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COLONEL EGERTON LEIGH. 



A 

GLOSSARY OF WORDS 



USED IN 



THE DIALECT OF CHESHIRE 



FOUNDED ON A SIMILAR ATTEMPT BY 

ROGER WILBRAHAM, F.R.S. and F.S.A, 

Contributed to the Society of Antiquaries in iSiy. 






BY 



LIEUT.-COL. EGERTON LEIGH, M.P. 

II 



LONDON : 
HAMILTON, ADAMS, AND CO. 

CHESTER : 

MINSHULL AND HUGHES. 

1877. 



LONDON : 
CLAY, SONS, AND TAYLOR, PRINTERS, 
» ,•*• EREA2) STH4iaT^JIIJ:-L,; 
• 'r^UKEN, V?eTO«IVS«"gBI?t- 



DEDICATION. 



I DEDICATE this GLOSSARY OF Cheshijie Words to my 
friends in Mid-Cheshire, and believe, with some pleasure, 
that these Dialectical Fragments of our old County may 
now have a chance of not vanishing entirely, amid 
changes which are rapidly sweeping away the past, and 
in many cases obliterating words for which there is no 
substitute, or which are often, with us, better expressed 
by a single word than elsewhere by a sentence. 

EGERTON LEIGH. 



M24873 



PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS 



ATTACHED TO 



WILBRAHAM'S "CHESHIRE GLOSSARY." 



Although a Glossary of the Words peculiar to each County of 
England seems as reasonable an object of curiosity as its 
History, Antiquities, Climate, and various Productions, yet it 
has been generally omitted by those persons who have un- 
dertaken to write the Histories of our different Counties. Now 
each of these counties has words, if not exclusively peculiar 
to that county, yet certainly so to that part of the kingdom 
where it is situated, and some of those words are highly 
beautiful and expressive ; many of their phrases, adages, and 
proverbs are well worth recording, and have occupied the 
attention and engaged the pens of men distinguished for talents 
and learning, among whom the name of Ray will naturally 
occur to every Englishman at all conversant with his mother- 
tongue, his work on Proverbs and on the different Dialects 
of England being one of the most popular ones in our 



PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS. 



language. But there is a still more important benefit to be 
derived from this custom, were it practised to its full extent in 
a publication comprising all the provincial Dialects of Eng- 
land, as they would, when united all together, form the only 
true and soUd foundation for a work much wanted, a General 
Dictionary of the EngHsh Language.^ 

Far be it from me to attempt in the least to depreciate the 
wonderful powers displayed by Dr. Johnson in his Dictionary, 
although it is now pretty well ascertained that he was himself 
much dissatisfied with it ; but as an Etymological Dictionary, 
it certainly has no claim whatever to praise ; for the learning 
of Dr. Johnson, extensive as it was, yet did not embrace a 
knowledge of the Gothic, Teutonic, or Anglo-Saxon languages, 
nor of the other various Northern sources of our language ; 
and moreover, he seems to have had very little acquaintance 
with the old French or Norman languages. By following the 
traces of Junius and of Skinner, he has indeed, though not 
very successfully, attempted to supply the former deficiency ; 
but to remedy the latter, namely, his ignorance of the old 
French language, was not so easy a task, his own labour and 
industry in that branch of learning being absolutely necessary, 
as there is scarcely a single Lexicographer of the English 
tongue, who, though aiming at Etymology, seems to have 
possessed a competent knowledge of the old French language. 

* This deficiency no longer exists ; as the new edition of Dr. Johnson's 
Dictionary, by the Rev, H. J. Todd, now forms a most comprehensive and 
satisfactory vocabulary of the Enghsh language. So that the author of this 
little provincial Glossary may truly say, in the words of the great poet of 
Italy, " Poca fa villa gran fiamma seconda." — Wilbraham, Second Edition. 



PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS. 



Had life, health, and the avocations of politics afforded 
to another gentleman, one of the most acute grammarians, 
and of the most profound etymologists that ever adorned this 
or possibly any other country (I mean the late Mr. Home 
Tooke), sufficient leisure to accomplish his great plan of a 
general Etymological Dictionary of the English language, we 
should certainly have at this time a clearer view into the 
origin of our mother-tongue than we have at present. 

Most of the leading terms in all our provincial Dialects, 
omitting those which are maimed and distorted by a course of 
vicious pronunciation, are not only ProvinciaHsms but Archa- 
isms also, and are to be found in our old English authors 
of various descriptions j but those terms are now no longer in 
general use, and are only to be heard in some remote province, 
where they have lingered, though actually dead to the language 
in general. 

** Ut silvse foliis pronos mutantur in annos 
Prima cadunt, ita verborum vetus interit aetas. " — Hor. 

The truth of this observation of the poet is fully illustrated 
by an example taken from this very Cheshire Dialect, there 
being several words recorded by Ray as belonging to it, which 
are even now no longer in use, at least as far as it could be 
ascertained by the investigations made by the writer of this ; 
so that they have actually perished since the time of Ray. 

Provincial words, accompanied by an explanation of the 
sense in which each of them still continues to be used in the 
districts to which they belong, would be of essential service in 
explaining many obscure terms in our early poets, the true 



PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS. 



meaning of which, although it may have puzzled and be- 
wildered the most acute and learned of our commentators, 
would perhaps be perfectly intelligible to a Devonshire, Norfolk, 
or Cheshire clown. 

Some of our provincial Dialects, as the North-Devon, Lan- 
cashire, and a few others, are already in print, though in a very 
imperfect state ; but by far the greatest number of them either 
have not yet been collected, or, if they have, exist solely in MS. 
To bring these all together, as well those which have already 
been published, as what might be collected from different MS. 
copies, as well as from individuals now living, is a most 
desirable object, and would, when accomplished, form a work 
eminently useful to any English philologist who might have the 
courage to undertake and the perseverance to accomplish a 
General Dictionary of the English language. 

In a letter I formerly received from the late Jonathan 
Boucher, Vicar of Epsom (a gentleman who, had he lived to 
execute his plan of a General English Dictionary, would 
probably have rendered the observations here made quite 
superfluous), he mentions the great similarity in many instances 
between the Dialects of Norfolk and of Cheshire, though the 
same similarity does not subsist between either of them and 
those of the interjacent counties, and expresses his wish to 
have some reason given for this circumstance. His observation 
I knew at that time to be well founded, but I professed myself 
unable to explain it ; however, having since that time reflected 
a good deal upon this singular circumstance, I will endeavour 
at least in some measure to account for it. 



PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS. 



The truth of the observation made by the same learned 
gentleman, that all Provincialisms are also Archaisms, to those 
who are well acquainted with our old English authors, is too 
evident to stand in need of an illustration. Now the county 
palatine of Chester, having been in great measure a separate 
jurisdiction till the days of Queen Elizabeth, had very little 
intercourse with the neighbouring counties ; the principal 
families of the county, and much more those in a middle 
station of life, for the most part intermarried among each 
other, and rarely made connections out gf the county, — a 
practice which is recommended in an old Cheshire adage : ^ 
so that the original customs and manners as well as the old 
language of the county have received less changes and 
innovations than those of most other parts of England. 

The inhabitants of Norfolk too, living in an almost secluded 
part of England, surrounded on three sides of it by the sea, 
having little intercourse with the adjoining counties, have 
consequently retained in great measure their ancient customs, 
■manners, and language, unchanged by a mixture with those 
of their neighbours. Even at this day in Norfolk a person 
born out of the county is called a Shireman or rather Sheer- 
man, i.e. one born in some of the shires or counties of Eng- 
land ; not without some little expression of contempt on that 
very account. So that the two languages of Cheshire and of 
Norfolk, having suffered less innovation from a mixture with 
others, have also retained more of their originality, and con- 

' "It is better to marry over the mixen than over the moor : " t.e. your 
neighbour's daughter rather than a stranger. 



PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS. 



sequently must bear a closer resemblance to each other than 
what is observable between most of the other Provincial 
Dialects of England. 

Dr. Ash in his English Dictionary has admitted many words 
which belong to the Cheshire Dialect ; these he has evidently 
taken from Ray's Proverbs : others he marks as obsolete, or 
as local. With regard to those called by him obsolete, it is 
apprehended that, if they are still in use in any part of 
England, the term obsolete is improper. Of those which he 
calls local he does not specify their precise locality, so that the 
reader is left at liberty to assign them to whatever district of 
England he pleases. He has some Cheshire words also to 
which he has attributed a different meaning from what they 
now bear in the county. These three last descriptions of 
words, namely those Dr. Ash marks as local, those called by 
him obsolete, and those to which he has given a different sense 
from what they now convey, have all a place in this imperfect 
Glossary. 

A few words are likewise admitted on the sole authority of 
Ray, though some of them never occurred to the compiler of 
this catalogue, whose communications in different parts of the 
county have since his early days been very slight, and merely 
occasional. 



The Reader will observe many words in the Cheshire 
Glossary, which may be found in Mr. Todd's edition of 
Dr. Johnson's Dictionary : these Mr. Todd speaks of as 



PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS. 



northern words, and not in common use, except in the north- 
ern counties ; but as they are so in Cheshire, I thought the 
admission of them here perfectly justifiable. To words of 
this description the name of Todd is occasionally subjoined. 
This, however, was not so much the case in my first list of 
words, which was sent to the Antiquarian Society before 
Mr. Todd's Dictionary was completed. 

The very great resemblance of the Dialects of Cheshire and 
of Lancashire may be observed by the frequent repetition of 
the abbreviation Lan. in this Glossary. 

One peculiarity in the English language is to change, if I 
am not permitted to say soften, the pronunciation of many 
words in the middle of which is the letter L preceded by either 
of the consonants A or O. Thus in common discourse we 
pronounce Bawk for Balk, Caaf for Calf, Haaf for Half, 
Wawk for Walk, Tawk for Talk, Foke for Folk, Stawk for 
Stalk, and St. Awbans for St. Albans ; but in the Cheshire 
Dialect, as in all the other Northern ones, this custom, 
and the practice of substituting the o for the a and the 
double ee for the igh, prevail in a still greater degree : thus 
we call 

All . . . ' aw 

Always awways 

Alsager . r Auger 

Altrincham !- . . names of places . . •< Autrincham 
Alvanley ^ v Awvanley 

Bold bowd 

Calf cauf 



PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS. 



Call . caw 

Can con 

Cold .• cowd 

Colt cowt 

Fold fowd 

Gold gowd 

False fause 

Foul, dirty, ugly fow 

Fool foo 

Full foo 

Fine foin 

Hold . howd 

Holt howt 

Half . hauf 

Halfpenny hawpenny 

Hall . haw 

Long lung 

Man mon 

Many mony 

Manner monner 

Might meet 

Mold mowd 

Pull poo 

Soft saft 

Bright breet 

Scald scawd 

Stool stoo 

Right reet 



PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS. 



Twine twoin 

Flight fleet 

Lane loan or lone 

Mol mal 

Sight see 

Sit seet 

Such sich 

The following abbreviations have been adopted : 

Lancashire Lan. 

Junius, Etymologicon Anglicanum .... Jun. 

Skinner, Etymologicon Ling. Angl. . . . Skin. 

Wachter, Glossarium Germanicum .... Wach. 

Ihre, Glossarium Suio-Gothicum Ihre. 

Kilian, Etymologicon Linguae Teotiscse . . Kil. 

Somneri Dictionarium Saxo-Latino-Anglicum . Som. 

Jamieson, Scotch Dictionary Jam. 

Law Latin Dictionary . . L. L. D. 

Nyerup, Glossarium Linguae Teotiscae . . . Nye. 

Promptorium Parvulorum Clericorum . . . P. P. C. 

Ortus Vocabulorum Ort. Voc. 

Ray's Proverbs Ray. 

Grose's Provincial Glossary G. P. Gl. 

Ash's Dictionary Ash. 

Palsgrave, L'Ecclaircissement de la Langue \ 

Fran^aise J 

Hormanni Vulgaria , . H. V. 



PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS. 



Littleton's Dictionary Litt. D. 

Benson's Anglo-Saxon Dictionary .... Ben. 

Shakespeare Shak. 

Old Word . . . O. W. 

Scherzius, Glossarium Germanicum Medii ^vi Scherz. 

Haldersoni Lexicon Islandicum Hald. 

Randle Holme's Academy of Armoury . . Acad, of Arm. 

Wolf's Danish Dictionary Wolf. 



LIST OF PLATES. 

1. COLONEL EGERTON LEIGH. Frontispiece. 

2. ROGER WILBRAHAM, ESQ To face page XV 

3. ARK, OR CHURCH PRESS, AT LOWER PEOVER „ ^ 

4. THE CHESHIRE BEDGOWN „ 1 8 

5. QUEEN ELIZABETH'S HORN - BOOK OR 

READAMADAZY „ 56 

6. PARISH PRESS, OR RECORD CHEST, IN MALPAS 

CHURCH „ 160 

7. INTERIOR OF WATERGATE ROW, CHESTER „ 1 73 

8. A CHESHIRE COTTAGE INTERIOR ... „ 195 

9. EMBROIDERED BACK OF QUEEN ELIZABETH'S 

HORN-BOOK „ 237 




5 '^-^"^J ) 








Roger WiLBB^JHiiiM Esuj,^' 



REASONS FOR WRITING THIS BOOK. 



Being aware that Roger Wilbraham's " Attempt at a Glossary 
of Cheshire Words " did not comprehend many County Words 
in common use ; I felt that now or never was the time to make 
another "Attempt" at a Cheshire Glossary; before the 
School Inspector, "Vastator," should succeed in expatriating, 
or making penal, any words that might have no dictionary 
nor polite parlance authority ; and before emigration, railways, 
and the blending of shires, should destroy or expatriate 
much that is curious and quaint in our Cheshirisms. 

I believe that Ray was one of the first authors, if not the 
first, who, more than two hundred years ago, in his works on 
" Provincial Words and Proverbs," embalmed and potted for 
posterity some interesting Cheshirisms. 

Since the first edition of Roger Wilbraham's Glossary 
nearly two generations have elapsed. It is sad to think (even 
since that time) how many words that then existed, but are 
not mentioned in his book, may have fallen out of our 
vocabulary \ and I wish to catalogue as many words as I can 
belonging to my county, so expressive, and in many cases so 



xvi REASONS FOR WRITING THIS BOOK. 



irreplaceable, before they disappear. I do not profess to say 
that the words in my Glossary are Cheshire solely and purely ; 
for, considering the propinquity of Shropshire, Staffordshire, 
Derby, Wales, Yorkshire, and above all Lancashire, mentioned 
by Drayton as — 

" Our own twin scyre, and joined unto us so 
That Lancashire with Cheshire still doth go," 

it is evident that our words and those of our border counties 
should be mostly interchangeable. 

My list comprises words used in Cheshire, yet not used in 
the common parlance of society, and unregistered in modem 
(and many in no) dictionaries. 

The larger portion of our Cheshire words have (where 
traceable) an Anglo-Saxon origin. I have been surprised (con- 
sidering the propinquity of the Principality) at the compara- 
tive absence of adopted Welsh words, and at the few that 
have a Latin root, considering the long presence of the 
2oth Legion at Chester, which itself derives its modern name 
(if a name of some eighteen centuries can be so called) from 
Castra. Mr. Dasent, I see, will not allow even ark (a chest) 
to be derived from the Latin area. We use a great many 
northern and Scotch words, a great many transpositions, like 
neam, for name, and waj)s for wasp. 

In some cases we follow the correct pronunciation, though it is 
ignored by civilization. We pronounce wound with the proper ou 
intonation like hound. In common, or as it is called correct (?) 
parlance, the word is pronounced as if spelt with double oo. 



REASONS FOR WRITING THIS BOOK, xvii 



I began this Glossary long since, but have from time to 
time delayed the publication from additional words dropping 
in, and I wished to avoid Addenda, Omissions, &c. I now 
publish, and hope any who may read the Glossary will forward 
to me any omissions I have made. I leave Wilbraham's 
Preliminary Observations to tell their own tale ; I do not 
entirely agree with them, particularly in the similarity of 
Cheshire and Norfolk dialects, and the reasons for such 
alleged resemblance, and a Norfolk antiquary takes the same 
view as myself 

I have adopted Wilbraham's '^ Glossary " with certain 
unimportant alterations. The appendix and omissions I 
have woven into the body of the work ; as, in a book of 
reference, there is nothing so puzzling as to have to search 
in two or three places, instead of having everything so?fs main. 
Some words I have omitted, like J^i'ck, Beesom, Tom Tit, &c., 
which, if they ever were provincialisms, are now so universally 
used as to take them out of that category. I have also 
omitted some part of the derivations of many of the words. 
All the words in Wilbraham that remain as in his " Glossary " 
I have marked with a w. Those I have added are marked 
with an l. And words in Wilbraham to which I have added 
any remarks, or altered in any way, have no letter to them. 

I have to thank Mr. Wilbraham of Delamere for giving 
me access to his ancestor's notes ; but whatever Roger 
Wilbraham had written seems to have been published, and 
after the second edition he seems to have made no 

b 



xviii REASONS FOR WRITING THIS BOOK. 



more notes. 'I have put Roger Wilbraham in his proper 
place. I acknowledge the kind assistance given me by the 
Hon. J. Warren, who at one time I hoped would have 
undertaken a task he would have carried out much better 
than myself. Mr. Davies of Warrington, Mr. Vawdrey of 
Tushingham Hall, Whitchurch, have been able and most 
willing to help me. 

I also here acknowledge with thanks the help I have 
received from Mr. Thomas Hughes, F.S.A., Secretary of the 
Chester Archaeological Society, Mrs. Yates, Mr. Holland, Mr. 
Earwaker, of Oxford, Mr. Parrott, Mr. Tayjor, Mr. Booking, 
Mr. Croston, and Mr. Dillon, Mr. Lowe, of Macclesfield, 
Mr. Weston, of Northwych, Mr. Chadwick, Mr. Pendlebury, 
Mr. Weatherhill and others, who either sent me words new 
to me, or corroborated those I had by me. I wish further 
to express my thanks to Miss Tippinge, the Hon. Mrs. 
Mitford, Miss Browne, the Rector of Malpas, and others, 
for their kind and ready assistance. 

I have been disappointed, I am bound to confess, 
in receiving very few answers, in reply to my applica- 
tions for help, through the local papers, which I thought 
would have opened out for me mines of antiquarian lore. 
Through Notes and Queries^ I understand that another was 
pursuing the same subject as myself, and I hope that what 
I may have missed may have been rescued from obHvion 
by other hands, and vice versa; so that our two Glossaries 
may bring about a full and satisfactory result. 

For the correctness of most of the words in my Glossary 



REASONS FOR WRITING THIS BOOK, xix 



I can vouch, from having heard or met with them myself, 
or from having been corroborated or authenticated by those 
on whom I rely. When I have not seen a word spelt in print, 
I have adopted the phonetic spelling. 

An " English Dialect Society " has lately been originated 
under the auspices of the Rev. Walter Skeat, A.M., of 
Cambridge. The annual subscription is only ten shillings, 
and nineteen Glossaries of different counties and parts of 
Great Britain (some by lady authoresses), are already in 
progress ; and I hope the result will be the rescue of many 
hundred old English Words from oblivion before it is too late. 
The natural result will be that many dark passages in 
Shakespeare and other old authors will be easily explained, 
and many words might I think be readopted with advantage, 
which in select society require two or three words to express 
the same idea. 

As for the few illustrations in the book, they may be un- 
usual in a Glossary, even in this illustrating age, but I am 
of the opinion of Horace — 

** Segnius irritant animos demissa per aurem, 
Quam, quae sunt oculis subjecta fidellibus." 

EGERTON LEIGH. 
The West Hall, 
High Leigh. 
June, 1876. 



NOTICE 



As these sheets were passing through the press, 
we have received, with feelings of the deepest 
regret, the intelligence of the AUTHOR'S death. 

While engaged in the endeavour to rescue from 
oblivion the record of decaying or obsolete 
Cheshire Words, his own life has yielded to 
the universal influence to which men, their words 
and works are aHke subjected, and has, alas ! to 
be added to the long catalogue of the Past. 

This is no place for panegyric, but perhaps 
it may not be presumptuous to express the hope 
that his own memory may be handed down 
in company with those WORDS of the "Old 
County," to* whose prolonged existence he was 
so diligent and affectionate a contributor. 

D. W. R. 



CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 



A. '• ■■'••'■ ■■■• ■■ 

Abacko, prep. — Behind, l. " Abacko behind, Hke a 
donkey's tail/' O.C.P. 

Aboon, adj. — Above, i. 

About, to get, v. — " To get about of a person," is to get 
without him, to get rid of him. l. 

Above a bit, (expression). — A good deal, much. l. 

Abricock, s. — Apricot, mentioned by Gerard ; in fact it was 
the only name formerly — perhaps from Apricus, Latin, sunny. 
In an old " Reccit Booke 167I-" I find a Recipe ''to drye 
Abricocks," and another for " Abricock Past," (paste). There 
is an old word " Apricate," to bask in the sun. l. 

AccLJSSiNG, adj, — Disputing, wrangling. '* Come, no acces- 
sing." It may be a form of the modern "A cursing;" — " Here's 
a fellow a cussing like any think." l. 

AcHORN, or rather Atchorn, s, — An acorn — "To go 
atchoming " is to go picking up acorns — '' The pigs are gone 
o' atchorning." — " Agden" (near High Leigh) means the place 
of oaks or valley of oaks — A.S. Aac, Oak; Den, a valley. — In 
Greek livl^a^, a place abounding in trees, diySpoy a tree. 
" Acton," the town of oaks. l. 



CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. aCK 



Acker SPRIT, pari. — Said of potatoes when the roots have 
germinated before the time of taking them up, by which the 
old roots become less fit for food, and the young untimely 
root is neither ripe nor developed. The term was used, or 
revived, in the exceptionally dry summer of 1868, when there 
was scarcely a drop of rain for three months, and when the 
fields were the same colour as the roads ; the sheep (an un- 
common thing for healthy sheep) drank regularly; the crops of 
hay were s"o^ H^hl: ^nd short, that there was nothing for the 
"pikel" to take hold of, turnips almost non-existent, ditto 
maiigclds, and >' potatoes were very generally Ackersprit, a 
second crop having formed on the new potatoes. Corn, and 
particularly barley, which has germinated before malting is 
said (by maltsters in the eastern counties of England) to be 
acrespired, or eagerspired, i.e. early grown. Skinner derives 
the word from A.S. ^^^cer, seges satum," and " nostro 
spire spica." l. 

AcKERSPYRE, 7>. — To sprout or germinate. Jam. w. 

AcTiLLY, adv. — Actually, l. 

Adam's flannel, s. — Vide Blanket Mullein 

Adbut, s. — The same as Adland, q. v. l. 

Adder's-grass, s. — Cynosorebis — Gerard's Herbal, l. 

Addle, Yeddle, v. — To earn, to thrive, to merit by labour. 
Adlings, wages — A.S. ^dlian, reward, w. 

Addlings, s. — Wages, earnings from labour, w. 

Adland, s. — A form of headland. The turning ground for 
the plough. The butts in a ploughed field which lie at right 
angles to the general direction of the others, the part close to 
the hedge. "He's turned a narrow Adland" is an O.C.P. 
meaning that he's had a narrow escape from death, l. 

Adoe, s. — Much to do, hurry, bustle, difficulty, P.P.C, 
"Much adoe about nothing." l. 



AGO CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 



Afeard, sometimes Afeart, adj. — Afraid, l. 

Affadil, s. — The daffodil — " Flower of Affadille " is, in 
an old Lincoln cathedral manuscript, recommended as a cure 
for madness, l. 

Affrodile, s. — The daffodil, w. 

Afore, adv, — Before — one of the many biblical words in 
use in Cheshire, l. 

After, adv. — About. '' He's after taking another farm." l. 

Afterings, s. — The last milk (generally considered the 
richest). So called because, in all well managed dairies, a 
milker follows after the others to made sure of the afterings. l. 

Agate, adv. — To be about a thing. What are you doing ? 
"I'm agate ploughing." — It may be expressed by a person 
" being occupied in doing," — it may also be called expletive. 
— The sense seldom requires the word, but few words are so 
generally used. "A man not only "falls" a tree but "he is 
agate falling it." Sometimes when you ask after a sick person 
you are answered, " He's agate again," i.e. about and able to 
follow his work again. Here, the sense requires "agate." At 
the time of the last comet's appearance, some one observed 
" there's a comet agate." l. 

Agen, prep. — Against. "Agen the gate," " Agen the 
marriage." l. 

Agg, or Egg, v. — To incite or provoke, from A.S. eggian, to 
tgg on—" Oi've no peeas, oo's egging at me aw dee." w. 

Agged,/^^/. — Tired. The common English word is haggard, 
i.e., worn out, looks produced by fatigue and suffering, l. 

Agoe, s. — The ague. One of those diseases which used to 
be very common in Cheshire, but which is now almost un- 
heard of. The number of old receipts and charms to cure it 

B 2 



4 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. AGR 

prove its former prevalence. There is a story of a Judge of 
former days having to try a very old woman for witchcraft, the 
principal evidence against her being a charm against the ague. 
It was handed up to the Judge, and he recognized it as one he 
had written on the spur of the moment when, in his wild days, 
he could not pay his bill at the public house, and, to clear the 
account, had given it to the ale wife, then before him, to cure 
her daughter, who was suffering from the ague ! The following 
is a receipt in m}' possession for the cure of the ague in a 
manuscript book of receipts more than two hundred years old: 
" Take the eare of a mouse and bruise it, then take salte and 
stamp them together, and make a pultas (poultice) with vinegar, 
and so lay it to the wrist?." l. 

Agreeable, a^/j. — Consenting. *' He is not agreeable," i.e. 
he refuses his consent, and will not a^ree to some plan or re- 
quest. In short, it is the root sense of agreeable when a 
person does agree ; he is naturally considered agreeable or 
pleasant, which is the common (though second) meaning, l. 

Agrimony, s. — Penny grass., l. 

Agues, s. — Haws, hawthorn berries, l. 

Aimer gate. — A nearer way. *' Are you going to Knutsford 
by the road ? " " No, au knows an aimer gate." l. 

AiTCH, V. — To ache. l. 

AiTCH, AiTCHES, s. — So pronounccd. Ache, pain. It is 
also used to express a paroxysm of an intermitting disorder. 
A.S. aa, ece, cece. " Hot aitches " are flushings of the 
face. w. 

Alecost, s. — Balsamita Vulgaris or FyTethrum lariacdum , 
also called '" Cost Mary," an herb that smells like the pea- 
mint. L. 



ANA CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 5 

Ale Tasters, s. — Officers appointed in Chester, Congleton, 
&c., to prevent the adulteration of ale. l. 

Algerining. — Prowling about with intent to rob, robbery. 
" He goes about algerining and begging," often said of a 
tramp. A very curious word. Its derivation from the Algiers 
pirates is self-evident, l. 

Alkin. — All sorts, l. 

Allheal, s. — Pi'unella Vulgaris. It has several provincial 
names referring to its real or supposed healing quahties. l. 

All ALONG, ^^z^. — When abbreviated, ''awlong"or "awlung." 
In consequence of, or owing to. " Awlong o' ould ooman, we 
couldna come." A.S. G clang, l. 

Allegar, s. — Vinegar made of ale, usually mixed with 
other vinegar, i.e. ale aigre. Vinegar has somewhat a similar 
derivation, vm aigre. l. 

Allegar Skrikers. — Thin gruel, with vinegar in it for 
flavour. L. 

Allis, adx'. — Always, l. 

Allmacks. — All sorts, i^ 

All to nought, adv. — " He's all to nought the best man," 
i.e. He is doubtless, &c. l. 

Amang, adv. — Between, among. ^' Beat her amang her 
een " ; a suggestion from a drover to make a '* curst " cow go the 
right way. l. 

Ame, s. — Haft, handle ; " Th' axe ame's broke." l. 

Anall, or Inall, exc. — Often used but never wanted. '' He 
bought horse, and cart, anall" ; vide Inall. l. 

Anan, an adverb used as a verb. — '' What's that ? " " What 
do you say ? " Used to let the person with whom you are 
talking know that you have not heard him, or not caught his 



CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. ANC 



meaning. In common discourse the first letter is often clipped, 
and '^ nan " used for " anan." w. 

Ancliff, s. — Ankle. " Th' neatest anclifF as ever oi seed." l. 

Aneend, adv. — Upright, not lying down on one end. When 
applied to a four-footed animal it means "rearing," or in 
heraldic language " rampant." It also means perpetually, 
evermore. It is always pronounced aneend, and possibly 
should be written oneend. " He's plaguing me aneend," i.e. 
without intermission, l. 

Anent. — About. " I know nought anent him." l. 

Anenst, or Anainst, adv. — Opposite, over against, w. 

Anguish, s. — Used in pain of ^(?dy. French, aiigoisse. l. 

Antiprunty, adj. — Restive, as applied to a horse, t^ 

Antrims, s, — Whims, queer fancies, vagaries, like tantrums 
and anticks. Tantrums generally imply some proceedings pro- 
duced by temper ; in anticks, there is more fun than temper, l. 

Apple-Pie, s. — The plant Artemisia Vulgaris^ Mugwort, 
sometimes also Epilobium HirsiUum. The Great Hairy Willow 
Herb is called Apple-Pie, the smell resembling that of the 
apple. L. 

Appo, s. — Apple. Some one praising apple dumplings as 
savoury and economical, a bystander exclaimed : " I dunna 
mak much count o' appos, sin' an" uncle o' mine died o' appo- 
plexy." L. 

*' Apse, or Arpse upon thee ! " excl. — Often used in scolding 
a child for some peccadillo ; like ^' out upon thee." l. 

Ar,* adj. — High or higher, possibly from Latin arduus, or 
ardea; it reminds one of the motto of the Heron family, 
" Ardua petit Ardea. " l. 

* Arley, the high meadow, a variety of the name of High Leigh, which 
it joins. 



ASH CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 7 

Ark, Arke, s. — A Chest, called Standard formerly. A corn 
ark, a flour ark. An " Arkwright " was the maker of arks. In 
the Foedera^ 45 Henry HI., there was a Royal warrant to hunt 
all Jews' arks throughout the kingdom. These arks are often 
elaborately carved, and sometimes contain secret drawers. In 
Wales "arkh " is used in the sense of a coffin, l. 

ANOINT ! excL — " Away with you ! " " Stand off; " vide Rynt. 
One of the ideas is that this exclamation may be deri\'ed from 
A Royji Tree, the Rowan — 

*' The spells were vain, the hag returns 
To the queen in sorrowful mood, 
Crying that witches have no power 
Where there is rown tree wood." 

Brand's Popular Antiquities. l. 

Arout, adv. — Out of doors, l. 

Arrh, s. — A mark or scar. A.S. Scear, a division, or Ice- 
landic, de?'. Adam Martindale {1623) in his Life says his face 
was not " arred '' by the small-pox, l. 

Arsemart, — s. Polygotiunty Knot Grass. — v. Lake Weed. 

L. 

Arsey Varsey, adv. — Topsaturvey. Head over heels, l. 

Arto ? ?A— Art thou. " Arto theer, Jack ? " ''Yoi." l. 

Ash Keys, s. — The seed of the ash. The failure of this 
crop is supposed to predict the death of one of the royal 
family. Amongst the Northern nations, cesk (A.S. ash) also 
meant a man, the tradition being that the first man v/as made 
out of an ash. It also meant a leader, and gave the name to 
Hengist's son. It is supposed in Cheshire, — according to the 
O.C.S. '* An ash for a squash, and an oak for a choke, — " 
that if the ash leaves precede those of the oak the season 
will be wet, — if vice versa, dry. The seeds of the sycamore 
are also called keys, being shaped something like the old 
clock-key. i,. 



CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. ASH 



Ashlar, s. — Stone not left in the rough, but squared for 
building, l. 

Ashpit, s. — The general receptacle of the rubbish and dirt 
of a house : vide Esse Hole, more commonly used. l. 

Ask, Asker, s. — A newt, — land or water, w. 

Askings, s. — The publication of the marriage-banns ; v/de 

"AXINGS." l. 

Asp, i". — The aspen-tree. "Shaking like an asp." O.C.P. l. 

Aster, s.— Easter, w. 

Astound, pari. — Astonished, w. 

At, pr/>. for in. — " A pain at her stomach." l. 

Atafter, adv. and /;r/. — After, afterwards. Chaucer has 
" I hope to see you atafter estur." — Morte d' Arthur. — " I'll 
be with ye at after," i.e. " when I have finished." l. 

Athurtens, adv. — The other side of. There is a pro- 
vincialism in Westmoreland and other counties, — " Athurt — " 
which is identical with athwart or across. " He's gone athurt " 
means, he has taken a short cut. l. 

Attercob, s. — A spider. Strictly, — poisonhead. l. 

Atter, s. — Poison. A.S. attor., ator, after, ater^ Poison. 
Latin, ater. Black is a common epithet for poison, the result 
of many poisons is either really or ideally to turn the body 
black, l. 

" Membris agit atra venena." — Georgic 2, 130. L. 

AuDFARANT, adj. — Old fashioned. " And " is often used for 

old. L. 

Aujer, s. — The Cheshire way of pronouncing the name of 
the village of Alsager. l. 

Aunder, s. — Afternoon. Cheshire pronunciation ''oneder." 
(Ray.) L. 



B\C CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 9 

Aw. — I, also All, I'll. "Aw munna," I must not. l. 

Aw'd. — I had. l. 

AVhoam. — At home. l. 

AwMiNG, J. — Pantry, l. 

AwMiNG, adj. — Standing, and staring, and gaping. '' What 
aie ye awming at ? " l. 

AwTER, v. — Another form of Alter. 

Ax, V. — To ask. A.S. Acsiaii. l. 

AxiNGS, s. — The axings mean the banns. " Oo had the 
axings put up." l. 

Axleworth, s. — A Grinder, l. 

A is pronounced in " water " like ai in " wait," or a in " lay " ; 
like the o in " lone," in the word *' lane," like au in " half," like 
aw is in " scald," and like the French A^ or like the English 
pronunciation of A in " harm," in the word "warm," (in which 
the received pronunciation is like the ^ in *' or," or the a in 
"war") and Hke the ou in "cough," pronounced long in the 
word, " calf," like au in false. 

B. 

Babby-house, v. — The toy-house formed on the doorstep 
by children, with broken crockery, sand, &c. See also Ba-mugs, 
and Booty-house, l. 

Babelavante, s. — A babbler, Chester Plays, l. 

Bacco, s. — Tobacco. Cheshire people, like the Venetians, 
cut off a syllable ; only the Venetians cut off the second and 
we the first : gree for agree, bacco for tobacco, licksome for 
frolicksome. l. 

Bach, s. — A fall or a stream, as in "Sandbach." German 
"Bach." l. 

Backen, v. — To delay, to keep back. " This fou weather 
backens ploughing." l. 



lo CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. BAG 



Backing, s. — Th6 backing of a hedge is the ground just 
behind it. l. 

Back-nor-edge. — "I can mak back-nor-edge of him," i.e. 
"I can make nothing of him," O.C.S. l. 

Back o' behint, a^iv. — Out of the way. A very secluded 
house is said to. be " back o' behint," a sort of Grecian double 
superlative, absolutely and entirely out of the way, behind 
what is already most behind, l. 

Backs, s. — The dry ridge thrown up originally out of the 
ditch, upon which the hedge is planted. Sj'/i. " cops." '' They 
grows on dry backs." l. 

Backside, s. — The backside of a hedge or wall means the 
opposite side from that on which you are standing, (like back- 
ing). It is also used in other ways. " The backside or the 
backend of the year " means about the end of the year. l. 

Backwarding, s. — A change from excessive joy and feast- 
ing, to mourning, like that for a child dying after the rejoicings 
on its being christened. I told my old gardener, as I was 
returning from a funeral, that the last time I had driven to the 
same church was on the occasion of a gay wedding. " Ah," 
said he, ^' there is allis a bacarding." l. 

Baddin' Badding.— Playing at hockey with sticks and a 
wooden ball or piece of wood, a *'kiffey." ' l. 

Badge, v. — To cut corn closer with a sickle (using it in a 
particular way) than can be done with a scythe, l. 

Badger, s. — A dealer in corn. A higgler who makes the 
round of the country to collect butter, eggs, poultry, and fruit 
There is an A.S. verb Byegar or Byegeear to buy ; but the 
derivation is too far-fetched perhaps. 

Badging Hook, s. — The sickle used for badging. l. 



BAl CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 



Bad luck top end. — When this is said of a person, it means 
that he is " not all there," a little crazed, l. 

Baffler, s. — A top rail to a sunk fence, wall, or cop, 
to l?qffle any attempt of cattle, but particularly sheep, to break 
fence, l. 

Bag, s. — The bag that holds the meal is put for the meal 
itself. " Bag and pump don't pay like bag and milk." O.C.P. 
i.e. meal and water have not the same fattening qualities as 
meal and milk, — probably buttermilk, l. 

Baggs, s. — The commercial traveller of former days who 
travelled on horseback, with his samples, «S^c. in a pair of 
saddle bags ; hence the origin of the sobriquet. They 
went by the name of Leather a — d Bagmen. Another name 
in later days was K.C.B., Knight of the Carpet Bag. Now 
they of course all travel by rail. l. 

Bagging, i-. — Bagging time, s. Bagging is a meal (a slight 
one) eaten at Bagging time (about four o'clock) by labourers. 

Bagging, /«r/. — Cutting with a Bill— called a Bagging Bill 
or Bagging Hook — or Badging Hook. l. 

Bag Mouth. — " The Bag Mouth was open " is a Cheshire 
expression to show that everything that was unknown has 
become public. '' Au nevei knew how things were with him, 
till the Bailies were in the house, and then the Bag mouth 
was open." l. 

Bagskin, s. — What may be called the tripe of the calf, 
which is cut up and sold for curdling the milk in making 
cheese — Rennett. l. 

Baily, s. — Bailiff — " They say Bailies are in the house." l. 

Bain, a^J. — Near, convenient : the latter in the Irish sense, 
like the man " who coorted the farmer's daughter who lived 
convanient to the Isle of Man." l. 



CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. BAl 



Baint, v. — I baint, or it baint, I am not, or it is not. l. 

Baith. — Both. One of the not infrequent provinciaUsms 

found in Cheshire and Scotland. In Hearne's Glossary to 

Robert of Gloucester's Chronicle, we have bathe used for 
both : beithe is the same thing. 

Baker-kneed, adj. — Vide Knock-kneed, l. 

Bald Coot, j.— The Ball-faced Coot. l. 

Balk, s. — iV Beam. Balks, s. — The hayloft so called, by 
being divided or arranged amongst the divisions caused by 
the timber (in old houses most massive) of the roof. Balk in 
the old northern languages is a separation or division, and 
Balk is used for Chapters (which are identical with divisions), 
in the old Swedish laws. w. Balk is also the unploughed 
land between the furrows, l. 

Ball Money, s. — Largesse demanded from a wedding party 
to obtain which (particularly if the bridegroom is known as a 
stingy man) a rope is sometimes drawn across the road. It 
was so called because formerly the money .was supposed to go 
towards the football fund of the parish. Now, like the gold of 
Croesus, it goes down the^ throats of the receivers in a liquid 
state. L. 

Ballock Grass, j-.— The herb Dogstones. — Gerard, l. 

Ballow, v. — To select or claim. It is used by boys at play 
when they have the option of choosing their goal or selecting 
another boy for their side. It may be derived from A.S. 
belian, to bellow — in that high falsetto voice so well known by 
those who have seen boys at play. " I ballow or bellow me 
that situation or that person." -'Ihre has wdiga or valjan 
eligere, and wal, electio." The w is often changed into the v, 
and the v and b are also convertible letrers. " Wdlga mig^' 
choose me that situation, w. See also Barley. 

Bally, s. — i e. a bellyful, is a litter of pigs. w. 



BAR CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 13 



Bamboozled. — Bothered, adj. — Done. l. 

Ba Mugs, or Bower Mugs, s, — Pieces of crockery used as 
playthings* by children, perhaps to dress up a bower, vide 
Booty House, l. 

Bandy Hewitt, s. — A turnspit, a bandy-legged, ill-favoured 
dog. The word Hewitt may refer to some bandy-legged man 
of the period when the name may have been given, and crept 
by degrees into general use, like Ludlum's dog, Moss' mare, 
&c. Hewitt is an old and common Cheshire name. l. 

Bang, v. — To excel, to beat, to surpass, *' That bangs 
everything ! " " I'll warrant I'll bang thee." In Ireland they 
have a saying, " That bangs Bannagher, and Bannagher bangs 
the devil." l. 

Bangbeggar, s.—h. beadle, one of whose duties it was to 
take up and drive away any beggars in the district, and " pro- 
secute them as the Law directs." l. 

Bangle, v. — To waste, w. 

Bannut Tree, s. — A growing walnut. When it is cut 
up it is called walnut, like sheep and mutton, calf and 
veal. L. 

Bansel, v. — To beat. l. 

Bant, s. — The bands with which corn is tied up when cut, 
also string. Band and bant are evidently first cousins, l. 

Barley Breake, x.— An old Cheshire game. Mentioned 
amongst others in the Randal Holme MSS. l. 

Barging. — Slanging, perhaps Bargeman's Billingsgate, l. 

Bark Wain. — When the bark of a tree, as is the case with 
a yew, grows into the timber and spoils it. Query, whether 
it is not bark vein^ the vein of the bark growing about the 
timber, l. 



14 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 



Barley, v. — To claim. *' Barley me the first blow," called 
out at rounders by the boy who first seizes the bat. Perhaps 
from the French /^r/(?r, "bespeak me." Vide Ballow. l. 

Barm Baw, s. — A Barm ball. Dough rolled up and boiled 
like a dumpling, l. 

Barmskin, s. — A leather apron. Barm^ O.W. the breast, 
A.S. Barjfie, sinus, w. 

Barn, v. — Barning, see Bawm. l. 

Barn, s. — For bairn, a child. Chester Plays, i. 192. l. 

Barrow, s. — Conical baskets, in which, in the Salt districts, 
salt is put to drain. A barrow contained about six pecks. Used 
also at the Worcester Wych, Droitwych. 200 years ago the 
price of a barrow full was is. ^d. l. 

Barrow Makers, s. — The makers of the preceding bar- 
rows. L. 

Barst, v. — and perfect of verb to barst, i.e. burst, part, 
barsten. w. " He's welly fit to barst," " he's almost ready to 
burst." L. 

Bass, s. — A low stool. French Bas. l. 

Basses, s. — Clinkers, vitrified part of coals that will not 
burn . L. 

Bassin, s. — A wooden bowl in which they make up butter : 
evidently basin, l. 

Bassock, s. — A form, perhaps the original form, of hassock : 
we have the term of " bass matting," matting made of flags 
and reeds. Hassock may refer to its hay stuffing, d. 

Baste, v. — To beat, from the French. " Baste him well," 
i.e. " Gee him a good thrashing." l. 

Bastil, s. — The Poor House or Work House. Not used 
simply except as a synonym. Very common throughout 



BAW CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 15 



England ; of course the origin of the word would be the French 
State prison, the Bastile, destroyed by the Paris mob in 1789. l. 

Bate, or Bait, v. — A factory, or other hand, having part 
of his wages deducted for negHgence or any other reason, is 
said to be " bated." l. 

Batch, s. — In addition to the common sense of a general 
baking, this word implies the whole of the wheat flour which 
is used for making common household bread, after the bran 
has been separated from it. It also is used for the small bag 
of corn taken by a cottager to be ground. Coarse flour is 
called batch flour. *' He's the best of the batch " or of the 
family, O.C.S. l. 

Bath, v. — To bathe, to foment, l. 

Batt, v. — To move the eyelids up and down, to wink ; to 
bate is a term in falconry, when the falcon moves his wings up 
and down. w. 

Batten, s. — A truss of hay or straw, l. 

Batter, v. — In building a wall, particularly against a bank, 
the term batter is used, and means to make the wall incline 
so as to withstand by its inclination the pressure of the 
earth which, were the wall not battered, would bring it 
down. L. 

Battril, s. — A flat piece of wood used by wasl>erwomen to 
beat their linen, l. 

Batter Dock, s. — Petasites Vtdgaris. Butter Bur. l. 

Baugh, s. — A pudding made of milk and flour only. l. 

Bawk, v. — To balk. " Oi could a leapt the bruck, easy 
enoo, if he hadna bawked me." 

Bawm, v. — To dress up, to adorn. At Appleton, there was 
an old custom on the day of the Wakes, to clip and adorn a 



CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. baw 



thorn that stands not far from Appleton Thorn Public House. 
Vide *' Cheshire Ballads and Legends y This custom was spoken 
of at Daresbury Sessions, 1844. The landlord of the " Thorn," 
and other witnesses called it " barning the thorn." Bawm is 
used in Nycodemus Gospel, 4to, 1532, *'And than this mayde 
Syndonia washed arid bawmed her." Bawm is a good old 
word. We have still the expression common in Cheshire 
of ''vShe dressed her," "She washed her," using her for 
herself, l. 

Bawm, s. — Balm. 

" As men a potful of bawme held 
Emong a basketful of Roses." 

Chauckr. l. 

Bawson, or Bawsin, adj. — Great, large. In Andrew Bond's 
Breviary of Healthy we meet with " a balson ele," for a very 
large eel. Sir John Falstaff in Cheshire would have been, '"a 
great Bawson," i.e. bursten thing. 

Bawson, or Bawsin, s. — A badger (bawsand, bassand, or 
bawsint. Jam.) is applied to a horse or cow having a white 
spot on the forehead or face, which is the case with the badger. 
Gavin Douglas in his T?'anslation of Virgil, translates frontem 
album by " bawsand faced." Balzano in Italian, Balzan French, 
both mean a horse with a white leg different from the colour of 
the horse : this may be the origin of Douglas' " bawsand faced." 
Bawsont in our northern dialect means an animal with a white 
stripe down the face. Ball, or baw, is a very common name 
for a cart horse, perhaps originally for a horse with a white 
face or blaze. The dying out of the badger, for I do not 
suppose that a wild one now (1874) exists in Cheshire, 
will naturally, if it has not already done so, cause its old 
nanle to drop out of the Glossary of Cheshire Words. 



BEA CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 



Bawtert, adj, — " Bavvtert wi' slutch," clogged with slutch or 
mud. The Lancashire word is " beshote." Bawtert is pro- 
bably a variety of bedirt. ''Be^' is a very common adjunct 
in English, and seems to have no effect on the sense of the 
word to which it is joined, like bedevilled, bedabbled, &c. l. 

Bay, s. — A division, like a barn, only open partially on two, 
three, or all sides, with a slate roof, where hay is placed instead 
of being stacked in a hay rick. It is something synonymous 
with balks, except that in the latter case the hay is completely 
under cover. The bay is a peculiarity of Cheshire, and may 
have originated, either from the small quantity of wheat grown 
in the county, and consequent scarcity of straw \ or from the 
wet weather so general in July, when it is of the greatest im- 
portance to save the hay, if only by driblets at a time ; or 
perhaps the bay may owe its origin to these two causes com- 
bined. Four poles with a moveable roof capable of being raised 
or lowered at pleasure, have now come into very general use ; 
and the hay in them is supposed to be of better quality than 
in a bay, as there are no side walls to take off the pressure so 
essential in the manufacture of hay, and the safety from rain 
is more assured. Bay is spelt (in two consecutive sentences; 
in an old Cheshire will (A.D. 1588) '' Bey " and '' Baie.^' l. 

Bayes, or Baize, s. — To play or run at baize. A county 
sport, — a laurel garland, the reward. Steel's collections (Bod- 
leian), about 1750. Prisoners' base, locally "Prison bars." l. 

Bearbine, s. — The Woodbine, l. 

Bear, s. — A door mat. Perhaps formerly often made of a 
bearskin. The rough rope-mat resembles one. l. 

Beard, i\ — To trim a hedge, l. 

Beardings, s. or A Beard Hedge. — Bushes stuck into 
the bank of a newly planted hedge to protect the quicks, w. 



CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. BF.A 



Bearward, s. — Bearleader or tender. In the old accounts 
of Congleton between 1589 and 16 13, we find payments to 
the Bearward for fetching the bear to the wakes, " for wine, 
sack, spice, almonds, figs, and beere at the great bear bate." 
The Bear's Head and the White Bear Inns still testify to the 
former favourite sport of the town. Erasmus (who visited 
England in the time of Henry VIII.) says there were many 
herds of bears supported in this country for the purpose of 
baiting. Vzde " Congleton Bear Town," — Cheshire Legends 
aftd Ballads, l. 

Beastings, s. Beast Milk. — The first milk after calving. 
BiEST, the same thing, is Flemish, w. 

Beawn, /d^r/. — Going to set off. " Awm beawn to Stop- 
port, "I.e. " I'm bound to Stockport." l. 

Bedeet, v. — To dirty or foul. To Deet means the same. 
" It is an ill bird that bedeets its own nest," O.C.P., answer- 
ing somewhat to the Scotch proverb, " That corbies maunna 
pick out corbies' een." 

Bedfast, a. — III in bed, confined to bed. l. 

Bedg<)WN, s. — The old dress of Cheshire, most becoming to 
the figure, worn within the memory of the present generation, 
by farmers' wives, peasant women, and most women servants. 
It is a short gown open in front, tied at the waist, in fact 
an upper jacket to the striped linsey petticoat, generally 
red and black, or blue-black, and worn everywhere except in 
bed. L. 

Bedding pewter brass. — A warming-pan, mentioned in 
Margaret Holforde's will, i6th century, l. 

Been, or bin, v. — Present tense of verb " to be " derived 
from the old verb " ben " "to be." w. 

Been, s. — Plural of bee, like oxen, housen, hosen, &c. 




• . 1 • * 



» '. » » » » 



» t » i 



THE CHESHIRE BEDGOWN. 



IID CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 19 



Bee-nettle, s. — The yellow archangel nettle, l. 

Beer, s. — Force or power, l. 

Beet the fire, v. — To light, or, as we say, to make the 
fire. From the Teutonic Boeten het vier, — strtiere igiiem. w. 

Beggars' Basket, s. — Lungwort, Pulmoiiaria officinalis, l. 

Beggar's Velvet, s, — The fluff under the bedsteads in 
untidy houses. L. 

Beldering, part, — Bellowing, from belder, to hallo, l. 

Bellart, or Bellot, s. — A bearleader. The name of an 
old Cheshire family now extinct, w. 

Bells, s, — The Fuchsia, l. 

Bell-flower, s. — Cainpa7iula. l. 

Bent, s. — Coarse rushy grass, l. 

Berrin, s. — A funeral. Berry-Hole, s, — A grave, l. 

Berry, s. — A gooseberry, w. 

Best, v. — To get the better of another, in argument or 
otherwise. " I bested him." l. 

Better, adv. — More. " The child is better nor two months 
old." L. 

Better side, used adverbially. ^Nearly. " We haven't 
seen him for the better side of a fortnight," i.e. more than a 
fortnight, l. 

Bezountee ! — By Dad ! An expletive of surprise, l. 

Bidding, s. — An invitation to a funeral ; from the A.S. 
hiddan^ to pray. It is also an invitation to a wedding feast. 
Cowell in his Law Dictionary^ " in voce bid ale, or bid all," 
says, '* It is the invitation of friends to drink in some poor 

c 2 



CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 



man's house, who thereby hopes to receive some assistant 
benevolence from the guests for his rehef. Written by some 
Bildale, and mentioned in Henry VIII. cap. 6. The same is 
used also in the county palatine of Chester, by persons of 
quahty, towards the relief of their own, or their neighbours', 
poor tenants." w. 

Bide, or Abide, v. — To endure. Bide is used for to stay 
or remain, w. 

BiGGENiNG, s. — The recovery of a mother after child- 
birth, w. 

Bight, s. — A projection in a river, a jutting or receding 
point. It is commonly used in sea voyages, as the Bight of 
Benin on the Coast of Africa. A.S. byga, a corner, w. 

Bight, or Bought — Is used for anything folded or doubled ; 
a sheet of paper is by Hirman in his " Vulgaria " called a 
bought of paper, w. 

Bight of the Elbow. — The bend of the elbow. A.S. 
Bygan, fledere. w. 

Bilberry, s. — The Whortleberry. In the north, Blae- 
berry. \v. 

Bin, v. — "How bin thee to-dee?" ''How are you to- 
day?" L. 

Bin, Binne, Bing, s. — The place where the fodder is put 
for the cattle. A,S. Bifine, prcesepe. w. 

Bind, v. — To tend, " The road binds that way." l. 

Binders, s. — The cloth put round cheeses after press- 
ing, l. 

Binding round. — A covey of birds, wheeling or inclining 
in their flight, l. 



BIS CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 



BiNG, V. — To begin to turn sour ; said of milk. w. 
BiNGY, adj. — Sour. ** It will be a bad churn to-day, the 
cream smells quite bingy." l. 

Birr, Birre, Beer, Ber, Burre, v. — Impetus. To " take 
birr " is to run with violence, as a person does before taking a 
great leap. See the Glossary to Widiffe's New Testament by 
Lewis, Matthew viii. " And lo ! in a great bire all the drove 
(of swine) went heedjyng into the sea." See also Apoc. c. i8. 
" Bir ventus secundus," Hicke's Island Dictionary. See also 
Douglass's Glossary. From the same source is derived what 
is called the Bore or Eager on a tidal river, the tide coming 
up like a wall. In Ellis's Eai-ly English Poets, vol. i. p. 389, 
we read, " And land first rumbland rudeley with sic bere." 
Mr. Ellis explains bere by noise, but wrongly, as I apprehend, 
as it means rather violence. The "bearing " in the following 
quotation may have the same origin : — 

** But Horsley with a bearing arrow 
Stroke the Gordon through the brain." 

Sir A. Barton. 

Bird Briar, s. — Pronounced Brid breer, Dog Wild Rose 
with black hips. The Hip Breer is the Wild Rose. l. 

Birds' eggs. — The haw, the fruit of the hawthorn, l. 

Birtle, s. — A summer apple. Hence perhaps is derived 
the township of Birtles near Alderley. l. 

Birthmark, s. — A stain on the face or body of a new-born 
child, that is never eradicated, and about which marks there 
are curious ideas, l. 

Bishop, s. — Vide Brat. 

BiSHOPPiNG. — Being confirmed. Confirmation. To be 
bishopped is to be confirmed. The Bishop in the act of con 
firmation puts his hands on two heads at once. It is con- 
sidered a good omen in Cheshire if the Bishop puts his right 



22 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 



hand on your head. It is very curious the idea of the dexter 
and sinister of antiquity being lucky and unlucky still con- 
tinuing. L. 

BlT-BAT, s. — A bat. L. 

Bitched, parf. — Spoilt. '* He was that stoopid he bitched 
the whole thing," i.e. he spoilt everything, l. 

Bite, v. — Applied to the edge of a blunt tool. " It wonna 
bite," I.e. the cutting qualities are gone. l. 

BiTTERBUMP, s.—A Bittern ; the bump evidently refers to 
the " boom " of the bird. l. 

BiTTOR, s. — A Bittern {Chester Flays). The Bittern having 
disappeared from Cheshire, bittor and the preceding synonym 
must naturally be obsolete, l. 

BiiTLiN, s.—h. milk bowl, see Wheamow. l. 

Blackberry Hatch, s. — Chickens hatched about the time 
blackberries are ripe ; they are supposed never or seldom to 
come to perfection, l. 

Black Jack, s. — Black beetle, z'/V/^ Switch-clog and Twitch- 
clog. " Mester, that back kitchen's welly snying wi' twitch- 
clogs." " What do you mean by twitch-clogs, Mary?" "Whoi, 
Black jacks ! " l. 

Blade, j:. — Part of a plough, l. 

Blake, adj. — Yellow. " As blake as a paigle," as yellow 
as a cowslip, l. 

Blanket Mullein, s. — Verbasciim Thapsus. Great mul- 
lein. L. 

Blart, v. — To low like a cow or calf, quasi bleat, l. 

Bleach, v. — Synonym of Plash, q.v. l. 

BleaR; or Blar, v. — To roar or scream like a child, l. 



RLO CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 23 

Bleck, s. — Spent grease upon wheels, probably from the 
A.S. B/eCj black, or B/^ec, ink from the colour of the 
grease, l. 

Blench, v. — To glance. *'Blenk," its variation, has been used 
by royalty. " James I. wrote a small collection of poetry, and 
apologises for its imperfections as having been written in his 
youth, and his maturer age being otherwise occupied, saying 
that when his ingyne and age could, his affairs and fascherie 
would not permit him to correct them, scarslie but at stolen 
moments he having the leisure to blenk upon any paper." — 
Catalogue of Noble Authors, l. 

Blench, s. — A glance. " I got a blench at a wood- 
cock." L. - 

Blert, adj. — Bashful, l. 

Blether, v. Bletherin ? — To blubber or cry. l. 

Blissom, v. — To tup. L. 

Block, v. — To pelt. A boy, caught rather suspiciously neai 
a walnut tree, cried out " I didna block them," i.e. he was 
picking up fallen ones, not pelting them down. l. 

Blood Wall, s. — A Wallflower, l. 

Bloody man's fingers, s. Orchis mascula. — See Spree- 
sprinkle. L. 

Bloody Rogers. — A name of a good, red-skinned, mealy 
potato, which vanished the year of the potato Wight. In 
May 1 81 7 potatoes sold in Cheshire ij". dd. for ninety 
pounds, l. 

Bloomy, adj. — A high colour. " A bloomy wench." l. 

Bloaten, Bloten, or Bloatch, v. — Means to be very 
fond of anyone, to have taken a fancy to another ; to doat 
on another, perhaps derived from A.S. blotein, to sacrifice. 



24 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. BLU 



to worship. Grose and Ray menlion it as a Cheshire 
word. w. 

Blue back, s. — The Fieldfare. Also called the Pigeon 
Felt. L. 

Blue buttons, s. — The Devil's bit Scabious. Scabiosa 
succisa. L. 

Blufted, /rt!/-/.— A term at Blindman's-buff. "It is your 
turn to be blufted or blinded." This may be a mistake for 
buffeted (pulled and pushed about), the common fate of the 
blinded centre in Blindman's-buff. w. 

Blusterous, adj. — Boisterous, stormy, l. 

BoAC or Boke, v. — To retch, keck, or kick at the 
stomach, w. 

Boke, v. — A variety of poke. " To boke " is " to point, to 
poke at one." l. 

Bobs' heads, s. — Used for the names of the Heads of 
certain flowers, e.g. Thistle bobs, also of Clover, l. 

Bobber, bobberous, adj. — Saucy, pert. 

Bobbish. — Pretty well. l. 

Bobby, s. — A policeman, — an adopted word ; the origin of 
the name was Sir Robert (Bobby) Peel, who introduced the 
Police Act. Hence also '' Peeler." l. 

Bodkin, j-.— To "ride Bodkin'' is to be in a carriage 
or on a seat between two others, when there is only room for 
two, like the poet's description of a six inside coach : — 
" Squeezed in 'twixt two bolsters of talkative fat." l. 

Bog, s. — A tussock of coarse grass in a pasture. " He (a 
partridge) leeted near yon bog." l. 

Boggart. — To take boggart, is to take fright like a horse. 
" What did the donkey take boggart at thee for ? " w. 



BOO 



CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 



BoGGARTY, adj. — Liable to take fright like a horse, or 
to shy. w. 

BOGFOUNDERED, — Puzzled. L. 

Boggy bo, or Boggart, s. — A bugbear or scarecrow, an un- 
reaUty and thing powerless to do injury, which works in a 
frightening way on the imagination. Baun^ Belgice. A 
spectre. Bob, or dry bob, is an old word for a merry 
joke or trick. Dobson's " Dry Bobs " is the title of a 
merry story book. The word is sometimes rendered as 
a bug-a-boo. I have heard the same thing called at schools 
a bogy. L. 

Bogy, s. — A small hand cart, flat and without sides, on two 
small wheels, to enable workmen without the help of a horse 
to move large stones, lead, and heavy materials from one 
place to another, l. 

BoKE, or BoAC, V. — To poke or thrust out. w. 

Bonesore, adj. — Bone-wearied, tired. When a person has 
a shooting pain in the arm or leg, it is common to say " I've a 
bone i' th' arm or leg." l. 

Bong, s, — A bank. Lymm Bongs, a woody cover near the 
town of that name, sloping on both sides to the brook, l. 

BooGH, s. — Bough. L. 

Boon WORK, j-.— Work done by the tenant for his landlord 
(the remains of Soc or Soccage, q.v)^ which now generally 
consists in a day or two's work with a horse and cart, drawing 
coals, materials, &c. In former times many other various things 
were added. The tenant kept a cock for his landlord (this was 
in cock-fighting days), and a dog. The landlord's geese and 
pigs were turned into the tenant's fields after the crops were re- 
moved. A tenant also brought his landlord every year a cheese 
or a goose. In short, it was a sort of barter in times when the 



26 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. BOO 



exchangeable medium of goods (money) was not plentiful, in 
fact very scarce, and the purchase of commodities had to be 
subvented in other ways. l. 

Boose, s. — A cow's stall. Cherry is a favourite name for a 
red cow (as Blackbird is for a black cart horse), that colour 
being most esteemed by the farmers for milking ; consequently 
— Cherry having every chance of getting the best of everything 
— anyone getting into a comfortable situation is said in the 
O.C.P. " To have got into Cherry's Boose." w. 

BoosY Cheese, s. — Cheese made before the cows are turned 
out to grass, l. 

BoosY Pasture, s. — The grass field lying nearest to " The 
Boose." w. 

Boots Yellow, s. — Also called Mayflower in Cheshire. 
Caltha Falustris. The Marsh Mary gold. The yellow farina 
coming off on the boots, probably suggested the name. l. 

Booty House, s. — An expression used by children for any 
old box, shelf or out of doors rockery or rather crockery, orna- 
mented by them with bits of glass, china, coloured stones, &c. 
Scarcely a provincialism, as it is probably only the result of 
booty coming easier to a child than the compound sound of 
beauty. " A thing of beauty," we are told, " is a joy for ever ; " 
so it is with a child's Booty House, or Babby House, l. 

Born Days. — " In all my born days (my life) I never seed 
the loike." The addition of the " born days " has a superlative, 
strengthening effect on the sentence, l. 

Borsten, part, of the verb to burst. — A.S. Borsicn. — It is 
used for ruptured, w. 

BosKiN, or BosKiNG, s. — The partition between the Bosses. 

L. 

Bosky, adj. — Woody. Bosquet^ French, l. 
BosSy s. — A kneeling hassock, l. 



BRA CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 27 



Bossing, /^r/. — Kissing. Vide Oss. l. 

BoTHAM, s. — Bottom. A.S. J^o//n. Wooded sides and' 
depths of a valley or dumble. " Mappin Woodcock oo'lbe 
i' th' Bothams." 

Bottle, s. — A bottle of straw or hay : supposed to be a variety 
of pottle, a measure. It seems also to explain thus the O.C.P., 
betokening an almost impossibility, " It would be as easy to 
find a needle in a bottle of hay." l. 

Bottoming, /d;r/. — "Bottoming hay," getting it out of any 
hollow wet place, where it will not " make." l. 

Bottom, v. — To empty. '' To bottom a glass," to drink 
every drop of it. l. 

Boulder, j. — Pronounced Bouder. A very large water- 
rolled pebble, found occasionally of some tons weight, l. 

Bout, s. — A drunken spree of some hours, sometimes 
some days' duration. Also, an attack of illness, " O'os had a 
putty bout of it this turn," " She's had a serious illness this 
time." L. 

Bout, adv. ox prep. — ''Better bad than bout," O.C.P., as a 
woman said when urged to quit a drunken brute of a husband. 
If a mother refuses anything, or takes anything away from a 
child, she says '' You mun be bout," i.e. without, w. 

Bowk, s. — A bucket. A.S., Wceterbiic. l. 

Boy's Love, s. — Southernwood. Perhaps because used as a 
love offering. It is a staple in all village posies, l. 

Bracco, adj. — Diligent. Not always, but generally, used 
with work before it. 

Bradow, v. — To spread or cover with manure, as applied to 
afield. "The braddow" is one of our commonest names for 
a field. A hen is said " To bradow her nestlings." " Dove- 



28 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. BRA 



like sat brooding." Bradow is either a kind of augmentative of 
brood, or an abbreviation of brood over. Teutonic, Broeden^ 
incubare. 

Brag, v. — *• He is nought to brag on," i.e. " He is a poor 
creature." One of the round-about Cheshirisms. l. 

Braggett, s. — Spiced Ale. Bragod (Welsh) means the 
same thing, w. Potus Gallice braccatce. In Welsh, ^;'«^ means 
Malt, and Gots^ a Honeycomb. 

Brail, or Brailer, s. — A long briar or stick run along the 
top of a new plashed fence, to keep the twigs in their places. 
Also sometimes a dead hedge stuck on a cop top. l. 

Brake, Braken, j. — Fern. l. 

Bran, or Brant, v. and part. — To burn, or burnt, from tlie 
thing which occasions the fire. A brand (an A.S. word)- 
Brandy would be so called from burning the inside. 

Brank, s. — A scold's bridle, vide Bridle, l. 

Brash, s. — Loppings of a hedge. Refuse boughs, l. 

Brashcourt, s. — A horse with his forelegs bent, having been 
foaled so ; not become so, as is often the case through age and 
work. Harrison's Description of England, l. 

Brass, s. — Copper coins. Hence, any sort of money. 

Brast, Brasten, v. —Burst, l. 

Brathering, /d;/-/. — A hen " Brathering her brood," means 
covering them with her body. l. 

Brat, j-., or a Bishop, s. — A child's bib. There is an A.S. 
word, Bratan, conterere ; the derivation not obvious. The 
wearer of the bib is often called a Brat, but generally not till 
he or she arrives at a mischievous age. Also a woman's rough 
working apron. 

Brattles, j.— Brick ends. 



BRi CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 29 



Brazil, s. — So pronounced. ''As hard as a Brazil." rhe 
nut called a Brazil nut is excessively hard. l. 

Bread, s. — Breadth, pronounced long like breed. " There 
is a good bread ot corn sown this year," i.e. a greater extent of 
corn than usual, &c. w. 

Breaking Down the curd of a cheese, means dividing the 
curd when thick and solid (so as to be cut with a knife), with 
the Dairymaid, ^.v. l. 

Breadings, s. — The swathes of corn or hay, as first left by 
the scythe of the mower, l. 

Bree, Bre, or Brae, s. — Brows. Eyebraes are Eyebrows. 
The old word is Bre. w. 

Breechy, or Britchy, adj. — Brittle, l. 

Breet, adj. — Bright. '' That wench o' yares isna over breet," 
" Your servant girl is not as clever as she might be." 

Breer, s. — For briar. Brueria^ as it was called in old Dog- 
Law Latin, l. 

Brewe, s. — A short, though often steep, declivity, a hill. 
Near me is a place called '' Jodrell Brewe. " Going down the 
brewe," is a Cheshire metaphorical way of expressing that a 
man's health is giving way. Brow of a hill is a very common 
expression, l. 

Brewes, or Browes, 5.— Slices of bread with fat broth poured 
over them. O.W., but at present, I believe, only used in 
Lancashire and Cheshire. A.S. broth^ jus, or brew, A.S. J7is, 
jiisadum. It is a better dish than what in Gloucestershire and 
Devon is called " Tea-kettle broth," viz., hot water poured over 
bread. " Athol brose " is, I think, honey and whiskey. 

Bricko, Brichoe (Ray), «^'.— Brittle. K.'^.brica.ruptor. w. 

Bricket, s. — A stool. L. 



k 



30 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. BRI 



Bricknoggin, s. — Houses framed in oak timber, and filled 
up with brickwork. Half-timbered houses are called '' Brick 
pane buildings." l. 

Erid, s. — A bird. A transposition of the letters of the 
modern form bird, or rather a return to the old A.S. root, dnW, 
or ^?rM, the young of any bird. 

Bridlegged, adj. — The Cheshire farmer, who holds that the 
perfect form of female beauty consists more in strength than in 
elegance of limbs, often uses this contemptuous appellation to 
any female whose limbs happen to be somewhat slenderer than 
he has in his own mind fixed on as the criterion of symmetry 
and taste, w. 

Brid Rose, or Brid Breer, s, — The white Scotch wild rose 
with black hips. l. 

Bridbilled, or Build. — Said of accurately fitting work. l. 

Bridle (Scold's), or Brank, s. — An iron frame with a gag 
to it, used to fix on a scold's head and mouth, when she be- 
came the pest of the neighbourhood. Not employed now, but, 
to use the \vords of the Commination Service, " Until that said 
discipline be restored again, which is much to be wished," they 
are reposing in several parishes of Cheshire, and one specimen 
is at the House of Correction in Knutsford. The woman on 
whom it is placed cannot speak, roar, or bellow, or make her- 
self generally obnoxious to her neighbours ; though at the same 
time it does not hurt or injure her in the least, even temporarily. 
In some of the foreign bridles, the gag had points upon it, when 
of course it became an instrument of torture ; but the simple 
gag enforces silence without pain, except to the feelings of the 
scold, who finds at last that there is a way of taming, at any-rate 
for a time, " what no man can tame." At the church of Walton- 
on-Thames, Surrey, is a brank with this inscription, 

** Chester presents Walton with a bridle, 
To curb women's tongues that talk so idle." 



BRO CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 31 



The simple story would be that the county of Chester, whiqh 
seems to have abounded in scold's bridles and ducking stools, 
made the present to Walton. Another tradition is that it was 
given by a gentlemen named Chester, who through the babbling 
of a mischievous woman had lost an estate. I have seen the 
bridle used with the best effect, a perfect devil being changed 
by it into a very imperfect angel in a few minutes. Anyone 
who wishes to see the subject treated in an exhaustive and most 
interesting manner, should read the article by Dr. Brushfield on 
" Obsolete Punishments," vol. 2, Chester Archceological Journal. 

Bridneeze, s. — A bird's nest. l. 

Brief, adj. — Rife, prevalent. Used chiefly of disorders. 
"xAgoes been brief," agues have been common. " Small-pox is 
very brief." Possibly a form of rife ; also a term for a swarm 
of flies or bees. l. 

Brim, z'.. Brimming, part. — Sils maris appete?is. w. 

Brimble, s. — A bramble. A.S. b?'y7nel, a bramble, vide 
Lawyers, l. 

Britcher, and Britchey, adj. — Brittle, l. 

Brizz, s. — The gadfly. A.S. briose or brimse. One of those 
words where sound and sense harmonize. Like flies " buzzing." 
It is the appearance of the gadfly that seems almost to drive a 
herd of cows wild, as they gallop oft', with their tails in the 
air, pursued by the brizz, a sort of bee, and not very unlike that 
dreaded fly (the tsetse), whose bite is fatal to oxen and horses, 
and which actually arrests all progress (northward from the Cape) 
of enterprise or civilization, and will do so till the natural beast 
of burden of Africa (the elephant) is employed. The common 
dragonfly is generally, but erroneously, called the brizz. 

Brock, s. — A badger. The crest of Sir P. Brooke, Bart., of 
Norton, and of Brooke of Mere. Vide Bawson. 

Brockle, v. — To break fence, as cattle do. Vide Unlucky. 



32 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. BRO 



Broke, a. — Ruined in trade or play. " I^m broke !" a lad's 
exclamation when he has lost his last marble. See also Brosier. 

Broken Haired, adj. — Underbred. A vulgax J>arve/iu. l. 

Broken, adj. — When a horse's coat looks rough whilst he is 
changing it (the new coat not having entirely supplanted the 
old one), the term is broken, i.. 

Brords, or Bruarts, s. — The young shoots of corn are so 
called. AS. brord, frumentt spiccBj corn new come up. w. 

Brore, or Brord, v. — To spring up as com does. w. 

Brosier, v. and s. — To become bankrupt. Bankrupt. A 
term often used by boys at play, when they have nothing left 
to stake. In the P.P.C. we have brosyn^ or quashing^ v. This 
is the origin of the word to bruise. Brosier is or was an Eton 
word, *' Brosiering my dame " was, for some crime real or imag- 
inary, eating up everything provided for the meal, and asking 
for more. l. 

Broth, s. — Made of offal. Feet boiled down. Soft soap, 
alum, &c., and other ingredients used to crystallize the salt 
at the salt works ; as upon the use of such mixtures, and 
the rapidity of the boiUng process, the perfection of salt 
depends, l. 

Brothering, adj. or part. — Useless, over-luxuriant. Use 
less and spreading branches are so called, 

" Which require 
More hands than ours to check their rampant growth." 

— Milton. L. 

Browis, vide Brewes. 

Bruart, s. — The narrow, thin edge or shavings of anything. 
" Hat Bruarts " are the parings of the brim of a hat. l. 

Bruart, v. — To shoot, as newly sown corn. Bishop Kennet, 
in his MS. Vocabulary, in the British Museum, has " to brere, 
to be brered," as corn just coming up. w. 



BUS CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 33 



Brun, v. — To burn, of which it is an anagram, like " brid " 
for "bird," &c. l. 

Brundrit, J-. — A trivet to hold the bakestone, l. 

Buck, s. — Bread and butter, l. 

BucKow, V, — To buckle, w. 

Buckle, s. — Condition. " In good buckle," the same as " In 
good fettle." l. 

Buff, s. and adj. — Naked. " He fowt in his buffs," " He 
fought half naked." 

Bull Head, s. — A tadpole, w. 

BuKE, V. — To litter. Speaking of some spoilt hay, a man 
said, " It will only do for buking the yard." l. 

Bum, s. — A bumbailiff. A sheriff's officer. " They'n got the 
bums in," i.e., the bailiffs are in possession, l. 

Bunny, s. — A swelling. Also a tame rabbit. 

Bunching Carrots. — To tie them up in a bunch for sale. l. 

Bur, or Bore Tree, s. — The "elder," probably being easily 
bored (being full of pith), for pop-guns, &c. Bor is A.S., a 
gimlet. Bor, to make a hole j common in Cheshire. 

Burn, s. — A burden. A contracted form. l. 

Burn, s. — A large quantity of paper, sticks, &c., is said to 
be " a burn." l. 

Burr, s. — The sweetbread, w. 

BuRYHOLE. — The grave. A.S. biiryan, to bury. 

Bushel, s. — When appHed to oats, in Cheshire, means five 
ordinary bushels; a bushel of wheat is 70 or 75 lbs. ; beans, 
60 lbs. ; barley, 60 lbs. ; oats, 45 or 50 lbs. l. 

D 



34 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. BUS 



Busk, s. — A bush. 

** Lads' love's a busk of broom, 
Hot awhile and soon done." 

O.C.P. L. 

Busk, tj., Busking, parf. — Straightening up the fences, 
cutting off thorns, &c., in winter. "I've been agait busking in 
the coppy." l. 

BusTiON, s. — A swelling or whitlow, generally on the finger 
or thumb, which when neglected, sometimes necessitates the 
removal of a joint. It often begins with a thorn or splinter, 
acting on a bad habit of body. l. 

But, at/v. — Unless. " I'll leather you, but you do this." l. 

But, s. — A rein in ploughing, l. 

Buttermilk Wedding, s. — A wedding at Knutsford is thus 
sarcastically termed by the boys, when no largesse or "ball 
money " is given away. l. 

BuTLAND, s. — Waste land. The origin may be Buttal, a 
bittern, that bird never being found on cultivated land. L. 

Buttons, s. — Small unexpanded mushrooms, l. 

Butty, s. — Vi'de Marrow, l. 

Butty, s. — A slice of bread and butter. Possibly for butter. 
" Mam, give us (me) a butty." l. 

Butty, adv. — Conjointly. Fields belonging to two owners, 
undivided (by any fence), are called " Butty pieces." l. 

Byflete, s. — A piece of land cut off by the change of a 
river's course, which used to belong to the other side. l. 

Bybbye, s. — A kind of herb. Chester Plays, i, 119. L. 
Written " Tibbie," in the BodL MSS. 

By'r I^akin ! or By Laekin ! also By Leddy Me ! — An 



CAN CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 35 



exclamation, used as an oath, or to express surprise, and said 
to be another form of "By our Lady ! " 

By-spell, s. — A natural child; sometimes called a " By-blow." 

C. 

Caas, or Case, adv. — Because. Pronounced caze, an ab- 
breviation of becaze (so pronounced), or percase, an obsolete 
word found in Bacon. 

Cacko, v. and s. — To cackle, cackling, idle, gossiping talk. 
" Oo cackos like a nowd hen." l- 

Cade Lamb.— «-A lamb brought up by hand. l. 

Cadge, v. — To carry. Cadger, s. — A carrier, a loafer, w. 

Cale or Kale, s. — A turn, chance. *' It's moi cale now," 
^uasiy " It is my turn, or call, now," as at a merry meeting, the 
last singer has a right to call on anyone else for a song. In 
Flemish, kaz'e/ is a lot, and kavelen, to draw lots. " Coal pit 
cale," O.C.P., i.e. ''First come, first served." 

Call, z^.— "To call some-one out of his name," is to abuse 
and vilify him. " To call all to pieces," is to treat with the 
most opprobrious and abusive language ; as I heard a witness 
at a court martial say of the prisoner, " He called me all the 
devils of the world, or words to that effect." 

Calvary, and Cavaldry, s, — For cavalry. A transposition 
of letters, l. 

Camming, part. — Arguing for the sake of arguing, jawing, l. 

Cammed, adj. — Crooked, l. 

Cample, Campo, Camble, v. — To scold, to contend, to 
argue. 

Cane, s. — The warp. A term in general use amongst 
Cheshire silk weavers, l. 

d 2 



36 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. CAN 



Cankered, pai-t. — Ill-tempered — 

* ' He hums and he hankers, he frets and he cankers, 
I never can please him, do a' that I can." 

Burns. 

Cank, v. — To gossip. " She (the servant) never do goes 
canking wi' neebours." l. 

Cankum, s. — A prank. I remember hearing once, I cannot 
tell where, " None of your kincum crancums," i.e. none of 
your nonsense, adone with your jokes, l. 

Cant, udj. — Strong, lusty. Ash calls it local. Bailey also 
has the word. In the Glossary of Lajigtofte's Chronicle by 
Hearne, kant, adjective, is explained as courageous, "Very 
cant, God yield you," i.e. Very strong and hearty, God reward 
you (Ray). " Canting " is also used to express a woman gain- 
ing her strength after her confinement. 

Caperlash, j-.— Abusive language. To cample, according 
to Grove, is a northern word for to scold, w. 

Capo, or Capel, s. — A working horse. Ceffyl^ Welsh. Cha>al^ 
French. Caballus, Latin. Capiil^ Irish. The Caple gate (for 
horses) and the Ship or Shep gate (for sheep), were two portals 
that anciently flanked the Bridge Gate at Chester, whence 
a ford for man and beast once led across the Dee towards 
Wales. 

Car, v. — To sit down, or to bend the body in a sitting 
posture. L. 

Carlings, s. — Grey peas boiled, so-called from being served 
at table on Care Sunday (which is Passion Sunday), and as 
Care Friday and Care Week are Good Friday and Holy Week ; 
supposed to be so styled from that being a particular season 
of care and anxiety, or that at that period one has to take an 
especial care of one's acts, thoughts, and words. The carlings 



CAT CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 37 



are steeped all night in water, and fried next day with butter. 
In some villages they are eaten the Sunday previous to Palm 
Sunday. See Brand's Popular Antiquities^ quarto, vol. i. p. 93 ; 
also Ihre, Didionarium Suio-Gothicum^ ifi voce " Kcerusunna- 
dag." L. 

Carpet, v.^ Carpeting, s. — To scold a servant. When 
bare boards were commoner than they are now, the servant 
to be scolded was sent for to the carpeted room, the Drawing 
Room. I have heard a servant boast that she had never been 
carpeted. We can hardly fancy she would be beaten like a 
carpet, l. 

Carry on, v. — " She carried on shameful," i.e. she used 
very unladylike language, or she shewed bad conduct, l. 

Carpenter's Grass, s. — Frimella vulgaris. Common Self- 
Heal. L. 

Carry Water. — ^Water with iron chalybeate in it, which 
widely pervades Cheshire, and sometimes to such a degree 
as to make the water useless for even cleansing or swilling 
purposes. In Northumberland it is called car\M2Xtx ; it is 
sometimes of the thickness of the richest cream. Its 
presence, I believe, is thought to betoken the presence of iron 
or coal. L. 

Carve, v. or Kerve (Ray). — To grow sour, spoken of cream. 
Local, according to Ash. w. 

Caselings, s. — The skins of beasts that die by acci- 
dent. L. 

Cassartly, or Cazzlety, adv. — Risky, uncertain, sometimes 
pronounced cazzlety. "Young turkeys is cazzlety things." 
Liable to casualty, l. 

Catch Grass, s. — Goose grass or catch weed. l. 



38 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. CAU 



Cauf. — Calf. '* How is your cough and cold ? " " Butcher s 
bin and fetched cauf, but I'm welly smothered with coud." l. 

Cauf Kit, or Crib, s. — Where the sucking calves are kept. 
A.S. Crybbe, prcBsepe, the same as " kidcrow." w. 

Cauf-lick, vide Cowlick. 

Caukum, s. — A practical joke, a foolish frolic. 

Cawn, part. — For callen. 

Cawper, v. — To answer saucily. 

Chaffery, or Chaffering, adj. — Said of stuff like the seed 
of the bulrush, the seed of the pampas grass, &c. ; as if from 
chaff. L. 

Cham, or Chom, v. — To chew. " I've gien that chap sum- 
mut to chom, ennyhow." l. 

Chance Child, s. — A child born out of wedlock. 

Channel Hole, s. — Hole by which sewer water escapes. 
In Chester usually pronounced " chennel." l. 

Chastize, v. — Used for to scold. In its common sense it 
often precedes or follows a- scolding. 

Chatterbasket, s. — A Chatter-box. l. 

Chats, s. — Small wind pruned branches and sticks under 
trees, collected and used by poor people for lighting fires, l. 

Chauve, v. — To chafe. 

Cheadle Dock, or Kadle Dock, s. — Se7iecio Jacobea. 

Cheese Guard, s. — Synonymous with Fillets, q,v. l. 

Cheese Running, s. — Ladies' bed straw. " The people of 
Cheshire, especially about Nantwych where the best cheese is 
made," writes the herbalist Gerarde, himself a Nantwych man, 



CHE CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 39 



"do use it in their Reniiett, esteeming greatly of that cheese, 
above others made without." l. 

Cheeses, s. — The seeds of the Mallow are so-called : they 
are round and flat at the top and bottom. Children make 
necklaces of them. l. 

Cheevings, s. — The dust, refuse seeds of weeds, rat 
remnants, left behind in taking in a rick of corn or beans, l. 

ChExM, or TcHEM, s. — A team of horses, a team of wild- 
ducks. Somner talks of a ''team of young pigs." w. 

Chern, s. — The long-tailed titmouse, l. 
Chesfut, s. — A cheese vat. Cheese vessel, l. 

Cheshire Acre. — A Cheshire acre is two statute acres 
and one more in nine. Nine Cheshire acres would therefore 
be nineteen statute acres or very nearly so. l. 

Cheshire Bushel. — A Cheshire bushel of oats is fifty, 
forty-five or forty pounds of wheat, seventy or seventy-five of 

barley, rye, and beans sixty pounds. 

« 
Cheshire Cat, s. — " To grin like a Cheshire cat " is a very 
old saying, and like many old sayings, the origin is doubtful. 
Another version is '' to grin like a Cheshire cat chewing gravel :" 
o^tfjiopojv ye\a<Ta<Ta, " Death grinned horribly a ghastly smile." 
Still another amplified version is " to grin like a Cheshire cat 
eating cheese." This may be supposed to produce a smile of 
satisfaction rather than a grin of disgust. In the Dictionary of 
Modern Slang is the following : " ' To grin like a Cheshire cat ' 
is to display the teeth and gums whilst laughing (i la Tim 
Bobbin)." Another hardly satisfactory explanation has been 
given of the saying, " that Cheshire is a county palatine, and 
that when the cats think of this they are so tickled at the 



40 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. CHE 



notion, that they cannot help grinning. The force and point 
of this are so well wrapped up that they are undiscoverable, 

**Like a Dutch picture darkened to sublimity." 
*' Some years since Cheshire cheeses were sold in Bath moulded 
into the shape of a cat, bristles being inserted to represent 
whiskers : this may possibly have given rise to the saying," 
Notes and Queries, vol. ii. p. 212. Another idea is that the 
saying may be traced to the unhappy attempts of a country sign 
painter to represent a lion, — the crest of many Cheshire 
families (the Egertons of Tatton, the Leighs, Leghs, &c.) 
on the signboards of the inns : the resemblance of these 
lions to cats caused their being generally called by the latter 
name. There is a " Cat and Lion '' public-house at Stretton, 
the lines on the sign, rhythm and sense apparently both 
absent, are, 

* * The Lion is strong, 
The Cat is vicious, 
My Ale is good, 

And so is my Liquors." 

One need not go far to account for a Cheshire cat grinning. 
A cat's paradise must naturally be placed in a county like 
Cheshire, flowing with milk. l. 

Chett, v. — To cheat. " Dunna chett, Tummas, but (unless) 
ye be chetten, and dunna be chetten," was the advice of an 
old man on his death-bed to his son. An old Scotch dealer 
when exhorting his son to honesty in his dealings, on the 
ground of its being the best policy, quietly added, " I hae 
tried baith." l. 

Childer, s. — Children, A.S. plural termination. 

Chimbley, s. — The chimney. 

Chimney Sweep, j.— The Field Wood Rush, Luzula 
campestris. l. 



CHU CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 41 



Childermas Day, s. — Innocents' Day. l. 

Chin Cough, s. — Hooping cough. In an old Black letter 
surgical treatise it is called " chink." We have several curious 
recipes for it in Cheshire — roast hedgehog, fried mice, &c. 
Another is holding a toad to the mouth, which is supposed to ex- 
tract the cough from the patient. This, however, does not seem 
infallible, as an old woman complained that ** her boy could 
not get shut of the Chincough, though he had sucked two t5ads 
to death." Vide Ballads and Legends of Cheshire. It is also 
called kingcough from kincken^ Teutonic,' to breathe with 
difficulty. 

Chockhole, s. — The deep rutty hole to be met with in 
many of the bye-roads or occupation roads in the county where 
either (as they would say in America) " the bottom has dropped 
out or where bad or intermittent pavements have not mended 
our ways." L. 

Chock-full. — Brim-full. 
Chom, vide Cham. 

Chonner, v. — To champ, to chop up. l. There is an old 
word " Chon " to break. 

Chowbent Grub, s. — Old nails broken in old wood are so 
called. " Confound these Chow-bent grubs," says a carpenter 
whose axe, saw, or tool, has come across one of these unseen 
dangers, l. 

Chow and Chump. — Remains of wood, old stacks, and 
roots, &c. only fit for burning, l. 

Christmas, s. — Any evergreen decoration about Christmas 
time. " I maun get some Christmas to bawm the quarls," i.e. 
panes of glass. 

Chumley. — The Cheshire pronunciation of the local name, 
Cholmondeley. 



CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. CHU 



Chump. — A term of reproach. Rascal, cheat, vagabond, l. 

Chunner, v. — To grumble. " A chunnery, ill-conditioned 
fellow." AS. Ceorian, to complain. "To chowre," is a good 
old word for to complain, or scold. So in Turberville's Tra?is- 
latioii of Ovid, 

' ' But when the crabbed nurse 
Begins to chide and chowre. " 

A clergyman asking an infirm old woman how she was, re- 
ceived as an answer, " I goes on chunner, chunner, chunner." 
He told her how wrong it was to be discontented, &c., when he 
was stopped by the old woman, " Bless you, Parson, it's not I 
that chunners, it's my miiardsT 

Chun, s. — A crack in the finger or hand, from frost, or from 
dryness of the skin ; quasi chink. l. 

Churles' Treacle, s. — Garlic. Allium, l. 

Churn Staff, s. — The common spurge, which has a milky 
juice of a very acrid nature, and which I have known in three 
applications cure cancer in the eyelid, after three of our first 
oculists had recommended an operation and excision as the 
sole cure. l. 

C I RAGE, or Serage-Money. — The Prestbury term for 
church rates, doubtless in former times the candles used so pro- 
fusely amongst the Roman Catholics, at the church service, were 
paid for out of the cirage money. A.S. cerge, a wax candle. 
Latin, cera, wax. l. " VV^ax shot," or " scot,'' O.W., a sum paid 
thrice a year towards church candles. {Cole's Dictionary.) In 
Warton, in the archdeaconry of Richmond, there was an Easter 
due called a wax penny, and a tenure called lamp light, l. 

Clack, s, — Talk without sense, l. " Oi never heard sich 
a ooman to clack in aw my loife." 

Clag, 7'. — To choke, to silt up. " The pipe is welly clagged 
wi' soot."' l. 



CLE CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 43 



Clam-, or Clem, v. — To starve for want of food. " I'm welly 
clemmed." A wood at Mere bears the curious title of Clem- 
hunger wood. " Clem " is one of those Cheshire words which 
in common parlance supersedes any synonym. There is an 
O.C.P., " You are like Smithwick, clemmed, or brosten," i.e. 
always in extremes. Clenunen, Teut. to shrink up, as the 
bowels are said to do with hunger. 

Clamme, or Clame, v. — To dirty, or plaster, or dirty over. 
A.S. damtan^ to daub or smear. 

Clap, v. — To squat. To lie down as a hare does to escape 
the hounds, or a pheasant when he thinks to hide himself. From 
the French se clapper, se cacher dans un trou. l. 

Clap Post, s. — The post against which a gate claps or shuts 
(in contradistinction to the hang post). They say of a girl who 
from misconduct finds it convenient to leave the county, " She 
has given Lawton gate a clap '' — Lawton being the boundary of 
Cheshire towards Staffordshire, l. 

Clargyman, s. — A black rabbit, w. 

Clat, s. — To tell clats of a person, is to tell tales or spread 
reports to his disadvantage. A.S. clatrimg, anything that makes 
a chattering. Clattering means making a noise. 

Clate, s. — A wedge to a plough, l. 

Claver, s. — Idle talk. Claffer is German for garrulous. 
Perhaps a variety of the slang word " to chaff." w. 

Clawback, s. — A back-biter, l. 

Clawped, part. — Daubed, l. 

Clay, s. — Half a cow's foot. Evidently a claw. l. 

Clea, s. — A claw. It was anciently written clea or clco, 
AS. w. 



44 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. CLE 



Clem, vide Clam. — Nixon, the Cheshire Prophet, was 
" clemmed to death " at Court. 

Clever, adj. — Handsome, l. 

Cleverly, adv. — Entirely, completely. A building so di- 
lapidated " that it mun be pood down cleverly." A hedge 
" mun be cleverly fawen." l. 

Clewken, vide Clocken. 

Clip, v. — To kiss, to embrace. A.S. cleopan cleasan, to cleave 
or stick to. w. 

Cliveley, adv. — Cleverly, l. 

Clock, s. — A beetle. A bracken clock is the beetle which 
frequents the fern or bracken, l. 

Clocken, s. — Fine cord. Also Clewken. l. 

Clocks, s. — Dandelion seed. So called from children 
naming an hour, and then blowing at the seed. l. 

Clogs, s. — Shoes with wooden soles, generally made of 
ouler (alder). Our nearest approach to the sabot. 

Cloggy, adj. — Compact. Said of a horse or cow that is 
short legged, and body well filled out. 

Clomb, part of the verb to climb. 

Clots, or Clouts, s. — Burr or burdock. A.S. date, a burr. 
The cloth burr. w. (From to cleave.) 

Clough, s. — A.S. a wooded ravine. At Kermincham are two 
ravines of this sort, called Pigeon House Clough, and Bowshot 
Clough. l. 

Clouts, s. — Axle-tree-clouts, plates of iron nailed at the end 
of the axle-tree. " Clouted shoon " are shoes tipped with iron. 

Clouter, v. — To make a clattering, clumping noise with 



COG CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 45 



wooden clogs. This noise is heard more in hard times than in 
good times, clogs being cheaper than shoes, l. 

Clussumed, adj. — Clumsy. According to Ray, it means 
more, i.e. a hand so short and benumbed with the partial pa- 
ralysis of cold, as to make the fingers clumsy and non-effective. 
A corruption of closened or closed, w. 

Clutter, v. — To put an opponent down after a fight. " He 
cluttered me down." l. 

Clyde, s. — A cloud, l. 

Coarse, adj. — Applied to the weather — stormy, rough, l. 

Cob, v. — To throw, to lead, to domineer, to surpass or excel 
others in any art or skill, w. 

Cob, s. — A blow, generally on the head. Cob is also a 
leader. "This boy will be always cob." What is called at 
school, " Cock of the school." Sometimes pronounced Cop ; 
" I copped him," for '^ I beat him," or got ahead of him 

Cob, v. — To cause to grow quickly, to throw up. " The land 
has cobbed up a deal of grass." l. 

Cobbles, s. — Round coals, lumps of coal. l. 

Cobbst, adj. — Applied to children who are cross, contrary 
and fractious beyond endurance ; and sometimes to people 
called by some-one, *'God Almighty's unaccountables," who 
behave in so perverse and cross-grained a way as to be beyond 
all ordinary rule or calculation, l. 

Cobnobble, v. — To chastise or correct. This seems to carry 
out the idea that cob is a blow on the head, nob being one of 
the slang terms for the head. 

CocAM, s. — Sense, judgment, cunning, l. 

Cocker, v, — To fondle or spoil a child. 



46 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. COG 



CocKET, also CoPPETT. — The former one is most common — 
Saucy, pert. Also means well, in good health. *' Well, Molly, 
how are you to-day?" " Pretty cocket, thank'ee. Parson." 

Codding, part. — Humbugging, l. 

Codlings and Cream, j-. — The great hairy willow, Epilobium 
hirsutu7n ; vide Apple Pie. l. 

Cogging, part. — Cheating or deceiving. Cogged dice are 
those specially made for cheating, and are as old as the Roman 
days. l. 

Coggle, v. — To move with great ease, to be unsteady, to be 
shaky, w. 

Coggly, adv, Coggle, Ceggle, Kickle, Tickle, adj. — 
Easily moved, shaky. Applied to a creaking post or wheel. 

Coil, .f.— Row. "What's the coil now?" i.e. "What's the 
matter ? " l. 

Cold Burnt. — A punishment for any slight transgression of 
the laws of decency. The offender's arm is held up above his 
head, and cold water (the colder the better) is poured into the 
cuff of his coat. The first feelings of intense cold and heat are 
the same, and carried to extremes produce the same results. 
In Virgil we have the expression, usta gelu, burnt with frost, or, 
as we should say, blackened by frost, l. 

CoLDiNG, adj. — Shivering. " To sit colding by the fire-side," 
is to sit idling by the fire : it may have something to do with 
coddling, w. 

Collar, v. — From collar, soot. To dirty or smut. " You've 
collared your face." 

CoLLOP, s. — A slice. A rasher of bacon, l. 

CoLLow, or Colly, v. — To blacken ; to make black with coal. 



COM CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 47 



CoLOURY, adj. — Roan or spotted. Said of cows that are not 
all white, all red, all brown, or all black, l. 

CoLLYWEST, adv, — Just the contrary. "Is this my way to 
Chester ? " " Nay, yon's the road ; you are going colly west." w. 

Colly Weston is used when anything goes wrong.. " It's 
aw along with Colly Weston." This, probably at the outset, was 
an allusion to some particular person or circumstance, and the 
saying remained after the origin was forgotten. Harrison, page 
172, mentions ''the mandilion (a loose garment, without 
sleeves), worne Collie Weston-ward," i.e. awry. Colly Weston 
also means in the opposite direction. *' He went there, but I 
went Colly Weston." 

Colt, s. — The first time a grand juryman serves on the jury 
he is called a colt, and has the advantage of paying double 
fees. L. 

Come, v. — To act the part Rennet does in cheese- making : 
turning the milk to curds. " Thou looks so sour, thou'd come 
a cheese." l. 

Come Sunday, come Se'night. — The next Sunday but one. 
This expression used to be very common. In Foxe's Book of 
MartyrSy we have 

** To-morrow come never 
When two Sundays come together." 

This expression was formerly very common, and is anything 
but extinct now, and is often used as a quip to one more apt 
to promise than to perform, when he engages to do any- 
thing, w. 

Come Out, or rather. Come Eyt. — An odd expression, used 
to a dog, meaning " Be still, do not bark." In Irish, '' Come 
out of that," means " Have done, don't go on with what you 
are saying," &c. 



48 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. COM 



Come Nearer. — Used in cart stables instead of *' Come up." 

Come, or Coom Agen. — In ploughing, the word to the horse 
at the end of the furrow to turn to the left. Used also ad- 
verbially ; a ploughman will speak of " turning cum'agen," i.e. 
to the left. 

CoMMiN, s. — Common, waste land. 

Coney-gree, s. — Rabbit warren. Used by Sir W. Brereton. 
Randal Holme also has " coney-greys," or " greeves " (graves ?) 
Academy of Armoury^ book 2, ch. 9, p. 187, "Rabbit 
burrows." l. 

CoNNA, V. — I conna. I cannot, w. 

CoNNY, or Canny, adj. — Brisk, lively. A.S. con, bold. 

CooTH, Couth, s. — A cold. A.S. coth^ a malady. " Dick's 
foin an' bad, he's got a cooth." 

Cop, s. — Hedge bank. A.S. copp. l. 
Cop, v. — Vide Cob. 

Cope, v. — To cope, is to muzzle a ferret, l. 

COPPETT, vide COCKET. 

COPPY, s. — A coppice. 

Coral Plant, s. — Ribes sangidnea. I heard a peasant girl 
use this word. As ribes sanguinea has not been introduced 
long (1826), the word must also be new as applied to it. l. 

Corf, s. — Basket to bring coals up from a pit. l. 

Corker, s. — A complete settler, a clincher to further argu- 
ment ; words driven home, as a cork into a bottle. *' He'll find 
that statement of mine a corker." A lie. "What a corker 
he's just tould, to be sure." l. 

Corks, s. — Cinders. 



COT CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 49 



Corn, v. — To granulate. The process of making salt, which 
begins to corn after one hour's boiling, according to Ray. We 
find the participle in corned beef. l. 

CoRNALEE, s. — The dog wood. Spelt cornowlee, in " Brere- 
ton's Travels," (1634). l. 

CoRNOK, s — A corn measure containing four bushels, l. 

Cosp, s. — The cross-bar at the top of the spade. It is fre- 
quently used for the head ; a man with a broken head is said 
" To have had his cosp broken." Randle Holme calls the 
handle of a spade, *' Kaspe " ; we have cuspis, I^atin for the 
helmet that covers the head, and is the summit of the body. 
It can scarcely be a corruption of the German for head, 
kopf. w. 

Coss, V. — To curse. " He cosses and swears like anythink." 

CossES, V. — Costs. " It cosses a deal o' brass." l. 

Cot, s. — Probably only an abbreviation of " Cot quean," a 
man who interferes with female arrangements ; often called a 
"Molly cot." Such interference is punished by a dish clout 
being pinned to his tail. w. 

Cotter, v, — To mend or repair. To help with little effect. 

CoiTER, s. — A blow. " Gee him a cotter." l. 

Cotter, s. (or Cottrell).— A transverse piece of iron to 
fasten the shutter pin. In Leicestershire, *' To cotter," is to 

fasten. 

• 

Couch Grass, also called " skutch," and in Herefordshire, 
hujff cap, s. A running weedy grass, difficult to eradicate, and a 
sign of bad farming ; it is generally collected and burnt, but it is 
better to wash it and give it to the cattle, which are very fond 
of it and prefer it to the best hay, as the roots are full of sugar. 
Also called dog-grass. 

E 



50 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. COT 



CouD, s. — Cold. Also Couth. 

Count, v. — To reckon. To have an opinion of. *' They 
donna count him much of a man at delving." l. 

Counterfeits and Trinjcets. — Term for porringers and 
saucers, l. Ray. 

Coverlid, s. — A bed cover. French, coiivre Hi. 

CowE, V. — To depress or intimidate. This is one of the 
many words in Wilbraham which cannot be called provincial- 
isms, being in general use. w. 

Cowlick, s. — The part of a cow's hide where the hairs, 
having different directions, meet and form a projecting ridge of 
hair ; this is said (falsely) to be produced by the cow licking 
herself. This term — as also Cauf-lick — is used when the same 
thing occurs in the human head. w. 

Cow Lady, s. The lady bird. l. 

CowsHAT, s. — Wood pigeon. A variety of the word cushat. 

Cow-Shorn or Sharn, s. — As in Lan. The leavings of a 
cow. In Teutonic, dung is shai-n^ in Smo-Goi., skarn, and a 
shar-bud, an O.W. for beetle, is so called from continually living 
under horse or cow dung. Randle Holme, in his *' Academy 
of Armory," says shorn is the dung of a bull or cow. It is also 
called cowshot or cow plague. In Philemon Holland's " Trans- 
lation of the Natural History of Pliny," vol. 2, p. 327, we read, 
" They say that bull's sherne is an excellent complexion, for- 
sooth, to set a fresh rosat or vermilion colour on in the ball of 
the cheeke." w. 

Coy, s. — Used by Brereton in his ''Travels," for decoy (1635). 
He speaks of coy ducks, coy man, &c. Formerly there were 
many decoys in Cheshire : draining and increase of population 
have been fatal to them. l. 



CRE CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 51 



Crab, s. — An iron trivet to put over the fire. l. 

Crack, s. — A talk. *' Ause had a crack wi' him." l. 

Crack, v. — '' He's nought to crack on." A depreciating 
remark, l. 

Cradant, and Cradantly, s. and adr.y Crassant and 
Crassantly, which two last words are admitted on the sole 
authority of Ray. — Coward, cowardly. " To set cradants," 
amongst boys, is to do something hazardous, to take any des- 
perate leap which cradants dare not undertake after you. Like 
setthig the field, out hunting, by jumping some fence where no 
one dares follow, w. 

Cramble, v. — To hobble. Perhaps a variety of scramble, l. 

Crambly, adj. —Lame. l. 

Crampled, /d!r/. — Stiff in the joints ; qu. cramped, l. 

Crank, s. — A blow. l. 

Cranny, adj. — Pleasant, agreeable. " A cranny lad." l. 

Crap, v. — A particular way of mending a clog. l. 

Crapussing, adv. — A horse that goes lame or tender, is said 
to be " Crapussing." l. 

Crash, s. — Unripe fruit. " Dunnot ate that crash." l. 

Crassantly, adj. — Cowardly. " A crassantly chap." Ray. 

Cratch, s. — A rack or manger. La sainte Creche, the 
manger in which our Lord was laid. l. 

Cratchings, s. — Graves, from a chandler's refuse fat. l. 

Creachy, adj. — Craggy, out of order, in bad repair, sick. 
Auctioneer speaks, " Our next lot is a really good sofa by Gillow. 
This is not a creachy, scamped article of green wood, on which, 
when it has just been brought home, your husband throws him- 

e 2 



52 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. CRE 



self when he comes in tired, gives one sneeze, and the whole 
thing falls to pieces." 

Credussing, adj. — Humbly mean. To use Shakespeare's 
words, ''With bated breath and whispering humbleness." 

Creem, v. — " Creem it into my hand," Le.^ slip it into my 
hand slily, without any one seeing you. It also means the same 
as Teem, to pour. Ash calls it local, w. Ray. 

A Creep, or Creep Edge, s. — A creeping fellow. An area 
sneak would be called a " Creep Edge." l. 

Creeping Jack, s. — Sedum acre, biting stone crop. l. 

Creepit, Creepiting, Crope, Croppen, part. — For crept 
and creeping ; perfect tense and participle of the verb to creep. 

Crewdle, V, — ''They war all (talking of some poachers) 
crewdled up amongst the grig," i.e.^ cowering, crouching, hiding 
together. It is applied to the way chickens crouch at the sight 
of a bird of prey. l. 

Crewdling, s. — A dull stupid person ; a slow mover, w. 

Crewe, s. — A coop for fowls, l. 

Crewe, v. — To pert up fowls, l. 

Crinkle, also Crimble, v, — To sneak out of an engagement. 
There is an A.S. word, crincaii, to cringe, but though another 
form of meanness, it may be straining a point to suggest it as 
the root. It is a metaphor for leather crinkling or wrinkling 
or rolling back when exposed to the fire. 

"When shrivelling like a parchment scroll 
The flaming heavens together roll." 

Crisp, v. — The first process of freezing. " The water's 
crisping." l. 

Crits, s. — Small potatoes, l. 



CRO CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 53 



Croddy, s. — A trick, a manoeuvre. "That's a fine crod- 
dy." L. 

Croft, s. — A small field. 

Cromfull, atfv. — Cram-full, quite full. A boy once defined 
z. forest as " A plek (place) cromfull o' askers (newts)." l. 

Crom, V, — To cram. " His yed's crom'd wi larning." l. 

Crop, s. — The head and branches of a felled tree. l. 
Crossil, s. — Ashes, cinders. " Burnt to a crossil." l. 

Crow Net. — At the Kinderton Church Leet, 39 Elizabeth, 
Villa de Hunsterton was presented and fined loi*. 9^. in rate, 
because the crow net " non posita et usitata fuit, in Villa." 
There is a similar presentment of Newbold Astbury at a court 
40 Elizabeth. The following is "the act (10 Henry VIII.) 
made to destroy choughs, crowes, and rookes, that do daily breed 
and increase throughout this realme ; which rookes, crowes, and 
choughs doo yearlie destroy, devoure and consume a wonder- 
full and marvellous great quantity of come and grain, as also 
at the ripening and kernelling of the same, and over that a 
marvellous destruction and decaie of the covertures of thatched 
houses, barns, ricks, stacks, &c. Enacted, That in every 
parish, township, hamlet, borough, or village, wherever is at 
least ten households inhabited, the tenants and inhabitants 
thereof shall before the Feast of St. Michael, at their own 
proper costs provide, make, or cause to be made 07ie net, com- 
monly called a net to take choughs, crowes, and rookes, with 
all things requisite as belonging to the same, and the said 
net so made, shall keepe, preserve, and renewe, as often as 
shall neede ; and with and after a sharpe made with chaffe or 
anything meete for the purpose shall laie or cause to be laid, 
at such time or times in the yeare as is convenient for the 
destruction of such choughs, &c., upon paine to forfeite Xj". 
to be levied of the inhabitants of the parish, &c. The net to 



54 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. CRO 



be produced once a yeare before the Steward of the Court 
Baron. Any farmer or owner occupying any manors, lands, &c., 
is to pay for everie six old crowes, rookes, or choughs a penie, 
for everie three old a halfpenny." How crows were to be 
caught with nets is not explained l. 

Crow Orchard, s. — A Rookery. The nests of course re- 
presenting the fruit, l. 

Crowner, or Crunner, s. — Cheshire way of pronouncing 
coroner, w. 

Cruddle, v. — To curdle like milk. l. 

Cruds, s. — Curds. A simple transposition of letters, w. 

Cruel, or Crewell, s. and adj. — Is still in use for worsted. 
" To work in crewels," is to work in worsted, w. 

Cruel, adv. — Very. " It's cruel cold," it's bitterly cold. l. 

Crum, or Crume, s. — The refuse of charred wood which was 
cast out of the old salt houses. It is referred to in the burgess 
laws of Northwych (where we find it gives the name to " Crum 
hill,") as " The crume, or Wych house muck." l. 

Crummy, adj. — Fat, well filled out. l. 

Crutch, s. — A leg. The origin of the stick or support used 
instead of a leg. Latin, crus, a leg. l. 

Cry Notchil, v. — " To cry notchil," is for a man to advertize 
that he will not be answerable for debts incurred by his wife. 
What the origin of this is I know not. There is an old game 
where boys push one of their number into a circle they have 
made, and as he tries to escape, push him back, crying " No 
child of mine." This may be the origin of the husband's dis- 
claimer of his wife, when he '* Notchils " her. l. 

CucKE Stools, s. — Belongs to old Cheshire of the past. 
Formerly every parish had its " Ducking Stool " or " Cuckie 



CUT CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 55 



Stool," — a chair placed on a lever, on which a scold was fastened 
and ducked over and over again, till she was quiet. Most 
parishes had a stool of this sort, a scold's bridle, and stocks. 
There are pits in Cheshire to this day called "Cuck stoo 
pits." L. 

CucKLE, V. — Noise made by a hen when she has laid. A 
variety of cackle. 

Cuckoo's Bread and Cheese, s. — ^The wood sorrel. The 
plant which is supposed to be the real shamrock. The leaf is a 
beautiful green, and is one of the first that appears. It is used 
as one of the ingredients of salts of lemon, l. 

Cuckoo Lambs, s. — Late-born lambs, not supposed to 
thrive, l. 

Cuckoo Meat, s. — Synonym of the wood sorrel, l. 

Cuckoo Oats, s. — Late, too late, sown oats. l. 

CuMBERLiN, s. — A troublesomc fellow, one that cumbers the 
earth, and does no good. l. 

CuTLiNS, s. — Oatmeal. L. 

Cur, s. — "A good cur," means a sharp watch dog, and does 
not refer to the dog being underbred, l. 

Currake, s. — A cow rake, used to cleanse the shippins. In 
P.P.C. it is written '' Colrake." w. 

Curst, adj. — Bad tempered. "Curst cows have short 
horns." O.C.P. 

" Dat deus immiti coraua curta bovi." L. 

Cut, s. — A canal. The origin obvious, l. 

Cute, adj. — Short for acute : sharp, intelligent w. 

Cutts, s. — "To draw cutts." A way to settle an ownership, or 
a raffle, by paper cut into slips and divided amongst the rafflers. 



S6 . CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. CUY 



The longest slip generally entitles the drawer to the prize. 
"The cutte fyl to the knight," the chance fell to the knight, l. 

CuYP, V. — (Pronounced in a peculiar way, something like 
" ceighp," the " eigh " being quickly given, as in weight.) — To 
sulk, and show you are sulking ; to cry obstinately and cause- 
lessly, but in a subdued way, like bleeding inwardly, l. 

D. 

Dab, s. — A blow. " A dab i'th eye." w. 

Dab, v. — To give a blow. w. 

Dab Chick, s. — A water hen. In Cheshire, waiter hen. l. 

Dacity, s. — Intelligence, quickness, sharpness ; short for 
audacity, w. 

Daddle, v. — To walk with short steps. To dawdle, a 
diminutive of dade. 

Dade, v. — To lead children beginning to walk. Not com- 
mon, w. 

Dading Strings, s. — Leading strings, w. 

Daffadowndilly, s. — The daffodil. 

"Thus having said, the redoubted Achilles 
Stalked over whole meadows of Daffadowndillies." 

This may not be a correct translation of 

KOT a(T(pode\ov Xf.ijKjJva. 
The asphodel is a different flower from the daffodil, but does 
not clothe nor carpet the ground like the daffodil, l. 

Daffock, s. — A woman's dress that is too short, l. 

Dagg, v. — To wet the feet or lower garments, generally used 
to females who wear petticoats. Dagg is an old word for dew. 
In Norfolk, a shower of rain is " A dagg for the turnips." This 
is a common word in Cheshire. Johnson calls it a low word. 



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QUEEN ELIZABETH'S HORN-BOOK OR READAMADAZY, 
in possession of Lord Egerton of Tatton. 

(See also p. lyj. 









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•• • • , • 



DAN CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 57 



Daggle, or Draggle-Tail is also common in the county. 
A.S. deagan ti?igere. " The fox was foinly daggled, an the tits 
aw out o' breath." — Warburton's "Hunting Songs." 

Dairymaid, s. — A wire sieve fixed in a handle, with which 
the curd is broken in the cheese tub. l. 

Daker Hen, s. — The corn crake ; like the cuckoo, peewit, 
or bell bird, named from the note. l. 

Dalling, adj. — '* Dalling weather," in harvest, means a per- 
petual change from wet to dry, and vice versa, which prevents 
progress, and perhaps comes from delaying, l. 

Dally, s. — Delay. Dally, v. — To delay, l. 

Damsels, 5". — Damsons. ** The Jacobs and damsels are all 
killed by the early frost." " Jacob " is a very early plum. l. 

Dander, s. — Spirit, mettle. " He's got his dander up at 
last." 

Dander, Donder, v. — To wander about. To ramble or 
wander in conversation. " Poor oud mon, he's dreadful don- 
dering," or rambling in his talk. 

Dandering, part. l. 

Dandy Cock and Hen. — Bantam fowls, l. 

Dang, v. — To throw things about carelessly and violently. 
Hence the term of 

Dangwallet — For a spendthrift, w. 

Dangerley, adv. — Possibly, by chance, mayhap, w. 

** Dang It," exp. — The same as "Hang it." Used when any- 
thing has gone wrong, or that displeases the speaker, l. 

Danter, s. — A term used in Macclesfield and Congleton, for 
the manager of the silk winding department in a silk mill. Its 
origin may be dander {d and / being cognate letters), to wander 



58 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. DAR 



about as a manager should or does do, to see that everything 
goes on right, l. 

Dark, adj. — Doubtful, unknown. '' Have you got such a 
farm ? " " No, it is dark at present." L. 

Dark, adj. — Bhnd. l. 

Darnak, s. — A hedger's glove, l. 

Darter, s. — Daughter, l. 

Dateless, adj. — A curious word, meaning insensible, from a 
blow generally. Evidence before the grand jury of Chester, 
*' Father knocked mother down dateless." l. 

Dauber, or Douber, s. — A plaisterer. In a couplet, or old 
Cheshire saying, we have an allusion to the word in the spelling 
of the time, 

** The Mayor of Altrincham and the Mayor of Over 
The one is a thatcher, the other a dauber." 

Two important workmen in the dwellings of our ancestors, when 
blue slates, tiles, and bricks, were unknown or unused. 

Dawb, or Daub, v. — To plaister with clay. ** Wattle and 
doub," or *1 Raddle and doub," a house or building made with 
oziers or hazels interwoven, the interstices filled up with clay ; 
not an uncomfortable house, being warm in winter, and cool in 
summer, like a thrush or blackbird's nest, both of which birds 
build in winter. Clay is a non-conductor of heat. 

Daze, v. — To dazzle, or to stun with a blow. Dazed, 
vertigifiosus, P.P.C. Sir Thomas More, in his "Apologye," 
talks of making men's eyes " adased." w. 

Dead Horse Work, s. — Said when a man, deeply in debt, 
has to pay away, at once, any money he makes by his work ; it 
being all forestalled. Ray (1670) has the proverb, "To work 
for a dead horse," i.e., to work out an old debt, without hope 
of a future reward, l. 



DEB CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 59 



Deadly, adv. — Very. l. 

Deaf, adj. — A nut without a kernel is said to be deaf. " He 
cracks no deaf nuts," O.C.S., said of one who always has some- 
thing to show for his work. 

Deafly, or Deaveley, «^'.— Lonely, retired. "A deaveley 
place," a place where nothing is heard. A woman told me 
she *' had left her house, it was so deadly deaveley." l. 

Deave, v. — To deafen or stun by noise. Doof or doove, 
Flemish, deaf. It also means the bother occasioned by the 
constant dunning the same thing into one's ear. The same as 
the Scotch word, " deave," 

"And sair wi' his love did he deave me." — Burns. 

Decayed, pat-t. — One reduced by poverty. ^' Given a de- 
cayed minister (one of the ejected in Cromwell's time), 6d." 
165 1, A.D. Middlewych Church Book. l. 

Decent, adj. — ^* He's the decentest man i'th county," i.e.^ he 
is the pleasantest man, there's less to say against him, more to 
be said in his favour ; used in describing a good, kind neigh- 
bour. It is also a Scotch term. l. 

Deck, v. — " I'll deck it," />., I'll knock off work, I'll give up 
what I am doing, l. 

Deck, s, — A pack of cards. A term found in Shake- 
speare, w. ** Let's have a deck," — let us play a game. 

Dee, s. — Day. " Her tung rattles so, oive no peeas dee or 
noight." 

Dee, v. — To die. " I'll either do, or dee," />., I'll succeed, 
or perish in the attempt. 

Deet, v. — " To deet," is to dirty ; perhaps a corrupt pro- 
nunciation of DiGHT. w. 

Much Good Deet You. — Much good do it (/.^., may it do) 
you : an exact translation of the Italian, Btion pro vifaccia. w. 



6o CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. DEL 



Deg, v. — To sprinkle. To deg clothes is to sprinkle them 
with water before ironing. A.^. JDeigan. l. 

Degging Can, s. — Watering can or pot. l. 

Delf, s. — A stone quarry. The words " mines, delfs and 
quarries " often occur in old deeds, w. The common stone- 
ware, or delf, is said to take its name from Delft. 

Delve, v. — To dig. 

' ' When Adam delved and Eve span, 
Who was then the gentleman ? 
Upstart a churl and gathered good, 
And thence did spiing our gentle blood." L. 

Demath, s. — A day math, or a day's mowing for one man, 
generally used for a statute acre, but erroneously so, for it is 
properly one half of a Cheshire acre which is to the statute 
acre in proportion of sixty-four to thirty and a quarter ; con- 
sequently the demath bears that of thirty-two to thirty and a 
quarter to the statute acre. Diemath, deymath, daymath, is 
common, I am told, in East Friseland. Wiarda explains it as 
a piece of land containing 400 square yards. Tagmat, as 
much as a labourer can mow in one day. Demat, diemat, 
demt, diemt, all mean the same thing. A.S. Doegweore^ a day's 
work. w. R. Marbury, of Appleton, in his will (A.D. 1559,) 
leaves his sister " one demath of hey." 

Demented, part, — Crazed, correctly, out of one's mind. 

"Ah Corydon ! Corydon ! quae te dementia coepit !" 

Depe, Depyer, adj, — Deep, deeper, merely another 
form. L. 

Desperate. — (Pronounced as a dissyllable). "Very 
desp'rate cruel." So used also in Devonshire. " He's des- 
perate good fellow. L. 



DIG CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 6i 



Develey, adj, — Lonely. " Au couldna a-bide place, it was 
so develey au was afeert," vide Deafly. 

Devil's Parsley, s. — Anthrisais sylvesiris. Wild beaked 
parsley, or wild chervil. The foliage is wholesome for man, 
the roots poisonous. It only grows in good ground, l. 

Devil's Snuff-box, s. — The common puff ball, Lycoper- 

d07l. L. 

Dew, s, — Used for rain. l. 

Dew-blown, adj. see Hoven. Also Risenon. l. 

Dew Mug, s. — A large black earthenware pan-mug. l. 

Dicky. — "All dicky with him," i.e. it's all up with him. l. 

Dick's Hat-band, s. — " As fine as Dick's hat-band," another 
version is " As queer as Dick's hat-band, as wexit nine times 
reaund, and wouldna tee {i.e. tie) at last." l. 

DiDDY, s. — The female breast of milk, also used for the 
milk itself, " To give the child some diddy," is to give it milk. 
A poor woman was expostulated with for nursing her child too 
long, (in Cheshire this is often continued after a cliild can 
run about and talk,) "Ah missis," answered the mother, "oo 
says its loif itself." 

DiDDS, s. — A cow's teats, l. 

Didn't ought to, i.e. ought not to. l. 

Dig, or Digg, s. — A duck. A gentleman introduced a man 
to an old lady in America as an inhabitant of Cheshire, her 
old county. " I'll soon see," said she, " if he is reet Cheshire 
born. Tell me," said she to the man, " what a dig, a snig, 
a grig, a peckled poot, and a peannot are?" B. Kennett 
in his Glossary of the British Museum^ has the word " dig." 
" As fierce as a dig," is a Lancashire and probably a Cheshire 



62 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. DIG 



proverb, and reminds one of the Gloucestershire name for a 
sheep, viz. : "A Cotswold lion." l. 

Dig-meat, s. — A water flower. Duckmeat. Lemna. l. 

DiGHT, V, — To dress, w. 

DiGHT, V. — A form probably of to dirt. l. 

Dills, s. — Vetches. " Dills and wuts " are often sown to 
be cut as green meat for horses, l. 

Ding, v. — To surpass or get the better of a person, Teutonic, 
JDinghe?i, cojitejidere. The usual sense of to ding, is to give a 
great blow. w. 

DiNGE, s. — An indentation, from detis, a tooth, l. 

Dirty Dick, s. — The wild flower, Goosefoot, {^nde Fat 
Hen), often found growing on a dunghill, l. Also — 

Dirty John, s. — Chejiopodhmt olidimi^ Stinking Goosefoot. l. 

Diseased, part. — Very commonly used for deceased. No 
Assize passes without some witness talking of " the diseased." l. 

Dish, s. — A dish of butter means twenty-four ounces, l. 

Dish Dain, or Dash Doon, s. — A sudden reverse of fortune, 
a dash down, an unexpected fall. l. 

Dished down. — Crestfallen, l. 

Dismay, v. — is to go wrong. " It's never dismayed," " He 
did, and ne'er dismayed," i.e. never hesitated, l. 

Dither, or Didder, v. — To tremble or shake, w. 

Dither, s. — *' Aum all of a dither," i.e. all of a tremble, l. 

Dithing, s. — A trembling or vibrating motion of the eye, 
from Dither, or Didder, w. 

Come — Do.— A man asks another to drink uses the term 
" Come," the other one accepts by saying " Do." l. 



DOE CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 63 



Dobbin, s. — A timber cart. Dobbin wheels, the very high 
wheels of the same. l. 

*' In dock, out nettle." — A proverbial saying expressive of 
inconstancy. It is supposed that upon a person being stung 
by a nettle, the immediate application of the Dock leaf to the 
sting, repeating the precise words " In Dock, out Nettle," or 
as another version hath it '' Dock come in, Nettle go out " 
three times (which constitutes the charm) will cause the pain to 
cease. These words are said to have a similar effect to those 
expressed in that old unscannable Monkish hexameter, 

" Exeat urtica, tibi sit periscelis arnica," 
or perhaps mnicce^ the female garter, bound round the suffering 
part, being considered a sovereign remedy, w. 

Dodder, or Dother, s. — Polygonum Convolvulus^ and any 
straggling plant. L. 

Doe, v. — (Pronounced like the female Deer). To fatten 
easily, to thrive. It is generally used in speaking of cattle. 
A Cheshire adage says ''Hanged hay never does cattle." 
Bought hay which has been weighed (or hung) on the scales 
(or rather steelyard) does not pay. A woman being asked 
how her sick husband was replied in an aggrieved tone, " That 
he would neither doe nor dee," i.e. get well nor die. Another 
O.C.P. is '' Roast meat does cattle," which means that in dry 
seasons cattle, if they can only get at plenty of water, often 
milk better than in cold wet seasons, when there is more grass. 
The grass in very dry seasons may be short and sparse, but 
it is multuni in parvo. It may be an extended sense of the 
verb " to do," i.e. " To do well." 

DoESOME, or DosEM, adj. — From the preceding verb, applied 
to cattle when they thrive well and quickly on httle ; derived 
by B. Kennet from the A.S. Dugan valere^ a questionable 
derivation, w. 



64 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. DOF 



Doff, v. — To pull off one's clothes, or any part of them. 

Dog Daisy, s. — Ox-eye Daisy, or Poverty Weed. l. 

Dog Eller, $•. — Viburnum opulus. Dwarf Elder, or Dane- 
wort. L. 

DoGEOUS, adj. — ^Wringing wet. l. 

DoGHY, adj. — Dark, cloudy, reserved. Bread half-baked is 
called " doghy," from dough, l. 

DoGTAiL, s. — The long-tailed Titmouse, l. 

Dole, or Doale, s. — A distribution of alms on the death of 
some considerable person, from A.S. Dcelan^ distribuere, or 
perhaps from Latin doleo., I grieve. The distribution taking 
place in consequence of a sad event at a sorrowing period. 

Dollop, s. — A lump, a large amount. Said of an heiress, 
" An she got any brass ? " " Ay, dollops." 

**A dollop of bones lay mouldering there." 

The Workhouse Boy. l. 

Don, v. — The contrary of Doff. w. 

Dooment, s. — A stir, q.v. " Mee-leddy, a pratty dooment 
there was when Lord Grosvenor cum of age ! " 

Double Brother, s. — Double sister. Twin brother or 
sister, l. 

Douker, s. — The lesser Grebe, Podiceps^ninor. The name 
taken from its peculiarity of constantly diving and ducking, 
from DowK. 

DouT, V. — To put out, to extinguish. '' Dowse the glim," 
is a cant term for putting out a candle — qu. " Do out." l. 

DowK, or DouK, v. — To duck or bow the head. From "duck." 
As an officer was bowing in answer to a salute, a ball that 
would have taken off his head, passed over him from the 
enemy's battery. " No one ever loses by civility," said he. 



DRU CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 65 

Downfall, s. — A fall of rain, snow, or hail. l. 
Drabbly, atij. — Wet soaking. " Drabbly weather," perhaps 
a variety of dabble, l. 

Drat it ! — An angry exclamation. Hang it ! " Drat the 
boy ! " '* Drat her, she's more plague than profit." l. 

Dree, adj, — Disagreeable, tedious, unseasonable. " A dree 
rain," a very common expression, seems a misnomer, as dry 
has the same pronunciation with us, but it means a thick, small, 
continued rain, more like a Scotch mist. I have heard of its 
being " a dree time " for any crop that is likely to suffer from 
wet or dry weather, or from other causes. Ihre has Draella 
stillare wide aliquid crebro decidit. 

Dree, v. — To continue, or hold out. w. 

Dreven, s. — A draggletail. " What a dreven thou art ! " l. 

Had Drink. " He had had some drink," one of our com- 
monest expressions, and means that a man was the worse for 
drink, but not very drunk, l. 

Drip, v, — To drip a cow. To try the cow again after she 
has been milked, that no milk may be left behind. See After- 
INGS. l. 

Drippings, s. — The last milk drawn from the cow, which is 
the very richest, l. 

Drones, s. — A §teelyard. l. 

Drooping Tulip, s. — Fritillaria Meleagn's. Snake's head. l. 

Drooty, adj. — Dry. Drooty weather, from drought, l. 

Drop, v. — To reduce wages. " He's after dropping us a 
shilling." " Drop it ! " Cease worrying me. l. 

Drudge box, s. — Flour box. Dredge is the old word for 
oats and barley mixed ] perhaps it may originally have been 
" dredge box." w. 



66 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. DRU 



- Drumbow, Drumber, Drimble, or Drumble, s. — A dingle ; 
in Nottinghamshire called a " dumble." A ravine. 

Partly Drunk, adj. — Was he drunk ? *' He were partly 
drunk," i.e. half drunk, l. 

Dub, v. — To clip a hedge, l. 

Dubbed, /^r/. — Adorned, ornamented, old word. 

*' His dyademe was droppede down 
Dubbyde with stones," 

MoRTE Arthure, Man*. Lincoln. No. 88. 

Dug, s. — A dog. w. 

** The dugs a bayin roind him." 

Warburton's Hunting Songs. 

Dumberdash, s. — A violent pouring shower, or fall of rain. 
Also Dunderdash, perhaps thunder pour. l. 

DuNCH, adj. — Deaf w. 

Dungow-dash, or Drumbow-dash, s. — Dung, filth. When 
the clouds threaten hail and rain, they say " There's a deal of 
pouse or dungo-dash to come down." w. 

Dunna. v. — " Do not," sometimes Dunnot. l. 

DuNNOCK, s. — The hedge sparrow, from its dark and dusky 
appearance. Dun was anciently a dark colour, the root in 
Irish and Scotch is black. Qiiere^ is it not Dunneck ? Bailey 
in his Dictionary mentions Dunneck as a bird. Dunbird is 
mentioned in Harrison's Description of England^ p. 122. 

Dunnot know, v. — A frequent commencement of an answer 
to a question, " How many children have you ? " " Dunnot know, 
but I believe I have six." l. 

DuR, J-. — A door. w. " Shut the dur to," — Close the door. 

Durcratch, s. — The side of a cart. l. 



EAT CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 67 



Dusty Husband, s. — Rock cress, Arabis Montatta. l. 

DuzzY, also DouzzY, adj. — Slow, heavy, perhaps from 
drowsy, w. 

Dym Sassnach. — Welsh for " I don't understand." Cheshire 
men often use the expression when they do not understand 
something ; they say " It's dym sassenach." l. 

Dytche, s. — A ditch, l. Also called a Sytche. 

E. 

Eale, s. — Ale. Pronounced as in the A.S. Bale. Vide 
Cheshire Wish. w. See also Yell. 

Eam, or Eem, v. — To spare time, to have leisure. *' I canna 
eam now." A.S. Eamtan, leisure. Baily has " to eein," to be 
at leisure, but I never heard the word so pronounced, w. 

Eamby, adv. — Close by, handy, w. 

Early Note, s. — Expression used when speaking of a cow 
expected to calve soon. Not impossible that this may be de- 
rived from nota, mark, — the time of the expected calving of 
each cow being chalked up in her boose, l. 

Earthnut, s. — Bnniuni flexuosum. The pig nut. l. 

Ease Pole, s. — Eaves pole. A triangular rail laid along the 
lower end of the roofing spars, to raise up the first course of 
slates. L. 

Easings of a house, s. — The eaves, w. 

Easing Sheaf, s. — The easing sheaf is the beginning of the 
roof of a rick, where the sheaf is made to project beyond the 
wall of the rick, so as to throw the rain off, instead of its trick- 
ling down the sides of the rick. l. 

Eating Water, part. i.e. drinking water, in contradistinc 
tion to Carry Water, q.v. some of which is only fit for 
swilling purposes, l. 

F 2 



68 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. EAV 



Eaver, or Eever, s. — A quarter of the heavens. " The wind 
is in a rainy eaver." Bailey admits eever as a Cheshire word. 
For the etymology of this word I look to the A.S. adv. weard? 
versus, in the direction of, as exemplified in its derivatives 
toward, froward, forward, backward. The sense corresponds 
perfectly, and the V and W may be regarded as the same letters ; 
the whole difficulty consists in the first short syllable of the 
word. This etymology is suggested with considerable diffi- 
dence, w. 

An Eddy, or a Neddy, s. — An idiot, of which word it may be 
a diminutive or corruption. More likely " a neddy," often used 
as an a/ias for a donkey. 

Edder Feeder, s. — Adder feeder, a common name for the 
gadfly. L. 

Edderings, s. — Cuttings or loppings of a hedge are so called. 
A.S. edor or edar, septum. Bailey has " Eder breche," the tres- 
pass of hedge-breaking. Tusser has 

' ' Save edder and stake 

Strong hedge to make." w. 

Eddish, or Edditch, s. — The grass that follows the hay crop. 
The same as Aftermath and Aftergrass, l. 

Eddish Cheese, s. — Cheese made of the milk of cows that 
eat the eddish, l. 

Eder, s. — A hedge. A good old English word : see Cowell's 
Law Dicit'onary, folio edition. Probably the root of hedge. 

Edge, s. — An abrupt hill. " Alderley Edge." l. 

Edge, v. — To make room ; to go aside, w. Possibly a cor- 
ruption from " hedge," and hence the racing term " To hedge," 
is common. 

Edgegren, s. — Eddish. Used in an old account book, 
dated 1656. l. 

Edther Bowt, s. — The dragonfly, l. 



ELB CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 69 



Eek, z'. — To itch. Yeuk or yoke, is the itch. l. 

Eel, v. — To cover in ; to season an oven when first made. l. 

Eem, adv. — Near. l. 6"^^ also Eamby. 

Een, s. — The plural of eye ; like " oxen," " hosen," " housen," 
" been." Also Eyne, and Even. *' Bang her amang her een," 
cried one drover, to another driving a refractory or terrified 
cow. L. 

Eend, s. — End. " No eend o' drink ! " Plenty of drink. 

Effigies, s. — A hatchment (which comes from "atchieve- 
ment.") In a bill of church accounts, in the Middle wych 
church book, in 1701, is a charge : "To removing the effigies 
of the old Lady Buckley. " l. 

Egg, v. — "To egg on," is .to urge on, to excite, to blow a 
quarrel into a flame, l. 

Eggs and Butter. — A plant. Rajiimculus acris. Butter- 
cup. L. 

Egg Plant, s. — The snowberry bush. Sympherocarpus. l. 

Win Egg, s. — A " win egg " is a soft egg without a shell, 
which generally arises from the hen's not being suppHed, in a 
country destitute of lime, with that most necessary ingredient 
for an egg-shell, l. 

Elbow Grease, s. — Hard work. AS. elboga, an elbow, 
There is a Cheshire proverb, which was a proverb in 1670, and 
may consequently be three or four hundred years old : " She has 
broken her elbow at the church door," said of a woman who 
as a daughter was a hard worker and did not spare the " elbow 
grease," who, however, after marriage became lazy and in- 
dolent. L. 

** These were the manners, these the ways, 
In good Queen Bess's golden days , 
Each damsel owed her bloom and glee 
To wholesome elbo-grease and me." 

Smart, Fable 5. 



CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. ELD 



Elder, s. — The udder of a cow. Belgice, elder, w. 

Eller, s. — The elder-tree. It is supposed to be unlucky to 
use the elder for kindling or lighting a fire. This may arise 
from the tradition that Judas hung himself on an elder-tree. 
At Prague, in the Jewish burial-ground — perhaps one of the 
oldest in Europe — the only bush is the elder. 

Enjoy, v. — Sometimes used in a queer way. "How are 
you ? " said I to an old woman. " Thank you," replied she, 
"I enjoy very bad health." This is rather different to 
Zacchary's answer to the question, " Do you enjoy good 
health ? " " Of course I do ; who doesn't ? " l. 

Enoo, adv. — Enough. " Enoo's a feeast." l. 

Er, or Ee,P'o. — Wilt'er? or Wilt'ee? Wilt thou? l. 

Erdnow, v. — "I don't know." F. L. Olmstead, in his 
" Walks and Talks of an American Farmer in England," was 
more than once dumfoundered by this Cheshire reply to his 
queries addressed to a stupid farm lad, sitting astride a gate not 
far from Chester : " Who owns this land, my boy ? " " Erdnow." 
*'What grain is that field sown with?" ''Erdnow." The 
American gave up in despair, and passed on. — The Cheshire 
version of the '' Monsieur, je iHentejid pas" story, l. 

Errick, or Eddick, s. — The bur or burdock. Arctium 
lappa. L. 

Errif, s. — Galium asserine. Goose grass, l. 

EsHiN, or AsHiN, s. — A pail. These pails, I believe, are 
always made of ash wood ? w. 

EsHiNTLE, s. — An eshin, or pail-full. w. 

Ess, or Esse, s. — Ashes, or a place under the grate to receive 
them. Bailey calls it a Cheshire word, the plural of Ash. w. 



FM CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 71 



Esse Hole, s. — Ash pit, the receptacle beneath the kitchen 
grate, l. " Oo's rootin in the esse hole, aw dee." 

Etwall, s. — Picus virides. Leycester. l. 

Every While Stitch, advei'bial expression. — At times ; every 
now and then. w. 

Expect, v. — To suppose, believe, or prognosticate. Rather 
an extended sense of the word, — a sort of a cross between 
expecting and hoping, with a dash of imagining and believing. 

An Eye, s. — A nest of pheasants ; or, as it is called in real 
sportsman's terms, "A nide of pheasants." From nidiiSy a 
nest. L. 

Eye, or Ee, s. — A meadow or piece of ground near a river, 
partly surrounded by water. At Chester, we find the " Roodee" 
and the " Earl's Eye." We have a brook called the " Peover 
Eye," which seems to suggest that Eye is a synonym of a 
brook. In Somersetshire, Eye means water, l. " Eoight," 
pronounced '* ate," is an island in the Thames. 

Eyable, adj. — Pleasing to the eye. " Th' garden is more 
eyable than it were." l. 

Eyes, s. — The holes left in an ill-made cheese which has 
been under, and sometimes over, pressed. This, though con- 
sidered a merit in Gruyard, &c., is a demerit in Cheshire cheese. 
The saying in Cheshiie is, that " The whey should be 'ticed, not 
forced, out." l. 

F. 

Fac, s. — A name for soil. 

Fade, s. — The mouldy part of a cheese. Perhaps from 
French, fade. l. 

Faigh, s, — Refuse soil, stones, &c. l. 



72 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. FAI 



Fain, adj. — Glad. " Breet a — d rain makes foos fain," />., 
when a gleam of sunshine succeeds rain, fools think it is going 
to be fine altogether, but another cloud follows, which brings 
back bad weather, w. " Fair words make foos fain." Ray. 

Fairies' Petticoats, s. — Digitalis purpurea. Foxglove. 
Called in Scotland, " Dead man's fingers." l. 

Fairies' Tables, s. — Hydrocotyle vulgare. White rot. 

Fairly, adv. — Proper, right, l. 

Fall, v. — To fell. '* The men are falling trees." l. 

Fall, v. — The term given when, by frost or exposure to the 
air, or wet, slaty marl, "Fox bench," or lime, becomes dis- 
integrated. L. 

Fallatic, also Palattic, adj. — For paralytic. (Cheshire 
assizes), l. 

Fall-Gate, s. — A gate across the high road. In Germany 
the toll-gates are a bar of wood lowered and raised by a pulley 
this may have been formerly the case in this country, l. 

Falling Out, part. — Quarrelling, l. 

Fantome Corn, s. — Light corn. Fantome Hay. — Hay that 
has been well got. w. 

Farand, or Farrand, s. — Manner, custom, appearance. 
O.W. We have " old farrand." Farantly. — To do things in 
the right or wrong "farrand." w. 

Farantly, adj. — Or, as it is often pronounced, " farancly," 
or " farincly," is supposed to be a compound of the two words, 
fair and clean ; but it is simply the adjective of "farrand," and 
means clean, decent, orderly, and also good-looking. 

** I seed a soight worth aw the rest, his farantly young broid." 

Warburton's Hunting Songs. 

In Scotland, well or ill "farrand,"are used for well and ill-looking. 



FAS CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 73 



In P.P.C., we read "Comly or well-farying in shape, elegans^^ 
In Hormanni Vulgaria^ we have, " He looked unfaringly." 
Aspectu fuit incomposito. A.S., far an, to go ; fare, a journey. 
Som. A Cheshire shoemaker said to a gentleman who was 
ordering shoes, " I know what you would wish, Sir, you would 
have a pair of shoes with a farantly toe and a mannerly heel." 
"Farantly"and ''mannerly" have much the same meaning, ex- 
cept that to the latter is attached rather more elegance than to 
the former, — in short, being in fashion. 

Fare, v. — To begin. " She fares o' calving," said of a cow, 
" It fares o' raining," it begins to rain. l. 

Fare, v. — To go. " To fare road," is to track the " fare," or 
trace of a hare along the road. w. 

Faroe, v. and s. — To gossip. A gossip. Can it, or may it 
be derived from the Latin, for. inf. fari, to talk or speak ? l. 

Farther, adv. — Expressive of repugnance. " I will be 
farther, if I do that," means I will never do it. A slang term 
" I'll see you farther, before I do it," expresses the same thing. 

Fash, v. — To trouble, tease, shame, cast down, or spoil. 
To " fash turnips," is to beat down their leaves. " The rain 
has fashed the flowers." Used synonymously with "dash." 

Fash, v. — To cut off the tops of turnips or mangold for the 
cattle ; this is the modern Cheshire meaning of "To fash." l. 

Fash, s. — The tops of turnips or mangold that have been 
fashed. " I'm agait kearting the fash to the beasts." l. 

Better Fashion, s. — When a person is said to be " in better 
fashion," it means that his health or circumstances, previously 
bad, are improving, l. 

Fashous, adj. — Unfortunate, shameful. Either from the verb 
to fash, or facheux, French, w. 



74 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. FAS 



Fast, v. — "To get fast," is to be so embarrassed as not to. 
see one's way out of a scrape. " I've getten fast amang it, some 
road." L. 

Fast By One End. — A good example of a Cheshire answer 
which is seldom yea or nay, simply. " Have you cut your 
hay ? " *' It is fast by one end." Which proves that the hay is 
not cut, nor at present liable to injury from the wet, as the hay 
is that is mown. l. 

Fasten, v. — " I'll fasten thee," i.e.^ I'll take the law of you 
for something you have done, are doing, or threaten to do. l. 

Fasten, v. — Prevented ; otherwise occupied, " I shall be 
fastened to-morrow, and canna come." l. 

Fastened Up, part. — The term for making the windows 
and doors safe for the night, l. 

Fastens, s, — Shrove Tuesday, also called ''Fastens Tues- 
day." A seed cake used to be the feast on this day {vide 
Whiskin), instead of pancakes as at present. Langley mentions 
" Fastingham Tuesday." l. 

Fat Hen, s. — Bonus Henricus. Generally found growing in 
rich land and on dung-hills, hence another of its Cheshire 
names, — Dirty Dick ; called also Good King Henry (hence 
perhaps, it may be named after Henry VIII. — "Fat Hen.") 
The weed is also called Goosefoot, and Lambs' Tongues, from 
the shape of its two sorts of leaves, l. 

Faugh, s, — Fallow. Abbreviated Hke many of the Venetian 
demiwords, like ca for casa^ &c. L. 

Favour, v. — To resemble, as one person does another. 
"The child favours his father." Pronounced "favvor." 
"Sic canibus catulos similes sic matribus heedos 
Noram." 

"What are those birds in the middle of the field?" "They 
favours partridges," />., they resemble partridges, instead of " I 
think they are partridges." " Thee favvers thoi dad, surely ! " 



FEC • CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 75 



Faw, s. — A fall. w. " Oo's ha a nockart faw." 

Fawn, adj. — Fawn coloured, brown. Vide Fou. l. 

Fawse, adj. — False, cunning, intelligent. Faws is one of the 
names for a fox ; it is used to express vice in a horse. 

Fay, v., or Fey, s. — To remove the soil before digging out 
marl, gravel, clay, &c., underneath. Fey is the soil so removed. 
A marling term, but also used for any removing of the top soil, 
before reaching stone, gravel, clay, earth, &c. 

Feaberry, s. — The gooseberry. It is difficult to name the 
root of this word. It is also called the " Fayberry," " Faberry," 
" Fee Berry," " Fabes," Feabes," '' Feapes," " Fhapes," " Dea- 
berry." It may come from fal^a, a bean ; the wild black goose- 
berry being something like beans ; or the dewberry, hence 
^' Deaberry," the fruit hanging on every^ bough like dew ; or 
from *' Fay," the fairy berry. Supposed to have been one of 
our indigenous fruits. Gerard says of feaberry, *' The name is 
used in Cheshire, my native county." 

Feal, v. — To hide slily. " He that feals can find." l. 

Fear, v. — "To fear crows," to frighten crows. Used 
transitively, l. 

Feart, adj. — Afraid, w. " Oim feart on him.", 

Fearcrow, s. — A scarecrow. Hence any unsightly object, l. 

February Fill Dyke. — 

*' February fill dyke, 
Whether black or white. 

i.e. rain or snow, alluding to the wet nature of the month ; as 
we talk of " March winds," " April showers," " Dripping June," 
" November fogs," &c. l. 

Feck !, or Fecks ! — An exclamation ; possibly " Faith ! '' or 
" Tphegs ! " w. The Irishman's " Faix ! " 



76 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. FEN 



Fend, v. — To work hard ; to struggle with difficulties. " In 
hard times 'we must fend, to live." When a person is difficult 
to convince, they say ''You must fend, and prove with him." 
In this latter sense it may be an abbreviation of " defend." 
Halliwell says that "Fend and prove," means throwing the 
blame on other people's shoulders. 

Ferrups! exclamation, — "What the ferrups are you doing?" 
like " What the devil are you about ? " l. 

Festerment, s. — Annoyance, vexation. An old hole, like 
that made by wet or age in timber. Sometimes, confusion. 
" A festerment of weeds." l. 

Fetch, v. — Means to take away, as well as the common 
meaning of bringing to one. v. Cawf. l. 

Fettle, s. — Order \ good repair, w. 

Fettle, v. — To repair ; to put in order. Whether it is a 
broken gate, a tumble-down barn, an unweeded garden, an un- 
washed child, broken harness, a plat fallen in, &c., &c., they 
must all be " fettled," i.e. righted and straightened. Dr. Johnson 
explains this word, " To do trifling business, to ply the hands 
without labour;" and calls it a cant word from "Fed." I 
should think it not unlikely our Cheshire Fettle, is a variety of 
"To settle," i.e. to arrange, and put in order, l. 

Few, v. — Flew ; perfect of verb to fly. w. 

Few, adj. — Is not only a small number, but a small quantity. 
"A few broth." A.S./m, pauci, Som. "A good few, more 
than a Uttle," means a good portion, and is one more of the 
many examples in Cheshire, of the simplest way being rejected 
for a more compound way of expressing a sentiment. "A 
few of broth " is a Scotticism. 

Fewmot, Foomot, or Foumart, s. — A polecat. The first 
syllable is derived from/^//, stinking ; the second is from Marten. 



FLE CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 77 



Fey, v. vide Fay. 

Fighting Cocks, s. — Heads of the platitago lanceolata^ the 
common plantain. The name originates from a child's game : 
each child has a certain number of plantains, and they by turns 
offer a plantain to be struck, or strike their adversary's j who- 
ever can strike off the most of his opponent's heads, and lose 
least himself, wins the game. l. 

Fillets, s. — Tin fillets, supports to prevent the cheese 
falling. L. 

FiLMART, or Foumart, s. — Polecat ; vide Fewmot. l. 

Fine, adj. (pronounced *'foine.") — Smartly dressed. "As 
foine as Phillyloo." O.C.S. l. 

Fine John, s, — Agrostis vulgaris. 

Fins, s, — ^All the bones of a fish are so called in Maccles- 
field. L. 

Fir-Bob, s. — A fir cone. l. 

First End, s, — The beginning. Sometimes First Along, l. 

" Firing a chimney." — Setting it on fire, to get rid of the 
soot, and save a chimney-sweep, l. 

First of May, s. — Saxifraga granulata, white meadow saxi- 
frage. L. 

Fitches, s. — Vetches, l. 

FiTCHET Pie, s. — A pie composed of apples, onions, and 
bacon ; served to labourers as a harvest-home feast, w. 

Fitter, v. — To move the feet quickly ; to stamp with rage, 
like children in a passion, w. 

Flacket, s, — Small board behind a cart. l. 

Fleak, s. — A bundle of hay \ not a truss, l. 



78 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. FLA 



Flake, or Fleak, s. — A hurdle, w. 

Flam, v. — To humbug, to deceive. " He's ony flammin." 

Flam, j-.— Humbug. " It's all flam, I tell you." 

Flange, or Flange Out. —To spread, diverge, or increase 
in width and breadth, like the mouth of a trumpet or a French 
horn. w. 

Flaps, s. — Large flat mushrooms, l. 

Flash, or Plash, also Pash, s. — A shallow piece of water, 
like that left in a field after a thunderstorm. Probably a variety 
of splash. 

Flasker, v. — To choke or stifle. A person lying in the mud, 
and unable to extricate himself, is said to be ^' Flaskered." 
" Flaskerry work,''' means hard, trying work. It is used to ex- 
press a stranded fish flopping midst mud and weeds. 

Flat Finch, s, — The brambling. l. 

Flatter Dock, s., vide Platter Dock, the commoner word, 

TroTafXoyrjTOP. W. 

Flay, or Flea, v. — ^'- Fleaing clods," is taking up the grass 
turf from a field or the side of a road. l. 

Flea, or Fly Dod, s. — Ragwort, senecio jacobea. It is com- 
monly covered with a dusky fly, which accounts for the first part 
of the name. Perhaps its termination was originally *' dock," 
not " dod." Gerarde, in his " Herbal," gives the name of ''Flea 
Docke," to a plant. (I cannot find this in my edition.) The 
name '' Flea," or " Fly," has been probably given it, for it 
is supposed by its rank smell to drive away fleas, flies, and 
midges. It is, in Scotland, called ** Stinking Billy," in contra- 
distinction to " Sweet William," and is often used, either as a 
flower or as an infusion, sponged on the legs— if you wear the 



FLI CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 79 



kilt — to keep off midges. In Cheshire it has another unsavoury 
name, from its disagreeable smell. In Ireland it is called the 
" Yellows," and is used for brooms. K.^.fleatvyrt. 

Fleck, Flick, Fley, Flegge, Flig, v. — To fly as a bird. 

Fleck, s. — The fur of a hare or rabbit, l. 

Fleck, s, — A flea. l. * 

Fleck, v. — To catch fleas. A witness at the Assizes, who 
came to prove an alibi, said she knew some circumstance had 
happened at the particular time, ** because her father had got up 
to fleck the bed." l. 

Flee, s. — A fly. w. 

Fleeces, s, — Layers of hay in a stack. " Yo mun cut some 
fleeces i'th bay." l. 

Fleetings, or Flittings, or Fleetmilk, s. — Part of the 
refuse milk in the process of cheese making. Belg. vlotemdck. 
In P.P.C. *'Flet of mylk, or other like despumatus." w. 
Fleetings are rather a curdy cream which rises on boiling whey. 
K.^.flede^ a stream. 

Flef, s. — A Flea. Also Flee, and Fleck, l. 

Flet Milk. — Skim milk. K.S. flefe, cremor lactts. w. 

Flig, or Fligge, adj. — Spoken of young full-fledged nest- 
lings ready to fly. A.^.fltgg. A flying. 

Fliggers, s. — Young birds beginning to fly. From the A.S. 
Fliccerian, Motare alas. w. From this word comes — 

Flicker. — To flutter. " The candle's flickering," just going 
out. l. 

Flit, v. — To remove from one habitation to another; to 
leave one's house, w. 



80 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. FLl 



Flit, or Flyte, v. — To scold. A.S. Jlytan, to reprove, w. 

Flitting, s. — Change of residence. " Moonlighty?////;?^," is 
when a tenant bolts by night, without paying his rent, and 
hopes to hide from his landlord his new whereabouts, l. 

Flizze, s. — The skin which chips at the insertion of the nail. 
Also called " Step-mother's blessing." 

Flock, v. — To mow in steps or ridges like a bad mower, l. 
Flough, s. (pronounced gutturally.) — A flea. w. 

Fluke, s. — A fish, the flounder. A.S. Jloc^ a plaicer or 
sole. w. 

Flummery, s. — Oatmeal boiled in water till it becomes a 
thick glutinous substance. Tod admits the word, but I believe 
it is in common use in this sense only in Cheshire, and some of 
the northern counties, w. 

Flurch, s. — A great many; a quantity. "A flurch o' straw- 
berries." L. 

Flush, v. — To put up winged game. l. 

Flush, adv. — Even with. " The brick coping is flush with 
the wall," does not project, l. 

Flusker, v. — To be confused ; to fly irregularly, as nestlings 
taking their first purposeless flight. Also Fluster, l. 

Fodder Cheese, s. vide Boosy Cheese. 

Fogg, s. — The uneaten sour grass of a pasture field avoided 
by cattle ; after frost (which is said to sweeten it,) they eat it. 
A sort of soft grass, which, made into hay, horses waste and 
cows eat; is also called "Foggy grass." 

Fogh, s. — Fallow ground, vide Faugh. 

Foine, adj. — Cheshire pronunciation of fine. l. 



FOR CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 8i 



Folks, s. — For people. " Folks say." " Folks dimna loike 
him." It is used in the singular or the plural ; the plural form 
of a word already plural, like people, is peculiar, but' lately we 
have an s put to people, l. 

Foo, s. — A fool. *' He's a born foo, and that's th' wurst foo 
of au." L. 

Foo-GAWD, s. — A fool's gawd or bauble. A foolish plaything. 
" Lave that foo-gawd alone, an' get to thoy work." l. 

FooTCOCKS, s. — Small haycocks, made by the haymaker 
drawing the hay towards him with the rake, and turning it over 
in a coil with the foot and rake. l. 

Footing, s. — Drink money, generally given by any one en- 
tering on a new office, trade, or pursuit, to those of his future 
fellows already engaged in it. Money paid to gain a " footing," 
or a right to associate with othtrs,— passim, l. 

Foremilk, v. — To milk the first half of the quantity a cow 
gives, and to put it by itself for the market, retaining the second 
half of the meal for butter-making, l. 

Foremilk, s. — The first portion of the milk given by a cow 
at a meal, less rich than the after portion, and very much poorer 
than the " drippings." l. 

FoRENENST, adv. — Opposite ; over against, l. 

FoRKiN Robin, s. — ^An earwig. (Should it ever get into the 
ear, a drop of oil kills it.) l. 

Form, s. — State, condition. " Good or bad form." l. 

FoRTHiNK, V. — To repent. Chaucer, w. 

FoRTHouGHT, s. — Repentance. J^orethought is forecast, or 
prospective wisdom, but our word has quite a different mean- 
ing, the word for signifying privation, as for in ** forget," and 

G 



82 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. FOT 



"forgo" (j-^ it ought to be written, and not '^forego"). The 
pronunciation of " forthought," and " forethought," are quite 
different, w. 

FoT, z^. — To fetch; fetched, l. 
Fou, adj, — Ugly, foul. Also Fow. 

'* Fawn peckles once made a vow 
They ne'er would come on face that was fou." — O.C.S. 

Fou DRUNK. — Very drunk, mad drunk, w. 

FouGHTEN, /<^j/ /rt;r. of to fight. — ist. Rustic, in town at fair 
time: — "Bill, hast foughten?'' 2nd. Rustic. — ^'None." ist 
R. — " Well, ge foughten, and come whoam.'' l. 

Foul, adj. — Abusive. " She used foul or fow names." Also 
dirt. Lord Chancellor Egerton's favourite proverb was — 
*' Frost and fraud both end in foul." 

Few, J. — A fowl. (Bailey.) l. 

Fow Life. — Very difficult. " I've a fow life to walk at all," 
said a rheumatic man. l. 

FowLK, or FoKE s. — Folk or persons. " You hinder folk " 
is often used for "you hinder me in my business," a similar 
use ioone — "You bother one," i.e., me. 

Fowls, or Fouls, s. — A disease in the feet of cattle, for 
which the following receipt is given as effective : " Cut a sod 
on which the diseased foot has stood, the shape of the foot, 
and stick it on a bush." l. 

Fox, V. — To pretend to be asleep. *' He's none asleep, not 
he, he's ony foxin." Probably it means this where it is used 
in "King Lear." l. 

Fox Bench, s. — A certain hard red and almost metallic 
earth, impervious to moisture, which sublies the ground at 



FRE CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 83 



different depths in many parts of Cheshire — a sham shallow 
rock-sand hardened, and when exposed to the air it soon falls 
to pieces. The name is probably taken from its tawny red 
colour, resembling that of a fox. It is also called Fox Bent. 
The term Bench, floor, is used in Staffordshire to name the 
sixth parting in the body of the coal 2 feet thick. In York- 
shire Fox Bench is called Pee at Pan, from holding the water 
like a pan. l. 

Foxy, adj. — Wet, marshy. A common case with land that 
has unbroken or unpierced Fox Bench sublying it ; as the wet 
cannot escape, l. 

Frab, V, — To worry. *' Growlin and frabbin from mornin 
to neet." l. 

Frabbly, adj. — A worrying, ill-tempered person, l. 

Frame, v. — To shape or promise well. As an example, I give 
a bit of Cheshire irony. " Thee frames loike my aunt Peg, and 
she framed loike a foo." A Biblical word — Judges xii. 6, " For 
he could not frame to pronounce it right. " l. 

Frampath, s. — The ring which slides on the ring stake to 
which the cows are fastened, l. 

Frampot, s. — The iron ring which fastens the Sowl or cow 
,yoke to the iron range, w. 

Frasling, 5. — The perch, (fish), l, 

Fray, s. — To store a pit with fry. l. 

Free Martin, vide Martin. 

Frem, or Frim, adj. — Brittle, tender, applied to the young 
spring grass, l. 

Fremd, adj. — Strange, hostile ; GQrm2in, fremden, foreigners. 
" Frem folk," Strangers. In former days there was a natural 
connection between strangers and enemies. Hence the same 

G 2 



84 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. FRE 



word was used for both, as in this case. Strangers were con- 
sidered as spies, the avajit-coiirlers of war. The Roman word 
for strangers was barbaric barbarians, or foreigners. 

Fretten, part. — Rubbed, marked. " Pock Fretten," 
marked with the small-pox, (A.S. Poc). French, /roUer; A.S., 
frothian, fricare. w. 

Fridge, v, — To rub to pieces. To fret, to make sore with 
rubbing, Hke a badly fitting collar, or saddle galling a horse. 
It also means to fray at the edge. l. 

Front, v. — To swell. " Pig should be killed the full of the 
moon, or the bacon winna front when boiled." l. 

Frort, Frowart, Frowarts, dr^z^. — Forward, w. "Ther's 
ne'er a frowarter wench in aw the parish ner yare Bet ! " 

Frousty, adj. — The same as frouzy ; close, unpleasant 
smelling, not fresh. Like a bedroom that never has the win- 
dows opened, clothes that have been worn and not washed, 
&c. L. 

Fudging, part. — Talking nonsense, l. 

Fugle, v. — To whistle. " Go long wi' ye, thou idle chap, 
allis fugling and runting." l. 

Fukes, j.— The hair. Bailey has "fax," for the hair, and 
derives from it, " Fairfax," " Halifax," &c. A.S., feiix, the 
hair. w. 

Full Bat — used adverbially for best pace, very quickly. 
" He ran agen him full bat." l. 

FuMMUZ, V. — To meddle in anything fussily and clumsily. 
What the late Lord Derby called "MeddUng and mud- 
dling." L. 



GAL CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 85 



Fun, v. — To do, to liumbug, to make a laughing-stock of. L. 

'* Then kissing his daughter, he said to his son, 
Saying, 'John you have funned me as sure as a gun.' " 
The Old Man Outwitted, 
Cheshire Ballads and Legends, p. 73. 

FuRBLES, s. — Fibres, hairy roots, l. 

FuRMETTY, s. — New wheat boiled to a pulp and sweetened 
with sugar. The reason given by the churchwarden of 
Middlewych for not letting the school children come to church 
on the Wakes Sunday was, " That their little bellies will be so 
full of furmetty, that they will only be going in and out all 
church time.^' It is a synonym of " frumenty," which comes 
from the l^dXin frumentum^ wheat, l. 

FussocK, s. — A potato pudding, l. 

FusTiANY, adj. — Applied to sand with a good deal of earth 
(of the colour of fustian) in it, that prevents its being used for 
mortar, l. 

FuzziKY, adj, — Spongy. Like a soft, spongy turnip, before 
actual decay, l. 

G. 

Gad, v. — To go. To be *' on the gad," is to be on the point 
of setting out. " Our Moll's a regular gad-about." l. 

Gad, j-.-^-The fact of starting, w. 

Gaffer, s. — The master or overseer of workmen, l. 

Gafty, adj. — Doubtful, suspected. "A gafty person" is 
one suspected, w. 

Gain, adj. — Handy, near. ^' Dunna go that gate, t'other's 
gainer." " Go's a gain little tit." L. 

Gallows, s. — Braces, l. 

Gallows Tang, s. — A jail-bird ; also a clumsy fellow, l. 



86 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. gm 



Gallas, adj. — "■ A gallas young fellow," means one always 
in scrapes, or up to a lark ; either from the word " gay," or that 
mad pranks may lead to his being hanged. When we say, " Such 
a one never will be drowned," we imply he will be hanged. It 
required less interest to be hanged formerly than at present, l. 

Gambrel Legged, adj. — Cow legged. Said of a horse, l. 
Gamble, s. — The hough of a horse, l. 

Gammel, or Gannel, s. — A slut; also a narrow entry or 
passage, quasi a channel. Vide Gennell. l. 

Gammock, v. — To banter, jest, or lark. " Oi shan't stand 
any o' yoer gammucks. Jack." l. 

Gander Month. — The month during which a man's wife is 
confined, w. Also called Steg Month — Isl. stegge, a gander. 

Gang, s. — The party of labourers who undertake to open a 
pit and dig out the marl. l. 

Ganger, s. — The head of a gang of workmen (not marlers). 
Vide Lord of the Pit. l. 

Garelocks, or Garelicks, s. — A fighting cock's gaffles, or 
artificial spurs, l. 

Gargles, s. — A disease of the udder of a cow, when the milk 
curdles and will not flow. To " rub the udder with a maid's 
shift " is said to be a certain cure for the disease. I cannot add, 
Probatum est. l. 

Gate, s. — A road. ** Gate heo goes," is the usual cry of the 
huntsman when he pricks (/>., traces) the hunted hare along the 
high road : **gate" is not only porta^ but porius — " Sandgate," 
" Margate," &c. In Scotland they say of a wilful man, *' He 
maun take his ain gate." 

Gate, v.y Gating, pari. — Silkweaving terms — To start, 
starting, /.<?., beginning ; in very common use, and refers to the 



GAW CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 87 



special preparations made by a workman about to weave a new 
fabric. " Gating " sometimes takes several days — '* I'm gating 
to goo." L. 

Gather, v. — A term for picking up game. " Have you 
gathered the partridge ? " It is a peculiar use of the word, and 
reminds one of the " gather up " of the Scriptures. In a general 
way, gather would imply a dissevering; when we hear 
that Proserpine, " The fairest flower by gloomy Dis was 
gathered," it is a metaphor taken from her employment when 
seized, l. 

Gathering, s. — Collection in a church, or from house to 
house ; a term as far back as 1560. l. 

Gatherers, s. — The collectors of the subscription after a 
charity sermon. L. 

Gather Waste. — A factory term. — To wind up, to draw to 
a conclusion. Before ceasing work at a factory for the day, 
they " gather the waste " silk caused by the breakages of the 
day. Thus it is a common saying when an orator or clergyman 
enters on the peroration, or the " in conclusion," of his sermon 
that he begins to "gather waste," or " t'gather waste." l. 

Gaut Pig, s. — A sow. l. 

Gaw, s. — Waste land ; a strip by the side of the road. 
*'Gaw or waste land," appears in an old deed relating to land 
at Allostock. A.'^.jgorst, gorse. A cover near Arley is called 
" The Gore." l. 

Gawfin, s.—K clown, l. 

Gawin, v. — To comprehend. Kil., gaw, intelligent. Pals- 
grave has " to awme," " to guess," which I suppose is nothing 
but to aim. w. 

Gawm, s. — " A gawm of a fellow," a lout. l. 



88 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. GAW 



Gawn, J. — A gallon; also spelt Goan. " Missus, oi*m dry; 
bring us another gawn o' yell." 

Gawp, v. — To gape, or stare with open mouth. Wachter 
says — " // qtn rem aut exituni rei avide prcEstolantur plenunqiie 
hiscentes id facmnt" A stupid person is supposed to make at 
least as much use of his open mouth as his open ears, in 
taking in news. "With open mouth swallowing a tailor's news." 
^ itnch, gobbemottche ; Anglice, fly-catcher. 

Gee ! — Said to a horse when he is to turn to the right, " Gee 
back 1 " right about face ! Pronounced Jee. 

Gee, 7>. — To fit, suit, or agree together, from the O.W. " to 
gee,'* or " to gie," to go ; as it is said of horses that go well in 
harness together. The G is pronounced hard. 

Gee, v. — To give. " Oo geed me nought." 
Geen, participle of the preceding, l. 
Geen, adj. — Active, clever. " A reet geen litde tit," />., A 
really clever little horse, l. Gai7i. 
Geet, v. — For got, and get. l. 

Geff, or Jeff, adj, — Deaf (or as we pronounce deaf, like 
leaf.) 

Gell, or Jell. — A great deal. w. 

Geneva Plant, s. — The juniper, the berries of which are 
used not only to flavour Westphalia hams, but gin also ; which 
is often called " Geneva." 

" Oh, Geneva, Geneva, Geneva's the thing — 

For sixpence a man. may get drunk as a king. " L. 

Gennell, s. — Macclesfield term for a long, narrow passage 
between houses, perhaps from "channel," or " kennel,'' which 
most likely also occupies the " gennell." l. 

Brown George. — The common sort of brown bread, w. 

Gesling, j.— Gosling, w. 



GLE CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 89 



Get, v. — " Getting potatoes," digging them up. l. 

Gheeten, part. — Gotten, w. 

Gib and Gill, s. — Male and female ferret, l. 

To GO Giddy. — To go into a passion ; A.S. Gidig, stultus 
veriiginosiis — Som. A very trifling deflection from the common 
meaning of Giddy, w. 

Gillhooter, s. — An owl. w. 

Giller, or Guiller, s. — Several horsehairs twisted together 
to form a fishing line. w. 

Gilt, s. — A young sow that has never had a litter, l. 

GiMBO, s. — The natural child of a natural child, l. 

' Gingerly, adv. — Gently, cautiously. In Cheshire, "Gin- 
gerly," and not " delicately,'^ would have been applied to the 
approach of King Agag. l. 

Gird, v. and s. — A push. To push as a bull doth. In 
Shakespeare's " Henry IV.," Part II. Act i. Scene 2, Falstaff 
says, "Men of all sorts take a pride to gird at me." A.S. 
gyrd^ a stick ; gyrd wife, is painbringing rod. A horse apt to 
bolt and take fright is said, " To have the girds." 

Getty (pronounced Jetty), v. — To agree, to suit. " They 
dunna getty," /.<?., They do not get on well together, l. 

GizzERN, s. — A gizzard, w. 

Glaffer, or Glaver, v.— To flatter, coax or fondle, A.S. 
gleafan^ to flatter, l. 

Glass, v. — Glassing the windows is to put the panes into 
their frame. It appears in Middlewych church book, a.d. 
1655. L. 

Glead, or Gled, s. — A kite. A.S. gledd. l. 



90 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. glk 



Glede, Gleeds, s. — Bits of wood and sparks left at the 
bottom of a brick oven, and generally wiped out with a 
maukin. l. 

Glent, or Glint, v. and s. — A glimpse, a glance, a squint, l. 
" Go glints wi' one oie." 

Gliff, s. — A glimpse. Flemish, glimp, appearance, w. 

Globed to, part. — Wedded to ; foolishly fond of, infatuated. 
In Ray alone. From glop fatuus. w. 

Gloppen, v. — To astonish or stupify. From glop nedi. 
The Mayor of Chester's speech to James I., vide " Cheshire 
Ballads and Legends." 

Glottened, adj, — The same as the preceding word — so 
spelt by Ray. 

Glour, or Glower, v. — To have a cross look. To frown 
upon one. When the clouds threaten rain, and look dark and 
heavy, we call them '' glow'ring," w. 

Gnatter, or Natter, v. — To gnaw to pieces. A.S. gncegan^ 
to gnaw. Som. w. 

GoAN, s. — A gallon, vide Gawn. 

Gob, s. — A foolish person, a silly, a gawk — answering to the 
French gobbemouche. l. 

God give you God den, />., day. — A greeting often used in 
Lancashire and Cheshire to passers-by, of " Goody, good een," 
or, *' Goody, good eel," or words that sound thus. The meaning 
of this may be " God give you good den, or good day," or other- 
wise it may be, '' May God good yld, or yield, to you ;" but from 
the sound, I rather incUne to the first explanation. In " Romeo 
and Juliet," Mercutio says to the nurse, " God ye good den, fair 
gentlewoman," to which salutation the nurse replies, " Is it good 
den ? " Mercutio rejoins, " 'Tis no less, I tell you," &c. w. 

Coin in, part. — " Going in, or of, ten years," said of a child 
rising ten. In alluding to one of the family having manied, you 
are often told that so and so "has gone and got married.' 
" He's bin an gon and did it ! " i.e., made a mess of it. l. 



GOR CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 91 



Goiter Throat. — The remedy for this in our Cheshire folk- 
lore, is to draw the hand of a man, killed by accident, across the 
affected part, in the dark, and no one present, l. 

GoLDiNG, s.—A marygold. w. 

Goldfinch, s. — The yellowhammer l. 

GoLLOP, V. — To swallow greedily, to gobble. There is a 
Somersetshire word, " goUop," which means a large mouthful!. 
" He golluped up the meeat loike a dog." l. 

GoNDER, s. — A gooseberry, l. 

GoNDER. s. — A gander. Also a fool, '* What a gonder thee 
art, Raphe ! " l. 

Good, s. — Property of any kind. We find the same in 
French and Latin, dona. Mens. 

Gooding, /«r/. — Collecting money for the poor at Christmas 
for a feast. Doing good. l. 

Good Lad ! , ex. — Well done ! 

Good Luck. — " To play the good luck," i.e., bad luck, is to 
do mischief; synonymous with "playing old gooseberry," or 
"playing old Harry." It reminds me of what I once heard at 
an Irish fair, where two Irishmen met — " Bad luck to you ! Pat," 
says one, " How are you ? " " Good luck to you ! Mick," an- 
swered the other, without the least hesitation, " and may neither 
of them come true." l. 

Goody, s. — A sort of familiar greeting (formerly much used, 
now very seldom heard) to an old woman, w. We may call 
it extinct now, 1875. 

GoosEFOOT, s. — Another name for " fat hen," ^. v, l. 

GoRBY, a^/j. — Soft, silly, l. 

GoRSE Hopper, j.— The bird called a whinchat. w. 



93 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. GOS 



Goslings, s. — The yellow flower of the willow, resembling 
in colour newly-fledged goslings, l. 

GosTER, V. — To boast. " He's a gosterin' foo ! " l. 

QxOT, part. — Applied to hay, "well got," or "badly got," />., 
well or badly saved, l. 

Got the Rats. — Said of a man who has the bailifls in his 
house. L. 

GouFE, or Gaufe, s. — A simpleton. " Thou great goufe ! " l. 

Gouty, adj. — " What is a gouty place?" "A wobby place." 
** What's a wobby place ? " "A mizzick." " What's a mizzick ? " 
"Amurgin." "What is a murgin ? " "A wet, boggy place." 
Gouty may be derived from the French goiitte. l. 

GowD Feps, s. — A kind of small red and yellow early pear ; 
th^ petit muscat, or sept en gueule of Duhamel. w. 

GowLE, GouL, s. — A running of the eyes j the gum of the 
eyes. l. 

Gradely, Greadly, or Graidly, adv. — Decently, orderly; 
a good sort of man, thriving honestly in the world. Perhaps 
from O.W. to gree, for to agree; A.S. grith, peace; used by 
Chaucer, w. " She's a gradely lass," a right proper girl. 

Gradely, adv. — Near. l. 

Graft, s. — The depth of a spade. " Digging ground two 
grafts deep/' means two spades deep. l. 
Grains, s. — The prongs of a fork. l. 

Graith, s. — Riches, w. "If you've graith and grout, 
you'll be never without." O.C.P. 

Crash, s. — Fruit. . l. 

Grawed, adj. ox part. — Begrimed, bedaubed with dirt. l. 

Grazier, s. — A young rabbit beginning to eat grass, w. 



GRO CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 93 



Great. — '^ To work by the great,''' is task work in contra- 
distinction to day work. w. 

Great, adj. — Friendly, on good terms. *' I'm not great with 
him, now ; " " I don't recognise him now, if I meet him." L. 

Green Linnet, s, — Greenfinch, l. 

Greet, s. — Silver sand. l. 

Greybob, s. — The lesser redpole. l. 

Grig, s. — Heather, l. 

Grin, s. — A snare to catch a hare or a rabbit. 

Grindle stone, s. — A grinding stone. AS. grindan, to 
grind. " * Naught's impossible,' as t'auld woman said when 
they told her, caulf had swallowed grindlestone." O.C.P. l. 

Gripyarding, or Yeording, part. — Piling and wattling, to 
support banks, (as is sometimes done with graves,) to prevent 
the scour of rivers on the banks, l. 

Gripyard, s. — A seat of green turf, supported by twisted 
boughs. L. 

Groop, s. — The channel in a shippin to carry off the water, 
&c. L. 

Grosier, s. — Gooseberry. An adaptation of the French 
groseille. 

Ground Elder, s. — Angelica sylvestris. Few plants have 
more provincial names than this. l. 

Ground Ivvens, s. — Nepeta glechoma, catsmint. Ground 
Ivy. L. 

Ground Honeysuckle, s. — The common birdsfoot — Orni- 
thopus perptisillus. L. 

Grout, s. — Good breed. " Grout afore brass, for me ! " l. 



94 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY GRO 



Grout, or Growt, s. — Poor small beer. w. 

Grub, 7a — To make envious. " He's grubbed at Tom cut- 
ting him out." L. 

Grummel,j-. — Dust and rubbish. More anciently Romell. l. 

Grumbledirt, s. — A man who is always grumbling, l. 

GuELVE, s. — A three-tined fork. l. 

Guest, s. — Instead of guise. " Another guest person " is a 
different sort of person, w. 

GuiLL, V. — To dazzle, chiefly by a blow. w. 

GuiNiAD, i". — A fish only caught in the Dee, at Pimble 
Meer. Pimblemere is the old name of Bala Lake, through 
which the Dee flows. The guiniad resembles the salmon in 
shape, and tastes like a trout. Ray, 1674, says, "The guiniad 
is found in the Lake of Bala in Wales (whence flows the Dee). 
This is the same with the jarra of Lake Geneva, described 
in Aldrovandus, and the alberlin of the Lake of Zurich. It 
is also found in a lake of Cumberland called Huls water 
(Ulswater) where they call it a schelly." Steele's " Collection 
of Cheshire words," (Bodleian) circa 1750. Mentioned by 
Skinner, l. 

Gull, s. — A naked gull is any unfledged nestling. They have 
always a yellowish cast. The word is, I believe, derived from 
AS. geo/e; or Suio-Goth, gul — both meaning yellow. Com- 
mentators, unaware of the real meaning of " naked gull," 
blunder in their attempt to explain those lines in Shakespeare's 
" Timon of Athens "— 

" Lord Timon will be left a naked gull, 
Which flashes now a Phoenix." w. 

Gurr, s. — A sort of looseness to which calves are subject. 
" Cawf 's got th' gurr." l. 



HAF CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 95 



GuTOUT, s. — The gout. It also means a soft spongy part of 
a field full of springs. A defective place — perhaps used in a 
figurative sense, w. 

Gutter Viewers, s. — Officers in the Salt Towns who'inspect- 
ed the troughs or channels, which conducted the brine from 
the sheath to the wych house. L. 

GuTTiT, s. — I am credibly informed this is almost the only 
name by which Shrovetide is known to the lower orders in 
Cheshire. The word seems a corruption of "Goodtide." 
" Shrovetide was formerly," says Mr. Warton, " not only a 
season of extraordinary sport and feasting, but it was also the 
stated time for repentance, confession, and absolution." For 
either of the above reasons, it may fairly have obtained the 
name of Goodtide, as the day of Crucifixion has that of Good 
Friday. At Mobberly I hear of a curious custom (which may 
be general). If any one of the farm servants cannot finish his 
pancakes by a certain time, he is put, willy nilly, into a wheel- 
barrow, taken off and shot out on the midden, l. 

H. 

Hack, J. — A mattock. *' A gorse hack." l. 
Pig's Hack, s. — A pig's pluck, l. 

Hackling, fl!^'. — Hacking; said of a troublesome cough, l. 
HcEGS, s. — Pronounced hagues. — Haws, the berries of the 
hawthorn. " Hedge " is derived from this. l. 

Haffle, v. — To hesitate. " Haffle, and yore dun for," — t.e., 
He who hesitates is lost. l. 

Haft, s. — A man not to be depended upon is called " loose 
in the haft ;" not to be trusted further than you could "throw a 
pig by the soaped tail." Haft is properly a handle, and if an 
axe, for instance, is set in a loose haft, the weapon not only 
cannot be trusted, but maybe dangerous. A.S. /ice/tf a handle. 



96 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. HAG 



We have two O.C.P.s. *' Every knife of his'n has a golden 
haft," />., everything he undertakes turns out well. " Dunna 
waste a fresh haft on an oud blade ;" Don't throw good money 
after bad. l. 

Hagg, s. — To work by the " hagg" is to work by the job, in 
contradistinction to day work. The price of day labour is 
simple ; but to work by the " great," or by the job, is a fruitful 
source of dispute between employers and employed, particularly 
as the contract is never written down. Hence to " hagge," or 
*' haggle," is the general result of the half-digested bargain. In 
the Isle of Wight, *' haggler " is the upper servant on a farm, 
upon whom falls the bargaining, and subsequent quarrelling, 
with the labourers. 

Hagg Master, s. — One who hires labourers and undertakes 
" hagg work." l. 

Haigh, or Hay, v, — To heave, w. ^' Hay it up," lift it. 
Hain, s. — Hatred, malice ; from French /laiu. l. 
Halo, or Hailow, adj. — Awkwardly shy and bashful ; from 
A.S. /iwy/, bashful, w. 

Half- Wit, v. — An idiot. "Our Raphe's a pratty toidy 
scoUard ; but as for Dick, poor chap ! he's a hafe-wit." l. 

Halsh, v. and s. — To twist. A twist or turn. " Halsh the 
rope." " Give it another halsh." l. 

Hames, also Hemes, s. — Horse collars, so called (according 
to Phillips, in his New World of Words j) from their likeness in 
shape to the hams of a man, w. Perhaps from Latin hamus. 

Hamil Sconce, s. — The light of the village or hamlet, the 
Solomon of the place. *' Sconce " is either light or head. l. 

Hammer and Pincers, or Hammer and Tongs. — Also 
called Forging. — The noise made by a horse on the trot by 
striking the hind shoe against the fore one. A fault of many 



HAP CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 97 



horses, particularly when tired. " They're falling out, hammer 
and tongs," i.e. they are having high words, l. 

Han, v. — The plural of the present tense of the verb "to 
have " ; it is an old word used by Widiffe, and seems to be a 
contraction of " haven." l. 

Hanged Hay, s. — Hay hung on the steel-yard to be weighed, 
previous to selling. There is an O.C.P. " Hanged hay never 
does cattle," i.e. bought hay does not pay, " Slung hay " is 
another version, and like *' hanged hay," refers to the mode 
of weighing, l. 

Hang Post, s. — The post on which a gate hangs^ in contra- 
distinction to the " clap post," against which the gate shuts, l. 

Hangs, s. — Wires to catch hares and rabbits, l. 

Hank, Hanker, v. — To desire ; to look after, l. 

Hanna, v. — Have not. w. 

Hansell, s. — " Gee me a hansell," i.e. be the first to buy 
something of me. A French shop woman . told me it was un- 
lucky to refuse the first offer made by the first customer in the 
morning. The first purchaser in a shop newly opened, '* han- 
sells it, " as the first purchaser of the day does a market. 
"Hansel Monday" is the first Monday in the year. "To 
hansel our sharp blades," is to use them for the first time. Sir 
yoh7i Oldcastle^ page 29. l. 

Hantle, or Handtle, s. — A handful ; a great quantity. 
" A hantle o' siller," in Scotland means a great lot. The doubt 
expressed by Jamieson of the root of the word being " handful," 
is wholly done away with, when we state that the two similar 
words, Piggintle and Noggintle, are in constant use in the 
county, w. 

Hap, v. — To pat ; said of patting soil with the back of a 
spade to smoothe it. l. 



98 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. HAP 



Happens, adv. — Perhaps, possibly. A Scotch word. A 
story is told of a Scotch minister preaching upon Jonah, and 
suggesting different fish as the swallowers of Jonah and then 
denying it, till an old woman, one of the congregation, well 
versed in Scripture, tired of the minister beating about the 
bush or raking the sea, cried out " Happens it was a whale ! " 
" Happens," retorted the angry minister, " you are an auld fule 
for taking the word of God out of the minister's mouth." 
Happeley (haply) is a synonym of Happens. 

The Happy family, s. — Name for a flower, a Sedum, the 
buds and flowers of which, though on diff'erent stalks, all nestle 
together, l. 

Harbour, v. — To haunt. '' They harbour there con- 
tinually," i.e. they are constantly there. "The man at th' 
pubHc allis harbours pouchers." Harbour is a term in Venerie 
for the lodgment of the hart or deer. The man whose duty it 
was to discover where the deer " harboured," was called the 
" harbourer." l. 

Harbouration, s. — A collection, a lodgment. *' Oi ne'er 
seed sich a harbouration o' durt as that is." l. 

Hard, adv.—M\ich. " Go fretted very hard." l. 

Hard-faced, adj. — Impudent, obstinate. I have heard a 
bold horse called " a regular hard-faced one." l. 

Hard Iron, or Hard Yed, Centaureum 7iigruni. — Knap- 
weed. The man who gave me the second name said " Moind 
it is yed., not Head." l. 

Hask, ^^*.— Rough, cold, piercing. The bitter March winds 
we call " Hask." L. 

Hassocks, s. — A coarse grass growing in tufted cushions in 
wet places ; Aira ccespitosa, also called tussock grass, l. 



HA^ CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 99 



Hattle, a^j'.— Wild, skittish. " Tye the hattle kye by the 
horn," I.e. the skittish cow. Ray. 

Hattock, s. — A hole in the roof where owls harbour, l. 

Hattocks, s. — A shock of corn. l. 

Having, 'part. — Cleaning corn by throwing it against the 
wind. Perhaps a corruption of heaving, l. 

Haviours, or Havers, s. — " To be on one's haviours," is to 
be on one's good behaviour. " To mind one's P's and Q's.'* 
This latter expression is said to have originated from the 
publican keeping the score against his customers chalked up 
on the door, under the heads of P for pints and Q for quarts ; 
when this score began, according to the publican's notions, to 
exceed the paying powers of his customer, he would point to 
the door and tell him to mind his P's and Q's. Some however 
say that it has a French origin. " Soyez attentifs a vos pies et 
vos cues." 

Haw, s. — Hall. w. 

Hawberry, s. — The fruit of the thorn. There is a legend 
that for several days before the Battle of Blore Heath, there 
arose each morning out of the foss, three mermaids, who 
announced in the following lines as they combed their hair, 
the coming battle. 

"Ere yet the Hawberry assumes its deep red, 
Embued shall this heath be with blood nobly shed." L. 

Ha^\f, adv. — Half. w. 

Hawpenny, Hawporth. — Halfpenny. Halfpennyworth, w. 

Hay, or Haigh, v. — To have. w. 

Hayshakers, s. — Quaking grass, briza media, l. 

Haytenters, s — Haymakers, l. 

H 2 



100 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. HEA 



Headaches, s. — The common poppy, l. 

Head o' Pit, s. — The deepest part of the marl pit, the furthest 
from the space end. It is also called " Marl Head." l. 

Heart-rooted, adj. — Said of a tree that is self-sown. l. 

Hearty, adv. — Very ; " Oos hearty fou," — she is very 
ugly. L. 

Heave, v. — The general meaning of " heave " is to lift up 
some great weight ; but we use " heave " merely as a synonym 
of " to lift." " I seed him heave the gun up." l. 

Heave, v. — To throw. '* O'il heave this stone at yer head, 
if yo dunna shut up." " Heave it here," — throw it to me. l. 

Heaze, v. — To cough or hawk. w. 

Heazy, adj. — Hoarse, w. 

Hebbon, part — Worth having. " He's not much worth 
hebbon, and desp'rate shommakin in his legs," i.e. awkward in 
his gait, was an observation made, by a bystander, on a 
young man who came to offer himself as groom, l. 

Heckle-tempered, adj. — Short-tempered, hasty, touchy. 
It was said of a man of this sort, " He flies au to pieces like a 
pan moog." *' Hackle " being used for tow, may refer to the 
way it flares up, like a person in a passion. L. 

Hedgehogs, s. — Small stunted trees in hedgerows, useless 
for timber, but (if oak) useful for a gate stump. Oaks are our 
general hedgerow timber ; elms, which are the natural tree of 
the county in Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, and the midland 
counties, soon succumbing if of any size in Cheshire to the 
violent westerly gales, l. 



HES CHESHIRE GLOSSAl^lr. 



ioi 



Heir, v. — To be the heir. Used in a distich attributed to 
the Regicide Bradshaw : — 

** My brother Henry must heir the land, 
My brother Frank must be at his command, 
Whilst I poor Jack will yet do that 
That all the world shall wonder at." L. 

Heirable, adj. — Entailed. " That farm canna be sold, it's 
heirable." l. 

Helve, s — A haft or handle. There is an O.C.P. signify- 
ing despair. 

' ' To throw the helve after the hatchet. " L. 

Hen, adj. — Old. Moreton-in-marsh, a town in Gloucester- 
shire, the late Lord Redesdale used to say, was a corruption of 
" Moreton Hen Marsh " ; i.e. formerly a marsh. — Steel collec- 
tions, Bodleian, l. 

Henbury, s. — A parish near Birtles ; may be derived from 
being an old burial place, or an ancient settlement. 

Hengorse, s. — Ononis arvejisis. The Rest Harrow, also 
called " Ground Furze " and *' Pette Whinne." L. 

Her, and Him, /r^;^. — Generally used for "herself" and 
"himself," as " She got her ready " for she got herself ready, l. 

Herbive, s. — The Forget-me-not. l. 

Herb Peter, s. — The Cowslip, l. 

Herring bone road, s. — A few of these remnants of the 
Pack Horse period, though rapidly disappearing, may still be 
seen. Stones placed like those coming from the back bone of 
a fish, and which support the narrow paved causeway ; the first 
attempt at an improvement on a mere track since the time of 
those great road-makers, the Romans, l. 

Hesitation, s. — A half-promise. " There was a hesitation 
about a calf cote." l. 



CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. HID 



Hide, v. — To beat. w. The same origin as Leather, v. 
Strap Oil, s. Welt, v., <Jvrc. 

Hide bound, adj. — Is when the skin of cattle and horses 
is not loose to the touch but clings to the body, generally con- 
sidered a sign of illness. The same term is applied to a tree 
of which the bark, owing to accident or the grease of cattle 
or sheep that have been rubbing against it, cannot open 
with the expansion of the tree ; and the tree becomes dwarfed 
and unhealthy. Cutting longitudinal seams through the bark 
is the only cure. " Hide bound " is also applied to old pasture 
fields that require breaking up. l. 

Hiding, s. — A beating, w. 

Hidlands, s. — When a man gets out of the way to avoid 
being arrested, or because he has got into some scrape, he is 
said to be " in hidlands." w. 

Hidnes, s. — Is used in the same sense as Hidlands in the 

Glossary to La?tgtoffs Chronicle, by Hearne. w. 

Hie, or Hye, v. — To hasten. Todd. w. 

Hie, or Hye, s — Haste. Todd. A.S. liiga?i, festi?iare. w. 

Hie! expletive. — Used to stop a person or call him to 
you. l. 

HiGHT, part. — Called, A.S. Named, l. 

Hillier, s. — A slater, vide infra, l. 

Hilet, or Hylet, s. — A place of shade or shelter, l. 

Hill, v. — To cover. Instead of saying " Cover it up," we 
say " Hill it over." A sick person in bed says ** Hill me up," 
t.e. draw the clothes up close round me. A.S., helaUj to hide, 
cover, or heal. " To hill a grave," is an old term used by 
Cheshire sextons, meaning to raise a mound over a grave, l. 



HOB CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 103 



HiLLHOOTER, s. — An owl. It is unlucky to look into an 
owl's nest, *' one who did so became melancholy and destroyed 
hissell." — Cheshire Folk Lo7'e. l. 

Hilling, or Heeling, s. — The covering of a book. A quilt 
or blanket. It is an O.W. used by VVicliffe in his translation 
of the JVtw Testainejit. But I never heard it used in common 
conversation except in Cheshire and Lancashire. A.S. helan, 
tegere. w. 

HiMSELL, or Hissell, pro?i. — Is used in the following 
sense : " He is not hissell," i.e. " He is out of his mind." w. 

Hinder, v. — Generally used instead of prevent, l. 

Hinge, v. — To depend on. " What you say, hinges upon 
what he did." l. 

Hinge, adj. — Active, pliant, supple, w. 

'H1PIN.CH, s. — A cloth or clout to wrap round a baby. l. 

HiRPLE, V. — To limp. Used by Burns; one of the many 
words we use in common with the Scotch, l. 

Hitch, s. — To have a " hitch " in his gait, is to have a limp, 
what the Irish would call " a loose leg," like a half paralyzed 
person, l. 

"Hobbety Hoy, neither man nor boy," s. — An awkward 
stripling. Tusser calls it " Hobart de Hoigh " or " Hoyh." I 
believe it to be simply " Hobby the Hoyden " or " Robert the 
Hoyden " or " Hoyt." The word " Hoyden " is (or rather was) 
not confined to the female sex ; indeed, it is believed to have 
anciently belonged to the male sex, and to mean a rude ill- 
behaved person. " Hoyt " in the North is an awkward boy, or 
a simpleton. Grose, w. 

Hobby, s. — An overlooker or bailiff. Mortiing Chronicle.^ 
Sept. 5, 1840, p. 4, col. 2. l. 



I04 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. HOG 



Hog, s. — A sheep a year old. l. 

Hog, or Hogg, s. — A heap of potatoes, in form either conical 
or roof shaped ; named after its resemblance to a hog's back. 
It is covered with earth and either straw fern or the wizells of 
the potatoes, to keep the root from frost; such is the usual 
mode in Cheshire for storing potatoes, mangolds, and turnips 
in winter, w. 

Hogg, z>. — Of the preceding, w. 

Hogging, s. — "A hogging" is a synonym of "hog." l. 

Hoisting, to Hoist, v. — Raising up a person sitting on a 
chair decorated with ribbons and flowers, as high as the arms 
can reach, at Easter. This is done by the women of a house- 
hold on Easter (also called lifting) Monday, and by the men to 
the women on Easter (lifting) Tuesday. A slight fee is paid by 
the lifted to the lifters, afterwards spent in a feast. I'Jie origin 
of the word is probably from the Saxon verb osfer, to rise, 
whence Easter, German, ostern. In Ripon, Yorkshire, formerly 
(1790 A.D.) on Easter Sunday, after church, the boys ran 
about and stopped and took off the shoes of any woman who 
would not " pay for her shoes ;" if this was not done,, they carried 
off the shoes. On Easter Monday the girls did the same with 
the men's shoes, or if they wore boots, with their hats. l. 

" I'll Hold thee sixpence," or any other sum, — means " I 
bet you sixpence." l. 

Holding, s. — A farm or any land held by a proprietor, but 
oftener by a tenant, l. 

Hollin, or HoLLEYN, s. — The holly tree, almost the A.S. 
word Holayn. Hollin Hall, Hollingworth Hall, are both 
derived from this tree, as also the extinct family of the De 
Hollyngworthes. 



HOV CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 105 



H)LT, or rather Hoult, s. — A holing, going into a hole, or 
putting a ball into a hole, which is required in several games. 
" I gained three points at one hoult," i.e. at one holing, w. 

Holt, or Hoult, s. — Hold. " Take hoult o' pikel." l. 

Hog, or rather Oo, J>ron. — She. This word, most common 
in Lancashire and Cheshire, is merely the A.S. keo. Verstegan, 
in his Glossary of the Afitieni English Toftgue, at the end of his 
Restitution of Decayed Intelligence, has heo, for she. w. 

HooDERS, s. — The two sheaves at the top of the shock (also 
called Riders,) to throw off the rain, and protect the corn 
whilst in the field, as with a hood. l. 

HooNSTONE, s. — Corruption of the " ovenstone," that shuts 
the oven's mouth, l. 

Hooter, s, — An owl. Vide Hillhooter. l. 

Hopper, or Hoppit, s. — A little basket tied round the body, 
that contains the seed when sown by hand. l. 

Horse and Jockey, s. — The old name for the George 111. 
sovereign with St. George and the Dragon on the reverse side, 
and which has been revived (187 1, with a worse die), in the 
Victoria sovereigns, l. 

Hot, act. v. — To make hot. " Han you hotted t' water ? " L. 

House, v. — The act of a cow when turned out of the 
" shipp>en," throwing herself on a hedge or hedge-bank to have 
a satisfactory scratch, working away violently with her horns, 
and often kneeling down to the work. A bull often goes 
through this process from mere mischief and temper, l. 

House Place, s. — The parlour of a farm-house, containing 
the best furniture, &c., and seldom used. l. 

Hout, s. — Hold. " If oi get hout on him, I'll mar him." l. 

Hove, v. — To take shelter ; hence hoz^el, a sheltering place. 
w. 



io6 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. BOV 



HovEN, RisENON, Dew Blown, adj. — Different iames for a 
disease which makes cows swell and frequently die, from getting^ 
into a clover field before the dew is off, and gorging them- 
selves. L. 

" How Done You ? "—For " How do you do ? '' " How do 
you ? " " Done " is used as plural for do, " Cows a done 

well" w. 

HowD.— Hold. " Howd off," keep off. " Howd yer hush," 
keep quiet. Vide Holt, and Hout. l. 

HowLE, adj. — Hollow, l. 

HoYK, V. — To lift up or toss as a bull does with his horns, w. 

HoYND, or HoiND, V. — To make a hard bargain ; to screw 
up. A landlord who behaves thus to his tenants, is said to 
"hoynd them." A.S. hiened., subdued; or perhaps from his 
treating them as hinds or slaves ; or worrying them as hounds 
do their prey. There is a curious prayer in Edward VI. 's Lit- 
urgies, headed, 

FOR LANDLORDS. 

The earth is Thine, oh Lord, and all that is contained therein, notwith- 
standing Thou hast given possession of it to the child) en of men, to pass 
over the time of their short pilgrimage in this vale of misery. We heartily 
pray Thee to send Thy Holy Spirit into the hearts of those that possess the 
grounds, pastures, and dwelling-places of the earth, that they, remembering 
themselves to be Thy tenants, may not rack nor stretch out the rents of 
their houses and lands, nor yet take unreasonable fines and incomes after 
the manner of covetous worldlings, but so let them out to others, that the 
inhabitants thereof may both be able to pay the rents, and also honestly to 
live and nourish their families and relieve the poor. Give them grace also 
to consider that they are but strangers and pilgrims in this world, having 
here no dwelling-place, but seeking one to come ; that they, remembering 
the short continuance of their life, may be contented with that which is 
sufficient, and not join house to house and land to land, to the impoverish- 
ment of others, but so behave themselves in letting out their lands, 
tenements, and pastures, that after this life they may be received into 
everlasting dwelling-places,- through Jesus Christ our Lord. L. 



HUT CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 107 



Huddle, 7.'.—** To huddle up corn," is to make it up into 
sheaves, l. 

By rtuLCH AND Stulch. — By hook and by crook. A sen- 
tence by which the speaker expresses his determination to get 
what he covets anyhow, l. 

Hull, v. — To throw, l. 

Hull, j.— The pod of a pea. "There's nowt in him, he's 
aw hull." L. 

Hull, v. — To shell beans, peas, &c. w. 
HuLLOT, or HuLLART, s. — An owl. '* He swapped his hen 
for a hullert," O.C.P., i.e. he made a bad exchange, l. 

Humorous, adj. — Capricious, l. 

HuMPERiNG, adj. — Walking lamely. " Jim came bumpering 
along." Limping, l. 

HuRCH, adj. — Tender, touchy, l. 

HuRE, s. — The hair. l. 

HuRE Sore. — When the skin of the head is sore from a 
cold. w. 

Hurling, part. — Harrowing a field after a second ploughing. 
l. 

Hurn, s. — Horn. w. 

Hurry, J. — A set to, a bout, a quarrel, w. Perhaps from 
the old word, "to harry," or "harass." 

Hush Shop, s. — An unlicensed house, where those who can 
be trusted can get ale or spirits, l. 

HusTED, part. — Said of the seed or seeding of the penny 
grass. Perhaps a form of husk. l. 

HuTCHiN, s. — A large slice of bread, or lump of meat. A 
hunch, l. 



io8 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. HUZ 



Huzz, or Huzz Buzz. — A buzz, a row. "There were a 
pretty huzz i'th house." l. 

I. 

Ill Tied, pa7't. — Engaged. " I'm ill tied at home," I'm fast, 
so as not to be able to get away. l. 

" I'll Trim thee jacket," i.e. I'll thrash you, I'll dust your 
jacket. L. 

Ill Weed, s. — Any rank growth of vegetation. "Ill weed 
and breears." l. 

Imbrangled, pai't. — Entangled. "An imbrangled affair." 
Imbroglio, L. 

Imperance, s. — Impertinence. " Loike thy imperance ! " l. 

Imperious, adj. — Often used for impetuous. " An im- 
perious horse." l. 

In All, expletive. — Sometimes, but not so generally, An All. 
— It is inexplicable, for it does not assist the sense of a sentence 
more than " Selah" does where it occurs in the Psalms. " H'es 
coming in all," " he's gathered the rabbidge in all." Halliwell 
says " an all," means also, and quotes the following stanza from 
Hunter's Hallamshire Glossary : — 

*' Paul fell down astounded and only not dead, 
For Death was not quite within call ; 
Recovering he found himself in a warm bed, 
And in a warm fever, an all." 

The omission or presence of "in all," makes no difference in a 
phrase. It seems sometimes used for etccetera; often following 
the recapitulation of different things, " he sould his cows, his 
horses, his pigs, in all." l. 

Inbark, v. and s. — It is used to express the way in which the 
bark of some trees (yews, &c.) not only grows on the outside, 
as bark commonly does, but also fills up interstices, l. 

Inkle, or Incle, s. — Tape. In the Congleton accounts, 
Dec. 1 8, 1 64 1. The infection {i.e. plague,) first appeared in 



JAC CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 109 



one Laplove's house, which was warded day and night at one 
shilling each. His corpse, covered with a cover, and tied with 
incle, was carried on a ladder to be buried. L. 

Tnsense, v. — To instruct; to explain a thing thoroughly. 
The French words assagir, rendre sage, are formed in a some- 
what similar way. w. Used thus in Shakespear, " Richard 
III.," "I have insensed the Lords of the Council that he is a 
most harsh heretick." 

Insett, adj. — Household. " Insett stuff." — Cheshire Will. 

In Tack, s. — An inclosure from a waste. A taking in of a 
strip by the side of the road. Long ago Mr. Coke of Norfolk 
said, " that the only agricultural improvement he could see in 
Cheshire was, that everyone was stealing land from the sides 
of the road.'' 

Ireland, s. — A very old labourer of mine never spoke of 
an island by any other name. L. 

Iron Knobs, or Hard Iron, s. — A flower. 

I'th,— In the. Often used. " I'th field." 

It's, v. — It is ; — never in Cheshire "'tis," 

Ivy, or Ivvens, s. — Ivy, pronounced with the penultimate 
short. 

I is often pronounced oi in the middle of a word, as " stoile," 
" moile," " roid," "soid," " foine," instead of "stile," "mile," 
" ride," " side," " fine." / is also pronounced like the French 
/, or the English double E in the middle of a word, as 
"neet," for "night," " deet," for "dirt." 

J. 

Jabber, v. s. — To chatter. A chattering, l. 

Jack Nicker, s. — A goldfinch ; why called so I cannot 
imagine. Many kinds of birds appropriate particular Christian 
names. All little birds are called by children " dicky birds." 



CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. JAC 



AVe have ''jack snipe," "jack daw," "torn tit," "robin red 
breast," " poll parrot," " a gillhooter." A magpie is also 
" madge ; " a starling, " Jacob ; " a sparrow, " philip ; " a raven, 
"ralph;" and the name of the black and white water wag tail, 
in the north of England, is a " billy biter." w. Also " jerny 
wren," or " kitty wren ; " the long tailed tit, " billy feather 
poke," alluding to the quantity of feathers it pokes into a hole 
for its nest. 

Jacket o' Muck, s. — A good covering of manure on a field. 

L. 

Jack Sharp, or Sharpling, s. — The small fish, called the 
stickleback, w. 

Jag, or Jagg, s, — A small parcel, a small load ; in Norfolk 
it is a bargain, w. 
Jagger, s. — One who sells coals in small cart-loads, l. 

Jag, or Jagg, v. — To trim up the small branches of a tree, 
w. 

Jannock, or Jannack, adj. — Upright, " not jannock," one 
who is not straightforward. Of Lancashire origin, l. 

Jannock, s. — Oaten bread made up into loaves, l. 

Jawm, or Jaum, s. — A jamb, a projection, especially applied 
to an old fashioned fire-place, i.. 

Jee, or A-Jee, adv. — Awry. w. 

Jed, or rather Djeb, par f. — Dead. " Jed as a dur nail." l. 

Jeft, adj. — Syn. of Deaf. 

Jell, s. — A quantity. " We've had a jell of damsels (dam- 
sons) this year." l. 

Jersey, or Jaysey, s. — A ludicrous and contemptuous term 
for a lank head of hair, as resembling combed wool or flax, 
which is called "jersey." " Jaysey " is also a wig, " He has got 
a fine jaysey." "Jersey," the finest wool separated from the 
rest by combing, w. 



JUS CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 



Jetty, v. — To suit, to agree. " They don't seem to jetty." l. 

Jiggle Jaggle, also Jig Jag, adj. — Irregular, not straight. 
" The brook runs all jiggle jaggle." l. 

Jobber, .9. — A cattle dealer, generally added to the name in 
speaking of him, " Jobber Newton," &c. l. 

JoELLis, s. — Jewels, in a Cheshire will (Margaret Holforde's) 
of the 1 6th century : it marks the gradual transition from 
French joaillerte to jewels, l. 

Joint Evil, s. — A disease of the joints, affecting calves, 
causing swelling and oily matter, l. 

Jolly, adj. — Mari^appete?is. l. 

Joss, s. — A foreman. Used in Macclesfield, l. 

Jew, V. — To bang, to bring into violent contact. A man 
accused of a violent assault on a woman, said, " I only jowed 
her head and the flags together, I did not strike her." l. 

Jew, s. — Dew. "The jow faws thick." l. 

Jumper, s. — A man's over flannel jacket, like that worn by 
navvies, l. 

Jumps, s. — Stays worn by wet-nurses; easily loosened, to 
facilitate nursing the child, w. 

Junketing, s. — A pleasure outing. A Devonshire word. l. 

JURNUT, or Yernut, s. — Pig nut, bunitim biilbo castaiwm. w. 

JuRR, s. — A sudden blow or punch ; probably another way 
of pronouncing Jarr. One of those words in which the pro- 
nunciation and meaning sympathize. 

"Just Meet Now." — At once. "I canna come just meet 
now," i.e.. immediately. "Just meet same," exactly the same. 



112 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. JUS 



Justly, tz^/z/.— Exactly, quite, l. 

Just Now, adv, — Soon. " Au said, aud come just now." l. 

K. 

Kailyards, or Kelyards, s. — The name of the orchards out- 
side the walls of Chester. " Kailyard," in Scotch, is a cabbage 
— or, what we call a kitchen — garden. " Yard," and " garden," 
both mean the same thing, and have the same AS. root, geard. 
See "Diversions of Purley," vol ii. p. 275. w. 

Kale, s. — Vide Cale. 

Kandle Gostes, s. — Goose grass (Gerard's Herbal). Vide 
Catch Grass, galium aperme. l. 

Kazardly, adj. — Unlucky, liable to accident. Perhaps a 
variety of Hazardly. w. 

Keck, v. — To put anything under a vessel, which lifts it up 
and makes it stand uneven. In Lancashire, " to keyke, or kyke," 
is to stand crooked. Kick, v.^ is usually to heave at the 
stomach ; Keck is the same word differently applied, and 
means to lift up, or to heave, w. 

Keckopeg, s. — The peg placed in the rack in front of the 
cart called a " tumbril," to keep the cart chest down. You 
^* keek," or tip the cart by withdrawing the peg. l. 

Kecks Y, adj. — Hollow, like the keck {herackuni). Celery 
that has run up with hollow leaves and stalks, is called 
^' kecksy." l. 

Kedlock, s. — The charlock ; a yellow flowering weed that 
grows amongst turnips, which lambs like, but which sheep 
refuse. It is one of those plants which seem to have a power 
of lying dormant for ages, but appear in quantities as soon as 
a pasture field is ploughed, l. 

Keen, v. — To cauterize, l. 



KEO CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 113 



Keenbitten, adj. — Frost-bitten. " Keen " is not a pro- 
vincialism, as it is a word in general use. l. 

Keep, s. — Pasture. " No keep this year." " Oo won't 
stand keep," (O.C.S.) said of a person spoilt by prosperity, 
whose head is turned by good fortune, l. 

Keeping Company. — The Cheshire term for courting, l. 

Keeve, V, — To overturn or lift up a cart, so as to unload it at 
once. Ash calls it local, w. 

Keggly, adj. — A form of Coggly, q. v. *' A keggly stool," is 
one easily moved, l. 

Kelf, s. — A curious term with tree-fellers ; it means a 
narrow bit left (as a temporary support,) uncut, whilst they are 
cutting round the tree on the opposite side. " I mun leave a 
kelf." L. 

Kench, s — A twist, or wrench ; a strain, or sprain, w. 

Kench, v. — To bend down. l. 

Kenks, s. (a sea term.) — The doublings in a cable, or rope, 
when it does not run smooth, w. 

Keout, s. — A little barking cur. Randle Holme, in his 
Academy of Armoury^ uses " skaut," or *' kaut," for the 
same; which seems to designate "scout "for its etymology, 
and this is partly confirmed by that line of Tusser, " Make 
bandog thy scout watch, to bark at a thief" w. 

Keow, or sometimes Ku, s. sounding the u like ou. — Is used 
for cow. Ky, or Key, or Kye, the plural, cows. Knutsford is 
said to owe its name to the fact of Canute having passed over 
the ford of what was probably in those days a swamp made by 
the brooklet Lily ; but it seems more Hkely that Cunetisford, 
the old name of Knutsford, may have the same simple origin 

I 



114 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. KEO 



as Oxford, the ford of the cow, or kine, another form of the 
same word. A.S. cim. 

Keower, v. — To cower down. w. 

Kerve, v. — To turn sour. w. Vide Carve. 

Kex, Kecksees, s. — Applied to all hollow umbelliferous 
plants ; in Shakespeare spelt kecksies. The heraclmm gtga?i- 
teum is called the Giant Keck. " It's as hollow as a keck." 
O.C.P. L. 

Keype, v. — To make a wry face. To make faces. "Go 
keyped at him." l. 

Keys, s. — The seed of the ash and sycamore, something of 
the shape of the old clock key, — vide, Ash Keys. 

KiBBO Kift, s. — This, in Cheshire, is called a proof of great 
strength, namely, for a man to stand in a half-bushel, and lift 
from the ground, and place on his shoulders a load of wheat, 
that is, 14 score weight. This is known by the name of kibho 
kift, why I do not know ; but I have some idea of having seen 
somewhere the word " kibbo," or " kibbow," used in the sense 
of strong. Should it not rather be " kibbo gift," and in that 
case the feat above mentioned will be a "gift of strength." 
Talking of feats of strength, there is an oak chest of great 
antiquity in the wooden church of Peover ; any woman who 
can raise the heavy lid with her left arm is said to be a fit 
wife for a Cheshire yeoman, l. 

Kick, v. — The same as to " tip " a cart. l. 
Kickle, adj. — Uncertain, the same as Tickle, w. 

Kid, s. — A faggot. " Nought is counted six score to the 
hundred, but old women and gorse kids." G.C.S. L. 

Kid, v. — To kid wood, is to make wood into faggots, l. 



KIT CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 115 



Kid crow, or Kid crew, s.—A place to put a sucking calf 
in. Bailey has the word, but he writes it " Kibgrow," Crybbe 
being the A.S. word for stall or stable (also a Biblical word), 
Crebbe being the same in Teutonic. Bailey's mode of writing 
the word, though differing from the ordinary pronunciation of 
it, is probably right, w. 

KiFFEY, s. — The small wooden ball or block, used in the 
game of Hockey, or Shinney, called in Cheshire Baddin, 
q.v. L. 

Killers of Salt, — were, in old days, the arbitrators 
between buyers and sellers, and were charged with looking 
sharply after those who undersold the town's regular price, l. 

Kilt, adj, — Killed. In Ireland kilt means rather being beaten 
than killed. Many hundreds survive who have cried out, 
" I'm kilt entirely." 

Kin, v. — " To kin a candle " is to light a candle, l. 

Kind, v. — Kindle. To light a fire. w. 

Kindle, v. — To bring forth. Applied to cats, hares, 
rabbits. I remember an old woman at Eton, who sold 
squirrels and dormice on the wall, applying it to them. A^. 
cemian^ parire. In the old times, enumerated by Lady Juliana 
Barnes and others, a litter of kittens is called a kendel of cats. 
Has Kennel some such origin ? l. 

Kindling Stuff, s. — Wood, shavings, &c., used to light a 
fire. L. 

King Cough, s, — Another form of Chin Cough, q.v. Teu- 
tonic kincken, to breathe with difficulty, l. 

Kink, s. — A sprain. *' He's gotten a kink i' the back, l." 

Kit, s. — A set or company. Often used in a contemptuous 
sense, w. " I could lick the whole kit of ye." 

1 2 



i6 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. KIT 



KiTLiNG, s. — The word which in Cheshire is universally 
used for kitten, w. I told a farmer who was complaining 
of his large family, that some day they would take care of 
him. " Major," he rejoined, " did you ever know the kitling 
bring a mouse to t' ould cat ? " There is another similar 
proverb, *' Do chickens ever bring out to t' ould hen ? " The 
Spanish proverb is — " One father can support ten children, ten 
children cannot support one father." l. 

KiVER, s. — A shock of corn, probably used as a Hooder 
(^.v) or a coverer to the others, l. 

KiVER, ^'. — To cover ; used by Wycliffe in his manuscript 
translation of the Psalms, w. 

Knackety, adj. — " A knackety fellow," is a man who can 
turn his hand to anything, and by a sort of intuition succeeds 
in anything he undertakes, l. Also Knatty, or Natty. 

Knagg, 7>. — To be perpetually scolding and finding fault. 
I heard of some step-daughters of a step-mother (who though a 
notable woman, and a capital hard-working woman, had this 
peculiarity,) who at last, losing all patience, seized the little 
woman with a " knagging " tongue, and soused her in a large 
swill tub ; a punishment for a scold like the *' ducking stool," of 
our ancestors. In Knutsford there is a tradition that there were 
two ponds there, used for this purpose, l. 

Knatter, v., Knattering. — Synonyms of Knagg, ^.7'. l. 

Knatty, or Natty, adj. — Vide Knackety. l. 

Knickyknacky, adj. — Handy, adroit, w. 

Knobs, s. — Lavender. There is an old word, ^'knoppe," 
which means the buds of a plant, from which it is probably 
taken ; lavender being a series, or stalk of buds. " What 
have you been doing ? " " Auve been a cutting knobs." l. 



KYP CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 117 



Knockerknee'd, adj. — Knock-knee'd, also called Baker- 
kneed; delicate men of that trade, owing to their habit of 
carrying sacks of flour and other heavy weights on their 
shoulders, generally acquiring that deformity. 

Knocking off, part. — " To knock off," is a term used by 
labourers when the day's work is over \ one of the symptoms of 
which is knocking and scraping off with the spade the clay and 
dirt off the shoes. This may or may not be the meaning of 
the term. Another term for the same thing is Loosing, l. 

Knocking up, part. — One of the curious ways of earning a 
livelihood in the manufacturing towns. The " knocker up " 
wakes the different hands of a mill who cannot wake them- 
selves, so that they can get to their work in time, and not be 
fined for being too late. The general pay of a " knocker up " is 
twopence a head, per week. I remember once a witness being 
asked what he was, answering, '' A knocker up," deeming it, 
evidently, as much a trade as a tailor or a baker, l. 

Knotchelled, or Notchelled, adj., or part. — When a man 
publicly declares he will not pay any of his wife's debts con- 
tracted since a certain date, she is said to be " knotchelled ; " a 
certain disgraceful imaginary mark : in short, she is a marked 
woman. " Crying his wife a notchell." 

Knottings, s. — Thin corn, not well grown. j\\ 

Know, v. — ** I know nothing by myself," />., from my own 
personal knowledge, I can say nothing against so and so. l 

Knowing, or Knowledgeable, adj. — Clever, well informed. 
" He's a knovvin' little chap, he's bin o'thearth afore ! " l. 

Kye, or Kv, s. — A cow. l. 
Kype, v. — Vide Keype. 



ii8 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. LAD 



Ladies' Cushions, s. — The Sea Pink, or Thrift, armeria. 
Grows in profusion at Hilbree Island, at the entrance of the 
Dee. L. 

Ladies' Milk Sile, s. — Pulmonaria officinalis. From some 
legend of the Virgin's milk having soiled (Cheshire, siled,) or 
stained the plant, l. 

Ladies' Smock, s. — Cardami?iepratensis, the Cuckoo Flower. 
Called " ladies' smock," in Shakespeare ; probably from 
whitening the meadows with their numbers, so as to look like 
smocks or shifts spread out to dry. l. 

Lad's Love, s. — The herb Southernwood j also called Old 
Man. w. 

"Lad's love is lasses' delight, 
And if lads don't love, lasses will flite." O.C.S. 

Lady Cow, s. — The lady bird. l. 

The Lady Poplar, s. — Populus alba^ the great white poplar. 

L. 

Lag, j. — A stave. " Lag of the barrel." l. 

Laggen, or Ladgen, v. — Is to close the seams'of any wooden 
vessels which have opened from drought, so as to make them 
hold water ; this is done by throwing the vessels into water, 
the wood swells and the seams close. P.P.C. has "to laggen, 
or drabelen," palustro. N.B. — " To drabble,"^/.^., to wet or 
dirty, is a word of frequent colloquial occurrence, though omit- 
ted by our best lexicographers, l. 

Laith, adj. — Loth, unwilling, w. 

Lake, v. — A good old word. — ^To play. "Laykin," in a 
MS. copy of the P.P.C, in the British Museum, is used for a 
child's plaything, w. 



LAN CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 119 



Lake Weed, s. — Knot Grass, a Polygonum. It has another 
name in Cheshire, not to be named to ears polite, l. 

Lam, Lamme, Leather, Lick, v. — Are all cant words for 
" to beat." To these may be added " hide," " strap," three 
of these taken from the material which inflicts the punishment. 
Sending a green younker to a cobbler for " strap oil," which 
the cobbler at once applies to the boy's back, is an old joke, 
and reminds one of the recipe to cure laziness, unguejitum 
baculinum, to be applied twice a day to the sluggard's back. 

Lambs' Ears, s. — The Rose Campion, l. 

Lancashire Gloves, s. — Hands without gloves, l. 

Land Stones, s. — The name given in Cheshire to the pebbles 
and boulders turned up in digging and draining ; probably so 
called in contradistinction to those found in brooks. These 
pebbles are found from a half ounce to some tons in weight ; 
and used in former days to be used as the sole material for 
paving and making roads. They are sometimes found in a 
great heap together; where the iceberg (to which they were 
attached,) has stranded, and melted away ; for the presence of 
these stones, and the cracks or scratches on the boulders, are 
generally considered to be owing to the agency of ice. Granite, 
generally more or less decomposed, grit marble, stones appa- 
rently of volcanic origin, are those generally found. They are 
mostly shaken, and I have found one of these igneous stones 
with small garnets imbedded in it. It is a common idea with 
the peasantry that " stones grow." On all the turnpike roads in 
Cheshire (1872), the stone from Penmaenmaur is used, and in 
spite of its expense, the article is so good, that the Welsh stone 
seems in the end to be considered as more economical than 
using the " land stone " of the county. L, 



I20 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. LO 



Langote, s. — Waste threads, l. 

Laoze. — A retort for inquisitiveness. A child will say 
" Mother, what's that ? " the answer is " Laoze for meddlers." 
A correspondent tells me, " I have never been able to find a 
clue to the origin of this word ; I spell it as it is pronounced. 
It has been made use of to me a hundred times, in my child- 
hood, and never without causing great irritation ; it is especially 
annoying when used to a child by a brother or sister slightly 
older." L. 

Lap, v. — To fold anything up in paper or otherwise. *' Auve 
lapped up the boots." Also to finish, after a long day's shooting. 
" It's welly toime to lap up." l. 

Lapweed, s. — The Wild Hop. l. 

I>ARGE Dicky Daisy, j. — The Moon Daisy, Chrysanthemum. 

Larn, v. — Vide Learn. 

Lat, s.—A lath. " That lad's as thin as a lat ! " 

Lat, adj. — Slow, hindering. " The rain makes lat work with 
hay." " A lat time," is when the results do not pay for trouble 
taken, l. 

Lat, s. — Hindrance ; ** lattance." w. 

Lat, v. — To hinder. Jamieson has " lattance," as well as " to 
lat." A.S. /af/an, to delay. An old sense of the verb " to let," 
was to defer, or put off. In Herman's Vu/gan'a, we read, " I 
let my journey for the lowringe wether." Propter nubilum 
dishdi profedionem. It is curious that the verbs " to let," and 
" to prevent," are synonyms, and in a peculiar way, for they 
both are employed to express exact contraries. " To let," and 
" to prevent," both mean to allow, to permit, to assist, and to 
oppose, and disallow. We talk of being " sore let and hindered 



LEA CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. I2i 



in running the race," «Sz:c. ; and "Prevent us^ O Lord," &c., is 
used in prayer to persuade the Almighty to go before us, and 
clear obstacles out of our way. 

Latafoot, adj. — Slow of foot, or in moving. Letten verletten, 
Dutch j latjan^ Goth, tar dare, w. 

Lathe, v. — To ask. To invite, O.W., Lane. w. 

Lawkin ! Ladykin ! Lakin ! exd ! — By our Blessed Lady ! w. 

Laws you now ! exd. — See now ! or Lo. The A.S. for Lo 1 
is La ! w. 

Lawshus ! exd. — Similar in meaning to last named. Vide 
also LoRjus ! 

Lawyers, s. — Long brambles in covers, from which you 
can hardly escape being caught and surrounded by them, as 
lawyers twine round their cHents the meshes of the law. l. 

Lazy Beds, ^. ^Potatoes planted on the surface of the 
ground, and banked up some feet wide, from a trench cut 
on both sides, l. 

Lead, s. — A salt pan. A Roman lead salt pan is preserved 
in the Warrington Museum. The '' Water Leaders" of Chester 
were formerly an incorporated company, now extinct. L. 

Lead, v, — To carry coals, corn, hay, or any other load in a 
cart or waggon. Pronounced like speed, l. 

Leadlookers, s. — The same as Lead Viewers, l. 

Lead Viewers, s. — Officers appointed formerly in the salt 
towns, to see that the salt pans (made of lead) were in 
proper order, l. 

Leaf, Leaver, adv. — Rather. *' Aud as leaf not do it," 
"I'd as leaf as a suvvereign they'd cummed to my house,'^ — said 
by an old woman, on a swarm of bees (been) settling on some 
chimneys near. l. 



22 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. LEA 



Learn, v. — Pronounced " larn," one of those words which 
means the contraries, viz. : to teach, to learn in the common 
acceptation of the word, " I'll larn thee better manners." 
Shakespeare uses it in both senses, l. 

Leastways, adv. — Anyhow. " Au dunna if au can cum, 
leastways au'll try." l. 

Leath, s. — Leisure, cessation of labour, remission of 
pain. w. 

Leather, v. — Vide Lam. l. 

Leazeceaster, s. — The old name for Chester, l. 

Leddie, By Leddie ! By Leddie Me ! exd. — By our Ladie ! 
V. Lawkin. l. 

Leech, s. — A spring in a field forming a swamp, l. 

Leech Brine, s. — The draining of the salt barrows, the 
strongest brine, considered the best thing for sprains (leech 
here is used in its old sense of doctor) ; brine used by 
doctors. L. 

Leeched, v. — Used with how, before it, "How is it?" "How 
happens it ? " " How leeched you are not gone to school } " 
" How leeched thou dost not go to thy work ? " l. 

Leet, s. — A light. "Stroike a leet for us, loike a gude 
lad!" L. 

Leet, v. — To let, also to find. "I connat leet on him," 
i.e. I cannot find him. It also means to alight. " Au leeted 
on my legs, loike a cat." 

Leet, Leeten, v. — To pretend or feign, " You are not so 
ill as you leeten yourself," />., as you would have it appear. 
In Jamieson's Scotch Dictionary we read to leit, leet, let, to 



LEY CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 123 



pretend to give, to make a show of. Junius assigns iaeten, Belg. 
for its origin, Lcecta Icelandic, simulare segerere. Late^ gestus. 
Belg. Iceten^ videre simulare. " You are not so mad as you 
leeten you," i.e. there is a method in your madness. 

Leeten, v. — To lighten. "Leeten th' load a bit up th' hill." 

Leet Bolt, s. — Thunderbolt, l. 

Lemme, v. — Let me. "Oh, woife !" quo' he, "if thou'll lemme 
but rise." Ballad^ about 1548. l. 

Lent Lily, s. — The Daffodil, flowering about Lent. l. 

Less, — is pronounced as if written lass. 

Let, v. — To prevent ; vide Lat. 

Let on, v. — To tell, or to let another person know you 
know something. " Dunna yo let on as oim here." l. 

Let out a leg. — An expression for kicking. 

Leur, also Leun, s. — Tax or rate. l. 

Level, adj. — A man of level mind is one not likely to go to 
extremes ; not hasty, l. 

"yEquam memento rebus in arduis 
Servare mentem." 

Lewnes, or Lunes, s. — Taxes, rates, leys. l. 

Ley, s. — The law, " Oil ha' the ley on him yet." w. 

Ley, s. — A ley for cattle. A park or large pasture where 
cattle and horses are taken in for a certain sum annually from 
the 1 2 th of May to the 12 th of October, l. 

Leys and Taxes, s. — Leys are generally parochial or county 
payments in court, in contra-distinction to taxes which go to 
government. Church leys, poor leys, highway leys &c., spelt, 
in some old accounts " laies." l. 



124 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. LIB 



LiBBARD, adj. — Applied to cold, stiff, clay land. l. 

Lichgate, s. — The gates of a churchyard, through which 
the corpse at a funeral is brought in. Wilbraham says this 
gate is never opened except for a funeral ; this is a mistake, 
Rostherne and others to wit. In many cases there is only one 
entrance to a churchyard. A.S. lice^ corpus, l. 

LiCH ROAD, s. — The road by which a corpse passes for inter- 
ment, w. It is supposed that a right of road is obtained by the 
passage of a funeral. 

LicKSOME, or Lissome, adj. — Pleasant, agreeable ; chiefly 
applied to places or situations. Lissome often means active, 
springy. A licksome girl means a pretty one. w. 

'* Charly loves a licksome girl, 
As sweet as sugar candy." 

Lifting Monday and Tuesday, — Easter custom, vide 
Hoisting, l. 

LiG, V. — To alight. " Brid hath ligged in turmits." l. 

LiG, V. — To lie ; in both its senses, i.e.^ to tell lies, and to 
repose. 

Light, v. — Confined, brought to bed. *' Is your wife 
lighted ? " L. 

LiG?iT, adj. — Used to hay-grass, means that it is dry, and 
fit to carry, l. 

Light Bolt, s. — Thunder-bolt. l. Also Leet Bolt. 

Like (pronounced loike), expletive. — " He's a clever like 
man" means just the same as if the expletive were omitted. 
It is also used adverbially. '' I am Uke to do it," i.e. I must, 
under a sort of compulsion, do it. "I am like to tell," i.e. I 
will, or must, inform against you — also, probably. "The 



LOA CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 125 



maister may like come after baggin ; " also it means " nearly, 
all but," " I'd like to have killed him," i.e. I might have killed 
him, I had an escape from killing him. 

LiLE, adj, — Little, l. 

Lines, s. — Marriage lines mean the marriage certificate, l. 

Lipp'n, to LiPPEN, V. — To expect, look for. A.S. leaf en, 
credere, " I lippen on him coming any minute." 

Lite. — A small quantity, a little. A farmer, after enumerating 
the acres he has in wheat and barley, will add " and a lite 
wuts," I.e. a few oats. It is an O.W. used by Chaucer. Danish 
/I'dt, 3L little. Wolf's Danish Dictionary, w. 

Lithe, v. — To lithe the pot, is to put thickenings into it. 
A.S. lithan, to lay one thing close to another ; to alyth is a 
G.O.W., and used in this sense in the form of curry, w. 

Lither, adj. — Lazy : " long and lither " is said of a tall lazy 
man. AS. lith, mollis. Chaucer uses it as wicked, w. 

LiTHiNG, V. or s. — Thickening either flour or oatmeal for the 
pot. To alye is an O.W. for to mix. w. 

Litigious, adj. — Bad weather, that stops harvest work, is so 
called. I have heard it, and I think it has the true smack 
of a Cheshire provincialism, l. 

Livery, ^^*.— Applied to a furrow which turns up wet and 
sodden ; perhaps from its colour resembUng that of liver, l. 

Living Tally. — i.e. in a state of concubinage, l. 

Loach, v. — To ache. *' My yed loaches." l. 

Load, or Lowe, s. — Souters' Load, a steep lane at Chester. 
King's Vale Royal, Part II. p. 23. 

Load, s. — Three bushels, or a measure of fifteen score, l. 



126 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. LOA 



Loan, or Lone, s. — A lane, " Through Weaver Hall shall 
be a loan," — Nixon's Prophecies, l. 

Lobscouse, s. — Potato hash, mentioned in " Peregrine 
Pickle ; " a sort of Irish stew. l. 

Locked, /^r/. — A faced card in a pack is said to be locked, 
quasi looked at. 

Lodged, part. — Said of corn when beaten down by the 
storm. L. 

Loffeling, part. — A form of lolling, idling. " Loffeling on 
the squab." l. 

Lommer, v. — To climb, or scramble clumsily, l. 

LoMPOND, s. — The pond in a farm yard into which all 
refuse runs. l. 

LoNGART, s. — The tail or end board of a cart or waggon, l. 

LoNGNix, s. — A heron, perhaps derived from long neck. l. 

Loom, s. — A utensil. A tool, a piece of furniture. Som. 
says Geioma, supellex, household stuff Belgis eodem sensu Alaem 
Alem, Hinc jurisperitoriim nostrorum Heirlome pro supellectili 
ha^reditarid, w. 

Loose, v. — Used by labourers to express the work of the 
day being over. " We loose at six." l. 

Lop, Loup, Loppen, v. — Perfect tense and part of the verb to 
leap. 

Lord of the Pit, s. — The head man of a gang of marlers, 
who undertakes opening a pit ; under whom the others work, 
and who receives and disburses all money given to the 
gang. L. 



LUG CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 127 



Lord Ralph, s. — A currant-cake. When the husband goes 
from home, the wife makes a " Lord Ralph " and invites her 
friends, just as the husband, under similar circumstances, hoists 
the besom and invites his cronies, l. 

LoRGESSE, s. — The present given by any one to a gang 
of marlers : if it is sixpence, it is formally announced by the 
lord " as sixpence, part of ;£^5oo," — if half-a-crown, as part of 
;^i,ooo ; evidently largesse, l. 

LoRjus ! exc/. — Lord Jesus ! w. 

LossELL, s. — A lazy fellow, a ne'er do weel. l. 

LoTHEE ! exd. — Look thee ! Behold ! l. 

LouME, adj. — Soft, gentle, l. 

LouNT, s. — A piece of land in a common field ; perhaps a 
corruption of lond, ie. land. w. 

Lowe, otherwise Load, s. — It often means a bank or hill 
in early English, as in Chester Plays^ i. 120. We have Oulton 
Lowe, and Shutland Low (formerly Shutlingslaw), a high hill in 
the wildest part of Cheshire. It is more than likely that the 
name may often be found in hills, the summits of which were 
used for bonfires or signal fires, " lowe " meaning a flame, " All 
in a lowe," all in flames, l. 

LowKiNG, s. 2M^ part. — Weeds. Weeding, l. 

Lucky, adj. — I have heard the expression of a lucky tenant, 
not as bringing luck on the tenant, but from his improving 
qualities, he being lucky for the landlord, l. 

Luck, v. — To happen by good fortune. " If I had lucked," 
i.e. if I had had the luck, or good fortune, w. 

Lug, v. — To pull the hair or ear. " Lug his ear for him." l. 



128 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. LUL 



I.ULLIES, s. — The kidneys, l. 

Lumber, s. — Mischief. " I'm after no lumber." l. 

LuNGEOUS, adj. — Ill-tempered, vicious, brutish. A lunge is 
a common word for the kick of a horse. " Beware on him, 
he's a very lungeous fellow." 

Lurching, part — Sneaking about, being after no good ; 
answering to the American loafing. A lurcher is a dog that 
does not run his game fairly, l. 

LuRKEY Dish, s. — The herb Pennyroyal, w. 

Lythe, adj. — Supple, pliant, all joints active. A.S. /yt/i. 



M. 

Macken (Imp. of make), v. — " Macken um doot," Le. make 
them do it. w. 

Madpash, s. — A madbrain. " Pash " is the head. w. 

Mafflement, s. — Concealment, under-hand work, ^imsi 
mtijff?ement. l. 

Magging, parf. — Prating, — from to mag, to chatter or scold. 
Magpie, the chattering pie. l. 

Maigh, or May, v. — A form of to make, " Maigh th' door 
or th' yate," i.e. shut or fasten the door or gate. In Italy we 
have '^/ar la portaj' shut the door. *.' Make," for shut, the 
door, is Shakesperian. To make up the fire, is to add fuel 
to the fire. " To make the house " is to make it safe at night 
by locks and bars.. 

Mail, or Meal, v. — To milk a cow once, instead of twice 
a day, when near calving. '' You mun mail Cherry." l. 



MAR CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 129 



Make, v. — In addition to the previous meanings, to 
"make" in Cheshire means to go. " Oo were making for 
Knutsford." l. 

Make Short Up. — To run a course quickly, to draw to a 
hasty conclusion — generally applied to fast life. A young man 
dying of dissipation is said " To have made short up." l. 

Mal, or Mally, s. — For Moll or Molly, w. 

Mannerly, adj. — Vide Farantly. 

Many a Time and Oft. — A common expression, mean- 
ing frequently. " Many," in the singular, is common in written 
and colloquial language. '' Many a man," " Many a day." 
So, in the Merchant of Venice, Shylock says, " Many a time and 
oft, on the Rialto, you have rated me." Mr. Kean, when acting 
the part, ignorant of the common expression, always spoke the 
passage making a pause in the middle of it thus, ** Many a 
time — and oft on the Rialto," «Sz:c., without having any authority 
from the text of Shakespeare, w. 

Mappen, adv. — Perchance ; from '* May happen." l. 

Mar, v. — To spoil or injure. A Scriptural word, or a word 
in common use at the time of the translation of the Scriptures 
into English. " Au was welly marred." l. 

Mara, s, — The Forest of Mara. The old name for the 
Forest of Delamere, possibly so-called from the Meres {mare^ 
Latin for sea) in it. l. 

Mare, n. — Vide Fleadod. w. 

Mares' Tails, s. — Clouds supposed to resemble horses' 
tails. A sign of bad weather, l. 

Marget, s. — For Margaret, l. 



[30 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. MAR 



Market Peart, adj. — Being in extra good spirits. Drunk, 
or something like it, from imbibing too much at market, l. 

Marl, v. — " To marl a man " is to follow the drinking of 
his health by cheering him. Taken from the old marling 
customs of the county, when the gang, after receiving any 
small sum as a present from a chance visitor, stand in a ring ; 
the fact of the donation and the amount is announced by the 
" Lord of the pit." Vide " Cheshire Ballads and Legends," 
p. 219. L. 

Marlaking, adj. — Frolicksome. Vide Marlock, l. 

Marl Head, s. — The deepest part of a marlpit, where the 
ground occasionally falls in on the marlers. l. 

Marlock, s. — One of those practical jokes in which both 
sides do not participate, like an " apple-pie bed," a " booby 
trap," et hoc genus ofnne. It might almost seem that the 
derivation might be " Mar lark," a destroyer of real fun. l. 

Marred, adj. — Babyish. Said of a spoilt child, "That 
marred young cauf's allis cryin after his mam." l. 

Marriage Lines, s. — Vide Lines, l. 

Marrow, s. — The same as *' Butty." A fellow workman or 
comrade. Hence comes marriage. The following adage is 
common with us, — 

' * The robin and the wren, 
Are God's cock and hen ; 
The martin and the swallow, 
Are God's mate and marrow." 

A match, an equal. 

'♦ Yo wudna foind, an measure him, his marrow in the shoir." 

Warburton's Hunting Songs. 

** Marry Come up, My Dirty Cousin," — is an expression 
used to those who affect any extreme nicety or delicacy, which 
does not belong to them, or who assume a distinction to which 



MAW CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 131 



they have no claim. The saying has probably some local 
origin which has faded away. w. 

Martin, s.—A heifer that has never had a calf, only fit for 
the butcher. It is a received idea (and many of these ideas 
have a general foundation in fact), that if a cow has twin 
calves of opposite sexes, the cow calf never breeds. A 
constitutionally barren cow is also called a " Free Martin." l. 

Maske, s. — A mesh of a net. w. 

Masker, v. — The same as Flasker, ^. v. Jamieson has to 
mask, to catch in a net ; it also means to suffocate, w. " He 
were welly maskered," — also, bothered, confused. 

Masterful, adj. — Headstrong, overbearing. " Thon lad's 
too masterful by hafe, oi mun take im down a peg." l. 

Maul, z;.— To handle untidily, to treat roughly. " If I 
get hout on him, I'll maul him." l. 

Maw, s. — The stomach. A.S. maga, the stomach, Som. w. 
" Aw's fish as cums to his maw." 

Mawbound, s. — Applied to a cow in a state of costiveness. w. 

Mawkin, s. — Old clouts, wet sloppy cloth, used to wipe out 
an oven or any dirty place. Also a term of reproach to a slut. 
In an old dictionary (Cole's) it is explained in the following 
rather inexplicable way. ** Malkin, maukin, a scovel of old 
clouts to cleanse the oven." — Scovel is a synonym, l. 

Mawkin, s. — A scarecrow. L. 

Mawkish, adj. — Sick, faint : derived from the preced- 
ing word Maw. l. 

Mawks, s. — A dirty figure or mixture. Ash calls it 
colloquial, w. 

Mawpus, s. — Malpas. " Higgledy, piggledy, Mawpus shot." 
— O.C.P 

K 2 



132 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. MAX 



Maxfield, s. — The old name for Macclesfield, l. 

" Maxfield Measure, Heap and Thrutch." — O.C. S. t.e.^ 
Very good measure, heaped up and squeezed together, l. 

Mayflower, s. — Caltha palustris. The Marsh Marigold or 
Yellow Boots, l. 

Me, pro7u — For myself. " I fomented me." *' I burnt me." l. 

Meal, s. — Milking time. A cow gives so much at a meal. 
A.S. mcel, portio aid spatium temporis. — Somner's Dictionary, 
Rather, I should say, a milking, w. 

Measter, or Meester, s. — Master, w. 

Measure, s. — A bushel (Winchester) of com. w. Generally 
pronounced inizzure. 

Meazy, adj. — Mazy, giddy. An old woman who drank 
about three gallons of gin a fortnight made no complaint, 
except of " being so oft meazy.*' l. 

Meet, v. — Might, w. ** Gooin thander to-neet^ Jeff? " " Oi 
meet," /.<?., " Are you going yonder to-night, Geoffery? " " Per- 
haps I may." l. 

Meet. — A sort of expletive, used when something has 
recently happened. " Just meet now," even, just now. w. 

Meety, adj. — Mighty, w. 

Meg Harry, s. — A tomboy. A young girl with masculine 
manners ; fast, loud. w. 

Melch, or Melsh, adj. — Mild, soft. AS. 7neoIc, or Belg. 
melk. We have two small townships in the Wirral, Great and 
Little Meolse, having soft, sandy soil. l. 

Melder, 5. — A kiln of oats. l. 

Melt, s. — The milt, or spleen of animals, &c. l. 

Mere. — There was an old family in Cheshire, the Meares 
of Meare, wuose coat of arms was a ship in full sail. We 
have also two Lord Delameres, — one of Vale Royal, the 



MID CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 133 



other, one of the titles (Lord Delamer) of the Earl of Stamford 
and Warrington, l. 

Mere, s. — ^A small lake, French mer, sometimes called a 
pool. There are a great many meres in Cheshire, the largest 
that at Combermere, more than a mile long. Some have been 
drained. Nixon's prophecy, " Ridley pool shall be sown and 
mown," has come to pass. Reeds Mere used to have a 
floating island, now anchored. Many of the Meres have tra- 
ditions attached to them. Vide " Ballads and Legends of 
Cheshire." l. 

Merricking, ad/. — Rollicking. Up to a lark. l. 

Merry Meal, s. — ^The refreshment taken by the principal 
persons (except the mother) directly after a child has been 
bom. L. 

Merry Tree, s. — The Wild Cherry-tree. l. 

Mess, s. — The mass. w. 

Meter, Meterly, adj. and adv. — Moderate, l. 

Meth, s. — Mead, short for Metheglin. 

Mich, adj. Michness, s. — " Mich of a michness " much the 
same, like half-a-crown and two and sixpence. 

** Strange that such difference should be 
'Twixt Tweedledum and Tweedledee," L. 

MiCHAELRiGGS, s. — The autumnal equinoctial gales, happen- 
ing about Michaelmas. "Rigg"meansastrongblast of wind. l. 

MiCKLES, s. — Size. " He is of no mickles," he is no size. 
Mickle, as s. and adj. is common in the north, but the word 
" mickles " is, I believe, peculiar to Lancashire and Cheshire, w. 

Midden, s. — A dung-heap. A.S. Midding. l. 
MiDDLiN, adj. — Neither well nor ill. "How is Jack?" 
" Middlin." l. 



134 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. MID 



MiDFEATHER, s. — A naiTow ridge of land, or bank left 
between two pits, usually between an old and a new one 
contiguous to each other, w. 

Midge, s. — A gnat. Hence used as a term of contempt for 
any small and contemptible object, l. 

Mile, s. — Used with us as singular and plural. We never 
say five miles, but five mile, or, as we pronounce it, moile. l. 

Milk-Pans, s. — Stellar ia holostea. Greater Stitch wort, Satin 
Flower, or Adders' Meat. l. 

MiMiCK, V. — " Mimicking work," is work made to look well 
for a time, but not to last, like bad contract work. Soft or 
lime bricks, unseasoned or unlasting timber, inferior slates, 
&c. &c. L. 

MiSE, s. — A tribute or fine of 3,000 marks which the 
inhabitants of the county Palatine of Chester paid at the 
change of every owner of the said earldom. Kersey's 
Efiglish Dictionary, l. 

Misfortune, s. — A natural child is spoken of as ''the 
girl's misfortin." l. 

MiSLEST, V. — To interfere, to meddle ; probably a form of 
molest. L. 

Mittens, s. — Strong hedging gloves, containing the whole 
hand without separation for the fingers. " Lancashire gloves " 
are hands without gloves, l. 

MixiN, or MixoN, s. — A manure heap. O. C. S. *' Better 
marry over the mixon than over the moor," which, according 
to Ray (1610 A.D.), means "that the gentry of Cheshire find it 
more profitable to match within their own county, than to 
bring a bride out of other shires. First, because better 
acquainted with her birth and breeding -, second, though her 



MOH CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 135 



portion may chance to be less, the expense will be less to 
maintain her. Such intermarriages in this county have been 
observed to be both a prolonger of ancient families and the 
preserver of amity between them." L. 

MixiN, or MiXEN, V. — " I'm agai't mixening up the pigs," 
/>., " I am cleaning the pigstye." l. 

MiZE Book, s. Mize, v. — F/^^Mise. — Apparently the name 
of the book in which the valuation of a parish was kept. Sir 
P. Leycester, in his Bucklow Hundred^ speaking of Lymm 
says, "It is, in our common Mize Book, mized at 01/. 16^". 
00^." L. 

MizziCK, s. MizziCKY, adj. — A bog ; boggy. Johnson has 
mizzy : mizmaze is an old word for a labyrinth, a place which 
it is easier to get into than out of. w. 

Mizzle, s. — Small rain, quasi mist. Dr. Ash admits the 
verb, but rejects the substantive, w. 

Mizzle, v. — To run away. " Mizzle, Dick." Make your- 
self scarce, l. 

MoGGiNS, s, — Shoes with wooden soles, commonly clogs, l. 

MoiDERED, or MoiTHERED, part, — Bothered. " Welly 
moidered," i.e., almost crazed, l. 

MoiLY, Moiling, adj. and part. — Dirty, sticky. Moiling 
and toiling are often used together, the first increasing the 
second, l. 

Moi SAKE ! expl.-^'^ Moi sake alive ! I'll trim thy jacket 
for thee." l. 

Molly-coddle, or Molly-cot, s. — Vide Cox. 

MoN, s. — Man. w. "Gaffer's a mon of his moind." Master 
thinks and acts for himself. 

Monday. 

" Monday's child is fair of face, 
Tuesday's child is full of grace."— O.C.S. L. 



136 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. MOH 



MoNNY. — Many. w. 

Month, or Moneth, s. — " To have a month's mind " is to 
have a strong indination to do something. I cannot run this 
to ground. There is one pecuHarity about the word month, 
that it is almost the only English word to which there is no 
rhyme. L. 

MooG, s. — A mug. Some maraschino was handed round 
at a banquet in small glasses. One of the guests drank off his 
glass, and thinking it very good but the quantity absurdly 
small, exclaimed to the footman, " Oi say, young mon, gee me 
sum o' that in a moog." l. 

Moon Daisy, s. — Chrysajithejnum leucanthemum. Another 
Cheshire name for the flower is Poverty Weed, as it generally 
flourishes in exhausted soil. L. 

Moondark. — Money saved by a wife, as her own particular 
nest egg, " unbeknown " to her husband, l. 

Moonpenny, s, — Synonym of Moon Daisy, q. v. 

More Cost nor Worship, — O.C.S., not worth the cost 
Lejeu 7ie vaut pas la chandelle. Le plaisir iie vaui pas la peine. 
The saying dates its origin probably to an ironical observation 
on the Roman Catholic processions, masses for the dead, 
dressing up saints, &c. &c. which all cost so much, but which 
have nothing to do with the real service of God. l. 

Mort, s. — A great deal, a great number, a quantity ; another 
similar word is a " vast : " "a mort of folk." L. 

Mortal, adj, — Very. ** Aum mortal glad thou'rt come." l. 

MoRTACious, flr^".— Synonym of mortal : " mortacious bad," 
very bad. w. 

"To CATCH A person SLEEPING, AS MoSS CAUGHT HIS 

MARE," — is a Cheshire adage. There is a county song in 
Devonshire, the refrain of which is 

"As Moise (Moss?) caught the mare." 



MOT CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 137 



Ray makes the following observation on this saying : — " Who 
this Moss was is not very material. I suppose some such man 
might find his mare dead, and taking her to be only asleep 
might say, ' Have I taken you napping ? ' " I do not consider 
Ray, though a valuable collector of proverbs, a shrewd 
expounder. Wilbraham says we have one authority for this 
mare being gray — 

" Till daye come catch him, as Mosse his grey mare." 

Christmas Prince, p. 40. 

This may throw some light on the adage, though not enough 
for its perfect elucidation. By his grey mare is meant his 
wife. 

'* The grey mare is the better horse," 
implies that the mistress rules, and in the low colloquial style 
of the French " la jti^nent grise" means the wife. Taylor, the 
water poet, in the title-page of his book {Swarme of Sec- 
tan'eSj 1641) has an allusion to Moss — 

** The cobbler preaches, and his audience are 
As wise as Moss was when he caught his mare." 
I suspect the original Moss took advantage of his commanding 
officer (his wife) being asleep to do something he would not 
have thought of had she been awake. L. 

Mosey, adj. — Overripe, as applied to fruit, "A mosey 
pear." l. 

Moss, s. — A bog. We never use the word bog for a moss. 
Carrington moss. Sink moss, &c. l. 

MoT,i'. — A moat, a wide ditch surroundingancient castles and 
houses. Several of these remain in their entirety, or only partly 
filled up ; — Old Moreton Hall, a very good specimen, Lymm 
Hall, Holford Hall, &c. In a field in High Leigh, that goes by 
the curious name of " The Giant's Hold," I found a filled-up 
moat inclosing a small piece of ground about sufficient for a 
small house or burial-place, but no remains of any sort, and 



138 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. MOT 



there is no tradition to explain the curious name of the 
field. L. 

Mot, s. — The mark on which a taw is placed to be shot at 
in the game of marbles, l. 

Mother of Thousands, s. — Linaria. The ivy-leaved 
Toad Flax, known for its profusion of lilac flowers ; there is 
also a white variety, l. 

MoTTY, s. — Talk. " None of thy motty," />., none of your 
jaw. ** Mot " is used commonly in this sense from the French 
mot, a word. w. 

Mouldy, adj. — For moldy, w. 

Mouldy Warp, s. — The mole, from A.S. molde, the earth, 
and weorpafi, to cast. Molworp or mulworp. Teutonic, talpa. 
w. The word mole comes from the Latin moles, a heap. We 
pronounce " Mouldy warp " as if the 1 was omitted. 

MouzLE, V. — To mess, or make untidy, like its rhyme 
"Touzle." L. 

MowBURNT, adj. — Hay that has been carried too soon, and 
consequently is overheated in the stack, in short, burnt without 
actually taking fire. The smell of this sort of hay is most 
fragrant, but the quality is supposed to be injurious to its 
consumers, l. 

Much, adj. — ** It is much if such a thing were to happen," 
/>., it is unlikely, it would be extraordinary if it did happen, l. 

Muck, s. — Manure, l. 

MucKiNDER, s. — A dirty napkin, duster, or pocket-handker- 
chief. Littleton and Bailey have " Muckinger. w. 

MuDGE Hole, s. — A dirt hole, a soft boggy place, liable to 
give way under the weight of a cow. '* Oo were welly marred 
in a mudge hole." l. 



MUR CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 139 



Muffler, s. — A thick neckerchief, l. 

MuGGiN, s. — " To receive a muggin " is to be beaten, l. 

Mulligrubs, s. — Stomach-ache. " To have the mulligrubs," 
is to be in a pet, to be out of temper, w. 

Mullock, s. — Turf dust. Rubbish, l. 

Mulsh, adj. — Soft, damp, drizzling weather, l. 

Mulsh, s. — Long litter, put round plants and delicate trees 
and shrubs, to keep the frost out. l. 

MuN, s. — The mouth. Sued. mzm. w. 

Mun, v. — Must, " I mun go." Moune is used by Wycliffe 
for must, not moun. Feques Oct. Vocab. mowe, for may, is 
common in Spenser, w. 

MuNCORN, s. — Blencorn, mengecorn, and blendecorn 
maslin. Wheat and rye mixed together as they grow. Mungril 
is mixed, w. Hence mongrel, a cur of mixed breed. 

MuNG, s. — A crowd, a rabble, l. 

MuNGER, V. — To work awkwardly, without aim, and without 
results. L. 

MuNNAH, V. — Must not. *' Yo munnah." w. 

MuRENGER, s. — The officer who looked after the walls of 
Chester ; from mums, a wall. One of the few Cheshire words 
that have a Latin origin. The word is in Ainsworth and Todd; 
but I never heard it used except in the city of Chester, where 
two officers were annually chosen from the Aldermen and 
called " Murengers," to whom the repair and care of the Walls 
are entnisted. w. Chester being the only city or town in Eng- 
land surrounded by a wall, may account for the absence of the 
word except in Chester. The impost collected in former days 
towards the repair and building of walls and fortifications used 



I40 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. MUR 



to be called " Murage." ** Murorutn operatio " was the term 
when labour instead of murage was given. Some towns were 
exempted from this service by special privilege and favour. 
Henry II., granted to the tenants within the Honor of 
Wallingford, " Ut quieti sint de operationibus castellorum et 
miiroi'icmy l. 

MuRGiN, s. — A bog, from which there is no emerging, l. 

Muse, s. — A hole in a hedge, made by its being the regular 
run of a rabbit or hare, a favourite place for poachers to 
arrange their " hangs." l. 

Mysell, /r<?;/. — So pronounced. Myself, " 1 sez to mysell, 
sez I." w. 

N. 

Nacky, Nackety, Natty, adj. — Handy, applied to a man 
who can turn his hand to anything. " Thee'st got a natty fist, 
young mon." l. 

Nag, v. — To be perpetually finding fault, scolding, and 
reproaching. " His ould ooman is a deadly one to nag." l. 

Naggy, adj. — Snappish. L. 
Naked Gull, s. — Any unfledged bird. l. 
Naked Virgins, s. — Colchicum autmnnale — the Autumn 
Crocus, or Saffron, l. 

Nancy Wild, s. — Wild Nancy. Narcissus, l. 

Nar, or Naar, adv. — Near, or nearer. Littleton has narr 
for nearer : — Danish iicehr^ nigh, w. 

Nation, or Nashun, adj. — Diminution of tarnation. " Dim 
nashun fond o' thee, owd wench." l. 

Natter, v. — To gnaw into small pieces. "Poop hath 
nattered sponge," — the pup has torn the sponge to bits. l. 



NES CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 141 



Nattered, adj, — Ill-natured, " very nattered," exceedingly 
ill-tempered. Knattle, in Lancashire, is cross, w. 

Natty, also Nacky, q. v. — " Rafe's a very natty lad." l. 

Nature, pronounced Nattur, s. — " The nature is worn out, 
of a thing," or " there's no nattur in a thing," means that it 
is spoilt, or, if applied to land, that it is worn out. l. 

Neam, s. — Name. One of the many instances of the 
transposition of letters, and also dissyllabizing a monosyllable. 
A bagman was driving towards Nantwych, when railways 
were not, and seeing a poor man, he cried out to him roughly, 
" Jack, which is my way to Nantwych ? " — " Whau tould you 
my neam were Jack ? " — " I guessed it, Jack, I guessed it." — ■ 
" Then," rejoined the other sturdily, " thou mayst guess thy 
way to Nantwych." l. 

Near, v. — To come near, to approach. " He were nearing 
fence when I seed him." l. 

Neeld, s. — A needle. Used in Shakespeare, w. 

Neest, s. Neeses, pi. — Nest. To "go bird-neezing," is 
bird-nesting, w. 

Neet, s. — Night. One of the many instances in which 
we follow the French pronunciation of the /. l. 

Neeze, v. — To sneeze, w. 

Neezle, v. — To nestle, to settle in some snug situation, w. 

Nere, J.— The kidney. O.W. P.P.C. Lady Juliana Barnes 
uses it. w. 

Nesh, adj. — Tender, delicate, effeminate. Applied to man, 
woman, child, or beast. Used by Chaucer, l. 

Neshin, v. — To make tender, to coddle. P.P.C. w. 



142 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. NET 



Nether, s. — An adder. A nether and an adder have much 
the same pronunciation, w. 

Never no more. — A common expression to denote that 
the speaker will have nothing more to do with the person he 
speaks to. l. 

Next, adj. — Nearest. "The m/auf terrible'' asked his 
mother's guest, "Who was his nearest neighbour?" a question 
put (as it turned out by a simple cross-questioning) from 
having heard his mother say "he was next door to a fool." l. 

Night Jackets, i*.— Night shifts, l. 

Nip, s. — A small glass of raw spirits, l. 

Nip, v. — To nip off. To leave suddenly and unexpectedly. 
Said of a young street Arab, who accidentally broke a window, 
" He nipped off like lightnin." l. 

Nips, Nippernails, s. — Hips of the Wild Rose. l. 

Nix ! exc. — A Macclesfield term used as a warning when 
boys are in mischief, and either a policeman or farmer sud- 
denly appears. The word is a signal for Sauve qui pent. L. 

NizzLY, adj. — Applied to weather, inclined to rain, foggy, 
drizzly, l. 

NoBBUT—Nothing but. " Who's there ? " " Nobbut John." 
" What have you got there ? " " Nobbut a whisket o' wick 
snigs," i.e., Nothing but a basket of live eels. 

Noddy, s, — Tom Noddy. A silly fellow, l. 
Noggin, s, — A wooden kit or piggin. l. 

NoGGiNG, s. — The filling up of the interstices between the 
timber work in a wooden building with sticks and clay, is called 
"the nogging." w. 

Noggintle, s. — A nogginfuU. w. 



NOT CHESHIRE GLOSSARY, 143 



Nogs, Noggs, s. — The handle of a scythe, l. 

NoiNT, V. — To anoint ; figuratively to beat severely. Like the 
recipe for the lazy fever, — *' Anoint the patient with wigue?itn7?i 
baculinum, and rub him down frequently with an oaken 
cudgel." L. 

Anointed One, adj. or part. — An unlucky boy, who may 
be supposed to have been severely corrected, is so-called, a 
term corresponding with the French " Uji reprouve." I think 
it was Dr. Johnson's advice, " Always lick a boy — he either 
has done, is doing, or is going to do, some mischief." 

Nominee, s. — A marling term. The giver of a present to 
the lord of the pit (marl) for himself and his men, is called 
the " nominee," and when the money is spent in drink after- 
wards at the public house, the lord and his men " shout " the 
name of the nominee. Lat. nomen. l. 

NoMONY, s. — A yarn, or tale. l. 

NooKSHOTTEN, adj. — Disappointed, mistaken, crooked, hav- 
ing overshotten the mark. Shakespeare in Hen. 5. has " That 
nookshotten isle of Albion." Commentators say this refers to 
the jagged nature of the coast. Pegge explains the word by 
"not at light angles." Randal Holme in his Academy of 
Armoury, amongst " glazier's terms " hath, " A querke is a nook- 
shotten pane, whose sides and top run out of a square form," so 
that we may conceive what the artist meant to be a quarry or 
right angled pane had, through his want of skill, turned out 
uneven and not exact, 'w 

NooPE, s, — The run of a hare or rabbit, l. 

Nor; adv. — Than. " I'm a better mon nor you." l, 

NosROU, s. — A Shrew Mouse, l. 

Note, s. — A dairy of cows is said to be in " good note '* 
when they all come into milking at the best time for cheese 



144 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. NOT 



making. In bills of sale a cow is often mentioned as of 
" early note " viz., one that will calve soon. Probably from 
the Latin nota^ a mark, the period of each cow's calving being 
generally chalked or marked up in her *' boose." l. 

To Nothing. — A curious phrase, meaning exactly, tho- 
roughly. If a person wants to express *' Very well," he will 

use " to nothing." " So and so's clothes will fit D to 

nothing." One easily overcoming another in a competition 
will say, " Why, I beat him all * to nothing.' " l. 

Nought, Nowt, or Naught, adj. — Bad, worthless, wicked ; 
** stark nought," good for nothing ; also unchaste, as explained 
by Bailey, w. 

Nought, Naught, s. — To call to naught, to abuse violently. 
To call to naught is in Hor. Vul. p. 134, />/ tergo. w. 

Noup, V. — To hit on the head, from " nob " the head. *' If 
they dunna be quiet, yer mun noup'm." " I canna, sir, they 
douken," i.e., duck, and slip away. l. 

• NuD, s. — A violent shock or impetus, — " Oo come wi' such 
a nud roight o' the top o' my yed." l. 

Nudge, s. — A jog, or push. w. 

Nudge, v. — To shove or push. w. 

NuRRiNG, adj. — Active, clever, striving, painstaking. There 
is a word in Warwickshire for the head, ** nur," and ** nurring," 
may imply that a man *' has a head upon his shoulders." l. 

Nut Rags, s. — The expressive term for the male catkins of 
the nut. Hanging like rags on the bush. l. 

O. 

O is sometimes changed into A, as " Mall " and ** Mally," for 
"Moll" and "Molly." l. 



OLD CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 145^ 



Oaf, s. — A fool ; not peculiar to Cheshire, but it is introduced 
on account of the singular way of spelling it by Cockeran, in 
his Dictionary. It is there written Gnoffe (an old word for 
miser), and presents a different etymology of the word from 
ouph^ which is usually assigned to it. w. 

Oak-atcherns, s. — Acorns, l. 

Obshackled, adj. — Lame, limping. Here "ob" in compo- 
sition has a preventive meaning, as it has in " obstruct." l. 

OccAGiON, for Occasion, s. — *' I was the occagion (or cagion) 
of his doing so." w. 

** An, missis, that's the cagion o' the blood upo' my chin," 
says Farmer Dobbin, in Warburton's Hunting Songs. 

OccARD, adj. — Awkward. '^He's the occardest fellow 
alive." Unfortunate. " That's occard ! as th' mon sed when 
he swoller'd his fawse teeth." l. 

Occasionally, adv. — As a makeshift for want of a better — 
"Yea, t'will do occasionally." l. 

Odd Rabbit it ! — An angry exclamation. Confound it ! l. 

Oeranent. adv. — Overagainst, opposite. Athurtens. l. 

Of course. — This expression is used expletively and very 
commonly. " He asked me for some money, and of course I 
gave him some." This does not necessarily intimate that there 
was any cogent reason for giving the money, l. 

Old, adj. — Used for great, famous, such as was practised in 
the old times. Old doings signify great sport, feasting, uncom- 
mon display of hospitality, w. 

Old Hob, s. — An old Cheshire custom, carrying about a 
horse's head covered with a sheet to frighten people. L. 

Old Man, s. — Asthma, l. 

L 



146 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. OLD 



Old Man, s. — The herb Southernwood, or Lad's Love, a 
favourite ingredient in the cottage posy. Some one in their 
description of a village congregation on Sunday said that " all 
the old women smelt of old man." " Old Man tea " is a 
favourite cure-all in the Chtshire J>Aarmacop£sm. 

An Old Thing and a Young Thing, both of an Age, 
O.C.P. — Like the young girl of eighteen, who sold a very old 
gander to a purchaser. He reproached her with having told 
him a lie in saying the bird was young. " Why, you don't 
call me ould ? " said the girl ; " and mother allis said gander 
was hatched the same day I was born." l. 

Ommost, adv. — Almost. " Oim ommost clemd," i.e., ** I'm 
ravenously hungry." l. 

On, adv. — A female of any kind, man's appetens, is said to 
be " on." w. 

Oneder, s. — The afternoon. — Vide Ownder. 

Onion, s. — The melt or wart inside a horse's legs. It has 
a very strong smell, and dogs are particularly fond of it. l. 

Onliest, adj. sup. — Pronounced " ounliest," the superlative 
of only : the best and most approved way of doing a thing is 
said to be the " onliest " way, as if there could be but that one 
way. w. 

Onny, adj. — Any. " Oi dunna loike that, onny road ; " i.e.., 
** It won't do for me at all." l. 

Onnythin, j".— Anything. "Seed onnythin o' Jack, Bill?" 
" Nowt." 

Onst, adv. — Once. " At onst ; " i.e., at once. 

Oo, /;w/.— Used for thou, as " Artoo ? " *' art thou ? " l. 



OUD CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 147 



Oo^ prom — She. Often used as a synonym for wife. There is 
an O.C.P., " Oo's far fetched, and dearly bought," — in contra- 
distinction to, or rather as a corroboration of, another O.C.P., 
" Better marry over the mixon than over the moor." l. 

OoN, J., Oven. — '' Tak that tatty cake out o'th'oon." 
"Take that potato cake out of the oven." w. 

Orts, s. — The refuse sweeping of the mangers. The 
" leavings " of the dinner table. " Now, childer, oil ha' no orts 
left, by leddy ! " 

Oss, V. — To offer, to begin, to attempt, to set about a thing. 
" It osses to rain." *' A covey ossing for the turmits," means a 
covey making for the turnips. — " He osses well," said of a new 
servant who promises fairly. " Ossing comes to bossing," an 
O.C.S., means courting is soon followed by kissing. Holland, in 
his Tra7islaiio7i of Fliny^ talks of " osses and presages." To 
" osse," is also to recommend a person to assist you. Edgworth, 
in his Sermofis^ in the time of Henry the Eighth, uses to " osse " 
for to prophesy, as Holland uses it. Sometimes the verb 
is used almost expletively, " ossing to dig," about to dig, 
digging. Ray thinks its derivation may be from the Latin audeOy 
I dare, atisus, part. 

Ott, s. — An ott is a glove finger cut off and worn on the 
finger in case of a sore ; perhaps from the French word oter^ to 
take off. L. 

Ou, in the word wound, is not pronounced by us as it is in 
common parlance (like double o), but according to the rule 
which would make it rhyme to sound, l. 

Oud-Fashioned, or Owd-Fashioned. — Quaint, old fashioned, 
belonging to other days ; a very steady child is said to be 
"that oudfashioned, he moight a bin o' the earth afore," 
O.C.S. ; or, according to another, " As oud as th' hills ! " l. 

L 2 



148 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. OUR 



OuRN, profi. for ours. w. " Whooa's is that pikel ? " " Ourn, 
not yoarn." 

Outing, j. — Going from home on a parly of pleasure, 
oftener called an Out. " Chester is a nice place for an 
out, that's for sure ! " l. 

Outlet, s. — Is the field reserved by the tenant for watering 
purposes and turning out his cattle, (when he gives up the 
land on leaving the farm on the 2nd of February) ; and he has 
the use of this field until he leaves the farm house and build- 
ing altogether in May. "The outlet" is one of the most 
certain names for one or other field on almost every farm in 
Cheshire, l. 

OvERANENST, «^'. —Opposite. — F/-j/^ Oeranent. l. 

Overblow, v. — To blow hard. l. 

OvERGET, V. — To overtake, w. " How came you to be so 
drunk last night, John ? " " Oi wur overgot sumhow, measter, 
— oi conna tell how, oim sure." 

Overrun, v. — A farmer says of a servant who has taken 
French leave, "He has overrun him." *' A wife complaining 
of her husband, said, * If he dunna tak care, au'll o'erun 
him.'" L. 

Overwelt, part. — A sheep lying on its back (or cast) and 
not able to recover itself, is said to be overwelt, i.e., over 
vaulted, l. 

OvERWAiST, adj. — Covered with water, like a ham boiling in 
a pot. L. 

OwD, aaj.—0\A. L. 

" Owd mon, its welly milkin toime." 

Warburton's Hunting Songs. 



PAD CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 149 



OwDMON, s. — Old Man, the spotted Fly Catcher. Mus 
Grisola. 

OwLER, or OuLER, s. — The Alder-tree. Ollerton, a town- 
ship in the county, formerly Owlarton, was the alder town. In 
former times, (mentioned in Magna Britannia) young men 
used to hang up boughs at the doors of their sweethearts and 
female acquaintance in May. If a damsel found an '* owler " 
branch, she might at once know some one considered her a 
scold ; if a branch of a nut-tree, that she was considered a 
slut. Aller and EUer are Scotch. Jamieson. 

OwLERT, s. — An owl. L. 

OwNDER, or AuNDER, s. — The afternoon. Undern is used 
by Chaucer, and yestronde is an O.W. for yesterday. See 
Ellis's Ancient Poetry. Undermele we have in P.P.C., a,sJ>ost 
meridianiim. w. 

OwT, s. — Anything. Nowt, nothing. " Oi hanna seed owt 
on 'im this three wick or moore." l. 

P. 

Pace Eggs, s. — Pasch, for Easter, eggs. l. 

Pack, v. imp. — " Pack off ! " an order to begone. A word 
originating from householders being bothered by pack-men, 
/>., pedlars bearing a pack. l. 

Packet, s. — A horse panel, for carrying bundles, &c. l. 

Pad, s. — A path ; used also in Northamptonshire and other 
counties. A pad road anciently ran along every field that 
skirted a highroad, just within the hedge, and parallel to the 
road itself, l. 

Padding. To Pad, v. — The term used by a workman 
when he takes back to his employer work he has done at 



ISO CHESHIRE GLOSSARY PAl 



home. " Padding his work " is walking back to his employer 
with finished work. l. 

Paigle, s. — The primrose or cowslip, l. 

Painful, adj. — Used to express active, respectable, pains- 
taking people. ** Honest and painful parents," l. 

Pale, v. — To beat barley, l. 

Pall, for Molly or Moll, ^. 7). l. 

Palms, s. — Willow branches in flower, so called because they 
were formerly used (in the absence of real palms) to decorate 
churches on Palm Sunday. These branches are also called 
Goslings. 

Pancutters, s. — Officers appointed in the salt towns to 
measure the pans or pan, to see that they were of the standard 
dimensions appointed by the town. l. 

Panmug, s. — (pronounced paanmoog) from A.S. panne, a pan. 
The coarse red crockery used in family operations for cheese 
milk, butter, &c., and any rough use. A girl who was taken 
to see Capesthorne Hall, which contains (or contained before 
the fire), amongst many curiosities, a valuable collection of 
Etruscan vases, described to her mother on her return how 
beautiful everything was, but that she had been surprised to 
see "the paanmoogs kept in the house place" (^>., the best 
sitting room), l. Our Cheshire panmugs are manufactured 
mostly at Buckley, in the neighbouring county of Flint. A 
man with a red, coarse, blotchy countenance (not unfrequently 
the result of hard drinking) is said to have " a feace like a 
Buckley paanmug." O.C.S. l. 

Papes, .$•. — Bread and milk. This perhaps may be the real 



PAR CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 151 



origin of the following word *^ papa's " milk. Brereton mentions 
his using ** new milk " as a remedy in his illness. Hence " pap." 

Hi baby diddy, how is widd'e, 

Sit on my lap and swallow thy pap ; 

And there's a baby diddy. 

Pape's Milk, s. — Juice of poppies. Mentioned by Sir W. 
Brereton in his Travels (a.d. 1634) as one of the ingredients 
of a drink he took for curing the flux (diarrhoea), p. 130. The 
juice of the seed of the poppy, when it first exudes, is, like the 
juice of the Indian-rubber plant, white as milk, and blackens 
afterwards, as it becomes solid. *'Pape" evidently comes 
from the Latin of poppy, papaver, l. 

Papper, s. — (So pronounced) Paper. Also the common 
word for a notice to quit. " My landlord swears he will send 
me a papper." Yxonv papyrus, an Egyptian reed, first used for 
records when paper was not, and which, it is said, has been 
again adopted (1873) as a material for paper-making in this 
paper-consuming age. 

Parle, or Parley, s. — A talk. A long conversation. 
French, parler, to talk. l. 

Parlous, adj, — Perilous, l. ^ 

Parliamenting,/^!/'/. — Talking for the sake of talking ; from 
the same root as the preceding word. No great compliment 
to the speeches in parliament. " He was parliamenting a good 
bit ; " i.e., making a long speech with nothing in it. l. 

Parti cularest, adj. superl. of particular. — A Cheshire militia 
sergeant, who was for many years drill instructor of a corps of 
volunteers in this county, whenever describing an intricate 
movement to the squad under instruction, invariably prefaced 
his remarks with, "Now, gentlemen, be careful — this is the 
most particularcst motion as is." l. 



152 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. PAR 



Partlets, s. — " Ruffes " or bands for women, l. 

Partly, adj. — If you make inquiries after a sick person the 
answer will probably be "partly the same," i.e., no better. 
L. Ray. 

Pash, s. — A flash or puddle. " That meadow's nowt but a 
great pash o' wet." l. 

Pash, s. — Brains. " He's moore brass till pash," i.e., more 
money than brain, l. 

Peach, s. — A perch, l. 

PeArt, ad/. — Brisk, sharp, well. We say of an invalid, who 
has been ill, but is recovering, " He is quite peart again." 
The comparative or a double comparative is often used, ** Oos 
pearter " or " more pearter." Vide Market Peart, l. 

Peckle, s. — To spot, or speckle, chiefly used in the participle 
*' peckled." ** A peckled poot," a speckled chicken. In former 
(cock-fighting) days different townships were called after the 
peculiar breed of their fighting cocks ; by which afterwards, 
and to this day, the inhabitants are designated, although the 
origin of the name is forgotten by, or unknown to, nine hundred 
and ninety-nine out of a thousand inhabitants. Thus we have 
" Lymm Greys," " Peover Pecks." l. 

Peckle, s. — A freckle. We have the following O.C.S.— 

" Fawn peckles once made a vow 
They never would come on a face that was fou." 

Freckles only attacking pretty people is a curious fancy sanc- 
tioned by antiquity. In Germany, a receipt to remove freckles 
are " grape tears," the morning dew collected from the vines. 

Pedlar's Basket, s. — The Zman'a, or Toad Flax, or 
Thousand Flower. — Vide Mother of Thousands, l. 



PHA CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 153 



Pee, V, — To look with one eye. To peep. w. 

Pee, Peed, v, 2x1^ part. — To pay. Paid. l. 

Peecing, s. — A boiling of salt for the poor. l. 

Peed, part and adj, — Having only one eye. l. 

Peerk, or Perk, adj. — Perky, adj. — Synonym of Peart. 
q. V. u 

Peesnips, s. — Corruption for peewits, l. 

Peewit Land, s. — Moist, spongy land such as is frequented 
by pee^vits. The following is an O.C.S., said of poor wretched 
wet land, '* T'would take an acre to keep a peewit." Wilbra- 
ham in his collection has peewit ; but it can no more be called 
a provincialism than lapwing, and I omit it. Pewit and pewit 
land in Cheshire are pronounced Hke th^peiv of a church, the 
7v going with the first syllable, not the second as in common 
parlance, l. 

Peggy Whitethroat, s. — The White Throat. Sylvia 
cenerea. L. 

Penny Grass, s. —Rhinanthus. The yellow rattle, supposed 
to be injurious to grass, by growing on the roots. When the 
seeds rattle, some people cut their hay. l. 

Penny Whip, s. — Very small beer, swipes watered, l. 

Pentice, s. — A penthouse. Hence the pentice, and Pentice 
Court at Chester. 

Peover Pecks. — F/^^Peckle. 

Perished, part. — Starved with the cold. *'I'm welly 
perished." 

Petty, s. — Little house, privy, from the French/*?///, little. 

Phantom, adj. — Weak. " Horses are very phantomy at 
this time of year " (Autumn), l. 



[54 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. PIA 



PiANNOT, s. — A flower. The peony. I cannot give the 
root of this. l. 

Pick, s. — A basket used for drawing coals out of a pit. l. 

Pick, v. — A cow is said to ^' pick " her calf, when it is born 
prematurely. In some places they nail the first " picked " calf 
up to the wall ; as it is supposed the sight of it prevents other 
cows from picking their calves. In Suffolk and other counties, 
they bury a "slunk," or an abortive calf. l. 

Picking up. A term for picking a pocket, l. 

Picture. — " Just the very picture of so and so " is 
another way of saying very like. At the time of the cattle 
plague, a woman, speaking to me of a cow that she had lost, 
said, ** she could not have been more beautifuller, if she had 
been a picture." l. 

PiEANNOT, s. — A magpie, in Scotch pigeot or pyeat, French, 
piean7iet. w. 

Pied Finch, s. — A chaffinch, w. 

PiGCOTE, s. — A pigstye, quasi a cot for a pig. l. 

PiGGiN, ^.— A wooden vessel with one stave longer than 
the rest, as a handle, l. 

PiGGiN Stake, s. — An arrangement something like a hat 
stand upon which piggins, buckets, &c., are placed, when not 
wanted, bottom upwards, l. 

PiGGiNTLE, s. — A piggin full. w. " Oi could lay in a 
piggintle o' buttermilk, roight off, oim that dry." 

Pike, s. — An iron instrument, sharp on one side and like a 
hammer on the other, used for splitting and breaking coals. 
(Cheshire Asizes.) l. 



PIN CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 155 



PiKEHiLL, or PiKEL, s. — A pitchfork. Probably it should be 
written " pickel " from the French J>i^ue/ef, a little pike. Randle 
Holme writes it " pikel." 

Pikelet, s. — A light cake, a tea cake. l. 

Piking, J^ar/. — Joking. There is a common English saying, 
" Poking fun at such a one," which may be the origin of the 
word. L. 

PiLLGARLic, s. — A thing of no value, l. 

Pill, v. — To peel. " Pilling (oak) bark," a biblical word. 
*' And Jacob took him white rods of green poplar and pilled 
white strakes in them." l. 

PiLPiT, s. — Pulpit. A Cheshire farmer being asked how he 
liked the new clergyman replied, " He is a pretty rough mon 
in the reading desk, but when he gets into the pilpit, he goes 
off like the smoke of a ladle." w. 

PiNDER, s. — The parish officer whose duty it is to impound 
stray cattle. — Vide Pinned. 

'* In Wakefield there lives a jolly pinder, 
In Wakefield all on the green. " 

PiNFOULD, s. — The pound. " Clap'd in the pinfould ; " i.e., 
imprisoned in the pound, l. 

Pingle, s. — A small croft or field, w. 

Pink, or Penk, s. — A minnOw. A small fish, Littleton 
has **penk." w 

Pink Grass, s.—A sort of grass that resembles the grass of 
a pink, when it first appears. There is an old saying that, " A 
cow will not clem, if there are three blades of pink grass in 
the field." The flower is something like a diminutive rush. l. 



156 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. pin 



Pinned, adj. — Impounded. Bradshaw, in his Life of S. 
IVerbtirgh, relates how the saint commanded her servant 

** To dryve those gees and brynge home to her place. 
There to be pynned and punnyshed for theyr trespace."- L. 

Pip, or Peep, s. — A single blossom where flowers grow in a 
bunch or whorl, like the cowslip or auricula ; hence a spot on 
playing cards is called a pip, fori in Italian, flowers in English, 
being the names of one of the suits of card. w. 

Pipe, s. — A small dingle breaking out from or leading into 
a larger one. w. 

Pit, s. — Generally a marl pit, hence any pond. The word 
pond I never heard used in Cheshire, l. 

Pitch, v. — To pave. l. 

Pitch Hole, s. — The hole left to fill the bawks above with 
hay or straw. The pitch hole door when wanted closes such 
hole, and ought always to shut inwards instead of outwards, l. 

Pitstead, s. — A place where there has been a pit ; but 
oftener used for the pit itself. 

Plain, adj. — Open, exposed. "This road is plain to the 
wind." L. 

Plash, v. — To cut a hedge, l. 

Platt, or Plat, s. — A small bridge or passage made over a 
ditch or gutter as an approach to a gate. w. 

Plat, s. — Used for plot. A plat of vegetables, in a field or 
garden, is a bed of them. w. 

Plat, v. — To cross. Upon inquiry about the antecedents 
of a man and his wife who had died very suddenly of cholera, 
my informant told me they were very respectable people, but 



POA CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 157 



both loved a soop of drink ; and that he had often seen them 
platting their legs as they were returning home market peart — 
a curious, but very true, definition of drunkenness, l. 

Platter, v. — *' To platter along " is to walk in an awkward 
and scrambling way, like a man with bad corns, l. 

Platterdock, s. — Flatter or batter dock ; so-called from 
lying flat (French plat), or like a platter on the water. A 
pond weed. Potamogemi. l. 

Playing, /dJr/. — Not working. When the hands of a mill 
have struck or the mill is closed the hands are said to be 
playing ; also said of them when they have no work. l. 

Plecks, s. — A haymaking term, applied to the square opened 
out beds of dried grass, l. 

Pleck, or Plek, s, — A place. A Lancashire word. l. 

Plim, v. — To plumb, or fathom with a plummet, w. . 

Plim, adv. and adj. — Perpendicular, straight. To plymme 
down, is used by Lady Juliana Baines for to pounce as a 
falcon does on his prey. w. 

Plough with Dogs. — " You might as well plough with 
dogs ; " i.e., the slowest possible way of doing a thing. " My 
knife is so blunt I might as well plough with dogs." l. 

Pluck, s. — The heart, liver, and lights of an animal. Vide 
Hack. l. 

Poach, v. — Land is said to be poached when, whilst it is in 
an undrained, swampy, or wet state, it is trampled by heavy 
cattle. At this time a cow is said to have five mouths (i.e., 
four legs and a mouth), instead of merely the mouth in a dry 
time. l. 



158 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. POB 



PoBS, s. — Bread broken in boiling milk is called pobs. l. 

Pock Fretten, /«;/-/. — F/^<? Fretten. l. 

PoKEL, or PoKLE, I.e., a pokeful or a bagful, w. 

PoLER, s. — A barber. From the sign of a barber's shop, 
a long painted pole, which was supposed to represent an arm 
bandaged after bleeding ; the barber of olden time being a 
bleeder and tooth drawer as well as following what is con- 
sidered his legitimate line. Others derive it from " pole," the 
head. l. 

PoLER, V. — To toddle about doing little things. A poor 
man said " he could poler about a bit — not do a day's work, 
but just poler." l. 

PoLiTiTiONER, s. — A politician, l. 

Poller, or Powler, v. — Properly, to beat the water with a 
pole ; figuratively, to labour without effect, w. 

PoLSY, adj. — Bad, spoilt. " Polsy hay," badly got hay. l. 

Poo, ^.— To pull. " Oil poo his locks for 'un ;" i.e., '' I'll 
pull him by the hair of his head." w. 

Pool, s. — Fide Mere. 

Poor Man's, or Churl's, Treacle. — Garlick. Allium, l. 

Poop, s. — A peep, Vide Natter, l. 

PooT, s. — A pullet, l. 

PoPiLARY, or Peppilary, s. — The poplar tree, from Latin 
populus. A man once told me "■ The poplar likes to sip, and 
not to drink." The following inscription, or one like it, is said 
to have been found on one of the inside timbers (poplar) of 
an old timber house in Cheshire. 

Cover me up and keep me dry, 
With heart of oak to y\<t I'll try. L. 



POW CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 159 



Poss, or Boss, v. — To poss is a marler's punishment. When 
one of the "gang" comes late or strikes his work, he is held 
like a spread eagle across a horse's back with his posteriors 
exposed, and is beaten on them with the flat of the spade by 
" the lord of the pit." Possed, pushed, tossed, Bailey. The 
simpler derivation would be from the part struck, l. 

PoTE, or Pawt, v. — To kick with one foot. Belg. poteren. w. 
Potter, %\ — To disturb, confuse, confound, w. 

Pottering, /<3rr/. — Working without result. Asa French- 
man would say, " // s'occupe a fair e des riensP l. 

Pottle, s. — A measure of two quarts. O.C.S., "Who 
would keep a cow when he can have a pottle of milk for a 
penny?" Pottle is also a dry measure; in the O.C.P., "You 
might as well look for a needle in a bottle of hay," bottle is 
used for pottle. The general name for small fruit baskets in 
London and elsewhere is pottle. " A pottle of strawberries," 

&C. L. 

PouK, i". — A pustule or pimple. Possibly another form of 
pock : also, a stye in the eye. w. 

Poverty Weed, s. — The ox eye, or day daisy, where 
abundant. It tells a tale of overworked or neglected land. l. 

Pow, V. — To cut the hair. " You mun pow me." l. 

Pow, s. — /.<?., Poll. The head. w. 

Pow, s. — A very long pole. l. 

Power, s, — A great quantity ; always followed by the genitive 
case. "A power of money." In old French, /7;r^y in Latin, 
vis. " Est Hederx vis^^ Horace. As we should say a power of 
" ivvy." Power is very much used in Ireland. 

PowFAGGED, adj, — Tired, exhausted, l. 



i6o ^ CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. pow 



PowLER, V. — To thieve in a petty way like an ''area 
sneak." " He's allis powling about," perhaps a variety of 
" prowling." " He died worth a power o' brass, but he'd been 
scratting and powlering for it aw his loife." l. 

PowsE, Pous, PousT, s. — Docks. Weeds of all sorts, also 
dust, dirt. French^ _poussure. w. 

PowsELS and Thrums. — Dirty scraps and rags. Powsels 
comes from powse. Thrums is a G.O.W., signifying tags or 
ends of coarse cloths, w. 

PowsY, adv. — Dusty, dirty, l. 

Preparing their Bobs. — Said of fir-trees enlarging their 
cones, which swell as spring advances. A curious ex- 
pression. L. 

Presbyterian Road. — Passing the bottle the wrong way. l. 

Presently, adv. — Immediately, at once, at the present 
time. L. 

Prespiration, s. — Bodily heat. *' All of a prespiration." l. 

Presse, Press, s. — A coffin or chest, w. 

Prickers, s. — Thorns. '* The prickers on a brimble." l. 

Pride, s. — To have a pride in his pace, or way of going, is 
a quaint ironical way of saying a man is lame. w. 

Prodigal, ^^*.— Violent, Impetuous, l. 

Prosperation, s. — Prosperity, l. 

Proud, adj. — Pleased. '*I were proud to convarse him;" 
z'.e.y *' 1 was pleased to have a talk with him." 

Proud Carpenter, s. — Pru7iella. Self Heal. A curious 
name for this plant, which also bears the name of Carpenter's 
Herb, from its reported healing effects when applied to 
cuts. L. 



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PYN CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 161 



PuFFLE, z/.— To swell, to puff up. " Thine andiff is all 
puffled up." L. 

Pu GoRFFiN, V. — To make faces : literally to pull faces, l. 

PuLLEN, s. — An O.W. used by Gerard for poultry. French 
poulet, L. 

PuMMER, adj. — Big, plump, l. 

Pun, v. — To pound, to beat down, to ram hard. " Pun it 
well." K.S. pwn'atiy to pound. 

PuNCE, V. — From punch. Punching in other places means 
to beat with the fist, but punce with us is kicking, a much more 
serious thing, and is more synonymous with Purr, q.v. l. 

PuNGER, V. — To bother or puzzle. A man in distress said, 
" I'm so pungered, au dunna know which eaver to turn to." 
To punge, in Scotch means to prick or sting like a man or 
beast worried by a cloud of musquitoes. w. 

PuNGOw, v., PuNGOWiNG, part — Very much the same as 
PuNGER. To bother. Bothering, wearing, A. S.//^;//<a!;/, r^;//^r^r^. 
" To lead a threppoing, pungowing Hfe," means the sort of life 
where it is hard to make both ends meet, when one is puzzled 
how to get on ; a hand-to-mouth sort of existence, l. 

Pur, or Purr, v. — To kick with thick boots or clogs. 
" Let's purr him," often proves synonymous with " Let's kick 
him to death." l. 

Putter, v., Puttering, part. — An unhealthy state of the 
body of cattle, when the skin feels as if it had paper under it ; 
perhaps from/?/i-, matter, l. 

Puve, v. — To prove, or turn out, pregnant, applied to 
cattle, w. 

Pynck, s. — A pinch. " Aye pynckes is your paye," Chester 
PlaySy i. p. 126. L. 

M 



i62 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. QliU 



Q 

Quakers, s— Quaking grass. Bri'za media, l. 

Qualified, adj. — Able. An old labourer in Cheshire used 
the word thus. " I'm as qualified as he be ; and qualifider 
too." L. 

QuANK, adj. — Quiet, l. 

Quarrel, s. — A small square of glass, set in lead, diamond 
fashion, l. 

Quarrel Picker, s. — A sobriquet for a glazier, l. 

Quarry, s. — The same as quarrel, a square pane of glass, 
set with the point upright, w. 

Quebec Cover. — I mention this to show how a new word 
is formed. A round clump of fir trees grows between High 
Leigh and Belmont, supposed to have been planted soon after 
the taking of Quebec and thence named. Mr. Warburton 
was planting .on part of his estate what Byron calls "a diadem 
of trees." A man who saw him superintending the planting 
said, " Esquire, I sees you be planting a Quebec." l. 

Queen's Feather, s. — The London Pride. Saxifraga 
umbrosa. l. 

Queere, s. — A curious spelling of choir. Prestbury accounts 
(church) 1572. Also frequently so called in the chapter 
accounts of Chester Cathedral, l. 

Queeze, s. — A quest, a wood pigeon, from the note, Latin 
queror^ I complain, part, questus. Virgil alludes to this com- 
plaining note — '''Nee gemere aeria eessabit ttirtur ab idmo.'' 
There is an O.C.P. " Like the quest, always saying 'do do,' 
but everybody knows it makes the worst nest i' th' wood," 
referring to those, whose theory is better than their practice. 
Aqueeze's nest is so slightly put together, that the eggs it con- 
tains are generally visible through the sticks. There is another 



RAG CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 163 



peculiarity about the bird; the complaining note is never 
finished, but the bird always breaks off in the middle. There 
is a farm in Cheshire called " Queesty Birch." l. 

QuEiNT, adj. — Quaint. A " queint lad," a fine lad, used 
ironically. L. 

QuERKE, s. — A nookshotten pane of glass, or any pane 
whose sides and top run out of a square form. A querke is 
a rhomb, in which shape, that is with the points uppermost, all 
panes of glass were anciently cut and placed. Holme's 
Academy of Armoury, w. 

Quicks, s. — Thorns planted for hedges ; also called wicks. 
It is curious that ** wick'^ is Cheshire for alive, and "quick" is 
the biblical word for the same thing. 

QuiFTiNG Pots, s, — Half gills, a measure for drink, l. 

Quillet, s. — Small plots of land, surrounded, but without 
a fence, by those of other proprietors ; a term commonly used 
on the banks of the Dee. l. 

Quillet Stones, s. — Boundary stones to mark where one 
man's quillet ends and another's begins, l. 

Quilt, z'.— To beat. *' I'll quilt his hide, if I catch him." w. 

QuiRKEN, V. — To choke, l. 

R 

Rabbidge, i". — A rabbit. "There's lots of rabbidges in 
that field." l. 

Rabbled, /^r/. — Ravelled, entangled, l. 

Rabblement, s. — A noisy crowd. It was said of a recent 
election in the County Palatine, "The rads got all the 
rabblement, but our side got the voots." l. 

Racconals, s. — Oxslips. l. 

M 2 



i64 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. RAG 



Race, s. — Race of onions ; a string or wreath of onions tied 
up for sale. l. 

Rache, v. — To smoke. *'- Chimley raches." l. 

Rack, v. — Cheshire for rick or stack. A sort of combina- 
tion of both. L. 

Racked up. — Choked. " The pipe (or the suff) is racked 
up." L. 

Raddle, v. — To beat. " I'll raddle thy bones for thee," />., 
** 111 thrash you." l. 

Raddle and Daub. — In some counties, where a young 
couple married with an entire carelessness for the future, and 
absolute want of preparation, the neighbours met and built a 
house for them with raddle and daub, a sort of rough basket 
or frame work of long sticks and mud. In Cumberland, this 
is called a " clay daub en." It is often found filHng up the 
interstices of the old timber houses. The daub seems to have 
given a name to a trade. There is an old Cheshire saying 
relating to the mayors of Altrincham and Over — 

** The mayor of Altrincham and the mayor of Over, 
The one is a thatcher, the other a dauber." 

It is sometimes called " wattle and dab." Clay being a non- 
conductor makes a warm house in winter, and a cool one in 
summer. Instinct teaches the blackbird and thrush to use 
clay for their nest, as they always nest in cold weather, l. 

Radling, s. — A long stick or rod, taken either from a 
staked hedge, or from a bam wall, made with long sticks twisted 
together and plastered with clay. " Radyll of a carte cosfee." 
Pal. QucEre if not a raddling. Raddles are hurdles. In 
Fleming's Dictionartey we read, *• A hartheled wall, or ratheled 
with hasell roddes, wandes, or such other." Paries crati- 
cilus, w. 



RAM CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 165 



Rain, pronounced Reen, s. — We have a curious saying about 
rain. " Rain has such narrow shoulders, it will get in any- 
where." An Irishman was paying a priest, by instalments, for 
getting his father out of purgatory. " How is he going on ? " 
asked the son on paying one of his visits to the priest. *' Oh, 
we've got his head and a shoulder out." The son immediately 
returned the money he was going to give to the priest to his 
pocket. " You mane Omedawn ! why don't you give me the 
money to get ye father quite out ? " " Oh," says he, " I won't 
trouble you any more, me father allis said that if he could get 
his head and one arm out of jail, he could free himself." l. 

"To Raise one downstairs." — A Cheshire saying which 
means getting a disadvantage instead of an advantage, like 
being made one of the hands of a mill, after having been an 
overlooker. This is sometimes described as a '* back-handed 
lift." L. 

Rake up the fire, — is not only to rake out the bottom of 
the grate, but also to supply it well with coals, to keep up the 
fire during the night ; a custom followed by kitchenmaids 
where coal is plentiful, w. It probably traces its origin to the 
time when turf was the fuel of Cheshire, and when the right of 
turbary was an important article in any lease or agreement. In 
Ireland now-a-days, the whole of the ashes of the turf of the 
day are heaped up at night, and in the morning the fire has 
only to be uncovered and a fresh piece of turf to be put on to 
make an immediate and bright fire. l. 

Rakussing, atij. — Boisterous, noisy, obstreperous, like 
racketing and racket, l. 

Rame, Ream, or Rawm, v. — To stretch out the arm, as if to 
reach anything; from the Teutonic raemen^ extendere. KiL 
w. Also a synonym for to roam. Perhaps from (Latin) 
ramus y a branch, a thing that stretches out or extends. 



i66 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. RAM 



Rammel, s. — Cold, unfruitful ground, l. 

A Rampicked Tree, — is a stag-headed tree, one that is be- 
ginning to die at the top and at the ends. w. Swift was found 
once contemplating a tree of this sort, and expressed a hope 
(that was not realized) that he should not die first at the top. 
One of the meanings of a pike is a spike, so rampicked means 
with a head like a ram's horn, a similar derivative to stag- 
headed. 

Rank, Ronk, adj. — In a passion. jRauc^ A.S., superbus^ 
acediosus. w. Rank and ronk have also a superlative meaning. 
" He's a ronk bad 'un," i.e.^ " He's a thorough scamp." 

Rank ripe, or Ronk ripe, adj. — Full ripe, over ripe. l. 

Ranstiest, plural adj. — Difficult, hard. " It's the ranstiest 
job that au eever heard on," '' It's the toughest job," &c. l. 

Ranting Widow, s. — The Willow Herb. The French Rose, 
Bay Willow Herb. Gerarde introduced it to Cheshire, from 
Hooke, in Yorkshire, l. 

" Rap and Ring." — Scrape together, l. 

Rap-a-tag, s. — A name for a ne'er-do-well, a scamp, l. 

Rappit it ! or Rot it ! — Exclamation of anger, w. Like 
" Confound it ! " 

Rare, 7;., for Rear. — To stand up. " She was rared agin 
the table," />., She stood up against the table, l. 

Rase-brained, adj. — Violent, impetuous, mad — perhaps 
rash-brained — though rase/id in German is mad. w. It may be 
what we call in Cheshire "having a slate off"; in France 
they have lele mojitce. 

R ASS ART, adj. — Vexed, ill-tempered, l. 

Ratstail grass, also called Oatstail, s. — Phleum p7'ate7ise. 

L. 



REE CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 167 



Raught, v. — Perfect of to reach. Shakespearian, w. 

Raw, v. — To pull excessively. " Rawing hissel to death," 
" Pulling and rawing." l. 

Rawmy, adj. — Applied to a crop of corn smothered with 
weeds, laid, or otherwise spoilt, l. 

Rawny, s. — A dead bough on a growing tree. " Chips and 
rawnies belong to the fallen'* O.C.S. l. 

Razzer, j-.— The razor, l. 

Razzor, s. — A small cop or hedge narrow at the top. Some- 
times an adjective, l. 

** They didna stop for razzur cop." 

Warburton's Hunting Songs. 

Razzored, part. — Enraged, l. 

Reawk, — V. Reawkin, s. — To meet for a gossip. A gossip- 
ing meeting, l. 

Reckon, v. — To imagine, to think, "Au reckon he'll 
come." w. 

Red Butcher, also Red Jack, s. — Lychnis diurna — Red 
Campion. L. 

Red Legs, s. — Polygonum persicarium. Knot Grass, l. 

Red Linnet, j.— The Goldfinch, l. 

Red Rag, s. — The Poplar, so called from its red catkins, l. 

Ready, v. — To comb the hair. Jamieson has " to red the head 
or the hair, to loosen or disentangle it." w. Also to correct, 
to set a person right who is wrong. 

Reean, s. — A small gutter. A.S. Rin, a stream. Greek 
p'€(i), fluo. Randle Holme calls a reean the distance between 
two buts. w. Also pronounced rein : in fact, the gutter, or 
lowest part between two buts, which carries off the water. 



[68 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. REE 



Reef, s. — A rash on the skin, the itch, or any eruptive 
disorder ; from its being rife or reef, />., frequent, and thick 
on the skin. w. 

Reek, v. and s. — The noise made by pheasants as they go 
up to roost. L. 

" Reen meks 'em peck 'em, " — />., " The rains makes them 
peck themselves," said of ducks, l. 

Reer, v. — To raise up, to set on end. l. 
Reerin, 5.— The supper given to workmen when a new 
house is roofed in. l. 

Reesty, adv. — Rusty. " A bit o' reesty bacon." l. 

Reet, adj. Right. — Used, Hke right, superlatively. "I'm 
reet glad to see you, that I am," " Reet nought," good for 
nothing, w. 

Reeve, v. — To separate winnowed corn from the small 
seeds ; this is done by what is called a ^' reeving " sieve, w. 

Render, v. — To separate or disperse ; ^uasi, rend (a 
bibHcal word). " To render suet," means to break it to pieces, 
cleanse, and melt it down. w. 

Resolve, v. — To explain. " Au canna mak it out, yoe mun 
resolve it." l. 

Resorter, s. — Frequenter, an uncommon word found in 
" Newes out of Cheshire of the neiv found wellj^ a.d. t6oo. l. 

Rheumatiz, s. — Rheumatism. *' Rheumatiz," in the opinion 
of some, is shifting : it is rheumatism when it takes possession 
of a limb. A sacramental sixpence, constantly worn, is supposed 
to be a charm against rheumatism in all its branches. A story 
is told of an old woman who wanted to be confirmed, though 
it was known she had already been confirmed at least twice. 
She was taxed with this ; " Au knows au has," said she, " but 
au finds it good for the rheumatics." l. 



RIN CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 169 



Rick, v. and s. — The noise made by a polecat or ferret, l. 

Rid, v. — In the sense of to get rid of. Used with us to 
express clearing ground of trees or bushes for cultivation. 
"To rid gorse," "To rid up roots." A.S. aredde7i, to rid 
away. w. 

Riders, s. — The sheaves put over the others (Hke a person 
riding) to keep off the wet; also called "hooders," a word 
conveying the same idea of covering, l. 

RiDGWiTH, s. — The back band in cart harness; in other 
places called the ridge band, ridger, ridge stay, ridge rope, 
from " rig," the back. l. 

Riding the Stand. — Stang means a pole. A sort of rough 
Lynch justice, or injustice, as the case may be. If a man 
was found untrue to his wife, or who has beaten her savagely ; 
or if a wife misbehaved to her husband, the offender used to 
be carried on a pole through the parish : now, it has changed 
more into a great row of a mob at the offender's door. l. 

Riff-raff, s. — The mob, the lowest orders of the lower 
orders. Vide Rabblement. l. 

Rig, v. and sub, — To quiz. A quiz. " Oi thought he meant 
it, but he wur ony riggin, after aw." l. 

Rigatt, or Rigott, s. — A small channel made by the rain 
out of the common course of the water, w. Also a spout under 
the eaves of a house. 

RiGG, s. — A gale. The Equinoctial gales are called 
Michaelmas riggs. w. Riggs also mean rough horse-play, 
practical jokes. "None o' thy riggs." 

Rind, or Roind, adj, — Mispronunciation of Round. L. 

"As roind an' plump as turmits be." 

Warburton's Hunting Songs. 



70 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. rin 



RiNER, s. — A toucher. A term at quoits, used when the 
quoit touches the peg or mark. A whaver is when it rests on 
the peg, and hangs over and wins the cast. " To sked riners 
with a whaver," an O.C.P. for ray, means to surpass some- 
thing clever or skilful, by something still better ; in fact, it is 
the JVe plus extra razor, improved. Rinda, Ost Got, Ihre. 
Rennett, tangere (Wach). w. 

Ring stake, s. — The stake to which the cows in a shippin 
are tied. When men or women marry for fortune they are 
said, according to the O.C.P., "To like the boose but not the 
ring-stake," i.e. they like the plenty round, but fret at the 
confinement and chains with which plenty has been pur- 
chased. L. 

Rinks, s. — Circle, quasi ring. Part of Tabley Park is so 
called. A.S. ring, or hring. l. 

Rip, v. — To speak violently. "Moi word aloive, how he 
did rip and swear." l. 

Rise, or Rice, s. — A twig or branch. O.W. Chaucer. In 
Cheshire its compound, Pea Rise, is still used for pea-sticks. 
Danis Ricsz, virga. AS. Hris ; long and small boughs to 
make hedges, risewood. w. 

Risenon, par. — See Hoven. l. 

RiSH, s. — A rush. It was anciently written rysch or rysshe. 
P.P.C. Sir Thomas More in his Apologie writes it ryssche. w. 

RisoME, or RiSM, s. — The head of the oat. '' Well risomed " 
is well headed ; some think it comes from the Latin racemus, 
but probably it has the same origin as Rise. Randal Holme, 
in his Academy of Armoury, hsiS "rizomes," the sparsed ears 
of the oat in the straw. A rizome head, a chaffy sparsed head ; 
the corn in the oats are not called oats but *^ rizomes." w. 



ROO CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 171 



RiTTLiNG, s. — The weak one of a litter of pigs. Hence 
any animal or creature that does not thrive ; often applied to 
a small dwarfed child, that seems to make no progress, l. 

Roast meat. — There is an O.C.S. *' Roast meat does 
cattle," which means that in the driest season cattle (provided 
they are plentifully supplied with water) thrive well, as the 
grass though short is much more nutritious, and the cattle 
are not starved with cold and wet, as they are in rainy 
seasons, l. 

Robinhood's wind. — A soft wind that brings on a thaw 
pleasanter to freebooters than a biting east wind. l. 

RoBiNRUNiTH HEDGE, s, — The Bind-wccd. L. 

Roche, or Roach, s. — Refuse stone. French, rocher. w. 

RoG, RoGGiNG, V. part. — Shake, shaking. " A window or 
door rogs with the wind," quasi rock. l. 

Roger Gary's dinner. — A saying when the dinner is scanty, 
or *• just enoo' and nought to spare." It has been said that 
there is only one case when it is unlucky to have thirteen 
at dinner; namely, when there is only dinner provided for 
twelve. L. 

Rogue, z;. — To cheat. "They rogued me out of land." l. 

RoMPETY, adj. — Violent, restive ; said of a horse, l. 

RoNDLE, V. — To lug by the hair. " Au'll rondle thee." l. 

Rongin, adj. — Rough, unruly, l. 

RONK, adj. — Vide Rank. 

RONK, adj. — RoNK FULL, full to overflowing. A very 
large wasps' nest is "a ronk neest." Also cunning, l. 

Roods, s. — Used as a measure in length. *' I have not many 
roods {^.e. yards) to go." l. 



172 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. ROO 



Rook, s. — A heap. Another form of Ruck, 9 v. l. 

RooKiN,/^^/. — Collecting together. Perhaps from congre- 
gating like rooks, l. 

Room, s. — A quantity. " A room of water ; " t'.e. a flood, l. 

RoosLE, 7J., RoosELiNG, J>art — To dust their feathers as 
birds and poultry do, in sand, dust, or ashes ; perhaps from 
rustling, the noise made during the operation, l. 

Root, v. — To meddle, to enquire into. " Whatever are you 
rooting at now ? " " I'm not satisfied, I tell you ; I mun root 
into it a bit more." " Moind thy own bizzence, moi lad, an 
dunna root into moine." l. 

RooT-WARTED, part — A tree pulled up by the roots is 
called root-warted, in contradistinction to one that is cut 
or sawn down. Wart is a Cheshire word for to overturn, 
^.v. L. 

Rosamond, s. — The Wild Garlic. It is not the only case 
of this female name being associated with an evil odour. The 
following is said to be *' Fair Rosamond's " epitaph : — 

•' Hie jacet in tumba Rosa mundi non Rosamunda, 
Non redolet sed olet quae redolere solet." 

RosYDENDRUM, s. — The Rhododendron. One of the new 
patois words of Cheshire; the plant being one of compara- 
tively recent introduction, l. 

Rotten, s. — Plural of rot, rats. Rotta is Swedish for a 
rat. w. " Snye wi' rotten " (i.e. overrun) with rats. 

"Thanne ran ther a route of ratones." — Piers Plough, pass. i. 
Rough nut, s. — The sweet or Spanish Chestnut, l. 



^ 



• y ■% t 

1 • 



RUN CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 173 



RouGH-NUTTiNG,/^r/. — Going out to gather or pick up rough 
nuts. L. 

RouK, adj. — Rich, fertile. Very rich. "As rouk as th' 
Roodee."— O.C.P. The Roodee, the Champ de Mars of 
Chester, naturally and artificially most fertile, l. 

Round, «^'.— Coarse. " Round meal ;" i.e. coarse meal. 

Roving, /^r/.—'^ It lies roving many a rood;" said of a 
wounded or shot bird's plumage scattered over the turnip 
tops. L. 

The Rows, s. — A covered footway, below the third story and 
above the ground story, existing in Chester and nowhere else. 
The Rows at Nottingham, Denbigh, and many other towns, 
are on the ground floor, on a level with the street. There are 
many guesses, generally eminently unsatisfactory, for this 
unique peculiarity in Chester. It has been suggested that 
Chester should assume the motto of " Sub Rosa." l. 

Ruck, v. — To huddle together like fowls, w. 

Ruck, s. — Heap. " All of a ruck " implies untidiness or 
entanglement, like uncombed hair. " Oi wur struck all of a 
ruck, loike, for I thout oid seed a ghost ! " l. 

Coal Ruck, s. — The place where the coal is kept. l. 
Ruckling, j.— The least of the brood or ruck; vide 

RiTLING. w. 

RuD, adj. — Red. Rudheath. l. 

Runagate, s. — An idle person, who is fonder of odd jobs 
than regular work. A Biblical word. l. 

RuNDLE, s. — A small brook, a runlet, l. 

Rungs, s. — The staves of a ladder, l. 



174 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. RUN 



Runner, s. — Policeman. " The runners want him." l. 
Runt, v. — To hum, to whistle, l. 

RusHBEARiNG. — A custom scarcely defunct in Lymm, which 
used to be common in other churches, and originated with the 
time when the churches were strewed with rushes. The rushes 
used to be cut in a field at Lymm, called the rushfield ; but, 
a former Rector having drained the field, they had latterly 
to go further for them. T/ie rush cart, most artistically and 
curiously filled and ornamented with rushes, and drawn by 
four grey horses, went the rounds of the parish, with a noisy 
attendance, like morris dancers ; one man, dressed up like a 
woman, bearing an immense wooden spoon. Like many other 
English merrymakings, it unfortunately degenerated into a noisy 
drinking-bout. l. 

RuTE, V. — To cry and roar like a spoilt child. Ash calls it 
obsolete. It is admitted here on Ray's authority. The rut of 
the sea is the noise it makes dashing against any obstacle, w. 
" The sea and the waves roaring." Stags when rutting (which 
may mean the bellowing time) roar like wild beasts, though 
the term is called *' belling," which may be a form of bel- 
lowing. 

Ryfe, Rife, adj, — Commonly known and reported. " The 
news of his death is ryfe." 

Rynt, Roynt, Runt, v. — Also an imperative exclamation. 
To get out of the way. " Rynt thee," is an expression used 
by dairymaids to a cow, when she will not make way for the 
milker and her stool. Ash calls it local. Shakespeare uses it, 
and it puzzles the commentators, w. There is an O.C.S., 
" Roynt thee witch, said Bessy Locket to her mother." " Aroint 
thee ! " is used as a solemn adjuration to a witch, devil, or 
spirit, to make themselves scarce and disappear.- The three 
readings above, I should say, were derivatives from this word. 



SAN CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 175 



Others say, " Aroynt thee " is but another reading for a rooyn 
tree, also called the wycken and mountain ash ; and in Scotland 
rowan tree, the wood, fruit and leaves of which are supposed 
to be witch and devil proof, and to preserve the wearer from 
all the machinations of evil spirits. A Scotch mother would 
not do her duty if her son left home without having a bit of 
rowan inserted in some part of his . clothes. We hear of a 
Cheshire carter who could not make an obstinate horse move 
till he broke a wand off a wychen tree, when the possessed 
animal at once moved on. 

S. 

Safe, adj. — Sure, certain. " He's safe to be hung." w. 

Sahl, Sohl, Sole, Sow, s. — An ox yoke, A.S. sol^ orbita. 
A sowle, to tye an ox in the stall, Som. A.S. sahle^ jiistis sudes. 
w. 

Sain, Sayn, or rather Sen, s. — The plural of the present of 
the verb to say, as " They sen so," " Folk does sen so." To 
add a final ?i or the syllable €?i to many words when used in 
the plural number, as helpen for help, fighten for fight, driven 
for drive, is a common usage, w. 

Sain Ye ! — A term of reprobation, an oath. l. 

Saladine, s. — The flower Celadine, Chelidonium majus. l. 

Sanctuary, s. — The herb Centaury, l. 

Sand Pot, s. — A quicksand. Often met with in draining, 
sinking wells, and a great hindrance to small and great 
works. 

San Jam Pear, s. — The Green Chiswell Pear, usually ripe 
about the 25th July (St. James's day), is so-called. At 
Altrincham they have a fair called "San jam Fair" on July 25. 
That day is almost proverbially wet. 



176 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. SAP 



Sapy, adj. — Foolish : perhaps only sappy mispronounced ; 
certainly not derived from sapientia except on the principle 
of lucus a non lucendo. Sapscull is common. More probably 
from " sap," soft, like the pith of the withen, Sapskull mean- 
ing *' soft i' th' yed." L. 

Sarmont, s. — A sermon. The Irish pronunciation in the 
song commencing with — 

St. Patrick was a gentleman, and born of dacent people." 

They make him preach a ** sarmont " which bothered all the 
*' varmont," and he expelled snakes, &c., from Ireland for 
ever. l. 

Sartin, adj. — Certain. " Oim sartin sure oim reet." l. 

Sauce Alone, s. — Also called " Jack by the hedge," and 
Garlic Treacle Mustard. Alliaria officinalis, l. 

Saugh, s. — The Sallow tree, as faugh is an abbreviation of 
fallow, w. 

Saver, s. — The sides of a cart, removable at pleasure, l. 

Saw FircH, or Finch, s. — The larger Tom-tit. l. 

Saw Gate, s. — The cut of a saw. The line made by a saw 
in passing through wood. l. 

Sblid ! excl. — An oath. " By his blood ! " w. 

ScABRiL, s. — Knautia Arvensis. A sort of Scabious, l. 

ScAFFLiNG, s. — An eel. There is a verb scafe (Lincoln) to 
wander, from which it may be derived, l. 

Scamp, v. — Means to do work badly. Contract work is 
often scamped, soft bricks, incohesive mortar, green timber, 
bad foundations, &c., &c. l. 

Scar, s. — A rock. Often one overhanging a river. We have 
in Yorkshire, Scarborough, the town of the rock. Overton 
Scar. L. 



SCR CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 177 



ScAUM, ScAWM, s. — Litter, dust, disturbance. In the ex- 
pression of *' kicking up a dust " we have the connection of 
dust and disturbance, l. 

ScHARN, s. — Cow dung. A.S. Scearn^ sterciis. Holland, 
in his. translation of Pliny's Natural History^ uses '* bulls 
sherne." w. 

ScHEDE, V. — To depart, to divide, to separate. To pour 
out or spill, w. 

ScHOO', s. — Short for school. " Art off to schoo' ? " l. 

ScouvER, s. — Scurry, confusion. 

** Eh moy ! a pratty skouver then was kick'd up in the vale." 

Warburton's Hunting Songs, l. 
ScRAG-PiECE, s. — A carpenter's term for a useless bit of 
wood that cannot be employed, l. 

ScRANNY, adj, — Thin, scraggy. In Lancashire Scra?inel 
is used for a miserable, emaciated person. Milton uses the 
word scranel. In Speghel's Stdo-Gothic Dictionary we find 
Skrimiy adj. Macer^ gracilis, w. 

Scrape, s. — Seeds or corn laid on the snow, in order to get 
a raking shot at birds. Perhaps originally scraps. We hear 
often of a person " getting into a scrape.'' L. 

ScRAPEDAYSTiONS, ScRAPE DiSH, s. — A carcful, miserly 
person, l. 

ScRAT, Scratch, s. — The itch. Those not satisfied with 
the natural derivation of the word from the natural measures 
taken for its alleviation, may like to know that the word 
" Escrache," in Roquefort's Glossaire de la Langne Romaine, 
means gale, rogue, w. The late Lord Derby asked a gentle- 
man why he had not come forward for a certain town ? ** My 
lord, there was an itch." *'The greater reason," rephed Lord 
Derby, " for coming to the scratch." 

Scrat, 5. — An hermaphrodite, is in Huloch. Littleton and 
Todd have the word. A.S. Scritta, Som. w. 



178 CHESHIRE G uOSSARY. sCR 



ScRAT DOWN, part — " The bongs being all scrat down wi' 
brids," augurs a good breeding season, l. 

Scratch, s. — A hanging frame for bacon, l. 

ScRATTLE, V. — To scratch as fowls do. w. 

ScRAUM, v., ScRAUMiNG, Z^;-/. — To Scramble. Scrambling, l. 

Scrawl, v. — Synonym for to crawl, l. 

ScREEVE, V. — To ooze out, like water out of a swampy 
place. L. 

ScROWE, s. — A row. L. 

Scruff, or Scuff, s. — The back of the neck. "He got 
hoult of him by the scruff." Also Scuft. l. 

ScuFT, V. — *^ Scuft him ! " Seize him by the neck. l. 

Scufflin, adj. — Dirty, dusty, l. 

ScuRRiCK, s. — Particle, scrap. " Not a scurrick shalt thou 
have." L. 

Scutch, v. — To whip. A London boy shouts " Whip ! " a 
Macclesfield boy " Scutch behind ! " l. 

Scutch, s. — A rod or whip; perhaps a variety of switch. 
Ash admits the substantive, but rejects the verb. w. 

Scutch, s. — Vide Couch-grass, l. 

ScuTTER, V. — To scramble away in a hurry. We have a 
synonymous word, to scuttle. Also to scatter. "Look out, 
lads ! I'm gooin' to s cutter some marbles." l. 

Scuttle, s. — A small piece of wood pointed at both ends, 
used at a game somewhat resembling trap ball. Perhaps from 
Scute, O.W. for boat, which it resembles in shape, with a 
prow at both sides, w. Another name for the piece of wood 
and for the game is Cat, which has something of scute in it. 

"Take them who dares, at Nineholes, Cards, or Cat."— Peacham's 
Thalia's Banauet, A.D. 1620. 



SEL CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 179 



Seal, s. — A wart on a horse, l. 

Seath, or Seeth, s. — An old word, found in some legal 
documents, for a brine- pit. It may come from the A.S. word 
seethe, to boil. l. 

Seave, s. — A rush. Generally used for a rush drawn through 
grease, which in the northern counties, particularly in former 
times, served for a candle, w. 

Sedcock, Shellcock, Shercock, s. — The Missel Thrush. 
Turdus viscivorus. l. 

Seech, v., Seeched, part. — To seek, sought. To seech is 
derived from the Teutonic suchen, queer er e ; as to seek is from 
the A.S. seccan, qucerere. "w. " Give seech'd on th' settle, an' 
up an' down, and conna foind it j " quasi search. 

Seech, Seek, Sike, or Syke, s, — A spring in a field, which 
having no outlet, forms a bogg)^ place. A.S. sich, a gutter, 
w. Or it may come from soak. In Westmoreland soggy means 
swampy. In Devonshire sog and bog are synonymous. A 
land saturated with water is said to be sogged. l. 

Seechy, adj. — Boggy, w. 

Seet, s. — A sight, a number. " What a sect o' brids i'th' 
air ! " "A seet o' damsels," i.e. damsons ; " A seet o' cater- 
pillars." L. 

Seetly, adv. — Sightly, good-looking. ** Ah ! oo's a seetly 
wench." w. 

Segg, s. — A bull castrated when full grown, w. 

Segged, part. — Said of the inside of the hand, hardened by 
labour, handling bricks, &c. " My seggs '11 show as oim not 
afeart o' wurk." l. 

SELLy pro. — Self. Mysell, yoursell, hissell. w. 

N 2 



i8o CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. SEL 



Selt, s. — A thing of rare occurrence, a chance thing ; hence 
seldom and selcouth (a northern term). AS. Se/d, rarely, w. 

Sen, z/.— Say. "They sen he clipped her." *'Senyo'?" 
Say you ? l. 

Seneve, v. — A corpse which begins to change is said to 
seneve ; so is joiner's work which begins to warp. Senade is 
A.S. for signed, marked, noted, but I dare not assign it as 
the origin of "seneve." w. 

Serge, j. — The sedge, or water rush. Car ex. l. 

Serve, v. — To serve or sarve up is to litter and fodder 
horses and cattle, before leaving them for the night, l. 

Set, v.—^o plant potatoes. " Them hands o' yourn's black 
enoo to set taties in ! " l. 

Set, s. — The cutting of the potato that is set. l. 

Set, v. — To lease or let a house or farm to a tenant, the 
same as let. In Cornwall the set of a mine is a lease of it, 
or grant for a certain number of years, w. 

Set, v. — Is to unload a marl cart. l. 

Setten, adj. — Said of a tree or bush that will not thrive, 
of no size, though old, — dwarfed and stunted by being barked 
by cattle rubbing against it; overshadowed, or by being on 
ground that does not suit it. " It's an ould setten thing." l. 

Settle, s. — A long seat, made of wood. Vide Squab, l. 

Settlestone, SiNKSTONE, Slopstone, s. — A hollow stone 
for washing on, &c. l 

Settlings, s. — Sediment. " Moi caufee's aw settlins ! " l. 

Shackussing, adj, — Shambling, loose-jointed, l. 



SHA CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. i8i 



Shakassing, adj. — An idle ne'er-do-well is called "A 
shakassing chap." l. 

Shade, v. — To shelter, l. 

Shake, s. — A raffle. " My mon won the picture in a 
shake," from the shaking of the dice in the box, by which 
the ownership of the thing raffled for is settled, l. 

Shared, /diA-/. — Half-shaked means half-witted, l. 
Shakes, s. — Value or importance. ** He's no great shakes." 
Shakers, s. — Quaking grass. Briza media, l. 
Shale, or Shull, v. — To shell beans or peas. l. 
Sham, v. — To tread out a shoe on one side. l. 
Shandry, s. — A farmer's gig. l. 

Shank's Pony. — Another reading of the " nag of ten toes." 
'' How did you come?" — "On Shank's pony," i.e. "on my 
feet." L. 

Shape, v, — To begin ; to set about a thing. " To be 
shaping," is to be going away. Shape me, prepare me, make 
me ready. M^appreter^ Pal. " To shape one's course " is a 
common expression either in nautical or familiar discourse. 
To shape is an O.W. used precisely in this sense by Lydgate 
in his History of Thebes : 

** And shape him forth upon his journie." 

Shop is used in Piers Ploughman for went. w. 

Shape, v. — is also used with an adverb \ thus, " That horse 
shapes well," looks as if he would turn out well. " The boy 
shapes ill," i.e. is not promising, his present does not argue a 
good future, l. 

Shape, J. — Vacca pudejidum. l. j 



i82 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. SHA 



Sharps, s. — The second quality of flour, sometimes called 
" seconds." l. 

Shattery, adj. — Harebrained, giddy, w. What would be 
called scatterbrained. Shatter and scatter are parallel 
forms. 

Shaw, s. — A wood. Dan. Skov., a thicket, l. 

** * Welcome,* quoth he, * and every good felaw ; 
Whider ridest thou under this grene shaw.' " 

Frere's Tale. 

Shead, V. — To slope regularly ; pronounced skeed. w. 

Shear, or Sheer, v. — To reap; also a Scotch word. I 
remember a print of Her Majesty attending a shearing feast 
in the Highlands, with collies, sheep, &c., all round ; whereas, 
from the time of year, it was evidently a harvest home after 
the corn had been sheared, l. 

Sheath, \f. — The old name of the brine-pit at Northwych 
(called at Nantwych "the Biot "). Hence "Sheath Street" 
in the town to this day. Noted in Wright's Provincial 
Dictionary as a salt-water fountain. L. 

Shed, or Sheed, v. — To spill or scatter. Used for liquid 
or dry substances. " The whin sheds its seed," " The lass 
has shed the milk." In Bavaria, Schiitteji is to spill, or pour. 
" Look at that yokel, how he's sheedin th' seed ! " 

Shed, s. — Difference. " There is no shed between them." 
It is also applied to the division of the hair on the head. w. 

Shed, or Sched, v. — To surpass or divide. Scotch (Jamieson), 
to shed hair, to separate it, in order that it may fall on each 
side. "As heaven's water sheds and deals" (i.e. separates) 
is a northern expression for the boundary of different districts, 
generally the summits of a ridge of hills ; from the Teutonic 



SHI CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 183 



Scheeden^ separare^ or A.S. Sceadan^ dividere, w. We have heard 
a great deal lately of water-shed, used as a geographical term. 
There is, or used to be, a house on Broadway Hill ; the water 
from one side of the roof sought the German Ocean, and the 
other side sent its rain to St. George's Channel. 

Shedom, Schedom, adj. — Surprising, strange. " It's shedom, 
however," i.e. " It is so surprising as to be past belief." In 
Yorkshire we have shed, surprised. " I wor fair shed to hear 
it." — Craven Glossary, l. 

Shelly, adj. — Applied to cattle when they are not thriv- 
ing, or when the skin is not loose, and the hair stares, l. 

Shepstir, or Shipstir, s, — A Starling, w. This bird hunts 
amongst the sheep's wool for the insects that live in it ; and 
is therefore called by its Cheshire name, because he stirs up 
the sheep with his bill. 

Shewds, s. — Quasi sheds. The husks of oats when separ- 
ated from the corn. w. 

Shides, s. — Billets of wood. l. 

Shim, adj. — A clear bright light. A.S. Scima^ splendor ; 
sciman, splendere. w. This word is perhaps the root or another 
form of sheen. "And the sheen of their spears," &c. — 
Bp. Heber, 

Ship, s. — "At Nantwych, Droitwych, &c., the vessel is 
called a ship whereunto the brine is conveyed from the brine- 
pit." — Kennett MS.y Lansd. 1033, p. 363. l. 

Ship, ^.— For sheep. In Chester one of the gates is called 
the ship-gate. A farmer gave me a characteristic answer, for 
one of a cheese county, when, after the cattle plague, I asked 
him why he did not try sheep : " Au dunna like them ship, 
au knows nought about 'em." l. 



[84 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. SHI 



Shippin, Shippen, or Shipn, s. — The cow-house, originally. 
w. Most likely sheep-pen. It is curious that in Gloucester- 
shire, a sheep county (where a sheep is called a Cotswold 
Lion), the word for shippin is doosmg, from dos; in Scotland, 
sheeling; in Switzerland, chalet. A.S. Scipene^ bovile. 

Shive, or Shiver, s, — A slice, scrap. Dutch, Schyf; Dan. 
Skifa. w. *' Cut us a shive o' that bacon, oud wench." We 

have an O.C.S. — 

"Go fiddle for shives 
Amongst old wives." 

Shoaf, or Shofe, s. — Another form of a sheaf of corn. w. 

Shoat, in some places Shot, s. — A young pig, between a 
sucker and a porker ; it is also a term of contempt, when 
applied to a young person, w. 

Shoe, v. — To shoe a ditch or drain is the last smoothing 
and narrowing the bottom of the ditch, or gutter (with a spade 
or *' shoo " with a round back, specially used for this pur- 
pose), before the water is let in, or the draining pipes laid. l. 

Shoeings, s. — The refuse out of ditches and drains, used 
to fill up holes ; substantive of the preceding word. l. 

Shommakin, adv. — Shaky. " I guess tit be shommakin." l. 

Shonnah, or Shonna, v. — **I shonna." "I will not do so 
and so." Some one has said firmness is " I will," and 
obstinacy " I won't." l. 

Shoo, Shool, s, — A shovel. Tusser uses shovel as a mono- 
syllable, w. " Enny bom foo can handle a shoo." 

Shool, Shoo, Shee, v. — To shoo, or drive away, anything, 
particularly birds, from the corn and garden. Scheuchen^ Ger., 
to drive away, chasser. w. 

Shoon, s. — Plural of shoe. w. 



SIB ; CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 185 



Shoot, s. —The weft, or woof, i.e. that which is shot 
across; hence the projecting "shoot" or spout of a house, l. 

Shoring, s. — A lean-to, or shed, built agahist another 
building. A variety of the common word " shore." l. 

Short-waisted, adj. — Short-tempered, l. 

Shot, s. — Vide Shoat. 

Shoulder-work, s. — Good, hard, navvy work. l. 

Shouting deaf, adj. — A person is called so who is so deaf 
that you must shout to him. l. 

Shred, v. — To shred suet is to break it into small pieces. 
In southern counties it is used for spreading manure. A.S. 
Screadan, resecare. w. 

Shut, v. — To get shut of a person is to rid yourself of him. 
Dutch, Schutten, to ward off. w. ** Shut up ! " i.e. we want 
no more of your talk. 

Shuttance, s. — Riddance from a troublesome thing or per- 
son. "A good shuttance" may be from shutting the door 
upon an objectionable creature, w. 

Shutting, s. — The harvest home. l. 

Shutting a pit, — is a marling term, and implies that the 
marlers have ceased to " yoe " marl out of that pit. l. 

SiBBED, adj. — Related, of kin. To sib, or sibbe, is an O.W. 
for relationship, still retained in Gossip; i.e. God's sib, re-- 
lated to God by the ordinance of baptism. Sibbe^ affinity, 
Teut. Kilian. Sibberets, or Sibberidge^ banns of marriage, w. 
Gothic, Sibja. There is an O.C.P., — '*No more sibbed than 
seive and riddle, that grew both in a wood together." 



ibo CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. . SIC 



SicUjpron. — Such. Sichin. — Such a one. l. 

Side, adj. — Long, traihng. Used as in Skinner's time ; e.g. 
'^ I do not like side frocks for little girls." l. 

** His berde was side with mych hare, 
On his heede his hatt he bare." 

Cursor Mundi, Man. Col. Trin. Cam.^ p. 33. 

To SIDE UP, v.— To set straight, to ''fettle." -'To side up 
the kitchen," i.e. to arrange it. *' Oos alius sidin things away, 
but so sure as oi want 'em, theym never to be found ! " l. 

SiDLANDS, s. — Sloping ground is said "to be on the sid- 
lands." Perhaps originally slide lands, l. 

Sin, adv. — Since, w. Two Cheshire rhymesters thus dis- 
coursed to each other, — 

"Ever sin the world begun, 

Th' rainbow set afore the sun." 
"That's a loy ; oi houd it good, 

It's ony bin sin Noah's flood." 

Sink, s. — The sewer of the house, w. Perhaps the name 
takes one back to the old times, when drains did not exist, 
or were made imperfectly, and the refuse sank into the 
ground, instead of being carried away. The root G. Sanken, 
or Swedish Sanka, to cause to sink, rather carries out this 
idea. To sink was used to express the pouring away of 

liquids. 

" In the lordys cup that levys undrynken, 
Into the almes dische hit schall be sonken. " 

Book of Curtasy, Percy Soc. 

SiNKSTONE, s. — Vide Settlestone. 

SiPPERiNG,/^r/. — When ducks filter liquids through their bills 
(as is their habit when feeding), they are said to be *' sipper- 
ing." To sipe, in Lincoln, is to drain, l. 

SiRRY ! excl. — For sirrah. A contemptuous term, used to 
dogs. w. 



SKI CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 187 



SiTTEN, /dJ/-/. — Burnt. "Sitten porridge." l. 

Six o'clock. — "It's welly six o'clock with him;" said of 
one evidently failing, or, to use another Cheshirism, "going 
down the brewe." Six o'clock is the hour at which labourers, 
when it is light, knock off work, l. 

Skavengers, s. — Officers appointed in the 17th century by 
the lord's court of burgesses of North wych, as well as lead- 
lookers, killers-of-salt, ale-tasters, pan-cutters, gutter-viewers, 
and wood-tenders, l. 

Skeer, v. — "To skeer the esse," is to clear the grate; 
separating the ashes from the live coals. Perhaps a form of 
scour, w. 

Skeer, v. — To frighten, to scare. " Lawks, missus, how yo 
skeered me ! " 

Skellerd, aiij. — Crooked ; out of the perpendicular. From 
Scheel, Teut., obliquus^ transversus, Kil. w. 

Skelp, v. — To leap awkwardly, like a cow. Skelp, Scotch, 
Jamieson's Dictionary, w. 

Skelp, v. — To smooth the walls or sides of a hay-rick, 
or hay-cart, by raking off and pulling out the loose hay. l. 

Sken, V, — To squint. "He skens ill enough to crack a 
looking-glass welly."- 

Skew, v. — To squint. Tod uses this word only in the sense 
of to walk obliquely, w. 

Skewbald, adj, — Piebald, w. 

Skew-wifter, s. — Anything out of shape is a skew-wifter. 
" That hat o' yourn's a regular skew-wifter." 

Skit, s. — A jest, a lampoon, l. 

Skitter, v. — To scatter, w. Vide Scutter. 



i88 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. SKI 



Skittering, s.~A scattering. " A skittering of snow/' "a 
skittering of leaves," said of a small quantity sprinkled or 
scattered about, l. 

Skitterwit, s. — A foolish fellow, a scatterbrain. l. 

Skreen, s. — A wooden settee, or settle, with a high back 
sufficient to screen the sitters from the outward air, was in the 
time of our ancestors an invariable article of furniture, near 
all kitchen fires, and is still seen in the kitchens of many of 
our old farmhouses in Cheshire. So in Tusser's jFi've Hundred 
Points of Good Husbandry we read, 

** If ploughman get hatchet or whip to the skreene, 
Maids loseth their cocke if no water be seen," 

i.e. if the ploughman can get his whip, his ploughstaff, hatchet, 
or anything he wants in the field to the fireside (screen and 
fireside being one and the same thing) before the maid hath 
got her kettle on, then the maid loseth her Shrovetide cock, 
and it belongs wholly to the men. w. 

Skrike of Day. — Sunrise, or cock crow, which perhaps 
accounts for the Skrike, q.v. l. 

Skrike, Skroik, v. — To cry out, a form of shriek. Swe., 
Skrika. One of our commonest Cheshire words. " I gee a 
wench a penny to noss th' choilt, and hoo skriked and skriked 
welly the whole time." l. 

Skuds, s. — Owls' skuds. The undigested pellets of hair, 
bones, &c., thrown up by owls, and found in quantities in 
places they frequent, l. 

Skutch, or Scutch, s. — See Couch-grass. 

Slab, s. — The outside board sawn off the sides of a tree to 
square it. w. 



SU CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 189 



Slack, s. — Small coal ; also a low moist place between two 
hills. Sometimes a hollow left in a border or field, that requires 
filling up. w. 

Slackwater, is when there is not enough water to work a 
mill. L. 

Sladdering Dray, s. — A small sledge, drawn by one 
horse, l. 

Slain, /«r/. — Describes the state of thistles cut down, and 
before they are thoroughly dry, during which period the 
points are innocuous, and the sheep and cattle devour them 
greedily, as they are sweet and sugary, l. 

Slanging, or Slanching, par^. — Prying. AppHed to a 
cat. " Th' cat is slanching into everything." l. 

Slanching Hook, s. — A sharp hook for cutting hedges, l. 

Slancings, s. — The cuttings of a hedge, l. 

Slare, s. — A slide. " I say, lads, the pit's froze ; let's have 
a slare." l. 

Slash, v. — Pruning a hedge, that is trimmed and not laid, 
is called slashing, l. 

Slat, v, — To put out the tongue derisively. *' Don't slat 
your tung at me, hussey ! " l. 

Slat, v. — To throw, or spill, w. More generally slatter. 
Hence probably slattern. 

Slaterhouse, s. — The slate roof of a house. " See ! ther's 
a cat on th' slaterhouse ; chuck a stone at him ! " l. 

Slather, v. — To slip or slide ; ** slither " is generally used. w. 

Slattery, ai^j. — Applied to weather ; wet, sloppy, l. 



I90 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. SLE 



Slea, v. — To dry or wither, like corn or cut hay ; probably 
for to slay. l. 

Sleak, v. — To protrude the tongue. To sleak out the 
tongue is to loll it out, only that to /^// might be weakness, to 
sleak is an act of volition, w. 

Sleck, v. — To extinguish, to slake. From Icel. Slagi\ 
humiditas. w. "Sleck th' fire ; " throw water on to extinguish it. 

Sleead, s. — A sledge, l. 

Slench, v. — A syn. of Slash, q,v. 

Slickened, fart. — (Qy. sleekened), made smooth, l. 

Slink, s. — The untimely foetus of a cow which is in calf; 
when killed, the veal is called " slink veal." w. 

Slink Butcher, s. — The lowest style of butcher, who deals 
in old or diseased cows, or cows that have been killed when 
in extremis, to prevent them dying naturally, and cows that 
have died in calving, &c. l. 

Slip, v. — " Cherry has slipped her calf," vide Pick. Cow- 
slip may be so-called from its possibly having had the credit 
of producing such a catastrophe. Another version is merely 
cow's lip. L. 

Slither, v. — Vide Slather. 

Slive, V, — To cut off. Perhaps like slice, l. 

Sliver, s. — A slice, w. " A sliver o' bacon's the thing to 
stick to thy ribs, lad ! " 

Sloamy, adj. — Applied to laid corn. l. 

Slob, s. — Sea mud. l. 

Slobber, s. — Wet rain. " Cowd slobber," cold rain. l. 

Slood, s. — Cart sloods, are cart ruts. AS. Slus, slush, 
slutch, mire. L. 

Slog, s. — A slough j more generally sloos. l. 



SMA CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 191 



Slope, v. — To slope away, is to sneak away, and get quietly 
out of a row. l. 

Slotten, /«r/. — Divided. Slot and slotten are participles 
of the A.S. verb Slitan, to slit. When at whist, the honours 
are held equally, they are said to be sliven or slotten. w. 
More commonly now expressed by " honours easy." 

Slouch, v, — A boy, who saw a woman digging up on the 
sly some stolen money, said, " I seed her slouching up th' 
brass." l. 

Sloven. — (Part of the verb to slive), divided, w. 

Slubber, s, — Frog's spawn, l. 

Slurr, V, — To slide. There is a Cheshire proverb, " To 
as much purpose as geese slur on the ice." l. 

Slutch, Sludge, s. — Mud. *' There's slutch upo' thoi coat, 
mon." — ^Warburton's Hunting Sojtgs, 

Slutch, v. — " To slutch a pit," is to clean out the mud. 

Slutchy, adj. — Boggy. " That 'meadow's a slutchy, miz- 
zicky hole ! " L. 

Sluther, s. — Muck, dung. l. 

Small Gang, v. — A term at a mill. When any man, or 
big bully, has made himself intolerable to the boys amongst 
the hands, they take measures to smallgang him. Upon the 
principle that union is strength, they watch or make their 
opportunity, and all at once, or by relays, fall upon their 
oppressor, till as a matter of course they get him down, and 
give him a most severe beating ; thus revenging the past, and 
securing a future of peace, l. 



192 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. SMA 



Small Pox. — Cheshire cure for. Take a bun from the 
shop of a person (whose wife when she married did not change 
her name) without paying for it, or saying thank you ! and give 
it to the patient, l. 

Smarten, v. — For smart. **My feet smarten with the 
cold." L. 

Smastray, x.^-The Garden Warbler, l. 

Smeeth, v. — To iron linen. A form of smooth, the effect 
following the use of the iron. A.S. Smcethe, smooth, w. We 
have the term smoothing iron. 

Smelting, /«r/. — Or running lime. Preparing lime by mixing 
it with water, and pouring it through a sieve, to remove impuri- 
ties and any unbumt or unburnable substance that may interfere 
with mortar, l. 

Smitter, v. — A woman, whose husband (one of the beaters 
at a shooting party) had been severely peppered by one of the 
guns, told me his coat and face were '^ smittered o'er " with 
shot. l. 

Smock, s. — Shift. A common prize at former merry-makings 
in Cheshire, fpr the best woman runner. In a notice of 
Bowdon Wakes, 21st, 22nd, 23rd September, 1812, is the 
following : — 

'' Same day a race for a good Holland smock by ladies of 
all ages, the second best to have a handsome sattin ribbon. 
No lady will be allowed to strip any further than the smock 
before starting." The same word is used in Heligoland for a 
shift, l. 

Smoothing Iron, s. — Vide Smeeth. 

Snagg, or Snig, v. — To draw away by the hand branches of 
trees, to cut off lateral branches. A.S. Snidan, secare. w. 

Snake Weed, s. — Polygonum historta. The Bistort Stitch- 
wort. — Gerarde (Cheshire herbalist), l. 



SOC CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 193 



Snapstalks, s. — Stellaria Holostea^ so called from its exceed- 
ing brittleness. l. 

Sneck, v. — " Sneck the door." " Shut the door." l. 
Sneck, s. — Latch of the door. l. 

Snicket, s. — A naughty female child ; a term of reproach 
for a little girl. L. 

Sniddle, s, — Long coarse grass that grows in wet places ; 
also rushes, sedge, and flags fringing water or marlpits. l. 

Sniddlebog, s. — The sort of marshy place where sniddle 
grows. L. 

Snig, s. — An eel. " What have you got there ? *' " Nobbut 
awhiskettle o' wick snigs." A restless child is said to *' wriggle 
about like a snig in a bottle." O.C.P. l. 

Snig, v. — Bringing anything out of the water by throwing a 
stick attached to a string beyond it. " I snigged it to land." 
Also to drag a tree along a road without loading it on a timber 
carriage. L. 

Snite, s. — Mucus fiasi. w. 

Snitter, v. — To creep or walk slowly, l. 

Snooked, par. — Overreached. *' I'm snooked," t'.e.^ I am 
taken in, I am sold. l. 

Snop, v. — To bite the young shoots of a hedge, as lambs 
do ; a sort of a cross between crop and snap. l. 

Snotch, s. — A knot or notch. Gen. Mag.y Pt. i, pp. 126, 167. 
Snudge, s. — An intrusive, spongin;^ fellow, l. 

Snye, rt^^*.— Overrun. ''The house is welly snye wi' 
rotten," — The house is swarming with rats. l. 

Soc, s. — The dividing part of the plough as opposed to the 
coulter. The ploughshare. The plough, from the Gaelic soc, a 
snout, beak, ploughshare, l. 

o 



194 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. SOG 



Soc, SoccAGE, s. — A tenure of lands by rent being paid 
partly in labour and partly in services to be rendered to the 
lord of the fee ; the modern Boon work, g.v., is a remnant of 
this. L. 

' ' By waif, soc, and theam. 
You may know Cheshire men," — Old Cheshire Manuscript. 

Legends and Ballads of Cheshire, 

Sod Sludge, s. — Sea mud, used as a manure ; also called 
Slob, and Green Sod Sludge, from the verdure that rapidly 
accumulates on its surface, l. 

Soldiers, s. — Lychnis diurna. Red Campion, l. 

Solemn, adj. — Mournful. " It's a very solemn winter." l. 

Solid, adj. — Used for solemn, and has the usual meaning of 
that word. I have often heard a witness say, '^ I'll take my 
solid oath." l. 

SoNGOW, SoNGAL, s. — Gleaned corn. Songoe, sangow, to 
go sangoing, is to glean. Generally supposed to be so named 
from picking up the single straws as in gleaning. The ex- 
planation given by Kilian, Etym. Tent. , is preferable : he says, 
Sang, sanghe, fasciculus spicarum, Germ. Sax., Secamb sang 
gsang. Anglice, songe. The same word sanghe, a handful of 
ears, is found in Scherzur's German Die. In Bailey's Dictio?iary, 
i735> we find "songal, songle, a handful of gleaned corn, 
Herefordshire." In Hyde (a Cheshire man, of the family of 
the Hydes of Norbury) we read, page 398, " De religione 
Persarum, pauperiores puella^ virgines tempore messis triticeae, 
spicas legunt easque in parvum fasciculum seu manipulum 
(Anglice a Songall) colligatas domum reportant." One other 
derivation may be that gleaners leave their village all together 
for the purpose of gleaning, in a sort of merry procession, 
during which they sing as they go a Sangoing — 



■»♦-»» 



SOO CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 195 



' Cantantes licet usque minus via toed et eamus." 

I have never seen a party of gleaners in Cheshire, and it is very 
rare ever to see a Cheshire woman working in the fields except 
in the hay time, and even then it is rather the exception than 
the rule. This is owing both to men's labour being better 
paid tha'n in the south, and to the almost entire absence of 
villages. So that women in detached and solitary cottages 
cannot as in the villages leave their younger children who are 
not at school, or under the care of some old woman, whilst they 
are absent themselves. In Gloucestershire gleaning is con- 
sidered a right ; and the inhabitants of Stow-on- the-Wold 
having no land attached to their parish, by prescriptive right 
glean within a circuit of five miles. Mowing machines, badg- 
ing, and rakes, will soon make gleaning everywhere a thing 
of the past. Sang in Devonshire means a handful of corn. 
Sange, in Swabian, means a bundle of hemp. l. 

Soop, SoPE, s. — " A good soop of rain," is a great deal of 
rain ; " a soop of drink," means a quantity — probably a form 
of sup. L. 

Sore, adverb. — Very much. Answers to the Scotch sair. 
Richard Brereton, Esq., 1557, of Lea near Middlewych, left 
** two pair of sore worn velvet breeches." l. 

Sorry, adj. — Worthless, like tristis in Latin, which not only 
means sorrowful, sad, but also vile, of no estimation. " Te 
triste ligjitwt ;" *' It's a sorry mess'! " l. 

Soss, s. — A heavy fall. w. One of the many words like 
s/a/>, cras/i, shatter., rattle^ where the sound carries out the 
meaning. " He went soss on the floor." So in Latin, Pro- 
aimbet humi Bos. l 

Sough, s. — The blade of a plough, l. 

Sough, or Suff, s. — A drain, l. 

o 2 



196 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. SOU 



SouLiNG, part. — Pronounced sauling. To go *' a-sauling " is 
to go about, as boys do, repeating certain rigmarole verses, and 
begging for cakes or money, on the eve of All Souls' Day. 
These cakes are called " soul cakes," In Letters frojn Spain^ 
by L. Doblado, p. 70, is the following : — " We heard the church 
bell toll what in Spain is called ^ Las A?imias,' the souls. 
A man bearing a large lantern, with painted glass, representing 
two naked persons enveloped in flames, entered the court, 
addressing every one of the company in these words : ' The 
holy souls, brother ! remember the holy souls ! ' Few refused 
the petitioner a copper coin, worth the eighth of a penny. 
This custom is universal in Spain." Our Cheshire custom of 
*' going a-souling " is the relic of the Roman Catholic cus- 
tom. L. 

SowGER, s. — Mispronunciation of soldier, w. "Wheer's 
yare Moll ? " " Out alung wi' one of them sowgering chaps." 

SowL, s. — A plough. A cow yoke. l. 
SowRiNG, s, — ^Vinegar, or verjuice, w. 

Spact, adj. — Quick, comprehensive, with one's senses about 
one. "He is not quite spact," means "he is under some 
alienation of mind," or, as we should say, "not .all there." 
Spaca^ Icelandic, sapiens, w. 

Spank flue. — Called by Halliwell spajik whew^ and which 
I have heard simply as spang. A thoughtless bit of boy's 
cruelty; placing a toad or frog on one end of a nicely- 
balanced piece of wood and throwing it in the air, and jar 
ring it to death by a violent blow on the opposite side of the 
wood. Spank means a violent blow ; flew may be a corrup- 
tion of fly, a violent blow that makes the toad as it were 
fly off his perch. Spank whew^ would be a blow bringing 
about a sudden vanishing away, wheWy or disappearance of 
the frog. L. 



SPR CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 197 



Span, v. — To understand, to make out. " Au canna justly 
span what he means." l. 

Sparkle, v. — To disperse. Disperkleth is used in this sense 
in the English translation of Bartholomoeus — De Proprietatibiis 
Rerutn. w. 

Sparling, s. — A fish \ from the French eperlan^ the smelt. 
This is one of several words in Wilbraham's Glossary (many 
of which, like rick, skewbald, peewit, slippy, titmouse, &c., 
I have omitted as not being Cheshirisms, nor even provincial- 
isms), which in his time may not have been in common use, but 
since his date have ceased to be, if they ever were, provincial- 
isms. I have heard of sparlings in Rostherne mere, when 
the tide backed up the river so as to cause it to fall into, 
instead of running from, the mere. L. 

Speer, s. — The chimney-posts on each side of the fire. w. 

Sper, or Speer, v. — To inquire ; from A.-S. spizrian. Like 
many of our Cheshirisms, we find it used in Scotland, l. 

Spinny, s. — A small wood, a copse ; perhaps from spina, a 
thorn. L. 

Spit, s. — The depth of a spade in digging; i.e., about a 
foot. *^ You mun delve two spit deep." Vide Graft. 

Splashed, adj. — Drunk. Like **a wet time j" "wetting his 
whistle," &c. L. 

Spocken, part, of the verb to speak, w. 
Sprag, or Sprig, v. — To nail rails together, l. 

Spreesprinkle, s. — The Common Orchis — Orchis maculata. 

Sprig, s. — A nail (metal), l. 

Springow, adj. — Nimble, active. Littleton has spri?igal. w. 

Sprinker, or Springer, s. — A thatching peg, made of 
hazel, or other pliable wood. l. 



198 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 



SPR 



Sprit, part. — A form of sprout; said of potatoes, or 
corn, which germinate from being exposed to the heat or 
wet. Vide Ackersprit. l. 

Sprize, v. — To prize, or force open, a lock, drawer, or 
box. L. 

Sproze, v. — To boast. " What a sprozing chap you be ! " l. 

Spur, v. — Spurring the banks of a river, is supporting them 
from falling in, or being carried away by floods, by driving in 
piles, commonly made of alder, l. 

Sput. — Participle of the verb to spit. ''She sput in my 
face." L. 

Squab, s. — A sofa, generally made of oak ; and the old 
ones are usually carved, l. 

Squander, v. — To separate, or disperse, like a covey of 
partridges, w. In answer to a question put by me to a 
tenant relative to the whereabouts of his brothers, he said : 
" They are squandered up and down ; " /.<?., all living at dif- 
ferent places. L. 

Squat, v. — To sit. " Squat thee down." l. 

Squoze, part, of the verb to squeeze. I heard an old 
woman say, *'She had squoze the leech well;" i.e.^ passed 
it through her lingers, to drain the blood it had been suck- 
ing. Sometimes pronounced " squozz." l. 

Staggering Bob, s. — Name given to very young calves. In 
Devonshire they call a calf a heathen, because he is killed so 
young that he cannot have seen a Sunday, l. 

Stail, s. — The handle of a broom, pikel, or rake. l. 

Stake, v. — A cow is said "to be staked," when she has 
some obstruction of the bowels, l. 



STA CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 199 



Stall, v. — To gib. Used when the horse refuses the collar, 
or is too weak to spring to it. L. 

To STAND A PERSON ON. — A curious expression. " It stands 
every one on to take care of hissell;" i.e., it is incumbent on 
every one, it is every one's duty, &c. w. 

Stang, s. — A pole of wood. Old German, stanza, a bar. 
Vide " Riding the Stang." l. 

Stank, v. — " Stanking a drain," is when drainers dam up 
the water ^bove them, that they may proceed with cutting 
their drain without obstacle from the water, l. 

Stare, s, — A starling. V. Shipster. 

Stark, fl;^*. — An augmentative, quite. A.-^. stare, f orf is. It 
is generally used in a bad sense : " stark bad." We hear some- 
times, " stark staring mad," " stark naked," quite naked. 

Starslutch, s. — A genus of the fungi Tremella (from the 
Latin tremo, to tremble), a gelatinous substance found on 
decayed timber and gravel walks. It is elsewhere called star- 
shoot, star-jelly, star-shot, star-falHng, fallen stars, shot-star, 
shot-Sterne, fairy butter, &c. From its sudden appearance, 
it was formerly generally supposed to be the deposit of falling 
stars, l. 

Start, v, — To begin. "He started a running;" i.e., he 
began to run. l. 

Starved, adj. — Used as a synonym for cold. l. 

Statitute, s. — Corruption of statute, l. 

Staves, s. — The rungs or cross bars of a stile, l. 

Staw, v. — A cart stopt in a slough, and unable to proceed, 
is said to be stawed ; quasi, stayed, impeded. " Oi conna 
eat no moore, oim stawed." l. 



200 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY STE 



Steady, s. — An anvil, l. 

Stean, i-.--Is a jug of stone, earthenware. Stone is often 
pronounced as a dissyllable, stooen, stean. w. 

Steep, s. — Eennet. l. 

Stele, or Steal, s. — The stalk of a flower, or the handle 
of a rake or broom. A.-S. sfe/e. Ash calls it local, w. 

Stepmother's blessing, s. — A little reverted skin about the 
nail, often called a ^' back friend." w. Fide Flizzle. 

Stig month, s. — Vide Gander month. 

Stinking Nancy, s. — Scabiosa siiccisa. Devil's Bit, Scabious^ 
called by the French Fleur des Veuves. It is curious that the 
Duke of Orleans (Louis Philippe's eldest son), when he left 
his wife for Paris (where he was killed next day by jumping 
out of a carriage when the horses were running away), presented 
her as his last offering with this flower, gathered during the last 
walk he took with her. l. 

Stinking Roger, s, — Scrophularia Aquatica. Water 
Figwort. L. 

Stir-up Sunday — The collect in Trinity beginning with the 
first two words, which is supposed to be a warning to house- 
wives to prepare and mix and stir up the ingredients for mince- 
meat for Christmas. L. 

Stir, s, — A stir is any "doing" or " dooment," like a 
wedding, christening, review, races, tenants' ball. I have heard 
the last called a " comfortable Stir." l. 

Stirk, s. — A heifer that has not had a calf. l. 

Stirrow, or Stir About, s. — A hasty pudding. '^ As thick 
as stirrow " is an O.C.P. 

Stithe, s. — Anvil : used by Whitney. " For there with 
strength he strikes upon the stithe." A.-S. stith, rigid, l. 



STO CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 201 



Stock, Lock, and Barrel. — An expression meaning " the 
whole." " They'n soud him up, stock, lock, and barrel." L. 

Stockport Coach or Chaise. — A horse with two women 
riding sideways on it is so-called : a mode of traveUing more 
common formerly than at present, w. Now absolutely 
defunct, 1875. 

Stockport Horse, s. — A pillion. When roads were bad and 
impassable for wheels, a pillion was almost the only way in 
which a woman could get to market. L. 

Stodge, v. — To cram with food ; the result of which was 
expressed by the American lady as feeling " crowded." L. 

Stomach, v.—^l stomached (/>., I thought or guessed) as 
much. Also to believe. " Oi can't stummoc that, no how." l. 

Stomacher Piece, s. — An irregular awkward-shaped piece 
of land. L. 

Stone, v. — To stone a road, is to put large stones or boulders 
on the road, to force carriages, carts and horses to go over the 
fresh laid metal, instead of the beaten part of the road. A 
dangerous but general custom in Cheshire, the breach of which 
would be more valued than the observance, l. 

Stcol, s. — A number of wheat stalks springing from the 
same root. l. 

Stopport. — Stockport, from the Latin Stopporta, L. 

Stor, or Storr, v. — ^When a horse from bad roads, deep 
snow, too great a load, or vice, stops in harness, he is said to 
be starred, I cannot trace the root, but it is curiously the 
opposite to stir. Stowre, according to Hallwell, means stiff or 
inflexible. Vide Staw. l. 

Stormcock, or Shellcock, s. — The missel, or mistletoe 
thrush. L. 



202 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. STO 



Stou, s. — A stool, where a tree or shrub has been cut 
down, and from which suckers have sprung. " It isna wortli 
ridding up — it's an ould stou/' l. 

Stowr, s. — Dust. A sheaf. 

Slowk, or Stouk, v. — To put ears or handles to such vessels 
as require them. w. 

Stowk, s. — A stalk or handle to a pail ; it is also a drinking 
cup with a handle. A sfowk of sde, from the/<^r/. of the A.-S. 
siica7i, figere ; also a sheaf, perhaps from sto^ to stand up. 

Strack, part — Abbreviation for " distracted." w. " Lave 
the poor wench alone — oo's strack, oi tell ye." 

Streea, s. — A straw. One, who having travelled, and 
returned home with certain affectations and but little profit, 
comes under the O.C.S. — "She hath been at London to call a 
streea a straw, and a wau a wall." A curious proof of how these 
two words were pronounced about the fourteenth or fifteenth 
centuries. 

Street, s . — When joined to a name of a place, it generally 
shows the existence of an old Roman road. Holford Street, 
instead of Holford Road, like WatHng Street, Chapel in the 
Street, &c., Stretford, &c. l. 

Stret, adj. — Narrow, confined, strait. "Stick a stret 
jacket on him — he's crack'd." l. 

Strickles, s. — The hone generally fastened to the scythe 
for sharpening purposes ; also the stick used as mentioned in 
the next word. l. 

Strike, s. — A bushel. The word is supposed to originate 
from the measure when full having a stick passed across it to 
level it, and prevent more than the fair measure being given. 
In contradistinction to this, we have the O.C.P., " Maxfield 
measure — heap and thrutch." l. 



SUM CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 203 



Strike, v. — To reach an even or the desired heat. " When 
the oven strikes.'' l. 

Strimes, s. — The handles of a wheelbarrow, l. 
Strippings, v. — " Strokings" and *' afterings." 

Strokings, s. — The last milk of the cow, supposed to be 
the richest drop : called also afterings and strippings. Vide 
Afterings. l. 

Strout, v. — To swell out. "The pasture maketh the 
kines' udders to strout to the paile." " Ancient Account of 
Cheshire. The Generall of Great BritdijieT Time of 
James I. L. 

Struck with Iron. — An apoplectic seizure to which sheep 
and cows (generally previously to their calving) are liable. 
They turn black, l. 

Strushion, «$•.— Destruction, w. 

Stubbo, or Stubbow, s. — Stubble, w. 

Stubbo, or Stubbed, adj. — Thick, short. A rough head 
of hair, unkempt and bristly, is called a " stubbory pou.'^ w. 

Stuff, 5. — A keeper's term for game. "We mun have 
more stuff in yon coppy." l. 

Stupid, adj. — Pronounced stoopid, obstinate. " He was 
that stoopid, he bit his nose to spite his face." l. 

Stut, v. — Short for to stutter, w. " He's a stuttin foo ! " 

Suck, s. — A ploughshare, l. 

SucKiE ! — A general name for a calf, as you would say 
" Puss ! " in talking to a cat. l. 

SuMMAT, adv. — Somewhat, w. " Landlord, gie us a drop 
o' summat short." 



204 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. SUP 



SuppiNGS, s. — The refuse milk after the cheese is made, 
which supplies the pigs with their supper, l. 

Surcease, v. — To cease. 

** All civil mutinies shall then surcease." 

Chester's Triumph, i6io. l. 

Swab, s. — One of the many names for an oak " settle," or 
sofa. L. 

SwADDLEDiDAFF, s. — A term of endearment, — sweetheart, l. 

Swag, v. — To warp, as timber does. 

Swage, v. — To swage away is to reduce a swelling by 
fomentation, or other outward application. Probably short 
for assuage, the pain being assuaged by the fomentation, l. 

Swale, Sweale, v. — To burn, to waste, to gutter, like a 
candle with a thief in it. A.-S. swoelan. w. 

SwALER, s. — A dealer in corn, or rather one who buys corn 
and sells it as meal. w. 

SWALLOWMASS, S. A glutton. L. 

SwARY, s. — A swary of fields, fields lying together, l. 

SwARTH, s. — Hay grass when cut down. Sometimes used 
in speaking of grass before it is cut. l. 

Swat, s. — Perspiration, sweat ; also the perfect of the verb 
to sweat, w. " Lorz, ou oi doo swat ! " 

Swearing Tremendous. — O.C.S., *' Oo'd swear the cross off 
a jackass's back." l. 

SwEE, V. — A swing. *^ Cum, Ted, an gie us a good swee on 
yander swing." L. 

Sweet Nancy, s. — The Narcissus poeticus, l. 

Sweeten, v. — To bid at an auction, not to secure the lot 
yourself, but to make others pay more. l. 



TAF CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 205 



SwELTED, part. — Overheated, " Sweltering day," a very hot 
day. L. 

SwENGLE, V. — To separate flax after it has been beat. l. 

Swill Tub, s. — The receptacle for the pig meat, &c., from 
the house, l. 

Swippo, adj. — Nimble, w. 

Swippo, s. — The thick part of a flail is so called. In 
Norfolk the same thing is swifigel ; in Scotland swap is a sharp 
stroke, l. 

Switch clog, j.— The black beetle is so called, an omnivo- 
rous insect, that will drink ink and eat leather, l. 



Tatchin end, s. — Attaching end. A shoemaker's waxed 
string, w. 

Tack, s. — A lease or a part of a lease for a certain time is 
called a tack, ?>., simply a take. A tack is a term of Scotch 
law, and a farmer is a tacksman, w. An intack is a piece of 
common land taken in to the farm. 

Tack, s. — A taste in drink or beer contrary to its natural 
flavour. L. 

Tack, s. — Bold confidence, reliance. " There is no tack in 
such a one," he is not to be trusted, w. 

Tack, v. — A tailoring term. " Dunna stich thoi seeam afore 
thou's tack'd it," O.C.P. for " Look before you leap."L. 

To Tack one'.s teeth to a thing. — Is to set about it 
heartily. " To tack a stick to one " is to beat him. In this 
latter instance tack is simply a variety of take. 

Taffy, or Toffy, s. — What is called " coverlid," or " cuv~ 
lit." Treacle thickened by boiling and made into hard cakes. 



2o6 . CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. TAF 



Tafia, or Taffiat, s. — Sugar and brandy made into cakes. 
French, w. 

Taigh, or Tay, v. — To take. Synonyms of tack. " Tay 
him whoam — he's bad," take him home — he's ill. l. 

Tail-shoten soker ; also called Tailsoke, s. — A disease 
of a cow's tail. l. 

Take all one's time. — An expression for, " It is all I can 
do." A baby was ordered not to be fed for a quarter of an 
hour. The nurse said, '^ It will take me all my time to keep 
the child a quarter of an hour without food." l. 

Taking up. — Getting finer, applied to the weather. " I hope 
it will take up." " It has took up at last." Said also of a 
drunkard who has *' taken the pledge." l. 

Taking. — "The ice is taking" means it is beginning to 
freeze. PYde Crisping, l. 

Tank, s. — A blow. " Gee him a tank o'er the ear," i.e. 
" Give him a box on the ear." l. 

T' Antony's Pig. — " To follow one like T' Antony's pig," 
O.C.P. The pig is supposed to be sacred to St. Antony. 
Upon some death resulting to a great man in the streets of 
Paris, from his horse falling over a stray pig, all the pigs 
except those belonging to a monastery dedicated to St. Antony 
(which were exempted on condition of their wearing a bell) 
were banished the streets. From other accounts, it appears 
that in consequence of the gratitude of pig proprietors to St. 
Antony for miraculously exterminating all pig ailments, a pig 
with a bell round his neck was kept at the expense of the 
parish. The seal of St. Antony's College in London was 
about the size of a crown, and represented the saint preaching 
with his pig at his feet. All the stray pigs in London, not 



TAT CHESHIRE GLOSSARY? 207 



owned, were granted to the hospital. A belled pig is carved 
outside Winwick church, near Warrington. There is a French 
proverb, QiiHl va de porte en porte^ comme les cochons de St. 
Antoine. 

Tantrels, or Tantrums, s. — Freaks, whims. It is often 
said of a child when peevish or spoilt, that he is in his 
tantrums, w. 

Tardy, s. — A fine for being late. The accounts of the 
company of smiths, cutlers, pewterers and cardmakers at 
Chester contain many similar entries to the following — " Nov. 
II, 1679, received from Reignold Woods for a tardy, 3^'." 
From tardus Latin, l. 

Tarnation, adj. — A word that has a superlative effect on its 
adjunct. " Tarnation shame " is what boys at school would 
call an awful, horrid or infernal shame, l. 

Tarporley Peach, j-.— The Aston town pear is so called, 
as it is generally ripe about the time of the Tarporley races 
and the meeting of the club, which takes place in the first week 
in November, l. 

To Tarr on, v. — To excite to anger and violence, still 
used in Cheshire. It is a good O.W. used by Wicliffe in his 
PatJnvaye to Perfect Knowledge and also in a MS. translation of 
the Psalms, penes me (Wilbraham.) "They have terrid thee 
to ire." w^ 

Ta thy Harry. — An expression for wait, and seems a 
lengthening out of the word tarry. There is an old German 
word harren. L. 

Taty, Tatty, Tatur, or Tato, s. — Abbreviations for potato. 
A clergyman in discussing some theological point in his 
sermon in a country parish, said that " commentators did not 
agree with him." He had a visit next day from one of his 
parishioners, who, displaying the treasures of her basket, said 



2o8 Cheshire glossary. tec 



that as he had preached the day before that cojnmon taturs 
did not agree with him, she had brought him some nice " pink 
eyes." In Punch, they make a labourer remove his son from 
a school because "the master was that ignorant he spelt 
tatur with a P." 

TcHEM. — Vide Chem. 

Te, adv. — Than. "Greater te that ; " very common, l. 

Team, Theam, Tem, or Theme, s. — A royalty — granted in 
old times to the lord of the manor, for the restraining and 
judging of bondmen and villains in his court. 

** Aye hy waif, soc, and theam, 
You may know Cheshire men." 

Old Manuscript 

Ted, v. — To open out the hay, the first haymaking process 
after mowing. Some derive it from the Bav. zetten, to strew. I 
cannot see it. i.. 

Teem, v. — To pour out either liquids or other things. You 
may teem milk or teem eggs, or corn ; generally used in 
Cheshire for to pour. " Cum, missis, teem us a sup of tay." 
It is found in an old poem (one of the Roxburgh Club reprints), 
Liforniation for Pylgryines to the Holy Land. Swift uses it. 

Teen, for tens. — Teens of pounds, a sort of plural plu- 
ralized. l. 

Teen. — When any one has come to grief he is said to be 
" in fouteen," quasi in or //;2fortunate. L. 

Teen, s. — Anger. A.-S. iyjian, incitare. w. 

Tent, v. — To look after with a view to hindering, to prevent. 

" * I'll tent thee,' quoth Wood ; 

* If I can't rule my daughter I'll rule my good.' " — O.C.P. 



THE CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 209 



Tent, v. — Tenter, s. — To tent cattle is to watch cattle in 
the lanes, that they may neither stray, trespass, nor break fences. 
Tenter is he or she who tents. Also to watch. '* The cat 
were tenting the rabbit." l. 

Terrible.— Used adverbially as a superlative. '* He's 
terrible strong," &c. l. 

Terry-diddle, Terry-divil, Tether-devil, s. — The 
Bitter Sweet, Solamun dulcamara — so called from the inter- 
twining and complicated growth of the tough twigs, w. The 
devil himself could not force his way through them. A York- 
shire name for it is " felon wood." 

Tetotally, ad%K — A superlative of totally (itself a superla- 
tive). " He's tetotally ruined," /.<f., ruined absolutely, beyond 
redemption, l. 

Thack, and Thacker, s. — Thatch, and thatcher. Thekia^ 
Iceland., thatch; A.S. thecan, tegere. w. "As wet as thatch." 
— O.C.P. Straw being always prepared for thatching by being 
put into water. 

Thander, adj. — Yonder. "Wheere's our Dick?" "Crewd- 
ling in thander corner \ " hiding away in yon corner, l. 

That, adv.—^o^ or very. "He is that stoopid;" "She 
is that foolish." l. 

Thatch pricks (or simply the latter word), s. — Sticks used 
in thatching, w. 

That'n, Athatons, adv. — In that manner, w. "Don't 
gawp at me, I tell 'ee, athatons ! " 

Thave, or Theave, s. — Ewes of the first year, that have 
never had a lamb. l. 

Thee Noan, v. — You know. 

Not all there. — Used of a person who is supposed to be 
touched in the head, or not as sharp as he should be. l. 

p 



210 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. THI 



A THICK YED. — A stupid fellovv. l. 

Thick, adj.— Iniimsite. O.P. *• As thick as inkle weavers ; " 
i.e., tape-makers. '*Oim afeert yare Dick and our Moll's too 
thick." L. 

Think on, z;.— To remind, or remember, l. 

Thisn, s. — In Hearne's Glossary to Robert of Gloucester's 
Chronicle, we have this'ne for this ; thisne being the ace. case 
of the AS- pronoun this. We do not use the word adjectively. 
Thisn man, or thisn horse, would be wrong; but we use it 
substantively. A that'n, or a this'n (manner is understood), 
is in common use. In Norfolk, a-this-ne, a-that-ne, are com- 
monly used for " in this manner," " in that manner." w. 

Thistletake, s. — A duty of a halfpenny, anciently paid to 
the lord of the manor of Halton, in the county of Chester, 
for every beast driven over the common which was suffered 
to eat or take even a thistle, w. 

Thrasket, s. — A flail, or thresket. l. 

Thrave, s. ■— Generally twelve, sometimes twenty-four, 
sheaves of corn. w. 

Threap, v. — To maintain with violence ; to insist, to con- 
tradict; J>art., Thrept — sometimes Thrope. '' He thraped me 
down it were noine, but I knowed it were a dozen." To 
''thrape out" is perhaps more common, l. 

A Threeweek, s. — Three weeks in Cheshire is generally 
thus designated, as a substantive, in the same way as we speak 
of a fortnight or a month, w. 

Thousand Flower, s. — One of the many names of the 
Toad Flax- l. 

Thousand leaf, s. — Achillea ptarmica. Sneezewort Yar- 
row ; used sometimes as a substitute for snufif. l. 



THR CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 211 



Thrippa, orTHRiPPOW, v. — To beat ; which may mean either 
to beat with geers or with thrippows ; in the same way as 
to strap or to leather means beating with a strap or leather 
thong ; or it may derive its origin (as well as the verb to drab) 
from drapa^ to strike or beat severely. Ihre has drapa^ per- 
cutere; also to labour hard. Stubbes, in his Anatomie of 
Abuses^ P- 97> has, " This makes many a one to thrypple and 
pynch." w. 

Thripple, ^. — The beating part of the flail, l. 

Thrippow, or Thrippows, s. — The removable framework 
on the front and back of a cart and waggon, put on when 
hay or corn is to be carried, w. The Savers, q.v.^ are the 
sides used for the same purpose. 

A Thrippowing Pungoing life. — A hard life ; one of 
sorrow, toil, and anxiety. Pungow may be derived from the 
A.S. punian, confer ere. w. 

Thrope, Throppen, —/<?;/ and part, of the verb to 
threap, w. 

Thruff and Thruff. — Through and through, using the 
common pronunciation of enough, />., enufif, but in Cheshire 
enough is pronounced as it is spelt — " enow." l. 

Thrummell, s. — A large clumsy lump of a fellow, l. 

Thrum, s. — Vide Powsells. 

Thrunk, adj. — Crowded, thronged. " As thrunk as three 
in a bed."— O.C.P. w. 

Thrut,— /^;/ and part, of the verb to throw. " He thrut 
it down." L. 

Thrutch, z/.— To thrust or squeeze. " Maxfield {i.e., Mac- 
clesfield) measure, heap and thrutch." — O.C.P. In contradis- 
tinction to strike, where a stick is used to level what may rise 

p 2 



212 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. THR 



above the level. Squeezing or pressing the cheese is called 
**thrutching it." Palsgrave says, "Threche, pynche, pincer; 
this is a farre northern term." w. 

Thrutchins, s. — Curds, after the whey has been "thrut- 
ched," thrust, or squeezed out of them. l. 

Thunder-bolts, s. — The Corn Poppy, Papaver Rhoeas. l. 

Thunna, s. — Thunder, w. 

Tic, s. — The Cheshire word for the foot and mouth disease 
in cattle, from which this county, as well as others, has suf- 
fered so grievously since the introduction of foreign cattle ; 
from the wilful carelessness of the men then in power, in not 
enforcing proper preventive measures, l. 

TiCE, V. — Per Aphoeresin^ for entice, w. " Dunna tice him 
to drink, he's had enow — tak him whoam." 

I'lE, V. — To marr)^ ; not used transitively. " He's not paid 
for a quart of ale since I was tied to him." l. 

Tickle, adj. — Uncertain, tickUsh. If in harvest time bad 
weather interferes, it is called "Tickle weather." Tickle 
is also applied to game, particularly hares, when wild and 
ready to move. " The snow or frost makes the hares very 
tickle." L. 

"Tied by the Tooth." — A curious expression, explaining 
why sheep and cattle do not break through fences, though 
they are bad, because the pasture is good, which prevents 
rambling, l. 

Tike, or Tyke, s. — A little dog. Sue. Got. tik^ canicula. 
A peevish child is often called ''a cross tyke." w. 

Tin, s. — The till. w. Also the money it contains. 

Tin, or Tyne, 7'.— To shut. "Tinn the dur;" shut the 
door. \v. 



TIP CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 213 



To Tin, Tine, Tend, Tind the fire, z'.— is to light the fire. 
The word tinder has the same etymology, to^nder^ to light 
or kindle; Dan. Wolff"., or from Icelandic te?tdra, accendere. 
Some derive tinder fi'om the Dutch tiiitelen, to tinkle, from 
the noise made by the old way of dropping sparks from the 
flint and steel struck together on the tinder, or from the 
Swedish tyndra, to sparkle. Horman translates *' About candle 
tending," hy primis tenebris. w. 

Tine, v. — To lose one's temper. 

**And he was an angry man, and soon would be tined." — Ballad, 
Tyrannical Husband^ written in the reign ot Edward IV. L. 

To Tine a hedge, 7\— is to repair it with dead wood. w. 

TiNiNG, s. — The dead wood used for filling up a gap in 
the hedge, w. 

Tinsel, Tynsel, s. — In a deed of mortgage, 1637, the 
mortgager gives the mortgagee leave " to take sufficient trouse 
and tynsel, growing, or to grow, on the premises, for the fenc- 
ing in and repairing of the hedges and heyment in and about 
the demised close." Tynsell is evidently a synonym for brush- 
wood. Tinetum is an old law term for brushwood for fencing 
and hedging. Tinema?i was an old forest term for night- 
watcher, or keeper, who looked after vert and venison, l. 

Tip, v. — To discharge the contents of a loaded cart by 
throwing it back. l. 

TiPE, V. — To tipe over. To fall over in a fainting con- 
dition. L. 

Tipping, s. — A new Cheshire word ; meaning a railway em- 
bankment formed by tipping waggons full of soil or stone. 
A man told me one day that " the Tipping " near me was on 
fire, the dry grass having been fired by a passing engine, l. 



214 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. TIT 



Tit, s. — A common name for a horse. A Cheshire carter, 
seeing one of the horses he was driving in danger of faUing, 
cried out to the boy, " Tit'l faw." "Wliat tit'l faw?" 
answered the boy. "Baw. "—/>., "The tit will fall." "What 
tit will fall?'^ "Ball.'' w. 

TiTBACK, s. — On horseback, l. 

TiTMAUPS, s. — A Titmouse. 

To. — The sign of the infinitive, generally understood, — in 
Cheshire expressed. Where in common parlance we should say, 
" I saw him do it," in Cheshire they say, " I saw him to do 
it." L. 

ToART, To WART, adv. — Towards. This way. w. 

ToATLY, or ToADLY, a^j. — Quiet, easily managed, perhaps 
a variety of towardly. w. Well conducted. " A toatly young 
chap." 

Tom and Jerry, s. — A beer house, l. 

Ton, s. — The one*: ton and tother, the one and the other ; 
so in Hearne's Glossary to the Chrotiicle of Robert of Glouces- 
ter ^ " ton " is used for the one, and in Sir T. More's Apology^ 
edition 1553, we find " Of the t'one, or of the t'other." w. 

Toot, v. — To pry curiously, or impertinently, into our own or 
other's domestic affairs. Toteji, O.W. for to look out. Totehill 
is an eminence from which one can have a good look out. w. 

TooTY POT, s. — A hole in a road or , pavement, full of 
water, l. 

Tops and Bottims. — An expression relative to the cultivation 
of cottage gardens. Tops are fruit trees, bottims are vegeta- 
bles. " Why do you not grow potatoes ? " " Au canna have 
tops and bottims as well, and tops pee (pay) best." l. 



TUM CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 215 



Tow DISH, s. — Toll dish. A miller's toll measure, l. 

TowLER, s. — An instrument for breaking flax. l. 

ToYPED OFF. — Damped off, like an overwatered flower, l. 

Tractable, adj. — Teachable, l. 

Trammeled, Jfarf. — Trampled. * 'The cows has bin unlucky, 
and broke fence, and trammeled th' beans all to nothing." l. 

Trapessing, ^arf. — ^Walking carelessly through the mud, 
like a beggar or child ; from the verb fra/ass, to ramble about, l. 

Trashers, or Trashes, s. — Old worn out worthless shoes, i . 

Trashert. — Poorly shod. l. 

Trentall, s. — Lawrence Main waring in his will (1533 a.d.) 
leaves money to pay "for a trentall of masses," />., thirty 
masses, l. 

Trickling, parf. — Applied to the uncertain scramble of a 
wounded hare. " I seed the hare a trickling along the deitch, 
through the brimbles under the boo of yon wicken." l. 

Tron, v. — To contrive something in joiner's work or the 
like ; perhaps to " try on." l. 

Tron, or Trow, s. — A small cart. l. 

Trossle, s. — Making a trossle of oneself — being slatternly 
or turning out disreputably, l. 

Trouse, s. — A thorn or bough, used to stop a gap in a 
hedge, probably from the French frou, a hole. l. 

Tumbril, s. — A dung cart. l. 

TuMMUz, s.—A toad. l. 

TuMMUz, s. — Thomas, w. 

Tungled, J^arf. — Plagued, l. 



2i6 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY TUP 



Tupp, s. — A ram. l. 

Tupp Cat, s. — A torn cat. l. 

Turbary, s. — The right of digging turves in a particular bog. 
A permission mentioned in many old Cheshire leases, when 
coal was scarce, or, from bad roads, unapproachable. In many 
parishes the bog has been drained and reclaimed, where rights 
of turbary were exercised ; which accounts for many tenants 
occupying small fields at a distance from their holdings, where 
formerly turf was cut. This is the case, amongst other places, 
at Sink Moss., in the township of High Leigh, l. 

TuRMiT, J-. — A turnip, w. " As roind an' plump as turmits 
be." — Warburton's Hunting So?igs. 

Turn ELL, s. — The large tub used for scalding a pig. l. 

Turn over, v. — To repeat. " Au hear's so many tales that 
are na wirth turning o'er again." l. 

Turn over, s. — An apprentice transferred to a new master, l. 

Turn up, v. — " It wunna bear turning up," like a smart 
gown over a draggle-tail petticoat ; said of a person who really 
is not what he seems to be, or what he would wish people 
to imagine he was. l. 

TwARLY, adj. — Peevish, cross, w. 

TwiGGERY, s. — An osier or willow bed. l. 

Twigs, s. — Osiers, l. 

Twin, zk — To twin a field, / <? , to divide it in two parts, w. 

TwiNK, s. — A chaffinch, l. 

Twist, s. — Appetite. " That lad's got a rare twist of his 
own ! " L. 

Twitch Clog, s. — Black beetle, so called from its omnivor- 
ous appetite not sparing leather. Vide Switch clog. l. 



UNB CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 217 



TwiTCHEL, s. — I.e., Tway child, twice a child. A person 
of weakened intellect in his second childhood is so called, 
w. Twitchel also means a noose of cord at the end of a stick 
put round a horse's nose, when he is obstreperous ; also called 
a twitch. 

Twitchel, v. — To tie up a horse or dog with a cord, to cut 
a bull or a ram. From A.S. twiccan, vellicare. 

Twitch, or Twytch grass, s. — Triticum repens, also called 
Scutch, and Couch Grass, q.v. l. 

Twite, v. — To cut j to whittle, to use an American expres- 
sion, which is no doubt derived from twite, l. 

TwizLE, V. — To twirl. Sometimes Twiddle. "There 00 
sat, twiddlin her thumbs, like a great oaf ! " L. 

Twothry. — A few. An abbreviation of two or three. " Give 
us a twothry nuts." L. 

Tynan, v. — To enrage or provoke, the same root probably 
as tin, tine, q.v. L. 

U. 

l^LLET, s. — An owl ; also Ullert. l. 

Ullert Hole, s. — A hole often left in the gable of a barn 
to admit owls to catch the mice. l. 

Umber, Cumber, Cumer, s. — The shade; Latin, //;;/^r^y 
French, ombre. " Corn doesna ripen well 'ith umber." w. 

Un, adj. — Gne. " Gee usun," />., '' Give us one." " He's 
a big un." l. 

Unbeknown, adj. — Unknown. " If he drinks, its unbe- 
known to me," i.e., It " be unknown," or without my know- 
ledge. L. 



2i8 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. UKB 



Unbethink, v. — To recollect, often implying a change of 
opinion. Ash calls it local. To remember what was forgot- 
ten ; often used when a man has asserted a fact, and on 
second thoughts finds he is wrong. It is used as a reflective 
verb. "To unbethink oneself;" it is an O.W. used in Sir 
Robert of Knar esbo rough, one of the Roxburgh Club re- 
prints, w. 

Unco, Uncow, or Unkert, adj. — Awkward, strange, un- 
common. Cockeram, in his Dictionaij, has " Uncoe, unknown, 
strange," merely uncouth, w. In Scotland it is simply a 
superlative. " Unco glad," very glad. 

Undeniable, adj. — Good, or rather excessively good ; the 
un implies the absence of fault. An undeniable road means a 
capital road, in perfect repair, w. 

Underling, s. — A cow, pig, or other animal bullied by the 
others. " That is a little underling," said a farming man 
pointing to a cow in a straw yard, " and the others run it." l. 

Unkind, adj.—\x\ the sense of unripe, unready, " unkind 
corn," i.e.^ not ready to get in. l. 

Unlucky, adj. — Applied to cattle — it means they are always 
" brockling," or breaking fence, and getting into mischief. I 
have often also heard it applied to a child that is always in 
mischief and getting into scrapes, l. 

Up, adv. — For knocked up or tired. " I seed the run hare, 
and she was welly up." l. 

Up and Told, — or rather upped and told, making a verb of 
up. To tell with energy and animation ; perhaps simply rose 
up and told. w. 

Upend, v, — To turn anything on end bottom upwards, l. 

Uphold, v. — Pronounced uphoud. To warrant, to assert, 
to maintain, w. " Give sed it, an oill uphoud it." 



YAS CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 219 



Upkeck, v. — To upset. Vide Keck. To upkeck a cart is to 
tip a cart. l. 

Upsides, adv. — To declare " you will be upsides " with 
anyone, is to threaten vengeance for some real or supposed 
injury or affront, w. 

Urchant, s. — A variety of urchin. A hedgehog, l. 

Urr, v. — To growl or snarl ; one of those words where the 
sound suggests the meaning, l. 

\Js,pron. — Me. *' Nan, gie us a kiss, that's a good wench. 
" Oi shanna ; tak it thoisel if tha wants it." l. 

Vz^pron. — Very generally used instead of us, and often 
instead of "me." "Aw dunna want any moore leez, tell 
uz th' truth." L. 



V. 

Value, s. — Amount, as well in measure as quantity — cirdter, 
" When you come to the value of five feet deep." w. 

Varging, or Barging. — Quarrelling. To varry means to 
be at " variance." Barging may be derived from the Billings- 
gate, in which a bargeman is supposed to excel. L. 

Variety, s. — A rarity, w. 

Varment, s, — Vermin, w. 

Varment-looking. — Sporting looking. 

'♦Ararment looking gemman on a woiry tit I seed." — Warburton's 
Hunting Songs. 

Vast, s. — of the adjective used in common parlance. — A 
great quantity. " There's a vast of corn this year ; " " There 
was a vast of wet last week." w. 



220 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. YER 



Very moonlight. — A very bright night ; curious from the 
very being placed before a substantive instead of an adjective 
or adverb. I heard it at the Chester assizes, l. 

Vew, or View, s. — A yew-tree. A.S. I'w. w. 

ViCARANT-suRGEON, s. — A veterinary surgeon, a farrier. L. 

Virgin Mary's Thistle, s. — Ca7'duus Mariaiius. l. 

ViVERS, s. — Small roots, fibres : perhaps a corruption of 
that word, or from Lat. vivo^ as the principle of the life of 
most plants is in their roots, l. 



W. 

Wage, s. — In general use instead of the plural wages. It 
is thus used in The New Notbt'owne Mayd, by John Scott, 
n.d. w.- 

Waif, s. — Goods dropped by a thief; also goods and 
chattels lost, and not claimed after a year and a day, when, 
after certain forms, they belong to the lord of the manor. 
— Vide Soc and Theam. l. 

Waiter, s. — Water. The a and ae were interchangeably 
used in the AS. language; hence the Cheshire pronunciation 
of water as if it were written waeter or waiter, w. " Theere's 
no waiter i' th' cut ; " no water in the canal. — Vide Cut. 

Waiter hen, s. — Water hen. — Vide Dab-chick, l. 

Wakes, s. — Generally used in the plural The feast-day 
of a township or hamlet is often held on the day of the saint 
to whom the church is dedicated. The word is never used 
in the Irish sense, viz., a funeral, though the Irish wake is 
more of a time for feasting, drinking and joy than sorrow. 
In Cheshire the wakes are a great epoch from which to date, 



WAP CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 221 



and an opportunity absentees avail themselves of to pay an 
annual visit to the old home. In the Golden Mirror^ sixteenth 
century, is the following allusion to wakes : — 

** No wand'ring unto waks those days did women use, 
Nor gadding unto greens their life for to abuse." L. 

Wake-robin, s. — The Orchis mascula. l. 

Walk, v. — " To walk " a stone or other heavy substance 
is not to carry it, but to move one end first (whilst the other 
end acts as a sort of pivot), with a wriggling movement. One 
man can thus " walk " a flag-stone to the place where it is 
to be deposited, which two or three could not lift. l. 

Wall, s. — A spring of water. O.W. walk; A.S. weallan^ 
to boil : hence well. w. 

Waller, s. — A boiler. " Wych waller " is a brine boiler. 
There is an O.C.P., " To scold like a Wych waller." l. 

Walm, v. — To seeth or boil. The word is used by Randal 
Holme and Gervase Markham. Same derivation as Wall. w. 
Walmer, one of the Cinque ports, may owe its origin to the 
same thing. 

Walm, s. — A bubbling or boiling. Also a certain measure 
of salt after boiling, l. 

Wall-up, v. — To spring up as water does. A common 
English term is " To well up." 

Wammocky, adj. — Weak, feeble, l. 

Wangle, v. — To totter or vibrate, w. 

Wappow, or Weppow, s. — Railings placed across a brook 
to prevent cattle encroaching or entering the neighbouring 
fields. It is suggested by my informant, a lady near Stockport, 
that the word may come from wapen and aue water, a defence 
against crossing water, l. 



222 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. WAP 



Waps, s. — A wasp. l. 

*' Eh ! oi say, lads, cum alung wi me, 
There's a wapsis neest in thander tree." 

Warch, s. — Pain. A.S. ware. w. Wherk is to breathe 
with difficulty. 

Ward, or Warld, s. — The world, w. 

Ward, v. — To take care of ; to watch. — Vide Incle. l. 

Warrabee, s. — Wart. The sort of warts often found upon 
horses and cows, which require to be cut off or burnt, l. 

Warre, or WoRRE, adj. — Worse. A.S. 7i'0j bad, woer ; 'Svarre 
and warre" — worse and worse. Vcerre., Dan., worse. The 
Danish v is pronounced Hke the English 7u. A.S. wirse. w. 

Wart, or Walt, v. — To wawt, is to overturn ; chiefly used 
of carriages. To waiter, in Scotch, is to overturn ; and a 
sheep await is a cast sheep, w. 

Wart-wort, s. —Cudweed. G?iap]ialium uliginosuni. l. 

Wart. — Receipt to cure one. *' Scratch the wart with a 
pin crossways, throw the pin over your left shoulder and do 
not look behind you." l. 

Waste, v.n. — To diminish, instead of the usual active 
meaning, l. 

Wastrel, s. — A rogue, a vagabond, l. 

Wattle and Dab. — Vide Raddle and Dab. 

Waunt, s. — A synonym for a mole, mentioned in the 
Prestbury Church accounts a.d. 1720. In that year 11/. %s. 
was paid for killing 1.320 moles or waunts. Vide Wooan. l. 

Waur Day, s. —Week day as opposed to Sunday. " Nobbut 
one suit of clothes, Sunday and waur day." l. 



WEL CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 223 



Waut, z^. — F/V/(f Wart. 

Wayberry, s. — The Plantain — Plaritago major, l. 

Waybred, J.— Synonym of Wayberry. F/'//<f Wybrow. l. 

" Weal and Worship." — The closing toast at any Congleton 
festivities, intimating, it may be concluded, that welfare and 
religion should go hand in hand. l. 

Wear, v. — To spend. " I do wear, or I have weared, a deal 
of money on that farm." l. 

Weathered, adj. — Applied to hay or crops that have been 
too much exposed to the weather, l. 

A Week and a Piece. — A week and a few days. l. 

Weel, or Wheel, s. — A whirlpool, from going round and 
round, like a wheel, l. 

Weet, s. — Wet weather, w. 

Weet, v. — To rain ; Wilbraham says, ** rather slightly." 

Weighs, s. — Scales for weighing. We find it used as far back 
as Laurence Main waring's Will Invetitory^ i557- l. 

Weighdy, or Wady, adj. — Expresses good weight, or that 
a stack of hay, a fat ox or sheep, &c , turn out more weighty 
and consequently valuable than was expected, l. 

Weisty, adj. — Large and empty, e.g. an unfurnished room ; 
perhaps from a waste, l. 

Weller, adj. — The comparative of well. "He is weller to 
day," />., better, l. 

Welly. — Expletive adverb. Well nigh, nearly, almost. A 
very common but often merely a superfluous word, without 
effect on the sense of a sentence. " We must welly think 



224 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. WEN 



about it." " Welly clemmed," almost starved to death. Some- 
times it is used as the last word of a sentence. A.S. 7ife/ 
neah. 

Wench, s. — A girl. A clergyman had been talking to his 
school on the subject of regeneration. " Would not you like to 
be born again?" said he to one of the boys. "Au shudna." 
"I am sure you would," rejoined the clergyman. " Au 
wouldna," sturdily exclaimed the boy ; " aude be afeert au might 
be born a wench ! " l. 

Wern, v. — Abbreviation of weren, the plural of iht pe?-/, 
of the verb to be ; used only when a vowel begins the word 
following, w. 

Wetched, or Wetchet, adj. — Wetshod, wet in the feet; 
whetshod is used in Piers Ploughman, w. 

Wever, Weever, or Weaver River, s. — From the Welsh Wy 
or Wye^ a river, and fawi- great. The navigation of the river 
Weaver is a great source of profit to Cheshire. The river was 
made navigable by the county. Her health is drunk as " Miss 
Weaver." Drayton mentions her thus : — 

*' But back a while my muse, to Weever let us go, 

Which (with himself compared) each British flood doth scorn ; 
His fountain and his fall both Chester's rightly born, 
The country in his course that he doth clean divide 
Cut in two equal shares upon his either side. 
And what that famous flood far more than all enriches, 
The bracky fountains, are those two renowned Wyches ! 
The Nant-Wych and the North, whose either briny well 
For store and sorts of salts make Weever to excell," &c. L. 

Whabble, or Whabbock, s. — Puddle. " The fields are au of 
a whabbock," i.e.^ all of a swim. l. 

Whacker, s. — A shake. " All ot a whacker," all of a shake, 
like a person frightened or cold. To " whake " is to shake, l. 



WHE CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 225 



Wham, Wheam, prep. — Near. l. 

" The cuvvur laid so wheam loik." 

Warburton's Huntmg Songs. 

Whany, V. — To throw, l. 

Whany, i-.— a blow. " I'll fetch thee a whany." I'll hit 
you. L. 

Whap, s. and v. — A blow. In colloquial language a whapper 
is anything very large, or a tremendous lie. " Oh, what a 
whapper ! " l. 

Whapped, part, or v. — When any one goes away suddenly 
he is said to have whapped away, />., bolted, w. 

Wharre, s. — Crabs, or the crab tree. *' Sour as wharre " 
O.C.P. Verjuice, extract of crabs, we pronounce "Warjuice." 

Whave, v. — To hang over, Hvoelve, Dan. To arch, to 
hang over, to overwhelm : hv. in those northern languages are 
equivalent to our wh, Hvid in Danish being "whete" in 
England, w. 

Whaver, s. — Vide Riner. 

Whaver, v. — To drive away. l. 

Wheady, adj. — That measures more than it appears to do. 
Used, amongst other places, in the Prestbury neighbourhood. 
Dr. Ash calls it local. Vide Weighdy. l. 

Wheam, adj. — Convenient, near. Perhaps from home, pro- 
nounced with us *' whome." Vide Wham. w. 

Wheamow, adj. — Active, nimble. " I'm very wheamow, as 
t' ould woman said when she stept into the bittlen," i.e.^ the 
milk bowl. O.C.P. l. 

Wheeltened, v. — Perfect of to wheel. *' I wheeltened the 
snow away." l. 



226 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. WHE 



Wheint, «^'. — Strange, curious. F/^^Queint. 

Whelps, s. — Puppies, l. 

Whick, ad/. — Alive. Quick, w. 

Whicks, s. — Quicks. Thorn plants for hedges, w. 

Whig, s. — Whey, A.S. Hevoey, The origin of Whig as the 
name of a party was from this word, which means *' sour 
milk." 

Whig, s. — Any obstruction to a drain, like roots, &c. " The 
stuff is welly racked up wi' whigs." The derivation obvious, 
roots filling up a drain like compressed hair. l. 

Whinstone, 5, — A coarse grained stone. Toadstone, Rag- 
stone, w. 

Whisket, or Whiskettle, s, — A basket, l. 

Whiskin, s. — A black pot, a shallow brown drinking-bowl, 
Ray says it is Cheshire. " And wee will han a whiskin at 
every rushbearing. A wassel cup at Yule, a seedcake at 
Fastens." La?tcas hire Levers, 16^0. l. 

Whistle Bally Vengeance, s. — Bad, unwholesome beer, 
swipes. L. 

White, v, — To requite. Citea by Bailey as Cheshire. " God 
white you." w. 

White Horse, s. — A comparatively new Cheshire word. 
It is a triangle painted white, formed of three rails (two of 
which are on the ground), connected by iron bands ; used to 
turn carts, horses and carriages from the smooth part of a 
highway on to that which has been newly broken up, or 
stoned, l. 

White LivERED, adj. — Ill-conditioned, deceitful, cur-like. 
^' You white-livered hound, I wouldn't believe you on your 
Bible oath ! " l. 



WIG CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 227 



White Nancy, s. — The Narcissus. Narcissus Poeticus. l. 
Whitester, s. — A bleacher of Hnen. w. 

WHO,/r. — Pronounced Hke " wo " (to make a horse stop) or 
" woe," sorrow. Also Wom, for " whom." l. 
Who.— The whole, l. 

Whoam, or Whome, s. — Home, pronounced more like 
" whum." We do not say " we are going home," but " going 
to whum." L. - - -' 

Whoave, v. — To cover, to overwhelm, vtde^HAyE. O.C.P. 
" We wanna kill but whoave." Possibly derived from wave. l. 

Whooked, adj. — Broken in health, shaken in every joint. 
Ash calls it local — another form of shock, l. 

Whot, adj. — *' Hot " was formerly written '* whot." In 
" The Christen State of Matrimony e^* page 8, we read, " Then 
shall the indignacyon of the Lord wax whot over you." It 
is used by Whitney. 

'* Being likewise asked why, quoth he, * Because it is to whotte,* 
To which the Satyr made reply, * And blowest thou whotte and coulde ?' " 

Whowhiskin, s. — A drinking black pot. Vide Whiskin. l. 

WiBROW WoRROW, s. — The herb plantain. The old English 
name is " Waybrede," of which word Wybrow may be a different 
form. Waybred is also Cheshire ; also Wybrae, bred by the 
side of the road, Juncta vice, a real " roadumsidus." L. 

Wich, or rather Wych, s. — Several places in Cheshire and 
elsewhere end in "wych" and "wich" ; the former finial betokens 
salt, the other a town, from the Latin vicus. Thus in Norfolk 
we have Norwich the north town, Northwych in Cheshire the 
north salt work ; and we have Middlewych, Nantwych, and in 
Worcestershire Droit wych, all towns where salt is or has been 
worked. Wych is not pronounced short as " witch," but long. 
Towns with the finial "wich" like Norwich, Ipswich, &c., derived 
from vicus are short. " Wych " means salt. l. 

Q 2 



228 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. WIL 



Wildfire, s. — The erysipelas, mentioned as one of the 
diseases cured by the new found well in Cheshire, A.D. t6oo. l. 

Wild Hop, s. — The name for the Polygonum Convolvulus^ 
or Climbing Buckwheat, l. 

Wild Vine, s. — The common Briony. Tamus Communis. L. 

Will Jill, or Will Gill, s. — An hermaphrodite, w. 

WiLLMARANCHE, s. — The String halt in horses, l. 

WiMBERRY, s. — The Bilberry. Brereton in his Travels 
(1635 A.D.) " They are churlish things for the stomach." l. 

Wimble, s. — A gimlet, l. 

Win ?, z'.— Will ?— " Win thee do it ? " l. 

WiNDERiNG, adj. — Diminishing, lessening, l. 

WiNDLE, s. — The long stalk of grass, l. 

Windrow, s. — The long loose arrangement of the cocks of 
hay when they are all thrown down and opened to the sun 
and wind^ whilst the carrying is going on. l. 

Win Egg, s. — An ^gg without a shell. A soft egg. Very 
often occasioned by the impossibility of the hens getting at 
lime, which should be always given them in the shape of 
lime-water, old mortar, oyster shells, &c. l. 

WiNNA, or WoNNA, V. — Will not. " Thou winna do it." l. 

Winter Gilliflowers, s. — Wallflowers, " so-called because 
they flower in the winter," says Gerarde, our old county 
herbalist, l. 

Wirken, v. — A term used in feeding infants, when food is 
given them too fast, so as to make them cough, l. 

Wish. — (A curious Cheshire). " I wish my throat were a 
yard long and I could taste th' ale all along it ! " l. 



WOR CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 229 



Wishful, adj. — Desirous. " Tummas is wishful to go for a 
soldier.'* l. 

Withering, adj. — Strong, lusty. " A great withering 
fellow." To wither in the north of England is used for to 
throw anything down violently. It is also used substantively 
" to throw down with a wither," perhaps for the AS. Witherian^ 
certare, resistere. w. 

Witty, adj, — Knowing, clever. " He is a witty man about 
cattle." L. 

To WizzEN or WissEN Away. — To fade or wither away. 
"A poor sickly wizzened thing." A.S. Weornian, decrescere, 
tabescere; hence also comes the common word to wither, w. 

Women, s. — " The women want the best fust, and the best 
always." O.C.S. l. 

WooAN, or Wone, v. — To dwell. Wooant, did dwell. 
Ash calls it obsolete. Kil, woonan, habitare. A.S. Wwtian, 
the same. Chaucer uses woan. Woant and want are old 
words for the mole. In Gloucestershire a wantitump is a 
mole hill. In MS. Sloane 2,584 is a recipe "for to take 
wontis." w. 

WooDE, Wood, or Wode, adj. — Mad. 

** Hoo stamped and hoo stared as if hoo'd ben woode." 

Warrikin (Warrington) Fair a.d. 1548. l. 

Wood Tenders, s. — Officers employed in the salt towns who 
were answerable for the fuel being properly stacked, and that 
there was no risk of fire. l. 

Wording Hook, s. — Dungfork. l. 

Work Bracco, or Braccon, adj. — Diligent, laborious. 
Ray. L. 

Work Brattle, s. — The power and will to work. *' He 
has plenty of work brattle in him," " He has no work brattle 
in him ; " we often say of a hardworking man, ** He has not a 
lazy bone in his body." l. 



230 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. WOR 



Worm, s. — A gimlet, l. 

Worrit, v. and s. — To worry, to annoy. Worry, annoyance. 
" Dunna worrit thoi feyther athatuns, our Jack." l. 

WoTTLE, s. — Iron skewes, heated to enlarge holes in 
wood. L. 

Wound, s. — With us is always pronounced as it is spelt. 
The ou has perhaps as many pronunciations as any diphthong. 
In the word " wrought '' it has the sound of or ; in four the u is 
extinguished ; then we have cough, chough, plough, lough. L. 

Wranglesome, adj. — Quarrelsome, l. 

Wreck, s. — Dead roots, leaves, rubbish, l. 

Writins, s. — Writings. The term used for deeds. ''I've 
gotten the writins of my house or farm," i.e., the deeds that 
prove my ownership. L. 

Wrought, v. — ^^Perfect of to reach, l. 

Wrostle, v., Wrostling, /d!r/. — Fighting, struggHng, wrest- 
ling. " I seed the Tit and Bull wrostling." Wrostle also 
means to meet, and overcome, a difficulty. At some large 
dinner the cheese cut in pieces was handed round ; one of the 
first of the guests to whom it was taken said to the waiter. 
" Young man, thou hast rather oe'rdone me, but au'll try to 
wrostle with it," upon which he took the whole plateful ! l. 

WuR, V. — Was. " It wur lonely loike." l. 

Wut Thou?— Is "wilt thou?" " Thou wud, wutthou? 
Then, thou shanna." l. 

WutSj.Whoats. — Oats. w. 

Wutcake, or WuDCAKE, s. — Oatcake. L. 

Wychen, Wickey, or Wicken, s. — The mountain ash, sup- 
posed to be a specific against witches and sorcery. A teamster 



YAF CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 231 



with the handle of his whip made of wychen is supposed to 
be witch proof. A man told me once that " his horse stopt and 
refused to proceed, in spite of every attempt ; when he suddenly 
" unbethought him," cut a twig out of a mountain-ash near, 
and applied it to the tit, which then "moved on at onste." 

Vide Rynt. l. 

• 

Wyche House, s. — A place where salt is made. R. Marbury 
of Appleton, in his will dated 1559, gives "to his daughter 
half a wyche house in the northewyche." l. 

Wychwaller, s. — A salt boiler at one of the wyches of 
Cheshire. Women formerly exclusively were the wych- 
wallers. l. 

Wyndy, adj. — Wild, rackety, uncertain. "He's a wyndy 
chap." Here, there, and everywhere, — or, '*As wyndy as a 
March hare." — Cheshire Proverb, l. 

WysomeS; s. — Vide Wyzels. 

Wyzels, s. — ^The stalk of the potato. Randle Holme, in 
his Academy of Armoury, calls them " wysomes," and uses the 
term to turnips and carrots (which in the case of these vege- 
tables and the mangold is now called Fash q.v.). Weize is 
German for com, as Holm is for straw. Peasholm is still in 
use. Strawberry wises are Strawberry runners. In ^Ifi. 
Gloss, we have Niamen, Streaberie-wisan. w. 

Y 

Yaff, v. — To bark. " A little fow yaffling cur " is a little 
ugly barking cur. A.S. Gaff, a rabbi er. To yaff would im- 
properly be applied to the bark of a big dog. From the 
French y^//<?r. They long and the ^ are convertible letters. 
w. 



232 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. YAM 



Yammer, v. — To long after. "What's up wi Mary?" 
"Whoi o'os yammerin after Dick, him as listed t'other dee, 
loike a foo." l. 

Yard, s. — Synonymous with a garden, like the Kailyards, the 
gardens outside the walls of Chester, l. 

Yarbs, s. — Herbs, l. 

Yarly, adv. — Early. " Its th' yarly bird as goUaps th' 
wurm." — Cheshire Proverb, l. 

Yarth, s. — The earth. Such is the pronunciation of the 
word through all the northern counties of England. It 
seems to be derived from the Danish Jord^ Isle. Jorth^ the 
earth, w. 

Yate, s, — Gate. w. 

Yawing, part. — Talking in a disagreeable, offensive way, 
quasi jawing, l. 

Yawp, v. — To bellow. " Dunna stand yawpin there ! " l. 

Yed, or Yead, s. — The head. w. 

" Yore a red-yedded lout, 
And a gud for nowt.'* 

Yeddle, V. — To earn, or to addle, l. 

Yed ward, Yethart, s. — Edward. A.S. Eadvard. In 
Icelandic, Jatvarder is Edward, w. 

Yell, s. — Ale. " Did dearly loike a sup o yell." l. 

Yellow Marsh Saxifrage, s. — Saxifraga Hir cuius. A plant 
mentioned here, as its almost only known /^^/^Z/^;/ was Knutsford 
Moor, whence the greed of botanists has banished it. Count 
Artois, afterwards Charles X., got bogged when attempting to 
find the plant on Knutsford Moor. l. 



YEW CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. 233 



Yellow Slippers, s. — A calf, so called from its feet being 
yellow when young, l. 

Yelve, or Yelf, s. — A dung-fork, a prong, l. 

Yelve, v. — To dig, with a yelve. w. 

Yep, s. — Heap. " Th'oud ummen's doid wurth yeps o' 
brass." l. 

Yerds, s. — Tow. w. 

Yerke, s. — Jerk. Used by Whitney in his Choice of Emblems. 
" They praunce and yerke, and out of order flinge." Used 
also by Spenser, l. 

Yern, or Yarn, s, — A hern, or heron, w. 

Yernuts, s. — See Jurnuts. w. 

Yewking, Yewkingly, adj. and adv. — Having a sickly 
appearance, l. 

Yewk, or Yoke, s. — The itch. Amongst the Suffolk Letters 
in two volumes is one dated May 28th, 1722, written by a 
lively correspondent, Mrs. Bradshaw, from Gosworth Hall, 
Cheshire ; in which she says : — " All the best families in the 
parish are laid up with what they call yoke, which in England 
is the itch." Of this word, however, in Cheshire, I could find 
no trace, and therefore it may appear strange to admit it into 
this Glossary, on the authority of a court lady. But when I 
find in Mr. Trotter Brockett's Glossary of North Cotmtry 
Words, published 1825, '' Yeuk, v., to itch,'' and in the 
Glossary annexed to the Praise of Yorkshire Ale, " To yeauke, 
is to itch," I have no doubt but that the word was in 
common use in Cheshire about a century since. On reference 
also to the Y.'?.Z.,yekin, s., pruritus, it turns out to be an old 
English word, of which the etymology is doubtless from the 
Teutonic joockeuy jeucken, prurire. w. 



234 CHESHIRE GLOSSARY. YIE— ZAR 



Yield, v. — To reward. " God yield you ; " or rather as it is 
pronounced God eeld you ! God reward you ! Gialld, money 
reward, Icelandic. Gicellder, to be of value. Dan. Wolff, w. 

Yield, v. — The wheat or oats, " yield well," />., " turn out 
plenty of grain, are not blind." l. 

Yip Yap, s. — An upstart, l. 

YoBBiNS, s, — Rows, uproars, yells; always used in the 
plural. L. 

YoE, V. — To hew, or dig marl. A marling term, spelt as 
pronounced, l. 

Yoking, s. — When they say a thing *' is to be done in one 
yoking," it means without interruption ; of course a metaphor 
.for yoking oxen. Doing the whole of a job without unyoking 
them ; or in one yoking, l. 

Yon, adj. — Generally used for yonder, as that *' yon man is 
market peart," />., " that man there is drunk." Anything at a 
distance, but visible, — yon tit, yon asp, &c. l. 

YoY. — Yes. " Ja " pronounced " yau " or rather " yaa," 
German, l. 

YuRE, s, — The hair. l. 

Zarten, adj, — Certain. *' Oim zarten zhure o' one thing, — 
thee'rt a foo ! " l. 



ADDITIONS. 



A-THIS-UNS, A-THAT-ANS, A-THAT-ROAD, exp. — In this 

manner. " Oi wunna have yo a stayin out a-this-uns, Molly, 
— yoal cum to no gud, if yo dun, moi wench/' "What's th' 
use o' tawkin a-that-road ? it's aw rubbish ! " L. 

Back-friend, s. — The skin of the finger or thumb, pro- 
tecting the root of the nail. *' Yo can see by his back-friends 
what a naggety, cross-grained chap he is ! — why look yo, too, 
his nails is aw bit off reet down to th' quick.'' l. 

Block, v. — " To block a hat," is to knock a hat over the 
eyes. This is one of the many instances in which a pro- 
vincialism expresses in a single word what in common parlance 
requires a sentence, l. 

Crumpsy, a. — Short-tempered. " Crumpsy as ever oi 
see, Bet, — fawing out wi' thoi finger ends ! " l. 

Davely, a. — Lonely. " A very davely road, as ever was, 
sure-ly." l. 

Entry, s. — An open passage or court, common to a lot of 
cottages, sometimes called a yard or alley, l. 

Fetch, sometimes Fatch, v. — To give. *' Fetch 'im a 
woipe oi th' yed ! " Give him a blow on the head ! l. 



236 ADDITIONS. HEN 



Hen-hurdle, s. — A hen-roost, a hen-house, l. 

Herring-gutted, a. — Unusually thin. Lanky, ^.v. "He's 
a herrin-gutted wastrel, th' same soize all th' way up ! " equiva- 
lent to the expression " As thin as a lat ! " l. 

HUMMUCK, V. — To earth up, like trees or plants too much 
out of the ground, l. 

Humour, v., Humoured, par^. — Made much of, Hke a 
baby. l. 

Kegging, a. — Being a forced teetotaller for a month, to gain 
some temporary end. '' Yo're ony just keggin a bit. Bob ! — 
oim afeart yole soon be at it agen as hard as ever.'' l. 

Lanky, a. — Thin, lank. " Lanky-loo ! '* a term of derision 
for a thin, shapeless, overgrown boy. l. 

Larn, v. — To learn, used in the sense of to teach. " Oi 
never usen't to drink, nor smoke nayther, afore he larnt me." 
Fide Learn, l. 

LiGGERTY Lag ! exd. — Used by the leader of a herd of 
rough boys on running away from some trouble, — meaning 
simply, " Who'll stay long enough here to be caught ? " l. 

Look To, v. — To rely on. " Au dunna look much to him," 
/>., " Oi makes no keount of him," " I think little of him." l. 

Marcus, s. — A marquis. " Oim aw reet, oi wudna change 
pleaces wi t' Marcus o Wesminister, this minnit ! " l. 

Naggety, a. — Another form of Naggy, ^.v. 

Narrow, v. — " He's bin narrowed lately," i.e., he has fallen 
in the world, he is not so well off as he was. l. 

Palatic, ^.—Paralysed with drink. A witness at the Chester 
police-court said of one charged with being drunk and 
incapable, "He wasna riotous, your wusships, he wur past 
that, he was palatic ! " l. 



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EMBROIDERED BACK OF QUEEN ELIZABETH'S 
HORN-BOOK. 

{See also p. 56). 



STU ADDITIONS. 237 

Pennies Apiece, exp. — One penny each. " How's eggs 
goin to-day, missis? " *' Pennies apiece, sir." Chester market, l. 

Pea-rise, s. — A twig or stick used to train peas. Vide 
Rise. l. 

Piece, s, — A person, used slightingly of an untidy woman. 
" Oo's a slatternly piece, anyhow." l. 

Readamadazy, s. — The common name of the first spelling- 
book or Reading made Easy. This companion of our youth 
superseded the Horn-book or Battledore of old ; an illustration 
of a good specimen of which, in the possession of Lord 
Egerton of Tatton, accompanies this volume. It was Queen 
Elizabeth's own Horn-book^ and was given by her to Lord 
Chancellor Egerton, enclosed in an exquisitely-worked silver 
filagree frame, l. 

Redden up, v. — " The hens begin to redden up." It is a sign 
they are going to lay, when the combs get a bright colour, l. 

Roots, s. — The counterfoils of bank and other cheques. A 
Chester Alderman lately, at an audit, refused to pass some 
check-receipts, unless, as he said, the officers produced the 
** roots." L. 

Shortwaisted, a. — Short-tempered. Naggy, Crumpsey, 
q.v. *'Yo darna open yer mouth, hardly, he's sitch a short- 
waisted chap — whoy, his monkey's up afore you can say Jack 
Robbison ! " l. 

Stail, s. — A besom-handle, a rougher sort of mop- stick. 
" Oi leathered th' hussy with a besom's stail, an never ossed to 
stop, nayther, than 00 wus whelly black an blue." l. 

Stump, s. — The leg, used figuratively, from the stump of a 
wooden leg. " Cum, stir thoi stumps. Miss Lazybones, thee'rt 
as mortal feart o' elbow grease as enny wench oi ever happened 
on ! " L. 



238 ADDITIONS. THI— WOM 



Thick, a. — Friendly, intimate. " Yare Jack and our Tom's 
uncommon thick, gaffer ! " " Ay, by leddy, a djell too thick to 
last, to moi thinkin." l. 

This Uns, ^jc/. — This way. A-this uns, ^.7/. l. 

Than, adv. — Until. " Stop than oi get hout on thee, an 
oi'll tan thoi hoide for thee ! " l. 

Till, adv. — Than. "Oive moore brass till thee, mester, 
for zartin zure, wi aw thoi uppishness." "Till" and "than" are 
conversely used in Cheshire, l. 

Trammeled, a. — Trampled, beaten down. " Th' cows has 
bin unlucky, and broke fence, and trammeled the beeans all 
to nothin." l. 

Twist, s. — Appetite. *' Oid rayther keep him a week till a 
year, — he's got sich a twist, oi tell tha, he'd eeat a horse ! " l. 

Whatever, adv. — However, at all events. " You're not a 
dacent woman, Mrs. Jones, and everybody in the entry knows 
it." "Do they? Well, I'm just as good as you, whatever, 
Mrs. Smith ! " l. 

WoM, pron. — Whom. A late Reverend Precentor of 
Chester Cathedral, a Cheshire-man born, always so empha- 
sised this word in the closing sentence of the General Thanks- 
giving, — " To wom wi Thee," &c. l. 



the end. 



LONDON : 
R. CLAY, SONS, AND TAYLOR, PRINTERS, 
BREAD STREET HILL, 
QUEEN VICTORIA STREET. 



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14 DAY USE 

RETURN TO DESK FROM WHICH BORROWED 

LOAN DEPT. 

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