH. " Save your breath to cool your porridge." A 
request, or rather a command, to a person to cease 
arguing or talking. 

BREE. The gadfly. Tahanus, (Linn.) Very trouble- 



/ 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 79 

some to horses and cattle in hot weather. A.-Sax 
briosay an ox-flj. Palsgrave. Brese, a long fly, prestre. 

But he them all from him full lightly swept , 
As doth a steare, in heat of summer^s day, 
With his long taile the hryzes brush away. 

Faerie Queene, Bk. 6, c. i. 

The herd hath more annoyance by hrize than by the tyger. 

Tboil. and Ores. i. 3. 

A fierce loud buzzing hreeze, their stings draw blood, 
And drive the cattle gadding through the wood. 

Dryden, " Virgil's Georgics," Bk. 3. 

You shall see them toss their taib, and gad 
As if the breeze had stung them. 

Dryden, " (Edipus," i. 1. 

Runs like a heifer bitten with the brieze, 

Ben Jonson, " New Inn." 

BREEZE. A quarrel ; a disturbance. " He came home 
tipsy last night, and kicked up a pretty hreezeJ^ 

H.A.D. 

BEEVIT. A person who goes hunting and searching 
about for hidden things. " What a brevit she is," 

BREVIT. To rummage perseveringly for anything; to 
pry into every hole and comer in the hope of finding 
something concealed, as a mistress does who is suspi- 
cious of her servant. " She's always hreviting about." 

H.S. A.W. L.H. E.L. H.A.D. 

BRICKS. Bread of a narrow oblong form, something like 
the proportion of a brick; made crusty by cutting the 
top in squares previous to baking. 

B.N.C. P.D. H.A.D. 

BRICKLE. Brittle. 

Pure in aspect, and like to christall glasse ; 

Yet glasse was not, if one did rightly dreme ; 
But being feiire and brichUf likest glasse did seeme. 

Faerie Queene, Bk. 4, c. 10. 

C.C. J.S. H.A.D. 

BRIDE'S-LACES. The ribbon grass. Cahmagrostis 



80 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

variegata; var, versicolar, (Hooker.) Clare calls it 
ladies' laces, 
BRIDLE-WAY, or BRIDLE-ROAD. A horse road, as 
distinguished from a carriage way. 

T.G. H.A.D. 

BRIEF. Common; prevalent; generally applied to epi- 
demic disorders. " Colds are very We/ just now." 

Hartshome is disposed to think this is not a legitimate 
word, but corrupted from rife, 

G. W.C. E.L. H.A.D. H.P. 

BRIG. A bridge. A.-Sax. brig. 

There goth a broke, and ovir that a hrigge. 

Chaucer, ** Reve's Tale." 

His house was nigh to a riyer«lf 

Beside a hrigget as thou shalt here (hear). 

GowEB, fo. cliiii. 

Down lane, and close, o'^er foot-hrig, gate, and stile. 

Glare, '' Shop. Gal/' p. 32. 

Two willows fell, and still for &nW remain. 

Ibid. p. 119. 

G. B.N.C. H.H. F.E.A. C.C. E.L. T.G. H.A.D. H.P. 

BRIG. A wooden frame placed over a tub, to support a 
sieve for straining beer, or making cheese; caUed a 
brewing brig, or cheese brig, according to the purpose 
for which it is employed. Sometimes a forked stick is 
substituted, which is termed a pair of brigs. 

C.C. G.&P. H.A.D. 

BRISTLE UP. To be lively. A metaphor from those 
animals who have the power of elevating their bristles, 
as a cat, or hedgehog. Brisk up is the American 
equivalent. 

BROAD-CAST. A term in husbandry for sowing with 
the hand, as distinguished from setting, or drilling. 

H.A.D. 

BROAD-SET. Disproportionately muscular and bulky. 

C.C. H.A.D. 






WORDS AND PHRASES. «I 

BROBS, or BRODS. Tier-nails of carts or waggons. 

When the heads of the nails are worn off they are called 

shanks. 
BROCK. A badger. Unaltered Saxon. 

Or with pretence of chasing thence the brock, 
Send in a cup to' worry the whole flock. 

Brown, " Vulg. Err." 

E.L. W.C. G.&P. H.P. H.A.D. 

BROKE. Exhausted ; used up. " We're quite broke fur 
water this dry weather." " I'm quite broke for sugar ; I 
must go to market and lay in a fresh stock." 

BROKE-UP. Applied to the weather. " The weather's 
broke up ; we shan't have it fine again at present." 

BROKEN GRASS. Grass which is mown after the field 
has been stocked all the summer. 

BROKEN THE NECK OF. An expression used to signify 
that any one has completed the greater part of any under- 
taking ; or has been instrumental in prevailing on others 
to relinquish bad habits, or improper associates. " I 
have broken the neck of my job." " I have broken the necl- 
of her gossiping habits." 

BROODY. Cloudy, dark, gloomy. "A broodi/ sky." 
A.-Sax. brodig, 

BROTH. Always used in the plural, which, I believe, is 
the case with no other liquid. " I should like a far 
broth when they are ready." Pegge says, this applica- 
tion of the word few is peculiar to the Northern Coun- 
ties, but it is very general with us; perhaps it may have 
arisen from the quantity required, " a few spoonfulls." 

B.N.C. C.C. H.S. E.L. H.A.D. 

BROTHER CHH*. A person of the same trade. 

And, brother chip, I love ye dearly, 
Poor as ye be ! 

Clare, " Rural Life," p. 87. 

BROWN GEORGE. A small close wig with a single row 

£ 3 



82 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

of curls. Worn by, and so named after, King George 
the Third. Now obsolete. 

BROWN STUDY. Broody meditation ; absence of mind. 

Nares illustrates the antiquity of this singular phrase by 

a passage from Ben Jonson. 

Faith, this hrovm study suits not with your black; 
Your habits and your thoughts are of two colours. 

" Case Altered," iv. 1. 

Why, Sosia! what, in a hrown stvdyt 

Dbtden^s "Amphitryon," iii. 1. 

M«S* 

BROUSE, rhyming to Mouse. The small branches cut 
from a tree, which are not fit for timber. A hedge that 
is full of brushwood is said to have a browsy top. Cotgr. 
broust, brouzewood. 

H.S. L.H. H.A.D. 

BROUSE-TEEE. A tree that has been lopped of the head 

and branches. 
BRUK. A brook. 

H.S. 

BRUMMAGEM. A general name for counterfeit or base 
coin. A corrupted pronunciation of the place where 
they are principally manufactured. 

H.S. 

BRUN. Bran. Pure Saxon. 

F.E.A. M.S. 

BRUSH. " Stand a good hrush^^ is a phrase used to 

signify that any article will endure, or wear a long 

time ; particularly applied to shoes, as, when a pair have 

been strongly mended, it is said, " They will stand a 

good brush now." Also used personally, as expressive of 

sturdy, determined opposition, as, " I'll stand a good 

brush before I'll give up." 

His courage was flush, he'd venture a hruaihf 
And thus they went to it ding dong. 

Evans' Old Ballads, vol. ii. p. 221. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 83 

BEUSBDED-UP. Smartened; better dressed than ordi- 
nary; renovated; put in order. " He's brushed himself 
up, and now he's going to brush up his house." 

BRUZZ. To bruise, 
c.c. 

BRUZZ'D, BRUZZENED. Bruised, 
c.c. 

BRUZZLED. Bishop Percy, in a MS. Hst of Northamp- 
tonshire localisms, defines this word, " faded, rubbed, 
very much bruised as a pewter plate. Also applied to a 
very rough face." It is still in very general use in the 
same senses. Earthenware, when the glazing is cracked 
and partially worn off, is said to be hruzzUd; indeed^ it 
is commonkf applied to anything that has the surface 
roughened. T^lien the handle of a stone-mason's chisel 
becomes soft and roughed from being repeatedly struck 
with the mallet, it is so hruzzled as to be unfit for use. 
If a tree or thorn have a large, strong, bushy head, 
matted, or intertwined, it would be termed bruzly or 
bruzzled. In the Ort. Voc. we find, " Brushaly, frutes, a 
twigge, a stick, a busshe, underwood." 

Break ^em more, they are but brustled yet. 

Beaum. and Fl. 

BUBBLE AND SQUEAK. Cold meat, with greens and 
potatoes, fried, and all served up in the same dish. 

H.P. H.A.D. 

BUCK, See Bouk and Bouk-sheet. 

M.S. L.H. H.P. H.A.D. 

BUCK. The fore part or front of the body of a cart or 
wAggon; the moveable rail which is placed in front for 
the purpose of extending the load is termed the false 
for-hvck, A.-Sax. huce. 

R.S.E. G. M.S. F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

BUCKER. A bent piece of wood, on which a slaughtered 
animal is suspended by the hind legs. Germ, bucken, to 



84 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

bend. Identical with Gambril, wliich is in more general 
circulation. 

M.S. F.E.A. H.A.D. 

BUCKLE-TO. Brockett says, " to marry;'' and we adopt 
the same meaning, but use it also in a more extended 
sense ; to begin to work after a holiday ; to set to work 
in good earnest; to renew an engagement between a 
master and servant after a disagreement, " They have 
huckled-to again." 

B.N.C. G.&P. 

BUDGE. To move off; to go unwillingly ; often used as a 
command to a troublesome visitor. " Come, budge; be 
off with you." 

Nay, stand thou back, I will not hvdge a foot. 

1 Hen. VI. i. 3. 

B.N.C. G.&P. 

BUFF. To rebound. An axe is said to buff* when it 
strikes on a spongy or tough piece of wood and recoils 
without making any impression. To buff the bells is to 
cover one side of the clapper with old hat, to deaden the 
sound for the purpose of ringing a dumb peal at the 
ftmeral of a ringer. 

H.A.D. 

BUFF NOR BUM. Neither one thing nor another. A 
kindred expression occurs in Nares, " Buff ne Baff^ 

A certain persone being of hym [Socrates] bidden good speede, 
said to hym againe neither huff ne haff, [that is, made him no 
kind of answer.] 

Udall, ** Apophth.'' fol. 9. 

The Craven Glossarist, under '* Buff^ to bark gently," 
adduces an illustration which accords with the above 
signification much better than with his own. 

*' God have mercy upon his soul ; and now, when he should have 
comforted Christ, he was asleep, not once huff nor haff to him 
ga." Latimer. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 85 

BUFFER. A fool. 

BUFFET. According to the Dictionaries, is a blow, or box 
on the ear; but we restrict it to the striking or flapping 
any one with a cloth or handkerchief — a mode of jest- 
ingly chastising a child. Our usage is sanctioned by 
the Anglo-Latin Lexicon, 1440, Harl. MSS. 221, for we 
there find. Flap, a stroke or buffet. 
Yan yei spatten i to his face : I smyten hym wt buffetis, forsoye 
oyir javen strokes wt ye pawme of hondis ! to his foce. 

WiCLiP MS. Matt. xxvi. 
i ye mynystris betun hym wt strokes or buffetis. 

Ibid. Mark xiv. 
BUFFET. A low, square stool. Hunter simply, but 
pointedly, defines huffet "with the accent on the first 
syllable, a footstool ; accented on the last syllable, a small 
cupboard." 

M.S. FE.A. C.C. G.&P. H.P. H.A.D. T.G. 

BUFFET. See Beaufet. 

M.S. T.G. H.A.D. 

BUFFETED ABOUT. To be compelled, from the pressure 
of adverse circumstances, to remove jfrom place to place. 

I am one, my liege, 

Whom the vile blows and buffets of the world 

Have so incensM, that I am reckless what 

I do, to spite the world. 

Macbeth, iii. 1. 

BUFFLE-GREENS. The Brussels-sprouts, called also 

Muffle-greens and Feather-legs. 

BUG. To take offence. " He was quite buggedy 

BUGABOO. A bugbear; a hobgoblin. 

L.H. H.A.D. 

BULL. " To take the hull by the horns," is to set about 
eagerly and perseveringly to accomplish any disagreeable 
object; to dash at it. 

BULL-BEEF. A singular metaphorical expression for 
assumed consequence, or coarseness and vulgarity of 



8t$ NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

manners. " He looks as big as hill heef,^'' or " as coarse 
as hill heefP 
c.c. 
BULLFINCII. A term applied to a hedge that is allowed 
to grow high without lahing or laying. 

BULL-HEAD. A small fish, the miller's thumb. Cottoa 
gcbio, (Linn.) 

E.L. 

BULLIES. The large sloes or slohus, the fruit of the 
buUace. Prunus communis, var, Insititia. (Hooker.) 
H.s. j.s."Bullins." H.H."Bullas." c.c. h.p. h.a.d. 
"Bullace." 

BULL-PATED. Applied to a heavy crop of grass driven 
by the wind or rain into an eddy ; standing up like the 
tuft on a bull's forehead. The term is restricted to grass, 
and never used in reference to standing com. 

In several of the Glossaries we have hill-fronts, tufts 
of coarse grass ; and in Halliwell we find hilVs-fareliead, 
the turfy air-grass. 

BULLS AND COWS. The flowers of the arum maculatum. 
The dark-coloured are called huUs, the light caws. See 
Bobbin and Joan. 

BULLYERS. A variation of Bullies, which see. 

BULLYRAG. To banter; to scold abusively. 

F.E.A. c.c. B.N.C. H.s. P.D. H.A.D. 

BUM. An assistant to a bailifi*. 

B.N.C. H.s. H.A.D. 

BUM. To rush with a mixrmuring sound; to make a 
buzzing noise. " To homme as a fly doth or husse; 
hruirey " This waspe bommsth about myne eare; I am 
afrayed leste she stynge me." Palsg. Todd deduces it 
from the Dutch bomm^em, to resound. 

From the hedge, in drow^ hum, 
Heedless buzzing beetles hum. 

Clare, « Rural Life," p. 119. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 87 

Bumming gad flies ceasM to teaze. 

Clare, " Village Minstrel,'* vol. i. p. 131. 
H.A.D. 

BUMBLE-BEE, or BUMBLEDE-BEE. The apis ter- 
restris (Linn.), or any other large thick-bodied bee. 
Our local poet again supplies illustrations : 
Bumble bees I wandered by. 
Clinging to the drowking flower. 

Clare, " Village Minstrel," vol. i. p. 133. 
Then blossomM beans will bloom above thee. 
And bumble bee buz in and love thee. 

Clare's MS. Poems. 

M.S. F.E.A. C.C. T.G. H.P. 

BUMBLE-FOOT. A thick, clumsy foot, that moves with- 
out pliability. 

£.L. H.P. H.A.D. 

BUMP. In addition to the signification of this word given 
by Johnson, it is commonly used in this county to ex- 
press a blow received by running against anything, in 
which case the person is said to have " run full bump " 
against the object. 

M.S. F.E.A. B.N.C. C.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

BUMPING. Riding a rough trotting horse without any 
stirrups, or without rising in them. " He goes bumping 
along." A common market trot. 
F.E.A."Bump." H.A.D. 

BUMPY. Uneven; knobby. 

H.P. H.A.D. 

BUMPTIOUS, or BUMSHUS. Consequential; conceited. 
Traceable to bump in its primitive sense, swoUen, i. e. 
puffed up with conceit. 

The bumptious seijeant struts before his men. 

Clare, " Village Minstrel/* vol. i. p. 36. 

M.S. F.E.A. E.L. H.P. H.A.D. 

BUN. The stubble of beans, left by the scythe after mow- 
ing. Often cut for burning and lighting fires. Halliwell 
gives ^^ Bun, a dry stalk." 



88 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

BUNCH. To raise up by pushing. " Bunch me up on 
the wall." " Give me a bunch up." An archaism rather 
than a vulgarism. Punch is equally general in the same 
sense; and the Anglo-Latin Lexicon 1440, Harl. MS. 
221, gives, ^^ Punchyng^ or hunchyn, stimulacto ; the Ort. 
Voc. ^^Punchyn, or hunchyn^ tundo, mpello^ and Palsgrave, 
"I bunche, ot pusshe one; (Fr.) le pousse^ "Thou 
Imnchest me so, that I cannot sit in rest by thee." 

C.C. T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

BUNDLE-OFF. To dismiss in haste, or in anger. 

H.P. 

BUNGYLL. To bungle ; to mend clumsily. " How you Ve 

hungylUd it up." O. E. Palsgr. 
BUNHILL. A bunyon. 

BUNNY. A juvenile name for rabbits. The first sylla- 
ble repeated, " bun, bun," is often used to call them to 
their food. 

M.S. C.C. H.A.D. 

BUNT. The smut in wheat. When wheat is so affected 
it is " bunty," or " bunted." 

BUNT, or PUNT. To kick, or strike with the feet; also 
used in the sense of Bunch, which see. Bunt occurs as 
an Oxfordshire word in Bishop Kennett's MS. Glossary. 

L.H. H.A.D. 

BUNTING. Short; stunted. Applied both to persons 
and things. It appears to be used in different senses in 
other parts of the kingdom. Forby renders it " mise- 
rably mean and shabby ;" the Essex dialect, " not neat ; 
unsightly dress." 

F.E.A. H.A.D. H.p."Bunty." 

BUNTS. Puff-balls, or lycoperdons. When ripe they 
emit a kind of brown farina ; an idea prevails that the 
dust of the puff-ball causes blindness. One of the few 
words noticed by Grose as Northamptonshire. 

A.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 89 

BUEGOO. " As thick as hirgoo:' An Irish dish, I am 
informed ; but why the rustics in this midland district 
should have travelled so far for a comparison I cannot 
conjecture. 

BUR-HEAD, or BUR-WEED. Synonymous with Beg- 
gar's-lice, which see. The adhesive nature of this 
plant has doubtless suggested the name of bur-head, or 
bur-weed, 

BURK. To warm by fondling ; to nuzzle ; to try to luU 
a child to sleep. " JBurk the child off to sleep." " A 
brood-hen burks her chickens under her wing." Very 
different jfrom the modem acceptation of the term. 

BURN. When a person, hunting for anything which is 
concealed, is near the object of his search without find- 
ing it, he is said to burn; as in the games of salt-te-low 
and blind-man's-buff. 

H.H. H.A.D. 

BURN CANDLES AT BOTH ENDS. A phrase expres- 
sive of thoughtless extravagance, and reckless expendi- 
ture, 
c.c. 
BURN DAYLIGHT. A phrase for Hghting candles before 
they are required. A figurative expression for waste of 
time. 

Gome, we bum dayli^ht^ ho. 
Rom. Nay, that's not so. 
Mer, I mean, sir, in delay, 

We waste our lights in vain, like lamps by day, 

Rom. and Jul. i. 4. 
F.E.A. C.C. 

BURNT mS FINGERS. When a person has been un- 
successful in any speculation he is said to have burnt his 
fingers; or, if it is expected that he wiU do so, we say, 
" K he don't mind he'll bum hisfingersy 

BURNT-TO. See Bishop's-foot. 

Amongst the many charitable acts of the first Countess 



90 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

Spencer was an annual feast of furmety to her village 
school at Brington. On one of these occasions her 
ladyship inquired of the children how they liked it, 
and every one replied, " Very much, my lady ;" till she 
came to a blunt little fellow, who answered, " Not at all, 
it is burnt to so bad." Her ladyship said, " I don't 
know what you mean," and tasting it, exclaimed, " What- 
ever you may call it, it is not fit to be eaten ;" and im- 
mediately ordered the whole to be put away, and 
rewarded the boy for his honesty and courage in speak- 
ing the truth. 
BURR. Anjrthing put under a wheel to check its pro- 
gress. Sometimes used verbally. " Burr the wheel." 
B.N.C. c.c. H.p. H.A.D."Birr." 

2. The sweetbread, or pancreas of a calf or lamb. 

G. W.C. c.c. H.S. A.W. L.H. H.P. H.A.D. 

3. A perforated round or square piece of wood or iron, 
to protect the nut of a screw ; if small it would be called 
a Purr. Bush, Washer, and Box, are cognate terms. 
Purs or burs J hculus^ occur in the early lexicons. 

4. The adhesive prickly calyx of the burdock. Arc- 
tium lappa. Hence the old adage, " Sticks like a hun^ 
to a beggar's rags." 

They are hurrSf 1 can tell you; they'll stick where they are 
thrown. 

Troil. and Cress, iii. 2. 

Ro8. How foil of briars is this working-day world ! 

Cel, They are but burs, cousin, thrown upon thee in holiday 
foolery; if we walk not in the trodden paths, our very petticoats 
will catch them. 

Ro8. I could shake them off my coat ; these burs are in my 
heart. 

As You Like It, i. 3. 

5. A haziness or mist, covering or encircling the 
moon. Clare intended to refer to this phenomenon in 
his poem of " The Woodman ;" but the printer, unac- 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 91 

quainted with this localism, considering it an error, sub- 
stituted " buried moons." 

And buried (burred) moons foretell great storpis at night, 
In such-like things the woodman took delight. 

" Village Minstrel," vol. ii. p. 27. 
F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

BURROW. Shelter; under the burrow; i.e, under the 
wind. " YouVe got a cold place there, mistress ; why 
don't you get under the burrow f^ . " The sheep have 
got a nice burrowJ'^ " The plants were nicely sheltered 
from the frost under the burrow wall." A.-Sax. beorgan, 
byrgan, to defend, to protect, to strengthen. Ort. Voc. 
berowe, or shadow, umbra. 

Foxes han horwis or dennes, and briddes of the eir han nestis, 
but mannes son hath not where he shal rest his hede. 

WiCLiF, Matt. c. viii, 
L.H. H.A.D. 

2. A temporary shelter in the field for sheep ; similar 
to a Hurk; which see, 

BURR-WEED. See Burr-head. 

BURY. A place simk in the earth to protect potatoes or 
carrots from the frost. A.-Sax. bt/rig, an inclosure. 

BURYING HIS WIFE. A feast given by an apprentice 
to his shopmates at the expiration of his articles. 

BUSBY. " Old Busby's dead ;" commonly said of old 
news, or a twice-told tale. Ray gives a similar Sussex 
phrase, substituting my Lord Baldwin for Old Busby. 

H.A.D 

BUSH. An iron ferule placed upon the axle of a wheel, 
between the box and Hnch-pin, to prevent its wearing by 
friction, when there is too much play. Dr. Johnson has 
converted the bush into a bushel^ for he gives the above 
definition to the " Bushels of a cart wheel ;" and Todd 
remarks that " he had been informed that bush is known, 
but that bushel is not." Our word appears to be un- 



92 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

known to Todd; with us it is universally used. In 
Jamieson, hush occurs as a sheath. 

G*G* H*A*D* 

BUSHEL. " You measure my com by your hisheV* You 
judge of my disposition by your own. 
c.c. 
BUSKINS. Upper stockings without feet, like gaiters. 
Correlative with Hoggers and Cockers. 

There is a kind of msticity in all those pompous verses; some- 
what of a holiday shepherd strutting in his country Imskins, 

Dbtden. 
BUSS. A kiss. This word, though now only used in 
familiar, vulgar language, was in good repute with our 
early dramatists. 

M.S. c.c. H.P. H.A.D. 

BUST. To brand sheep with tar; also, the mark itself. 

B.N.C. H.A.D. 

BUSTED. The preterite of to burst " The wind busted 
the door open." 

L.H. 

BUTCHEE^S CLEAVEE. Those stars which form the 

constellation known by the name of the Pleiades. 

Clare thus defends the old fortune-teller's knowledge 

of the stars from the charge of witchcraft : 
But, as to ill-got knowledge of the sky, 
She was as ignorant as you or I. 
She might, no doubt, with pointed finger show 
The Shej[>herd*8 LamjPf which even children know; 
And doubtless loved, when journeying from the town. 
To see it rising soon as day was down. 
The tailor^s Yard-handj which hangs streaming high. 
The pale NiffU-waggon driving through the sky, 
And B'iUcher'*8 Cleaver ^ or the seven stars, 

With shooting North, tokening bloody wars : ' 

* 

She might know these, which, if 'tis sin to know. 
Then everybody is a vtdtch below. 

Clare, *' Shep. Cal." p. iii. 
BUT. The main stem or trunk of a timber-tree, as well 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 93 

as the stock of a fallen tree. I should not have consi- 
dered this word as dialectical, if I had not found it so 
represented in " Marshall's Rural Economy of the Mid- 
land Districts.*' 

L.H. 

BUTTER. " He looks as if butter would not melt in his 
mouth, or cheese would not choke him," applied to a 
smooth dissembler, who attempts to deceive by assumed 
ignorance and want of capacity. The expression is 
much oftener used in reference to artful cunning or 
duplicity in the daily intercourse of social life than, as 
described by the Craven Glossarist, to a dissembling vil- 
lain, who, while he speaks plausibly, is plotting your 
destruction. 

Ye look as if bviter wad na* melt in your mouth, but I shall 
warrant cheese no choak ye. 

St. Ronan's Well. 
BUTTER AND EGGS. A variety of the Daffodil. 

J.o. XI. A. D. 

BUTTER-BIT. The smaU stramer in which each pound 
of butter is wrapped when packed for market. 

BUTTER-CUPS. A name applied indifferently to the 
various species of ranunculi growing in meadows. Chil- 
dren hold the flowers under each other's chins as a test 
of their love of butter. 

A gay, gaudy butter-cup^s gold-fringed gown, 

Cla&e^s Ruhal Life, p. 106. 

C.C. T.G. H.P. 

BUTTERED ALE, Ale boiled with sugar, butter, and 
spice; and, if a little gin is added, it is called Hot-pot. 

H.S. H.A.D. 

BUTTER-FINGERED. Slippery-fingered. A reproof for 
carelessness, or incautiously holding anything. " Why 
you're hatter-fingered, you drop the things so." 

B.N.C. F.E.A. CO. G.&P. H.S. H.P. H.A.D. 



94 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

BUTTER-TEETH. Large broad yeUow teeth. 

** So, after long argament (^pro and con. as you know) I brought 
him down to your two htUter teeth, and them he would have. 

Ben Jonson, " Epicene; or, the Silent Woman. ''^ 
F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

BUTTON-POUND. Money. One farmer was heard to 
say to another, " K I had as many fat sheep as you, I'd 
soon turn them into btUtonr-pound,^ t. e., sell them, and 
pocket the money. 

BUTTONS. Small mushrooms, such as are used for 
pickling. Small round gingerbread nuts are also called 
buttons. Often used contemptuously, to signify anything 
insignificant and worthless. " I wouldn't give a button 
for it." 

F«£.A. H.S. 

BUTTRICE. A tool used by farriers and smiths in 
paring a horse's foot, preparatory to shoeing; now 
almost superseded by the paring knife. We find it in 
Tusser. 

M.S. H.S. H.A.D. 

BUTTY. A working companion; a comrade. Not so 
general with us, as amongst the miners and colliers. 
Hartshome cites many examples of its early usage. 

E.L. L.H. H.P. H.A.D. 

BWILE. To boil. " Bmle the pwot." 

H.S. 

BUZZARD. " Between a hawk and a buzzardi^ in a state 
of perplexity and indecision. " I'm between a hawk 
and a buzzard ;^^ I don't know what to do, or how to act. 

BUZZY. A familiar recognition, almost equivalent to 
friend. " Well, my buzzy, how do you do?" 

BY. About. " What do you say by it?" 

BY-BY. A nurse's lullaby song. " Gro to by-byi' go to 
sleep. 

H.P. c.c."Bee-bee." 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 95 

BYCENING. See Beastlings. 

BY FAR. Much. " Td by far rather not go.*' 

C.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

BY-HOURS. Time beyond regular day work; extra 
hours. 

BY NOW. By this time. "I thought I should have 
finished my work by rww.^^ 
C.C. H.s. H.A.D."Benow." 

BY TIMES. Occasionally. " I call by times:' 
2. Early. " I was up by times this morning." 



C. 



CABAL. Noise; confusion of tongues; a great talking. 
" What a cabal you're making." 

CACKLING. The gabbling of a number of females ; also 
going about chattering and tale-telling. Palsgrave gives 
" Cachelyng, babling; ca>cqaet I cakyll, or clatter. 
How these women cachyll nowe they have dyned." 

M.S. B.N.G. H.A.D. 

CADDEE. A servant's servant; an under waggoner, &c. 

CADDY. The caddis-worm, or grub of the May-fly. 
Used as baits by anglers, especially school-boys. 

H.A.D. 

CADE. A pet lamb ; one that is brought up by hand. 
Fr. a castling ; a starveling ; one that hath need of much 
cockering and pampering. Cotg. 

H.H. C.C. H.s. £.L. H.P. H.A.D. 

2. A petted child; one unduly indulged by, and 
troublesomely attached to it's mother. 

H.H. H.A.D. 



96 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

3. To pet ; to indulge. " It was a trouble to lose the 
child; we had coded it for years." Fr. cadeler. To 
cocker; cherish; make much of. 

CADGEK. A tramping beggar. In Scotland, a packman, 
or huckster. In Cheshire, a carrier. In Herefordshire, 
an itinerant dealer, whose wares are carried in a cart. 

R.N.C. W.C.app. L.H. E.L. H.A.D. 

CADGING. Begging. "WeVe got nothing to do; we 
must set off a cadging.^'' 

CABLING. Nursing and fondling. " She's always codling 
her chHd." 

H.A.D. 

CADLOCK, CARLOCK, or CALLOCK. Charlock, sinapis 
arvensis, A troublesome weed amongst com; persons 
employed to eradicate it are said to "go a callocking,^^ 
E.L. H.A.D."Cadlock." 

CAFFLE. To quarrel. 

H.P. H.A.D. 

CAG-MAG. Unwholesome meat. The flesh of animals 
which die by disease, or casualty. 

H.S. H.A.D. 

CAINT. A vitiation of cannot. 

CAKE. "All our cakes are dough." A proverbial ex- 
pression, indicating the failure of any undertaking or 
project. Nares says, obsolete; not so with us. Hill- 
yard, in his " Practical Farming and Grazing," furnishes 
a familiar example. " When the hay was fit to carry, 
and down came a heavy shower, one of the men ex- 
claimed, * Now, sir, our cake is all dough again.'" 

Alas ! poor Whig, where wilt thou sneaking go, 
Thy wine is spilt, thy pyes and cakes are dough. 

Otway. 
CALF. An opprobrious term for a stupid fellow. Harts - 
home traces it to the Teut. Tcalfj homo obesus. 

CALF-HEARTED. Faint-hearted; cowardly. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 97 

CALF-LICK, or COW-LICK. A tuft of hair on the fore- 
head of any one, which is turned in its growth out of 
' the natural position, and cannot be made to lie down 
smooth. 

B.N.C. F.E.A. H.H. C.C. W.C. T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

CALKEKS, CALKINS, or CAWKINS. The hinder parts 
of a horse's shoes turned up to prevent slipping in frosty 
weather. ' Nares says, apparently from calx, a heel. 
HoUoway, in his Provincial Dictionary, refers it to the 
Teut. katu:ken. Florio renders Rampone " a calkin in a 
horse's shoe to keepe him from sliding." 

C.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

CALL. Occasion; necessity; obligation. "He had no 
call to go." " There is no call to have the stone any 
bigger." 

G. F.E.A. H.S. H.A.D. 

2. Opening in business. A poor woman, speaking of 

her son, said, " He's gone into the baking business up 
the road ; there seemed to be a good call there." 

CALL TOGETHEE. To mend old things slightly. " Just 
call the holes together.'' 

CALLOCK. See Cadlock. 

CAMMEKELL. A curved piece of wood with notches at 
each end, on which the butcher suspends a slaughtered 
animal by the hind legs. Gael, cam, crooked. 

Gambril is in more frequent use; and Bucker is also 
synonymous, which see, 

B.N.c. C.C. T.G. H.A.D."Cambril." 

CAMPLE. To contend ; to contradict for contradiction' 
sake. A.-Sax. campian, to contend. Bishop Kennett 
gives, as a Yorkshire word, Cample, to make responses. 

B.N.c. C.C. H.A.D. 

CAMPLING. Scolding, talking, or arguing impertinently. 

G. 

F 



98 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

CANCH or KENCH. A division; an added portion; a 
small pile in front of a large one. If a rick of com is 
made at different times, each separate portion is called a 
canch ; or a small rick — ^the surplus of a large one — and 
attached to it, is so denominated; and the term is also 
used in piling wool or faggots when a small addition is 
made to a larger pile. A bury of potatoes is sometimes 
called a canch. 

H.P. H.A.D. 

CAND. An abbreviation of candy ; to congeal. 

CANDLE. " Not fit to hold the candle to," a phrase im- 
plying inferiority. " In point of talent A. B. is not Jit to 
hold the candle to C. D." 

CANGLED. Entangled. Applied to thread that is so 
twisted and interwoven, that it is not easily wound or 
separated. 

C ANK. A gossip ; a teU-tale. 

2. To be infected with cankers. " That tree wiU do 
no good, it canks so." 

CANKEK. The rust or corrosion of copper or brass. 
Palsg. " I canker as a vessel of brasse or latton dothe. 
This latton basen cankeryth for faulte of occupying." 

M.S. B.D^.G. F.E.A. H.H. C.C. 

CANKEES. CaterpiUars. 
2. A rash inside the mouth. 

CANKING. Prating saucily. A Derbyshire word ac- 
cording to Grose. Cank is given in the Dictionaries in 
a totally opposite sense, " Dumb," instead of imperti- 
nately loquacious. 

CANKY. Rotten; decayed; applied to stone. 
CANNYING. Coaxing ; importuning ; not exactly synony- 
mous with canting. 



Gfl 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 99 S^/^ *^ ^ 



r^ 



GANT. To set on edge. A canted grate is one whose 
front is placed sloping, or at an angle. 

F.E.A. 

2. A jerk. " He was canted out of the chaise." 

F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

3. To bevel or slope; to splay off an angle; hence a 
triangular rail is called a cant-rail; and the set-offs of 
the c^erent stages of a buttress are termed cants. 

M.S. c.c." Canting." 

CANT-HOOKS. A handspike with two hooks, used for 
the purpose of turning over large pieces of timber, or 
removing heavy sacks. 
H.A.D. B.N.C." Cant-dogs." 

CANT-WINDOW. A bow-window, with the sides canted 
or bevelled off. 

£.L. 

CANTER. A pint jug. 

CANTING. Endeavouring to obtain an object by hypo- 
critical fawning. 

CAP. To overtop; to excel. " That caps alll" is an ex- 
clamation oflen made at the conclusion of a marvellous 
tale. 

I will cap that proverb with — there is flattery in friendship. 

Hen. V. iii. 7. 

B.N.C. G.&P. E.L. H.P. H.A.D. 

2. " To go cap in hand ;" to supplicate a favour. 

3. The top sheaf of a shock of wheat, which is reversed to 
keep it dry. 

4. To cap a wall ; to crown it with mortar. 

5. "To set your cap at him;" said to a female who en- 
deavours to attract the admiration of a particular 
person. 

CARLOCK. See Cadlock. 

L.H. 



o^. 



100 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

CART. " To set the cart before the horse," i. c. to trans- 
pose the position of any statement or thing. 

CART-TAIL. The end of a cart. 

CASE-HARDENED. Incorrigible ; confirmed in depravity ; 

lost to all sense of shame, 
c.c. 
CAS'N'T. Canst not. An endearing expression to tbildren ; 

an indulgent mother would say to her child, " Cas'rCt do 

it? weU, then, it shaVt." 

P.D. A.W. 

CAST. Warped; contorted. 

B.N.C. F.E.A. c.c. H.A.D. 

2. An imexpected ride by a chance opportunity. " I got 
a cast in a gig, or I must hare walked all the way." 

B.N.C. 

3. A beast is ca^t when it lies on its back, and is 
unable to rise. 

4. Cast. The second migration of bees. A name no 
doubt adopted from the act of casting or throwing out 
the supernumeraries to seek a fresh habitation for them- 
selves. The first flight of bees is termed a swarm; the 
second a cast; the third a colt, or second cast; should 
they migrate a fourth time — a rare occurrence — it is 
called a spew. A swarm from a swarm in the same 
season is termed a virgin swarm. The relative value of 
a swarm in the different months is thus estimated in 
popular rhyme : 

A swarm of bees in May 
Is worth a load of hay ; 
A swarm of bees in June 
Is worth a silver spoon ; 
But a swarm in July 
Is not worth a fly. 

You had better let it fly. 
There are various superstitions connected with these 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 101 

industrious little insects. Amongst the most popular is the 
belief in the necessity of informing them — should it 
occur — of the death of their master or mistress ; at the 
same time announdng who is to be considered their new 
master, which is done by tapping at the hive, and some- 
times they are regaled with sugared beer. If this 
custom is neglected, it is believed the bees will dwindle 
and pine away. 

C.C. T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

CAST-OFFS, Worn-out apparel. 

CASSALTY, or CAZZELTY. Cattle that look sickly, and 
not thriving, are said to look very cazzelty; and the flesh 
of animals slaughtered in an unhealthy state is called 
ixtssdlty meat. 

F.E.A. E.L. H.A.D. 

CAT. A stand formed of three pieces of wood or ii-on, of 
equal length, crossing and uniting in the centre ; used to 
place a plate of buttered toast upon before the parlour 
fire. Both the name and the thing are nearly obsolete. 

CAT-BOILS. Small boils, or festered pimples. 

CAT'S-CRADLE. A childish amusement, played by two 
persons with a piece of string joined at the ends, and 
variously disposed on the fingers and thumbs of botli 
hands of one of the players ; then taken off in a different 
form with both hands by the other ; and so transferred 
alternately from one player to the other. 

M.S. A.W. H.A.D. 

CAT-GALLOWS. Two sticks stuck vertically in the 
ground and a third placed horizontally upon them. It 
is a favourite boyish pastime to jump over them. 

H.S. T.G. H.A.D. 

CAT-HAWS. The fruit of the white thorn. Cratcpgvs 
Oxt/acantha (Hooker). Some4;imes simply called haws. 

T.GL HJ^.D. 

CAT-ICK Ice from which the water has receded. May 



1 02 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

it not have derived its distinctive name from being too 
weak and too hollow to bear even the weight of a cat? 

The Tillago daily hean the thumping flail, 
The cat'ice chatters where the schoolboy passed. 
And tried to slur (slide), and whiter fetlls the blast. 

Clarets MS. Poems. 

CATS AND KITTENS, or KITLINGS. The blossoms of 
the salix. Called also, Geese and Gosunqs. 

CAT IN PATTENS. " You are as busy as a ca« in 
pattens^ A common comparison when any one is need- 
lessly busy about trifles. 

CAT-LAP. Weak, insipid liquor. 

H.A.D. 

CAT'S-PAW. To be made a cat's-paw, is a common 
phrase to denote that a person has been made the dupe, 
or unconscious instrument of serving the purpose of 
another. " You sha'n't make a cafs-paw of me." 

CATCH A FELL. A singular phrase used by artizans 
and mechanics, when doubtful if they shall be able to 
complete by a particular time an allotted or specific por- 
tion of work. "I'm afraid I sha'n't catch a fell this 
week," i.e., I do not know if I shall be able to finish my 
work; and a workman has caught a fell when he has 
completed his work. 

CATCHING or CATCHY. Variable; showery; unsettled; 
restricted to the weather. " It's a catching hay time." 

H.A.D. 

CATCHING ENDS or CODGER'S ENDS. Cordwainers' 
wax-ends. 

CATS'-TAILS. The male catkins of the hazle nut. Co- 
rylus Avellana (Hooker). 

CAUMY. A corruption of qualmy. Inclining to sickness. 
Often applied to that close, sultry weather, which pro- 
duces sickly languor. " Its very caumy weather." " Its 
caumy warm." 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 103 

CAUL or KELL. The thin membrane which sometimes 
covers the face of an infant at its birth ; supposed to be- 
token good fortune to the child, and carefully preserved 
through life, fix)m the idea that the loss of it would be 
attended with some signal misfortime. Believed by the 
superstitious to possess the power of preserving those 
from drowning who carry it about their persons. Large 
sums have been offered for them by advertisement in the 
papers. Moor mentions seeing a placard on the walls 
of London, addressed to captains, merchants, and sea- 
faring people, of a child's caul to be sold for fifteen 
guineas ! 

I confess I was a lucky rogue, for I was bom with a caul upon 
my head. 

Dbyden, " Love Triumphant." 

M.S, aa"Kell." 

CAUTION-MONEY. A deposit paid by a patient on en- 
tering an infirmary, to provide against the expenses 
arising from death or other contingencies. 

H.A.D."Caution." 

CAVE. To separate com from the broken straw or chaff 
after threshing. Teut. leave. Brockett remarks. This 
word with the a long, is used, I am told, in Northamp- 
tonshire, for the cracking of the clods, or separation of 
the earth in drouthy weather; which is worth notice, as 
removing the objection to Milton's " Grassy clods now 
calv'd ;" P.L. book vii. ; and Toone gives CavCy to hollow ; 
a word still used in the Midland Counties to signify the 
fissures made in the earth by the separation of its parts, 
and notices also the above misunderstood passage. I am 
onacquamted with the word in this sense, nor have I 
met with any one who has ever heard it so used; but 
Clare informs me that in his neighbourhood cave is ap- 
plied to the slipping or falling in of the edges of an ex- 
cavation; and when the earth is expected to fall it is 



104 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

commonly said, " We shall have a calf^^'* which agrees 
with the broad pronimciation adopted by Milton. 

Under a steepe hilles side it placed was 

There where the mouldered earth had cav'd the banke. 

" Faerie Queen," b. i?. c. 5. 
M<S* F*EaA* £i*Li» D.»A.»Jj» 

CAVING S. Chaff; broken, or refuse straw; small par- 
ticles which break off the com in threshing. 

M.S. F.E.A. H.A.D. 

CAVING. Slow ; sluggish. To a person walking along 
in an idle or loitering manner, it would be said, " How 
he gots caving along ; " or, " How caving he goes." 

CAVING-RAKE. A long-toothed rake used for raking 
out the long straw from the com after threshing ; when 
the men sweep the floor after threshing, they call it 
" caving-upy 

CAVING-KIDDLE. The riddle which is used for sepa- 
rating the com from the short straw and reftise aft«r 
threshing. Hartshome gives Chavin-riddle^ and con- 
siders it a vitiation of Chaffing-riddle. 

CAWDY-MAWDY. The Royston Crow. Ccyrvus Comix 
(Linn.). A bird of rare occurrence in this county. The 
same name is given in the northern side of the county to 
the Curlew. Scolopax Arquata (Linn.) And to this bird 
I presume Clare refers in the following quotations : — 

The sun without beams bums dim o^er the floodlands. 
Where white Cawdt/maudies slow swiver and sail. 

Clare's MS. Poems. 
I think so full oft* on the banks o* the meadows, 
Where the pale Cawdymaudy flies swopping all day. 

Ibid. 

CAWING or KYAWING (pronounced as in yawn). This 

word is best explained by examples. To any one staring 

idly about, we should say, " Don't stand cawing there, 

but go and do something." To a female, with a bare, 

uncovered neck, " How cawing you look, why don't 



WORDS AND PHRASES. lOfi 

you put a handkerchief on ?" And to a sempstress 
working with a long, thick needle, not suited to the 
cloth, " What a cawing needle youVe got 1 " 

CAWKlNG. Standing up awkwardly. Whether in allu- 
sion to a calkin-pin^ which is a term for a very large pin, 
or to the calkin of a horse's shoe, I am not able to deter- 
mine. 

CAWKIN. See Calkin. 

CAW-MAGGING. Staring about idly. " What a caw- 
tnagging girl that is." 

CESS-POOL. A receptacle for the sediment of a drain. 
Brockett and Forby insert this word, and trace it either 
to the Fr. sasser, or the Lat. sedo ; but the old verb 
Cesse, to cease, which we find in Ash, and occurs in 
Chaucer, furnishes a more natural and rational etymon, 
as it is the bound or limit of the drain, tlie point at whicli 
the current ceases. 

F.E.A. H.S. H.P. H.A.D. B.N.C."SeSS-p00l." 

CHAD. A small narrow trench for draining land. In some 
places the Jirst spit only , whether of turf or soil, is termed 
the chad, in others the last spit. This word is, I believe, 
peculiar to the Midland district. I am inclined to think 
it merely signifies a narrow trench, without reference to 
any specific part, and the succeeding word strengthens 
the conjecture. 

CHADLING. Making a small groove or trench for the 
purpose of driving in a wedge to facilitate the splittinpr 
of large stones. 

CHALM. To nibble into minute particles; as mice do 
paper or grain ; equivalent to CinMBLE. 

F.E.A. 

CH AMBLE. To champ; to bite. A horse chambles tlio 
bit when by repeated action of the teeth he attempts t^) 
bite it. Fr. champayer. 

F£.A. H.S. H.A.D. 

f3 



106 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

CHAMFER. To take off the edge bevel-ways. In most 
of the Dictionaries it is defined, to channel ; to furrow ; 
to make hollow; which Nares considers the original 
sense, but Sherwood coincides with us, and puts it, " to 
slope the edge of a stone." 

CaV. B.mA»Dm 

CHAMP. To grind anything hard between the teeth ; to 
masticate audibly; also to cut or chop anything very 
«imall: an archaism. 

And coal blacke steedes ybome of hellish brood. 
That on their nulty bits did champ as they were wood. 

" Faerie Queen/' b. i. c. 5. 

He champs the bit impatient of his loss, 
And starts aside, and flounders at the cross. 

Dbtden's " Hind and Panther." 

M.S. H.A.D. F.E.A."Chomp." 

CHAP or CHOP. To crack, as land, after a long con- 
tinuance of dry hot weather ; or as the lips or hands 
after exposure to frost or cold. Richardson derives it 
from the A.-Sax. yppan, geyppan, to open; to gape. 
" Gap and chap vary only by pronouncing ch in the one, 
and g in the other. 

They squeezed the juice and cooling ointment made, 
Which on their sunburnt cheeks and their chapt skins they laid. 

Drtden, " The Flower and the Leaf.*' 

CHAP. A familiar epithet for a yoimg fellow. Jamieson 
says it is used contemptuously, but we employ it gene- 
rally, as — "a good kind of chapf "an idle drinking 
cha/p'y^ " a well-disposed chapi'' or, " a good-for-nothing 
chapy Oft^n used to things as well as persons ; a knotty 
piece of wood that does not split easily is called " a tough 
old chapy 

Too many chaps walking do beggar the plough. 

TUSSEB. 

For you are to consider these critical chaps do not like to be snuWd, 

Byron, << Critical Remarks.'' 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 107 

Ere the aim o*er the hills, round and red, 'gan a peeping, 

To beckon the chaps to their ploughs. 
Too thinking and restless all night to be sleeping, 

I brushM off to milking my cows. 

Clarb*s ** Rural Life," &o. p. 153. 

A sly merry- Andrew was making his speeches, 
With chajM and girls round him a swarm. 

Ibid. p. 156. 

They push their beer like water round the room, 
Who will and welcome there may drink and smoke. 
Though chaps have often found they dearly sell a joke. 

Glare's "Village Minstrel," vol. i. p. 36. 

2. A customer. A.-Sax. ceapian. 

M.S. B.N.C. F.E.A. C.C. H.A.D. 

3. Ehyming to lap. The lower jaw of a pig. Synony- 
mous with Bekat and Chawl. 

CHAP-MONEY. A douceur or gift, from a vendor to a 
purchaser, at the time of receiving payment or com- 
pleting a bargain. 

CHAPS or CHOPS. A vulgar contemptuous term for 

the mouth. 

You must stay the cooling too, or you 
May chance to bum your chops. 

Dryden's " Troil. and Cress." i. 2. 

Open your chaps again. 

Tempest, ii. 2. 

CHAP-FALLEN. Cast down ; silent from defeat. 
Bel. Heaven further it; 

For till they be key-cold dead ther's no trusting of 'em, 
Whatever they seem, or howso'er they carry it, 
Till they he^chapfalny and their tongues at peace. 

Beaum. & Fl. " WUd Goose Chase,'' iv. 3. 

CHARE. Ajar; a little open. Applied to a door or a 

window. " Set the door a chareJ^ Bishop Kennett in 

his MS. Glossary notices this as a Durham word : 

The pyping wind blew up the door a cfiar, 

Douglas, " Virgil.*' 

H.A.D. 



108 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

CHARM. Confusion of tongues; the noise made by a 
great number of persons talking together. " What a 
charm there is with you." Nearly synonymous with 
Cabal, and equally applicable to a congregation of 
feathered songsters. " What a charm the birds are 
making." A.-Sax. cyrm, a noise. The verb Cherme in 
Palsgrave bears the same signification. ^^I cherme as 
byrdes do wha they make a noyse a great nomber to- 
gyther ; le jargonne. These byrdes cherme goodly ;" and 
again, under ^^ / cJiitter, I make a charme as a flock of 
small byrdes do when they be together." 

H.S. H.A.D. 

CHARY. Sparing; careful; saving. " You Ve very cAar^ 
of your best clothes." A.-Sax. cearig. 

Ne sufifred she the middayes scorching po^Te, 
Ne the sharp northeme wind thereon to showre ; 
But lapped up her silken leaves most chayre. 
When so the forward skye began to lowre. 

" Faerie Queen," b. iii. c. 5, 

The chariest maid is prodigal enough 
If she unmask her beauty to the moon. 

Hamlet, i. 3. 
M.S. H.H. H.A.D. 

CHAT. The wheatear. Moto/cilla oenanthe (Linn.) Some- 
times called hay-chat. So named from its note, crying 
chat four or five times when it begins to fly. 

CHATS. Small bits of dead wood or sticks ; such as are 
used for fuel. To go about picking them up is called 
going a chatting. 

H.S. G.&P. E.L. L.H. H.P. H.A.D. 

CHATTEK-BOX, CHATTEK-PIE. A prattling child. 

C.C. H.A.D. 

CHAW. To chew in an awkward manner; continued 
mastication with cut swallowing. " How you chaw your 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 109 

meat." When used as a substantiye, equivalent to a 
quid, as " Give him a chxw of tobacco." Nares consi- 
ders it an old form of the word jaw, hence ckaicl- 
A.-Sax. ceowan, to chew, eat, ruminare. Palsgrave 
gives the verb, " I chawe as a ma or beest doth his 
meate, or he swallow it, le masche. I have the tothe ake 
so sore that it greveth me to chaw my meat." 

And next to him malicious Envy rode 
Upon a ravenous wolfe, and still did cliaw 
Between his cankred teeth a venomous tode, 
That all the poison ran about his chaw; 
But inwardly he chawed his owne maw 
At neibors welth, that made him ever sad. 

'* Faerie Queen,** b. i. c. 4. 

The man who laugh'd but once to see an ass 
Mumbling to make the cross-grain 'd thistles pass, 
Might laugh again, to see a jury chaw 
The prickles of unpalatable law. 

Dry DEN. 
C.C. H.A.D. 

CHAW, or CHAW-BACON. A country clown. 

CHAWL. The jaw-bone, or lower part of the cheek of a 
pig. A.-Sax. ceolas, the jaws. Hartshome says, it was 
a word formerly in better repute, and used by the earlier 
translators of the Bible. See Ezek. xxiv. 4; xxxviii. 4. 
He subjoins the following illustration: — 

Of an ape he caught the chaide bone. 

BocHAS, " Fall of Princes.'' 

E.L. H.s.^Chall." H.A.D."Chaule." 

(;HEEK by jowl, close together; side by side. A 

lajiiiliar expression ; there is good authority for its 

antiquity. 

He with his master, cheek hy jowl, 
Unto old Gillian hied. 

Eyans' Old Ballads, vol. ii. p. 17. 

Follow! nay, I'll go with thee cheek by jowl. 

Mids. N. Dr. iii. 1. 



110 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

One of the usurers, a head man of the city, took it in dudgeon 
to be ranked, cheek by jowl, with a scab of a currier. 

L'EST&ANGE. 

P.D. 
CHEEKS. The sides of a door; door-posts. 

C.C. H.A.D. 

2. The iron plates that are placed inside a grate to reduce 
its size. 

CHEESE AND CHEESE. Two females riding on one 
horse are so denominated. " Bread and cheese is very 
well, but cheese and cheese is no sense," was the saluta- 
tion of a countryman to two females thus travelling. 
Two ladies kissing each other are also so called. 

CHEESES. The seeds of the conmion mallow. Malva 
sylvestris (Hooker). So called from their form. A school- 
boy's pastime to collect them. Thus described by Clare : 

The sitting down, when school was o'er. 
Upon the threshold of the door. 
Picking from mallows, sport to please, 
Each crumpled seed he called a cheese. 

Clare, " Shep. Cal.'» p. 51. 
T.G. H.A.D. 

CHEESE-FORD, CHEESE-FOOT or CHES-FORD. The 
mould in which cheese is made. Cheese-vat in Todd ; 
Cheese-fat or Chess-fat in the Craven and Suflfolk dialects. 

CHEESER. The Yellow Hammer. Emberiza Citrinella 
(Linn.) A name which it receives from the peculiar 
note it utters. 

CHELP. To chirp as a young bird. Ilalliwell assigns 
it to this county ; Evans notices it as current in Leices- 
tershire. 

Sweet are the omens of approaching Spring, 
When gay the elder sprouts her winged leaves; 

When tootling robins carol-welcomes sing. 

And sparrows chelp glad tidings from the eaves. 

Clare, " Rural Life," p. 207. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. Ill 

2. To chatter; to gossip; also used substantivelj. 
" Let us have none of your chelp.^^ 

E.L. 

CHELPING. Chattering; gossiping. 

And in the cottage gangs with dread. 
To meet old Dobson*8 timely frovm, 
Who, grumbling, sits prepared for bed. 
While she stands dkelping 'bout the town. 

Clare, ♦* Rural Life," p. 126. 

CHEP. Cheap. 

CHEEKY. Rich and dry, breaking into small pieces. 

" This cheese is very cherhyy 

CHERRY-CURDS. A custard made of bisnings and milk 
boiled together, and sweetened; much enjoyed by chil- 
dren. Cherry being a milkmaid's favourite appellation 
for a cow, probably suggested the compound name. On 
the southern side of the county, the bisnings themselves 
are called cherry-curds. 

CHIBBLE. To break off in small pieces ; to chip. 

E.L. 

CHICK! CmCKI A call to poultry. 

CHICK-A-BK)DY, or CHOOK-A-BIDDY. A childish 
name for a young chicken. 

U.S. H.P. H.A.n. 

CHICKENS. " Don't crack of your chickens before they 
are hatched." Le, Don't boast of any acquisition before 
you have obtained it. 

CHICKEN-CORN. Underlings of corn ; light Tailings. 

CHICK. A flaw in earthenware. 

F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

CHICKERING. An imitative word expressive of the 
cricket's cry, as appears by the ensuing examples : 
But now the evening curdles dank and grey, 

Changing her watchet hue for sombre weed ; 
And moping owls, to close the lids of day, 
On drowsy wing proceed; 



112 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

While (dickering crickeiB, tremulous and long, 
Light^s farewell inly heed, 
And give it parting song. 

Clare, " Rural Muse," p. 12. 
On the summer night; 
Tracing the lane-path where the dog-rose hings, 
With dew drops seethM, while chickering cricket sings. 

Clare, '^ Village Minstrel,** vol. ii. p. 168. 

CHIEVE or CHEVE. To thrive; to grow kindly; to 

prosper. " The apples don't cheive well ; they won't be 

good for much." A good old word, used by Chaucer, R. 

Gloucester, R. Brunne, and Piers Ploughman. The 

Anglo-Latin Lexicon gives " Chevyn or thryvyn, vigeo. 

Fr. chever, achever, to bring to a head or an end. Ray 

and Kennett give it as a Northern word ; Kersey, Ash, and 

others consider it obsolete, but with us it is still in use. 

Chuven shulle the never, 

Ne have lordshup in lend, nother lond tyUe, 

And as barayne bee. 

Piers Plowman *s Vision. 

K.N.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

(nilLDERMASS DAY. The anniversary of Holy Inno- 
cents' Day. A.-Sax. Childe-masse-dai/. 

F.E.A. C.C. G.&P. T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

CHILL. Cold. " Take the chill off the beer." 

H.P. H.A.D. 

CHIMBLE or CRUMBLE. To nibble or chew into small 

pieces, as vermin do anything within reach. " The 

mice have chimbled the cheese all to pieces." Clare 

again furnishes apposite illustrations : — 

The fields all clearM, the labouring mice 
To sheltering hedge and wood patrole, 
Where hips and haws for food suffice, 
That chumhled lie about their hole. 

Clare's " Village Minstrel/' vol. i. p. 94. 
The mice come out to chimble fruits, 
And take hips under ground; 
The husks of hips and haws lie round 



WORDS AND PHRASBS. 113 

All chimbled seed and skin. 

There noses now peep from the ground, 

And there the tails bob in. 

Glare's MS. Poems. 

CHIMBLINGS or CHUMBLINGS. Nibblings of mice; 
anything gnawed or chewed into minute particles. 

And the little chumhling mouse, 
Gnarls the dead weed for her house. 

Clare's " Village Minstrel," vol. i. p. 202. 

F.E.A. H.A.D. 

CHIMDY, CHIMBLY, CHIMLEY. Vitiations of chim- 
ney. 

B.N.C. H.H. C.C. H.S. W.C. T.G. A.W. H.P. H.A.D. 

CHIMNEY-SWEEP or SWEEPERS. The black heads 

o{ the plantago lanceolata. 
CHIN-COUGH. Hooping-cough. 

£.L* n*P« H.A.D* 

CHINK. A sprain in the back or loins. Used verbally. 
" The fall chinked his back." 

F.E.A. H.A.D. 

2. A term for money. 

I tell you — he thatxan lay hold of her 
Shall have the chinks. 

Rom. and Jul. i. v. 

Though never so much a good huswife do care 

That such as do labour have husbandly fare; 

Yet feed them and cram them, till purse do lack ckink, 

No spoon-meat, no belly-full; laborers think. 

TUSSER. 

CHIP. To break; to crack; as a brood hen chips the 
egg to release her young. 

G. B.N.C. C.C. T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

CHIP IN PORRIDGE. An expression indicating that a 
thing will be of no avail. " It's like a chip in porridge, 
it will do neither good nor harm." 



114 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

This Agamemnon to a King of Clouts, 

A chip in porridge, 

Dbtden's " Troil. and Cress." 

CHIP OF THE OLD BLOCK. A child who inherits 
the imperfections or peculiarities of his parents. 

G. B.N.C. H.S. 

CHCP-OUT. To faU out; to quarrel. " They cJupped out 
over their beer." 

£.L. 

CHIPPY. Applied to wood or stone that is brittle, and 
splits or breaks oflf into small pieces. A kindred term 

to BRACKLT. 

CmSKET. Cheesecake. 

£.L. 

CHISELLY. Brittle ; chippy ; used in reference to wheat 
that chips and breaks instead of grinding down to flour. . 
Cheese that eats hard and dry is chiselly ; and so is stone 
that splits or spalts <jff instead of working freely. The 
term is also appropriated to land that easily breaks up. 
Morton, in his Natural History of the county, thus enume- 
rates the varieties of chiselly soil : " A gravelly chisel ; 
a sharpish sandy chisel ; a sandy kealy chisel earth ; a 
brittle chisel earth, intermixed with limestone." Ray 
inserts Chizzle as the provincial term for bran^ and de- 
duces it from the Teut. hiesel^ siliqua gluma, but it is 
more probably derived from the A.-Sax. ceosel^ glarea, 
sabulum. The Ort. Voc. gives, Chysell or gravel, 
arena, sabulum, 

R.£.S.C F.£.Jil. 

CHIT. Small; diminutive; anything that has not at- 
tained its iull growth, or is under the common size. 
Children are little chits ; small apples are chits ; and a 
smaU-featured person is chitty-faced. 

2. To bud; to germinate. The seed begins to chit 
A.-Sax. cidh. 

A.W, H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 116 

CHITLINGS or CHITERLINGS. The intestines of a pig, 
linked in knots and boiled. Called in Somersetshire, 
Knotlins. Anglo-Latin Lexicon, 1440. Harl. MS. 221. 
Chytyrling, scnitellum. 
c.c. 

2. Sprouts from the stems of coleworts. 

CHITS and CHATS. The chippings and trimmings 
made in clipping or cutting a hedge, which lie on the 
groimd after the sprawts are raked oflf. 

CmTTERING. Twittering; chirping. Clare in the glos- 
sary to the Village Minstrel explains it ; " the diminu- 
tive of chattering ; " but our meaning accords best with 
his use of the word. Palsgrave has the verb, " I chitter, 
I make a charme as a flocke of small bjrds do whan 
they be togyther." 

And little birds sit chittering on the thorn. 

" Village Minstrel," vol. ii. p. 22. 
Where all the noises that on peace intrude, 

Come from the chittering cricket, bird, and bee, 
Whose songs haye charms to sweeten solitude. 

Ibid. p. 176. 
No noise is heard the fields among; 
Save where the hedge-chats chittering play. 

Ibid. p. 91. 

CHIVY. To chace; to pursue eagerly and gaily, like 

boys in their sport. Sometimes used substantively as, 

" WeVe had a good chivy y " The dogs gave the hare a 

good chivy,^^ An obvious allusion to the old national 

ballad of Cheviot or Chivy Chace. 

F.E.A. C.S. H.P. H.A.D. 

2. A game similar to Prison-base, or Prison-bars; ex- 
cept that there is no base to run to. 
CHOCK or CHUCK. An under-handed throw with a 
jerk, as boys throw stones into the water to make ducks 
and drakes. 

Up he'd chuck sacks as one would hurl a stone, 
And draw whole loads of grain unaided and alone. 

Clarets '* Village Minstrel,** vol. i. p. 25. 



116 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

CHOCK or CHOCK-HOLE. A game at marbles played 

by chocking or pitching marbles into a hole made for the 

purpose, instead of shooting at a ring. Clare notices this 

pastime in one of his MS. poems. 

See here where the shepherd boys played, 

Here's a ring for the marbles, a hole for the chock, 

And a cat-gallows not a yard high. 

CHOCKFULL or CHUCKFULL. FiUed to the brim; 

cranmaed ftdl; crowded. " The sack was chockfulV^ 

" The room was so chockJuU of people and things, you 

couldn't cram any more in." 
CHOCKY. Ridgy; rutty; imeven; full of holes. "The 

roads were so choch/, we could hardly get along to market." 
CHOO or CHOU. An interjection used to drive away 

poultry, as Chookl Chook! is to caU them together. 

Old Fr. chou, " A voice wherewith to drive away pul- 

lein." CoTGRAVE. 

F.E.A. 

CHOP. To exchange. " He's always chopping and 
changing." Rap and Swap are equivalents. 

M.S. H.H. CC 

CHOPPED. See Chap. 

CHOPSING. Abusing; calling opprobious names. An 

old woman went to a village schoolmaster, to complain 

that " his boys were always chopsing her." 
CHRISTIAN. A word commonly used when comparing 

the instinctive sagacity of the brute creation with the 

rational powers of human beings. " My horse knows 

his way as well as any Christian,''^ 

F.E.A. H.S. 

CHRISTMAS. The evergreens which are used for deco- 
rating churches and houses at Christmas : hence the name. 
Called also sxic kings. In some places it is considered 
unlucky if they are not removed before Twelfth Day. 

M.S. B.N.C. F.E.A. C.S. H.P. H.A.D.. 

CHRISTMAS-BOX. See Boxing-day. 

H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 117 

CHUBBY. Ruddy; ftdl-faced. 
j.s. 

CHUCK. See Chock. 

CHUCK UNDER THE CHIN. A token of endearment. 
Who loves no hurries, routs, or din, 
But gently chitchs her husband^s chin. 

Fawkes, •* The Vicar's Reply." (Richardson's Diet.) 
He ehuch his lordship on the chin. 
And would not for the world rebuke. 
Beyond a pat, the schoolboy Duke. 

Lloyd, " Epistle to J. B. Esq." (Richardson's Diet.) 
M.S. H.JB. H.A.D. 

CHUCK. A great chip of wood. A Sussex word accord- 
ing to Grose. 

H.A.D. 

CHUCKFULL. See Chockfull. 

CHUCKLE. To exult secretly or inwardly. 
Her ladyship began to call, 
For hartshorn and her Abigail ; 
The servants chuckled at the door, 
And all was clamour and uproar. 
SoMEBViLE, " The Officious Messenger.*' (Richardson's Diet.) 

CHUCKLE-HEADED. Thick-headed; stupid. 

B.N.C. C.S. H.P. H.A.D. 

CHUFF or CHUFF Y. Fat; chubby; lively; in good 
condition ; also pert, self-opinionated. " He's very chuff. ^^ 
Probably from the Old Fr.joffUy which Cotgrave renders, 
" chuffie, fat-cheeked or puft up in face." 
The goddess drank, a ckuffy lad was by. 
Who saw the liquor with a grudging eye. 

Mainwarino, ** Ovid, Met" b. v. (Todd.) 
His cAu^ checks dimpling in a fondling smile. 

Cl ABE'S " Village Minstrel," vol. ii. p. 27. 
F.E.A. E.L. H.P. H.A.D. 

CHUMBLE. See Chimble. 

CHUMP. A thick log of wood for burning. The thick 
end of a loin of veal is always termed the " chump end." 

T.Q. L.H. A.W. H.P. H.A.D. 



118 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

CHUNK. A stump of a tree. " The birds fly amongst 
the chunks,^'' 

E.L." Chtmkings." 
CHURCHING. The church service. ^^ WeWe churching 
twice every Sunday." 

F.£).A. H.A.D. 

CHURL Y. Hard; dry. "The cheese eats very c^wrZ^." 
Knotty, cross-grained wood, that does not work freely, is 
also churly, 

CHURM. A chum. 

L.H. 

CHURN. An aquatic plant ; my informant was unable to 
designate it specifically. 

CmCUMBENDIBUS. A circuitous way of attaining an 
object, or relating a story. 

C.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

CLABB Y. Worm-eaten. I believe the use of this word is 
restricted to carrots. 

CLACK. A tale-bearer. " Don't tell her ; she is such a 
clacky 

2. The tongue. " She's got a pretty clxick of her own;" 
t. e. she is fluent of speech, fond of talk and gossip. 

You're tail without but foul within, 
With shame impregnated, and sin ; 
To you each impious scandal^s owing, 
You set each gossip's cloAih a-going. 

Smart, '* The Tea-pot and Scrubbing-brush." 

(Richardson's Diet.) 

CLACKERS or CLAPPERS. Two or three small spade- 
shaped pieces of wood connected at the broad end by a 
leather strap : used by boys to clap or shake, for the pur- 
pose of scaring birds from fruit-trees or corn-fields. See 
Bird-boy. From the Old Fr. clac. " A clicket, or clap- 
per, anything that makes a clacking, or chattering noise ; 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 119 

hence the clacket that Mghts away birds from fruit 
trees, &c." Cotgrave. 

H.A.D. 

CLACKING. Telling secrets, or more commonly talking 
imprudently of individual or family affairs. 

CLAGG'D. Applied to the petticoats of females, satu- 
rated with wet and mire by walking in dirty roads. 
Correlative with " bedaggled." See Dag. 

CLAGGY. Filled with slippery, adhesive moisture, as 
heavy, dirty footpaths. " The roads be so cloggy y I am 
welly maul'd to pieces." A. -Sax. clceg, terra samia. 

F.E.A. B.N.C. . 

CLAM or CLAMP. A pit or mound lined with straw, 
to protect potatoes from frost. Close covering and 
security are here so obviously intended as to point out 
the derivation from A.-Sax. dam, plasma. Marshall, in 
his " Rural Economy," gives camp as the Northampton- 
shire localism, but I have never heard it. 

M.S. F.E.A."Clamp." H.p." Clamp." h.a.d." Clamp." 

CLAM or SLAM. To ring the bells simultaneously, pro- 
ducing a general sound or sudden crash at the close of a 
course of rounds, or change-ringing ; frequently practised 
on seasons of public rejoicing, sometimes called ^rm^ the 
bells. The number of repetitions or voUies varying ac- 
cording to the sense entertained of the importance of the 
occasion. See " To Clamour," Nares. 

H.S. 

CLAMBER or CLOMBER. To climb up heedlessly, as 
boys clamber up trees. " I clamer or clymme up upon a 
tree, or any suche thynge that I may claspe bytwene my 
legges and my narmes." Palsg. 

M.S. H.A.D. 

CLAMM'D. The general acceptation of this word in our 
vocabularies is, " starved with hunger ; " and so we oc- 
casionally apply it to cattle which do not thrive, for want 



120 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

of better pasture ; but it more frexjuently denotes parched 
with thirst, as, " I've got such a fayver, Fm welly 
clammed to death." Bishop Kennett .gives it as a 
Northern word, and defines it, " to have the mouth clammy 
from drought." Examples of its use may be found in our 
eaxlj dramatists — Massenger, Ben Jonson, and Marston. 
And the Craven Glossarist has anticipated me in the fol- 
lowing: — 

If you stay upon the heath, 

Ye'll be choak'd and clamm*d to death. 

Glare's Poems (1820), p. 71. 
a. &P. H.H. L.H. E.L. H.P. 

CLAMOURSOME. Noisy; clamorous; contentious. 
Brockett derives it from the Dan. klammerwm. 

B.N.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

CLAMP. See Clam. 

2. A piece of iron crossing the joints of stones, and 
fixed with lead at each end ; used to repair slabs and 
steps, or to strengthen old buildings. Identical with 
Cramplin, or Cramp-iron. See Bailey. 

H.P. 

3. To tread heavily; to make such a noise in walking 
as would be made with heavy nailed shoes. Forby de- 
duces it from the Teut. klampem ; Brockett from the Dut. 
khmpen; Sw. klampig. 

His nailed boots with clenching tread rebound, 

And dithering echo starts, and mocks the clampirig sound. 

Clare's " Village Minstrel," vol. ii, p. 22. 

And hardened highlows, clenchM with nails around, 

Clamping defiance o'er the stony ground. 

Ibid. p. 68. 
H.H." Clomp." C.C. T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

CLANE. To clean; to weed. " Clane that bit o' ground 
before you sow the sid " (seed). To make the person 
clean, to wash and change the dress. " I must clane my- 
sen before I can goo out." The ancient pronunciation of 
the word. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 121 

CLANG. To eat voraciously. One of the meanings 
attached to this word in Ash's Dictionary is, to make a 
loud, disagreeable noise ; and probably to clang is to 
create such a noise in eating, by the hasty collision of 
the teeth. Lat. Clango. 

CLAP. To fix, set, or place hastily or suddenly. . Used 
with great latitude. " Clap that bill on the wall :" 
" Clap. me a receipt down on a bit of paper;" " I just 
clapped my eyes on't;" "I clapped myself down in the 
chair." 

I hear of none, but the new proclamation 
That's clapped upon the church gate. 

Hen. VIII. i. 3. 
Claps me his sword 
^ Upon the table. 

Rom. and Jul. iii. 6. 

Where straight they clajy a hurdle to a gate. 

Silvester's Du Bartas, p. 105. Ed. 1633. 
Clap on the cat^lasm. 

BEA.UM. AND Fl. ** Monsieur Thomas," ii. 4. 
W.C. M.S. H.S. 

CLAP-DOOR. The lower half of a door divided in the 
middle ; very common with little country shop-keepers ; 
the upper half is left open for air, and to observe the 
approach of customers, while the lower half is clapped 
to, to prevent intruders. 

CLAP-STILE. A peculiar kind of stile; the horizontal 
bars being fixed at one end, and moveable at the other, 
giving way to the pressure of the foot, and springing up 
again after the person has passed over. 

H.A.D. 

CLAP-TRAP. A stratagem to delude; an artifice to 

attract applause. 
CL APE RED. Pronounced clat/per'd. Splashed with mud ; 

^daggled. Li general use. 
CLAPPERS. See Clackers. 

Q 



122 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

CLAPPER-CLAWING. Todd defines it, "To tongue- 
beat, to scold :" but with us it signifies scratching and 
fighting. An old word, Shakspere uses it. 

Oh Lord ! this nasty thing will bite. 
And scratch and clapper -claw and fight.'' 

Smart, '' Madam and the Magpie.'' 

(Richardson.) 
M.S. P.D. H.A.D. 

CLART. To daub with mud or dirt. 

F.E.A. B.N.C. C.C. G.&P. T.G. H.P. 

CLARTY. Dirty ; sticky, adhesive, as an underdone 
batter pudding. 

F.E.A. B.N.C. H.H. T.G. E.L. H.P. 

CLAT. To tell tales, to tattle. Identical with clack. 

Cv. H.S. 

CLATS or CLOTS. The refuse of tanner's bark, formed 
into small squares and dried for the purpose of lighting 
fires. Cow-dung, whether so prepared or not, is called 
cow-clods^ or cow-clats. Clot is oflen used as a vulgar 
comparison expressive of extreme coldness. " My feet 
are as cold as clotsy See Clot. 

CLATTING-BEETLE. A wooden maUet with a long 
handle ; used in husbandry for breaking the clots or 
clods afler ploughing. 

CLAYS. The hoofs of cloven-footed animals. A good 
old word. Nares, Wilbraham, and Hartshorne treat it 
synonymously with claw, 
w.c. H.S. 

CLEAN. Entirely, completely. Hence the vulgar pro- 
verbial phrase, "It's clean gone, like the boy's eye." 
A.-Sax. clcene. Todd remarks that this sense is little 
used ; Brockett in his second edition says, " This sense is 
yet in use in the North." Hartshorne gives it as uni- 
versal in Shropshire, and so it is in Northamptonshire. 

For al his fyve wittes had dene hym forsake. 

Chaucer, *' History of Beryn." 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 123 



»» 



For they were dene in dispeyr, because they might not se. 

Chaucer, " History of Beryn/ 
Upon a tre cleane dede or rotten stocke. 

Barclay's " Ship of Fooles." 1508. p. 256. 
His rawbone armes whose mighty brawned bow*r8 
Were wont to rive Steele plates and helmets hew, 
Were cUne consumed, and all his vital powr^ 
Decayd; and all his flesh shronk up like witherM flowers. 

" Faerie Queen," b. i. viii. 
It is cUan out of the way. 

Othello, i. 3. 

The people passed clean over Jordan. 

Joshua, iii. 17. 
Is his mercy clean gone for ever ? 

Psalm Ixxvii 8. 

B.N.C. W.C. H.S. 

CLEANSED. A builder's term for soft ashler stone 
smoothed with iron after the Axe-work. 

CLEFT. A piece of wood riven for burning. " Put a 
cleft on the fire." 

CLEG. A gad fly. That species which is so troublesome 
to horses and cattle. OstrvLS equi. (Linn.) Bishop 
Kennett mentions it as a Yorkshire term, in his MS. 
Glossarial Collections. The same word prevails in Scot- 
land according to Jamieson. The Craven glossarist 
supplies the following illustration. 

Hee earthly dust to lothly lice did change, 
And dimM the aire with such a cloud so strange 
Of flies, grashoppers, hornets, clegs and clocks 
That day and night thro^ houses flee in flocks. 

** Judith," by Du Bartas, translated by Hudson. 
B.N.C. C.C. T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

CLENCH. " If you'll drive the naH I'U clench it." A 
phrase implying, " If you will open the subject, or break 
the ice, I will go on with it and confirm it." A figura- 
tive application of a carpenter's term for securing a nail 
from withdrawal, by turning the point and hammering 
it down. 

g2 



124 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

CLENCHER. A conclusive argument; something which 
cannot be answered or controverted. " That's a clenche?', 
you can't get over tliat." 

CLETCH or CLUTCH. A brood. " A cletch of chickens." 
I give this word on the authority of a friend, but I find 
it is recognised in other counties; in Suffolk it is 
restricted to a covey of partridges. 

R.N.C. G. H.H. F.E.A. C.C. H.A.D. 

CLEVER-CLUMSY. An ironical term of reproof to a 
person who sets about anything eagerly and performs it 
awkwardly. 

B.N.C. 

CLICK. A smart blow; not a succession of blows. "He 
gied me o' click o' th' yed." Clink is used equivalently. 

M.S. H.A.D. 

CLICKER. A person employed by the shoe-manufacturer 
to cut out, and prepare the leather, ready for the makers. 
Bailey quite mistakes the meaning of this word when he 
explains it " a shoemaker's salesman, who at a shop 
invites customers ;" but I may presume to be better ac- 
quainted with the language of the craft as, 

To be shod with boots and shoes 
Northampton is the place. 

Trinder. 

CLINK or CLINKER. See Click. 

M.S. F.E.A. U.S. 

CLICKETY-CLACK. The sharp successive noise, made 
by a person walking in pattens on pavement, or hard 
ground. A word formed from the sound. 

II.P. II.A.D. 

CLINKERS or CLINKS. The impress of horses feet on 
moist or wet land. Grose inserts this as peculiar to 
Gloucestershire. 

U.P. H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 126 

2. Strong nails, with long clasp heads wrapping round 
the edge of the shoe ; used to strengthen the shoes of 
agricultural labourers. 

H.S. 

3. Bricks which are burnt too hard, or run into irregular 
shapes by too great heat. 

J.S. F.E.A. 

CLIP. A mode frequently adopted by schoolboys to de- 
termine the choice of sidesmen, when playing at prisoners' 
base, and other games. The process is accurately 
described by Moor in his valuable Suffolk Glossary, who 
remarks that he does not recollect this custom any 
where else. It may doubtless be traced to the A.-Sax. 
clypian, to call or name; the verb is constantly used 
by Wiclif in this sense, in his translation of the New 
Testament. 

M.S. 

2. To quarter a carriage so as to avoid the ruts. " Take 
care you clip the ruts." 

3. To climb ; as boys do trees. " Clip up a tree." " He 
clipped up that tree well." Also used participially, 
" He's clipping that tree." A.-Sax. clyppan, to embrace, 
to clasp. In this sense it frequently occurs in Shakspere. 

CLIP OF WOOL. The quantity of wool shorn by a 
farmer in one season. 
F.E.A. c.c. T.G. 

CLIPPING-POSIES, or SHEARING-POSIES. The nose- 
gays presented to sheepshearers, which were frequently 
sprinkled with snuff or pepper to excite the mirth of the 
company by the unexpected titillation and sneezing they 
occasion. Our native poet Clare's description of these 
rural bouquets is so minutely graphic, and simply beau- 
tiful, that notwithstanding its length I cannot resist trans- 
ferring it entire ; 



126 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

Though fashion's haughty frown hath thrown aside 

Half the old forms simplicity supplied, 

Yet there are some pride's winter deigns to spare, 

Left like green ivy when the trees are bare, 

And now, when shearing of the flocks is done, 

Some ancient customs, mixed with harmless fun, 

Crown the swain's merry toils. The timid maid, 

Pleased to be praised, and yet of praise afraid, 

Seeks the best flowers ; not those of woods and fields. 

But such as every farmer^s garden yields — 

Fine cabbage-roses, painted like her face ; 

The shining pansy, trimmM with golden lace ; 

The tall toppM labkheels, feather'd thick with flowers ; 

The woodbine climbing o'er the door in bowers ; 

The London tufts, of many a mottled hue ; 

The pale pink pea, and monkshood darkly blue ; 

The white and purple oilliflowebs that stay 

LingMng in blossom, summer half away ; 

The single blood-walls, of a luscious smell, 

Old-fashionM flowers which housewives love so well ; 

The columbines, stone -blue, or deep night-brown, 

Their honeycomb-like blossoms hanging down, 

E^ch cottage-garden's fond adopted child. 

Though heaths still claim them, where they yet grow wild ; 

With marjoram knots, sweet-brier, and ribbon-grass, 

And lavender, the choice of ev'ry lass, 

And sprigs of lad's-love — all familiar names 

Which every garden through the village claims. 

These the maid gathers with a coy delight. 

And ties them up in readiness for night ; 

Then gives to ev'ry swain, 'tween love and shame. 

Her " clipping posies'*^ as his yearly claim. 

** Shepherd's Calendar," p. 57. 

CLOCK. The seeds of the dandelion. So called from the 
childish custom of gathering them when ripe, and blow- 
ing off the downy seeds, to ascertain the time of the 
day. The hour is supposed to be determined by the 
number of puffs required to disperse all the particles of 
seed. 

B.N.C. T.G. H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 127 

2. The ornamental part of a stocking, running up on each 
side of the ankle. A very old word. Palsgrave gives 
" clocke of a hose," but without the corresponding French. 

T.G. H.A.D. 

3. When two or more fire-places have one common chim- 
ney, the brick divisions which constitute the funnels are 
called the " chimney clocks. ^^ 

CLOCK-A-CLAY. A chUdish name for the lady-bird. 
Coccinella, hi-punctata, and septern-jmnctata, (Linn.) We 
have Clare's authority for the adoption of this term. 

And lady-cow beneath it's leafy shed, 
Call'd, when I mixM with children, " clock-a-clay,^'' 

Pruning its red wings on its pleasing bed, 
Glad like myself to shun the heat of day. 

" Village Minstrel," vol. ii. p. 199. 
In the cowslip pips I lye, 
In rain and dew still warm and dry. 
Day and night, and night and day 
Red black-spotted clock-a-clay, 

Clare's MS. Poems. 

CLOCK-ICE. A term applied to ice much cracked in 
various fantastic, and sometimes even beautiful, forms. 
This phenomenon is frequently occasioned by pressiire on 
the surface, as in skaiting; or by a displacement of a 
portion of the water beneath, while the plate of ice is 
firmly attached to the shore or bank ; and sometimes it 
arises from the variable temperature of the air, which, 
under certain conditions, is inclosed in the ice, producing 
contractions and expansions, and consequently those fan- 
tastic fissures. 

CLODHOPPER. The wheat-ear. Motacilla Oenanthe. 
(Linn.) A name adopted from the peculiar habits of 
the bird, who never fails to follow the plough, and hop 
from clod to clod, in search of worms and insects for its 
food; and frequently builds its nest under a clod on 
newly ploughed land. This name prevailed in Morton's 
time, who also calls it Fallowsmitch, and we have 



128 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

Clare's authority for its present use, in one of his recent 

MS. Poems. 

Where the clodhopper on the clods all day, 
Slow moves his tail and tweets the winds away. 

2. A clownish, stupid fellow. 

Jack, are ye turned clodhopper at last. 

" St. Ronan's Well.'* 
F.E.A. C.C. P.D. C.S. II.A.D. 

CLOGGED. Satiated, filled to repletion ; " quit« clogged up." 

C.C. 

CLOGGY. Sticky, adhesive ; as heavy wet land, or im- 
perfectly baked bread. 

C.C. B.N.c."Clag." p.D."Claggy." 
CLOMB. Past tense and past participle of the verb to climb. 

Into his saddle be clombe anone. 

Chaucer's ** Sir Thopas," p. 145. 
Ask to what end they clomb that tedious height 

Spenseb. 
W.C. H.A.D. 

CLOMP. See Clamp. 

CLOSE. According to Todd, as applied to the weather 
" dark, cloudy, not clear;" in our district, the term indi- 
cates oppressive, sultry weather, irrespective of clouds or 
sunshine. 

2. Reserved, uncommunicative. " She's a nasty close 
temper." 

But he, his own aflPections' counsellor. 

Is to himself — I will not say how true — 

But to himself so secret and so close. 

Rom. and Jul. i. 1. 

3. Near, stingy. "He's a proper close un;" t. e, mean, 
disposed to keep what he has. A figurative expression. 

He's vastly rich, and very close they say. 

Farquhar's " Beaux Stratagem,*' ii. 2. 
CLOSE-FISTED. Parsimonious, stingy. 

Ibyeus is a carking, griping, close-fisted fellow. 

Bp. Berkeley's *' Maxims." 

H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 129 

CLOSEN. Small inclosures, or fields ; a retention of the 
old Saxon plural; very general amongst our rustics. 
Sometimes used as a singular noun. " He has a closen 
or two." 

E.L. 

CLOSER. A finishing argument. " That's a closer, or a 
Settler;" analogous to Clencher. 

CLOT. A clod of earth. 

T.G. 

CLOTS. See Clats. 

CLOTTING. " To go a clotting;'' i. e, to pick up the ma- 
nure lying on grass land. 

CLOUD. " Behind a cloud.'' A figurative expression 
applied to a person whose character is obscured by im- 
proper conduct or the imputation of it. " In the shade" 
is correlative. 

CLOUGH. A vessel of a coarse sort of ware, to salt 
meat in; so described by Morton, who is my only 
authority for this word. 

CLOUT. A blow on the head with the fist. " Gie him a 
clout o' th' yed." I am indebted to the Shropshire Glos- 
sarist for the following early illustrations. 

The kynges sone, kene and proud, 
Gkif kyng Richard swylke a ner clout 
That the fyr of hys hejen sprong. 

" Richard Coer de Lion," v. 768. 

And radlj raght a clowte, 

"The Hunttyng of the Hare," v. 174. 

He gave her than so many a great cloute, 

" The Wife lapped in MorePs Skin," v. 977. 

Glavers and his highland men 

Came down upo^ the raw man, 
Who being stout, gave mony a clout, 

« Gillicrankie Herd,'' i. p. 182. 

g3 



180 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

Did Sandy hear ye, 
Ye wadna miss to get a clout. 

RiTSOs's " English Songs," vol. i. p. 183. 

M.S. C.C. F.E.A. H.H. C.S. U.S. II.P. H.A.D. 

CLOUTER-IIEADED. Thick-headed, stupid, deficient 
in understanding. " I can t beat nothing into him, he's 
such a clouter-headed fellow." 

CLUMP. A heavy misshapen mass of wood or stone. 

B.N.C. M.S. H.U. U.A.D. 

CLUMPISII, or CLUMPY. Heavy, sullen, stupid, un- 
communicative. A metaphorical use of the preceding 
word; as inanimate as a "clump of wood." "How 
dumpish she is to day." " What a queer clumpy-temper' d 
thing she is." See Glumpisii. 

CLUMPERS. Thick, heavy shoes. 

F.E.A. H.A.D. 

CLUMP-COCKS. Large cocks of hay, nearly a load, 

ready for carrying; only made in dubious weather. 

CLUMPST. Benumbed with cold. Hands stiff with cold 

are said to be clumj)st, whence clumsy, 

Eet this when ye hungreth 
Other wenne thou chmsest for cold. 

" P. Ploughman." 

C.C. II.P. 
CLUNCHY. Short-tempered, easily offended. " He's a 

clunchy fellow." 
CLUNGY. Adliesive. Heavy wet land is said to be 

dungy ^ or to be clung, 

C.C. II.P. H.A.D. 

CLUTTER. Disorder, confusion. When the furniture of 
a room is untidily dispersed, so as to impede the progress 
of any one, it is said to be " all in a clutter,''^ When the 
' things in a box, drawer, or cupboard are littered about, 
or confusedly intermingled, " they are quite in a clutter.'^ 
The dictionaries seem to confound this word with clatter^ 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 181 

as they define it " noise, clamour, bustle." Several of 
the glossaries give clutherSj in heaps, and deduce it 
from Welsh cluder, a pile. 

F.E.A. H.P. 

CLUTTERED. Crowded, in a disorderly manner. " I'm 
so cluttered up with things, I can't get on with my work." 

COALS. " To call over the coals" is to reprimand, to call 
to account. " Hauled, or pulled over the coals" has 
the same import; supposed by Jamieson to have refer- 
ence to the ordeal by fire. 

M.S. B.N.C. 

COAL-HOD. An utensil of metal or wood, for holding 
coal for the supply of a fire. Called also coal-scope, a 
name allusive to the form. 

F.£.A. £.L. H.P. 

COB. A smaU cake made of the dough prepared for 
bread; similar to a batch cake. Grose and Brockett 
give cob-loaf J " a crusty uneven loaf;" and Nares calls it 
" a large loaf." 

2. A game at marbles played by two or three boys, bowl- 
ing a boss marble into holes made in the ground for 
that purpose ; the number of which is generally four. 

3. To strike. " I thought he was going to cob me." 

W.C. E.L. H.P. H.A.D. 

COB-NUT. A large nut. 

M.S. H.H. A.W. P.D. 

COBBLE. A large cock of hay made previous to carrying. 
COBBLES. Small roimd pieces of coal, or stone. " Put 
a few cobbles on the fire." 

G.&P. H.S. H.P H.A.D. 

COBBLERS. Turkies. A name allusive to the peculiar 

noise made by them. 
COBBLER'S PUNCH. Warm ale, thickened, sweetened, 

and mixed with spirits. The same as Hot Pot. 
COBWEB. The spotted flycatcher. Jlft^ctcopa Grisola,(Linn.) 



1 32 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

This bird feeds on flies, and builds its nest almost 
entirely of cobwebs when it can obtain then, hence the 
name. 

COCK. A striped snail shell. Helix nemoralis. (Linn.) 
I have no authority for this name but our rural poet 
Clare, who, in describing a game that is played with 
them, says they are so designated. See Coggers, a more 
general name for the same kind of shell. 

COCKEREL. " It's enough to urge the blood of Peter 
Cockerel" A common saying when persons are more 
irritated and provoked than they are able to express. 
The history of this personage, and origin of the proverb, 
are equally unknown. 

COCKERS. Gaiters ; but more frequently applied to the 
legs of old stockings, worn by rustics, to keep snow out 
of their shoes. A very old name, occurring in Piers 
Ploughman's Vision. See Way's " Promptorium," p. 84. 

His cockers were of cordiwin, 

His hood of miniver. 

Drayton, "Eel." iv. 

Now doth he inly scome his Kendall-greene, 

And his patch'd cockers now dispised beene. 

Hall's " Sat." iv. 6. 

B.N.C. C.C. H.S. H.P. H.A.D. 

COCK-EYED. Having a cast with one eye. 

F.E.A. C.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

COCK-HORSE. A childish name for a horse; hence the 
nursery rhyme. 

Hight O, coch^horse^ 
To Banbury Cross 
To buy a new nag, 
And a nimble horse. 
H.A.D. 

COCKSHOUS, or COXIOUS. Self-confident, conceited. 
" She's so cockshous it's no use trying to teach her any- 
thing." 

COCKSURE. Confidently certain of anything, "He's 
cocksure he shall win." 

H.P. H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 133 

COCKSY. Quick to take offence ; Uppish. 

E.L. 

CODDLE. One who indulges in excess of warmth, or 
clothing ; applied both to male and female. " He's a 
regular coddled 

CODDLED. Brought up tenderly and carefully, parti- 
cularly as regards clothing. It is often said of a tender 
mother, " She has coddled w^her child, till she's afraid to 
let it go out o' doors." Perhaps from the old Fr. cadlier. 
Sir Walter Scott, in the " Antiquary," appears to use 
coddling in accordance with our meaning. " Let woman- 
kind alone for coddling each other." 

B.N.C. C.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

CODDLED APPLES, or CODLINGS AND CREAM. 

The great willowherb. Epilobium hirsutum, (Hooker.) 
CODGER. A rough, uncivilized, old man. " He's a rum 

old codger^ 

M.S. C.C. P.D. C.S. H.P. H.A.D. 

CODGER'S-END. Shoemaker's thread. Whalley, who 
was a resident in this county, remarks in a note on 
Twelfth Night, " In Northamptonshire, the waxed thread 
which a cobler uses in mending shoes, we call a codger's 
end:' 

P.D. H.A.D. 

COGGER. A striped snail shell. Helix nemoralis. (Linn.) 
It is a common boyish pastime to hold one of these 
shells between the last joints of the bent fingers, and 
forcibly press the apex against another held in a similar 
manner by an opponent, until one of them, by dint of per- 
severing pressure, forces its way into the other; and the 
one which in these contests has gained the most victo- 
ries is termed the conqueror, and is highly valued by 
its juvenile owner. Clare calls these shells "poott 
shells," and in a clear and beautiful manner thus describes 
the same mode of playing with them. 



184 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

There's something yet in childhood^s ways, 

On which I love to dwell ; 
And oft I hunt, in spring's first days, 

The painted poott shell. 

The children crush them nib to nib, 

Against the meadow brig ; 
And don^t their little tongues run glib. 

At running such a rig ? 

They call them ** cocks,*' and so they fight 

A little " cocking day :" 
The hardest breaks the whole outright, 

The hero of a day. 

Clare's MS. Poem, " Boys and Spring." 

GOGGLE. Easily shaken, or overturned; to be rickety; 

cognate with KiCKLisn. 

B.N.C. W.C. H.S. H.A.D. 

COIL (pronounced Kyle.) A lump on the head arising from 
a blow. Li Yorkshire a large cock of hay is caUed a JcyU, 

G. B.N.C. H.A.D. H.P. 

2. A stir, or bustle; so used in the North, according to 
Grose. For the derivation of this word see Lemon's 
English Etymology. 

You, mistress, all this coil is 'long of you. 

Mid. N. Dr. iii. 2. 
What a coil has this fellow kept i^ th' nunnery ! 

Beaum. and Fl. " Monsieur Thomas." 
You will not believe what a coil I had toother day, to compound a 
business between a kattem-pear woman and him, about watching. 

B. JoNSON " Bart. Fair," i. 4. 

B.N.C. H.P. H.A-D. 

COLD CIIELL. A pleonastic expression for a shivering fit. 

F.E.A. M.S." Cowd chill." H.A.D. 

COLD COMFORT. Alias^ no comfort at all ; disagreeable 

intelligence. 

But wilt thou make a fire, or shall I complain on thee to our mis- 
tress, whose hand thou shalt soon feel, thy cold comfort, ioit being slow 
in thy hot office. 

Taming of a Shrew, iv. 1 . 

C.c. H.S. H.A.D. B.N.C." Cawd comfort." 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 186 

COLLAR. The fork of a tree, where the branches spring 
out from the trunk. Li birdnesting, a boy says " I'll 
• SWAUM up the butt, and I shall soon be in the collar,''^ 

COLLAR-BEAM. A builder's term for the upper beam 
in a bam. Called also Wing-beam. 

M.S. F.E.A. H.A.D. 

COLLOGUE. To associate or confer together, to intrigue, 

to plot mischief. " They are always collogueing together." 

Perhaps a corruption of colloquy, in imitation of the word 

dialogue. Nares gives the following early authorities for 

the use of this word. 

Pray go in ; and sister, salve the matter, 
Collogue with her again, and all shall be well. 

Green's Tu Quoq. O. PI. vii. 86. 
Why look ye, we must collogue sometimes, forswear sometimes. 

Malcom, O. Fl. iv. 94. 
M.S. B.N.C. C.C. H.H. F.E.A. H.S. L.H. E.L. H.P. H.A.D. 

COLLY. The black or soot from a pot or kettle. Most 
of our Lexicographers attach this meaning to the word ; 
but I suppose Steevens considered it dialectical, as in 
commenting upon Shakspere's beautiful figurative appli- 
cation of it, he says " A word still in use in the Midland 
counties." Collier, in a note to the passage in Othello 
where this word occurs, says, " Li order to make some 
sense of * coUied' it is taken to mean discoloured, black- 
ened, and so far disfigured i^ and again, he observes on the 
Midsummer Night's Dream, " We have had * collied night ' 
for hlouik night, and it has been suggested that * collied ' 
was a misprint for quelled, and we own that it appears 
very possible." If this Shaksperian conunentator had 
been aware of our common usage of this word, and its 
compounds, I think he woidd have spared these obser- 
vations. Grose assigns this word to Gloucestershire. The 
Shropshire Glossarist adopts it, and traces it to the Sax. 
Col; Isl. Swed. Germ. Kol; Dan. Kal; Teut. Kole, carbo. 



186 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

Moor observes under Collier^ " a black insect. It would 

be a curious article were the many words collected which 

have the initial sound of Col or Kal^ and bear a sense of 

blackness or darkness. Every language would perhaps 

furnish some ; and all may probably be traceable to the 

Sanscrit JTa/, meaning time, night, chaos, black , dark, &c." 

He made foule chere, 
And hicollede is swere. 

Geste of King Horn, v. 1071, 1072. 

(Hartshome.) 
He lokede aboute, 
Myd is collede snoute. 

Ibid. V. 1097, 1098. 
Brief as the lightning in the colly* d night. 

Mid. N. Dr. i. 1. 
And passion, having my best judgment collied, 

Othello, ii. 3. 
Thou hast not collied thy face enough. 

Ben Jonson's " Poetaster." 
G.&P. H.S. A.W. L.H. E.L. H.A.D. 

COLLY. A name for a cottager's cow. " Goo an' fetch the 
collies whoam." Black appearing to be the primitive 
meaning of colli/, its original application was probably to 
a black cow. We have the authority of " The Country- 
man's Lamentation for the Death of his Cow," for the 
adoption of this nearly obsolete word. A shepherd's 
dog in Scotland is termed a coll^, and a blackbird in 
Somersetshire is so called. 

Little Tom Dogget, 

"What dost thou mean. 
To kill thy poor Colly 

Now she's so lean ? 
Sing, oh poor Colly^ 

Colly my cow, 
For Colly will give me 

No more milk now. 

Evans' Old Ballads. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 137 

COLLY FLEECE. The wool of ablack sheep; and it is 
perhaps a singular anomaly and worthy of remark, that 
the animal is never called a colly sheep, nor the wool a 
black fleece. 

COLLY WESTON. When anything goes wrong, it is 
said, " It is all along o' Colly Westony Wilbraham, 
in his Cheshire Glossary observes, " This seems to be 
some personal allusion, and I should apprehend, very 
local, and by no means general throughout the county. 
It has, however, travelled into or from Northampton- 
shire, where there is a village of that name." Harts- 
horne, in his Salopia, says " What connection, or 
whether it has any at all, with the village of Colly 
Weston in Northamptonshire, lies out of my power to 
determine ; " and of mine also, as the prefix furnishes 
no clue to the solution. Colly being merely a corruption 
of Colin, which is the synonyme of Nicholas ; and this 
designation was introduced in the time of Nicholas de 
Segrave, one of its early lords, to distinguish it from the 
neighbouring village of Weston on Welland. 

W.C. H.S. H.A.D. 

COLOURBINE. Colombine. Aquilegia vulgaris. (Hooker.) 

COLT. The third migration of bees; when they so 
migrate they are said to have colted. See Cast. 

COLT. A yearling horse. Given as a localism in " Mar- 
shall's Rural Economy ; " but probably general through- 
out the kingdom. A.-Sa.x,Coltj pullus. 

H.P. 

COLTING. A social exaction of money, usually spent 
in ale, which is termed colt-ale, paid by an apprentice 
at the commencement and expiration of his apprentice- 
ship ; and also on his first engagement as a journeyman. 
Such an exaction, paid on entering the service of every 
future master, would be called " paying his footing." 



138 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

In Southwark, a jutyman serving for the first time on a 
coroner's inquest is called a colt, from a like exaction. 

COME. A term denoting the transition which milk and 
cream undergo in the process of making butter and 
cheese ; when the milk or cream first begins to coagulate 
and the butter to concrete, in the language of the dairy- 
maid, it is come, i. e, it is advanced or coming to the 
desired state. Halliwell, in " The Nursery Rhymes,'' 
notices a metrical charm, which is given by Ady in 
his " Candle in the Dark," 4to. 1665, p. 58, to be thrice 
repeated for making butter come. 

Come, butter, come, 
Come, butter, come I 
Peter stands at the gate 
Waiting for a butter'd cake; 
Cornet butter, cornel 

We have the following variations, which are probably of 
equal antiquity, as they have descended from one gene- 
ration to another in this county : — 

Chum, butter, chum, 
In a cow's horn ; 
I never seeM such butter, 
Sin' I was born. 
Peter's standing at the gate 
Waiting for a butter'd cake, 
Comet butter, come ! 
Or,— 
Chum, butter, chum. 
Come, butter, come I 
A little good butter 
Is better than none. 

M.S. C.C. 

COME. Pret. of come. 

And come and asked cause, and why 
They rongen were so stately. 

Chaucer's " Dream." 

F.E).A. C.C. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 139 

COME, or COMM'D. Become, came, became. " What's 
come o' mj poor boy I don't know ; lie jist comrrCd home 
about a wick sin', and what comm'd on him a'ter I can't 
tell." According to Forby, " It is the Old English of 
400 years standing, occurring in Paston's Letters." 

M.S. H.A.D. 

COME AT. To ascertain. " I couldn't crnne at it." 
COME-BACK. A guinea fowl ; a name manifestly formed 
in imitation of its cry. 

F.E.A. H.A.D. 

COME DOWN UPON. To scold, to reprove, to take to 
task. The boy neglected his work, and his master 
" came down upon him." 

H.A.D. 

COME ON. To thrive, to improve in appearance, " The 
com comes on apace." " The child com^s on nicely." 
" The boy cornea on with his book." 

H.S. H.A.D. 

COME OVER. To wheedle, to overcome by manoeuvring 
and fraudulent dexterity. " I didn't mean to buy it, 
but he corns over me." 

B.N.C. 

2. To cloud over, to incline to rain. " It c(mies over for 

wet." 
COME TO BE. A circuitous phrase for be, or become. 

A friend would encourage a servant entering on a new 

service, with " When you come to he there, you will see 

how you get on." 
COME TO SEE. To visit, in the sense of courting or 

paying addresses to any one. " Your Bill comes to see 

our Sally." 
COMING-ABOUT, COMING-EOUND. Phrases which 

imply improvement in health, circumstances, or temper ; 

also an approach to intimacy after an estrangement. 

C.C. H.A.D. 



140 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

COMING TO. A phrase analogous to coming round; but 
applied to the temper only, and not to the health or 
circumstances. 

COMICAL. Odd, singular, ill-tempered. " He's a comi- 
cal chap." 

COMMANDEMENTS. Commandments. The interpo- 
sition of the short vowel is very common in early 
English writers. 

M.S. C.C. n.S. H.A.D. 

COM'OTIIER. A corruption of " come hither;" used by 
carters or waggoners, to command the first or fore horse 
in a team to turn out, or come towards the driver. 
A waggoner's lengthened imperative to his team would 
be, " Haw, hait, gee, com'other, wo," which will all be 
explained in their respective places. 

H.s." Come-moge." m.s." Camether." t.g. h.p. 

COMPLIN. Impertinent. " He's a complin fellow, and 
will have the last word." 

CC H.p. 

CON. To meditate upon, to think over, to commit to 
memory. " I'll con it over in my mind before I see you 
again." A school boy " cons his lesson over." A.-Sax. 
connan, to know. Ash considers this word obsolete; 
Coles gives it in both senses ; and it occurs in Chaucer, 
Spenser, and Shakspere. 

He seems a trap for charity to lay; 

And cons by night his lesson for the day. 

Drtden's " First Sat. of Persius." 
But, masters, here, are your parts; and I am to entreat you, 
request you, and desire you, to con them by to-morrow night. 

Mid. N. Dr. i. 2. 
C.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

CONFOUND. Used as a sort of imprecation. " Con- 
found the blockhead." 

E.L. 

CONGER. A cucumber; so general is this word, that an 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 141 

eminent seedsman informs me that cottagers and market 
gardeners when purchasing the seed usually ask for 
conger seed. On the eastern side of the county they are 
sometimes called congoes, which is probably a corruption 
of conger, 

2. A snail shell; not general. 
H.A.D." Conker." 

CON SATE. Conceit, opinion, estimation, fancy. " I've 
a poor consate on him." Used also verbally, as " I 
can't consate neither him nor his goods," i. e. I cannot 
fancy them, I have not a good opinion of either. 

C.C. H.S. T.G. L.H. 

2. To believe, to imagine. " He consated himsen he should 
soon be well again." 

CC U.S. 

CONSARN. A kind of good-humoured threat or impre- 
cation. " Consarn you! if you don't mind what you're 
about, I'll give it you." 

CONSCIENCE. Reason. " That's enough in all con- 

sciencey 
CONTRIVE. A kindred imprecation to Confound, or 

Consarn, before given. 

E.L. 

COOK. To throw under-handed, to toss, to chuck. 
" Cook me the ball." " Let's have a game at Cook-a- 
halV " Shall us cook it over the wall ?" " See how 
that cat is cooking that mouse about," i.e., playing with 
it, and tossing it in the air. When anything is worth- 
less it is commonly said, " Cook it away." This appa- 
rently colloquial vidgarism is, I believe, an archaism, 
occurring in Bishop Percy's MS., referred to under 
Bruzzled. Todd notices the word, and assigns it to 
Gloucestershire on the authority of Grose. 

E.L." Cuck." H.P. H.A.D. 

2. To thwart, to throw an obstacle in the way. " If you 



142 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

don*t mind, Fll cook you," i. e. Fll defeat your intentions. 
A figurative application of the preceding word. 

B.N.C. 

COOL TANKARD. Borago officinalis. This plant forms 
one of the ingredients, with water, wine, lemon, and 
sugar, in a favourite beverage called cool tankard. 
Hence, doubtless, the provincial name applied to the 
plant itself. 

COOMB. The hollow space at the junction or fork of 
the main branches with the trunk of a tree. A car- 
penter would say he had a hard bargain in such a tree ; 
he was quite deceived, for the bark had run too far 
down the coonib, and it was not sound. A.-Sax. comb, 
SL vaUey, or hollow place. Brit. cumi. 

2. The congealed grease that exudes from the axle of a 
wheel; while it remains in the axle it is never so called. 
This name prevails on the Leicestershire side of the 
county. In the neighbourhood of Northampton it 
obtains the name of Swarth. 

3. Saw-dust. 

B.N.S. 

COOP. Come up. Used to call horses, when catching 
them in a field or open common, " Coop ! coop /" When 
calling cows for milking, " Coop, wench I coop, wench I" 
is commonly said. 
F.E.A. U.S. n.A.D. 

COPPLE. A crest. The diminutive of Cop. A.-Sax. 
Cop, apex. " A co/)p^-crowned hen." 

And what's their feather? 

Like the cojpple crown 
The lapwing has. 

Randolph, " Amynt." ii. 3. 

The blackbirds sung with sooty bosoms 
And loudly talk'd the coppled jay. 

Cla&b's MS. Poems. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 143 

A happy song the skylark brings, 
And spring in every note he sings, 
With copple crown and speckled breast, 
The pilewort blooms above his nest. 

Ibid. *' Larks and Spring.'* 
F.E.A." Copple-crown." h.p. h.a.d. 

COPPY or COPSE. Contracted from Coppice, a planta- 
tion larger than a spinney ; a small wood ; a division of 
a large wood. 

So far as in lopping ther tops ye do fling, 

So far without plantinge yonge copi/e will springe. 

TUSSER. 

Sweet primrose peeping in the hazel cajpse. 
Beneath the maple roots, and grass-green moss. 

Clare's MS. Poems. 
H.S. L.H. H.A.D. 

COPSES. The moveable rails attached to the sides of a 
cart or waggon for the purpose of extending the width. 
Copses of a waggon occur in the advertisement of a sale 
of farming stock in the Northampton Mercury, 1842. 
There are various synonymes in use, in different parts of 
the county, for the moveable rails of a cart or waggon, 
as Cratch, End-ladder, Fore-ladder, Side-ladder, 
GEARiNG-RAn.s, Eaves, Summers, Waggon-harness. 

2. The straps attached to the Fill-tugs for the purpose of 
fastening them to a horse's collar. 

COPT. Headed, pollarded. " The copt tree." Evans, 
who assigns this word to Leicestershire, deduces it from 
the Grerman gekopft, 

£.L. 

CORD OF WOOD. A stated quantity of fire-wood, con- 
sisting of cleft and arm wood — after the brush or fagot 
wood is removed — stacked for sale, in a temporary 
frame, made by driving four stakes into the ground at 
measured distances, varying in different districts. In 
the neighbourhood of Silveston, the dimensions of a c(yrd 
of wood is four feet square; in other parts of the county 



144 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

it is three feet wide, three feet deep, and three feet 
high. This term is little knowTi except in the vicinity of 
woods and forests. Cotgrave renders " Corde de Bois, 
a certaine measure, or quantitie, of wood (whether fagots 
or billets) laid together, eight or ten feet in length, 
about foure in height, and having, at either end, two 
stakes to hold it in." According to Blount, in his 
Glossographia, " A cord of wood ought to be eight 
foot long, four foot broad, and four foot high, by 
statute." Evelyn, in his Sylva, notices an " oak grow- 
ing in a copse of my Lord Craven, which yielded 
twenty-three cord of fire- wood." 

H.A.D. 

CORE OF IIAY. The centre or inside of a rick of hay, 
left standing after the outside has been pared or cut 
away all round. The term occurs in the Northampton 
Mercury, 1825 and 1852. 

The bits of brown haystacks all cut to the core; 
In the grassy close comers shew winter is o*er; 
With the oaks frowning o'er them all mossy and grey, 
They will stand in the shelter, till they cut the new hay. 

Clare's MS. Poems, *' Spring." 

CORKED. Offended, shut up; a figurative expression. 
" He's quite corked, he won't speak." 

H.S. H.A.D. 

CORN. Oats : " Gie th' horse a feed o' com." 

C.C. H.A.D. 

CORN-BIND. The wild convolvulus. Convolvulus arvensis. 
(Hooker.) 

H.A.D. 

CORN-BOTTLE. The blue-bottle, a flower which grows 
among corn. Centaurea a/anus, (Hooker.) Called also 
Blue-cap. 

CORN-CRAKE, or CORN-DRAKE. The landrail, Ballus 
crex. (Linn.) As the first of these appellations is given 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 146 

to this bird by Bewick, it would not have been considered 
admissible here, if it had not found a place in other glos- 
saries ; and Todd remarks that it is so called in the north 
of England, from which it may be inferred that he did 
not consider it a general term. The name was obviously 
suggested bj its reiterated cry, ^^ crake ^ crakey A 
common mode of attracting this remarkably shy bird, 
which conceals itself amongst com and long momng 
grass, is to imitate the sound which it emits, by draw- 
ing the finger in quick succession along the teeth of a 
comb, so as to induce it to suppose that a companion is 
near, and thus allure it from its hiding place. Harts- 
home says, " Martin, in his account of the Western Isles, 
calls the bird a com crokerr The bird is also called 
land crake, as the water-rail is called water crake, Clare 
notices the cry in his " Rural Muse:" 

And hid as thoughts unborn, 
The fairy-like and seldom seen land-rail 
Utters ** crake, crake, ^^ like voices underground. 
M.S. B.N.C. C.C. H.S. HP. H.A.D. 

CORNED. Intoxicated by malt liquor. " He was pretty 
well comed.^^ 

F>£«A. H.S* 

CORNED MEAT. Salted beef; if it has been salted just 
a sufficient time, " it is nicely corned," or "just corned 
enough." Skinner remarks that " to com" was used in 
this sense by the old Saxons. 

C.C. 

CORNER. When a rubber at whist is determined by the 
best of three games, without points, each person is con- 
sidered a comer, and it is usually said, " We play for so 
much a comer i^ a mode of playing now only in vogue 
with very old-fashioned lovers of the game. 

F.E.A. H.S. H.P. H.A.D. 

CORN PINK. Corn cockle. Agrostemma Cfithago. (Jlooker.) 



146 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

COSHES. Pods of peas and beans. " Cosse, a huske.'' 

Cotgrave. 
H.P. n.A.D. 
COSS, or 'CAUSE. A corrupted contraction of because. 

" Co8S it is so." 

H.S. H.A.D. 

COT. A fleece of wool matted together in its growth. A 
door mat is so called when made of a cotted fleece. 
Brockett has Cotted, matted together. 

B.N.C. C.C. 

COTCH. The preterit of the verb to catch. " I runn'd 
ater him, till I cotch'd him." This archaism is annually 
perpetuated on the fifth of November, by the repetition 
of the following doggerel rhymes, from door to door, in 
commemoration of Gunpowder Plot : 

Guy Faux and his companions did the plot contrive, 
To blow the king and parliament all up alive. 
By God's providence they were cotch'*d 
With a dark lantern and a lighted smatoh. 

U.A.D. 

COTTER. An iron pin used to fasten a window-shutter 
by passing through the casement, and having a thin 
piece of iron, termed a key, inserted in a slit near the 
extremity to prevent its withdrawal. To cotter the 
shutter signifies to fasten it, by means of the pin and 
key. 

G. H.S. E.L. H.A.D. B.N.C." Cotcril." 

2. A miscellaneous collection of persons or things incon- 
veniently surrounding any one. " What a cotter of 
things you have got about you." 

3. To mend or repair old clothes. " Cotter 'em up a little 
longer." 

COTTERED. Inconveniently surrounded, or crowded 
with things. " I'm so cottered up I hav'n't room to stir." 
A person muffled up with clothes, is said to be cottered up. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 147 

2. Terrified, perplexed. " I was so cotter ed, for fear I should 
be too late." 

COTTERING. Talking at, but not to, a person, continued 
scolding, muttering to oneself ; so used in the neighbour- 
hood of Peterborough and Stamford. 

COTTERING or COTTING. The meaning of this word 
is best explained by examples. A person who sits close 
to the fire, and is reluctant to leave it, is said to sit 
cotting over the fire. If a female is incommoded by 
others standing about her, when she is engaged in 
household, concerns, so as to prevent her moving freely, 
they are said to stand cottering round her. A mother 
often says to her children, when they creep close to her, 
" Don't stand cottering round me so." Inclosing or 
securing appears to be the primitive meaning of cot ; 
as this sense, it will be seen, enters more or less, either 
literally or figuratively, into all the above modifications 
of the word. 

COULCH or COALSH. To faU or slip, mthout any im- 
petus, as the edge or side of a bank, quarry, or any 
excavation that has been incautiously undermined. A 
very prevalent word, though unnoticed by our lexico- 
graphers ; occasionally it is used substantively, as, " Take 
care, there will be a coulch.''^ I have never heard this 
term applied to anything but the falling in of earth or 
stone. According to Grose, colt is the Gloucestershire 
synonyme, and cave is so interpreted in the North 
Coimtry and Suffolk Glossaries ; the latter term obtains, 
I believe, occasionally in the northern part of this 
county. 

COUNT. Metaphorically to reckon or calculate. " I 
count I shall go to London next week." " I count I shall 
make a good thing of that bargain." 

F.£.A« V.S. 

n2 



148 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

COUP. To tip, or tilt. 

B.N.C. 

COUPLES. A technical term for the framed principals 
in a roof. Couple in Jamieson is defined a rafter. 

COUSIN. Nephew or niece; now nearly obsolete. A 
relic of the ancient usage of the word, which compre- 
hended every degree of collateral consanguinity, and 
sometimes even extended to grandchildren, as may be 
seen in the word consanguineus frequently occurring for 
kinsman, in the early inqidsitions post mortem. This 
archaical sense occurs in Wiclif, and is frequent in 
Shakspere. In Eomeo and Juliet, Lady Capulet says, 
" Tybalt, my cousin ; my brother's child." And Olivia, 
in Twelfth Night, constantly calls her uncle Toby, cousin. 

F.E A. H.H. H.A.D. 

COUSIN BETTY. A wandering lunatic. See Moor, 
imder Bess o* Bedlam and Cousin Betty. 

Al.S. f .£).A. C/.C 

COVERLID. A coverlit or bedquilt. Ash is the only 
lexicographer who adopts this spelling of the word, but 
it occurs in the Northampton Mercury, 1832. 

COVERSLUT. A clean apron or pinafore over a dirty 
dress. 

COW. " The cow gives a good deal of milk, but kicks 
doAvn the bucket." A phrase often used when a person 
after praising any one, turns round and finds fault with 
him. 

COWS and CALVES. See Bobbin and Joan, and Bulls 
and Cows. 

CO WC UMBER. A cucumber. Halliwell says, this form 
occurs in Hollyband's Dictionarie, 1593. 

H.A.D. 

COW-GRASS. Trifolium medium, (Hools:er.) 
COW-LADY, LADY-BIRD. Names applied to all the 
coccinella, but more particularly to the beautiful little 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 149 

scarlet and black spotted ones, the bi-punctata, and 
septem-punctata of Linnaeus. There is a familiar rhyme 
connected with this pretty little insect, which is repeated 
by children, if one of them happens to settle on the hand, 
to induce it to take flight ; if it does not obey the com- 
mand, it is thrown into the air. Its antiquity may be 
inferred from the extent of its circulation on the conti- 
nent ; Halliwell, in his " Popular Rhymes," says that 
" Variations of this familiar song belong to the verna- 
cular literature of England, Germany, Denmark, and 
Sweden." The version most prevalent in this county is 

the following: 

Cow-lady, cow-lady, fly away home, 
Your house is on fire, your children are gone ; 
All but one, and that's little John, 
And he lies under the grin die stone. 
c.c. H.A.D. B.N.C." Cushy Cow-lady." 
M.S." Bamabee" and " Bishop-barney." 
COW-PAWED. Left-handed. 

B.N.C. H.A.D. 

COW-TONGUED. Deceitful. Having a tongue like a 
cow's, smooth on one side and rough on the other. 

H.P. 

COW-TYALS, or COW-TYES. Synonymous with Balk, 
which see. 

T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

COWARDY I COWARDY ! COSTARD ! Repeated by 
children playing at the game of " One catch all," when 
they advance towards the one who is selected to catch 
them, and dare or provoke her to capture them. 
Amongst Ray's Localisms we find " Costard, the head ; a 
kind of opprobrious word used by way of contempt." 
Bailey gives, " Costard-head, a blockhead." Thus eluci- 
dating this apparently immeaning exclamation; which 
may be interpreted, " You cowardly blockhead, catch me 
if you dare." 



150 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

COWED. Spirit-broken, kept in subjection. This mean- 
ing exactly agrees "with Kersey, who has, " To cow one, 
to put one out of heart, to keep him in awe." Todd 
illustrates this word from Shakspere, Beaumont and 
Fletcher, Howel, and Iludibras. I shall content myself 
with quoting from Macbeth. 

For it hath cowed my better part of man. 
G. B.N.C. W.C. H.H. H.S. H.A.D. 

COWER. To crouch, to bend, to stoop; a hen coiners over 
her brood when she collects them imder her wings. 
Toone says, a word still in use in the midland counties. 
They cow*r so o*er the coles, theur eies be bler*d with smoke. 

" Gammer Gurton^s Needle.*' 
Our dame sits cowering o^er a kitchen fire; 

I draw fresh air, and nature^s works admire. 

Drydkn. 

G. B.N.C. H.H. C.C. 

COW-LICK. See Calf-lick. 

H.A.D. 

COWSLAP, COWSLOP. The cowsHp. Universally 
pronounced heowslap by our villagers. The first syllable 
is sometimes dropped, and it is not uncommon to hear 
those say who go into the fields to gather these flowers, 
" I'm going a slapping." 

COYSTRIL. A booby. 

COZIE. Snug, warm, comfortable. Brockett justly ob- 
serves, " implying a feeling of comfort, attended with 
satisfaction and delight." It is ofi;en used to express 
being particularly sociable and intimate with any one. 
A Scotch word. 

B.N.C. H.A.D. 

CRABBY. Cross, ill-tempered. 

E.L. 

CRAB-STICK. A sour, morose-tempered person. Some- 
times crab is used alone. " He's a regular old craby 
CRACK. To do anything " in a crack^'' signifies quickly. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 151 

• instantly; identical with jiffy, trice, and twink. The 
Craven glossarist furnishes an example of the use of 
this word from Tim Bobbin. 

Then from the hedge, he in a crack 
Brings a tough willow with him back. 

C.C. F.E.A. M.S. B.N.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

2. To talk boastingly, to brag. " Don't crack of your 
chickens before thoy are hatched," is a common adage. 
The Prompt. Parv. gives " Crakyng or boste, jactancia. It 
is used by Shakspere, Spenser, and other old writers. 
Such craking declareth an heart of small valour, 
For the greatest of crakers are not the boldest men. 

Barclay ^s " Mirror of Good Manners/' 
G. B.N.C. F.E.A. H.H. C.C. M.S." Crake." H.A.D. 

CRACKER. An untruth. 

CRACK-JAW WORDS. Hard words, difficult to pronounce. 

CRACKLING. The rind of pork when roasted. 

F.E.A. M.S. H.A.D. 

CRACKY. CRACKED. Half insane. 

Let him alone ; he's cracked, 

Beaum. & Fl. " Scornful Lady." 
CRADGING. Mending river banks, to stop the water 
from overflowing the meadows. " He*s gone a cradging 
to-day." 
CRADLE. A framed wooden fence for a young tree, com- 
monly made of a triangular, but sometimes of a rect- 
angular, form. 
CRAG. CROG. A large quantity. " What a crog of 
things." I give this word as it was explained to me, I 
never heard it used. 
CRAGGED. Crammed, stowed closelv. " The room is 
cragged full of furniture." Halliwell gives, " Croggedy 
filled," and assigns it to Oxfordshire. 

CRAM. To stuff with stories that have no foundation in 
truth ; in other words, to shoot with the long bow. 

B.N.C. H.A.D. 



152 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

CRAMMER. A marvellous untruth, an improbable story. 
" That's a crammer^ 

B.N.C. 

CRAI^IP-BONE. The patella of a sheep or lamb. 

C.C. M.S. H.A.D. 

CRAMPT* Limited for space, confined for room. " My 
shop's so crampt, I hav'nt room for my business." 

CRAKE. A rectangular bar of iron turning on a pivot, 
affixed to the back of a chimney, for the purpose of sus- 
pending pot-hooks or links, on which to hang pots or 
kettles over the fire ; to keep it well polished and free 
from the effect of smoke, was the pride of the old- 
fashioned housewife. 

CRANE. A frolicsome pastime at harvest-home festivities, 
fully described by Clare in his Introduction to the Village 
Minstrel, p. xxii. 

CRANK. Brisk, lively, exidting from conscious supe- 
riority. " She's very crank,^^ Ray inserts this word as 
peculiar to Essex, Grose to Kent. There are examples 
of its usage in Todd and Nares, to which may be added 

the following. 

A shepherd sitting on a bancke, 

Like Chanteclere he crowed crancke, 

And pip'd full merrilie. 

Percy's " Reliques." 

H.P. H.A.D. 
CRANKLING. Bending, winding. Drayton in his Po- 
lyolbion, in treating of the river Wye, says. 
Meander, who is said so intricate to be, 
Hath not so many turns, nor cranJcling nookes as shee. 

Shakspere's cranking is evidently the same word. It 
is written crankling in some editions, but Todd considers 
the former the true reading. 

See how this river comes me cranhing in, 
And cuts me from the best of all my land, 
A huge half moon, a monstrous cantle out. 

1 Hen. IV. iii. 1. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 153 

CRANKY. Weak, unsound, as applied to furnitTire, &c. 
In the Craven dialect crankle has the same meaning. 

H.A.D. 

CRAP or CROP. The craw of a bird. A.-Sax. crop. 

F.E.A. H.S. P.D. 

CRASH or CREACH. Described by Morton, p. 41, as 
very small masses of irregular-shaped limestone, some 
orbicular, some laminated ; and by Baker in his recent 
" Essay on the Farming of Northamptonshire " as red 
land, with its substratum of loose rock, or a thin staple 
upon the great oolite or limestone, where no beds of 

• marie, loam, or clay intervene. 

CRASHY-LAND, or CREACHY-LAND. Land where 
credch is intermixed with the soil which is not sandy, but 
in dry weather becomes like dust, and is carried along 
by the wind. 

CRASS. Across. " He's gone crciss the road." 

CRATES. Panniers are so called when used for carrying 
turnips into the field on a donkey. 

CRATCH. A moveable wooden frame, to affix to a cart 
or waggon to extend its size; called front, back, or side 
cratches^ according to their relative position. On the 
western side of the county the term is restricted to the 
moveable end of a waggon ; and to the rail which extends 
the length of a cart. In the north of England it obtains 
the name of " skilvings." Fr. Creiche. 
See Copses for the various synonymes. 

2. An open frame or crib, in which hay is put for feeding 
cattle. An old word for manger; frequent in Wiclif. 
Palsgrave gives, " Cratch for horse, or oxen, creche^ 

H.S. L.H. H.P. H.A.D. 

3. A wooden frame, or rack for holding empty bottles. 
" A bottle cratch:' 

G. H.H. 

h3 



1 54 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

CKATCHETTY. Applied both to persons and things; to 
old, worn-out furniture that will not stand steady, and 
to any one who is disconcerted Avith trifles. " A poor 
cratchetty table." " A poor cratchetty temper." Allied 
to Ilart^home's " Crashy, old, dilapidated." 

CRAUNCII, or CRUNCH. To crush with a noise, as in 
eating hard apples, or as a dog gnaws and grinds a bone ; 
to break any hard substance under the feet, as frozen 
snow, sand, or grfiSrel. " The snow crunches under my 
feet." Hunter, in his HaUamshire Glossary, instances 
this word as one of the true primitives in which we have 
an imitation of a natural sound. It has been asked, iij 
a modem Scotch novel, (" Marriage") " Where, in the 
whole compass of the English language will you find a 
word capable of conveying the same idea?" I would 
answer, in Northamptonshire. Crump seems synonymous 
when employed as a verb, but is sometimes an adjective, 
whereas craunch is only used verbally; for example, " The 
snow crumps,'*^ " The snow crunches^ " The snow is 
crump;'''' but here the identical application ceases. Todd 
produces an authority for the use of this word from Ben 
Jonson; and two of our most distinguished modem 

poets have adopted it. 

She cannot shoot at buts 
Or manage a great horse ; but she can cranch 
A sack of small coal. 

B. Jonson, "Magn. Lady." 
No sound but the wild wind, 
And the snow crunching under his feet. 

Southey's " Thalaba.'' 

And he saw the lean dogs beneath the wall 
Hold o*er the dead their carnival ; 
Gorging and growling o*er carcase and limb, 
They were too busy to bark at him ! 
From a Tartar's scull they had stripped the flesh, 
As ye peel the fig when the fruit is fresh ; 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 155 

And their white tusks crunched o'er the whiter skull, 

As it slipped through their jaws when their edge grew dull. 

Byron's ** Siege of Corinth/' 

B.N.C. M.S. j.s." Scrunch." c.c."Cranchin." 

F.E.A."Crinch." H.s."Cranch." h.a.d. 

CRAZY. Decayed, out of repair; as old buildings, or 
ricketty furniture. Weakness of body or intellect, is 
the only sense given in the dictionaries ; the former we 
never employ, the latter is, I imagine, imiversal. 

G. C.C. P.D. H.S. H.A.D. 

CREACH. See Crash. 
CREACHY-LAND. See Crasht-land. 
CREAKY. Poorly, ailing, slightly indisposed. 

CREAM-POT. Pronounced crem-pot. A high, round, 
straight-sided, brown earthen pot, without handles ; 
capable of containing three gallons. Used in a dairy 
for holding the cream ; hence the name. The same kind of 
pot when half the size is always termed a half cream-pot. 

CREAMY WEATHER. When the sky is suffused over 
with a thick haziness, not amounting to positive cloudiness. 

CREE. To steep, to soak ; as clothes in lye, or rice in 
milk. Bailey gives, " Cree, to boil soft." 

R.N.C. G. B.N.C. H.H. C.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

CREEP UP YOUR SLEEVE. A coUoquial phrase, for 
endeavouring to obtain a favour by coaxing or wheedling. 

For there's none apter, I believe, 
At ** creeping up a mistress* sleeve,^* 

Clare's " Rural Life,'* p. 161. 

CRESSET. An iron frame used by coopers to put fire 
into, for heating the staves when making a barrel, in 
order to render them pliable, so that they may the more 
easily be drawn together; an humble imitation of the 
ancient cresset. 

CRETTUR. Creature. " He's been bad a long while, he's 
quite a poor crettur.^^ 



1 56 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

CREWELS. Fine worsteds, made hard and smooth by 
twisting, which distinguishes them from common worsted ; 
of various colours, used for the purpose of ornamental 
needle-work, and by the angler in the composition of 
artificial flies. Lexicographers have mistaken the dis- 
tinctive difference of this article, and describe it simply 
as fine worsted. 

W.C. B.N.C. M.S. H.A.D. 

CRIB. The lodging-place of cows and calves. 

M.S. H.A.D. 

2. A moveable rack to hold provender for cattle in the 
field. Cow-cribs and sheep-cribs occur in advertisements 
in the Northampton Mercury. 

She from her memory oft repeats 
Witches' dread powers and fairy feats : 
How one has oft been known to prance, 
In cotc-cribs, like a coach, to France. 

Clare's " Shep. Cal." p. 10. 
G. 

3. To save, to procure surreptitiously. " FU crib a bit 
of cake for you if I can." 

The Craven Glossarist is the only one who adopts this 
sense of the word, which he illustrates by the following 
quotation from " Qu© Genus." 

May I be hang'd by some bell-rope 
If e'er I cribb'd an ounce of soap. 

The landlord's corkscrew was just introduced into the muzzle of a 
pint bottle of claret, cribbed possibly from the cellars of Tully Veolan. 

"Waverley," vol. ii. 
C.C. H.P. 

CRIB-BOX. A schoolboy's receptacle for the edible trea- 
sures which he receives from home. 

CRICK. A sudden twist in the neck. In the Prompt. Parv. 
we find, " Crykke, sekeness, spasmus;'''' in the Ort. Voc. 
" Crycke or crampe, spasmus;'''' and Florio renders Adoh- 
matOy " troubled with a crick or wrinch in the neck or back." 

M.S. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 157 

CRICKET. A low, four-legged stool. See Leland's " Col- 
lectanea," vol. i. p. 76. 

G. C.C. P.D, E.L. H.P. H.A.D. 

CRICKS and CRANNIES. Holes, crevices, and comers. 

The former word is always combined with the latter, 

the latter sometimes used alone. " IVe looked into all 

the cricks and crannies, and can't find it." " The sun 

shines through the cricks and cranniesy 

as the usual sun 
Through crannies shines into a dungeon. 

Silvester's ** Du Bartas," p. 515. 
And with their stores of gathered glue, contrive 
To stop the vents and crannies of their hive. 

Dbtden's " Virgil's Georgics,*' bk. 3. 
The flycatcher, all in yellow and slate grey, 
Pops from the crannies of the stable wall. 

Clabe''s MS. Poems. 

CRIED UP. Much praised, weU spoken of, extoUed, 
" She cried up her child as if there was never such 
another like it." 

H.A.D. 

CRIMINI! GEMINI 1 A sudden ejaculation of surprise; 
probably a colloquial contraction of some profane asse- 
veration. Forby gives crimany in the same sense ; and 
we occasionally use it alone, but more commonly the 
two are associated. 

A monument of a Knight Templar on each side a Grecian porch, 
and a Madonna on the top. crimini ! 

** Antiquary," vol. i. 
H.A.D."Crimany." 
CRIMP. To wrinkle. I give this word on the authority 
of Clare, who it will be seen also uses it participially. 
And many a hasly curdled ring 
Crimps round the leaping bream. 

Clare's " Village Minstrel," vol. i. p. 202. 
And, where oaks dripping shade the lake, 
Print crimplin^ dimples on its breast. 

Clare's •* Rural Life," &c. p. 134. 



«» 



153 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

C'RIMPLING. Hobbling, limping, moving witli pain and 
stiffni'ss. A horso goes criinpling along wlion lie is too 
tiglitly slio(l; a person, when he is tender-footed, or 
suffering from the effect of tight shoes. Probably from 
the verb to crimple, defined by Todd, " to contract, to cor- 
rugate,'' and derived from the Teut. krimpen, to contract. 
" Crimplifn or rymplyn. Rugo,^"* Prompt. Parv. 

CRINKLE. To contract into wrinkles, as parchment held 
before the fire. 

B.N.C. M.S. P.D. n.A.D. 

CRINKLE-CKANKLE. Zig-zag, winding, t^visting; a 
kind of j)leonastic expression. Phillips defines •* to 
crinkhy to go in and out, to run in wrinkles, or folds. 
" To crankle, to go in and out, to go winding about.'' 
H.P. n.A.D. 

CRINKUM-CRANKU^IS. Always used plurally, knick- 
knacks, useless ornamental trifles. Todd gives, " Crincum, 
whimsy." This word is often made use of by the 
lower class in describing anything that is much orna- 
mented, as carved chests, &c. A man once said he had 
found a curious stone all over crinkum-cranhums, wliich 
proved to be an echinus, 

CRn*PLES. Crooked pieces of wood, such as are used 
for rustic work. 

CRIS. " At this present cm," i.e. at this precise time. An 
obvious, but ignorant and unintentional, apocope of 
crisis. I remember many years since hearing a farmer 
say, when asked to take another cup of tea, " No thank 
you, Mam, I don't want any more at this present cris.^^ 

CRIS-CROSS CUSHION. A sort of seat made by two 
persons taking hold of their own and each other's wrists, 
thus forming a square with their hands, so as to enable 
them to carry a child thereon for amusement. 

GRIZZLE. To crisp. Water that is slightly frozen is 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 169 

just crizzUd over; parsley that is crisply Med is nicely 
drizzled. 

And soon as dusky even hovers round, 

And the white frost 'gins crizzle pond or brook, 

The little family are glimpsing round, 

And from the door dart many a ivistful look. 

Clabe's " VUlage Minstrel," vol. ii. p. 26. 
c.c."Crazled." 
CROAKING. Desponding, complaining of health or cir- 
cumstances. A good old word. " Crokyn or makyn 
wronge'' occurs in the Lexicons of the fifteenth century. 
Todd does not give this word, but has, " Croaker^ a word 
in modem time, used in contempt for those who are 
descanting on dangers and difficulties, and making unfair 
comparisons of the present with the past." 
CROCKMAN. A seller of earthenware. " The crock- 
man's at the door, do you want any pots ?" 

CROCKS. Earthenware. A.-Sax. crocca. Hartshome 
restricts the word to a porringer-cup. 

H.S. H.P. H.A.D. 

CROCKES. Two pieces of crooked wood of natural bend, 
forming an arch; placed over a gateway or arbour. 
Kersey gives, " Crohes, an old word for hooks." 

C.C. H.A.D. 

CROFT. A small homestead. Not particularly dialectical. 
Pure Saxon. 

The maids hang out white clothes to dry 
Around the elder- skirted crofU 

Clare's " Shop. Cal." p. 26. 
G. M.S. H.S. T.G. C.S. H.P. H.A.D, 

CROODLING. Shrinking, and contracting the body from 
cold. " How she sits croodling over the fire." It always 
suggests the idea of chilliness and want of warmth; a hen 
sits croodling over her chickens, when she gathers her 
brood xmder her wings to protect them from cold. Not 
•o in Cheshire. Wilbraham explains croodle, " to croud' 



160 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

together like frightened cliickeiis on the sight of a 

bird of prey." Clare adopts our interpretation, as will 

be seen from the examples adduced. The word is in 

general circidation here, and appears to have extended 

into distant counties, though unnoticed by our best 

lexicographers. 

And croodling shepherds bend along, 

Crouching to the whizzing storm. 

Clare's " Shep. Cal." p. 26. 

The woods at distance changing like to clouds, 

And spire-points croodling under evening^s shrouds. 

Clark's *• Village Minstrel," vol. ii. p. 76. 

. G. M.S. F.E.A. H.H. H.S. P.D. B.N.C."Cruddle." 

L.H."Crowdle." n.A.D."Crewdle." 

2. Coaxing, fawning upon. "It's no use your coming 

croodling up to me, I shan't let you have it," is often said 

to an importuning chHd. 
E.L."Crudeling." 
CROOKED STOCKINGS. "He's got his crooked stock- 

ings on." A phrase applied to a man who is so inebriated 

that he is unable to walk straight. 

CROOKS and BANDS. The hinges and iron braces of a door. 

c.c. 
CROP. See Crap. 

CROSE. A tool used by coopers for making a groove in 

a barrel for the purpose of receiving the head. 
CROSS. " As cross as two sticks." A common comparison 

for an irritable person. 
CROSS-BRIDGE. The frame at the back of a waggon 

into which the side pieces are tenanted, answering to the 

forebuck. 
CROOKLED, or CROOKLEDY. Crooked, bent, not 

straight. " You've set that post all crookledy " What 

a crookledy pin I" 

£.L. H.P. 

CROSS-EYE. Well described by Forby as " that sort of 
squint, by which both the eyes turn towards the nose, 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 161 

SO that the rays, in passing to each eye, cross each other ; 
and distinct vision is attainable only by much skill and 
habit in the squint^r." 

F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

CROSS-HOPPLED. Ill-tempered. Confined to the north- 
em part of the county. 
CROSS-PATCH. An irritable, peevish, humoursome child. 
Exemplified in the jingling rhyme with which one child 
taunts another who is ill-tempered and unaccommodating. 

Cross-patchy 
Draw the latch, 
Sit by the fire and spin ; 
Take a cup^ 
And drink it up, 
And call your neighbours in. 
C.C. F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

CROSS-WAMPENG. Contradicting, wrangling, endea- 
vouring to provoke a quarrel; possibly a vitiation of 
warping, twisting. 

CROSS-WIND. To warp, to twist. A term applied to 
boards, when so warped as not to unite closely. 

H.S. H.A.D. 

CROTCHETY. Entertaining unexpected and untenable 

opinions on any subject. 
CROW. The pig's fat which is fried with the Kver. Liver 
and crow, is a common term amongst farmers and coun- 
try butchers. 
CROW. " To pluck a crow^'' is to complain good-naturedly 
but reproachfully, and threaten retaliation. " IVe got a 
crow to pluck with you." We sometimes usejpwZZinstead 
of pluck. 

I hae a crow to pluck wi' you, leddies ; ye n'er cum to spier for 
my Jane, and she got sic a load o* cauld at that ball. 

" Sax. and Gael," i. 96. 
Jamieson, Supp. (Sub Pap. of the Hass.) 
If not, resolve before you go 

That you and I must pull a crow. 

" Hudibras." 

H.A.D. 



162 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

CROWS'-FEET. The wrinkles at the outer sides of the 
eyes of aged people ; thought to resemble the impress of 
crows' feet. An expression of great antiquity, occurring 
in Chaucer and Spenser. 

So long mote ye liven, and all proude, 
Till Crowes fete growin undir your eie. 

Chaucer's " Troil. & Cres." 
My head besprent with hoarie frost I finde, 
And by myne eye the crowe his clawe doth wright. 

Spenser's " Shep. Cal." 
C.C. n.P. H.A.D. 

CROW-NEEDLES. Shepherd's needle. Scandix Pecten. 

(Hooker.) A common weed amongst com. 
CROW-PIGHTLE. Often corrupted to pikel or packle. 

The buttercup, or meadow crowfoot. Ranunculxis 

hulhosus. Pightle being an old word for meadow, has no 

doubt occasioned this compound name. 
CROW-STONES, or CROW-POT STONES. Those fossil 

shells denominated by conchologists gryphites. 

Things that in childhood's memory dwell, 
Scoop'd crow-2)ot stoney or cockle shell. 

Clare's "Shep. Gal." p. 13. 

CROW-TOED. A term applied to wheat that is irregu- 
larly beaten down. Synonymous with Scrailed. 

CROWD. To press inconveniently close to any one. In 
the general signification, numbers are necessary to form 
a crowd; but in our sense one individual can crowd 
another. 

CROWN. " That crovms all," that excels all; also an 
exclamation on hearing a great falsehood. A kindred 
expression to, " that caps all," which see. 

CROWNER. The ancient, but vulgar and almost exploded 
name for coroner. 

B.N.C. C.C. P.D. T.G. J.S. 

CRUDGE. To crowd. " He crudges me so." 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 163 

CBUEL. Used intensively, " cruel bad." 

P.D. H.A.D. 

CRUMBS. The loose earth at the bottom of a drain. 
2. " He begins to pick up his crumbs,''^ i,e. He is improving 
either in health or circumstances, 
c.c. 
CRUMBLES. Crumbs. The verb is common, but the 
noun is overlooked in the Dictionaries. 

Thou shalt eat of the crumbles of bread to thy fill, 
And have leisure to clean both thy feathers and bill. 

Clare's " Rural Life and Scenery," p. 43. 
F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

CRUMMY. Plump, fleshy ; obviously derived from the soft 
part of a loaf. 

B.N.C. H.A.D. 

CRUMP. Hard, brittle ; applied to such edibles as dry 
biscuits, and thin crisp gingerbread. " It crumps in the 
mouth." Jamieson gives " to crump, to emit a crashing 
noise, to give such a sound as ice or frozen snow does 
when it yields to the feet." So used by us. 
See Craunch. 

And upon the cmmping snows 
Stamps in vain to warm his toes. 

Clare's " Rural Life," &c. p. 47. 
The frozen snow crumps loud beneath his tread. 

Glare's MS. Poems. 
B.N.C- H.s. H.A.D. c.c."Crumpy." 
CRUMPLE. To ruffle, to wrinkle. " How youVe crum- 
pled my gown." A.-Sax. Crompeht, tortillo. Crympjlle 
or rympylle (Ruga). Prompt. Parv. 

G. M.S. P.D. H.P. H.A.D. 

CRUMPLED Y. Crooked, twisted. Thus in the forfeit of 

" The House that Jack Built." 

The cow with the crumpled^ horn 
TossM the maiden all forlorn. 
CRUMP Y. Is used as a term of reproach for the per- 
sonal deformity of a hunch-back, as " a crumps man." 



164 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

A.-Sax. crump, crooked. Florio renders Inflesso, bowed, 

bent, crump, 
CRUPPER. To vex, to mortify. " I did crupper her so." 

" She was so crupper d,^^ 
CRUSTY. Cross, snappish, short-tempered. 

A.W, H.P. H.A.D. 

CRUTCH. The crossbar at the top of a spade. 

F.E.A. 

CUBBED, CUBBLED, CUBLING. Crowded with 
things, inconvenienced for want of room. " I'm quite 
cubbed up, and the children are cubbled up worse than I 
am." " A poor little cuhbling hole," is a common ex- 
pression for a confined dwelling. These words are all 
still in general use. 

Cubbed in a cabin, on a mattresA laid. 

Dbtden. 

CUCKOO. A child's cry at the game of " Hide and 

Seek," to announce that she has concealed herself. 
CUCKOO-BUDS. The crow-foot. The several species of 
Ranunculi grown in meadows. 

And cuckoo buds of yellow hue, 
Do paint the meadows with delight. 

Love's Labour Lost, v. 2. 
CUCKOO-FLOWER. Red-flowered campion. Lychnis 
dioica. (Hooker.) 

And oft, while scratching through briary woods, 
For tempting cuckoo-flowers and violet buds. 

Clare's ** Village Minstrel,'* vol. ii. p. 90. 

The cuckoo-pint, arum maculatum, is also called the 

cuckoo-flower by Clare, as the following quotation 

amongst others exemplifies. 

And gaping cuckoo-flower ^ with spotted leaves, 
Seems blushing of the singing it has heard. 

Clare's " Rural Muse," p. 33. 

CUCKOO-LAMB. A late lamb, yeaned after the arrival 

of the cuckoo. 

H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 165 

CUCKOO-PINT. See Cuckoo Flower. 
CUCKOO'S-MATE. The wryneck. Yunx Torquilla. (Linn.) 
CUCKOO-SPIT. The white frothy exudation of the 
larvae of the Cicada spumaria, or, according to Brockett, 
the Tellicona spimaria^ which is seen at tlie axillae of the 
leaves and branches of plants, particularly lavender and 
rosemary, early in the spring. The time of its appear- 
ance, and the vulgar notion that it is produced from the 
saliva of the cuckoo, have given rise to the name. Hence 
also several wild flowers which are the favourite depo- 
sitories of the froth of this delicate little insect have 
received the name of cuckoo-flowers, as the Cardamine 
pratensis, and Lychnis dioica. Frog-spit and Toad-spit 
are other names for this spume, and in the neighbour- 
hood of Peterborough it is called Woodseer. 

B.N.C. F.E.A. H.H. C.C. M.S."Snakespit." II.P. H.A.D. 

CUDDLING. The fondling embrace of one child with 
another, as in Chantrey's far-famed and exquisitely 
beautiful monument in Lichfield Cathedral. 

M.S. F.E.A. C.C. P«D.' 

CUDDY. The hedge creeper. Certhia familiaris, 

CUE. Temper, humour. " He's in a good ewe," or " a 
bad cue.'''* 

CUFF. A cough. 

CUFF. "To be cuffed about" is a phrase of similar im- 
port to " BUFFETED about," which see. To cuff over a 
person's character or dress, is to remark upon it, to can- 
vass it over. " The personal appearance and behaviour 

of Miss H was cuffed over at the ball." This last 

sense appears to be recognized in Devonshire. 

P.D. E.L. H.P. H.A.D. 

CULLS. Inferior cattle selected from the rest of the stock 

CUMBERGROUNDS. Any useless things; particularly 

applied to vegetation, as in the well-known text — 

Cut it down : why cumlereth it the ground t 

Luke, xiii. 7. 



It 

f.Y 



166 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

CUMPUFFLED. Confused, bewildered. "I was so cum- 

puffled I didn't know what I was about." 
CUP. "A Clip too low;" low-spirited, dejected. 

CUP! CUP! An abbreviation of " come up." A command 
to a riding-horse to come near, and stand still whilst the 
rider mounts, or to draught horses to draw towards the 
driver. Also used to call chickens together, or cows 
from the field at milking time. 

F.E.A. P.D. H.A.D. 

CUPS. " In his cups^"* inclining to intoxication. 

They were both in their cups. 

Drtden's " Amphitryon.*" 

CUPBOARD LOVE. Interested love, to love a person 

for what you can get. 
CUROUS. A corruption of curious. Strange, odd. " He's 

a curous sort of a person." 

L.H. 

CUSHAT. The stock-dove. Columha (Etms, (Linn.) Not 
the ring-dove, as in Bewick. A general name in York- 
shire for all wild pigeons. A.- Sax. Cusceote. 

G. B.N.C. M.S. n.A.D. 

CUSHY-COW. A term of endearment applied to a cow . 
c.c. 

CUT. A canal. Hartshorne pointedly remarks, that 
" Three different grades of society designate it by the 
several titles of the canal, the navigation, and the cwf." 

HS. H.A.D. 

CUT AWAY. To proceed expeditiously, to go with 
speed, to move quickly. " He cut away down the street 
at a fine rate," i.e. ran fast. Amongst the fifty-four 
meanings given to this word by Todd, this sense has 
been overlooked. 

H.A.D. 

CUT AND COME AGAIN. AppHed to a substantial 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 167 

dish, as a round of beef, from which you may cut as 
much as you please, and come again. 

B.N.C. 

CUT FINE. To trade for very small profit. 

CUT UP. Depressed by trouble, grieved, spirit-broken, 
mortified. " She is quite cut tip with the loss of her 
child." " He was very much cut up because his friend 
slighted him." 
H.s. 

2. Ruined in circumstances. " He's quite cut up, he is 
not able to go on with his business." 

3. To die possessed of greater wealth than was antici- 
pated. " The old woman had murked up a deal of 
money, she cut up well after she was gone." 

H.s. 
CUTE. Intelligent, shrewd, quick of apprehension. " He's 
a 'nation cute chap." Apparently an abbreviation of 
cusutus, but it may be an independent word — the A.-Sax. 
cuthy expertus. Of general currency. 

G. M.S. B.N.C. W.C. J.S. F.E.A. H.II. C.C. H.S. 
T.G. L.H. H.P. H.A.D. A.W. C.S. 

CUTS. " To draw cuts'' — equivalent to casting lots — is 
to determine anything by means of slips of paper of 
unequal lengths, held in a closed hand, the visible ends 
"being even, and the person drawing the longest piece 
being the successful adventurer. An ancient term oc- 
curring in Palsgrave. 

We will draw cuts for the senior. 

*' Comedy of Errors,'* v. 1. 

M.S. H.H. E.L, T.G. H.A.D. 






f 168 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

'i D. 

DAB. A slight blow, generally confined to the face, anc 
given with the hand. Janiieson inserts this as a northen 
word. 

G. W.C. M.S. P.D. H.P. II.A.D. 

2. A small quantity of either liquids or solids, " ^Vhat i 

dab of milk." " There was a poor little dab of applei 

on the tree this turn." 
; 3. To throw dovm. carelessly with gentle force ; to spre^ 

about in a slovenly manner. " How you dab it down.' 

" How you dab the things about." " He dabbed th( 

mortar in his face." 
4. To dabble. In applying cooling lotion to an inflamec 

eye, we should say, " Dab it well and often." 
DAB, or DABSTEE. An adept, a proficient; a persoi 

who is expert at any particular thing is called "a dal 

hand," or " quite a dabster^ 

He's sich a dabster at a plough, 
Few matched bim nigh or far. 

" Essex Dialect Poems. ''"' 

c.c. j.s."Dapster." r.D. ii.p. ii.a.d. 
DABBING, or DABBY. Limp, flimsy; as unstiffenec 
muslin. " How dabbi/ your gown is." " How dabbitu 
yoMx thiogs hang about you." 
I creping held with erokid hands the mountaynes toppo, 
Kncombrid to my clothes that dahhing down from me did dropi)o. 

Phaer's " Virgil." 

(Richardson/ 

DABCHICK, or DOBCHICK. The little grebe. Cohjmbm 
minutus, (Linn.) Home Tooke says, in Dabcliick o] 
Dobchick, dab or dob (so pronoimced for daii or dop) \x 
merely the past participle of the Anglo Saxon verl 
Dippan, mergere^ to dij:), to dive; by the accuslomec 
change of the characteristic i to a or o. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 169 

The diving dohchick, here among the rest you see, 
Now up, now down again, that hard it is to prove 
Whether under water most it liveth or above. 

Drayton's " Polyolbion," s. 26. 
G. M.S. H.A.D. 

DAB- WASH. A small intermediate wash, between the 
large periodical ones. " She is very busy with a dab- 
washy In this sense it is frequently used verbally, as 
" just dab a few things out." Probably from the verb 
to dabble. 

DAD, or DADDY. Childish names for father ; as mammy 
for mother. Dad is nearly the same in a variety of 
northern languages. Todd observes, " It is remarkable 
that, in all parts of the world, the word father, as first 
taught to children, is compounded of a and t, or the 
kindred letter d differently placed." 

I was never so bethumpt with words 
Since first I called my brother's father dad. 

King John, ii. 2. 
Begging his daddy" s pretty song the while. 

Clare's ** Village Minstrel,** vol. ii. p. 27. 

The names of parents, as distinguished in the three 
different classes of society, are shown in the following 
rude lines ; which also give the various names used for 
the same kind of food, in the progressive stages of 
society. 

** Dadt mam, and porridge; 
Father, mother, and broth; 
Pa, ma. and soup.** 
G. M.S. H.n. B.N.C. C.C. P.D. H.A.D. 

DADDY-LONG-LEGS. A very slender, long-legged sum- 
mer fly. Tipula oleracea (Linn.) Called Father-long-legs 
in Suffolk, and Harry-hng-legs in Norfolk. The latter 
name is also common in Northamptonshire. 

DADE. To walk ; applied to the first efforts of a child. 
None of our lexicographers seem acquainted with the 

I 



170 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

precise meaning of this word. Johnson explains it, to 
hold up with leading-strings; Nares, to flow, and ob- 
serves he has not found the word anywhere, and cannot 
guess at its derivation ; Richardson, to move, or cause to 
move, cautiously, slowly. Drayton is the only authority 
for this word ; it was formerly in conmion use with us, 
but is now nearly obsolete. 

No sooner taught to dade; but from their mother trip, 
And in their speedie course, strive others to outstrip. 

** Polyolbion," s. 1. 

W.C.app. H.A.D. 

DADING-STRINGS. Leading-strings to support children 

when beginning to walk. This, like the preceding word, 

is nearly obsolete. 

W.C.app. n.s. E.L. H.A.D. 
DADDLE. To totter, to walk unsteadily as a child. 

Used in the north of England. Probably the diminutive 

of dade. 

G. W.C. F.E.A. 

2. The hand. 

B.N.C. U.S. H.A.D. 

DADS. A common exclamation of pleasure, or surprise; 
frequently united with hobs as " Dads-hobs /" 

DAFFLED. Applied to jfruit that is bruised or decayed 
on the surface. " Yellow mealy apples daffle most," t. e. 
bruise and change brown from the pressure of the finger, 
or from rubbing against each other in bringing to 
market. 

DAFFLIXG. Flimsy of texture, limp, as linen not suflS- 
ciently starched. Allied in sense to Dabby. 

DAFFLER. A kind of mop, made of rags, attached to a 
long pole, for the purpose of cleaning the floor of an 
oven, before setting in the bread. Malkin is synonymous 
in Warwickshire, and, according to Jennings, in Somer- 
setshire. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 171 

DAFFYDILLY, or DAFFYDOWNDILLY. The daffodil. 
Narcissus Pseudo-Narcissus. 

Strew me the ground with daffadowndillies. 
And cowslips, and kingcups, and loved lillies. 

Spenser, "Shep. Cal.*' April. 
The wood daffodillies 
Have been found in our rambles when summer began. 

Clare's MS. Poem. 
M.S. 

DAFT. Dull, stupid. " Deft or dull, Ohtusus:' Pynson. 

B.N.G. G. B.N.C. C.C. H.A.D. 

DAG. To bemire, or soak with dirt ; to tag, to hang long 
or dangling. " How youVe dogged your gown." " How 
your gown dags,^'' Dagged, Clagged, and Tagged are 
all correlative. Palsgrave gives, " I daggle, or I dagge^ a 
thing with myer, le crotte.^^ A.-Sax. " dag, anything that 
is loose, dagling.^ Somn. 

G. W.C. M.S. H.A.D. 

DAGGERS. Icicles. So called from their pointed ap- 
pearance. 

H.A.D."Daglets." 

DAGGERS-DRAWINGS. " To be at daggers-drawings;' 
i. e, to be at enmity. 

DAGGLE. To trail in the dirt. Hence daggle-tail, or 
draggle-tail, a female whose petticoats have trailed in the 
dirt, or are dabbled with mud or dew. 

H.A.D. 

DAGLOCKS. The long locks of wool hanging under a 
sheep, which are matted together by wet and dirt ; clipped 
from the sheep before it is shorn. Sometimes called 
Taglocks. 

F.E.A."Claglocks." 

DAMAGE. Cost, expense. " What's the damage f 

H.H. H.A.D. 

DAME. An old-fashioned appellation for a farmer's wife, 
or a village schoolmistress ; as Madam formerly was for 

i2 



1 72 NORTH AM PTONSHIRE 

untitled ladies. In France, Dame signifies lady; and in 
England it is the correct, though obsolete, designation for 
the wives of knights and baronets. Dame is now only 
used by some antiquated farmers, when speaking of or 
addressing their \vives ; and an infant's school, when kept 
by an old woman, is styled a Dame^s school. Shakspere 
sanctions our original meaning, when in the Winter's 
Tale, iv. 3, the shepherd reproves his daughter for inat- 
tention to her guests at the sheep-shearing festival, and 
says, 

Fy, daughter ! when my old wife lived, upon 
This day she was both pantler, butler, cook ; 
Both dame and servant ; welcomM all, serv*d all. 

F.E.A. B.N.C. J.S. P.D. H.A.D. H.P. 

DAMPER. Anythiog said or done to check the ardour of 

another. 

U.P. H.A.D, 

DANCE. An anxious search from place to place after 
any one. " I had a fine dance, ^ or "he led me a pretty 
dance after him." 

H.A.D. 

DANDY. The hand. "Tip me your dandy;'— sl low 
salutation. Some years ago, when the celebrated Charles 
James Fox was passing through this cotmty, a country- 
man anxious for the honour of shaking hands with him, 
went up to his carriage and said, " If you are Charley 
Fox, tip me your dandy. ^'' It occurs in the children's 
phrase, " Handy-dandy, spicketty-spandy.'' 

DANE-WEED. The Erytigium campestre. As the old 
Konian road is the only known habitat for this rare plant, 
the Watling Street Thistle is a still more conunon 
local appellative. 

DANG-IT. A sort of evasive curse ; seldom used angrily. 

B.N.C, CfC. J.S. H.S. P.D. H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 173 

DAPPER. Neat, spruce, active, " as a dapper little man." 
" Dapyr^ praty. Elegans,'" Prompt. Parv. 

1 knew him well, a little dapper youth. 

Randolph's '* Amyntas," p. 210. 
B.N.C. P.D. H.A.D. 

DAPPER WIT. A lively, spruce little man; nearly re- 
lated to, but more dialectical than, the preceding word. 
DARE. To defy, to challenge. " I dare you to do it." 

Sextus Pompeius 

Hath given the dare to Caesar, and coipmands 
The empire of the sea. 

" Ant. & Cl.'» i. 2. 
H.A.D. 

2. To terrify, to frighten. " Don't dare that child." 

But there is another in the wind, some castrell 
That hovers over her, and dares her dayly. 

Beau. & Fl. " Pilgrim,»' i. 1. 
DARK. Blind. Almost dark, nearly blind. Quite dark, 
stone-blind. All very common. 

B.N.C. H.H. C.C. H.S. P.D. H.A.D. 

DARK-HOUR. The interval between daylight, and 
candlelight ; the evening twilight. 

DARTER. Daughter. 

H.S. 

DASH. To dilute. If any liquor is too strong, we should 

say " dash it with a little water." 
2. To abash. 

F.fi.A. H.P. 

DASH-IT. An imprecation. " Dash my wig if I'll do it ;" 

often an expression of impatience. 
DATHER. To shake with age or cold. Another form of 

Dither. 
DAUBER. A builder of walls with mud, mixed with 

short straw, or stubble. These mud waUs, as they are 

"termed, are used particularly for hovels, and the cottages 



174 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

of the agricultural poor; but there are instances of 
houses, of two or three stories high, being built in this 
manner. Forby and Moore describe the same mode of 
building as common in Norfolk and Suffolk, only sub- 
stituting clay for mud, or road dirt. Prompt. Parv. 
" Datvber, or cleyniann. Argillarius, hituminarius" Pals- 
grave gives the verbs to daicbe with clay onely ; to daube 
with lime, plaster or lome, that is, tempered with heare or 
straw, Dauber, placqueur. 

M.S. F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

DAVID'S-SOW. " As drunk as David's Sowr A com- 
mon expression for any one who is beastly drunk, so 
intoxicated that he cannot walk straight. Hay inserts 
this amongst his Proverbs. 

DAVY. An affidavit. " I'U take my davy of it." 

H.A.D. 

DAWDLE. A female slow in speech, and action. " What 
a poor dawdle she is." 

Be quick — why sure the gipsey sleeps ? 
Look how the drawling dandle creeps. 

Lloyd, " Chit Chat." 

(Richardson.) 
M.S. 

2. To loiter over work, to waste time in a lazy, lingering 
manner. " How you do dawdle about." 

Come some evening, and dawdle over a dish of tea. 

Johnson's " Letters." 

DAWDLING. Listless, moving slowly and idly about; 
said of servants who are inactive and want life. " She's 
a poor dawdling thing." 

DAWSEY. Sticky, adhesive, smeary ; as a soft, ill-made 
batter pudding, which adheres to the knife in cutting; 
bread which is not sufficiently baked ; or roads which 
are slippery from moisture, but not sloppy. " The batter 
pudding was so dawsey, it would not cut smooth." " The 
streets were so dawsey^ I could hardly keep on my feet." 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 175 

An expressive word, which appears to have no exact 

sjnonyme. 
DAY. " To pass the time of c?ay." To greet in passing, as 

" Good morning," &c. 
DAY. " Come day, go cfoy." An expression applied to 

an improvident person, who takes no thought for the 

morrow, but in good times spends all he gets, and (as 

the phrase goes) lays nothing by for a rainy day. " It's 

come day, go day, with him." 
DAY-MAN. A labourer hired by the day, so called, to 

distinguish him from one engaged by the week or the 

year. 

F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

DAY-WORK. Labour done by the day, and paid for 
according to the days occupied in completing the under- 
taking ; instead of " by the gret," which is an engagement 
for the whole piece or job of work at a stipulated price. 

G.G. H.S. H.A.D. 

DAZE. To dazzle. 

F.E.A. H.A D. 

DEAD. Used in the sense of completely ; thoroughly ; as 
dead heat, t. e. completely beaten ; dead ripe, thoroughly 
ripe, approaching to decay; dead drunk, completely 
drunk. 

DEAD-HEDGE, or DRY-HEDGE. A hedge made of 
thorns or wood, fetched from any other part, and wattled 
or- ETHERED without any live wood. 

DEAD-HORSE. An old debt. " To work on the dead- 
horse^ is to work out an old debt, to labour for wages 
already received. 

C.C. C.S. H.P. H.A.D. 

DEAD-LIFT. The moving of a heavy or lifeless load or 
weight. 

C.C. H.A.D. 

DEAD-MAN. A term applied when the soil rises higher 



1 76 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

on one side of a wall than on the other; or, when there is 
a descent of two or three steps into a house, that portion 
of the wall which is below the surface of the outer soil 
is called dead-man, " There is so much dead-man, the 
house is always damp." " The dead-man behind the 
garden wall injures the fruit trees." 

DEAD-NAP. A cheat, a downright rogue. 

DEAD-ND?. Often used to denote the frustration or 
failure of any petty plan or scheme. 

B.N.G. 

DEAD-WALL. A long blank wall, without any opening 
or outlet. Though not in the dictionaries, this word 
occurs in several Acts of Parliament. 

DEADLY. A superlative adverb, used with great lati- 
tude ; as, " deadly bad," " deadly good," " deadly fine," 
^^ deadly great," particularly intimate, ^^ deadly well," 
in good health. " He's a deadly one to sing," i. e. very 
fond of singing. " She's a deadly woman for taking 
snuff," t. e. takes it very often. 

DEAF. Pronounced as if rhyming to leaf, which pronun- 
ciation is sanctioned by Palsgrave, who spells the word 
** Deefey Unproductive ; a deaf nut is a nut without a 
kernel. Unaltered A.- Saxon. 

G. W.C. B.N.C. H.H. C.C. U.S. H.P. H.A.D. 

DEAF-EARS. The valves of a beefs-heart. 
DEAL. Commonly contracted to DEL. A great quan- 
tity. " He's got a deal o' money." 
DEAL- APPLES. The conical fruit of the fir-tree. 

ii.p. 
DEAL-TEEE. Fir-tree. 

F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

DEARY-ME. An expression of surprise or commiseration. 

C.C. 

DEATH. " Done to death,''^ meat dressed overmuch. " The 
mutton's done to death, it's boiled to rags." 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 177 

DECENT, DECENTISH. Tolerable, middling, fair. 
" He's a decentish chap." 

DECK. A pack of cards. Sweeping the deck signifies 
gaining all the tricks and winning all the money staked. 
Though we find this word in Ash and Todd, I presume 
it may be considered dialectical. Steevens, in his com- 
mentary, remarks, "A pack of cards was anciently 
term'd a deck of cards. It is still, as I am informed, so 
called in Ireland. Thus, in K. Edward I. 1599 : — 
— as it were, turned us, with duces and trays, out of the deck. 
Again, in the Two Maids of Moreclacke, 1609: — 

1*11 deal the cards, and cut you from the deck. 

Again, in Selinus Emperor of the Turks, 1638: — 
Well, if I chance but once tu get the deck, 
To deal about and shuffle as I would. 

Collier, in a note to the passage in Shakespeare, 
III. Hen. VI. V. 1.— 

The king was slowly iSngered from the deck ! 

says, " A pack of cards was of old called a deck^ as 
many authorities might be produced to show. The 
word, as Ritson observed, continued in use even as late 
as 1788, being found in the Sessions Paper of that year. 
Possibly it is derived from the A.-Sax. decan, to cover, 
becatise one card in a pack covers the other ; the origin 
is most likely, as lexicographers suggest, the Latin tego^ 

W.C.app. H.S. H.A.D. 

DEEDY. Notable, industrious, good; in which last sense 
is comprehended the homely compliment, " You're like 
the Welchman's cow, little and deedyj' like to the old 
phrase, " little and good." " She was so deedi/ with her 
work, I could not get to speak to her." Grose gives 
this word, and assigns it to Berkshire. 

DEEP. Cunning, crafty, artftd. " He'll be too deep for 
you, if you don't mind." " He's as deep as Wilkes " ia 
a common proverb. 

i3 



I'^S NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

DENIAL. Mortification, loss, injury. "His being deaf 
was a great denial to him." " He was obliged to give 
up his situation, which was a great denial to me." 

H.S. E.L. H.A.D. 

DENT. Occasionally pronounced Dunt, The impression 
from a blow, in a hard substance, or from pressure in a 
soft one. Sax. dynt^ a blow. 

Yclad in mightie annes, and silver shielde, 
Whereon old dints of deep woundes did remaine.'' 

Spenser's ** Faerie Queen.** 

M.S. " Dint and Dunt." h.h. " Dint." h.a.d. " Dimt." 
DESPERATE. Great. "He's in a desperate hurry." 
This sense does not appear to be in Todd. 

C.C. H.A.D. 

DEVTLlNG. The swift or black martin. Hirundo apus. 
(Linn.) 

F.E.A. M.S. H.A.D. H.P. 

DEVn.'S-COACH-HORSE, or DEVIL'S-R ACE-HORSE. 
Ocypus Olens. (Linn.) The active little insect which 
is sometimes called TURN-TAIL, from the peculiar 
mode of elevating the tail when under alarm. 

DEVn^'S-FINGER-RING. The large hairy caterpiUar 
of the great tiger-moth. Phalaena Caja, (Linn.) 

DEVn.'S-NEEDLE. The large dragon-fly. Libellula 
vulgatissima. (Linn.) Called also HORSE-STINGER. 
In America, according to Bartlett, it is called the DeviVs 
Darning Needle. 

DIAMER WINDOW. The projecting window in a roof. 
A corruption of Dormer, 
L.H. " Dormit." 

DIBBER, or DIBBLE. A setting stick, usually made of 
part of the handle of a spade, cut to a point, some- 
times shod with iron when employed for agricultural 
purposes. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 179 



lUl not put 



The dibble in the earth, to set one slip of them. 

Winter's Tale, iv. 3. 

R.N.C. G. C.S. H.A.D. 

DIBBLING. Making conical holes in the ground, to 

receive the seed-corn dropped in by hand. 
DIBS. A slang word for money. " Down with your dibsy 

H.A.D. 

DICK-POT. A brown earthen pot, sometimes pierced 
with holes, filled with bright coal, or wood embers ; used 
by old women and lace-makers to put under their petti- 
coats, to keep the feet and legs warm when seated at 
work ; which is termed " flucing." This practice, I 
understand, is prevalent in different parts of the conti- 
nent, and the utensil above described is sometimes 
represented in paintings by the Dutch masters. Our 
word is probably a corruption of Dutch-pot, Cotgrave 
renders Chauffe-pied, "A foot-stoue; a little and low 
stoue that semes to keepe the feet warme." In France 
a dick-pot is still called Chauffepied and Chaufferette. 

DICK'S-HATBAND. "As queer as Dick's-Hathmid^ 
made of pea-straw, that went nine times roimd, and 
would not meet at last." This singular phrase, slightly 
varying in form and application, appears to be widely 
circulated, and has travelled even to the United States, 
for it has found a place amongst Bartlett's American- 
isms. Wilbraham gives, " As fine as Dkk^s-Hathand^^'' 
and Hartshome, " As curst as Dick^s-Hathandi'' we alone 
define the substance of which this hat-band was com- 
posed; and which, being a queer material for such a 
purpose, may probably have originated this queer com- 
parison, for anything particularly odd or strange 
w.c. H.S. H.A.D. 



180 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

DICKY. "Ifs aU Dkhy with him;" denoting that a 
person is mined, or defeated in any particular object; 
it^8 all over with him, A very common and familiar 
phrase, the origin of which may probably be found in 
the downfall of Richard Cromwell, whose removal from 
his short-lived office of Protector, was, at that period, a 
popular subject for innkeepers' signs; whereon he was 
depicted as falling from his chair of state, and the in- 
signia of his power dropping from his head and hands ; 
which signs were called " Tumble-down- Didk.'* Or 
may this expression be traced to a still more remote 
period, and have reference to King Richard the Third ? 
B.N.C. c.c. n.A.D. 

DICKY-BIRD. A childish name for any small bird; 
common throughout the kingdom. It is curious to 
observe the number of Christian names, both male and 
female, which are specifically appropriated to particular 
birds. The following may be enumerated as current in 
this district; many of them universal, others local. 
Thus we have Jack-daw^ Jack-snipe^ Tom-tit^ Poll-parrot^ 
Bobin-redbreast, Jenny-icren^ Moll-hern (the heron) ; and 
a pie is called Magpie^ or Madge ; a starling, Jacob ; a 
raven, Ralph; a sparrow, Philip; a woodpecker. Jack 
Ickle ; a Royston crow, Royston Dick ; and the whitecap, 
Peggy-whitethroat, If we extend the list of local orni- 
thological nomenclature, we may add that, in Shropshire, 
according to llartshome, the swift is called Jaxik- 
squealer; the blackcap, Jack-straiv ; the willow wren. 
Ground Isaac; in Suffolk (as given by Moor), the 
goldfinch. King Harry ; the curlew, Jack-curlew ; in 
Gloujcestershire, the hedge-sparrow obtains the name of 
Blue Isaac; in Cheshire, the wagtail is called Billy- 
biter ; and in East Anglia, an owl is called Billy-wix. 
M.S." Dicky Balid." h.a.d. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 181 

^ DIDDER, or DITHER. To shiver, to shake with cold ; of 
near afl5nity to bibber; and also used substantively as, 
"l*m all of a didder*^ Both convey the idea of the 
quivering of the chin, and chattering of the teeth, from 
cold or fear. Dr. Johnson gives didder as provincial, as 
do most of the dictionaries. " Dyderyng for cold," occurs 
in the Prompt. Parv. Teut. diddem. Skinner gives 
this word as common in Lincolnshire. 



The woodman's waked again. 



And as he leaves his comfortable bed 
Dithers to view the rimy-feather'd ^ane. 

Clare's *' Village Minstrel," vol. ii. p. 20. 

R.N.C. G. F.E.A. C.C. H.S. H.A.D. 

DIDDLE, sometimes contracted to DID. To obtain by 
mancEUvring or cheating. " He diddled me out of it," a 
cant phrase. 

H.P. H.A.D. 

DIDDLES, or DIDDLINGS. Young ducks or sucking-pigs. 

DIFFER. To quarrel. " They can't agree, they are 
always differing,^'* 

H.A.D. 

DILL. A caU for ducks. " Dill! Dill! DiU! " as in the 
familiar song of " Mrs. Bond." 

DILLING. The youngest of a family, brood, or flock. 
The Anglo-Saxon ling^ according to Spelman, was used 
to denote progeny; and is still a common diminutive 
termination ; as in kitling, dvMing, gosling^ nestling^ and 
darling, Ray inserts Dilling amongst his South and 
East Country words, and defines it, "A darling or best 
beloved child ; " and Nares considers it the same as 
darling [dearling], a favourite; but used rather for the 
female. As the youngest of a family is frequently the 
most petted and fondled, the dilling might very appro- 



182 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

priately be called the darling, but the darling is not 

necessarily the youngest, or dtlling. 

The youngest and the last, and lesser than the other, 

Saint Helen's name doth beare, the dilling of her mother. 

Drayton's " Polyolbion." 
E.L. H.P. H.A.D. 

DILLY-DALLY. To delay, to loiter, to spend time idly 
when there are things of importance to be done. " If 
you dilly'dally in that way, you'll be too late." The only 
notices that I find of this word are in Jamieson, and 
Bartlett's Americanisms. 

DILLY-PIG. The smallest of a litter; obviously a con- 
traction of dilling. 

DIMP. To dimple. 

Rain-drops how they dim,p''d the brook, 
Falling fast, and faster still. 

Clare's " Village Minstrel," vol. i. p. 131. 
Ere yet a hailstone pattering comes. 

Or dimps the pool the rainy squall; 
One hears, in mighty murmuring hums, 
The spirit of the tempest call. 

Ibid. ii. 123. 

DIMPSEY. Neat, smart. " A dimpsey lass." I cannot 

find this word in print, and with us it is all but extinct. 

Clare uses jimpsy in the same sense, in one of his MS. 

Poems. 
DIN. Noise, as of a number of persons talking together. 

" Hold your c?m," is a common reproof to noisy children. 

A. -Sax. dyn. 

This blisse is in a maner of sowne delicious, in a quaint voice 
touched, and no dinne of notes. 

Chaucer, " The Testament of Love." 
Jesus droue al these folkes out a doores, which fylled the house ful of 
noyse and dinne with their vayne weping and wayling. 

Udal, Mark, c. 5. 
6. H.H. H.AJ). 

DING. To dash down with violence; to throw with a 
ion. " ril ding it at him." 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 188 

The fiend would ding you down ilk one, 
An it be as I wean. 

Evans' Old Ballads, " The Felon Sowe 
and the Freeres of Richmond.'" 

Surly, Down with the door, 
Kastril. ^Slight ! ding it open, 
Lovewit. Hold ! 

Hold, gentlemen, what means this violence ? 

Ben Jonson's '* Alchemist,'* v. 5. 

That jade Gipsey diiigs about like a fury. 

Farquhab's ** Beaux Stratagem," iii. 3. 

F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

2. To beat; also used metapliorically to denote tedious 
repetition. " You're always dinging that in my ears." 
When reiterating any explanation to a person dull of 
comprehension, we say, " I can't ding it into him," i.e. I 
cannot make him understand it ; analogous to ^' I can't 
drum it into him," or " I can't hammer it into him." 

F.E.A. H.P. 

DING-DONG. In right earnest. "When any undertaking 
is commenced with eagerness, it is frequently said, " I'll 
set to it, ding-dong ;^^ in any great altercation between 
two persons, " They fell to it full ding-dong ; " or in any 
quarrel ending in blows, " They are at it full ding-dong.^* 
Evidently it alludes to the quick succession of strokes in 
the ding-dong of bells. • 

His courage was flushed, he'd venture a brush. 
And thus they went to it ding-dong. 

Evans* Old Ballads, "Robin Hood and the Ranger." 
H.A.D. 

DINGED ON THE NOSE. Taunted, reproved. 

In vain I seek pity, with plaints and despairings. 
Always dinged on the nose with the wake. 

Clare's " Rural Life," &c. p. 158. 
DINGER. A violent blow. " He gave him such a dinger,'^ 
DING-FUZ. Pet, anger. " She's gone off m a ding-fuz;' 
was said of a person who bounced away in anger. Todd 



\ 

?> 



1 84 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

gives, " To ding^ to bluster; to bounce; to huff. A low 
word ; " whicli accords with our meaning. 

DINGLE. " On the dingle" on trust ; selling things with- 
out ready-monej. Current in Huntingdonshire. 

DINNING. Teasing, importuning. " Don't stand dinning 
there," is often said to troublesome children. 

DIP. Pudding sauce; composed of melted butter, wine, 
or vinegar, and sugar. 

G. H.H. F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

DIRT-CHEAP. Very cheap; a kindred phrase to Dog- 
cheap. 

DISANNUL. To dispossess, to destroy. If a tenant con- 
sidered himself secure in his farm, he would say, he 
was " sure his landlord would not disannul him." " The 
cottage is such a tumbledown place, that it is going to 
be disannulled." A lady offering a poor woman her 
chair, she replied, " Pray, Ma'm, don't let me disannul 
you of your seat." 

H.S. 

DISCOMFEONTLE. To disarrange, to discompose. 

F.E.A. H.A.D. 

DISGEST. To digest. An archaism rather than a vul- 
garism; used by Beaumont and Fletcher, and many 
other early writers. 

B.N.C. C.C. L.H. H.A.D. 

DISH. A cup of tea is commonly called a dish of tea. 

Come some evening, and dawdle over a dish of tea. 

Johnson's " Letters." 

C.C. H.A.D. 

DISHED. Cheated, out-manceuvred. " He dished me out 

of it." Akin to DrooLE. 

C.C. H.A.D. 

DISHWASHER. The water-wagtail. Motacilla alba. (Linn.) 

P.D. A.W. 

DISMALS. Melancholy feehngs. When any one is par- 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 186 

ticularly depressed, it is often said, " You are quite in 
the dismals to-day." 

HkA.D. 

DISOBLIGE. To incommode; to rumple, to soil, to 
suUy. When a person sits so close, as to crowd or 
inconvenience any one, it is common to apologize by 
saying, " I am sorry to disoblige you." A young lady's 
dress is disobliged, when it is soiled by any unlucky 
accident. 

F.E.A. 

DITCHWATER. " As flat," or " as dead as ditchwater;' 
said of anything tasteless and insipid. 

DITCHED, or DICHED. FiUed up, deeply insinuated; 
applied to dirt on the skin or any other surface ; nearly 
synonymous with ditted. " Your skin is so ditched it'll 
never come clean again." " How your hands be ditched,^ 
is often said to dirty children. A table is ditched when 
the dirt has insinuated itself into the grain of the wood ; 
a person's clothes are ditched with dirt, when dust and 
other extraneous matter have been suffered to accumu- 
late till they have become incorporated with the texture. 
Nares explains Dich in the following passages. " Ap- 
parently a corruption of do it, or may it do." 
Much good dich thy good heart, Apemantis. 

Tim. Ath. i. 2. 

He observes, " Though this has the appearance of being 
a familiar and colloquial form, it has not been met with 
elsewhere; which is a circumstance rather extraordi- 
nary. Nor is it known to be provincial." In this he is 
mistaken; and, if his meaning of the word be correct, 
there is neither sense nor applicability in Shakspere's 
use of it; but in the poet's time, doubtless, as now, our 
word extended into Warwickshire, and the force of the 
expression, if used in the sense of the verb to fill, is 
obvious and expressive. This is one of the many 



1 S6 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

instances of the importance of local glossaries in eluci- 
dating Shakspere. 

£.L. 

DITIIER. To tremble or shiTer with cold. See Didder. 

L.H. HJ». HJkJ) 

Needy labour dUhering stands, 
Beats and blows his numbing hands. 

Clark's «* Rural Life," p. 47. 

Hark ! started are some lonely strains ; 

The Robin bird is heard to sing ; 
Of chilly evening he complains, 

And dttkering droops his ruffled wing. 

Gla&e^s <* Village Minstrel," vol. i. p. 95. 

Where dithering many a cold bleak hour, 
I*ve huggM myself in thy retreat. 

Ibid. vol. ii. p. 53. 

DITTED. Stopped, or clogged up with dirt or filth. 
A.-Sax. Dyttan, When the wards of a lock are so 
filled with accumulated dust, as to prevent the key 
working freely, it is " ditted up with dirt." If a drain 
is obstructed by filth, it would be said, " It must be 
cleaned out, for it is quite ditted up." A fire that is 
choked up with ashes, is " so ditted up, it will not burn." 
It was formerly used verbally, as to ditt up an oven ; 
but the improved method both of making, and heating 
ovens, has superseded the dittle, or block, and the use 
of the verb has disappeared with it, though the parti- 
ciple is still in common use. " Ditt your mouth with 
your meat," is a proverb given by Kelly ; and Bishop 
Kennett, in his MS. Glossary, notices, " To dit^ to stop or 
shut up," as a Northern word, and exemplifies it from 
Douglas, " The goddes have ditted up his eyes." 

Foul sluggish fat dits up your dulled eye. 

More, " Cupid's Conflict." Poems, 1647. (Todd.) 

The rivaris diitit with stede corpis wox rede. 

DouoLAS, Virgil, (Craven Glossary.) 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 187 

Should have ditted the mouth of the most envious Momus. 

K. James, ** Basil. Doron." (Craven Glossary.) 
The seconde profyt of anger smerte, 
Is that anger may the develys mouthe dt^t, 
That he no speeche may speke overtwart. 

MS. Cantab, ff. 11, 38. f. 14. (Halliwell.) 
DITTEN. Eoad mortar, dirt, or other compost ; used to 
plaster or stop up the crevices round the dittle or oven 
block, to prevent the escape of heat, whilst baking. 
Now only preserved in the proverbial expression, " as wet 
as ditteny Grose confines the word to the Northern 
dialect, and gives Deeting as the common localism. 

H.P. H.A.D. 

DITTLE. The block placed at the mouth of a large old 
fashioned country oven. Called in Warwickshire the 
Dittless. 

DIZEN. To dress out, more particularly in holiday finery. 

There is good authority for the antiquity of this word, 

and it remains in familiar use. Kay places it amongst 

his North Country words, and Todd says it is yet in use 

in the North. 

Come Doll, Doll, disen me. 

Fletcher^s " Monsieur Thomas," 
Where cakes, and nuts, and gingerbread and all 
Tempt clowns to buy; and, far more tempting still. 
Where shining ribbons dizen out the stall. 

Clarets '* Village Minstrel," vol. i. p. 34 . 
And poverty, with cursed rigour, 
Spite of industry's utmost vigour, 
Dizens me out in such a figure 
I^m shamed being seen. 

Clare's " Rural Life," p. 91. 
G. H.H. B.N.C. C.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

DO OUT. To clean out. " Do out the stable." 

H.A.D. 

DO, or TO-DO. Bustle, confusion. " There was a fine 

to-do" " There was such a do," See Ado. 
DO. " To do for," to attend upon, to provide for, or 



188 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

manage the afifairs of another. " The children have 
nobody to do for them, now they have lost their mother." 
" Mother died two years ago, and Tve done for father 
ever sin." Also used to express injury or revenge ; a 
malicious person, who threatens to ruin or injure 
another, says, " I will do for him if I can." 

F*£»A. H.P. H.A«D« 

DOB. A term used in playing at marbles ; when one boy 
strikes another boy's marble, without his marble first 
touching the groimd, he is said to dob on it. 

DOCITY. See Dossitt. 

DOCK. "In dock, out nettle," a formula supposed by 
children to act as a charm in assuaging the pain arising 
from the sting of a nettle. A leaf of the dock {rumex 
obtusifoliua), moistened with saliva, is appHed to the part 
affected, repeating the above words till the pain is 
relieved. 

But can^st thou plaien racket to and fro ? 

Nettle in, dock out; now this, now that, Pandure ? 

Chaucer's "Troil. and Cress." 

B.N.C. C.C. W.C. P.D. A.W. H.A.D. 

DOD. A bog, a quagmire. " This land is always all of 
a doc?." An old woman said, " The ladies are so dirty; 
they got into the dod, and could not get out again 
without my help." Fuxie appears to be a cognate term 
in Somersetshire. 

DOD, or DODMAN. A snail. Not frequent. Halliwell 
gives Uodmandody a snail, of which our names are pro- 
bably a contraction. 

R.N.C. Q. F.E.A. M.S. H.P. H.A.D. 

DODDEREL, DOTTEREL. A poUard-tree. Clare, in 
the Glossary to his poems, explains " Dotterel-treeB, old 
stumping trees in hedge rows, that are headed or lopped 
every ten or twelve years for fire-wood." Ash doddertls 
were advertised for sale in the Northampton Mercury, in 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 189 

1816. Halliwell gives dodderel "A pollard;" and as- 
signs it to Warwickshire. None of our vocabularies 
recognise either of these words; but Johnson gives 
dottard, and says the word seems to signify a tree kept 
low by cutting. Dodj to lop, as a tree, is an old word ; 
and Bailey has dodded in the same sense. The following 
passages in Dryden are brought forward by Todd, to 
exemplify his meaning of doddered (overgrown with 
dodder); but it is quite clear that, if he had been 
acquainted with our local signification, he would not 
have so misapplied them. 

Doe not wee take the timber for our turn, 
And leave the dottrells in their turn to burn ? 

Drayton's " Polyolbion," s. ii. p. 690. 
Near the hearth a laurel grew, 
Dodder''d with age, whose boughs encompass round 
The household gods, and shade the holy ground. 

Dryden's " -^n." 
The peasants were enjoin 'd 
Sere-wood, and firs, and dodd€r''d oaks to find. 

Dryden's " Palemon and Arcite.'* 
And withered leaves make up its outward wall. 
Which from the gnarl'd oa^i-dotterel yearly fall. 

Clare's " Rural Muse," p. 77. 
Two dottrel trees, an oak, an ash, that stoop 
Their aged bodies o'er a little brook. 

Ibid. p. 134. 
Beech dottrels, with their glossy leaves, 

All overhang the way. 

Clare, MS. Poem. 

DODDERING. Tottering; nearly worn out. "A poor, 
doddering old thing." Applied to both persons and things. 

DODDLE A pollard tree : not general. 

DODDY. Boggy, swampy ; said of unsound ground, where 
you cannot tread without danger of sinking in. 

DOESN'T OUGHT, or DONT OUGHT. Ought not. 
" He doesn't ought to go " 

M S. H.A.D. 



190 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

DODGE. To give a person who is pursuing you the 
slip, by artfully diverging from the straight course, or 
to endeavour by the same means to overtake a person 
who is trying to elude you. " I dodged him round 
every comer, but I caught him at last." See Dog. 

B.N.C. H.A.D. 

2. A cunning trick. " That was an artful dodge of his." 

II.A'.D. 

DODGING. Moving irregularly up and dovm. So used 
by Clare. 

There, bent in hopeful musings on the brink, 
They watch their floating corks, that seldom sink, 
Save when a wary roach or silver bream 
Nibbles the worm as passing up the stream. 
Just urging expectation's hopes, to stay 
To view the dodging cork, then slink away. 

Clakb's " Village Minstrel," vol. u. p. 102. 

DOFF. To put off any article of dress; an elision of 
do off. 

Thou wear'st a lion's hide ! doff it, for shame. 

King John, iii. i. 

Nature, in awe to him, 
Had doffed her gaudy trim. 

Milton's " Ode Nativ." 
That Judge is hot, and doffs his gown. 

Dryden's " Juv." 

R.N.C. G. B.N.C. J.S. W.C. C.C. H.H. H.P. 

DOG. " To help a lame dog over a stile." When a 
person thwarts, instead of aiding or assisting another 
who is perplexed and in difficulties, it is commonly 
said, " You're a pretty one to help a lame dog over a 
stile." 

DOG. To dodge, to follow. "He dogged him up one 
street and down another all through the town." Pals- 
grave gives, " I dogge one, I folowe hym to espye whyder 
he gothe." 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 191 

Thus far I have dogg'd him, and this way I am sure they must pass 
ere they come to the house. 

Drtden's " Wild Gallant." 

He follows me all over the town, dogi me wherever I go; all this 
live-long morning he has been at my heels. 

Southerners ** Maid*8 Last Prayer," ii. 1. 

I have dogged him like his murtherer. 

" Twelfth Night," iii. 2. 

H.A.D. 

DOG-BOBBINS. See Bobbin and Joan. 

DOG-CHEAP. Very cheap, unusually cheap ; equivalent 

to DIRT-CHEAP. Used by Dryden. Florio renders, " Vil^ 

Vile, dog cheap.^^ 

H.H. H.A.D. 

DOG-IEONS. Two pieces of iron placed at the ends of a 
fire, when it is made on the hearth. See Clamps. 
Also the moveable part of a grate, i. e, the iron for con- 
tracting or enlarging the fire. 

M.S. B.N.C. F.E.A. 

DOG'S-EARS. The comers of the leaves of a book, when 
ruffled and turned up. 

Under a tea-cup he might lie, 

Or creas*d like dog''s-ears in a folio. 

Grit. 

C.C. P.D. H.A.D. 

DOLE. Sometimes applied to the divisions of personal 
property in open fields or large inclosures. When a 
large meadow belongs to a number of proprietors it is 
called meadow dole, and each portion is designated by the 
specific name of the owner. From the A.-Sax. dcelan, to 
divide or apportion ; or the British doZ, a meadow. 

H.P. H.A.D. 

DOLE-BREAD. Bread, arising from a benefaction, dis- 
tributed at stAted periods in alms to the poor. 

H.P. 



192 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

DOLLOP. A lump, or large piece. 

E.L. n.A.D. 
2. Synonymous with Ejt. Used in playing at any game 

where there are two parties. You and I will stand the 

doUopy L e. contend against all the others. 
DOLL'S-CIIRISTENING. A party consisting entirely of 

ladies. 

H.A.D. 

DOMBERING. Smouldering; burning slowly without 
flame. " The fire lies so dombering to-day." This word 
appears to be peculiar to us. Oftener applied to wood 
than to coal. 

DOMENT. A merry-making. " We had a rare doment^ 

DON. We find this word in our dictionaries, as an appel- 
lation of distinction, particularly for a Spaniard; with 
us it designates any one who is clever in any depart- 
ment of trade, as, " He is a don hand at his business." 
j.s. 

DONE. A kind of interjectional command; stopl be quiet I 
c.c. 

2. Used for the preterit : as, " I done it," for " I did it." 

L.H. 

DONE -FOR. Worn out. " My gown's ahnost done for.'' 

H.A.D. 

DONE - OVER. Fatigued, exhausted. 

c.c. 
DONE TO. Put, placed. " I wonder where youVe done 
my book toy " Where have you done that to .^" 

E.L. H.A.D. 

DONE-UP. Ruined in circumstances. " They can't go 
on much longer, they're quite done up."" " Done over " 
is also similarly apphed. " Dicky with him," " dished," 
and " done up " have all the same import in the Craven 
dialect. 

H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 103 

DONEY. A hedge sparrow. Motacilla modularis. (Linn.) 
Also called Hedge Chat. 

DONT THINK. Used affirmatively instead of nega- 
tively. " You aint a-doing no good there, I dont thinks 
i. e. " I don't think that you are doing good." 

M.S. 

DOO-ANT. Do not. 

DOOR. " It lays at your own dooTj^ i. e. " It is all owing 
to yourself; all your own fault." 

DOOR NAIL. "Dead as a door nail:^' finished com- 
pletely, dead. A proverb of great antiquity, still in 
common use. "Dead as a hammer" is an equivalent 
phrase. 

For James, the gentil, suggeth in his bokes, 
That faith without tauct ys febelere than nought, 
And dead as a door-nayle. 

Piers Ploughman, p. 22. 

Look on me well : I have eat no meat these five days; 
Yet, come thou and thy five men, and, if I do not leave 
You all as dead as a door-nailj I pray God I may 
Never eat grass more. 

2 Hen. VI. iv. 10. 
H.A.D. 
DOORS. " I'll never darken their doors again." A 
phrase expressing renunciation of friendly intercourse, 
on account of some serious misconduct or offence. 
DOOR-CHEEKS. The upright posts at the sides of a 
door. It occurs in the old translation of the Bible. 

And take a bunch of hyssope and dip it in the blood that is in the 
basin, and strike the lintell and the door-cheeks with the blood that is 
in the basin. 

Exodus, xii. 22. 
H.H. C.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

DOOR-SILL. The threshold of a door. 

C.C. H.A.D. 

DOSSITY or DOCITY. Energy, activity. A Hstless, 

K 



11)4 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

inactive servant has " no docity in her." When a person 
is oppressed with lassitude, she would say, " IVe no 
dossity to do anything." The use of this word in this 
sense is by no means uncommon, but I believe it is 
restricted to females. Grose gives it as a Gloucester- 
shire word, but interprets it " docility, quick compre- 
hension." 

She sat herself down, soon as got in the house, 
No dossity in her to stir. 

Clare's " Village Minstrel," vol. i. p. 156. 

G. E.L. H.A.D. 

DOT. A diminutive, a small person or thing. " What a 

little dot .'" is a common redundant expression. 
DOTTEREL. See Dodderel. 
DOUBLE-COUPLE. Twin lambs. 

H.A.D. 

DOUBLE-DOUBLE. A term for a double hedge with a 
ditch on each side ; or for a long narrow plantation of a 
few yards in width. In Gloucestershire, a plantation of 
this kind is called a " Sling." 

DOUBLE or DOUBLE-FACED. Deceitful, acting two 
parts. 

He would say untruths, and be ever dovhle 
Both in his words and meaning. 

Hen. VIII. iv. 2. 

DOUGHY. Pastey, pale. " How doughy she looks !" 
DOUGH-KIVER. The trough in which the dough is 

prepared for bread. See Kiver. 
DOUSE. To plunge the head under water; to splash the 
water over the face with violence when washing, is 
called having a good dousing. Nearly akin to souse^ but 
the latter word is also applied to complete accidental 
immersion. Dousing is limited to the head and face. 
H.A.D."Douce." 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 195 

DOUK. This old word is used in various senses, as to 
plunge or duck the head under water ; to hold down the 
head as one ashamed of any accusation. " He douked 
down his head, he could not look me in the face." " The 
flowers douh in the sun, and peek up their heads in the 
evening." In building a wall, when one stone overhangs 
another it is said to douk. " How that stone douks .'" 
Palsgrave gives the verbs " I douke under the water. 
This hounde can douke under water lyke a ducke." " I 
dowke, I stowpe lowe as a frere doth." 

This beand sayd, this ilk God of thee flude, 

Under the depe can dovJ: doun quhare he stude. 

D0UQL4S, ** VirgU," p. 242. (Craven Dialect.) 

And fyrie Phlegon his dym nychtis stede 
Douhit sa depe his hede in fludis gray. 

Douglas, Prol. 
G. C.C. H.S. H.A.D. 

DOUT or DOWK. To do out : used indiscriminately for 
extinguishing a fire or candle. Dcmt occurs in this 
sense in most other counties, but douk appears to be 
peculiar to us. 

I have a speech of fire that fain would blaze, 
But that this folly douU it. 

Hamlet, iv. 7. 
G. J.S. C.C. P.D. H S. L.H. H.P. H.A.D. 

DOUTER. An extinguisher. 

R.S.E.C. G. H.S. H.A.D. 

DOWDY. Dark, and dull of colour. « What a dowdy 
looking gown you've got on!" Some of the Lexico- 
graphers explain this word, " an awkward, iU-dressed 
woman." Richardson says there is little doubt that dowdy 
has been formed from dudds, rags, and applied to one 
whose clothes hang about them like rags; one loosely 
dressed in a slovenly manner. Phillips and Bailey define 
it, " a swarthy gross woman." With us it has no reference 
to the person, but is applied solely to the dress of females. 

k2 



IDC NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

But when 'tis shorn, that which does now delight yon 
Will prove a dowdy y with a face to fright you. 

Drtdem^s ProL to ** Conquest of Granada.' ' 

H.A.D."Doudy." 

DOWEL. An architectural term synonymous with dove- 
taiL 

C.Ca U*S* H.A.D. 

DOWLE. The downy particles of a feather. A house- 
maid will often say, " There's a deal of dowle settles 
about the bed-room, I've been gathering it up." We 
never employ the term for the feather itself; and Shak- 
spere, I presume, adopts our interpretation when he 
makes Ariel say to Alonzo and Sebastian, when they 
draw their swords, 

Ye fools ! I and my fellows 

Are ministers of fate ; the elements. 

Of whom your swords are tempered, may as well 

Wound the low winds, or with be-mockM-at stAbs 

Kill the still closing waters, as diminish 

One dowU that's in my plume. 

Tempest, iii. 3. 
U.S. 

DOWN-HEARTED. Dejected, spiritless, desponding. 
A colloquial word. 

U.A.D. 

DOWSE. A blow on the head or face. A low word, to 
be found in most of our Dictionaries and Glossaries. 

G. B.N.C. M.S. C.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

DOZEY. Unsound, as wood beginning to decay; such 
wood as the saw passes through without any resistance, 
as touchwood. A fire that burns dull is dozey. A figu- 
rative application of the verb to doze, to slumber, to 
grow dull. 

H.P. 

DRAB. A female dirty in person, and slovenly in dress. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 197 

' Phillips defines it " a dirty slut." Perhaps metaphorically 

from A.-Sax. drahhe^ dregs, lees. 
DRABBLED. Dirtied or splashed with walking in the 

mud; hence a dress soiled, or saturated by trailing or 

traipsing in the dirt, is termed drabble-tailed, A.-Sax. 

Drabbe, Pynson. " Drabled. Paludosus. Lutulentus,^'' 
B.N.c. F.E.A. H.H. c.c." Drabbed." h.p. h.a.d. 

DRABBLING. Paddling or traipsing in the mire or 
sludge. " How she goes drabbling along." Anglo-Latin 
Lexicon, 1440, (Harl. MS. 221,) "Drablyn, Palndo.'' 
Our poet Clare furnishes an illustration. 

As the cart-rut rippled down, 

With the burden of the rain. 
Boys come drabbling from the towOi 

Glad to meet their sports again. 

*• Village Minstrel,'* vol. i. p. 135. 

DRAG. A skid-pan. 

H.A.D. 

DRAPE. A cow that has ceased to give milk. A.-Sax. 
drepan, to fail. 

G. B.N.c. c.c. H.p. H.A.D. 

DRAPE. To drain the last drops from a cow, when 

milking 
DRAUL. To be slow of action or speech, deficient in 

briskness ; cognate with Dreaming. 

M.S. 

DRAW-LATCH. A lazy person. 

DRAWN-OUT. Finely and tawdrily dressed. 

DRAWTER. A term used by lacemakers for the long 
slip of parchment or cloth which they draw over their 
lace, as they make it, for the purpose of keeping it 
clean. Doubtless a corruption of the phrase draw after, 

DRAW THE WELL DRY. A childish game at cards, 
similar to " Beg of my neighbour." 



1 J»8 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

DRAW-TO. A country invitation to take a seat at the 

tabic, to partake of a family meal. 
DRAY. A sqnirrers nest. Kersey' and Bailey recognise 

the word. 

While ho from tree to tree, from spray to spray, 
Gets to the woods, and hides him in bis dray. 

Browns, " Br. Past." i. 5, page 134. 

The nimble squirrel noting here, 
Her mossy dray that makes. 

Drayton, ♦* Quest of Cinthia," p. 626. 

The poet Cowper, who resided in an adjoining county, 
adopts the term in one of his fables. 

Climbed like a squirrel to his dray. 
And bore the worthless prize away. 

DREAMING. Slow, inactive. "You can't make him 
quicken his pace, he goes dreaming along." 

DREARISOME. Lonely, unfrequented. "It's a dreari- 
some road.*' 
c.c. n.A.D. 

DRESSER. A long kitchen sideboard, affixed to the 
wall. A prevalent word. Brockett and the Craven 
Glossarist derive it from the Teut. dressoor, or Fr. 
dressoir, a side-board. The Harl. Lexicon (1440) fur- 
nishes a proof of its antiquity and use ; for we there 
find " Dressur or dressing boorde. Dressorium.'^ " Dressar, 
where meate is served out at." Palsg. 
B.N.c. M.S. c.c. 

DRESSING. A beating. " If you don't mind what you're 
about, my lad, you'll get a good dressing. ^^ 

DRIB or DRIBBLE. To milk a cow dry. " Drib it weJl," 
obviously from drib, a drop — milk it to the last drop. 

DRIBBINGS. The last milk, drawn through the fingers 
in milking a cow. 

DRIBBLE. To deal out in small quantities. 

DRIBBLING. A term, used in the game of marbles, for 



AVORDS AND PHRA8KS. 199 

shooting slowly along the ground, in contradistinction 
to plumping; which is elevating the hand so that the 
marble does not touch the ground till it reaches the 
object of its aim. May not this iUustrate the meaning 
of Shakspere's 

Believe not that the dribbling dart of love 
Can pierce a complete bosom. 

Measure for Measure, i. 4. 

DRIBLET. A small sum ; to pay money by small instal- 
ments, is to pay it by driblets. 

B.N.C. M.S. 

DRIFTWAY. A road chiefly used for driving cattle. 
DRIBS. Drops; spoken of small rain, or the droppings 
from the eaves of a building. 

DRIVE. Force, speed. " He went along, fuU cZnVe." A 
common expression for walking or running with great 
spe^d. 

DRIVE-OFF. To procrastinate. " You always dnve off 
everything to the last." 

C.C. H.A.D. 

DRIVING AT. " What are you driving atr i. e. What 
is your object, what are you about ? A colloquial expres- 
sion in common use. 

DRIZZLE. To rain slowly in small drops. " It scarcely 
rains, it only drizzles^ Florio renders Geodola, " a little 
drop or drizling,^^ 

H.H. P.D. H.A.D. 

DROOL. To drivel as an infant when teething. 

J.S. H.P. 

DROP OUT. To fall out, to quarrel. 

L.H. H.A.D. 

DROP UPON. To meet with, accidentally and unex- 
pectedly. 
DROPPED OFF. Gone to sleep. 



200 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

DROPS. " To be fond of his drops,^^ is applied to one 
who diinks spirits and water freely. 

DROSITY. Weary, lajiguid from fatigue. A countryman, 
tired with a long walk, seated himself in a shop and 
exclaimed, " I be so very drosiiy.^^ 

DROTCIIELL. A dirty, untidy, slovenly woman. "What 
a drotckeUr Used aLso participially, as, "How she goes 
drotchelUng along." Ash and Todd interpret this word, 
" An idle wench ;" but with us it is restricted to dress 
and appearance, and has no reference to character, 
except so far as slovenliness is generally indicative of 
idleness. Webster says, " not in use," but with us it is 
general. 

DROUTHY. Very thirsty. A.-Sax. Drugathe, drought, 
dryness. 

B.N.C. J.S. M.S. C.C. A.W. H.P. H.A.D. 

DROWKING. Drooping from drought ; like plants that 
hang down their heads for want of water. A word of 
frequent occurrence amongst our rustics, though it 
appears to be quite peculiar to this county. Clare 
repeatedly uses it, very characteristically. 
Drowking lies the meadow-sweet, 
Flopping down beneath one^s feet. 

Clare's •' Rural Life," &c. p. 71. 
And nodding bulrush down its drowk head hings. 

Clare's "Village Minstrel/' vol. i. p. 46. 
Bumble-bees I wandered bv. 
Clinging to the droicling flower. 
Clare's " Village Minstrel," vol. i. p. 133. 
H.A.D. 

DROWNDED. Drowned. The Craven Glossarist sup- 
plies the following illustration: 

Then rising up he cried amain, 

** Helpe, helpe, or else I am drownded/* 

" Baffled Knight." 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 201 

DRUBBING. Beating. " He got a good drubbing:' 

•' There's my freedom dearly purchased with a sore drvihing, 

Drtden, *' Amphitryon," ii. 2. 

Hartshome derives it from the Swed. druhhuing^ con- 
flictio. 

J.S. H.S. P.D. n.A.D. 

DRUDGE. A female servant, compelled to do all sorts of 
laborious and dirty work slavishly. 

DRUG. A heavy carriage,. with two axle-trees and two 
pair of wheels, for the conveyance of timber ; called in 
Kent a timber-tug. 

G. M.S. F.E.A. U.A.D. 

DRUM. " To drum it into any one," is to enforce con- 
viction by repetition. 

DRUMSTICK. The calix and stalk of the common knap- 
weed, Centaurea nigra, or of Centaurea scabiosa. The 
calix being very hard, boys use it to drum and play 
with — hence the name. 

2. The leg-bone of a fowl. 

DRUV. Driven, straightened. " I was very much druvy'' 
is a phrase often used in application either to time or 
money. This import of the word seems an exception to 
the general observation of Todd, that ** Drive in all its 
senses, whether active or neuter, may be observed 
to retain a sense compounded of violence and pro- 
gression." 

H.A.D. 

DRY. To dry a cow is to cease milking her by degrees, 
c.c. n.A.D. 

DRY-HAND. A person given to dry, sarcastic humour. 
Bishop Kennett, in his MS. Glossarial Collections, gives 
" Dry, crafty, subtle ; as, such a one is a dry blade, i. e, 
a very cunning fellow. Kent. A.-Sax. Dry," 

k3 



202 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

DRY-RUB. An indirect sarcasm. 

DRY- WALL. A wall of unhewn stone without mortar. 
Common in Northamptonshire. 

cc H.A.n. 

DUBBED, or DUBBY. Blunt, obtusely pointed. A slate 
or lead pencil is said to be dubbed, when destitute of a 
nice point, or when it wants pikening. Todd remarks, 
" A common expression in many places ; but I know not 
where to discover its etymology." 

O. J.S. A.W. P.D. H.P. H.A.D. 

DUBBING. Walking heavily, with short steps. " How 
he goes dubbing along !^ A common word, which appears 
to have escaped our Lexicographers ; probably coined to 
represent the sound. A.-Sax. Dubban, to strike. 

2. A mixture of oil and tallow, for making leather imper- 
vious to water. 

H.A.D. 

DUBBIN-PIN. A pin used by lace-makers to fix the 
pattern parchment on the lace pillow. 

DUBBY. See Dubbed. 

DUBEROUS, DUBERSOME, DUBILOUS. AU vitia- 
tions of dubious. Doubtiul, imcertain as to the event. 
" It*s a very dubersome day." 

H.A.D. 

DUCK. An expression of endearment and pleasure. A 
fond mother often says coaxingly to her child, " Do as I 
bid you, there's a duck.'' " Oh, what a duckT is a fre- 
quent exclamation with children, when they become 
possessed of any little treasure. Shakspere often uses 
this word endearingly, as do Beaumont and Fletcher. 

M.S. 

DUCK. See Douk. 

DUCKS. A boyish pastime, played with three stones, 
surmounted by a fourth, which is attempted to be struck 
oiF, by casting another stone at it from a short distance. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 203 

Sometimes it is played by a number of boys, when each 
one has a stone which he calls a dticky and places it in 
his turn on a larger stone, to be thrown at; he who 
succeeds in hitting it off, picks it up and runs to an ap- 
pointed spot which is termed home; if another boy, 
having put his own dtick on the stone, chases the last 
boy, and " ticks^^ or touches him before he reaches home, 
he is entitled to take back his own duck, and the next in 
rotation puts on his. To decide which boy is to com- 
mence the game, one of them tosses up anything which 
presents two different surfaces, and, asks each boy to 
guess which side is uppermost, and the last boy who 
guesses torong is the first to begin the game, by putting 
his duck upon the stone. This mode of deciding is 
termed " pinking." 

H.H. 

DUCKS AND DRAKES. A youthful amusement of 
casting flat stones or slates upon the surface of a piece 
of still water, that they may skim along, making circles 
as they dip and emerge without sinking: the first time 
the stone rebounds from the water, the boy cries out " a 
duck;^^ the second time, "a duck and a drake ;^^ the 
third, " a halfpenny cake ;" and the fourth, " and a 
penny to pay the baker." This appears to be a pas- 
time of great antiquity; it was called by the Greeks 
€iro(TTpaKitrfios, and Hartshome quotes a description of it 
from Minutius Felix. 

What figur'd slates are best to make 
On wat'ry surface duck or drake, 

" Hudibras/' p. 11, canto iii. 1. 302. 

I gathered flat gravel stones up, in the shallows, 
To make ducks and drakes when I got to a pond. 

Clare's MS. Poems. 

" To make ducks and drakes of money," is to waste it in 



204 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

thoughtless extravagance A phrase which has doubt- 
less arisen from the above described pastime. 

B.N.C. M.S. II.II. P.D. H.S. H.A.D. 

DUCK-FROST. A slight frost, freezing at night and 
thawing in the morning ; such weather as ducks de- 
light in. 

DUCK-HEARTED. Faint-hearted, dispirited, dastardly ; 
correlative with Hen-hearted. 

DUCKING. A drenching with rain, or from falling into 
water. 

DUCK-SHOWER. A hasty shower. 

DUCK UNDER THE WATER. A game in which the 
players run, two and two, in rapid succession, under a 
handkerchief held up aloft by two persons standing 
apart with extended arms. Formerly, in the northern 
part of this county, even married women on May Day 
played at this game, under the garland which was 
extended from chimney to chimney across the village 
street. 

DUDGY. Anything thickened by shrinking. " The flannel 
has been washed so often, it is become quite dudgyy In 
knitting, when the stitches are so close that the pin is 
with difliculty passed through, the work is termed dudgy. 
Now nearly obsolete. 

DUDS. Rags, or clothes generally. " Pack up your duds 
and be off," is a common command to an unwelcome 
visitor amongst the lower grades of society. Jennings 
gives, " Dudsy dirty cloaths." Brockett and others sug- 
gest that it is derived from Gael, duds, rags ; but Jamieson 
considers it most probably of Gothic origin. 

Sae I pack'd up my dicdi when my quarter was out, 
And wi* weago i* my pocket I sauntered about. 

Westmoreland and Cumb. Dialect, p. 226. 

G. B.N.C. J.S. C.C. H.P. H.A.D. . 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 205 

DUDMAN. A scarecrow; a representation of a man 
made up of duds. A recognized word in most of our 
vocabularies, but unnoticed by Todd. 

Q. B.N.C. J.S. C.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

DUFHUS. A dove-cote: an archaism. A.-Sax. Hus, 

house. 
DULL SOME. Dull of colour ; not cheerful. It is used 

either of persons or of things. 

H.A.D. . 

DUMB-FOUNDERED. Astonished, stupified with amaze- 
ment. Grose and Brockctt insert it as peculiar to the 
north of England. 

G. B.ijf.c. H.P."Dumfounded." h.a.d." Dumfound." 

DUMB-JOCKEY. A substitute for a rider; a frame, 
formed of two pieces of wood crossing at the centre, and 
curving inwards, the lower half placed on the back of a 
horse and secured by a girth, the upper half standing 
erect for the purpose of fixing the bridle reins when 
breaking a horse ; in the language of the horse-breaker, 
" to make him feel his mouth." 

DUMB-PEAL. A peal rung in memory of, or in honour 
of a deceased ringer, with one side of the clapper of the 
bells buffed or muffled with a piece of felt or leather, pro- 
ducing alternately a cheerful and melancholy intonation. 

DUMMY. When only three persons are playing at the 
game of whist, the fourth hand which is exposed, and 
under the direction of the partner, is called dummy, 

C.C. H.A.D. 

DUMPLE. A dumpling. 

DUMPS. Low spirits, hypochondriacism. " Down in the 

durapa^^ is a very common phrase, equivalent to being ** in 

the flats." 

Where gripinge grefes the hart would wounde, 
And dolefuUe dumps the mynde opprease. 

Percy's " Reliques," vol. i. p. 197, ed. 1794. 



2<>C NOETHAMPTONSHIRE 

Why, bow now, <Uaght«r Katherine. in yonr dumju ? 

Taming of the Shrew, ii. 1. 

In doleful dump*. 
When hit legs were cntted off he fought upon hif stumpA. 

Chevy Chase. 

I from my cot, this Christmaa eve 
Write with a troubled mind, belieTe, 
And wife in doleful dumpt, 

Tim Bobbin, p. 183, ed. 1775. 

M.S. B.S.C. C.C. P.D. H.P. 

2. Halfpence beat up at the edges. 

H.P. 

ij. A game at marbles, j)layod by placing them in a hori- 
zontal line, instead of a ring. In playing at any game 
of marbles, the last marbles that a boy stakes are termed 
dumps; he would say, " IVe put in*my dumps ^^ t. e. all 
the marbles he had left, and if he loses them he is said 
to be ** dumped vp." 

DUMPY, or DUMPTY. A thick, short, stumpy person 
or thing ; as an egg, according to the riddle. 

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, 

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, 

[Humpty Dumpty went to bed, 

Humpty Dumpty broke his head,] 

All the King*8 horses and all the King's men 

Can't set Humpty Dumpty together again. 

Perhaps " Dumpy, ^ which is used in Scotland, is the 
true word, and according to Jamieson derived from Isl. 
doomp. 

CO. H.P. H.A.D. 

DUNNA. Do not. " Dunna do't." 

DUNNY. A word inserted in most of our vocabularies ; 
and Todd says, " generally used in common conversa- 
tion for deaf." Not of frequent occurrence with us. 

G. H.S. L.H. H.A.D. H.P. 

DUNT. See Dent. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 207 

DUNT. A corruption or contraction of done it. 
c.c. 

DURNS. PI. A door-frame. I have only the authority 
of the poet Clare for the use of this word. In Hollo- 
way's General Dictionary of Provincialisms, Duma is 
given as the Northern and Somerset word for gate-posts. 

J.S. H.P. H.A.D. 

DUSSENT. Dare not. " You dussent do't." 

DUST. Uproar, confusion. " To kick up a dust " is a 

common colloquial expression traceable to Su. Got. di/st, 

dust; tumultuSf fragor. 

B.N.C. c.c. H.P. H.A.D. 

2. " The miller has thrown dust in your eyes" is often 

said to sleepy children. 
DUST YOUR JACKET. A phrase expressive of casti- 

gation. Hartshome refers it to Isl. Dusta, verberare. 

H.S. H.A.D. 

DWEEZLE. To dwindle away. 

DWILE. To drivel, synonymous with Drool. 

bWIZENED. Withered. Another form of Wizzened 

DYZEMAS DAY. Childermas, or Holy Innocents' Day. 
A festival of great antiquity, though the observance of 
it, and the name, are now obsolete. Childermas Day 
was considered of especial ill omen, and the same super- 
stitious notions are connected with Dyzemas Day, A 
sexagenarian on the southern side of the county, to 
whom I was indebted for this name, informed me that 
within his remembrance this day was kept as sacred as 
the Sabbath, and it was considered particularly unlucky 
to commence any undertaking, or even to wash, on the 
same day of the week, throughout the year on which 
the anniversary of this day last feU; and it was com- 
nionly said, " What is begun on Dyzemas Day will nevex 
be finished." 

Neither Brand nor Hone notices this name for this day. 



208 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

Grose and Pegge give ^^ Dyze-imn's-day^ Childermas or 
Holy Innocents' Day," and assign it to the north. A 
learned friend suggests the probability of this name 
being derived from Gr. Dus and Mass; hvs being expres- 
sive of misfortune, evil, peril, in allusion to the massacre 
of the Innocents. 



E. 



K is frequently changed to o in the past tense, as fotched for 
fetched, holped for helped. When the two vowels e and 
a follow each other, sometimes the first only is sounded, 
as et for eat, del for deal, crem for cream ; and sometimes 
only the last, as larnin for learning, chate for cheat, mate 
for meat, drame for dream; this pronunciation is universal 
among our villagers. 

E is sometimes elongated at the beginning of a word, where 
it is usually pronounced short ; as, eend for end, eentry 
for entry. In some diphthong monosyllables, this vowel 
is pronounced separately, as stre-am for stream, te-am for 
team, swe-at for sweat. 

E is sometimes turned into short t, as diver for clever, 
niver for never; and double e is changed into short z, as 
mk for week, ship for sheep, &c. 

EAR. " Went in at one ear and out at the other:" a com- 
mon phrase, when a person has heard something which 
he has made no effort, nor had any wish, to retain. 

2. " Up to the ears in business :" a general mode of ex- 
pressing a multiplicity of employments; correspondent 
with " Up to your elbows in work." 

4. " Set them by the ears." To reveal some intelligence 
that is likely to cause dispute or disagreement; to incite 
others to quarrel. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 209 

This phrase, slightly varied, is current in America, 
according to Bartlett, who cites the following . apposite 
illustration : 

She used to carry tales from one to another, till she had set the neigh- 
bourhood together by the ears, 

Abbuthnot. 

EARNEST. Rustically pronounced yaenest or yarnst. 
Money given to bind a bargain, or to ratify or confirm 
a hiring with servants, ue. a pledge of possession; a re- 
tainer, to show that the parties are in earnest. A shilling 
is the customary sum given to servants ; and if the master 
or mistress repent of the engagement, the servant is told 
to drink the earnest^ implying that the bargain is void, and 
the money may be retained. A. Sax. Eomest, earnest, 
pledge. The word occurs in this sense in Eph. i. 14, of 
the common translation. 

M.S. A.W. H.P. H.A.D. 

EAT. " To eat one's words." To deny what has been 
said ; to retract any statement. 

ECCLES. " Building eccles in the air:" a singular phrase, 
equivalent to " building castles in the air." Probably a 
metaphorical use of the old north-country verb to Eckle^ 
to intend, to design. See Bishop Kennett's MS. Glos- 
sarial Collections. May it be derived from ecclesia^ in 
the sense of building church-towers ? See also Eckles. 

ECHE, EKE, ETCH. The various modes of spelling this 
old verb. Eke is the most modem form. To add to, 
enlarge or lengthen ; to distribute parsimoniously, to use 
sparingly, and with care. " My gown's too short, I must 
eche it a bit." " There's only a small piece of cake, but 
I'll try and ehe it out, to give you all a taste." A.-Sax. 
Eacan. Palsgrave gives the verbs " I eke and I etche^ I in- 
crease or augment." Used by our poets, ancient and 
modern: Todd quotes several examples from Spenser, 
and Hartshome adduces others from King Alexander, 



2 1 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

Percy's Reliques, and Shakspere. To these may be added 
the following: 

But stomble upon myn own treine, 
And make an eckynge of my peine. 

GowERy fo. Ixvi. 6. 

I speak too long ; but 'tis to peize the time ; 

To eke it, and to draw it out in length , 

To stay you from election. 

Mer. of Venice, iii. 2. 

And icicles, that fret at noon, 
Will eke their icy tails at night, 
Beneath the chilly stars and moon. 

Glare's ** Shep. Cal." p. 26. 

They eked her sorrows with her lover's name. 
Asking the reason why he never came. 

Clare's »* Rural Muse," p. 114. 

The mower's stubbling scythe clogs to his foot 
The ever ekin^ whisp. 

Clare's " Rural Muse," p. 26. 

B.N.C. M.S. H.H.App. H.S. T.G. II.A.D. 

2. That portion of a bee-hive which is added at the 
bottom, to enlarge the hive as the bees increase and 
multiply. 
H.A.D." Eke." 

ECHE-HOOK. A hook attached to the forbuck of a cart 
or waggon, through which the rope passes in binding on 
a load. 

ECKLES. The crest or comb of a cock. " To set up your 
eckles^^ is to give yourself airs, to rouse your spirit. 
Scatcherd, in his " History of Morley," notices this word 
in his list of localisms. See also Eccles. 

EDDISH. Lattermath, aftermath, or second crop of grass, 
is the current import of this word. A.-Sax. Edisc. It 
appears, however, formerly to have had a diiFerent or 
another signification; for, in 17G2, I find an advertise- 
ment in our local paper, of" Saintfoin eddish to be sold, 
and to be eaten on the eddishes.^^ This sense probably 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 211 

prevailed in SiiflPolk, as may be presumed from the fol- 
lowing quotations : 

Soyle perfectly knowe 
£r eddish ye sowe. 

TUSSEB, f. 20. 
Sede first go fetch, 
For eddish or etch. 

Ibid. 
The naked shorn sheep, and the sleek ^looking cows, 
Are turned in the eddish in quiet to brouse. 

Clare*s MS. Poems. 

B.N.C. G. r.E.A. H.H. H.S. E.L. ll.P. U.A.D. 

EDDISH-CHEESE. Thin new cheese, made from the 
milk of cows fed on eddish, or aftermath grass ; much 
esteemed for its peculiar richness. Many villages are 
celebrated for it, in the northern part of this county. Of 
this same kind I conjecture was Shakspere's " Banbury 
cheese." 

£.L. 

EDGE. To move by irregular degrees, to give way, to 
make room. 

. . . . list the little tales 

Of laughing children, who edge up their chairs 
To tell the past day's sport, which never fails 

To cheer the spirits. 

Clare's "Rural Muse,'' p. 121. 
As he thus spoke he edged his horse sideways. 

" Quentin Durward,** vol. ii, p. 91. 
W.C. H.H.App. C.C. E.L. H.A.D. 

EDGEY. Eager, desirous. " He did not seem very edgey 
to go." 

E.L. 

EEND. End. " YouVe got the wrong eend on't." 

w.c.App. 
E'ENT. Am not ; is not. " I e'mt a gooing." " It e'ent 

his." 

M.S. 



212 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

E'ERY. A very common elision. ''^ E^ery thing o' th' 
sort." " ITen/'daj clothes." 

F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

EES, EESE. Yes ; confined to our village rustics, always 
pronounced long and drawlingly. 

M.S. U.S. F.n. 

EES, SURE. A pleonastic form of assent. 

E(tG. To induce, to instigate, to spur forwards. " I egg*d 
. him on," is a very frequent expression. A.-Sax. Eggian, 
Florio defines ^^Aizzave^ to eg on, to set on." 

Adam and Eve he egede to don ille. 

Piers Ploughman's Vision. 

He shall have friends and felowes at hande, 
To egge him forward unto unhappiness. 

•* The Ship of Fooles," p. 123 b. 

changing ocean I 

That flits the scene at every motion, 

And still eggs on, 
With sweeter view, and stronger notion 

To dwell upon. 

Clare's " Rural Life,*' &c. p. 14. 

B.N.C. H.H. W.C."Agg." 

EGGS-AND-BACON. Bird's-foot trefoil. Lotus comicu- 
latus. Also called Jack- jump- about. 

EKE. See Eche. 

ELBOW-GREASE. Persevering labour of the arms, long- 
continued hard rubbing. " Give it plenty of elbow- 
grease,^ is a common direction to a servant cleaning 
furniture. Not local, perhaps; current in Scotland 
according to Jamieson. I borrow the following illustra- 
tions from the Craven Glossarist: 

Elhow-grease will make an oak table shine. 

Grose. 

^t had no elbow-grease bestowed upon it. " Nee demorsos sapit ungues." 

AiNSWORTH. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 213 

These were the manners, these the ways, 
In good Queen Besss golden days; 
Each damsel ow*d her bloom and glee 
To wholesome elhow-grease and me. 

Smart, Fable 5. 

B.N.C. M.S. C.C. H.S. H.P. H.A.D. 

ELBOWS. " Out at elbows ^^ a phrase implying that a 
person is in difficulties, arising from extravagance or 
improvidence ; analogous to " over-running the con- 
stable." 

C.C. H.A.D. 

2. " Up to the elbows in business," i.e. fully engaged. 

" Up to the ears'^ is correspondent. 
ELDERN. Made or taken from the elder tree. An 

archaism. See an instance under Etherings. 

According to Grose, the elder is supposed to possess the 
virtue of protecting persons bearing a branch of it from 
the charms of witches and wizards ; this popular supersti- 
tion is the probable reason why so many of these trees are 
planted by the sides of our rural cottages. 

The bench beneath the eldem bough. 

Clare's " Shep. Cal." p. 76. 
The village dames, as they get ripe and fine, 
- ' Gather the branches for their eldem wine. 

Ibid. p. 85. 

F.E.A. M.S. H.S. A.W. H.P. H.A.D. 

ELEBEN. Eleven. 

ELTING. Kneading, as bread in a trough. Peculiar to 
the northern part of the county, and now nearly obsolete. 
Noticed by Bailey as a country word ; Ray, Grose, and 
the Craven Glossarist, place the verb Elt amongst the 
provincialisms of the north of England. 

ELTING-MOULDS. The soft ridges of fresh-ploughed 
lands. A figurative use of the preceding word, adopted 
by Clare in his " Village Minstrel ;" who also employs it 
adjectively : 



214 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

Recalled the toils of boyish yean, 
When, like to them, I took my rounds 
O^er elting-moulds of fallow grounds. 

Clare's « ViUage Minstrel," vol. i. p. 74. 

Buttoning his doublet to his chin, 

He bends and scampers o*er the eltlng soil. 

Clare's "Shep. Cal." p. 91. 

EMBRANGLEMENT. Embroilment, and confusion. 

E.L. 

EMPEROR. The large bone at the end of a surloin of 

beef, which unites with the rump. 
EMPT. To empty. Frequently used with the prefix on, 

or ttw, when employed agriculturally, as " on-empt that 

load of hay." 

J.S. A.W. L.H. H.P. H.A.D. 

END. Portion, or division. " He had the worst end of 
the bargain, and it cost him the best end of twenty 
poimds." 

F.E.A. 11. p. 

END-LADDER. The moveable rails at the back of a cart, 
corresponding to the For-Ladder. See Copses. 

ENJOY. Used paradoxically in reference to the state of 

health. Such an one " enjoys very bad health." 
ETCH. See Eciie. 

ETPIERINGS, or ETHER-WINDERS. Long pUant rods, 
or wands of hazel or other underwood, intertwined be- 
tween stakes, in order to bind and strengthen a newly- 
made hedge. 

In some counties they are called edders ; both words are 
from the A.-Sax. EtJier or edor, sepcs. Dr. Johnson says, 
" not in use ;" but one or other of these terms appears to 
be almost universal. Tusser writes it edder; the Wilt- 
shire adage ether. See Akcrman*s Glossary. 
In lopping and foiling, save edder and stake. 
Thine hedges as needeth to mend or to make. 

Tusser's ** Husbandry.' » 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 215 

An eldem stake, and black- thorn etA^r, 
Will make a hedge to last for ever. 

Wiltshire Adage. 
M.S. F.E.A. C.C. A.W. H.A.D. B.N.c."Edder." 
EVEN-DOWN. Downright, perpendicularly down. "An 
even down pour/' is said of a heavy shower. 

C.C. T.G. H.A.D. 

EVEN WITH. To retaliate. GeneraUy used with an 
unfriendly feeling, as a threat. " If you do so and so, 
I'll be even with you." Among the various senses 
annexed to this word, and collected by Todd, this does 
not occur. Shakspere meant the same when Cleopatra 
said, 

** I will be even with you, doubt it not." 

Antony and Cleo. iii. 7. 
c.c."Ewen." 
EVER AND A DAY. An hyperbolical mode of ex- 
pressing length of time. 

Hath Peter now, /or ever and a day, 
Renounced his master and fled quite away. 

Prinne's " Pleasant Purge,** p. 29. 

(Craven Dialect.) 
EVERLASTING ON. Always scolding. A country ser- 
vant said of a dissatisfied mistress, " She's always 
finding fault, she's everlasting on.^^ 
EVER SO. Very much. " He drinks eve?' so." We also 
use this compound in another singular form, " I wouldn't 
do it if it were ever so," i. e. nothing should induce me 
to do it. The first sense of this compound is noticed by 
Evans in his Leicestershire Glossary. 
EVER SO LONG. A long while. " I havn't been there 

ever so longy 
EVERY HANDS WHILE. Often. A person, in the 

frequent habit of calling on another, would be said " to 

call every hands while^ Any one, often renewing a sub- 
ject of conversation, would be said to be " talking of it 



21 6 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

every hands while J*^ " Even/ foot anon,^^ is a correspondent 

expression in Norfolk and Suffolk, according to Grose. 

Every once in a while, is analogous in America. 
EVERY NOW AND THEN. At intervals. " I caU 

every now and then^ 
EVIL. Ill-tempered. " He looks eviV " She's the most 

evil woman in the village." 
EXPECT. To suppose, suspect, or conclude. Applied to 

things past, not future, as " I expect he went to town 

yesterday." A common northern expression. 

G. W.C. C.C. B.N.C. H.S. T.G. H.P. 

EXTKEE. Axle-tree. So in Scotland. 
F.E.A."Eccles-tree." M.s."Extry." 

EYEABLE. EYEABLER. Sightly, or more sightly. 
Amongst the Northamptonshire localisms, in Marshall's 
Rural Economy, it is defined " sightly, pleasing to the 
eye; spoken of stock." Anjrthing very neatly and 
nicely put in order, as a bed of flowers, is said to " look 
more eyedhl^'^ when so arranged than when in disorder. 
E.L. n.A.D. 

EYES. " To wet both eyes," is to take two glasses of 
wine or other liquor. " Come, wet both eyes^^ is a com- 
mon country invitation to take a second glass. 

EYEY. Specky, full of eyes. " The potatoes are not 
good: they are so very eyey^'* 



F. 



FAD. A trifling whim; evidently an abbreviation of 
foMle, " It's all a/o^." " He's iuU of fadsr 

E.L. H.A.D. 

FADDLE. One who is difficult to please in trifles. " What 
2kfaddle you are !" 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 217 

FADDLE-DE-DEE, or FIDDLE-DE-DEE. A good-na- 
tured inteijectional expression, frequently bestowed 
upon things of little moment ; synonymous with Fiddle- 
stick and Fiddlesticks-end. 

FADDLING. Scrupulously nice in trifles ; particular in 
things of little importance. " You are so yerj fciddling, 
you're more nice than wise." 

FADGE, or FODGE. A loosely or half-filled pack- 
sheet, or sack. A half-filled sheet of wool is always 
called a fodge. Grose gives fadge, a burthen ; and the 
Craven and North Conntry Glossaries have fodge, a 
bundle, as of sticks. 

B.N.C. C.C. G.&P. H.A.D. 

FADGE. To suit, to agree. "They don't fadge well 
together," i. e. they can't agree, their tempers don't har- 
monise. A.-Sax. gefcBgen, united. 

How will this fadffe t 

Twelfth Night, ii. 2. 

With flattery my muse could neyer fadge. 

Dbatton^s Pastorals, Eel. 3. 

For he will neyer fadge with these Toledos. 

Beau. & Fl. Love's Cure, iii. 4. 

F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

FAG. Long coarse grass. The more common form of 
this word is FoG. Hartshorne, under Fhege the Shrop- 
shire correlative, specifically designates this grass Ct/no- 
sorus cristatus, 

FAGGED. Ravelled, or fringed out. Applied to any article 
of apparel worn at the edge. Never used without the 
preposition out ; as " my gown is fagged ow<." Fasylle is 
given in the same sense in the Prompt. Parv. A figu- 
rative application of the preceding word. 

FAGGY. Land which abounds vn^fctg at mowing time. 
FAGOT. A degrading and contemptuous epithet ex- 



2 1 8 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

chisively applied to females. " Like a one-banded fagot^'' 
a comparison for a loosely-dressed slatternly female. 

B.N.C. F.E.A. H.S. P.D. L.H. H.A.D. 

FAIN. Glad, willing. " I'd yam have you stay.** Used 
adverbially in most of the Glossaries, and occasionally so 
with us. A.-Sax. Fcegan. The proverb " Fair words 
make fools fain^'^ occurs in the Glossary to the Wicliffe 
MS. in the possession of Sir Thomas Phillipps, Bart. 

He would fain flee out of his hand. 

Job, xxYii. 22. 
Then Waryn Wysman, and Wyleman his felawe, 
Fayne were to folwen hem, and fast ryden after. 

Piers Plowman. 
And of another thing they were as fayn, 
That of them alle was ther non yslayn. 

Chaucer^s Kn. Tale. 

R.N.C. G. W.C.App. B.N.C. M.S. H.H. C.C. T.G. 
H.P. H.A.D. 

FAIRISH. Considerable, tolerable. Applied to number, 
quantity, and quality ; as " There's a fairish lot of 
apples ;" " There's a fairish crop of grass ;" " I'm pretty 
fairishi'* t. e. in somewhat good health : " That beast's a 
fairish un," i. e. in fair condition. 

C.C. T.G. H.A.D. 

FAIRY-BUTTER. Star-jelly. Tremella mesenterica. A 

yellowish gelatinous substance, found on rotten wood or . 

fallen timber; supposed by country people to fall from 

the clouds. 

B.N.C. F.E.A. C.C. n.p. 
FATRY-RINGS. Circles of dark green grass, occasionally 

seen on old pasture land; round which, according to 

vulgar belief, the 

Elf quene with hire jolly compagnie 
Danced full oft in many a grene mede. 

Various are the conjectures as to the cause of these 
verdant circles. Jessop and Walker, in the Philosophical 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 219 

Transactions, ascribe them to Hghtning; others maintain 
that they are occasioned by ants, which are frequently 
found in great abundance therein; but they are more 
generally and more correctly attributable to a small 
esculent fungus, called the fairy-ringed fungus, Agaricus 
arcades. In whatever way this phoenomenon may be 
explained by philosophers, a poetical charm will always 
be connected with the popular superstition that the 
moonlight fairies there tripped their merry roimde- 
lays. 

Ye demi-puppets, that 
By moonlight do the green sour ringlets make, 
Whereof the ewe not bites. 

Tempest, v. i. 

B.N.c. M.S. F.E.A. c.c. H.s."Fairishes rings." t.g. 

H.P. H.A.D. 

FALL BACK UPON. To resort to an original expedient 
or plan, after the failure or abandonment of other pro- 
jects. " If I don't succeed in my new speculation, I've 
got my old grocery business to fall back upon.^^ 

FALL O' TH' YEAR. Autumn. Fall is sometimes used 
simply, as " Spring and FalV 

H.H. H.S. H.A.D. 

FALLALS. Flaunting finery. It is also used participially 
to a female dressed out beyond her station. " See how 
she's fallaVd out." 

F.E.A. P.D. H.S. H.P. 

FALLING-POST. The post against which the gate falls. 

M.S." Clapping-post." 
FALLOWING. The first ploughing of a bare fallow. " A 
bare fallow receives three ploughings ; the first is called 
^^ fallowing ^^ the second "stirring." It is then manured 
and receives the last ploughing, which is termed " laying 
up for the wintery Baker s Essay on the Farming of 
Northamptonshire, p. 25. 

L 2 



22- NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

FALLOWSMTCH. The Wheatear. MotadUa Oenanthe 

(Liun.) See Clodhoppeb. 
FALL-TABLE. A table with a falling leaf or flap. 
FALL-TO. A common rustic invitation to partake of 

family fare. " Come, faU to.^^ 
FALTERING-IRON. An instrument used for beating off 

the awns of barley, after winnowing; which operation is 

called PILING. 
FAN. An implement for winnowing com. 

M.S. 

F A N-N AILS. See Ang-nails. 

FANTIGUE. Irritability, ill humour. " She was in a 
i^iie fantiffue,^^ t. e. in a state of great excitement. 
H.s. H.A.D."Fanteague." 

FANTIGUED, or FATTIGUED. Vitiations oi fatigued, 

FANTOME. Loose, flabby; applied to a sickly child. 
" How fantome her flesh is." Vegetation, that droops 
from heat and drought, is said to be fantome] and 
light unproductive com is called fantome com. Cattle 
that dwindle away from change of pasturage are very 
fantome. All referable to a figurative use of Phantom, a 
spectre. 

R.N.c. w.c. B.N.c. M.S. G.&p. H.S. E.L."Flantom." 

H.P. H.A.D. 

FAR. " Gone rather ^r," i. e. had a glass too much, ap- 
proaching to intoxication. 

FARM. To cleanse, and put in order the dwellings of 
cattle, as '^farm out the stable and pigsty." A.-Sax. 
Feormian, to cleanse, to purify, purgare. Bishop Kennett, 
in his MS. Glossarial Collections, recognises this word, 
and assigns it to Oxfordshire. 

FARREE. For thee, or you. " Shall I car' it farreer i. e. 

Shall I .carry it for you? " I've non fan^eeP 
FARTHER, or FURTHER. Often cormpted to fukder. 

A sort of imprecation, expressive of repugnance and 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 221 

unwillingness ; " I'll be farther if I do." " I'll see you 
furder first, that I will." 

M.Sa C.C* H«A*D. 

FASHION. Commonly pronounced fayshm. State of 
health. "I'm a'ter a poorish fayshun^^'* i. e. I am very 
poorly. 

FAST AND LOOSE. Shuffling, prevaricating, con- 
tinually making promises and breaking them. " He 
plays fast and loose, you can't depend upon him." A 
metaphor from the cheating game of Fast and Loose, or 
Prick in the Garter, which is practised by low sharpers 
at our fairs and races. 

H.A.D. 

FAT-HEN. Goose foot. Chenopodium album, 

M.S. B.x4.Ca c .S.A. V/.V/. £.!«• H.F. 

FAT. " The fafs in the fire." A common colloquial 
phrase, denoting that ofience has been given or taken. 

FATHA. For thee. " I'm sorry fatha.'' 

FATTIGUED. See Fantigued. 

FAUCET, or FOSSIT. A wooden tap for a barrel. The 
faucet is the tube, and the spigot the screw or pin to 
secure it; together called " spicket aadfossttJ'^ 

M.S. 

FAULT. To find fault with, or accuse. " I don't fault 
him for that." 

L.H. 

FAVOUR. To bear a personal resemblance to another of 
the same family. " How the girl favours her mother." 

The boy is fiur, of female favour. 

As You Like It, iv. 3. 

Good fiedth, methinks that this young Lord Chamont 
Favours my mother. Sister, dotii he not ? 

Ben. J0N8ON, Case is Alter'd, iii. 1. 

G. W.C. H.H. C.C. H.S. E.L. H.P. H.A.D. 

FAY, FEY, FIE or FOW. To cleanse a pond or ditch, 



■•*■*■ ^ 



222 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

or any receptacle for mud or filth, as a cess-pool. The 
latter orthography, which appears to be the most ancient, 
is the least general, and is I believe confined to the 
eastern part of the county. P^nson and Wynkyn de 
Worde have " Fowen, to make clene, mundoy Cotgrave 
renders " Uscurer, to scowre, fet/, rinse, cleanse, or make 
cleane." Bishop Kennett, in his MS. G-lossarial Collec- 
tions, gives " To fe&jfei/, feigh,fow, to cleanse or empty, as 
to fea a pond, &c. Dunelm." Jamieson deduces Fey from 
Teut. vaeghen; vegh-en, purgare, tergere; Su. G. fei-a 
faei-a Isl. faeg-ia, Grerm. fegen, id. 

Better become the i-licbe, 
For Uifoiffen an old diche, 
Thanne for to be dobbed knight, 
Te gon among maidens bright. 

" Beves of HAmtoun," p. 45. 

(Halliwell.) 

Such muddy deep ditches and pits in the field, 
That all a dry summer no water can yeild, 
Bjf eying and casting that mud upon heaps, 
Commodities many the husbandman reaps. 

TUSSEB. 

R.N.C. G. M.S. W.C. C.C. H.H."Feigh." F.E.A. 
E.L. A.P. H.A.D. 

FEAKD. Afraid, timid : an abbreviation of afeard, which 
see. Its usage may be illustrated by the following 
simple-hearted appeal from a young rustic, who had no 
sjrmpathy with feminine fears : — two ladies, alarmed at 
some oxen that obstructed their path, called a boy to 
drive them away, when, having been rewarded for his 
trouble, he said, " Would you please to be feard of the 
sheep too ?" 

Ran cow and calf, and eke the veray bogges, 
So/ered were for berking of the dogges. 

Chaucer's " Nonnes Preestes Tale." 
C.C. H.A.D. 

FEAST. A village holiday, commencing on Sunday and 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 223 

continued tlirongh the week following the anniversary 
of the feast of the dedication of the Church ; in imita- 
tion of the dedication of Solomon's Temple at Jerusalem. 
The religious observance of these yearly festivals has 
long since degenerated into an assemblage of friends and 
relatives, from the surrounding villages, for conviviality 

and amusement, 

When rural life o^ ev^ station, 
Unite in common recreation. 

Even this expression of old English hospitality is gra- 
dually waning away, and in some villages is altogether or 
partially discontinued. The season of the year, at which 
these feasts are held, is sometimes kept in remembrance by 
a proverbial distich, as 

Hardingstone snow feast , 
Wootton crovf feast; — 
(two adjoining villages in the neighbourhood of North- 
ampton), indicating that one happens in Winter and the 
other in the Spring. Another distich runs thus : 
On the Sunday after Trinity 
Come to Denford feast and dine with me. 
The following vivid description of these rustic scenes, 
from the pen of our Northamptonshire bard, cannot fail to 
be acceptable to the reader; 

The lovely mom in July's blushes rose, 
That brought the yearly feast and holiday, 
When villagers put on their bran-new clothes, 
And milk-maids, drest like any ladies gay, 
Threw " cotton drabs" and ** worsted hose" away, 
And left their pails unscourM, well pleased I ween 
To join the dance where gipsy fiddlers play, 
Accompanied with thumping tambourine. 
From night till morning-light upon the rushy green. 

The woodman and the thresher now are found 
Mixing and making merry -with their friends ; 
Children and kin from neighbouring towns around 
Each at the humble banquet pleas' d attends; 



224 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

For, though no costlineea the feast pretends, 
Yet something more than common they proYide ; 
And the good dame her small plum-pudding sends 
To sons and daughters fast in service tied, 
With many a cordial gift of good advice beside. 

*Ti8 pleasing then to view the cotter^s cheer. 
To mark his gentle and his generous mind ; 
How firee he is to push about his beer ; 
And well *s he knows, with ceremony kind. 
Bids help themselves to such as they may find ; 
Tells them th^'re welcome as the flowers in May ; 
And, full of merrimental cheer inclinM, 
Drinks healths, and sings when supper's cleared away. 
And hopes they all may meet on next year's holiday. 

Cla&e*s Village Minstrel, vol. i. pp. 88, 40. 

Wake is a more general name for these aminal obser- 
vances, and is still retained in some parts of this county ; 
but in the central and southern districts /eos^ is universal. 
See Wake. 

H.H* L.H. H.A.D. 

FEATHER. In open fields, the strip of greensward between 
two LANDS. " Go and plough that feather up." In in- 
closed fields, the feather is the ridge thrown up between 
two furrows to keep the land drj ; called also a balk or , 
rood. See Balk. May not the original application of 
this word to a strip of greensward have been metaphor- 
ical from its similitude to a feather f 

FEATHER-BED. The White-throat. Motadlla sylvia. 
(Linn.) Denominated probably from the habits of the 
bird; as the nest is composed almost entirely of feathers^ 
and built on the ground. 

FEATHER-EDGED. A building term, for anything thick 
at one edge and thin at another. 

C.C. H.A.D. 

FEATHER-LEGS. Brussels-sprouts. The name is evi- 
dently suggested by the mode of growth, as they sprout 
out thickly all over the stem. See Buffle Greens. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. £25 

FEED. Grass-food for cattle. 

M.S. C.C. U.S. H.A.C 

FEED. A quartern of oats. " Give the horse a feed of 

com." Smart in one of his Fables says, 

Walk in, walk in (so prudence yotes)^ 
And give poor Ball a feed of oats. 

H.S. H.A.D. 

FEEDING. Fattening, nourishing. " Barley flour is rare 
feeding stuff." Good grazing ground is termed " nice 
feeding land." For the various derivations of this word, 
see Hartshome's valuable Shropshire Glossary. 

H.S. H.A.D* 

FEELTH. Feeling, as applied to the body. " I can tell 
by the feelth there's a thorn in my finger." 

E.L. H.V.D. 

FEGARY. A whim, a freak. " Let's have none of your 
fegariea,^^ The same as vagary. 

F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

FELDEFARE, or FELT. The fieldfare. Turdus pilaris, 
(Linn.) A.-Sax. fealafor. Often called Cock Felts, in 
distinction from the Redwing, TurdtLS Iliacus (Linn.) 
with which it congregates. Chaucer sanctions our 
orthography, for in the Romaunt of the Rose he lias. 
"Go, farewell ye^yarg." aS^cc Blue-tail. 

j.s.Fildefare." L.H."Fildefare." H.s."Fndifire.*' 

H.A.D. T.G. 

FELL. To hem the inside of a seam. 

J.S. C.C. T.G. H.A.D. H.P. 

FELL. To knock down. *' I feWd him to the ground.'' 
A metaphor from timber-felling. 

C.C. T.G. 

FELL IN WITH. Met by accident. " I fell in tcitk sucli 

a person." 
FELT. See Felde'fake. 

FEND. To work hard to obtain a livelihood, to stniggle 

L 3 



226 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

with difficulties. " He has got a large family, and 
nobody to fend for them but himself." Brockett says 
fend is an old word for support. 

But gie them guid cow milk their fill, 
Till they be fit to/enci themsel. 

Burns* Poor Maile. 

R.N.C. G. W.C. n.H. l^.N.C. C.C. T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

FEND AND PROVE. To argue, to defend. " It is 
common to say, " Don't stand ^m^tngr and proving there," 
when a person persists in endeavouring to make his own 
case good. 

. . . . and such a coil there is ; 
Such fending f and such^oi^tn^. 

Beaum. & Fl. 

G. W.C. B.N.C. C.C. HJ>. H.A.D. 

FEN-THRUSH. The missel-thrush, Turdus msdmrus. 
(Linn.) Called also Marble-Thrush, Gaw-Thrush, 
Horse-Thrush, and Storm-Cock. 

FERRIT. To pry closely, to search out narrowly. A 

busy, careful housewife is said to go ferriting about 

after her servants. Metaphorically derived from the 

habits of the animal of that name. Philips recognises 

this sense of the word. 

Ferrit all comers of this neather ball. 

Sylvester's '* Du Bartas." 

FERRY. A litter of pigs. "Oh! she's only a young 
pig, she's had but on^ ferry.'" Fezzle is a correspondent 
term. 

FET, or FOT. The old participial form of the verb fet 
or fetch, "I bejustaguing to fet the cows up." A 
churchwarden in a neighbouring village, complaining 
to a clergyman of the quick succession of the levies 
for the repair of the church, said, " You should not a* 
been so hard upon us, you should a' let us fot breath." 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 227 

Fet occxirs in the old translations of the Bible, and is 
common in the writers of Shakspere's time. 

And thereupon the win was feUe anon. 

Chauc£R*s Prol. 

On, on, you noblest English, 

Whose blood iafet from fathers of war-proof ! 

Hen. V. iii. 1. 

The ladye blushed scarlette, 

And fette a gentill sighe. 

Percy's Reliques. 

H.S* H.A.D* 

FETCH. To give. " He fetched him such a blow." 
FETTLE. Condition, proper repair. " The house is in 
good fettle; it's just been repaired." Cattle that are 
thriving are in good fettle. It is often used in an oppo- 
site sense, as, " What a -pTettj fettle youVe brought that 
horse home in," when he is returned jaded, and bespat- 
tered with mud. So general is this word, that it can 
hardly be considered local; it is admitted into most of 
our Glossaries. 

G. B.N.C. W.C. C.C. H.H. H.S. T.G. E.L. H.P. 
H.A.D. 

2. To put in order, to adjust, to repair; used very com- 
prehensively, as to fettle the horse, garden, &c. " Out 
of fettle^'' is as diffusely applied to anything out of order. 
" Come see if you can't fettle this box," i. e, repair it. 
" Fettle yourself up a bit before you go out," «. c. make 
yourself clean and tidy. Nares explains this word, " to 
go intently upon any business ;" but the senses above given 
are our provincial acceptations. It is a genuine English 
word, and occurs in Phillips, Kersey, and Coles. Wil- 
braham remarks that the old Fr. word faiture has ex- 
exactly the same meaning as our substantive fettle. 
Jamieson derives it from Isl. and Goth, fitl-a adparare : 
Seren. Fettle is used in the sense of to put in order, in 
Lancashire. See Hartshome. 



228 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

When the sheriffe saw Little John bond his bow, 
Vie fettled hun to be gone. 

PsRCT^s Reliqnes. 

Then John bent np his long bende-bow, 
AndfetteUd him to shoote. 

Robin Hood's Ballads. 

Nor list he now go whistling to the car, 
Bat selk his team tmdfettUth to the war. 

Bp. Hallos Satires. 

R.M.C. Cr* B»M<C. W>C. C.C U.II« H.S* H*L«* £*L. 
H.P. H.A.D. 

3. Temper, humour ; generally used in a good sense. " I 
got on pretty well, for I found him in very good fettle.^' 
The same signification prevails in Scotland, according 
to Jamieson. 

FEVER. A state of perplexity, excitement, and agita- 
tion, " She was in such sifayverf I cotddn't pacify her." 

H.A.D. 

FEVER-LURDEN. Idleness, listlessness. " You're good 
for nothing to day, youVe got the fever-lurden.^^ Lurdane 
occurs in most of our vocabularies, and is defined, " a 
lazy fellow ;" but I have sought in vain for this com- 
pound, till the appearance of Way's valuable edition of 
the Promptorium, where, in a note under " l/wrdeym^'' 
he says: — " Andrew Boorde, in the Breviary of Health, 
1573, quaintly observes at the close of his directions 
regarding fevers, — * The 151 chapiter doth shew of an 
evyll feuer the which doth comber yonge persons, 
named the feuer lurderij with which many are sore 
affected now a days, from bad education, or natural 
habit.' In the last case he pronounces it incurable, but 
offers the following nostrum : — * There is nothing so 
good for the feuer lurden as unguentum bacuUnum, that is 
to saye. Take a sticke or wan of a yearde of length 
and more, and let it be as great as a man's fynger, and 
with it anointe the backe and the shoulders well, 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 229 

morning and evening, and doo this xxj dayes; and if 
this fever will not be holpen in that time, let them be- 
ware of wagging in the galowes; and whiles they do 
take their medicine, put no lubberwort into their potage, 
and beware of knauering about their heart ; and if this 
will not help, send them to Newgate, for if you wyll not, 
they wyll bryng them selfe thether at length." In 
c. 262 he speaks also of " luskeshnes, brother to the 
feuer lurden.'^^ 

Halliwell, under Lordeyn^ gives the following illus- 
tration : 

I trow he was infecte certayn 

With the faitour, or the fever lordeyn, 

MS. Rawl. c. 86. xt. cent. 

H.A.D. 

FEVER-LURK. Nearly akin to the preceding word. 

Now only preserved in the following metrical saw, 

FeveT'lurhf two stomachs to eat, 
And never a one to work. 

Jamieson gives " Fever-Largie, two stomachs to eat and 
one to work." 
FEW. A small quantity. Thus our villagers, in speaking 
of broth or porridge, say, " Will you like a few broth?" 
and in commending the same will add, " they are very 
good ;" still using the plural, whilst the better educated 
always use the singular. I am not aware that this word 
is ever appropriated to any other liquid, we never say a 
few tea, or Sifew milk. 

Forby, in exemplification of the o.e. usage of this word, 
instances a sermon at Paul's Cross in 1550, in which a 
curious account is given of the College commons at Cam- 
bridge in those days. " At ten of the clocke they go to 
dynner, whereas they be content with a peny pyece of 
byefe amongst iiii., having a few potage made of the 



280 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

brothe of the same bjefe, with salt and otemele and 
nothing els.'* 

B.N.G. J.S. W.C. C.C. F.E.A. P.D. EX. G.&P. 
H.A.D. 

2. ^^ A good few. ''^ A singular expression for a medium 
quantity either of persons or things. " There wer' a 
good few at the fair," i, e, a tolerable number of people; 
but the most common application is to a crop of fruit 
on a tree. Complaining to a gardener of the failure of 
plums in the garden, he replied, " Oh no 1 there's a 
goodfew.'^ 

T.O. E.L. 

FEX. A petty oath. Clare in one of his poems, de- 
scribing a rainy day, exclaims. 

And, fex I a pepp'ring day there's been on*t. 

Rural Life, &c. p. 67. 

FEY. See Fay. 

FEZZLE. A litter of pigs. See Ferry. 

E.L. 

FIDDLE. An expression frequently made use of, when 
any one thinks lightly or meanly of what another person 
has been saying. 

C.C. 

FIDDLE. " To play second fiddle,^'' is to take an inferior, 
or secondary position in any undertaking; as "to play 
first fiddy is to take the lead -in any argument or 
project. 

FIDDLE-DE-DEE. Nearly synonymous with the pre- 
ceding word. See Faddle-de-dee. 

H.A.D. 

FIDDLE - FADDLES. Trifling or idle employments ; 
whims. 

Leave theae Jlddle /addles, 

Beaum & Fl. Wit without Monev. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 231 

FIDDLE-STICK. An unmeaning interjection, similar to 
Fiddle-de-dee. 

B.N.C. T.G. 

FIDDLE-STICKS-END, SHITTLE-COME-POO ! A 
vulgar exclamation exciting to exultation and mirth. I 
recollect an old woman who, in former electioneering 
times, used to head the processions of her party at the 
close of each day's poll, playing upon the poker and 
tongs, repeating Fiddle-sticks -end, shittle-come-poo! 
Fiddle-sticks-end, shittle-come-pooI 

FIDDLING. Trifling, loitering. " Don't stand fiddling 
over your work so." Palsgrave has the verb, " I fydell^ 
I trifle with my handes." 

Wish, Prithee \e&vefidling, 'tis well enough. 
Christ. Madam, you would have your things fit handsomly. 
Wish, Decently, I wou*d ; what you call handsomly is a niceness 
would ill become me. 

Southerne's Maid's Last Prayer, ii. 1. 
FID-FAD. One who is particularly nice and faddling 
over trifles. " What sl fid-fad you are!" 

H.P."Fad." H.A.D. 

FIDGE. Fright, alarm. " I was in a fine fidge,'' 
2. To move up and down, to be restless. "Sit still; 
doD!tfidge about so." Often said to restless children. 

What is that makes yoM fdge up and down so ? 

D&TD£N*s Maiden Queen, iii. 1. 

How hoyely Jidges up and down ! In what pain he is ! 

Ibid. iv. 1. 

FIDGET. A restless, over-busy, over-anxious person. 
" She's a woful fidget^ Jamieson says it does not ap- 
pear that the substantive is used in England : with us it 

- is common, 
c.c. 

FIDGETS. Restlessness, a continual propensity to move 
from one position to another. " YouVe got the fidgets, 
you can't sit still." 



232 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

FIE. See Fay. 

FIELD. Synonymous with parish, or lordship. " Wheere's 
that beast gone? Wi' over the bruk, into Mooreton 
Jield.^* An acceptation not confined to ourselves, as I 
am informed it prevails in Norway. 

FIG. To bribe ; to fudge ; to flatter. 

FIG SUNDAY. Pahn Sunday. It is the universal cus- 
tom, with both rich and poor, to eat figs on this day. 
On the Saturday preceding this day, the market at 
Northampton is abundantly suppjiied with figs, and there 
are more purchased at this time than throughout the 
rest of the year; even the charity children, in some 
places, are regaled with them. The observance of this 
custom appears to be very local; it is not mentioned in 
Brandos " Popular Antiquities," and the only notice of 
it I have met with, out of the county, is in Hone's " Year 
Book." He states that, at Kempton in Hertfordshire, it 
has long been a custom for the inhabitants to eat figs 
on this day, there termed Fig Sunday, when it is also 
usual for them to keep wassel, and make merry with 
their friends. No conjecture is offered, as to the origin 
or purpose of this singular custom. May it not have 
some reference to Christ's desiring to eat figs, the day 
after his triumphant entrance into Jerusalem? 

FIGHTING-COCKS. The spikes of the different species 
of plantain, with which boys play a game so called. 

F.E.A. H.A.D. 

FILANKS, THILANKS, or THILLANKS. The leather 
thongs fastened into the hames of the collar of the 
FILLER, or THiLLER ; / is commonly substituted in pro- 
nunciation for thj as is instanced in these words. 

M S. II.P. H.A.D. 

FILBERDS. Filberts; an archaism. 

I'll bring thee to clusV ring jilberds. 

Tempest, ii. 2. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 233 

FILE. A slang term for a shrewd, unscruptdous, old 
man. " A deep old ^Ze." 

H.S. H.P. H.A.D. 

FILLER, or THILLER. The shaft-horse. Nares gives, 
"Fell, now called Thill, the shafts of a cart or waggon;" 
thence originated the name of filler^ for the horse that is 
placed in the Jill or shafts. The names, bj which the 
different horses in a team are distinguished, may be 
seen under Body-horse. 

thov^ast yet more hair on thy chin, 

Than Dobbin my phill-horse has on his tail. 

Mer. of Venice, ii. 2, 

F.E.A. L.H. H.A.D* 

FILL-TUGS, FILLHANKS, or FILLERS-HAMES. Two 
pieces of wood which go over the collars of husbandry- 
horses, and fasten at the top by leather straps called 
COPSES, and to each side of which is attached a chain 
for the horse to draw by. 

FILLY-FOAL. A female foal. 

Neighing in likeness of dk filly foal. 

Mid. N. Dream, ii. 1. 

H.H. H.S."Fmy." 
FIMMAKING. Trifling, loitering. Spoken of servants 

who go idly about their work, not in good earnest; 

equivalent to Taffling. 
FIN, or FINWEED. The Restharrow. Anonis arvensis. 

Where the hlushing Jinweed's flower 
Closes ap at events hour. 

Clarets Village Minstrel, vol. i. p. 204. 

FINCH-BACK. A cow, which is white the whole length 
of the back, is said to he finch-hack. Marshall's " Rural 
Economy" recognises this term. 

H.A.D. 

FINDS-HIMSELF. Provides food and clothing for him- 
self. " His father's dead, and now he finds himself*^ 



234 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

Another form of this word is used in the phrase, " Such 
wages will barely ^m? salt to my porridge." 
c.c. T.G.^Find." n.A.D."Find." 

FEEBLY. Improving in health, in a state of convales- 
cence. " She's getting very^neZy." 

FINE-MOUTHED. An epithet for those who are nice 
and fastidious in the choice of their food ; fond of deli- 
cacies and Tm-BITS. 

FINE-SPOKEN. Smooth-tongued, plausible. 

FINE-SPUN. Artfully contrived, ingeniously length- 
ened; as, " 2^ fine-spun tale." 

FINGER. " To ^ut finger in eye," is to cry. Often said 
said to fretful children, " Come don't pat finger in eye 
about it." 

FINGER IN THE PIE. " To have 2, finger in the pie;' is 
to take a part in any concern. 

Sam, Why, look yon, nurse, I know you of old ; by your good will, 
yon would have 9^ finger in every bodies pie. 

Southernb's Fatal Marriage, i. 3. 

FINGER-POST. A direction-post. So called from a 
hand generally painted on the cross-bar of the post, 
with the fore-finger extended to point the way. 
There are various synonymes, as Guide-post, Hand- 
post, Sign-post, Tell-post, and Way-post. 

The green lane now I traverse, where it goes 
Nought guessing, till some sudden turn espies 
Rude hvXtQY'difinger-poBt. 

Clare's Rural Muse, p. 9. 

FINGERS AND TOES. A disease in turnips, when they 
throw out four or ^yq collateral roots, something like 
fingers and toes, without the formation of any bulb. See 
Hilly ard's " Practical Fanning and Grazing," p. 72. 

FINIKIN. Fadling, foolishly particular, pretending to 
great nicety. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 286 

And after him b. finikin lass 
Did shine like tlie glistering gold. 

Robin Hood's Ballads. 

M.S. C.C. P.D. C.S. H.A.D. 

FIN- WEED. SeeYis. 

FIPPENCE. A corruption of five pence. " As fine as 
fippmce,'' is a common proverbial simile: but why five 
pence has been selected in preference to any other num- 
ber, I leave the reader to conjecture. HaUiwell, under 
Morel, furnishes an early authority for this apparent 
vulgarism. 

That can set his three along in a row, 
And that \afippeny morrell I trow. 

Apollo Shroving, 1627, p. 49. 

FIR-APPLES. The cones of the Scotch Fir. 

C.C. T.G. H.A.D. 

FIR-BAUKS. Foreign deals used for the beams of a 
house. See Bauks. 

M.S. H.A.D. 

FIR-DEAL-TREE. A fir tree. 

FIRE. " To buy a thing out of the fire,^ is to give au 
extravagant price for it. " Pm not going to buy it out 
of the^re," is often said, when a person refuses to pur- 
chase an article because an exorbitant price is de- 
manded. 

FIRE AWAY. To give fiill expression to anger. " Come, 
fire away, and your pet will be the sooner over." 

FIRE-BOTE. Decayed wood. A word that is confined 
to the villages bordering on the forests, and now almost 
obsolete. Fire-hote was anciently an allowance of wood, 
granted by the lord to his tenant for fuel ; and hence 
this term has been adopted and perpetuated. 

FIRE-TAIL, or FIRE-RED-TAIL. The Redstart. Mota- 
cilia Fhoenicurus, (Linn.) 

£.L. 



236 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

FISH. " I won't make^^ of one and fowl of another," a 
phrase denoting that a person intends to act with im- 
partiality, and show no favoritism. 

FISH TO FRY. " IVe other fish to fry;' implies that I 

have other affairs to attend to ; I am otherwise engaged. 

Eat it all an' she would, for she car*d not a pin ; 
She*d other /(A frying as then. 

Clarets Village Minstrel, vol. i. p. 157. 

H.A.D. 

FISH£S. Small shining insects, that run about damp 

cupboards at night. Lepisma saccharinum, (Linn.) 

FISHIATE. To oflSciate; in Suffolk, ^Aerate. 

C.C. U.A.D. 

FISSES. Fists. 

H.S. H.A.D. 

FISSLE, or FISTLE. Very common corruptions of thistle. 
See FiLANES. 

M.S. B.N.C. E.L. H.A.D. 

FIT. Disposed, ready. " The child is so lively it's fit to 
fly." "I was so frit I was fit to swound." Another 
common application of the word is illustrated in Clare's 
Village Minstrel, where, describing the effect of a wintry 
scene upon the woodman, he says, " To look at things 
around he's fit to freeze." 
This sense appears to have escaped our lexicographers, 

though it is sanctioned by good authority. 

The man that hath no musick in himself, 

Nor is not movM with concord of sweet sounds, 

Is fit for treason, stratagems, and spoils. 

Mer. of Venice, v. 1. 

Then Robin ^s anger did arise ; 

He fought right manfully. 
Until he made the tinker 

Then almost /< to fly. 

EvANS^ Old Ballads, vol. ii. p. 125. 

C.C. F.E.A. H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 237 

FIT. The old preterite of the verb to fight. " Thejfit 
for an hour desperately." 

E.L. 

FITS AND STARTS. AppHed to the pursuit of any 
thing at irregular intervals. " He does every thing by 
fits and starts^ 

Light and darkness are but poor distinctions 
Of such, whose courage comes by fits and starts, 

Dbtden's Rival Ladies, i. 3. 

FITCHER, or FITCHET. A pole-cat. Mustela putorius. 
(Linn.) Foumart and Fulmar are correlative names 
with us ; but from a note in Way*s Promptorium, under 
FuImarCj it appears they are not generally considered so. 
The fur of the animal is always called Fitch, Grose 
gives " FiTCHOLE, a polecat. Fitchet or Fitcher." 

B.N.c."Foumart." j.s."Fitch & Fitcher." H.s."Fitch- 

uk." H.p."Fitch." 
FITCHES. Vetches. Anglo-Latin Lexicon, Harl. MS. 
221. ^^ Fetche, com or tare, viciay This word occurs 
frequently in the early Biblical translations, and is still 
retained in the authorised version of the Bible. 

For he treadeth not the fytches out with a wayne, nether bryngeth 
he the cart here and there over the comyn ; but he thresheth the 
fitches oute with a flayle, and the comyn with a rod. 

Bible 1551. Isaye, c. 28. 

The May- weed doth bum, and the thistle doth fret, - 
The fitches pull down both the rye and the wheat. 

TUSSER. 
G. C.C. H.P. 
FIX. A diflSculty. " IVe been in that fio) ifefore, and 

you're in the same^ now.'' 
FIZ-GIG. A wild, flirting girl. 

B.M.C. C*C« n.Jr. 

FIZZ. To make a hissing noise; fermenting liquor, that 
oozes out at the cork, is said to fizz, 

M.S. B.M.C C.C. r<E«A. H.S. T»Cr. H.F. 



238 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

FLABBERGASTED or FLAPPERGASTED. Astonished, 
bewildered, stupified with amazement. "When thej 
told me the tale, I was so flabbergasted I coidd*nt get 
over it for ever so long." 

M.S. B.N.C. P.D. U.A.D. 

FLACK. A blow with anything soft and pliant. 

M.S. F.E.A. H.P. n.A.D. 

2. To beat by flapping ; to hang loose ; to move to and 

fro with the wind. Clothes " flack in the face" when 

suspended on a line, and driven by the agitation of the 

wind against the face. 

Her cold breste began to heate, 
Her herte also iofiacke and beate. 

GOWER. 
G> F.E.A. H.P* H.A.D. 

FLACKING-COMB. A wide-toothed comb. Grose in- 
serts this word as peculiar to Oxfordshire. 

G. H.P. H.A.D. 

FLAGGY. Applied to com that grows so luxuriantly, 
that the blade is large and thick, like^^s or rushes. 

FLAKE or FLEAK. Grose, T7ilbraham, Hunter, Harts- 
home, and other Glossarists consider flcak as identical 
with hurdle ; the Dictionaries define hurdle^ " a frame of 
hazel rods wattled together;'' and they appear to be 
synonymous in the Anglo-Latin Lexicon, 1440, Harl. 
MS. 221, and in Pynson, where we find ^'' Fleyke or 
hyrdyll. Plecta, Flecta.''^ In Northamptonshire Jleak 
and hurdle are perfectly distinct, though they both 
serve the purjjose of a temporary inclosure. Aflxike is 
formed of unpeeled hazel, or other flexible underwood, 
closely wattled or interwoven together, between stakes, 
like basket-work. A hurdle is composed of bars of 
split wood resembling a gate. 

Botes and barg(»8 ilkon, -with, fiekes mak tham tigbte. 

R. Bbunne, p. 321. 

(Ricbardson.) 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 239 

The painfull pioneers wrought against their wiH, 
With Jleuh and fagots, ditches up to fill. 

Silvester's " Du Bartas," p. 865, c. 2. 

R.N.C. G. W.C. H.H. C.C. L.H. H.S. E.L. 

FLAKE-HUEDLE. A hurdle thatched with straw ; prin- 
cipally used for making hurks for sheep. 

FLAM. A low marshy place near a river ; called also a pan. 
Halliwell says, and I can find no other printed autho- 
rity for this word, that it is common at Islip, co. Oxon, 
and that it is mentioned by Hearne as peculiar to Ox- 
fordshire. But it is not surprising that it has travelled 
into this adjoining county. 

H.A.D. 

FLAN. A small round net, placed over a hole, to catch 
a rabbit when it bolts. A larger net of the same kind, 
set at the mewse of a hare, or at a gate-way, bears the 
same name. 

FLAP. The leaf of a table. 

FLAPING, rhyming to scraping. To make a noise, 
when supping liquids with a spoon. The same as 

SLORP. 

FLAPPERS or FLOPPERS. Young ducks which have 
just taken wing. 

F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

FLAPPERGASTED. See Flabbergasted. 

FLARE. The fat inside the loins of a pig; that which 
encircles the kidneys. When tried or rendered down, 
it is called seam or lard. Leaf is a cognate term, and 
much more generally used. 

G. H.S. H.A.D. 

FLARING. Tawdry, gaudy ; very bright and glaring as 
applied to colours. Shakspere, no doubt, uses it in this 
sense, when in describing the dress of " Sweet Anne 
Page," in the Merry Wives of Windsor, he says, 



240 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

She shall be loose enrob'd, 
With ribands pendant, /artny 'bout her head. 

A. iv. 8. 5. 
And pilewort^rM around the hill, 
Beside the sleeping lamb. 

Clabe*s Rural Muse, p. 63. 
c.c."Flariii." 

FLARNECKING. Giggling, flaunting. 

F.E.A. H.A.D. 

FLASH. To trim a hedge. See Plash. 

r.£.A* H.P. H.A.D. 

FLASKET. An open two-handled, circular, or oval 

basket, made of peeled osiers, for the purpose of 

carrying linen clothes ; often called a " clothes flasket'''' 

The word occurs in Florio, " Cista, A basket or aflasket.'^ 

And each one had a little wicker basket 

Made of fine twigs, entrayled curiously 

In which they gathered flowers to fill their flaskets. 

Spenseb^s Prothalamia. 
As in grape harvest, with un weary pains, 
A willing troop of merry singing swains 
With crooked hooks the strouting clusters cut, 
In frails a.nd flaskets them as quickly put. 

Sylvester's Du Bartas, p. 214, c. 2. 

R.E.C. C.C. G.&P. H.A.D. 

FLAT. A person deficient in comprehension. 

2. Low, melancholy: hence a flat market is one which 
depresses the spirits, because no sales have been effected. 
Also used substantively, as, " You're quite in the flats,^' 

H.S. H.A.D. 

3. A straight-sided shallow basket made of peeled osiers, 
with a flat lid, whence the name ; used principally for 
carrying butter to market, and frequently called a 
" hutter-flM:' 

FLAXEN. To beat, or thrash. "Your master will 
fljaxen you well, if you're so idle." 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 241 

FLAZE. To blaze; to £are as a candle doQ0, when a 
current of air causes it to bum unsteadily, and melt 
aW&7 fast. Clare, in the Glossary attached to his Poems, 
defines it ^* a smoky flame.'' 

With proggHng stick she still renews the blaze. 
Forcing bright spajrks to twinkle from ihejlaze. 

Clare's Rural Life, (1820) p. 197. 

FLEAK. See Flake. 

FLECKED. Spotted, clouded, or party-coloured; when 
blue settles, in rinsing linen, the clothes are said to be 
Jlecked, Brockett and Forby derive it from the Isl. 
Flecka, discolor. Holloway traces it to the Teut. Fleck, a 
spot. Bishop Kennett in his Glossary, under " Flesche- 
axe," remarks, " & fleck is properly a sore in the flesh, 
from which the skin is rubbed off; whence by metaphor 
they use, in Lincolnshire, the word flecked for spotted." 
Webster considers the word as obsolete, or only used in 
poetry. There are many early authorities for the use 
of this word. Chaucer has ^* flecked as a pie." Li 
Piers Plowman's Visions we find, " and wonderful fowles, 
with^c^eef fetthers." Shakspere also uses it: 

And flecked darkness, like a drunkard, reels 
From forth daj^s pathway. 

Ronu & Jul. ii. 3'. 

Cr. B.Iw.C. F.E.A. C.G. £*L* U.A.D. 

FLEECH. To wheedle, to use deception to gain an ob- 
ject; the word occurs in Jamieson, in the sense of " to 
flatter." 

B.17.C. H.A.D* 

FLEER. To look jeeringly, or contemptuously. " I 
fleere, I make an yvell countenance with the mouthe by 
uncoveryng of the tethe." Palsgrave. We often use it 
substantively, as, '^ he gave me such a^er." 

M 



242 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

M^ loose affeotioii (Proteus-like) i4>peArs 
In every form ; at once it firowns BSkd fleers, 

Silyestbr's Du Bartas, p. 566. c. 2. 

I blush to think how people fleered and scom'd me. 

BsAUM. & Fl. The Spanish Corate, It. 7. 

M>S* H«H« H*A*D. 

FLEET-MILE. Skim-milk ; Hence cheese, made of milk, 
from which the cream has been skimmed, is termed 
fleet-cheese, A verj old word, now nearly obsolete. 
A.-Sax. fl^t^ flx>B lactis. Belg. vlietan^ to skim milk. 
Anglo-Latin Lexicon, 1440, '' Flet, as mylke or other 
lyke. DespumoHis, Fletyn, or skomyn ale or potts or 
other lycour that hovyth. Despumo,''^ Pjmson, and 
Wynkyn de Worde, " Fletinge of lyconre. Sjmmacio,^^ 
Palsgrave; ^^Iflete mylke, take away the creame that 
lyeth above when it hath rested." Cotgrave, " Escreme, 
xincTesaned, fleetedj as milke." 

But woe betide the silly dairymaids, 

For I shBli fleet their cream-bowls night by night, 

And slice the bacon flitches as they hang. 

Grim, the Collier of Croydon, iv. 1. 

(Richardson.) 

M.S.^Flet." B.N.C. w.c.App. c.c. f.e.a. h.p. 
H.A.D. 

FLEITER. A prop or pile, to support the bank of a 
brook, or a bridge damaged by a flood. Jamieson gives 
" Fleit, overflowing with water." Our word is probably 
traceable to this. 

G.&P. T.G. H.A.D. 

FLESH- AXE. A butcher's or knacker's cleaver. 

H.A.D. 

FLETCH. A plank. See Fletches. 
FLETCHES. Green pods of peas or beans. 

M.S. F.E.A. H.p. H.A.D. 

2- The planks into which a tree, or piece of timber, is 




WORDS AND PHRASES. 243 

divided by the saw; each plank would be called a 

FLETCH. 

M.s."Fleeches." F.E.A."Fleaehes." h.p. h.a.d. "Fleches." 

FLEW. Shallow, expansive. " The dish is sofiew^ if you 
don't mind, you'll flop it over." " Your bonnet sits 
vQTjJlew," t.e. the poke is very open and wide -spread- 
ing ; probably a figurative use of the verb to fly. " Flew 
or sholde, as vessel or other lyke, bassus,'" Wynkyn de 
Worde. 

E.L. H.A.D. 

FLICK- A side or flitch of bacon. A.-Sslk, Jlicce. 

Another bought a spycke 
Of a hsLCon flicle. 

Skelton. 

G. M.S. B.N.C. C.C. F.E.A. T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

FLICKER. To flutter about, to have a tremulous motion. 
Birds flicker^ when fluttering over their nests; and a 
glimmering fluctuating light is called a flickering Hght. 
A.-Sax. fliccerian, Anglo-Latin Lexicon, 1440, " Flek- 
eryng or waverynge in an unstiable hert, Nutatiis, vacil- 
lacio.''^ A good old word, which on the score of pro- 
vinciality perhaps has no claim for admission here ; but 
Bishop Kennett, in his MS. Glossarial Collections, in- 
serts it as a Kentish word, implying its local currency. 
Palsgrave gives, " I flycker^ as a byrde dothe when he 
hovereth, or can nat yet parfytely flye. I wene yonder 
byrde be but late hatched, for she can nat flye yet, but 
flyckery 

For whiche her gost, ^dXfiich^ed aie alofte. 

Chaucer's Troil. and Cress, p. 315. 

Above hire hed, hire doyes fleckering , 

Chaucer. 

The tuneful lark already stretched her wing, 

And JlicFriTig on her nest, made short essays to sing. 

Dbtden. 

M.S. H.A.D. 

M 2 



244 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

FLIGG-DUST. The dust left in the nest, after the birds 
are fiedged and flown, arising from the sheafs of the 
feathers. 

FLIGGED. Fledged, fuII-feathered. "The biitb are 
fligged and flown.^ A.-Sax. fiiogan^ volare, flig^j ftiga* 
Grerm. Jlickeriy to flj away. Prompt. Parr. " Flygge as 
bryddjs. Maturus volatitus,^^ Way, in a note on this 
word in the Promptorium, gives an early and curious 
example of its use as an adjective : " Margaret Paston 
in a letter to her husband in 1460, describing the vain 
hopes excited amongst the partizans of Hen. YI., says, 
'Now he and alle his olde felaweship put owt their 
fynnes, and am lyght flygge and meiy, hoping alle 
thyng is and shalbe as they wole have it.' — ^Paston 
Letters, iv. 412." 

B.N.C. W.G« C.C. F.E.A. E.L. T.O. HJ*. HJIJ). 

FLIGGER. To flutter; nearly synonymous with Fucker. 
A young child is said to fligger^ when it flutters with 
delight as it is danced in the nurse's arms. Teut. 
fliggeran, lal. Jlieggur, 

F.E.A. H.AJ). 

FLIGGERS. Young birds full fledged and ready to fly. 
Bishop Kennett in his MS. Glossary, inserts this word 
as peculiar to the north of England, and Fledgars to the 
south. 

G. W.C. C.C. T.Q. H.P. H.A.D. 

FLIGHTS, The chaff" of com, particularly of oats, 

which is lighter than that of any other. Of obvious 

etymology. 
FLINB^T, A long narrow slip of land, whether arable 

or pasture. 
FLIP. According to the Dictionaries, and some of the 

Glossaries, is a liquor made of ale, spirits, and sugar ; 

but with us it is applied to any weak, tasteless, insipid 

liquor. " It's poor/tjp." 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 245 

FLIRTIGIG. A wild, wanton, coquettish female. Flur- 
rygig is an analogous term for a wanton young female 
who is endeavouring to attract attention by flaunting 
finery. 

G. B.N.C. C.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

FLIT. To remove from one house or lodging to another; 
to change habitations ; moonlight-flitting signifies removal 
by stealth without pajring the landlord. " Saturday's 
flit will never sit," is a proverb of prediction vdth super- 
stitious servants, who reluctantly enter upon a new 
service on that day. This acceptation appears to be the 
only one adopted in our vocabularies and glossaries ; but 
the word is equally or even more common with us, in a 
sense that is diametrically opposite — ^to prevent removal. 
A horse is flitted j when he is fastened or confined with a 
rope or chain by the leg to a certain portion of pajs- 
turage ; in this sense tether is a correspondent word ; 
^^ flitting chains" are advertized for sale amongst agricul- 
tural implements in the Northampton Mercury. A bird 
also ia flitted, when it is secured by the leg to prevent its 
flight; bottles 2kTe flitted, when the corks are tied to the 
bottles by a string. " Have y on flitted the bottles?" is a 
common inquiry with a thrifty housewife, previous to 
sending them a-field in hay and harvest time. A.-Sax. 
flitan, certare, Pjmson. ^^ FUtten or remeven away. 
Transferor Todd deduces this word, in the former of 
these senses, from the Dan. flytter^ or from the A.-Sax. 
fliht; Hartshome from the S. Goth, flytta, IsL flytia, 
vehere; Swed. flytta; D&n. flytter, migrare; and he gives 
various instances of its early adoption. To these may 
be added, — 

For whan that richees shinith bright, 
Love recovereth ayen his light, 
And whan it fetilith, he wo\ fiit, 

Chaucer's Romaunt of the Rose. 



246 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

He that otte tpoMfiiUetk, is lyke a byrde that fonaketh her nest. 

Bible, 1551, Proverfos, o. 27. 

He made a gUmoing riiot and missM the doTe ; 
Yet miaiM so narrow, that he cut the cord 
Which fastened by the fbot ihaJUUing bird. 

Dbtdbn. 

A rolling stone ne'er gathers moss ; 

So he that is tkftiUer 
From house to house, shall find with loss 

That seldom comes the better. 

Eyams's Old Ballads. 

6. B.N.C. W.C.App. C.C. H.H. F.E.A. H.S. £.L. 
H.P. H.A.D. 

FLITTERS. The residue of the leaf of a pig, in the 
process of maldng lard. When the lard is sufficiently 
boiled, it is indicated by the particles sinking or taking 
JUght to the bottom of the kettle, which suggests the 
derivation of the term. Scratchings is synonymous, 
and is in much more general use. 

FLOBBER. Loose, flabby flesh. " The flesh hangs under 
the cow's neck, all of a/oft6er." 

FLOBBERING, or FLOTHERING. Hanging loosely and 
disorderly. Flowers that lie straggling on the ground, 
or trees that require pruning and nailing, are said to 
hang Jlothering about; the word is not confined to lux- 
uriant vegetable growth, but is equally applicable to 
slovenly and tawdrily dressed females. 

FLOCK. The light particles that fly about a chamber 
when the beds are making; cognate with fluff and 
flue. A wool bed is called & flock bed. 

M.S. H.A.D. 

FLOMMAKING. Nearly allied to flotiiering; of more 
common occurrence, and I believe restricted to female 

attire. 

p.D."Flammakin." h.a.d. 
FLOMMAX. An ill-dressed slatternly female ; one, for 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 247 

instance, with a broad-bordered cap falling loosely and 
untidily about the face, I cannot find either this or 
the preceding word in any Dictionary; but, according 
to HoUoway's Provincialisms, they are both used in 
Warwickshire. 
L.H."Flummock." 
FLOORING. " A flooring of corn," as much as is taken 

from the mow, to the bdjstead, at one time. 
FLOP. To pour in hastily. " How you^ it in !" 
2. To fall down suddenly. " He fell down full flop.'' 
** She flop'd down into the chair." ^* The wdkler flopped 
over, the tub was carried so heedlessly along." Sudden 
motion is always implied. Halliwell gives " Flop, to 
outspread," as a Northamptonshire word. 

His scythe the mower o'er his shoulder leans, 
And whetting, jars with sharp and tinkling soand ; 
Then sweeps again *mong com and crackling beans. 
And swath by swath j2op< lengthening o*er the ground. 

Clabe's Rural Life, &c. p. 93. 
M.S. F.£.A. U.S. H.P. 

FLOTHERY. Loosely dressed in paltry finery. 

£.L. H.P. H.A.D. 

FLOUNDERED. Affrighted. 

FLOWK. To flap, or fall over the face, like the brim of 

an old hat. 
FLUFF. Any downy or gossamer-like particles. A.-Sax. 
floh, fragmen. 

F.E.A. H.S. H.P H.A.D. 

FLUCING. Warming the feet and legs, by means of an 
earthen pot filled with hot embers and placed under the 
petticoats. See Dick-pot. 

FLUM or FLUMMERY. Fulsome flattery. 

B.N.G. H.A.D. 

FLUMP. A heavy, lumpy faU. " He fell down full 
flump,'' 

O. M.S. A.W. H.P. H.A.D. 



248 NORTHAMPTONSHIRB 



«< 



FLUNG. Deoeived in calcolation or arrangement, 
was 9oJkmg in what I had to do, that I oonld not go.** 

BJfX. C.C. H.S. H.P. H.A.D. 

FXURRIGIGS. Uaelefls finery. See Flibtiqig. 
FLUSH. Fall-feathered, as applied to joong birds. 

w.S* H.S. A.W. EJL. H.P* H.A.D. 

2. Afflu^t, prodigal, wastefuL ^' Flush of cash." Dr. 
Johnson calls it a cant w(»d; but it can hardly be so 
considered, being in general use, to express fullness or 
abundance. In this sense Shakspere uses it. Jamiescm 
explains it " full in every respect, and affluent," refer- 
ring to the Teut. flu^en^ to flow. 

Since jou are wa fiiah. Sir, yon ahaU give me s focket of 
diamonds ot three bnndrod pounds. 

IteTDBK"^ Wild Grallant. 
H.S. 

3. Even with, on a leveL A wall or building is said to 
stand y?ttsA with another, when it is in the same Une, or 
ranges with it ; or it does not stand flush, when it is 
irregular, or one part projects before another. 

F.E.A. H.S. H.P. H.A.D. 

4. The stream from a mill-wheel. Forby deduces it from 
Teut. fl^asSy fluxus. Holloway from Belg. fluyssen, to flow 
with violence. 

F.E.A. HJ>. H.A.D. 

FLUSKER. To fly with sudden and disordered motion, 

Not a sonnd was there heard, save a blackbird, or thrush 
That, started from Aoe^ffiuiker^d out of the bush. 

Clare's Rural Life, p. 150. 

The crowing pheasant, in the brakes^ 

Betrays his lair with awkward squalls ; 
A certain aim the gunner takes, 

He cXvLmsy fiuihert up, and falls. 

Clare's Village Minstrel, vol. i. p. 94. 

£.L. H.A.D. 

FLUSKERED or FLUSTERED. Confused, flurried. " I 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 249 

was so fluskeredj I could not tell what to do." An in- 
ferior, awed or intimidated by the presence of a superior, 
would \}Q jlustered. 

H.S. 

FLUSTRATION. Hurry and confusion, arising from 
nervous agitation. 

B.N.C. P.D. 

FLY. To be quick at taking offence. " You can't speak 
a word to her, but shejliea in a minute." 

FLY-AWAY. A flirting, absurdly dressed girl. 

FLT-CATCHEE. A spider's web. 

FLYING COLOURS. " To oome off with flying colours;' 
is to be eventually victoriousj to clear your character 
from any unjust or foul aspersion. This expression is 
also used to describe colours which will wash out or 
quickly fade by exposure to the sun, as distinguished 
from fast colours, which will bear washing. 

FOAL'S-FOOT. Colt's foot. Tusselago farfara, 

C.C. E.L. T.a. H.P. H.A.D. 

FODDERING-GROUND. Commonly pronounced foth- 
ertng-ground, A dry lair for cattle. 

H.A.D. 

FODGE. See Fadge. 

FOG. Coarse grass, which cattle will not eat. Used in 
the northern counties for eddish or aftermath; Ray 
explains it, " long grass, remaining in pastures till 
winter." 

B.N.C. G. M.S. B.N.C. W.C.App. C.C. F.E.A. E.L. 
H.P. H.A.D. 

FOG£Y« An old man, offensive from neglect of personal 
cleanliness. 

B.N.C. C.S. H.A.D. 

FOGO. An impleasant odour. 

H.P. H.A.D. 

m5 



250 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

FOLD AGE. The liberty of penning or folding sheep by 
night, in open fields; now disused. 

H.P. H.A.D. 

FOLD-YARD. A farm-yard. 

H.P. H.A.D. 

FOL-DE-ROL, or FOL-LOL. An expression of exulta- 
tion used by boys, when, in playing at the game of Hop 
Scotch, they reach the centre square. 

FOLD-PRITCH. A heavy pointed iron to pierce the 
ground for hurdles, <&c. 

F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

FOLKS. Friends. ** We're not folka now." 
FOLLOW. To be engaged in. " He foUows the shoe- 
making trade." 

f .£.A. 

FOLLY. A useless building, a vagary of fancy : generally 
designated by the name of the original proprietor, as 
" Smith's Folly f^ sometimes by the name of the village 
where it is situate, as " Denshanger Folly ^^ as appears 
by the Northampton Mercury (1832). 

B.N.C. C.C. T.G. H.A.D. 

FOOT. " To set your foot in the job," is to give offence. 
" YouVe set your foot in the job without knowing it," 
i. e, you have given offence unintentionally. 

2. " He's got the length of his foot,^^ i.e. gained great in- 
fluence over a person, and uses it to his own advantage. 

FOOT-BRIG. A plank across a brook. 

Down lane, and close, o^etfoot-hrig, gate, and stile. 

Clare's Shep. Cal. p. 32. 

FOOT-HEDGE. A slight dry hedge of thorns, placed by 
the side of a newly-planted hedge, to protect the quick ; 
called in some parts of the county a foot-set; but in the 
locality where foot-hedge is adopted, a foot-set is de- 
scribed as two rows of quick, planted about a foot 
asunder on a slope. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 251 

FOOTING. A social exaction on entering a trade, 
changing a master, commencing any new occupation, or 
when a superior handles the tools of a mechanic — called 
" paying your footing,^'' The fine is generally expended 
in ale, which is shared among the shopmates. 

M*S* B*xt«G* G*G* H>H« F*£*A« H*S* ' n«P* U*A*D. 

FOOT-SET. See Foot-hedge. 

FOOT-TRENCHES. Superficial drains used in irrigating 
land. 

H.A.D. 

FOOTY (rhyming with booty). Insignificant, mean, 
paltry. " What a footy little bonnet youVe got on!" 
"What 2^ footy sum he gavel" 

J.S. P.D. A.W. E.L. H.P. H.A.D. 

FOR ALL. Instead of. " You have more need to help 
us, for all our helping you." 

FOE-BUCK. The top rail, at the front of a cart or 
waggon. 

FOECAST. Forethought, to think and arrange previous 
to action. " Forcast is half work," is a frequent admo- 
nition to a servant who is deficient in method and 
order. "I^orcew^e, I bethynke me or devyse a thyng 
afore the hande." Palsgrave. 

F.£.A. vT.P. H.S* 

FOE-END. The beginning of a week, month, or year. 

G. B.N.C. C.C. T.G. 

FOE-LADDEE. The moveable rails at the front of » 
cart or waggon for extending the length. See Copses. 

FOE-WAY. The front. "I can't put my head out, 
either back-way or for-way, but they insult me." 

FOEE-SUMMEES. A kind of platfcrm, projecting over 
the shafts of a cart. 

H.A.D. 



252 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

FORGIVE. To thaw. " The frost is gcring, it firffwes.'' 
SeeGrrE. 

F.E.A. HJP. H.AJ). 

FOR-HORSE. The first horse in a team ; -pTonaimced/brroas. 

H.A.D. 

FOREIN ROBIN. An earwig. Ck>nfined to the norOiem 
part of the county. 

B.lf.C. v. BJ«<C. tt.P. H.A.D. 

FORK OUT. To bring out reluctantly, unwillingly. 

" Come, fork out your money." Shell out is equivalent 

in America. 
FORRAD. Forward. The Craven Glossarist traces 

this apparent vulgarism to the JaLforaad, 

CC. H.S. M.A.I/. 

FORRADISH. Advanced towards intoxication. "He's 

getting a Httle forradiahy 
o. 
2. Rather advanced. " The boy's forradish in hi ^ 

lamin.'' A child is ^^ forradish with its feet," that 

begins to walk early. 

FOSS-FOOT. The impression of a horse's foot. 
FOSSUCK. A troublesome person. 

H.P. 

FOT. See Fet. 

FOTCH'D. The preterite of the verb to fetch. " He 
fetched me a fine thump on th' yed." 
c.c. 
FOTHER. Dry food for cattle ; a vitiation of Fodder. 

c.c. 
FOTHERING-GROUND. See FoDDERiNa-OROUND. 
FOUMART, See Fitcheb. 

FOURM. The seat of a hare. Anglo-Latin Lexicon, 1440, 
Harl. MS. 221. " Foorme of an hare or other lyke, lustrum^ 

M.S. H.S. H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 25^ 

FOUR 0*CLOCK. An intermediate refresliment between 
dinner and supper; the afternoon lunclieon of agricul* 
tural and mechanical labourers. 

H*S* H.A.D* 

FOUT (rhyming with out). Fought. " You font him 
well, and he got no more than he desarved.*' 

And /(yughten atten ale. 

Piers Plowman. 

FOW. See Fat. 

FOXED. A term applied to an oak tree, when the centre 
becomes red and indicates decaj. It is a common in- 
quiry when purchasing oak timber, " How is it in the 
middle, is it foxt/ f ** Halliwell uses this word as de- 
noting incipient decay in all kinds of timber ; we restrict 
it to oak. 

H.A.D. 

FOXY. Fermenting without forming a head; a term in 
the process of brewing. If the yeast is added to the 
wort when it is of too high a temperature, instead of a 
frothy and flocculent appearance, a thick brown skum 
forms on the surface of the liquor, of the colour of a 
fox; whence the name may have originated. Malt 
liquor, in this state of fermentation, probably retains 
more of its inebriating properties ; hence the verb, " to 
fox, to make drunk," which has found a place in most 
of our vocabularies. An early authority for this use of 
the word occurs in a curious old poem by John Taylor, 
entitled " Mad Verse, Sad Verse, Glad Verse, and Bad 
Verse," preserved amongst the King's Pamphlets (4to. 
156, art. 13) Brit. Mus. 

^Twas neare the time of Marche's equinoctiall, 

I had good meat, and such drink aa wovild fox you all. 

FOYLINGS. Deer tracks through a thicket. Cotgrave 
gives, " Foi/es, the slot of a stag, the view of a bucke. 



254 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

the footiiig of either;" from which our word probably 
springs. 

HJk.D. 

FEACK. To fill to excess, to crowd together. *< The 
room waa frock fiill." '' The currant trees were as ixiU 
as they could fiwik.^ 

F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

FRACTIOUS. Headstrong, fretful, ungovernable: gene- 
rally, if not exclusively, applied to cross, unmanageable 
children. 

M.S. A.W. H.A.D. 

FRAIL. A flail. 

T.G. 

FRAME. To attempt, to try. When any one expresses 
himself hesitatingly, or pronounces any word with difii- 
culty, it is conmionly said, " You can't fi^ame your 
mouth to it;'* and it is so used in the authorised trans- 
lation of the Bible. 

Say now Shibboleth ; and he said Sibboleth : for he could not 
frame to pronounce it right. 

Judges, xii. 6. 
The nations all whom thou hast made 

Shall come, and all shall /rame 
To bow them low before thee, Lord , 
And glorify thy name. 

Milton. 
G. B.N.C. C.C. H.H. F.E.A. H S. T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

FRANION. Luxuriant, thriving. "The wheat grows 

deadly franion^ 
FRANZY. Passionate, fretful ; used to children only. An 

adjectival corruption of frenzy, 

H.A.D. 

FREE-SPOKEN. Applied to the condescending affability 
of a superior to an inferior, " He's a very free-spoken 
gentleman." 

H.S. H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 255 

FKEM. Firm, thriying, health j, in good condition; the 
reverse of fantome. A.-Sax. Freom, firm, strong. 
These various significations are best explained by ex- 
amples. " The meat is very Jrenij^ i. e, very firm* 
" The yow yen't a frem un," is not a thriving one. " The 
cow yen't very frem^^ the cow is not well fed. " Them 
beasts that beant frem yen't profitable.'* The term is 
often applied to vegetation in a vigorous and quick- 
growing state. A gardener will recommend his rhubarb 
or French beans by saying, " They are very frem^ see 
how they snap a-two." " The grass looks very /rew." 
" That's a nice frem young tree." Drayton, in his Poly- 
olbion, has "yhm pastures." 

2. Used in a metaphorical sense; as a person, who is 
liberal in a bargain, is called a frem customer. Wil- 
braham defines the word, "tender;" and Ray, Grose, 
Brockettj and others give, " Frim^ handsome, in good 
case." In this sense I never heard it, though Harts- 
home in his " Salopia Antiqua," under the word Frum^ 
remarks that it is so used in Northamptonshire. 

R.N.c."Frim." w.c. e.l. L.H."Frum." h.a.d. 

3. Strange. " Who is that going down the village?" " I 
don't know, he's quite a frem person." A.-Sax. frem^ed^ 
ahenus. Pynson, ^^ Fremed or straunge. Extraneua.^^ 
Ck)tgrave, " Estrangier, Fremme bodie, that is neither a 
dweller with, nor of kinne unto us." This word is used 
by some of our early writers. 

A fauoon peregrine seemed she 

Otfremde lond, and ever as she stoop, 

She swouned now and now for lack of blond. 

Chauceb, The Squieres Tale. 
Whether he hefremdf or of his blod, 
The child, he seyd, is trewe and gode. 

Amis and Amilonn, 1999. 
(Wat's Prompt. Parv. p. 178.) 
R.N.C. O. W.C. B.N.C. T.G. C.C. E.L. H.A.D. 



256 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

FREMMEST. Most frem^ luxuriant, juicy. 

But, notwithstanding the coldness of the clay^ soil, it is 
ordinarily the fretumiUij as our fitrmers express it ; that is, the 
richest feeding land we haye. 

Mobton's Nat. Hist. p. 51. 

FRENCH-MAGPIE. Another of the numerous synonymes 

for the long-tailed Tomtit. See Baq. 
FRESH. Fat, or rather thriving, as applied to cattle. 

" The cow is pretty fresh, it's fit to kill." 

H.A.D. 

FRET. To thaw. '< I think the frost is going, it begins 
to yre<," or " it frets a bit." Clare aptly illustrates this 
word, in a passage quoted under " Eghe.'' 

FREZ. Froze. " It frez sharp last night." 

FRIDDLE. To waste time in trifles. 

FRIDGE. To rub, to chafe, to ravel out. A northern 
word. 

G. W.C.App. C.C. E.L. T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

FRIGGLE. To be tediously nice over trifles. « Why do 
jonfiiggle so long over your work?" 

FRIGGLING. Trifling, small, insignificant. A very 
small pin for instance, that you could not hold firmly, 
would be called a little fiiggling thing. 

FRIT. Terrified, frightened. " I was frit to death." 

And the coy hare squats nestling in the com, 
Frii at the bowM ear tott*ring o^er her head. 

Clare*s Village Minstrel, vol. ii. p. 196. 
And larks that fly above the corn. 
Frit by a jilted stone. 

Clare's MS. Poems. 
M.S. H.A.D. 

FRIZZLE. A fry. " Let's have a frizzle for dinner." 

2. Used as a verb, to scorch, or dry hard. " YouVe 

frizzled it up." To curl or crisp, as frizzled parsley. 

Phillips recognises this latter sense. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 257 

Where, haply, such uncomfortable days 

Make musical the wood-saps j^rus^tfl^ sounds, 
And hoarse loud bellows puffing up the blaze. 

Glare's Village Minstrel, vol. ii. p. 133. 

FROG-CHEESE. BoUti, growing on decayed wood. 

FROG-SEATS (often broadly pronounced Frog-sates) 
or Frog-stools. All holeti, and agarics, except the 
esculent mushroom ; synonymous with Toad-stool. 

FROG-SPIT. See Cuckoo-spit. 

FROG-STOOLS. See Frog-seats. 

FROSTED. A term given to horses' shoes, when sharp- 
ened and turned up at the points, to prevent slipping in 
frosty weather. 

M.S. C.G. H.A.D. 

FROSTIFIED. Frosty. 

FROUSTY, or FROWZY. Musty, fusty, iU smelling; 
also used as an epithet of contempt, as " Never mind 
that frovLSty fellow," probably a corruption of fusty. 
Bishop Kennett, in his MS. Glossary, remarks that 
" Frowzy^ in Kent, signifies anything disordered and 
offensive to the eye or smell." The same word, with the 
same meaning, prevails in Shropshire according to 
to Hartshome ; but I believe Frousty is confined to the 
midland counties : I am informed it is common in War- 
wickshire. 

M.S. H.P* H.A.C 

FROW (rhyming with snow). To pine, to dwindle away. 
I heard this word used by a villager, who, when relating 
the superstitious custom of announcing to bees the 
death of their master or mistress by tapping at the hive, 
said, if this were neglected the bees were sure to frow 
and die. On being interrogated as to the meaning of 
Jrow, he gave the above definition. I believe the term 
is also applied to sickly cattle. The following passage, 
quoted by Todd from Spenser's Shepherd's Calendar, in 



268 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

illustration of Jrowy, " musty, mossy," accords equally 
well or better with our signification of the term, and 
may imply dwindling and sickly pasture, such food as 
cattle would pine away upon. 

Bat if they with thy gotes should yede 

They soon might be corrupted ; 
Or like not of the frowy fede, 

Or with the weeds be glutted. 

FRUFF, or THRUFF. Brittle ; cross-grained wood, that 
does not work freely, is said to be fruff or fruffty. 
Bishop Kennett, in his MS. Glossarial Collections, gives 
fraugh as a Northern word, with the same signification. 

B.N.C. G. B.N.C. C.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

FRUMMETY, or FURMETY, or more commonly Thrum- 
met y. A favourite rural delicacy ; composed of baked 
CREED wheat, boiled in milk, with sugar and plums, 
tHckened with flour and egg8. Clare, in his Shep- 
herd^s Calendar, describing the sheep-shearing festi- 
vities, says, — 

. . . The high bowl was in the middle set, 
At break&st time, when clippers yearly met, 
Fill'd full ot furmety^ where dainty swum 
The streaking sugar, and the spotting plum. 

And, lamenting the disuse and extinction of old rural 
customs, he exclaims — 

Thus ale, and song, and healths, and merry ways 
Keep up a shadow still of former days ; 
But the old beechen bowl, that once supplied 
The feast of furmety, is thrown aside ; 
And the old freedom that was living then, 
When masters made them merry with their men ; 
When all their coats alike were russet brown, 
And his rude speech was vulgar as their own, 
All this is past, and soon will pass away 
The time-torn remnant of the holiday. 

M.S. C.C. H.H. T.G. H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 259 

FRUMP. An epithet of contempt for a sour, perverse, 
disagreeable female ; " an old frump," 

M.S. C.C. F.E.A. H.P. 

FRUMP. To TBiUMP up, to invent. " They fi^mped up a 
fine story, and there was not a word of truth in it." 
J.s. H.S. H.P. 

FRYSTE. New, smart. 

FUB. At marbles, an irregular and unfair mode of eject- 
ing the taw, by advancing the whole hand instead of 
the thumb only. " Come, come, don't you frib so." 

M.S. H.A.D. 

FUDDAH. Farther. 

U.A.D. 

FUDGE. Fiction, invention. "It's all yk^e;" "You're 
only frtdging me;" are common colloquial expressions, 
equivalent to Gammon. The Craven Glossarist and 
Brockett deduce this word from the A.-Sax. fcegan^ but 
the import given by Bosworth (" to rejoice") has no 
affinity with fudge. 

B.N.C. CO. H.A.D. 

FULK, or FULLOCK. Identical with Fub, which see. 
Fulhck is used in the northern part of the county, ac- 
cording to Clare. 

C.C. H.S. T.G. E.L. H.A.D. 

FULMAR. See Fitcher. 

FULTH. FuU grown. 

FUND. The preterite of find. " I fund it." This vul- 
garism is in perfect accordance with the original A.-Sax. 
funde, 

U.C. H«S. M.A.D. 

FUR. Far. 

For thei may not flee/t«r. 

PiBBS Plowman. 
C.C. 

FURBIDGE. To renew, to make smart. "Imust^wr- 

Udge myself up, before I go into the town." To furbish, 



260 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

to polish, to make bright, occurs in the Dictionaries; 
but with this sense ours is not quite identical. 

FURRED. Internally incrusted, as a tea-kettle after long 
usage, or the tap of a barrel. '' The tap is ao Jurredy 
the beer won't run." 

FURLONG. An indefinite number of lands, or lejs, 
running parallel to each other — if arable, lands; if 
pasture, leys: when applied to new inclosures, it is onljr 
the continuation, by custom or courtesy, of the old open 
field term. Sometimes it signifies an indefinite portion 
of a field, as '' up a that jjvyebl furlong^ t. e. up on that 
high part of the field. 

FURRIDGE. To search, to hunt. A person who is 
seeking for anything that is lost would say, " 111 ^ur- 
ridge every hole and comer before I give it up." A sus- 
picious mistress is always Jvrridging afber her servants. 

FURTHER. See Farther. 

FURZE-LARK. The tit-lark. Alauda pratensis. (Linn.) 

I wept to see the hawk severe 

Murder the furze-lark whistling nigh. 

Glabe*s MS. Poems. 
FUSS. A hurry, an unnecessary bustle : as, " She's 
quite in a Jkss, setting the rooms to rights ;" " What a 
fuss there is about nothing;*' or " There will be a fine 
fuss, as soon as ever she hears of it." A similar meaning 
obtains in the Hallamshire and North Country Dialects ; 
but we employ it with greater latitude, in a personal 
application, as expressive of civility and a hearty wel- 
come. " They made a great fuss with me, when I went 
to see them." In all these diversified uses of the word, 
some shade of the original sense appears to be retained. 

B.N.C. H.H. 

FUSSOCK. A large gross woman. " A great fat ftssock." 
A correspondent epithet to hosstick, Grose interprets 
fluggan, or fruggan, " a fussack, or coarse fat woman," 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 261 

but lie does not otherwise notice this word, though Todd 
calls it a Northern word on his authority. Hartshome 
uses it as an adjective. 

c.c. H.S. H.P. 

FUSSOCKING. Irritating, annoying. Commonly applied 
to articles of dress. " She can't bear a fur-tippet jus- 
socking about her neck." 

FUSSY. Busy, bustling, indicating an undue expression 

of friendly feeling. " He's a very fussy little man." 

" She was very fussy when I called." Clare uses it par- 

ticipially, as may be seen in the following quotation:— 
. . . when now but a day or two's gone, 

Since \kQfuss'd me so up in the grove, 
And preach'd like a parson as leading me on, 
And seemM like a saint fkllen in love. 

Village Minstrel, vol. i. p. 157. 

UaH. H.A.Da 

FUSTLE. A FUSS, or bustle. " What a fustU they're 
making." 

H.A.D. 

FUZZ, or FUZZEN. Furze, or gorse. UUx Europceus. 

P.D. A.W. H.A.D. 

FUZZ-BALLS. Lycoperdons. When ripe and compressed, 
they emit a brown powder, which according to popidar 
belief causes blindness. The Craven Glossarist,and others, 
restrict this name to Lycoperdon hovista; but our rustics, 
from whom it receives this appellation, are tmable to dis- 
tinguish any particular species, and consequently desig- 
nate the whole genus Juzz-balls. For its numerous 
synonymes see Moor, under Bull-fiest. We have the 
authority of our native poet Dryden for this word, who 
thus converts it into a term of reproach in his Troilus 

and Creside, — 

Whv, you empty /t«22-(a/^, your heads are fall of nothing eke 
but proclamations. 

p. M.S. B.N.C. H.H. O.C. H.S. T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 



262 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

FUZZ-FAGOTS. A bundle of fiirze bound together; 
used for heating ovens. Kid being a local name for 
fagot, they are often caHed fuzz-kida. 

H.A.D. 

FUZZY. Rough and shaggy. Applied to cloth that wears 
knappy. 

M.S. F.£.A. H.P. 

2. Light, spungy. So applied to land by Morton, 
c.c. T.O. H.P. 



G. 



GAB. Loquacity, idle talk. " Hold your gab^ " The 
gift of the gab,'^ i. e, fluency of speech. An old, though 
now a vulgar word. Hartshome, in his Salopia, gives 
several instances of its early usage. 

M.S. B.N.C. C.C. H.S. P.D> H.P. H.A.D. 

GABLE-POLES. Slender rods, placed outside the roofs 
of thatched buildings, to secure the thatch; called in 
some counties, " Lugs." 

GABY. A silly fellow, looking about with a vacant stare. 
Hartshome deduces it from the Isl. gapi, homo fatuus. 

H.S. A.W. H.A.D. 

GAD. Cattle are said to have " got the gad,^^ when they 

run madly and wildly about, in consequence of being 

stung by the gad-fly. A -Sax. gad, a goad or sting. 
While the cattle o'er the vales 
Scamper with uplifted tails, 
Others not so wild and mad, 
That can better bear the gad^ 
Underneath the hedgerow lunge, 
Or, if nigh, in waters plunge. 

Clare's Rural Life, p. 70. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 263 

GAD. A measuring rod. " Gadde or rodde, to mete 
wythe lond, decempeda^^ occurs in Pynson. Grose and 
the Craven Glossarist give it as a Northern word for a 
long stick. 

H.A.D. 

GAD-ABOUT. A rambling and tattling gossip. Florio 
renders Ctrconcursare, to gad about idly. 

P.D. H.A.D. 

GADDING. Groing gossiping from house to house, with- 
out any settled purpose. " YouVe never easy, if you're 
not always gadding about," 

Where have you been gadding t 

Rom. & Jul. iv. 2. 

B.N.G. H.A.D. 

GAFFER. The foreman of a set of labourers engaged on 
piece work ; in other words, the deputed overlooker of 
the rest. A.-Sax. gefadian. 

H.S. P.D. E.L. H.A.D. 

GAFFLE. Ducks are said to gaffle, when feeding' to- 
gether in the mud. 

GAFFLED. Silly, fooHsh. 

GAG. To tighten, so as to prevent motion. A gown sleeve, 
made so as not to allow of the necessary action of the 
arm, is said to gag, 

GAIN. Convenient, near; as " Such a field lies very gain 
for my house;" handy, ready, tractable, "He'll make 
a nice servant, he's a gain little lad." " The horse went 
very gain, though he never was in harness before." 
" That's a gain tool of yours." A word of extensive 
circulation, though considered obsolete in the Diction- 
aries ; all the examples above given are of every day 
occurrence. It is frequently used comparatively and 
superlatively ; " You may get the stone the gainest at Mr. 
Smith's," t. e, the most convenient for your purpose ; and 
sometiraes adverbially, as, "He's done that job very 



264 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

qahdy,^ EUis^s Early EDglish Poetiy suppliefl an an- 
cient illustration: — 

To the Mmth gate the gantU ^mL^g he drew, 
Where that he foond of armed men enew. 

Blind Harry's Wallace (15th centiiiy). 
R.]i.<;. O. M^. B.N.C. H.H. C.C. F.E.A. H.S. T.a. 

GAIT. A ^laU of water is two backets carried with a joke ; 
evidently from gait, a going, as much as a man can 
walk with. 

I*Te riaen up from dinner numy a day, 
When master at the market was away. 
For her a stolen pear or plom to reach, 
Or gait of water from the pump to fetch. 

CLAaB^a Shep. Gal. p. 162. 

GALLEY-BAUK. The balk, or bar of iron, on which 
pot-hooks are suspended, in the open chinmejs in old 
farmhouses. 

R.N.C. G. B.N.C. F.E.A."(yall0W-balk.'' H.P. H.A.D. 

GALLIVANTING. Rustic gallanting. Given by HoUo- 
way as a Sussex and Hampshire word. 

H.A.D. 

GALLOWS. Used adjectively for a depraved, wicked per- 
son. " A gallows fellow." Those who kill themselves with 
hard work, it is said, " will be buried under the gallows.''^ 

C.C. H.S. 

GAMBLE. A butcher's staff. 

GAMBRIL. Synonymous with Bcckeb, which see. If 
this term has any reference to the peculiar crooked form 
of the stick, it may owe its origin to the British Cam- 
bren, which is literally crooked wood; or it may be 
traceable to the Fr. Qamb, as the animals are always 
suspended by the hind legs. Amongst Ray's Proverbs, 
we have-^ 

** Soon crooks the tree that good gambril would be.** 
R.N.C. M.S. H.S. P.D. A.W. H.P. H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 26r. 

GAME-LEG. A lame leg; derived from the British qam, 
or canij crooked. 

G. B.N.C. C.C. F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

GAMMOCKING. Going from place to place, feasting and 
and frolicking. " Our John's always going gammocking 
about." This word appears to have escaped the Lexi- 
cographers, but Hartshorne and Halliwell give the sub- 
stantive as " foolish sport, practical jokes." 

M.S. H.A.D. 

GAMMON. Nonsensical deceit. " It's all gammon.''* Also 
used verbally, as " You're only going to gammon me." 
This, like the preceding word, is noticed by Hartshorne ; 
who deduces it from the Isl. gaman, jocus; A.-Sax. 
gamene, ludus; Swed. gamman, laetitia; and gives ex- 
amples of its early adoption. 

xi.S. H.A.D. 

GAN, or GEN. The preterite of gave. " He gan me a ' 

SPUNTLE o' broth." 
GANG. A set of calf's feet ; obviously from gang, to 

go ; as many feet as are required to gang with. 

M.S. F.E.A. 

GANGLING. Awkwardly tall and slender, as applied to 
persons; long and straggling, as applied to vegetation. 
This latter sense prevails in Scotland, according to 
Jamieson. 

H.A.D. 

GANTREE, or GAWNTREE. A stand for beer barrels. 
Thrall is synonymous, and in much more general use. 

B.N.C. C.C. T.Q. H.P. H.A.D. 

GAPE SEED. Food for curiosity. " You've had' plenty 
of gape-seed to day," t. e, seen plenty of sights. A per- 
son that is staring after everything is said to be fond of 
gapeseed. 

GAR. A word of admonition, to premonish a child. A 
good old word, but nearly obsolete. Palsgrave gives 

N 



266 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

Crorre, as a French interjection, " betokennynge wamyng 
of a daunger." 

( I ARDEN- WARBLER. The Hay-chat, or Black-cap; 
Motacilla atricapilla (Linn.) It may well be designated 
the WARBLER, as it is one of our finest singing birds, 
imitating the notes of most other songsters, and might 
appropriately be called the English mocking bird. 

GARRY-HO. Loose, improper language. " They are 
talking in a garry-ho sort of way." 

CtARTH. a small inclosure adjoining a house; hence 
stack-garth^ the occasional name for a rick-yard, in the 
northern part of the county. Home Tooke says garth ^ 
1. e. girdeth, is commonly used in Lincolnshire for a 
yard. 

R.N.G. G. B.N.C. C.C. T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

GATE. " A creaking gate hangs longest on the hinges." 
Used figuratively of an invalid, who outlives an appa- 
rently healthier person. 

GAUD. A jollification. From the Latin gaitdeo, to re- 
joice. This, I presume, was Shakspere's meaning, in 
the subjoined quotation; and Steevens remarks, on the 
same passage, that feast-days in either University are 
still so designated. 

Come, 



Let's have one other gavdy night, call me 
All, my sad captain ; fill our bowls once more: 
Let^s mock the midnight bell. 

Antony and Cleo. iii. 2. 

GAUDY- DAY. A showery day, with gleams of sunshine. 

GAUMY. Sticky, as with smeared sugar, or treacle. 

GAUNTY. Luxuriant. It appears to be a woodman's 
term, for trees which grow so tall and awkwardly over- 
spreading as to injure the ground beneath. I give this 
word on the authority of a friend, who often hears it in 
the neighbourhood of Yardlj Chace, and gave me the 



WORDS AND PHRASES. £67 

following familiar exemplification. On inquiring why 
some timber had not been felled, he was told that " the 
woodman made many omperlogies about it, and said he 
could not fell the trees, for they grew so gaunty-like, and 
the ground under 'em was all of a swaggeb-gog." 

GAURY. Exuberant, healthful, quick-growing, frem. 
" There's a fine crop of oats, they look very gauryy 
Growing corn, too luxuriant in the blade, is said to be 
gaury, 

GAWKY. A tall, lank, awkward-looking female; as, 
" What a great gawky she is I" Also used participially ; 
as, " a gawkying thing." Our meaning is different from 
that prevailing in other districts. The Lexicographers 
and Glossarists define it a stupid, half-witted, awkward 
person. Grose is the only one who adopts our signifi- 
cation ; but he does not restrict it to females, as we do. 

GAWNEY. A sawney, a simpleton. " You great gaw- 
neyP Pretty general everywhere amongst the lower 
orders. 

A.W. H.A.D. 

GAWNING. Staring vacantly. " How he goes gauming 
about !" " What do you stand gauming there for?" 
A.-Sax. ganian, to yawn. 

GAWN-TREE. See Gantree. 

GAWP. To stare idly and vacantly. Often used in con- 
junction with stare. ''He goes gawping and staring 
about, Hke a noodle." 

B.N.C. W.G. G.O. F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

GAW-THRUSH. See Fen-thbush. 

GEARING-RAHiS. Another of the various names for 

the ladder-Hke rails appended to the sides of a cart or 

waggon. See Copses. 
GEASON. Sparing, scarce. " You're so geasan of your 

trouble." A good old word, nearly obsolete. 



n2 



268 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

But while I live, the good I will commende, 
And them exalt at every time and season ; 
I may have leysure ynough thereto tindend, 
Since of them is no plentie, but great ffecuon. 

Babclat*s Ship of Fooles (1508), p. 124. 
The highest tree, that ever yet could grow. 

Although full fitire it flourisht for a season, 
Found yet at last some fall to bring it lowe : 

Thys old said saw is (GKmI he knoweth) not getuon. 

Gasooione*s Works (1587.) 
Some go here, and some go there, 

Where gazes be not gttuon ; 
And I go gaping every where. 
But still come out of season. 

EyANS'a Old Ballads, voL i. p. 123. 
" A proper song," (1584.) 
B.E.C. O. H.P. H.A.D. 

GEE. An imperative iised by carters and plough-boys, to 
direct their teams to go off or from them ; also a general 
word of command for starting draught horses. Pro- 
bably traceable to the A.-Sax. gegan^ to go; Pegge 
seems to think it is the imperative " Geh" of the German 
verb " gehen" to go ; and Todd says, it is a sort of 
abbreviation of gehoy which seems to be a word of great 
antiquity in the same sense. See com'otheb. 

C.C. F.E.A. P.D. T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

2. To agree, to suit. " They don t gee well together," is 
often said of servants who do not live harmoniously. 

M.S. W.C J.S. CGt H.H. f .£.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

GEESE AND GOSLINGS. The blossoms of the salix; 

so denominated from the fancied resemblance to a young 

gosling newly hatched. See Gosling. 
M.s."Goslins." F.E.A."Goslin." 
GEFF, or JEFF. Deaf. 

W.C. H.A.D. 

GELL, or JELL. A great deal, a great quantity. 

1^ .C* H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 269 

GEMELL-TREES, or GBiELS. Twin trees: described 
bj Morton as ^' two trees of the same kind growing 
united trunk to trunk." Cotg. " gemelier, double, or 
twinne-like." The term is now corrupted into Jumble- 
trees. Halliwell gives gemel, a twin or pair of any- 
thing. 

GEN. Gave. " I gen tuppence for't." 

GET. To receive correction, or punishment. " You'll 
get it my lad, if you don't mind what you're about." 

H.S. H.A.D. 

2. " Get 071^ An agricultural phrase, best explained by 
the example. " The land is so wet, we cannot get on it," 
I. e, we cannot work upon it. 

3. " Get aty To comprehend, to imderstand. " I should 
have given in for the contract, but I couldn't get at it." 
I could not understand what was required. 

4. "To get over the left shovMer^^ is to be unfortunate in 
a bargain, to be a loser. 

F*E.A. H.P. 

5. " To get shvi of^^ is a phrase commonly used for getting 
rid of any disagreeable person or thing. 

F'E.A. H.P. 

GETS. Earnings. " With all his labour his gets won't 
maintain his family." 

H.A.D. 

GIB-CAT. A male cat. Shakspere converts it into a 
proverbial simile, when Falstaff in Hen. IV. part 1, 
says, " I am as melancholy as a gtbbe cat or a lugged 
bear." It is enumerated amongst the proverbs of Ray ; 
and Bishop Percy, in his MS. list of Northamptonshire 
localisms, 1744, gives, "^rift-cof, a ram-cat or he-cat;" 
remarking that, " as melancholy as a gib-cat is a com- 
mon proverbial phrase in Northamptonshire, to this 
day." It is still in use at the present time ; which dis- 
proves the assertion, made by Toone, that " A gibhed cat 



270 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

18 said, but on no certain authoritj, to be a he-cat.** He 
also observes, '' Both the etymology and the precise 
meaning of the word seem involved in obscnrity.*' Coles 
in his Dictionary, 1677, gives felis maa, as the Latin for 

H.P. H.A.D. 

GIBBERISH. Nonsensical, unmeaning talk. 

How oft IVe bent me o'er her fire and smokey 
To hear her gtbberith tale bo quaintly spoke. 

Clare's Village Minstrel, vol. i. p. 122. 
H.H. H.P. 

GIDLING. Giddy, thoughtless, heedless. ^< She's such a 
gidling thing, she wants constantly looking afler.^ Also 
used adverbially, as, '' She goes about her work so gid- 
lingly:' 

GIE. Brockett says, the Northern form of gwe; but it 
is equally common in the Midland district. 

Qi* me my tankard. 

Ben Jonson. 

Nor would I gVe, from off my cuff, 
A single pin for all such stuff. 

Glare's Rural Life, &c. (1820) p. 88. 

I'd sooner gi'e than take from any. 

Ibid. p. 89. 
Labour had g%*en it up for good. 

Ibid. p. 60. 

B.N.C. C.C. T-G. H.A.D. 

GIFFY, or JIFFY. A word used to express the shortest 
possible lapse of time; identical with twinkling and 

TRICE. 

F.E.A. H.P. 

GIFELING (with the g hard). Idling about in a flighty, 
thoughtless manner. Exclusively applied to young 
females. 

GIFTS. White specks on the finger nails ; which, accord- 
ing to their respective situations, are superstitiously 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 271 

believed to predict certain events, as indicated in the 
following couplet, which is repeated whilst touching the 
thumb and each finger in succession :— 

A gift, a friend, a foe, 

A lover to come, a journey to go. 

Sometimes the augury is expressed in general positive 
terms; as, 

A gifi on the thumb is sure to come : 
A ffift on the finger is sure to linger. 

This mode of prognostication is of long standing, and 
not confined to this country ; for Whalley, in a note to 
Ben Jonson's Alchemist, on the lines — 

I knew^t, by certain spots too in his teeth. 
And on the nail of his mercurial finger ; — 

quotes, for the poet's authority, Cardanus, an eminent 
Italian writer on medicine in the early part of the 16 th 
century, who in his " De Subtilitate," has the following 
passage :• — " Sunt etiam in noUs vestigia quoedam Jutu- 
rorum eventuum, in unguilms, atque etiam in dentUms^^sed 
pro manus natura, et digitorum in qtUbus Jiunt, et colorum 
et mutatione eorumJ'^ This popular and childish super- 
stition is doubtless a remnant of a species of divination, 
anciently performed by the finger-nails of an unpolluted 
boy, which is noticed in Brand's Popular Antiquities, 
and termed Onychomancy, or Onjnnancy. 

M.S. B.N.C. J.S. H.H. C.C. F.E.A.App. T.G. H.P. 
H.A.D. 

GIG. A winnowing fan, superseded by modem ma- 
chinery. 
GIGrGISHLY. In a foolish wanton manner. 

H.P. 

GIGrGLING. Giddy, tittebing at every thing; foolishly 
merry. " What a giggling girl you are." Nearly the 
same signification as Gifelxng. 

GIGGLING, or GOGLING. Unsteady, easily shaken: 



272 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

applied to rickety furniture. Crazt, Coqlt, and Kick- 
USH, are all correlatives. It probably has the same de- 
rivation as GrOGGT, which see. 

GILLET. See Battledore. 

GILLS. '* It sticks in your gilh.^ A phrase applied to 
an offence or injury not forgotten or forgiven. A kin- 
dred expression to *' It sticks in your gizzard.*' 

GILLYFER, or GILLYVER. The old and still current 
pronunciation of Gillyflower. A general name for all 
plants of the cheiranthus tribe, but most commonly ap- 
plied to the single wall-flower. 

. . . . the furest flowers o* the season 
Are our carnations and streak'd gilly\ora. 

Winter's Tale, iv. 3. 
The gilafer^t a gilafer, 

And nature owns the plan ; 

And strange a thing it is to me 

A man can't be a man. 

Clabb*s MS. Poems. 

J.S. C.C. H.P. 

GBiCRACK, or GIMCRANK. An universal mechanic, a 
Jack of all trades. " He's quite a gimcrank, he can 
turn his hand to anything." This word is given in the 
Dictionaries, but in a different sense from ours; it is 
there applied to the person and dress, or to any trifling 
mechanism. 

(xIMEL. See Gemell trees. 

(tIMLET-EYE. An eye with a squint. 
B.N.c."Gimlick." c.c. h.a.d. 

GIMMAT. Give me it. 

c.c. 
GIMMA. Give me. This and the preceding are common 
rustic corruptions. " Gimma the ommer," t. e, give me 
the hammer, 
c.c. 
GIMMY, or JEMMY. Spruce, very neat, finical, nice in 
person. " He's a gimmy little man." Never I believe 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 273 

applied to females. Forby traces it to the C. Brit. 
gioymp. 

B.li.C* CC. F.£.A. H.P* 

GIMP. The thick thread in pillow lace, which forms the 
pattern. 

GIMSONING. Ingenious trifling, gimcracking. Not often 
heard. An old woman in this neighbourhood said to 
a lady, " My son will do very well, and make a good 
servant, if he don't get to gimsoning and magkling.^' 
Forby gives the substantive, and defines it, " One who 
is ingenious in making gimcracks or knick-knacks;*' 
which very well agrees with the old woman's use of the 
word. 

it .JS.A. UiJl . 

GIN. Given. " What's he gin you?" 

CC. 

GIN. A simple machine, of the nature of a crane, for 
moving timber. Way in a note on this word in the 
Promp. Parv. says, " A gin signifies, according to the 
old writers, a cunning or deceitful device, and thence an 
ingeniously constructed machine of any kind. * Troclea, 
the gt/Tij whyche is called a crane.' Elyott." A corrup- 
tion of engine, 

GINGERLY. Carelessly, incautiously, slightly. " You 
hold that glass so gingerly^ you'll drop it." This sense 
seems to be in opposition to the conmxonly received 
meaning ; Todd, Forby, Toone, and others define it, 
" cautiously, nicely." Shakspere's adoption of the word 
accords equally well with either signification. The ad- 
jectival application appears to be confined to us. " Why 
did you buy such a gingerly thing ? " is commonly said 
of old rickety fiimiture. 

What is*t that you took up so gingerly t 

Two Gent, of Verona, i. 2. 
F.E.A. H.S. H.F* H.A.I/. 

n3 



•^74 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

(IINGER-PATED. Light-headed, whimmy. A pale red 
colour, particularly applied to the hair. 

F.E.A. B.N.C. C.C. 

GIN'T, or GIEN'T. Gave it. " I girCt 'em properly." 

H.S. 

(tIPSEY-LEGGT). Having slender anUes. 

(tIRD. Wilbraham remarks on this word, that " Ash 

calls it a twitch, a pang; but he apprehends wrongly 

so." With us it is the only acceptation. 

W^.C C.C U«P* 

GIRN, or GURN. To look and speak maliciously. " How 
you gim at me." Also to yawn, to grin. The first sig- 
nification, is, I believe, peculiar to us ; but the latter 
appears to be widely disseminated ; it is given by Grose 
and Jamieson, as prevailing in the North. " ToU must 
gim, and abide it," is a current phrase, implying, if you 
don^t like any disagreeable thing, you must grin and 
bear it ; or, as expressed by Brockett in his notice of 
this word in his second edition, you must submit doggedly, 
from necessity, not choice. See Hartshorne, imder 
" Grin and bear it." There are various examples of the 
early usage of this word, in Richardson's valuable Dic- 
tionary; and the Nursery Rhymes furnish an apt illus- 
tration, but Halliwell appears to have misunderstood the 
word; for, in an explanatory note, he says " To Gem. 
That is, to cry as a child." 
[The following may possibly allude to King George and the Pretender.] 
Jim and George were too great lords, 

They fought all in a churn ; 
And when that Jim got George by the nose, 
Then George began to gem, 

Halliwell's Nursery Rhymes, p. 19. 
B.N.C. C.C. T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

CrIRNING. Grinning, by metathesis, like the preceding 
word. " What do you stand giming there for ?" 

C.C. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 275 

GFTHE'. Give thee. " What shaU I gUthe' for't?" 

c.c. 
GITS. Gets; which see. 

c.c. 
GIVE. This word is employed with great latitude ; and, 
in addition to the numerous recognized definitions, the 
following, though not perhaps strictly local, seem to 
have been overlooked by the best Lexicographers. 

1. To become moist, to yield, as the ground when it 
thaws, or paving-stones in damp situations previous to 
rain. " The stones give.^'' " It gives" or " forgives," or 
" UNGiVES," are aU correlatives ; and fbet^ is also a corre- 
spondent expression. 

F.E.A."Forgive." c.c."Give again." h.s. h.p. 

2. To stretch, to expand. The boots will fit when they 
give a little. 

3. " m give it you." A menace, a threat. 

c.c. F.E.A. H.s. H.p. H.A.D. 

4. " ril give you a good word." Recommend you, give 
you a good character. 

F.E.A. H.p. H.A.D. 

5. " m give you the bag." Dismiss you. 

F.E.A. H«F* U.A.D. 

6. "To give grant." To give leave, or permission. ** I 
wanted to go to the fair, but Missis wouldn't give grant." 

GIVEN. Disposed, inclined. " He's given to vicious 
habits." 

c.c. HaAaC 

GIZZARD. See Gills. 

GLAUDS. Hot gleams between showers. Used more 
frequently adjectively, as, " It's a glaudy morning." 
Probably derived from the A.-Sax. ghfan, glawan. 

GLAUVER. Flattery. " Let's have none of your ^Zawver." 
Welsh, glafr^ flattery. There are numerous early ex- 
amples of the use of this word, as a verb and adjective. 



276 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

GLEED. A glowing ember, a clear fire without fiame. 
A good old word, derived from A.Sax. gUd. " There's a 
nice gleed, you may boil the milk now without smoking.** 

And wafrii piping hote out of the glecU, 

Chauceb*s Miller*! Tale. 
Gnunten any grace, ne forgj^eneas of synnee, 
Til the Holy Qoet gloweth hote as a glede, 

PiBBS Plowman's Vision. 
His armor glytteiyde as dyd a glede, 

PsBCT'd Reliques, vol. i. p. 7. (ed. 1791.) 

E L. H.A.D. 

(;LEET1NG-SPR1NGS. Described by Morton, p. 39, as 
" springs which have no free outlet, render the earth 
hollow and fuzzy j swelling and elevating the surface of 
it." On that side of the county where Morton resided, 
the term is still applied to surface springs ; and it is 
sometimes used substantively, as, ** He's gone down to 
the gleeting,^^ 

(tLEEVE. a pole about four yards long, with serrated 
prongs, used for catching eels. " Let's go a gleeving," 

(tLEG. a glance ; " She gave me such a gleg.^^ ** Keep 
your glegs to yourself." 

I never passM without a ffUg 
The bonny maid of Clyde. 

Clare's MS. Poems. 
2 To glance, to look askance. "She glegged at me." 
Clare furnishes a participial illustration. 

The simple rustics try their arts awhile, 

With glegging smiles, and hopes and fears between. 

Clarets Village Minstrel, vol. ii. p. 78. 
B.N.C. T.G. H.A.D. 

GLEN or GLENT. A slight glance, a glimpse. Jamieson 
has glent and glint^ in the same sense. 
But at the last, as that her eye glent 
Aside, anon she gan his sworde espie. 

Chaucer's Troil. & Cress. 
W.C.App. B.N.C. CO. T.G. H.A.D. H.P. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 277 

GLENDER. To look intently, to stare. 

H.A.D. 

GLENT. Gleaned. " Are the gleaners in that field? No, 
it was glent yesterday." 

M.S. 

GLIB, or GLIBE. Smooth, slippery. " The ice is very 
^/t&." A voluble person is " very glib of speech." 

Or seeking bright glib ice, to play, 
And slide the wintry hours away. 

Clare's Shep. Cal. p. 3. 

And smooth as glass the glibhed pool is froze. 

Clabb*8 Village Minstrel, vol. ii. p. 22. 
M.S. C.C. T.O. H.A.D. H.P. 

GLIDE. A slide. Probably from A.-Sax. glid^ slippery. 
GLIDE, or GLOIDE. To slide on the ice. 

£«L. n.A.D. 

GLIFF. A transient sly look. More common in the 
Northern than in the Midland counties. 

O. B.N.C. W.C. C.C. T.O. H.P. H.A.D. 

GLIMBER. To shine, to tyrinkle, to glimmer. An old agri- 
cultural labourer said to me, " I can always teU dinner time, 
by the peculiar way which the sun glimbers about noon." 

GLINE. To leer, to look askance. " She did'nt speak, 
but she gUned at me." An expressive word, of which I 
find no mention except in Halliwell, who assigns it to 
Dorsetshire. Ghnt^ glemthy glint, glim, glyme, glee or gly, 
are all analogous in other local dialects. 

fl.A.D. 

GLISK. To glitter. <' How the stars ^/wib/" 

C.C. H.F. H.A.D. 

GLOARED, or GLORED. Stared. " He glared at me." 
See Glower. 

W.C.App. C.C. F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

GLODE. Glided. <* He ghde along weU." 

HJI.D. 



278 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

GLOUTING. Pouting, looking sullen. Jamieson gives 
the verb glout^ to pout. Nares says it is a word scarcelj 
known at present ; with us it is in common use. I am 
indebted to Toone for the following illustrations. 

He gan to moome, and held hym stylle ; 
He fflovUdf and gan to syke. 

Rom. of Rich. CoBur de Lion. 

OlouUng with sullen spite, the fury shook 
Her clotted locks, and blasted with each look. 

Garth's Dispensary. 

GLOWER. To stare rudely and impertinently. 
A good for nought looby, he nettled me sore ; 

I minded him oft when at church, 
How under the wenches* fine bonnets he'd glower. 
As smiling they came in the porch. 

Glare's Village Minstrel, vol. i. p. 159. 

B.N.C. F.E.A. F.D. H.P. H.A.D. 

GLUBBE. To gobble up, to swallow greedily. " How 
you gluhbe at itl" Way in the Promptorium, in a note 
to " GloffarCj or Devowrare," says, " In the Vision of 
Piers Ploughman, the word ^ gluhbere* occurs in this 
sense, line 5274; ^ y-ghibhedj line 3165, meaning gorged 
with liquor ; and in the Crede, * gloppynge of drynke,' 
line 184." Halliwell gives glubbe, and observes, hence 
glubbere a glutton. 

GLUM. A glance of light, a light flung suddenly on a 
dark object ; a sudden flash, as of a candle moved 
quickly before the eyes. Probably a vitiation of gleam. 

GLUM, GLUMPY. Sullen, sour, stubbornly silent. 
" You look very glumy " How glwnpy you are." Glombe 
occurs in Chaucer, and glum in Skelton. Skinner has glum, 
a provincial word, " to frown." Eay gives it as a word 
common to the vulgar, both in the North and in the South. 
Grose confines it to the Exmoor dialect. Richardson's 
Dictionary supplies the following ancient authority, and 
the Scotch novels the modern usage of the word. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 2T9 

And that thou shouldste not take me up 

With visage sad and gluntt 
Although no letter unto thee 
From me at all did cum. 

Drant. Horace, £p. Julius Florus. 
Robin, lad, ye need na look saeyZwm, for I'll pay the prentice fee. 

Rob Roy, vol. i. p. 291. 
M.S. C.C. B.N.C."Glump." H.P. H.A.D. 

GLUMPS. PI. Sullenness, sulkiness, iU-humour. " You're 
in the glumps to day." This word prevails in Scotland, 
according to Jamieson, who gives, ^^glumps, in the 
glumps, in a gloomy state, out of humour." 

GLUSKY. Sulky. A word of rare occurrence. 

F.E.A. H„P. H.A.D. 

GLY-HALTER. A halter or bridle with blinkers, for 
draught horses. Skinner gives gly, to squint, or look 
askew, as used in Lincolnshire. 

F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

GNAG, or KNAG. To bite, or knaw at anjrthing hard. 

" He gnaga away famously." " The child likes to gnag 

at a crust." A.-Sax. gnagan, to gnaw. 
C.C. B.N.c."Nag." H.s."Bjaag." h.a.d. 
GNAGGING-PAIN. A wearying, gnawing pain ; as 

chronic rheumatism, or tooth>ache. 
GNAGGLING. Gnawing. 

c.c."Nagglin." H.p."Nagging." 
GNAR, or KNUR. A hard knot in wood ; hence " the 

gnarled oak." A good old Chaucerian word. Jamieson 

derives it from the Teut. knorre, tuber, nodus. 

H.P. H.A.D. 

2. Another name for the game of hockey, which it obvi- 
ously receives from the stick, with which the game is 
played, having a gnar or knot at the end of it. 

GNAWING. Grass-keeping. Farmers often say, " Fve 
taken a good gnawing for my sheep, with a good dry 
lair;" signifying that they have taken a good grazing 



280 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

field, on diy land, such as will not '^ trample off the 
gnawing ^^i. e. receive the impress of the feet of the cattle 
grazing upon it. The inferior keep that remains, after 
the beasts have been fattened on the land, is termed 
" rough gnawing^ 

GNIDGE. To press, to squeeze. A very ancient word, 
nearly obsolete. Jamieson gives it. 

GOAF. A mow of straw in a bam, after it is threshed. 
Palsgrave has '' goulfe of come, so moche as may lye 
bjrtwene two postes, otherwyse a bay." Ray gives goffe^ 
a mow of hay or com, as used in Essex. Tusser uses 
the verb to gove^ to make a mow or rick. 

M.S. F*£.A« H.P. H.A.D* 

GO-AFTER. A rustic expression for courtship. " There's 
no likelihood of Mary marrying, nobody goes dter her." 
" Did you know our John goes dter your dahter?" 

GOAL-END. The gable end of a building. 

GOB. A small mucilaginous lump. A very low word. 
Fr. gobeau, a lump or morsel. 

And hadde broke the stoekis to small gchettis. 

WiCLiF MS., Mark v. 
Thei token up that lefto of reliyf or small goheUis, 

Ibid viii. 
Therewith she spew'd out of her filthie maw 

A flood of poyson horrible and blacke ; 
Full of great lumps of flesh and gobbets raw. 

Faerie Queene, bk. i. c. 1. 
Moor illustrates this word from an old Suffolk song. 
What great gobs of mutton and pieces of fat, 
My mother gave me, when I was a brat. 

M.S. C.C. F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

GOBBLE-COCK, or GOBLER. A turkey-cock. Names 
which it doubtless receives from the peculiar noise 
which it makes. 

M.S. F.£.A. H.S. H.A.D. 

GO-BY. " To give one the go-by,''' to elude, to leave a 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 281 

person in the lurch. The Craven Glossarist fiirnishes 
the subjoined early authority for this singular phrase. 
Strangely o'er shot to let a looby 

So treacherously give him the go-hy, 

Maro, p. 3. 
C.C* H.A.D. 

GOD-SIB. The Anglo-Saxon word for god-father or god- 
mother ; signifying a spiritual relationship to each 
other, and to the child for which they are responsible in 
baptism, through the performance of a religious rite or 
ceremony. This word is now nearly obsolete, having 
gradually degenerated into the modem gossip. Spenser 
gives the intermediate form of gossib. 

Our Christian ancestors, understanding a spiritual affinity 
to grow between the parents and such as undertooke for the 
child at baptisme, called each other by the name of Ood-sibf 
which is as much as to say, that they were all sib together, that 
is of kin together through God. And the child, in like manner, 
called such his God-fathers or God-mothers. 

Yebstboan, Restitution of Dec. Intell. 
H.A.D. 

GOG. A bog. « The land's f lU of gogs,'' or « aU of a 
gog.^^ See Swagger-gog. 

H.A.D. 

GOGrGLE-SHELLS. Large snail shells, most commonly 
applied to the garden snail. Helix aspersa. Frequently 
used without the compound. Halliwell gives " guggle ^ 
a snail-shell," (which is only a variation of our term,) 
and remarks, " This singular word is in very common 
use in Oxfordshire and adjoining counties, but has never 
yet found a place in provincial Glossaries." Probably 
derived from Welsh, gogeln, a shelter. 

GOGGLING. See Giggling. 

GOGrGY. Boggy, soppy; as heavy, deep land. " It's very 
goggy-^^ In very general use among our agricultural 
labourers. A friend suggests that it is derived from the 
GaeHc gogach, wavering. 



S82 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

GOGMIRE. A quagmire. 

H.A.D. 

GOLDEN-BUG. The cow-ladt, or ladt-bird, which see. 

M.S. F.E.A. H.A.D. 

GOLDEN-CHAIN. A childish name for the flowers of 

the Laburnum, 
GOLDEN-GUINEAS. Pilewort, or smaller celandine. 

Ranuncuhu ficaria, 
GOLDS, or GOLDINGS. The com marigold, ckryBcm- 

ihemum aegelum. The first is a very old name, and is I 

conjecture used by Chaucer for the same plant, in the 

Knight^s Tale; where he sajs, 

— ^— Jalousie 
That weved of yelwe golds a garlond. 

" Cholde, herbe," is found in the Prompt. Parv., and Way 
observes that perhaps the com marigold was the plant 
intended. Nares gives Gold as the cudweed, OnaphaUum 
Chrnumcum; but there is far greater probability that 
Drayton, in the passage quoted, referred to the com 
marigold, rather than to the cudweed ; as it is associated 
with the blue-bottle, which has the same habitat, and 
flowers at the same season of the year. 

The crunson darnel flower , the blue-bottle, and gold; 
Which, though esteemed but weeds, yet for their dainty hues 
And for their scent not ill, they for their purpose chuse. 

Polyolb. XV. p. 946. 

R N.c."Goldins.'* w.c."Goldings." 

GOLDSPINK. The goldfinch, Fringilla carduelis, (Linn.) 
Common in Scotland. In some parts of this county this 
bird is designated the Red-cap. 

The mirthful maueis maid greit melodic, 
The gay goldspink, the merll richt merilie. 

Lyndsay's Warkis, Prol. p. 5. 1592. 

(Jamieson.) 
B.N.C. C.C. T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 288 

GOLLOP. To swallow greedily. " Oollop it down." 

H.A.D. 

GOLSH. To swallow voraciously, to gulp. 

GOLT. A name given by Morton to " a stiff sort of clay, 
of no use," lying below what be calls pennt-eabth. The 
term is still in use for any stiff clay. 

GOLTRY. Applied to clay that is not tenacious, but 
separates into thin flakes as it is dug. 

GOODING. A custom observed on the morning of Saint 
Thomas's day, by old women and children ; who go in 
parties from house to house, to solicit alms for their 
Christmas cheer, called " going a gooding;^^ sometimes 
termed " going a Thomasing," from the day. In some 
villages, I am informed, they formerly went about with 
a two-handled " pad, or oossiPiNa pot," begging furmety, 
or wheat for making it. My good old grandfather 
always, on this day, gave a bowl of wheat to any of the 
poor in the village who chose to come for it : but as 
Wordsworth says, 

. . . . Many precious rites 
And customs of our rural ancestry 
Are gone, or stealing from us. 

Going a gooding is, I understand, still continued at 
Peterborough, and in some few villages, but it is going 
fast into disuetude. 

H.P. H.A.D. 

GOODISH. Considerable, though not very great ; applied 
to quantity, distance, or time ; as, ^' It is a goodiah size ;" 
" There was a goodish drop of milk ;" " It was a goodish 
way," and, " I stayed a goodish while." 

GOOD-SIRS- ALIVE! An emphatic exclamation of sur- 
prise. 
GOODY. A familiar name for an old woman in the lower 



884 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

ranks of life. Confined entirely to the rural popula- 
tion, and with them going fast into disuse. 

GrOOMS. Gums of the mouth, 
u.u. c.c U.S. I 

GOOSE. The lean of the thin flabby part of a leg of 
veal. 

2. " To get qooH^ is to get a good scolding. " Be careful, 
or you'll get goose.^ 

GOOSEBERRY. " To play old gooseberry with you." A 
threat of retaliation, something similar to " paying you 
off with your own coin;" or " giving you a Rowland for 
your Oliver." 

GOOSE-SKIN, or GOOSE-FLESH. The roughness of 
the skin arising from chilliness or shivering; a corres- 
pondent expression to hen-flesh, which is in more 
general use. Both terms are recognised in Scotland, 
according to Jamieson. 

C.C H.A.D. 

GOOSE-NECK. A twisted stick with two sharp points 
to run into the thatch, to prevent the wind blowing it 
up. 

2. An instrument used for cleaning out the crumbs at the 
bottom of the chad or drain. A kind of scraper. 

GOOSE-TANSY. Silver-weed. Potentilla ansenna, 

H.A.D. 

GOOSE-TONGUE. Sneeze-wort. Archillea ptarmica. 

C.C. H.A.D. 

GOOZ-GOGS. A childish name for ripe gooseberries. 
Forby deduces this vulgarism from the Fr. gogue. 
Cotgr. 

M.S. F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

GOR. Blood clotted, or congealed. " It's all of a gor," is 
often said of a wound, when the blood is coagulated ; or 
of an eruption on the skin, when the pustules are 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 285 

blended together, and united in one common mass. 
A.-Sax. gor^ gore, clotted blood, tcibvm, 

G. B.N.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

GOR-CROW. Sometimes corrupted to Guw-crow, The 
carrion crow, corvtis coi^one, (Linn.) A name which 
is traceable to the preceding word, from this bird's pre- 
dilection for carnivorous food. 

H.A.D. 

GORE-BLOOD. Clotted, coagulated blood. This com- 
pound is doubtless provincial, though the words, taken 
separately, are common everywhere. Shakspere, in 
Romeo and Juliet, has ^' all in gore blood.^^ 

F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

GORM. Sometimes by metathesis Orom, To smear, to 
dirty. Nearly allied to Gaum. 

L.H. £.L. H.A.D. 

GOSLINGS. The male catkin of the saltx. Their 
colour, soilness, and downy appearance render it an 
appropriate designation. Called also Cats and Kit- 
lings, and Geese and Goslings. 

M.S. F.E.A. H.S. H.P. H.A.D. 

GOSLING-GRASS. Catch-weed. Galium apertne. Given 
as food to young goslings ; hence the name. This plant 
.in some parts of the county is known by the names of 
Beggar-lice, Beggar-weed, Heiriffe, Pigtail, and 

SCRATCHWEED. 

GORSE, or GOSS. Common ftuze. Ulex Europceus. 
(Linn.) Very general. A fox-cover is often called a 
goss cover; and it is commonly said they have found a 
fox in the goBS bushes. A.-Sax. gorat^ erica rubus. 
Called " whin" in the North. According to Grose, goss 
prevails in Kent, and gorse in the North. Shakspere, in 
the Tempest, speaks of " pricking goss.^^ 

H.P. H.A.D. 

GORSE or GOSS LINNET. The common Hnnet. Frin- 



286 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

gilla linota, (Linn.) A name which it receives from its 
habit of building its nest in a gorae or furze-bush. 

E.L. 

(tOSSAMER. Cobwebs; fine fihny vapour, which after a 
long continuance of warm weather, as Shakspere says. 

Idles in the wanton aununer air. 
A very old word, occurring in the earliest Lexicons. See 
a long and interesting note in Way's Promp. Parv. 
p. 205. Palsgrave gives, " gossamer, thynges that flye 
in sommer lyke copwebbes." Cotgrave define^s "cow- 
vrcUllSj gossymeare, or the white and cobweb-like exha- 
lations which flye abroad in hot sunnie weather." See 
Nares, and Kichardson's Dictionary. 

B.N.G. C*G. 

GOSSIPS. Sponsors at a christening. See Gk)DSiB. 

P.D. H.S. E.L. H.A.D. 

GOSSIPING-POT. A two-handled pot. A significant 
name ; the pot, requiring two persons to carry it, brought 
them into such close contact as allowed them to indulge 
in gossiping as they went along. 

GOTIIERS. Gathers. "He gothers strength fast," is 
oflen said when a person is recovering from illness. 

GOUND. The vulgar pronunciation of Gown. 

L.H. 

GOURY. Sullen, stupid. 

H.A.D. 

GOUT. A ditch, a drain ; a water-course under a gate- 
way bridge. Fr. " gouttiere, a gutter, a channell." Cotgr. 

H.A.D. 

GOUTTY. Knobby, or knotty, abounding in protru- 
berances, as rough, uneven thread, worsted, or silk. 
GuBBY and gumpy are correlatives, and I am not aware 
that either word is used in any other sense. Fr. goutte. 

GOWER. A dish or platter of coarse brown earthen- 
ware; nearly obsolete. 

H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 287 

GOWL. To open, to enlarge; but this word is best de- 
fined by explaining the manner in which it is used. 
When an eyelet-hole, or button-hole, is worn out of 
shape, or enlarged by use, it is said to gowL The Scotch 
use gowl as expressive of magnitude and emptiness; 
with which our word seems to claim affinity. 

GRAB. A grasp. 

H.A.D. 

GRAB-STICK. A young crab-tree, or the cutting of 
one. 

H.A.D. 

GRACE. The space allowed to a fox, hare, or other 
animal before the hounds are set on, is called grace, or 
LAW, which see. A figurative use of the word. 

GRACIOUS. Gratuitous, without fee or reward. " Til 
give it you gracious J* 

GRACIOUS 1 or GOOD GRACIOUS ! or GRACIOUS 
GOODNESS! Common interjections of surprise. 

P.D. 

GRAFF. The depth of earth dug by one insertion of the 
GRAFTING-TOOL. A.-Sax. grofan, to dig. 
c.c."Graft." T.G."Graft." h.s. l.h. h.a.d. 

GRAFTING-TOOL. A long tapering spade, used in 
draining land. 

H.s. L.H. H.A.D. 

GRAINED. Insinuated, eaten in : applied to dirt on the 
skin. " The child's face is grained in dirt, it will never 
come clean." Identical with Ditched; which see. 

A.W. H.A.D. 

And there I see such black and grained spots 
As will not leave their tincts. 

Hamlet, iii. 4. 

GRAINS. The main branches of trees, rising from the 
trunk ; which are measurable for timber. Used in 



288 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

South Britain, according to Jamieson. Brockett, in his 
second edition, deduces it from Su.-Grot. gren^ ramus. 
Apoun ane grant or branch of yan grene tree. 

i>ouoLAS, Yirg. p. 350. 
(CraTen Gloesarj.) 
And shake your sturdy trunks, ye prouder pines, 
Whose swelling grain* are like b^gall'd alone. 
With the deep furrows of the thunder stone. 

Bp. Ha.ll*s Satires, p. xcix. 
The grain swayed like a bulrush in the wind ; 
But I clim'd on, and left my fears behind. 

Glarb'& Shep. Cal. p. 152. 
Beneath a spreading shady oak, 

For a while to muse I lay ; 
From its grains a bough I broke. 
To £Btn the teasing flies away. 

Clare*s Village Minstrel, toI. i. p. 129. 
To these illustrations maj be added the following quaint 
epitaph, from Ufford church-yard in this county. 

My sudden change surprized you all, and also came full soon ; 
For in the morning I was well, and Death he came at noon. 
A unfortunate grain fell from a tree, 
And in four hours was the death of me. 
Therefore by me a warning take, 
And love my children for my sake. 
B.N.C. C.C. H.S. T.G. U.A.D. 

GRAMMER. Mire, dirt. An old woman said, " The 
ground was so wet, I stuck all in the gra?nmer" I find 
no authority for this word, and its circulation with us is 
very local, as is the case with many other words ; but in 
some parts of the county it is well known. 

GRANDMOTHERS-TOE-NAILS. The shells denomi- 
nated by geologists gryphce. 

GRANNY. A common abbreviation for Grandmother. 
Used amongst the agricultural poor, for an old woman 
where there is no consanguinity; correlative with 
Goody. 

C.C. T.G. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 289 

GKAN-PAP. Grandfather. 

GKASS. " Not to let the grass grow under your feet," is 
a mode of exhorting to diligence and activity. " He 
didn't let the grass grow under his feet ; he didn't rest 
till he*d done it." 

GRATTEN. Stubble. A name that is confined to the 
north-eastern part of the couAty ; haulm is synonymous 
in other districts. Ray says gratten means eddish in 
Sussex ; and stubble in Kent. 

G. C.S. H.P. H.A.D. 

GRAVELLED. Sorely vexed, or mortified. " I was so 

gravelled^ I didn't know how to contain myself f is a 

common expression. The Lexicographers give the word 

in a metaphorical sense, from gravel, " To stick or set 

fest, to embarrass, to perplex ;" but this does not convey 

our meaning. Prior, I think, accords with us when he 

says. 

Mat, who was here a little graveWd, 
Tost up his nose and would have cavilled. 

GRAVES. PI. The refuse or sediment of chandler's 
tallow. 

G. M.S. B.N.C. F.E.A. H.S. 

GREASY. Slippery from moisture. The ground is " very 
greasy j"* when it begins to thaw after a slight frost. 

H.A.D. 

GREAT. Intimate, familiar. See Hunter's Glossary for 
instances of its early circulation. The Craven Glossary 
furnishes the following : 

Tho* he was greai with the King, he always douhted the King's 
uncles. 

FaoTSSABT's Cronycles. 

B.N.C. H.H. C.C. H.S. 

GREEN-GOOSE. A goose fed on grass, in contradis- 
tinction iii a stubble or Michaelmas goose. 





200 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

So stubble geese at Michaelmas are seen 
Upon the spit ; next May produces green, 

KiNO*s Cookery (Brandos Pop. Antiq.) 

(jREEN-HAND. One who is new to his work, an awk- 
ward hand at his trade. 
H.r. 

GREEN-HORN. A young inexperienced fellow, an illite- 
rate stripling. 

C.C* H.A.D« 

GREEN-TRICK. A silly action, such as only a green, 
inexperienced, young person would be guilty of. 

HJ». 

GREWED. Adhered to the pot in boiling. " The milk 
tastes as if it was grewed,^^ A word of similar import 

to BURNT-TO. 
H.S. H.A.D. 

(tREY-RUSSET. a coarse kind of grey woollen cloth, 
to which the epithet dandy was often prefixed, as 
" Dandy grey russet. ^^ The name and the material have 
both fallen into disuse. 

F.E.A. H.A.D. 

GREYS. Yawning listlessness, proceeding from idleness. 

" YouVe got the greys, ''^ t. e. you seem fit for no mental 

or bodily exertion. 
GRIFF. A graft. " Gryffe, surculus," Pynson. " Graft 

OT gryffe of a tree," Palsgrave. " Greffe, a graft; a 

slip or any young shoot fit to be graffed," Cotgrave. 

F.E.A."Greft." H.A.D. 

(tRIFFAR. a grafter. " Gryffar, incertor," Pynson. 

GRIM. Dark, dirty, of a muddy hue ; almost confined to 
the person, and the apparel ; as, " Your face looks very 
grim, and your clothes are very grim,'''' This meaning is 
not recognised in the Dictionaries. 

GRIMMER. A large shallow pond or pool, of limited 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 291 

circulation ; confined, I believe, to the southern part of 
the county. 

F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

GREViE. To daub or besmear with dirt or filth. THe 

true meaning of this Shakspearian word, derived from 

the adjective grim. A very common word. 

My face V\\ grime with filth. 

Lear, ii. 3. 

B.N.c. M.S. c.c."Grimy." h.s. r.D. t.g. 

GRIN. When sewing is not neatly done, and the stitches 
are very visible, the young semptress is often reproved 
by being told, " You must undo your work, the stitches 
grin so ;" t. e. they are so wide asunder, and deeply set 
in, they look like teeth. 

GRIND-DOWN. To endeavour to reduce in price; to 
drive a hard bargain. " He always grinds me down so, 
there's no getting a farthing by him." 

GRIP. A trench to drain land. Bp. Percy, in his MS. 
list of localisms, dated 1774, gives " GrippSy little gut- 
ters, cut to let off the water from the furrows." Ray says 
the word is in general use aU over England ; Ash calls it 
local; and Way, in a note to the Promptorium, on the 
word " Gryppe, or a gryppel, where watur rennythe 
a-way in a londe or watur-forowe," instances the early 
occurrence of this word in an award, dated 1424, rela- 
tive to the bounds of the Prior of Bodmin, and remarks 
that it is still used in Sussex, and many parts of Eng- 
land. Bishop Kennett in his Glossary, under the word 
Graven-hill, observes " A gripe, or grip or ditch, in 
Lincolnshire is called a grove; in southern parts a 
grippe, and a grindlet; in the north a grupe^'^ A.-Sax. 
grcBp, sulcus. 

G. M.S. B.N.c. c.c."Grype." f.e.a. j.s. p.d. l.h. 

T.G. H.A.D. 

o2 



292 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

GRIPPLE. The diminutive of the foregoing word. An 
outlet from a grip^ for the purpose of supplying water 
for cattle in another field. 

GRIPPING-LINE. A line used to direct the spade in 
cutting grips. 

J.S. H.A.D. 

GRIPING. Grasping at riches, avaricious. A metaphor- 
ical use of the commonly received meaning. 

GRISKIN. The short bones which are taken out of the 
flitch of a bacon -pig ; corresponding to the loin of another 
animal. Bishop Kennett, in his MS. Glossarial Collec- 
tions, gives " grice^ a pig.** Isl. griis. Piers Plowman 
constantly uses grys for young pigs. Short-bones and 
SWEET-BONES are other names for the same joint, and 
perhaps more local than grishin. 

Whether ham, bacon, sausage, souse, or brawn, 
Leg, blade-bone, bald-rib, grishin, chine, or chop. 

SOUTHBT. 

GRIST. The quantity of com sent to the mill to be 
ground. A farmer would say, " We've no flour ; send a 
giist to the mill." It is most commonly applied to the 
corn collected by the gleaners ; as children, when they 
have winnowed their little gatherings, will say, " Oh 
mother, we shall have enough for a grist .'" Our appli- 
cation of the term appears to accord exactly with the 
definition given by Bos worth, in his A. -Sax. Dictionary, 
" Gryst, grist ^ a grinding; molitura" which evidently 
means the quantity ground, rather than the act of 
crushing, or grinding, to which Home Tooke traces it 
from gerisad, the past participle of gerisan, ge-hrysan, to 
crush. Grist with us has no reference whatever to the 
miller's fee, as stated by Major Moore, which is always 
called (as in Chaucer) " taking toll," if it is not received 

in money. 

Get gHst to the mill, to have plenty in store. 

TUSSER. 
M.S. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 293 

GRITTLE. To crumble off. " The dirt grittles from your 
shoes." A verb formed from the substantive grit, 
which is defined by Kersey, the dust of stones, &c. 
Deducible from the A.-Sax. gretta, grit, dust. 

GROM. A forked stick used by thatchers, for carrying 
bundles of straw. 

H.A.D. 

GROUND. " Suits you down to the ground^ A phrase 
often used to express complete satisfaction with any one ; 
particularly a female servant. A poor woman, recom- 
mending a maid-servant, said, " She'll suit you down to 
the ground,*^ t. e. in every respect. 

GROUND. A large upland grazing field. Seldom applied 
to low meadow land. 

J.S. H.S. 

GROUNDS. A designation for a farm ; as, " He lives at 
the Grounds.^'' Originally restricted to a grazing farm. 
Sometimes distinguished by the name of the occupier 
or its situation, &c. as, " Clasthorp Grounds,''^ " Challock 
Grounds^ 

H.S. 

2. PI. The sediment of any liquid, that which sinks or 
settles at the bottom. A.-Sax. grunds. Palsgrave gives, 
" Grounds, the lyse of any thing." 

C.C H.S. 

GROUNDSILL. The threshold of a door. A.-Sax. syll, 
basis. 

G.&P. H.H. H.A.D. 

GROUSE. Gravel. 

E.L. 

GROUT. Bishop Percy, in his Glossary to the " Re- 
liques," says, " Grovie in Northampton is a kind of small 
beer, extracted from the malt after the strength is 
drawn off ;" and on inquiry I find the term is still in 
partial use. It is so called in Cheshire, according to 



*29i NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

Wilbraham. Ray, Grose, and the Craven Glossarist, 
explain " grout, wort of the last running," which is 
such as poor small beer is made from, instead of the 
beer itself. See Way's ingenious note, on " OraiU for 
ale, grannomellumf^^ in his edition of the Promptorium. 
Swipes and Swankey are both synonymous with Orout, 

R.N.C. O. W.C. C.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

2 The lees of beer or wine; gritty sediment; the dregs 
of coffee or tea. Nearly allied to Grounds. 

M.S. U.S. H.P. H.A.D. 

'i. Thin mortar: the operation of pouring it into the 
interstices of the stones, when building walls, is called 
grotUing. 

M.S. F.E.A. H.A.D. 

GROUTY. Thick, and muddy, as applied to liquids. 
Noticed by HoUoway, as so used in Hampshire. 

F.E.A. H.P. 

GROW. To cultivate, to cause to grow. " I grow no 
barley this year." 

F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

(tROWER. a cultivator: a farmer, who has a large flock 
of sheep, would be called a large wool-grower, 

r .E.A. 

GRUB. To toil continually. " He grubs along." 
GRUB-AXE, or GRUBBER. A tool used for grubbing 
or uprooting trees. One end of the iron being in the 
form of an axe, the other of an hoe, is probably the 
reason why grubber is commonly used plurally ; as, 
" Lend us a pair of grubbers.'''* Stock-axe, is a more 
general name for this tool, but grubber is the more 
ancient one, as it is so called in Florio, p. 39. 

H.P. H.A.D. 

GRUBBY. Dirty. " What grubby hands you have got!" 
Also used participially, when dirt is deeply insinuated, 
or when anything is stopped up with filth, as the tap of 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 295 

a barrel. " It is quite grubbed up." A word of the 
same complexion in both its usages as Ditched. I do 
not find this term noticed, except by Bishop Kennett, 
who, in his MS. Glossarial Collections, has " Greoby, 
foul, dirty ; as, you have a greoby face. Westmoreland." 
GRUDGEONS, or GRUTCHENS. A coarse wheaten 
meal; same as Thibds, with a larger portion of bran, 
not ground so fine, and prepared with a coarser sieve. 
This nearly obsolete word has been superseded by 
Sharps. A.-Sax. grut, meal of wheat or barley. 
" Escourgeon, a kind of base and degenerate wheat," 
Cotgr. Evans and Halliwell notice the word. Harts- 
horne, under Sharps, has given the names and rotation 
common to Shropshire of the different preparations of 
wheaten flour: " First, the flour, when it has been sifted 
by every possible means; secondly come the sharps; 
thirdly the gurgeons; and lastly the branJ*^ I shall 
insert them here, as used in Northamptonshire, particu- 
larly as I find they vary from that and other districts. 

1. The fine flour, sifted and purified by every possible 
means. 

2. Seconds, dressed with a coarser sieve. 

3. Thirds, sometime called Randan, a portion of bran 
ground with the seconds, 

4. Sharps, formerly called Grudgeons or Grutchens; see 
the definition above. 

5. Pollard, coarse flour with a large proportion of bran. 

6. Shorts. A fine kind of bran; ground, I believe, 
twice over. The two last are used for the feeding of 
pigs. 

7. Bran. 

GRUDGEON-CAKE, A cake made of grudgeon meal. 
GRUMBLING. Slightly indisposed ; synonymous with 

CREAKY. " My teeth are very grumbling y^ t. e, disposed 

to ache. 



21»6 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

GRUMPING. Nearly allied to the preceding word ; com- 
plaining from indisposition ; out of temper from being 
poorly. *' How you go grumping about! Wbat*s the 
matter with you?" 

GRUMPY. Sour, sullen, ill-natured; as, "He*8 a qneer 
grumpy fellow." 

M.S. B.N.C. F.E.A. H.A.D. P.D. 

GRUNTLING. Slightly moaning gutturally. "She's 
very gruntling^ Tm afraid she^s going to be ill." 

(iRUP, GROOP, GRYPE. Corrupted pronunciations of 
Grip; which see. 

GRUTCHENS. See Grcdoeons. 

GUBBED. Stopped up, impeded, as the grate of a drain 
which is filled up with dirt, so as to prevent the water 
flowing through. When, on awaking in the morning, 
the eyes are not easily opened, they are said to be 
" gubbed up." 

GUBBY. Knotty, full of small protuberances, as un- 
even thread or silk ; obviously from gob^ a small lump. 
TwiPPY, is a correlative term. 

GUDGELL, or PUDGELL. A puddle of stagnant muddy 
water ; the gutter tliat runs down a street is very gene- 
rally so called. 

(iUDGELL-IIOLE. The receptacle for a drain. 

(tUDCtIE. Short and thick, as applied to the person. So 
used in Scotland, according to Jamieson. 

GUIDES. Tendons ; a very significant name, as they 
guide the motion of the body. The Craven Glossarist 
gives guiders. 

GUIDE-POST. See Finger-post. 

GULF, or GULF- JOINT. A breach in a pit of marl or 
stone, intervening between the joints of the rock: de- 
scribed by Morton, p. 125, as " perpendicular fissures, 
usually three or four feet wide, reaching quite up to the 
surface of the earth." 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 297 

GULGE. To bulge, to swell out. Cart- ruts are said to 
" gulge out," when they have become deep and wide. 

GULL. Of similar import to the preceding word. Clare, 
speaking of a brook, says, — 

It rests collected in some gulled hole 

ScoopM by the sudden floods, when winter^s snow 

Melts in confusion by a hasty thaw. 

Clark's Village Minstrel, vol. ii. p. 101. 

Save as when thy rut^gulVd lanes 
Run little brooks with hasty rains. 

Ibid. vol. i. p. Ill 

. . . . close by the nU-gulVd waggon road. 

Clare's Rural Muse, p. 76. 

GULLS. Holes that are washed by the force of a flood. 

The bulrushes wobble i* the gvlls i' the flood. 

Clare*s MS. Poems. 
F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

GULLET. In some parts of the county, synonymous with 

Gulf-joint. 
GULLEY. A deep gutter or drain ; a small stream. 

C.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

GULSH. Ribaldry ; silly talk. " Hold your gplahr a 

very low word. 
2. A heavy fall. 

GULSH. To fall heavily. " He came down ftdl guUhr 
If a tree in its fall sunk in, it would be said that it 
gulshed in. 

Ne'er an axe was heard to sound, 
Or a tree's fall giUsk'd the ground. 

Clare*^ Village Minstrel, toI. i. p. 111. • 

2. To tear up with violence. 

3. Applied to water that forces itself through a narrow 
aperture. " It gulshea through." Identical with gush, 

o3 



298 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

4. To swell out. In this sense it is synonymous with 
GULL and OCLGE. The splashing of water by the 
plunging of cattle is so described by Clare. 

And sweet the splMhing on the ear did swim. 
Of fly-bit cattle guUking in the brook, 

Nibbling the graasee on the fountain "k brim. 

Clark's Village Minstrel, toL ii. p. 190. 

(iULSHING. Fat, corpulent. "A great gulshing fel- 
low." 

GUMMY. Thick, swollen ; generally applied to the legs 
and ankles. To a person with swollen legs it would be 
said, " Oh I youVe got very gummy. ''^ 

C.C. H.Pi H.A.D. 

GUMPTION. Good common sense, acute perception. " I 
can make nothing of him, he's no gumption in hinx." 
Bosworth remarks that gum, prefixed to words, denotes 
excellence, eminence: the observation holds good in this 
instance. Jamieson derives it from Maes-Groth. gaum- 
jan, percipere. Grose and Pegge give it as a Kentish 
word. Brockett calls it an excellent word, of high 
antiquity; but I have been unable to find any early 
authority : it occurs in some of the recent Scotch novels. 
** Od', I found myself immediately in a scrape; but how 
to get out of it baffled my gumption.*' Mansie Waugh, 
p. 229. 

G.&P. B.N.C. M.S. F.E.A. P.D. H.S. A.W. H.A.D. 

(JUMPTIOUS. Conceited. Correlative with Bumptious. 
I do not find this word except in the Suffolk Glossary, 
where it has a very different signification, " quarrel- 
some, offensive, obstinate." 

GUMPY. Full of protuberances, knobby, uneven, as 
rough thread or sewing silk. I am not aware that it is 
used in any other sense, or to any other material. A 
kindred term to gubby. 

J.S. H.P. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 299 

GURGE. A gulf or eddy. Webster notices this word as 

little used, and derives it from Lat. gurges. It. gorgo. 

The plain wherein a hlaok bituminous gurge 
Boils out from under ground. 

Milton, Par. Lost. 
H.A.D. 

GURN AND ABIDE. See Girn. 
GUSH. A gust of wind. 

F.£.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

2. A water-spout ; not a general word, but used on the 

eastern side of the county. 
GUSHILL. A running gutter. Jamieson gives it in an 

opposite sense, '^ a small dam made in a gutter or stripe, 

bj children or masons, to intercept water." Most used 

on the Oxfordshire side of the county. 

H.A.D. 

GUTTER. To run down. A candle gutters, when the 
tallow SWEALS or overflows. Pynson has " gowtyn as 
candell, gutte" 

GUTTER. The same as Gulf-joint, which see. 

GUY. A person oddly and remarkably dressed. " What 
a gia/ she has made of herself." The ridiculous per- 
sonifications of Guy Faux have probably occasioned the 
application of this epithet. 

GYVES. Sinews of the legs. An old man said to the 
friend to whom I was first indebted for this word, " I 
am very lame, for my gyves have given way." Possibly 
a metaphorical use of the word gyves^ a fetter. 



300 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 



H. 



II. This letter in many words is aspirated where it ought 
not to be, but is more frequently silent when it should 
Ixi sounded. To correct this omission, a schoolmaster, 
whom I remember in by-gone days, used to exercise his 
pupils in repeating the foDowing alliterations : — " I hired 
a hack horse of Uobson the higgler; he was a handy 
creature, for an hireling ; but hard-hearted, hot-headed, 
hare-brained masters had hurried him over high hedges , 
hills and hollows, and had hurt his hard horned hoofs 
against the high-way." 

HA'. A contraction of have, " What Aa* ye got theere?' 

** Ha* you not?" 

Ben Jonso.x. 

c.c. 

2. To understand. " I ha! you now," I comprehend you." 

IIAAP. To eat, to bite close. " The cows were forced to 
haap pretty nigh," i. e, eat close to the ground. 

HA AT. Half. One boy asking another the time of day, 
said, " Wliat's o clock. Bill?" " Haat arter ten," was the 
reply, i. e. half after ten o'clock. 

HACK, HACKLE, HATCHEL. A process in haymaking. 
It may not be amiss to notice here the different terms 
which are used in haymaking, as they no doubt vary in 
different districts. 

The grass, as it falls from the mower's scythe, is called 
a swathe^ which is tedded or spread over the whole sur- 
face of the meadow ; it is next hacked^ or separated into 
small rows ; in the evening it is put into small cockSy 
sometimes called hatchel-cocks, or taddle-cockSy or wads. 
Three hatchels or hacklings, thrown together into one 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 301 

broad row or swathe, are termed a win-row ^ or vnndrow; 
when sufficiently welted or dried, it is put into large cocks 
for the convenience of carrying. 
H.A.D."Hackle." 
HACK. A half-door or hatch, which see. Pynson, " hek 
or hetchCy antica." 

F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

HACKING-COUGH. A slight, frequent, intermitting 
cough. 

F.E.A. H.P. 

HAD. Took. " He had his things away." So used in 
Scotland according to Jamieson. 

HADN'T OUGHT. Ought not. " He hacTnt ought to ha' 
dun it." 

HADE. A small piece of greensward or grass at the head 
or end of arable land, upon which the plough turns ; the 
end of a furlong. By some considered as synonymous 
with Bale. A word that has gradually fallen ihto dis- 
use, since the inclosure of open fields. Todd defines this 
word, " Among miners, the steep descent of a shaft ; 
in our old language, the descent of a hill ;" and exem- 
plifies it by the subjoined quotation from Drayton's 
Polyolbion, which accords much better with our appli- 
cation of the word. Nares gives Hade, " apparently a 
high pasture," which is evidently a conjecture founded 
on this passage. 

On the lower leas, as on the higher hades. 
The dainty clover grows. 

Dbatton's Polyolb. 

E.L. H.A.C 

HADLAND, or HEADLAND. A term which has super- 
seded the preceding word. Headland occurs in Todd as 
" ground under hedges," which is very indefinite, and 
does not restrict it, as we do, to grass at the ends of a 
ploughed field. 



802 NORTHAliPTONSHIRB 

Now ploogh op thj keadland, or delve it with spftde, 
Where otherwise pro6t hot little ia made. 

TuaBBA*8 Husbandry, p. 54. 

The driving boy, glad when his steps can trace 
The swelling headland as a resting place, 
Flings from his clotted shoes the dirt around. 
And fain would rest him on the solid groond. 

Cla&b's Shep. Cal. p. 29. 

HAG. ASee Ago. 

HAGG. To haggle. See Ago. 

C«C« Il*H« H«S« 

IIAGG. To fatigue, to weary. " The roads be so bad, I 

be partly hogged to pieces." 
HAGGING. Fatiguing. "It was a hogging job for the 

horse, he had such a heavy load to draw." 
F.E.A. E.L. H.A.D. c.c.^Hagged." 
HAGOY. Applied to any coarse rough imeven ground. 

Most used in a woodland district. 

£«Li« 

IIAIN. To lay a field for mowing. "Have you hained 
your land?" i. e. have you excluded cattle from the field, 
in order that the grass may grow? This word is un- 
noticed by our Lexicographers ; but Bishop Kennett, in 
his MS. Glossary, assigns it to Oxfordshire, a neigh- 
bouring county. Jamieson gives " hain, to preserve 
grass from being either cut down or pastured," and 
quotes the following passage from Bums : 

Wi' tentiecare Til flit thy tether 
To some hain'd rig. 

Q. B.N.C. J.S. A.W. H.P. H.A.D. 

IIAHI. " To suit you to a hair^^^ is an expression indi- 
cative of great nicety and exactitude. " To suit you to 
a ^T" is a correspondent phrase. 

HAIR-BEARD. The field wood-rush, Luzula campestris. 
This plant, being one of the harbingers of spring, and 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 305 

generally making its appearance in mild, genial weather, 
has originated the following prophetic adage. 

When the hair-beard appear 
The shepherd need not fear. 

HAIT. A command to the Filler, or shaft-horse, to go 
from the driver. A very old imperative ; a Chaucerian 
word. Forby derives it from Fr. hay and ho. Cotgr. 
May it. not with more probability be traced to A.- Sax. 
Hathe, call, command? 

The carter smote, and cryde, as he were wode, 
JEfeit Scot ! ffeit Broc ! what spare ye for the nones ? 

Chaucer's Frere's Tale. 
The Craven Glossarist, under Hette, cites the fol- 
lowing illustration: 

When to accord the sturdy knee. 
And skilful trip with hait or gee, 
Which horses learn without much trouble. 
In full career they make a double. 

Maro, p. 102. 
M.s."Hait-wo.'' F.E.A."Hait-ho." H.s."Heit." h.p. 
H.A.D."Hait-wo." 
HAKES. A lounging, idle fellow. The use of this word 
is confined to the northern part of the county ; as a 
verb it occurs in many of our Dictionaries, but I do not 
find it as a noun, 
c.c. 
HAKE. A pot-hook ; not frequent. 

M.S. F.E.A. H.A.D. 

HALF-LAUGH. Doing any action by halves. " None 

of your half-laughs for me," i. e. Do what you are about 

to do earnestly and completely. 
HALLOBALOO I HURLABALOO I Tumult, uproar. 

" What a hallohaloo they are making." (Irish.) It 

occurs in Jamieson. 

M.S. B.M.C. J.S. U.A.D. 

HAM. An inclosed level pasture ; often called " east" or 



304 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

" west*' HAM, for distinction. Bishop Kennett, in his 
Glossary, p. 82, after giving the common acceptations of 
this word, says, '' It farther signified a small or inclosed 
meadow, — Quoddam pratunctdum quod vocatur Hamma^ 
K. p. 135. Qtwiuor acras prati in ffore juxta hamam 
Gilbertiy K. p. 176. Dimidice acrce prati propinquioris 
prcUo nostro quod vocatur Gileberdshamy K. p. 177.'* 

J.S. H.P* H.A.D. 

HAMES Two pieces of bent wood, embracing the collar 
of a draught-horse, to which the traces are appended. 

l^.C B.xi.C J.S. CC L.n. H.F. M.A.D. 

HAMLIN. Walking lame, hobbling. A.-Sax. hamelin. 

C.C U.F. H.A.D. 

HAMMER. To labour to convince any one who is obsti- 
nate, or dull of comprehension. " I tried to hammer it 
into him.** 

HAMMER AND PINCERS. A phrase denoting the 
noise made by a horse, in the act of striking the hind 
against the fore shoe. The same as Poker and Tongs. 

CC. H.P. H.A.D. 

HAMMER AND TONGS. To disagree noisily. When 

a person is relating his falling out with some one, it is 

common to say among the lower orders, " Oh, we got up 

to hximiner and tongs.''^ This strange expression has 

found a place amongst Bartlett*s Americanisms, who 

quotes an instance of its use. 

Jonathan and the Spaniard will be at hammer and tongs, 

Montreal Courier. 

HAM-SHACKLE. To fasten the head of an animal to one 
of its legs, to prevent its straying. Jamieson gives it. 

B.N.C. H.A.D. 

HAN. Have. " Han y' got any 'taters ?" A very old 
contraction of the A.-Sax. habban, used by Wickliffe in 
the New Testament, and by Robert of Gloucester. 

W.C. H.H. R.N.Cv H.P. H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 305 

HANBURY. See Anberrt. 

HAND. " A bad haryd at that work." Unskilful. 

H.P*. 

2. "To keep in hand^'* in reserve: to be tedious in 
executing. 

H.A.D. 

3. " To have the hand in," to be accustomed to business. 
" To keep the hcmd in," to keep in practice. 

4. " To lend a hmdj'* to assist. 

5. " To be on the mending hxmd^^ to be in a state of 
convalescence. 

c.c. 

6. " Off handj'^ at once, without deliberation. " I did it 
off handy 

H.A.D. 

7. " Out of handy' forthwith, immediately. Finished, 
completed, " I've got the job out of hcmd at last." 

8. " Out of hand,^' A term applied to a child when it is 
first able to walk alone, and no longer requires nursing 
by Jiand, 

9. "To put in hand,'^ to commence a job. 

10. Signature. " Put your hand to this receipt." 

F.E.A. H.A.D. 

11. "To turn the hand to anything," to have a general 
aptitude for manual employment. 

H AND-BKEED. A hand-breadth ; unaltered Anglo Saxon. 
Chaucer and Bums use it. 
c.c. 

HANDS-CHARE. Light household work. " She won't 
do a hands-chare,^^ is a common mode of complaint 
against an indolent, inactive person: t. e. she will not 
employ herself in any way, not even in the most trivial 
thing. 

E.L. 



80« N0RTHAMPT0N8HIRB 

HAND-OVER-HEAD. Thoughtless, extravagant. 

F.EaA. H.A.D. 

HAND-PAT. Ready, off-hand. " He told it me 'as hand- 
pat as could be.** 

H.A.D. 

HAND OF PORK. The shoulder-joint of a scalded pig, 
cut without the blade-bone. 

F.E.A. H.A.D. 

HAND-RUNNING. Uninterrapted succession. " He did 
it several times hand-running.''^ 

CC H.A.D* 

HAND-STAFF. The handle of a flail. 

M.S. F.E.A. H.S. H.A.D. 

HANDS-TURN. Synonymous with hakds-chare. Most 
of these compound words are very common, but over- 
looked or unnoticed in the Dictionaries. 

C.C. H.A.D. 

HANDS-WHn.E. A short tune. 

H.A.D. 

HANDED. " To swop even handed,^^ to exchange with- 
out boot. 

C.C. 

HANDLE. " To make a handle of anything;" to endea- 
vour to turn it to advantage. 

HANDY. Near, convenient, as " The farm lies very 
Aawc?y." 

J.S. A.W. H.P. 

9. Expert, dextrous, ready. " He's a nice handy lad." 
A good sempstress is " very handy with her needle." 

H.S. A.W. T.G. H.A.D. 

HAND SELL. The first money received in the day, by 
small tradesmen or hawkers, is commonly called " taking 
handselli'' and many superstitiously spit upon it, to pro- 
pitiate good luck. A.-Sax. hand-syllan. Applied also 
verbally, when anything is used for the first time. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 307 

^^ Estreene, handselled, that hath the handsell or first use 
of." Cotgr. 

And sees his handsell have such fair success. 

Bp. Hall's Satires, p. 118. 

Give me a handsell of the bargain. 

Dryden's Wild Gallant, ii. 1 . 

M.S. H.H. C.C. C.S. T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

HANG-IN-HAND. To be duU of sale. 

HANG-THE-STUMP. A term amongst hedgers and 
ditchers when they hang small thorns on the stumps of 
the lower table of a newlj laid hedge ; to prevent ani- 
mals biting the young shoots in the spring and summer. 
See FooTSETS for other synonymes. 

HANGINGS. A name given by agriculturists to land 
that slopes into a valley. " It lies on the hangmgs^^ i. e, 
on the side of a hill. 

HANGING-LEVEL. An uninterrupted declivity ; an in- 
clined plane. 

HANGING- WALL. A wall which overhangs, and is not 

perpendicular. 
HANGING-WOOD. A wood on the slope of a hill. 
HANGMAN'S WAGES. Thirteen pence hal^nny. 

H.A.D. 

HANK. A gang, or confederacy. " They are all of a 
hank,^^ allusive to a hank or skein of thread, t. e. they 
are all linked together like a hank of thread. 

2. A fastening for a door or gate. Forby aptly derives 
it from the Isl. hank, catena. The Craven Glossarist 
gives the verb. 

M.S. F.E.A. C.C. HaP. H«A«D. 

HANNA. Vulgar contraction for " have not.*' 

U.S. H.A.D. 

HA'NT. Have not, has not. « She ha'n't got it." 

H.A.D. 



308 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

HANTLE. A handfrill. It is customary to say, " a good 
hantle,^^ whenever the quantity exceeds a conimon hand- 
full. 

W.C. B.N.C. o.&p. 

HAPPEN. Used as an adverb; possibly, probably. 
" Happen I may." 

B.xi.C. H.H. CC 

HAPPEN ON. To meet with. "I couldn't happen on 

him no where." 
HAPPENNY, \ 

HAWP'NY, f Vulgar contractions for halfpenny and 
HAPPERTH, ( halfpenny worth. 
HAWPERTH. ) 

M.S. B.xi.C. C.C. 

HAP-LUCK. Chance luck, at hazard. 

HAPPmO. A covering. The Prompt. Parv. has " hap- 

pynge, or hyllynge." Hap is still a Northern word for a 

rug or coverlet. 

B.N.C. F.E.A. T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

HAPPY BY LUCKY. At a venture, at a risk. <* He 
has taken that bit o' ground happy hy lucky ^ he's chanced 
it," L e. he has taken a piece of land without conside- 
ration, taking the chance of gaining or losing by it. 
Jamieson has " Happy-go-luchy^ at all hazards." 

HAPT. Covered up. This word, as well as the word 
Happing, is only adopted in the Northern part of the 
county. Ray, Grose, Brockett, Hunter, and Forby, give 
it verbally. 

When bushe or bramble pilled the shepes skin, 
Then had he pitie and kept them close within, 
Or in newe fleeces did tenderly them hap, 

Barclay's 3rd Egloge. 

Summer sometime shall bless this spot when I, 
Hapt in the cold, dark grave, can heed it not. 

Clare's Village Minstrel, vol. ii. p. 173. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 309 

To see thee, Fly, warms me once more to sing 

His universal care who hapt thee down, 
And did thy winter-dwelling please to give. 

Ibid. p. 206. 
H.A.D. 

HARD. Near. " Hard upon eighty," i. e. nearly eighty 

years of age. 
HARD. Stale, vapid-, as "the beer is hardy 

C.C. £[.A.D. 

HARD-FISTED. Covetous. Palsgrave has " hard, as 

one that is a nyggarde/' 
H.H.App. 
HARD-LAID-ON. Heavily oppressed with sickness or 

trouble. 

C.C. 

HARD-SET. Scarcely able to obtain a Uving. " He is 
hard set to maintain his family." Hard-pushed and 
hard-run are of similar import. 

C.C. 

HARDY-MOUSE. The shrew-mouse. Mus araneus. 
Bishop Kennett, in his MS. Glossary, gives hardishrew 
as common to Staffordshire. See Hog-mouse. 
HARKLE, or HARTLE. To make an incision in one 
hind leg of a hare or rabbit, that the other may be in- 
sinuated for the purpose of suspension. Hock is another 
word for the same operation, and in much more general 
use. Called, in Suffolk," hurdling," according to Moore. 
HARP. To dwell upon, to repeat pertinaciously; over- 
looked by Todd, but noticed by Bailey and Ash. 
Thereon he harpSf and ponders in his mind. 

Stlyesteb's Da Bartas, (ed. 1633.) 
Harp not on that string, madam ; that is past 

Rich. III. iv. 4. 
The girls are glad with hopes of play, 
And harp upon the holiday. 

Clarets Shep.Cal. p. 50. 
B.N.c.2nd ed. h.p. 



310 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

HARRIAGE. Confusion, dlBorder. 

F.E.A. H.P. 

HARRY. A jeering interjectional imperatiye, used when 
a labourer or navigator is overladen and cannot wheel 
his barrow (for instance) along : his fellow-workmen 
then cry out harry! harry! Way, in a note in the 
Prompt. Parv. to " haryyn^ or drawyn, trahido, per- 
traJiOf^ says, " to harry or har, to drag by force, is a 
verb frequently used by the early writers, and still used 
in the North." Jamieson gives " harro, interj. an out- 
cry for help." 

ILA.RRY-LONG-LEGS. A summer fly with very long 
legs. The tipula oleracla (Linn.) Called in SuflTolk 
Father'long-legs. We also give this fly the names of 
Jenny-spinner and Long-legged-tailor. 

HARRYWIG. See Arrawig. 

HARUM. Untidy, slovenly. " A harum figure." 

HARUM-SCARUM. Wild, flighty, unsettled; this com- 
pound word is much more general than the preceding. 

Mad harum-scarum ! 
If rags and tatters under-rate me, 
Free still PI I wear 'em. 

Clare's Rural Life, p. 89. 
J.S. R.N.C. C.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

HARVEST-CART. The last load of grain drawn home 
at the conclusion of the harvest. It is usual for the 
youngsters who are employed in the labours of the field, 
to decorate the last load wdth boughs and ribbons, and 
to ride home on the top of it, shouting and singing as 
they proceed along, — 

•* Harvest home ! Harvest home ! 

Two plum puddings are better than one." 

" WeVe plowed, we*ve sowed, 
WeVe reaped, weVe mowed ; 
WeVe got our harvest home,^'' 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 311 

And as Clare says, who has often joined in these rustic 
festivities, — 

Then comes the harvest supper night, 
Which rustics welcome with delight. 

The evening is spent in songs and merriment; and 
the following, amongst other healths, are sung by the 
jovial company: — 

*' Heroes a health unto our master, the founder of the feast ; 
Not only to our master, but to our misteress. 
We wish all things may prosper, whatever he takes in hand, 
For we are all his servants, and all at his command. 
Drink boys, drink, and see you do not spill ; 

For if you do. 

You shall drink two ; 

It is our master^s will. 
I've been to France, I've been to Dover ; 
Fve been to harvest home, all the world over, over, and over. 
Drink up your liquor and toss the bowl over." 

'^ Here's a health unto our master, the founder of the feast : 
God bless his endeavours, and give him increase, 
And send him good crops, that we may meet another year. 
Here's our master^s good health, boys ; come drink off your beer.'* 

H.A.D. 

HARVEST-EARS. Deaf ears. " YouVe got your har- 
vest ears on, I can't make you hear." This expression 
may have arisen from the custom of hooting loudly in 
the harvest field, to those who are at a distance. 

HASH, or HASHY. Parched, dry. A vitiation of harsh. 
" It's a very hash wind. " My hands are very hash^ 

M.S. C.C. T.G. A.W. H.A.D. 

HASLET. The small pieces cut off, in trimming the 
hams and fiitches of a singed pig; these cuttings are 
made into pork pies, or haslet-pies, as they are called, 
and it is customary in many villages for the farmers' 
wives to send one of these pies, with some pig's pud- 
dings, as presents to their neighbours. In some places 



312 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

the griskin is termed haslit Palsgrave has '' haslet of a 
hogge." The Lexicographers, and Nares among the 
number, all define this word, the entrails, or the heart, 
liver, and lights, of a hog; but the exemplification given 
by Nares accords with our signification, and custom of 
local distribution. 

There was not a hog killed within three parishes of him, 
whereof he had not some part of the Juulit and puddings. 

OzELL^ Rabelais, b. iii. c. 1. 

HASSANT. Has not. " It hasaant done no hurt." 
HASSOCKS. Tufts of coarse grass, growing on boggy 
land. Way, in his Promptorium, notices the use. of this 
word, in several early grants of monastic lands. In the 
Northern part of the county they are called hussocks; 
and it is also used adjectivally, as hussocky grass, sedgy 
grass. Tussock is a common synonyme. In some parts 
of the county, I am told, ant-hills are termed hassocks. 

On the ground builds her nest, 

By the tuft kussoci and wild thymy hill. 

Clarets MS. Poems. 
M.S. B.N.C. F.E.A. 

HASTENERS. Circular tins, put on a spit, on each side 
of a joint of meat, to reflect the meat as it roasts ; almost 
exploded by the use of the bottle-jack. The name is 
now transferred in some places to the screen which is 
placed behind the meat when roasting. For some 
curious particulars connected with this word, see Way's 
Promptorium, p. 229. 

U.S. lid»Ld» 

HA'T, or HET. Have it. " You sha'nt ha't:' There is 
authority for this vulgar contraction, in our early dra- 
matists : — 

1*11 ne'er ha^t fro' you. 

Beaum. & Fl. Cupid's Revenge. 
For I shall ha^t at one time or another. 

Ibid. Nice Valour ; or Passionate Madman. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 313 

HATCH. The lower half of a door. See Hack and 
Clap-doob. Sometimes appHed also to a gate. The 
gate, which formerly divided Whittlebury forest from 
the Brackley road, was designated Brackley Hatch, or 
Sjresham Hatch, from its contiguity to those places. 

In at the window, or else o^er the hatch. 

King John, i. 1. 
M.S. P.D. A.W. L.H. H.A.D. 

HATCHELL. See Hack. 

HATCHWAY. An opening used for pitching into a bam 

or hay-loft. 
HATCHET-FACED. Sharp visaged. This term occurs 
in Todd, but it is not specifically defined ; he illustra-tes 
it from our local poet Dryden: — 

An ape his own dear image will embrace ; 
An ugly beau adores a hatchet-face, 
P.D. 

HATTER. To harrass, to fret. " She's always scolding 
and hattering about.'* 

F.E.A. H.P. 

HATTERED. Exhausted or wearied with fatigue. 
Religion shews a rosy coloured face, 
Nor hatter^d out with drudging works of grace ; 
A downhill reformation rolls apace. 

DsTDEN^ Hind and Panther. 
HAULM. Wheat stubble for thatching: the gathering of 
which, after the harvest, in the neighbourhood of North- 
ampton, is called " peeking the haulmi^ in oth^r parts of 
the county, the same operation is called " bagging the 
haulmJ'^ In some places the term is extended to the 
dried stalks of peas and beans. A.-Sax. hecUm, Fr. 

chaulme. Cotgr. 

Mown haulm, being dry, no long^ let lie. 

TussER, p. 175. 
The haidm is the straw of the wheat or the rye ; 
Which, once being reaped, they mow by and by. 

Ibid. p. 185. 
R.S.E.C. a. M.S. J.S. P.D. A.W. L.B. H.A.D. H.P. 

P 



314 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

HAUNCH. To gore with the horns of cattle; correlative 
with hipe, AVhen a cow has been tossing a beast, it is 
said " she has been haunching it.*' If a person were 
gored to death bj a beast, it would be said, " He's got 
haunched,^^ 

HAUNTY. Playful, without being vicious ; applied al- 
most exclusively to cows. Bp. Kennett, in his MS. 
Glossary, defines it " wanton, unruly, applied to a 
horse or other beast, when they are resty or gamesome." 
Probably traceable to the Welsh, hawntiawgy foil of 
alacrity, brisk. Owen Pugh. 
R.N.G. o.&p. B.N.c.2nd ed. 

HAW. A conunand used to all the horses in a team, ex- 
cept the fore-horse, to come towards the driver. " JETaUy 
an interjection of calling." Cotgr. See Com'other. 

H.S 

HAWS. See Cat-haws. 

HAW. A small wood or coppice. Hence "Brackley 
Ilaw^ See Hat. 

HAWBUCK. An uncouth, half-taught, rustic. I never 
met with this word out of the county, though it is common 
in it. "A country hawbuck.^^ 

HAWK, or HAND-HAWK. The name given by a 
mason or plasterer, to the board which he holds in his 
left hand, for the supply of mortar whilst working. 

HAWK-BOY. A boy engaged to furnish a hawk with 
mortar, and carry it to his master for use. 

HAWK. To carry anything about unnecessarily and 
with labour. " She hawked her things up all the way 
to London, and didn't want them when she'd done.'' 
" How you hawk that child about," is often said, when 
one child is trying to carry another that is too heavy 
for its strength. The primary meaning of this word, in 
its various uses, appears to be to carry; hence Hawker, 
one who carries goods from door to door for sale. 

B.N.C. H.P. H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 315 

HAY. To dry. A verbal application of the noun. In 
the process of haymaking, when the weather is dull and 
heavy, " the grass hxiys badly ;" if fine and drying, " it 
hays well." Not applied to com. According to Hollo- 
way's Provincialisms, the term is current in Hampshire, 
for both com and grass. 

2. A small wood or coppice. A small wood, near the 
village of Sywell, in this county, is called " Sywell 
Hay,^^ See Haw. 

HAY-BIED, HAY-CHAT, HAY-JACK. The Black-cap. 
Motacilla atricapilla, (Linn.) This bird bmlds its nest 
of hay, or dead grass, and in hay-time ; which is doubt- 
less the origin of these appellations ; and one of them is 
derived from its note, " chat, ckat,''^ which it rapidly 
repeats. It is also called the Garden-warbler, which 
see. The White-throat, Motacilla sylvia (Linn.) is some- 
times ignorantly confounded with the Black-cap, and 
called the Hat-chat, as it makes its appearance about 
the same time of the year, and is generally found in 
the same situations. 

H.A.D. 

HAY-NET. A large net for catching rabbits. Pynson 
gives, " Haynet, cassis." Palsgrave, " Haye^ a net for 
connes." 

M«S. f .S.A. IlaF. 

HAYTY-TAYTY. An interjection, on making an in- 
quiry. ^^ Hayty-tayty ! what's the matter now?" 

H.P. 

HAZEL-EARTH, or HAZEL-MOULD. A loamy soil, 
which has a large portion of a rosin-like sand in it. In 
some places it is pretty full of small stones of the gravel 
kind. So described by Morton, p. 39 ; who considers 
this the hazd earth of the English writers of agriculture. 

HAZEL-OIL. A severe castigation with a hazel stick. 
One of the common jokes, formerly prevailing on the 

p2 



ZIC NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

first of Aprily was sending an inexperienced lad to a 
chjrmist fur ^' a penn*orth of hatel'oUJ** 

C.G. II.A.D. 

IIAZZLED. AVhen the skin is rough or dry, inclining to 
chap from exposure to a cold harsh wind, it is said to 
\Hi huzUd. A participial use of the verb ^*- hazle^ to 
grow dry at top," as given by Forby, JBcuzkd is to 
persons what Bicuzzled is to things. 

HEAD. " lie could make neither h«»d nor aide olitf* %€. 
he could make nothing of it. Equivaleiit to the common 
expression, '* He could make neither hectd nor tool of it.'' 

2. "To keep his head above water." To support himself 
with difHculty ; to manage to keep out of debt. 

8. " He took it of his own head^ i.e, he waa ■elf->taiight. 

4. " Off his headJ* Deranged in inteQeet. 

HEAD-ACHE, or HEAD-ACHER. The field-poppy, 
Papaver rhcsaa, Forby truly observes, " any one, by 
smelling of it for a short time, may convince liiirn^elf of 
the propriety of the name." See Blind-etes. 

Com-poppieB, that in crimBon dwell, 
Call'd head^Lches from their sickly gmell. 

Clare's Shep. Cal. p. 47. 

F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

HEAD-PIECE. Contrivance, forethought. " She'll never 
make a good servant ; she's no head-piece,''^ Sometimes 
the phrase runs, " She can't get on in service, unless she 
has her head on ;" or " unless she carries her hecid along 
with her." 

HEAD-SIR-RAG. Chief, principal. 

HEAP. A great number, either of persons or of things. 
" What a heap of apples there were on the tree!" 
" What a heap of people went to the fair!" A very old 
sense of the word. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 317 

Now is that of Qod's full fayre grace, 

That awhiche a lewd man*s wit shall pace 

The wisdom of an heap of lered men ? 

Chaucer, C. T. Prol. 
An universal cry resounds aloud, 

The sailors run in heajps^ a helpless crowd. 

Dbtdbn. 

b.n.c. c.g. f.e.a. 
HEAPS. " Driven in heapsJ''* Perplexed with a multi- 
plicity of work or engagements. 
HEAED-TELL. Learnt bj report. " I never heard-tell 
of such a thing." An archaism, as appears by the fol- 
lowing quotations. 

For harde ye han often time heard-tell. 

Chaucer. 
. . • . wherein men dwell. 

Of whom we never before this same heard-tell, 

Barclat^s Ship of Foples, p. 131. 

Of which when the prince heard-tell, 

Spenser. 

P.D. T.G. 
HEART. " In good heart,^ In good condition. An agri- 
cultural phrase, used of land or cattle in a thriving 
state ; land in good condition is said to '^ plough up in 
good hearV^ " Out of hearV* is the reverse, implying 
land impoverished and exhausted by over-cropping. 
Who slacketh his tillage a carter to be. 
For groat got abroad, at home shall lose three. 
And so by his doing he brings ovt of heart. 
Both land for the com, and his horse for the cart 

TussBR, p. 108. 

M.S. & c.c." Out of heart." h.p. 

HEARTH. To bake. If tarts are not sufficiently soaked 
or browned, a servant would say, " They had better be 
hearthed a little more," t. e, set on the bottom, or hearth 
of the oven, a short time longer. Used only on the 
eastern side of the county. 

HEARTS. The shells known among fossil conchologists 
as the Pholodomya. 



318 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

HEART-GBOWN. Fondly attached to anything. 

c.c. 
HEART-SCAD. Heart-ache. The word occurs in 
Brockett, but with a slight variation in the meaning. 

H.A.D. 

HEARTSOME. Lively, cheerful, merry. Current in 
Scotland, according to Jamieson. 

B.N.C. RJlJ>. 

HEAT. " Heat the old broth." A phrase signifying the 
renewal of a courtship, 

HECK-BOARD. A loose board at the back of a cart, 
that drops in behind. Tail-boabd is synonymous in 
some parts of the county. 

T.G. • ' /-* 

HECHT, or HECHT. Height. This old word is also 
retained in the Wiltshire dialect, according to Akerman. 
Jamieson has the verb heckt, to raise in price ; to 
heighten. 

A.W. H.A.D. 

HEDGE-CHAT. The hedge-sparrow. Fnngilla doniestica. 
(Linn.) 

No music's heard the fields among, 

Save when the hedge- chais twittering play. 

Clare's Village Minstrel, vol. i. p. 91. 

HEDGE-HOG. To open, to divulge, to disclose. A wit- 
ness giving evidence in Assize Court, said, " the pri- 
soner hedge-hogged,'''' On being asked what he meant, 
he said that " a hedge-hog when in water opened ; and 
the man, when they gave him plenty of beer, opened, 
and told all he knowed." 

HEEL-TAP. The heel-piece of a shoe. 

c.c. G.&P. H.A.D. 

HEFT. A handle. A.-Sax. hceft, Pynson, " heft^ manu- 
brium.*' Exemplified in the childish couplet, — 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 319 

When all is gone, and none left, 
Turn the blade into the hefi» 

C.C. T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

HEICH, or HOICH. To raise up. " Hmh him up on 
that wall." 

In wealth be meek, hdcb, not thyself ; 
Be glad in wilful poverty. 

Ellis^s Specimens. (Heniysoun^s Abbey Walk.) 

HEIT. ^eeHAiT. 

HEIVY-KErVT. On the balance. Confined to the 
northern part of the county. 

C.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

HELL-WEED. A troublesome species of bind-weed, 
Corwotvulus arvensis, 

HELP. To send, or convey. A butcher said to a lady, 
who purchased some steaks, he would help them up to 
her house directly. A singular but very common use 
of the word. 

HELPER. The stand, or thrawl, for a barrel. 

HELT. The preterite of hold. " He helt it up." 

HELTER-SEIELTER. Promiscuously, confusedly, with- 
out order. See Todd's Johnson. 

And helter-skelter have I rode to thee, 
And tidings do I bring. 

2 Hen. IV. v. 3. 
B.N.C. C.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

HELVE. The handle of any large tool. A.-Sax. helf^ 

manubrium. Grose gives it as current in Derbyshire. 

Palsgrave has " helve of any tool." 

His hand fetcheth a stroke with the ax to out down the tree, 
and the head slippeth from the Jielve, 

Deut. xix. 5. 
There his axes stood by hem seWes, 
He kept one with a well good helve* 

0. B. Guy of Warwic. (Toone.) 

M.S. F.£.A. H.S* L.H. H.P. H.A.D. 



320 XORTIIAMPTOXSHIBE 

IIFN. "As liiixy ne a hen with one chick." Unneces- 
sarily solicitous or active over trifles. 

HEX ^VSD CHICKENS. The brge doable daisy, with 
sTnalk'r ones growing round the same footstalk. 
C.C. 

IIEN-FLESII. See Roose-skin- 

IIES-5I0ULI). Light dark loamy soil. Morton, p. 37, 
describes two kinds of hen-mould. One, a black, hol- 
low, spunfry, and mouldering earth; another a black, 
rich, and deuBor earth than the former. He suggests 
the probability that they are so called from their simi- 
larity to the light loose mould, wherein hens delight to 
flutter and dust theniBelvcB. Beam, in his " Prize Esaay 
on the Farming of Northamptonshire," explains /lea- 
mo«!i!i/-laiid as a moory or peaty soil, with gravelly and 
clay subsoil. 

HERE. " That's neither here nor there," i. e. nothing to 
the purjiose. 
c.c. 

IIEIlilFFE, written HAIROUGII, in Marshall's Rural 
Economy of the Midland District. Catchweed or Cli- 
vers. Galium apaiiiie. See Bmgah-lice. This name 
is no doubt derived from the Fr. " ha-ife, set, staring, 
or standing up, like bristles, or the hair of an affrighted 
creature ; honide, rough, mggfd," Cotgr. This de- 
scription accords with the hispidity of the plant. 
K.N.c."llaritf." o."Hari£F." ii.s."Hariff." h.a.d. 

HEUX. Hers; her own. 

L.ll. 

llEliN, IIEKONSFAV, or IIEENSEW, HEKONSHAW, 

or HERNSHAW. The various names given to the 
Heron in different parts of this county. The first, I 
think, is common all over the kingdom; the second is 
adopted by Chaucer, and is perhajis the most ancient ; 
the last is used by Spenser, and I presume is more re- 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 321 

stricted in its circulation ; the Craven Glossarist remark- 
ing that he does not recollect ever hearing it. 

Handsaw is a corruption of the last form of the word, 
in Shakspere's Hamlet, ii. 2. " I know a hawk from a 
hxxndsawy^ implying a comparison between two very dif- 
ferent birds ; if applied to " hand-saw," an implement, 
there is evidently no force or propriety in the passage. 
Dr. Johnson and others consider hemshaw as the shaw, 
or wood, where herons breed. I am not aware that it is 
ever so used with us ; though, in Earl Spencer's park at 
Althorpe, there is one of the few remaining Hemries in 
this part of the kingdom. For the etymology of these, 
terms see Richardson's Dictionary, 

1 wol not tellen of hir strange sewes, 
Ne of hir swannes, ne hir heronsewes. 

Chauceb^s Squieres Tale. 
As when a cast of &loons make their flight. 
At an hemshaw, that lyes aloft on wing. 

Spenses*s Faerie Queen, vi. vii. 9. 
B.N.C C.G. T.O. H.P. H.A.D. 

HERRING-BONE. A peculiar kind of sewing, the 
stitches forming a zig-zag, similar to the herring-bone 
masonry of the Romans. Used almost exclusively in 
the mending and making of flannel. 

HET. The imperative mode of the verb to heat. " Het 
me some broth." 

HEUDIN. The piece of leather which connects the 
HANDSTAFF of a flail With the swingle; appropriately 
termed in some places " the middle-band." 

B.N.C. H.A.D. 

HEXT. The Saxon superlative of high. Figuratively 
appHed to the cleaning of furniture. " IVe taken the 
hext of the dirt off the table," t. e. the uppermost or 
thickest part of the dirt is removed. When any work 
is nearly completed, the heoct of it is done. This good 



322 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

old word was in general use in the last generation, but 

is now gradually receding from us. 

At tlie three kext days y-Utt this nobleye, 

In hallB and in fields, of meat, and eke of play. 

Ellis^s Specimens. (Robert of Gloucester.) 

For the first apple and the hext, 

* * • • 

And the third apple of the thre, 
Which growith lowest on the tre. 

Chaucer's Dreme. 

H.A.D. 

JIIC! IIICI HICI A caU to ducks. 

HICKLE, ICWELL. The woodpecker. Picus viridia. 

(Linn.) This appellation is traceable to the A.- Sax. 
. hicgan, to try, to search thoroughly ; alluding to the 
habits of this bird, which searches for its food (accord- 
ing to the popular song) by " tapping the hollow beech 
tree," to discover the unsound part, in order to thrust in 
its singularly formed tongue to procure its food. 
L.H."Hickol." H.A.D."Hickol." 
HIGH-LARNT. Deeply learned. " I ar'nt high-larnt; I 

never had much schooling." 
IIIGH-LOWS. High shoes, covering the ankles; some- 
times called high-tops. 

And harden'd Idgh-lows, clenchM with nails around, 
Clamping defiance o'er the stony ground. 

Clare's Village Minstrel, vol. ii. p. 68. 
M.S. F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

HIKE, or HOYK. To move suddenly, or hastily. " I 
hiked down to Peterborough as soon as I heard the 
news." Applied both to persons and to things ; as, " he 
hiked himself off," or "he hiked his things off." Often 
used for a peremptory opprobrious dismissal. " Come, 
hoyk yourself off." 

M.s."Hyke." f.e.a. a.w. h.p. h.a.d. 

2. To raise or lift up. " Hike this sack up." 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 323 

HIKEY. A swing; obvionsly from the preceding word. 

B.N.C. H.AJ). 

HILDING. Shackling, shuffling. Bp. Kennett defines it, 
" an idle jade ;" but we never apply it to females. 

He was some kilding fellow, that had stolen 
The horse he rode on. 

Hen. IV. i. 1. 

If your lordship find him not a hUdingt hold me no more in 
your respect. 

All'sWell,iu. 6. 

H.A.D.. 

HILDY-WILDY. Fickle, changeable. " There's no good 

in such hildy-wildy doings." 
HILL. To cover. « Have you hilled the child up?" " kUl 
it up well." In accordance with this, is the old pro- 
verbial expression, where there is a large family, " It 
takes a deal to hill and to fill," i, e, to clothe and to feed. 
A.-Sax. helauy celare. " I hyllj I wrappe or lappe, ie 
couvre; you must hyll you wel nowe a nyghtes, the 
wether is colde." Palsgrave. Wiclif makes frequent 
use of this verb in his translation of the New Testament, 
and so do many of our early poets. 

The litil schip was hUid with wavis. 

WiCLiP MS. Matt viii. 
Nakid, and ye hyUden me ; syke, and ye visytiden me. 

Ibid. Matt. lucr. 

And eke the woodes and the greaves 
Ben hilled all with grene leaves. 

Ck)WEB, fo. czii 

All heled with lead, low to the stones. 

PiSRS Plowman*s Creed. 
Where that I lay Kded with leavis rank. 

Dunbar^ Poems. 

Laye it in a troughe of stone, and hyll it with lede close. 

Fabian. 
B.N.C. G. H.H. HS. E.L. H.P. H.A.D."Hile." 

HILLING. A covering ; generally applied to a bed quilt, 



324 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

as, '' Put the hilling on." Hartshome defines it, '^ the 
cover or binding of a book ;" and observes, were it not 
for provincial bookbinders, the word would be lost. I 
am not aware that it is ever so used with us. Wilbra- 
ham considers it as peculiar to Lancashire and Cheshire, 
but in this he is mistaken, for we still retain it in com- 
mon use. It occurs, as a noun, in Chaucer and Grower. 
" Tegumentuniy a hyllynge or coverjmge." Ort. Voc. Pals- 
grave gives, " hyllyng^ a covering, coverture T and " hylling 
of an house, couverturey tecte" For further observations 
on this word, see Kennett's Glossary under hdoive-tocUl^ 
and Way's Promptorium. 

Therefore the womman schal ha^e an hilyng on her heed, 

WiCLiF, 1 Corynth. ii. 

Your hyllynges with furreB of armyne, 
Powdred with golde of hew fall fyne. 

"The Squyr of Lowe Degre," v. 839. 

R.N.G. G. W.G. B.N.C. H.H. E.L. H.P. H.A.D. 

HILLYER. One who covers houses with slate or tile, or 
any material but thatch. Derived from the foregoing 
A.-Sax. verb. Ray notices the word as common in the 
West. 

G. j.s."HeUier." p.d. h.p. 

HILT. A curved or bowed piece of wood, with two 
staves and a hook, to affix it to the thatch, for the pur- 
pose of holding the telm, or burden of straw, whilst 
thatching. A sort of dumb waiter to the thatcher. 
This word is probably a corruption of the old preterite 
of the verb to hold, converted into a substantive. Jack, 
and Knave, are cognate terms. 

HIMSELF. '' He isn't himself i' " beside himself i' " out 
of his mind;" "off his head;" and "a little cracky," 
are all analogous phrases expressive of mental aber- 
ration. 

H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 326 

HIMSEN. Himself. 

H.A.D. 

HINDER-ENDS. Refuse of com; what remains after 
wimiowing ; a tautological word. Grose says, the sweep- 
ings of a barn after winnowing. 

B.N.C. C.C. T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

HING. To hang. Current in Scotland ; Chaucer has 
hing^ for the preterite of hang. 

His hatte king at his backe donne by a lace. 

Chaucer, Chanon's Yeman's Prologue. 
Clare ftimishes various examples of its present use ; 
probably variations for the sake of the rhyme. 
While from her cage the blackbird sings, 
That on the woodbine harbour kings. 

Village Minstrel, vol. i. p. 67. 
And nodding bulrush down its drowk head hiiigs. 

Ibid. p. 46. 
But, Lord protect us ! time such change does bring, 
We cannot dream what o'er our heads may hiiig. 

Ibid. 
B.N.C. C.C. H.H. T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

HING-B Y. A parasite ; similar to a hanger-on. 

C.C 

HINGY. Said of beer that is " on the work," or " up," 
as it is termed. Particularly applied to beer that fer- 
ments in the cask from removal. 

E.L. 

HIP AND THIGH. Completely, roundly. « I gave it 
him, hip and thigh,^* This appears to vary from the 
sense given by Todd. This singular expression is used 
in the description of the slaughter of the Philistines by 
Samson. 

And he smote them hip and thigh with a great slaughter. 

Judges, XV. 8. 
C.C. 

HIPE. To gore with the horns. See Haunch. 

R,N.C."Hype." G. B.N.C. C.C. T.G. H.A.D. 



326 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

HIPPED. Vapoured, fanciful, imaginary. " She's hipped 
to death ;*' t. e, she fancies she has all kinds of com- 
plaints ; her complaints are more imaginary than reaL 
A contraction of hypochondriacal, 

H.A.D. 

HIPPETY-IIOPPETY. Limping, hobbUng. 

J.S. U.A.D. 

inRPLING. Limping, walking lame. Scotch. 
And seeking, hirpling round from time to time, 
Her harmless sticks from hedges hung with rime. 

Clare's Village Minstrel, vol. ii. p. 117. 
The little boy, with feet as sore as boils, 
ffirples in trouble from the school-house door ; 
The poor lame urchin wakes his mother's smiles, 
Who gives him " buirs eyes** till the smart is o*er. 

Clarets MS. Poems. 
B.N.c. W.C. c.c."Herple." h.p. h.a.d. 
HIS'N. His own. " 'Tan't oum, but Aw w." 

M.S. j.s."Hizen." 
HIT. To find. " I hit on't by great good luck." 

C.C. H.A.D. 

2. To agree; always used with the adjunct it, as, "they 
hit it very well;" or " they can't hit it at all," when they 
disagree. Shakspere appears to adopt this sense, when 
one of the daughters of King Lear says, " Pray you let 
us hit together." 

C.C. 

3. To imitate, to describe with accuracy. " He hit him 

off to the life." 

Your father *8 image is so hit in you, 

His very air, that I should call you brother, 

As I did him. 

Winter's Tale, v. 1. 

HITCH. Kersey defines this word, " To wriggle or move 
forward by degrees ;*' which accords with our meaning. 
" Come, hitch your chair a bit." This sense is aptly 
illustrated by the distich, on the old beam which sepa- 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 327 

rated Bedfordshire from an insulated portion of Hert- 
fordshire, in the dining room of the late parsonage 
house, at MappershaD, near Shefford. 

If you wish to go into Hertfordshire, 
Hitch a little nearer the fire. 

When any one is promoted, "he is hitched on a little;" 
and if one thing is slightly attached to another, or put 
on loosely or carelessly, it is said to be " only just 
hitched on." Hartshorne supplies an example of this 
latter signification, which I conceive he has misappro- 
priated to " Heicky Hike, to cast, to throw on." 
With velvet hatt heitcht on thair heidis. 

PiNKBRTON^s Scottish Poems, p. 827. 

Prompt. Parv. " Hytchen, remouen." We also use 
the word substantively, and in a more extended sense 
than any of our Lexicographers. A hitch, in a title to 
an estate, is a flaw. A hitch, in the gait of a person, is 
when one leg is shorter than the other, which occasions 
a jerk in walking. 

G. M.S. H.H. H.P. H.A.D. 

HITHER-AND-YON. Here and there. 

H.P. H.A.D. 

HITTY-MISSY. Right or wrong, at random. Corrupted 
from the phrase hit or miss, 

C.C. F.E.A. H.A.D. 

HOB, or HUB. The flat space, or ledge, or shelf, on each 

side of a fire, within the chimney; called also the 

STOCK, which is perhaps more dialectical. 

While on hob or table nigh, 

Just to drink before I'm dry, 

A pitcher at my side should stand. 

Clare's Rural Life, p. 50. 

R.N.C. G. M.S. F.E.A. C.C. C.S. H.P. HJL.D. 

HOBBLED Y-HOY. An awkward stripling, neither man 
nor boy. 

a. W.C. M.S. B.N.C. C.C. T.Q. H.P. H.A.D. 



828 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

HOBBLE. A scrape, a dilemma. *' YouVe got into a 
pretty hMle now." Prevalent in Scotland, according 
to Jamieson ; and Sir Walter Scott adopts it in The 
Pirate. " Now Captain Cleveland, will you get us out 
of this hohbleT^ Webster has " hobbUy to perplex. (Not 
in use.)" But see the next word. 

M.S. B.N.C F.E.A. CC* U.F . 

HOBBLED. Perplexed, troubled. "She was quite 
hobbled with her work." " If I sell my fruit to the 
little gardeners, I am so hobbled to get the money.'' 

HOBBLE-GOBBLES. Turkeys. A name allusive to 
the voracious manner in which they eat their food. 

HOBBLY. Rough, uneven* Applied to newly-made 
roads, when the stones are irregularly broken. The 
Craven Glossarist derives it from the Welsh hobeldy to 
hobble. 

M.S. CC f .£«A. U.P. U.A.D. 

HOBBY-OWL. The great bam owl. Strix flammea. 

(Linn.) 
HOB'S-HOG. When a person conjectures wrongly, he is 

commonly compared to Hob^s hog, which, it is said, when 

the butcher went into the sty to kill him, fancied his 

breakfast was coming. 
HOB-JOB. A clumsy job. A servant dropping a cup 

and saucer, without breaking them, exclaimed, " That 

was a lucky hob-job .'" 
HOB-NAILS. Large square-headed nails, used for the 

shoes of agricultural labourers, or country clowns. 

Todd says from " hobby and nail,''^ a nail used for 

shoeing a hobby, or little horse ;" but more probably 

from Hob, a clown. 

Come on clownes, forsake your dumps, 
And bestirre your hoh-nail stumps. 

Ben. Jonson, A Particular Entertainment, &c. 

HOCK. See Harkle. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 329 

HOCKLE. To tie a horse's legs together, and throw him 
down, to prevent kicking whilst being " shod. From 
hockle, to hamstring. 

HOCKLING. Hobbling, shuffling, or slipping along. 
Walking as if hamstrung. 

HOCS AND HOES. The feet and leg bones of swine, 
cut off at the ankle. The etymon of both words seems 
to be the A.-Sax. " ko, or hoh, a heel, calx, poples^ 

F.E.A. H,P. 

HOD. A trough or scope, made of wood or metal, for 
carrying coals or cinders. " A coal-^o^," or " cinder- 
hody Fosbroke, in his Encyclopaedia of Antiquities, 
mentions bricklayer's hod, as occurring so early as the 
14th century. Forby derives it from the A.-Sax. " hody 
cucullus ;" but it may with more probability be traced 
to the Fr. " hotte, a scuttle, a dosser." Cotg. 

M.S. F.E.A* 

HOD-DOD. A garden snail. See the synonymes DoD, 

or DODMAN, and Gk)GGLE-SHELL. 

HODDY-DODDY. Disproportionably stout. A short, 
lusty, squat looking person is said to be " all hoddy- 
doddyy Todd uses it in a general sense, but with us it 
is restricted to females. 

2. The smallest kind of snail shell. The diminutive of 
HoD-DOD. The Helix hortensis of Turton, so common in 
hedges, obtains, I believe, the same name. 

HODGE. What hoddy-doddy is to the person, kodge is to 
the clothing. An ill-made dress, when the fulness is 
irregular, and driven too much to one place, sits " all of 
a hodge^ When one child is carrying another, and 
drives the clothes in heaps, it is very commonly said, 
" What a hodge you are making of that child." 

2. To raise, to lift up. " Hodge this sack up.*' In this 
sense it is synonymous with hotch. 



830 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

HODGE-PODGE. Any heterogeneous miztare. Fr. 
*' IlochepoU A hotch-pot, a confused mingle-mangle of 
divers things, jumbled or put together.** Cotgr. 

H.H. 

HODMEDOD. Short, squat. Very nearly allied to 

HODDT-DODDT. 
J.S. U.P. 

HOG. A yearling sheep, which has only been shorn 
once. Synonymous with teg. Applied equally to the 
animal and to the fleece. See Sheep. Bay gives it as 
a Northamptonshire term. 

G. M.S. B.N.C. C.C. F.E.A. J.S. P.D. T.G. H.A.D. 

HOG. To cut the hair short, of obvious derivation. " To 
hog a horse^s mane," is to cut it up on both sides to a 
point. 

U.P. H.A.D. 

HOGO. A disagreeable, offensive smeU; similar to Fogo. 

C.S. n.P. H.A.D. 

HOGLOOM. A sunk receptacle, generally of brick, for 
the wash and refuse food for pigs. See Loom. Hog-loom 
occurs in a notice of sale, in the Northampton Mer- 
cury, 1832. 

HOGMOUSE. The shrew-mouse, or little snouted mouse. 
Mus araneus (Linn.) The name has obviously been 
suggested from its long nose like a pig's. It is super- 
stitiously looked upon with disgust, probably from the 
erroneous idea that its bite is venomous. Called also 
HARDYMOUSE. The labourers on the soil are often close 
observers of the instinct of animals, and they consider 
this little mouse prognosticates in which quarter of the 
heavens the wind will prevail during the winter, by 
making the aperture of its nest in a contrary di- 
rection. 

HOGWEED. The common sowthistle. Sonchus arvenm, 

HOGGERS. Upper- stockings without feet, like gaiters. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 331 

The same word prevails in Scotland. Jamieson cites 
instances of its occurrence. 

B.N.C. T.G. H.A.D. 

HOITY-TOITY. Flighty. An epithet appHed to giddy, 
thoughtless young females ; and evidently derived from 
one of the ancient court dances, thus enumerated by 
Selden in his Table Talk :— 

" Formerly at a solemn dancing, first you had the grave mea- 
sures, then the corantoes and the galliards, and this kept up with 
ceremony ; and at length, to trenchmore, and the cushion dance. 
Then all the company dance ; lord and lady, groom and kitchen 
maid ; no distinction. So in our court, in Queen Elizabeth's 
time, gravity and state were kept up ; in King Jameses time, 
things were pretty well ; but in King Charles* time there have been 
nothing but trenchmore, and the cushion dance, omnium gathe- 
rum, troly-poly, hoity-toity.^^ 



CC B.fi.C* U.F. 

HOLD. How d*ye lioldT^ A common mode, amongst 
old people, of inquiring after each other's health. 

HOLE IN THE COAT. A blemish in character or 
conduct. 

I do perceive, he is not the man that he would gladly make 
shew the ^orld he is ; if I find a hole in his coat, I will tell him my 
mind. 

Henry V. iii. 6. 

B.N.C. C.C. H.A.D. 

HOLL. To throw. A corruption of hurl. ^^ Holl it 
away." 

H.A.D. 

HOLLOW. Completely, decisively. " He beat him hoUow.^^ 

C.C. H.A.D. 

HOLM. Clare adopts this word, and defines it, " A river 
island, or land which was formerly covered with water." 
It also implies a level meadow near a stre&m, and is 
still retained in the neighbourhood of Northampton, in 
the compounds Baums-Holm and Ccdves-Holm, which are 



382 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

low meadow pasttirage by the dde of the river. A.-Sax. 
holm, "//o/m,place besydone a watnr, htdmuaJ** Way's 
Prompt. Parv. where may be seen, in a long and inter- 
esting note appended to this word, instances of its early 
occurrence. 

Or padded Ao/m, where village boys retort. 
Bawling enraptarM o^er their evening sport. 

Cla&b's Village Minitrel, yoL ii. p. 76. 

BN.C. C.C. T.G. H.A.D. H.P. 

HOLMB Y. '^ It shines like Holwby,^^ A comparison that 
may have originated in the glittering appearance which 
Holdenby House presented, when gilded with the rays 
of the sun. The situation being elevated, it was visible 
from the surrounding country ; and was always an ob- 
ject of attraction, from the memorable historical event 
connected with it. 

HOLP. Helped. The old preterite of help. "I holp 
him to do it." " You're prettily holp up," is a common 
expression of derision amongst the vulgar. 

Friend, muse not at this fond array, 

But list awhile to me, 
For it hath holped me to survey. 

What I shall show to thee. 
Evans's Old Ballads. The Woodman's Walk, vol. i. p. 345. 

A man is well holp up that trusts to you. 

Comedy of Errors, iv. 1 . 
Three times to-day I holp him to his horse. 

2 Hen. VI. v. 3. 

M.S. n.s. 
HOLT. A small grove or plantation. A.-Sax. holt, 
sylva. " Holt, lyttylle wode." Prompt. Parv. Palsgrave 
gives, " Ilolte, a lyttell wood, petit hoys."" See Jamieson. 
A small wooded hill; which exactly corresponds with 
the situation of Holt, the seat of the Nevilles in Leices- 
tershire, and of two noted fox-covers in the same 
county, Walton-Holt and Shankton-Holt ; and in this 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 383 

county we Jiiave Dodford-Holt, We also apply the term 
to poor land, covered with fiirze or ling, or to any field 
in a rough weedy state. Sir Henry Dryden, to whom I 
am indebted for this sense of the word, informs me that 
in Canons Ashby they have Thistly-Holt^ and Rushy- 
Holt. A plantation or bed of osiers is also designated 
an Osier-Holt, 

"Eke whanne Zephyrus, with his sote breth, 
Enspirede hath, in every holt and heth. 

Chaucer's Prol. 
The roo full rekeles ther sche rinnes, 

To make the game and glee, 
The fawken and the fesaunt both, 
Amonge the holtes on hee. 

Pebct's Reliques, vol. i. p. 24. 

As for example, beholde a wanton colte, 
In raging youth leapeth over hill and holte. 

Babclat's Eglogues, 4. 
To shoot at nimble squirrels in the holt. 

Fletcher's Faithful Shepherdess, a. ii. 
And osier-holts by rivers near. 

Clare's Shep. Cal. p. 4. 

R.£«S* 0« B.N>C. H.H. F.E.A. C«S. £.L« H.A.D. 

HOLT. A deep hole in a river, a hiding place, or place 
of security for fish. When a pike has taken its bait, 
he is often said to run to his holt or home. The retreat 
of the Otter is frequently called his holt. We also 
apply the term figuratively to a loose unsteady person; 
as " we have no holt on him," t. e, we have no security 
that he will keep to any promises of amendment. It 
appears to be the substantive derived from the verb to 
hold. 

HOLT. Interjection commanding cessation, to stop, to 
halt or hold. 

A.W. H.P. H.A.D. 

HOLT. An argument. " We'd such a holt over it." 

H.A.D. 



334 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

IIOMK. ** I gave him a home stroke." A figurative ex- 
prt'ssion for completion, which Shakspere oflen uses. 

M.S F.E.A. II. P. II.A.D. 

] I <> M M K I * . A hammer. This dialectical pronunciation 
is innn> ill accordance with the A. -Sax. homer, 

IIO.MK-STALL. A farm-yard and its appurtenances. 
The Wnn is not very general, its synonynxe Homestead 
l)eing niucli more current. It occurs in notices of sale 
in the Nt>rthanipton Mercury, 1825: — " To be sold a 
closo lying contiguous to the hame-atall ;'^^ and again in 
183i, ** A fann-houso and homestalU^ 

U S. II.A.D. 

IIOMMOCK. " All of a hommock,^' is a phrase that does 
not seem to admit of any precise definition ; it is always 
restrictcfl to a female who, from an excess of ill-made 
clothing, that sits in heaps or ridges, looks disp^;opor- 
tionally stout. " She is all of a hommock;'*'* analogous 
to " all i}\' a iiODOE." Todd and "Webster are the onh' 
authorities 1 find for this word; the first spells it "hum- 
mock," the second " hommoc." Both render it a hil- 
lock ; perhaps our phrase is a metaphorical use of their 
meaning. 

IIOMMOCK S. A tall, overgrown, awkward, slatternly 
girl, " a ^reat hommocksy Also used participially ; as, 
" she is a gi*eat hommttcking thing. 

3. Large feet and legs. Halliwell gives Ilomuks^ large 
legs ; and assigns it to Bedfordshire, a neighbouring 
county. 

IIONEY-AND-NUTS. This singular conii>ouud, it may 
be presumed, was once esteemed a great delicacy; and 
has consequently passed into a common proverbial say- 
ing, for anything that is particularly agreeable or satis- 
factory. The most general use of the phrase is when a 
person hears another, who is no favourite, rebuked for 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 335 

his meanness or pride, he would say, " Oh, it was hmey 
and nuts to me I" 
HONEYSUCKLE. The red clover. Trifolium pratense. 

J.S. 

HONEY-SUCKS. The flowers of the red clover; from 

which children are fond of sucking the saccharine 

juice. Called also suck-bottles. 
HONOUR BRIGHT. A protestation of, and exhortation 

to, honesty of purpose, amongst the vulgar ; frequently 

expressed in the proverbial couplet, — 

Honour bright , 
From mom till night ! 

B.N.C. H.A.D. 

HOODLE-CUM-BLIND. Another name for the childish 
sport of Blind-man's-buff. 

HOO'E, HOO'E, HOO'E. Used to drive away pigs, as 
" Tig, tig, tig," is to call them together. 

HOOK. To secure by indirect means. If a lady is en- 
deavouring by artifice to secure the attentions of a gen- 
tleman, it is often said, " She's trying to hook him in if 
she can." 

HOOK-FINGERED. Dishonest. 

HOOKS. " To be off the hooks, ^' is a phrase, of various 
significations ; as, to be out of health ; to be unsettled 
and discomposed in mind or circumstances, to disagree 
with or be at variance with any one. A correspondent 
expression to " off the hinges," and of kindred origin; 
an old-fashioned hinge being generally attached to, or 
himg upon a hook, 

HOOMAN. The common pronunciation of woman, in 
many of our villages. 

HOOP. A word that is best explained by an example. 
If the skirt of a dress is so tight in any part, that it 
does not fall easily, and requires more ftdlness, it is said 
to hoop ; or when lace or other trimming is set on so 



3S« NORTHAMPTOirSHIBB 

scantily, that it will not iaU ptoperlj, it also hoopa^ i. e. 
it assumes the form of a hoop, 

nOOP, or HOOPIT. When a child is playing at the 
game of *' Hide and seek," and has conceaJed herself 
she calls out " hoop I hoop r to signify to her playmates 
that they may begin to search for her. See Gdgkoo. 

HOOPEE', or HOOPA*H. An exclamation to a child to 
make an effort to raise itself, when yon have taken it by 
the arms to lift it up. This apparently iiiiTn^>^^p^^g 
word may perhaps be a metaphorical use of the Fr. 
" kupei^ crested, proud, loftie, that thinks well of himself.** 
Cotgr. Unless it be only a prolonged form of uttering 
the word up. 

HOOTING-PUDDING. A plum pudding, with such a 
scanty supply of plums, that they are jocularly said to 
be obliged to hoot at each other. 

HOP. A rustic dance, a country hop, A.-Sax. See 
Jamieson. 

At every bridale would he singe and hoppe. 

Chauceb, Coke's Tale. 

H.U. n.A.D. 

HOP-O'-MY-THUMB. A little diminutive person. This 
apparently unmeaning epithet is of great antiquity. 
Palsgrave, " Hoppe upon my thombe,yr«fo7fow." Cot- 
grave renders /retiYfow, " a little nimble dwarf, or hop- 
on-mi/'tJiomhe,^^ 

HOPPER. A basket for seed com; called more com- 
monly SEBLET or siblet, which see. " Hopyr of a sede 
lepe, scUarium" Pjmson. 

The sower o*er his hopper leans, 

Strewing with swinging arms the pattering beans. 

Clarets Shep. Cal. p. 29. 

H.S. T.G. H.AJ). 

2. The trough, or square-sided funnel which holds the 
grain for supplying or feeding the mill when grinding. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 387 

Bakers give the same name to the long wooden funnel 
through which they shoot the flour into the "dough 
kiver," from the room above. " Hopyr of myll, tara- 
tantera.^^ Pynson. " Hopper of a myll, tremge" Palsg. 
By God, right by the hopper wool I stand, 
(Quod John) and seen how that the com goes in. 

Chaucer, Reve's Tale. 
Fy ! your hopper runs over, miller. 

Fletch£II*s Maid in the Mill, v. 2. 
H.S. H.A.D* 

HOPPING-GILES. An appropriate epithet for a person 
who limps, St. Giles being the patron of cripples. The 
churches dedicated to him were always placed at the 
outskirts or suburbs of the town, as is the case with St. 
Giles at Northampton. 

s .J2<.iv. 

HOPPLE. To tie the legs together. Teut. hoppel-en. 

B.N.C. C.C. F.E.A. E.L. T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

HOPPLES. Straps for the legs of horses. Both the 
noun and the verb are given by Jamieson. 

T.G. E.L. H.A.D. 

HORNET. The large dragon-fly. Libellula vulgatissima. 

HORNS. " Draw in your homsj^ t, e, retract your 
opinions. 

HORSE. " To ride the high horse,'' or " to be on the high 
horse,'" is to assume unbecoming airs, or claim unac- 
knowledged superiority. 

HORSE. " To set," or, " not to set their horses together,'" 
is a phrase expressive of cordial co -operation, or mutual 
dissatisfaction. 

CO. 

HORSE-BLOB. The marsh marigold. Caltha palustris. 
To crop the yellow horse- Uoh*s early flower. 

Clare's Village Minstrel, vol. i. p. 49. 
Here, 'neath the ehelving bank's retreat. 
The horte-hlob swells its golden ball. 

Ibid. vol. ii. p. 120. 

Q 



33S NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

The korte-blobf by the water mill. 
Blooms in the forming dun, 

Clabb'b Rural Muse, p. 68. 
IIORSE-DAISY. The great white ox-€ye. Chrysan" 

theinum leucanthemwn. 
HORSE-GODMOTHER. A fat, vulgar, maacuHne woman, 
quite one of the lower grade. Pegge remarks that " the 
prepositive horse is applied variously, to denote several 
things large and coarse, by contradistinction.** Peter 
Pindar adopts this term in one of his Odes. 

B.N.G. U.A.D. 

HORSE-GOLD. The crowfoot. RanunctUtts arvensis, 
HORSE-KNOPS. The flowers of the knapweed. Cen- 
taurea nigra, 

R.N.C. O. U.A.D. 

HORSE-STING, or HORSE-STINGER. The dragon^ 
fly. Libellula vulgatissima (Linn.) See Devil's-needle. 
Halliwell gives the name of horat'Stinger to the gad-fly. 

J.S. H.P. 

HORSE-THRUSH. The missel-thrush. Tardus viscivo- 
rns (Lina ) See Fen-thrush and Storm-cock. Pegge*s 
remark applies equally to all the above compounds ; as, 
in every case, I believe, the combination with the horse 
is based on the largest species of the different genera. 

HORSE-THYME. Wild thyme. Thymxis serpyllum. 

HOT. The preterite of the verb to hit. " He hot him 
on th' yed." 

2. To heat. " Hot me some beer." " She hotted som^. milk." 

H.P. H.A.D. 

HOT AS HOT. Expressing intensity, by reduplication 

of the word. This mode of comparison is very frequent 

among our rural population, " As cold as cold," " as 

line as fine," &c. 

And now the fyer was lighted up, 
As hot as hot might be. 

Percy's Reliques, vol. ii. p. 57. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 339 

HOT- ACHE. The tingling sensation produced in the 
hands by rapid transition from extreme cold to sudden 
heat This term appears to be peculiar to the midland 
counties ^ dinnel or dindle is correspondent in Brockett's 
North Country Words. 

E.L. 

HOT-CROSS-BUN DAY. Good Friday. Buns are made 
on this day with a cross at the top ; formerly they were 
universally lozenge-shaped, now they are occasionally 
made round. Boys carry them about the streets for 
sale, crying, at the extent of their lungs, — 

One a penny, two a penny, 
Hot cross buns. 

They sometimes add. 

Sugar ^em and butter *em, 
And stick 'em in your muns. 

Another metrical cry was formerly heard thus : — 

Hot cross buns, hot cross buns ! 

If you have no daughters, 

Pray give them to your sons ; 

But if you have none of those little elves, 

Then you may keep them all yourselves. 

The credulous and superstitious frequently preserve 
these buns from year to year, from the belief in their 
peculiar efficacy in the cure of diseases ; and agree with 
Poor Robin, in his Almanack for 1753: — 

Whose virtue is, if you believe what's said, 
They*!! not grow mouldy like the common bread. 

HOT-POT. Warm ale and gin; spiced, sweetened, and 
thickened with eggs and flour. This same potation is 
called ^t/> in Suffolk. 

G. B.N.C. F.E.A^ H.P. H.A.D. 

HOT WATER. " To be kept in hot water i' to be in a 
constant state of anxiety, uneasiness and suspense. The 
Scotch have ** het water. ^^ See Jamieson. 

q2 



n4'"» 



NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 



IKJTCII. To raise up. A person, unable to raise a sack 
on his back, would say to a bystander, '^ Hatch this up 
for me ;" or " hotch it up a little higher." A worthy 
alderman of this borough, in a discussion at the town 
council on some expense to be incurred, said, '* He talks 
of five pounds, but if you don't bind him down, hell 
hoU:li it up to twenty pounds." 

2. To move laterally, in a shuffling or jerking manner. 
'* Ilotch a little further, and give me a little more room," 
is often said to a neighbour in a crowd. This hitter 
meaning obtains in Scotland, according to Jamieson, 
and is nearly identical with Hitch, which see. Sir 
Walter Scott supplies an apt illustration, in St. Honan's 
"Well. " Are ye sure ye hae room enough, Sir? I wad 
fain liotch myself farther yout." 

CO. 

HOTCIIEL. To walk or move awkwardly or limpingly, 
as one who carries a heavy burden with difficulty. 
Hijchdy hocMe, and hoghle, appear to be Scotch correla- 
tives. See Jamieson. 

E.L. II.A.D. 

HOUSE. The best kitchen, or common sitting room, in 
a fann-house This term is so generally adopted, that 
houses are so described in the advertisements in our 
local papers. 1832. " To be let, a dwelling comprising 
a i-arlour, //o?/se, kitchen, and back-kitchen." 1840. "To 
IvA , a three story residence at Crick, containing a houscy 
parlour and four bed rooms." In the time of Eay, the 
room called the hall was designated as the house. 

G. CO. F.E.A. T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

HOUSE. " To bring an old house over your head," is to 
bring a calamity upon yourself by carelessness or im- 
providence. 

2. " Get on like a house on fire'' A phrase expressive of 
great rapidity. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 341 

3. "To turn the home out at windows.'*'^ To throw every 
thing in disorder. 

C.C. H.A.D. 

HOUSEN. Houses. Another instance of the retention 
of the old Saxon plural. 

G. M.S. J.S. B.N.C. . H.S. A.W. T.G. H.P. 

HOUSE-WARMING. A social feast on entering a new 
habitation. 

C.C. 

HOUZEN. The piece of leather attached to a draught 
horse's collar, standing erect on the shoulders of a horse ; 
generally ornamented with red fringe, and in olden time 
with bells, to give notice of the approach of the waggon, 
when the roads were so narrow that two were unable to 
pass. Fr. hmsse. Cotgr. See " Hounce,'* in Moor's 
Suffolk Words. 

HOVE. The preterite of the verb to heave. Puffed up, 
blown, swollen. Applied to cattle, which on being first 
put to grass or green clover eat so immoderately as to 
swell almost to bursting. Badly made cheese, that rises 
in the middle, is said to be hove or heaved. 

Tom Piper hath hoven and puffed up cheeks, 
If cheese be so hoven make Ciss to seek creaks. 

TussEB'S Husbandry. April. 

H.P. 

HOVEL. DEAD-HOVEL. A building roofed with 
dead wood, laid on cross beams, instead of upright 
rafters. 

HOVEL-POSTS. A sarcastic term for thick legs. 

HOVEL-PKICKS. Short flexible sticks, pointed at one 
end, and hooked at the other; used to confine the rod 
which secures the straw or telm, at the eaves and ridge 
of a roof, when thatching. Called in Cheshire thatch- 
pricks, and in Suffolk brawtch, 

HOWKY. Husky, chafiy. When the outer skin or in- 



342 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

togiimcnt of com, called the chaff, adheres to the grain 
after it is winnowed and dressed for market, it is said to 
be hmcky. Cholby is the Suffolk equivalent. 
IIOWSOMEVEli, or HOWSOMDIVER. However, how- 
soever. This vulgarism extends into Scotland, for Sir 
Walter Scott uses it in the Pirate. 

J.S. B.N.C. U.A.D. H.P. 

HOWZLICK. Houseleek. Sempervirum tectorum. This 
plant is traditionally regarded as a preservative from 
lightning ; whence arises its frequency on the roofs of 
uur rural cottages. 

BI.S. 

IIOX. To fret, to harrass. " She does hox me uncommon." 
IIOXT. Fretted, perplexed, in a quandary. This and 
the preceding verb are figurative uses of the verb koxy 
to hamstring. A butter woman in the market, the other 
day, said, " IVe left my wench at home to-day ; and I'm 
so hoxt without her, I don't know how to get on ; IVe 
nobody to go of an errand but myself ; I never was so 

If thou inclin'st that way, thou art a coward, \diich kcfxes 
honesty behind, restraining from course required. 

Winter's Tale, i. 2. 

HUB. The nave of a wheel, in which the axle turns. 
Bp. Kennett, in his MS. Glossarial Collections, records 
this word as peculiar to Oxfordshire. 

II.A.D. 

HUB. A secret signal or hint, given generally by a gentle 
touch with the elbow, to call the attention of a next 
neighbour to anything. Cognate with Nudge. 

HUB. See Hob. 

HUBBED. Lumpy, knobby. A gardener said, when 
mowing a grass-plat, where the worms had thrown up 
numerous small protuberances, " The grass is so 
hubbedy I can hardly tell how to cut it at all," Rough 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 343 

roads in America, according to Bartlett, are termed 

hvbhed, 
HUBBY. A familiar term for a Husband, as, " My hMy.^^ 

" Where's jouhvbhy gone ?" 
HUFF. Offence, displeasure. " He's gone off in a Aw/.'' 

HUFF. To scold, to tell any one of his faults in low 
abusive language. " He huft her well." 

F.E.A. H.P. 

HUFFED, or HUFT. Offended. <<He'8 quite huffed;' 
or " He's very soon hufV^ 

B.N.C. H.S. A.W. 

HUGEOUS. Large of its kind. Used metaphorically to 
express great intimacy amongst friends, as, " They are 
kugeous folks." Todd calls it a low word ; but it is an 
archaism, rather than a vulgarism. 

We met three or four httgeaas ugly devils, with eyes like saucers, 
that threw down my husband, that threw down me, that made my 
heart panck ever since, as they say. 

Drtden's Wild Gallant. 

He made his hawks to fly, 
With hugeous showte and crye. 

Skelton. 

HUGGER-MUGGER. Sometimes contracted to Jvug-frmg, 
In confdsion, in disorder. " They live all in a hugger- 
mugger.^' 

HUGGLE. To embrace fondly, for warmth and endear- 
ment; as a nurse does her child, or one child does 
another from affection. Synonymous with Cuddling, 
which see. 

Lye still, lye still, thou little Mnsgrave, 
And huggU me from the cold. 

Pebct^s Reliques, vol. iii. p. 67. 

H.A.D. 

HUG-ME-CLOSE. This word extends into Norfolk ; and 
I cannot do better than adopt Forby's definition: — " The 



iU NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

claviclo of a fowl; more commonly called the merry- 
thought. It has probably this name from its dose an- 
hesion to the sternum.'' 

F.E.A. u.p. 

IIULK. To take out the entrails of a hare or rabbit. I 
am not aware that it is employed for the evisceration of 
any other animal. Richardson says, Ihre and SrenioB 
derive it from Sw. holkoj or huUca, to hollow, to e^^cavate. 
In some parts of the county Hult is synonymoas. 

2. A great lazy lout. A clumsy fellow. '^ A great kidk 
of a fellow." Shakspere has ^' the hulk Sir John.'* 

B.N.C. F.E.A. H.P. 

3. A temporary shelter in the field, for shepherds in the 
lambing season ; or for the turnip-cutter. A.-Sasu hulCj 
a den, cabin, cottage, cvhile. Nearly correlative with 
Hui:k, wliich see. One appears to be a shelter for sheep, 
and the other for the shepherd ; as is shown by Glare. 

Haply we may rest us then, 
In the banishM herdsman *s den ; 
Where the wattled hullc is fixt, 
Propt some double oak betwixt. 

Clare's Village Minstrel, vol. i. p. 204. 
And shepherds, that within their hulhs remain 
Night after night upon the chilly plain. 

Clare's Shep. Cal. p. 3. 
1. To loiter about, to spend time lazily. 

u.p. 
IIULKY, or HULKING. Large, unwieldy. " He's a great, 
hulky, idle fellow, always loitering and lolloping about." 

M.S. B.N.C* F.E.A. CO. H.S. P.D. H.A.D. 

HULL. The husk, or external coat of nuts or walnuts ; 
the integument or skin of gooseberries or grapes ; the 
siliqua or shell of peas and beans; the chaff of grain. 
Pynson, " Holls of pesyn or benys or other cod frute, 
techa''' Palsgrave gives, " Hull of beane or pese." This 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 345 

good old word is still in familiar use, in all the above 
applications : the derivation is obviously from the A.Siax. 
helan, to cover. The Craven Glossarist supplies* the 
following illustrations: — 

Sometimes you may give them a few pease or hulPd beans. 
Marq. of Newcastle's New Mode of Dressing Horses, 1667« 

M«S. C>C« U.S. 

2. To shell, or remove the outer covering. " Hidl them 
there walnuts." 

CC. U.S. 

3. A place to confine cattle or poultry for the purpose of 
fattening ; which, being a covering or protection during 
the process, naturally suggests the same etymon as the 
preceding word. 

B.N.C. 

4. Another corruption of hurl, to throw. See Holl. 
" Hull that stone o'er the wall." A girl, noticing a boy 
throwing the skins of his gooseberries away, said, 
" Look, mother, how he hulls the hulls away." A cu- 
rious exemplification of the double meaning of this 
word. 

W^.C M.S. F.£.A. U.S. 

5. WilL " I hull do't." Common among the villagers 
on the south-western side of the coxmty. 

HULL UP. Hold up. A waggoner's caution to a draft 
horse at starting. 

HULT. See Hulk. 

HUMDRUM. Dull, dronish. Used in Scotland, and 

with us substantively. " She's a poor humdrum,*^ A 

contemptuous expression. 

HUM AND HAW. To hesitate, to be undecided. "He 
does nothing but hum and haw ; you can get nothing 
out of him." " What do you stand humming and haw^ 



- «•' NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

itt*j iliero for?'' is often said to a person who will not 
;riv(' an answer to a question. Hum and haio are sepa- 
lati^Iy ^aveu with the same signification in Todd^ but 
witli us they are always combined; and, though Todd 
(lues not ^ive them in combination, they are so recognised 
in liis ilkistratiuu under each word, 
c.c. 

Hl'MoUR. To endeavour to accommodate anything to 
its situation, in making or mending any article. The 
"Xiict meaning may be best explained by an example. 
" rijis patcli may be made to do, by a little humouring 
t>r contrivance." 

IIL'MPTY, or HUMPTY-DUMPTY. Short, thickset, as 
" a hiiiupU/ little man." See Dumpy or Dumpty. 

c.c. F.E.A. n.A.D. 
IirMi*Y-GIiUMPY. CompLaining from indisposition. 

Sl-c (ilU'MPY. 

IIL'M-SriiUM. Unskilful, as applied to playing on a 
]>iaii<^. " She's a pocn* hiunstrum performer." Some- 
times ajiplied to the instrument itself, when crazy, or 
out of tune. 

1 1 UNCI I. A misshapen piece, in contradistinction to a 
slice. A solid piece of meat or cheese would be called 
" a great hunch ;" a " hunch of bread" is a large irregular 
piece, generally cut angularly from the comer of a loaf. 
"Webster says a " hunch of bread" is in common use in 
New Knglaud. Coumje obtains the same meaning in 
Brockett's North Country Words. We also apply the 
word to clothes that are awkwardly put on, and do not 
sit or lie smoothly. " Your things are all of a hunchJ*'' 
It has also the same meaning as euncii and punch. 
" Give him a huuch on the horse." " Ihinch the sack on 
his back." 

G. M.S. c.c. F.E.A. P.D. L.H. II.A D. H.P. 

HUNCH-WEATHEK. Damp, cold, foggy weather ; pro- 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 347 

bably so called, when cold and uncomfortable, causing 
any one to set up, or huruih up, the shoulders. 

F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

HUNCK'D. Dispirited. Probably an aspirated corrup- 
tion of Unkid, which see. Akerman introduces both 
words in his Wiltshire Glossary. 

H.P. 

HUNGKY LAND. An agricultural epithet for unpro- 
ductive, barren soil ; land on a gravelly and sandy sub- 
soil, which soon absorbs the manure, and exhausts its 
fertilizing properties. Aptly exemplified by Ben Jonson, 

But this is hungry soil, 

And must be helpt. 

Staple of News, vi. 5. 

HUNK. A large misshapen piece of bread and cheese. 

In this sense it is identical with Hunch. 
HUNKERED. Elbowed, crooked, knee-bent. 

B.N.C. H.A.D. 

HURDLE. An open barred frame, like a gate, made of 
rended or split ash or sallow poles; chiefly used for 
moveable fencing, as for the folding and penning of 
sheep, and the temporary division of land. A. -Sax. 
hyrdd. See Flake, 

M.S. H.A.D. 

HURK. A temporary shelter in the field for young lambs, 

formed of hurdles wattled with straw. See Hulk. 
HURKING, or HURKLING. Croodling, crouching, con- 
tracting the body for warmth. " How you sit hwrUng 
over the fire!" is often said to one who sits with the feet 
on the fender, and the elbows on the knees. 
Do ye not see Rob, Jock, and Hob, 

As they are girded gallantly. 
While I sit hurileon in the ase ? 
I'll have a new oloak about me. 

RiTSQM's S. Songs, i. 221. 
c.c."Hurkling." 



u^ 



NORTHAMPTOXSHIBE 



IIirUKLE. To crouch; to set up the back^ as cattle who 
<linnk fruiii cuKl. This and the preceding word are de- 
rivatives Iroin the nuuu, and agree with the primazy 
iiioaniiig, but 1 have not been able to trace the ety- 

Uiulogy. 

The hare so frisking, timid once, and gay, 
'Hind the dead thiatle hnrl-les from the view. 

Clare's Village Minatrel, toL it. p. 28. 

C.C. U.A.D. 

IIL'RRY. To trouble, to vex. " Don't kvrrif your head 
about that." 

IILTRKY-SCUliUY. Confused haste. A pleonastic ex- 
pression. 

C.C. II.P. H.A.D. 

JIUKT. To take damage or injury; as, " Never mind, it 
won't /////■/." *' It was a bad accident, but he won't 
hart" i. e. will not take hurt. An old use of the word. 
Palsgrave gives " Jfurt, detriment." 

IIUKTEU. The shoulder of the axle against which the 
nave ot* a wheel strikes. Fr. heurter, Cotgr. 

C.C. B.N.C. H.A.D. 

IIUKTLE. To crowd together. The commonly-received 
mc^aning in the Dictionaries is to push or move with 
violence; but our signification is authorised by the 
Wiclilite version, and the Golden Legend. See note to 
Ilurtehpt, in Way's Proniptorium. 

No thenceforth his approv'd skill, to ward, 
Or strike, or hnrtle round in warlike gyre 
Remembred he, ne ear'd for his sauf gard, 
But rudely rag'd, and like a cruell tyger far'd. 

Spenser, Faerie Queene, bk. ii. c. 5. p« 359. 

J5.N.C. 

IIUSSOCK. See Hassock. 

HUSTLE. A crowd. " There was a wonderful hustle 
of people." " The people were all of a hustle,^^ The 



WOBDS AND PHRASES. 849 

Dictionaries have the verb, but the noun appears to be 
peculiar to us. 
HUTCH. A chest. A.-Sax. hwcecca, Pr. huche, Tusser 
says, " The eie of the maister enricheth the hvtch,^^ 

M.S. B.N.C. H.A.D. 

2. A cub, or coop. " A rabbit-^wfcA." 
HUTHERIKIN-L AD. A ragged boy ; a sort of hobberdy- 

hoy. According to Jamieson, it is used in Orkney for 

a stupid fellow. 

G. B.N.C. 

HUZ. A vulgar corruption and aspiration of us ; some- 
times used in the nominative case, as, " Huz won't go." 
B.N.C. c.c. T.G. 



L 



ICE-SHOGGLE. An icicle. The same term prevails 
in the* North, according to Brockett; Jamieson gives 
" Isechokill;" the Craven Glossarist " Ice-shackle;" and 
the Teesdale " Ice-shoccle." Snipe and Dagger are sy- 
nonymous with us, and in more common use. 

ICKLE. Another name for the icicle. More ancient, it 
may be presumed, than the preceding. Pynson has 
" Ikyll, stiria." 

O. H.H. C.C. U.S. M.P. 

mLE-WART. '. 

n)LE-WELT. f rri. A I.- 1. 

> The same as Angnail, which see. 

IDLE-WORT, i 
IDLE-WHEAL. ) 

IF SO BE AS HOW. A vidgar mode of expression. 
" If 80 he as how I get on with my marketings. Til call." 



350 



NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 



ILDY. Fruitful, abundant, yielding. Probably derived 

from " yifld." 
ILLCUXVEXIENT. Inconvenient. 

ILA.D. 

ILL-TU-F(JLLOW. Difficult to equal. 

c.c. 
IX. Of. " In course I shall go." 

Thin being granted in coune, now followi all. 

Meas. for Meas. iii. 1. 
2. " To keep in with a person," i. e. to remain on friendly 
tenns. 
c.c. 
IX-FOR-IT. Unexpectedly engaged in a transaction from 

which there is no retreating. 
IXCOXSISTKXT. Reprehensible. "He beat his wife 
and starved his children; it was quite inconsistent!^'' 
S(.> said a witness, who w^as making complaints before 
the magistrates. 
IXD. An inn, or public-house. 

INDIFFEKKNT. Middling, tolerable; applied to the state 
of health, as well as to the quality of anything; when 
** very" is added, it implies severe indisposition. 
B.N.c. F.E.A. c.c. 
INION or INON. An onion. This is no corruption. See 
For by. 

A.W. n.A.D. II.P. 

INKLE. A very coarse kind of tape. " Penny inkles 
" As thick as Inkle-iceavers'^ is a familiar proverbial 
expression, very applicable to close intimacies, from the 
propinquity of the weavers of this kind of tape during 
their labours at the loom. 

My wife is learning now to weave inhle, 

Beaum & Fl. The Scornful Lady, v. 1. 
B.N.C. 

INKLING. A slight desire ; a slight intimation, a hint. 



I 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 351 

There are many early authorities for the use of this 
word. 

Our business is not unknown to the senate ; they have had 
inJcling this fortnight what we intend to do, which now weUl shew 
'em in deeds. 

Goriolanus, i. 1. 

G. M.S. B.N.C. C.C. H.H. 

IN*ARDS. The entrails of an animal. 

G. M.S. F.E.A."Inwards." a.w. l.h. h.p. h.a.d. 

"Inwards." 
IN SENSE. To explalU To make a person comprehend 
any particular subject, is to insense him. 

B.N.C. H.H. C.C. L.H. E.L. H.P. H.A.D. 

INSTEP. " She's high in the imtep;' i. e. proud and 
haughty. 

C.C. 

INTAKE. A portion of land taken in, or inclosed from 
a common; or piece of waste ground. The same term 
prevails in Scotland, according to Jamieson. 

W.C. B.N.C. H.H. C.C. T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

IRON- WEED. Knapweed. Centaurea nigra. 

And iron-weed, content to shar^ 

The meanest spot that spring can spare. 

Clare's Shep. Cal. p. 47. 

IS. Used in, or for, the future tense, as " To-morrow is 

Saturday." 

To-morrow w the joyfuPday, Audrey ; 
To-morrow will we be married. 

As You Like It, v. 8. 

ISTARD. [The t long.] Eastward. 

J.S. H.P. 

ITSELL. Yourself. Used as a term of endearment to a 
little child, chiefly when attempting to walk. " Take 
care of itsellj there's a little dear,'* 

«I.S. cc 



352 N0RTRAMPT0N8HIBB 

IVRY LIKE. Very often. 

C.G. T.O. 

IZZMil). The letter Z. 

I:Mrd, Itzardf laard^ I. 
I:sard, Izzard, Izzardf I. 

OAen repeated among school-bojrs as a Teix, to de- 
cide who is to commence a game. 

M.S. U.H."Izzet." C.C.^Izzet." B.N.C. T.G. A.W. 



J. 



JABBER. Confused idle talk. 

M.S. B.N.C. H.H. H.r. H.A.D. 

JACK. A large copper can; a japan tin jug is oalled a 

blackjack. A peri)etuation of the name of the ancient 
black leathern jug. 

M.S. T.G. 

2. A frfiino to hold the yelm for the thatcher. A sub- 
stitute for a boy; hence the name. See Hjlt and 
Knave. 

3. A young male pike ; also applied indiscriminately to 
the whole species of pike, of whatever size. 

B.N.C. 

4. The knave of cards, 
c.c. 

JACK. " Every man ^oc^'," every individual. 

H.A.D. 

JACK-A-DANDY. A contemptuous epithet for a con- 
ceited, empty-headed, little fellow. 

c.c. H.P. H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 353 

JACK-A-LANTERN. An ignis fatuus, or WiU with a 
wisp. 

They steal from Jack'O-lantem's tails 
A light, whose guidance never fails 
To aid them in the darkest night, 
And guide their plundering steps aright. 

Glare's Shep. Cal. p. 18. 

J.S. P.D. A.W. HJ». 

JACK'S ALIVE. A game at cards, played by juveniles. 

JACK-A-NAPES. A conceited coxcomb. Shakspere 
often uses this word. 

M.S. T.G. 

JACK-AT-A-PINCH. One who is ready in case of emer- 
gency or necessity. 

At a pynch a frende is knowen, I shall put them in adventurer 

Bbbnebs' Froissart^s Ghron. vol. ii. c. 118. 

M.S. U.A.D. 

JACK-BANDY. See Jack-shaepling. 

JACK> JUMP- ABOUT. Angelica syhestris; called also 
EoGS AND Bacon, which see. In some parts of the 
county the gout-we^, jEgopodium podagraria, bears the 
name of jack-jump-aboiU, 

JACK-OF- ALL-TRADES. An ingenious mechanic, who 
can turn his hands to anything. The phrase sometimes 
runs " Jack of all trades j and master of none," which 
implies a superficial knowledge of many things, without 
proficiency in any. 

H.A.D. 

JACK NICKER. A goldfinch. FrmgUla cardueUs. (Linn.) 
A name nearly obsolete, 
w.c. 

JACK ROBINSON. A name in extensively familiar use, 
to express a short space of time, or anything done very 
quickly. " He did it before you could say Jo/ck Mobin- 



Si>4 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

9tm,^^ The Craven Glossarist considers it a corruption 
of the following passage: 

A warke it ys u easie to be doone. 
As ^tys to saye, Jiuhl roby$ on* 

Old PUy. 
Before you could say Jack Robinson, out flew the fleaher in his 
kiUiiiR-daiths. 

Manaie Waogh, p. 40. 
M.S. C.G. U.A.D. 

JACK SIIAKPLING. The stickle-back. Gasterosteus 
aculeatus. (Linn.) Called also Bakdt and Jack Bandt. 
In Derbyshire, according to Hollowaj, it receives the 
name of Jack-sharp-naila. 
w.c. 

JACK-STONES. Small cobbles of coal. 

JACK-TOWEL. A long narrow towel with the ends 
joined together, and suspended on a roller ; generally 
fixed behind a door. The roller is called ajacky a name 
frequently given to anything which supplies the place of 
a boy, as boot-jack, &c. 

JACKSON'S PIG. "It's gone over Borough Hill (an 
extensive Roman encampment near Daventry) after 
Jackson's pigJ*^ A common phrase in that neighbour- 
hood when anything is lost. 

JACOB'S-LATIIER. A stitch dropped, or slipped in 
knitting ; called also Loose-lather or Louse-ladder. 

The following rude lines are often repeated by knit- 
ters during their occupation, and appear to contain a 
caution against dropping stitches. 

Needle to needle, and stitch to stitch, 

Pull the old woman out of the ditch, 

If you ai'nt out by the time I'm in, 

I'll rap your knuckles with my knitting-pin. 

JANNOCK. A buttress, or support against a wall. I 
have been unable to find the word in this sense in any 
Dictionary or Glossary, and I have only heard it once ; 



WORDS AND PHRASES. Z56 

when inquiring the road, of a sexagenarian in a neigh- 
bouring village, I was directed to " go down to that 
theere jannockj (pointing to a buttress in the wall,) 
and then turn to the right." 

JAR-PEG. The woodpecker. Picus vtridis. (Linn.) The 
local appellation of birds is generally obtained from 
some peculiar habit, as in the present instance. This 
bird often takes its station on an old oaken stump, and 
strikes with its beak on a hard knot or peg, so that the 

- jar is heard in the stillness of the evening for a con- 
siderable distance around. 

JARSEY. Wool which has been combed, but not spun 
into yam. It is first drawn from the comb in slithers, 
and afterwards gathered . into large hanks ready for 
spinning. Those women who were employed in spinning 
it were termed jarsei/'Spinners. Bailey incorrectly de- 
scribes ''^jersey, the finest of the wool, separated from 
the rest by combing ;" which error is perpetuated by 
Todd, Wilbraham, and others; whereas combing-wool 
is the longest wool, whether fine or coarse, separated by 
hand from that portion of the fleece which is too short 
to be worked on the comb. 

H.A.D. 

JAUM. The side-posts of a door or window: the side of 
the mantel-piece of a chimney. Fr. jambe, the leg, or 
shank. Cotgr. 

R.N.C. G. F.E.A. C.C. H.A.D. 

JAUNTY. Spruce, smart. "A little ^awwily body." Not 
extending to gay, flighty, wanton, as defined by Johnson 
and others. 
B.N.c.2nd ed; 

JAZEY. A worsted wig, which, as worsted is spun from 
jarsey, evidently gave rise to the name. An old-fash- 
ioned article almost exploded. 

M.S. B.N.C. F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 



350 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

2. ** Dash my jazeyy A not uncommon imprecation, 
tantaniount tu ** Dash my wig^ 

JEXNY-IiUN-TAIL, or JENNY-BURNT-TAIL. The 
i^iiis futuus, or Will o' the wisp. In Grayton's Festivous 
Ni)tos upon Don Quixot, 1654, p. 97, it has the title of 
** Gffl burnt-tayley^ of which our name is obviously a 
cijrru])tion. In Cambridgeshire, as shown by Halliwell, 
it Ix^ars the naiuu of Jemmy Burty. See Jagk-a-lantebn. 

JENNY-SPINNEK. A very long-legged spider or fly. 
Tipula olomcea, (Linn.) Sometimes called the' LoNO- 
LEGGKD-TAiLOK, >)ut more frequently denominated Harbt- 
LONG-LEGS, wliich sce. Halliwell describes Jenny-spinner 
as the Crane-fly. 

B.N.C. C.C. T.G. H.A.D. 

JENNY WREN. The wren. Motacilla troglodytes. (Linn.) 
There is a sacredness attached to this little bird, which 
is evidenced in the well-known distich, — 
The robin and the tcren 
Are God Almighty's cock and hen. 

Sometimes it is varied thus, — 

Martins and swallows 

Aro God^s teachers and scholars : 

Robins and wrens 

Are God's chickens and hens. 

JERKIN. An under-waistcoat. " A flanneiycr^Vi." This 
name has a more extended meaning in other districts, 
but we restrict it to the above. 

C.C. II.A.D. 

JERKING. Fidgeting, romping. " How you keep jerk- 
ing about 1" 

M.S. C.C 

JERUSALEM-PONY. A donkey or ass. Evidently 
allusive to our Saviour's entrance into Jerusalem on an 
ass. 

JESSUP. The juice, or syrup, in fruit pies or puddings. 

H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 36f 

JEWS-EYE. Anything that is valued, or held in great 
estimation, is said to be " worth a Jefw^s-eyeP For 
conjectures on the origin of this phrase see Nares's 
Glossary, and the EncyclopsBdia Metropolitana under 
Jew, &c. 

M.S. H.A.D. 

X 

JIB. To run back, as a horse that refuses to take the 
collar at starting, or in going up hill. 

F.E.A. P.D. H.A.D. 

JIBBER. A horse that jibs. 

H.P. H.A.D. 

JIFFY. See Giffy. 

M.S. J.S. B.N.C. C.C. P.D. A.W. 

JIG-BY-JOWL. A corruption of the more familiar 
phrase Cheek by jowl, which see. 

F.E.A. 

JIGGING. Visiting about, from one place to another. 
" You're never easy only when you're jigging about," is 
often said to a young gossiping girl. Probably from the 
verb \^jig, to dance. 

JIGLING, or JOGLING. Unsteady, easily shaken, or 
overturned. " The table never stands firm, why did 
you buy such b, jiggling thing? it SiVwskja joggles about." 
Synonymous with Gigling or Goggling, which see. 

JILL. " A good Jack makes a good Ji'W," «. e. a good 
husband makes a good wife. 

C.C. 

JILT. To throw, to fling. Jamieson gives " Jt'ft, to 
throw or dash water on one," which is the only notice 
of this word, that I have met with, at all analogous to 
our meaning. Clare is my authority for this word, who 

uses it in the following quotation :— 

And larks, that fly aboTe the corn, 

Frit by B. jilted stone, 

A few yards high at eve or morn 

They drop and hide alone. 

MS. Poems. 



•J S58 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

JDICRACK. See Gimcrack. 

JIMMY. See Gimmy. 

JIMPSEY. See Dimpsey. ' 

JINGLE-BRAINS. A wild noisy feUow. 

JINGLES. The spangles or beads attached to a lace- 
maker's bobbins. An appropriate name, from the 
sound produced by the movement of the bobbins. Not 
altogether useless ornaments, as is generally imagined, 
as they give additional weight to the bobbins, and 
thereby tighten the stitches and give firmness to the 
texture of the lace. 
," JINGLING. Wild, rattling, random, leading a disreputable 

life. " A sad ^Vn^Ziw^ chap." Shakspere appears to have 
this meaning in view, as well as to allude to thejingUng 
rhyme of the * preceding speaker,' when Brutus says 
to Cassius in Julius Caesar, " What would the wars do 
with these jingling fools?" Some of the later editions of 
Shakspere have it ^^ jigging'^ fools, as an emendation to 
jingling fools ; and Mrs. Cowden Clarke, in her valuable 
Concordance, has adopted this reading ; but the phrase 
in Julius Caesar seems to refer to the unnecessary rhymes 
of the " poet" a few lines before, to which the term 
jingling is highly appropriate. Todd misinterprets this 
passage, and gives it as an illustration of the verb 
" Jingle, to chink, to sound with a kind of sharp rattle." 
Probably this and the preceding word are metaphorical 
applications of that verb. 

JINK. To jingle, to chink, to ring money. " The money 
is not good, it does not jink well." 

C.C. E.L. H.A.D. 

JITTY, or JIT- WAY. An alley or narrow passage 
communicating from one street to another, as dis- 
tinguished from an entry, which is generally a covered 
passage between houses leading into an open court 
or yard. I considered this word as peculiar to us, 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 359 

till Halliwell inserted it as a term usied in Lincolnshire, 
which however is an adjoining county. Modem refine-^ 
ment has almost exploded this old word; we hear no 
more of " Butcher's Jitty'' in this town ; it is now con- 
verted, very inappropriately, to " Cottage Yard," as a 
yard I believe is always an inclosurey not an open passage 
or thoroughfare. 

JOAN-BLUNT. One in the habit of speaking her mind 
freely, without ceremony. This must have had some 
local origin which has not been transmitted to us. 

JOB. A piece of work undertaken at a stipulated price. 
" Taken by the 706." Every separate piece of house- 
hold work, or sewing, is frequently called s^job. " There 
is a great many little jobs to do this morning." " The 
needle-woman is only coming to do a few odd jobs,^ t. e. 
to repair, not make, a number of different articles. 

M>S. £.L. H.P* 

2. An event, a circumstance, an affair. " It 'U be a poor 
JOB if they're tum'd out of their farm." " If he can get 
that situation, it'll be a lucky job for him." 

CO. 

3. To thrust quickly a sharp pointed instrument into 
anything. " Ke jobbed the fork into his hand." 

4. To peck quickly and repeatedly, with a sharp and 
strong beak. Forby remarks that " Johnson inserts it 
without any note of its provincial character, but quotes 
authorities which particularly entitle it to a place here, 
L'Estrange and Tusser." This and the preceding words 
are pronoimced as if rhyming to bob. 

M.S. F.E.A. H.A.D. 

JOBATION. A long-continued reprimand or lecture, not 
in the most refined language. 

B.N C. H.P. H.A.D. 



3«0 NORTHAXPTOmHIBB 

JOBBER. A dealer in catde, as pfff-Jotber^ dee. 

JOBIN, or JOBBIN. The not-haloli. JSXUa Buropaa, 
(Linn.) A name wbidb it has receiyed from the twohtwit 
in which it stabs or joU the trees in search of food. 

JOB*S-GOMFORT£R. A common inmicai expresnon, 
applied to one who, instead of administering consolation, 
aggrayates a misfortune. " You're one of Jbb^s com- 
farieriJ* 

JOCKEY. To ont-manoBuyre in exchanging or swopping. 
A metaphor from the tnrf. 

M.S. 

JOG. A small cart-load, a half, or less than a load. 
Nearly all the Glossarists giye jag in a aimilar sense; 
but, though a and o are interchangeable with ns in many 

words, we uniformly pronounce it jog. 
JOG-TROT. The slow, equable pace, of the old-fashioned 
farmer trotting to market; metaphorically used to ex- 
press regular adherence to an old habit, or any perti- 
nacious mode of procedure. " He goes on in the old 
jog-trot way." 

B.N.C. C.C. U.A.D. 

JOG, or JOGGLE. To shake, to cause to totter. " Don't 
jog my elbow so." " How the table joggkaT^ 

0. M.S. B.N.C. C.C. F.E.A. H.S. P.D. T.O. H.A.D. 

JOHN-TIIAT-GOES-TO-BED-AT-NOON. The pim- 
pernel. Anagallis arvensis. (With.) In some parts of 
the county the yellow goat's-beard, Tragopogon pratense, 
bears the same name. The first-named plant might be 
denominated nature^s barometer, as it indicates the 
approach of rain by the closing of its petals: hence 
it is called the Shepherd's-weatheb-glass, as exem- 
plified by our rural poet Clare in his Shepherd's Ca- 
lendar, p. 47, 48. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 361 

. . . . and, with its eye of gold 
And scarlet-starry points of flowers. 
Pimpernel, dreading nights and showers. 
Oft eaird " the Skepherd^s weather-fflass,^'' 
That sleeps till suns have dried the grass. 
Then wakes, and spreads its creeping bloom 
Till clouds with threatening shadows come — 
Then close it shuts to sleep again ; 
Which weeders see, and talk of rain ; 
And boys, that mark them shut so soon. 
Call " John that goes to bed at noon,''^ 

JOHNNY-RAWS. Country clowns. 

JOINT. A division. If a rick is made at different times, 
each added portion is a, joint. This term I believe is 
restricted to the northern part of the county : the correla- 
tive, in the midland district, is canch, which see. 

JOINT. " To put the nose out of joint,^ i, e, when one 
child is supplanted in the affection of a parent by the 
arrival of another, 
c.c. 

JOINT-STOOL. A stool with framed legs like a chair; 
i, e. with a rail, or frame connecting one leg with another. 
Indefinitely explained by Todd. Shakspere frequently 
uses the term. 

M.S. H.A.D. 

JOISTERS. Cattle that are taken in to pasture for hire. 

tdmLim 

JOIST. To pasture cattle on another's land, for a stipu- 
lated sum of money, pr other consideration. A farmer 
would say, " Fm short of keep for my beasts, I must 
joist 'em out." Horses are often joisted out for the 
winter season ; it is commonly said, " My horse will be 
the better for a winter's run, I'll ^owf him in some straw- 
yard.'' Joist is evidently a corruption of Agist (from 
Fr. Giste, a bed or resting place,) and signifies to take 
in and feed the cattle of strangers in the King's Forest, 



.•?62 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

and to gather up the money due for the same. Charta de 

ForestGy 9 u. 3, c. d. See Jacob's Law Dictionary. Bp. 

Kennett in his Glossary, under Agistator, says, " Our 

li^razicrs now call the foreign cattle which they take in 

to keep by the week, gisements or JwicemeHte (pronounced 

like Xhajoices in building, corrupted from the Fr. ad- 

joustmeni); and, to gise or juice ground is, when the 

lord or tenant feeds it not with his own stock, but takes 

in other cattle to agist or feed in it." 

Cf. c.c."Jist." H.P. n.A.D. 

JOLL. To walk lumberingly along. "How he goes 

joUing about." This appears to be allied to the Scotch 

Joir^ to move forward in a slow and rocking way. See 

Jamieson. 

Onward hejollsy nor can the minstrel throngs 
Entice him once to listen to their songs. 

Glare's Village Minstrel, vol. ii. p. 67. 
JOLLIFICATION. A merry-making, a feasting. 

B.N.C. H.A.D. 

JONNICK. Liberal, kind, hospitable. " I went to see him, 
and he was quite jonnicky The circulation of this word 
is very limited ; I believe it is confined to the north- 
eastern part of the county. 

JORUM. A large quantity, a bountiful supply ; applied 
to liquids. If a vessel is full to ovei'ilowing, it is called 
a good jorum, Todd and others restrict it to the vessel 
itself; Jamieson, and some of the Glossarists, apply it in- 
discriminately to the vessel or the liquor contained in it. 

.T.S. B.N.C. F.E.A. C.C. H.S. P.D. H.P. H.A.D. 

JOSEPH. A riding coat, or habit, buttoned down before. 
'* A brown Josephy A dress which fashion has exploded : 
rarely seen since the disuse of the pillion. 

B.N.C. F.E.A. C.C. 

JOSS-JOSTLE. To make room by crowding together; 
to slip by degrees into a vacant space. 

F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 



iSL 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 363 

JOWL. The jaw, not the whole head, as it is usually 
given ; applied chiefly to the lower half of a pig's face. 
It is vulgarly said of an aged person, " He does not 
look well, his jowls begin to fall." This word, if not de- 

ducible from, is synonymous with, the Fr. Jougal. Cotgr. 
Tis a sign by your wan complexion, and your thin jowls ^ father. 

Dryden's Spanish Friar, ii. 2. 
M.S. B.N.C. H.S. T.G. H.P. 

JOWL. To knock, to push with force. " Hejowrd their 

heads together." Palsgrave gives, " I jolle one aboute 

the eares ; I jolled hym aboute the eares tyll I made my 

fyste sore." 

How the knsive jowls it to the ground. 

Hamlet, v. 1. 
Whose head do you carry upon your shoulders, that you jole it 
so against the post ? 

Beaum. & Fl. The Scornful Lady, ii. 1. 

B.N.C. C.C."Joul. H.S. E.L. 

JOY GO WITH THEE. An expression of good will. 
" /o^ go with you, and sixpence ; and then you'll want 
neither love nor money," is a common familiar phrase. 
G.&r. 

J UBS. The lower course of the Great Oolite. 

J UMBER. To stammer. 

JUMBLEMENT. Confusion, disorder. 

B.N.C. CO. H.A.D. 

J UMP AT. To accept with avidity. " I invited him to 
go with me and he jumped at it directly." 

C.C. U.A.D. 

JUjMPERS. Maggots that feed upon ham and bacon. The 
larva3 of Muaca putris, 

C.C. H.A.D. 

JUNKETING. Feasting, and holiday making. "You're 
always junketing about." Palsgrave gives the noun, 
" Junket or banket, bancquet." Todd cites examples of 
its use from South's Sermons. 

r2 



364 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

JURNUT. A pig-nut. Bunium jUxuosum. 

R.N.C. O. W.C. B.N.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

JUSLY. Exactly. 

JrsT NOW. A vague term applying almost equally to 
the past, present, or future, as, '* Master was here just 
n/>u\^^ " I am hnayjust now^ " I am coming just now J** 
Not unfrequently tliis phrase is rendered more barba- 
rous, by adding an s to the latter word, ^^jttst nows" 

B.N.C. C.C. H.S. H.A.D. 



K. 



KABES. Chilblains. A corruption of Kibes. 

KADLOCK, or KEDLOCK. Sinapis arvensts. See Cad- 
lock. 

KAILEY, or KEALY. A term in rural economy for red 
stony land, " kaiki/ landy Morton says, " Our ordinary 
sort of heahj land is a red land, with a large intermixture 
of reddish stones, which every one here calls keale.^' 
Baker, in his " Essay on the Farming of Northampton- 
shire," observes, " The substratum of the red land is a 
red ferruginous sand or rotten rock, called here * keal,^ — 
pronounced kail — the surface soil being merely the rock 
in a decomposed state, with an admixture of loam and 
vegetable matter." When flat bits of stone, or small 
masses of irregular shapes, turn up in ploughing, the 
land is called kaley. Ferruginous sandy stone is also 
called " kailei/ stoney See Keel. 

KANCH. See Canch. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 366 

KANGLED. Entangled. An old woman would say, " My 
thrid be so hangled I can't wind it nohows." 

KANGLING-COMB. A large wide-toothed comb. 

KARL-CAT. A male cat. Phillips says, " A word often 
used in Lincolnshire." 

B.N.C. C.C. H.P. 

KECK-HANDED. Awkward, left-handed. 

H.A.D. 

KECK UP! KECK UP I The cry of the pheasant. 
KEDLOCK. See Kadlock. 

H.S. £.Xi. 

KECK, or KEX. The dried stalk of the hemlock, cow's 
parsley, or any other umbelliferous plant; sometimes 
the plants themselves are so called. ^^ As dry as a ^ea?," 
is a universal simile. Palsgrave gives " Kickes, the drie 
stalkes of humlockes, or burres, tuyau,^'' 

All the wyves of Tottenham came to see that fyzt 

With wypses and kexiSy and rysches there lyzt 

To fetch hom ther husbandes, that were tham trought plyzt. 

Pebct's Reliques. 

and nothing teems 

But hateful docks, rough thistles, hexiSy burs. 

Henry V. v. 2. 

J.S. M.S. B.N.C. C.C. H.H. H.S. A.W. G.&P. H.P. 

H.A.D. 

KEECH. The fat of a slaughtered beast rolled up ready 
for the chandler. Shakspere applies the term figura- 
ratively to Falstaff, in the first part of Henry IV. ; and 
very appropriately, in the second part of the same play, 
he calls the butcher's wife goody Keeck, 

L.H. fl.A.D. 

2. A large oblong or triangular pasty, made at Christ- 
mas, of raisins and apples chopped together. Halliwell 
gives the same name to a cake. 

3. To lade out water, or other Kquids, by small quanti- 
ties; to empty a vessel by lading. HaUiweU, I believe. 



/ 



366 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

is the only one who records this word, which he assigns 
to Wanvickshire. Florio renders " Scodellare, to dish, 
to keech up, or put into dishes." 
H.A.D."Keach." 
KKKK. To peep, to look with a prying eje. " What's 
she come keeking about here for." Pynson has " KeJcyn or 
pryv'ely wayten, specular" Chambers' Gloss, to Lind- 
say's Poems gives " Keikj to peep, to look. A.-Sax. keake, 
oxploratio : so kykey kykedy Chaucer, ' As he had ^hyked 
on the newe moon.' " 

B.N.C. II.A.D. 

2. The game of bo-peep. The preceding verb must 
liave given rise to this name. Jamieson gives " Keek-bo, 
bo-peep." 
KEEL. Reddle or ruddle, ^°^%"""*'p of iron, mixed with r^^ 
grease, " marking" for sheep or cattle. Jamieson gives 
" Keel, to mark with ruddle." The Percy Reliques fur- 
nish an early authority for the use of this word. 
Wi' kauk and keel I Ml win zour bread , 
And spindles and whorles for them wha need, 
Whilk is a gentil trade indeed. 
B.N.C. n.A.D. 

KEEP. Grass food. " The cattle have poor keep just now, 
the grass is so short." It is common to say, " They are 
out at keejy" when they are at hired pasture. 

M.S. C.C. F.E.A. H.S. A.W. H.A.D. 

KEEPS COMPANY. A rustic phrase. A young woman, 
who receives and encourages the addresses of a young 
man, keeps company with him; or, they keep company 
together. See Ilartshorne, under " Company keeps,'' for 
some lengthened observations on this phrase. 

F.E.A."Keep." H.A.D. 

KEEP IN WITH. To continue on good terms. " You 

can never keep in with him long together." 
KEEP THE GAME AIJVE. To carry anything on with 

spirit, particulai'ly youthful gambols. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 367 

KEEP THE POT BOILING or WABBLING. A com- 
mon term to express poverty, that a person is so poor 
he can scarcely keep the pot wabbling, 

B.N.C 

KELL. The omentum, or fat membranaceous skin of a 
slaughtered animal; generally given by butchers, with 
a spare-rib, griskin of pork, or breast of veal, to protect 
the joint while roasting. The word is frequently ap- 
plied to dimness of sight. " My eyes feel as if they had 
a keil over them." 

F.E.A. H.S. £.L. H.P. H.A.D. 

KELTER. Money, cash. " He's a rich old fellow, he's 
got plenty of kelter" This cant term extends into Scot- 
land; Jamieson notices it. 

B.N.C. C.C. T.G. H.A.D. 

2.. In good case, condition, order. " He's in good kelter.'^ 

If the organs of prayer be out of helter, — how can we pray ? 

Babrow, cited by Todd. 

Nares adopts this quotation, and remarks that he has 
not met with the word elsewhere. 

R.S.E. G. B.N.C F.E.A. C.S. H.P. H.A.D. 

KEMPS. Coarse fibres, or hairs among wool, or iur: 
wool abounding with them is said to be kempy. 

B.N.C. C.C. H.P. H.A.D* 

KEN. A glance, a look. " She gave her eyes such a ken 
at me." This signification is more dialectical than the 
received meaning in the Dictionaries — " To know, to 
view at a distance," which is authorised by Shakspere 
and our early poets ; but I find no exemplification which 
accords with our use of the word. 

KEP. To catch. A.- Sax. cepan. Beautifully illustrated 
by Burns. 

Mourn, spring, thou darling of the year ! 
Ilk cowslip cup shall hep a tear. 

R.N.C. G. B.N.C. C.C. T.G. H.P, 



308 NORTHAMFTOmHIRE 

KERCHUP. The cxy of partridges calling each odier. 

KETTLE OF FISH. A phrase denolang misfbrtane oc- 
casioned by miscalcalation or misoondoot. When a 
person has made an injudicious bargain, or an impru- 
dent marriage, it is commonly said ironioallj, " TouVe 
made a pretty kettle offish of it." May not this phrase 
have some connexion with kkldUf the old term for a 
kind of wear, to catch fish in a river, and which is 
sometimes corrupted to heUlef 

KEYS. The seed vessels of the ash. If there is a scar- 
city of (tah-he^^ a superstition prevails that some 
member of the royal family will die within the year. 

M.S. U.ll. U.S. A.W^. U.F. fi.A.n. 

KEX. See Kecks. 

KIGHEL. A quarry-man's term for the course of mbbly 
road-stone, such as is only fit for the repair of the 
roads, and limestone, that lies between what is locally 
called the old rag and pendle of the Fuller's Earth 
formation. Kichel being an old word for a flat cake, 
and this stone breaking up in pieces, has probably sug- 
gested this name. 

KICK, or KICKY. The top of the fashion ; a novelty. 
" He's quite the kickyy 

M.S. B.N.C. C.C. F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

2. "A kick up," a disturbance. Jamieson says from the 
vulgar phrase " to kick up a dust." 

.*5. To resent, to be offended. " He kicked at it." 

KICKLISH. Unsteady, rickety; applied to old furniture 
that is easily shaken, or overset. A kindred term to 
CoGGLE, which see. Wilbraham gives " Coggle^ Keggle, 
Kickle, Tickle, easily moved ; all, I believe, the same 
word.'* 

KICKSHAWS. Useless trifles, made-up dishes, fancy 
articles. Fr. quelqiies choses. 

M.S. P.D. H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 369 

KID. A bundle of dry thorns, tied up with the brush at 

both ends ; a small faggot for fire-wood. The cuttings 

and trimmings of a hedge, when tied up in a bundle or 

faggot, are called " a M of bushes." Prompt. Parv. " Kyd^ 

fassis." Palsgrave ^^ KyddeySkfagotte,falovrde.^^ Ray places 

it among his North-coimtry words. Kersey gives it as 

a North-country word for a small brush-faggot; and 

Bishop Kennett, in his MS. Glossary, notices it as used 

in the North. Brockett and Hartshome both deduce it 

from C. Brit, cidysen, Clare supplies apt illustrations of 

this word. 

The woodman then ceasM with his hatchet to hack, 
And bent away home with his kid on his back. 

Village Minstrel, vol. ii. p. 31. 
She came for a hid to the wood -stack, 
And leanM o'er the gate to look out. 

Glare's MS. Poems. 
G. C.C. C.S. £.L. H.P. H*A»D« 

KIDS. The shells and pods of beans and peas ; when 
they are well set, it is said they kid well, or are well 
kidded. Amongst Holloway's Provincialisms it is given 
as a Hampshire word, and according to Halliwell it has 
the same sense in Dorsetshire. 

KIDDIER, or KIDGER. A huckster. Ray and Grose 
give Kidder^ a badger, a huckster. See Moor's long and 
ingenious article on this word. 

F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

KIDKNAPPERS. Bugbears to frighten children. See 
Hunter's Hallamshire Glossary. 

T.G. 

KIDNEY. " All of a kidney^ A common expression 
when children inherit the bad qualities of their parents ; 
also applied to a number of dissolute associates, as '* such 
young men are all of a kidney. ^^ 

I don't proclaim it but in my cups, and where I think I'm safe, 
to men of my own kidney, 

Southerne's Sir Anthony LoTe. 

b3 



370 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

KIDNUNCK, or KIDDENUNCK. This singular word 
can only be explained by an example. If in trimming 
a cap, or bonnet, the ribbon is oddly or irregularly 
placed, one part projecting before another, it woiild be 
said to stand up in kidnundks. Lat. quid nunc? 

KILE. See Coil. 

KILL-CROW. A difficulty, or obstacle, not so insur- 
mountable as imagined ; a matter of no moment or con- 
sequence. " It's no great kill-croioy Kill-cow, as given 
in Jamieson's Supp. and by Brockett, (2nd ed.) appears 
to be a correspondent expression. 

KILLING. . " You look quite killing,''^ i. e. you are dressed 
so as to attract admiration. 

KIMBLE. To humble. " He was very much kimbledy 

KIMPLE. To flinch from, to hesitate. "Come, dont 
kimple at your work," i. e. don't fear, you can do it, if 
you try. This and the preceding word, appear to be 
peculiar to us ; I have sought in vain for any authority. 

KIND. Thriving, luxuriant. " The greens grow very 
kind this season." 

L.H. H.A.D. 

KINDLY. Readily, naturally, heartily. " The child takes 
to its nurse kindly ^ " The boy takes to his trade very 
ki)idli/y 

G.&P. L.U. II.P. H.A.D. 

KINGS. An exclamation, made use of by boys, to claim 
a temporary cessation of the game they are engaged in. 

KING-CUP. Marsh marigold. Caltha palustris. The 
same name is sometimes given to the butter-cup. Han- 
unculus hulhosus. 

Where golden king-ctcps open into view, 
Where silver daisies in profusion grew. 

Clare's Rural Life, p. 7. 
Rich as king-cup in the spring, 
The colour of the bridal ring. 

Clare's MS. Poems. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 371 

KING'S - CUSHION. Synonymotis with crfs-cross- 
cusraoN, which see. 

B.N.C. H.A.D. 

KING-FINGER. The small purple orchis, Orchis morio, 
more especially, but sometimes extended to all orchideous 
plants. 

KINK. To run into knots, to entangle. 

The little bents with reedy head 
The scarce-seen shapes of flowers, 
All Hnk about like skeins o' thread 
In these wind-shaken hours. 

Clare's MS. Poems. 

F.E.A. H.P. fl.A.D. 

KISS-ME-AT-THE-GARDEN-GATE. This, according 
to Withering, is one of the common names for the indi- 
genous pansy, Viola tricolor; but we locally extend it 
to the cultivated varieties. 

F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

KISSING-CRUST. The bottom crust, or the small crusty 
knob at the comer of a loaf. 

M.S. H.P. H.A.D. 

KIT. A pail for milk, or water. 

C.C. H.H. T.G. G.&P. H.P. 

2. A collective word for a cobbler's or shoemaker's 
tools. " He's gone off and took his kit with him." 
Brockett is mistaken in applying the term to the stool 
on which a cobbler works, as it has reference only to 
his tools. 

3. A company of disreputable persons. " The whole 
kit of 'em are good for nothing." 

W.C.app. B.N.C. C.C. F.E.A. J.S. P.D. H.S. A.W. 

KITTY- WREN. Another name for the little wren. See 
Jenny-wren. 

B.N.C. H.A.D. 



372 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

KIVER. A shallow tub. This term seems to be confined 
to such tubs as are used for the purpose of kneading, as 
butter-kiveTj dough-hiver. Kiver and doitgh-kwer fre- 
quently occur in advertisements in our local papers. 

A.W. H.A.D. 

2. To cover. " Kiver it up.*' The verb occurs in Todd, 
but not the noun ; Wilbraham gives both, and says it is 
used by Wiclif in his MS. translation of the Psalms, 
but does not specify whether as a noun or a verb. 
Ms."Kiwa." F.E.A. H.s."Kever." a.w. h.p. 

KNAB, or KNAP. To snatch, to bite. 

And bleat of sheep, and horsed playful neigh 
From mstics* whips, and plough, and waggon free. 
Baiting in careless freedom o*er the leas, 
Or tum*d to knap each other at their ease. 

Clarets Village Minstrel, toI. ii. p. 105. 

H.P. H.A.D. 

KXACK. A ready turn of mind; a peculiar aptitude for 
any manual occupation. " A happy knacky " He's got 

just the knack on't." 

Knaves who in full assemblies have the knack 
Of turning truth to lies, and white to black. 

Dryden. 

M.S. T.G. 

2. To ape fine language, to speak affectedly. 

R.N.C. G. B.N.C. C.C. H.P. 

3. To be more fortunate than another. A singular use 
of the word, which can only be conveyed by examples 
of its use. When one boy is going to partake of a plea- 
sure to which another is not invited, he will say, " I knack 
you ;" or if one has a piece of plum cake, and the other 
has none, he will say, " I Ijnack you." 

KNACKER. A harness-maker for husbandry horses. 
This is the only sense in which this word is recognised 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 873 

in the Dictionaries. Bishop Kennett, in his MS. Glos- 
sarial Collections, gives it as a Suf^lk term. 

R.S.E. 0. M.S. F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

2. A dealej* in horse flesh. 

3. An old worn-out horse; probably such an one as is 
only fit for the knacker. 

KNAG. See Gnag. 

KNAGOING. Finding fault pettishly and peevishly, irri- 
tably quibbling " You're always knagging at me." 
Brockett gives " Knaggy, testy, ill-humoured, waspish," 
and in his 2nd ed. derives it from Swed. gnaga, to tease, 
to torment ; to tvhich our meaning may with equal pro- 
bability be traced. 

B N.c. H.s."Knaggy." h.a.d. 

KNAGGING-PAIN. See Gnagging-pain. 

KNAP-THE-RUST. HoUoway describes " Nab-the-rusty 
to receive punishment imexpectedly." Halliwell gives 
under " Knab, to snatch, to-knab-the-rust, to get the 
worst of a bargain." With us it simply means to take 
offence ; and when a person does so in the middle of his 
work, and leaves it in an unfinished state, it is said ^^ he 
has knapped the rust and gone off." " To tak the reist" 
is an equivalent phrase in Scotland, according to 
Jamieson. 

KNARL. A hard knot in wood. 

KNARRY. Knotty, knobby, snurlt. A good Chaucerian 
word. 

With knotty, hnarry barrein trees old, 
Of stubbes sharpe and hideous to behold. 

Chaucer, Kn. Tale. 

No giaunt for his lyfe 

Can cleave a hnarry oke, 
Though he would seek to doo his wurst 
And utmost at a stroke. 

TuRBKRViLLE, The Lover to Cupid for Mercie. 

(Richardson's Dictionary.) 



374 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

KNAVE. Often pronounced neave. A frame to hold the 
burden of straw for the thatcher, described under uilt, 
witli wliich it is synonymous. The present name is 
traceable to A.-Sax. cnafa, a lad, a servant ; this simple 
framework acting as a substitute for a serving lad. 
H.A.D."Nave." 

KNEES. Bends in timber. The trunk and branch of a 
tree, so cut as to make an angle, are termed knee-titnber ; 
chiefly used in ship building. 

the splitting wind 
Makes flexible the kTieet of knotted oaks. 

.Troil. & Ores. i. 3. 
C.C« H.A.n. 

KNEE'D. Very crooked, tortuous. In an analogical 
sense it is applied to brooks and rivulets. " Such a 
brook is very much knee'd,^^ A meadow in Norton 
parish, near Daventry, through which a brook of this 
description runs, is called " Knee-brook meadow." 

KNICK-KNACKS, or KNICK-KNACKERIES. A col- 
loquial term for useless trifles ; small fancy articles ; also 
any edible niceties. 

IVe promised the boy 
Many a pretty knack, and many a toy. 

Beaum. & Fl. Faithful Shepherdess, a. 2. 

Our knick-knacks were more freely given, 
But how they got them, that knows heaven. 

Maro, p. 60. (Craven Dialect.) 

C.C. 

KNITTING. "Mind your knitting:' Attend to your 
own business, and leave me to mine. A common re- 
proof. 
c,c. 

KNOBLINGS, or KNOGGINGS. Small refuse stones, 
used in masonry, for the insides of walls. 

KNOB- WEED, or KNOT-WEED. Knap-weed. Applied 
indiflerently to the three species of knap -weed, Centaurea 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 376 

cyanus^ nigra^ and scahiosa. These plants have all a per- 
manent calyx. Most flowers shed the calyx on the expan- 
sion of the blossom, but these envelope the seed-vessels, 
and become so hard and globular that children give them 
the name of knob-weed; for the same reason they are 
called in Worcestershire hard-heads, as stated by With- 
ering; and with us Drum-sticks, which see. The seed- 
vessels indicate the state of the weather, by expanding 
in dry and closing in wet weather. 

The following rural superstition is connected with this 
plant, — 

Now young girls whisper things of love, 
4c 4c • » 

They pull the little blossom threads 
From out the hnotweed's button heads, 
And put the husk with many a smile, 
In their white bosoms for a while ; — 
Then, if they guess aright the swain 
Their loves^ sweet fancies try to gain, 
Tis said, that ere it lies an hour, 
Twill blossom with a second flower. 
And from their bosom's handkerchief 
Bloom as it ne*er had lost a leaf. 

Glare's Shep. Cal. p. 49. 

KNOCK ALONG. To move or work briskly, with great 
expedition. " He came knocking along the road in a 
great hurry." A workman will often say to his fellow- 
labourer, " Come, let's knock along and make a finish of 
this job." 

KNOCK-ELNEE'D. In-knee'd, bent inwards, so as to 
knock or strike against each other in walking. 

W.C. B.N.C. H.H. C.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

KNOCK OFF. To dispatch quickly. " He knocks of sl 
great deal of work." 

KNOCK-ROWED. Obstinate, perverse, stubborn-tem- 
pered. " She's a poor knock-rowed creature." 



379 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

KXOCKED-UP. Worn oat with fetigue, exhausted. 

KNOCKING ABOUT. This compound is varioualj ap- 
plied. Blundering and bustling along, working hastily 
and heedlessly, is called knocking about. Lime or clay 
that remains on land in hard lumps, and does not pul- 
verize, is said to lie knocking about. Anything that lies 
about in a disorderly manner for some time, is said to 
lie knocking about. 

KNODDEN-CAKE. A cake made from a batch of bread, 
with butter or lard, called shobtenino, worked or 
knea/led into the dough. Knodden is probably the obso- 
lete participial form of the verb to knead. 

KNOLL. To toll the bell at a funeral. Hunter remarks 
that this word has given place to toll: we use both in- 
discriminately. Palsgrave has, " I knoUe a * belle. Go 
wete wherefore they Jenolle the bell." 

and his tongue 
Sounds eyer after as a sullen bell 
Remember'd knolling a departing friend. 

Hen. IV. i. 1. 

F.E.A. H.II. H.P. H.A.D. 

KNOT. " To tie a knot with the tongue, which cannot be 
untied with the teeth," i. e. to get married. 

c.c. 

KNOTCHEL'D. Unevenly cut, jagged, serrated. " How 
you knotchel the cloth I " From the verb to knotch. 

KNOWD. An obsolete preterite of the verb to knoiv, 
converted by modern usage into a vulgarism. " He 
know^d better all the while. 

KNOWING. Clever, intelligent. " He's a knowing little 
chap." 

KNOW-NOTHING. Totally ignorant, a wretched igno- 
ramus. " A poor know-nothing thing." 

F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 377 

KNOW THEMSELVES. " They do not know themselves;' 

t. e, they do not know their proper station, they assume 

improper importance. 
KNUBBLE. To wrap anything up untidily, and hastily, 
^ in a lump or bunch. Forby has Knubble, a small knob, 

which is obviously the origin of our word : he also gives 

the verb, but his sense differs from ours. 
KNUBBLINGS. Small cobbles of coal. 

U.A.D. 

KNUCKLE DOWN. A phrase at marbles, when the 
marble is shot from the hand with the knuckle resting 
on the ground. 

H.A.D. 

KNUR. See Gnar. 



L. 



LACE. To beat with a whip, or flexible stick. " He'll 
lace your jacket for you, if you don't mind.*' The quo- 
tations cited by Todd, from " The Two Angry Women 
of Abingdon," (1599) and from L'Estrange, prove it to 
be an archaism, rather than a vulgarism. 

a.&P. M.S. B.N.C. C.C. F.E.A. H.S. T.G. H.A.D. 

LACE-HORSE. A short three-legged tressel, to support 
the pillow, in the lap of the lace-maker, her foot resting 
on the rail at the bottom, to steady the frame. Some- 
times a semicircular band or half hoop is attached to 
the top of the tressel, to hold the pillow when it is not 
in use, or to relieve the knees from the weight of the 



378 NORTHAMPTOxVSHIRE 

larger pillows when at work. This lace-horse also bears 
the name of lady and maid. 
LACE-SONGS. Jingling rhjnnes, sung by young girls 
while engaged at their lace-pillows. The movement of 
the bobbins is timed by the modulation of the tune, 
^vhich excites them to regularity and cheerfdhiess ; and 
it is a pleiising picture, in passing through a rural vil- 
lage, to see them, in warm sunny weather, seated out- 
side their cottage doors, or seeking the shade of a neigh- 
bouring tree ; where in cheerful groups they unite in 
singing their rude and simple rhjrmes. This custom of 
chanting, while working at the lace-pillows, seems to 
have prevailed in Shakspere's time, as we see in Twelfth 
Night, ii. 4. 

. . . . it is old and plain : 

The spinsters, and the knitters in the sun, 

And the free maids, that weave their thread with bones, 

Do use to chant it. 

There are many of these ditties, varpng in length ac- 
cording to the pattern of the lace; the following is one, 
most descriptive of the occupation : — 

Nineteen long lines being over my down,* 
The faster I work it'll shorten my score, 
But if I do play, it'll stick to a stay, 
So high ho ! little fingers, and twank it away. 

LACKADAISICAL. Languid, listless. "I feel very 
lackadaisical to day." Also affectedly languid, an 
assumption of fine airs. Generally applied to young 
ladies. 

c.c. n.A.D. 
LACK-A-DAISY, or LAWK-A-DAISY. An ejaculation 
of surprise or sorrow, 
j.s. c.c. P.D. 
LACKITS. Small sums of money, any odd things. In 

* Once down the parchment is called a down. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 379 

this sense Grose and Brockett give it ; but we extend 
it to vails or gifts to servants : I am informed that in 
some places a sovereign or half-sovereign is called a 
lackit, and the term is not applied to any smaller sum 
of money. Perhaps from the phrase " I lack zY," im- 
plying necessity. 

B.N.C. G.&P. H.A.D. 

LADE. To empty or fill water, or any liquid, by small 
quantities, with a bowl or other small vessel. A corre- 
lative with Keech, which see. A.-Sax. Hladiany haurire. 
Pynson, " Ladyn or lavyn water, vatillo,^^ 

She did not think best to lade at the shallow channel, but must 
rather to the well-head, where she may dip and fill the firkins at 
once with ease. 

Bp. Hall's Contemp. b. ii. 

G.&P. T.G. H.P. 

LADE-PAIL. A gallon measure with short upright 
handle ; used in brewing, to empty or fill the different 
vessels. 

J.S. H.P. li*A.D. 

LADE-SCOOP. The same as lade-pail, only with a long 
handle, for the purpose of filling and emptying the 
copper and mash-fat, when brewing. 

LADE-SKIP. Synonymous with the preceding word ; in 
more general use. 

LADIES- AND-GENTLEMEN. Cuckowpint. Arum macu- 
latum. The various otlier local synonymes for this sin- 
gular plant have been, and will be, noticed as they occur. 
See Bobbin and Joan. 

LADY'S-FINGER, or LADY'S-GLOVE. Names for the 
bird's-foot trefoil. Lotus comiculatus. 

LADY'S-GLOVE. See Lady's-finger. 

LADTS-LACES. The striped ribbon grass. Calcmia- 
grostis variegata. See Bride's-laces. 



380 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

I often as a child for hoan 
Tried through the pales to get the tempting flow*n, 
Ac la(fif*8-iaces, everlasting peas, 
True-love-lies-bleeding, with the hearts-at-eaae. 

Clarets Village Minstrel, vol. ii. p. 97. 

LADyS-RUFFLES. A small plant, with rough serrated 
leaves and a white flower, growing in meadows and bank- 
sides. The names of weeds are not easily determinable 
from the information of rustics, and I am unable speci- 
fically to designate this plant. 

LAD'S-LOVE. Southernwood. Artemisia abrotonum. This 
name is also adopted by the lasses of Aberdeen, according 
to Jamieson. Called Boy^s-love by Jennings, and some- 
times by us called Maid^s-love, and Old-man. 

And look up the trees beneath the eaves 
Sweet-briar and lad^t-love, swelling into leaves. 

Cla&e's Shep. Cal. p. 82, 

JaS* rla\j» \j»\j* f .J£*A« 

LAJDT. Another name for a Lage-horse, which see. 

LADY COVENTRY. A juvenile game at cards, which 
appears to be correspondent to the " Niddy Noddy and 
the Lord Mayor of Coventry" described by Moor in the 
Suffolk Glossary. Our mode of playing the game is, to 
deal the whole pack of cards to any number of players ; 
the eldest hand plays one of which he has a pair, or 
what is better a " prial" (a corruption of pair-royal), 
saying (supposing it to be a two) " Here's a good two, 
what say you to that?" the player who has another two 
puts it down with "Here's another as good as that;" 
he who has the third, says " Here's the best of all the 
three," and the possessor of the fourth exultingly ex- 
claims, and "Here comes Lady Coventry 1" picks up the 
trick and begins again. He who plays all his cards out 
first is entitled to a fish for each card remaining in the 
hands of his adversaries. This game is known by the 
name of " Poll Davy" in Staffordshire. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 381 

LADY-BIRD. » Other names for the beautiful little in- 
LADY-COW. /sect called the Cow-ladt, which see. 
LADY-CLOCK, t M.s.&H.H."Lady-Bird." j.s.&e.l. 
LADY-LOCK. ) "Ladj-Cow." c.c. "Lady-Clock." 
LADY-SMOCK. The great bindweed. Convolvoltia septum. 
Jennings gives the same name to it in Somersetshire. 
Shakspere's " lady-smock all silver white," in Love's 
Labour Lost, does not, I imagine, refer to this plant, 
(which does not blossom at the same season of the year 
as the " daisies pied and violets blue,") but to the Car- 
damine pratense, the general name, which is more accu- 
rately described as painting " the meadows with delight," 
than the bindweed of the hedges. Drayton in his Poly- 
olbion must also aUude to the Cardamine pratense^ when, 
in describing the floral chaplets of the Nymphs, he says. 

Of cats-tayles made them crownes, which from the sedge doth grow, 
Of lady-smoches most white doe rob each neighbouring mede, 
Where with their looser locks most curiously they breyd. 

Moor gives the name of ladj/S'Smock to the Cuckoo- 
flower and Canterbury-bell, and I am informed we so 
use it in some parts of the county. 
O J.y. M.S. H.P. 

LAG. To crack by exposure to the sun. 

H.A.D. 

2. To loiter behind, to flag as if tired. Nares says prob- 
ably from Swedish lagg, the end; he further remarks 
that this word, though not entirely obsolete, occurs only 
in a few phrases, and in mere colloquial use. With us 
it is still current. 

I faint, I lag^ 

And feebly drag 
The ponderous orb around. 

Drtden's Secular Masque. 
6.&P. M.S. H.H.App. H.S. H.A.D. 

LAGGED. Applied to timber that splits or cracks into 
seamS| when it is sawn ; this defect is indicated, before 



382 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

it is felled, by the fissures in the bark. When the 
cracks radiate from the centre, it is called star-lagged; if 
they run in circles, hoop-lagged. All kinds of timber are 
subject to these flaws, but they are most common to the 
horse-chesnut. 
LAG-LAST. One who is tardy, and lingers behind. A 
reduplicative compound. 

H.AiD* U.S. 

LAID. Confined to bed from illness. A poor man would 
say he had been laid two or three weeks, if he had kept 
his bed that time. 

LAID. An agricultural term, when cattle are removed 
from pasture land, preparatory to the hay season. " The 
field is laid for mowing." " There will be a poor crop 
of hay this turn, it was so late before the meadow was 
laid,^^ Hain is a correspondent term, which see. Corn 
is said to be laid, when beaten down by wind or rain. 

LAIN-ASIDE. Unable to work from bodily indisposition. 

LAIR. To fall, to lay down. In all its diversified usages 
this appears to be its signification; growing corn, which 
is beat down in one direction, is laired; when beat down 
irregularly, and in different directions, it is Scraily or 
BoFFLED. To lair a hedge is to lay down the young 
wood, analogous to pleaching. To lair carnations is to 
lay them down, in order that they may be pegged into 
the earth, to cause them to strike. This word when 
used substantively, which is less general than verbally, 
still preserves its primary meaning; as a person, thrown 
from a horse or carriage, would be said to have had a bad 
lair; cows are said to be at lair, when they are lying 
down in shady pasture. 

Falling back in easy laity 
Sweetly slumb'ring in my chair. 

Clare's Rural Life, (1820) p. 50. 
And cows at lair in bushes lie concealed. 

Clare's Shep. Cal. p. 83. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 383 

While forth the hedger to his labour fares, 
Lairing the white thorn e*re it knots for May. 

Glare's MS. Poems. 

LAMB-EARTH. A peculiar kind of earth described by 
Morton, p. 67. I am not aware that this term is now 
in use. 

LAMB-HOGS. Lambs before shearing. See Sheep. 

LAMB-LAKENS. See Bobbin and Joan. 

H.A.D. 

LAMB-TOE. Probably another name for thQ Lotus comi- 
calatus. Clare is my only authority for this word, and 
hie supplies the following exemplifications: — 

And handfuls got of rose and laimhtGe sweet, 
And put them with her, in her winding sheet. 

Village Minstrel, vol. ii. p. 94. 

The yellow lambtoe I have often got, 

Sweet creeping o^er the banks in summer time. 

Ibid. p. 198. 

LAND. A land is an arable division of a furlong in an 
open field ; the top of the land is called the ridge or rig, 
and the sides the iurrow or thurrow ; each land is sepa- 
rated by a narrow strip of greensward called a balk, 
(which see), but the number and length of the lands 
depend on the size and shape of the furlong. " How 
many lands have you ploughed to-day?" was a question 
often put to his ploughman by an open-field farmer, but 
has become obsolete, and indeed inappropriate, since the 
introduction of modern inclosure ; though portions of 
inclosed fields, when appropriated to the growth of vege- 
tables, are still called lands, as " a land of potatoes," "a 
land of carrots," &c. 

G. C.C. F.E.A."Lond." L.H. H.P. H.A.D. 

LAND-DAW. A crow. Corvus corone, (Linn.) 
LAND. " To see which way the Jund lies,'' is to endea- 
vour to discover the inclinations or designs of others. 



S84 NORTHAIIPTON8HIBE 

The equivalent phnse in AmRrica la *' to see how the 
cat jumps." 
LAND-DAM. A bank of eaiih, to stop a ourrenty or di- 
vert it into another channel; often done at a spring 
heady when cleaning out a watercourse; or in a ditch, 
in order to collect a supply of water for any purpose. 

H.A.D. 

LANE. "It*8 along2r»i«ihathas nereratum.** Aphrase 
demoting that few persons are so bad, that there is no 
hope of amendment. 
LANGUISHING. Coquettish. 

LANTHOKN-SWASH. Excessive perspiration. " She 
was all of a lantham-swash,^ This vulgarism appears 
to be peculiar to us, in this sense. The Graven Glos- 
sarist and Halliwell record it as expressive of a great 
constcmation. 
LAP, or LOP. The faggot wood of a tree. Top and Lop, 
which includes all the parts of a tree, except the mea- 
suring timber, is a common term in advertisements for 
the sale of wood. 
LAP. To wrap, to inclose, to fold up. " Lap up the 
table cloth.'' " Lap yourself up well before you go out." 
" Lap the parcel in a bit o' paper." Palsgrave has, " I 
lappe a garment about me, I lappe this hoode about your 
heede." Way in a note on this word says, *' To lap is 
still used in the sense of wrapping in Warwickshire," 
implying its provinciality. The subjoined quotations 
exemplify the archaical and modern use of this word. 

And the body taken : Joseph vlapped it in a sentel or linnen 
cloth. 

WiCLiF MS., Matt, xxvii. 
Where mice from terrors, dangers nimbly run, " 

Leaving their tender young in fear's alarm, 
Lapt up in chimbled grasses warm. 

Clare's Shep. Cal. p. 71. 
H.S. T.6. H.P. H.A.D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 385 

LAP-EABED, or L0P-E51EED. Ears that hang down 
instead of standing erect ; applied to horses and, I be- 
lieve, to other animals. Lave-eared and Slouch-eared 
are synonymous, which see. Lap-eared is used in Sus- 
sex and Hampshire according to HoUoway, but the word 
does not occur in Cooper's Sussex Glossary. Lopper- 
eared has the same sense in the Craven Glossary. 

H.P- 

LAP-STONE. A compressed circular stone, upon which 
a shoemaker hammers his leather; placing it on his 
knee or lap : hence the name. 

B.N.C. C.C. T.G. H.A.D. 

LAPE. To lap as a dog or cat. It is also often used to 
a child who is tasting, first one liquid and then another. 
" What do you go taping about so for?" 

2. Walking in a slovenly, slatternly manner. Holloway 
and Halliwell give it as current in the North. 

LAPPED. " Lapped up in any one," i, e. so fond of a person 
as to be blind to failings. A figurative application 
of the preceding verb. " Mrs. S. is so lapped, up in her 
new friend, she can do nothing wrong." 

£.Li« 

LARGESS, A gratuity, solicited by agricultural labour- 
ers, at the conclusion of the haymaking and harvest 
season ; chiefly from those tradesmen who are employed 
by their masters. Some of the principal men are se- 
lected to go round the parish, and the contributions thus 
obtained are employed to provide what they call " the 
largess,''^ which is a kind of supper of bread and cheese, 
pipes and tobacco. A bam is generally the place chosen, 
in imitation of the Whitsun ale, for their homely ban- 
quet; where they enjoy themselves in eating, drinking, 
singing, and smoking, till midnight. The times, and 
the spirit of the times, are changed, and such old English 

s 



386 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

customs are rapidlj dying away ; but this is still kept 
up in some of our villages. 

B.E.S. G. M.S. H.P. H.A.D. 

LARK. A mischievous frolic, a spree. A modem slang 
term. 

P.D. C.S. H.A.D. 

LARK-HEELED. Thin, or slender-ankled. HaUiwell 

defines it long-heeled^ and assigns it to Lincolnshire. 
LARK-HEELS. Larkspurs. See illustration to Clipping- 

I*OSIES. 

LARKS-LEERS. Arable land not in cultivation ; or any 
poor pasture, bare of grass. This compound may be 
traced to the predilection of larks for barren and con- 
sequently unfrequented spots, where they build their 
nest upon the ground. Leers is an obvious corruption 
of Lair, which see. 

J.S. H.P. H.A.D. 

LARN. To le^am. For an example of this corrupted 
orthography, see the epitaph under Learn. 
c.c. 

LARRUPING. Manual castigation; similar to Wappen 
and Walloping. " You shall have a good larruping, 
that you shall." Not confined to us. 

M.S. F.E.A. P.D. C.S. H.P. H.A.D. 

LASII-HORSE. The second horse in a team. See Body- 
horse. 

LASHER. The slope or waterfall of a mill-dam; analo- 
gous to Sheeting, which see. This term evidently arises 
from the verb lash, as explained by Jamieson, " To fall, 
or be poured down with force; applied to rain, or any 
body of water." 

LAT. Let. " Lat me ha' that." 

LATH. A loft, barn, or granary, for storing hay or corn. 
It is in our old lexicography, and is defined " a barne, or 
graunge." Huloct. ^^ Horreum, locus uhi reponitur an- 



WORDS AND PHRASKS. 387 

nana, a barne, a lathe.'^ Ort. Voc. Way in his Promp- 
torium says, in a note under Berne, " Possibly a word 
of Danish introduction into the eastern counties. Lade, 
horreum, Dan." This word is of unusual occurrence, and 
all but extinct. • 

Why ne haddest thou put the capel in the latk i 

Chaucer's Reve's Tale. 
R.N.C. G.&P. B.N.C. H.H. 

LATHER. A ladder. An archaism. 

H.S* H.A.D. 

LATHY. Thin, slender, as a lath of wood. 

M.S. H.A.D. 

LATTEN. A mixed metal, resembling brass. The old 
sepulchral brasses in our churches are generally made 
of latten. See Nares. 

M.H. C.S. 

LATTERMATH. See Aftermath. 

A.W. H.A.D. 

LAUGH. " To laugh the other side of your mouth ;" L e. 
to cry. 

G.C. H.A.D. 

LAUGH AND LAY DOWN. A childish game at cards, 
of great antiquity, noticed in Skelton's Poems, and in 
Lilly's Mother Bombie, 1632. Our manner of playing 
the game agrees with that described in Holloway's Pro- 
vincialisms. 

LAUGH IN YOUR SLEEVE. To exult secretly. 

LAVE-EARED. The same as Lap-eared, which has been 
already noticed. I was unacquainted with this word, till 
I met with it in Todd's Dictionary as belonging to 
Northamptonshire ; but on inquiry I find it is in general 
use in some parts of the county, although unknown in 
the neighbourhood of Northampton. Nares records the 
word; and lave-luggit is used in Roxburghshire, in the 
same sense, according to Jamieson^s Supplement. Bishop 

s2 



;lgA NORTHAMPTONSHIBE 

Hairs Satires supply two illustrations of Ikive-eared, aad 
the notes explain it *' Lap-eared, long or flap-eared;*^ 
and " Laving f t. e, flapping down." 

A lave'€ar*d wm with gold mij trapped be. 

9 Hall's Satires, p. 83. 

Hu ean hang laving like a new lngg*d swine. 

Ibid. p. 76. 

LAVENDER. *' To lay up in lavender'^ was anciently a 
current phrase for, to pawn: Florio notices it. We now 
apply it to anything put by, for futiire use, with care 
and nicety. '^ It^s laid up in lavender.^^ Nares gives the 
plirase. 

LAUND. See Lawn. 

LAVliOCK. The lark. Alauda arvensia. (Linn.) Not 
common with us : general in Scotland. 

R.N.C. M.S. B.NC. C.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

LAW. ^V^leIl two persons of unequal strength are run- 
ning a race, it is not uncommon to allow the weaker to 
go a certain distance before the opponent starts, which is 
called giving him so much law : also, when a fox or hare 
is allowed to start before his pursuers, it is said they 
give him law; L e. liberty to start. Grace is a word of 
similar import. Though this is a well-recognised word, 
and ought not to be considered dialectical, it is fairly 
entitled to a place here, as it is unnoticed by our best 
Lexicographers. See Hunter's remarks on this word. 

H.H. H.S. A.W. L.H. 

LAW, LAWS, or LAWK. Common exclamations, ex- 
pressive of wonder, disbelief, or delight. Probably the 
broad pronunciation of the A.-Sax. la^ 

M.S. W.C. C.C. P.D. H.A.D. 

LAWN, or LAUND. An open space in the midst of a 
chace or forest; as Wakefield Lawn, the seat of the 
Duke of Grafton, and Benejield Laund; both of which 
agree with this definition. Chaucer uses it. 
R.N.C. G. c.c."Lawnd." h.p. h.a.d. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 389 

LAWTER. The number of eggs a hen lays successively 
before she incubates, when she is said to have laid her 
lawter. This word is variously spelt in the different 
Glossaries, as Lafter^ Later ^ Latter, Laster, Latter, Laugh- 
ter; and in Scotland Lachter, Perthshire Lochter. I 
have adopted the above orthography, as being most con- 
sonant to the pronunciation. 

G. J.S. M.S. C.C. F.E.A. B.N.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

LAY-BY. To rest from work. 

LAY-DOWN. An agricultural term for sowing ploughed 
land with grass. 

C.C. 

LAY-IN. To cheat. " The things did not turn out so 
well as I expected, he quite laid me in.** 

2. To cost. " I don't think I shall get anything by my 
potatoes this turn, they lay me in so much." 

LAY-0'ERS-FOR-MEDDLERS. An expression used to 
repress childish or impertinent curiosity. A contraction 
of lay-overs, i, e, things laid over, covered up, or pro- 
tected from meddlers. 

M.S. H.A.D. 

LAZY-BACK. The iron rest which hangs over a fire, to sup- 
port a frying pan, and prevent the necessity of holding it. 

£.L. 

LAZY-LAWRENCE. St. Lawrence is said to preside 
over idleness ; hence the above epithet. " Old Lawrence 
has got holt on you," is often said to an idle boy, lying 
on the ^ound, in hay time, stretched at his ease, to the 
neglect of his work. I presume Clare refers to the same 
personage, in the following passage: — 

What diiferent changes winter's frowns supply ; 
The clown no more a loitering hour beguiles. 
Nor gaping tracks the clouds along the sky, 
As when buds blossom, and the warm sun smiles, 
And " Lawrence wages bids^^ (bides ?) on bills and stiles. 

Village Minstrel, vol. ii. p. 23. 
C«C. C.S* H.P. H.A.D. 



390 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

LEAF. The fat from the inner side of the loins of a pig. 
See Flare. 

CO. H.S. E.L. n.A.D. 

2. " To turn over a new Uaf^'' to amend; to adopt a new 
line of conduct. 

LEAN-TO. A shed, or low building, attached to, and 
supported by a larger building. 

M.S. F.£.A. H.F. H.A.n. 

LEAN-TO. To favor ; to try to conceal the faults of 
another. 

LEARN. To teach. This vulgarism was formerly in 
good repute. Pegge says, " In the Anglo-Saxon lan- 
guage the verb learan had indiscriminately both senses, 
and implied docere (to teach), as well as discere (to 
learn)." This double signification occurs in the version 
of the Psalms in the Common Prayer Book, and in most 
of the old writers. 

Them shall he learn his way. 

Psalm XXV. 8. 

Chaucer uses " lerne' in the sense of teach ; Ben 
Jonson has " I will learn you ;" and Drayton, " Who, till 
I learrCd him, had not known his might." Shakspere 
implies their identity, by using them in the same sen- 
tence, apparently to vary the expression, — 

Unless you could teach me to forget a banish'd father, you 
must not learn me to remember any extraordinary pleasure. 

As You Like It, i. 2. 

Palsgrave gives " Scole, to leme chyldre in, escole;" 
and verbally, " I leme one a lesson or thynge that he 
knoweth nat." Todd says this sense is now perhaps 
obsolete : in Northamptonshire it is still in common use, 
a good illustration may be seen, in an epitaph for a vil- 
lage singing-master, in the churchyard of the neigh- 
bouring village of Harpole, dated 1729. 






WORDS AND PHRASES. 391 

He larned singing far and near, 

Full twenty years and more ; 
But fatal death hath stopt his breth, 

And he can larne no more. 

His scholards all that are behinde 

Singing he did unfold, 
Exhorting all their God to minde 
Before they turn to molde. 
M.S. B.N.C. F.E.A. H.H. H.S. L.H. T.G. H.A.D. 

LEASE. To pick up, and collect, the scattered ears of com 
after the grain is carried from the field. This term is only 
in partial use. Glean is most general. A.-Sax. lesan. 

LEASH. To lash, to ply the whip. 

BJI.C. 

LEASTWAYS. At least ; at all events. A man imder 
examination in a court of justice, as to the soundness of 
a horse, said " he knew very little about it, but least- 
ways the horse died." 

This geare lacketh wethering ; at lenst waye it is not for me to 
plough. Bishop Latimer. 

F.E.A. E.L."Least-wise." h.p. h.a.d. 
LEATHER-HEAD. A stupid thickscull. "A great 
leather-headed fello^" 

B.N.C. C.C. H.p. .H.A.D. 

LE ATBffiRING. A beating ; perhaps originally inflicted 
with a leather thong, as " threshing" is with a stick : both 
now imply general chastisement. The word is also used 
participially. " He's a good-for-nothing chap ; he had a 
good leathering to-day, and I saw them leathering him 
yesterday." 
LEAVE GO. Let go. " He wouldn't leave go:' 
LEAVE HOLD. Used in the same sense as the preceding 
phrase. 

H.A.D. 

LEECH. The cuticle, or bark of mutton or beef, which 



892 N0BTHAMPT0N8HIRE 

remains cm the back and loins of the animal after it is 
skinned. It is a common direction given bj a butcher 
to his boy, when skinning an animal, ^ Take care you 
don't spoil the leech/* Way in his Fromptorhun Far- 
vnlorum, in an ingenious note under " Leche of flesche, 
or other mete,** gives two obsolete significations to this 
word in connection with ancient cookery : — ^' Such viands 
as it was usual to serve in slices, probably for the sake 
of convenience, before the general use of forks;" and, 
'' a kind of jelly made of cream, isinglass, sugar, and 
almonds." These definitions are illustrated by curious 
extracts from early MSS. in the British Museum, and by 
references to the bills of fare at various great festivities 
and banquets. 

2. A square-sided, expanding, wooden vessel, pierced 
with holes at the bottom ; and attached to two long flat 
rails, commonly called " a pair of brigs," which support 
it over a tub. " To set the leechj^ as it is termed, is to 
put wood ashes into it, on a strainer, placed upon straw ; 
water is then poured over the ashes, which percolates 
into the tub beneath, when it takes the name of Zye, and 
is used for the washing of linen. 

G."Letch/* M.S. H.F."Letch." • H.A.D."Letch.'' 

LEECH-TUB. The vessel that •receives the li/e, as it 
passes through the leech. 

LEERING. Sneaking. "A leering fellow," one who is 
endeavouring to escape observation, in order to conceal 
his evil purposes. From the verb leer, to look obliquely. 

LEG. To cheai)en, to beat down in bargaining. " He 
legs him so," and " He goes so at the Ze^," are common 
colloquial phrases, when a person is hard in making a 
bargain. 

2. " To put the best leg foremost." To be expeditious 
and energetic. 

CO. II. A. D. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 39» 

3. " He hasn't a. leg to stand upon f ' he has no support 
to his argument or proposition. A frequent expression, 
when a bad cause is bifeught into a court of justice. 

LEGS. " On his last legs ;'' a phrase used when a person 
is nearly worn out by disease or old age. Any article 
of furniture or dress, that is almost worn out, is figu- 
ratively said to be " on its last legs^ Also, when any 
one is on the eve of bankruptcy, he is " on his last legsy 

C.C. H.A.D. 

2. " To stand on his own %5." To be independent of 
assistance. 

3. " Walked off his legs.^'' Over-wearied, completely 
tired out. 

LEGrGINGS. Leathers buckled round the legs', or long 
gaiters ; which are also so named in Scotland, and occur 
in the " Tales of my Landlord." Clare, in his descrip- 
tion of the Woodman's dress, says, — 

With leather leggiiigs on, that stopt the snow. 

Village Minstrel, vol. ii. p. 26. 
C.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

LIEF or LIEVER. Willingly, readily ; sooner, or rather ; 
sometimes used without the comparative, sometimes 
with, as " I*d as lief go as not."' " Td as lief or liever stay 
at home." From the A.-Sax. Leof It is of frequent occur- 
rence in our early poets : the Craven Glossarist and 
Hartshome cite examples from Gower, Piers Plough- 
man, Sir Gowghther, the Tournament of Tottenham, 
and others. To these the following may be added ; and it 
is often used by Spenser and Shakspere. 

And he had levir to talk with a page» 
Than to commune with any gentle wight. 

CuAUCEB's Squier's Tale. 
Faire Christabelle, from thee to parte, 
Farre lever had I dye. 

Percy's Reliques, vol. i. p. 52^ 
For lever had I die than see his deadly face. 

Spenser^s Faerie Queen. 



894 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

I had as l^f thou did break his neok, as his finger. 

As You Like It, i. 1. 
I'd's lief be prisoner mou^ wi' Bunyan, 
As I'd be king of our dominion, 
Or any other. 

Clare's Rural Life» p. 88. 
B.E.S. O. M.S. B.N.C. H.H. C.C. H.S. A.W. T.G. 
H.A.D. 

LET. To take place, to happen. " I mean to go to the 

feast, let what may." 
LETTEN. Permitted, aUowed. " He'd ha* gone agen, if 
rd a' hsttm him." 

Better me were to have leUen be. 

Rom, of Rose. (Craven Dialect.) 

LETTER. A spark on the wick of a burning candle ; so 
designated by the superstitious. This sense occurs in 
Jamieson. 

LEUF. The palm of the hand. A very old word. Ray 
and Grose give " Ijufe, the open hand." 

B.N.C. H.A.D. 

LEW-WARM. Tepid, lukewarm. A.-Sax. w^^tec. Wiclif 
uses Lewe in this sense. Home Tooke considers the 
compound a modem pleonasm. 

Fetche bidder sone the well wattir lew warme, 
To wesche bis woundis. 

Douglas, Virg. 124, 13. (Jamieson.) 

B.N.C. c.c."Lue-warm." 
LEY, or LAY. Greensward, or the portions of land laid 
down in open field. A.-Sax. Lei/y terra inculta, novale. 
This term is now extended to meadow land ; and often 
bears the name of the proprietor or occupier, as at 
Whittlebury we have Cooke's Ley^ Pinker^s Ley, and at 
Paulerspury the Hall Leys. 

C.C. U.S. 

LICK. A slight wash; appHed to painting, or white- 
washing. " Just give it a lick over ;" i, e, cover the sur- 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 395 

face with a single coat, instead of three coats, as is cus- 
tomary. Todd confounds it with smearing, and says, not 
in use ; but with us it is general. 
LICK. To beat. " Lkh him well." There is good autho- 
rity for this low word. 

How nimbly forward each one pricks, 
While their thin sides the rider licks, 

Maro, p. 24. (Craven Dialect.) 
B.N.G. C.C. H.H. H.S. H.P. H.A.D. 

LICKS. A beating. " Gi* him his licksy Jamieson sup- 
plies an apt illustration. 

When he committed all these tricks, 
For which he well deserved his licks, 

FoRBBS^s Dominie Depos*d, p. 28. 

B.N.C. C.C. H.S. T.G. H.A.D. 

LICK-SPITTLE. An obsequious servile person, a syco- 
phant, a tool. 

C.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

LICK UP. When gravel or mud is so soft as to adhere 
to the shoes, as is the case after a frost, it is commonly 
said " it licks up,^^ 

LID. The boarded cover of a book. This word is so 
general, that I should not have considered it dialectical, 
if HaUiwell had not, by the following remarks, impHed 
that it is obsolete : — " It is applied to a book-cover, in 
Nomenclator, p. 7 ; and I find the term so used as late as 
1757, in Dr. Free's Poems, p. 47." 

LIFT. Aid, or assistance, especially in carriage. If a 
person meets with an accidental ride, or chance convey- 
ance, he would say, " I was fortunate in getting a lift." 
If a person had a heavy weight to move, he would say 
to a bystander, " Come, lend us a liftJ*^ 

B.N.C. C.C. H.P. H.A.D. 

5. The meat taken out of a flitch of bacon, when the 
ham is left in; in other words the fleshy part of the leg, 
which instead of being cut out smoothly, as a round of 



3i>6 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

lxM?f, is raised or lifted up with one band, whilst it is cut 
out with the other. For a similar redson it is often 
called the rearino. 

LIFTED UP. Elated, in high spirits. " She's quite lifted 
up,''^ in prospect of a good situation, or marriage. 

LIG. A falsehood. Unaltered A.-Saxon. Bosworth ob- 
serves, " Hence, in the midland coimties, a Lig, false- 
hood;" confirming its provinciality. Used repeatedly 
by Wiclif ; it also occurs in Ritson's Romances, and in 
Spenser. 

" tC H.H. £.L. 

LIGGER. A liar. « That's a lig, you ligger^ 
LIGHT. " He stands in his own light, '^ t. e. does not see 
his own interest. 
c.c. 
LIGHT-HEADED. Delirious. 

fl.A.D. 

LIGHTS. Hot-house sashes, 
c.c. 

2. The lungs of animals. An appropriate name, from 
tlieir extreme buoyancy, being inflated with air. 

J.S. F.E.A. 

LIGHT-PIE. Generally made in the form of a pasty. A 
country substitute for mince pie; made of the lights, 
&c. of a pig, chopped fine, with apples, currants, sugar 
aud spice. Often sent by farmers as a present, with the 
pork pie, on killing a pig. Sometimes called Pluck-pie, 
but most commonly Sweet-pie. 

LIGHTSOME. Gay, airy. 

H.S. n.A.D. 

LIGHTSOMER. The comparative of the preceding word. 

H.S. 

LIKE. Used as an adjunct, expressive of comparison. 
" She's very cross like" " She's very stingy like,^' " The 
horse has got a sort of a cold like.^^ 

F.E.A. H.H. c.c. H.S. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 397 

LIKED. " I'd liked to a said so," «. e. I was very near 

saying so; I almost said it. 
LIKENED. In danger of. " Fd liken'd to a tumbled 

down." 

G&P. B.N.C. C.C. 

LIKE OF, To approve. " I daredn't do't ; my master 
wouldn't like of iV 

F.E.A. 

LIKING. Approval; a probationary term before an ap- 
prenticeship. " The boy's gone upon liking^ 

H.P. H.P. 

LIKELY. Suitable, promising. " He's a likely lad." A 
farmer will often apply this word to cattle that promise 
to thrive quickly. " It's a likely cow." 

H.S. H.A.D. 

LILLY-DEW. Perspiration. " I was so hot, I was all of 

a Ully-dewy Lilbylow has the same signification in 

Lincolnshire. 
LIMB. A virago, a termagant; still used amongst the 

vulgar, but confined to the female sex. 
2. The husk of a nut. " Will you buy them in, or out, 

of the limbs f is a frequent inquiry in our nut-market. 

Probably traceable to the Latin limlmSf a border. 
LIMB. To remove the husk from nuts or walnuts. 

Jamieson gives " Leam, to take ripe nuts out of the husk." 
LIMBERSOME. Having great suppleness of limb. Nearly 

allied to Lissome. 
LIMP. Flimsy of texture, as unstarched linen, or that 

which has lost its stiffness. Todd remarks, " It is used in 

some provinces, and in Scotland, for limber, flexible." 

Florio renders " Lasca, limber, or thin woven." 

F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

LINE. Trade, occupation. " What line are you in? The 
grocery Ztne." 

H.A.D. 



398 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

LING. Heath. CaUuna vulgaris. The best besoms are 
made of it. Prompt. Parv. " Hethe or /y<^«, fowaly. 
Bruarium?^ Ray and Grose give it as a Northern term. 
Skinner speaks of it as the common name for heath in 
Lincolnshire. In Ayrshire, according to Jamieson, a 
thin long grass obtains the name of Ung. 

Here oft, through grass and moss are seen, 

Tann'd brown for want of showers. 
Still keeps the ling its darksome green, 

Thick set with little flowers. 

Clare's Shep. Cal. p. 193. 

R.N.C. G. B.N.C. H.H. H.S. T.G. H.P. H.AJ>. 

LINK. A lacemaker's term for a loop of lace. When a 
piece of lace is finished, it is measured into yards, the 
ends of the several yards are pinned together, thus 
forming as many loops as yards ; and each loop obtains 
the name of a link, 
LINTEL. Lentil ; a kind of tare or vetch. Ersum 
hirsutum? 

The bearded rye was in the row, 
The lintel in the pod. 

Clare's MS. Poems. 

LISSOME. Agile, nimble, pliant; particularly applied to 
a good leaper. "Good deaiT, how lissome he isl" Bp. 
Kennett, in his MS. Glossarial Collections, derives it 
from the A. -Sax. lithj and defines it, " with joints and 
limbs at command." 

G.&P. M.S. W.C. J.S. C.C. F.E.A. H.S. P.D. A.W. 
L.II. H.P. H.A.D. 

LISTEN. To meditate. " What are you listening on?" 
LIT. The preterite of the verb to Light. " I lit on him at 
market." " I lightened on him," i. e. I met with him. 

How he lighted upon her, himself best can tell. 

Ben Jonson, Tale of a Tub, v. 3. 
I lited on Hob, and he lited on me. 

Yorkshire Dial. p. 40. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 899 

LITE, or LIGHT. To alight upon, to meet with, to find. 

" I could'nt liglit on him no where.** 

If I can by any means light on a fit man. 

Taming of Shrew, i. 1. 

There be good fellows in the world , an a man could light on 
them. 

Ibid. 

c.c."Leet on." 
LITHER. Lazy, idle, slothful. Common in the North, 
not so with us. Minshew, Jamieson, Kersey, and others, 
give the same import to it. A.-Sax. lythr. I borrow 
the following illustration from Toone, — 
My ladde he is so lither, he sayd. 
He will do nought that^s meete. 

O. B. King Estmere. 
R.N.C. G. W.C. 

LITHERING. Loitering. " A lithering lad." 

LITSOME. Dizzy, giddy. A poor woman said " My 
head is so Ittsome, I hardly know what I'm doing." 

LITTERIFIED. All in disorder, in a Htter. 

LITTERMENT. What is scattered about. 

LITTLE BILLING. " AU the world and LiUle Billing:' 
Why this village has become proverbial more than any 
other, I have not been able to discover, but it is a common 
mode of expressing that there was a large assemblage 
of people on any occasion spoken of. " There was all 
the world and Little Billing there ;" an analogous phrase 
to " All the world and his wife." 

LIVER AND CROW. See Crow. 

LITTLER. Comparative of little; less. 
c.c. T.G. 

LITTLEST. Superlative of little ; least. 

Where love is great, the lUdest doubts are fear. 

Hamlet, ii. 3. 

J.S. B.N.C. C.C. T.G. H.P. H.A.D. 

LIVE UNDER. To rent : applied principally, if not ex- 



400 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

clusively, to agricultural holdings ; as " He Uvea under 
Lord A. or B." 

F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

LO AND BEHOLD! A frequent exclamation in collo- 
quial narration, expressive of a certain degree of wonder 
and surprise. A.-Sax. La, behold. 

LOB. To throw, to let fall carelessly. " How the cooks 
did lob the meat about in the kitchen." Used in the 
Northern part of the county. Ash gives " Lob, to let 
fall in a slovenly manner;" which agrees with our sig- 
nification. 

C.S. H.P. H.A.D. 

2. To hang down, to droop. I give this on the authority 
of Clare. Nares and Jennings recognise the word, and 
it is exemplified by Shakspere. 

Their poor jades lob down their heads, dropping the hide and 
hip0. 

Hen. V. iv. 2. 

J.S. H.P. H.A.D. 

LOB'S-POUND. Bridewell. Nares says, " Who Lob was, 
is as little known as the site of Lipsbury Pinfold:" he 
also notices that " Dr. Grey, in the notes to Hudibras, 
tells a ludicrous application of it in the case of one Lobb, 
a dissenting minister." May not this name with more 
probability have originated from Lob^ a looby, a clown, 
rather than from any specific individual ; Bridewell 
being the place of correction for the petty offences of 
that class of offenders ? 

Crowders whom, in irons bound. 
Thou basely threwst into Lob'^s pound. 

Hudibras. 

M.S. H.A.D. 

LOCK. To chain one of the hind wheels of a waggon, or 
carriage, to stop its rotatory motion, and check its pro- 
gress down hill. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 401 

LOCK. A small quantity, as of hay. When hay is 
clotted together at the time of making, it is commonly 
said, " Shake them holes up well ;" and when a horse is 
turned into a stable, without allowing time for a regular 
bait, the hostler is often directed to " give the horse just 
a hck of hay." In the Prompt. Parv. we find " Loh of 
hey, or other lyke, vofe." According to Jamieson the 
same term prevails in Scotland. 

J.S. A.W. L.H. H.P. H.A.D. 

LOCK-GRAINED. Applied to wood, when the grain 
runs in different directions, and renders it so knotty 
that it will not saw freely. 

LOCKRAM. A long story, a little embellished. " She 
brought home such a lockramy The word occurs in 
the Dictionaries, as a sort of coarse linen cloth ; but our 
meaning appears to be peculiar to us. Halliwell gives 
" Lockrumy gibberish, nonsense," as used in Bedford- 
shire. 

LODGE. The house situate on a farm, the residence of 
the occupier; whose name it frequently bears, or that 
of the contiguous village or hamlet. 

LOFT. An upper apartment, a chamber. In this sense 
it occurs in the New Testament, Eutychus " fell down 
from the third loft, and was taken up dead." (Acts, 
XX. 9.) Grose and Pegge give it, as used in the North 
for a chamber. We more commonly restrict it to a 
room over a stable, called a hay-loft. Bishop Kennett, 
in his MS. Glossary, deduces it from the Isl. " hfftj 
camera." 

LOG-BED. A deposit of silt, sand, or refuse in a river ; 
which, when so accumulated as to impede the naviga- 
tion, is removed or cleared away. 

LOGGER. A wooden block or log, chained to the fetlock 
of an animal, to prevent it from straying to a distance 
when pasturing, or to make it more readily caught. 



402 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

LOGGERHEAD. A blockhead. 

. . . . the boobies mistook the door, and brought him in 
here, like a brace of loggerheads. 

FARquHAB, Sir Harry Wildair, iv. 2. 
U.A.D. 

2. Wlien relatives are disagreeing over property or other 
things, it is frequently said ^* they are all at loggerheads 
together." 

They* II fall to loggerheads about their playthings ; the English 
came in like Robbin GK>odfellow, ory'd Boh, and made ^em be 
quiet. 

Farquhar, Sir Harry Wildair, i. 1. 

3. A blue flower growing amongst com in autumn, the 
blue-bottle. Centaurea cyanusf 

LOLLOP. To beat. 

H.P. 

2. To lean awkwardly upon anything, as sitting with both 
elbows on a table, or, lolling on a gate or stile. " Why 
do you stand lolloping there?" To walk in a lazy 
lounging manner, without keeping the straight path. 
" How he goes lolloping along I" 

B.N.C. M.S. F.E.A. C.C. P.D. H.S. H.P. H.A.D. 

LOLLOPS. A slattern. Jamieson gives " Lolly an idle, 
inactive person, a sluggard." 

C.C. H.A.D. 

LOLLY-POP. A puddle, a wet dirty place. 

LOMMOCKS. A fat clumsy person. " A great fat lom- 
jfiocks.''^ Very nearly allied to Bossock. 
F.E.A."Lummox." h.a.d. 

LOMMOCKING. Large, unwieldy, awkward; lommocking 
appears to be to the person, what lolloping is to the 
action or gait. Moor and the Craven Glossarist give 
Lummakin and Lummuekiny with the same signification. 
Neither of the words occurs in the Dictionaries. 

LONDON-PRIDE, or LONDON TUFT. Sweet William. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 403 

Scmfraga umhrosa, " None-so-pretty" bears the same 
name, in other places, particularly in London. 
LONG. Great. " A hng price" is a common term. 
Shakspere in Hen. IV. has the word in this sense. 

A hundred mark is a long loan. 
G. F.E.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

LONG-HUNDRED. Six score: so walnuts are sold in 
our market. 

CC H.A.D. 

LONG-LEGGED-TAYLOR. Tipula ohracea, (Linn.) 
This name appears to be widely disseminated ; Jamieson, 
under another synonyme, Jenny-spinner, says it is so 
called in Roxbr. We also denominate it Harrt-long- 
LEGS, and Jenny-spinner ; which see. In Devonshire it 
is named Jwh-o^'lxmg-lega, 

B.N.C. 

LONG-PURPLES. Purple loosestrife. Lithrum salicaria. 

There with fantastic garlands did she make, 

Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples. 

Hamlet, iv. 7. 

And gay long -purples with its tufty spike, 
SheM wade o^er shoes to reach it in the dyke. 

Clarets Village Minstrel, voL ii. p. 90. 

LONG-SETTLE. A long high-backed wooden seat, with 
arms ; frequent in the chimney comer of farm-houses in 
by-gone days : still retained in the village public house, 
where, if it is placed at a short distance from the fire, it 
often obtains the appropriate name of Screen, as it 
serves the purpose of shielding the occupants from the 
wind by its high back. Grose, Brockett, Hunter, the 
Craven Glossarist, and Jamieson, all notice this article 
of furniture, varying the orthography according to the 
Northern pronunciation, as Lang or Lung, Settle or 
Saddle. 

LONG AND SHORT. "The long and short of it," i. e. 



404 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

the summary of anj tale ; the end or result of any 

business. 
LONG-TOM. The long-tailed titmouse. Parvus caudatus. 

(Linn.) For the various synonjrmes of this singular 

little bird, see Bag. 
LONG-TONGUE. A divulger of secrets; a tale-teller, 

a very loquacious person; generally applied to females. 

It is well characterised by Shakspere in Titus Andro- 

nicus, " Long tongu'd babbling gossip." Sir Walter Scott 

uses it in the " Tales of my Landlord." 

v/*C/. JS.A.D. 

LONGWAYS. Lengthwise. 

H.A.D. 

LONG-WINDED. Lengthy ; as, " a long-winded sermon." 

" A hng-winded bill," is a bill of long credit. 
LOO I LOOl LOOl A reiterated exclamation, iised to 
excite dogs to fight ; or to urge greyhounds to the pur- 
suit of a hare. 

These yelping curs were straight looed on to bark, 
On the deserving man to set a mark. 

Dryden. 
LOOBY. An awkward clownish fellow. 

Great loubies and long, that loth were to swinke. 

Piers Ploughman. 

H.A.D. 

LOOK D' YE SEE? A common phrase, when calling 
attention to any object. 

I*m come, Sir, said he, to beg {look d^ye see?) 
Of your reverence worship and glory. 

O. B., Vicar and Moses. 
H.A.D. 

LOOK-OUT. Prospect, expectation. " It's a poor look 
out for her," i. e. a poor prospect for a living. 

LOOK-UP. To search for, to find. " IVe mislaid your 
book, but ril look it up.'''' " I hav'nt seen him lately, 
but I shall look him up^ 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 405 

LOOKING UP. Progressing, advancing. The days are 
looking up, when they begin to lengthen ; the weather 
is looking up, when it is improving; the markets are 
looking up, when advancing in price. 

LOOK YE. Take notice. Used in an adjunctive manner ; 
as, " He's a very bad lad, look ye /" 

LOOM. A large sunk receptacle, lined with brick or 
stone, for the reception of what is termed pigs' or hogs* 
wash; seldom or never used for any other purpose: 
hence it is generally designated pig-loom, or hog-loom* 
The word, though very common with us, does not occur 
in this sense in any of our vocabularies. Jamieson has 
"ioTwe, a tub or vessel of any kind." Todd gives it a 
more extended meaning, " Household stuff, furniture ;*' 
which accords with the A.-Saxon loma, or geloma, house- 
hold goods or utensils. 

R.N.C. G. 

LOOSE. Wild, disorderly; as, "a loose young chap." 
Brockett gives Loose-t'-the-heji, in the same sense. 

LOOSE-LADDER. A stitch dropped in knitting; some- 
times called simply a " lather,^'* from its resemblance to 
the staves or rounds of a ladder; and still more com- 
monly termed Jacob's-ladder, which see. 

H.A.D. 

LOOVING. Roving idly about. 
LOP. See Lap. 

H.A.D. 

LOPE. To take long springing strides. Nares and Todd 
note it as obsolete. Evidently the A.-Sax. hleop, leaped. 

Loupe he so lyghtlich a wey. 

PiBBs Ploughman's Vision. 
And laughing lope to a tree. 

Spenser's Shep. Cal. 
Come loopitig o'er the lea. 

Glare's MS. Poems. 
R.N.C. W.C, B.N.C."Loup." F.E.A. C.C. T.O. H.P. H.A.D. 



406 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

LOPPER. To curdle, to coagulate, as milk in hot weather. 
Ray, Grose, Brockett, and Halliwell, give it participially. 

LORDS-AND-LADIES. The flowers of the Arum macu- 
latum. This playfiil appellation has suggested one of the 
numerous and interesting reminiscenses, with which 
Clare's poetry abounds, and which constitute one of its 
principal charms. For other names of this plant, see 
Bobbin and Joan. 

Oft under trees we nestled in a ring, 

Calling onr '* lords and ladiet.^'' O ye hours ! 

I never see the broad-leared arum ^ring, 

Stained with spots of jet ; I never see 

Those dear delights which April still does bring, 

But memory^s tongue repeats it all to me. 

Clare*s Village Minstrel, vol. i. p. 99. 

U<S. H*M« F.£<*A. CG* A.W. H*P* ix.A.D* 

LOT. A noun of multitude. ** What a lot of people there 
was at the fair." " There are lots of apples on the tree." 
(3.C. 

LOUCII-EARED. Correlative with Lop-eared and Lave- 
eared; which see. 

LOUT. A dronish, clownish, fellow. From the A.-Sax. 
verb lutan, to bow, incline, or bend down. 

R.N.C. G. B.N.C. C.C. 

LOVE. A term of endearment applied to things as well 
as to persons. A child when admiring a toy, a flower, 
or any inanimate object, frequently exclaims, " Oh what 
a love r 

2. " Love nor money.*' A common expression, when an 
article is very scarce in the market, " I could neither get 
it for love nor money^ 

LOVE IN IDLENESS. The very small old-fashioned 
purple pansy, more commonly called Pinkeney John: 
the cultivated garden variety of the viola tricolor, or 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 407 

white pansy, to whose change of colour Shakspere beau- 
tifully alludes. 

Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell ; 

It fell upon a little western flower, — 

Before milk-white ; now purple with lovers wound, — 

And maidens call it love in idleness. 

Mid. N. Dream, ii. 2. 
H.A..D. 

LOW. To make a bright flame; as well as the flame 
itself. 

R.N.C. G.&P. B.N.C. C.C. 

LOW-LIYED. Having vulgar and mean propensities. 
So common, that it ought to be in Todd; Jamieson 
has it. 

C.C. H.A.D. 

LOYE-KNOTS. Spells or charms, made by rustics, of the 
blades of the oat, or wheat, and sometimes of the reed- 
blade. How they are made, and what they betoken, I 
shall leave Clare to describe. 

When I was young, and went a weeding wheat, 
We used to make them on our dinner seat : 
We laid two hlades across, and lapt them round, 
Thinking of those we loved ; and, if we found 
Them linked together when unlapt again, 
Our loves were true ; if not, the wish was vain. 
IVe heard old women, who first told it me, 
Yow that a truer token could not be. 

Shep. Cal. p. 147-8. 

LOVE-TRUE. Another name for Love in Idleness. 

LOWBELLING. Among the rural population, a mode of 
expressing the ridicule and censure of the neighbour- 
hood, upon a man and his wife, who have repeatedly 
disgraced themselves by quarreling and fighting. The 
neighbours, men, women and boys, proceed roxmd the 
village with tin kettles, cow's horns, &c. ; and to the 
rough music thus produced are added the shouts and 
vociferations of the attendant crowd, which are redoubled 



408 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 

as they pass the door of the offending party. This low- 
belling, as it is called, is an humble imitation of " A 
Riding," or " Riding the Skimmington." All such "ex- 
hibitions are, however, gradually disappearing. 
LOWK. To beat, to thrash. " He lawked him weU." 

E.L. H.A.D."Louk." 

LOWXING. Idling. " Why do you Ue lawking there?" 
is often said to a lazy boy stretched on the ground at 
his ease ; or, " What do you stand lowJdng there for?" 
to any one who is standing idling about, in an awkward 
uncouth manner. Grose defines this word, " Gawky, 
awkward ;" but, with us, idling is its chief characteristic. 

LUBBER-HEAD. A stupid clumsy fellow. 

H.A.D. 

LUCK-PENNY. A small sum of money returned to a 

purchaser for good luck. See Jamieson. 
B.N.c.2nd. ed. h.a.d. 
LUG. To pull, to drag. " Give his ears a good lug.-' 
" How she lugs the child along!" A.-Sax. Gelaggian, to 
pull, to lug. 

And lug him by the hair. 

Dryden*s First Satire of Persius. 

And you, poor ragged outcasts of the land, 
That lug your shifting camps from green to green. 

Clare's Village Minstrel, vol. i. p. 53. 

G.&P. B.N.C. C.C. H.S. 

LUMBER. A great disturbance, made by moving things 
awkwardly and noisily; continued knocking or thump- 
ing. " What a lumber you're making!" Also used ver- 
bally, as, *' Lumber the door well, and they'll hear." 

LUMBER -IT. " Knock it and pash it, i. e. beat the 
grain out, knock it about;" so defined by Bp. Percy, in 
his MS. Glossary of Northamptonshire words. 

LUMBERING. Moving about in an awkward noisy 
manner; going about headlong, regardless of obstacles. 



WORDS AND PHRASES. 409 

A friend furnished me with a curious illustration of its 
use, by an old woman in a neighbouring village ; who 
. grieving for the loss of her husband, and being told by 
way of consolation that she might hope to meet him 
again in another world, replied, " I can't go lumbering 
about to look for him when I get there." 

Let them not leap the ditch, or swim the flood, 
Or lumber o*er the meads, or cross the wood. 

Dryden's Virgil. 
LUMP. A heavy blow. 

LUMP. To thump; to beat with a heavy soimd. Fa- 
miliarly illustrated by Clare : — 

Delving the ditch a livehood to earn, 
Or lumj^ing com out in a dusty ham. 

Village Minstrel, vol. i. p. 66. 
And the flail might lump away, 
Waking soon the dreary day. 

Rural Life, p. 58. 

M.S. F.E.A. 

LUMPING. A heavy drubbing. 

S .XIj.A.. 

LUMPING-PENN'ORTH. A good bargain. Probably 
meaning good weight, as when the scales go down with 
a LUMP. Todd supplies an illustration from Arbuthnot : 
" Nick, thou shalt have a lumping pennyworths^ 
c.c." Lumping." 

LUMPY. Heavy, awkward, inactive. 

H.A.D. 

LUNCH. A large lump of bread, or other edible. ** He 
helped himself to a good lunch of cake." 

M S. m L.H. H.A.D. 

LUNGE. To lurch, to hide, to skulk. I give this word 
. on the authority of Clare ; and it is one of the few 

words assigned to this county in Halliwell's Provincial 

Glossary. 
2. To lean, to lounge, to incline; applied both to persons 

T 



>'* ■ ?' '"' ':'«". .'•■'r "i-^J »- '- i ': -"i fc"1i '^*J■^?^^»?^^P^- 







410 JfORTHAMPTONSHIBE W0RIN3. 



and ^ tlmigs. << The wall lunges this way." << Dcm't 
lunge so on me.** *' To lunge a horse,** is to hold him by 
a long rope, and drive him round a circle. A term in 
fencing. 

« Q. FJI.A. H.P. H.A.D. 

LUNGEING. Imposing. « Oh ! he*8 a lungemg fellow.** 
LUNGEOUS. Spitefol, qoarrelsomeymischieyons; wilful, 
hasty, violent. 

a. W.C. H.S^ L.H. 'KJL.X HJ. H.AJ>. 

y - 

LUSHY.- BiUher tipsy, fresh. Evans remarks, " Perhaps 
an ironical application of the old adjective hishy sue- 
culent.** 

E.L. 

LTE-LEECH. A vessel ^t making lye. See Leech. * 
F.E.A.'' lie Latch.** h.a.d." Lie Leach.*' 

LTE-RAGK. Synonymous with the preceding word, 
except that it is formed of an open railed frame, instead 
of solid wood: hence the variation in. the name. We 
have pUOe-rack^ bottie-radsj and hay-rack ; which are all 
similarly constructed of open bars or rails. 

LYING ABOUT. Idling about, out of work. 



END OF VOLUME I. 



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