Skip to main content

Full text of "A glossary of words used in the County of Chester"

See other formats





THIS Glossary of the Cheshire Dialect requires a few words, and 
only a few, by way of preface, in order to explain its scope 
and arrangement. I have called it a Glossary of Words " used in 
the County of Chester " in preference to a Glossary of " Cheshire 
Words," and I have done so advisedly, because I do not, for a 
moment, claim that all, or even the majority of the expressions I 
have collected, are absolutely peculiar to Cheshire. I am quite 
aware that, although used in Cheshire, they are common to several 
other counties, and I acknowledge this fact in order to anticipate any 
criticism upon that point. 

There are, in reality, very few words which belong exclusively to 
any county, and which are used nowhere else. A Glossary of such 
words would form a very meagre volume, and would, moreover, by 
no means represent the speech of the people. County boundaries 
are but imaginary lines, very useful for ecclesiastical or parliamentary 
purposes, but totally inadequate to confine dialect or rural customs. 
There may be, and generally is, a stronger character about the dialect 
of the central part of a county, but as we approach the borders the 
words and expressions must, of necessity, become mixed up with 
those of the surrounding counties. It is no detriment, therefore, to 
a Glossary that it should include words spoken elsewhere ; indeed, 
the grouping of dialects is one of the chief points of interest con- 
nected with their study. I have, therefore, as far as I have been 
able to collect them, included all dialectal words spoken by Cheshire 
people, whether those words are used elsewhere or not. 

I have been somewhat puzzled to know where to draw the line 
between classical English and local dialect, but, after due considera- 
tion, I have thought it better to lay myself open to criticism on this 
score also, and to err on the side of including too much, rather than 


run the risk of omitting anything which might be of possible value. 
Accordingly, words will be found in this Glossary which are also to 
be found in some of our dictionaries. But the compilers of our older 
dictionaries, Bailey for example, purposely included many acknow- 
ledged local words, and these have been copied into subsequent 
collections, so that, in point of fact, it is the dictionaries which have, 
in many cases, adopted dialectal words, and not the local glossaries 
which have included classical words. 

Again, many words which were in general use two or three 
hundred years ago, and so might be called classical English of that 
day, have ceased to be used as such, but they still survive in the 
mouths of our peasantry, and such are inserted as being of con- 
siderable interest. Many classical words, too, have locally a 
secondary meaning, and these have a legitimate right to a place 
in a local glossary, and no apology is needed for their introduction 

It has been rather difficult to know to what extent the local 
pronunciation of ordinary English words should be admitted. 
Manifestly to admit every slight variety of pronunciation would be 
to extend the Glossary almost indefinitely. And yet pronunciation 
is by no means unimportant, and should not be entirely ignored. 
There was no fixed rule possible, so I have used my judgment in 
these cases, by admitting words of which the pronunciation seemed 
to me to be sufficiently removed from the accepted pronunciation, 
omitting those in which the difference was slight In an introductory 
chapter I propose to revert to the subject of pronunciation, and give 
the rules by which it appears to be governed. 

With respect to the spelling of words, I have endeavoured, as far 
as possible, to represent the pronunciation phonetically; but as I 
have never mastered the glossic system of sounds, I have been 
obliged to give the words according to the usual recognized rules of 
English spelling, but I do not think there will be any difficulty in 
understanding my meaning. Where a word has the same pronuncia- 
tion as in classical English, I have spelt it as it is usually spelt, 
whether the usual spelling is phonetic or not. 

The collecting of words for my Glossary has not been a very 


difficult task, for I have lived in Cheshire nearly all my life, and have 
been intimately connected with the country people. The majority 
of the words, therefore, are entered from my own knowledge of 
them ; but I have been greatly assisted by correspondents who have 
furnished me with words from parts of the county with which I am 
not so well acquainted. In particular I would acknowledge the 
kind and valuable help I have received from Miss Georgina F. 
Jackson, the authoress of the Shropshire Word Book, who placed at 
my disposal the notes she had extracted with much labour from 
Randle Holme's Academy of Armory, and also those from the Percy 
Folio MS. edited by Hales and Furnival. My thanks are also 
especially due to Miss Measfield, of Macclesfield, who has furnished 
me with long lists of words from that neighbourhood, and who has 
looked over my manuscript, her intimate knowledge of the Cheshire 
dialect rendering her notes and suggestions very valuable. Also to 
Mrs. Cash, of Kelsall, who has worked up the Delamere district for 
me most thoroughly ; to Mr. Everard Home Coleman, who has 
looked up for me the references to every article upon Cheshire 
which has appeared in Notes and Queries from its commencement to 
the present date ; to Mr. John Hoole, of Prestwich, Lancashire, for 
long lists of words used near Middlewich ; to Mr. Thomas Sant, of 
Frodsham ; to Mr. Philip Darbyshire, of Penketh, Lancashire ; to 
Mr. Charles B. Davies, of Eardswick, for words used at Minshull 
Vernon ; to Mr. John Thornely, of Hyde, for North-East Cheshire 
words ; to Mr. William Norbury, of Leigh, Lancashire, who spent 
the greater part of his life near Wilmslow, and whose lists, illustra- 
tions, and remarks are particularly valuable. I have also to thank 
Mr. John Thompson and Mr. Joseph E. Ward, of Northwich, for 
the interesting, and, I think, tolerably exhaustive, collection of 
words used in the mining and manufacturing of salt ; also Mr. J. E. 
Ward, of Bredbury, for a very full list of words used in the hatting 
industry of the North-Eastern portion of the county. I have to 
thank Mr. J. C. Clough, author of Betty JBreskittle' s Pattens, for per- 
mission to reprint his clever and amusing Cheshire dialect story. I 
have to tender my thanks, too, to Mr. Thomas Hallam, of Man- 
chester, for his promise of assistance in writing a chapter upon 


Grammar and Pronunciation. If I have omitted any names that 
ought to have been mentioned, I must beg those correspondents to 
believe that it is not from any want of gratitude on my part; to 
all such, collectively, I tender my thanks. 

The glossaries of Wilbraham and of Colonel Leigh have also 
been laid under contribution, and such words inserted as I have 
never met with myself nor received from living correspondents. 
These are distinguished by the letters W. and L. It is very likely 
that after the lapse of sixty years many of Wilbraham's words are 
now obsolete ; still, they have been used in the county, and may 
survive in remote districts ; in fact, I have already had proof of this, 
for several words which I had supposed to be quite obsolete have 
unexpectedly turned up from Delamere Forest and from the neigh- 
bourhood of Macclesfield. , 

As a rule, when I have extracted words from Wilbraham's and 
Leigh's Glossaries, I have copied their explanations verbatim ; but 
I have not thought it necessary to include the derivations they have 
given, which in the case of Leigh especially are often mere 
guesses, and very misleading ; indeed I have, throughout the 
Glossary, carefully abstained from derivations. I only claim to be 
a collector, and must leave to those who have more knowledge than 
I possess the task of utilizing my work for philological purposes. 

In one or two instances the explanations given by both Wil- 
braham and Leigh seemed so involved and obscure that I have 
ventured to simplify the language or the arrangement of a sentence ; 
but I have taken this liberty very sparingly. There are a few 
misprints in both Glossaries, especially that of Leigh, which are so 
self-evident to anyone acquainted with the dialect that I have not 
hesitated to make the necessary corrections. Colonel Leigh died 
whilst his book was passing through the press, and I have no doubt 
these palpable errors would have been corrected if he had lived to 
see the completion of his work. Occasionally I have copied the 
meaning of a word from both Glossaries without acknowledgment. 
In such cases I wish it to be understood that I am perfectly well 
acquainted with the word, but have felt that I was unable to put the 
explanation into better language than they have used. 

, PREFACE. vii 

The following is a list of the works which I have consulted, and 
it is remarkable how very little literature there is connected with the 
Cheshire dialect : 

J. Ray. A Collection of English Proverbs. Second Edition. 1678. 
Henry Holland. General View of the Agriculture of Cheshire. 1808. 

Roger Wilbraham. An Attempt at a Glossary of some Words used in the 

Dialect of Cheshire. Reprinted from Archasologia xix. 1820. 
Ditto. Second Edition. 1826. 

J. O. Halliwell. Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words. Eighth 
Edition. 1874. . 

Lieut. -Col. Egerton Leigh, M.P. A Glossary of Words used in the 
Dialect of Cheshire. 1877. (Reprint of Wilbraham's Glossary, 
with additions.) 

Georgina F. Jackson. Shropshire Word-book. 1879. 

Publications of the English Dialect Society The Glossaries of Northern 

Notes and Queries. 

Manchester City News : Notes and Queries Column. 

Chester Courant: "Cheshire Sheaf" Column. (For words used in the 
neighbourhood of Mow Cop I am indebted to the lists contributed to 
Cheshire Sheaf by G. H.) 

The name of a township or of a district printed in small capitals 
indicates that the word to which it is attached has been heard in that 
locality, but it by no means follows that it is used nowhere else. It 
simply means that at present I have not happened to hear it else- 
where, or have not received it (if communicated) from any other 
district. Where no place-name is added the word may be considered 
as in pretty general use throughout the county. 

No abbreviations have been used in this Glossary except S. CHES. 
(South Cheshire), MID-CHES. (Mid-Cheshire), N. E. CHES. (North- 
East Cheshire), N.-W. CHES. (North-West Cheshire), W. (Wilbraham), 
L. (Leigh), and the usual abbreviations of the parts of speech, which 
scarcely need explanation. 


FRODSHAM, March yd, 1885. 

/ V 




[The name of the place, locality, or district where words have been actually heard 
in use is printed in small capitals, but it does not, necessarily, imply that 
the word is restricted to that locality. When no name is added, the word 
may be considered to be in general use throughout the county. The letter 
W. denotes that the word is given on the authority of Wilbraham's Glossary 
(Eds. 1820, 1826), and L. on that of Major Egerton Leigh's Glossary 


A is frequently used as a prefix to verbs, as a-go'm, going ; a-be, be, 
in the sense of remaining in the same condition. In Cheshire 
we do not use the Biblical " let be," but " let a-be." 

"Let that choilt a-be, wilt ta," is the vernacular for " Let that 
child alone, will you." 

A, prep, (i) at or at the. See A-BACK, A-WOM. 
(2) on or on the. See A-FIRE, A-TOP. 

A, v. have. 

" Oi'd a gen im a clout, if oi'd been theer." 

A-BACK, prep, behind ; literally " at the back." 
" Aw seed him aback o'th' edge." 

ABBUR, conj. but. 

ABIDE, v. to bear, to endure. 

" I never could abide shoemakkers," said an old servant, and it 
ended in her marrying one. 


ABOON, adv. above. L. 

ABOUT, prep, in hand ; in process of doing. 

" Have you much hay about ? " does not mean " have you much 
spread about?" but " have you much in process of making?" 

"What's Mary doin'?" "Oh ! oo's about th' butter;" that is, 
making up the butter. 

" About th' beds" means making the beds. 

ABOVE A BIT, adv. greatly, very much. 

" Eh, Polly ! Aw do love thee above a bit" 
" He did vex me above a bit." 

ABRECOCK, s. an apricot. HENBURY, but I do not think the 
word is in common use. 

The name occurs in Gerard's Herbal ; but though Gerafd does not specially 
give it as a Cheshire word, the inference is that it was in common use in the 
county in his time, he being a Cheshire man. 

ABUNDATION, s. abundance. 

This word occurs in a marginal note in a copy of Wilbraham's Glossary, 
1st ed. 1820, and appears to have been written about the same time; but I 
have met with it nowhere else. It is not unlikely to be an obsolete Cheshire 
word, as Miss Jackson records it for the adjoining county in her Shropshire 
Word Book. 

ABYLL, s. a mode of copyhold tenure mentioned in the records of 
the Stockpoit Grand Leet Court. 

"In a Great-Leet Court held at Stockport in the nth year of Queen 
Elizabeth, before Ralph Warren, gent., Steward of the Manor, and Thomas 
Nicholasson, Mayor of the said town, Thomas Burdyssell, son of John Burdys- 
sell, late of Stockport, deceased, is admitted to do homage for his late father's 
tenements there, on the payment of Abyll " (Cheshire Sheaf , vol. i., p. 15). 
It has been suggested (idem, vol. i., p. 41) that as Sir Robert de Stock port's 
charter to the burgesses of Stockport, dated about 1200, provides that when 
a burgess happens to die, his heirs shall pay to the lord of the manor some 
kind of arms, such as a sword, bow, or lance, the word abyll stands for "a 
bill." The payment of some kind of weapon as a heriot, or in addition to a 
heriot, was not uncommon. In an old lease of lands in Halton, granted by 
a former Marquis of Cholmondeley to a former Sir Richard Brooke, the pay- 
ment of " one shilling or a dagger" is mentioned. 

ACCOUNT, 5. (i) explanation. MOBBERLEY. 

"There's no account gen of it" means that it is impossible to 
account for it, or it cannot be satisfactorily explained. 

(2) good opinion. 
"Aw mak no account of him ;" i.e., I have no good opinion of him. 

ACCUSSIN, part, disputing, wrangling. MACCLESFIELD. The 
accent is on the first syllable. 

" Nah then ! no accussin." 


ACKERSPRIT, part. adj. 

A curious condition of the potato, known scientifically as supertuberation, 
where the eyes of the tubers have germinated before the potatoes were got 
up, and have formed a number of small unripe tubers attached to the old 
ones. Potatoes are also said to be ackersprit when the axillary buds on the 
stem grow into small green tubers, as is often the case in wet seasons. 

ACKERSPYRE, v. to sprout, to germinate. WILBRAHAM, who 
quotes it from Jamieson. 

ACRE, s. 

The Cheshire acre is 10,240 square yards, and is still in constant use 
amongst farmers, especially in the northern half of the county, and in South 
Lancashire. They cannot understand the statute acre at all, but compute 
everything according to the local measure. Cheshire land measure is as 
follows : 64 square yards = I rood (i.e., rod). 

40 roods = I quarter. 

4 quarters = i acre. 

ADAM'S FLANNEL, s. the plant Verbascum Thapsus. L. 

ADBUTT, s. the headland of a field ; also ADLANT. 

In both cases the accent is on the first syllable. The latter word is the 
most frequently used, I think, in all parts of Cheshire. 

ADDER'S GRASS, s. Cynosorchis. Gerard's Herbal. L. 

The orchis which Gerard distinguishes as adder's-grass is Orchis mascula, 
but he does not specify it as a Cheshire name. 

ADDER'S-TONGUE, s. the plant Orchis mascula. MID-CHES. 
ADDLE or YEDDLE, v. to thrive or flourish, to merit by labour. W. 

ADDLE-YEDDED, adj. stupid, thick-headed. 
" He's a addle-yedded think." 

ADDLINGS, s. earnings from labour. W. 

ADLANT, s. a headland in a field. 

As an illustration of the frequent use of this word, almost in a meta- 
phorical sense, I quote two amusing stories given by correspondents of the 
Manchester City News of Feb. 26th and March 1 2th, 1 88 1 : " A few years 
ago a competition of Church choirs was organised in Chester Cathedral, to 
which the parish choir from Tarporley was invited. After the singing all the 
competing choirs had tea together, the present Lord Derby presiding. Next 
day a member of the choir (a raw, country lad) was asked how he enjoyed 
himself, and what sort of a man was Lord Derby. He replied, ' Oi had a 
grand tea ; as much as ever oi loiked to eat. Aw th' singers set at a lung 
teble doin th' reawhm, and Lord Derby was on a adlant at th' end.' " A 
table, of course, placed at right angles to the rest. The second anecdote 
runs thus : " There is an old traditional story in my family of one of our 
feminine predecessors, that when she was a young woman one of the 
servants in her father's house came running to her, calling out, ' Miss ! Miss ! 
Here's Goodman Twemlow coming, go and take your clogs off.' The 
answer to this request was, ' No, I shan't. I have as many adbutts and 
adlants as he has.' " 

Leigh gives as an old Cheshire proverb " He's turned a narrow adlant" 
meaning that he has had a narrow escape from death ; and the same saying 
is current in the neighbouring county of Shropshire (Shropshire Word Book). 


ADMIRE, s. to wonder at. 

" Ah hadna seen my uncle for a lung toime, and when he cooni 
in, ah could na but admoire him, he looked so fresh j and he s 
turned seventy." 

ADOO, *. fuss, bustle, difficulty. 

" Oo made much addo abait it." 

, . 

" Come on ! who's afeart ? 

AFFADIL, s. the daffodil. L. 

AFFRODILE, s. a daffodil W, See AVANDRILLS and HAVER- 


A-FIRE, adj. on fife. 
AFORE, adv. before. 
AFORE LONG, adv. soon. 

AFTER, prep, (i) doing. 

"What are you after .?" 

(2) in quest of. 

" Th' policeman's after him.'* 

(3) making love to. 

" I expect he's after our Polly." 

AFTER A BIT, adv. in a short time. 

AFTERINGS, s. the last milk that can be drawn from a cow ; the 

AGATE, part, (i) engaged in doing anything. 
" Agate o' thrashin.'' 

(2) getting to work again after a holyday, or a sickness, 

or accident. 
" Is Jim at work yet ?" " Oh, aye ! he's getten agate again." 

(3) beginning. 

The following conversation was heard in Macclesfield between 
an old man and woman who met in the street : " Eh ! Tommy, 
owever art ee ?" " Oh ! middlin ; tha sees oive croppent ait a bit." 
" Eh ! if tha'lt git agate o" gettih ait a bit, tha'l git better aw one 

(4) used metaphorically for teasing or scolding. 
" Oo's allus agate o' me." 

AGE, v. to show age. 

" He's agein very fast." 


AGEN, prep, (i) against, in all its usual senses. 
" Th' ladder were rared agen th' waw." 
" I shall be able to pay you agen next week." 
" We'n nowt agen th' chap." 
" I were allus agen his goin." 

(2) near. 

" He lives agen th' chapel." 

(3) before. 

" Our pump allus males a nize agen rain." 

AGG or EGG, v. to incite or provoke. ASHTON-UNDER-LYNE. 

AGGED, fart. adj. tired. L. 

AGOE, s. the ague. L. 

AGREEABLE, part, consenting to, willing. 

AGREEABLE, adj. nice to the taste. 
" Is your tea agreeable ?" 

AGRIMONY, s. the plant Agrimonia Eupatoria. 

In Leigh's Glossary the name is erroneously assigned to Penny Grass 
(Rhinanthus Crista-Galli). 

AGRIMONY, WATER, s. the plant Eupatorium cannabinum. 


AH or AW, pron. I, especially when not emphatic. 
AILCE, prop, name, Alice. MOBBERLEY. 

AIM, s. a guess, an inkling. "A like aim" is a shrewd guess. 

" Do you know who did it ?" " Now, bur aw've getten a loike 

AIMER, adj. nearer. "Aimer-gzte" a nearer way. RAINOW. 
" You mun go dain th' aimer gate." 

AIMY, adj. shrewd. MACCLESFIELD. 

" Ee wur a aimy sort o' chap, ee wur." 

AINT, s. aunt. WILMSLOW. 

AIR, s. (i) the sky. 

Some years ago there was a very remarkable aurora borealis observed 
in Cheshire. I forget the year, but it was one evening in early spring. 
There appeared a large and very bright red spot in the sky immediately 
overhead, from which rose-coloured coruscations extended almost all over the 
sky. The colour was so vivid that it caused everything to look reddish, and 
it even reflected a red colour on people's faces. The next morning a man 
in speaking about it said, " The air broke red," meaning that the sky broke 
out red. The appearance caused a good deal of consternation, many people 
thinking that the world was coming to an end. One of my neighbours sent 


his daughter to me whilst the strange appearance lasted to know what I 
thought it indicated. The general opinion, however, seemed to be that it 
portended " war and bloodshed." 

(2) the clouds. 

When lowering clouds portend rain it is said, " It shows for rain, 
the air is so low. " 

AIRY BALLUNE, s. a balloon ; also ALLA BALLUNE. 

A correspondent writes : " The following dialogue was heard at 
a fete near Congleton, between a young lady of about 14 and her 
mamma. ' Oh ! mother, do cum, they're goin for't' start a airy 
ballune,' ' Yer young baggage, you, ow often am I for't' tell ye 
it isn't a airy ballune, but a alla-ballune.' " 

AITCH, s. pain, especially any sudden pain such as paroxysms in 
any intermitting disorder. WILDERSPOOL, CREWE, MACCLES- 
FIELD. These places being at different sides of the county the 
word may be considered pretty general. 

Hot aitchcs are flushings in the face ; fainty aitches are fainting 
fits. Occasionally pronounced haitches. 

" I aitch aw o'er me." 


AIZE POW or EASE POW (Eaves Pole), s. building term. 

A triangular piece of wood placed above the wall-plate of a building to 
raise the first course of slates to the proper angle, so that the rest of the slates 
may lie smoothly upon each other. 

AIZIN or EAZIN, s. (i) the eaves of a house. 

(2) the roof itself. MID and SOUTH CHESHIRE. 
" Ar Johnny's thrown his cap on Foster's azin," 
" Tha'll faw off th' azin if tha dusner mind, mon." 

Manchester City News, March $th, j88l. 
AIZY, adj. easy. 

AIZY, adv. easily. 

" Tak it aizy, mon." 

ALE-COST, s. the plant Tanacetum balsamita. 

Frequently found as a herb in old-fashioned gardens. 

ALE TASTER, s. an officer appointed in several of the Cheshire 
towns to prevent the adulteration of ale. 

H Ct f r the Manor or Lor dshi P of Over, held November, 
B " r , levmen > and Masters were elected for each of the 

, e 

in* ' Barton, and S *anlow. A report of the proceedings 
in the Wamngton Guardian of Nov. 2oth, 1880. 

ALGATES, adv. always. (? obs.) 


ALGERINING, part, prowling about with intent to rob, robbery. 

" He goes about algerining and begging," often said of a tramp 
(Leigh, who suggests that the derivation of this curious word from 
the Algiers pirates is self-evident). I have also received this as a 
very occasional word from a Macclesfield correspondent. 

ALKIN, s, all sorts. L. 

Probably a mere contraction of " all kinds." 


ALLEGAR, s. vinegar ; originally such as was made from ale, but 
now applied to all kinds of vinegar. MACCLESFIELD. 

Wilbraham says that the word is generally used with the adjunct 
"vinegar" allegar- vinegar ; but it is not so used now at Macclesfield. 

ALLEGAR SKRIKERS, s. thin gruel flavoured with vinegar. 

ALLEY, s. (i) a small walk between garden beds. 

(2) the gangway between two rows of cows, which in very 

old-fashioned shippons stand tail to tail ; some- 
times the alleys are so narrow that the tails of the 
opposite cows nearly touch. 

" Sawe dust spred thick 
Makes alley trick. " 

TUSSER (E. D. S. ed., p. 33). 

(3) a boy's marble, generally made of marble and fre- 

quently of alabaster. When streaked with red it 
is called a " blood attey." Also called OLLEY. 

ALLHEAL, s. the plant Prunella vulgaris. W. CHES. 

ALLICAMPANE, s. the plant Inula Heknium. 

Sometimes seen in old-fashioned gardens, and considered to be a remedy 
for toothache; but I do not know in what way it is used, 

ALLMACKS, s. all sorts. L. 
ALONG OF, prep, in consequence of. 


" Alongst the road." 

ALPINE, s. the plant Sedum Tekphium. 
AME, s. the handle of an axe. WILDERSPOOL. 

AMPERLASH, s. saucy, impudent, abusive language. Mow COP. 
" I'll have none o' thy amperlash, soo I tell thee." 


AN' ALL or AN' AW, adv. besides, in addition. 

" An mun oi come an aw ? " 

A very common expression, and one which sometimes does not add any 
force to a sentence. I have heard it reduplicated, "an all an all." Leigh 
gives it as IN ALL, which form I cannot remember ever to have heard, I 
feel sure he has confused the sound. 

ANAN, adv. 

Is made use of in vulgar discourse by the lower orders of persons 
addressing a superior, when they either do not hear or do not comprehend 
well what is said to them, and is equivalent to " What did you say?" or, 
"Have the goodness to repeat or explain what you said." W. I think 
now quite obsolete. 

ANCLIF, s. ankle. 

ANEEND, adv. upright, not lying down, on one end. See ON 

When applied to a four-footed animal it means "rearing," or what the 
heralds call " rampant." It is always pronounced "aneend," and possibly 
should be written "on eend." Aneend means also perpetually, evermore. 

ANENST, prep, opposite; also O'ER-ANENST, which see. 

ANENT, adv. about. 

" I know nought anent him." 

ANGLESEA, s. hatting term. The name given to a peculiar curl 
of the hat brim. 

ANGRY, adj. inflamed, as applied to a sore place. 
" That thumb o' hisn's looks main angry." 

ANGUISH, s. bodily pain. 

ANSWER TO, v. (i) to succeed with. 

It is said that clay land generally answers to bones. 

(2) to be easily led. 
" He's a soft sort o' chap ; he'll answer to owt." 

ANT, v. to plough out a small subsoil furrow from a reen. MIN- 

ANTIPRANTY, adj. frisky, restive, said of a horse. MOBBERLEY. 

ANTRIMS, s. whims, vagaries. 

An old Macclesfield nurse used often to accuse the children under 
her charge of being " at your antrims again." 

APERN, s. an apron. 

"A buttrice and pincers, a hammer and naile, 
An aperne and siszers for head and for taile." 

TUSSER (E. D. S. ed., p. 36). 


APPLE PIE, s. the plant Epilobium hirsutum. So called from the 
smell of its leaves and flowers. Also, in MID-CHES., the plant 
Artemisia vulgaris. 

APPO, s. an apple. The exact pronunciation is more like apper, 
but with the r silent. 

APRIL GOB (MACCLESFIELD), s. an April fool. 


A word used in scolding a child ; also a sort of exclamation of surprise, 
or when sudden pain is felt. Thus, if a man took up a piece of iron which 
he unexpectedly found was too hot to hold he would, very likely, in dropping 
it make use of the exclamation. 

AREAT,/r<?/. outside. WILMSLOW. 

" Was he i'th' haise ?" " Now, he were areat." 

ARGIFY, v. to argue. 

" What, tha wants for t' argify, dost ta?" 

ARGY, v. to argue. 

" He argid till he wur black i'th' face" is a saying so common as 
to be almost proverbial. The g is hard. 

ARK, s. a chest. 

The chest in which oats are kept in a stable is always called a 



ARM, s. part of the axle-tree of a cart. 

The arm of an axle-tree is that part which goes into the nave of the 
wheel. I can remember when there were very few carts with iron arms. 
Formerly they were simply a continuation of the wooden axle ; now they are 
invariably made of iron and are let into each end of the thick wooden axle. 
But the foundation of a country-made cart is very durable, and in Cheshire 
there are still many very old carts in existence, especially " tumbrils " or dung 
carts, with the original wooden arms. I dare say some of them may be 
seventy or eighty years old perhaps more. See CART. 

ARM-HOLE, s. the arm-pit. 

ARM-I'-LINK, idiom, arm in arm. MACCLESFIELD. Used also 
metaphorically to imply 

(1) great familiarity, as 
" He's arm-? -link wi' him." 

(2) courting, as 

" He's goin arm-i'-link wi' ahr Polly." 

AROUT, adv. out-of-doors. L. See AREAT. 

ARRANT, s. an errand. 

The preposition "of" is always used before the word, " Go's 
gon of a arrant." 



ARR, s. a mark or scar. 

ARR, v. to mark, scar, or scratch. 

An old farm servant said to a little girl, " Cum ait o that hedge 
wilt'a, or tha'lt arr thee." 

ARRED, part. adj. scarred. "Pock-am^," marked with small- 
ARSE-BOARD, s. the tailboard of a cart. 

ARSE-EEND, s. the tail end. 

" The arse-eend of a ' tater'" is the end by which it is attached to 
the stalk or thread. 

ARSE-SMART, s. the plant Polygonum Hydropipcr. 
ARSEY-VERSEY, adv. head over heels. MOBBERLEY. 

AS, pron. who, that, which. 

" He's the chap as did it." 

AS GOOD, adv. as well. 

" We may as good goo, there's nowt to be getten." 
A father said to his son, who was resisting him, " Tha met as 
good give in, for ah'll thresh the." 

AS GOOD AS, adv. very nearly. 

To say that anyone is as good as gone means that the patient is 
in extremis, and cannot possibly recover. 
" It's as good as half a mile from here." 

ASH-KEYS, s. the seed of the ash. L. 
ASHLAR, s. stone squared up for building. 

ASKER, s. (sometimes ASK) a lizard of any kind*.*., either a land 
or water newt. 

I think a Cheshire man has more horror of an asker than of any other 
reptile. It is supposed to "spit pison," and one is considered sufficient 
to poison a whole well. They are invariably killed when discovered. 

ASKY, adj. dry, piercing as applied to wind or weather. Mow COP. 

AS LEEF or AS LEEVE, adv. rather. 
" I'd as lee/not." 

ASP, s. the aspen tree, Populus tremula. L. 

ASTER, s. Easter. MACCLESFIELD. The a is sounded very long. 

ASTOUND, part, astonished. MACCLESFIELD. 


-tfl,prep. (i) in. 

"A pain at her stomach." 

(2) to. 

" Tak care; he'll do summat at thee." 

AT, v. to do some violence to a person. N. E. CHES. 

A .blackguard-looking fellow said to his wife, " If tha says that 
again, I'll at thee," and accompanied the words by doubling his fist. 

AT AFTER, prep, after. 

" Come to me, Tyrrell, soon, at after supper." 

K. Richard III., Act iv., Sc. 3. 

AT AFTER, adv. afterwards. 

" Shall you come nai or at after ?" 

ATCHERN, s. an acorn ; often called oak-afcAern. MOBBERLEY. 

Halliwell and Wright, following Wilbraham, spell it ACHORN, which 
gives no indication as to whether the ch is hard or soft . About MACCLES- 
FIELD it is always pronounced ACCORN. In S. CHES. ATCHIN. Wilbraham 
also has AITCHERN. 

ATCHERNING, part, picking up acorns. The second syllable is 
short. Wilbraham spells it " aitchorning." 

A-THAT'NS, adv. in that manner. 

" Dunna do it a-thafns ; you should do it a-this'ns ; sithee !" 

A-THIS'NS, adv. in this manner. See A-THAT'NS. 
ATHURTENS, adv. the other side of. L. 

A-TOP, adv. (i) on the top. 

" He's a-top o'th' stack." 

(2) or simply "on." 

A woman who had lent her savings to the trustees of a Wesleyan 
chapel said, " I've got all my money a-top of a chapel." 

ATTER, s. poison. L. 

ATTERCOB, s. a spider. L. 

ATTOCK, s. a corn stook. See HATTOCK (2). 

ATWEEN, prep, between. 

AUCTION, s. a place, a transaction, a meeting. NORTON. 

It is extremely difficult to explain the exact meaning of this metaphorical 
word, and the above attempts are not quite satisfactory. It almost answers 
to the slang term " lot," as when we speak of a person being " a bad lot ;" 
and the connection between " lot" and " auction is obvious. I have heard 
a dirty, muddy place described as " a dirty auction" and an unruly crowd as 
"a rough auction" 



AUD-F ARRANT, adj. old-fashioned. 

" A reglar aud-f arrant piece o' goods." 

AUNDER, s. afternoon. L. 

AVANDRILLS, s. daffodils. 

From a manuscript note in a copy of Wilbraham's Glossary, written 
apparently about 1826. See HAVERDRIL. 

AW, pron. the pronoun I when not emphatic. See Oi. 
"Abber ow seed im." 

AW, adj. all. 

AW, excl. used in driving horses. MOBBERLEY and the middle part 
of Cheshire generally. 

Said to a horse when he is to turn towards the left. "Aw come 
'ere" is used when he is to turn completely round to the left. 

AW ALONG, prep, in consequence of, owing to. Leigh spells it 


" Sanshum fair !" says hoo, " by golly, 'tis Sanshum fair to-day, 
an aw'd cleean forgetten aw along o' this kink i' my back.' J. C. 

AW-BUR, i.e. ail-but, adv. almost. 

" He's mu-bur done 'is wark." 

AWKERT, adj. (i) awkward, clumsy. 
(2) perverse, contrary. 
"Things are turnin out very awkert" 

AWMING, s. pantry. L. 

AWMING, part, gaping or staring about. WILDERSPOOL. 
" What are ye awmin 1 at ? " 

A-WOM, adv. at home. 
AW S', or AW S'T, v. I shall. 
AWSE, v. to attempt. HYDE. See Oss. 

AWTER, s. a halter. 

To " play the a-wter " is a metaphorical expression signifying 
to inflict some punishment which is as bad as hanging. See Cheshire 
Sheaf, vol. i., p. 21 1. 

AWTERCATION, s. alteration. 

AW T NOWT, idiom, without doubt, far away ; perhaps best ex- 
plained by the semi-slang expression, " out and out" 


AWVISH, adj. awkward, unmannerly. HYDE. 
AX, v. (i) to ask, to enquire. 

(2) to invite. 

(3) to put up the marriage banns. 

AXED, part, asked. 

People whose marriage banns have been published are said to 
have been axed in church. 

AXED OUT, part, the banns being asked for the third time. 

The expression is used of the persons, not of the banns. "They 
were axed oat last Sunday." 

AXINS, s. the marriage banns. 
AXLEWORTH, s. a grinder. L. 



BABBY-HOUSE, s. bits of broken crockery arranged like the ground 
plan of a house ; a frequent amusement with country children. 


BACH, s. a fall, or a stream, as in " Sand&wfc" L. 

There is a small piece of water near Chester called the " Bache Pool 1 ;^ 
and at Rainow, near Macclesfield, there is a spot called the " Black Patch, 
or " Black Batch," through which a dark and deep stream flows. I think 
the word is never heard except in place-names. 

BACK, s. a cop. See HEDGE-BACK. 
BACK AND TO, idiom, to and from. 

BACKARD, adj. late, long protracted. 
" A backard spring." 

BACKARDING, s. a change from excessive joy and feasting to 
mourning. L. 

BACKARDING, part, relapsing into sickness. MACCLESFIELD. 

" Ah ! poor thing, oo's backarding; it'll soon be aw up wi' her." 

BAG KB AND, s. an iron chain passing over the back of a horse to 
support the shafts of a cart. Called also a " Ridgerth." 

BACKED UP, idiom, in good circumstances. 
" He's rarely backed up, he is." 

BACKEN, v. to throw back, to retard, to check. 

Vegetation is backened by frost. A gathering may be backened, i.e., pre- 
vented coming to a crisis, by holding the part affected in very hot water, a 
practice often resorted to. 

BACK-END, s. autumn. 

BACKENING, s. a relapse to sickness. NORTHENDEN. 

" Our little one is not right yet ; he had a serious backening the day we 
were at Beeston." This was written in reply to my inquiries after a friend's 
child who was ill. 


BACK-NOR-EDGE, idiom. 

" I can mak back-nor-edge of him," i.e., " I can make nothing 
of him." L. 


BACK O' BEHINT, idiom, (i) very much out of the way; out of 

the world; behind the hindmost, 
as it were ; an ultima Thule. 

I once lived at a house in a very secluded part of the parish of Mobberley. 
I certainly had one neighbour, and our gardens were contiguous, but in order 
to get by the road from one house to the other it was necessary to travel at 
least two miles. My house was always spoken of, most expressively, as a 
very back-o" -behint place. 

(2) of slow intellect MACCLESFIELD. 

BACKSIDE, s. (i) the further side of anything. 

The backside of a hedge is the further side from where you are standing. 

(2) the back yard and premises of a house. 

(3) in the north-western part of Cheshire it is a very 

frequent name for the field which is nearest to 
the back of the farm buildings. I often notice 
the name in old maps. 

BACKSTUN, s. a round flat piece of stone, but now more generally 
a piece of sheet iron, with a handle over the top, upon which 
various kinds of tea-cakes are baked. The article is not seen 
nearly so often as formerly. 

BACK UP, v. to pile up. 

To back up a hedge is to repair the cop by digging soil out of the ditch 
and piling it on the cop. 

BACK-WORD, s. a countermand. 

" We were to have gone to-day, but they sent us back-word" 

BACON, $. to " pull bacon? or sometimes to " make bacon? is the 
elegant operation known as " taking a sight." The action is 
frequently accompanied by the query " have you ever seen bacon 
so thick ? " 

BAD, adj. ill. 

" Awfu' bad wi' roomatics." 

BAD-CESS, excL bad luck ! 

BADDIN', v. playing at hockey with sticks and a wooden ball or 
piece of wood. L. 

BADGE, v. to cut corn with a badging-hook. See BADGING-HOOK. 

BADGER, s. a dealer in corn (W.); a higgler who makes the round 
of the country to collect butter, eggs, poultry, and fruit (L.). 

BADGING-HOOK, s. a kind of sickle. 

It differs from the ordinary sickle in having a broad smooth-edged blade 
instead of a narrow blade with a serrated edge. In using it for badging corn, 
the corn is pulled backwards with the left hand, or with a hooked stick, and 


the straw is severed by a smart blow. The instrument is frequently used for 
trimming the rough grass from a hedge bank, and sometimes for cutting off 
the summer shoots of a hedge. 

BAD LUCK TOP END, idiom, short of intellect ; slightly crazy. 
"Thah's getten bad luck top end, thah cumberlin." J. C. CLOUGH. 

BADLY OFF, adv. in necessitous circumstances. 
BAFFLER, s. a top rail to a sunk fence, wall, or cop. L. 
BAG, s. (i) a sack; also a SACK-FUL. 

Farmers frequently speak of having so many bags of wheat per acre ; in 
which case a sack containing four bushels is intended. It is also occasionally 
used for the contents of the bag. There is an old Cheshire saying, " Bag 
and pump don't pay like bag and milk," which means that meal and water 
will not fatten like meal and milk. MACCLESFIELD FOREST. 

(2) the udder of a cow. 

" Go's a rare bagged un," is said of a cow with a large udder. 

BAG, v. (i) the same as BADGE, which see. 

(2) to discharge a servant. MACCLESFIELD. 

(3) to baffle. MACCLESFIELD. 
" That fair bags me." 

BAGGIN or BAGGING, s. a meal, generally of bread and cheese, 
eaten between breakfast and dinner ; or about four o'clock in 
the afternoon, between dinner and supper. 

It is the custom for the master to provide bagging for his men during hay 
or corn harvest. Amongst the Macclesfield mill hands breakfast and tea are 
called baggin. 

BAGGING-HOOK, s. the same as BADGING-HOOK, which see. 

BAGGIN-TIME, s. ten o'clock in the morning or four o'clock 
in the afternoon, the time for eating bagging. 

BAG MOUTH OPEN, idiom, used metaphorically to express the 
fact that anything has " come to light." A parallel expression 
to " the cat has jumped out of the bag." 

Leigh gives a good illustration in the following sentence : " Aw never 
knew how things were with him, till the bailies were in the house, and then 
the bag mouth -was open. " 

BAGNET, s. a bayonet 

BAGS I, v. I claim. 

An expression used by boys in claiming the first place in a game ; or in 
laying claim to any treasure trove. 

BAGSKIN, s. rennet. 

The stomach of a calf cleaned and laid in salt, used for curdling the milk 
m the process of cheese-making. The bagskins are also dried by stretching 


them upon pieces of stick, in which form they are cleaner, and can be kept 
almost any length of time. Some dairymaids, however, prefer them wet, 
and some dry. The preparation of the bagskins is almost a special branch 
of trade. It is thus described by Sir Henry Holland in his " General View 
of the Agriculture of Cheshire," 1808 : "When it (the maw-skin) comes 
from the butcher, the chyley matter is taken out, and the skin cleared from 
slime and every apparent impurity, by wiping or a gentle washing ; the skin 
is then filled nearly full of salt, and placing a layer of salt upon the bottom 
of a mug, the skin is laid flat upon it ; the mug is large enough to hold three 
skins in a course : each course of skins should be covered with salt, and when 
a sufficient number of skins are thus placed in the mug, that mug should be 
filled up with salt, and with a dish or slate over it, be put into a cool place, 
till the approach of the cheese-making season, in the following year. The 
skins are then all taken out, laid for the brine to drain from them, and being 
spread upon a table, they are powdered on each side with fine salt, and are 
rolled smooth with a paste roller, which presses in the salt ; after that, a thin 
splint of wood is stuck across each of them, to keep them extended while 
they are hung to dry." 

BAG-STUFF, s. artificial manure sold in bags. 
"Aw may no accaint o' bag stuff." 

BAG UP, v. to put into sacks. 

BOUT (general), prep, without. 

"Thawinnago . . . &z/^me." J. C. CLOUGH. 

" If we wanten eawt and conna pay, we done bight" KELSALL. 

Wilbraham gives an amusing illustration of a woman who, when urged to 
quit a bad husband, said "better bad than bout." The saying is, however, 
proverbial, and used on many occasions. 

BAILY, s. a bailiff. About Macclesfield it is always BUM-BAILY. 
"Th' bailies are i' th' hahse." 

BAIN, adj. near, convenient. W. 


BAIT, s. to feed horses in the interval of work. The horses 
themselves are said to be baiting. 

BAITH, conj. both. W. 
BAKER-KNEED, adj. knock-kneed. L. 

BALD COOT, s. the coot (Fulica atra\ which has a white face, 
and is so called to distinguish it from the water hen (Gallinula 
podiceps), which in Cheshire is also called COOT. 

BALK, s. a beam. Pronounced " bawk." 

BALKS, s. a hayloft. Pronounced " bawks." 

It is generally said to be so called because it consists of divisions or bays 
between the balks or beams that support the roof; but the balks in old 
Cheshire buildings consisted of beams, laid across from wall to wall, upon 


which round branches were placed like joists, with spaces between, and the 
hay or straw was stacked upon them. There was no regular floor, but the 
under surface of the hay itself formed the ceiling of the shippon. I know of 
several instances where this very primitive arrangement is still existing. I 
have always thought that the name balks was derived from the fact of the hay 
being placed upon balks or beams of timber. 

In other cases a rude kind of floor was made by putting rough outside 
slabs of trees, the round sides uppermost, on the branches. At present the 
floor of the hayloft is properly boarded and nailed over square joists, but the 
old n.ame is retained. 

BALL, s. the bole of a tree. ARLEY. 

BALL, v. to agglomerate. 

Snow is -said to ball when it adheres to a horse's feet in lumps. 

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. L. 

Leigh says it was so called because formerly the money was supposed to 
go towards the football fund of the parish. 

BALLOCK GRASS, s. the herb " dogstones." GERARD. L. 
BALLOW, v. to select or claim. 

It is used by boys at play, when they select a goal or a companion of their 
game. I ballow, or ballow me, that situation, or that person. W. See 

BALLY, s. (i) the belly. 

"What comes o'er the devil's back goes under his bally" is a proverbial 
expression relating to ill-gotten gains. Cheshire Sheaf, vol. i., p. 21 1. 

(2) a litter of pigs. 

We speak of the little pigs themselves as a "bally of pigs ;" in speaking 
the sow we should say "how many bailies has oo had?" meaning "how 
many litters of pigs has she had ? " 

BALLY-BONT, s. a belly-band; the broad strap which passes under 
a horse's belly from shaft to shaft. 

BALLY-BUTTON, s. the navel. 

BALLY-PIECE, s. the thin part of a carcase near the belly. 

BALLY-STICK, s. a stick used to keep open the sides of a 
slaughtered pig. 

BALLY-VENGEANCE, s. anything very sour, and likely to dis- 
agree with the stomach. MOBBERLEY. 

Sour beer would be stigmatised as " reg'lar bally -vengeance: 

RCH, or BALLY-WARK, s. belly ache 
.em side of the county). 

" What's up wi' th' tit ?" He's getten th' bally-warch. ' 

BALLY-WARCH or BALLY-WARK, s. belly ache (chiefly on 
the northern side of the county). 


BAMBOOZLE, v. to cheat, to outwit. 
" He's reg'lar bamboozled me." 

BA MUGS, or BOWER MUGS, s. pieces of crockery used as 
playthings by children. L. 

BAND, s. hatting term. The part of a hat which fits round the 

BANDS, s. (i) the cross pieces of wood to which the boards of a 
common door are nailed. 

(2) long iron hinges for the doors of farm buildings. 
BANDY HEWITT, s. a little bandy-legged dog, a turn-spit. W. 
BANG, v. to surpass. 
BANG-BEGGAR, s. a beadle. W. 
BANGLE, v. to waste, to consume. W. 

BANG-UP, s. yeast made from potatoes and hops. 

It is not often used now that German yeast can be bought at every village 

BANKSMAN, s. salt-mining term. The foreman over saltworks. 
BANNUT TREE, a growing walnut tree. L. 

" Bansel his hide." 

BANT or BONT, s. (i) a band; the straw rope which binds a 
sheaf of corn. 

(2) string. 

BANTLING, s. a baby. 
BARFUT, adj. bare-footed. 
BARGING, part, slanging. 

BARK WAIN, s. when the bark of a tree, as is the case with a 
yew, grows into the timber and spoils it. L. 

BARLEY BREAKE, s. an old Cheshire game, mentioned by 
Randle Holme. L. 

BARLEY HANDS, excl. a schoolboy expression used in the pause 
of a game to indicate that the person is temporarily exempt from 
playing, or from the penalties of the game, as " I'm barley hands." 

BARLEY ME, exd. I claim. 

An expression used by boys in claiming the first innings at any game. In 
playing " Conquerors " the boy begins who first says "Barley mi first blow." 


BARM, s. yeast. 

BARM BAW, s. a yeast dumpling. About MACCLESFIELD " Bawm 

Small pieces of dough are taken when bread is being made, which are 
boiled, and eaten with treacle. 

BARMSKIN, s. a leather apron. W. 

BARN, s. a child. CHESTER PLAYS. L. 

Halliwell has "baron," not "barn" as used in the Chester Plays, and 
Leigh has possibly misquoted it from Halliwell ; nevertheless, the word barn 
is occasionally heard, but is probably an importation from Yorkshire. 

BARN, v. to adorn. See BAWM. 

Leigh gives this word with the same explanation as is given in Wilbraham 
under the word BAWM. He also gives BAWM, to adorn, on the authority of 
Wilbraham, and I fancy BARN must be a misprint. 

BARNABY, s. St. Barnabas' Day (June nth). 

Barnaby Fair, an event of great importance in the estimation of the country 
people, is held at Macclesfield on June 22nd old St. Barnabas' Day. About 
Macclesfield itself it is generally pronounced "Barmady." It is also the 
grand day from which dates are reckoned, as "He's three year old come 
Barmady," or, "Oo were bad afore Barmady." Such a method of calcula- 
tion is very puzzling and amusing to strangers. 

BARNACLES, s. salt-mining term. A pair of chains with two 
hooks to hook on each side of the tub when drawing rock salt. 

BARN-FLAKE, s. a large wooden slide that drops into grooves 
below the barn doors, and to which the doors fasten inside. It 
is drawn up and removed to admit a cart. 

BARRED, adj. striped. 

A barredc&l is a tabby cat. 

BARREN, adj. not with young; but it does not at all imply 
any incapacity for breeding. 

BARREN FLAT, s. a broad extent of unproductive land. 

BARROW, s. (i) salt-making term. A conical basket in which 
salt is put to drain. 

" Cases made with flat cleft wickers, in the shape almost of a sugar-loaf, 
the bottom uppermost" (NANTWICH, 1669}. Philosophical Transactions, 
vol. iv., p. 1065. 

At the present day at Northwich the tubs are so called which are used in 
making lump salt. 

(2) a copse, a dingle. MACCLESFIELD. Also BURROW. 


BARROW MAKER, s. salt-making term. The maker of a barrow. L. 

BARST, s. perfect tense of burst. MOBBERLEY. BRAST, 

BASKET, s. hatting term. A flat crossing of twigs used to press 
down the layers of wool or fur. , 

B AS KITTLE, s. a basketful. 

No doubt the correct spelling would be " basket 'ul," but it is pronounced 
as above. 

BASONING, part, hatting term. The first process of felting after the 
material i,s formed for the hat body ; also called " Hardening." 

BASS, s. (i) the hard stony lumps found in coal, which will not 
burn ; also called " Bath." See BASSES. 

(2) the bag in which a joiner carries- his tools. 

(3) a low stool; a hassock. 

BASS, v. salt-making term. See BASSES. 

To " bass a fire " is to get the clinkers out of the furnace before putting 
on fresh fuel. 

BASSES, s. salt-making term. Clinkers formed in the furnace. 


Leigh explains it as "a wooden bowl in which they make up butter." I 
think the above pronunciation is very local. 

BASSOCK, s. a tuft of coarse grass* " Perhaps the original form 
of Hassock." L. 

BASTARD, s. salt-making term. The name applied to weak brine. 

BASTARD FALLOW, s. grass land ploughed up as soon as the 
hay crop is taken off, and then worked as a fallow for wheat. 

A fallow, or as it is often called "bare fallow," and in Cheshire 
"summer work," is when grass land is ploughed up in the spring, and 
worked during the whole of the summer, without any crop being grown upon 
it, as a preparation for the sowing of wheat in the autumn. In the bastard 
fallow a crop of hay is taken first, and the land is not ploughed till mid- 
summer, or even later, and it thus gets only half the working that a true 
fallow receives. 

BASTYLE, s. the workhouse. 

This was a very common name when first the new Union Workhouses 
were built ; but it is gradually falling into disuse. 

BAT, s. (i) a slight blow. 

(2) speed. 

" He ran full bat agen him." 

(3) hatting term. A layer of wool or other material of 

which the hat body is made. 


BAT, v. (i) to beat down; as beating down a garden bed with a 

(2) to wink the eyelids up and down. MACCLESFIELD. 

" Dunna bat thi eye a that'ns." 

BATCH, s. (i) the quantity of.wheat taken to the mill at one time 

to be ground. 
" We're getten short o' flour, you mun send a batch to th' mill." 

(2) a baking. 

If barm is bad, it spoils the whole batch. 

(3) a number of things baked at the same time. 
We speak of making " a batch of pies " to last the whole week. 

(4) used metaphorically for a number of people or things. 
"He's best o' th' batch" 

BATCH-FLOUR, s. common brown flour for household use. 

BATE, s. a lump of wood or stone used as the fulcrum of a 
lever. NORTON. 

BATE, v. (i) to diminish, to fall off in quantity. 

' ' Cows mostly bate i' their milk i'th' dog days. " 
"When white clover comes i' bob th' cows are sure to bate i' their 

(2) to reduce wages. 

Having one's wages bated is having them reduced. Leigh speaks of the 
workman himself as being bated. 

BATE DAIN or BATE DOWN, s. to depreciate in making a bargain. 
" He axed me fowrteen pound, but ah bated him dain to twelve." 

BATE-SHAVING, part, tanning term. Shaving hides intended for 
upper leather to a uniform thickness by means of a knife, made 
for the purpose, which has its edge turned up. 

BATH, s. stony lumps in coal, pronounced like "hath." MOBBER- 

BATH, v. to foment 

BATTEN or BATTIN, s. a truss of straw. 

The quantity of a batten is the straw from two sheaves of wheat ; or 
rather it was so in the days of flails. In threshing with a machine there is, 
of course, no guide to the quantity of straw to be put into each batten. 
Twelve hand-threshed battens of straw make one Thrave. See THRAVE. 

BATTER, v. (i) a wall is said to batter when it slopes backward 
from the base. A wall built against a bank 
generally batters. 

(2) to beat, as rain beats against anything. NORTON. 
" Th' lead's welly done, and th' rain batters through th' windows." 


BATTER-DOCK, s. the plant Petasites vulgaris. The name is also 
given, on the authority of Wilbraham, to Potamogeton natans. L. 

BATTRIL, s. a flat piece of wood used by washerwomen to beat 
their linen. L. 

BAW, s. (i) a ball. 

(2) a dumpling. See BARM BAW, and SPECKT BAW. 
BAW, BAW AIT, v. to shout. 

BAWK. or BAWK AIT, v. to make a sudden bellowing noise. 

"A lad stood under th' bridge an' hawked ait as aw passed, an' 
th' tit took boggart. " 
Animals when suddenly frightened often " bawk ait" 

BAWM, s. the plant Melissa officinalis, cultivated in most old- 
fashioned gardens, and in great repute as a medicinal plant. 

BAWM, v. to prepare, dress, or adorn. 

At Appleton, in Cheshire, it is the custom at the time of the wake to clip 
and adorn an old hawthorn which stands in the town. This ceremony is 
called the Bawming of Appleton Thorn. W. 


BAWM TAY, s. an infusion of balm (Melissa officinalis') used for 

BAWSON or BAWSIN, s. (i) a badger. W. 

(2) a term of opprobrium, really a glut- 
" Tha great bawson thee ! " 

BAWSON, adj. big. DELAMERE. 

" He towd me a bawson lee." 

BAWSON, part, (i) burst. 

" Aw've etten so mony poncakes, aw'm welly bawson." 

(2) ruptured. 

BAWTERT, part, clogged. L. 

" Bawtert wi' slutch " clogged with mud. 

BAY, s. a division of a barn or other farm building, generally open 
on one or more sides. The separate compartments of a long 
hay shed are called bays. 

The old-fashioned barn consisted of a threshing floor, or barn proper, in 
the middle, which was flagged, sometimes boarded, and in a few of the very 
oldest buildings, made of a calcareous clay, which was burnt and hardened 
into a kind of cement (see PLASTER HILL). On one or both sides of the 
threshing floor was a bay for storing corn in the sheaf. The bays were sepa- 
rated from the threshing floor by a low wall, but were otherwise open to the 


barn. I have spoken of these kind of barns as things of the past, which is 
hardly correct, as there are plenty still in existence ; but the flail is now 
almost obsolete, and in building a barn now-a-days it would be arranged 
differently so as to suit a threshing machine. " A bay of building " is men- 
tioned in a document dated 1619. 

BAYES or BAIZE, s. to play or run at baize. A country sport. L. 

BAY SALT, s. salt-making term. The coarsest salt made ; similar 
to sea salt. 

'U (0 a broom (but not a hair-broom). 

Generally made of birch twigs ; very frequently of heather ( Calluna vul- 
garis), when they are called \mg-beesoms. The bilberry ( Vaccinium Myr- 
tillus) is also often used, in which case they are wimberry-beesoms. Now 
and then I have seen them made of broom (Sarothamnus Scoparius). Many 
farmers keep a few birch trees pollarded for the sake of the twigs which are 
thereby produced ; but most of the beesoms sold in Cheshire are manufac- 
tured by men who make it a regular business. These men live frequently 
amongst the hills, where the ling and the wimberry grow plentifully, or near 
the peat bogs, and I presume they get their raw material for nothing, or for a 
very trifling payment. The beesoms are tied together in neat bundles of half 
a dozen, and are hawked about loaded on the backs of donkeys. The usual 
price is about two shillings or half-a-crown a dozen. 

(2) a term of reproof to a female child. 
" Tha young beesom." 

BAZZ, v. to throw violently. MIDDLEWICH. 

" I bazzed it at him." 

BEAM, s. tanning term. A rounded piece of wood, stone, or iron 
on which hides are placed for the purpose of unhairing and 
fleshing. See FLESHING. 

BEANY MARL, s. salt-making term. A kind of granulated marl. 

BEAR, s. a door mat. HYDE ; elsewhere I think becoming obsolete. 
BEARBIND, s. the honeysuckle, Lonicera Periclimenum. 
BEARD, v. to trim a hedge. L. 

BEARDINGS, s. (i) brushings of a hedge. Cheshire Sheaf, 
vol. i., p. 211. 

(2) or BEARD HEDGE. The bushes which 
are stuck into the bank of a new-made 
hedge, to protect the fresh-planted thorns. 

BEAR WARD, s. (i) a bearleader or tender. 

(2) a term of reproach. MACCLESFIELD. 

" He's a reglar beanvard." 


BEA'S or BEUS, s. cattle. 

"Fetch th' beiis worn, it's welly milkin' toime." 

A man's position and probable wealth is generally judged by the number 
of cows he milks, apropos of which the following is told of a Chelford farmer, 
who left his son in charge of the farm one day whilst he went to market. 
When he returned he said to him 

'Well, Jack, has ony one caw'd wheile aw've been off?" 

'Ah, a mon caw'd." 

'What did he want?" 

' Aw dunna know." 

'Did na ax him? 1 * 9 


' What were he loike?" 

' Aw hardly know ; he looked as if he met keep eighteen beds an : two 

The farmer would quite understand what sort of a man had called. 

BEAST or BEAST MILK, s. the first milk from a cow after 

Beast milk is highly valued for making puddings, &c., and is frequently 
sent by farmers' wives as a present to friends who do not keep cows. In 
country towns those who sell milk often send beast milk to their customers as 
a present. 

BEAST, v. 

To beast a cow is to milk her for the first time after calving. 

BEASTINGS, s. the first milk given by a cow after calving. 

BEAST MILK PORRIDGE or, more generally, BEAST POR- 
RIDGE, s. beast milk heated over the fire in a saucepan until it 

It must not be allowed actually to boil, and must be stirred the whole 
time to prevent it solidifying. It is sweetened and flavoured with nutmeg, 
and is very palatable. It is always spoken of in the plural, as, "They're 
very good." 

custard pudding, made by baking beast milk, which solidifies 
without the addition of eggs. 

The dish is generally first lined with pastry. Occasionally they are made 
in the form of raised pies. The milk is sweetened and flavoured with nutmeg 
or pudding spice. A very favourite Cheshire dish. 

BEASTY, adj. milk is said to be beasty as long as it retains any of 
the peculiar characteristics of beast milk, which coagulates with 

Beasty milk gives an intensely yellow colour to butter, and a peculiar 
sweetish flavour to cheese ; accordingly it is not used for either purpose at 
first. The custom is not to put beasty milk into the cream-steen till after the 
third meal, nor into the cheese-tub till after the fifth meal ; and that is often 
a little too soon, cheese being spoiled by using it. 

BEAWN, part, bound. WILMSLOW. See BOUND. 


BEAWT, prep, without. See BAHT. 

BED, s. (i) one of the foundation timbers of a cart. See CART. 

(2) the womb. See CALF-BED. 

(3) (of beef) a piece cut near the flank. 

(4) the bed of a rock is its natural horizontal cleavage. 

In building with Cheshire sandstone it is advisable, if not absolutely 
necessary, to place the stones on their natural bed, otherwise the surface is 
apt to split and fall off. Architects stipulate in their specifications that this 
shall be done. * 

BED, v. to litter down. 

"To bed th' beus" is to give them fresh straw. 

BEDDERIN, part, bellowing. MACCLESFIELD. 
BEDDING, s. straw with which animals are bedded. 

BEDDING PEWTER BRASS, s. a warming pan. Mentioned in 
Margaret Holforde's will, sixteenth century. I,. Never heard 

BEDEET, part, or adj. dirtied, daubed. WILDERSPOOL. 
BED-FAST,/ar/. confined to bed through illness. 

BEDGOWN, s. a short jacket of gingham or cotton print worn over 
a linsey petticoat. 

The general working dress of farm women servants, and indeed of farmers' 
wives and daughters when at their work, some thirty or forty years ago. It 
is out of fashion now, and almost obsolete. The costume was decidedly 
picturesque. The bedgoivn was never used to sleep in, as its name might 
seem to imply. 

BEDSTOCKS, s. a bedstead. 

BEE-BENCH, s. a stand for beehives. It is so called even when 
built of stone or brick. 

BEE-BO, s. sleep ; said to a child. 

" Come, go bee-bo, there's a good little wench." 

BEEF-STEAK ROCK, s. salt-mining term. A fine, red-coloured 
rock-salt, similar in its grain to sugar-candy. 

BEEN, s. the plural of bee. 

BEE NETTLE, s. the plant Galeopsh versicolor. 

BEER, s. force or power. L. 

BEERS, s. weaving term. The bunches of the warp. 

BEESOM, s. a birch broom. See BAYSOM. 

BEET THE FIRE, v. to light, or, as we say, to make the fire. W. 


BEG CAVY, v. to beg pardon. Mow COP. 

It has been suggested, with good show of reason, that the word is 
probably a corruption of " Peccavi." 

BEGGAR, v. to impoverish. 

" If you use go-hanna year after year, it'll beggar th' land." 

BEGGARS' BASKET, s. the plant Pulmonaria officinalis, a very 
frequent plant in cottage gardens. 

BEGGARS' VELVET, s. the fluff under the bedsteads in untidy- 
houses. L. 

BEHINT, prep, behind. Also BEHOIND. 
BELDER, v. to bellow. MIDDLEWICH. 
BELDERING, s. the bellowing of a bull. MIDDLEWICH. 

BELIEVE, idiom. " I believe I am." 

A Cheshire man on being asked " are you Mr. Smith ? " seldom, or 
never, simply answers " yes;" but says " well, I believe I am." 

BELL, s. hatting term. A hat crown in shape representing a bell. 
BELLART or BELLOT, s. a bearward. 
BELL-FLOWER, s. Campanula. L. 

BELLMAN, s. the town crier, a functionary still employed in most 
of our country towns. 

At Knutsford the bellman wears a uniform ; and at the end of his an- 
nouncement always adds, " God save the Queen, and the Lord of this 
Manor. " 

BELLS, s. the Fuchsia plant 

BELT, v. to shear the tail and buttocks of sheep so as to free them 
from dirt. 

BELTINGS, s. the dirty wool so shorn. 
BENCH, s. a slice down a haystack. 

BENCHING, part, salt-mining term; getting the bed of rock salt 
down to the " sole " of the mine after the roofing drift has 
been made. 

BEND OF LEATHER, s. tanning term; half a tanned hide cut 
down the middle, and the thin edges also trimmed off. 

BENT, s. coarse rushy grass. L. 

BERRIN or BERRYIN, s. a funeral. 

There is a superstition that coffin-makers, shroud-makers, and grave- 
diggers can always tell when they are going to have a " btrryin." 


BERRY, s. a gooseberry. 

A berry pie is a gooseberry tart. 

BE SAID, v. to do as one is bid. 

" Now, be said, there's a good lad." . 
" He wouldna be said." 

In an old will, dated 1525, preserved in the Registry of Chester, the 
following sentence occurs: "And if they will nott be said by him, then the 
said s' William to take A mon att his pleasur." 

BEST, adj. used for the comparative better. 
"Yo'd &.tf doit." 

BEST, v. to get the better of another, in argument or otherwise. 

A new tenant of a farm told me he had arranged with the outgoing tenant 

about the value of his manure, &c., and added, "but I think he's bested me." 

BET, part, beaten, in the sense of conquered or excelled. 
" He were fairly bet" 


" I canna think whatever betid me for t' do it." 

BETTER, adj. recovered from an illness. 

We also say "quite better" i.e., completely recovered. The word better 
is not generally used to indicate partial recovery ; in that case we often say 

BETTER, adv. more. 

" Rayther better nor a year." 

BETTER END OF FOLK, idiom, the upper classes. 
BETTER FASHION, idiom, recovering from illness. 

BETTER SIDE, adv. more than. 

"Better side fifty," i.e., more than fifty years old. 

BETTHER, adj. pronunciation of better; but not universally ; heard 

BETWITCHELLED, part, overcome with inquisitiveness. HYDE. 
BETWIX, prep, betwixt, between. 
BEYURN, v. to raise. BREDBURY. 

BEZONTER or BEZOUNTER, excl. an expletive denoting surprise. 

" Bezonter me ! but aw'm fair gormed." 

BEZZLE, v. to drink greedily. Mow COP. 

BIDDIN, s. an invitation to a funeral. 

" He's gone round with the biddins; there'll be a ruck o' folks." 


BIDDLE-BADDLE, idiom. " from hand to mouth," anything done 
in a small way. STRETTON. 

" I never made no accaint o' milk-selling, it's biddh-baddle work; 
yo never get a big lump o' money, yo're always gettin' little bits, an' 
payin' little bits." 

BIDE, v. to stay or remain. 

" Yo mun bide aw neet wi' us." 

BIGGENING, the recovery of a woman after lying-in. W. 

BIGHT, s. (i) a bend or rounded corner. WILDERSPOOL. 
"The bight of the elbow." 

(2) a projection in a river, a projecting corner. W. 

(3) anything folded or doubled. HALLIWELL. 
BIGHT, prep, without. See BAHT. 

BIG I'TH' MAITH, idiom, given to boasting. 

" You may be sure a man as is big tttf matt A has n't mitch in 
him ; same as goin ; dain i'th' cellar ; if you hit th' empty barrels, 
they maken a din ; but if you hit th' full uns, they howd'n their 
" Empty barrels make the most noise " is also a Cheshire proverb. 

BIG THROAT, s. goitre, which was formerly very prevalent in 

BILBERRY, s. the plant Vaccinium Myrtillus, also called WIM- 

BILL, s. a tool for chopping wood or for cutting a hedge. 
BILLY-BITER, s. the blue titmouse, Parus cceruleus. 
BILLY-MOTE, s. any small kind of moth. MOBBERLEY. 
BIN, v. (i) been. 

(2) are. WILDERSPOOL. 

" How bin you ?" 
"Bin you goin ?" 

BIND, v. to tend in any direction. NORTON. 

" The road binds that way." 

When birds wheel round in their flight they are sometimes said to be 
binding round. 

BINDERS, s. (i) narrow strips of thick hempen cloth, which are 
put round cheeses as soon as they are taken 
out of the vats, to prevent them bulging. The 
binders are woven in long pieces of the required 
width, that is, about three inches wide. 

(2) part of a cart. See CART. 


BINDWEED, s. Polygonum Convolvulus. W. CHES. Convolvulus 
sepium is also called " Great Bindweed." 

BING, s. (i) a passage in front of the cows in a shippon, from 
which they are foddered. Also FODDER or 


It is usually quite separate from the shippon, but communicates with it 
by means of square holes in the wall in front of each cow. 

(2) a place made of boards in a granary for storing grain. 
BING, v. to begin to turn sour. Said of milk. 

BINGY, adj. a peculiar clouty or frowsty taste in milk. The first 
stage of turning sour. 

To keep milk in tin vessels tends to give it a bingy taste. The g is hard 
and is sounded. 


"There binna his marrow," i.e., there is not his equal. 


To take birr is to run with violence as a person does before taking a 
great leap. W. 


BIRD EAGLES, s. the fruit of Cratxgus Oxyacantha. 

Eagles or " agles" appears to be the diminutive of " hague," which is the 
more common name of the haw in Cheshire. 

BIRD'S EGGS, s. the haw, the fruit of the hawthorn. MACCLESFIELD. 
Eggs is here evidently a form of " hagues." 

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. Probably general throughout England. 

BIRTLE, s. a summer apple. L. 
BISHOP, 5. a pinafore. N.-E. CHES. 
BISHOPPED, part, burnt ; said of milk. 
BISHOPPING, part, being confirmed ; confirmation. L. 

BISHOP'S WIG, s. the plant Arabis alpina, the white masses of 
which (supposed to resemble the old-fashioned powdered wigs 
worn by bishops) are so conspicuous in the early spring. 

BISTA, v. are you, or, more correctly, art thou. 

" Wheer bista bahnd ? " Where are you going ? 


BIT-BAT, s. a bat. 

BITCHED, v. spoilt. 

" He was that stoopid he bitched the whole thing," i.e., he spoilt 
everything. L. 

BITE, v. to cut ; applied to the edge of a blunt tool. 
" It winna bite" 


BITTLIN, s. a milk bowl. L. 

BITTOR, s. a bittern. CHESTER PLAYS. L. 

BITTY, adj. full of bits. MOBBERLEY. 

When a pump begins to get foul, and small black particles of decayed 
wood are pumped up, the water is said to be bitty. 

BLAB, v. (i) to divulge a secret. 

(2) to chatter. MACCLESFIELD. 
"Dunna blab so." 

BLACKBERRY HATCH, s. chickens hatched about the time 
blackberries are ripe ; they are supposed never or seldoni to 
come to perfection. L. 

BLACK BOGY, s. a bugbear ; a term often used to frighten refrac- 
tory children. 

" If tha does na leave off skrikin, I'll fetch a black bogy to the." 

BLACK-CAP, s. the black-headed bunting. Emberiza schanidus. 

BLACK FROST, s. frost without any rime. 

A black frost generally lasts ; a white frost is supposed to last only three 
days, and to end in rain. 

BLACK-HEAD GRASS, s. Luzula campestris. W. CHES. 
BLACK JACK, s. (i) a black beetle. MACCLESFIELD. 

" We'n getten a ruck o' black Jacks i' ahr haise." 

(2) gunpowder. NORTON. 

"We wanten a bit o' black Jack to this rock," meaning "we 
shall have to blast it." 

BLACK ROCK, s. salt-mining term ; rock salt containing a large 
proportion of clay. 

BLACK WORK, s. the furnishing of funerals. 

The following colloquy was heard in a livery-stable yard in Chester : 
" What's Jones's cab here for, doing nothing, when it ought to be on the 

stand ?" 

"Oh, he's doing black work to-day ; don't you know they're burying 

poor old Roberts." Cheshire Sheaf, vol. i., p. 301. 



BLADE, s. part of a plough. L. 

BLAKE, adj. (i) bleak. 

(2) yellow. 
" As blake as a paigle," as yellow as a cowslip. L. 

BLANKET MULLEIN, s. the plant Verbascum Thapsus. 
BLARE or BLARE OUT, v. (i) to roar or scream like a child. 

(2) to shout angrily at a person. 
BLART, v. (i) to cry. 

(2) to bleat, or low like a calf. 

"Aw dunna loike hear a cauf as is allus blartin; they never do 
so well." 

(3) to suddenly commence making a noise. MACCLES- 


" Oo blarted aht a-singin." 
* (4) to divulge a secret. MACCLESFIELD. 

"Nah, dunna thee blart." 

BLAST, s. an external inflammation. 

" He's getten a blast on his thumb." 

There are many old women who profess to cure blasts. I am not aware 
that they use any incantations ; but they claim to have infallible ointments. 

BLAYCH, s. a. stroke. BREDBURY. 
BLAYCH, v. to strike. BREDBURY. 
BLEACH, v. to cut a hedge. W. CHES. 
BLECK, s. spent grease upon wheels. 

BLEETCH, s. a blow; suggestive of an open-handed smack. 
Mow COP. 

"I'll give thee a good bleetch." 


A young lady accused a man of " cutting her " in the street. His answer 
was " I never caught a blench on ye." 

BLENCH, v. (i) to glance. MACCLESFIELD. 

(2) to give way, or turn white in the face through fear. 
"He never (Ww/W at all." Cheshire Sheaf , vol. i., p. 237. 
BLERT, adj. bashful. L. 



" On Ascension Day, in days long past, the inhabitants of Nantwych (or 
Hellath Wen as the town used to be called) used to assemble in gala dress 
round the ' Old Blat ' Salt Pit, which was ornamented for the occasion with 
flowers and all procurable rustic finery, and pass the day in dancing, feasting, 
and merriment. This was called Blessing the Brine." Leigh's Ballads and 
Legends of Cheshire, note p. 62. 

BLETCH, s. the grease on cart wheels, when worn black. 

BLETCH, v. to dirty oneself with oil from a cart wheel. 
"You'll bletch yoursel aw o'er." 

BLETCHED, part. adj. clagged with oil. 

BLETHER, s. a bladder. 

BLETHER, v. to blubber or cry. MACCLESFIELD FOREST. 

BLIND, adj. abortive; said of blossom which is ynperfect and does 
not form fruit. 

BLIZZOM, v. to copulate. Said of a ram. 
BLOB, s. a bubble. 

BLOB, v. to bubble or boil. 

"Jam's ne'er done till it blobs." 

BLOCK, v. to pelt. 

A boy, caught rather suspiciously near a walnut tree, cried out " I didna 
block them," i.e., he was picking up fallen ones, not pelting them down. L. 


BLOOD-BLISTER, s. a small blister containing blood, often caused 
by a pinch or a sharp blow. 

BLOOD WALL, s. a wallflower. L. 

BLOODWORT, s. the water dock, Rumex Hydrolapathum. 

BLOODY MAN'S FINGERS, s. the plants Orchis mascula and O. 


BLOODY ROGERS, s. an old-fashioned potato with a very red skin. 
It used to be reckoned one of the best varieties forty or fifty years ago. 
Until within the last few years a farmer of my acquaintance still cultivated a 
few of them for curiosity ; but I think they are now quite extinct. 

BLOOMY, adj. having a high colour. MACCLESFIELD. 
' ' A bloomy wench. " 

BLOTCH, s. a blot. 

BLOTCH, v. to blot. 

" He's blotched his copy-book." 


BLOTCHING PAPPER, s. blotting paper. 


To be bloten of anyone is to be unaccountably fond of him. It is used in 
the same sense as GLOBED TO (which see), and is perhaps less common. W. 

BLOW, v. (i) to scold, blow up. 

A boy remarked that on the first cold day of an exceptionally cold 
winter (1880-1), " Schoo-mester Mowed 'em for bein raind th stove. 

(2) insects are said to blow anything in which they deposit 
their eggs ; but applied more especially to the blue- 
bottle fly laying its eggs upon meat. 

BLOW-FLY, s. a blue-bottle. Musca vomitorius. 

BLUE-BACK, s. the fieldfare. Turdus pilaris. 

BLUE BELL, s. the wild hyacinth, Scilla nutans. W. CHES. 

BLUE BUTTONS, s. the devil's bit scabious. Scabiosa sucdsa. 

There is a field in Mobberley called Blue Buttons, I presume from the 
prevalence of that plant. 

BLUE TAR-FITCH, s. Vicia Cracca. 
BLUFT, v. (i) to blindfold. 

(2) used metaphorically for to deceive. 
" What ! thar't tryin for t' bluff me, art ta ? " 

BLUFTED, part, (i) blindfolded. 

Cows which are given to rambling and breaking through hedges may 
frequently be seen with a square piece of sacking hanging from their horns 
over their eyes to prevent them seeing anything in front of them ; they are 
said to be blufted. 

(2) muffled. 
Bells are blufted in order to ring a muffled peal. 

BLUNGE, v. to disturb, to beat anything up. Mow COP. 

A farmer's wife does not like, even for a good customer, to blunge in her 
milk after it has been sieved and put away in the pans. 

Although suspiciously like a mispronunciation of "plunge" the word 
has a different signification, as will be seen from the following extract from 
Miss Meteyard's "Life of Josiah Wedgwood": " Each pot-work consisted of 
one such hovel, . . . and an open tank, or, as it was termed, a sun-pan, 
in which the diluted clay underwent the process of evaporation. ... In 
a portion partitioned off, and lined with tiles or flagstone, so as to form a 
small but somewhat deeper vat, the clay from the mine, after due exposure to 
the weather, was blunged, or beaten about in water ; this mixture was then 
poured through a sieve into the larger vat or sun-pan to the depth of three or 
four inches, and there left to evaporation by the sun's rays." 

BLUSTROUS, adj. stormy, boisterous ; said of the weather. 


BOB, s. the flower-head of clover. 

Clover is said to be in bob when it is in flower. 

BOBBER, s. a boy's large marble. MACCLESFIELD. 
BOBBER, adj. also BOBBEROUS, saucy, pert. W. 
BOBBERSOME, adj. venturesome. MOBBERLEY. 

BOBBIN, s. a reel of cotton or silk ; either such as are used in 
factories to hold the thread for weaving, or those for household 

BOBBIN MILL, s. a mill or factory for the manufacture of 

They are turned chiefly from crab, apple, pear, and a few other hard 
woods. The trade, however, is now dying out to a considerable extent, 
owing to the use of iron or tin for bobbins. 

BOBBIN TURNER, s. (i) a man who makes bobbins. 

Many factories maintain, or used to maintain, a bobbin turner, and the 
bobbins are manufactured at home instead of being bought at a bobbin mill. 

(2) a useless, effeminate fellow. WILMSLOW. 

BOBBIN WOOD, s. timber suitable for the manufacture of bobbins, 
usually the stems or larger branches of apple, pear, crab, and 
other hard woods. 

BOBBISH or BOBBY (MACCLESFIELD), adj. well in health. 
" How are you ?" " Pretty bobbish." 

BOBBY, s. a policeman. Common, I think, to most counties. 

BOBELL or BOW-BELL, s. an ancient name for the Curfew bell 
rung in Chester Cathedral. Cheshire Sheaf, vol. ii., pp. 24 50. 

BODLE, s. half a farthing. 

BODY-GARGLE, s. a disease of cows. See GARGLE. 

It is recognised by the veterinary surgeon as simple fever. 

BOG, s. (i) a bunch of rushes in a field, or perhaps more correctly 
" Rush-bog." 

(2) a dilemma, or mental fog. MACCLESFIELD. 

" Oo towd me th' same thing o'er and o'er again till a wur aw in 
a bog." 


BOGGART, s. a ghost or a hobgoblin. 

" Eh ! woman ! hi white thee art, as ta seen a boggart?' 


BOGGART, TO TAKE, v. to take fright at anything. 

"Ahr tit took boggart t'other neet, and bowted up Park Lone." 

BOGGARTY, adj. apt to take fright. 

A timid skittish horse is a " boggarty tit." 

BOGGY BO, s. a bugbear or scarecrow. W. 
BOGLE, s. a ghost. WILDERSPOOL. 

BOG-WOOD, s. stems of trees frequently found in peat-bogs, of 
which there are a considerable number in Cheshire. 

The timber found in bogs consists chiefly of oak (which is blackened), of 
birch, and of pine. They are all well preserved, and are used for fuel ; but 
the straight stems of the pine are cloven into laths for plasterers' or slaters' 
use. The popular opinion is that they were submerged at "Noah's flood." 
There is, however, evidence that many, if not all, of the peat-bogs have been 
formed since the time of the Romans in England. 

BOGY, s. (i) a small hand cart, flat and without sides, and running 
on two low wheels, to enable workmen, without the 
aid of a horse, to rrfove large stones or other heavy 
materials from one place to another. 

(2) a low truck used on a railway, upon which the plate- 
layers ride to their work and carry their tools. The 
men sit on the edge of the bogy and propel it by 
touching the ground with their feet every now and 

BOILER, s. salt-making term. The name given to the men who 
make stoved and butter salt. See WALLER. 

BOILING ON THE LEACH, old salt-making term. I suppose 
it meant boiling the brine after LEACH BRINE (which see) had 
been added. 

"For the workmen say, that if they boyle fast here (which they call 
Boyling on the Leach, because they usually all this time lade in their 
leach -brine. . . .)" Philosophical Transactions, 1669, p. 1064. 

BOILING UPON THE FRESH, old salt-making term. 

" Here they continue their fire as much as they can, till halfe the 
Brine be wasted, and this they call Boyling upon the Fresh" 
Philosophical Transactions, 1669, p. 1064. 

BOKE, v. (i) to point in derision. MACCLESFIELD. 

" He baked his finger at me." 

(2) (or BOAC) to reach, keck, or kick at the stomach. W. 
BONE, v. to take the levels of land for draining. MOBBERLEY. 


BONE IN THE ARM, idiom, unwilling to do what is demanded. 

A bone in the arm, or back, is a very frequent Cheshire nursery fiction 
when the nurse wishes to avoid doing something that has been asked of her. 
"Nay, choilt, aw canna toss the', aw've getten a bone f my arm." The 
child, innocent of anatomy, of course believes in the validity of the excuse. 

BONE-SORE, adj. weary, aching with fatigue. 

BONG, s. a bank. L. 

Lymm Bongs, a woody cover near the town of that name, sloping on 
both sides to the brook. 

BONK, s. (i) a bank. 

(2) used metaphorically for premises. 
" Uppo" th' bonk" means upon the premises. 

BONT, s. a band. The straw rope which binds a sheaf of corn. 
BOO, s. (i) a bough. 

(2) a bow. 

"Where are your manners? Make a boo, Georgie." Cheshire 
Sheaf, vol. i., p. 237. 

BOOAN or BO-AN, s. a bone. 

At the Northwich Cocoa Rooms during the Arctic weather in January, 
1 88 1, a thin, miserable-looking old man sat on one of the benches next to a 
stout country girl, and was peevishly complaining at all the soup being done. 
She, in a kind, sympathising way, was advising him " Get three pennorth 
o' bones, mester; they'll make a nice sup o' broth." "ooaiul n said he, 
" wench ; booans ! I've booans enoo. I want summat on em !" 

There is a Cheshire nursery tale which relates how a skeleton, or more 
properly part of a skeleton, used to appear to a wicked murderer, saying, 
" Oi want my booans; oi want my booans." It produces an effect of the 
most intense awe amongst the small audience. 

BOON-DAYS, s. days on which tenants perform work for their 
landlord without any remuneration. See BOON-WARK. 

BOON-WARK or BOON-WORK, s. work done by tenants for 
their landlord as part of their service. 

This remnant of feudalism is still in existence in Cheshire and Lanca- 
shire, but, on account of the greatly increased rents, rates, and taxes, and 
the greater expenses generally to which farmers are now subject, is submitted 
to with a very bad grace, and is, fortunately, fast becoming obsolete. In 
farm agreements of thirty or forty years ago there was almost invariably a 
clause binding the tenant to do a certain number of days' boon-work for his 
landlord, the number of days being regulated by the size of the farm. The 
following clause is taken from an agreement from year to. year, dated 1854. 
The tenant is still farming under the original agreement, but the clause is 
never insisted upon, and has dropped into disuse : "The tenant to deliver 
to the landlord on the ist day of October, yearly and every year, one good 
and marketable cheese, without any allowance for the same, and to do six 
days' team-work for the landlord." The boon-work is of course to be done 
without remuneration, and in some agreements it is so specified. Before the 


present Highway Act came into force, farmers used to work off a portion or 
even the whole of their highway rates by doing boon-work upon the roads. 
The larger farmers used to send their carts and horses to cart materials for 
road-making ; the very small farmers, who had no teams, used to do manual 
labour. This is now prohibited by the Act, so far that the rates must be 
paid ; and any farmer who works for the surveyor of highways must be paid 
for his work. It was formerly very much the custom for the farmers in a 
parish to club together to cart the year's supply of coals for the blacksmith ; 
and this also was spoken of as toon-work. As an equivalent the blacksmith 
often sharpened the plough irons free of charge. 

BOOSE or BOOST, s. a cow's stall. 

Wilbraham gives the following explanation of an old Cheshire sayitfg, 
" To get into Cherry's boose." Cherry being a favourite name for a red cow, 
which colour is, among country people, the most esteemed for milking, any 
person who is got into a comfortable situation is said "to be got into 
Cherry's boose." Of course this is on the supposition that " Cherry," being 
a favourite, would get more attention and perhaps rather better food than the 
other cows. There are not so many red cows as there used to be ; but it is 
still a favourite colour, and one frequently hears it said that " the red cow 
gives good milk." I have also heard this saying used in explanation, as it 
were, of the sign of "The Red Cow," which hangs over the door of an inn 
at Knutsford. 

BOOSE CHEESE, s. cheese made before the cows are turned out 
to grass in the spring, that is, whilst they are being fed in their 
booses. It is not of as good a quality as grass cheese, and fetches 
a lower price. Called occasionally " Boozy Cheese." 

BOOSEY, adj. an epithet used to describe the flavour and consistence 
of a boose cheese. 

" I think it tayses rather boosey." 
" It's a bit boosey." 

BOOTHER or BOOTHER-STONE, s. a boulder stone, a paving 

BOOTS, YELLOW, s. the plant Caltha palustris. L. 

BOOTY, adj. sticky, applied to the soil. ROPE. 
" A red, booty sand." 

BOOTY-HOUSE, s. is an expression used by children for an old 
box or shelf, or any place ornamented with bits of glass or broken 
earthenware, in imitation of an ornamented cabinet. W. 

the pasture which is contiguous to the booses, where the cows 
are tied up, and which is retained by an outgoing tenant as an 
outlet for his cattle. 

The Cheshire custom of tenure of a farm is to enter and leave the land on 
the 2nd of February (Candlemas Day), and the house, buildings, garden, 
and boozing field on the mh of May (old May Day). The boozing field is 
ected by the landlord, and is generally as near as possible to the out- 
lings for the convenience of turning the cattle out to water and for 


exercise. This peculiarity in the time of entry has probably arisen from the 
inconvenience which would be experienced in moving a large stock of cows 
in mid-winter. The land is entered in February to enable the incoming 
tenant to plough and to sow his spring corn ; but the cattle are retained at 
the old farm till May, that they can at once be turned into the pastures when 
they arrive at their new home. By this means also the farmer does not 
require to buy a large quantity of hay. I should think, however, that in a 
purely pastoral county like Cheshire the cows have been the first considera- 
tion, for to remove them, often many miles, and then to tie them up in a 
strange building, would probably cause a good deal of injury to cows which 
in February or March would, for the most part, be heavy in calf. 


BOOZY STAKE, s. the stake to which a cow is chained. MIDDLE- 

BOOZY TROUGH, s. a trough, often of solid stone hollowed out, 
placed in a cow's boose, in which her "licking" is put. MIDDLE- 


BORN DAYS, idiom, the extent of one's life. 

" Aw never seed such a smash i' aw my born days" 

BORROWED DAYS, idiom, the first eleven days of May, which, 
according to the old style, were the last eleven of April. See 

May is said to have borrowed these days from April. The beginning of 
May is often very cold, and one frequently hears it accounted for by saying, 
" Well, you see, we're only i' th' borrowed days yet," implying that it is not 
really the month of May. It is sometimes added that they are paid back in 
October, because towards the end of that month we frequently have a few 
fine warm days. 

BOSGIN, s. the partition between the cows' booses or stalls. The 
g is hard. 

BOSGIN RAIL and BOSGIN STUMP, s. the framework of the 

The bosgin stump is a strong oak post set firmly in- the ground, and some- 
times carried up to the roof, which not only makes it firmer, but acts as a 
support to the roof. The bosgin rails are mortised into this stump at one end, 
and are let into the wall at the other ; upright boards are nailed to the rails 
forming the bosgin. 

BOSK or BUSK, s. a bush ; especially small bushes of thorn or 
briar stuck in the fields to prevent poaching. 

BOSK or BUSK, v. to place bushes in newly-mown meadows to 
prevent poachers from drawing nets over them. It is called 
" bosking the fields." 

BOSKY, adj. woody. L. 


BOSS, s. (i) a hassock. Becoming obsolete. 
(2) a kiss. Also Buss. 

BOSSING, part, (i) kissing; often BUSSING in the neighbourhood 


A witness in a sort of breach-of-promise case in one of the Courts at 
Macclesfield said : " O i'm sure they wern coortin, for they wern allis bossin." 
Ray gives as an old Cheshire proverb, "Ossing comes to bossing" i.e., 
courting is soon followed by kissing. See Oss. 

(2) a peculiar method of fishing for eels practised 
about Frodsham in the Marsh ditches, and 
at Warrington in the river, and probably 
throughout the whole district. 

A large bunch of worms is tied to a worsted cord, weighted, and sunk in 
the water. The eels, in taking the worms, bite into the worsted, and being 
unable to extricate their teeth are drawn up. No hooks are used. 

BOSTOCK ORANGE, s. a kind of apple. MIDDLEWICH. 

EOT, s. a grub, the larva of any insect. 

The name is not, however, generally applied to caterpillars which crawl 
about. They are usually called grubs. The warbles on cows' backs are 
always called bots, and are supposed to indicate a robust state of health. 
Also certain intestinal worms are so called. 

BOTHAM, s. bottom. The wooded sides and depths of a valley or 
drumble. RAINOW. 

BOTHERUM or DOTHERUM, s. the plant Veronica hedcrifolia. 

BO THISTLE or BO FISSLE, s. Carduuslanceolatus. MOBBERLEY. 

BOTTLE, s. a bottle of straw or hay. L. 

Leigh probably intended to explain it as a bundle of straw or hay. I 
have never heard the word used in Cheshire. 

BOTTOM, v. (i) to empty or clean out thoroughly. 

To " bottom a drain " is to pare off, with a tool made on purpose, the 
small pieces of clay and irregularities in the bottom of the drain previous to 
laying the pipes. 

(2) to do a thing thoroughly, not necessarily to empty 


(3) to fathom or understand. 
" I canna bottom him." 

BOTTOM CUT, s. salt-mining term ; the rock salt lying below the 
level ; usually about two to three feet thick. 

BOTTOMING, part. " bottoming hay," getting it out of any hollow 
wet place, where it will not " make." L. 


BOTTOMLY, adv. thoroughly. MOBBERLEY. 

" Oo looks very weel, but oo is na bottomly elean." 

BOTTOMS, s. low wet land at the sides of brooks or rivers. 
BOUGHT-BREAD, s. baker's bread. 

BOUND, variously pronounced BAIND, BEAWN, BOUNT, part. 

(1) apprenticed. 

(2) going bail for a person ; and also somewhat in this sense, 

being sure of anything. 

" Awst be baind" I'm sure. 

(3) compelled. 

" Thou'rt bount for do it." 

(4) journeying to. 

" Awm beawn for Knutsford." 

BOUNT, part, bound. N. E. CHES. See BOUND. 

BOUT, s. (i) an attack of illness. 

A man is said to have had ' ' a bad bout " when he has been seriously ill. 

(2) a drunken spree. 

(3) a bout with a plough is the length of the field and back 

again ; two furrows. 

BOUT or BOWT, prep, without. See BAHT. 

BOW, s. hatting term. An implement made of a pole about six 
feet long, with projecting pieces at each end, over which is drawn 
a string of catgut, like a fiddle string. 

This was formerly used for opening out and spreading the materials from 
which the hat bodies were made. There was an attempt to supersede the 
use of this rude implement in 1823 by the introduction of a machine which 
could do considerably more work by young and unskilled hands ; but the 
combined influence of Trades' Unions kept back the introduction of the new 
machines till 1863, exactly forty years. To "twang the bow" was formerly 
considered a very skilful branch of hat manufacturing. See TWANG A Bow. 

BOW, v. hatting term. To use the bow for spreading materials used 
in the making of hats. See preceding word. 


BOWD, adj. bold. 


BOWK, s. a bucket (L.); a wooden milk-pail (Cheshire Sheaf, 
vol. i., p. 237). 

" Fill Bowk " is a name sometimes given to a good cow. Id., p. 237. 


BOWL, s: a child's hoop. Pronounced like " owl." 

BOW PEG, s. hatting term. An instrument used with the bow in 
spreading out the materials of which a hat is made. 

It is a piece of wood large enough to be grasped in the hand, and has 
cross pieces at each end. The mode of using it is described under TWANG 
A Bow (which see). 

BOWT, v. bought. 


BOY'S LOVE, s. the plant Artemisia Abrotanum. L. 

BRACCO or BRACCOW, adj. used only when compounded with 
another word, as " Work-t>racco" diligent, laborious. W. See 
WORK-BRITTLE, which is certainly the commoner form. 

BRADDINGS, s. swathes of corn or hay. MACCLESFIELD. Leigh 
spells it " breadings." 

BRADDER or BRADDA, v. to spread out. FRODSHAM. 

" I never like to see forrard taters bradda " (spread out with 
numerous stems and branches). " I like to see em spire up " (grow 
upright with only one stem). 

Wilbraham has BRADOW as a transitive verb ; " to spread or cover." A 
hen "bradows" her chickens. Leigh says, "to spread or cover with 
manure, as applied to a field. The ' braddow ' is one of our commonest 
names for a field." I have, however, only met with the word used intran- 
sitively as above. 

BRAGGET, s. spiced ale. W. Leigh spells it BRAKET. 

Ray describes it as "a sort of compound drink made up with honey, 
spices, &c." J. Worlidge (Dictionarum Rusticuni) says that in his time 
(1681) it was much used in Wales, Cheshire, and Lancashire. I presume 
this is what we now call FETTLED ALE (which see). 

BRAID, s. a shelf for crockery, &c. HYDE. 

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, \ , 
BRACKEN, } *' H 

I v ' 

- to burn, burnt. L. 

BRANK, s. an instrument used in the olden time for curbing the 
tongues of scolding women. 

The brank cohsisted of a framework of iron, a sort of skeleton helmet, 
which was locked upon the head. At the front was a gag, which was placed 
in the woman's mouth. This gag was sometimes simply a piece of smooth 
iron ; but in many cases it was armed with sharp points, or knife blades, so 


that if the culprit attempted to speak the gag was sure to inflict serious 
wounds upon the tongue. There was frequently a chain attached to the front 
of the brank, by means of which the woman could be led through the streets 
as a warning to others, or by which she could be fastened to a hook in the 
wall until she promised to behave better in the future. The brank appears to 
have been introduced from the Continent, and its use in this country does 
not seem to extend back for much more than 300 years. It is mentioned in 
the Burgh Records of Glasgow in 1574. The earliest mention of the instru- 
ment as used in England occurs in the Records of the Corporation of 
Macclesfield under the date of 1623, and it would seem to have been pretty 
frequently used in Cheshire, judging from the number of branks which still 
exist in the county. There is one exhibited in the Warrington Museum 
which was brought from Carrington ; and another is in the strange and ill- 
kept miscellaneous collection of curiosities stowed away in the Water Tower 
at Chester. 

The following information respecting Cheshire branks is extracted and 
abridged from Andrews' Punishments of the Olden Time, pp. 43 to 47 : 
" In Cheshire, at the present time, we have traces of thirteen branks. The 
city of Chester contains four examples, which Dr. T. N. Brushfield has 
described in an exhaustive manner in a paper read before the Chester 
Archaeological Society in 1858. With respect to the Congleton brank, which 
is preserved in the Town Hall of that town, we are told that it was formerly 
in the hands of the town jailer, whose services were not unfrequently called 
into requisition. In the old-fashioned, half-timbered houses in the borough, 
there was generally fixed on one side of the large, open fire-places a hook, 
so that when a man's wife indulged her scolding propensities, the husband 
sent for the town jailer to bring the bridle, and had her bridled and chained 
to the hook until she promised to behave herself better. The Mayor and 
Justices frequently called the instrument into use ; 'for, when women were 
brought before them charged with street brawling, they have ordered them 
to be bridled and led through the borough by the jailer. The last time the 
bridle was publicly used was in 1824, when a woman named Ann Runcorn 
was charged with scolding and using harsh language to the churchwardens 
and constables as they went round the town on Sunday morning to see that 
the public-houses were closed during divine service. She was condemned to 
wear the bridle and be led by the magistrates' clerk's clerk through every 
street in the town, which sentence was duly carried out. 

"At Stockport exists the most brutal example of the English branks, in 
which the tongue-plate is about two inches long, having at the end a ball, 
into which are inserted a number of sharp, iron pins, three above, three 
below, and two pointing backwards. These could not fail to pin the tongue, 
and effectually silence the noisiest brawler. It was formerly, on market 
days, exhibited in front of the house of the person who had charge of it, as 
a warning to scolding or swearing women, but has probably not been used 
within the memory of any living person. " 

BRASH, s. loppings of a hedge. Refuse boughs. 

BRASHCOURT, s. a horse with his fore legs 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. money. 

" Hast getten onny brass." 


BRASTENJ" and t art ' burst 

BRASSY-FACED, adj. brazen-faced. 



BRAT, s. (i) a child's pinafore. 

(2) an apron with a bib. 

(3) a young child. 

BRATHERING,/dr/. a hen " brathering her brood" means covering 
them with her body. L. 

BRATTLES, s. brick ends. L. 
BRAWN, s. (i) a boar. 

(2) collared pig's-head. 
BRAZENT, adj. bold, impudent, shameless. 

BRAZZIL, s. a Brazil nut. See BRAZZIN. 

Leigh gives "as hard as a brazil" as a colloquial expression. 

BRAZZIN, s. excessive hardness. MIDDLEWICH. 

"As hard as brazzin " is an expression often heard in that neighbourhood. 

BRE or BRAE, s. brow. Eyebraes, eyebrows. W. 

BREAD AND CHEESE, s. the young leaves of the hawthorn, 
which are eaten by children in the spring. Also the leaves and 
flowers of Oxalis Acetosella. 


BREAK, v. to fail. 

"Booths has broke I an' cheppest farm i' Kelsa' nobbut what 
he's bin done well to naythur Sir Philip's forgen him three 'ears' 

BREAKBONES, s. (i) Stellaria Holostea. CHEADLK. 

(2) a term of contempt for a master who over- 
works his servants. MACCLESFIELD. 
" He's a reglar owd breakbones." 

BRE ASTERS, s. salt-making term. Lumps of salt placed between 
distinct lots to separate them. 

BREAWIS or BREWIS, s. broth into which toasted bread is put. 

BREEAD, s. breadth, extent. 

"A great breead of corn sown this year." 
BREECH-BANT, s. the breeching of a horse's harness. 

" He's allus backin i'th' breech-bant' 1 '' is a metaphor applied to 
person who is never ready to go ahead. 



BREER, $. a briar, Rosa canina and R. arvensis. 

BREER BOB, s. the mossy excrescence on wild rose bushes. 

BREET, adj. (i) bright. 
(2) clever. 

In one of the Macclesfield police courts the magistrate said, in addressing 
a witness, " Do you think the prisoner clever enough to have done that ? 
The witness answered " Clever enoo? Oi sud think he wur ; he breet enoo 
for owt." 

BRESSES, s. plural of breast. 

BREVET, v. to bustle about, as a spaniel hunting. Cheshire Sheaf, 
vol. i., p. 237. t 

BREWES or BROWES, s. slices of bread with fat broth poured 
over them. W. 

BREXFUST, s. breakfast. 

BRICK-CLOD, s. a thin but very tough sod cut from 3 peat-bog, 
used for covering bricks when in the wall where they are piled 
for drying. 

BRICKET, s. a stool. L. 

BRICKLE, adj. brittle. MACCLESFIELD. Wilbraham has BRICCO. 
See BRITCHER, which is the more general pronunciation. 

BRICKNOGGIN, s. houses framed in oak timber and filled up 
with brickwork. L. 

BRICK-SETTER, s. a bricklayer. 
BRID, s. a bird. 

BRIDBILLED or BRIDBUILD, adj. said of accurately-fitting 
wood. L. 

BRID BREER, s. Rosa arvensis. MOBBERLEY. 

Leigh gives it as a name of" the white Scotch wild rose with black hips," 
which would be Rosa spinosissima . 

BRID EEN, s. the plant Lychnis diurna. SALE. 
BRID-LEGGED, adj. spindle-shanked. WILDBOARCLOUGH. 
BRID-NEEZE, s. a bird's nest. 

BRID-NEEZING, part, hunting for birds' nests. 
" Let's go a brid-neezing" 

BRID ROSE or BRID BREER, s. the white Scotch wild rose 
with black hips. L. 


BRIEF, adj. rife, prevalent. Said chiefly of disorders. 

" Agoes bin brief" agues are common. W. Also a term for a 
swarm of flies or bees. L. 

BRIM, v. to copulate. Said of a boar. 

BRIMBLE, s. a bramble. L. 

BRIMMING, part, a sow when in heat is said to be brimming. 

BRIMMING OVER, part, over full 
" Yon pot's brimmin o'er." 

BRINE, s. salt-making term. The name of the liquid from which 
salt is extracted. 

It is pumped out of the eartlfc from a depth varying from 35 to 105 yards. 

BRINE-PIT, s. a salt spring. 

" The salt-spring, or (as they call it) the brine pit, is near the river, and is 
so plentiful, that were all the water boiled out that it would afford (as they 
told us) it would yield salt enough for all England. The lords of the pit 
appoint how much shall be boiled as they see occasion, that the trade be 
not clogged." Ray's Account of the Making of Salt at Namptwych in 
Cheshire. E. D. S. ed. Reprinted Glossaries, B 15, p. 19. 

BRINERS, s. salt-making term. An old word for those who work 
at brine springs. 

"The water of the salt springs here is very cold at the bottom of the 
Pitt, insomuch that when the Briners sometimes goe about to cleanse the 
Pitt, they cannot abide in above half an hour." Philosophical Transactions, 
1669, p. 1061. 

" Only this is observed by the Briners" &c. Id., p. 1077. 

BRITCHER or BRITCHY, adj. brittle. Leigh also gives 

BRIZZ, s. (i) the gad-fly, (Estrus bovis. FRODSHAM. 

(2) the dragon-fly. MIDDLEWICH. 
BROAD LEAF, s. (i) Plantago major. 

(2) a kind of apple. MIDDLEWICH. 

BROCK, s. an old name for a badger. 

Almost, if not quite, obsolete, but still found in several of our county 
family names, as Brocklehurst of Macclesfield, which means " Badger in the 
wood." The crest of Sir R. Brooke of Norton, Brooke of Mere, and the 
Brocklehursts, is a badger. 

BROCKLE, v. to break fence, as cattle do. L. 
BROKE, v. broke out. See AIR. 
BROKE, part, (i) of the verb to break. 
(2) ruined. See BREAK. 


BROKKEN, /ar/. (i) broken. 
(2) ruptured. 

BROKKEN-BALLIED, adj. big-bellied. 

When a cow has had many calves, or a ewe many lambs, their sides be- 
come very protuberant, and the animals are said to be brokken-ballied. 

BROKKEN-HAIRED, adj. having rough wiry hair, like certain 
kinds of terriers, or like a cross between an English and Scotch 

Used metaphorically for underbred. Also used in speaking of a man 
who is not quite straightforward in his actions. 

BROO, s. (i) a brow, a hill. 

To be " going dain th' broo " is a metaphorical way of saying that a 
man's health is breaking ; also said of a man who is becoming poorer. 

(2) the forehead. 

(3) the brim of a hat. 

BROODINESS, s. the condition of a hen when she wants to sit 

Various methods are practised in Cheshire to make a hen's broodiness 
" go off" (cease) when it is not desired that she shall sit. One cruel method 
is to duck her overhead in cold water ; a second to put her into a coop with- 
out straw, and occasionally without food. A third way is to tie a string to 
the leg and tether the hen to a post. This gives her the opportunity of 
walking about, but she cannot return to her nest. The most extraordinary 
remedy, however, is to tie a bit of tape round her tail ; because a hen which 
is broody spreads her tail, and the ligature prevents her doing so, and thus is 
supposed to dispel her broodiness. 

BROODY, adj. a hen is said to be broody when she wants to sit. 

BROOM TEA, s. an infusion of the green twigs of broom, Sarotham- 
nus Scoparius. Considered to be very efficacious in cases of dropsy. 

BRORDS or BRUARTS, s. the young shoots of corn are so 
called. W. 

BRORE or BRORD, v. to spring up as corn does. W. 

BROSIER, s. a bankrupt. W. 

Leigh, apparently quoting from Wilbraham, also gives it as a verb. 
Wilbraham, however, only includes it as a substantive. 

BROTH, s. (i) salt-making term. A liquor made by boiling calves' 
feet, glue, &c., used for clarifying the brine, and 
put in after the new brine has been run into a pan. 

(2) when meaning "pottage,"t broth, like porridge, fur- 
metry, and several other liquid kinds of food, is a 
plural noun. You are always asked, " will you take 
a few broth ?" About Macclesfield the expression 
is " a tewthry broth" that is two or three broth. 


BROTH ERING, adj. useless, over-luxuriant L. 
Useless and spreading branches are so called. 

BROTHING A PAN,/0r/. salt-making term. Putting broth with 
the brine. See BROTH (i). 

It is commonly spoken of as " givin' th' pon her brexfust." 

BROW, s. hatting term. A cast or model of the head. 

BROWN GEORGE, s. the common sort of brown bread. W. 

BROWT, v. brought. 

BRUART, 5. (i) the springing of corn. 

We speak of "a good bruart" or "a bad bruart," according as it 
comes up well or badly. 

(2) the brim of a hat. 

BRUART, v. to shoot, as newly-sown corn. 
BRUN, v. to burn. 
BRUNDRIT, s. a trivet to hold a bakestone. L. 

BRUN-FIRE, s. a bonfire. Also BUN-FIRE (N. E. CHES.) and 
BURN-FIRE (general). 

BRUSH or BRUSH WHEAT, s. wheat sown after any other grain. 
In the midland counties brush simply means " stubble." 

The sowing of two white or corn crops in succession is prohibited in most 
farm agreements ; and in some it is specified that if the outgoing tenant does, 
on leaving, sow wheat after any other com crop, he shall forfeit his share of 
the off-going crop. A Cheshire fanner enters in the spring, and, as a matter 
of course, it falls to the lot of the out -going tenant to sow the wheat the pre- 
vious autumn ; and according to the custom of the country he reaps it and 
sets it up into stocks. The outgoing and incoming tenants then cart off their 
respective shares ; but in many cases the outgoing tenant has a right to the 
use of the barn for threshing his portion. It was customary for the outgoing 
tenant to take two-thirds of the crop if the wheat were grown after a bare 
fallow ; one-half if after any kind of green crop ; but if it were brush wheat 
only one-third. Frequently the outgoing tenant would stick a small branch 
of hazel or other bush on the top of every other stook, then they each knew 
which were their own, and could cart them away when they liked . 

BRUSH, v. to trim a hedge. 
BRUSHINGS, s. the trimmings of hedges. 

BRUST, s. a breast. BREST is now the more general pronunciation. 
"To may a cleean brust on it." J. C. CLOUGH. 



BUCK, s. (i) the front cross portion of a plough to which the 
horses are attached. 

(2) bread and butter. MACCLESFIELD. 

A young mother was unable to pacify her child, and was greatly dis- 
tressed by its screaming. A kindly old woman who lived in a cottage near 
came in, snatched up the child, and walked off with it. After some time 
she brought it back quite quiet and content, saying somewhat indignantly, as 
she handed it back to its mother, "A young thing loike thee understands 
nowt abite childer ; whoi th' babby wur clemt, but aw gin her a buck and 'oo 
et it up, every scrat." 

BUCK-CHAIN, s. a chain connecting the swing-trees to the buck. 
See BUCK (i). 

BUCKER or BUCKA, s. a buckle. Wilbraham spells it BUCKOW. 
BUCKET, s. the sucker of a pump. 

BUCKLE, s. condition. MOBBERLEY. 

" In very good buckle" means in very good condition. 

BUCKLE TO, v. to set to work in earnest. 
BUGGIN, s. (i) a ghost. S. CHES. 
(2) a louse. S. CHES. 

BUKE, v. to litter. 

Speaking of some spoilt hay, a man said, " It will only do for buking 
the yard. " L. 

BULK, s. the internal part of the vagina. 

In many cows which are heavy in calf the organ is apt to protrude when 
the animal lies down ; it is then said that the cow " shows her bulk." 

BULLACE or BULLERS, s. Prunus insititia, frequently applied to 
a semi-cultivated variety with yellow fruit. 

BULL-BEEF, s. the young shoots of wild roses and blackberries, 
especially the latter, which are peeled and eaten by children. 

BULL DAISY, s. Chrysanthemum Leucanthemum. 

BULL EYE, s. the ox-eye daisy, Chrysanthemum Leucanthemum. 

BULL-FACES, s. tufts of the grass, Aira ccespitosa, and occasionally 
of Dactylis glomerata. 

BULL-GRIPS, s. iron clasps for leading a bull by the nose. 

They consist of two knobs of iron connected by a spring bow very 
much the form of a pair of sugar-tongs with a screw passing through both 
sides. The knobs are placed in the nostrils, and are screwed together till 
they slightly pinch the cartilage. They are often used with considerable 
effect in subduing a refractory cow which will not stand to be milked. 


BULL-RUSH, s. Scirpus lacustris. 

BULLSLOP, s. the large hybrid oxlip, Primula variabilis. 

BULLY, adj. resembling a bull. 

A cow with a short, broad face would be described as " rather bully about 
th' yed." 
BULL-YED, s. (i) a tadpole. 

(2) stones amongst lime. BORDERS OF DERBYSHIRE. 

BUM, s. a bum-bailiff. 

BUM, v. to distrain. MACCLESFIELD. 

" If tha does na pay me, aw'll bum the'." 

BUMPS, s. blocks of wood placed under a spring cart to relieve the 
springs when it is too heavily loaded. WILMSLOW, ALDERLEY. 

BUNCH, v. to tie up vegetables or herbs in bunches for sale. 
BUND, part, bound. 

BUNCO, s. influence (?). 

"Under the bungo o'th' moon" is to be in difficulties, "under the 
weather." Cheshire Sheaf, vol. i., p. 237. 

BUNNY, s. a swelling. L. 
BUNNY-RABBIT, s. a tame rabbit. 

BUR, conj. but. 

" Yo munna do that." " Ah ! bur oi shall." 

BURGY, s. unriddled coal, containing all the small coal and dust. 

BURLEY-MAN, s. an officer appointed at a court leet or at a town's 
meeting to settle disputes, &c. 

In cases of damage caused by cattle trespassing, the hurley-men would 
very often be called in to assess the damage. A bill for damage to a crop of 
turnips caused by the ravages of hares and rabbits was lately presented to me 
by a farmer who lives in Moore. In this case the valuation had been made 
by the burley-men of the township, and was officially signed by them. 

BURN, s. a burden. 

BURR, s. (i) (or BURR STONE) rough stone from the quarry, not 
squared, and frequently not large enough to square up ; used for 
building field walls, rough embankments, &c. 

(2) the sweetbread. 

(3) the plant Galium Aparine. 

(4) impetus. WILMSLOW. 

" Tak a good burr when tha jumps, an' tha'l go o'er it." 



BUR-TREE or BORE-TREE, s. the elder, Sambucus nigra. W. 

BURY-HOLE, s. a grave. 

The name is more especially used by Children. 

BUSHEL, s. more frequently called a " measure," or " mizzer." See 

Wilbraham explains that when applied to oats it means " five ordinary 
bushels ;" but there must be some error, for after enumerating the weight of 
a bushel of wheat, beans, and barley, he adds, " oats, 45 to 50 Ibs.," which 
is the ordinary weight in Cheshire, and is certainly not the weight of five 
imperial bushels. 

BUSK, s. See BOSK. 
BUSK, v. (i) See BOSK. 

(2) to straighten up the fences, cut off the thorns, &c., 

in winter. 
" I've been agait busking in the coppy." L. 


BUSSOCK, s. a donkey. S. CHES. Pronounced BUZZOCK in the 
neighbourhood of Runcorn. N. W. CHES. 

BUSTION, s. a gathering, or whitlow, generally on the finger or thumb. 

BUT, adj. unless. 

" I'll leather you, but you do this." L. 

BUTLAND, s. waste land. L. 

BUTT, s. (i) the rounded beds into which fields are ploughed. 
In many places called " lands ;" in the north " riggs." 

(2) tanning term. A whole tanned hide. 

BUTTER-CUP, s. (i) a small wooden cup used by some dairy 

maids for rounding the bottom of a pat of 
butter, instead of patting it with the hands. 

(2) the various species of Ranunculus, includ- 
ing R. Ficaria. 

BUTTER DOCK, s. Rumex obtusifolius. 

So called because dairy-maids wrap butter for market in its leaves. 


The working-men naturalists of Lancashire and Cheshire, of whom there 
are numerous examples in every manufacturing town, I believe confine the 
name to the white species, the coloured ones being called RED DRUM- 


BUTTERFLIES, s. salt-making term. 

When the " set" on a pan becomes broken, the salt forms small patches 
which float on the top and are called butterflies. In bay-salt making the 
salt at times forms small flakes or collections of light crystals, which are also 
called butterflies. 

BUTTERMILK CAKE, s. cakes raised by mixing buttermilk and 
carbonate of soda. 

They are rolled out to about six inches diameter and about an inch thick. 
They are frequently split and buttered whilst hot from the baking, and are 
most excellent ; or they may be left to go cold, and be eaten like ordinary 

BUTTERMILK WEDDING, idiom, a wedding where the bride- 
groom will not distribute any money. See BALL MONEY. 

BUTTER-MONEY, s. money which the farmer's wife gets by the 
sale, not only of butter, but of eggs and other small produce 
which she takes to market. 

A Cheshire farmer and his wife frequently have separate purses, each 
receiving the price of certain kinds of produce, and each making certain 
payments. Butter-money is generally the wife's perquisite, out of which she, 
perhaps, is expected to pay all grocery bills. Such an arrangement occa- 
sionally gives rise to disagreements between husband and wife. I have 
known the wife to be accused by the husband of skimming too much cream 
from the milk to increase her butter-money at the expense of the cheese. I 
knew one couple whose custom was that the husband supplied coals to the 
house out of his purse, and the wife supplied candles out of hers. The 
consequence was that he kept the household very short of fire on winter 
nights, whilst she made him sit in the dark, or by firelight only. There 
were frequent squabbles, and the man spent most of his evenings at the 
public house. 

BUTTER SALT, s. salt-making term. A fine boiled salt, not 
stoved, used specially for making up butter. 

BUTTERY, s. a pantry. This old word is still in use at HYDE. 

BUTTHER, s. butter ; but the ordinary English pronunciation is 
quite as frequently used. 

BUTTONS, s. unexpanded mushrooms. 

Those who collect mushrooms will never leave them till they are full 
grown, when they are much nicer and would produce so much more food. 
The smallest buttons are gathered, the excuse being that, according to the old 
Cheshire saying, "A mushroom never grows any more after it is once seen." 

BUTTY, s. (i) a fellow-workman. 

(2) a child's name for a slice of bread and butter. 

BUTTY, adv. conjointly. 

To go butty with one is to act conjointly. 

BUTTYBREW, s. a social meeting at which each person pays for 
his own share of the drink. BREDBURY. 


BUTTY-PIECE, s. a field belonging to two owners, but which is 
undivided by any fence. 

BUY A FATHER, idiom, hatting term. To give a shilling for 
beer as a treat to workpeople. 

BUZZOCK, s. a donkey. RUNCORN. 
BYBBYE, s. a kind of herb. CHESTER PLAYS. L. 
BYBLOW, s. a natural child. MACCLESFIELD. 
BYE, s. a boy. 

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. 

On this account, when a brook divides two people's property, one fre- 
quently sees odd little corners which belong to the owner at the other side of 
the water ; the land having changed sides, but not ownership. The fencing 
of such detached little bits often causes a good deal of trouble and annoyance ; 
each side repudiates the work. 

BY GOLLY, excl. a form of adjuration. 

BY GUM, excl. a very frequent form of adjuration. 

BY HULCH AND STULCH, idiom, by hook and by crook. 

A sentence by which the speaker expresses his determination to get what 
he covets anyhow. L. 

BY JINGS, excl. (pronounced " Be-jings ") a form of adjuration. 


BY LEDDY ME, \excl. an adjuration, a diminutive of "By our Lady. n 


BY MASS, excl. a not unfrequent adjuration. 

BY RIGHTS or BY GOOD RIGHTS, adv. properly, according 
to custom or promise. 

BY-SPELL, s. a natural child. W. 



(2) metaphorically, to boast. MACCLESFIELD. 
" Oi've no patience wi that Ann Smith, oo does nowt bur cack 
abite their Tummus, as tho' nobody else's choilt could larn." 

CADE LAMB, s. a lamb brought up by hand. 
CADGE, v. (i) to carry. W. 

(2) to beg. MACCLESFIELD. 

"What does your brother work at?" "Please 'm he dusna 
wark, he on'y cadges" 

CADGER, s. (i) a carrier. W. 

(2) a beggar. MACCLESFIELD. 

'CADGING BAG, s. a bag in which a beggar puts the bits of bread, 
&c., which are given him. MACCLESFIELD. 

CAKES, s. (i) for various kinds of Cheshire cakes, see BUTTER- 

(2) honey comb; also the combs in a wasp's nest. 

CAKEY, s. (i) a softy; one short of sense. 

" Tha great cakey, thee; if tha hasna gone and spilte aw th' job." 

(2) sometimes an appellative to a surname, as " Cakey 
Cawley." DELAMERE. 

CALAMANCO CAT, s. a tortoise-shell, or yellow cat. 

CALE, s. (i) turn, chance. It is used by persons doing anything 

in rotation. 
" It's thy cale to-neet." See COAL-PIT CALE. 

(2) the membraneous fat attached to the entrails of cows 
or sheep. 

CALKINS or CAWKINS, s. the heels of a horse's shoe turned 
down to prevent slipping, and to give the horse better foothold 
in backing a heavy load. 


FIELD), s. Cavalry. The Yeomanry-Cavalry, of which many 
land-owners maintain a troop. 

CAM, v. (i) to reproach, to bicker, to argue. WILDERSPOOL, HYDE. 
"Dunna thee ston' cammin aw day." See CLAMMIN (2). 

(2) to wear shoes down at heel, or on one side. HYDE. 
CAMBING COMB, s. a small-tooth comb. WILMSLOW. 
CAMBRIL, (i) the hock of an animal. 

(2) a bent piece of wood thrust through the hocks by 
which a slaughtered animal is hung up. 

CAMMANART, adj. awkward, ill-contrived. HYDE. 

CAMMED, adj. crooked. L. 



v. to scold, to contend, to argue. L. 


CANE, s. silk-weaving term. The warp. 

" Ahr Jim'll start a work a Monday ; he's getten a fresh cane." 

CANELL, s. a canal; more frequently CUT, which see. 

CANK, v. to gossip. 

" She (the servant) never do go canking wi' neebours. " L. 

CANKER, s. (i) cancer. 

" Ah ! poor thing, oo deed of a canker in her breast." 

(2) verdigris; supposed to produce cancer. 
Speaking of a penny covered with verdigris, it was said, ' ' Dunna 
put that penny i' thy maith, or else tha'lt hay th' canker." 

CANKER, v. to affect with cancer. 

CANKERED, part. adj. ill-tempered. MACCLESFIELD. 


CANKUM, s. a prank. L. 

CANN OFFICE, s. a house on the Heath at Knutsford was so called. 

It is conjectured by the Rev. H. Green (Knutsford and its Vicinity, 
p. 72) that this was probably the place where weights and measures were 
examined and stamped. 

CANT, adj. strong, lusty. W. 

Canting is also used to express a woman gaining her strength after her 
confinement. L. Ray gives both meanings; the first in Cheshire, the 
second in Yorkshire. 


CANT, v, to coax. MACCLESFIELD. 

" Nay, dunna thee come cantiti here, for oi shanna gie it the." 

CAN TA, v. can you, or more properly canst thou. KNUTSFORD, 

CANTLE, s. a canfull. 

"Ahr parson's missis is a stingy un ; oo nobbur gen me afe a 
cantle o' soup." 

CAP, s. the leather band attached to the swippk of a flail to 
connect it with the handle. 

CAP, v. to exceed. 

"It caps owt," i.e., "it exceeds everything." "It caps me" 
means it is beyond my comprehension, or it puzzles me. 

CAP AW, adj. left-handed. DUKINFIELD. 

CAPERLASH, s. abusive language. W. 

CAPIL, s. a patch upon the toe of a boot or clog. Mow COP. 

CAPIL, v. to mend a boot or clog, by covering the toe with a patch 
of leather. Mow COP. 

CAPLINGS, s. part of a flail. 

Randle Holme, describing the parts of a flail, says : " The caplings, the 
strong double leathers made fast to the top of the hand-staff, and the top of 
the swiple." Academy of Armory, Bk. III., ch. viii., p. 333. 

CAPO, s. a working horse. W., on the authority of Ray. 

Ray gives as a Cheshire proverb, "It's time to yoke when the cart 
comes to the copies" i.e., horses ; the meaning being that it is time to marry 
when the woman woos the man. 

CAR, v. to sit down, or to bend the body in a sitting posture. L. 
See CAW (3). 

CARLINGS, s. grey peas boiled. 

So called from being served at table on Care Sunday, which is Passion 
Sunday, as Care Friday and Care Week are Good Friday and Holy Week. 

CARPENTER GRASS, s. Prunella vulgaris, supposed to be very 
efficacious for the healing of cuts. 


CARPET, v. ) t . . 
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. L. 

CARR, s. a yellow sediment in water which flows from peaty land 
(humate of iron). 


CARRS, s. low, swampy ground; generally occurring in place-names, 
as "Gatley Carrs," near Cheadle. 

CARR-Y, adj. containing carr or iron sediment. 
Carry water is supposed to be very unwholesome. 

CARRY ON, v. (i) to behave badly. 
" He carried on shameful." 

(2) to scold, to grumble. 
"Th" mester's been carryin on like anything aw mornin." 

CART, s. 

Cheshire carts are very strongly built. The parts of a cart, which will be 
found under their respective letters, are as follows : The body consists of the 
foundation and the sides. The foundation is made of two strong side pieces 
of oak placed parallel to each other called chests, and two strong end pieces 
called binders, which are bolted to them ; two longitudinal pieces, known as 
thrill bars or mid thrills, are mortised into the binders, and these support 
the boards which form the bottom of the cart. Under this foundation, and 
bolted to it, is a crosspiece of wood, some two or three inches thick and six 
to eight inches broad, called the lining; and underneath this is the bed, 
which is in reality the axle of the cart. Formerly carts had wooden arms, 
the arms being the ends of the axle or bed, thinned and tapered to work in 
the naves of the wheels, and it required a skilful workman to work the 
arms properly and give them the proper hook or downward bend, because 
wheels were very much dished, i.e., hollowed, in those days, and the arms 
required a downward bend to allow the spokes at the lower side of the wheel 
to stand perpendicularly to the ground. If the arms did not thus exactly fit the 
nave, the draught was considerably increased, and the friction was so great 
that unskilfully made carts had sometimes to be backed into the water to 
prevent the wheels taking fire. The arms are always made of iron now, and 
wheels are not so much dished. Formerly the sides of the cart were very 
elaborate. Upright bars or standards were mortised into the chests, and to 
these standards the boards forming the cart sides were bolted. Now the 
sides and ends of carts are frequently made of two-inch planks bolted to the 
chests and to each other. Attached to the front of the cart there are generally 
two small cart-boxes with lids, in which the carter puts his dinner when 
he goes a long journey. The shafts were formerly called thrills, but I think 
the word is now almost obsolete. If fitted with harvest gearing, there are 
the front and back thrippas or thrippows, made something like strong 
hurdles ; the rails of which they are made being called thrippa slates. These 
fix on to the front and back of the cart, to give a greater length for the loading 
of hay or corn ; and there are frequently also moveable side rails, which 
extend from one thrippa to the other, and somewhat increase the width. 
Many carts have additional sideboards for elevating the sides, so as to carry 
a larger quantity of coals, turnips, or any loose materials. 


CART-SADDLE, s. the saddle which is placed on the back of a 
shaft-horse; it has a groove from one side to the other to carry 
the ridgorth or backhand. 



CARVE, v. to curdle milk or cream previous to churning it. 

The general system of butter making in Cheshire is to collect the milk or 
cream in a deep earthenware pan called a steen. When sufficient is col- 
lected for a churning, the steen is brought to the fire, and remains there till 
the milk thickens and becomes curdy ; it is kept covered up, and is occa- 
sionally stirred round with a wooden stick, and the steen also is occasionally 
turned round to prevent the milk becoming unequally warm. This is called 
carving the milk, and when sufficiently curdled the milk is said to be carved. 

CASELINGS, s. the skins of beasts that die by any accident or 
violent death. HALLIWELL. 

CASPE, s. the name of a portion of an old-fashioned cow-tie. 

" The Caspe for the Sole is the top of it which hath the holes in." 
Academy of Armory, Bk. III., ch. v., p. 243. See Sow. 


CAST, v. to warp; as said of some kinds of wood, "it is given to 
cast." Cheshire Sheaf, vol. L, p. 237. 

CAST AWAY, part, lost through any accident. Best explained, 
perhaps, by the slang expression " come to grief." 

"Commin dain Buxton Road it snowed and blewed and raint till 
a felt fair cast away. 

CAST CAWF, v. to calf prematurely. 
"Go's cast her cawf." 

CASTENING (N.E. CHES.) or KESTENING, s. a christening. 

CATCH, s. an acquisition. 

When harvest has been successfully got in, it is said to be a good catch. 
" We'n had a good catch wi' us clover." 

" Ahr Mary's made a good catch; he's getten a ruck o' brass i' th' 

CATCH GRASS, s. goose grass or catch weed. L. Galium Aparine. 

CATCHING THE OWL, a practical joke very often put upon a 
novice at a farm house by his fellow servants. 

The novice is persuaded to hold a riddle (sieve) at the " owlet hole " in 
the gable end of the building. He is told to hold it very fast, as an owl is a 
very strong bird ; and whilst all his efforts are directed to catching the owl, 
as he supposes, somebody pours a bucket of water (often filthy water) over 

CATCHING WEATHER, s. showery weather; when hay or corn 
is constantly being caught in the rain, and it is difficult to get on 
with the harvest work. 

CATCH IT, v. to be reprimanded, or chastised. 

" My word! bu' yo'll catch it, when th' mester knows." 

CATCHT, v. caught. 


CATCH-WEIGHT, s. a term used by hay-cutters when they cut 
hay into trusses of no particular weight. See TRUSS-WEIGHT. 

CAT-HEAD, s. a kind of apple. MIDDLEWICH. 

CATS, s. salt-making term. Masses of salt formed under a pan 
when it leaks. 

"Catting a pan " is knocking the cats from the underside of the pan 
when discovered. If allowed to remain for some time the flues are filled 
up, and the pan is then said to have "catted her draughts up." See 

In Philosophical Transactions, vol. iv., p. 1077 (1669), catts of salt are 
thus described : " So catts of salt are only made of the worst of salt, when 
yet wettish from the Panns ; molded and intermixt with interspers'd Cummin 
Seed and Ashes, and so baked into an hard lump in the mouths of their 
Ovens. The use of these is only for Pigeon houses. " They are still made 
for the same purpose. 

CAT-TAILS, CATS-TAILS, or CAT- RUSHES, s. the various 
species of Equisetum. 


' name ' Catherine - 

In the first spelling the first t is slightly sounded ; it is, as it were, 

CATTHERN PEAR, s. a Catherine pear. 

This is a small early pear, which, three centuries ago, was very highly 
esteemed. Gerard in 1597 calls it Pyrus superba sive Katherina, and 
describes it as the best pear. Beautiful in appearance it undoubtedly is, being 
freely streaked with vivid crimson. Its beauty, however, is only skin deep, 
for it is dry and mealy, though very sweet, and having an intensely musky 
flavour. After three centuries it is still by no means uncommon in Cheshire 
orchards, and is still valued by the country people. 

CAUKUM, s. a practical joke, a foolish frolic. L. 


COSFY t s ' causewav > pavement. 

A paved road, of which there are still a good many in Cheshire, is always 
spoken of as " the causey." I can recollect the whole length of road between 
Mobberley and Knutsford being paved with round cobbles, the side roads 
which branched off being merely sandy ruts. When anyone asked the way 
to Knutsford, he was pretty sure to be told " Yo mun keep to th' causey, an' 
yo'n be reet." See HORSE CAUSEY. 

CAW, v. (i) to call. 

(2) to vituperate. 

"He caw'd him everythink " is said when one man has been rating 
another soundly, or when one has been using abusive language to another. 

(3) to crouch. DELAMERE. 

" Caw thee dain," i.e., "crouch down." 


CAWF, s. a calf. Also used as a term of ridicule. 
" Tha great cawf" 

CAWF-BED, s. a cow's womb. 

CAWF-COTE, s. a building where young calves are kept. 

CAWF-CROFT, s. a small field near the house into which the young 
calves are turned for air and exercise. On most farms there is 
a field so called. 

CAWF-KJT?' j s. a small pen to put a sucking calf in. 

CAWF-LICK, s. when the hair on the human forehead will not 
brush flat, but stands up forming a sort of rosette, it is called a 
cawf-lick, and the person is said to be cawf-licked. Also called 

Wilbraham explains this latter word as that part of a cow's hide where 
the hairs of it having different directions meet, and form a projecting ridge 
of hair. He also says it is believed to be produced from the cow licking 

CAWN, v. plural of call. I caw, they cawn. 
CAWPER, v. to answer saucily. L. 

CAWVEN, /art. calved. 

"A nevr-cawven kye." 

CAWVING, part, failing to finish a piece of work at the week end, 
in time to be included in that week's pay. BREDBURY. 

GAZE, adv. because. 

CAZZLETY, adj. hazardous, risky. 

" Cauves is cazzlety things to rear," my cowman once told me. 
Leigh gives CASSARTTY as the more general pronunciation, which I do 
not happen ever to have heard. 

CENTURY, s. the plant Erythraa Centaurium. W. CHES. See 

CEPT, conj. except. 

" Theer's nowt for me to do \ept get drunk." J. C. CLOUGH. 

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. Fluffy. 

CHAINY, s. china. 

" Thy uncle and aunts' comin to tay this afternoon, Mary; tha'd 
better get th' chainy cups and saucers ait." 


CHAINY ASH, s. the Laburnum. DELAMERE. 

"The laburnums are not planted yet, Harry," said a lady to a 
lad, helping in the front garden of a farm. Harry knew nothing 
about laburnums, but answered, "there's neawt here but chainy 
ashes, ma'am, and them's upo' th' hedge bonk. " 

CHAM or CHOM, v. to chew. 

" Aw've gen that chap summut to chom, enny how." 

CHAMBER, s, a bedroom on the ground floor. W. CHES. 
CHANCE CHILD, s. an illegitimate child. 

CHANNEL HOLE, s. a hole by which sewer water escapes. In 
Chester usually pronounced " chennel." 

CHAP, s. man, fellow. 

Though not specially local or even provincial, I insert this word because 
it is in such constant use in Cheshire. " That fellow " would in Cheshire be 
"Yon chap" The foreman of a farm will shout after dinner to the other 
men, "Nye then, chaps, its toime to get to wark." 

CHARGE, v. salt-mining term ; to put the gunpowder or other 
explosive into the hole and insert the fuse ready for blasting. 

CHASTIZE, v. to scold. RUNCORN, HALTON. Seldom, if ever, 
used to describe corporal punishment. 

CHATS, $. (i) small bits of wind-blown sticks collected by poor 
people for firewood. About Lindow Common 
small bits of sticks picked out of the dry moss 
are called chats. 

(2) small potatoes. 

CHATTER, v. to shatter or splinter. 
" Chattered to bits." 

CHATTER BASKET, s. a chatterbox. 

CHATTING, part, picking stones in the meadows. NORTHENDEN. 

CHAUVE, v. to chafe. L. 

CHEADLE DOCK, s. Senedo Jacobcea. More commonly KADLE 
DOCK or KETTLE DOCK, and occasionally CRADLE DOCK. 

CHEEAN,) , . , n T 

CHEEN, 'I*- achain - W.CHES. 

CHEE-EGGIN, excl. said to a horse when he is to turn to the right. 

CHEER, j. a chair. 


CHEESE, v. (i) to make cheese. 

"What are you doing with your milk?" " We're cheesing this 
year." ' 

(2) to vomit as little children do when milk curdles on 

their stomachs. MACCLESFIELD. 
" Poor little thing ! how it does cheese^" 

CHEESE-BOARD, s. a round board to put between two cheeses 
when, in order to economise space, they are put to press one on 
the top of the other. 

CHEESE-CAKE, s. the fruit of Malva sylvestris. 

CHEESE GUARD or CHEESE GARTH, s. a hoop of tin used 
to raise the sides of a cheese-vat. 

The curd, which is at first so loose that the vat cannot contain it all, 
gradually sinks as it is pressed. The guard sinks into the vat with the curd. 
It is also, and perhaps more commonly, called a FILLET. 

CHEESE LADDER, s. a framework of wood to support a sieve 

through which milk is strained into coolers or into the cheese 

tub. It consists of two side bars into which two cross bars are 
mortised, like the staves of a ladder. 

CHEESE-PINS, s. large pins used for pinning the binders on to 
new cheeses. They are sold at drapers' shops under this name. 

CHEESES, s. (i) the seeds of Malva rotundifolia and M. sylvestris, 
which are eaten by children; also called 

(2) a frequent amusement of girls is making cheeses. 

They turn round and round till their dresses fly out at the bottom ; then 
suddenly squatting down, the air confined under the dress causes the skirt to 
bulge out like a balloon. When skilfully done the appearance is that of a 
girl's head and shoulders peeping out of an immense cushion. 

CHEE-UP, excl. said to a horse when he is to move forward. 
MIDDLEWICH. See JEE, which is the usual pronunciation. 

CHEEVINGS, s. the dust, refuse seeds of weeds, and rat remnants, 
left behind in taking in a rick of corn or beans. L. 

CHEEVY-RIDDLE, s. a very coarse riddle or sieve used for 
separating the broken bits of straw from threshed corn before it 
is piled up in the Cheevy-ruck. See CHEEVY-RUCK. 

CHEEVY-RUCK, s. the heap of threshed corn in a barn before it 
is winnowed. 

CHEM, s. a team; more frequently pronounced " teeam." 
CHEMIST, s. a druggist, is pronounced with Ch soft. 


CHENNEL, s. a channel. 
CHEP, adj. cheap. CHEPPEST, cheapest. 

CHERRY CLACK, s. a contrivance placed in a cherry tree to 
frighten away the birds. 

It is generally in the form of a small windmill with wooden sails. To 
the spindle upon which it revolves, or rather which revolves with the sails, 
two or three links of a chain are fastened, and these, as they are carried 
round, strike against a piece of wood, and make a considerable noise. 
Another favourite pattern for a Cherry Clack is that of a soldier carved in 
wood and painted with a scarlet coat. His arms consist of two windmill 
sails attached to a spindle which works through his shoulders, and he himself 
works on a perpendicular spindle. When the wind blows, the soldier turns 
round and at the same time his arms revolve. 

CHESFIT, 1 cheese vat 



The Cheshire acre is 10,240 square yards or nearly two statute acres and 
one-ninth. Although the statute acre is always spoken of in farm agreements 
and legal documents, the Cheshire acre is in actual use both in Cheshire and 
South Lancashire; the farmers themselves always reckon their crops by 
Cheshire measure, the size of their farms, and the rent per acre. Cheshire 
land measure is as follows : 

64 square yards = I rood (rod). 
40 roods = I quarter. 

4 quarters = I acre. 


' ' To grin like a Cheshire cat " is a proverbial saying. Leigh gives the 
following variants : " To grin like a Cheshire cat chewing gravel " and " To 
grin like a Cheshire cat eating cheese." I do not remember having heard 
either of these variants. The origin of the saying is unknown, though various 
conjectures, more or less fanciful, have been hazarded. Charles Lamb, in 
one of his letters to Manning, says, " I made a pun the other day, and 
palmed it upon Holcroft, who grinned like a Cheshire cat. (Why do cats 
grin in Cheshire? Because it was once a county palatine, and the cats 
cannot help laughing whenever they think of it, though I see no great joke 
in it.)" See Lamb's Letters, edited by Talfourd, vol. i., p. 304. 

The meaning and origin of the phrase was asked in Notes and Queries 
(ist S. ii. 377) with, I believe, only the following result. At p. 412 of the 
same volume it is stated that cheeses were made in Cheshire some years ago 
moulded in the shape of a cat; and in ist S., vol. v., p. 402, the origin is 
ascribed to the unhappy attempt of a sign painter to represent a lion rampant 
which more resembled a cat than a lion. It is possible, however, that the 
arms of the Earls of Chester, namely a wolfs head, may have suggested the 
phrase ; for I am bound to say that in the engraving of the coat of arms of 
Hugh Lupus, as given by Sir Peter Leycester, the wolfs head might very 
well be mistaken for that of a cat ; whilst the grin is unmistakeable. 

It may, perhaps, not be deemed out of place to draw the attention of my 
readers to the inimitable representation of the grin of a Cheshire cat as 
depicted in "Alice in Wonderland." The phrase "to grin like a Cheshire 
cat " will never be forgotten as long as that most charming of books is read 
by the children of England. 


CHESHIRE ROUND, s. a dance (now obsolete) peculiar to the 
county from which it takes its name. 

It was once very fashionable, and is alluded to by Goldsmith in the Vicar 
of Wakefield as the highest accomplishment of the Misses Flamborough. 
The tune of the Cheshire Round is found in The Dancing Master, 1721. 

CHEST, s. part of the foundation of a cart See CART. 

CHESTER GLOVE, s. a wooden representation of a hand or a 
glove which for many centuries was hung out from the old Pentice 
House in Chester, at the commencement of every fair, and taken 
down at its conclusion. It is now, I believe, preserved in the 
Mayer collection in the Liverpool Museum. 


Mention is frequently made of the " Chester Plays." They were sacred 
dramas or mysteries which were performed at a very early period in the nave 
of St. Werburgh's Abbey. They became afterwards very popular at Coventry 
and other towns, but in all probability had their origin at Chester. After a 
while they were performed during Whitsun Week, on moveable stages in the 
streets, by the various guilds of the city. The earliest MS. copy of these 
plays dates from the beginning of the sixteenth century, but it is probable 
they were performed as early as 1450. 

CHET, v. to cheat. 

" Mother, oi shanna play wi ahr Jack, he diets so." 

CHICKEN-WEED, s. chickweed, Stellaria media. 
CHILDER, s. plural of child. 
CHILDERMAS DAY, s. Innocents' Day. 

CHILL, v. to take off the extreme cold from any liquid. 

" Yo mun have a sope o' porter at neet ; bu' yo munna drink it 
cowd, bu' just nicely chilled." 

It is customary to give newly-calved cows "chilled water." 

CHOILT,r- achll(L 

CHIMBLEY, s. a chimney. 

SWEEPER, s. Luzula campestris. 

When children first see this plant in the spring they repeat the following 
rhyme : 

Chimney-sweeper, all in black, 
Go to the brook and wash your back ; 
Wash it clean, or wash it none ; 
Chimner-sweeper, have you done ? 

I have heard this about MOBBERLEY, but have not been able to ascertain the 
meaning ; it may possibly be to bring good luck. 


CHIN-COUGH, s. whooping cough. 

The superstitious remedies for this ailment are very numerous in Cheshire, 
and interesting. A woman who has not changed her name in marriage can 
cure it by simply giving the patient something to eat, a cake, or a piece of 
bread and butter. (Leigh gives a similar remedy for small-pox.) The hair 
of a donkey's cross, i.e., the dark line upon its shoulders, is another very 
popular remedy. It is administered in two ways. A small portion of the 
hair is chopped up very small and placed between bread and butter and is 
given to the child to eat ; or the hair is sewed up in a strip of flannel, and is 
worn round the throat. I have, on more than one occasion, been asked for 
a portion of this hair from a donkey which my children used. The mountain 
ash, about which so many superstitions linger, also figures as a remedy for 
chin-cough. A certain mountain ash grew in my garden at Mobberley, and 
for some time I had noticed that a considerable number of holes had been 
bored in the stem with a gimblet, and then a small plug of wood had been 
inserted. The number of these holes increased, not only to the disfigurement, 
but even to the injury of the tree. I supposed my children had done it for 
mischief, and I accused them of it. It turned out, however, that they were 
quite aware of the real cause, and explained to me, what I found to be 
perfectly correct, namely, that the tree was well known in the neighbourhood 
and was used as a cure for the whooping cough. A small lock of hair from 
the head of the patient was brought or sent to one of my menservants, who 
thereupon bored a hole in the tree, placed the hair in the hole, and fastened 
it in with a plug ; and on examination, portions of hair from various heads in 
the district were plainly seen protruding from the holes. 

Leigh mentions several other Cheshire remedies which have not come 
under my own observation, such as roast hedgehog, fried mice, &c. 
Another remedy is holding a toad to the mouth, which is supposed to 
extract 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 
chin-cough, though he had sucked two toads to death." 

Another remedy, evidently a modern one, is to take the patient to a gas 
works and let it smell the tar. 

The following has been communicated to me from Macclesfield : " Pass 
the child nine times under the belly of a white cow or mare. " Certain lines 
have to be repeated at the same time, but my informant has not been able to 
remember the formula. 

CHINK, v. to catch or draw the breath in laughing. 

When a child first begins to make a noise in laughing, it is often said " it 
fairly chinks again." 

CHIPPER or CHIPPING PADDLE, s. salt-making term. 

A kind of very small spade at the end of a long handle, used for keeping 
the rims of the pans clear from incrustations of salt. 

CHISEL, s. salt-mining tool; used for making holes for blasting. 

They are round bars of iron from four to eight feet long, about an inch 
and a half thick in the middle and tapering to about three-quarters of an inch 
towards each end. Each end spreads out again to an inch wide, and is 
sharpened to a cutting edge. Also, but less commonly, called a DRILL. 

CHITTY, s. a cat. See CHT. 

CHOCK-FULL, adj. full to overflowing. 

At a Christmas dinner a farm servant was asked to take a little 
more. The reply was : "Miss, I'm sorry I canna oblige ye, but 
I'm chock-full." 


CHOCKHOLE, s. the deep rutty hole to be met with in many of 
the bye-roads or occupation roads in the county. L. 


CHOMMER, v. to chew, to champ; also to crush to powder. 

I remember my father bought some guano which was rather lumpy. 
One of the men told him "he geet a shoo and chommered it aw up," 
which meant that he had beaten it with the back of a spade and 
crushed the lumps to powder. 

CHONNER, v. to champ, to chop up. L. I think this is a 
misprint for " Chommer." 

CHOP, s. chopped hay or straw. 

CHOPPED, part, chapped. 

" Her maith's aw chopped wi goin i' th' cowd." 

CHOPS, s. the face. 

CHOW AND CHUMP, s. remains of wood, old stacks, and roots, 
&c., only fit for burning. L. 

CHOWBENT GRUBS, idiom, a very common name given by 
carpenters to nails which are often embedded in old timber and 
which spoil the tools. 

CHRISTIAN, s. a human being, as distinguished from the lower 

" Dunna give it to th' dog; its fit for a Christian to eat." 

CHRISTMAS, s. evergreens used in Christmas decorations ; often 

CHRIST'S THORN, s. Cratxgus Pyracantha. 

There is a tradition that our Saviour's crown of thorns was made from 
this plant. 

CHT, exd. puss ! 

In calling a cat we do not say puss ! puss ! but Cht ! Cht ! 

CHUBBY, adj. thickset. 

CHUBBY-HEADED, adj. having a short, broad head like a bull. 

A chubby-headed calf is usually considered more suitable for feeding than 
for rearing. 


" Ow many chucks an ye getten ?" 

CHUCK, v. to throw. 

" Chuck it here," i.e., throw it to me. 


CHUCK, exd. a word used to call poultry. 

CHUCKLING, part, salt-making term, expressive of the noise made 
by a pan boiling in any part not actually over the fire. 

CHUCK OVER, v. to discard, or disinherit. 

" Nay, th' gaffer '11 leave me nowt ; he's chucked me o'er." 

CHUM, s. a companion. 

CHUM, v. to associate with. 


CHUMP, s. a term of reproach. Rascal, cheat, vagabond. L. 

CHUN, s. a crack in the finger or hand, from frost, or from dryness 
of the skin. L. 

CHUNNER, v. to grumble. 

Leigh gives a good illustration. A clergyman, asking an infirm old 
woman how she was, received as an answer, "I goes on chunner, 
chunner, chunner." He told her how wrong it was to be dis- 
contented, &c., when he was stopped by the old woman, " Bless, 
you, Parson, it's not I that chunners, it's my innards." 

CHURLES' TREACLE, s. garlic. Allium. L. 
CHURN, s. the long-tailed titmouse, Parus caudatus. 

CHURN-STAFF, s. (i) the dasher of an old-fashioned "up and 

down" churn. 

(2) the plant Euphorbia ffelioscopia, and occa- 
sionally Linaria vulgaris. 

CIRAGE or SIRAGE MONEY, s. the Prestbury term for church 
rates. L. 

CISTERN ROCK, s. salt-making term. The inferior roof-rock or 
black-rock put into the cisterns at rock-salt refineries. 

CLACK, s. the valve of a pump. 

CLACK, v. to chatter, to gossip. 

" Nah then, what art clackin at, woman ? Thy tong goes o* 

CLAG, v. to choke with dirt. 

Wheels are flagged when the oil becomes stiff. 

CLAGGINGS, s. salt-making term. Salt, scum, &c., that clags or 
adheres to the rim of a pan used for making boiled salt. The 
adhesion takes place at the top portion of the rim. 

CLAGGY, adj. sticky. 



CLAMME or CLAME, v. to dirty or plaister (sic) over. W. 


(2) bickering. KELSALL. 

CLAMP, s. a sort of round oven in which draining tiles and bricks 
are burnt. 

CLEEAN I adv ' alt g ether ' entirely. 

" Eh ! mon, aw've cleean forget ten it." 

CLANE, v, to wash and dress one's self up. 

"Aw mun go and clane mysel " means I must go and wash, and 
put on a change of clothes. 

v ' to put tidy ' not merelv to make clean< 
" Nah then, wench ! hie the an cleean up th' haise, it's Sunday 

CLANSE or CLENSE, v. a cow is said to clause when she dis- 
charges the placenta after calving. Occasionally to CLEAN. 

CLANSING or CLEANSING, s. the placenta or afterbirth of an 

physic given to promote the extrusion of the placenta. 

A dose of physic given to an animal is always called a drink ; and many 
old-fashioned cowmen are never content, when a cow has calved, until they 
have administered a cleansing drink, often composed of powerful emmena- 
gogues, and calculated to do much mischief. 

CLAP,"z/. (i) to squat down, to crouch as a bird does when it wants 
to escape notice; hence said of a turkey-hen when 
she wants the attention of the male bird ; she then 
squats close to the ground. 

(2) to place, to put. 

" He clapped it on his yed." 
" Clap it dain," put it down. 

" Clap yon auld stoo aight o' th' stack-yard a' top o'th fire, Mary, 
its cooth," said a mistress to a farm servant. 

(3) to sprinkle light articles of clothing with water before 

being ironed ; in order to damp them equally they 
are clapped between the hands two or three times. 

(4) to harden on the surface, as some kinds of soil harden 

after rain. 


CLAP-HATCH, s. a small gate so hung that it will close itself. 

CLAPPED, part, said of soil which is hardened on the surface. 
CLAP-POST, s. the post against which a gate shuts. 

CLAP TO, v. to shut with a bang, like a door or window blown 
with the wind. 

CLARGYMAN, s. (i) a clergyman. 

(2) a ludicrous appellation for a black rabbit. W. 
CLARTY, adj. sticky. Cheshire Sheaf, vol. L, p. 237. 
CLASP NAILS, s. thin wrought nails which will clasp or clench. 
CLAT, 5-. a tale-bearer. 
CLAT, v. to tell tales of a person. 
CLATCH, v. to tell tales of a person. MACCLESFIELD. 

CLATCH HOOKS, s. (i) claws, talons, hands. KELSALL. 

"I say ! if yo go o'er them fields, th' mester '11 have his clatch- 
hooks on you." 

" Come, keep thi clatch-hooks off me, wilt ta." 

(2) a fissure in the rock on the face of Helsby 
Hill is so called. 

There was, formerly, a gibbet at this spot, where criminals were hung 
in chains, and I believe it was the scene of one of the last executions of the 
kind which took place in Cheshire. There is probably, therefore, some 
connexion between the primary meaning of the word claws, talons, and the 
name of the Helsby fissure, because it was there the hangman got the 
condemned man in his clutches. It is just possible, however, that clatch- 
hooks may be an old name for some portion of the apparatus connected with 
executions, and that claws or talons may be the secondary meaning. 

CLATE or CLEAT, s. a wedge. MIDDLEWICH. 

"The Plow dates, a kind of Wedge to raise the Beame higher or lower, 
to make it strike accordingly into the ground." Academy of Armory, Bk. 
III., ch. viii., p. 333. 

The small iron wedges used in fastening the parts of a scythe together are 
called cleats. 

CLAUPED, part, daubed. L. 
CLAVER, s. idle talk, W. 
CLAW-BACK, s. a back-biter. L. 

CI AY ( s ' a c ^ aw ^ ^ e separate divisions of a cloven foot. Randle 
-'J Holme has GLEES. Academy of Armory, Bk. II., 

CLEA, I ch.xi., p. 171. 


CLAY MARL, s. one of the varieties of marl formerly so much 
used in Cheshire as a fertilizer. 

It was considered the best kind. Its characteristics are that it should be 
"of a dark brown colour, intersected with veins of either a blue, or light 
yellow shade ; it should be greasy to the touch, when moist ; and friable when 
dry." Holland's General View of the Agriculture of Cheshire (1808), p. 221. 


CLEARING, part, salt-making term. 

"On the first application of heat, if the brine contains any carbonate of 
lime, the acid may be observed to quit the lime, and this, being no longer held 
in solution, is either thrown up to the surface .... or it subsides to 
the bottom of the pan, and with some portion of the sulphate of lime ; and is 
raked out in the early part of the process. These two operations are called 
clearing fat pan." Holland's General View of the Agriculture of Cheshire 
(1808), p. 54. 

CLEARINGS, s. salt-making term. The sediment formed in the 
above process. 

CLEM, v. to starve with hunger. CLAM (WIRRALL). 

The word "starve" is never used in this sense, but it conveys to the 
mind of a Cheshire man the idea of perishing with cold only. In Mobberley 
there is a field which bears the curious name of CVbw-hunger ; and Leigh 
gives an instance of a wood at Mere being known as C&TW-hunger Wood. 
" Is na dinner ready, aw'm welly clemmed" 

CLEM-GUTS, s. a person stingy with food. MACCLESFIELD. 

" They wanted me for t' go sarvice at th' Haw, bur oi wunna ; 
whoi th' missis is a reglar clem-guts" 

CLEMMIN, part, starving with hunger. CLAMMIN (DUKINFIELD). 
CLEVER, adj. handsome. 

CLEVERLY, adv. completely. MOBBERLEY. 

A hedge that requires to be cut down close to the ground "mun be 
i lever /yfawn." 

CLEW, s. a door or lid hung at the end of a drain or watercourse to 
prevent the influx of tidal water. 

CLEWKEN or CLOCKEN, s. fine cord. L. 

CLINKER, s. (i) a hard, semi-vitrified cinder from the bottom of 
a furnace. 

(2) a blow struck in anger. 

! Oi gen him such a clinker at th 
L quiet." 

CLIP, s. the quantity of wool shorn on one farm in one season. 

_ " Oi gen him such a clinker at th' side of his yed as soon made 
him quiet." 


CLIP, v. (i) to embrace. 

"When he saw the ship sinking, he clips the young Earl of Chester in 
his arms, and so both were drowned together." Sir Peter Leycester's 
Historical Antiquities, p. 112(1673). 

(2) to shear sheep. 

CLIP-ME-DICK, s. the plant Euphorbia Cyparissias. 
CLOCK, s. (i) a beetle. 

(2) ornamental open work in the sides of a stocking; 
very frequently having a considerable resemblance 
to a fir-tree, or at any rate to the conical fir-trees 
on long stems which are found in a child's box 
of toys. 


CLOCKS, s. the downy heads of the dandelion. Called ONE- 

Children gather them and blow away the down in order to tell the time. 
The number of puffs required to clear the receptacle indicate the hour. 

CLOD, s. a sod. 

CLOD, v. to throw clods or other materials at an animal to drive it 

CLOD-MAW, s. an implement for breaking clods. 

It consists of a piece of wood about five to six inches long, and about 
three inches wide, and three inches deep ; a hole is bored through it and a 
long handle is fixed in the hole. It is quite a light tool, but is used with 
both hands, and is most effectual for the purpose intended. 

CLOD-SALT, s. salt-making term. 

A cake [of salt] which sticks to the bottom of the pan. Ray's Account of 
Saltmaking (E. D. S., B. 15, p. 37). 

CLOG, s. (i) a wooden-soled shoe. 

They are worn very generally by the factory hands of both sexes, and 
the clattering noise made by two or three hundred people when they loose 
from the mill and run through the streets is very peculiar. In Macclesfield it 
is only the cotton hands who wear them. 

(2) a heavy piece of wood fastened to the fore-leg of a cow 
or horse, and trailing on the ground, to prevent the animal 

CLOGGER, s. a man who makes clogs. 

The sole of a clog is about an inch thick and is made of alder timber; a 
groove is cut entirely round it, and in this the upper leather is nailed. It is 
then tipped underneath with iron and has an iron heel, and it becomes a 
most formidable weapon for " punsing " in a Lancashire " up and dqwn " 


fight. Clogs are generally made considerably too large, and a wisp of straw 
or hay is placed under the sole of the foot. They are tied with a thong, or 
frequently have brass clasps ; they are warm and comfortable, and are almost 
impervious to wet. The making of clogs is a separate trade from that 
of the shoemaker, and the cutting of clog soles is quite a special branch of 

CLOGGY, adj. compact. 

Said of a horse or cow that is heavy-bodied and short-legged. 

CLOMB, v. past tense of to climb. L. 
CLOOSE, adj. sultry. 

CLOTHES MAIDEN, or perhaps more frequently simply MAIDEN, 
s. a clothes horse. 

CLOTS or CLOUTS, s. burrs or burdock. W. Arctium Lappa. 

CLOUGH (pronounced CLUF), s. a deep, wooded valley. 

Cotteril Clough, near Altrincham, is a good illustration of a clough, and 
is a picturesque spot. 

CLOUT, s. (i) a rag, a towel for domestic use. WILDERSPOOL. 

(2) a blow. 

CLOUTER, v. to make a clattering, clamping noise with wooden 
clogs. L. 

CLOUTERINGr, part, hurrying along noisily. MIDDLEWICH. 
CLOUT NAILS, s. broad-headed nails. 

CLOUTS, s. iron plates. 

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

" Then they began to kicke and wince, 
lohn hitt the King ouer the shinnes 
With a payre of new --clouted shoone !" 

John de Reeve (Percy Folio MS., 1. 547, vol. ii., 
p. 580), Hales and Furnivall, ed. 1867. 

CLUB FEE AST, s. the anniversary dinner of a benefit society. 
CLUNTISH, adj. rough-spoken, uncivil. Mow COP. 

CLUSSUM'D, adj. clumsy, Lan. according to Ray, but it means 
more, i.e., a hand shut and benumbed with cold, and so 'far 
clumsy. W. Ray, however, does not give this as a Lancashire, 
but a Cheshire word. E.D.S. GLOSS. B. 15. 

CLUTTER, v. to put an opponent down after a fight. 
' ' He cluttered me down. " L. 


CO, idiom, quoth. A very common expression about WILMSLOW. 
Used when quoting someone who is considered an authority. 
" Very likely, co John Platt." 
" Mow i'th' rain, an' get th' hay when it's fair, co Peter Cash." 

COAL-PIT CALE, idiom, equivalent to the proverbial expression 
"first come, first served." WILMSLOW. 

The phrase evidently originated from carts waiting at the coalpit mouth 
to be served each in turn. See CALE (i). 

COAL-RUCK, s. the place where coal is kept. 
COARSE, adj. applied to the weather stormy, rough. L. 

COB, s. (i) a blow, generally on the head. Cob is also a leader. 

"This boy will be always coi>," what is called at school " cock of 
the school." Sometimes pronounced COP. " 1 copped \am" for 
"I beat him," or got ahead of him. L. 

(2) a male swan. 

(3) or COBBLE; a lump of coal. 

COB, v. (i) to throw. 

Leigh adds, apparently quoting Wilbraham, to lead, to domineer, to 
surpass or excel others in any art or^kill. Wilbraham, however, only gives 
the first meaning, and that as a Lancashire word. Its use in Cheshire is quite 

" Cob it away, its good t' nowt." 

(2) to cause to grow quickly, to throw up. 

" The land has cobbed up a deal of grass." L. 

(3) to exceed. 

" Nay, that cobs aw oi ever heerd." MACCLESFIELD. 

COBBST, adj. 

Applied to children who are cross, contrary, and fractious beyond 
endurance, and sometimes to people called by someone "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. L. 

COB-NUT, s. a large cultivated nut round like a hazel-nut not 
oval like the Kentish cob-nuts. 

COCAM, s. sense, judgment, cunning. L. 

COCK, s. a projection of brickwork built out in steps to receive a 
piece of timber. Also called a COCK'S BREAST. 

COCK EGG, s. a diminutive egg frequently produced when hens are 
about to leave off laying. 


COCKER, v. to fondle or spoil a child. Heard very rarely about 

COCK-EYE, s. one eye smaller than the other, or an eye with a 
cast in it. 

" He's getten a cock-eye" said of a person with any peculiarity in 
his eye. Also used adjectively, "hz's cock-eyed." 

COCKIT, adj. (i) smart, pert, saucy. It has nothing whatever to 

do with coquetting. 
" Go's a coekit wench." 

(2) in good health. 

' ' How bist ta ? " " Pretty coekit. " 

(3) pleasant, easy. FRODSHAM. 

" Aw've two sons as works i'th' soapery, but they'n getten pretty 
eot&itjobs. Aw dunna think they need'n poo their cooerts off; one's 
a sampler." My informant meant that his sons had easy work to do. 


COCK-STRIDE, s. the small increase of daylight which we observe 
as the days begin to lengthen. 

It is said that the days are "getting a cock-stride longer." 

COCKSURE, adj. positive, perfectly certain, 

COCK THE LITTLE FINGER, idiom, to get drunk, or rather 
to be fond of tippling. 

"Jim Goold's gone at last, and what could ye expect ; he wur 
sadly too fond o' cockin his little finger." 

COCKWEB, s. a cobweb. 

Cobwebs are in great repute for stopping the bleeding of a cut. 

CODDIN, part, humbugging. 

The little son of a Cheshire family, whose members prided them- 
selves on speaking pure Cheshire, said to his nurse who was making 
some grand promises if he would take some medicine, " Ger out, 
Maria, tha'st only coddin me as tha allus does ; tha'l none tay me 
to see th'fair." 

CODGERING,/ar/. mending. S. CHES. 

CODLINGS AND CREAM, s. Epilobium hirsutum. L. 

CODS, s. testicles. 

COGGING, part, cheating or deceiving. L. 

GOGGLE, adj. easily moved, unstable. MACCLESFIELD. See also 

GOGGLE, v. to move with great ease, to be unsteady. MACCLES- 


COGGLY, adv. easily moved, shaky. Applied to a creaking post or 

COIL, s. row. 

" What's the coil now ?" i.e., " What's the matter ?" L. 

COLD BURNT, part, 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, part, seems to be shivering. 

To sit colding by the fire-side is to sit idling by the fire-side. W. 

COLLAR, v. (i) to repair thatch along the ridge of the roof. 

(2) to harness, or put the collar on, a colt for the first 

time. Used also, figuratively, for bringing up 
a child to work early. 

(3) to colour or blacken, to dirty or smut. LEIGH 

says from COLLAR, soot. 
"You've collared your face." 

COLLAR-PROUD, adj. restive. 

Said of a horse which is unsteady in harness, especially when first starting. 

COLLERED, part, soiled by soot. MIDDLEWICH. 
COLLOGUE, v. to collude. Mow COP. 
COLLOP, s. a slice of meat. 

COLLOW or COLLY, v. to blacken, to colour, to make black with 
a coal. MACCLESFIELD, but not very often used. 

COLLYWEST or COLLYWESTON, adv. in an opposite direction, 
the contrary way. 

"Am I going right for such and such a place?" " Nao, its 

Leigh explains it also as " used when anything goes wrong," and quotes 
a saying " It's aw along with Colly Weston," Halliwell also gives this latter 

COLOURY, adj. roan or spotted. Said of cows that are not self- 

In auctioneer's posters one frequently sees a stock of cows described as 
" good, coloury cows." 

COLT, s. (i) a child's caul. KELSALL. 

(2) when meaning a young horse it is pronounced " cowt," 
which see. 


COLOURING, s. extract of anatto, used for colouring cheese or 

It 5s now generally sold in bottles in a liquid state ; but formerly was in 
solid lumps. 

COMB, s. (i) hatting term. The raised part of a "helmet" hat, 
such as are worn by the police ; also CREST. 

(2) a brewing vat. HALLIWELL. 

COME, s. the angle at which the digging part of a spade, locally 
called the mouth, is attached to the handle. 

If the mouth and handle are almost in a line the spade is said to have 
" very little come;" if they make a considerable angle, the spade has " a good 
dealof*w." Different makes of spades, as regards this peculiarity, suit 
different diggers ; a man who naturally puts his spade into the ground very 
perpendicularly requires one with a good deal of come ; one whose propensity 
is to put his spade in sloping requires less come. For shovelling up soil a 
spade with as much come as possible is best, as the workman does not require 
to stoop so. low. I have described this minutely partly because the term has 
always seemed to me very peculiar ; and partly because there are, probably, no 
better "spade men" in the country than Cheshire men; and they are 
naturally a little particular in selecting their tools. 

COME, v. (i) to act the part Rennet does in cheese-making; turning 

milk to curds. 
11 Thou looks so sour, thou'd come a cheese." L. 

The curd is said to come when it coagulates ; and butter is said to come 
when it separates from the milk in churning. 

(2) to sprout as barley does in the process of malting. 
The word is used in this sense by RANDLE HOLME 
(Academy of Armory, Bk. III., ch. iii., p. 105). 

COME, idiom, at an approaching time, or at the recurrence of any 
time or season. 

" He'll be nine year old come Barnaby." 
" Sunday come se'night" is an idiom meaning next Sunday but one. 

COME AGAIN, v. to appear after death as a ghost. 

I remember a gentleman, who was drowned whilst skating, was popularly 
believed to "come again." 

COME-AH-GEN, excl. an expression used to the horses when they 
are to turn to the left at the end of a plough furrow. 

Also used as an adverb. A ploughman will speak of turning, COME-AH- 
NORTON, and the neighbourhood, also MIDDLEWICH). 

COME-AT, v. to come near. 

" Ony lemme come at the, and I'll gie it the." 


COME BY, v. to obtain. 

" I hope you came by it honestly." 

"Ow did ye come by such a cough, Missis?" "Oh, ahr Jim 
wur i'th' owd fettle last wik, an I had for t' fetch him worn every 
neet from th' Horse and Jockey, and I geet such a cowd trapesin 
i'th' wet, oi've done nowt bu' cough ever sin." 


COMEING, part, sprouting. 

"The Comeingoi Barley, or Malt ; is the splitting of it as if it cast out a 
Root." Academy of Armory, Bk. III., ch. iii., p. 105. See MALT-CooMS. 

COME ITE or COME OUT, excl an expression used to a dog or 
other animal, meaning "be quiet." 

COME NEARER, excl. used in cart stables instead of "come up." 

COME ON, v. to grow, to improve. 

COME ROUND, v. to recover. 

"He's comin raind wonderful." 

COME THY WAYS, excl. a coaxing way of calling an animal ; or 
even of addressing children. 

" Come thy -ways in, wench, it's cowd." 

COME UP, excl. an expression used to an animal when it is required 
to move. 

COMFORTABLE, s. a comforter or woollen scarf for the neck. 

COMMON SALT, s. salt-making term. The cheapest kind of coarse 
salt made; used in alkali works, soap works, glass works, &c. 

COMN, v. plural of come. 

" Are they comn in yet ?" 

COMPANY, s. the bailiffs. 

" He's getten company," i.e., He's got the bailiffs in the house. 

COMPASS, s. quantity, as applied to land. 

"What compass of ground have you?" i.e., "How many acres 
do you farm?" 

COMPLY, v. to fit, to coincide. 

CON, v. can. 

"Ay, that aw con." 

CONDUCTING RODS, s. salt-mining term ; guards of iron running 
from top to bottom of the shafts, for the purpose of staying or 
steadying the load in ascending, or the tub or bucket in 


CONEY-GREE, s. an old name for a rabbit warren. 

Sir W. Brereton and Randle Holme both use the word, but the latter 
spells it "coney -greys." A writer in the Cheshire Sheaf (Nov., 1879, p. 332) 
says that two hundred years ago a small plot of land in the precincts of 
Chester, now probably covered with houses, was called "The Cony-grees." 
I find in the Tithe Apportionment of the township of Norton, in the Parish 
of Runcorn, a field called " Coney-graves," and this gives us a clue to the 
derivation of the word, i.e., the diggings or burrows of rabbits. In the West 
Cheshire dialect it would be pronounced " coney-greeves," and this has been 
shortened into coney-grees. 


Leigh, in his Ballads and Legends of Cheshire, gives this as a name by 
which the town was called . It arose from the following circumstance, as 
recorded in the accounts of the Town of Congleton : "1622. About this 
time arose the saying of Congleton selling the Word of God to buy a bear. 
Thus : There being a new Bible wanted for the use of the chapel, and as 
they were not able at that time to purchase one, they had laid some money 
by for the purpose. In the meantime, the town bear died, and the said 
money was given to the bearward to buy another, and the minister was 
obliged to make further shift, and use the old one a little longer, until they 
could purchase one. Some say they gave to him the money thence arising at 
the sale of the old Bible laid by, having bought a new one." See Green's 
Knutsford, p. 56. 

CONGLETON POINTS, s. tough white leather thongs with tin or 
silver tags at each end, for the manufacture of which Congleton 
was formerly noted. They were used for fastening the dresses 
of both men and women, and continued fashionable until 
superseded by buckles and buttons. 

CONGLETON SACK, s. a beverage for the brewing of which 
Congleton has been famous for centuries. It was introduced at 
civic and other feasts in large China bowls. 

CONKER-TREE, s. a horse-chestnut tree. FRODSHAM. See 

CONNER, I -v. can not. 


CONNY,! ,. . . . .. . 

CANNY, j adj - bnsk) llvel y- W - 

CONQUERORS, s. a game played with horse-chestnuts threaded 
on a string. 

< It is played by two boys who sit face to face astride of a form or a log of 
timber. If a piece of turf (peat dried for fuel) can be procured so much the 

fitter. One boy lays his chestnut upon the turf, and the other strikes at it 
with his chestnut ; and they go on striking alternately till one chestnut splits 
the other. The chestnut which remains unhurt is then " conqueror of one." 
A new chestnut is substituted for the broken one, and the game goes on. 
Whichever chestnut now proves victorious becomes "conqueror of two," 
and so on, the victorious chestnut adding to its score all the previous 


winnings. The chestnuts are often artificially hardened by placing them up 
the chimney, or carrying them in the warm pocket ; and a chestnut which 
has become conqueror of a considerable number acquires a value in school- 
boys' eyes, and I have frequently known them to be sold, or exchanged for 
other toys. See CONKER-TREE. 

CONSARN, excL an imprecation. 

" Consarn ye ! for two pins I'd knock ye dain." 

CONST, v. canst. CONST TA, canst thou. 
COOERT, s. a coat. 
COOM, v. came. 

COOP or CUP, inter/, a call word to cows and horses. Probably 
an abbreviation of "come up." 

COOT, s. the water-hen (Gallinula podiceps). The coot is called 
BALD COOT, from its white face. 

COOTER or COOTHER, s. the coulter of a plough. 

COOTH, s. cold (malady), but with some difference which I have 
never been quite able to understand. Thus a Cheshire man 
does not say he has a cooth, but always couples cooth and cold. 
" I dunnot feel so well, I'm so full of cooth and cold." 

COOTH, adj. cold ; said of the weather. DELAMERE. 

COOTHFUL, adj. that which produces cooth or cold. MIDDLE- 

" It's a coothful house." 

COP, s. (i) a hedge bank. 

"There wur a hee cop and a big dytch." 

(2) a blow. See COB (i). 

(3) a small bundle of spun cotton prepared for weaving. 

COP, v. to catch, both in the sense of capturing, and in the semi- 
slang sense of being scolded. NORTON. 

"I've copped it," said when a boy had been chasing a kitten, 
and had, at last, got hold of it. 

"You've copt it." You've caught it, or got a scolding. 

COPE, v. to cope a ferret is to muzzle it, often by the cruel process 
of sewing its lips together. 

COP-GOLE, s. described by Randle Holme as part of a yoke. 
Academy of Armory, Bk. III., ch. viii., p. 335. 

COPPET, adj. pert, saucy. W. 


COPPY, s. a coppice. 

Tusser uses the word, though differently spelt. 
" Fence copie in, 
er heawers begin." 

Five Hundred Points. April's Abstract. 

CORAL PLANT, s. Ribes sanguineum. L. 
CORF, s. a basket to bring coals up from a pit. L. 
CORKER, s. (i) a settler, or clencher of an argument. 

(2) a great lie. 
CORKS, s. cinders. L. 

CORN, s. (i) a crystal of salt. 

"The brine everywhere gathers into Cornet" (Nantwich, 1669). 
Philosophical Transactions, vol. iv., p. 1065. 

(2) for this word, when it means cereal grain, and its 
compounds, see CURN. 

CORN, v. to crystallize. Salt is said to corn during the process of 

"They boyle [the brine] very gently till it Come" (Nantwich, 1669). 
Philosophical Transactions, vol. iv., p. 1065. 

CORNALEE, s. the dogwood. Spelt CORNOWLEE in Breretoris 
Travels, 1634. L. Cornus sanguined. 

CORNOK, s. a corn measure containing four bushels. L. 

CORRUPTION, s. purulent matter. 

COSP, s. (i) the cross piece at the top of a spade handle. 

(2) frequently used for the head. 

A person whose head has been broken is said "to have had his cosp 
broken." W. 

COSS, v. to curse. L, 

COSSES, v. costs. 

" It cosses a deal o' brass." 

COSTN, v. plural of cost. 

"They costn a lot," they are very expensive. 

COT, s. 

Probably only an abbreviation of CW-quean, any man who interferes with 
female domestic employment, and particularly in the kitchen, is so called. 
W. The more general word is MOLL-COT, which see. 

COTE, s. a shed, or shelter. CALF-COTE, PIG-COTE, PIGEON-COTE, 


COTTED, adj. entangled. 

" Cotted fleeces " are fleeces with felted lumps amongst the wool. 

COTTER or COTTER-PIN, s. (i) an iron peg inserted in the 

bars of a shutter to secure it. 
" Put th' cotter i'th' shutter." 

(2) a blow. 

" Gie him a cotter'' MACCLESFIELD. 

COTTER, v. (i) to mend, but rather in a makeshift kind of way. 

" It's not worth doin much to ; it '11 just have to be cottered up a 
bit, and may be it '11 last a few years, " was said of a cottage which 
was almost too dilapidated to be made habitable. 

(2) to hit. 

"I'll cotter thee i'th' chops," i.e., "I'll hit you in the face." 


(3) to fasten anything with a cotter-pin. 

"Nah then, mak haste and cotter them shutters." MACCLES- 

COTTERILL, s. a cloven piece of iron to fasten a wheel on to a 

COTTER PATCH, s. salt-making term. An iron patch put at one 
corner of a salt-pan, and fastened with a cotter, to cover the 
letting out place. 


COTTON MESTER, s. the proprietor of a cotton factory. 

COUCH, v. (i) to slack lime. 

(2) to " Couch the barley, is to take it out off the wet 
and lay it on the Flooer a foot thick, for as large a 
compass as the Weeting will contain." Academy 
of Armory, Bk. III., ch. iii., p. 105. 

COUCH-GRASS, s. Triticum repens. L. More commonly 
SCUTCH, which see. 

COUCHING FLOOR, s. "A Couching Floore, a Floor made of 
Plaister of Paris smooth and even which no water will hurt; 
where the wet Barley is laid to come." Academy of Armory^ 
Bk. III., ch. iii., p. 105. 

COUNSELLORS, s. the downy seeds of the bur thistle (Carduus 
lanceolatus). KELSALL. 

COUNT, v. (i) to reckon, to have an opinion concerning anything. 
(2) to rely on. 

" Oi dunna count mitch on her, oo's too fond o' gaddin abite for 
shute my taste." 


COUNT CAKES, s. three-cornered cakes which have been peculiar 
to Congleton from time immemorial, and are used at the cor- 
poration meetings. 

A raisin is inserted in each corner of the cake. These raisins are supposed 
by some to represent the mayor and two justices who were the governing 
body under the charter of James I. By others they are supposed to sym- 
bolize the Trinity. 

COUNTERFEITS AND TRINKETS, s. porringers and saucers. 

COURSED WALL, s. a wall built of squared stones of equal 
thickness. See RANDOM. 

COVERLID, 5. toffy. Cheshire Sheaf, vol. i., p. 237. 

COW, s. young cabbage plants. Neighbourhood of LINDOW 
COMMON. Not very frequently used. 

COW-BOX, s. a square box, wide at the top and narrow at the 
bottom, from which cows eat licking. 

COW-CHAIN, s. the chain with which cows are tied up in the 
shippon; it slides up and down the ratch-stake by means of the 

COW-CLAP, s. the faeces of a cow. 
COWD, adj. cold. 

COWER, v. (i) to crouch. N. E. CHES. 

" Oo were that feart, oo cowert dain aw of a ruck i'th' corner." 

(2) to sit over the fire. 
" Cowerin 1 o'er th' fire." 

Although cower may be considered a classical word, to be found in most 
dictionaries, I have included it on account of its secondary meaning. 

COW-GATE, s. the right to pasture a cow on common land. 

Many of the farms at Frodsham have so many cow-gates on Frodsham 
marsh according to the size of the farm ; and the Stockham Charity, of which 
I was lately the treasurer, is derived from the rent of a certain number of 
cow-gates on the same marsh. 

In old Macclesfield documents the public officers are frequently allowed 
so many ccnu-gates on Macclesfield common. 

COW-GRASS, s. Trifolium medium. 

COW-ITCH, s. the hairy seeds of Rosa canina. 

They are so called from the similarity of their effects to those of the true 
Cowage or Cow-itch (Mucuna pruriens). Schoolboys sometimes put them 
down one another's backs, causing an irritation which is almost unbearable. 

COW-JOBBER, s. a dealer in store cattle. 

COW LADY, s. a ladybird, Coccinella septempunctata. 



COWSHAT, s. a wood pigeon. 

COW-SHORN or COW-SHARN, s. the leavings of the cow. W. 

COWSLOP, s. (i) the cowslip (Primula verts). 

(2) the faeces of a cow. MACCLESFIELD. 
COWT, s. (i) a colt. 

(2) a novice, who has to pay his footing. 

COWT, v. to make a new comer pay his footing. 

At many of the rent audits new tenants are colted the first time they 
appear at the rent dinner. On the Mobberley Hall Estate, where I have 
received the rents for many years, and probably at other rent dinners, a 
curious formula is practised. After dinner two of the oldest tenants 
mysteriously leave their seats and go out of the room. They presently return 
bringing with them a carving knife, a rolling pin, and a small tea tray. They 
then go round the room looking the guests over till they find a new tenant ; 
then begins the fun. They treat him as if he were a colt that is going to 
have his tail docked. They pat him on the back and shout wo-ho ! wo-ho ! 
and ask one another "how will he stand it?" "Dun yo think he'll bleed 
pretty well ?" and so on. After a few of these jokes and by-play, and a good 
deal of laughing, the carving knife and the rolling pin are struck smartly 
together behind the man's back, which represents the docking of his tail, 
and the tray is presented to him, on which he is expected to deposit a piece 
of money, which is afterwards spent in punch. All the new people have to 
pass through the ordeal until there are no more colts. 

COWTER, s. the coulter of a plough. 

COW-TIE, s. a rope with which the legs of a kicking cow are tied 
when she is milked. 

A cow-tie is generally made of horsehair ; it has a loop at one end and 
a wooden button at the other. It is passed round one thigh, just above the 
hock, and the two ends are twisted once or twice ; the ends are then passed 
round the other thigh, and the button put through the loop to fasten it. 

COWTS-FOOT, s. the plant Tussilago Farfara. 

COW-WHISKET, s. a flat, oval basket, made of cleft ash, used for 
the same purpose as the cow-box. 

COY, s. used by Brereton in his "Travels" for decoy, 1635. L. 

CRAB or CRAB- APPLE, s. (i) Pyrus Malus. 

A very common tree in Cheshire in hedges and thickets. The inhabitants 
of Mobberley have, from time immemorial, been called "Mobberley Crabs;" 
and there used to be a custom in that parish of pelting the parson with crab- 
apples on " Wakes Sunday." The custom was quite obsolete before my 
time ; but I believe it was carried out in the present century. There are two 
fields in Mobberley called " Crab-tree Lands." There is also a kind of small 
semi-wild apple, tolerably sweet, and quite fit for culinary use, which is 
known as a Crab Apple. 

(2) an iron trivet to put over the fire. 


CRABBED, adj. cross. 

" Go's a crabbed owd thing." 

CRAB VARJIS, s. verjuice made from crab apples, and used for 

CRACK, s. (i) a talk, a gossip. 

" Aw've come to have a crack wi' ye." 

(2) a blow. 
" If tha doesna mak a less nize, I'll gie the sich a crack" 

CRACK A NUT, idiom, to break a person's head. N. E. CHES. 
CRACKED, part, half-witted. 

CRACK ON, v. to boast of. 

" He's nowt to crack on" 

CR ADD ANT or CRADDY, s. a difficult feat to be imitated. 

It is a favourite amusement for boys at school to set each other craddants; 
that is, to do something hazardous, which all the others are dared to follow, 
such as climbing up a tree and then dropping to the ground from some 
rather high branch. Wilbraham explains CRADANT as "a coward," and 
says that " to set cradants, amongst boys, is to do something hazardous, to 
take any desperate leap, which cradants dare not undertake after you." I 
certainly do not so understand it, for I have, over and over again, joined in 
the pastime, and have asked, and been asked to " set me a craddant, >r 
the craddant evidently meaning the daring feat itself, and not the person who 
was to attempt its performance. Ray gives CRASSANT as a Cheshire word, 
but some mistake is to be apprehended, and Wilbraham expresses himself 
doubtfully as to the word. About Macclesfield it is generally C RODDY. 

CRADDANTLY, adv. cowardly. WILBRAHAM (who spells it 

Here, also, it seems to me that the word does not imply that the person 
who tries to follow a craddant is cowardly, but that the feat itself causes 
nervous sensations. Wilbraham, " on the sole authority of Ray," also gives 
CRASSANTLY. Halliwell also gives CRASSANTLY, but without any reference 
to an author. See CRASSANTLY. 


CRAMBERRIES, s. Vaccinium Oxycoccos (Phitologist,' i. 702). 
The more general pronunciation is CRANBERRY. 

CRAMBLY, adj. lame. L. 
CRAMPIT, s. a crumpet. 
CRAMPLED, part, stiff in the joints. L. 
CRANK, s. a blow. L. 


CRANNY, adj. pleasant, agreeable, or praiseworthy ; a cranny lad. 
WILBRAHAM (on the authority of Bailey). 

Ray explains "a cranny lad" as " a jovial, brisk, lusty lad." 

CRAP, s. a crop. Mow COP. 
CRAP, v. to crop. Mow COP. 

CRAPUSSING, adv. in a weak, creeping manner. 

A horse or cow that walks as if its feet were tender is said to "go very 

" Au dunna know what to mak o' ahr Maria, oo goes crapussing 
abaht th' haise as though oo hadna th' use of her limbs." 

CRASH, s. unripe fruit. 

"Dunnot ate that crash." 

CRASSANTLY, adj. as a crassantly lad, a coward. RAY. 
CRATCH, s. a hay rack. 

CRATCHERN CAKES, s. cakes made of flour and the crateherns 
of lard, usually eaten at tea time. Also called SCRATCHERN 


(1) the dried up bits that remain after the rendering of 

lard, used for making cratchern cakes. 

(2) graves, from a chandler's refuse fat. L. 

CRAW, s. a bird's crop. Also used metaphorically of a person's 

" Poor chap ! one can see he's getten nowt in his craw." 

CREDUSSING, adj. humbly mean. L. 
CREECH Y, adj. (i) weak, in bad repair. 
(2) rather poorly. 

CREEL, s. the silver-spangled Hamburg fowl. A grey mottled 
kind of Dorking fowl is known as CUCKOO CREEL. 

CREEM, v. the same as teem, to pour ; also to put slily into one's 
hand. W. RAY gives the same explanation. 

CREEP or CREEP EDGE, s. a creeping fellow. 
An area sneak would be called a "creep edge" L. 

CREEPING JACK, s. the plant Sedum acre. 

CREEPIT, v. \ perfect tense and participle of the verb, to 

CREEPITING, part, j creep. L. 

CREST, s. hatting term. See COMB. 


CREWDLING, s. a dull, stupid person, a slow mover. W. 

CREW, s. a pen to shut fowls in. DELAMERE. 
"A duck-crew." " A hen-crew." 

CREWE, v. to shut up fowls. W. 
CRIB, s. a small cote to put young calves in. 
CRICKET, s. a low stool. 
GRILL, s. chill, thrill. Mow COP. 

"Aw of a crill" 
CRIMBLE, v. (i) to crumble. 

(2) to sneak out of an engagement. L. 

CRIMBLY, adj. crumbly. 

" They liken a crimbly cheese i' Manchester." 

CRINKLE, v. to wrinkle, to shrivel up. 

" When she had tane the mantle, 

And cast it her about, 
Upp att her great toe 

It began to crinkle and crowt: 
Shee said, bowe downe, mantle, 
And shame me not for nought." 

"The Boy and the Mantle," Percy's Reliques, 
vol. iii. 46, ed. v. 

CRINKLY, adj. having an uneven surface through being crumpled 

CRISP, v. the first process of freezing. 

" The water's crisping." 

CRITS, s. small potatoes. L. 


CROFT, s. a small field. 

CROM, v. to cram. ' 

CROM-FULL, adj. quite full full to repletion. 

CRONY, s. a good friend. 

CROODLE, v. (i) to snuggle, as a young animal snuggles against 

its mother. 

" Th' pratty little dear ! look how it croodles up agen it mammy." 
(2) to crouch down. 

CROODLED or CROODLED UP, part, curled up snugly, as a 
cat curls herself round when sleeping. 


CROOKS, s. the main timbers of an old black and white house. 

They were curved and were set up in the gable ends forming a gothic 
arch from the ground to the roof. The secondary timbers were all supported 
by them. 

CROOKT, adj. crooked. 

CROP or CROP-WOOD, s. the branches of a felled tree. 

CROP, v. (i) to yield a crop. 

Certain varieties of plants are grown because " they crop well." 

(2) to cut the branches from a felled tree. 

(3) perfect tense of creep ; also CROPE. 

CROP-HIDE, s. tanning term; a hide tanned whole without having 
the head and belly part cut off. 

CROPPEN, v. plur. of crop (to yield a crop). 
"They croppen well." 

CROPPEN, part, crept. 

" He were croppen into th' stackyort to heide hissel." 

CROPPEN UP, idiom, occurred to mind, come to light. KNUTSFORD, 

CROPPER, s. that which bears a crop. 

" Magnum Bonums (potatoes) are rare croppers" 

CROSE, s. hatting term. The edges of a hat-body when laid flat. 


Randle Holme describes the parts of a YELVE (which see) as "The Barr, or 
Cross Bar. The Tangs or Forks. The Socket, for the Stail to go in. The 
Staile. Te Kaspe, is the top part on which the man holds." Academy of 
Armory, Bk. III., ch. viii., p. 337. 

The Cross Bar seems to have been the cross piece of iron to which the 
prongs of the potato fork or yelve are fixed. Kaspe is now called COSP, 
which see. 

CROSS-CUT, v. (i) to cut the stem of a tree into lengths with a 
cross-cut saw. 

(2) cutting out turnips with a hoe so as to leave 
them in tufts ready for a final thinning to 
single plants. MINSHULL VERNON. 


When it is so arranged that some cows in a stock shall calve in the spring 
or summer, and others in the autumn or winter, so as to ensure a supply of 
milk all the year round, they are said to be cross-noted. 

CROSS-WIND, v. to warp. 


CROW, s. (i) a rook or crow. The distinction of species is not 

(2) an iron bracket fixed over the kitchen fire. 

The crow works in sockets, and can be brought over the fire for use, or 
pushed back into the chimney when not wanted. The use of it is to hang 
large, heavy pots over the fire. They can thus be pushed over the fire or 
drawn off without the exertion of lifting them. The pans, of course, are not 
ordinary saucepans, but have a handle over the top, and usually stand upon 
three feet. 

CROW FOOT, s. the various species of buttercup, principally 
Ranunculus repens. 

CROWNER or CRUNNER, s. a coroner. 

CROW NET, s. a net formerly used for catching crows and rooks. 

The following interesting extract is copied from Col. Leigh's Glossary. 
Kinderton is a township in Cheshire near Middlewich. " At the Kinderton 
Church Leet, 39 Elizabeth, Villa de Hunsterton was presented and fined 
los. 9d. 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 
wonderfull and marvellous great quantity of corne 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, where- 
ever 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 made one net, commonly 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 year as is 
convenient for the destruction of such choughs, &c. , upon paine to forfeite 
Xs. to be levied of the inhabitants of the parish, &c. The net to 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 every six old crowes, 
rookes, or choughs a penie, for every three old a halfpenny." 

How crows were to be caught with the nets is not explained. Times are 
changed, and instead of the destruction of crows being enforced by law, we 
have a Wild Birds Preservation Act now, which makes it penal to kill crows, 
at any rate during the breeding season. 

CROW ORCHARD, s. a rookery. L. 

CROW-ROAD, s. the straight road from one place to another; as 
the crow flies. 

CROWS, s. hatting term. Rejected work given back to the work- 

CROZZEL, s. a cinder. 

"Au just put th' poi i'th' oon afore au went aht, an' when au 
coom back it were aw burnt to a crozzel." 


CRUD, s. curd. 

CRUD-BREAKER, s. an implement for breaking curd ; also called 
a dairymaid. 

CRUDDLE, v. to curdle. 

CRUD-KNIFE, s. a large knife, like a carving knife, but blunt, used 
for cutting curd into square blocks to allow the whey to run out. 

CRUD-MILL, s. a machine for breaking the pressed curd into 
small pieces preparatory to salting it and finally putting it into 
the vats. 

It stands upon four legs, and consists of a wooden hopper without a 
bottom. Iron pins are fixed on each side of the bottom aperture, and a 
wooden roller, also carrying rows of iron pins, revolves between them. The 
roller is turned by a handle. The curd put into the hopper is thus ground 
up, and falls into a vessel below. 

CRUEL or CREWELL, s. is still in use for worsted. " To work 
in crewell" is to work in worsted. W. The word, however, is 
scarcely local. 

CRUM or GRUME, s. salt-making term; 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. 
Obsolete, I think. 

CRUMMY, adj. fat, well filled out. 

CRUMPSY, adj. ill-tempered, cross. MIDDLEWICH, MACCLES- 

" Fratchetty and crumpsy " is said of a tiresome, cross child. 

CRUS (pi. CRUSSES), s. crust. 
CRUTCH, s. a leg. L. 

CRYEN, v. plur. of cry. 

" They cry en their eyne eawt." 

CRY NOTCH, v. "to Cry Notchil? is for a man to advertise that 
he will not be answerable for debts incurred by his wife. L. 

CUCKE STOOLS, 5. belong to old Cheshire of the past. 

Formerly every parish had its Ducking Stool or Cuckie 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 v&s" L. I can well remember that when I was a boy a certain 
pit on Knutsford Heath (now drained) was called "The Ducking Pit." 

A street in Macclesfield is called Cuckstool Pit Hill, at the bottom of 
which is the river Bollin, where the scolds where ducked. The chair itself 
is, I believe, preserved in the Town Hall. 


CUCKLE, v. to cackle. 

A hen is said to cuckle when she tells us she has laid an egg. 


CUCKOO-FLOWER, s. Cardamine pratensis. Mm-CHES. Ane- 
mone nemorosa. BEESTON. 

CUCKOO-LAMBS, s. late-born lambs, not supposed to thrive. L. 
CUCKOO MEAT, s. the wood-sorrel, Oxalis Acetosella. 

CUCKOO OATS, s. oats sown after the cuckoo comes, too late, 
as a rule, to do very well. 

CUCKOO'S BREAD AND CHEESE, s. the wood-sorrel. L. 
Oxalis Acetosella. 

CUCKOO'S CAP, s. Aconitum Nafellus and other garden species 
of monkshood. 

CUCKOO-SPIT, s. the frothy matter seen on the leaves and stems 
of many plants in early summer, exuded by the insect Cicada 

CU-IN, s. a periwinkle (shellfish). 

CULLS, s. the worst sheep picked out or culled from a flock. 

CULTER, s. the coulter of a plough is so-called by Randle Holme 
(Academy of Armory, Bk. III., ch. viii., p. 333). He elsewhere 
spells it CULTURE. 

CUMBERLIN, s. a troublesome fellow, one that cumbers the earth, 
and does no good. L. 

"Thah'st getten bad luck top eend, thah cumberlin." J. C. 

CUNLIFF, s. one of the divisions in which a brick kiln is built up. 


To shoot a marble cunnithumb is to place it in the middle of the bent 
forefinger instead of poising it at the tip of the ringer. It is considered a 
childish or effeminate way of playing marbles, and the marble is npt dis- 
charged with anything like the proper force. 


CUR, s. a good, sharp watchdog. The word does not refer, in the 
least, to low breeding. 

"He's a good sharp cur," or "a good cur," is said of any dog that 
barks at strangers and guards his master's property. 

CURL, s. hatting term. The edge of a hat brim which turns over. 


CURLED MINT, s. Mentha crispa. 

A kind of mint with frilled edges to the leaves, not at all infrequent in 
Cheshire gardens. It is used for the same purpose as pea-mint, and is 
considered a superior kind. 

CURN, s. corn. 

CURN-ARK, s. a chest in a stable, in which corn is kept. 
CURNCRAKE, s. the landrail. Ortygometra Crex. 
CURN-FLOWER, s. Lychnis Githago. 

CURNING, part, collecting corn. 

When I was a boy it was a custom for the poor people to go curning. 
They went to all the farmhouses begging for a small donation of wheat, a few 
weeks before Christmas. Generally a small quantity was given perhaps a 
pint or a quart which they put in a bag carried for the purpose. When 
they had collected as much as they could, they took it to the mill and had it 
ground into flour. Probably the custom still exists in out-of-the-way places ; 
but it is fast becoming obsolete, 

CURRAKE, s. a cow-rake; a .heavy blunt-edged hoe, used for 
scraping the dung from a shippon groop. See GROOP. 

CURRANBINE, 5. the garden columbine, Aquilegia vulgaris. 


CURST, adj. bad tempered. L., who illustrates it by an old 
Cheshire proverb, "Cursfcows have short horns." The proverb, 
however, occurs in Herbert's collection. 

CUSH, s. a polled cow. 
CUSTHUT, s. custard. 
CUT, s. (i) the breadth of a truss in a stack of hay. NORTON. 

A Cheshire farmer generally estimates the weight of a stack by measuring 
how many trusses it will make the truss being of uniform length, width, and 
weight ; each set of trusses across the stack being called a cut. 

"I did na reckon the stack above twenty-fower or twenty-five 
ton. There'd be twelve cuts i'th' stack, an' about two ton in each 

(2) a canal 

"Oi were walkin' along th' <r#Asoide to-neet, and au'd loiked 
for t' fell in." 
In the Bridgewater Company's Acts the canal is usually spoken of as a cut. 

(3) a stroke with a whip. 
CUT, v. (i) to castrate. 

(2) to run away. 

(3) to strike with a whip. 


CUTE, adj. sharp, clever, intelligent. 
CUTLINS, s. oatmeal. L. 

CUT NECK, excL used in an old harvest custom. 

The late Captain V. A. King wrote to me from Wirrall : "There was a 
custom here when all the corn was cut upon a farm, but not gathered into 
the barn, the labourers used to have a supper, and after this go out in the 
open air and shout at the very top of their voices Cut neck, Cut neck !" See 


CUT ONE'S STICK, ']*** runmn S 

These expressions savour, perhaps, more of imported slang than of 
provincial dialect. 

CUTS, s. (i) a variety of oats. 

(2) lots. 

To draw cuts is to draw lots, or perhaps it is more generally said to 
"have cuts." 

" Let's have cuts." 

CUTTINGS, s. the furrows in the corners of fields which do not run 
from one end of the field to the other. 

CUTTING THE NECK, a harvest custom practised about RUN- 

I have never seen this custom, but it has been thus described to me : When 
the reapers are just about finishing cutting a field of wheat they leave a small 
piece standing. They then tie the heads together with a piece of ribbon, and 
standing at some distance, they throw their sickles at it. The one who 
severs "the neck" receives a prize, a shilling or two, given by the master. 
Some very interesting notices of the same custom under various forms, and in 
widely distant counties, may be found in Notes and Queries at the following 
references : 4th S. xii. p. 491 ; 5th S. vi. p. 286 ; ix. p. 306 ; and x. pp. 51, 
359 ; and Halliwell describes a Herefordshire custom under the title " Crying 
the Mare," which is very similar. It would appear from a perusal of these 
articles that our word " neck " has really nothing to do with the neck of the 
sheaf tied with ribbon, but that it is a Norse word simply signifying "a 
sheaf of corn." 

CUYP, v. (pronounced in a peculiar way, something like " ceighp," 
the eigh being quickly given as in " weight ") to sulk, and 
show that you are sulking; to cry obstinately and causelessly, 
but in a subdued way, like bleeding inwardly. L. 



DAB, s. (i) a slight blow with the back of the hand, or at any rate 
not with the closed fist. 

(2) a small quantity. 

" It just wants a dab o' mortar." 

(3) an untidy, shiftless woman. MACCLESFIELD. 

(4) a proficient. 

DAB, adj. (i) proficient, expert. 

A man v^ho is clever at any particular work is said to be " a dab hand," 
often abbreviated into "a dab," when the word becomes a substantive. 

(2) slight, irregular, out of course. 
"A dab wash" is a small wash between the regular washing days. 

DAB, v. (i) to give a slight blow. 

(2) to do anything in a slight, superficial manner. MACCLES- 


(3) to set things down carelessly, not in their right place. 


DABBLY, adj. wet Mow COP. 

" Dabbly weather." See DRABBLY. 

DAB CHICK, s. a water hen. In Cheshire, " waiter hen." L. 

I have not met with the name in Cheshire, and I much suspect that Leigh 
really meant that "waiter hen " was the vernacular for the dabchick. At the 
same time Miss Jackson (Shropshire Word Book) gives dab-chick for the neigh- 
bouring county. 

DAB- HAND, s. a skilled workman, an adept. 

" Dab " is here really an adjective (see DAB), but it is seldom separated 
from the word "hand," and may be taken as a compound substantive. 

DACITY, s. intelligence, quickness ; an abbreviation of audacity. W. 
DADDLE, v. to walk with short steps. W. 

DADE, v. to lead children beginning to walk. 

In common use about MACCLESFIELD, though Wilbraham in his Glossary 
says "not common." 

DADING-STRINGS, s, leading-strings. MACCLESFIELD. 
DAFFOCK, s. a woman's dress that is too short. L. 


DAFFYDOWNDILLY, s. the daffodil, Narcissus Pseudo-narcissus. 

DAG, v. to wet the feet or petticoats. MACCLESFIELD. See DEC. 
DAHN or DAIN, prep, down ; almost pronounced " dine." 
DAIN, adj. dejected. 

DAINFAW, s. a fall of rain, snow, or hail. 

"We mun have some sort of a dainfaw afore it's any warmer." 

DAIN TH' BONK, idiom, down the bank a metaphor for 
growing old and infirm ; also for becoming poorer. 

DAIRYMAID, s. an implement used in cheese-making. 

It consists of a wire sieve, the meshes of which are about an inch and a 
half long by half an inch wide, a long handle being fixed to the middle 
of the sieve. Its use is to cut the newly-formed curd in the cheese- 
tub into small pieces, in order that it may settle and be separated from the 
whey. Some care is required in using it, and at first it is moved up and down 
very slowly, lest the cream should be knocked out of the curd, as it would be 
by rough usage. 

DAISY-CUTTER, s. a horse which throws its feet forward in 
trotting instead of lifting them well from the ground. 

It is said that such a horse will "kick a sixpence afore it." Cheshire 
Sheaf, vol. i., p. 237. 

DAKER HEN, s. the corncrake. L. Ortygometra Crex. 
DAL, m/.'an imprecation ; a euphuism for "damn." 

DALLING, adj. " dalling weather," in harvest, means a perpetual 
change from wet to dry, and vice versa, which prevents progress. 

This is really a participle formed from the verb " to dally." 

DALLY, s. delay; also DILLY-DALLY, which see. 

DALLY, v. to delay, to loiter. 

" Dunna thee dally uppo' th' road." 

DAMAGED, part, bewitched. 

Some forty years ago, as I am informed by a correspondent, there lived in 
a small cottage on Mottram Common an old man named William Ford. His 
wife was hypochondriacal, and Billy, as he was called, firmly believed she 
had been damaged by an old woman at Macclesfield named Earlam. She 
wore a charm sewed up in her stays as an antidote. 

DAMASIS, s. damsons. Mow COP. 

DAMSEL, s. a damson, Prunus damascena. 

This plum is much grown in Cheshire, and is quite different from the 
rough-tasted fruit sold under the name of damson in London. The damson- 
blossom is quite a feature in Cheshire scenery in early spring. Most of the 


farm labourers have a large garden, and great numbers of them have also an 
acre or two of land, and damsons are largely cultivated both in the garden- 
ground and in the hedges of the small fields. In spring time the cottages 
nestling in little forests of the white -blossomed trees have a charming 

DANDER, s. spirit, temper. 

" I got his dander up " means I put him out of temper. 

DANDER, v. (i) to wander about. W. Also DONDER. L. 

(2) to talk in a rambling, incoherent, silly sort of way. 

An old man getting into his dotage is sometimes said to be a dandering 
old fellow. 

DANDY, s. a bantam. 

The sexes are specified as dandy-cock, and dandy -hen. 

DANG, v. to throw things about violently and carelessly. MACCLES- 

" Oi'm froitened to deeath at ahr Joe ; when he's in his tantrums 
he'll dang the things abait till there is ner a wull cheer nor table 
i'th' place." 

DANG or DANG IT, excl. a mild imprecation ; a substitution or 
euphemism for " damn." About MIDDLEWICH it takes the form 
of DENG. 

DANGERLY, adv. possibly, by chance. W. 
DANGWALLET, s. a spendthrift. W. 

Wilbraham's words (1826 edition) are : "Dang, v. to throw carelessly or 
violently ; hence the term Dang-wallet for a spendthrift ;" by which I presume 
he means that Dangwallet is a Cheshire word, though he does not actually 
include it in his Glossary. 

DANTER, s. a name used in Macclesfield and Congleton for the 
female superintendent of a winding room in a silk-mill. 

Her work is to put the "slips on the swifts." There is generally one 
danter to each room, but if the room is very large there may be two danters. 
Perhaps this word is only a form of TENTER. See HAY-TENTERS. 

DARK, adj. (i) doubtful, unknown. 

"Have you got such a farm?" " No, it is dark at present." L. 

(2) blind. 

DARN or DARN YE, excl. an imprecation. 
DARNAK, s. a hedger's glove. L. 

DARNEL, s. the grass Lolium temulentum, a common weed amongst 
corn, and popularly supposed to be degenerated wheat. 

DARTER, s. daughter ; not very commonly used. 


DASH-BOARDS, s. additional boards used for raising the sides of 
a cart, so as to allow a larger load of loose materials, such as 
lime, turnips, &c., to be carried. MACCLESFIELD. 

DATELESS, adj. insensible. 

Leigh gives an illustration from evidence given before the Grand Jury at 
the Chester Assizes, "Father knocked mother down dateless." It is a very 
common expression in police-courts. 

DAUB, ) 

DOAB, \ s. clay and chopped straw, used for plastering. 


It is said that it was made by placing the clay and straw upon a farm yard, 
and then treading it with horses until it was thoroughly softened and mixed. 

DOAB' 1 y - ( J ) to pl aster with c l a y> as was formerly done in the old 
DOWB 1 black and white houses. 

(2) to smear or dirty. 

DAUBER, DOABER, or DOWBER, s. a plasterer in clay, when 
houses were built of "Raddle and Daub." 

Altrincham and Over, though now somewhat large and populous places, 
used each to elect a mayor when they were mere country villages. They 
were always spoken of as the two smallest corporations in England, and the 
mayors were frequently men in not very elevated social positions. Hence it 
is a very common saying that 

" The Mayor of Altrincham and the Mayor of Over, 

The one is a thatcher, the other a dauber." 
Dawber is a Cheshire surname, probably derived from the occupation. 


DAVELY, adj, lonely. DEAVELY (WILDERSPOOL). Wilbraham also 
gives DEAFLY. 

"It's a davely road." 

DAY PIT, s. an old marling term. Apparently a marl pit opened 
on the side of a hill. 

" The expenses of marling vary greatly, according to situation and other 
circumstances. If the marl lies under high ground, so that a day pit can 
be made, it may be procured at a comparatively small expense ; but from the 
general flatness of the surface, few opportunities of this nature occur." 
Holland's General View of the Agriculture of Cheshire (1808), p. 222. 

DAY SHAFT, s. salt-mining term; the main or workingshaft of a mine. 

DAZE, v. to dazzle, to stun ; generally used in the passive voice. 
" He wur dazed" 

DEAD HORSE WORK, idiom, said when a man has to pay away, 
at once, any money he makes by his work: it being all fore- 
stalled. W. CHES. 

Ray (1670) has the proverb, "To work for a dead horse t " i.e., to work 
out an old debt, without hope of a future reward. 


DEADLY, adv. very. L. 

DEATH-PINCH, s. a discolouration of the skin, proceeding from a 
diseased state of the blood; popularly supposed to portend 

DEAVE, v. to deafen, or stun by noise. W, 

DECENT, adj. good, pleasant, upright. 

" He's the decentest mon i' th' county." 
DECK, v. 

"I'll deckit," i.e., "I'll knock off work, I'll give up what I am doing." L. 

DECK O' CARDS, s. a pack of cards. MACCLESFIELD. 
DEE, s. pron. of day. W. CHES. 
DEE, v. to die. 

(2) metaphorically used for anything not fully de- 
veloped, as a nut without a kernel, a head of 
wheat without any corn in it. 

' ' He does na crack many deafmits " is a proverbial expression to describe 
a person or animal that is fat and well-to-do. 

DEET, v. (i) to dirty. BREDBURY. 

(2) part of the verb to do. 

" Much good deet you," much good do it (i.e., may it do) you. An exact 
translation of the Italian, Buon pro vifaccia. W. 

" Yo'n sent him worn deet up to th' een." 


DEG, v. to sprinkle with water. 

Degging plants is watering them. 

DEGGIN CAN, s. a watering can. 
DELF, s. a stone quarry. 
DELVE, v. to dig. 

DEM, v. to dam water. 


DEMATH, s. a daymath, 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 the proportion of 32 
to 30^, consequently the Demath bears that of 32 to 3Oj, to the statute acre. 

DEMENTED, part, crazed, correctly out of one's mind. L, 

Scarcely provincial, but of frequent use amongst the country people. 
" He's cleean demented" 


DENIAL, s. detriment, hindrance. MACCLESFIELD. 


a ^'' ^ ee P' ^ ee P er ' merel y another form. L. 


I am puzzled to understand this entry, unless it is given as a form of 
spelling in some old Cheshire author or MS. ; but it is not so stated. 

DESARVE, v. deserve; plural DESARVEN. 

"We desarven aw we'n getten" is frequently said when a job has not 
turned out quite so remunerative as the labourers anticipated. 

DESPRIT, adv. very, extremely. 

" He's desprit bad," i.e., he's very ill. 
" He's a desprit good fellow." 

DEVIL'S BEDSTEAD, s. the four of clubs. MACCLESFIELD. 

This card is considered unlucky. See Miss Jackson's Shropshire Word- 

DEVIL'S COACH-HORSE, s. the caterpillar of the tiger-moth, 
Arctia Caja. 

DEVIL'S NETTLE, s. Achillea Millefolium. KNUTSFORD. 

Children draw the leaves across their faces, which leaves a tingling 

DEVIL'S PARSLEY, s. Anthriscus sylvestris. 

DEVIL'S SNUFF-BOX, s. the puffball. Lycoperdon. 

When ripe it gives off clouds of brown dust if it be squeezed. 

DEW, s. used for rain. W. 

DEW-BLOWN, part, said of cows which are swelled from eating 
green clover. L. See RISEN ON. 

DEW-MUG, s. a large black earthenware pan-mug. L. 

DIBBIN-STICK, s. a stick used for planting cabbages, &c., or 
making holes for sowing seed. MACCLESFIELD. The same as 


DICK'S HAT-BAND, s. "As fine as Dick's hat-band." 

Another version is "As queer as Dick's hat-band, as went nine times 
reaund, and wouldna tee (i.e., tie) at last." L. 

DICKY, "All dicky with him," i.e., it's all up with him. L. 

A more common expression, however, is "its aw dicky -n-^ wi' him." 

DICKY DAISY, s. Bellis perennis> and extended amongst children 
to almost any wild flowers. 

Children will speak of gathering flowers as "getting dicky daisies." 
The Ox-eye Daisy, Chrysanthemum Leucanthemum, is called Large Dicky 


DIDDY, s. the female breast ; also the milk contained therein. 

To give a child the diddy is to give it the breast. NORTON, HALTON. 

DIDN'T OUGHT, v. ought not. 

DIDS, s. the teats of an animal. 

DIG, s. a duck. W. CHES. 

DIG-MEAT, s. duckweed. Lemna. W. CHES. 

DIGHT, v. (i) to dress. W. 

(2) a form probably of to dirt. L. 

(3) to put out a candle ; also DOUT. 

DILLS, s. vetches. 

"Dills and wuts" are often sown to be cut as green meat for horses. L. 

DILLY-DALLY, v. to put off, to delay, to hesitate ; used chiefly as 
a participle. DILLY-DALLYING means in hesitancy. 

DIN, s. (i) noise of any kind. 

(2) perpetual talking. 

DING, prop. name, short for Enoch. WILMSLOW. 
DING, v. (i) to surpass or get the better of a person. W. 
(2) to dash down with violence. MACCLESFIELD. 

DING-DONG, adv. immediately, there and then, post-haste, at full 

" As soon as ever he heered of it, he started off ding-dong." 

DINGE, s. an indentation. 

DIP, s. sweet sauce eaten with pudding. If flavoured with brandy 
it is called BRANDY-DIP. 


DIPPERS, s. the Baptists. 

Generally used as a soubriquet by others; but I have even heard a Baptist 
minister speak of one of his own sect as a dipper. 

DIRTS, s. salt-making term. Cinders and ashes left after fuel is 

DIRTY DICK, s. the plant Chenopodium album, and several other 
species, which are found growing on old dung heaps. 

DIRTY JOHN, s. the plant Chenopodium album. HALTON. 

DISGEST, v. to digest ; an old, if not the oldest, form of the word. 

A correspondent relates the following story apropos of this word. "A 
friend of mine, when a young man living in lodgings, was surprised to find 
that a fine ham sent from his Yorkshire home was disappearing very rapidly. 
Upon mentioning the fact to his landlady, she was most indignant, but 
coming in unexpectedly one morning, he found her regaling herself with a 
huge plateful of broiled ham. She, unabashed, said ' Yo seen mester, oi've 
getten sich a poor insoide, I can disgest nothin bu' frizzled ham.' " 

DISGESTION, s. digestion. 

RANDLE HOLME (Academy of Armory) uses this word and also disgestivc. 

DISH, s. (i) formerly butter used to be sold in many of the markets 
by the dish of twenty-four ounces. 

" In most parts of Cheshire, butter is made up for sale in lumps, that 
have the name of dishes applied them. " Holland's General View of the 
Agriculture of Cheshire. (1808), p. 261. 

(2) the angle at which spokes are fixed in the nave of a 


A wheel in which the circumference stands out much beyond the centre is 
said to have a good deal of dish a flat wheel, very little dish. 

DISHABIL, adj. not dressed. 

"Yo mun excuse me bein' dishdbil" 

DISH-CLOUT, s. a dishcloth. 

DISHED, adj. wheels are said to be dished when they are hollow 
by reason of the circumference projecting beyond the centre. 
See DISH (2). 

DISH-DAiN or DISH-DOWN, s. a sudden reverse of fortune, a 

An old woman's name was accidentally omitted from a list of those who 
were to receive a coal charity ; when the mistake was rectified, she said, " It 
was quite a dish-dain when he told me there was none for me." 

DISHED-DOWN, part, crestfallen, disappointed. . 

DISMAY, v. to go wrong. 

" It's never dismayed." 

" He did, and ne'er dismayed" i.e., never hesitated. L. 


DITCH, s. salt-making term. The space in the hot-house between 
two raised flues, used for putting lump salt in to complete its 
stoving and drying. 

DITCHERS, s. a salt-making term. Men who remove the lumps 
of salt from the flues to the "ditches," and when dry take them 
out of the "hot-house." 

DITCHING, part, salt-making term. Removing the lumps from 
the flues to the ditches. 

DITHER, s. a trembling, a shivering. 

When a person is so cold that his teeth chatter he is said to be " aw of a 

DITHER, v. to tremble, to shiver. WILBRAHAM gives also DIDDER. 
DITHING, s. a trembling or vibratory motion of the eye. W. 

DIVERS, s. the larger blocks of burr stone used for making river 
embankments. They are thrown in first, so as to make a solid 
foundation between which the smaller stones lodge. RUNCORN. 

DJED, adj. dead. 
DJEF, adj. deaf. 
DJEL, s. quantity. 

DJEL, adv. drawing near as to time. BEESTON. 

A man who works at the Beeston Castle Hotel, describing the time it took 
to get rid of all the visitors to the annual Fete held at Beeston Castle, said 
" its like a djel o' ten afore they aw get cleared off," that is nearly ten o'clock. 

DJOW, s. dew. S. CHES. 

DO, ) a man who asks another to drink uses the term 

COME-DO, J Come, the other one accepts by saying Do. L. 

DOBBIN, s. a timber cart. DOBBIN WHEELS, the very high wheels of 
the same. L. DOBBY WHEELS is the more usual pronunciation. 

DOBBY- HORSE, s. a hobby-horse. 

An imitation horse which figures in the play performed by the " Soulers" 
(see SOULERS). It is usually made up with a horse's skull fastened 
to the top of a staff. A man, in a stooping posture, holds the staff so 
that his legs form the horse's hind legs, his back the horse's back, and the 
staff serves for the horse's forelegs. The man is hidden under a rug or a 
skin ; and there is an arrangement of strings or wires by which he can make 
the jaws open and shut. Most parishes possess a horse's skull, preserved 
from year to year for the occasion. The whole thing has a most unearthly 
appearance, and generally causes a good deal of consternation amongst the 
children, and even women, of a household where the play is performed. 

DOBBY-WHEELS. The large hind wheels of a timber carriage. 


DOCK, v. to shorten. 

DOCKET, s. hatting term. The wage ticket of workpeople. 


This is said by children when they have been stung by a nettle. They 
immediately rub the place with a dock leaf, using the above words as a sort 
of charm or incantation. WILBRAHAM gives the words in a slightly 
different form. "In dock out nettle," as "a kind of proverbial saying, 
expressive of inconstancy," adding "It is supposed that, upon a person being 
stung with a nettle, the immediate application of the dock leaf to the 
aggrieved part, repeating the precise words, 'In dock out nettle,' three times 
(which constitute the charm) will mitigate the pain. These words are said to 
have a similar effect with those expressed in the old monkish adage, ' Exeat 
ortica, tibi sit periscelis arnica," 1 the female garters bound about the part 
which has suffered, being held a remedy equally efficacious." 


DODGER, s. salt-making term; a long-headed hammer with a 
long handle, used for knocking off the scale or incrustations of 
lime or dirt on the pan bottoms when the pan is at work ; also 

DODGING, part, salt-making term. Knocking scale off the plates 
over the fire. 

DO DO, v. 

The reduplication of "do" is very peculiar in Cheshire. A Cheshire man 
will say "I did do" in reply to "Why did you?" or "Why did you not?" 
and in reply to "Why do you never go to church?" he will even say "Well! 
I do do sometimes." The explanation is that "do" is either an auxiliary 
verb, or it is an intransitive verb meaning to perform. The first do is 
auxiliary, the second intransitive, and the same educated people who think 
our Cheshire expression is wrong, constantly use it themselves in both senses, 
and correctly, when they say "Why do you do so ?" 

DOE or DOW, v. to grow fat, to thrive on little food. 

If an animal is feeding well we say "it does well" (pronounced "doze"). 
The verb is also used transitively. Thus we speak of particular food as doeing 
the cattle. If a man is growing fat we say "his meat does him." WIL- 
BRAHAM gives as a Cheshire adage " hanged hay never does cattle," that is, 
"bought hay, which has been weighed in the scales, is not economical." 
When an animal is in an unhealthy condition, but still lingers on, and its food 
seems to do it no good, it is commonly said " It'll nother doe nor dee." 

DOESOME, adj. apt to grow fat; said chiefly of cattle. 
DOFF or DUFF, s. dough. 
DOFF, v. to pull off one's clothes. 
DOFFY, adj. cowardly. Mow COP. 


DOG, s. a tool used by sawyers. 

It is a short bar of iron, with the ends turned up and sharpened, used to 
hold a piece of timber steady for sawing. One end of the dog is driven .into 
the timber, the other into the frame of the sawpit. I have heard the name 
explained " because it holds it fast," like a dog when it bites anyone. 

DOG, v. to turn. ROSTHERNE. 

" Dogit o'er," i.e., " turn it over." 

DOG DAISY, s. Chrysanthemum Leucanthemum. 

DOG ELLER, i.e., Dog Elder, s. Viburnum Opulus. 

About FRODSHAM AZgopodium Podagraria is also called dog eller. 

DOGEOUS, adj. wringing wet. L. 

DOGHY, adj. dark, cloudy, reserved. 

Bread half-baked is called doghy from " dough." L. 

DOG NETTLE, s. Lamium purpureum. 

DOGS, s. salt-making term. Irons fixed to the inner sides of a 
pan, to place the tubs or barrows on when the salt is being 

DOGTAIL, s. the long-tailed titmouse, Pants caudatus. MIDDLE- 

DOKIN, s. a soft fellow. WILMSLOW. 

" He's nowt bur a dokin of a lad, he's noo sharpness in him." 

DOLE, s. a distribution of alms at a funeral. 

I am not aware that such a distribution is ever made now; but it was the 
custom formerly when anyone of importance died. 

DOLES or DOWS, s. portions of common meadow lands allotted to 
various holdings in a township. 

In the township of Hal ton is a large field called "The Dtnvs," and in 
old documents the "Butty Doles" or "Butty Dows" which consists of a 
number of allotments marked off by boundary-stones. Some of these 
formerly belonged to the Duchy of Lancaster, others to various owners ; but 
they have now all been bought up by one landowner. There is also a Dows 
on Frodsham Marsh. 

DOLLOP, s. a large quantity. 

DOLLY, s. an instrument with a cross handle at the top and large 
wooden pegs at the bottom, used for washing clothes in a tub. 
Also called a PEGGY. 

DOLLY, v. to wash clothes with a dolly or peggy. 
" Oo allus may's him dolly th' clothes. 

DOLLY-TUB, s. a barrel-shaped tub in which the dolly or peggy is 


DON, s. to put on one's clothes. 

DONCE, v. to dance. 

DON-HAND, s. an expert. The same as DAB-HAND. MACCLES- 


DOOMENT, s. a stir, an entertainment. 

" We're goin to have a grand do 
wik ; th' mester's goin get wed. " 

DOORE (gen.), DUR (MOBBERLEY, WILMSLOW), s. a door 

" We're goin to have a grand dooment at ahr shop (factory) next 
wik ; th' mester's goin get wed. " 

DOORE-STEP, s. the sill or threshold of a door. 

DOTHER, s. the plant Spergula arvensis, which is extremely 
plentiful, and a most troublesome weed upon some of the light 
sandy soils of Cheshire. 

The name is extended to Vicia hirsuta and, in fact, to several smothering 
plants. In MiD-CHES. Polygonum Convolvulus is called dother. 

DOTHERUM, s. the plant Veronica hederifolia. BUNBURY. Also 

brother or sister ' L 

DOUGH, s. "As busy as a dog in dough" is a colloquial expression. 
Cheshire Sheaf, vol. i., p. 266. 

DOUT, v. to put out, to extinguish. 

"Nah then! dout that cangle; its toime yo wern aw asleep.''' 

DOUTERS, s. small tongs with flat, rounded ends, for putting a 
candle out by pinching the wick. They have rings for the thumb 
and finger like snuffers. 

DOUZZY, adj. dull, stupid. HALLIWELL. 

DOVE DUNG, s. a variety of marl. 

"There is an excellent kind of marl sometimes met with which is vulgarly 
called dove dung, from its resemblance in appearance to the dung of 
pigeons." Holland's General View of the Agriculture of Cheshire (1808), 

p. 222. 

DOW. See DOE. 

DOWK, v. to stoop the head. 

DOWKER, s. the lesser grebe. Podiceps minor. 



DOWZLIN, s. a wetting. S. CHES. 

" That child's very wet." "Ay ! oo's getten a bit of a dowzlin" 

DRABBLY, adj. wet, soaking, as applied to the weather. 

"It's very drabbly" 
We also speak of " drabbly weather." See DABBLY. 

DRAFF, s. brewer's grains, much used for feeding milking-cows. 

The farmers in the southern half of the county have truck loads sent 
weekly from Burton-on-Trent. 

DRAGON, s. a boy's kite. HYDE. 

Flying a kite is always spoken of as " dragon-fiy'mg," 

DRAT, excl. an exclamation of anger or annoyance. 
"ZWit." "V<tf th'lad." 

DRAUGHTS, s. salt-making term. The flues under a salt pan. 

DRAW, v. (i) to draw thatch is to separate the short straw from 
the long before the latter is used for thatching. 
The operation takes place after the straw has been 
sessed QI "soaked." 

(2) to draw the bread is to take it out of the oven when 

it is baked. 

(3) salt-making term. To draw salt is to take it out of 

the pan when made. It is- done when the pans 
are hot with the tools called Skimmers and Rakes, 
It is then put on the Hurdles to drain, and after- 
wards wheeled to the storehouse. 

(4) salt-mining term. To raise the rock-salt from the 

excavation to the surface. 

(5) tanning term. To draw hides is to put them into 

and take them out from the different pits. They 
are literally drawn out with a long-handled hook. 

DRAW THE NAIL, idiom, to break a vow. 

This very curious expression originates in an equally strange custom, not 
perhaps very common, but occasionally practised about Mobberley and 
Wilmslow. Two or more men will bind themselves by a vow say, not 
to drink beer. They set off together to a wood at some considerable 
distance and drive a nail into a tree, swearing at the same time that they 
will drink no beer while that nail remains in that tree. If they get tired of 
abstinence they meet together and set off to draw the nail, literally pulling 
it out from the tree, after which they feel at liberty to drink beer again 
without breaking their vow. 

DRAWBOARD, s. hatting term. An implement used to press out 
of the hat body the superfluous stiffening. 


DRAW WATER, idiom, a hazy moon which betokens rain is said 
to be drawing water. KELSALL. 

DREE, adj. (i) tedious. 

A dree road is a long, tedious road that seems to have no end. When a 
crop takes a long time to harvest by reason of bad weather it is said to be 
a dree time. 

(2) persistent. 

A man who is difficult to deal with is a dree bargainer. 

" He's nor a foo, although he does na look so very breet ; bur if 
yo'n eawt do wi' him, yo'n foind him very dree" 

(3) of long continuance. 

Heavy, continuous rain is said to be dree. WILBRAHAM explains dree 
rain as "a close, thick, small rain;" and I have the same meaning from 

DREE, v. to continue or hold out. W. 

DREELY, adv. continuously. 
" It rains dreely." 

DREVEN, s. a draggletail. 

" What a dreven thou art !" L. 

DREYVE, v. to drive. WILMSLOW. 

DRIFTSMAN, s. salt-mining term. The foreman having charge of 
the miners, and setting out their work. See DRIFT (2). 

DRIFT, s. (i) a drove of cattle. 

(2) salt-mining term. A miner's length of work, 
measured out for him to execute. 

DRINK, 5. (i) intoxicating liquor. 

(2) a dose of cattle medicine. 

" I'll send her a drink " says the farrier when he comes to prescribe for 
a cow. 

DRIP, v. to drip a cow is to milk out the few last drops that have 
secreted in the udder a short time after the regular milking. 

It used to be the custom for someone (frequently a young person learning 
to milk) to follow the regular milkers and drip all the cows. Many old- 
fashioned farmers still practice it ; but in too many cases the good old custom 
is given up. The person who dripped the cows did not sit down, but stood 
and milked with one hand holding the can in the other. 

DRIPPING CAN, s. a small can in use for dripping cows, being 
easier to hold in one hand than an ordinary milking can, 
which holds from ten to twelve quarts. 


DRIPPINGS, s. the last milk drawn from a cow (see DRIP) ; much 
richer than the first milk. 

The drippings were generally put into the cream mug for churning, and 
not amongst the general milk for cheese making. They are also considered 
a potent drink for consumptive people and weakly children. 

DRIVE, v. to procrastinate, to dawdle over work, leaving everything 
till the last minute. 

DRIVING, part, dawdling, putting everything off. 

" Oo ne'er gets her dishes weshed till neet, oo's that driving." 

DRIVING LANE, s. an occupation road. 

DRONES, s. a steelyard. 

Hay is always weighed upon drones which are furnished with long hooks 
to hook into the bands with which the trusses are tied. See TRUSS WEIGHT. 

DROOK, s. the grass Bromus secalinus. Plentiful, as a weed, 
amongst corn, and popularly believed to be degenerated oats. 

A labourer once told me that darnel (Lolium temulentum) only infested 
wheat whilst drook only infested oats, and that darnel was degenerated wheat, 
and drook degenerated oats. 

DROOPING TULIP, s. Fritillaria Meleagris. 
DROOT, s. drought. 

DROOTY, adj. dry. 

" Drooty weather." 

DROP, s. (i) a diminution of wages. 
"He's had a drop" 

(2) intoxicating drink. 

" Come and have a drop " is an invitation to drink. " I think he's had 
a drop " means that a man is half drunk. In this case the accent would be 
on the words have, had. In (i) the accent would be on drop. 

(3) a considerable quantity. 

" We'en had a noice drop o' rain." 

DROP, v. (i) to reduce wages. 

" He's after dropping us a shilling." 

(2) to cease, to leave off. 
" Come, drop that now." 

(3) to sow seed at intervals. 

" Dropping taters " is putting the sets in the rows at intervals ready for 
covering with the plough, or putting them into the holes made by the 
dibble. Dropping mangold seed is sowing at intervals in holes. 

DROP OUT, v. to quarrel. MACCLESFIELD. 

DROPPING, adj. showery. 

"A dropping time " is showery weather. 


DROPPING HER SALT, idiom, salt-making term. 

The expression is used when a pan is making salt freely. The crystals 
form on the surface of the brine and sink to the bottom. 

DROSS, s. salt-making term. The refuse or marl left after dis- 
solving rock-salt in water. 

DROVIER, s. a drover. 
DRUDGE-BOX, s. a flour-dredger. 

DRUM, s. salt-mining term. A large wheel on which the flat-ropes 
wind up. 

The winding is done entirely by steam engines constructed on the 
reversing principle, and so dexterous are many of the engineers that a tub 
can be set down to such a nicety as to cause no concussion whatever. 

DRUMBLE or DRUMBA, s, a small ravine, generally over- 
shadowed with trees, and having a little stream or rundle at the 

DRUV, v. drove. 
DRY, adj. (i) thirsty. 

(2) not giving milk. Said of cows. 

DRY, v. to cause the flow of a cow's milk to cease, either by milking 
at longer and longer intervals, or by bleeding the cow, or by 
giving medicinal agents. 

DUB, v. to clip a hedge. 

DUBBED, part, adorned, ornamented, old word. L. 
DUBBIN SHEARS, s. shears for clipping a hedge. 
DUBIOUS, adj. (i) undecided. 
(2) not trustful. 

"I'm very dubious abait ahr Tom. It's my belief he's getten 
agate wi some young woman, for he's donned his Sunday shute twice 
this wik." 

Often pronounced DUBOUS in MACCLESFIELD. 

DUCK, v. (i) to stoop down, to bend the head. Also used as a 
reflective verb. 

(2) to dip the head in water. 

DUCK MEAT, s. Lemna minor, L. The small green plant which 
grows on the surface of stagnant ponds. DIGMEAT (W. CHES.). 


DUCKS AND DRAKES, s. a boy's game. 

A favourite amusement with boys, who get flat stones and skim them 
along the surface of water. They try whose stone will ricochet the 
oftenest or " make the most ducks and drakes" 

DUCKSTONE, s. a boy's game. 

It is thus played : Each boy provides himself with a paving-stone, and a 
large boulder stone is required upon which one of the paving stones is 
placed. After arranging who shall be ' ' down " first, that boy places his 
stone upon the boulder and stands near it, and the others, standing eight or 
ten yards off, bowl their stones at it. They then run to pick up their stones, 
and the boy who is down tries to tick one of them before he reaches home. 
He can only tick another if his own stone is still upon the boulder. If it has 
been knocked off, he must replace it before he can tick. If he manages to tick 
another, that boy takes his place. It is a rough and somewhat dangerous 
game, but is popular amongst Cheshire schoolboys, 

DUFF, s. dough. Also DOFF. 

DUFF-CAKE, s. a cake made of dough. MACCLESFIELD. 

DUG, s. a dog. 

DUMBERDASH, s. (i) a sudden and heavy fall of rain. 

Leigh also gives DUNDERDASH. Wilbraham has it thus : "DUNGOW-DASH 
or DRUMBOW-DASH, v. (sic) dung, filth. When the clouds threaten hail or 
rain it is said, ' There is a deal of pouse or dungo-dash to come down.' " 

(2) smash, breakdown. Mow COP. 

DUMMY, s. hatting term. A wood or iron implement to press 
down the curls of hat brims. 

DUN, v. do. 

" Dun yo?" do you ? 

DUNCH, adj. deaf. W. 


DUN JOHN, s. various species of the grass Agrostis. 

Probably so called from the colour which, when plentiful, it gives to the 
fields. A labouring man once told me, however, that he supposed the name 
was given to it because it indicated that the land was " done " or run out, 
i.e., impoverished. 

DUNNA, DUNNER, or DUNNOT, v. do not. 
DUNNOCK, s. the hedge sparrow, Accentor modularis. 

DUNNOT KNOW, v. a frequent commencement of an answer to a 

" How many children hive you?" "Dunnot know, but I believe 
I have six." L. 

DUNNY, adj. deaf. MACCLESFIELD, but not in common use. 


DUR, s. a door. 

There is a curious prolongation of the r, but without any approach to a 

DURCRATCH, s. the side of a cart. 
DUSNA, v. does not. 

DUST A, v. dost thou. 

"Dusta hear?" or as frequently "dost' hear." 

DUSTY HUSBAND, s. the plant Cerastium tomentosum, so fre- 
quently used for the edgings of flower beds. Also Arabis alpina 
from the masses of white flowers. 

DUTCH, TO TALK, v. to speak angrily. MACCLESFIELD. 

"If tha does that again, V II talk Dutch to the." 

DUTCH CHEESE, s. fruit of Malva rotundifolia. 
DUZZY, adj. slow, heavy. W. LEIGH adds DOUZZY. 

DWARF, s. occasionally applied to a person who is deformed in 
any way; and not particularly referring to diminutive stature. 
The a is pronounced as in the word "far." 

DWINDLE, v. to pine away as a sickly plant, or an unhealthy 
animal does. 

In Cheshire it is considered very unlucky to bid money for anything which 
is not on sale. Someone put a price upon a woman's pig at Little Budworth. 
"After that," she said, "it began to dwindle, and would never do no good." 

DYM SASSENACH, idiom, the Welsh for "I don't understand 

If a man is slow to take a hint, we say, " It's Dym Sassenach with him." 
It seems to be equivalent to the proverb " None so deaf as those who won't 

DYTCH, s. a ditch. MOBBERLEY. 



EAG, it. to incite. MACCLESFIELD. 
EALE, s. ale. W. 

EAM or EEM, v. to spare time, to have leisure. 

" I cannot earn now." W. 

Wilbraham gives this as a Lancashire word, but Ray (North Country 
Words, E.D.S. Gloss.) assigns it to Cheshire. I think it is now obsolete. 

EAM or EEM, adv. near at hand, at no great distance. 

From a manuscript note in Wilbraham's Glossary, apparently written 
about 1826. 

EAMBY, adv. close by, handy. W. 


EARNEST, s. money given to fasten a bargain. 

The custom in hiring farm servants was, and no doubt still is in many 
places, for the servant to call at the farm where he or she wanted a place, a 
few weeks before Christmas, and generally at night, and if the bargain was 
struck the farmer gave the man or woman a shilling, and this was understood 
to fasten the servant for a year. If anything occurred to break the engage- 
ment the shilling was sent back, and if accepted there was an end to the 
engagement. When cattle-dealers buy a beast which they agree to take 
away at some future time they always leave a deposit, generally a sovereign, as 
a security for the completion of the transaction, and in striking the bargain 
they generally try to force this deposit into the farmer's hand whilst bidding 
what they profess to be their ultimatum, in order to fasten the farmer to his 
share of the bargain ; indeed they always at the same time make use of the 
expression, "Well now, I'll fasten you." 

EARTH-NUT, s. Buniumflexuosum, also PIG-NUT. 

EASEMENT, s. (i) a right which one person has on another man's 
property without payment, as right of way,- 
right to obtain water, &c. A legal term in 
general use, but well understood in Cheshire. 

(2) relief to one's mind. MACCLESFIELD. 
EASIN, s. the eaves of a house. Also AIZIN. 

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 trickling down the 
sides of the rick. L. 


EASY-MELCHED, adj. said of a cow that is easy to milk the 
opposite quality is HARD-MELCHED. 

EATING WATER, s. drinking water. 

EAWT, s. anything. 

" If we wanten eawt and conna pay, we done bight." 
If this maxim were always followed there would not^be so many bankrupts. 

EAVER or EEVER, s. a quarter of the heavens. 
The wind is in the rainy eaver. W. 

EB, prop, name, short for Abraham. WILMSLOW. Also YEB. 

EBB, adj. shallow. 

Shallow water is ebb. A drain cut not very deep'is said to be ebb. 

EDDER FEEDER, s. adder feeder, a common name for the 
gadfly. L. 

EDDERINGS, s. radlings in a hedge are so called. W. 

Radlings are explained as long sticks twisted together. 
" Saue edder and stake 
Strong hedge to make." 

TUSSER (E.D.S. ed., p. 73). 

EDDICK, s. the bur or burdock. Arctium Lappa, also ERRICK. 


The word by itself is confined to the second growth of meadow grass, and 
is not applicable to clover. The aftergrass of clover is generally spoken of 
as the "second crop," but if pastured it is sometimes distinguished as 
"clover eddish." 

EDDISH CHEESE, 5. cheese made whilst the cows are eating 

EDDISH HAY, s. hay made of the aftergrass. 

EDDY, s. an idiot. HALLIWELL. 

Leigh says AN EDDY or A NEDDY, of which word if may be a diminutive 
or a corruption. 

EDER, s. a hedge. L. See EDDERINGS. 


EDGE, v. to make room, to go aside. 
" Canna thee edge a bit ?" 

EDGEGREN, s. eddish. 

Used in an old account book, dated 1656. Edgegren is probably a mis- 
print for " Edgegrew," as the word " Edgrew " is still in use at Mow Cop. 



EDGE O'DARK, s. evening twilight. EDGE O'NEET, MACCLES- 


EDGREW, s. aftermath. Mow COP. 

EDTHER BOWT, s. the dragonfly. 

EE, s. eye; plural EEN. MID-CHES. 

EEK, v. to itch. YEUK or YOKE, is the itch. L. 

EEL, v. (i) to cover in; to season an oven when first made. L. 

(2) to ail. W. CHES. 
" Whatever eels ye ?" 

EEM, v. see EAM. 

EEM, adv. near. L. Cf. AIMER. 

EEN, 1 

EYN ' E> }*. piurai of eye. 

EEND, s. end. 

EENE, s. the long part of a spade handle. MIDDLEWICH. 

EFFIGIES, s. a hatchment (which comes from "atchieve merit"). 

In a bill of church accounts in the Middlewych Church Book, in 1701, is 
a charge: " To removing the effigies of the old Lacly Buckley." L. 

EGER, prop. name, a portion of Astmoor Marsh in the township of 
Halton is called "The Eger" in old maps. 

This marsh is covered by the river Mersey at high tides. In Peacock's 
Lincolnshire Glossary (E.D.S. C. 6) Eger is explained as "the high tidal 
wave of the Trent and Ouse. " According to Kennett (HALLIWELL) "any 
sudden inundation of the sea is called an eger at Howden in Yorkshire." I 
take it therefore that the name of this portion of Astmoor Marsh has been 
given because it is so frequently inundated. 

EGG or EGG ON, v. to urge on, to incite. 

EGGED ALE, s. Egg Flip, drunk at Easter in the neighbourhood 


EGG PLANT, s. the snowberry, Symphoricarpus racemosus. 

EGGS AND BUTTER, s. the buttercup, Ranunculus acris, and 
R. bulbosus. 

EGYPTIAN THORN, s. Cratagus Pyracantha. 

ELBOW GREASE, s. hard work. 

Leigh gives, in illustration of this word, an amusing Cheshire proverb, 
which he says is as old as 1670, "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 her elbow grease, but who, after marriage, became lazy and indolent. 

One hears it said sometimes that there is nothing like tlbmv grease for 
polishing a table. 


ELDER, s. the udder of a domestic animal. 

ELL-RAKE, s. a large rake with curved iron teeth drawn behind 
the raker. Sometimes it is pulled by two persons. ELLER 

ELLER, s. the elder-tree, Sambucus niger. 

Leigh says, " It is supposed to be unlucky to use the elder for kindling 
or lighting a fire. " 

ELLO, inter/, an exclamation of astonishment. 
ENOO, adv. enough. ENOW, HYDE. 
EPPINS, s. stepping stones. DELAMERE. 

ERDNOW, v. I don't know. 

Leigh gives the following story: "F. L. Olmstead, in his Walks and 
Talks of an American Farmer in England, was more than once dumb- 
foundered by this Cheshire reply to his queries addressed to a stupid farm 
lad, sitting astride of a gate not far from Chester : ' Who owns this land, my 
boy?' l Erdnow,' 1 'What grain is that field sown with?' l Erdnow." 1 The 
American gave it up in despair and passed on." A very good story, "but I 
think the lad was more likely to have said " Aw dunna know." The word 
is scarcely worth recording, but I enter it simply as extracted from Leigh's 


ERRIF, s. goose-grass. Galium Apartne. MIDDLEWICH, and 
generally throughout S. CHES. 

ERRIWIG, s. an earwig. MACCLESFIELD. . 

ESHIN, s. a large can for carrying milk from the shippon to the 

Wilbrahamhas ESHIN or ASHIN, a pail; and adds, " They are, I believe, 
always made of ash wood." I still, now and then, see wooden milk pails in 
use, but tin cans have almost superseded the old wooden vessels. The word 
is often pronounced "Heshin," and I have seen it so spelt in auctioneers' 
catalogues, but I think Eshin is the more correct word. 

ESHINTLE, s. an eshin full 

ES-LINK, s. a small piece of iron shaped like a letter S, used for 
mending a broken chain. 

ESS, s. ashes. 

Ray illustrates the word thus: "'Skeer the esse,' separate the dead 
ashes from the embers." I am not aware that SKEER is now in use. 

ESS-GRID, s. a grating which covers a hole in the hearth, called 
an ess-hole. 


ESS-HOLE, s. an ash-hole under the grate. 

A very common and useful arrangement in Cheshire kitchens. A hole 
about two feet long by eighteen inches wide, and eighteen inches deep, is 
made in the hearth ; this is covered by a moveable grid or grating. The 
cinders which fall from the fire are raked backwards and forwards over the 
grating, and all the small ashes or ess fall through into the receptacle beneath, 
leaving the larger cinders to be put on the fire and burnt over again. The 
ess or ashes are carried away periodically from the ess-hole. 

Ess-hole is often used metaphorically for the fire itself. "Eh, woman! 
Ah set wi' my knees i' th' ess-hole aw day long," said one old dame to 
another after a spell of extra cold weather, "an it was one body's wark to 
put coal on." 

Leigh illustrates the word by the saying, " Go's rootin in the ess-Jiole aw 
dee," which, I take it, means, "She's always sitting over the fire." 

ESS-MIDDEN, s. a heap of ashes. 
ESS-RIDDLE, s. a cinder riddle or sieve. 

ESS-ROOK, s, a dog or cat that likes to lie in the ashes. MACCLES- 

ETE, v. perfect tense of eat. 

ETHER or HETHER, s. an adder or snake. MIDDLEWICH, 

ETTEN, part, eaten. 

ETWALL, s. the green woodpecker, Picus viridis. L., quoting 
from Leycester (? Sir Peter Leycester). 

EVER, adv. at the present moment. 

" Have you ever a shilling as you could lend me?" 

The above explanation is scarcely satisfactory. The word is in constant 
use, but seems to add no force to a sentence. The illustration will, however, 
show how it is used. 

EVER-SO, adv. in any case, however much. 

" I would na give it him, if it was ever so." 

EVERY WHILE STITCH, idiom, every now and then ; at times. W. 

EXPECT, v. to suppose, to believe. 
A word in very frequent use. 

EXTORTION, v. to cheat, to charge exorbitantly. 

"I would not give it him, for I thought he only wanted to 
extortion me." 

The word used as a verb occurs in Gower's Con/. A mantis, Bk. VII., 
vol. iii., p. 159. 

" For, when he doth extortion, 
Men shall not finden one of tho 
To gracche or speke there agein, 
But holden up his oile, and sain, 
That all is well that ever he doth." 


EYABLE, adj, pleasing to the eye. 

"Th" garden is more eyable than it were." 

EYE, s. (i) a brood of young pheasants is called an "eye of pheasants," * 
but I think the term is almost general, though LEIGH 
gives it as a Cheshire word. The correct word is 
"a ny." See HALLIWELL, s. v. Ni. 

(2) 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. L. 

(3) a small cesspool built at the mouth of a drain to catch 

the sediment or wreck, which would otherwise choke 
up the drain. 

(4) the bud of a potato. 

EYEBRIGHT, s. the plant Euphrasia officinalis. W. CHES. 

EYE-HOLE, s. the depressions in a potato from which the buds 

"Skerries is wasty taters, they'n getten sich deep eye-holes ; bur 
if yo keepen pigs, it does na so mitch matter." (Because the pigs 
can eat the peelings, and prevent the waste. ) 

EYES, s. holes full of rancid liquid seen in badly-made, poor cheese. 

Farm servants, when not satisfied with the food that is given to them, are 
accustomed to say 

" Brown bread and mahley pies, 
Twiggen Dick full o' eyes, 
Buttermilk instead o' beer ; 
So I'll be hanged if I stay here." 

The above is the Middlewich version. About Wilmslow it varies slightly 
' ' Barley bread and barley pies, 
Twiggen Dick and full of eyes, 
Sour milk and smaw beer, 
Maks me stop no lunger here." 

But the saying being current in such distant parts of the county shows that it 
is a well-known colloquism. See MAHLEY and TWIGGEN DICK. 

EYE SARVANT, s. said of a screw cheese press which, if not 
constantly watched and turned, will not work. Cheshire Sheaf, 
vol. i., p. 26. 

EYREN, s. iron. 

EYEY, adj. badly made cheese is said to be eyey when it contains 
holes full of rancid whey. See EYES. 

EYNE, s. plural of eye. See EE. 



FAC, s. a name for soil. L. 

I have never met with this word, and am inclined to think it is a misprint 
for FAE. See FEE. 

FACE CARDS, s. court cards in a pack. MACCLESFIELD. 
FADE, s. mould in cheese ; more frequently called GREEN-FADE. 

FADGE, s. a lump, a heap, a quantity of anything. 
" A gizztfadge." Mow COP. 

FAIGH, s. refuse soil, stones, &c. L. 

FAIN, adj. glad. 

" Au were rare and fain as he got th' job an' not me." fSaid by a man 
who had escaped doing some disagreeable task, another having been selected 
for the work. 

FAIN, adv. gladly. 

" I'd/am do it." N. E. CHES. 

FAINTY HAITCHES, s. slight indisposition. DELAMERE. See 


FAIR-FAW, idiom, expressing a preference for a person. WILMSLOW. 
"Fair-faw Johnny; he's best lad o' th' two; au con get him to work a 
bit," that is, give me Johnny in preference to someone else named. In 
common use fifty years since, but becoming obsolete. 

FAIRIES' PETTICOATS, s. the foxglove, Digitalis purpurea. 
FAIRIES' TABLE, s. the plant Hydrocotyh vulgaris. 
FAIR LADY, .y. a kept woman. 

FAIRLY, adv. properly, thoroughly, completely. 

" Aw'mfairty done," i.e., I'm completely knocked up. 

FAIRLY-LOOKING, adj. good-looking. 

"Go's ^.f airly -lookin woman." 

FALL, s. the autumn. MACCLESFIELD. 

FALL, v. (i) to fell ; we always speak of falling timber ; or falling a 

(2) to be disintegrated, as lime by exposure to moisture, 

or clay by exposure to frost. 

(3) to let fall. 

" Now, mind you don't faw it." 


FALLATIC, also PALATTIC, adj. paralytic. L. 

Leigh states that the word was used at the Cheshire Assizes, but does not 
say whether used by a Cheshire man. It appears to be merely a mispro- 
nunciation of what was evidently a difficult word for the speaker. 

FALL-GATE, s. a gate across the*high road. MACCLESFIELD FOREST. 

FALLOW, v. to fallow land is to plough it very shallow, so as just 
to turn over the sod. 

It is allowed to lie thus for some time, in order that the sod may be 
partially rotted before being buried deeper with a second ploughing. 

FAN, s. an old-fashioned implement for winnowing corn. 

It consists of a frame of wood to which four horizontal rails are fixed, and 
pieces of sacking are nailed to the rails. This framework is elevated upon 
legs, and is turned round with a handle. The pieces of sacking cause a con- 
siderable wind as they pass quickly through the air. The corn is dropped 
through a riddle in front of the machine, when the chaff is blown away, and 
the grain falls in a heap below. I have not seen a fan, I think, for nearly 
twenty years, but there are, doubtless, still some in use in remote country 

FAN, v. to winnow corn with a fan. 

FANCICLE, adj. fanciful, crotchetty. 

" Oi've no patience wi ahr Emma, po's sitch a fancicle piece o' 
goods. Oo wouldna tee a shaw o'er er yed, though th' rain were 
coming dain that dree it wetted through everything ; but oo's that 

FANTEAG, s. a fit of ill-temper. MACCLESFIELD. 

FANTOME, adj. (i) poor, light. 

Light corn is called fantome corn. Wilbraham says fantome hay is light, 
well-gotten hay. My idea of fantome hay is light, poor hay from poor ground, 
which has very little feeding quality. I have often been told, "We can't 
expect 'em to milk much on this hay, it's but fantome.'''' 

(2) weakly. 
Horses are said to be fantome in autumn. Cheshire Sheaf, vol. i., p. 266. 

FARAND or FARRAND, s. manner, custom, appearance. We 
have o\&-farand: farantly : to do things in the right or wrong 
farand. W. 

FARE, v. (i) to begin. 

When a cow is beginning to calve it is always said, "Oo fares o' cawvin." 
(2) to track footsteps. 

"There's bin a lot o' rappits i' th' garden, I can fare 'em i' th' 

FAREN, v. plural of fare (in the sense of being provided for). 
" They/area weel, nah th' owd mon's djed." 


FARGE, s. (i) a gossip. L. 

(2) an intruder or spy. MACCLESFIELD. 

"Th' mester's a reglar owd farge, he actilly coom i' th' back 
kitchen yesterday and cainted up th rubbin stones." 

FARGE, v. (i) to gossip. L. 

(2) to loiter about or waste time. STOCKPORT. 

" Go's zfarrinkly wench, that oo is." 

FARTHER, expressive of repugnance. 

I will be farther if I do that, means, I will never do it. W. 

FARTHIN-BAG, s. the second stomach of a cow. RAINOW. 
FASH, 5. (i) the tops of turnips or mangolds. 

(2) nonsense. 

"Dunna talk sich loikefash." 

FASH, v. (i) to trouble, tease, shame, or cast down. W. 

(2) to cut off the tops of turnips. 

Fashing turnips is generally done by piecework, at about one halfpenny 
per score yards of a drill. 

FASHIOUS, adj. unfortunate, shameful, troublesome. 

FAST, part, (i) embarrassed. 

" I've gettenyorf among it, some road." 
Leigh gives this illustration, but every Cheshire man must have heard it. . 

(2) prevented by business or other engagements. 

FAST BY ONE END, a good example of a Cheshire answer, 
which is seldom yea or nay, simply (see BELIEVE). 

" Have you cut your hay ?" " It's/ast 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) to sue at law. MACCLESFIELD. 

" I'll fasten the," i.e., I'll take the law of you. 

(2) to bind a bargain. 

A butcher, in making what he wishes you to consider his highest bid, 
generally tries to thrust a piece of money into your hand, at the same time 
saying, " Well, now, I'll fasten you." 

FASTENED, part, prevented; otherwise occupied. MACCLESFIELD. 
" I shall be fastened to-morrow, and canna come." 


FASTENS, s. (i) fastenings for doors or windows. 

"To repairing and making fastens to windows, 43. 8d." 

Blacksmith's Bill, dated July, 1881. 

This might be considered merely an illiterate error were it not that the 
word is constantly used throughout the whole of Cheshire. 

(2) Shrove Tuesday, also called "Fastens Tuesday." 

A seed cake used to be the feast on this day instead of pancakes as at 
present. Langley mentions Fastingham Tuesday. L. 

The above is evidently extracted from Halliwell, who does not, however, 
say that the word is used in Cheshire. 

FAT HEN, s. various species of goosefoot, Chenopodium. 
FAUF, s. a flea. DELAMERE. 
FAUGH, s. fallow. W. 
FAVVER, s. favour. 

FAVVER, v. to resemble. 

"Thou favaers the fayther." 

FAW, s. and v. fall. 

FAW AHT, v. to fall out, to quarrel. 

FAWN,/ar/. fallen. 


It is said that fawn-feckles come on the face when birds begin to lay their 
eggs, as if there were some supposed connexion between the brown spots on 
birds' eggs and those on the face. The following couplet is also current 
** Fcrutn-peekas once made a vow 
They ne'er would come on a face that was fow." 

FAWSE, adj. (i) cunning, quick-witted. 

" Go's afawse little thing ; oo knows her daddy's footstep afore 
ever he comes inside o' th' dur." 

(2) false. 
FAWT, s. a fault. 

FAY, ] 

FEE, \ s. the surface soil in contradistinction to the sub-soil. 


Amongst turf-getters the hassocks, stake-turf, and other matters which 
overlie the turf proper, constitute thefeatA. 

FAY or FEE, v. to remove the surface soil, in order to reach the 
underlying sand, marl, gravel, or whatever the subsoil may be. 

FAYTHER, s. father. 


FEABERRY, s. the gooseberry, Ribes Grossularia. 

This name is common enough in Lancashire, but is becoming obsolete in 
Cheshire, though it would appear to have been once commonly used, for 
Gerard says, "the name is used in Cheshire, my native county." A few old 
people use it about MACCLESFIELD. 

FEAL, v. to hide slily. 

" He tha.tfea/s can find." L. 

FEAR, v. to frighten. 

"To fear crows " is to frighten rooks off the cornfields. 

FEAR-CROW, s. a scarecrow. Hence any unsightly object. 

FEARIN, s. a ghost. 

FEART, adj. cowardly. 

FEART, part, frightened. 


FEATHERFEW, s. the plant Pyrethrum Parthenium. 

FEB-OO-AIRY, s. the usual way of pronouncing February. 


" February Jill dyke, 

Whether black or white." 
Leigh gives this as a Cheshire expression. 

FECK or FECKS, an exclamation. W. 

FEE. See FAY. 

FEERN, s. fern. 

FEG, s. after grass ; the same as FOG. MIDDLEWICH. 

FEIGHT (almost pronounced like /<*&), FOIGHT, v. to fight. 

FEND FOR, v. provide for, 

' ' Aye, I can assure you, miss, it's hard work. Yo seen I have 
for t' 'fend for ahr Emma's three childer, nah oo's djed an gone." 

FENDIN AND PROVIN, idiom, arguing about trifles. 

" Dunna thee ston theerfendm and provin, but get to thi wark." 

FENT, s. a remnant of linen or calico ; generally what is cut off a 
"piece" of "cloth" to reduce it to the orthodox length. 

In the bleaching process, or rather the beetling process, cloth becomes a 
good deal stretched, and there are thus obtained too many yards, which are 
cut off. Fents are sold remarkably cheap, and the sale of them constitutes 
a distinct trade. They are frequently exposed for sale on stalls in the 
country-town markets, and another remarkable thing is that they are 
generally sold by weight. 


FEOFF, s. a flea. S. CHES. 
FERMENT, v. to foment. 

FERRET or FERRET AHT, v. to investigate, to find out. 
" Yo want ferret it aht, dun yo ?" 

FERRIER, s. salt-mining term ; one who ferries or conveys the 
rock salt from the workings to the shaft. 

FERRUPS, excl. almost synonymous with "deuce." MACCLESFIELD. 
"What \hzferrups are you about?" 

FERRY, s. salt-mining term ; to convey rock salt from the workings 
to the shaft. 

FERRY-BOAT, s. a jocose name for the thin, shallow, wooden 
bowl used for skimming cream off milk. 

If cheese is poor it is sometimes said, " T\? ferry-boat has been too often 
across th' cheese-tub." 

FESTERMENT, s. (i) confusion; entanglement 
" A festerment o" weeds." 

(2) annoyance, vexation. L. 

FETCH, v. to give, in the sense of giving a blow. 
" He fetched im a crack aside 1 **)' th' yed." 

FETCH ONE'S BREATH, v. to breathe with difficulty j to gasp. 
" He could hardly fetch his breath." 

FETTLE, s. order, repair, condition. 

A word of very wide signification. A road which has been recently 
repaired is in goodi fettle . A person who is extremely well is in good fettle ; 
so is an animal which is fat. 

FETTLE, v. (i) to mend, to put in order. 

(2) to chastise. 

A mother will threaten her child, " Y\\ fettle thee." 

(3) to sharpen knives for the fustian-cutters. LYMM. 

(4) to mull ale or porter. 

FETTLED ALE, s. ale mulled with ginger and sugar much relished 
in Cheshire with toasted cheese. Porter is also fettled in the 
same manner. 

FETTLER, s. one who sharpens the knives of the fustian cutters. 

FEVERFEW, s. the plant Erythraa Centaurium, much used in 
rustic medicine as a stomachic or tonic. 

FEW, v. flew, perfect tense of the verb to fly. W. 


FEW, adj. not only a small number, but also a little quantity. W. 
" A few broth." 

This is scarcely the correct explanation. Broth, porridge, furmetry, &c. , 
are treated as plural substantives, and so few is prefixed. That this is so is 
proved by the fact that in speaking of broth, &c. , we say, ' ' They are very 

FIDDLE-FADDLE, v. to trifle, to dawdle. MACCLESFIELD. 

FIDDLER'S ELBOW, idiom, any very crooked job or thing is said 
to be " like a fiddler's elbow." Cheshire Sheaf, vol. L, p. 83. 

FIDDLERS' MONEY, s. very small change. 
FIDGE, s. a fidget, a restless person. MACCLESFIELD. 

FIGARIES, s. fanciful attire, such as a superabundance of ribbons, 
flowers, &c. MACCLESFIELD. 

FIGHTING COCKS, s. the flower stalks of Plantago lanceolata. 

They are used for playing a game in the same manner as chestnuts are 
used in the game of CONQUERORS (which see). Each combatant gathers a 
bunch of plaintains, and they by turns offer a plantain to be struck at, or 
strike that of their adversary. The one who strikes off" all the heads of his 
opponent's bunch that is, the one who holds the last unbroken plantain 
wins the game. 

FILBEARD, s. the filbert nut. 

Tusser mentions "filbeards, red and white," amongst " trees or fruites to 
be set or remooued " in January, The " red or white," I suppose, refers to 
two varieties, differing in the colour of the skin of the kernel, one of which is 
reddish, the other whitish. I have seen both kinds in Cheshire, and have 
been told that the variety with red skins is the best. 

FILBOW, s. the part of a gate hinge which is driven into the gate. 
It hangs on the hook or gudgeon, which is the part driven into the 
gate stump, or hang-post. 

FILLERS, s. salt-making term. The men who fill the salt into 
sacks, when salt is packed in that manner for transmission. 

FILLET, s. a broad band of tin used for raising the sides of a 
cheese vat when the curd is first put to press. As the curd 
sinks with pressure, the fillet sinks with it into the vat 

FILLILOO, excL the meaning of which I am totally unable to 

" Aye,Jilliloo, ahr Sal's goin be wed." See FOIN (2). 

FILMART, FILMUT, or FOOMART, s. a polecat. 

FIND, v. to provide with food. 

To "find one's self" is to provide one's own food. In hiring a farm 
servant who was not to live in his master's house, it would be stipulated that 
he was to have so much wages "and^/fw^ himself." 


FINE JOHN, s. the grass Agrostis vulgaris. 

FINGER-STALL, s. a covering for a sore finger ; usually made by 
cutting off the finger of an old glove. 

FINNIKIN, adj. fastidious. 

FINS, s. all the bones of a fish are so called. MACCLESFIELD. 

FIR-BOB, s. a fir cone. 

FIRE, v. to set fire to anything. 

To "fire a chimbley " is to set fire to it to burn out the soot. 

FIRK, v. (i) to root, to scratch. Mow COP. 
(2) to fidget. Mow COP. 

FIRST BEGINNING, s. the beginning. A piece of tautology in 
very common use. 

FIRST END, s. the beginning. L. 

FIRST OF MAY, s. the meadow saxifrage, Saxifraga granulata. 

FIRST-PIECE, s. the ridge piece of roof timbers, against which the 
upper ends of the spars are placed. 

FIR-WOOD, s. the same as what is now called BOG : WOOD, which see. 

" In [the mosses] is found much of that wood we c&\\Jirrwood, which 
serves the country-people for candles, fewel, and sometimes for small timber - 
uses; and this the vulgar conclude to have layn there since the flood." 
NANTWICH, Phil. Trans., vol. iv., p. 1061. 

Firwood is still obtained from Macclesfield Moss, and sold in the town, 
but not now to any great extent. Formerly the cry, "Firwood, Firwood" 
was frequently heard in Macclesfield. 

FISHERY SALT, s. salt-making term. Coarse salt made specially 
for curing fish. 

FISSES, s. plural of fist. 

FISTLE, s. a thistle. MOBBERLEY. 

FITCHES, s. vetches, Vicia sativa. 

FITCHET, s. a pole-cat. 

A dark ferret is called "Jitchet-colomed." Cheshire Sheaf, vol. i., p. 266. 

FITCHET CAT, s. a black cat marked with brown patches upon 
the black. DELAMERE. 
They are highly valued. 

FITCHET-PIE, s. a pie composed of apples, onions, and bacon, 
formerly served at harvest-home suppers. 

FITHER, s. a feather. MID-CHES. 


FITS AND GURDS, idiom, fits and starts. BUCKLOW HILL, 

"The clock strikes by fits and gurds." 

FITTER, v. to move the feet quickly, as children do when in a 
passion. W. 

FIZGIG, s. anything shaggy, like a head of hair which bristles in all 

FLABBERGASTER, v. to perplex. 
FLACKET, s. a small board behind a cart. L. 
FLACKEY, s. a chaffinch, Fringilla ccelebs. DUKINFIELD. 

FLAG, s. salt-mining term ; a very hard kind of marl found near the 
first bed of rock salt. 

FLAG, v, to fade. 

FLAKE, s. (i) a hurdle. 

(2) hatting term; a small wicker grating used for 

collecting the bowed wool. HYDE. See Bow. 

(3) a wooden frame hung from the ceiling by cords, 

used for drying oat-cake, c. BREDBURY. 

FLAKE, v. to lie horizontally. WILMSLOW. 

To flake on the grass is to lie down on the grass. One who is lazy in the 
morning and will not get up is described as " lying flaking \' bed." 

FLAM, v. to humbug, or deceive. 
' ' He's ony flammin. " 

FLAMS, s. humbug. 

" Nah then, none of thy flams." 

FLANGE, v. to flange out, to spread, diverge, to increase in width 
or breadth. W. (Scarcely local.) 

FLANNIN, s. flannel. 

FLAP-JACK, s. a tea crumpet. MACCLESFIELD, but not in very 
general use. 

FLAPS, s. expanded mushrooms. 

FLASH or PLASH, s. a shallow piece of water. 

The word often occurs in place names. There is a field in Mobberley 
called " The Flash," and one in Halton called " Flash Quarter." There is 
also an old public-house at Butley, near Macclesfield, now known as the 
" Orange Tree," but which old people speak of as " The Flash." 


FLASH, v. to put small sheets of lead under the slates of a house 
where they join the chimneys, or a wall, to prevent the rain 
running into the joint. 

FLASKER, v. to flounder about or to struggle. 

" Flaskering i'th' wayter." 

A bird caught in a net is said to be "flaskering to get eawt." Also 

FLASKERT, part, (i) bewildered, also FLUSKERT. 

" For goodness sake, childer, howd yer din, aw'm ixxflaskert wi' 
th' nize." 

(2) choked, smothered. 

A person lying in the mud and unable to extricate himself is said to be 
flaskered. See Wilbraham, sub. v. FLASKER. 

FLAT, s. a broad flat bed as distinguished from a narrow rounded 

We speak of ploughing a field in flats when there is no indication of 
reens. Wheat is generally sown on butts, oats on flats. A wide space 
covered by any particular crop is called aflat, as "aflat o' taters." 

FLAT-FINCH, s. the brambling. L. 

FLAT ROPE, s. salt-mining term; the rope used in drawing or 
winding rock salt. They are flat and about six inches wide. 

FLATTER DOCK, s. a name given to several large-leaved plants 
which float on the water, especially the two kinds of waterlilies, 
Nymphcza alba and Nuphar lutea. Also the water form of 
Polygonum amphibium, and, according to Wilbraham, Potamogeton 

FLAY or FLEE, v. to flay clods is to pare off sods of grass. 
FLEAK, s. a small bundle of hay; not a truss. 

FLECK, s. (i) a flea (general), FLEF (WILDERSPOOL, MIDDLE- 

(2) the fur of a rabbit. 

FLECK, v. (i) 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 
gone up io fleck the bed." L. 

(2) to fly; also FLEG, FLICK (Wilbraham), and, more 
commonly, FLIG. 

FLECK MONTH, s. March. 

Because flecks (fleas) are supposed to fly in March, and therefore it is 
said bedroom windows should never be opened during that month. 



' \s. a fly. 

FLEECES, s. layers of hay in a stack. 

" Yo mun cut some fleeces i' th' bay." L. 

FLEE-DOD, s. ragwort, Senecio Jacobcea. HALTON, DELAMERE. 
FLEERED, part, frightened. WILDERSPOOL. 

FLEET, s. an assemblage of birds when they come to their feeding 
ground or roosting quarters. FRODSHAM. 

Large numbers of wild duck and other waterfowl assemble on Frodsham 
Marsh in the evening. Sportsmen go down to shoot them, and speak of it 
as " waiting for the fleet" 

FLEETINGS, s. a curdy cream produced by boiling whey. 

In the old-fashioned method of cheese-making it was always customary to 
boil the whey . The first fleetings rose just before the whey came to the boil. 
These were the richest, and were skimmed off and kept by themselves. 
They were called "cream-fleetings," and were churned into butter. As the 
whey began to boil harder, a somewhat coarser and less creamy kind of 
fleetings rose to the surface. These also were skimmed off, and were used for 
the farm men's supper. A small quantity of buttermilk was then added to the 
boiling whey, which caused a very coarse curdy kind of fleetings to rise, and 
these were kept for feeding calves. The whey was boiled in a large boiler 
kept for the purpose, and it required almost constant stirring to prevent the 
fleetings being burnt. A stick with a small iron paddle at one end, exactly 
like a weeding spud, was generally used for stirring the boiling whey. 
Fleetings are very seldom made now, the whey being set in pans until the 
cream rises to the surface, when it is skimmed off and churned. 

FLEET-MILK, s. according to Wilbraham the same as FLEETINGS. 
FLEF, s. See FLECK. 

FLESH, v. tanning term. To shave off the flesh which remains on 
the inside of a hide. 

The operation is performed upon a rounded block of wood, stone, or 
iron, called a BEAM, which see. 

FLESH-MEAT, s. butchers' meat, 

"We anna had a bit o' flesh-meat aw wik." 


FLET-MILK, s. skim-milk. W. 

FLIG or FLIGGE, adj. spoken of young full-fledged birds. W. 

FLIGGERS, s. young birds beginning to fly. L. 

FLING, v. to throw. We speak of flinging a stone and of being 
flung by a horse. 

The following extraordinary threat was heard in Macclesfield lately, used 
by a mother to her refractory offspring, " If tha does na leave of skriking, I'll 
fling my yed at the." 


FLIT, s. a change of residence. Also FLITTING. 

It is said, " Three flits are as good as (or as bad as) a fire." 

FLIT, v. to remove from one house to another. 

FLITE or FLYTE, v. to scold. W. 


" Fleetings or Flit-milk" Holland's General View of the Agriculture of 
Cheshire (1808), p. 263. 


FLITTINGS, s. according to Wilbraham the same as FLEETINGS. 

FLIZZE, s. the skin which chips at the insertion of the nail. Also 
called " step-mother's blessing." L. 

FLOCK-BED, s. a bed stuffed with flocks instead of with feathers, 
held in great contempt by many old housekeepers. 

" Would ye believe it, they dressen up i' silks and satins, and 
there's nowt bu' 'flock beds i' th' wull haise." 

FLOCKS, s. locks of wool or cotton used for stuffing beds and 
pillows. They are spoken of as WOOLLEN-FLOCKS or COTTON- 

FLOMMUCKY, adj. slovenly. MACCLESFIELD, but not in very 
common use. See SLOMMAKIN. 

FLOOK, v. to mow in steps or ridges like a bad mower. L. 

FLOOR, s. the ground generally, as distinguished from any eleva- 
tion, and not a boarded or regularly made floor in particular. 

If anything were spilt upon the ground, it would be spoken of as 
" sheeded uppo' tic? floor" 

PLOUGH, s. a flea ; pronounced gutturally. W. 

FLOUR CAKE, s. a very favourite cake about MACCLESFIELD. 

It is made from a small piece of ordinary bread dough rolled to the size of 
a plate, and about an inch thick, and then baked on both sides. 

FLOWERING BOX, s. Vaccinium Vitis-Idaa. 
FLUEN or FLUIN, part, thawing. DELAMERE. 

"Th' rain'syfttm th' frost." 

There is a road at Frodsham called "Fhten Lane," but whether it has 
any reference to the above word I do not know. 

FLUE SALT, s. salt-making term. The waste salt formed on the 
flues where the lumps are dried. 


FLUFF, s. (i) any light downy particles that float in the air. The 

particles of cotton which come off new cloth. 
1 'Aw never seed sitch towels i' my loife. Aw've wiped these glasses 
twenty toimes, and aw'll be hanged if they anna aw covered wi 1 'fluff." 

(2) a flea. MACCLESFIELD. 
FLUKE, s. (i) a fish, the flounder. 

(2) a much esteemed variety of kidney potato, fast 
dying out. 

FLUMMERY, s. oatmeal boiled in water till it becomes a thick 
glutinous substance. W. 

FLUMMUX, s. agitation. KNUTSFORD. 

FLURCH, s. a great many, a quantity. 
"Aflurch o' strawberries." L. 

FLUSH, adj. lavish. 
FLUSHED, part, fledged. 

FLUSTER,} v ' to flutter " 

FLUSKERT, part, confused. 

FLUTTER, s. a state of agitation. 
" Aw'm aw of a. flutter." 

FLUTTER, v. to confuse, to agitate. 

FLY-FLAP, s. an instrument used by butchers to kill blue bottle 
flies, which generally infest their shops in hot weather. 

It is made of an oval piece of strong leather, six to eight inches long, 
bound to the end of a stick. . 

FODDER CHEESE, s. cheese made before the cows are turned 
out to grass. L. That is, when they are being foddered on 
hay; the same as BOOSE-CHEESE. 

FOG, s. aftergrass; or perhaps, more correctly, the coarse grass which 
is left uneaten in the autumn. 

In West Cheshire the farmers frequently set fire to this old, dead grass 
after the March winds have dried it, and it is no uncommon thing to see 
whole fields blazing. Called FEG about MIDDLEWICH. 

FOGH, s. fallow ground. L. 

FOIN, adj. (i) fine, in all its ordinary senses. 

(2) smartly dressed. 

"Asfom as a yew- (new-) scraped carrot " is a common expression used to 
describe any one who has dressed himself up smartly for any occasion. Leigh 
gives the expression "As/oin as Phililoo. See FILLILOO. 



FOLK (sometimes pronounced FOWK), s. people. 

" There were a ruck o' fowk theer last neet." 
FOO, s. fool. 

The exact pronunciation is difficult to write ; it is perhaps best expressed 
by/eaw orfaoo. " He's a bom/earn, and that's th' worst feaw of aw," is a 
not uncommon saying. 

FOO-GAWD, s. a fool's gawd or bauble. A foolish plaything. L. 
FOOLS PARSLEY, s. (Ethusa Cynapium. W. CHES. 
FOOMART or FOOMUT, s. a polecat. 

FOOT, s. a measure of length, is the same in the plural as the 

FOOT-ALE, s. ale given by an apprentice to the older workmen as 
an entrance fee. Very much the same as FOOTING. MACCLES- 

FOOT-COCK, s. a small haycock, made by drawing a portion of hay 
with a rake towards the haymaker, and then turning it over into 
a guile with the foot and rake. 

FOOTING, s. drink money, paid by one entering a new trade or 

A stranger going to look over any manufactory, such as a silk or cotton 
mill, or a glassworks, for the first time, is expected to "pay his footing." It 
is also very common, when any new piece of building is begun, for the work- 
people to try and induce the owner to "set a brick." Of course, if he 
does, he is expected to pay his footing. 

FORCAST, s. forethought in contriving any work. MACCLESFIELD. 

FORCAST, v. to contrive beforehand. 

FOREBAYS, s. salt-making term. The brickwork immediately 
under the front of a pan. 

FOREIGNER, s. a stranger ; but not necessarily the inhabitant of 
a foreign country. Even a resident in another parish is often 
called a foreigner. 

In old documents belonging to the Corporation of Wlzcclesfield foreigners 
from other towns are frequently spoken of as not holding this or that right. 

FORE-MILK, s. the first portion of milk drawn from a cow. 

FORE-MILK, v. to milk the first half of a cow's milk by itself for 
the purpose of sending it to market ; the second half, which is 
richer, being retained for making butter. 


(2) opposite, over-against. MACCLESFIELD. 
" He sat forenenst me aw th' toime, burr he never spoke a word. " 


FORE-NOON, s. that part of the morning between breakfast and 
twelve o'clock. 

FORGEE (g hard), v. to forgive. 
FORGEET, v. perfect tense of forget. 

FORGEN, v. perfect tense or participle of forgive. 
"Sir Philip 'sforgen him three 'ears' rent." 

FORGETTEN, part, forgotten. 

FOR GOOD, idiom, (i) for ever, entirely, once for all. 

" He's gone for good," means he is gone without any intention of coming 

(2) in earnest used principally when any game 

is played for stakes. 
" Are we playing/or good?" " No ; let's play for fun." 

FORINK, adj. foreign. MACCLESFIELD. 

"He's gone to live Y forink parts." 

FORINKERS, s. foreigners. E. CHES. 
FORNICATE, v. to invent lies. MACCLESFIELD. 
FORNICATOR, s. one who invents lies. MACCLESFIELD. 

FORRARD, adj. forward, but generally used in the sense of early. 

" A forrard spring" is an early spring. " Forrard taters" are early 

FORTHER, adj. foremost. 

" HisfortAer feet want shoeing badly." 
" He's lame of his farther feet." 

The word occurs many times in old documents belonging to the Cor- 
poration of Macclesfield. 


A woman addressing her very hard landlord said to him, "Well, mester, I 
ony hope as yo may live iofSrthink them words as yo'n said to me to-day." 

FORTHOUGHT, s. repentance. W. 

FORYED, s. the forehead. MACCLESFIELD. 

FOT, v. perfect tense of fetch. 

FOTCH, v. fetch. 

POTHER, s. fodder. 

POTHER, v. to give fodder to cattle. 


FOTHER-BING or FODDER-BING, s. a passage in front of the 
cows in a shippon, in which fodder is kept, and from which the 
cows are foddered. Occasionally FOTHER-BAY. MOBBERLEY. 

FOTHERIN, s. fodder. KELSALL. 

" It'sfotAerin for cattle." 
FOUR-SQUARE, adj. rectangular. 

" He's makinfow faces at me." 

(2) abusive. 
"Fow names." 
" Forw i' her temper." 

(2) a cluster of horses. HYDE. 

(3) a layer of anything; a covering. 
FOWD, v. to fold. 

FOW-DRUNK, adj. very drunk. W. 

POWER, num. four. 

Fourteen becomes fowerteen, but forty is unaltered in pronunciation. 

FOWL, s. an inflammation between the claws of a cow's foot. 

Leigh gives the following superstitious remedy, " Cut a sod on which the 
diseased foot has stood, the shape of the foot, and stick it on a bush." 

FOW LIFE, very difficult. 

" I've a.fow life to walk at all," said a rheumatic man. L. 

FOWT, v. perf. tense of fight; plur. FOWTEN. 

FOX, v. to sham. 

"He's onyfoxtn." 

FOXBENCH, s. indurated sand. 

It is almost of the nature of stone, of a dark brown colour, found as a 
substratum in many parts of Cheshire, especially in peaty districts. Wherever 
it occurs the land is very sterile, and burns up quickly in dry weather. Many 
years ago it used to be utilised in the neighbourhood of Lindow Common for 
making a kind of mahogany-coloured paint. It was chiefly used for painting 
rough wooden chairs and other kitchen furniture. I believe some of these 
old chairs, painted vrith/ox&encA, may still be seen in some of the Mobberley 

FOX-SLEEPING, part, pretending to be asleep. 

" And there, luk yo, he heered every word as we'd said, for he 
were nowt bu" fox-sleepin." 


FOXY, adj. (i) wet, marshy. L. 

(2) having sandy-coloured hair. 
" Well, he were a tidy-sized chap, and he vteiefoxy. " 

This sentence referred entirely to the colour of the man's hair, and not to 
any cunning propensities. 

FRAB, z>. (i) to irritate. 

Thus, you c3.-a.frab a horse by pulling too hard at the reins. 

(2) to fidget. 
A horse "frabs hissel" when he fidgets about. 

FRAB BY, adj. worrying, ill-tempered. 

"Whatever mays ye so frabby this morning, yo'n getten aht o' 
bed o' th' wrong soide." 

Leigh has FRABBLY. 

FRAME, s. a skeleton. KELSALL. 

Speaking of magpies taking young chickens, a man said they would " limb 
em alive," and that they had "left then frames onth' adlant yonder, nine 
on em." 

FRAME, z;. to set about the performance of anything. 
" He frames badly." 

FRAMPATH or FRAMPOT, s. an iron ring attached to the chain 
by which a cow is tied, which slides up and down the ratch- 
stake. MOBBERLEY. 

FRANZY, adj. irritable. 

FRASLING, s. the perch. HALLIWELL. 

FRATCH, z/. to worry about trifles. HYDE. 

FRATCHETY, adj. peevish, irritable. MACCLESFIELD. . 

FRAY, z>. to stock a pond with young fish. 

FREE, adj. affable. 

"How do you like your new landlord?" "Well ! I think we 
shall like him very well ; he seems a very free gentleman." 

FREE MARTIN or MARTIN, s. a twin heifer when the fellow- 
twin is of the opposite sex ; popularly supposed (and with some 
reason) to be incapable of breeding. 

FREE-SPOKKEN, adj. frank, unreserved in address. 

FREETENED, part, frightened. 

FREM, adj. strange. 

FREM-FOLK, s. strangers, as distinguished from kins-folk. 


FRENCH BUTTERFLEE, s. a coloured butterfly, white ones 
being simply BUTTERFLEES. 

I give this name with some diffidence, because I have never heard it but 
once at RuNCORN, and then I did not know whether my informant was a 
Cheshire man or not. Remarking upon a sudden thaw and a warm day in 
early spring, he informed me, as a rare piece of natural history, that he had 
captured a Queen Ann a few days previously. On my asking what he meant 
by a Queen Ann, he said, "One of those dark-coloured butterflees wi' red on 
their wings; some call 'em French Butterflees." I concluded he meant a 
tortoise-shell butterfly, Vanessa urtictz. See RED DRUMMER. 

FRESH, s. salt-making term. The rain that falls upon the top of 
the brine in a brine-cistern, which being lighter, floats on the top. 
After heavy rain the men talk of "running the fresh off." 

FRESH, adj. (i) youthful, or rather not showing age, well preserved. 
" He's very fresh for his age" is said of a hearty old man. 
Paint which has not become discoloured \3 fresh. 

(2) in good condition, but not thoroughly fat ; said of 


(3) frisky. 

" Yo mun stick on, he's very fresh." 

(4) slightly drunk. 

(5) new. 

" We'n getten s. fresh schoo-mester. " 

FRETTEN, part, rubbed, marked. Used chiefly in pock-/retten. W. 
FRIDGE, v. to rub, so as to injure the surface. 

FRILL, s. the puckered edge of the fat which is stripped from the 
entrails of a pig. It has a red, fleshy edge, and resembles a 

FRIM, adj. tender, brittle. 

FRITTENIN, s. a ghost, or anything supernatural. Manchester 
City News, Feb. 26th, 1880. 

FRO, prep. from. 

FROG, s. the complaint of the mouth usually called thrush. 

A writer in the Manchester City News of March I2th, 1881, gives this word 
as occurring in an old family will of the Jjth century, in an inventory of 
goods : "Item, onefrommering." The writer adds : " Hitherto no one of 
our day has been able to tell me what this is, but it is generajly supposed to 
be some domestic utensil or agricultural implement." I am unable to suggest 
any other explanation, but I put the word on record in the hope that some day 
the meaning may be discovered. 


FRONT, v. to swell up, as when boiling water is poured upon 
Indian meal. 

Also to cause to swell, as when indigestible food causes a full feeling at 
the stomach, it is said that " it fronts." 


FROWART, <&. forward. W. 


FROSTED, part, (i) spoilt with frost. 

" I do doubt them taties '11 be frosted." 

(2) frost-bitten, having chilblains. 

(3) horseshoes put on with frost-nails were for- 

merly said to be frosted. Academy of 
Armory, Bk. III., ch. iii., p. 89. Still in use. 

FROST NAILS, s. nails with pointed heads put into horses' shoes 
to prevent slipping, mentioned in Academy of Armory ', Bk. III., 
ch. iii., p. 89. Still in use. 

smelling, like a room of which the windows are never opened. 

FROZZEN,/ar/. frozen. 

FRUMP, s. a contemptuous name for an old woman, especially one 
who affects youthful airs. MACCLESFIELD. 

FRUMPING, part, gossiping ; spreading scandalous tales. HYDE. 

FUDGE, s. nonsensical talk. 

11 Sitch fudge ! oi've no patience to listen to ye." 

FUDGE, v. to talk nonsense; especially with the intent to cram 
another person. 

FUGLE, s. to whistle. L. 
FUKES, s. the hair. W. 

FULL-BAT, precipitately. 

" He ran agen him full-bat." 

FULLOCK, v. to shoot a marble by jerking the hand forward, 
instead of with the thumb only ; considered an unfair way of 

" Nye then ! T\Q futtocking." 

FULL OF UNBELIEF, metaphor. Said of a cow that will not 
stay in her pasture. WILLASTON. 

FUMMAS, v. to fumble. 

4 " What sact/ummastn with at th' lock ? Canna ye see th' dur's 
bowted ? " 



FUN, s. to make fun of. 

"Ne'er heed him ; he's ony funning you." 

FUND, v. perfect tense of find. 

FUNERAL CAKES, s. long, narrow, sponge cakes used at funerals. 
Formerly, I believe, they were intended to represent a coffin. They are 
presented with a funeral card to each person who has attended a funeral, 
when he leaves the house. They are folded up in white paper, and sealed up 
with black wax. The custom is fast becoming obsolete ; but when I was a 
boy a funeral would hardly have been considered correct without the funeral 
cakes. The undertakers generally provided them. 

FUNERAL CUPS, s. drinking vessels used at funerals. 

I have never met with these, nor had I ever heard of them until the 
following account was sent to me by a Macclesfield correspondent : ' ' Some 
time since, I, like many others, had a china mania, and poked into all sorts 
of cottages in search of ' bits. ' I one day found some tall upright cups 
something like coffee cups, only larger. I exclaimed to the old man who 
owned them, ' What beauties ! but where are the saucers ? ' He replied, 
' There be none to them, Miss ; they are funeral cups ; they never usen 'em 
nye, bu' when I were a bye, they uset for drink warm beer ait on em at a 
berryin, and smoke long pipes ; bu' things alter so.' Those cups were at 
least a hundred years old, and had been used at the funerals of the family." 

FUNNY, adj. (i) bad, capricious, said of temper. 
" Go's getten a funny temper." 
(2) strange, extraordinary. 

The word is perpetually being used, even on the most solemn occasions, 
and without the slightest intention of expressing any amusement at any 
untoward circumstance. If a man met his death in any extraordinary 
manner, we should say, "What a funny thing." 

FUR, s. the encrusted sediment at the bottom of a kettle or boiler. 
FURBLES, s. fibres, hairy roots. L. 

FURMETRY or FURMETTY, s. new wheat stewed for a con- 
siderable time, and then boiled with milk, sweetened, and spiced. 

Sometimes eaten at Christmas, but more usually on the Wakes Sunday, 
which varies in every parish. See WAKES. 

FURRED, part, encrusted with sediment. 
FUSSOCK, s. a potato pudding. L. 

FUSTIAN CUTTER, s. one who finishes off fustian by cutting it 
to a sort of velvetty pile. A common trade about Congleton, and 
also at Lymm. 

FUSTIANY, adj. applied to sand with a good deal of earth (the 
colour of fustian) in it, that prevents its being used for mortar. L. 

FUZ-BAW, s. the fungus Lycoperdon Bovista. FUZ-BOB (MACCLES- 

FUZZIKY, adj. soft, spongy ; applied to wet, spongy land ; or to a 
soft, woolly turnip. 



GABEL RENT, s. an ancient tenure of land at Chester. 

In the Domesday Book of Cheshire and Lancashire, as edited and 
translated by Mr. W. Beamont, we have the very earliest existing reference 
to this curious and accustomed tenure at Chester : " Whoso did not pay his 
gabel(i.e., not only the annual reserved rent, but also the peculiar service due 
to the king, or other superior authority, at the time appointed, Christmas), 
forfeited ' x shillings,' But if he was unwilling or unable to pay or perform 
it, the praefect or sheriff took his land into the king's hand." This duty was 
no doubt often felt irksome enough by the great families, who usually farmed 
the gabel land of the city. As time advanced, too, the responsibility would 
certainly have been shirked, if it could have been done with impunity ; but 
the "x shillings" annual fine, and the danger of the property becoming 
forfeited to the king and the city, effectually prevented the custom from falling 
into desuetude. It is only within our own day that, for a mere mess of 
pottage, the city has bartered away for ever this ancient and picturesque 
custom, involving the original title to the soil of rare old Chester. Cheshire 
Sheaf, vol. i., p. 355, 


GAD, s. the fact of starting. 

To be "on the gad" is to be on the point of setting out. 

GAD, v. (i) (or GAD ABOUT), to go about gossiping. 

" Keepe truelie thy Saboth, the better to speed, 
Keepe seruant from gadding, but when it is need." 

TUSSER (Five Hundred Points ) t E.D.S. ed., p. 25. 

(2) cows are said to gad when, in hot weather, they rush 

frantically about the fields with their tails in the air, 
to escape (as is supposed) the attacks of the gad-fly. 

(3) to go, to start off. MACCLESFIELD. 

" Nah then, thee^W off." 

GAFFER, s. (i) a master. 

(2) the overlooker of a gang of men. 

(3) the foreman of a band of labourers, who acts for 

them in contracting with an employer for a job. 

(4) a husband. WIRRALL. 
"My gaffer" i.e., my husband. 

GAFTY, adj. doubtful, suspected. 

A gafty person is a suspected person. W. 


GAGGING OUT, part, sticking out, projecting. BUCKLOW HILL, 

GAIN, adj. (i) handy. GEEN (W. CHES.). 

A light spade would be called " a gainer tool " than a heavy one, 

(2) near. 

The nearest way is called the " gainest road," 

(3) smart, active. 

" A gain little tit r " i.e., an active little horse. 

GALLOWS, s. braces. L. 

GALLOWS TANG, s. a jail-bird ; also a clumsy fellow. L. See 

CALLUS, adj. gay, mischievous) given to larks, mad-cap. 

GALLUS TAG, s. a good-for-nothing. MACCLESFIELU. 
" He's a gallus tag; he'll do nobody no good." 

GAM, adj. game, plucky. 

GAMBLE, s. the hough of a horse. L. See CAMBRIL. 

GAMBREL LEGGED, adj. cow legged. Said of a horse. L, 

GAMMEL or GANNEL, s. a slut ; also a narrow entry or passage. 

GAMMOCK, s. a jest, a lark. 
GAMMOCK, v. to play pranks. 

GAMMY, adj. (i) imperfect, diseased. 

" He's very bad ; he's getten a gammy leg." 

(2) idle, good for nothing. MACCLESFIELD. 

" He's a gammy sort o' chap; he spends hafe his toime i r th 
public haise." 


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. L. 

This and the former word are not local r but being included in Leigh's 
Glossary are inserted here. 

GARELOCKS or GARELICKS. s. a fighting cock's gaffles or 
artificial spurs. L. 


GARGLE, s. an inflammation in a cow's udder, known to veterinary 
surgeons as Mammitis. See BODY GARGLE. 

Leigh says that to rub the udder with a maid's shift is a reputed cure for 

GARGLED or GARGILT, /<zr/. or adj. having gargle in the udder. 

Participially we speak of a cow being gargled as "oo's gargilt." Using 
the word as an adjective we say " oo's getten a gargilt elder." 

GARJEE, s. hatting term. A byword for beer. 
GARLICK, s. Allium ursinum. WILD GARLICK (W. CHES.), 
GARNER, s. a granary. 
GARRETT, s. hatting term. A meeting of workpeople. 

GARTERING, part, salt-mining term. Cutting a grip or narrow 
passage into a bulk of salt, after it has been picked or yoed 
under, to loosen it so that it will fall. 

GATE, s. a road leading to one or more moss-rooms. 

Generally the turf is not got out of these roads, but they are left high and 
dry above the surrounding land. It is remarkable that at the Wilmslow, or 
north side of Lindow Common, these roads are called Gates ; whilst at the 
Mobberley or south side, only about two miles off, they are called Looads. 

GATE, v. to start, i.e., set anything going. 

As a silk-weaving term, it refers to the preparations made by a workman 
about to weave a new fabric. 

" I mun gate a new loom next wik." 

To start a pump which is out of order, by pouring water down it, is called 
gating it. 

As a salt-making term it means starting a pan to work. 
" Au've gated moi pon." 

GATHERERS, s. the collectors of the subscription after a charity- 
sermon. L. 

GATHERING, s. a collection in a church. 

One sometimes hears an " Easter gathering " spoken of. 

GATHER WASTE, idiom, 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 a clergyman enters on the peroration, or the "in conclusion-" of 
his sermon, that he begins " t' gather waste." L. 

GAUBERTS, s. iron racks for chimneys. HALLIWELL. 
GAULISH, adj. ill-tempered, nagging. KELSALL. 

GAUT PIG, s. a sow. L. 

More correctly, a sow that has never had pigs. 


GAW, adj. open or unoccupied. Cheshire Sheaf, vol. i., p. 266. 

" Gaw or waste land " appears in an old deed relating to land in 
Allostock. L. 

GAWBY, s. a simpleton, a fool. GABY (MACCLESFIELD), GOBBY 

A woman said to her husband, "Tha great gawby ; sithee how th' art 
muckin th' flure as aw've cleeant. Th' art fit for nowt bu' sit i" th' chimbly 
and nurse th' choilt." 

GAWFIN, s. a clown. L. 

GAWKIN, ) .. awkward 
GAWKY, j aaj " ' 

GAWM, s. a lout. 

"A gawm of a fellow. " L. 

GAWM, v. (i) to smear with anything sticky. 

(2) to grasp in the hand. MACCLESFIELD. 

(3) metaphorically, to comprehend. MACCLESFIELD. 

"It's above my thumb, aw conna gawm it," was said of the music of 
Mendelssohn's "Elijah." 

Sort Of raild e 
"Well, aw'm gawmed if ever aw heerd owt loike that.' 

GAWMY, adj. sticky. 

GAWN, s. a gallon. W. 
Leigh spells it GOAN. 

GAWP, v. to gape or stare. 

" What are ye ga-wpin at?" 

GEAOWT, s. (i) the gout. 

(2) spongy, wet soil. 

GEAOWTY, adj. wet, spongy, boggy. 

Leigh gives an amusing illustration under the word gouty, "What's a 

gouty place?" "Awobby place." "What's a wobby place?" "A miz- 

zick." " What's a mizzick ?" "Amurgin." " What's a murgin ?" "A 
wet, boggy place." 

GEAR or GEAR UP, v. to put harness on a horse. 

GEARS, s. harness. 

"What's Tom doing this wet day?" "Mester, he's cleaning 
tW gears." 

GEARUM, s. order, serviceable condition. MACCLESFIELD. 
GEE (g hard), v. to give, 


GEED, v. gave (g hard). 
GEEN, adj. See GAIN. 
GEET, v. perfect of get. 


GETTEN, I part, participle of get. 


GEN, part, given. GIN (MACCLESFIELD). 

GENEVA. PLANT, s. the juniper, Juniperus communis. L. 

GENNEL, s. an entry or narrow passage between buildings. 

GER AIT, v. get out. 
GET, v. (i) to beget. 

(2) to gather fruit, or get up roots. 

" Gettin damsels." " Gettin taters." " Gettin mushrooms." 

GET AGATE, v. to begin anything. 

GETHSEMANE, s. the plant Orchis mascula. 

" One species of orchis, which in Cheshire is called Gethsemane, is said to 
have been growing at the foot of the cross, and to have received some drops 
of blood on its leaves : hence the dark stains by which they have ever since 
been marked." Quarterly Review, July, 1863, p. 231. 

GETTEN, part.(\) got. 

(2) begotten. 

GET THEE GONE, idiom, a kindly way of telling a person to go. 

GEUSE, s. pronunciation of goose. 
GEUSE GOG, s. a gooseberry. 
GEUSE GRASS, s. Galium Aparine. 

GEUSE ILE, s. goose-grease, made by rendering down the leaf or 
internal fat of a goose. 

It is very efficacious as an external remedy in many cases, such as a 
cold in the chest, and is always spoken of as very "searching." 

GEUSE-TONGUE, s. Galium Aparine. 
GEZLIN, s. a gosling. 
GEZLINS, s. palm catkins, Salix Capraa. 
GIB, s. a male ferret L. See HOB. 


GIDDLE GADDLE, s. a sheep walk. N. E. CHES. 
GIDDY, adj. angry. See Go GIDDY. 

GIFTS, s. white spots on the nails. 

The popular belief is that they betoken a present, and children say 
" A gift on the thumb 

Is sure to come ; 
A gift on the finger 
Is sure to linger." 

Or they vary it thus, beginning with the thumb and ending with the little 
finger : "A gift, a friend, a foe, a sweetheart, a journey to go." The event 
to happen is indicated by the word which corresponds to the finger on which 
the white spot is seen. 

GIGGE, s. " a gigge is a hole in the ground where fire is made to 
dry the flax." Academy of Armory, Bk. III., ch. iii., p. 106. 

GIL-HOOTER, s. an owl. W. 

GILL, j. (i) half a pint. 

A Cheshire labourer would stare if, when he called for a gill of ale, they 
brought him imperial measure. 

(2) a female ferret. 
The g is soft in both cases. 

GILL-BAW (g soft), s. a child's ball. KNUTSFORD, WILDERSPOOL. 

" A light thing like a gilt-baw" 

GILLER, or, rather, GUILLER, s. several horsehairs twisted 
together to compose a fishing-line. W. 

GILLIFLOWER or GILLIVER (^soft), s. a wallflower, Cheiranthus 

GILT, s. a young sow before she has had a litter of pigs. 
GIMBO, s. the natural child of a natural child. L. 

GINGER, adj. sandy-haired. 

" He's a bit ginger" 

GINGERLY, adv. gently, cautiously. Scarcely local. 


GIRD, s. and v. a push, to push as a bull does. W. 

GIS-AN-GULLIES, s. the blossoms of Salix Capraa. MACCLES- 

GIVEN TO, part, having a propensity for anything. 
" Given to drink." " Given to swearing." 


GIVE O'ER, v. to cease, to desist. 

" Has it gen o'er raining ?" 
" Give o'er, wilt ta." 

GIZZANT, s. the gizzard of a fowl MACCLESFIELD. 

GIZZERN, s. the gizzard. W. 

GLAB, s. a talkative person. MACCLESFIELD, but not common. 

GLAFFER or GLAVER, v. to flatter. W. 

GLASS, v. to glaze. 

Glassing the windows is to put the panes into their frames. It appears in 
Middlewych Church book, A.D. 1655. L. 

GLASSES, s. spectacles. 

GLASTONBURY, s. the garden shrub, Cratcegus Pyracantha, no 
doubt mistaken for the Glastonbury thorn, which is an early- 
flowering variety of C. Oxyacantha. 

GLEAD or GLED, s. a kite. L. 

GLEEDS, .s. glowing embers. Mow COP, but said to be almost 

Leigh, however, gives it as still in use for the bits of wood and sparks left 
at the bottom of a brick oven. 

1 \ 

' I s ' a g um P se a glance, a squint. Not in common use. 


CI TNT I 7 '' gl ance > to squint 

GLIDE, s. a turn in the eye. 

GLIDE, v. to squint. 

GLIFF, s. a glimpse. W. 

GLOBED TO, part, wedded to, foolishly fond of. W. 

GLOOM, v. to be overcast. 

" It looks very like rain." "I dunno know, I think iion\y glooms 
for heat." 

GLOPPENED, part, bewildered, astonished. 

Ray (North Country Words} spells it GiOTTEN'D, but I have never 
heard the word so pronounced. 

GLOUR or GLOWER, v. to have a cross look. 

When the clouds threaten bad weather we call them glowering. W. 

GLOVES, s. hatting term. A flat piece of leather or wood fastened 
on the hand to protect it from the hot water when rolling the 
hats to felt them. 


GNATTER or NATTER, v. to gnaw to pieces. W. 

GOB, s. (i) a foolish person, a silly, a gawk. L. 
(2) a mouthful of spittle. KNUTSFORD. 
GOB, v. to spit. KNUTSFORD. 

GOBBINSHIRE, prop. name, an old name for a portion of West 

Gobbinshire seems to have included Saughall, Shotwick, Ness, Neston, 
and the hamlets on the north shore of the Dee to the borders, perhaps, of 
Backford ; but its boundaries cannot be well defined. It has been suggested 
that the name means Gawbyshire, because forty or fifty years ago the residents 
there were out of the ordinary run of mortals, and the lubberly boys and girls 
who came from those places to Chester at Christmas for their annual hiring 
used to be called, and in fact were, " country gawbies." 


GOD-HOP, s. a longer hop or jump than usual quite out of the 
common way. WILMSLOW. 

GOD'S CROFT, prop. name. 

The name of a farm house lying half way between Frodsham and Helsby, 
and supposed to be the place indicated by the prophet Nixon when he was 
asked where a man should find safety on the Judgment Day. The seer 
replied "in God's croff, between the rivers Mersey and Dee." The farm 
in question, however, can scarcely be said to lie between those two rivers, 
though it is possible that in very early times the Mersey may have flowed in 
a different channel. Some suppose that Nixon meant the whole promontory 
of the Wirral which is situated between the Mersey and the Dee. 

GOD'S GRACE, s. the plant Luzula campestris. KNUTSFORIJ. 
GO GIDDY, v. to go in a passion. 
GOHANNA, s. guano. 

GOING OF, adv. approaching ; but only used in reference to time, 
or to a person's age. 

" What time is it?" " Coin" of eleven." 

" How old is your daughter ?" " Go's gain' of eighteen. " 

GOINGS ON, s. doings. 

"Aw've no patience wi tin. gains on; tha goes every neet to th' 
Bull, an' gets thi bally full o' swill, an' me an' th' childer mun sit a 
worn clemmin." 

GOLDEN AMBER, s. the yellow hammer, Emberiza citrinella. 

GOLDEN BALL, s. the plant Trollius europaus. 
GOLDING, s. a marigold. W. 


GOLD. For many words beginning with " gold " see GOWD. 

GOLLOP, v. to gobble up. 

" Nah then ! dunna thee gallop aw that puddin off at wunst." 

GOLORE, adv. in abundance. 

GOMMERIL, s. a soft, foolish person. DELAMERE, SANDBACH. 

GONDER, s. (i) a gander. 

The extreme poverty of a field was described to me thus " It's sa poor, 
it would na keep a flock o' geese, and gander goo i'th' lone." 

(2) used metaphorically for a fool. 

(3) a gooseberry. MACCLESFIELD. 

GONDER, v. (i) to ramble in conversation, to become childish. 

(2) to go heedlessly. Mio-CHES. 
" Wheer art gonderin to ?" 

GONDER MOON, s. literally the month during which a goose is 
sitting, when the gander looks lost and wanders vacantly about ; 
metaphorically applied to the month in which a man's wife is 

A publican's wife had been recently confined, and one of his customers 
having called for a glass of ale repeatedly without effect, another customer 
observed " Oh, it's gonder moon wi' 'im ; he's lost and dusna know what he's 

GONE DJED, part. dead. 

" Owd Sammnl's gone djed&i last." 

GOO, v. go. 

" Wheer art gooin?" 

GOOD, s. a property of any kind. W. 

GOOD FEW, adv. a considerable number. 

" Have you any raspberries this year?" " Oh aye ; we'n getten 
a good few, " 

GOODING, part, collecting money for the poor at Christmas for a 
feast. Doing good. L. 

GOO' LAADE, interj. literally good lad, but a very frequent 
expression in urging a person, or a dog, to fresh exertions. 
Equivalent to " Well done ! go at it again." 

GOOD LUCK, "To play the good luck," i.e., bad luck, is to do 
mischief. L. 

GOOD-T'-NOWT, s. a worthless fellow. 
" He's a iQg'\a.r good-f-n<rwt." 


GOOD TNOWT, a. worthless. 

" Cob it away ; it's good t'nowt." 

GOODY, s. goochvife; a kind of familiar address or title given to 
women rather in an inferior station of life. It grows much out 
of use. W. Now, I think, quite obsolete ; and perhaps never 
really local. 

GOOLD, s. gold. MACCLESFIELD. More commonly GOWD. 

GO ON, v. to scold. 

" Oo does go on at im above a bit, when he comes worn drunk." 

GOOSE, s. hatting term. An implement used in the curling of hat 

For many words beginning with goose see GEUSE. 

GOOSE APPLE; s. a green and juicy variety of cooking apple. 

A tree of this variety was supplied to me a few years since by a nursery- 
man at Romiley, near Stockport, and it is now growing in my garden at 
Mobberley, but I do not think the variety is very common. 

GOOSEFOOT, s. another name for " fat hen." L. Chenopodium. 
GORBY, adj. soft, silly. L. 

GORMLESS, adj. dull, stupid. 

" Tha gormless chap, thee ; tha'll never be worth sawt to thi 
porridge. " 

GORSE-COTE, s. a shed, the sides of which are made of gorse 
wound amongst upright stakes. 

A cheap and expeditious way of providing shelter in a field for young 
cattle during winter. 

GORSE HOPPER, s. the bird called a whinchat. W. 

GORST, s. gorse, Ulex. 

Gorst is a very common family name in the neighbourhood of Runcorn 
and Frodsham. 

GOSTER, v. to swagger Mow COP. 
GOSTERER, s. a swaggerer. Mow COP. 

GOT, part, thoroughly dried, as applied to hay. 
"It's weel got." 

GO THY WAYS, idiom, a common expression when bidding a 
person to be gone ; used in a kindly manner. See GET THEE 

GOT THE RATS, idiom, said of a man who has the bailiffs in his 
house. L. 


GOUFE or GAUFE, s. a simpleton. 
"Thou great goufe" L. 

GOVVD, s. gold. 

GOWDEN, adj. golden. 

GOWD-FINCH, s. the yellow hammer, Emberiza dtrinella. 

GOVVD-NEP, s. a small yellow, early pear. NORTON, SUTTON, 

This pear was formerly much grown and esteemed in Cheshire, but is 
becoming scarce. At Middlewich it is often pronounced GOWD-NAP. 
Leigh quotes it as GOWD FEPS, which is perhaps a misprint. 

GOWND, s. a gown. 
GRACE, s. grease. 
GRACY, adj. greasy. 

GRADELY, adj. (i) proper. 

' ' A gr.adely road " is a properly formed road, or a public road as dis- 
tinguished from a road which people make without having the right to do so. 

(2) decent, well-conducted. MACCLESFIELD, HYDE. 

" A gradely woman. " 
At Hyde " a gradely mon " implies that the man is a right good fellow. 

GRADELY, adv. properly. 

" Yo dunna do it gradely" 

GRAF or GRAFT, s. the depth of a spade in digging. 

GRAIN, s. the prong of a fork. GREEN (W. CHES.). See PIKEL. 

' ' One casting a pikell . . . the two greins of the pikell ran on 
both sides of his leg, and hurt him not." Hinde's Life of John Bruen of 
Stapleford, 1641, p. 143. 

GRAIND, s. (pronounced almost like grind], the ground. 
GRAINS, s. spent malt ; much used for feeding milch cows. 
GRAITH, s. riches. W. 
GRANCH, v. to crunch. MACCLESFIELD. 

GRAPED, part, cattle are said to be graped when. the lungs become 
tuberculated, and adhere to the side. 

CRASH, s. green fruit or vegetables. MIDDLEWICH. 
GRASS-BOG, s. a tuft of coarse grass in a field. MIDDLEWICH. 

GRASS CHEESE, s. cheese made when the cows have begun to 
lie out at night. 


GRASS HOOK, s. part of a scythe. 

A short iron rod connecting the head of a scythe-pole and the base of the 
blade, cutting off the angle, as it were. The effect of the contrivance is to 
prevent the grass clogging around the base of the blade. 

GRATER, v. (i) to grind. 

"He's gratering his teeth." 
(2) to grate anything to powder. 

GRAUNCH, v. to grind any hard substance between the teeth. 

GRAVES, s. refuse bits of meat, skin, and fat from the process of 

They are pressed into large blocks, and sold as food for dogs. 

GRAWED, adj. and/ar/. begrimed, bedaubed with dirt. L. 
GRAZIER, s. a young rabbit, just beginning to feed on grass. W. 

GREAT, s. "to work by the great" is task work in contradistinction 
to day work. L. (on the authority of Wilbraham). 

Wilbraham, however, merely says, under the word HAGG: " To work by 
the Hagg is to work by the great, in contradistinction to day- work;" and he 
nowhere gives " working by the great " as a Cheshire expression. 

GREAT, adj. friendly, on good terms. 

"Him and them isn't very great just now." 

GREAT BINDWEED, s. Convolvulus Sepium. W. CHES. 
GREEN FADE, s. blue mould in cheese. 
GREEN LINNET, s. the greenfinch, Coccothraustes chloris* 
GREEN-SAUCE, s. the sorrel, Rumex Acetosa and R. Acetosella. 

GREEN-SIDE, s. grass. * 

Land laid down to grass is said to be " green-side upp&rds." 

GREEN SOD SLUDGE, s. sea mud, which was formerly much 
used as a manure in the neighbourhood of Runcorn. It was 
obtained from the salt marshes on the banks of the Mersey and 

" We have what we call the green sod sludge, and the slob ; the former is 
the strongest, and is consequently always preferred when it is to be had. 

. . We take one graft off the lower part of the marsh, never going 
deeper. One man gets it with a shovel, whilst another puts it into the cart 
with a pitchfork." Holland's General View of the Agriculture of Cheshire 
(1808), Appendix xiii., p. 368. 

GREEN WHEY, s. the clear whey which separates from the curd 
in the cheese-tub. 

It is semi-transparent, and of a greenish colour. It is called green whey 
as distinguished from the white whey which comes from the curd under 


GREEN WINTER, s. a winter without much frost or snow. 

We have a saying that "a green winter makes a fat churchyard," on the 
supposition that warm winters are unseasonable and therefore unhealthy. 
The statistics of the Registrars of Deaths, however, show conclusively that 
this popular idea is without foundation. 

GREET, s. grit. 

Whitish sandstone pounded up, and used for scouring wooden dairy 
vessels. It is generally bought from itinerant vendors, or, if near enough to 
quarries where it can be obtained, the farmer will occasionally send a cart 
for a supply. Outside almost every farmhouse backdoor is a slopstone a 
flag set up on brick pillars and on this may generally be seen a lump of 
greet, a smooth round paving stone for pounding it, and a wisp of straw very 
ingeniously plaited into a scrubber. The scrubber is first dipped into water, 
then into the greet, and the vessel-cleaner works at the tubs with a will, and 
gets them to a high degree of cleanliness. Of late years scrubbers made of 
cocoa-nut fibre, and bought at the village shop, have almost taken the place 
of the old-fashioned straw scrubbers. 

GRESS, s. grass. 

GREWD, part, stuck to the saucepan in boiling. MACCLESFIELD. 

GREWN-WI-DIRT, part. adj. grimed with dirt. WILMSLOW. 

It means almost more than grimed, as if the dirt were completely grown in. 

GREY-BOB, s. the lesser redpole, Fringilla linaria. 

GREY SLATE, s. thick flag slates. 

These sandstone slates were formerly in constant use in Cheshire, and 
are obtained from the quarries at Kerridge and other places. Except in the 
neighbourhood of the quarries, they are now very little used, Welsh slate 
being so much lighter, and not requiring such heavy roof timbers. There 
are, however, plenty of the old grey slate roofs still in existence. 

GRID, s. a grating. 

GRIDDLE, s. a gridiron. MACCLESFIELD. 

GRIDDLY, adj. gritty. Mow COP. 

GRIG, s. heather, Calluna vulgaris. 

GRIME, s. dirt thoroughly worked in, not merely surface dirt 

GRIN, s. a snare to catch hares or rabbits. 

Made of thin wire twisted into a noose and fixed in one of their runs. 


Leigh gives the following as an old Cheshire saying: "Naught' 
impossible, as t'auld woman said when they told her caulf had swallowed 
grindlestone. " 

Children about Macclesfield say 

" Lady-bird, lady-bird, fly away home; 
All thi childer are dead but one, 
And he lies under the grindlestun. " 


GRINSEL, s. groundsel, Senecio vulgaris. 
GRINSTUN, s. a grindstone. See*GRiNDLESTUN. 

GRIP-YARD, GRIP-YAWD, or GRIP-YAWT, s. piles driven into 
the banks of a stream, and wound with twigs, generally of willow, 
to prevent the washing away of the soil. 

I frequently meet with the word in old leases, where it is obligatory for 
the tenant " to keep all gripyards in good order." In old documents of the 
early part of the seventeenth century, belonging to the corporation of 
Macclesfield the word is frequently quoted, and is spelt grippe-yotts ; and 
there appears to have been a functionary whose duty it was to see that "all 
grippe-yotts" were "seemly kepet." 

GRIP-YARD, v. to repair banks in the above manner. 
GRISKIN, s. a loin of pork. KNUTSFORD, MOBBERLEY. 

The word is quite unknown in the neighbourhood of Runcorn, and 
thence to Warrington, and I am also informed that it is not used about 

GRIZZLED, adj. of a roan colour. 

GRONCH, s. unripe fruit. Mow COP. 

" He made hissel bad wi eating sa mitch gronch." 

GRONCH, v. to crunch. Mow COP. 

GROOND, s. a greyhound. 

GROOP, s. a channel behind the cows in a shippon. 

GROSIER, s. a gooseberry. L. 

GROUND ASH, s. the plant (Egopodium Podagraria. 

GROUND ELDER or ELLER, s. Angelica sylvestris. 

GROUND HONEYSUCKLE, s. Lotus corniculatus. 

Leigh assigns the name to the common birdsfoot (Ornithopus perpusilhis), 
but erroneously, having confounded "Birdsfoot Trefoil" and "Birdsfoot," 
the respective book-names of the two plants. 

GROUND I WINS, s. Nepeta Glechoma. 

GROUND ROCK, s. salt-making term. Rock-salt ground fine by 
passing through a mill. 

GROWT, s. (i) poor small beer. W. 

(2) mortar made very sloppy to run between bricks or 

stones used for paving. 

(3) good breed. 

' ' Grout afore brass, for me ! " L. 

GROWING DAY, s. a warm, genial day, good for vegetation. 


GRUB, v. to make envious. 

" He's grubbed at Tom cutting him out." L. 
GRUBBY, adj. small, poor, stunted. MACCLESFIELD. 

GRUB-HAVES or GRUB-AVES, s. worm-hillocks seen on grass- 
plots on dewy mornings. WISTASTON. 

GRUMBLEDIRT, s. a man who is always grumbling. L. 

GRUMMEL, 5. dust and rubbish. More anciently ROMELL. L. 

GRUMPY, adj. peevish, ill-tempered. 

GRUND,/arf. ground. 

" Grund wuts," ground oats. 

GUAGE BED, s. salt-mining term. The solid bed formed in the 
shaft, where marl or rock are sound enough to form a foundation 
for the cylinders or lining of the shaft. 

GUDGEON, s. the ring or staple in the heel of a gate that hangs on 
the hinge or hook in the gate post. 

GUELVE, s. a three-tined fork. L. See YELVE. 

GUESS, v. to form an opinion. 

The idiom, "I leave you to guess," meaning "You can form your own 
opinion," is in very constant use. Thus: I was arranging with a man about 
felling some timber in a rather deep ravine, and I said it would be very 
awkward to get the trees out. He did not see much difficulty about it, and 
added, " I fawed some trees at Rocksavage in a deeper hole than this. 
They had to carry th' bark up a ladder, so / leave you to guess. " 

GUEST, s. instead of guise. Another guest person is a different kind 
of person. W. 

GUILL, v. to dazzle, chiefly by a blow. W. 

GUINIAD, s. a fish, apparently the char, caught in Bala Lake in 

Leigh gives this as a Cheshire word, and quotes Steele's Collection of 
Cheshire Words (Bodleian Library), 1750. The name, however, is cleaily 
Welsh. See Leigh's Glossary. 

GULCH, v. to swallow greedily and noisily. MACCLESFIELD. 

GULL, s. a naked gull. So are called all nestling birds in quite an 
unfledged state. W. 

GULLANTINES, s. strong pruning shears. 

They are used for pruning thick branches from trees or hedges. They 
have long, straight handles, and a very short cutting blade, about three 
inches long, which works into a groove between two iron plates. The 
leverage is thus very considerable, and branches of nearly an inch in 
diameter can be readily cut with them. 


GULLET, s. (i) a long, narrow piece of land. MACCLESFIELD. 

(2) a passage opening from a street, and having no 
thoroughfare. MACCLESFIELD. 

GUMPTION, s. sense, talent, capacity. 

A person who is slow to pick up any kind of work or knowledge is said 
to have no gumption. 

GURN, v. to grin. J. B. CLOUGH. 

GURR, s. diarrhoea in calves. 

I spell this words with two rs, because there is a sort of prolongation of 
the r, though without any approach to a trill. 

GURR, v. to have diarrhoea. 

There is a superstition that if you lay your hand on the back of a young 
calf it will cause it to gttrr. The calf cringes when thus touched, and the 
supposition is that it causes some pain or injury. 

GUT, s. a narrow channel leading from a river, amongst the mud- 
banks, and into which the tide flows. 

A channel of this kind on Astmoor salt marsh in the township of Halton 
is spoken of as " th' gut." 

GUTTER, s. salt-mining term, (i) Hollows cut in the walls of a 

shaft, and lined so as to be 
watertight, to catch the water 
trickling down the shaft. 

(2) salt-making term. A spout for 
carrying water from the pan- 

GUTTER-VIEWERS, s. salt-making term. Officers in the salt 
towns who inspected the troughs or channels which conducted 
the brine from the sheath to the wych house. L. 

GUTTIT, s. is, I am credibly informed, the only name by which 
Shrovetide is known among the lower orders in Cheshire. This 
would seem to be a corruption of Good tide. W. 

GUTTLE, v. to drink greedily. MACCLESFIELD, but not very 
frequently used. 



HAGGLE, v. to grumble, to dispute. Mow COP. 

HACK, s. (i) a mattock. 

"A gorse hack" L. 

(2) the liver and lights of a pig. 

HACKLIN, adj. hacking. Said of a troublesome cough. 
" Go's getten sitch a hacklin cough." 

HAD DRINK, part, slightly intoxicated, but hardly drunk. 
HADNA, v. had not. 

HAFE, ) , ,, 
HAWF,r half " 

HAFE-WIT, s. an idiot. 

HAFFLE, v. to hesitate. See SHAFFLIN AN' HAFFLIN. 

HAFT, s. the handle of a knife, a hammer, an axe, &c. 

Leigh says a man not to be depended on is called "loose in the 
haft" . . . If an axe, for instance, is set in a loose haft, the weapon 
not only cannot be trusted, but may be dangerous. 

This is no doubt classical English, but the word handle is generally used 
by educated people, whereas our Cheshire men never say handle, but always 

HAG, s. (i) job, bargain. 

To work by the hag is to work by the piece, i.e., to make a bargain 
respecting the work. JAG (which see) seems to be another form of the word. 

(2) trouble, difficulty. 

Thus if one tries to persuade another against his will it would be said, "I 
got him to go at last, but I'd a regular hag with him. " 

HAGGIT, adj. careworn, harassed. MACCLESFIELD. 
HAGGLE, v. (i) to chaffer or dispute over a bargain. 

(2) to bicker. 

(3) to carve meat badly. 

HAGG MASTER, s. one who hires labourers and undertakes 
" hagg-work." L. 

HAGUE or HAIG, s. the fruit of the hawthorn, Cratagus 


HAIGH or HAY, v. to heave. 

".flay it up, "lift it. L. 

Leigh includes this on the authority of Wilbraham ; but Wilbraham gives 
"to have" as the meaning, and not "to heave," both in the text and the 
appendix of both editions. Moreover, he does not give any illustration as 
quoted by Leigh. 

HAIN, s. hatred, malice. L. 
HAISE or HAHSE, s. house. 

HAITCHES, or, more commonly, AITCHES, which see. Also see 

HALEWOOD PLUM, s. a red plum formerly much cultivated in 
N. W. Cheshire, and greatly esteemed for preserving. 

It is becoming more scarce, but may still be bought in Warrington 
market ; and there are several trees of it in the neighbourhood of Norton 
and Frodsham. 

H ALF-SHAKED, part, half-witted. L. 

HALF-TIMERS, s. children under the age of thirteen, who work 
in cotton or silk factories. 

The Factory Act provides that they are only to work for half a day, and 
must go to school during the other half. 

HALLIDAY, s. a holiday. 

HALOW or HAILOW, adj. awkwardly backward, shy. W. 

HALSH, v. to tie a rope in a peculiar way round timber or stone 
which is to be hoisted. 


s. the iron arms which clasp a horse's collar, and to 
which the chains for drawing are attached. 


They were formerly made of wood partially plated with thin iron. 

"The Frill Homes are the pieces of wood made fast to the collar about the 
horse neck, to which hooks and the chains are fixed. The Homes are the 
wooden pieces themselves." Academy of Armory, Bk. III., ch. viii., p. 339. 

HAMIL SCONCE, s. the light of the village or hamlet; the Solomon 
of the place. 

Sconce is either light or head. L. 


(1) the noise made by a trotting horse when it strikes the 

hind shoe against the fore shoe. 

(2) having high words. 

"Falling out hammer and tongs" is a very common expression in 
Cheshire, though perhaps hardly local. 


HAMPER, s. a measure of six pecks. 

Apples, pears, plums, damsons, and gooseberries are generally sold 
wholesale by the hamper. So also are potatoes, especially new potatoes, 
which are always sent to market in these hampers. The hampers are long- 
square, and wider at the top than the bottom, so that when they are brought 
home from market empty they can be packed one inside the other like 
flower pots, and a great number can be packed on one cart. It is customary 
also to wash new potatoes in these hampers, which is conveniently done by 
dipping them into a pit or stream of water and shaking them about. Each 
hamper holds half a load of potatoes, that is six pecks or scores of twenty-one 
pounds to the score (a long score). 

HAMPER, v. to burden with debt. 

HAMPERED, part, (i) burdened with debt. 

(2) choked up with dirt. 

" Yo never seed sitch a place i' your loif, it were aw hampered up 
wi dirt." 

HAN, v. have. 

" Han yo getten owt ?" " Now, a hanna." 

HAND-BOARD, s. a tea-tray. KELSALL. 

HANDED SQUARES, s. salt-making term. Squares of salt, such 
as are commonly hawked about the streets. 

HAND-HOOK, s. tanning term. A short iron hook fixed in a cross 
handle of wood, with which tanners move the wet hides. 

HAND STAFF, s. the handle of a flail. 

"The Hand Staff, that as the Thresher holds it \>y." Academy of 
Armory, Bk. III., ch. via., p. 333. 

HAND, TO BUY BY, idiom, to buy by hand is to estimate the 
value of anything instead of weighing it. 

The expression is chiefly used in buying fat pigs. In buying inanimate 
objects, such as hay, the word lump is generally used buying by the lump. 

HANDY PANDY, s. a child's game, when an object is concealed 
in one hand, and a companion has to guess in which it is 

The one who conceals the object says 

"Handy Pandy, sugary candy, 
Guess which hand it's in ; 
Right hand or left hand, 
Guess which hand it's in. " 

HANG CHOICE, idiom, no difference, one as bad as the other. 

"Am nor oi a better bye than Johnny, grandmother?" "Aw 
dunna know ; you're both so nowt, that it's hang choice between 
you. " 


HANGED HAY, idiom, hay hung on the steelyard to be weighed, 
previous to selling. 

Wilbraham gives as an old Cheshire proverb, " Hanged hay never does 
cattle," i.e.f bought hay does not pay. "Slung hay" is another version, 
and, like "hanged hay," refers to the mode of weighing. See TRUSS 

HANGING SORT OF WAY, idiom, wavering between sickness 
and health. 

HANGMENT, s. a word somewhat equivalent to " the deuce." 
"It's played the hangment with me." 

HANG-POST, s. the post to which a gate is hung. See CLAP-POST. 
HANGS, s. wires to catch hares and rabbits. L. 

HANK, s. a term used in flax-dressing. 

"An Hank is a slipping made up into a knot." Academy of Armory, 
Bk. III., ch. iii., p. 107. 

HANKECHER, s. a handkerchief. 

HANKER, v. to desire, almost to covet. 
Leigh has also HANK. 

HANKERING, s. a strong desire. 

" Please, Miss, an yo get ten a sope o' red port wine as yo'd give 
my mother; oo's been ta'en bad in her bowels, and oo has sitch 
a hankerin for a sope o' red port wine." 

Port wine is looked upon as a complete panacea ; it is invariably spoken 
of as red port wine. 

BANNER, } ** not. ;' ' ' . '. ' ' j 

HANSEL, s. the first money taken in the morning, or at a newly 
opened store. 

"Gi me a hansel this morning. :> 
There is a sort of idea that it brings good luck. 

HANSEL, v. to use a thing for the first time, also to taste a thing 
for the first time. 

HANSEL MONDAY, s. the first Monday in the year. L. 

It does not quite appear, however, whether Leigh gives this as a 
Cheshirism or not. 

HANSH, v. to snap with the teeth. MOBBERLEY. 

" If a dog's mad, he'll hansh at anything that's near him." 

HANSHAKER, s. a handkerchief. MACCLESFIELD. 
HANTLE, s. a handful. Also HONTLE. 


HAP, v. (i) to pat soil with the back of a spade. 

(2) salt-making term. To smooth the lump salt with a 

happer. See HAPPER. 

(3) to meet with a person. 

"If yo're goin to th' fair may be yo'n hap on our Jim, for he's 
gone an hour sin. " 

HA'PNY, s. a halfpenny. The a is pronounced as in father. Also 

HAPPEN, adv. perhaps, possibly. ME-HAPPEN (MACCLESFIELD). 

HAPPER, s. salt-making term. A small wooden spade or paddle 
used to hap the lump salt, that is, to give it a smooth surface by 
patting it or drawing the happer over it. 

HAPPY FAMILY, s. a species of Sedum frequently grown in 
cottage windows. 

HAP UP, v. to tuck up. .. 

" Put him to bed, and put plenty of hillin on him, an hap him up 
warm. " 

HARBOUR, s. situation, spot, receptacle. 

" My word ! but this is a wyndy harbour." 
"A wood-fent's a regular harbour for rottens." 
Dark corners in a house are "harbours for dust." 

HARBOUR, v. (i) to dwell in a place, to haunt a place. 
Rats harbour in a barn. Partridges harbour amongst turnips. 

(2) to give shelter to, to encourage. 
" He harbours aw th' powchers i'th county." 

HARBOURATION, s. a collection, a lodgment. 

" Oi ne'er seed sich a harbouration o' dirt as that is." 

HARD, adj. becoming sour. Said of ale. 
HARD-FACED, adj. (i) obstinate in making a bargain. 
(2) close-grained, hard in texture. 

Timber which is hard and difficult to work is said to be hard-faced. An 
apple of so close a texture that you can scarcely get your teeth through it 
would be called hard-faced. 

IRON, s. the plant Centaurea nigra. 


HARE-SHAWN,/ar/. having a hare-lip. 

" Oi could na mak aht a word he said, for he's harc-shawn." 


TJ A -D Tp \ 

HERIF I s ' the plant Galium A P arin e- W. CHES. 

HARNISH, j. harness. 

HARRISON'S PIPPIN, s. a variety of apple. 

It is only seen in old orchards, and probably could not now be obtained 
from any nurseryman. It is large and handsome, a first-class table fruit, and 
a fairly good cooking apple. There are many apples to be found in old 
orchards in Cheshire, and no doubt elsewhere, which are quite equal, and in 
many cases superior to, the new kinds which are now in cultivation. An 
apple which I take to be this variety is mentioned in A Cavalier's Note-book, 
p. 165, showing its antiquity. 

HARRY-LONG-LEGS, s. the daddy-long-legs. Occasionally, but 
daddy-long-legs is more common. 

HARSH, s. piercing, bitter. Applied to the weather. The opposite 
to MELSH (which see). 

Harsh is pronounced almost like Hash. 

HARSLET, s. the liver and lights of a pig. MOBBERLEY. 

HARVEST GEARING, s. the rails fixed on a cart for carrying hay 
or corn. 

HASK, adj. cold, piercing, harsh. More commonly HOSK. 

HASP, s. a clasp for the lid of a box, which falls into the lock. Also 
a clasp which falls over a staple into which a padlock can be 

HASSOCK, s. (i) a word used in turf-getting. The surface layer 
with heath, &c., upon it, cut about three 
inches thick. 

(2) a coarse tuft of grass. 

The large tufts of grass or sedge which frequently grow in low, undrained 
meadows and boggy places. The grass which forms hassocks is chiefly 
Aira caspitosa ; the sedges are Carex caspitosa and C. paniculala. 

HASSOCK SPADE, s. a turf-getting tool. 

It is made in the form of a crescent, and is fixed to a long handle which 
is curved at the lower end. Its use is to pare off the surface of the bog. 

HAST A, v. hast thou. 

HAT BODY, s. hatting term. The foundation of which a hat is 

HATCH, s. (i) a small gate. 

(2) salt-making term. The door of a furnace. 

(3) a latch. MACCLESFIELD. 

" Dunna bowt th' durr, lave it o'lh hatch, and then thi fayther 
can come in when he's a mind an we'n go to blanket fair (bed)." 


HATCHEL, s. an instrument mentioned by Randle Holme as used 
in the dressing of hemp and flax. 

" An Hatchell, of which there are several sorts one finer than another, 
theye are long Iron Finns set orderly in a board with which Hemp and Flax 
is combed into fine hairs." Academy of Armory, Bk. III., ch. iii., p. 106. 

HATC HELLING, part, combing flax or hemp. 

' ' Hatchelli ng, is to comb with iron pinns to make it finer." Academy of 
Armory, Bk. III., ch. iii., p. 107. 

This process is now called in the north of England "heckling;" but as 
hemp and flax have long ago ceased to be cultivated in Cheshire, this and 
the preceding word have, I suppose, become quite obsolete. 

HATE, s. height. 

HATTLE, adj. wild, skittish. W. 

Possibly quoted from Ray {North- Country Words), who has "HATTLE, 
adj. wild, skittish, harmful. CHES. ' Tie the hattle ky by the horn,' i.e. 
the skittish cow." 

HATTOCK, s. (i) a hole in the roof where owls harbour. L. 
(2) a stock of corn. 

"We wanten a good wynd as '11 blow th* attacks o'er, afore th' 
curn '11 be ready to lead." Neighbourhood of WARRINGTON. 

Holme {Academy of Armory'), however, says " v. Hattock \& three sheafs 
laid together." Bk. III., ch. iii., p. 73. 

HAVEING, part, cleaning corn. HALLIWELL. 

HAVE ON THE HIP, idiom, to get the best in an argument 
" He had him on th' hip." 

HAVERDRIL, s. a daffodil, Narcissus Pseudo-narcissus. MORLEY. 

HAVIORS or HAVERS, s. "to be on one's haviors" is to be on 
one's good behaviour. " To mind one's P's and Q's." L. 

HAW, s. a hall. 

HAWBERRY, s. the fruit of the hawthorn. MACCLESFIELD. 

HAWF, s. half. 

HAWPNY, a halfpenny. 

HAWPUTH, s. a halfpennyworth. 

HAY, .$-. a wood. MACCLESFIELD. 

The word is frequent in place-names as Hall o" th? Hay, a farm at 
Kingsley near Frodsham, Ashton Hayes near Chester. It is frequently met 
with in old deeds having the meaning of a wood. 

HAY-BONT, s. the rope of spun hay or straw with which a truss of 
hay is tied. 


HAYMENT, s. a fence, or boundary. 
The word occurs in old deeds. 

HAYSHAKERS, s. quaking grass, Briza media. 


Randle Holme makes a distinction between a hay stack and a hay rick. 
He says, "A Stack, or Hay Stack, is several Loads of Hay laid about and 
trodden close together about a Stack Pole, being shaped broad at the bottom 
and narrow at top, Pyramid-wise. A Rick, or Hay Rick, is Hay Mowed 
in the open Air, and made after the form of a Barn with a Sheeding Ridg. "- 
Academy of Armory, Bk. III., ch. iii., p. 73. 

No such distinction exists now ; and the former method of stacking hay- 
around a pole is not adopted. 

HAY-TENTERS, or simply TENTERS, s. haymakers, as dis- 
tinguished from the mowers. 

HAYTHORN, or, more correctly, HAYTHERN, s. hawthorn, 
Cratagus Oxyacantha. 

This is an old form of the name. Tusser (Five Hundred Points, E.D.S. 
ed., p. 76) spells it HAITHORNE. 

H AYWARD, s. the warden of a common (?) 

"Originally a person who guarded the corn and farm-yard in the night- 
time, and gave warning by a horn in case of alarm from robbers. The term 
was afterwards applied to a person who looked after the cattle, and prevented 
them from breaking down the fences ; and the warden of a common is still 
so called in some parts of the country." HALLIWELL. 

The election of Hayward takes place annually at the Court Leet of the 
Township of Shocklach. See Chester Courant of June 27th, 1883. 

HAZZLE, s. the hazel, Corylus Avellana. 

HEAD, s. the perpendicular face of marl at the end of the marl pit. 

HEADACHES, s. the common poppy. L. Papaver dubium. 
(Papaver Rhosas is very rare in Cheshire.) 

It is a popular idea in Cheshire that to smell the flowers of the poppy will 
cause headache. 

HEAD-COLLAR, s. a leather halter worn by horses when tied up 
in the stable. 

HEAD-STALL, s. the same as Head-collar. MACCLESFIELD. 

HEALD (more commonly pronounced YELL), s. weaving term. 
The healds are portions of the loom which are raised by the 
treddles, and which lift and drop the ends of the warp. 

HEARKEN DOWN or HEARKEN UP, v. to look in, to pay 
a visit. 

" If you canna give me a answer to neet, I'll hearken up i'th' 
morning. " 


HEARKEN OUT, v. to be on the look out for information. 

"Miss, oi wanted to ax yo if yo'd hearken aht for summat for 
ahr Polly, oo's a tidy sort o' wench and knows her book, and oi'd 
like get her a place, and not send her to th' mill (factory)." 

HEART, s. condition, richness, as applied to land. 

Poor land is said to be "in bad heart;" rich land " in good heart" 

HEAR TELL, v. to hear about anything. 
HEARTEN, v. to cheer, to encourage. MACCLESFIELD. 


Randle Holme enumerates amongst "things belonging to the Forge," 
"The Hearth Staff, to stir up the fire, and throw Cinders out of it."- 
Academy of Armory, Bk. III., ch. vii., p. 324. 

HEART-ROOTED, adj. said of a tree that is self sown. 

HEART-SOUND, adj. having a thoroughly good constitution. 
"Heart sound as a cabbage" is a colloquial expression. 

HEARTY, adj. (i) in good health. 

(2) having a good appetite. 
" He's very hearty for an owd mon." 

HEARTY, adv. very. 

" Oo's hearty fow. " She is very ugly. L. 

HEASE, s. risk. MORLEY, WILMSLOW, but I think almost, if not 
quite, obsolete. 

" I'll do it at all hease," i.e., " I'll do it at all risks." 

HEATHER, s. Erica dnerea. W. CHES. 

HEAVE or HAYVE, v. (i) to lift. 

(2) to throw. 

(3) to ferment. See HOVEN. 

(4) to retch with sickness. 

HEAVY ON, adj. when a cart is loaded too far forward so as to 
press too much on the horse's back it is said to be heavy on. 
Light on is the reverse. 

HEAZE, v. to cough, or hawk. W. 

HEAZY, adj. hoarse. 

"He were that heazy, he could na spake a word, and you could 
hear him blowin like a pair o' bellus." 


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 a groom. L. 

It is clear, however, that hebbon is only a pronunciation of "having," and 
scarcely means " worth having." 

HECKLE-.TEMPERED, adj. short tempered, hasty, touchy. L. 

HEDGE-BACK or HEDGE-BACKIN, s. the cop upon which a 
hedge stands. 

HEDGE-BRUSHINS, s. the clippings of hedges. 
HEDGEHOGS, s. small, stunted trees in hedgerows. L. 
HEDGE MUSHROOM, s. Agaricus aruemis. 

HEDGING BILL, s. a bill with a long handle for brushing or 
cutting down hedges. 


HEED, s. (i) notice. 

"Tak no heed o' what he sez." 

(2) care. 


HEED, v. to take notice. 

" Dunna heed him." 

HEEL-TREE, s. a kerb of wood or stone forming the edge of the 
groop or channel behind the cows in a shippon, and holding up 
the raised floor or bed where the cow stands. 

HEERD, v. perfect tense of to hear. 

HEERN, v. hear. 

" Aw heern folks say." 


"Th" farm canna be sold ; it's heirable." 

HELL-RAKE, s. a large rake with long curved iron teeth, used for 
raking up all the scattered portions of hay or corn; usually 
drawn by two men. 

HELVE, s. a haft or handle of a tool. WILDERSPOOL. 

Leigh gives as an old Cheshire proverb signifying despair, "To throw the 
helve after the hatchet." 

HEMP CROFT ( s ' ver ^ cornmon names for small paddocks near 

HEMP YARD ' I homesteads, presumably because they were set 

{ apart for the growth of hemp. 


HEN, adj. old. 

Leigh gives it as explanatory of the meaning of Henbury, a parish not far 
from Macclesfield. The word is only met with in place-names. 

HEN AND CHICKENS, s. the proliferous variety of the garden 

HEN-CORN, s. light grain used for feeding poultry. 

" The wheat was so badly down, it were nowt bu' hen-corn when 
it were threshed." 

HEN-GORSE, s. Ononis arvensis. BROXTON. Occasionally Bartsia 
Odontites is so called. 

HEN-HURDLE, s. a loft over a pigsty, used as a hen-roost. 

HEN-SCRATS, s. light, scratchy clouds portending rain (scientifically 
called Cirro-stratus). 

"It 'II not keep fine long, there are too many hen-scrats and 
marestails about." 

HEP, s. the fruit of the rose, Rosa canina and other species. 
HEP BREER, s. Rosa canina. 

HEP GUN, s. a popgun made of elder tree, from which heps are 

HER, pron. used instead of herself. 
"Go's cleaning her." 

HERBIVE, s. the forget-me-not. L. 

This and the next name are probably only copied from Gerard because he 
was a Cheshire man. Gerard does not localise them. 

HERB PETER, s. the cowslip. L. 

A few of these remnants of the Pack-Horse period, though rapidly disap- 
pearing, may still be seen. Stones placed like those [what ?] coming from 
the backbone 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. 

HERST, s. a hearse. 

HESITATION, s. a half-promise. 

" There was a hesitation about a calf cote." L. 

HETHER or ETHER, s. an adder or snake. MIDDLEWICH. 

HICKWALL, s. the name of a bird mentioned by Randle Holme. 
Academy of Armory, Bk. III., ch. xiii., p. 308. 


HIDE, v. to beat. 

HIDE-BUN, adj. a general term for a tightness of the skin of 
animals, which is a frequent symptom of illness. 

In Cheshire the term is extended to an old pasture, the sod of which has 
become extremely tough and poor, and which wants breaking up ; it is also 
applied to a tree of which the bark will not expand sufficiently to allow it to 

HIDING, s. a beating. 

HIDLANCE or HIDLANDS, s. concealment. 

A man of a shaky character built a house in an out-of-the-way place. 
It was said he did so because he wanted rather to be " in hidlands" 

A person who keeps out of the way for fear of being arrested is said to be 
in hidlands. 

HIE or HYE, s. haste. W. 

HIE, v. to hasten. 

" Hie the, Sarah, hie the, and bring me a sope o' beer, aw'm 
welly kilt wi droot." 

HIGGLE, v. to carry on the business of a huckster. 

HIGGLEDY PIGGLEDY, MALPAS SHOT, idiom, implying that 
everyone should be served alike. 

The following tradition, which I quote from an article by the Rev. W. T. 
Kenyon, one of the Rectors of Malpas, in the Cheshire Sheaf, vol. ii., 
p. 235, accounts for the origin of the saying: "King James I. was on a 
royal progress such as he was accustomed to make over various parts of his 
dominions. As he approached Malpas (which, be it observed, is on the high 
road between London and Chester) he sent forward to the Rector, as the 
principal person of the place, to require him to provide for his suitable enter- 
tainment. The Rector, whether, unlike his kind, disloyal, or like them, 
parsimonious, refused. The Curate saw his opportunity, and ordering the 
best viands the old ' Lion ' could produce, invited his Majesty to refresh- 
ment. . . . The rest of the story is less clear, and varies with different 
traditions. It appears, however, that at the end of the banquet there was 
some discussion as to settling the account. His Majesty, perhaps, desired to 
be generous ; the Curate insisted on the rights of hospitality. Eventually, 
however, the ancient custom of Malpas prevailed, even if it were against the 
King's wishes. Half-and-half, or Higgled? Pi^gledy, was the time-honoured 
rule of the 'Lion.' All who came should pay equal shares or 'stand the 
shot ' alike. Accordingly, Curate and King divided the costs of the festival, 
and the Malpas proverb received the sanction of royal authority. But this 
was not the only thing divided. The monarch, who never said a foolish 
thing, had a good occasion for a practical joke. If 'Higgledy Piggledy' 
was the rule of the 'Lion,' it might also be the rule of the Glebe and the 
Tithes. ' Malpas Shot ' was fixed upon the unfortunate Rector, and the 
Curate received henceforth the mediety of the Benefice. . . . The chair 
in which the King is said to have sat is preserved at the ' Lion.' " 

A variant of this tradition is given by Mr. Howel W. Lloyd, M.A., in 
Bye-gones, Feb. 17, 1875, which I also quote from the Cheshire Sheaf, 
vol. ii., p. 235: "Happening to pass through Malpas when a boy, 
on the box of a lumbering Chester coach, the following account, as nearly 
as I remember, of the origin of this saying was given by the coachman 


himself; . . . 'Before his invasion of England, William III. travelled 
in England incognito, with a view to certify himself of the state of the 
national feeling towards himself and his colleagues, and, coming to Malpas, 
betook himself to the inn for his dinner, a repast which he happened to share 
with the Rector and Curate of the parish. The meal over, the Curate 
proposed to the Rector to divide the payment of the "Shot," that of the 
stranger included, between them. To this the Rector, who enjoyed in the 
neighbourhood the reputation of being a miser, strenuously objected, exclaim- 
ing "Certainly not; higgledy piggledy, all pay alike." "By all means,'' 
chimed in the future sovereign, " higgledy piggledy, all pay alike;" and so it 
was arranged. But when William was seated on the throne, the Rector of 
Malpas, among others, made a journey to London to worship the rising sun. 
The King no sooner saw him than he reminded him of the incident, and 
compelled him to resign a moiety of the parish to his Curate, also with the 
title of Rector, on the principle embodied in his own apothegm " Higgledy 
piggledy, all pay alike. " And from that day forwards there have been two 
Rectors of Malpas.'" 

The saying or proverb is frequently extended into " Higgledy Piggledy, 
Malpas Shot; let every tub stand on its own bottom." 

HIGGLER, s. a huckster. 

HIGHLONDER, s. a term of reproach for a rude man or boy. 
WILMSLOW (neighbourhood of Lindow Common). 

This is no doubt a reminiscence of the '45 rebellion, when the Pretender's 
troops passed through the neighbourhood. 

HIGHT, part, called, named. L. 

HIGH TIME, full time. 

" This bill's been owing a good while, it's high time it was paid. " 

HIHO, s. the name of a bird mentioned by Randle Holme, Academy 
of Armory, Bk. III., ch. xiii., p. 309. 

HIKE or HOYK, v. to goad, as a bull does with its horns. 

' ' And as I tell the, th' owd gentium were comin along th' road 
treedin as though he'd getten his shoonfull o' pays, and owd 
Timothy's goat cum behind him and hiked him o'er th' hedge. I 
thowt I should a deed wi laughin." 

HILET or HYLET, s. a place of shade or shelter. L. 

HILL, v. (i) to cover. 

" I put some manure in and hilled the soil atop of it, afore I put 
in th' seed." 

A person in bed says "Hill me up," which means draw the bedclothes 
up around me. 

(2) to make a mound over a grave. 


It is unlucky to look into an owl's nest, "one who did so became melan- 
choly and destroyed hissel." L. 

HILLIER, s. a slater. L. 



HILLING, s. (i) the covering of a book. 

(2) bedclothes. 
" Hast any hillin on the i'th' neet ; art warm i' bed ?" 

HINDER, v. to prevent. 

" If nowt hinders me, I'll look in to neet." 

HINGE, adj. active, supple, pliant. W. 

HINGE, v. to depend on. 

"What you say, hinges upon what he did." L. Scarcely local. 

HINGIN I'TH' BELL" ROPES, idiom, a time of suspense. Mow 

From the time the banns of a couple are completed asking in church, to 
the time they marry, they are said to " king i'th? bell ropes." 

HIPINCH, s. a cloth or clout to wrap round a baby. L. 
HIRPLE, v. to limp. W. 
HIS-SEL, pron. himself. 

HITCH, s. a limp. 

To have a hitch in one's gait is to be lame. 

HITCH, v. to depend upon. 

" It aw hitches upon ahr John behavin hissel whether I come or 

HOB, s. a male ferret. MID-CHES. 

HOBBITY HOY or HOBBLEDY HOY, v. a lad growing into 
manhood between a man and a boy. 

HOBBLED, part, animals are said to be hobbled when their forelegs 
are tied loosely together to prevent them straying. 

HOBBY, s. an overlooker or bailiff. Morning Chronicle, .Sep. 5, 
1840, p. 4, col. 2. L. 

HOB-DROSS, s. a kind of elf, fairy, or boggart. 

John Morrell, an old man who formerly used to live at Morley on the 
borders of Lindow Common, but who has been dead many years, used to 
profess considerable knowledge of the ways of these supernatural beings. He 
said there were different kinds, having different habits. Some were called 
Hob-drosses others Hob-gobs. There is a lane in Mobberley called Hobcroft 
Lane, and several adjacent fields called the Hobcrofts. These, he said, 
received their name from being the scene of the exploits of a noted Hob-dross. 


HOODING SCYTHE, s. an implement which was formerly used 
in clearing land from rushes. 

" The implement is nothing more than a short, strong scythe. The blade 
is about twenty inches in length, but curves in a different way to the common 


scythe ; the edge is nearly one way of it in a straight direction from heel to 
point ; but the flat part of the blade forms a curvature, which varies about 
four inches from a straight line. . . . The crown of the rush roots by a 
smart stroke of the implement, is scooped out by the concave part of the 
blade." Holland's General View of the Agriculture of Cheshire (1808), 
p. 116. 

HODE or HOWD, v. hold. 

" Ho-wd thi hond." " Howd thi tongue." 

HODE THEE or HOWD THEE, v. hold fast. 

Always said to the man who is on the top of a load of hay, when the horse 
is about to move on. 

HODE-UP or HOWD-UP, v. hold up. 

Said to a horse when you lift up one of its feet ; or to a man who is 
inclined to "give in" to any misfortune. 

HODGE, s. the stomach of a pig, cleaned out and eaten as tripe. 

HOD HOLES, s. hollows made by cutting rushes with a hodding 
scythe. See HOODING SCYTHE. 

" The rush roots should be carried off to form a compost, and the hod 
holes, or cavities, filled level to the surface," &c. Holland's General Vie-M 
of the Agriculture of Cheshire (1808), p. 117. 

HOG, s. (i) a heap. 

A potato hog is a heap of potatoes covered with straw and soil to keep out 
the frost. The potatoes are then said to be "hogged up" or "in the hog." 
Leigh gives " a hogging" as a synonym of hog. 

(2) a year-old sheep ; but probably an imported word. 

HOG, v. to earth up potatoes in a heap, or throw compost into a 

HOG-PIG, s. a male pig castrated. 

HOIND or HOYND, v. to make a hard bargain, to screw up. 

A landlord who behaves in this manner with his tenants, is said to hoynd 
them. W. 


HOLD, v. to bet. 

" I'll /Wifthee sixpence" means "I bet you sixpence." L. Halliwell 
gives this as a Shakespearian word. 

HOLDING, s. a farm ; a tenancy ; any portion of land that a person 

HOLING, part, salt-mining term. Cutting with a chisel holes in 
various directions from twelve inches to thirty or forty inches 
deep, and about one inch in diameter for the purpose of blasting 
the rock-salt. 


HOLL, v. to throw. Mow COP. 
" He holled a stone." 

HOLLIN, s. holly, Ilex Aquifolia. 

Hollins is a frequent family name in Cheshire. 



, , . 


"Tak howt," i.e., take hold. 

(2) a holing, going into a hole, or putting a ball into 

a hole, which is required at several games. 
" I gained three points at one hoult," i.e., at one holing. W. 

HOLUS-BOLUS, adv. impulsively, without consideration. MACCLES- 

HOMMAGED, part, harassed. Mow COP. 
HOMMER, s. a hammer. 

, the hand > 

HONDLE, s. the handle of a machine. 

HONESTY, s. the common garden plant, Lunaria biennis. 

HONEY-FA W, s. (i) honey-dew. 

(2) an accession of wealth, a " windfall." WIL- 

A man who had made several good speculations was described as having 
had " two or three good honey-faws." 

HONEY-POTS, s. a children's game. 

The game consists in one child sitting down and clasping its hands 
together under its knees. Two others then lift it up by its arms and swing it 
backwards and forwards, whilst they count twenty ; if its hands give way 
before twenty is counted it is a bad honey-pot, if not it is a good one. 

HONEYSUCKLE, s. Lonicera Periclimenum, but extended also to 
Lotus corniculatus. 

HONTLE, s. a handful. 

HOO, pron. she. Generally pronounced "oo." 

HOODWINKS, s. two sheaves of corn inverted over a hattock to 
keep out the rain. MACCLESFIELD. See HUDDERS, which is 
the more common word. 

HOOK, s. (i) the hinge of a field gate upon which the staple or 

gudgeon works. 
(2) see CART. 


HOOK OFF, v. to leave off work. 

HOOP, the same as FILLET, which see. 

HOOROO, s. a hubbub. 


Some cows which had been turned out of a good pasture into a poor one 
were described to me as having "exchanged a hen for a hooter,'" See SWOP. 

HOOZEY, adj. spongy, not firm. Said of land. NORTON. 

A field had been ploughed which had a great quantity of old rough grass 
upon it, consequently the furrows did not lie solid by reason of the grass 
underneath. I was told, " I did not expect the oats to come up so well i'th' 
Church Field ; it's so hoozey" 

HOP-OVER, s. a kind of stile. 

It is made by nailing a plank on to two short posts, at right angles to the 
hedge. If the fence to be got over is high, two planks are placed one above 
the other, and crossing each other ; the hop-over then consists of two steps 
up and two steps to descend. 

HOPPERS, s. salt-making term. Skeleton salt-crystals, in shape 
like a hollow, inverted pyramid, that form and float for a time 
on the surface when coarse salt is being made. 

HOPPIT, s. (i) a hopper (of a machine). 

(2) a basket from which corn is sown by hand ; also 

called SEED-HOPPIT. 

(3) salt-mining term. The tub in which rock-salt is 

raised to the surface. Not in very general use. 

HORN AND HOOF FAIR. A fair held at Chester in February 
used formerly to be so called. 

" At Chester there are three very considerable fairs in the year. The 
first, held on the last Thursday in February, is principally for cattle and 
horses, and is called Horn and Hoof fair." Holland's General View of the 
Agriculture of Cheshire (1808), p. 313. 

HORSE, v. salt-making term. To set the lumps of salt upon the 
top of each other in the hothouse. 

HORSE AND JOCKEY, s. the old name for the George III. 
sovereign, with St. George and the Dragon on the reverse 
side. L. 

There is a public-house at Helsby bearing the sign of " The Horse and 

HORSE-BEANS, s. salt-making term. The name given to a shaggy 
or broken marl in which the brine frequently runs. The men 
often call it BEANY MARL, because the bits of it resemble beans. 

HORSE CAUSEY, s. an old paved road for pack horses. 

In several of the old Cheshire lanes, which were formerly either covered 
with grass or were nothing but sand, and full of deep ruts, axle deep in mud 


in the winter, a narrow road about three or four feet wide was paved along one 
side. This was intended for the pack-horses or for foot passengers, and to 
prevent the farmers' carts using them they had frequently mounds of earth 
thrown up on each side (Cheshire Sheaf, vol. i., p. 291). Several of these 
ancient horse roads still exist. There is one such in the township of 
Marthall, and until the last few years one gave its name to "Pavement Lane" 
in Mobberley. This particular causey was pulled up a few years since, and the 
stones used for repairing the highways, the ground it occupied being laid to 
the adjoining field ; the name alone remains. When a stream of water 
crossed the road, the causey was carried over on a platt, or a small bridge ; 
but carts had to ford the stream, as is still the case in the Marthall Road, 
where the causey is carried over a picturesque and evidently very old 
miniature bridge. There was until lately a similar ford at Chorley Hall near 
Alderley Station. At "Bailey's o'th' Brook" in Mobberley, and at Preston 
Brook, streams not only cross the road, but flow along it for a considerable 
distance. In both these places the causey is carried alongside the stream, 
but carts have to travel along the bed of the brook. A hamlet near 
Altrincham is called Peel Causeway, and a road near Warrington is known 
as Wilderspool Causeway, presumably because both of these places could 
boast of paved horse roads when all the neighbouring roads were mere rutty 

HORSE-JUG or HORSE PLUM, s. a small, red plum. 


s. very frequent names for fields on Cheshire 


It is customary to reserve a pasture for the farm horses, where they are 
turned out at night during the summer ; and in the course of time such fields 
have acquired one of the above names, or similar ones. 

HORSES, s. salt-mining term. Tressels of wood on which to fix 
plank-runs or stages. 

HORSE-WESH, s. a pond by the roadside, where farm horses are 
taken to drink and to have their feet washed. KELSALL. 

HORSING, part, marts appetens, applied to a mare. 
HOSK, s. a cough to which young cattle are subject. 

HOSK, adj. harsh. 

A cold, dry east wind is said to be a hosk wind. 

HOSK, v. to cough. 

HOT, s. a small bag to hold a poultice to protect a sore finger. 

HOT, v. to make hot. 

" I've hotted the water." 

HOT POT, s. a dish of potatoes and meat baked together, and 
strongly seasoned with pepper. 

HOT-US (hothouse), s. salt-making term. The stove in which salt 
is dried. 

HO-UP or HOW-UP, excl a word used in driving cattle. 


HOUSE, s. (i) (or HOUSE-PLACE), the general dwelling-room of 
a farmhouse or cottage. 

(2) The act of a cow, when turned out of the shippon, 
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. 

Probably this should have been entered in Leigh's Glossary as a verb. 
Halliwell gives house, to stir up, quoted from Tim Bobbin. 

HOUSEGREEN, s. the house leek, Sempervivum tedorum. 

HOUSEING, s. farm buildings. Obsolete. 

The word is found in a Cheshire deed dated 1679 where the following 
sentence occurs, " for the better securing his now present houseingt and 
buildings." Letter from J. P. EARWAKER. 

HOUSEKEEPER, s. any old piece of family furniture. KELSALL. 
Almost synonymous with "heirloom." 

An old oak chest in a cottage was spoken of by its owner as "a nice old 

HOVE, v. to take shelter. W. 

HOVEL, s. (i) a shed in a field for young cattle to shelter in. 

(2) the open portion of a smithy where the horses are 

HOVEN, part, swelled. 

Said of cows when from eating something very indigestible the stomach 
becomes distended with gas. Green clover, especially whilst the dew is upon 
it, is very apt to cause this disease, which is sometimes fatal. See also 

Cheese which is puffed up from fermentation is said to be hoven. The pent 
up gases often lift the surface until the cheese becomes almost spherical and 
bursts, unless the gas is liberated by pricking the cheese. 

HOWD, v. hold. See HODE. 

HOWLE, adj. hollow. L. 

HOWLER, but more frequently OWLER, s. the alder, Alnus glutinosa. 

HOW LIGHT, idiom, how comes it? BREDBURY. 


HUD, v. to collect, to gather together. MACCLESFIELD, occasionally. 

HUDDER, v. to place protecting sheaves on the corn stocks. 

HUDDERS, s. the two sheaves which are placed, corn downwards, 
on the top of the stooks or riders, to throw off the rain. 


HUDDLE, v. " to huddle up corn" is to make it up into sheaves. L. 

HUD LARK, s. the skylark, Alauda arvensis. FRODSHAM. 
So called from its crest or hood. 

HUERDS, s. tow, now called YERDS, which see. 

" Huerds, is that as is pulled out of the Terre or fine Flax." " Hemp 
Huerds, the couse that is drawn out of the dressed." Academy of Armory, 
Bk. III., ch. iii., p. 107. 

HUFF, s. a fit of temper. 

HUFFY, adj. offended. 

HUFTED, adj. sullen. MIDDLEWICH. 

HUGGER-MUGGER, adv. in a disorderly way. 

Used chiefly to express an untidy, unsystematic way of living. 

HULL, s. a pea or bean shell. 
HULL, v. (i) to throw. W. See HOLL. 
(2) to shell peas or beans. 

HULLACK or ULLACK, s. a term of reproach. MIDDLEWICH. 

" He's an idle ullack." 

The word is only applied to a man ; the corresponding term for a woman 

HULLOT or HULLART, s. an owl. 

HUMBLE, v. to crumble or fall, as clay does after frost. 

HUMBUG, s. a sweetmeat made of boiled sugar, flavoured or not 
with peppermint 

HUMMER, v. to make a soft lowing noise, as a cow does when 
she sees her calf; or as she does sometimes when the man who 
usually feeds her goes into the shippon. MOBBERLEY. 

HUMMO-BEE or HUMMER-BEE, s. the humble-bee. 
HUMOROUS, adj. capricious. L. 
HUMOURSOME, adj. capricious. 

HUMP, v. to offend. N. W. CHES. 

A small shopkeeper in Halton gave some of his neighbours leave to dry 
their clothes in his garden. Then other neighbours came and asked leave. 
He did not like to permit some and refuse others ; and the consequence was 
that at last his garden became quite monopolised for the drying of clothes. 
This was, naturally, a considerable annoyance to him ; he would gladly have 
turned them all out, but feared to do so lest he should lose their custom at his 
shop. After telling me his grievances he added, " You know it does not do 
to hump folks when you're in business." 


HUMPERING, part, limping. 

"Jim came humpering along." L. 

HUMPY, adj. offended. 

" What makes you so humpy?' 1 '' 


Formerly the long hundredweight of I2olhs. was in general use in 
Cheshire; and I can recollect the time when the sets of weights at farm- 
houses were 6olbs. and aliquot parts of 60. Even now many things are 
reckoned and sold by the score which is the sixth of the old hundredweight. 
Many things are sold by the load of 24olbs. or pack, a term which is fre- 
quently heard, and which is in reality two long hundredweights. I think the 
only article which is still sold by the long hundredweight is cheese ; and in 
weighing cheese a rather curious and ingenious method was adopted which 
still prevails amongst old-fashioned people. The method was perhaps 
invented because, before the introduction of weighing machines, it was almost 
impossible to weigh more than one or two hundredweight at a time on an 
ordinary pair of scales ; perhaps also, because farmers were not very good 
scholars, and to work a long compound addition sum involving many lines of 
cwts. qrs. and Ibs. would have been a difficult task. The scales, large 
wooden ones, hung by strong chains, were fixed up in some convenient place, 
and two 6olb. weights were put into one scale representing a hundredweight. 
Cheeses to equal this as nearly as possible were placed in the other scale, and 
"l" was scratched upon the wall, or chalked up on the door to show that 
icwt. of cheese had been weighed. Of course the cheeses might be a few 
pounds over or under the hundredweight, and to ascertain the difference 
small paving stones were used instead of small weights. If the cheeses 
weighed more than one cwt. stones were added to the weights until the scales 
balanced. These stones were then called cheese and were placed on the floor 
near the cheese scale. If the cheeses weighed less than one cwt., stones were 
put in the cheese scale until the two scales balanced ; these stones were called 
weights and were put on the floor near the weight scale. This process went 
on until all the hundredweights of cheese had been weighed ; but to avoid 
having large piles of stones it was customary to add to or deduct from the 
stones representing cheese as the weighing went on. At the last the stones 
were weighed against each other, and the difference added to or subtracted 
from the number of hundredweights recorded on the wall. Occasionally 
2cwt. instead of icwt. were weighed at each weighing ; but the principle was 
the same. 

HUNGER-WEED, s. Alopecurus agrestis. 

HUNGRY, adj. poor. 

Barren soil which requires constant manuring is said to be hungry land. 

HUNT, v. to search. 

HURBISHED,/0r/. pulled down, distressed or harassed. 

From a manuscript note in a copy of Wilbraham's Glossary, written 
apparently about 1826. 

HURCH, adj. tender, touchy. L. 

HURDLE, s. salt-making term. A table or platform of wood 
planks running along each side of the pans, for the purpose of 
receiving the salt when drawn out of the pans. 


HURGHILL, s. a little stunted person. 

HURLING, part, harrowing a field after a second ploughing. 

HURN, s. a horn. 

HURRY, s. a bout, a set to, a scolding, a quarrel. W. 

HURST, s. an old name for a wood. 

It is frequently used in place names, as Burley Hurst, Hazlehurst ; and 
is also a very common surname, and enters into surnames as Brocklehurst, 

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 pennygrass. 
Perhaps a form of husk. L. 

HUTCHIN,y. a large slice of bread, or lump of meat. A hunch. L. 
HUZ, s. a row, a clamour. 
HUZ-BUZ, s. (i) a cockchafer. 
(2) a row. L. 



I', prep, in. 

The n is very seldom sounded, either before a vowel or a consonant. 

ICE-SHACKLE, s. an icicle. ASHLEY. 

This does not appear to be a common word, but it was used by an Ashley 
farm labourer in speaking to me, and I have represented his pronunciation ; 
I suspect, however, that ishicle was what he intended, which would be a mis- 
pronunciation of icicle. 

ICET, s. ice. 

Pronounced as one syllable, eyst. 

ICKAS or ICKERS, s. icicles. 

" It wer so cowd that it froz ickas at his chin eend." 

IDLE-BACK, s. broken lumps of plaster casts upon which plates 
have been moulded. 

They are sold by itinerant vendors, and are used for whitening stone 
floors. This is only a comparatively modern term ; the old Cheshire women 
did not use the material, and the name was applied to the new-fangled 
whitening for floors in contempt. 

IFFINS AND BUTTINS, idiom, invalid excuses; hesitation com- 
bined with unwillingness. MACCLESFIELD. 

" Dunna male so many iffins an? buttins; we can do beawt thee." 

IF I CAN SPEAK, idiom, an expression commonly used in cor- 
recting some slip of the tongue. 

" I went last Tuesday no, Wednesday, if I can spake." 

IF OR BUT, idiom, let or hindrance. Very much the same meaning 

" He'll come, tha may depend on't, witheawt oather if or but." 

IGIE, prop, name, the short for Isaac. 

The / is pronounced long, and the g soft. Also NIGGIE. 

ILE, s. oil. 

ILL, adj. bad, troublesome. 

" It's as ill as scutch," said of some weed difficult to eradicate. 

ILL, adv. badly, greatly. 

"/// hurt " is badly hurt; "/// vexed " is greatly vexed. 

ILL-CONTRIVED, adj. bad tempered. 


I MBR ANGLED, part, entangled 

" He geet imbrangled wi' a woman." 

IMPERANCE, s. impudence. 

A very common provincialism everywhere. 

IMPERIOUS, adj. often used for impetuous. 
" An imperious horse. " L. 



IN A WAY OF SPEAKING, \ tdlom ' SO t0 

"In a way o' spakin\ one may say it has ne'er raint sin May 
coom in. " 

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. 

INCH-MEAL, adv. inch by inch ; little by little ; minutely. 

INCLE, s. tape. 

An old word, now I think, obsolete, except in the very common proverbial 
saying, "As thick as z'#<r/-waivers," which is current about MOBBERLEY 

"They're allus together, ne'er seen ton beawt tother; they're as 
thick as z'wc/^-waivers. " 

Two centuries ago the word was in common use, as will be seen from the 
following extract from the Congleton Accounts,. December i8th, 1641, which 
I copy from Leigh's Glossary. "The infection (i.e. plague) first appeared in 
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." 

INDISGESTION, s. indigestion. 

This is the old classical form of the word. 
IN DRINK, /art. drunk. 

INDY, s. ground maize. 

This is, of course, a modern word, as the grain was not in common use 
fifty years since. 

INKLING, s. a hint 

INNOCENT, adj. (i) small and neat-looking; applied to flowers. 
(2) simple, harmless; applied to an idiot. 

IN NOW, adv. presently. (HYDE.) IN NEAW (WILMSLOW). 
Literally e'en now (i.e., even now). 


INSENSE, v. to instruct; to make a person understand. 

"Aw conna intense 'im, no how." 
Shakspere uses the word several times. 

INSETT, adj. household. 

" Insert stuff. "Cheshire Will. L. 

INTACK, s. a not uncommon name for a field which, at some 
period or other, has been enclosed or taken in from the waste, 
or from the common ploughing or meadow lands of the village 

I have a field in Mobberley called the "Old Inlack;" but in this case 
there is no appearance of its being waste land enclosed, as it is a small, 
long-square field, in the middle of a most fertile tract of land, and from the 
study of a map in my possession, which is probably nearly 300 years old, it 
evidently formed part of the common ploughing lands of Mobberley. 

"Newton's Intack" is a small field in Mobberley, not far from Lindow 
Common, and may very likely have been a moss-room attached to some of the 
property belonging to the Newton family, which has been enclosed. 

A portion of Delamere Forest which has been enclosed is marked on the 
map as " Janion's Intack" 

INYONS, s. onions. 

IRON, v. to bore a cheese with a scoop for the purpose of tasting it. 

IRON FLOWER, s. Sheeps' Scabious. Jasione montana. 


IRON GRASS. Carex prcecox, and other species of sedges which 
grow in poor, clay pastures. NEWHALL. 

IRON KNOBS, s. a flower. L. (Centaurea nigra.} 

ISNA, ) . 
ISNER,r- lsnot - 

I SPY, s. a sort of hide-and-seek game played by schoolboys. 

IT, pron. used as a possessive pronoun. 

" Come to it mammy." 

The country people always use the neuter pronoun in speaking to little 
children or pet animals. It seems with them to be a more endearing term 
than either the masculine or feminine pronoun, expressing, as it were, 

"It shall have it pobs, it shall." 

ITE, prep. out. 

The exact pronunciation is something between Aht and lie. About 
WILMSLOW the pronunciation is eawt. 

ITTERED,/ar/. rubbed in, absorbed. HYDE. 

About WILMSLOW it is ettered, and it hardly means " rubbed in or 
absorbed," but rather " grown in." Rust or blood would be said to be 
etteredmio a knife blade. 

I WENS or IVVY, s. ivy, Hedera Helix. 




JABBER, v. to chatter. 

This word seems to me to be in such general use as to be scarcely worth 
recording, but I have entered it because it occurs in Leigh's glossary. 

JACK, s. (i) the knave at cards. 

(2) a small pike, Esox lucius. 

JACK-A-NICKAS, s. the goldfinch, Fringilla carduelis. WILMSLOW. 
Also occasionally JACK NICKER. 

JACKE, s. a coat of mail (?). 

The word occurs in a Neston yeoman's will, dated 1525, which was 
printed in the Cheshire Sheaf, vol. i., p. 333 : "And also I bequeath to ye 
said gilbartt mygrettest pott, my Jacke and Sallett, my plogh and my cartt." 

A correspondent of the Sheaf (vol. iii., p. 116) suggests that as the 
yeomen of those days held their lands subject to certain military duties, the 
Jacke and Sallett were part of the soldierly " furniture" they were required 
by their leases to have always ready for use. The sallett was probably a 
headpiece or helmet. 

JACKER, s. salt-making term. The name given by the boilers to a 
cheap tar oil. 

JACKET O' MUCK, s. a good covering of manure on a field. L. 
Scarcely local. 

JACK-GO-TO-BED-AT-NOON, s. the plant Ornithogalum umbel- 
latum, which closes its flowers very early in the day. 
Very common in Cheshire gardens. 

JACK NICKER, s. a goldfinch. 

JACK NOUP, s. a titmouse. Cheshire Sheaf, vol. i., p. 266. 

JACK-OF-THE-HEDGE, s. the plant Alliaria offidnalis. 

JACK PLANE, s. a coarse plane to take off the roughest portions 
(jags) from timber. 

JACK-SHARP, s. a stickleback. 
JACK TOWEL, s. a roller towel. 


JACK UP, v. to give up ; but it rather conveys the idea of giving 
up after continuous effort, or when there is no chance of success. 

A man who has begun a piece of work and does not carry it through will 
say, " I've jacked it up." 

A card player, if his hand does not suit him, will say, " I think I shall 
jack it up. " 

It also implies failure in business. 

" He tried hard for t' mak his farm do, bur he could na, an at 
last he had to jack up." 

JACKY-DOWKER, s. the lesser grebe, Podiceps minor. MIDDLE- 

JACOB, s. a round black plum, in considerable demand in the 
local markets. 

JAFFOCK, v. to argue, to dispute. HYDE. 

JAG, s. a small load of hay or corn. MOBBERLEY. 

" An yo done le-adin curn ?" 
"Yah, aw bur abaht a. jag." 

" A Jagg of Hay, is a small load." Academy of Armory, Bk. III., 
ch. iii., p. 73. 

JAG, v. to trim up the small branches of a tree. 

JAGGER, s. one who sells coal in small loads, or, in fact, who carts 
odd loads of anything for hire. 

There is a strong accent on the S, or a sort of prolongation of the g sound. 

JAKE, prop. name. Short for Jacob. 
JANGLING, part, idle talking. 

JANNOCK, s. (i) oaten bread made into loaves. 

(2) used metaphorically for " the right thing," " a 
fair or straightforward proceeding." 

Thus, I had cut down some trees in a fence, and had promised the farmer 
that I would repair the gaps. Before this had been done, my tree fallers 
went to the tenant and offered to " rid up" the roots for him, of course at 
his expense. He refused their offer ; and in telling me about it afterwards 
said, " I told them I thought it wasn't hardly jannock for me to rid up the 
roots till my landlord had put up the fence. " 

JANNOCK, adj. fair, straightforward. About MACCLESFIELD pro- 
nounced JONNACK. 

" Be jannock." 

JARG, v. (i) to jar. 

A heavy timber carriage going past would be said " to jarg the whole 

If one strikes the " funny bone" it jargs the whole arm. 

(2) to quarrel. Mow COP. 
" They rayther/ar-'/." 


JARLER, s. anything out of the common way. 

A bricklayer who came from the neighbourhood of Winsford used to say 
of a brick that was above the common size, " It's like one o' owd Matty 
Tasker's/ar/<?rj." I presume Matty Tasker was some local celebrity who 
was given to telling very wonderful stories. 


JARSEY-SPINNER, s. one who spins Jersey. See JERSEY (i). 

JARSEY-WHEEL, s. a wheel for spinning Jersey. See JERSEY 

JASPER CRAB, s. a kind of apple. MIDDLEWICH. 

JAW, s. talk, especially talk which annoys or aggravates. 
" Come, let's have none o' thy jaw." 

JAWM, s. (i) a jamb, the projecting side of a fireplace. 
(2) the sides of a door or window. 

"The Jaumes, or Peers, the window Sides." Academy of Armory, 
Bk. III., ch. xiii., p. 473. 

JEE, or A-JEE, adj. awry. 

JEE, v. to suit, or agree together. 

"Jack Hill and his weife are allus fawin aht; they'n never 

JEE, excl. said to a horse when he is to turn somewhat to the right. 
About MIDDLEWICH pronounced Chee. 

JEE-AHGEN, excl. said to a plough-horse when it is to turn to the 
right at the end of a furrow. MOBBERLEY. JEE-EGGEN 
(RUNCORN, NORTON and the neighbourhood). See COME-AH- 

JEE-BACK, excl. said to a horse when he is to turn completely 
round to the right. MOBBERLEY. 


JEE-HOCKIN, excl. said to a horse when he is to go from the 
driver, who stands at the near side. DELAMERE. 

JEEP, excl. said to a horse when he is to go faster. NORTON and 
the neighbourhood. 

In other parts of the county it is Jee-up. 

JEINT, pronounced almost like Jaynte, s. a joint. WILMSLOW, 


JELLY, JILLY (WILMSLOW), v. to congeal. 

Blood jellies when it stands. When black-puddings are made the pig's 
blood is stirred with a stick for some time to prevent it jellying. 

JEP, prop. name. Short for Jeffrey. MOBBERLEY. 

Old Jep Bracegirdle, who, besides being a shoemaker, was a bassoon 
player, was thus immortalised in a local song : 

" Owd Jep, he goes cursin an spluttrin abeawt, 
Wi' a great lump o' wood, an a tay-kettle speawt." 

JERRY, s. poor ale, such as is sold at jerry-shops. 

JERRY, adj. unsubstantial, carelessly built. Said of bricksetters' 
or joiners' work. 

JERRYMANDER, s. the plant speedwell. FRODSHAM. 

" Jerrymander tay" is a favourite remedy for convulsions. 

JERRY SHOP, s. a beerhouse. 

JERSEY, s.(i) fine wool. 

' ' Jersey is the finest Wool taken out of other sorts of Wool by combing 
it with a Jersey-Comb. " Academy of Armory, Bk. III., ch. vi., p. 286. 

About WILMSLOW it was always pronounced Jarsey, and Jarsey-spinning 
was common in that neighbourhood up to a hundred years ago, or perhaps 
even into this century. The wheels upon which it was spun were called 
Jarsey-whzels. My correspondent, Mr. William Norbury, has one in his 
possession which formerly belonged to Dame Barlow, of Fulshaw Hall. It 
was spun by the pound by those who made a trade of jarsey-spinning, and 
when the pound was spun it could be taken home and the money for spinning 
it obtained. 

(2) a rough head of hair. 

" Jersey, or rather Jaysey, a ludicrous and contemptuous term for a lank 
head of hair, as resembling combed wool or flax, which is called Jersey." 
' ' He has got a fine Jaysey. " W. 

JERSEY-COMB, s. (Academy of Armory.} See JERSEY (i). 
JERT, v. to throw a stone by jerking it. 
JERUSALEM COWSLIP, s. Pulmonaria offirinalis. 

suit or agree. 

" They dunna seem to jetty." 

JEW, v. to defraud. 

JEW'S EYE, s. anything very valuable. WILMSLOW. 

JIGGLE JAGGLE, also JIG JAG, adj. irregular, not straight. 
" The brook runs all jiggle-jaggle." L. 

JINE, v. to join. JEINE (WILMSLOW), almost like JANE. 


JINNY, s. salt-making term. A kind of lever used in lifting the 
pans when raised for repairs. 

JINNY GREEN-TEETH, s. a ghost or boggart haunting wells or 

Often used as a threat or warning to children to prevent them going near 
the water, lest "Jinny Green-teeth should have them." See also NELLY 


JOB, s. a blow with anything pointed. 

JOB, v. (i) to strike with the point of anything. 
"What have you done to your eye?" 
" Aw jobbed a. sprinker into 't." 

(2) to deal in store cattle. 

(3) to do odd jobs generally, such as going to the mill with 

a neighbour's batch, or carting small things for hire. 

(4) bricksetters and joiners also speak of jobbing when they 

do small jobs, such as repairing ovens, grates, &c., or 
mending gates. 

JOBBER, s. (i) a dealer. See COW-JOBBER. 

(2) a mechanic who does oddjofrs, such as repairing. 

We should be perfectly well understood if we said of a bricksetter or a 
joiner, " He's a good mon at new work, but he's noo jobber" 

(3) one who carts odd loads for hire. 

An old man who thus occupied himself had on his cart, "John Birch - 
enough, Mobberley, Jobber.'''' 

(4) a thatch peg; generally made of deal, and cut to a 

long thin point. DELAMERE. 

JOCKEY, s. a word frequently used in describing a person who has 
something peculiar in his character, as " a mischievous jockey ;" 
"a sharp jockey." It is also applied to things which are not 
quite comme ilfaut, as " a tough jockey;" "a hard-faced jockey," 
said of a hard apple. 

JOELLIS, s. jewels, in a Cheshire will (Margaret Holforde's) of 
the sixteenth century : it marks the gradual transition from 
French joaillerie to jewels. L. 

JOGGLE-JOINT, s. a term in masonry; a sort of dovetailed joint. 

JOGGLER, s. building term; a block of wood built into a wall to 
nail to. KELSALL. 

JOHN APPLE, s. a very favourite, old-fashioned variety of apple, 
a good keeper, and excellent for cooking. The limbs and 
branches grow very upright. 


JOHNNY FAIR, s. a hiring fair held at MACCLESFIELD. 

JOINER, s. a carpenter. 

The word carpenter for a worker in wood is, now, almost unknown in 
Cheshire; but Carpenter Grass and Proud Carpenter are names of plants, 
which are not uncommonly used. Formerly, however, a joiner was a man 
who did light work, such as making doors and windows; a carpenter, one 
who framed the heavy timbers of a house, such as the floors and roofs, and 
the two trades were distinct; they are now united under the name joiner. 

JOINT EVIL, s. a disease of the joints, chiefly the hocks, affecting 
calves, and occasionally cows. It causes swelling and lameness, 
and is known scientifically as Arthritis. About WILMSLOW and 
the district pronounced JEINT-EVIL. See JEINT. 

JOLLY, adj. marts appetens. L, 

JORNEY, s. a journey. 

' ' Er euer ye iornie, cause servaunt with speede 
To compas thy barlie land where it is neede. " 

Tusser (Five Hundred Points), E. D. S. ed., p. 134. 
I take it that iornie here means "to do a day's work" and not "to 
take a journey," but the old pronunciation of the word was evidently the 
same as the Cheshire pronunciation of the present day. 

JORUM, s. a large quantity of anything to eat or drink. 
JOSS, s. a foreman. Used in Macclesfield. L. 

JOW, s. (i) a kind of earthenware vessel. MIDDLEWICH. MAC- 

" Oi jest set th'jow uppo th' flure, and if that soft Jim didna goo 
an' kick it, an' smashed it aw to atoms." 

(2) dew; or perhaps more correctly as to sound Djow, 
which see. 

JOW, v. to knock together. MIDDLEWICH, MACCLESFIELD. 

" If tha does na come in this minute aw'll jow thy yed an' th' 
waw together." 

JOW-MUG, s. a large earthenware mug. MOBBERLEY. 

These mugs are of red earthenware, glazed with black inside ; they are 
narrow at the bottom and wide at the top, and are used chiefly for kneading 
bread and washing clothes. 

JUD, prop, name, the short for George. Also JUDDIE. 

JUKE, s. a fellow, said somewhat in an ironical sense. MOBBERLEY. 
' ' He's a sweet juke, " 

JUKED, part, duped. Mow COP. 


JUMBLES, s. very rich thin cakes, made somewhat in the form of 
true-lovers' knots flattened. KNUTSFORD, MOBBERLEY. 

JUMP, v. to fit end to end. 

When a joiner, in putting up rails, nails them to the stumps exactly end 
to end, instead of sloping the ends off and laying them one on the other, he 
calls it "jumping" the rails. 

JUMPER, s. a man's over-flannel jacket, like that worn by navvies. 

JUMP-JOINTS, s. a term in masonry, when the outer row of bricks 
in a camber arch are not concentric with the inner row, but have 
their square ends laid on the inner circle of bricks. 

JUMPS, s. stays worn by wet-nurses ; easily loosened, to facilitate 
nursing the child. W. 

JUNKETTING, s. a pleasure party, where there is plenty of good 
eating and drinking. 

JURNUT or YERNUT, s. a pignut, Bunium flexuosum. 
JURR, s. an accidental blow or push. 

JURR, v. to knock against a person accidentally. 

" He jurred agen me, and made me faw deawn." 

JUSTLY, adv. exactly. 

" Aw dunna/j//y know," I don't exactly know. 

JUST MEET or JUST MEET NEAW, adv. (i) at once, now. 
" Aw conna come just meet neaiv." 

(2) lately. 
" He towd me,jttst meet neaw, that th' mon were djed." 

JUST NOW, adv. presently. 

" Aw'm comin just neaw." 

JY, s. joy. 



KADLE DOCK, or, less commonly, KETTLE DOCK, s. 

(1) Semcio Jacobcea. MOBBERLEY, ROSTHERNE. 

(2) Anthriscus sylvestris. MOBBERLEY, occasionally. 

(3) Petasites vulgaris. GATLEY. 

KAHE, s. a cow. 

The pronunciation is something between kay and kye. Plural KAHES 
and KEYE or KAHE. The former is used when several individual beasts 
are spoken of ; the latter is equivalent to Kine, and is applied to the species. 
Occasionally pronounced KEAW. 

KAILYARDS or KELYARDS, s. the name of certain orchards 
now part of the city of Chester, which formerly belonged to the 
monks of St. Werbergh. 


KANDLE GOSTES, s. goose grass (Gerard's Herbal). L. 

This would be Galium Aparine, but in all probability Orchis mascula is 
the plant intended by Gerard, who, moreover, does not specially state that 
Kandle-gostes is a Cheshire name. 

KAY-FISTED, adj. left-handed. MOBBERLEY, WILMSLOW. See 


KFVS r ' ^ e see( ^ s f the sycamore or ash. 

KAZARTLY, adj. hazardous, uncertain, liable to accident. MIN- 

" Owd Sammy is but a very kazartly loife i'th' lease; he met pop 
off any minute." 

KECK, v. (i) to stand a cart up on end. 

Perhaps more correctly it means to partially raise the front of the cart so 
as to empty the contents out behind. In the old tumbrils, or dung-carts, 
there is an arrangement by which the cart can be kept kecked at any angle, 
so that the dung may be hooked out from behind with a muck -hook as the 
cart is drawn along the field. The arrangement consists of an upright piece 
of iron (formerly it was made of wood) attached to the front of the cart 
framework, which works through a slit in the cart body. It is called the 
keeker, and is perforated with numerous holes. The body of the cart is 
hinged to the axle. When the cart is kecked, the front is raised, and a peg is 
put into one of the holes in the keeker to keep it at the required angle. 

(2) to raise anything with a wedge so as to make it 
stand at an angle. 



KECKER, s. an upright piece of wood or iron in front of a tumbril 
to enable the body of the cart to be raised to any angle. See 
KECK (i). 

KECKER-PEG or KECKING-PEG, s. a peg placed in the upright 
bar in front of a tumbril to keep the cart kecked at any angle. 
See KECK (i). 

KECK-HONDED, adj. left-handed, and consequently clumsy. 

KECKING OVER, part, leaning. HYDE. 

KECKLING, KECKLY, or KEGLY, adj. unsteady, ricketty, top- 
heavy. KIGLY (S. CHES.). 

KECKS or KECKSY, s. many umbelliferous plants, especially 
Anthriscus, Jferacleum, and Angelica; plural KECKSIES. 

KECKSY, adj. hollow, like a kecks. 

Celery, when it is inclined to run up to stalks, would be called " very 

Leigh gives as an old Cheshire proverb, " As hollow as a keck." 

KEDLOCK, s. (i) the charlock. L. 

Probably the wild rape, Brassica Napus, is intended rather than the true 
charlock, Sinapis aruensis, as the former is an extremely common plant in 
Cheshire, the latter not. 

(2) Heradeum Sphondylium, Angelica sylvestris, and 
probably all large Umbel/iferce. DELAMERE. 
Also called KEGLUS at Delamere. 

A piece of the large valerian, Valeriana officinalis, was also sent me 
labelled, kedlock or keglus, but it had, perhaps, been mistaken for Angelica. 
The large hollow stems of these plants were formerly used with spinning 
wheels, about Delamere, to wind the ball of yarn upon. 

KEEN, v. (i) to cauterize. 

(2) to light or kindle. See KIN. 

KEENBITTEN, adj. (i) frostbitten. L. 

(2) hard to deal with. 

Said of a man who is of a grasping nature, and will have his "pound of 
flesh" and more if he can get it. 



KEEP, s. (i) pasture. 

Leigh gives as an old Cheshire saying, " Oo won't stand keep" said of a 
person spoilt by prosperity. 

(2) maintenance. 
KEEP, v. to maintain. 
KEEPING COMPANY, part, courting. 

KEEP ON, v. to continue. 

" Yo mun keep on for a moile or so, and then turn to yer reet." 
" He kept on talking, till no one could get a word in edgeways." 
" It keeps on raining." 

KEEVE, v. to raise the front of a cart so as to shoot out the 
contents ; or to overturn a barrow for a similar purpose. 

Also used intransitively as, " Th' stack's keeved o'er into th ! lone" i.e., 
the stack has fallen over into the lane. 

KEFFIL, v. to knock lumps off the edge of a flag with a pitcher. 

" My song \ heaw he does bu' keffil it." 

KEGGING, part, being a forced teetotaler for a month, to gain 
some temporary end. 

" Yo're ony just keggin a bit, Bob \ oi'm afeart yole soon be at 
it agen as hard as ever." L. 
This is probably a modern secondary meaning of an old word. 

KEGLUS, s. See KEDLOCK (2). 

KEG-MEG, s. (i) meat of the lowest possible quality. See KEK-MEK. 
(2) a pert, saucy wench. WILMSLOW. 

" Howd thi tongue, tha keg-meg, thy tongue's allus ready, an 
tha'rt allus puttin thy motty in." 

KEK-MEK, adj. squeamish or dainty about one's food. MACCLES- 

" Hoo winner ate her pobs winner er? by leddy, wi'n ave for t' 
gi' her cakes an wine hoo's getten so kek-mek wi her atin. " 

KELF, s. (i) a shelf. 

(2) a curious term with treefellers ; 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 keif" L. 

KENCH, s. (i) a bend, as in an iron rod. 
(2) a sprain. 

KENCH, v. to bend. 

It implies that some rough force is required in order to effect the bend. 


KENTE, /<zr/. taught. Chester Plays, i. 32. HALLIWELL. 

KEOUT, 5. a little barking cur-dog. 

Randle Holme, in his Academy of Armory, 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, s. a cow. See KAHE. 

KERRY, s. noise, disturbance. Mow COP. 

KERRY, v. to rush about with bustle or commotion. MID- 

A dog rushing after a cat or rabbit would be said to be kerrying about. 

KERVE, v. to turn sour. W. See CARVE. 

KESMUS, s. (i) Christmas. 

(2) evergreens used at Christmas. 
" Mester, win yo let us get a bit o Kesmus ait o'th' gardin?" 

KESTER, prop. name, short for Christopher. CONGLETON. 
KETCH, s. part of the fastening of a door or gate. 
KETCH, v. to catch. KNUTSFORD and district. 

KETTLE, s. hatting term. A cauldron. 

The kettles used by hatters are very large, and have planks fixed round 
them so that about six men can work at each kettle. 


KEYPE or KYPE, v. to make a wry face ; but especially to look 
sour or sullen about the mouth. 

KEYS, s. See KAYS. 

KEYTHUR, s. a cradle. BREDBURY. 

KEZZICK (Keswick), s. the name of an apple, the codlin. 

KIBBLE or KIBBO, s. a feat of strength ; such as lifting a sack of 
corn from the ground to the shoulder without help. 

Leigh gives the word as KIBBO KIFT, and explains that "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." Years ago these feats of strength were more 
commonly attempted than now; and I recollect on one occasion a young 
fellow trying to lift a 6olb. weight in one hand and raise it high up above his 
head. He overbalanced himself, and the weight dropped upon the chest of 
a man who was taking his nap after dinner in the barn, and, as their custom 
is, lying flat on his back. Of course, he was seriously hurt, but ultimately 


KICKLE or TICKLE, adj. topheavy, unsteady. 

KID, s. a faggot of wood. 

Leigh gives as an old Cheshire saying, " Nought is counted six score to 
the hundred, but old women and gorse kids." There is, however, another 
proverb, which is the reverse of the above, namely, ' ' Everything six score to 
the hundred but men, money, and bricks." 

KID or KID UP, v. to bind wood into faggots. 

Bakers' ovens were, formerly, all of them heated with kids, which were 
made uniform and of such a size that they could be conveniently put into the 
oven without being unbound. 

KID-CROW, s. a calf-crib. Cheshire Sheaf, vol. ii., p. 194. 
Wilbraham gives the form KID-CRF.W as well. 

KIDDLE, v. to dribble, said of a child when it is cutting its teeth. 

" What, is it kiddlin awready ?" 

KIFFEY, s. the small wooden ball or block used in the game of 
Hockey or Shinney, called in Cheshire BADDIN. L. 

KIGLY, adj. unsteady. S. CHES. 

KILL, s. a kiln. A brick-kill, a lime kill, a maut-kill, &c. 

About WILMSLOW and MOBBERLEY only one k is sounded in brick-kill, 
which becomes brickill. 

There is a secondary sense in which the word is sometimes used. The 
kill most familiar to farmers is the mill-kill, on which the oats are dried 
before being ground into meal. The kiln is filled with damp oats, and when 
these are sufficiently dry, a fresh lot is put on, a kiln full at a time. When 
some of the old topers of Mobberley (and there were many in my younger 
days) were drinking, they would begin early in the morning, and be drunk 
before noon. They would call that " one kill" or " one kill full," and would 
go and lie down and sleep off the effects of the drink, so as to be ready for 
another ' ' kill " in an hour or two ; and thus the operation was repeated till 
all the loose money was spent. 

KILLER, s. salt-making term. 

"A S3\t-killer was a man employed in kiln-drying salt." 
Cheshire Sheaf, vol. i., p. 291. 
Leigh, however, gives a different explanation. See KILLERS OF SALT. 

At the present time at NORTHWICH a "killer" is a man who weighs the 
salt ; and this corresponds very nearly with Leigh's definition. But the term 
is nearly obsolete. 

KILLERS OF SALT, s. salt-making term. 

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. 

KILLING, part, salt-making term. Weighing salt. 
KILLING-HOUSE, s. salt-making term. A weighing-room. 


KILT, part, killed. 

KIN or KIND, v. to kindle a fire or light a candle. KEEN (HYDE), 

for lighting a fire. 

" We're loike t'ave a bit o' kindin this weather." 

Years ago, when wife-selling was not unknown, the following conversation 
was heard near Wilmslow : 

" Bill; what did't do wi that woman tha took off mi?" 
"Aw sowd her to owd . . . for a looad o' turf, an aw'd a 
bit o' keendin beside." 

I suppress names, as one of the actors is still living, aged ninety-two. 

KINDLE, v. to bring forth young. 

Only used when speaking of certain animals, as the hare, the rabbit, I 
think rats and mice, and, Wilbraham adds, the cat. 

KINDLING STUFF, s. wood, shavings, &c, used to light a fire. 

More correctly called kindin. See above. 

KOINDLY, adv. heartily. 

"Thank you koindly." 

KING CHARLES IN THE OAK, s. a garden variety of poly- 

The calyx is converted into a ring of waved leaves, each of which is 
blotched with a large crimson spot ; the spots occasionally vary to white. 

KING COUGH, s. another form of CHIN COUGH. L. Whooping 

KING-CUP, s. an occasional name for the three common species 
of buttercup, Ranunculus acris, jR. bulbosus, and R. repens. 

KINGDOM COME, idiom, (i) death. 

(2) a condition of happiness. MACCLES- 

KING FERN, s. Osmunda regalis. 

KING PEAR, s. the Windsor pear. 

A fine old variety, almost, if not quite, discarded from modern gardens. 

KINGS AND QUEENS, s. the largest grains in a head of oats. 

They ripen a little before the rest, and are very liable to be shed whilst 
the corn is being cut, unless the farmer is careful to begin cutting before the 
whole crop is dead ripe. 



The "King's Fish-board at Chester" is mentioned in an old tract in the 
British Museum. It was probably a stall at which the quality of foreign fish 
was tested, and at which the Mayor, as Clerk of the Market, bought such 
fish as he chose for the city's use. (Cheshire Sheaf, vol. i. 158, where there 
is an interesting account of the various orders relating to the purchase of fish 
at the king's board, such orders extending back as far as the reign of Henry 

KINK, s. (i) an accidental twist in anything, as in wire or rope. 
(2) a sprain, or rheumatic pain. 
" Aw've getten a kink i'th' back." 

KISSING-BUSH, s. a bush of holly, ivy, or other evergreens, which 
is hung up in farm kitchens at Christmas, and serves the purpose 
of the mistletoe. 

Mistletoe does not grow in the North. Now, however, it is largely 
imported into Liverpool, Manchester, and other large towns, from the West 
of England, and the bush frequently contains a spray of the mystic plant. 
The kissing-bushes are usually prepared by the farm lads, on Christmas Eve, 
and they are often tastefully decorated with apples, oranges, and bits of gay- 
coloured ribbon. I have occasionally seen them made upon a framework of 
hoop iron, something in the form of a crown, with a socket at the bottom to 
hold a lighted candle. 

KISSING CRUST, s. the rough crust, where the upper part of a 
" tin loaf" separates from the bottom. 

KISSING SCAB, s. a sore place on the lips or cheek. 

If a girl (or boy) have any eruption about the mouth they are sure to be 
teased and told they have been kissing their sweetheart, and have got a 
kissing scab in consequence. 

KISS-ME-DICK, s. the plant, Euphorbia Cyparisstas, which is very 
frequently seen in cottage gardens. 

KIT, s. a set of people, a company. 
" The whole kit of them." 

KITLING, s. a kitten. 

KITTLE, v. to bring forth kittens. 

"A cat kittleth; a litter of kittleings." Academy of Armory, 
Bk. II., ch. vii., p. 134. 

KIVER, s. (i) a cover. W. 

(2) a stook of corn in a field ; more frequently used in 

the plural. 

In most glossaries I find that kivers are described as consisting of twelve 
sheaves. In Cheshire they have only ten, four at each side, and two hudders 
for covering, which, when not in use as coverers, are generally reared up at 
the ends of the kivers. 

KIVER, v. to cover. 


KNACKER, s. an old, worn-out horse. MACCLESFIELD. 

KNACKERS, s. testicles. 






KNICKY-KNACKY, adj. handy, adroit. W. 

KNIT, v. (i) to grow together, as the fractured portions of a bone do. 

(2) to form for fruit, from the blossom. 
Potatoes also are said to knit when the tubers begin to form. 

(3) to cluster as bees do in swarming. 

It is popularly supposed that "ringing the bees," that is, beating pans, 
fireirons, and such things together, causes a swarm of bees to knit, and that 
without such a din they will most likely fly away and be lost. 

KNOBS, s. lavender. 

" What have you been doing?" 

" Aw've been a cutting knobs." L. See NEPS. 

KNOCKER-KNEED, adj. knock-kneed. 

KNOCKER-UP, s. one who calls up factory hands in the morning. 

The very curious avocation of waking the mill hands in the manufacturing 
towns early in the morning, so that they may be able to get to their work in 
good time, and avoid being fined for being late, is quite a special and 
recognised business. The knocker-up is paid, I believe, about twopence per 
head per week. He carries a long pole with which he taps at the bedroom 
windows of his clients. 

KNOCKING ABOUT, part, a word of rather wide meaning, but 
difficult to explain. 

If there are many people in a place it would be said, ' ' There's lots o' 
folks knocking about. " If anything is temporarily lost it would be said to be 
" knocking abeat somewheere. " 

KNOCK OFF, v.(i) to cease from labour. 

(2) in places where there are no bells or steam 
horns the foreman workman often makes a 
peculiar hammering, which the men hear, 
and then know that it is time to leave off 

He is said to be "knocking off" He also "knocks on" in the same 


KNOCK OFF SHOP, v. hatting term. To pass a resolution to 
refuse taking out any more work until a real or supposed 
grievance has been remedied. 

KNOTGRASS, s. Polygonum aviculare. 
KNOWED, v. perfect tense of know. 
KNOWING, adj. clever, crafty, sly. 
KNOWLEDGABLE, adj. clever, well-informed. 

KNUTSFORD DEVIL, s. the plant Convolvulus sepium. 

This name was communicated by a Mobberley man who now lives at 
Poynton, but I think it is not very general. 

KYE or KAHE, s. plural of cow. 

Used collectively for the species in the same sense as kine. 




LACE, v. to beat. 

LAD, s. man, boy, husband. 

The name, like lass, is not confined to any age. A man will address his 
boon companion as "owd lad;" and a woman frequently addresses her 
husband as " lad." 

LADE, v. to bale out water ; to empty a pond by means of buckets 
and scoops. 

The process is frequently resorted to in order to catch fish. Brooks are 
sometimes dammed up, and the water allowed to run off below the dam. 
Trout and eels remain in the deeper pools left by the receding water, which 
are then laded, and a considerable number of fish are taken. I have been 
present at the lading of the ' ' plunge hole " below Mobberley Mill Dam, 
when nearly a hundredweight of fine eels have been thus captured. 

LADGEN, LAGGEN (W.), LEDGEN, or LEGGEN, v. to close 
the seams of wooden vessels, which have opened from being kept 
too dry, by putting them into water. The water swells the wood 
so as to close the seams, and makes the vessels again usable. 

LADIES' CUSHIONS, s. the sea pink, Armeria maritima, which 
forms dense pink tufts, like cushions. L. 

LADIES' FINGERS, s. a kind of apple. MIDDLEWICH. 
LADIES' PURSES, s. the flower of the Calceolaria. MACCLES- 


LADING AND CALING, idiom, saving in little things, so as to 
make both ends meet. 

" Go's a sore life on 't, for t'mak things do ; oo's allus ladin and 
calin. " 

LADING CAN, s. a small tin can, containing two or three quarts, 
used for taking hot water out of a boiler. 

LAD'S LOVE, s. the plant Artemisia Abrotanum. See also OLD 
The last is the commonest name. 

LADY COW, s. the lady bird, Coctinella septempunctata. 
LADY CRAB, s. a kind of apple. MIDDLEWICH. 


LADY DONE, idiom, a term of praise. KELSALL. 

At Utkinton Hall, near Tarporley, there once lived a certain Lady Done, 
whose character and manners seem to have rendered her very popular 
amongst the country people, and whose memory appears still to be cherished. 
So that, when wishing to praise a woman, it is not uncommon to say of her. 
' ' There's a Lady Done for you. " 

Ray gives the proverbial saying, "As fair as Lady Done." 

LADY GRASS, s. the striped garden variety of Phalarisarundinacea. 

LADY POPLAR, the Lombardy poplar, Populus fastigiata. W. 

LADY'S MILK-SILE, s. lungwort, Pulmonaria officinalis. 

It is a great favourite in cottage gardens. Sile is the Cheshire pro- 
nunciation of soil, meaning earth, or, as in this case, a stain ; and a legend 
is still current in the county that during the flight into Egypt some of the 
Blessed Virgin's milk fell on its leaves and caused the white spots with which 
they are now stained. 

LADY SMOCK, s. the plant Cardamine pratensis. 

LADY'S NEEDLEWORK,/, the plant Tori/is Anthriscus. DELA- 


LAG, s. a stave of a cask. 

LAG, v. to loiter. 

LAG, interj. a word used in driving geese. 


LAITH, s. leisure, rest. LEATH (Mow COP). 
" One wants a bit o' leath sometimes." 

LAITH, adj. loth, unwilling. W. 

LAKE, v. to play. W. 

This is still a North-country word, but is, I think, quite obsolete in 

LAKE WEED, s. Polygonum Persicaria and P. Hydropiper. 

The name is, I think, used chiefly on the western side of the county. 

LAM, v. to beat. 

LAMBS' EARS, s. the plant Stachys lanata, often grown as a 
border edging. 

Leigh assigns the name to the Rose Campion (Lychnis coronaria). I 
have never heard it given to the latter plant, though the name is not 
inappropriate ; it is, however, particularly appropriate to the former. 


LAMB'S TONGUE, s. the plant Chenopodium album. 

LANCASHIRE GLOVES, s. hands without gloves. L. 


LAND, s. freehold land, in contradistinction to leasehold. BUNBURY. 
" It's not on lease, it's land." 

LAND CRESS, s. Cardamine amara. W. CHES. 

LANDOLES, s. probably the same as DOLES or Dows, q. v. 

" Pieces or parcels of land or landoles situate lying or being in a certain 
meadow in Mobberley." Extract from deed dated 1834. 

This meadow, called ' ' The Birchen Lands, " formerly consisted of 
unfenced lands or butts belonging to different owners. 

LAND STONES, s. the name given in Cheshire to the pebbles and 
boulders turned up in digging and draining; . . . 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. . . . It is a common idea with the 
peasantry that " stones grow." L. 

LANGOT, s. (i) waste threads. 

(2) unpleasant remnants of any kind, old scores. An 
old debt hanging over one is a langot. 

" He keeps pretty straight wi his acceaunt now ; bu' there's an 
owd langot i' th' book." 

The word is, perhaps, oftener than anything applied to an old ale-score. 
LANKY, adj. (i) thin, long-legged. 

(2) appertaining to Lancashire. 

Sometimes used in Cheshire in reference to the "up and down " fighting 
practised in that county, which is not tolerated amongst our own pugilists. 
If a Cheshire man resorted to "punsing" he would be stigmatised as 
"feightin Lanky" 

"They fowten up an deawn, Lanky fashion." 

LAOZE or LEOZE, s. a retort for inquisitiveness. 

Thus if a child asks "What's that?" and the person appealed to does 
not choose to tell, the answer will very likely be " Laoze for meddlers." 
Common, I think, to various dialects. 

LAP, s. (i) a fold in cloth or paper. 

Weavers make frequent use of the word. 

" I tried my cutt, and my cutt mark is only ten laps uppo yorn 
beam; I shan finish it by noon." 

(2) the leaf of a table. 

(3) a section of a clothes horse. 

(4) coat-tails ; but these are generally specified as " cooert- 



LAP or LAP UP, v. to fold anything, to make a parcel, to wrap up. 
"When tha's getten a cowd, tha should get some buttermilk 
porritch, sweetent wi' traycle, an' plenty o' ginger in em, just afore 
tha goes t' bed ; an' put thi stockin reawnd tin throat, an' lap thi 
flannel petticoat reawnd thi yed, an' lie still i'th' mornin, an' let 
Tummus bring thee a cup o' whot tay, or some rosemary tay, an' 
lie still an' try for t' get of a muck-swat." 

LAPPINCH, s. a lapwing, Vanellus cristatus. 

LAPWEED, s. the wild hop. L. 

The plant intended is probably Polygonum Convolvulus, which, in some 
parts of Cheshire, is called Wild Hop, and which laps or winds around 
other plants. 

LARN or LEARN, v. (i) to teach. 
(2) to learn. 
LARNIN, s. learning, book-knowledge. 

LARRIMAN'S DOG, idiom, to express the intensity of laziness. 

" He's as lazy as Larriman's Dog" 
About WILMSLOW it is "Dean's Dog." 

" As idle as Dean's dog that laid it deawn t' bark." 

LARRUP, v. to beat. 

LASH, v. a method of threshing wheat for seed. 

To lash wheat was to take handfuls of straw and beat them, not too 
violently, against a piece of wood. By this means the finest grains were 
knocked out, and were saved for seed. The smaller grains, which were not 
so easily beaten out, remained in the straw, which was then threshed with 
flails for general purposes. Improved methods of separating the grain by 
machinery have rendered this primitive mode of selection unnecessary. 

Cottagers also often adopted this mode of threshing the small crops of 
wheat they sometimes grew in their crofts or gardens. 

LASH OUT, v. (i) to kick, said of horses or cows. 

(2) to spend money freely, especially in some new 

LASS, s. woman, wife, girl. 

Constantly used when speaking to a female, and not confined to any age. 
A man frequently addresses his wife as " lass." 

LAT, s. (i) a lath. 

(2) hindrance. W. 

LAT, adj. (i) slow. 

(2) backward. 
" A lot spring." 


LAT, v. to hinder. W. 

LAT AFOOT, adj. slow in moving. W. 

LATCH, s. 

" It's aizy howdin deawn Match when nobody poos at string " is an old 
Cheshire proverb which means that anything is easy of accomplishment when 
no opposition is offered ; but it is more generally applied to a woman who, 
never having had an offer of marriage, boasts about remaining single. The 
proverb refers to the old-fashioned latches which were once very common in 
Cheshire, but are now almost things of the past, though I think I could still 
find a few of them in use. The latch, on the inside of the door, has a 
leather thong or piece of string fastened to it ; the string is then passed 
through a hole in the door, so that the latch can be lifted from the outside by 
pulling at the string. 

LATHE, s. weaving term. 

A lathe is an upright frame across the loom, which holds the reed through 
which the thread or warp passes. The reed is made of steel wire, and 
between each wire is an opening called a dent. In weaving, the lathe is 
pushed back, the threads are crossed by the yells worked by treddles, which 
leaves an opening through which the shuttle carries the weft. The lathe is 
pushed back, forcing the weft to the cloth, and is then brought forward 
again for a repetition of the process. 

LATHE, v. to invite to a funeral or a wedding. I think nearly 
obsolete in Cheshire, but still used in Lancashire. 

LATHER, or perhaps more correctly LADTHER, s. a ladder. 

LATLY, adv. slowly. 

" Th' drain runs bu" latly," 

LATTER EENDS, s. the poor corn separated from the better 
samples in the process of winnowing. Used for feeding poultry. 

LAT TIME, s. a backward season. 

LADYKIN I * nter J' b v Lawkin, or Ladykin, by our blessed Lady. W. 

LAWP, v. to eat clumsily with a spoon. Manchester City News, 
Feb. 26th, 1880 (not localized). 

LAWS YOU NOW, inter/, see you now ! Used as Lo ! W. 

LAWYERS, s. old thorny stems of briar or bramble, Rosa canina 
and Rubus fruticosus, from which you have some trouble to 
escape if you happen to be caught by them. 


There are two shallow pools on Wilmslow Racecourse which are, or 
were, called respectively the Black Laych and the Green Laych. 


LAY DOWN, v. (i) to sow arable land with grass seeds. 

(2) to lend money, to advance money. 

(3) to buckle to ; to do anything with energy. 

" He likes to be at a loose eend; he winnot lay d<nvn to work." 

LAYING GROUND, s. a turf-getting word. That ground upon 
which the newly-cut turf is laid. 

LAY INTO, v. (i) to work with a will. 

" Now then, lay into it," means, " work as hard as you can." 

(2) to beat. 
" Lay into him," i.e., " Give him a good threshing." 

LAYLOCK, s. lilac, Syringa vulgaris. 

LAY OUT, v. (i) to turn the cows out at night in the spring. 

" Han you layed out yet ? " would be perfectly well understood without 
using the word " cows." 

(2) to wash and otherwise prepare a dead body, 
immediately after death, for burial. 

LAY UP, v. to take cows into the shippons at night 

"Have you layed up?" would be understood as meaning, "Have you 
taken the cows in at night ? " 

LEACH, s. salt-making term; the brine (fully saturated) which drains 
from the salt, or is left in the pan when the salt is drawn out. 
Formerly called " leach-brine." 

" Leach -brine, which is such brine, as runs from their salt when 'tis taken 
up before it hardens." (NANTWICH, 1669) Philosophical Transactions, 
vol. iv., p. 1065. 

LEAD, s. a salt pan. 

A Roman lead saltpan is preserved in the Warrington Museum. The 
" Water Leaders " of Chester were formerly an incorporated company, now 
extinct. L. 

With respect to the lead pan, probably not Roman, now placed in the 
Warrington Museum, Mr. Beamont, in his Catalogue of the Antiquities in the 
Warrington Museum, describes it thus : "ANCIENT LEAD SALTPAN, and 
fragment of another, with others lying side by side, found at Northwich, 
8 or 9 feet below the surface. Each pan measured 3 feet 6 inches long, by 
2 feet 6 inches wide, and 6 inches deep. Fire had been used under them, 
and pieces of charred wood adhered to the ends. They rested on oak sills, 
and one of them had marks of this kind cut upon it, 1 1 1 C C C 1 1 1. From 
these pans we see what is meant by ' lead walling ' in Holland's Agri- 
cultural Survey of Cheshire, 51 in notes, and Lowthorp's Abridgt. 
Philosophical Transactions, II., 314." See LEAD-LOOKERS and LEAD- 

LEAD (pronounced LEEAD), v. to cart hay or corn from the field. 

Used both transitively as, "We shall leead corn to-day," and intran- 
sitively as, " I think the hay 'II be ready to leead to-day." Said also of the 
field itself, " We'n led th' barn-field." 


LEADERS, s. tendons. 

LEAD-LOOKERS or LEAD- VI EWERS, s. officers appointed 

formerly in the salt towns, to see that the salt pans (made of lead) 
were in proper order. L. 

LEAD-WALLERS, s. commonly abbreviated to WALLERS. Men 
employed in boiling brine for salt. The boilers or pans were 
formerly of lead, hence the term. Cheshire Sheaf, vol. i., p. 292. 

LEAD-WALLING, s. a term descriptive of the pannage owned by 
different salt proprietors, and appearing in the old Parish Assess- 
ments of Middle wich, and in old deeds. Cheshire Sheaf, vol. i., 
p. 292. 

LEAF, s. the internal fat of a pig, which lies upon the sides, from 
which the lard is made. Also the internal fat of a goose. 

LEAR, s. pasture for sheep. HALLIWELL. 

LEASTWAYS, adv. anyhow. L. A common provincialism every- 

LEATH, s. (i). See LAITH. 

(2) remission of pain. W. 

LEATHER, v. (i) to beat. 

(2) to scald and shave the hair off a calf's head, so 
as to leave the skin on, which makes it much 
better when cooked. 

LEAVE-LOOKER, s. a public officer who collected the dues for 
primage at the once celebrated port of Chester. Cheshire Sheaf, 
vol. iii., p. 44. 

LECK, v. (i) to leak. 

(2) to water. A person watering flowers is said to be 
leckin them. Mow COP. 

LECKIN CAN, s. a watering can. Mow COP. 

LECK OFF, v. to run liquor from a cask. 

LEDDY, inter j. an abbreviation of " By our Lady." See BY LAKIN. 

LEE, s. hard water softened by adding wood ashes. S. CHES. 

LEE, v. lay. W. CHES. 

LEEASE, s. weaving term. The crossing of alternate ends of the 
warp through the Healds or Yells. 


LEECHED, v. used with "how" before it, "How is it?" "How 
happens it?" 

" How leeched you are not gone to school ?" " How leeched 
thou does not go to thy work ?" L. See How LIGHT. 

LEEDY, s. lady. W. CHES. 

This pronunciation of the letter a throughout a considerable part of 
the county is very peculiar. 

A cow had knocked a child down, and the mother arrived just in time to 
save it from being gored. In describing the way in which she chastised the 
cow she said, " And didn't I lee into my leedy," 

LEESING, part, gleaning. 

This word is given by Randle Holme (Academy of Armory), and may 
therefore be presumed to have been used in Cheshire in his time, as well as 
the word SONGOING, which he also gives in the same sentence. 

LEET, s. light. 
LEET, adj. light. 

LEET, v. (i) to light upon, to meet with. 

"Aw conna leet of him." 
(2) or LEETEN, to pretend, to feign. 

"You are not so ill as you leeten yourself," as you suffer yourself to 
appear. W. 

LEET BOWT or LIGHT BOWT, s. lightning, a thunderbolt. 

LEETEN, v. (i) to lighten, in the sense of relieving from a 

(2) to lighten, as in a thunderstorm. 

(3) to pretend. See LEET (2). 

LEG, s. the stem of a shrub. 

A currant or gooseberry bush is always said to be better when it " stands 
on one leg," that is, when it proceeds from a distinct stem, instead of con- 
sisting, as is often the case, of a number of offsets shooting up from the 

LEG, v. to propel boats by means of the legs. See LEGGER. 

LEGGER, s. a name given to men who formerly propelled the boats 
through a canal tunnel at Barnton, near Northwich. 

"A plank was laid across the bow of the boat, upon which two men lay 
down on their backs, and as the tunnel was of very narrow dimensions, they 
were able to push against the sides with their feet, and so to propel the boat 
through. Hence they were called liggers or leggers, the latter name being 
apparently the proper one. Of late years a steam tug has been substituted 
for this manual "legging." Cheshire Sheaf, vol. iii., p. 5. See LIGGER. 

LEMBER, adj. pliant. WILMSLOW. See LIMBER. 


LENCH, s. salt-mining term ; the middle portion of a seam of rock 
salt, lying under the Roof Rock; usually from four to six feet 

LENT LILY, s. the daffodil, Narcissus Pseudo-narcissus. 
LET, v. (i) to alight, as a bird upon a tree. 
(2) to hinder. W. 

LET BOARD, s. the board outside a pigeon cote upon which the 
pigeons alight. LEETIN BOOARD (WILMSLOW). 

LET DOWN, v. (i) to reduce in quality, applied to liquids, as when 
spirits are adulterated with water. 

(2) to swallow. A suckling animal is said to be 

letting down. 

(3) when a cow allows her milk to flow freely she 

is said to let it down. 

LET FLY, v. to strike out at anything. 

LET ON, v. to tell, to divulge a secret. 

"Nye, yo munna let on as aw said so." 

LET OUT, v. to distribute cuttings or plants of new varieties. 

About Wilmslow the cultivation of the gooseberry is carried on to a great 
extent, especially the show kinds ; and in consequence there is a great deal 
of rivalry and jealousy amongst the gooseberry growers. I remember a party 
of Field Naturalists having tea at " The Ship " Inn at Styal. After tea 
some of the party wandered into the garden, but were carefully watched by 
the proprietor, lest any accident should happen, or intentional damage be 
done, to his show gooseberries. When a new variety of gooseberry has been 
raised, young plants are let out to subscribers only. The same plan is 
adopted with dahlias or any other new variety of florists' flowers. 

LET OUT, part, salt-making term; when a pan is emptied for 
cleaning or picking it is said to be " let out" 

LET OUT A LEG, v. an expression for kicking. L. 
LETTEN IN, part, deceived, taken in. 

LETTING -DOWN, s. a loss of character ; losing caste. 

" He may say what he will, but it's a great Uttin down to him." 

LEUR or LEUN, s. tax or rate. L. 

LEVEL, adj. a man of level mind is one not likely to go to extremes ; 
not hasty. L. 


LEWNES or LUNES, s. taxes, rates, leys. L. 
LEW -WARM, adj. lukewarm. 

LEY (pronounced LAY), $, (i) a pasturage where cattle, horses, or 

sheep are taken in for a season at 
a certain price per head. 

Most of the gentlemen's parks, of which there are a very great number in 
Cheshire, are used as leys. The season is generally from the 1st of May to 
the 1st of October ; sometimes from the I2th of May (old May-day) to the 
1 2th of October. The proprietor of the ley keeps a sufficient number of 
bulls for stock purposes, and provides a man to attend to the cattle. See 

(2) the law. W. 

LEY, v. to send cattle to a ley; or perhaps it would be more correct 
to say, " to book cattle for a ley." 

Farmers, blacksmiths, inn-keepers and other people in the surrounding 
villages act as agents for the proprietors of leys, and receive a small com- 
mission for booking the young cattle. 

' ' Wheer 'an yo leyed your cawves this year?" "Aw've leyed em wi' Tommy 
Weych o' Morley for Tatton." Thomas Wych being the agent in Morley who 
has booked the cattle for Tatton Ley. 

LEY DAY, s. the day on which cattle are taken to a ley. 

LEY -LOOKER, s. a man who attends to cattle in a ley. 

His duties are to look them over once or twice a day ; book their time of 
calving, and report any that are not well. 

LEY OATS, s. oats grown on newly-ploughed grass land. See LEYS. 
LEY PLOUGHING, part, the ploughing up of grass lands. 
LEYS, s. (i) grass lands. 

(2) parochial or county rates. 
LIBBARD, adj. applied to cold, stiff, clay land. L. 

LICH ROAD, s. the road by which a corpse passes for interment. 

The popular belief that the passage of a funeral over any ground gives to 
the public a right of way obtains in Cheshire. 

LICIOUS, adj. soft, flabby. KELSALL. 

LICK, v. (i) to beat in the sense of chastising. 
" He's a bad un, he wants licking." 

(2) to beat in the sense of excelling. 

" It licks out," i.e., " It excels, or exceeds, everything." 

(3) to vanquish. 
" Au'm licked." 


LICKING, s. (i) chopped hay mixed with turnips, or mangolds, and 
ground corn. 

(2) a beating. 
LICKING-TUB, s. a trough in which licking is mixed. 

LICKSOME, adj. neat in appearance, natty. W. CHES. 

Wilbraham explains it as "lightsome, pleasant, agreeable," and adds 
that it is chiefly applied to places or situations, which does not seem to be 
the case in West Cheshire. At the same time he says, in illustration of the 
word, " a pretty girl is said to be a licksome girl," and this corresponds with 
my idea of its meaning. Wilbraham also gives LISSOME as a synonym, but 
says "lissome often means active, agile, the same as hinge." I think it is 
an error to couple Licksome and Lissome. 

LICK THE MUNDLE, idiom, to humiliate one's self for the sake 
of gain. See MUNDLE. 

LIE, v. to sleep. 

" He lies by hissel," i.e., he sleeps by himself. 

LIE- BY, s. a bedfellow. WILMSLOW. 

A man will often speak of his wife as " my lie-by." 

LIEF, adv. (but always preceded by "as;" AS LIEF), readily, willingly. 
" I'd as lief do it as not." 

LIEFER, adv. rather. 

LIE TO, v. to favour an animal by giving it an extra quantity of 

" If I see a cow as '11 keep to her milk pretty well, I lie to her a 

LIE UP, \ v. cows are said to lie up when they sleep indoors at 
LIE OUT, ) night; and to lie out when they sleep in the fields. 

LIFTING, part, an Easter custom formerly practised throughout 
Cheshire, but now fast dying out. 

The following description of the custom is extracted from the Rev. H. 
Green's Knutsford and its Vicinity, p. 84 : " There is, or rather there was, 
another curious custom, which lingered here in common with other parts of 
Cheshire and Lancashire that of lifting or heaving on Easter Monday and 
Tuesday. The practice is now almost confined to the working-classes, but 
within memory it was of general observance in most of the considerable 
mansions of the county. Indeed, I have heard that at Toft, a very few years 
ago, it was usual for a chair, ornamented with ribbons and garlands of 
evergreen, to be placed in the breakfast-room, by the women servants on 
Monday, and by the men servants on Tuesday, and that the master or 
mistress of the mansion sat down for an instant on the rustic throne, and 
after submitting to be heaved, or slightly lifted from the ground, gave 
largesse to the domestics. " 

The Vicar [Rector] of Barthomley differs a little as to the women's day and 
the men's day for performing this ancient ceremony. He says (Barthomley, by 


the Rev. Edward Hinchcliffe, p. 145), "Lifting, ^n ancient usage on 
Easter Monday and Tuesday, is still observed : on Monday the ladies, on 
Tuesday the gentlemen, are favoured with this ceremonial exaltation. Early 
in the morning of each of these days, an arm-chair, decorated with flowers 
and ribbons, was placed at the foot of the front staircase of the Rectory, in 
which your Mamma, according to rule, first seated herself, and was gently 
raised by the servants three times into the air ; your sisters, and any female 
visitors, succeeded to the same honour. On the next day, I underwent a 
similar treatment, which drew forth no little degree of mirth from the female 
lifters, who, of course, were rewarded for their trouble. These little 
familiarities of the season, coming but once a year, are, I am sure, 
advantageous to all parties, promoting good humour and kind feeling among 
classes kept too much apart in England. Speaking for myself, I was always 
glad of the opportunity to make this merry custom an excuse for presenting 
an annual gift to my household, and which they seemed to value exceedingly. 
As these little customs are fast disappearing, the record of them becomes 

I am told that this lifting custom is not a decorous one, and ought to be 
altogether discontinued ; but I strongly incline to the opinion of the kind- 
hearted Vicar of Barthomley, and at any rate can advance in its favour the 
authority of its being a very ancient observance. In the year 1290 King 
Edward I. paid a sum of money to the ladies of the bedchamber and maids 
of honour, for having at Easter taken their sovereign lord the king 
prisoner in his very bed, arid complied with the universal practice of 
giving him a heaving or lifting, i.e., a raising up symbolically towards 

The custom is sometimes called HEAVING and occasionally HOISTING. 

LIFTING DAYS, s. Easter Monday and Tuesday. See LIFTING. 
LIG, s. a lie. 

LIG, v. (i) to lie down. 

(2) to tell a lie. 

(3) to alight. 

" Brid hath ligged in turmits. " L. 

LIGGER, s. (i) a liar. 

(2). See LEGGER. 

LIGGERTY LAG, interj. 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. 

LIGHT, v. (i) confined, brought to bed. 
" Is your wife lighted?" L. 

(2) to alight, to dismount. 

" Stand thee back, in the darke ; light not adowne, 
Lest that I presently crack thy knave's crowne." 

" The King and Miller of Mansfield," Percy's 
Reliques, Ed. V., vol. Hi., p. 231. 



LIGHT ON, adj. a load is said to be light on when the weight is 
too far back on a cart. 

LIKE or LOIKE, adv. (i) expressing compulsion. 
" Aw'm loike do it," i.e., I must do it. 

(2) probability. 

"The master may like come after baggin," i.e., he may probably come. L. 

(3) nearly, all but. 

" Aw'd loike to have fawn," i.e., I almost fell. 

LIKE or LOIKE, idiom, used constantly at the end of a sentence, 
where it is absolutely without meaning. Sometimes in the middle 
of a sentence. A sort of expletive. 

" He gen him a shove, like, an sent him clean o'er th' hedge." 

Occasionally at the end of a sentence it is reduplicated, "like-like;" 
and I can give no better illustration than the sentence I have just written. 

" It is reduplicated, like-like." 

LIKE AIM, s. a shrewd guess. 

" Do you know who did this ?" " Now, bur au've a loike aim.''' 

LILE, adj. little. L. 
LILLY -PIN, s. a linch pin. 

LIMB, s. a mischievous child. Perhaps scarcely local, but very 
frequently used in Cheshire. 

" It's no use a paperin th' waws while th' childer are young ; 
that Tom, theer, he'd skin th' kitchen in a week ; and Maud, oo 
wer a reglar limb when oo wer young and oo's a limb yet !" 

LIMB, v. to tear limb from limb. KELSALL. 

It is said magpies will take young chickens and " limb 'em alive." 

LIMBER, adj. pliant, flexible. CREWE. LEMBER (WILMSLOW). 

It is a popular belief in Cheshire that when a corpse is limber another 
death will soon take place in the same family. 

LIME ESS, s. small lime, containing a few cinders. 

When lime is burned the larger lumps are selected and sold as the best 
"picked" lime. The smaller portions are sold separately, at a much 
cheaper rate, under the name of Lime ss, i.e., lime ashes, and are useful 
for agricultural purposes, or for grinding up in a mortar mill. 

Near the Derbyshire lime-kilns there were formerly (and perhaps are 
still) great heaps of these lime ashes which had grown quite hard like rock, 
and in some places caves were dug out in them where people lived. My 


informant went into one of these cave dwellings near Buxton about thirty- 
five years since, and upon entering looked up at the irregular roof with some 
apprehension. An old woman in the nook said, " You need not be afraid ; 
I think it will not fall while you stop ; I've been in it seventy years. " 

I mention this circumstance to show the antiquity and solidity of these 
heaps and of the cave dwellings, and to illustrate the customs of the labouring 
classes early in this century. 

The sanitary authorities would not permit people to live in caves now-a- 
days ; but forty or fifty years since a family was brought up in one of the 
sandstone caves in the neighbourhood of Frodsham. 

LING, s. the heather, Calluna vu/garis, and occasionally Erica 

LING BEESOMS, s. brooms made of ling, Calluna vulgaris. 
LINGE, v. to work so violently as to cause exhaustion. WILMSLOW. 
LINING, s. (i) part of a cart See CART. 

(2) the cord of which a bricksetter's (or other work- 
man's) line is made. 

"Jack, caw at rope and twine shop, and buy me some lining; 
my line's done ; its full o' knots an bullythrums." 

LIN -PIN, s. the pin holding the wheel on the arms of a cart. 

LINT, s. the flocculent dust which collects in bedrooms, or under 

LINTY, adj. idle. 

" What ails him ? is he ill ?" " Not he; nowt ails him, but he's 

LIFE HOLE, s. a loop-hole; applied to the slits in the walls of a 
barn, which are left for the admission of air. MOBBERLEY. LOUP 

LIPP'N, v. to lippen, to expect. W. 
LISSOME, adj. active. See LICKSOME. 

LITE, s. a little. 

A farmer, after enumerating the number of acres he has in wheat and 
barley, will often add, "and a lite wuts," i.e., a little oats. W. 

LITHE, v. to mix flour, starch, oatmeal, &c., with a little water, 
before pouring it into a saucepan to boil and thicken. 

LITHER, adj. idle, lazy; long and lither is said of a tall, idle 
person. W. 

Ray gives as a Cheshire proverb, "If he were as long as he is lither ; he 
might thatch a house without a ladder." 

LITHING or LITHINGS, s. thickening for the pot. See LITHE. 


LITIGIOUS, adj. I have heard weather that impeded the harvest so 
called; but I believe it is only a cant term, and not a true 
country word. W. 

This seems very like a misapplication of a word, heard once in a way 
only ; but Leigh also says he has heard it. 

LI VERD or LIVERY, adj. close-grained and wet ; applied to a soil 
which ploughs up sodden. 

LIVE TALLY, v. to live in a state of concubinage. 

LOACH, v. to ache. 

" My yed loaches" L. 

LOAD, s. (i) three or four bushels, or, as they are called in Cheshire, 
measures, according to the kind of produce. 

A load of potatoes consists of three bushels of 84lbs. each, or 25albs., that 
is, 12 score I2lbs., or twelve long scores of 2ilbs. each, the score answering 
to a local peck. Potatoes are also sold by the score, and by the half-load 
hamper. A load of wheat consists of four measures, and varies in weight in 
different localities. In some places it is customary to sell 7olbs. for a 
measure ; in other places the measure contains 75lbs., and again in others 
Solbs. These different customs prevail in almost contiguous parishes ; so 
that in selling wheat it is always necessary to specify how much a measure 
is to weigh, and the load is 14, 15, or 16 scores, according as the measure 
weighs 70, 75, or Solbs. But taking Cheshire generally, the load of 14 scores 
is the most in use for wheat. A load of barley, beans, Indian corn, or Indian 
meal weighs 24olbs. 

(2) a lane; more commonly looad. See LOOAD. 
LOAD -BACK, s. a variety of pear. MIDDLEWICH. 
LOADED, part, drunk. 

LOADEN, part, loaded, laden. Mow COP. LOOADEN (WILMS- 

LOAMY or LOOMY, adj. applied to sand which is of a fine, soft, 
character, from being slightly intermixed with argillaceous soil. 
Such sand is not so good for mortar as what is called a sharp sand. 

LOB, s. mud, pulp. DELAMERE, ROSTHERNE. 

I am rather at a loss to explain this word. I do not think it would ever 
be used by itself as a name for mud or pulp, but anything is said to be "aw 
of a lob " when it is muddy or pulpy. Thus an old lady at Rostherne, 
speaking of the earthen floors which used to be common in Cheshire, said 
that when they wetted them or anything was spilt upon them they went " all 
of a. fob." At Delamere the word was thus explained: When the potatoes 
are boiling hard and the outside of the potato boils away and mixes with the 
water, rendering it thick, it is said to be "aw of a lob." This last explanation 
reminds one of "lobscouse," or potato hash, in which the potatoes are 
pulped by boiling ; but whether there is really any connexion between the 
two words or not I do not venture to decide. See WOB. 


LOCKED, part, a faced card in a pack is said to be locked. W. 

LODGED, part, said of corn when beaten down by the storm. L. 

I have frequently heard this word used, but never by Cheshire men. In 
Cheshire we invariably speak of the corn being laid. 

LOFFELING, part, a form of lolling, idling. 
''Loffeling on the squab." L. 

LEY, but becoming obsolete). 
"Th' to/ereend." 

A portion of Lindow Common adjoining Morley used always to be called 
"the luffer moss." It was formerly pronounced laugher with a strong 
guttural sound, but gradually became softened into luffer. 

LOFT, s. salt-making term; the storeroom over the stove. 

LOFT, v. salt-making term; to loft the salt is to pass it from the 
stove to the room above. 

LOFTER, s. salt-making term ; the man who "lofts" the salt, i.e., 
passes it from the stove to the loft. 

LOMMER, v. to climb or scramble; but the word also conveys an 
idea of a certain amount of clumsiness. 

BERLEY, WILMSLOW), s. a big, rough lump. 

LOMPOND (or, as it should probably be spelt, LOM POND), s. 
the pond in a farm yard into which all refuse runs. L. See 

There is a place at the junction of two brooks (the Allum and the Croco 
at Kinuerton) called Lompon. Cheshire Sheaf, vol. i., p. 292. 

LOND, s. land. 

LONDON PRIDE, s. the plant Saxifraga umbrosa. 

This name is in such general use that I should not have included it but 
for the fact that the plant which was originally called London Pride was the 
Sweet William, and it is still so called in several counties. I have entered 
it to show which of the two plants is called London Pride in Cheshire. 

LONE, s. a lane. 

LONE EEND, s. the end of a lane, where one road joins another. 

LONG ART, s. the tail or end board of a cart or waggon. HALLIWELL. 

LONGBACK, s. an old term for a slate of a certain length. 

Long-backs, Short-backs, and Wybits were names formerly given by 
slaters to the different lengths of grey slates. The slates were at that time of 
random sizes, and had to be sorted into courses for which these terms were 


LONG HUNTHERT or LUNG HUNTHERT, s. a long hundred- 
weight, that is, i2olbs. 

Formerly most things were sold by the long hundredweight; but it is now 
only used in weighing cheese. 

LONGNIX, s. a heron. L. Ardea cinerea. 

LONG PASTUR or LUNG PASTUR, idiom, the lanes, where 
cottagers used to turn their cattle previous to the passing of the 
new Highway Act. 

"Where do you keep your cows, you've no land?" " I turns 'em 
i'th' lung pastur. " 

LONG -WING, s. the swift, Cypselus Apus. FRODSHAM. 
LONLERT, s. a landlord. 

LOOAD, s. a lane; in MOBBERLEY applied to the roads leading to 
the various mossrooms on Lindow Common. See GATE. 


LOOK SLIPPERY, \ v. be quick. 


LOOM, s. a frame for weaving; but Wilbraham explains it as "a 
utensil, a tool, a piece of furniture." 

It is, however, also used metaphorically in reference to putting a person 
to rights, or punishing him. 

" If he does na howd his neize, aw'l square his loom for him." 

LOON or LOUNT, s. a butt in a field which belongs to another 
owner, and which no doubt has formerly been a strip in a 
common field. 

The word is frequently found in old Cheshire documents and maps. In 
Morton's Cyclopaedia of Agriculture, LOOMS is given as a Cheshire word, and 
is defined as "wide lands, wider than butts." Looms is no doubt a mistake 
for loons, and the definition is hardly accurate. 

LOOSE, v. to leave off work, to finish school-hours, &c. 
" What time does church loose?" 

LOOT, s. salt-making term ; a skimmer. 

" A skimmer made with a wooden handle thrust through a long square of 
wainscot board, twice as bigg as a good-sized trencher; this they call a loot." 
(NANTWICH, 1669) Phil. 7rans., vol. iv., p. 1065. 

LOO' THE, inter/, look you! 

Said old Mr. , of Runcorn, pointing to a pile of sovereigns on the 

mantel-piece, "Loo the! John; folks sen as cottage property's not worth 
havin; but I think it is; yon's aw cottage property; and it comes in every 


LOP, v. perfect tense of leap. 

LOP -LOLLARD, s. a lazy fellow. MACCLESFIELD. Not general. 

LOPPEN, v. perfect tense plural, and participle of leap. 

LORD OF THE PIT, s. the head man of a gang of marlers, who, 
amongst other things, received and disbursed all money given to 
the gang. 

Marling had ceased before my time ; but I remember a man in Mobberley, 
who had been a great hand amongst the marlers in his day, who always went 
by the name of Lord Lowndes. So completely has marling gone out of 
fashion that the customs connected with it seem quite forgotten. During the 
year 1881 I tried the experiment of marling a small piece of ground at 
Norton, and opened a marl pit. I went one day to the men and stood 
talking with them for some time, in the full expectation that they would ask 
me for drink money according to the old custom ; in fact, I went partly to 
see if they would do so. They, however, made no sign, and appeared to be 
quite ignorant of the old usage. 

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. 

LORDS AND LADIES, s. the plant Arum maculatum. 

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 " six- 
pence, part of ^500;" if half a crown, as part of ^1,000; 
evidently largesse. L. 

LORJUS, interj. a very frequent profane exclamation, supposed to 
be an abbreviation of Lord Jesus. 

LOSSELL, s. a lazy fellow, a ne'er do weeL L. See LOZZEL. 

LOTHE, v. to offer at a price. 

" He lathed it me for twenty pound." 

The th has the thick sound as in "that," not the thin sound as in "thin." 
There is rather a nice distinction about the exact meaning of this word. 
Halliwell defines it "to offer for sale ;" but it means more than that; a price 
must also have been asked, as in the above illustration, and even then the 
lowest price, the ultimatum, must have been named. I do not remember 
ever to have heard the expression unless a price had been asked. 

LOUGHING, part, laughing. WILMSLOW. 
Pronounced with a strong guttural sound. 

LOUME, adj. soft, gentle. HALLIWELL. 
LOUNT, s. See LOON. 



LOUSE'S LADDER or LATHER, s. an open slit in a stocking 
caused by dropping a stitch. MACCLESFIELD. 

LOVE-CHILD, s. an illegitimate child. 

LOVE YOU AND LEAVE YOU, idiom, a common saying when 
any visitor is going to take his departure. 
"Well a' mun love ye, and leave ye." 

LOW, adj. short in stature. 

" What sort of a man is he ?" " Well, he's a low man." This would not 
in the least imply that he was vulgar or disreputable, but merely little. 

LOWE, s. a hill, often used in place names : Buck/<?z/ Hill, Shutlings 
Lowe, Werneth Lowe. 

LOWKING, s. andflart. weeds; weeding. L. 
LOZENGER, s. a lozenge. 

LOZZEL, v. to lop about in a lazy manner. WILMSLOW. 

" He'll do nowt bu' lozzel on th' screen, for aw he knows heaw 
busy aw am. " 

LUCK, v. to happen by good fortune. If I had lucked, if I had 
had the good fortune. W. 

LUCKA, interj. look you ! MACCLESFIELD. 

LUCKY -BONE, s. the coracoid bone of a fowl. MACCLESFIELD. 

LUCK YO, interj. look you ! KNUTSFORD. 


LUFFER- BOARDS, s. the louvres of a drying shed in a tan-yard. 

LUG, s. the ear. WILDERSPOOL. 

LUG, v. to pull the hair, or the ear. 

LUG UPPARTS, idiom, to apply any very severe measure. 

To pull the hair upwards is more painful than pulling it downwards; 
hence any severe measure is spoken of as lugging upparts. 

LUKE'S LITTLE SUMMER, idiom, the few days of fine warm 
weather which often come about St. Luke's day, October i8th. 

LULLIES, s. kidneys. HALLIWELL. 
LUM, adj. numb. 


LUMBER, s. (i) mischief. 

" He's allus i' some lumber if my back's turned." 

(2) trouble. 

" He's i' lumber again ; he's been drunk an leathert th' policeman, 
an neaw he's got for t' goo afore his betters, an he'll likely get sent 
prison for 'L " 

LUM HOLE, s. a small pond in a garden. WIRRALL. Obsolete 
or becoming so. 

In the meadows, however, which lie between Frodsham and the salt 
marsh, there is a small piece of morass which is called "The Lum." The 
meadow in which it is situated is known as " The Lum Meadow." 


LUMP, s. to buy anything " by the lump" is to bargain for it without 
weighing or measuring. 

Pigs, for instance, are usually sold per Ib. ; but occasionally the seller and 
buyer will agree about the price without reference to weight j they then 
speak of the transaction as "by the lump" 

LUMPING PENNORTH, idiom, good weight, or good measure. 
"He ne'er weighed it; he gen me a lumping pennorth." 

LUMP ROCK, s. salt-mining term ; the large pieces of rock salt 
got in working. 

LUMPS, s. salt-making term. The name for the salt made in 
moulds ; they are sometimes conical, sometimes four-sided. 

LUNG, adj. long. 

LUNGE, v. (i) to break in a horse by running it round in a circle, 
holding it by a long rein. 

(2) to thieve. DELAMERE. 
" Does she lunge ?" was asked of a cat. 

LUNGEOUS, adj. (i) unexpectedly violent. 

(2) thievish. DELAMERE. 

LURCHING, part, sneaking about, being after no good. L. 
LURKEY-DISH, s. the herb penny-royal. W. Mentha Pukgium. 
LUSTY, adj. fat ; but perhaps more especially it means bulky. 

LYMM FROM WARBURTON, idiom, complete separation. 

"To pull anything Lymmfrom Warburton" means to pull it completely 
to pieces. 

I believe the expression originates from the fact that the church livings of 
Lymm and Warburton were formerly held together, but that they were even- 
tually separated, and the income of the rectors of Lymm thereby reduced. 


LYMM GREYS, idiom, a sobriquet for the inhabitants of Lymm. L. 

Leigh explains it thus : " In former (cock-fighting) days, different town- 
ships 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'" and 
' Peover Pecks. ' " 

LYMM HAY, idiom, anything extra good. 

" To lick it up like Lim hay" is a proverb given by Ray, and explained 
thus: " Lim is a village on the river Mersey that parts Cheshire and Lan- 
cashire, where. the best hay is gotten." Hence anything superexcellent is 
likened to Lymm hay. 

LYTHE, adj. supple, pliant. 



MACK.LY, adj. comely, good-looking. DUKINFIELD. 

MAD, adj. angry. 

" As mad as a wasp " is a common saying. 

MADE FIRM, part, confirmed by the bishop. MOBBERLEY. 
Used in a sort of jocular way. 

MADE UP, part, closed up. 

When a gap in a hedge has been mended it is said to be made up. A 
person's eye, which is swelled and closed up from some accident, is made up. 

MADE WINE, s. home-made wine. 
MADPASH, s. a madbrain. W. 

MAD -START, s. a wild, madbrained person or animal. MOB- 

I once had a cow with so vile a temper that no one could milk her. She 
would put her tongue out, snort and bellow, and throw herself down, rather 
than be handled; she always went by the name of " Madstart." The bull- 
grips (which see) eventually brought her to a considerable extent to her 
senses. When she had to be milked they were clapped on her nose, and 
then tied to a bar in front of her, and she soon learnt to know that as long as 
she remained quiet they gave her no pain, but that if she got out of temper 
she punished herself. 

MAFFLEMENT, s. concealment, under-hand work. L. 
MAG, v. to chatter. 

MAHLY, adj. mouldy. MIDDLEWICH, WILMSLOW, and probably 
general, though MOWLDY is often used. 

" They ayten bread at owd Robert Ward's so mahly that it smooks 
eawt o' their maiths." 
See also illustration to TwiGGEN DICK. 

MAIDEN, a clothes horse. See CLOTHES MAIDEN. 

MAID OF THE MEAD, s. meadow-sweet, Spiraa Ulmaria. W. 


MAIL or MEAL, v. to milk a cow once, instead of twice a day, 
when near calving. 

" You mun mail Cherry." L. 
Halliwell gives it as a north country word. 

There is a little misapprehension here of the exact meaning of mail or 
meal. As a substantive it means one milking; and to "mail Cherry " simply 
means putting her on one meal a day instead of two. For further explanation 
see MEAL. 

MAIN, s. a main at bowls is a match played by a number of couples, 
the winners again playing in couples against each other till one 
man is left the victor. 

Bowls is quite the game of the district around Runcorn, Halton, &c. 

In the olden days it was similarly applied to cock-fighting. " A main of 

There is also the term Welsh main, applied in a secondary sense to 
voting: voting until only two are left in, and then for those two alone. 

MAITH, s. (i) mouth. Pronounced almost like my the. 

(2) the portion of a spade which goes into the soil. 

"Aw mun send th' shoo to th' smithy to have a yew maith" See 

(3) the bowl of a spoon. WILMSLOW. 

MAK, s. kind, sort ; literally make. 

" What mak of a mon is he ?" 

(2) to lock, or fasten. 

" May th' durr," i.e., " fasten the door." 

Shakspere uses the word make in the same sense: "Make the doors 
upon a woman's wit, and it will out at the casement." As You Like It, 
Act iv., Sc. I. 

MAKE, s. a mate or companion. 

" Rise up, Adam, and awake; 
Heare have I formed thee a make. " 

Chester Plays, i. 24 (HALLIWELL). 

MAKE A PUT, v. make an attempt. Mow COP. 

MAKE AWAY WITH, v. (i) to destroy, to discard, to throw away 
as being worthless. 

(2) to kill. 

" It's not worth rearing," said of a calf which had come prematurely and 
was very weakly, "but I dunno like to make away with it." 

A person who commits suicide is said to " make away with himself." 

MAKE FOR, v. to go towards. 


MAKE FOR OFF, v. to make a move of departure. 
MAKESHIFT, s. a temporary substitution. 
MAKE SHIFT, v. to contrive, to manage. 

MAKE SHORT UP, v. 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." W. 

MAKE UP, v. (i) to decide, to intend. 

" We'd made it up for goo this week end." 

(2) to be reconciled. 

" Come, you two mun try and make it up." 

(3) to repair, to close up. 
" You mun mak yon gap up. " 

(4) a caterpillar is, in the language of the working- 

men naturalists, said to make up when it turns 
into a chrysalis. 

MAL or MALLY, s. for Moll or Molly. W. 

MALT-COOMS, s. the culms or sprouts of barley which fall off 
during the process of malting. 

They contain a considerable quantity of saccharine matter, and are much 
used for feeding cows that are milking. 

MANDRAKE, s. the plant Bryonia dioica. W. CHES. 

MAN-HOLE, s. a trap-door in a ceiling through which a man can 
get to inspect the roof; or a hole in a sewer or liquid manure 
tank, through which a man may descend to clean them out. 

MANK, s. a trick, a prank. 
MANK, v. to play tricks or pranks. 

MANKY, adj. lively, frisky. 

" I could hardly ride th' tit, he were that manky." 

MANNERLY, adj. (i) well mannered. 

(2) Leigh gives it as having much the same 

meaning as farantly. 

He says: "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, except that to the latter is attached rather more 
elegance than to the former in short, being in fashion." 


MANY A TIME AND OFT, a common expression, meaning 
frequently. W. It can scarcely be considered local. 


M'APP'N, adv. perhaps. 
MAR, v. (i) to damage. 

(2) to spoil by petting. 

MARA, s. the forest of Mara ; the old name of the forest of Dela- 

MARCHANT, s. merchant, but very frequently used to describe 
one who takes pride in any speciality; a fancier. Thus we 
speak of a "hen marchant" or a " dog marchant" 
" He wur th' ronkest dog marchant as ever a seed." 

MARE or MERE, s. a small lake, of which there are a good many 
in Cheshire. 

Rostherne Mare is a favourite resort for Manchester holiday folk. It is a 
very picturesque sheet of water, and is extremely deep. 

MARE- FART, s. ragwort, Senecio Jacolxza. 

MARES' TAILS, s. long streaky clouds, which indicate stormy 

MARGARETS, or EARLY MARGARETS, s. an early variety of 
apple, very sweet and very red. 

MARGIT, prop, name, the local pronunciation of Margaret. 

MARIGOLD, s. generally the garden plant Calendula officinalis. 
In W. CHES. Chrysanthemum segetum is included. 

MARINE, adj. salt-making term ; applied to a kind of grainy butter 

MARKET-FRESH, adj. in extra good spirits, from having had " a 
good twothry glasses " at market. 

MARKET-PEERT, adj. the same as MARKET-FRESH. W. CHES. 

MARL, s. salt-mining term. The usual name for the clays above 
the rock-salt. The salt-marls themselves are called metals. 

MARL, -v. (i) to spread marl on land. 

.Marl was considered such an excellent manure that it was commonly said : 
" He who marls sand 

May buy the land " 
because he would be sure to grow rich if he used marl on sandy soil. 

(2) metaphorically "to marl a man" is to follow the 
drinking of his health by cheering him. 

Taken from the old customs of the county, where the gang [of marlers], 
after receiving any small sum as a present from a chance visitor, stand in a 
ring and cheer. L. 


MARLERS, s. men who work in a marl pit. 

MARL HEAD, s. the face of marl at the deepest end of a marl pit. 

MARLOCK, s. fun, a joke, especially a practical joke. 

MARLOCK, v. to play jokes. 

About HYDE it appears to mean simply " to play." Leigh gives mar- 
laking as an adjective, and explains it as frolicksome. 

MARLPIT, s. the hole from which marl is dug. 

MARRED, adj. spoilt, petted. 

"A marred" child is a spoilt child. " A marred" cat is one that likes 
to be petted. I once heard a woman call her calf " a marred owd stink." 

MARRIED ALL O'ER, idiom. Said of women who after mar- 
riage lose their good looks. MACCLESFIELD. 

MARROW, s. (i) a mate, a companion. 

Pigs of the same litter are called " marrow pigs." 

(2) an exact counterpart. 

(3) an equal. WILDERSPOOL. 

" There binna his marrow." 

(4) a husband. 

MARROW TO THE PATCH, idiom, well matched. WALTON. 

A husband and wife who were rather strange characters, and about 
equally eccentric, were said to be " marrow to the patch." 

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 
they have no claim. L. 

MARSH MALLOW, s. Malva sylvestris and M. rotundifolia. 

Much used in cases of lacerated bruises as an emollient poultice, and with 
good effect. 

MARSH MARIGOLD, s. Caltha palustris. 
MARTIN, the same as FREE-MARTIN. 


"All on one side like Marton Chapel" is a common expression about 

MARVIL, s. a marble. 

MASH, v. to infuse. 

Pouring a small quantity of boiling water on tea, and letting it stand a 
little while on the hob before filling it up, is "mashing the tea." Pouring 
boiling water on malt for brewing is "mashing the malt." 


MASHING-MUNGLE, s. a staff for stirring the wort in the boiler 
when ale is being brewed. MACCLESFIELD. See MUNDLE. 

MASH -TUB, s. a large tub in which malt is mashed for brewing. 
Scarcely local. 

MASKE, s. a mesh of a net. L. 

Leigh gives this on the authority of Wilbraham; but as I understand it, 
Wilbraham merely intended to say that maske meant the mesh of a net in the 
Flemish language. 

MASKER, v. to choke or stifle. 

MASKERT, part, choked, smothered. 

A crop overgrown with weeds would be said to be " maskert wi' weed." 

MASLIN, s. an alloy of copper with some harder metal. 

I believe this word is obsolete in Cheshire, but it was formerly in use. A 
description has been sent me of an old spoon, apparently made of some alloy 
of copper, not brass, but more like gold in appearance, which the grandfather 
of my informant spoke of some fifty years since as a maslin spoon. Brass 
preserving pans are still called " Maslin Pans " at Stourbridge (Notes and 
Queries, 6th S., vol. x., p. 289), and the name seems to signify any mixture, 
whether of metals or of corn. See MEZLIN. 

MASSACREE, v. to massacre, but applied to destruction of life by 
any accident. 

An old shepherd objected to some canal scourings being placed on a 
meadow where ewes were lambing, lest the young lambs should flounder into 
the soft mud and be " wassacreed." 

MASTER COW, s. the leader of a herd. 

In most herds of cattle there is generally one cow to which all the others 
give way. She is called the ' ' master cow, " and generally leads the way from 
one pasture to another, the rest following. She sometimes also leads the 
others into mischief. How she gains her supremacy it is difficult to say, but 
she certainly does exercise an influence over the herd. 

MASTERFUL, adj. headstrong, overbearing, unmanageable. 

MASTER HANDLE (of a plough), s. " is that on the left hand, 
which the man holdeth while he cleareth the plough from clogging 
earth." Academy of Armory, Bk. III., ch. viii., p. 333. 

MATE or MEAT, s. food of any kind ; by no means confined to 
butchers' meat, which is always distinguished as flesh-mate. 
Cattle food, even, is called mate. 

"What wage dost get?" "A shilling an' my mate," i.e., food of all kinds. 

MATE, s. (i) a fellow workman. 

(2) a friend or companion. 

(3) a wife. 

This word can scarcely be considered local in any of its significations; but 
I have entered it because in Cheshire it is so especially used in its first meaning. 


MATTOCK, s. a tool somewhat resembling a pick-axe, but formed 
like a blunt axe at one end and a blunt adze at the other. 
Its use is for grubbing up tree-roots, hedges, &c. 

MATTY, prop, name, the short for Martha. 

MAUL, v. (i) to handle anything unnecessarily so as to make it 

(2) to treat roughly, to pull one about. 

MAULY, adj. sticky. 

Applied to the soil when there has been rain enough to make it clag on 
horses' feet or on the wheels of a cart. 

MAW, s. (i) the stomach. W. Scarcely local. 

(2) the mouth. W. 

(3) a mall. 

A large wooden hammer with a long handle, for driving stakes into the 
ground. The head is shod with an iron hoop at each end. In salt-making 
a mail is also used for breaking lumps of salt. 

MAW- BUND, part, a state of costiveness in a cow, caused by an 
obstruction in the third stomach. 

MAWKIN, s. (i) a bunch of clouts at the end of a pole, used to 
wipe out the embers from a brick oven before 
setting in the bread. 

The clouts are usually attached to the pole by a short chain. In using it, 
it is dipped in water, and is pushed backwards and forwards over the bottom 
of the oven. 

(2) a scarecrow. 
MAWKISH, adj. (i) sick, faint. L. 

(2) insipid, but perhaps scarcely local. 
MAWKS, s. a dirty figure, or mixture. W. 

MAW-SKIN, s. the stomach of a calf used for rennet in coagulating 
milk. See BAG-SKIN. 

MAXFIELD, MAXFILT, or MAXILT, prop, name, the town of 

Good measure is spoken of as " Max field measure, upyepped and 
thrutched," that is, heaped up and pressed down. Such superabundant 
measure is now prohibited by the Weights and Measures Act. 

A correspondent writes that an old servant of her family used to pride 
herself on never having been out of Macclesfield, and spoke " nowt bur 
gradely Maxilt." 



MAY BIRCHES, s. branches of various kinds of trees fastened over 
the doors of houses and on the chimneys on the eve of May Day. 
They were fixed up by parties of young men, called May Birchers, who 
went round for the purpose, and were intended to be symbolical of the 
character of the inmates. Some were complimentary in their meanings, 
others were grossly offensive ; and they sometimes gave rise to much ill-feeling 
in rural districts. Generally the name of the tree rhymed with the character 
it symbolized. Thus, owler (alder) for a scowler, &c., &c. 

MAY FLOWER, s. (i) Cardamine pratensis. MOBBERLEY, KNUTS- 

(2) Caltha palustris. W. CHES. 



A day or two before the first of May parties of young men go out in the 
early morning to the various farmhouses singing a song in welcome of the 
"merry month." They are always spoken of as "the May Singers," and 
their song is known as " the May Song." 


For words and music, see Appendix. 

MAZY, MEEZY (W. CHES.), adj. giddy. 

ME, pron. used instead of " myself." 
' ' Aw've scawded me. " 

MEADOW BOUT, s. the marsh marigold, Caltha palustris. MOB- 

MEADOW-SWEET, s. Spircea Ulmaria. 

MEAL, s. a milking ; that is, the appointed time when a cow is 

Thus we speak of a cow giving ten quarts at a meal, that is, at one 
milking. The term is extended to cheese-making; thus, if a cheese is made 
of the morning's milk only, it would be called a one-meal cheese ; if from 
the milk of two meals, a two-meal cheese ; of three meals, a three-meal 
cheese. But as most cheese is made of the night's and morning's milk 
mixed together, one seldom hears of one-meal or two-meal cheeses. It is 
when the cows fall off in milk in the autumn, and two meals are not 
sufficient to make a cheese, one hears of three or four-meal cheeses. 

MEALS-MEAT, s. food enough for a meal. MACCLESFIELD. 

MEALY-MOUTHED, adj. soft spoken, plausible. 
It implies a certain amount of insincerity. 


MIZZER, 'p- * local bushel. 

Wilbraham, and after him Halliwell, explains it as a Winchester bushel ; 
but this is not the case ; now, at any rate. The measure varies for different 


materials and in different localities. (See LOAD.) A measure of wheat 
varies, sometimes in neighbouring parishes, from 7olbs. to 75lbs. or Solbs. 

Oats are generally 45lbs. to the measure; in Chester 461bs.; and in some 
districts 5olbs. 

A measure of beans weighs 6olbs. ; of potatoes 84lbs. 


MEEATH, s. mead, wine made from honey. WILMSLOW, MOB- 


Leigh gives it as " METH ; short for Metheglin." 

MEE-MAWIN, part, caressing in a wheedling manner. DELAMERE, 

" Dunna be mee-mawin me a that'ns, for get o'er me." 
MEE-MAWS, s. soft tricks. WILMSLOW. 


" How are your potatoes ? " " Whei, there's a meeny rotten." 

MEER, s. a boundary. Obsolete, but still found in combination. 

Many place-names in Cheshire embody the word, now spelt mere. Thus 
we have the township of Mere, near Knutsford, and not far distant the hamlet 
of Mere Heys or Mare Heys. Mere Hills is a hamlet between Knutsford 
and Chelford ; and in Mobberley there is a Mere House. Some of these, 
however, may be connected with mere, a lake. 

MEER, v. to mark out or measure land. 

This word is probably quite obsolete, but in a Cheshire deed, dated 1679, 
a man was permitted " to meere out" an acre of common land, and to build 
upon the land "so meered out. " 

In a deed made in 1775, concerning the enclosure of land for the erection 
of the old poorhouse at Lindow, near Wilmslow, occurs the following phrase : 
" from the common called or known by the name of great Lindow as the 
same is now meered out by meters and bounds." 

There is a field in Mobberley called the Mere or Mare Flats. I find from 
an extremely old map in my possession, that this field was formerly part of 
the common ploughing land of Mobberley, and was laid out in strips or 
"lands" appropriated to different owners or occupiers. The name may, 
perhaps, be derived from the fact of the field having been meered or measured 
off from the common lands. 

MEER STONE, s. a boundary stone. 

They are sometimes placed in a hedge to show where one man's portion 
terminates and another's begins. Sometimes put at the corners of a quillet 
or loon, to show the property of an individual when lying unenclosed amongst 
other lands. There are many such stones on Halton Hill ; also on a large 
field called the " Dowes," at Astmoor in Halton. The boundary of the 
townships of Keckwick and Daresbury runs in a tortuous line through a wood 
called Keckwick or Daresbury Firs. It is marked by a number of mere-stones 
and mere-trees, and the burley-men of Keckwick walk the boundaries 
periodically, and place a dab of whitewash upon each of the stones and trees, 
which mark the boundary of the two townships. 


MEER TREE, s. a tree planted to mark a boundary, serving the 
same purpose as a mere-stone. 

MEET, s. might. W. 

I have never heard it so pronounced. Mel is common. 

MEET, adv. See JUST MEET Now. 
MEETY, adj. mighty. W. 

MEG-HARRY, s. (i) a tomboy, a young girl with masculine man- 
ners. W. 

(2) an hermaphrodite. 

MEGPIE, s. a magpie. DELAMERE. 
PIANNOT is the more common name. 

MEG WATER, s. salt-mining term ; a weak or bastard brine found 
in sinking shafts. 

ME-HAPPEN, adv. perhaps, possibly. MACCLESFIELD. 

" Me-happen yo'n come in a bit to-neet at after dark." 

M ELDER (of oats), s. a kiln full, as many as are dried at a time for 
meal. W. 

MELL, v. to meddle. 

MELLOT, s. the short-tailed field mouse. CREWE. 

MELSH, adj. mild, soft ; applied chiefly to the weather, but also 
occasionally to anything soft. 

" Hens '11 begin a layin soon, its so melsh." See HARSH. 

MELSHED, part, milked, but used as a compound adjective, as 
easy-melshed, hard-melshed, i.e., easy-to-be-milked, hard-to-be- 

Thus we speak of a cow as "oo's an easy-welshed \m." 

" Oo's too ezsy-melshed ; I doubt oo'l run her milk ite." 

MELT, s. the milt or spleen of an animal. 

MEND, v. to recover. 

" How's your wife to-day?" " Oo's mendin nicely, thank you." 

MEOW, v. to make a wry face. MACCLESFIELD. 

This word is only used in a very secondary sense. Its primary meaning 
is, of course, the mewing of a cat. 

MERE, s. a small lake. See MARE. 
MERRIKING, adj. rollicking, up to a lark. L. 


MERRY, s. the wild cherry, Primus Avium. 

MERRY MEAL, s. junketting when a child is born. 

It is customary for those present (except the mother) to take something to 
drink, generally spirits, to bring luck to the new comer. It is called 
"wettin' choilt's yed. " 

The Cheshire version of the proverb " The more the merrier" is " More 
and merrier, less and better fare, like Meg o' Wood's merry-meal." 

MESS, s. (i) a dish of anything; a quantity sufficient for a meal. 

" We had a mess o' these taters just to try em, an I never tasted 
any better ; they wun like balls o' flour." 

"And he took and sent messes unto them from before him: but Benjamin's 
mess was five times so much as any of theirs. " Genesis xliii. 34. 

(2) the mass. See BY MASS, which is often pronounced 

MESS, v. to divide food amongst a number of people. WILMSLOW. 
"Come an' tay th' cheilt, wheile aw mess th' dinner for th' men." 

MESTER, ) , . 
MESTHER,H I ) maSter - 

" Han you seen th' mester lately ? " 

(2) mister. 

" Are yo Mester 'olland ? " 

(3) husband. 

A wife always speaks of her husband as her ' ' mesler. " 
In Cheshire a husband and wife never walk arm in arm. The mester 
walks in front and the wife follows about two yards behind. 

MET, v. might. 

METAL, s. salt-mining term; the name given by the sinkers to the 
various salt marls found in sinking shafts. 

METER, adj. moderate. L. 
METERLY, adv. moderately. L. 

MEXEN, v. to clean out a pigsty, or shippon, or any building 
where animals are kept. Leigh also gives the form MIXEN. 



MOIDER ' ' v ' to k tner > to Bewilder. 


" Dunna moither me." " Don't bother me." 
" Thast goo if tha dusna meyiher me." 




MEZLIN, s. wheat and rye grown together. 

A custom quite out of fashion now; and the word, I think, almost 
obsolete. I can, however, remember hearing of mezlin frequently when a 
boy. Halliwell spells it maslin, and gives it as a north-country word. See 

MEZZLED or MEZZL'T, adj. measled ; a disease in pigs. 
" Mezzled pigs "or " nuzzled pork " are commonly spoken of. 

MICHAELMAS DAISY, s. Aster Tripolium, which is common on 
the salt marshes bordering the Mersey. 

In gardens there are several species of Aster so called. 

MICHAELRIGGS, s. the autumnal equinoctial gales, happening 
about Michaelmas. 

" Rigg " means a strong blast of wind. L. 

MICKLES, s. size. 

" He's of no mickles'" he is of no size or height. W. 

MIDDEN, s. a manure heap, or the cesspool of a privy. 

MIDDEN-HOLE, s. the place where manure is heaped in a farm- 
yard ; generally slightly sunk below the surface of the ground. 

MIDDLE BANT, s. the thong (usually made of whitleather) by 
which the capling of a flail is fastened to the swipple. 

" The Middle Band, that Leather Thong, or Fish Skin as tyeth them 
together." Academy of Armory, Bk. III., ch. viii., p. 333. 

MIDDLING, adv. (i) tolerably, passably. 

' ' Middling good. " 

(2) rather poorly. 

" How are you to-day?" " But middling" 
" But in a middling way." 

MIDDLINGS, s. the mediocrity. 

"Among the middlings" is an idiom, meaning that a person or thing is 
nothing to boast of. Asking the character of a man who had applied to me 
for work, I said to his employer, " What sort of a man is your team-man?" 
The answer was, " Well ! he's just about among the middlings;" so I did not 
engage him. 

MID-FEATHER or MID-FITHER, s. (i) a narrow ridge of land 

between two pits. 

Most of our ponds or pits are old marl pits, and the mid-feather appears 
to have been left between an old and a new pit. The reason probably was 
that by the time a new pit was wanted the old one had become filled with 


water and could not be again worked ; but the same seam of marl was worked 
as near the old pit as possible, the mid-feather being left to dam the water 
out of the new pit. 

It is also a turf-getting term. In former times there was no drainage from 
the peat bogs ; and when a turf-getter in digging out turf got to the bottom 
of a hole the water filtered in upon his work and stopped him. He, there- 
fore, left a mid-feather of solid turf between the hole he was digging and the 
previous hole, and baled the water over it, whilst he got the bottom " lift" 
of the turf out. 

(2) a wall dividing two flues 

in a chimney stack. 

(3) salt-making term ; the 

plates running between 
the fires, and parallel 
to the sides of the pan. 
MIDGE, s. a kind of gnat. 

Leigh says it is used as a term of contempt for any small and contemptible 


MILK-CANS, s. the plant Stellaria Holostea. LYMM. 
Leigh gives the name as MILK-PANS. 

MILK-WARM, adj. lukewarm. WILMSLOW. 
MILK-SIEVE, s. a milk-strainer. 

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. 

MIND, v. to look after, to take care of. 
"Afindin* th' babby." 

MIND OUT, v. (i) get out of the way. 
(2) to be on one's guard. 

MINSK ULL CRAB, s. a variety of cultivated apple found in many 
of the old orchards. 

It is much valued on account of its keeping properties, being extremely 
hard in texture. It is too sour to eat, but is a most excellent cooking apple 
with about its own weight of sugar. In the New Bot. Guide, vol. i., p. 255, 
the name is assigned to Mespiius germanica, the quince, which it is stated 
grows " in all the hedges about Minshull." This is probably an error, as 
the Hon. J. L. Warren writes that ' ' nothing is known of Mespiius there 
since anything like the memory of man." 

MINSTREL COURT OF CHESHIRE, s. a court founded by 
Randle Blundeville, Earl of Chester, from 1181 to 1232, and 
discontinued rather more than a century ago. 

Sir Peter Leycester (Historical Antiquities, p. 141) gives the following 
account of the origin and duties of this Court: "This Randle among the 


many Conflicts he had with the Welsh, as I find in an ancient Parchment 
Roll, written above two hundred Years ago, wherein the Barons of Halton 
with their Issue were carefully collected, was distressed by the Welsh, and 
forced to retreat to the Castle of Rothelent in Flintshire, about the Reign of 
King John, where they Besieged him : He presently sent to his Constable of 
Cheshire, Roger Lacy, sirnamed Hell, for his fierce Spirit, that he would 
come with all speed, and bring what Forces he could towards his Relief. 
Roger having gathered a tumultuous Rout of Fidlers, Players, Coblers, 
debauched persons, both Men and Women, out of the City of Chester (for 
'twas then the Fairtime in that City) marcheth immediately towards the Earl. 
The Welsh perceiving a great multitude coming, raised their Siege and fled. 
The Earl coming back with his Constable to Chester, gave him Power over 
all Fidlers and Shoemakers in Chester, in reward and memory of this Service. 
The Constable retained to himself and his Heirs, the Authority and Donation 
of the Shoemakers, but conferred the Authority of the Fidlers and Players on 
his Steward, which then was Dutton of Dutton ; whose Heirs enjoy the same 
Power and Authority over the Minstralcy of Cheshire even to this day; who 
in memory hereof keep a yearly Court upon the Feast of St. John Baptist at 
Chester, where all the Minstrels of the County and City are to attend and 
Play before the Lord of Dutton: And none ought to use their Minstralcy but 
by Order and License of that Court, under the Hand and Seal of the Lord 
Dutton or his Steward, either within Cheshire or the City of Chester. And 
to this day the Heirs of Dutton, or their Deputies, do in a solemn manner 
yearly upon Midsummer-day, being Chester Fair, Ride through the City of 
Chester, with all the Minstralcy of Cheshire playing before them on their 
several Instruments, to the Church of St. Johns, and at the Court renew their 
Licences yearly." 

MINT-DROPS, s. peppermint lozenges. 

It used to be a constant custom in country places for old women to com- 
fort themselves in church by sucking mint-drops. In years gone by the smell 
of peppermint in Mobberley Church on Sunday afternoons used to be quite 

MIPIN,/#r/. showing indifference to food. Mow COP. 
" Mipin an mincin." 

MIPUSIN, part, the same as MIPIN. WILMSLOW. 
MISE, v. to value for rating purposes. See MISE OF CHESHIRE. 
MISE BOOK, s. a parish valuation book. See MISE OF CHESHIRE. 

MISE OF CHESHIRE, s. an ancient tax. 

A tribute of 3,000 marks, which the inhabitants of the County Palatine 
paid at the change of every owner of the Earldom, for enjoying their liberties. 
There was, and perhaps still is, at Chester a mise-book, in which every town 
and village in the county is rated for this tax. See Cheshire Sheaf, vol. ii. , 
p. 3i- 


MISFORTUNE, s. giving birth to an illegitimate child is always 
spoken of as " having a misfortune." 


MISLEST, v. to molest, to interfere with. 

The third person singular of the present tense is misZesses. 
" No one never mis/esses us." 

MITCH (i) much. 

(2) unlikely, strange, extraordinary. 
" It's mitch if he comes now." 

MITCHNESS, s. equality. 

Things are "mitch of a mitchness" when there is not much difference 
between them. 

MITTENS, j. strong leather gloves used in hedging. 

They have a place for the thumb, but the fingers are not separated. 

MIXEN, s. a dunghill. W. 
MIXEN-HOLE, s. a midden hole. W. CHES. 
MIZZER, s. a measure. See MEASURE. 
MIZZER, v. to measure. 
MIZZICK, s. a boggy place. W. 

MIZZICKY, adj. boggy. 

In South Lancashire the substantive Mizz is used, meaning a boggy place. 
I have never heard the word as a substantive in Cheshire, but there is in 
Mobberley a place called Mizzy Wood, which probably means "boggy 
wood," and, if so, the adjective mizzy would be formed from the substantive 
mizz, which may, therefore, very likely have been in use formerly in Cheshire 
as well as in Lancashire. 

MIZZLE, v. (i) to rain very fine rain. 

(2) to run away; or it rather corresponds to the phrase 
" to take oneself off." 

MIZZLY, adj. small, fine, applied to rain. 
"It's a mizzly sort o' rain." 

MOBBERLEY CLOCK. At Wilmslow the following colloquial 
saying is current : " Always too late like Mobberley Clock" 

MOBBERLEY CRABS, prop, name, the inhabitants of Mobberley 
are known by this soubriquet. 

It was formerly the custom amongst rough Mobberley people to pelt 
passers by with crabs, just as they now pelt with snowballs. I have also heard 
it said that the parson used to be pelted with crabs on "Wakes Sunday." 

MOBBERLEY HOLE, idiom, about Wilmslow there is a tradition 
that all the rain comes from Mobberley Hole. 

At Mobberley the honour is given to Bexton. The explanation of course 
is that Mobberley lies south-west of Wilmslow, and Bexton south-west of 
Mobberley, and that the rain frequently comes from the south-west. 


MOBBUM BREAD, s. bread made from mezlin. 

"A Cheshire servant-maid . . . told me in November, 1746, that 
in that part of Cheshire where she had lived, they eat ... bread made 
with half rye and half wheat-meal, which they there call Mobbum bread ; but 
in other parts of Cheshire, towards Manchester, she says, they eat sour cake, 
that is to say, oat-cake-bread." W. ELLIS, Country Housewife, p. 18, as 
quoted in Old Country and Farming Words, E.D.S. ed. 

MOGGINS, s. shoes with wooden soles, commonly called clogs. L. 
MOGGY, s. a young calf. MACCLESFIELD. 

MOIL, s. a mile. 

The plural is the same. 

"It's three moil to Knutsford." 

MOILING, part, slaving oneself, doing extra work. 
Generally used in the phrase " moiling and toiling." 

MOILY, adj. dirty, sticky. L. See MAULY. 

MOLLCOT or MOLLICOT, s. a soft, effeminate man ; one who 
will potter about and do women's work. 

MOMMOCKS, 5. fragments, scraps. 
MON, s. a man. 

MONKS-WOOD, s. monkshood, several garden species of Aconitum 
being included. 

MONNY, adj. many. 

MONTH or MONETH, s. "To have a month's mind" is to have a 
strong inclination to do something. L. 

MOON DAISY, s. Chrysanthemum Leucanthemum. 

MOONDARK, s. money saved by a wife, as her own particular nest 
egg, "unbeknown" to her husband. L. 

MOONPENNY, s. the moon daisy. L. Chrysanthemum Leucan- 

MOOR, s. marshy land; but not necessarily a peat bog. 

Sale Moor (now drained and built over), Knutsford Moor, Astmoor in 

MORAL, s. exact likeness. MORAL SPIT (MACCLESFIELD). 
" He's just the very moral on him." 


MORE COST NOR WORSHIP, idiom, not worth the cost; an 
old Cheshire saying. L. 

MORLEY GAWBIES, prop, name, a soubriquet for the inhabitants 
of Morley. 


At Cheadle Wakes the ancient Morris-dancing is still one of the 
attractions, and it is a pretty sight to see the dancers, fantastically dressed 
with gay ribbons hanging from their arms and legs, dancing in a sort of pro- 
cession, with the cracking of carters' whips, and to a quaint tune the notes of 
which I have not been able to pick up. Very likely modern tunes are now 
adapted to the dance, but some fifteen or sixteen years ago I saw these 
Morris Dancers parading through Stockport to a very peculiar tune played on 
fifes, which had quite a traditional ring about it. 

In former times there was also Morris-dancing at Wilmslow at the 

MORT, s. a great deal, a great number. 
" He's gett'n a mart o' brass." 

MORTACIOUS, adj. dreadful, terribly bad, troublesome. W. 

MORTACIOUS, adv. extremely. 

" A mortacious foine sect," an extremely fine sight. J. C. CLOUGH. 

MORTAL, adv. very. 

" A mortal hard brick." 

MOSEY, adj. overripe, as applied to fruit. 
" A mosey pear." L. 

MOSING, part, smouldering, burning slowly. SANDBACH. 

MOSS, s. a peat bog ; as Lindow Moss, Adder's Moss, Feather-bed 
Moss, Carrington Moss. 

MOSS-DIRT, s. peat soil, MOBBERLEY. 

MOSSES MARE, idiom. 

Leigh gives the following as a Cheshire adage : " To catch a person 
sleeping, as Moss caught his mare. " 

MOSS FLOWER, Pedicularis palustris. DODCOTT, CHECKLEY. 

MOSS-REEVE, s. a bailiff or reeve appointed to regulate claims for 
land on the mosses. 

MOSS-ROOM, s. narrow plots of land on a peat bog, formerly 
allotted for turbary to each house in the township in which the 
moss was situated. 

Each person was restricted to width, but might work towards the centre 
of the moss as far as he liked ; consequently the Moss-rooms in time became 
long, narrow strips. In many cases they have been drained, enclosed, and 
cultivated ; so that in the neighbourhood of the peat-bogs there are, at the 
present day, a great number of extraordinarily long and narrow fields. 


MOST AN END, adv. usually, almost constantly and without inter- 
mission. Mow COP. 

2ND CITIZEN: "What will this girl do?" 
MERCHANT: "Sure no harm at all, sir, 

For she sleeps most an end. " 
MASSINGER, A Very Woman, Act iii., Sc. I. 

MOT, s. (i) moat, a wide ditch for defence, surrounding antient 
country seats or castles. W. 

(2) the mark on which a taw is placed to be shot at in the 
game of marbles. L. 


MOTHER, s. mould in liquids rendering them turbid. 
MOTHER DEE, s. the plant Torilis Anthriscus. DELAMERE. 
MOTHER OF THOUSANDS, s. the plant Linaria Cymbalaria. 
MOTHERY, adj. turbid with mould. 

MOTTY, s. word. 

"What art puttin thy motly in for?" 

MOULD BREAD, v. to make it into loaves. 

Randle Holme gives this as one of the terms used by bakers. Academy 
of Armory, Bk. III., ch. iii., p. 85. 

MOUNTAIN FLAX, s. Linum catharticum. 

MOUNTAIN SAGE, s. Teucrium Scorodonia. DELAMERE. 


MOUZLE, v. to mess or make untidy. L. 

MOWBURNT, adj. hay or corn overheated in the stack is so called. 

MOWDIWARP, s. a mole, Talpa europcea. MOBBERLEY, KNUTS- 

MOWED UP, crowded up ; having no room left to work in. 

MOWLDY, adj. mouldy. 

MOWT, s. See MOTE. 

MOWT, v. to moult. MAIGHT (WILMSLOW). 

MOY SAKE or MOI SAKE ALOIVE, inter j. my sake a fre- 
quent expletive. 

MUCH, s. a wonder, a marvel. HALLIWELL. 


MUCK, s. manure. 

MUCKED TO DEEATH, idiom, overmanured. 

MUCKFOODLE, adj. boastful, braggart. MOBBERLEY. 

" I cannot abide to hear him; sitch muckfoodle talk he's full of." 

MUCK-FORK, s. a fork for spreading manure or mexening ship- 
pons, &c. 

MUCK-HOOK, s. a hook with a long handle for dragging manure 
out of a cart. 

MUCKINDER, s. a dirty napkin or pocket-handkerchief. W. 
MUCK MIDDEN, s. a heap of manure. 

MUCK ROBIN, s. a term of opprobrium often used to lads 
who are always whistling and disturbing their elders. 

" Owd thi neize, it allus rains when muck robins whistlen." 
I am unable to find the primary meaning of " Muck Robin." Probably 
it is some bird whose note portends rain. 

MUCK-SWAT, s. a profuse perspiration. WILMSLOW. 

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. 

MUFFLED, adj. tufted with feathers. 

Hens with top-knots or with feathers puffing out under their throats are 
said to be muffled. 

MUFFLER, s. a thick handkerchief for the neck. 
I think rather a modern term. 

MUG, s. a drinking vessel, not necessarily of pottery. 

A silver tankard would be called a mug; so would a half pint pot of 

MUG, adj. made of crockery. 

MUGGIN, s. " To receive a muggin " is to be beaten. L. 

MUGGY, adj. warm and damp, as applied to the weather. 

MUGWORT, s. Artemisia vulgaris. MOBBERLEY. MUGWEED 

MULLIGRUBS, s. (i) stomach ache. 

(2) depression of spirits, "blue devils," ill- 


MULLOCK, s. (i) turf dust, rubbish, small refuse of any kind. 
Chaucer uses the word in speaking of the fruit of the medlar. 
"Til it be rotten in mullok, or in stre." Canterbury Tales, Reve's 

(2) confusion. Mow COP. 

MULSH, s. long litter, put round plants and delicate trees and 
shrubs, to keep the frost out. L. Scarcely local. 

MULSH, adj. soft, damp, drizzling weather. L. 
MUMCHANCE, adv. stupidly silent. MACCLESFIELD. 
MUN, s. the month. W. 

MUN, v. must. A very old form of the word. 

& soe fast hee called vpon Sir Cawline, 

" Oh man, I redd thee fflye ! 
ffor if cryance come vntill thy hart, 
I am a-feard least thou mun dye." 

" Sir Cawline," /V/ry Folio MS., vol. iii., p. 7, 
ed. Hales and Furnivall. 

MUNCORN. s. blencorn, mengecorn and blendecorn, maslin, wheat 
and rye mixed together as they grow. W. 

MUNDLE, s. a round piece of wood, generally made of ash, to stir 
porridge or pigs' food with. MIDDLEWICH. MUNGLE (MAC- 

" Have a little, give a little, let neighbour lick the mundle" is a saying 
to illustrate the maxim that you must look after yourself first. 

Another common saying, when anyone has been currying favour with 
another, is, " That's th' lad as licked th' mtindle." 

MUNDLE-DIRT, s. a dirty, clumsy woman. WILMSLOW. 

A woman like a mundle, which is often fouled with the batter it stirs. 

MUNG, s. a crowd of people. HALLIWELL. 

MUNGE, s. a porridge slice, or piece of wood used to stir porridge. 

MUNGER, v. to do anything awkwardly. KELSALL. 

"What art mungerin at it a that'ns for, astead o' doin it properly?" 


MUNNER,i z '- mustnot - 

MURENGER, s. an officer whose duty it was to keep the walls of 
a city in repair. 

The definition in the Imperial Dictionary is as follows: " Two officers of 
great antiquity in the City of Chester, annually chosen from the aldermen, to 
see the walls kept in repair, and to receive a certain toll for the purpose." 
The office, however, was not confined to Chester. 



MUSE, s. a hole in a hedge, made by being the regular run of a 

The s has a sibilant sound, not pronounced like z. 

MY LADY'S PINCUSHION, s. the garden plant Pulmonaria 
officinalis, the spots on the leaves resembling pin heads. 

MY RESPECTS, excl. the toast always used instead of " your good 

MYSEL, pron, myself. 

MY SONG, excl. a very frequent form of mild adjuration. MOB- 





NA, adv. not, when the next word begins with a consonant. See NER. 

NACKETTY,)0^'. handy, ingenious; perhaps the best definition 
NACKY, j would be "expert in little things." 

NAG, v. (i) to be perpetually finding fault. 

(2) to keep up a dull pain ; as the first symptoms of tooth- 

" How's your face, now ?" " Well, it nags a bit." 

NAGGLING, part, bartering. KNUTSFORD. 

Perhaps more correctly disputing about any matter with a view to a 
bargain or otherwise. 

NAGGY, adj. (i) snappish. Leigh adds NAGGETY. 
(2) aching with a dull pain. 


I think a south-country word imported, but it is also in use in Shropshire. 

NAKED BOYS, s. the plant Crocus nudiflorus. GATLEY, where it 
is plentiful in the meadows bordering the Mersey. 

NAKED GULL, s. an unfledged bird. HALLIWELL. 

NAKED VIRGINS, s. the plant Cokhicum autumnale, the flowers 
of which come up in autumn when the plant is destitute of leaves. 

NANCE, prop. name> Nancy. 


NANCY WILD, s. Wild Nancy. Narcissus. L. 
Generally called SWEET NANCY or WHITE NANCY. 

NAOW, l , 
NOW, ) adv ' na 


NAPPE, s. the head of foam on a glass of ale. 

William Webb, writing about 1621 (King's Vale-Royall, 1656, p. 78), 
speaks of ' ' our ale here at Sandbach being no less famous than that [at 
Derby] of [i.e., for] a true nappe." 

On a tombstone in Prestbury Churchyard to Thomas Bennison, head 
huntsman many years to Charles Leigh, of Adlington, Esq., who died 1 7th 
February, 1768, aged 75, are these lines : 

" The Joys of his Heart were good Hounds and good Nappy, 
Oh! wish him for ever still more and more Happy." 

J. P. EARWAKER, East Cheshire, vol. iii., p. 202. 
The adjective nappy was, of course, a word in general use ; but nappe as 
a substantive appears to have been rather local. 

NAR, adj. near, nearer. W. 

NARROWED, part, reduced. 

Thus we sometimes say a man's circumstances are narrowed ; or he has 
been narrowed in his circumstances. Leigh, however, gives the verb a more 
transitive form, and speaks of the man himself being narrowed. "He's 
been narrowed lately" i.e., he has fallen in the world, he is not so well off 
as he was. 

NATION, adj. an emphatic form of very, or extremely; probably 
an abbreviation of damnation or tarnation. 

NATRAL, s. an idiot. 

NATTER, v. to gnaw, to nibble. 

NATTERED or NATTERT, adj. snappish, ill-tempered. 

NATTY, adj. ingenious, clever, handy. DELAMERE. 
" A natty fellow." 

NATURE or NATUR, s. condition, quality, strength. 

Anything which is beginning to deteriorate is said to have lost its nature, 
or to have no nature in it. 

Timber which is perished from age, and has lost its toughness, has no 
nature in it. Land which has become impoverished has no nature in it. 

NAZZY, adj. ill-tempered. S. CHES. 

NEAR, adj. stingy, niggardly. 

NEARING, part, getting near to, approaching. 

NEBBURLY, adj. neighbourly. NEEBURLY (W. CHES.). 


NECK-HOLE, s. the nape of the neck. 

NEELD, s. a needle. L. 

NE'ER, adv. never. 


NEEZE, s. a nest. 

NEEZE, v. to sneeze. 

NEEZLE, v. to nestle, to settle oneself in a good situation. W. 

NEINTER or NOINTER, s. a mischievous lad. WILMSLOW. 

NELLY LONG ARMS, s. a sort of bogey for frightening children. 

This boggart was supposed to inhabit wells, and children were told that 
Nelly Long Arms would pull them in if they went too near. 

NEPS, s. lavender spikes, Lavandula vera. 

NER, conj. nor. 

NER, adv. not, when the next word begins with a vowel. See NA. 

NERE, s. the kidney. W. 

NERVISH, adj. nervous. 

NESH, adj. tender, delicate, unable to withstand physical pain. 

NESHIN, v. to make tender. W., who gives it as an old word; it 
was, therefore, probably obsolete in his day. 

NEST, s. " to get upon the nest" is sometimes used metaphorically 
to express that a young wife has begun to have a family about 
her. The allusion is, of course, to a sitting hen. MOBBERLEY. 

NETHER, s. an adder. 

NETHER, adj. lower, as applied to the names of places. 
Nether Knutsford, Nether Peover, Nether Alderley. 

NETTLE FOOT, s. Stachys sylvatica. DELAMERE. 

NEVER NO MORE, idiom, a very frequent expression to denote 
that the speaker never intends to have anything more to do with 
a person or thing; that having been once taken in, he is not to 
be caught again. 

NEVIT, adj. neat, compact. WILMSLOW. 

A neat little woman would be spoken of as "a nice little nevit body." 

NEWY, s. a nephew. 
NEW-FAW'N, part, newly calved. 

NEXT, adj. nearest. 

" Th' next road " is the nearest way. 


NEXT THOWT, idiom, next thought, i.e., now I come to consider, 
or to recollect. MOBBERLEY. 

NICE, adj. fastidious as regards food. 
NIDDY-HOMMER, s. a fool. HYDE. 

NIGGARD, s. a movable side to a kitchen grate, which can be 
wound up with a handle, so as to make the fire narrow or wide 
according as it is required. 

NIGGIE, prop, name, the short for Isaac ; also IGIE. 

NIGHT-JACKET, s. a short calico jacket to sleep in, worn over 
the chemise. 

NIP, s. (i) a small glass of neat spirit. 

(2) a pinch. 
NIP, v. to pinch. 
NIP OFF, v. to make a hasty exit. 

NIPPER, s. a sharp, quick person. W. CHES. 

Sometimes used as a soubriquet, as "Nipper Trimble." 

' hips of the wild rose- K Rosa canina ' 

NITEM, s. a token or signal. Mow COP. 

" Oo gen him th' nitem." 

There is no doubt that this has originally been an item corrupted into a 
nitem ; but the use of the definite article shows that the original word is 
forgotten. About WILMSLOW, however, the word item is well known, and 
means a private hint. 

NIZZLY, adj. applied to weather, inclined to rain, foggy, drizzly. L. 

NOATHER, eonj. neither. 

" Which on 'em did it ?" " Noather on em." 


NO DANGER, inter j. not likely ! certainly not ! 
A very common deprecatory expression. 

NODDY, s. Tom Noddy, a silly fellow. L. 

NO DUR (no door), idiom, metaphorical expression for a failure. 

The expression has its origin in a custom formerly very prevalent at 
Shrovetide, of shooting for tea kettles with bullets out of a common gun at a 
door for a target. If the shooter missed the door altogether, the bystanders 
shouted ' ' Noo dur. " 


NOGER, (i) an auger. 

No doubt from an oger (auger) being corrupted into a noger; but we now 
speak of the noger. 

(2) a borer used by cheese factors for tasting cheese. 
" A good cheese should stick to the noger" 

NOGGIN, s. (i) a quarter of a pint. 

(2) "in Cheshire, a wooden kit or piggin is called a 
noggin. Kennet, MS. Lansd. 1033." HALLI- 

NOGGING or NOGGING PANES, s. the filling up of the squares 
in the old timber buildings. 

Formerly raddle and dobe was used ; but when that decays the squares are 
filled up with bricks, which still retain the name. 

NOGGINTLE, s. a noggin ful. 

NOGGS, s. tow. Cheshire Sheaf , vol L, p. 322. 

NO GREAT SHAKES, idiom, not good for much. 

NOGS, s. (i) pieces of wood built into a brick wall, in order that 
nails may be driven in when anything is intended 
to be fixed to the wall. 

(2) the short handles attached to the pole of a scythe. 
NOINT, v. to anoint ; figuratively, to beat severely. W. 

NOINTED ONE, adj. or part, an unlucky or mischievous boy, 
who may be supposed to have been severely corrected, is so 
called. W. 

More commonly NEINTER, which see. 

NOIT, s. night. See NEET. 

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 afterwards 
at the public-house, the lord and his men "shout" the name of the 
nominee. L. 

I suspect Leigh is in error in this explanation, and that the nominee, or 
as I think it should be written nominy, referred to the words the men shouted 
and not to the person who gave the money. See NOMINY and SHUTTING. 

NOMINY, s. a speech, a discourse, a sermon ; also the burden of a 
song. See SHUTTING. 

I was present on one occasion at a supper given by the Churchwardens of 
Halton to the old men of the parish. My next neighbour remarked to me, 
" If owd Pennington had been here, he'd a gen us a norniny." Old 
Pennington was a great preacher amongst the Wesleyans, and at these 
gatherings generally " improved the occasion." 


NONPLUSH, s. a dilemma, a position of difficulty. 
A pronunciation of nonplus, 

NOOKSHOTTEN, adj. (i) out of the square, crooked; often applied 

to a crooked pane of glass. 

"A Querke is a nook-shoten pane, whose sides and top run out of a 
square form." RANDLE HOLME, Academy of Armory. 

(2) disappointed, mistaken, having over- 
shotten the mark. W. 

This is scarcely the exact definition. It rather means crooked in temper 
as a result of disappointment. 

NOOPE, s. the run of a hare or rabbit. L. 

NOR, adv. than. 

" he is ffine in the middle, & small in the wast, 

& pleasant in woman's eye; 
& more nor this, he dyes for your Love, 
Therfore, Lady, show some pittye." 

" Will Stewart and John," Percy Folio MS., vol. iii., 
p. 219, Hales and Furnivall Ed. 

NOR AW THEER (not all there), idiom, weak in intellect. 
NOSSROW, s. a shrew mouse. MIDDLEWICH. 

NOTCHELLED, part, when a man makes a public announcement 
that he will not pay his wife's debts, she is said to be notchelled. 

NOTE, s. time of calving, or period when milking begins. 

A cow is said to make a good note when she calves at a good time for 
yielding milk, and is, therefore, likely to give a maximum quantity during 
that season. A dairy of cows is said to be in good note when they all happen 
to come into milking conveniently for making cheese. 

If a cow is expected to calve pretty soon, it would be said, ' ' Go's for an 
early note." See CROSS-NOTED. 

NOT THIS TIME, THANK YOU, idiom, the usual way of 
declining to take any more food at meal times. 

A "gradely Cheshire mon," when asked if he will take any more, never 
says simply, " no, thank you ;" but with characteristic caution qualifies his 
refusal by " not this time" or, " not at present '." 


NOTTINGS, s. wheat which remains in the husks after threshing 
and is separated in winnowing. Used for feeding poultry. 

NOTTLED, adj. or part, stunted in growth. 

Said of imperfectly formed fruit, or stunted and diseased plants. 


NOURISHMENT, s. wine or spirituous liquors when given medi- 

There is a strong accent on the last syllable. 

" How's Betty to-day ?" "Oh, oo conna live lung, oo tay's nowt, 
neaw, bu' nourishments." 

NOW, adv. no. 

NOWMAN, s. a silly or unsettled person. BREDBURY. 

NOWP, v. to hit. DELAMERE. 

NOWSE, s. sense. 

NOWT, s. (i) nothing. 

(2) with the prefix "to" is used idiomatically to express 

close resemblance. 
rf'He's his fayther to nowt" i.e., he exactly resembles his father. 

(3) a good-for-nothing. 
" He's a reglar nowt." 

NOWT, adj. (i) bad in disposition, worthless, naughty. 
" He's a nowt lad." 

(2) savage. 
A bull that will " run you" is said to be nowt. 

Wilbraham (who spells it nought) adds, "stark nought, good for nothing, 
is often employed in the sense of unchaste." 

At the present day it appears to have lost the latter meaning and implies 
simply anything utterly worthless. 

NOWTINESS, naughtiness, wickedness. 

" He's as full of nowtiness as he can be." 

NOWTY, adj. naughty. 
NUD, v. to butt with the head. 

NUDGE, s. (i) a slight push with the elbow. 

(2) a hint. 

" I did give you a bit of a nudge yesterday, but you did not seem 
to take it." 

NUDGE, v. to give a slight push, as when one boy accidentally 
touches the elbow of another during the writing lesson, and 
causes him to make a blot or a slip of the pen. 

"What have you been doing to your copy-book?" "Please, 
sir, he nudged me. " 


NURR, s. ( i ) a round ball of wood used for playing hocky. 

The word is chiefly used in Lancashire and Yorkshire, but in its secondary 
sense is common in Cheshire. 

(2) a hard, enduring man. 
" He's a regular nurr." 

NURRING, adj. striving, enduring. 

NURSE-CHILD, s. a child put out to nurse, that is placed with 
strangers to be brought up, an allowance being paid for its keep. 

Illegitimate children are very frequently nurse-children ; and the converse 
is also true ; nurse-children are, in three cases out of four, illegitimate. 

NUT, s. the head. W. CHES. 

NUT-RAGS, s. the male catkins of the hazel nut, Corylus Avellana. 

NUTTING- HOOK, s. (i) a hooked stick, like a shepherd's crook, 

to pull down the nut bushes. * 

(2) a hooked nose. 

A man with a hooked nose is sometimes said to have "a good nutting- 

NUZZLE, v. to nestle, as a young animal against its mother. 
NYE, adv. now. 



OAF, s. a fool. W. 

About MOBBERLEY and WILMSLOW pronounced AUVE, 

OAK-APPLE, s. an oak gall. 

I think Mid-Cheshire generally. 

GATHER, pron. either. 

" Gather on em '11 do." 

OBSHACKLED, adj. lame, limping. L. 

The more usual pronunciation is huffshakert. 

OCCAGION, s. occasion, used in the sense of cause or motive, as 
" I was the occasion, or cagion, of his doing so." W. 

OCCASIONALLY, adv. as a makeshift, for want of a better. 

"Can you make shift with this axe? It's not very sharp." "Yoi, 
it'll do occasionally." 

OCCUPATION, s. an old term for a salt house or holding. (Spelt 
occupation) Cheshire Sheaf, vol. i., p. 322. 

ODD MAN, s. one who does odd jobs on a farm. 
ODDMENTS, s. scraps, odds and ends. 

ODD RAPPIT IT, excl. meaning pretty much the same as 
" confound it." 

O'ER, prep. over. It is almost always thus abbreviated. 
O'ER-ANENST, prep, (i) over-against, opposite. HALTON. O'ER- 


Leigh gives it as OERANENT. 

(2) used metaphorically to signify equality. 

" He asked moi age, and he towd me his, and was o'er-anenst me, just as 
if oi'd been his equal." Cheshire Sheaf, vol. i., p. 211. 


O'ER-FACE, v. (i) to surfeit. 

If a cow has more food given her than she can eat, she is o'er/cued. 
(2) to overdo. 

A man who has harder work to do than he can accomplish is "o'erfaced 

wi' work." 


O'ER-GET, v. (i) to overtake. 

(2) to escape from. 

(3) to over-dry hay. 

O'ERGETTEN, part, overgot. 

Said of hay which is too much dried before being carried. 

O'ER-LAY, v. to kill by lying upon, as drunken women sometimes 
kill their children. 

" We'n had bad luck with uz soo ; oo's e'er-laid welly aw her pigs." 

O'ER-NENST, prep, opposite. WIRRALL, becoming obsolete. 
O'ER-RUN, v. (i) to escape from a person. 

(2) to go without permission; to "take French leave." 
"He's e'er-run his work." 

O'ER-RUN ONE'S COUNTRY, idiom, to run away from creditors, 
or to escape being imprisoned, or called to account for any 

O'ER-RUN THE CONSTABLE, idiom, to get out of the way of 

O'ER-TH'-LEFT, idiom, an ironical way of explaining that what has 
been said must be taken as meaning just the contrary. 

"Dun yo think he likes you?" "Aye, he likes med'er-tK'-lift." 
Left is usually pronounced lift. 

OF, prep. for. 

" We'n not heeard on him <p/"ever so long." 

OFF, prep. from. 

" He took it off me." 

OFFAL, s. refuse portions, that is, the poorer samples of anything. 

The word in Cheshire does not refer to garbage. The offal of an animal 
does not particularly mean the intestines, but those portions which, in selling 
by weight, become the butcher's perquisite; such as the head, feet, skin, 
internal fat, liver, &c. Market prices are often quoted as "sinking the 
offal," that is, selling the carcase, but giving the above portions in. 

In grinding corn, the husks and dust are spoken of as offal, in contradis- 
tinction to the meal. 

"Th 1 wuts maden pratty weel o' male, an aw'd offal for th' pigs." 


OFFAL CORN, OFFAL WHEAT, s. the lighter grains winnowed 
from the marketable samples, and used for feeding fowls. 

OFFAL PORK, s. all the joints of a pig which are not bacon, 
hams, or hands. MOBBERLEY. 

OFF-HIS (or HER)-YED, idiom, insane. 
OFF-IT, adj. (i) insane. 

(2) mistaken. 

OI, pron. the pronoun I, especially when emphatic. 
"If yo dunna tell him, oi shall." See AH. 

OIREN, adj. iron. KNUTSFORD. 
OKKERT, adj. awkward. 

OLD, adj. is often used in the sense of great, famous, such as was 
practised in old times. 

Old doings, signify great sport, great feasting, an uncommon display of 
hospitality. W. 

For several compound words beginning with "Old," see Own. 

OLD HOB, s. an old Cheshire custom, carrying about a horse's 
head covered with a sheet to frighten people. L. See DOBBY- 

OLD MAN, s. (i) the plant southernwood. Artemisia Abrotanum. 
(2) the asthma. L. 

OT FR \ 

' I s ' l ^ e a ^ er> -Alnus glutinosa. 

OLLEY. See ALLEY (3). 

ON, prep, (i) of. 

"One on 'em." "Noather on 'em." 

(2) said of any animal which is marts appetens. 
ONCET (pronounced wunsf) or ONST, adj. once. 
ONEDER, s. (i) the afternoon. L. 

(2) behind. HALLIWELL. 
ONEEND, adv. (i) uprightly, on end. 

(2) perpetually. 

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. pronounced ownliest, superlative of only. 

The best or most approved way of doing anything is said to be the onliest 
way. W. 

ONNY, adv. any, also pronounced ANNY. 


ON SPREE or ON THE SPREE, idiom, to be having a drinking 

QQ,pron. she. See Hoo. 

OON, s. an oven. 

OON PEEL, the same as PEEL, which see. 

OON PIKEL, s. a fork with two prongs like a hayfork, but with a 
long iron neck, two or three feet long, so that the wooden handle 
cannot get burnt. 

OON STUN, s. oven stone. 

A flag, square at the bottom and rounded at the top, to fix against the 
mouth of a brick oven when the bread is baking. To prevent all escape of 
heat, it is plastered round or stopped with clay, so as to close up every 

Any purely useless effort is spoken of as " like stoppin an oon wi' butter." 

OPEN or OPPEN, adj. (i) mild, as applied to weather in the winter. 

(2) a sow is said to be open when she is not 

OPENARSE, s. a medlar, Mespilus germanica. L. 

I fare as doth an open ers; 
That ilke fruit is euer lenger the wers, 
Til it be rotten in mullok, or in stre. 

CHAUCER, "Reve's Prologue." 

OPINION TO THINK, idiom, inclined to the opinion. 

" I ? m of opinion to think" is the somewhat strange expression which is 
almost invariably used to indicate that a person is inclined to any opinion. 

OPPEN, adj. open. 

ORNARY, adj. (i) inferior, ordinary. 

(2) naughty, ill-disposed. HYDE. 

(3) not very well. 

ORRIS, s. the angular edge of a square object. 

Thus a joiner who planes off the angles of a square pole to make it 
octagon is said to " take off the orris." 

Also applied to the angle at which a plough furrow is laid. Thus, if a 
ploughman lays his furrows too flat, it is said " they (the furrows) should be 
ploughed with more orris" 


ORRIS, v. to take off the angles. 

"John, orris them jeists." 

ORTS, s. remnants of food left by cows or horses in their stalls or 
mangers. Broken victuals of any kind. 

OSS, v. (i) to offer to do a thing. 

"He's owed me ten pound for ever so long, and he ne'er osses 
pay me." 

(2) to begin, to try, to set about. 

" He osses badly" would be said of a man who began a job in a clumsy 

The following conversation actually took place in Rainow Sunday- 
school: "Teacher: 'Why did Noah go into the ark?' Scholar: 'Please, 
teacher, because God was ossin for t' drown th' world.' " 

Philemon Holland in his Translation of Pliny uses the word osses for 
prophecies. See Boss. 


OTTOMIZE, [ s. a person worn to a skeleton. 


It is occasionally heard with the prefix , an ottimaze having become 
a nottimaze. (See illustration to WITCHED.) Miss Jackson in the Shropshire 
Word Book also gives it as Nottamy. See NOTTIMAZE. 

OTTY-MOTTY, s. suspense. 

"Keepin him in otty-moity, an noather tellin him one thing or 
another it's enough to vex annybody." 

OUT, adv. aloud. 

"To shout out" is, of course, quite a common expression; but in 
Cheshire we say " Shall I read it out?" meaning, " Shall I read it aloud?" 

OUTING, s. going from home, a day's pleasuring. 

OUTLET, s. the same as BOOZING FIELD, but in leases and farm 
agreements outlet is the word generally used. 

OUT OF COLLAR, idiom, out of work. 
OUT OF PUFF, idiom, out of breath. 

OVERBLOW, v. to blow hard. L. 

"It is like to overblow; take in your sprit-sail, stand by to hand the 
fore-sail." STURMEY'S Compleat Mariner, 1669. 

OVERWAIST, adj. covered with water like a ham boiling in a pot. L. 

OVERWELT, part, a sheep overthrown and lying on its back is 
said to be ovenvelt, i.e., it is overwalted. W. See REEN- 

O-WARPS, s. a landing place. LYMM, WARRINGTON. 
OWD, adj. old. 


OWD-ANCIENT, adj. ancient. 

Any antiquity, such as a ruined castle, is always so described. 

OWD-FASHINT, adj. old-fashioned. 

Children are said to be owd-fashint when they are clever and thoughtful 
beyond their years. 

Leigh gives as a Cheshire saying, " That vwd- fashioned, he might a bin 
o' the earth afore." 


OWD SCRATJ *' names for the deviL 

It is often said of a mischievous boy "Th' owd lad has thrown his club 
o'er him." 

OWD MON, s. the spotted flycatcher, Muscicapa grisola. 

This, like the robin, wren, and swallow, is considered a sort of sacred 
bird, and its nest and eggs are respected by the schoolboy. 

OWD-REST-PIECE, s. a piece of land which has not been 
ploughed up for a considerable time. 


OWLERT, s. an owl. L. 

More frequently pronounced ULLERT. 

OWNDER or AUNDER, s. the afternoon. W. 

OWT, s. (i) everything. 

"It caps owt," i.e., it exceeds everything. 

(2) anything. 
" Han you getten owt?" i.e., have you got anything ? 

OX-HARROWS, s. strong heavy harrows. 

They were formerly always used to break up the stiff clay lands which 
were being summer-worked. Bare or summer fallows are things of the past, 
and one seldom sees a pair of ox-harrows being used ; but I now and then 
see them advertised in auctioneers' bills of farm sales, where all the old 
implements collected from odd corners are brought to light. 

OXLIP, s. the caulescent form of Primula imlgaris. 
OX VOMIT, s. the drug nux vomica. 




PACE EGG, s. an Easter egg. 

During Holy Week, children, and sometimes older people, go round to 
the farm-houses begging for pace-eggs. They collect a considerable number, 
and have a custard pudding on Easter Sunday. Occasionally some of the 
eggs are boiled hard, with bits of ribbon wrapped round them, or onion skins, 
to stain them, and they are then kept for a time as ornaments. In the 
neighbourhood of Wilmslow the following song was sung by those who were 
begging for eggs : 

" Here's two or three jovial boys all in a mind ; 
We're come z. face-eggin if you will prove kind ; 
But if you'll prove kind with your eggs and strong beer, 
We'll come no more here until the next year. 

Fol de riddle lol 

Fol de ray 

Fol de riddle lol de lay." 

The following Easter song is sung by the children in the Wirral district 
when they come round Pace-egging : 

" Please, Mr. Whiteley, 

Please give us an Easter egg. 
If you do not give us one 
Your hen shall lay an addled one, 
Your cock shall lay a stone." 

Leigh's Ballads and Legends of Cheshire. 
(Communicated by Gen. the Hon. Sir E. Cust. ) 

PACE-EGGERS, s. those who go out collecting pace-eggs. 
PACE- EGGING, part, collecting pace-eggs. 

PACK, s. (i) a dairy of cows. HALLIWELL. 

I have never met with the term, nor is it included in either Wilbraham or 
Leigh, and I suspect it is an error. 

(2) twelve score weight, i.e., 240 Ibs. ; two long hundred- 


(3) a pedlar's bundle. 

PACK, v. an order to begone. 
"Pack off '!" L. 

PACKET, s. any horse-pannel, to carry packs or bundles upon. 


PACKMAN, s. a pedlar. 

There are many men who travel about the county selling various kinds 
of woven goods. There are also itinerant shoe-vendors ; and one man I 
know who sells hats. Travelling tea-men also are numerous. 

PACK-STAFF, s. a stick with which a packman carries his bundle 
on his back. 

PAD, s. (i) a foot-path. 

(2) a padded leather saddle to support the chains of a 

plough horse ; more commonly called a PLOO-PAD. 

(3) hatting term ; a delivery of work. 
PAD ) 

POD* I V ' t0 Wa ^' t0 8 On tram P- WlLMSLOW. 

PADDING, part, the term used by a workman when he takes back 
to his employer work he has done at home. 

"Padding his work" is walking back to his employer with finished 
work. L. 

PADDING-CAN, s. a common lodging-house. 

PADDY-HOUSE, s. a bothy for the use of the Irish labourers on a 
farm. W. CHES., where many Irish are employed. Also 
occasionally called an IRISH-HOUSE. 

Paddy is the general name for an Irishman throughout the county. 

PAD THE HOOF,) idiom, to go away on tramp, to walk off. 

" If he does na behave hissel, he'll have to pod th? hoof" i.e., he will have 
to leave his present place of work and go on tramp. 

PAD -WAY, s. a foot-path. 

PAIGLE, s. the primrose or cowslip. L. 

I have never heard this name in Cheshire, and very much doubt whether 
it is used, as it is more especially an East Anglian word ; at the same time 
Holme, who was a Cheshire man, uses it in his Academy of Armory, but 
confines it to a double garden cowslip. 

PAIN, v. to cause bodily pain. 
"Does it /am thee?" 

PAINFUL, adj. active, hardworking, painstaking. 

Leigh speaks of "honest and painful parents. " I do not think it is a 
very common word; but I have heard sung at rent dinners a song about "the 
painful plough. " 

" Such seruants are oftenest painfull and good, 
that sing in their labour, as birdes in the wood." 

TUSSER, E.D.S. ed., p. 170. 


PEEL' } s - a fortress - w - CHES - 

Enters into place-names, as the Old Pale and New Pale in Delamere ; 
Peel Hall in Kingsley ; Peel Causeway, near Altrincham, &c. 

PALE, v. (i) to strike continuously. WILMSLOW. 

A man felling a tree said, "Moy axe is so dull aw conna cut a chip, bur 
aw keep onpalin at it, an aw dinge em off." 

(2) to beat barley. HALLIWELL. 
PALL, prop, name for Molly or MolL L. 

PALMS, s. catkins of willow, Salix caprcza. More commonly 
called GESLINS. 

PAN, s. (i) a purline in a roof. MOBBERLEY. 

(2) salt-making term; large vessels of iron plates riveted 
together in which the brine is evaporated. 

They vary in size, the smaller ones being 30 feet long by 15 feet in 
breadth ; large ones reaching to 100 feet in length by 30 feet in breadth. 
They are set upon brick walls with a row of furnaces at one end and a 
chimney at the other. 

PANCAKE BELL or PONCAKE BELL, s. a bell rung at eleven 
o'clock on Shrove Tuesday morning at several Cheshire 

PANE, s. a panel of doab or of bricks between the wooden frame- 
work of the old black-and-white buildings. 

PANCUTTERS, s. salt-making term; now, I think, obsolete. 
Officers appointed in the salt towns to measure the pans, to see 
that they were of the standard dimensions appointed by the 
towns. L. 

PAN-MUG or PON-MUG, s. coarse red and black crockery used 
for bread, milk, buttermilk, &c. 

PANNEL, s. "is Canvice stuffed with Wool to lie next the 
Horse." Academy of Armory, Bk. III., ch. iii., p. 93. 

Randle Holme enumerates this amongst " Terms used in the Sadler's 

"& on our Mill horsses full swift wee will ryd, 
with pillowes Sapannells as wee shall provyde." 

Percy MS. "Kinge and Miller,"!. 174, vol. ii., p. 155, 
Hales and Furnivall ed. See PACKET. 

PAN PICKS, s. salt-making term; strong long-headed hammers, 
used when the pan is let out, that is, not at work. 

They are used to break up the scale or incrustation on the pan bottoms. 


PAN SCALE, s. salt-making term ; the thick scale that forms on 
the bottom of a pan. 

PAPES, s. (i) any pulpy material. 

When mortar is mixed too thin a bricksetter will say: "Aw conna use 
this, it's as thin as papes ; it winna lie on my trowel." 

(2) bread and milk. L. 

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 (diarrhrea), p. 130. L. 

PAPISH, s. a papist. 

PAPPA, s. papa. 

The accent is always on the first syllable. 

PAP PER, s. paper. 

PAOO, s. a pool. 

It is almost impossible to indicate the very peculiar Cheshire pronunciation 
of many words in which double o occurs without some phonetic method of 
spelling understood by both writer and reader. 


s. plaster; but about WILMSLOW generally applied to 
plaster for the inside of chimney flues, made of a 
mixture of cow-dung and mortar. 

PARGETTED, part, plastered. 

PARISH WAITER, s. used metaphorically for rain. ANTROBUS. 

"Aw dunna loike anny parish -waiter for get into th' liquid 
manure tank." 


" All on one side like Parkgate " is said of anything that is lop-sided. 
Parkgate is a fishing village on the Cheshire side of the river Dee, con- 
sisting of one long street with houses on one side only, the sea wall being on 
the other side. About WILMSLOW it used to be commonly said, "Aw o' one 
side, like Marlon Chapel. " Why, I have not the least idea. 

PARLE or PARLEY, s. a talk, a long conversation. L. 

PARLIAMENTING, part, talking for the sake of talking. 
" He was parliame nting a good deal." L. 

PARLOUS, adj. perilous. L. 

PARSLEY-PERK, s. the plant Alchemilla arvensis. MOBBERLEY. 
PARSON-IN-THE-PULPIT, s. the plant Arum maculatum. 
PARTICULAREST, adj. superlative of particular. L. 


PARTLETS, s. ruffs, or bands for women. RAY (E.D.S. Gloss., 
B. 15). 

PARTLY, adv. nearly. Also PARTLY-WHAT (WILMSLOW). 
" He sect afore th' feire till he were partly-what roasted." 

PASH, s. (i) a sudden, heavy shower; a gush. 
' ' A posh o' rain. " ' ' A fash o' tears. " 
If a rain-tub burst, the water would come out " wi a reglar/aw^." 

(2) brains. 
" He's moore brass till fash " i.e., more money than brains. L. 

PASSIONS, s. the plant Polygonum Bistorta. 

" In Cheshire Passhions and Snakeweede, and there used for an excellent 
pot-herbe." GERARD, p. 323. Now called PATIENT DOCK, q.v. 

PASTATE, s. a pasty. 

A circular piece of paste doubled into a half-moon shape, with apples or 
other fruit inside. 

PASTE, s. dough for piecrusts. 

PATCH, s. (i) a shade worn over the eye. 

Some years ago a cattle dealer, who was blind of one eye and wore a 
black shade, always went by the soubriquet of "/fcfcA-Eye Wright." 

(2) a small quantity of any growing crop. 
"A patch o' wheat;" " a patch o' potatoes." 

PATCH AND DAUTCH, idiom, to strive hard; to inch and 
pinch. KELSALL. 

" Eh dear, missis ! how otf\ patch an' oo'l dautch an' oo'l powler 
for them childer." 

PATENT BUTTER, s. salt-making term. A very fine heavy 
boiled salt, made in circular pans with moveable scrapers and 
other "patent" apparatus. 

PATIENT DOCK, s. Polygonum Bistorta. MOBBERLEY. 

PAY-RICE, s. pea-sticks. WISTASTON. 

PAYS, s. peas. 

PAY-SWAD, s. (i) a pea shell. 

(2) a boys' game. 

It was somewhat similar to duckstone. Each boy, when he threw his 
stone, had to say " pay-sivad" or he had to go down himself. 

PECK, s. food. 

" He gets fower shilling a week an his peck." 


PECKA or PECKLE, s. a freckle. 

Leigh gives as an old Cheshire saying 
" Fa wn /9ft/u once made a vow 
They never would come on a face that was fow." 

PECKERT, adj. spotted. 

PECK FOR ONE'S SELF, idiom, to gain one's own livelihood. 

A father complained to me one day how his grown-up son still lived upon 
him, and added, " It's toime ee pecked for issel ; oi peck for woz'sel." 

PEDLAR'S BASKET, s. a name given to two trailing plants 

(1) Linaria Cymbalaria, but more generally to 

(2) Saxifraga sarmentosa. 

This is a favourite plant in cottage windows. The pots in which it 
grows are generally placed upon a little square board, and suspended by four 
strings from the top of the window. The long threadlike runners of the 
plant hang down around the pot, and are supposed to resemble the threads 
and tapes hanging out of a pedlar's basket. 

PEE, v. (i) to look with one eye. W. 

(2) to pay. W. CHES. 

" If yo pleese, sir, I've come to pee for a peck o' poteeturs." 

PEED, adj. having only one eye. W. 

PEEL, s. (i) a flat piece of wood at the end of a pole, used for setting 
bread into a brick oven, or taking it out. 

It is planed to a thin edge, so that it can be slipped easily under the 
loaves. The long handle allows the baker to reach to the further end of the 
oven without getting too near the hot oven mouth. 

(2) a fortress. See PALE. 
PEERCH, s. (i) a perch (fish). 

(2) a perch for a bird. 
PEERCH, v. to perch. 
PEERK, PERK, or PERKY, adj. brisk, sharp, well. L. 

PEERT, adj. (i) lively, brisk. 

" Poor an' peert, like th' parson's pig," is a common proverbial saying 
about WILMSLOW. It probably refers to the times when the parson collected 
his tithe in kind. The pig reserved for him, being a small one and not 
overfed, was consequently brisk and active. 

(2) in good health. 

"How bin yo ?" "Oh, aw'm pretty peert." 
Applied also to a plant which, being transplanted, has not drooped. 

PEESNIPS, s. a pronunciation of peewits. L. 
PEET, prop. name, the short for Peter. NORTON. 


PEG-LEG, s. a wooden leg. 

PEGGY, s. (i) an implement for washing clothes, the same as a 

(2) the game of hockey played with a wooden ball. 

PEGGY WHITETHROAT, s. the lesser whitethroat, Curruca 

PELLET, s. a shot. 

PELT, s. the skin of an animal, especially a sheepskin. 

PEN, s. (i) a small enclosure made with hurdles. PIN (WILDERS- 

(2) a feather just sprouting through the skin. Also called 


(3) a female swan. 

(4) a shoot for grafting. 

PEN, v. (i) to graft. 

(2) to confine in a pen. 

PENCE APIECE or PENNIES APIECE, idiom, one penny each. 

PENK, s. (i) a minnow. 

Wilbraham also gives PINK. 

(2) a small blow, a tap. 

A bricklayer's labourer said: "If tha does that again aw'l gie thee a 
penk wi' th' brick hommer beak." 

PENNY, adj. said of poultry when the skin is full of sprouting 
feathers, rendering them very troublesome to pluck. 

PENNY GRASS, j. Rhinanthus Crista-galli. 

It is always considered that hay grass is ready for mowing when the penny 
grass comes into flower. 

PENNY RYAL, s. penny royal, Mentha Pulegium. 
PENNY WHIP, s. very small beer, swipes watered. L. 

PENTICE, s. a penthouse. Hence the Pentice and Pentice Court 
at Chester. L. 

The Pentice at Chester was an ancient building attached to St. Peter's 
Church, which was taken down about the year 1806. 

PEOVER PECKS, prop. name, a soubriquet for the inhabitants of 
Peover (pronounced PEEVER). L. ' See LYMM GREYS. 



There is a Cheshire proverb " When the daughter is stolen, shut the 
Pepper gate" This is equivalent to " when the steed is stolen, shut the stable 
door. " The proverb is said to be founded on fact. At any rate the legend 
runs that the daughter of the Mayor of Chester was stolen as she was playing 
at ball in Pepper Street ; and the young man who carried her off took her 
through the Pepper Gate. After the loss of his daughter, the Mayor ordered 
the gate to be closed. 

PEPPILARY, s. the poplar, Populm nigra. W. 

PEPPIN (less frequently PIPPIN), s. (i) an apple or pear pip. 

(2) a variety of apple raised 
from a pip (?) MOBBER- 

There is a distinction, at any rate, between apples in general and 
peppins. I have, on several occasions, asked the name of an apple which 
I was not acquainted with, and been told, " Well, I dunna know, but I 
think it must be some kind of a peppin. " 

PEPT, v. perf. tense of peep. 

PERIS WI,part. killed or starved with cold. 

PERK UP, v. to revive. MACCLESFIELD. 

PERT, adj. forward. DELAMERE. 
" Hoo's a pert lass." 

PESTER, v. to worry, to be importunate. 

PETERS, s. hatting term. Work which has been paid for before 

PETTY, s. a privy. 

PEW-IT, s. a peewit, Vanellus cristatus. 

The bird is more commonly called LAPPINCH, q.v. Randle Holme spells 
it Puett. 

PEW-IT LAND, s. undrained land, such as is frequented by 

Leigh gives the following as an old Cheshire saying relating to poor, 
wretched land, " 'Twould take an acre to keep a peewit." 

PIANET, s. the garden pseony, Pceonia officinalis. DELAMERE. 
Also PIONY (general ?) and PIANNOT. 

"Double peony, vulgarly called apianet." Academy of Armory, Bk. II., 
p. 71. 

PIANNOT, s. (i) a magpie. 
(2) the pseony. 


PICK, s. (i) a basket used for drawing coals out of a pit. 

(2) a pick-axe. 

In salt-mining the picks used are of a somewhat special construction. 
The handle of wood is about 30 inches long ; the head is straight but tapering 
at each end, with sharp steel points. The weight is from four to six pounds. 

PICK, v. (i) to vomit 

(2) (or PICK CAWF) to calve prematurely. 

Abortion in cattle often takes the form of an epidemic. It is probably 
caused by the presence of the ergot fungus in the grasses which constitute 
their food ; but the popular idea is that it is infectious, or even that one cow 
influences another in some mysterious way; and several superstitious 
practices are resorted to in order to prevent the spread of the disease. One 
remedy is to bury the first prematurely born calf under its mother's boose. 
Occasionally the calf is nailed up against a wall, and left there to decay. 

PICK AT, v. to persecute. 

Of a boy at school who was always being teased by his schoolfellows, or 
a cow in a herd that was constantly being persecuted by the rest, it would be 
said, "They're allus/zV& at him, or her." 

PICKING,/^, (i) finding fault. FRODSHAM. 

(2) salt-making term ; breaking up and taking 
away the scale that forms on the bottom 
of a pan. 

PICKING PEG, s. weaving term. The handle by which the 
shuttle is thrown. 

PICKING SALT, s. salt-making term. The first salt made after a 
pan has been "picked," that is, has had the scale taken off the 
bottom. . 

PICKING UP, part, a term for picking a pocket. L. 
PICK UP, v. (i) to be convalescent. 

(2) to prosper. 

"He's picking up his crumbs nicely," said of anyone who is prospering. 
Cheshire Sheaf, vol. i., p. 322. 

PIDDLE-P ADDLE, s. very poor ale. WILMSLOW. 

PIECE, s. a recitation. 

In the country schools when children recite poetry it is always called 
" saying their pieces." 

PIED-FINCH, s. the chaffinch, Fringilla Calebs. More commonly 
abbreviated into PYDIE. 

PIG-COTE, s. a pigsty. 

PIGGIN, s. a small wooden pail, one of the staves of which is left 
longer than the rest, and serves for a handle. 


PIGGIN CAWF, s. literally a calf not suckled on the cow, but fed 
out of a pail or piggin. 

In this sense the word is communicated to me from DELAMERE. About 
KNUTSFORD and MOBBERLEY, however, the term "piggin calf" used to be 
restricted to a calf reared after the cows go out to grass, when milk becomes 
too valuable to give to calves, all being required for the cheese-tub. These 
calves were fed upon fleetings instead of milk, and were the wife's perquisite ; 
consequently she used generally to feed them with cream fleetings , which are 
extremely rich, and the calf was soon fed up to the value of four or five 
pounds. See FLEETINGS. 

PIGGIN STAKE, s. a stake on which to hang milk cans. 

It is often formed of a post about five feet high, with side pegs mortised 
into it, like a hat stand; sometimes it is made of a branching piece of oak, 
peeled. It is fixed into the ground near the kitchen door, and the milk-cans 
and smaller dairy vessels are hung upon it after being washed and scalded. 

PIGGINTLE, s. a pigginful. 
PIGGY. See PEGGY (2). 

PIG-NUT, s. Bunium flexuosum, and occasionally the seed capsules 
of Viola sylvatica, which children are in the habit of eating. 

PIGS, s. the divisions of an orange. 

PIG'S HACK, s. the rough fat from the inside of a pig. 

PIG-SWINYORT, s. a dealer in pigs. 

PIG VIOLET, s. Viola sylvatica, occasionally so called. MOBBERLEY. 

PIKE, s. salt-making term ; a one-pronged instrument (one can 
hardly call it a fork seeing it has but one prong) used for lifting 
and handling lumps of salt 

PIKE, v. to pick. NORTON. 

" Pikin scutch." 

" he calles them knaues your hignes keepe, 

with -all hee calls them somewhatt worsse, 
he dare not come in without a longe staffe, 

hees ffeard lest some bankrout shold pike his pursse. " 

Percy MS., "The pore man and the Kinge," vol. Hi., 
p. 20 1, Hales and Furnivall ed. 

PIKEL or POIKEL, s. a hayfork. 

PIKELET, s. a muffin. 

Randle Holme calls it a Bara-Piklett. It "is bread made of fine flour, 
and knodden up with Bearm, which makes it very light and spungy, its form 
is round about an hands breadth." A cademy of Armory, Bk. III., ch. iii., 
P- 293- 

Bara is the Welsh for bread. 

PIKETHONK, s. an officious, meddlesome person. WILMSLOW. 


PIKING, part, joking. L. 

PILCH, s. the back. WILMSLOW. 

Lads playing at leap-frog will say to each other, "Set 

PILL, v. to peel. 

PILLARS, s. salt -mining term ; compact masses of rocksalt left in 
excavating a mine, extending from floor to ceiling, in order to 
support the overlying strata. 

PILLGARLIC, s. a thing of no value. L. 

Scarcely local, and very little used in Cheshire. 

PILLING IRON, s. an instrument for raising the bark of felled 
oak timber. 

PILLOW-BEAR, s. a pillow-case. 

This word, which occurs in Chaucer, and is there spelt pilwe-bere, was in 
use in Cheshire until a comparatively recent date. The following extract is 
taken from the old township books of Pownall Fee. ' ' 27 May, 1 782. Acct. 
of all the Goods &c. of Widow Dix of Pownal Fee taken by us Daniel Taylor 
and Edward Pierson Overseers of the Poor for the sd. Fee and Samuel Dale 
constable for the sd. Fee aforesaid as Follows. Houseplace. A rug or 
Covering for a Bed a pair of sheets a Blanket a Fither bed Pillow and Pillow- 
beur a pair of Bed -stocks," &c. 

The word is also found in an inventory of property belonging to Margery 
Glutton of Nantwich, 1611. Local Gleanings, Feb., 1880, p. 300, where it 
is further stated that pillow cases are still called in Cheshire pillow-beards. 

PILLOW-SLIP, s. a pillow-case. 

PILPIT, s. a pulpit. W. 

PIMMEROSE or PIMROSE, s. a primrose, Primula vulgaris. 

PIN, s. See PEN (i). 

PINDER, s. the parish officer whose duty it is to impound stray 
cattle. L. 

PINDERT,/ar/. burnt, dried up. 

" He left his dinner i'th oon, an forgeet it, an it were pindert 
away. " 

PIN-EYED, adj. Polyanthuses are said to be pin-eyed when the 
pistil, which resembles a pin's head, is seen in the throat of the 

The various kinds of the genus Primula are what is called in botanical 
language dimorphous, that is they have two forms of flowers. In one the pistil 
is long and reaches to the mouth of the flower, and the stamens are short, 
being placed half way down the tube ; in the other the pistil only reaches half 
way up the tube, whilst the stamens are long and fill up the mouth of the 


tube. These latter are called thrum-eyed flowers, and as they have a richer 
appearance, are preferred by florists. In fact pin-eyed flowers are not admis- 
sible for exhibition purposes. 

Pin-eyed may possibly be. a general gardening term, but I think thrum- 
eyed is local. The more general gardening terms are, I think, pin-centred 
and rose-centred. 

PINFOWT, s. the pound. 

"You mistake ; I mean the pound, a pinfold." 

Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act i., Sc. I. 

PINGOT, s. a small croft. Wilbraham has PINGLE. 


When young oats cease to draw nutriment from the seed, and begin to 
feed from the soil, they very often look yellow and sickly. It is then said 
that they are pining for their mother, or that they are "being weaned ;" and 
these curious expressions actually describe the physiological changes that are 
taking place in the plant. MOBBERLEY. 

PINK-EYE, s. a kind of potato. 

PINK GRASS, s. Carex prcecox, C. glauca, and other allied species 
of sedge. 

PINNED, adj. impounded. L. 

PINSONS, s. a pair of pincers. 

PIONY, s. the peony, Pceonia officinalis. See PIANET. 

PIP or PEEP, s. a single blossom where flowers grow in bunches. W. 

The word is now in general use, whatever it may have been in Wilbra- 
ham's time. 

PIPE, s. a small dingle or ravine, breaking out from a larger one. W. 
PISSABED, s. the dandelion, Lentodon Taraxacum. 
PISSIMOTE, s. an ant. 
PIT, s. a pond. 

PITCH, v. to pave. L. 

I question whether this word is really localized in Cheshire. 

PITCHER, s. a tool used by stone masons to knock large pieces 
off the edges of stones or flags. 

PITCH HOLE, s. the window of a hayloft through which hay or 
straw are put. 

PITSTEAD, s. a place where there has been a pit or a collection 
of pits. 


PIZZLY, adj. rough, tufty, applied to pasture land. NORTON. 

PLAIN, adj. and adv. exposed to the wind. 

" Its a cowd shop, it stands very plain" is often said of a house. 

PLANK, s. hatting term, (i) the workmen's bench or table which 

surrounds the kettle. See KETTLE. 

(2) used metaphorically for work. 

" He's getten a plank at Denton's " would mean that he has got work at 

PLANKING, part, hatting term. The felting of hat bodies by 
rolling them on a plank, and frequently immersing them in 
acidulated water. 

PLASH, v. (i) to renew a hedge by cutting half way through the 
stems, so as to bend them down. 

The cut stems throw up numerous vertical shoots, and the bottom of the 
hedge becomes thick again. 

"Cut vines and osier 
plash hedge of enclosier." 

TUSSER, E.D.S. ed., p. 86. 
(2) to splash. 

PLASTER, s. salt-mining term. The common name for gypsum. 

A bank along the River Weaver where the gypsum is much exposed is 
called "Plaster Brow." See PLASTER HILL. 


In many old Cheshire farmhouses the cheese-room floors used to be made 
of an extremely hard calcareous clay, which was sometimes laid upon laths, 
but not unfrequently upon reeds. The material was obtained from seams of 
shaly rock, which are found in the clays of the New Red Sandstone 
formation. It was burnt and treated like Plaster of Paris. There are not 
many of these floors now existing in houses, but one is to be seen, or was 
very lately to be seen, at Mr. Thomas Dale's house in Morley. I have met 
with them, however, once or twice in repairing old farmhouses. The same 
material was used for barn floors; and in out-of-the-way places there may be 
several of these still left. The fodder-bing in my own farm buildings at 
Mobberley, which were built about 200 years ago, still has the original clay 
floor. It is perfectly hard though somewhat uneven, and has certainly not 
deteriorated during the last forty years. 


On the banks of the river Bollin, in the neighbourhood of Mobberley and 
Styall, there are one or two high escarpments of clay containing calcareous 
bands of shaly stone. These escarpments, and especially one on the Oversley 
Ford farm, are called plaster hills. They furnished the material for the hard 
clay floors described above. 

PLAT, s. a small flat bridge over a stream or gutter, or where a 
ditch is carried by means of pipes across a gate-place. 

About Frodsham the watercourse itself under the plat is called the Trunk. 


PLAT, v. (i) to plait, as straw is plaited for a hat. 

(2) used metaphorically for crossing the legs. 

Leigh says, " upon enquiry 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 both loved a sope of drink ; and that he had often 
seen them platting their legs as they were returning home market peart." 

PLATTER, s. a plate. 

"A beast's heart's a very profitable piece, it covers th' platters" i.e., you 
can cut good large slices. 

PLATTER, v. "to platter along" is to walk in an awkward and 
scrambling way, like a man with bad corns. L. 

PLATTERDOCK, s. Potamogeton. L. More commonly FLATTER 
DOCK, which see. 

PLAY ONE'S SELF, v. to be not working, either intentionally or 
of necessity. 

A man who is unable to get any work is said to be " playing him." Mill 
hands when on strike are ' ' playing them. " The expression is extended to 
horses standing idle in the stable. 

PLAZE or PLEEASE, v. (i) to please. 

(2) to satisfy with a gift, in money or other- 
wise, in payment for some service 
rendered ; to fee a person. 

In my practice as a land-agent I have frequently been told, " If you will 
arrange this for me with so-and-so, I'll please you," i.e., "I'll pay you for 
your services. " 

"Once ended thy haruest let none be begilde, 

please such as did helpe thee, man, woman and childe. " 

TUSSER, E.D.S. ed., p. 132. 

Very often the "pleasing" seems to be offered in the light of a 
bribe. Thus, a tenant, anxious for a farm, has sometimes said to me, " Now, 
if you'll get that farm for me, I'll f lease you." 

PLEASIN, s. choice, ordering. 

A little boy said to his uncle : " Uncle, whose pleasin is it what we have 
for dinner ? yours or my aunt's ?" 

PLECK, s. a place. WILMSLOW, but rarely used. 
" This is the very//v." 

PLECKS, s. a term in haymaking, applied to the square beds of 
dried grass. HALLIWELL. 

PLEE, v. to play. W. CHES. 


A man is never said to be suffering from pleurisy, but that he has "getten 
a. pleurisy stitch" 


PLIM, adj. perpendicular. 

PLIM, v. to plumb with a plummet. 

PLIM-BOB, a plummet hung to a string for the purpose of ascer- 
taining if work is perpendicular. 

PLOO, s. a plough. 

Formerly pronounced with a strong guttural sound, ploogh. 

PLOO, v. to plough. 

PLOO CLATES, s. iron wedges belonging to a plough. 

" The Plow dates, a kind of Wedge to raise the Beam higher or lower, to 
make it strike accordingly into the ground." Academy of Armory, Bk. III., 
ch. viii., p. 333. 

PLOO COCK, s. the front portion of a plough beam. 

" The Plow Cock, is the Iron to tye the Oxen to the Plow." Academy 
of Armory, Bk. III., ch. viii., p. 333. 

It is given as distinct from the Buck which is said to be the iron " which 
the Horses are tyed unto." 

FLOOD TO DEEATH, idiom, land which has been too long in 
tillage, and has been impoverished thereby, is sometimes so 
described. MOBBERLEY. 


When a new tenant enters a farm, it is customary for his neighbours to 
give him a day's ploughing. He goes round, generally with some friend 
who lives in the place, to invite them to come on a certain day, when dinner 
is provided, and a considerable amount of ploughing is done for the new 
comer. I lately let a farm to a young man who had so many friends anxious 
to help him, that no less than forty teams made their appearance in his field 
on ploughing day. It was rather too much of a good thing, for they got in 
each other's way ; and the piece of ground that each team had to plough was 
so small that the work was finished long before dinner was ready, whereupon 
the men all grumbled, and squabbled amongst themselves ; and when at last 
the dinner made its appearance there was not enough for so many mouths. 
This caused more grumbling, and altogether the day, which had been begun 
with such good intentions, was a complete failure an excellent illustration 
of the old saying, " Save me from my friends !" 

PLOO-PADS, s. the soft, padded saddles which support the chains 
of a plough horse. MOBBERLEY. 

PLOO STAFF, s. a paddle for scraping earth from a plough-share. 

"The Plow Staff &n.& Poddle, by which the man cleaneth the Plow from 
clogged Earth or Mould." Academy of Armory, Bk. III., ch. viii., p. 333. 

PLOO TAILS, s. the handles of a plough. 

" The Plowtails or Stilts." Academy of Armory, Bk. III., ch. viii., p. 333 
" To be brought up at the ploo-tail" is equivalent to saying that a person 
is a peasant 


PLOO WITH DOGS, idiom, used to express the slowest possible 
way of doing a thing. 

" My knife is so blunt I might as well plough with dogs." L. 
PLUG, s. (i) a pull. 

(2) a piece of wood to stop a hole. 

(3) a wedge of wood driven into brickwork for the purpose 

of nailing anything to a wall, the nail fastening into 
wood better than into mortar. 

P*LUG, v. to pull the hair. 

PLUG UPPARTS, the same as LUG UPPARTS, which see. 

PLUM-PUDDING, s. the plant Epilobium hirsutum. 

POBS, s. bread and milk. 

POCK-FRETTEN, part, marked with the smallpox. L. 

POD, see PAD. 

PODDER, s. one who gathers field peas for market. 


POISONING, part, salt-making term ; said of a pan when some 
ingredient is put into it to make the brine work differently ; or 
to prevent it working freely and properly. 

POKERS, s. the bulrush, Typha latifolia. W. CHES. 

POLER, s. a barber. HALLIWELL. 


POLITITIONER, s. a politician. L. 


POLLIANTS, s. garden polyanthuses. DUKINFIELD. 

POLLY, s. a polled cow. 

POLSY, adj. bad, spoilt. 

"Polsy hay," badly got hay. L. 

POMPER, v. to pamper. MOBBERLEY. 
PON, s. a pan. 

POO, v. to pull. 

"Aw'11/00 thoi yure for the." 



POOD BY A PAP, idiom, milked. MOBBERLEY. 

"Go's as good a little kye as ever vraxpoodby a pap." 

POOR MAN'S TREACLE, s. garlick, A Ilium. L. 

Gerard assigns this name to Allium sativum, but does not give it specially 
as a Cheshire name. 

POOR MAN'S WEATHER-GLASS, s. the pimpernel, Anagallis 

POOT, s. a pullet. 

POOTHER, s. powder, dust. Also PUDDER (WILMSLOW). 

" What a. poother tha kicks up wi' thi brush !" 
POP, s. ginger beer. 
POP, v. to pawn. 

POP OFF, v. to die. 

"Brother Bill popped off sudden, didn't he?" 

POPPET, s. a term of endearment for a child. 
POPPILARY or PEPPILARY, s. the poplar tree. W. 
POPPY, s. corn cockle, Lychnis Githago. W. CHES. 

POPPY SHOW or PUPPY SHOW, s. a peep show. 

Children place flowers behind a small piece of glass, and fold all up in 
paper. They then cut a trapdoor in the paper, and make it into a sort of 
peepshow. Each person who looks at it has to pay a pin. 

POP-SHOP, s. a pawn shop. 

PORRITCH, s. porridge. 

This, like several other kinds of semi-liquid food, is a plural noun. 

PORRITCH PIES, s. porridge pies. WILMSLOW and the neigh- 

These were raised pies made of coarse flour, and the crust very hard ; 
they were filled with a sort of batter composed chiefly of flour and treacle, 
and were seen at many of the farmhouses some forty or fifty years ago.- They 
were sickly things, and by no means relished by the farm servants for whom 
they were made. I should think these dainties are quite things of the past ; 
in fact, farm servants are more particular now-a-days, and would not tolerate 
such coarse food. They were occasionally filled with rice. 

POSNET, s. an iron or brass pan for making posset. 

From an inventory of property belonging to Margery Glutton of Nantwich, 
1611. Local Gleanings, Jan., 1880, p. 264. 

POSS, v. to pass is a jocular punishment common among marlers 
when anyone comes late to work in the morning. 

He is held across a horse with his posteriors exposed, and struck on them 
with the flat side of a spade by the head workman called the lord of the marl 
pit. W. This strange custom is, like the marling itself, quite obsolete. 


POSSET, v. to dance. DELAMERE. 

"Sammy, let's posset" 
POSSIT, v. to bring up small quantities of food as a baby does. 


1 \ s. framed woodwork fixed on stone. 

cake made of mashed potatoes and flour in equal parts, buttered, 
and eaten hot. 

There is another kind called "grathert tater-cake" (grated potato cake), 
which is thus made: The raw potatoes are grated on a large grater and are 
mixed with flour, occasionally currants, and milk to the consistence of 
batter. The batter is poured on a backstone and baked over the fire. 

POT BAW, s. a dumpling. 

"A Pot-Ball, or Dumpling or baked of Bread" is enumerated amongst 
the dishes for the "First Coursse" in a Bill of Fare given by Randle 
Holme {Academy of Armory, Bk. III., ch. iii., p. 79). 

POT CROCKER, s. a boy employed in a large garden, who learns 
the rudiments of the gardener's art. 

One of his frequent occupations is to break up " crocks " or potsherds 
with which the flower-pots are drained, hence the name. 

POTE, v. to poke or kick. WILMSLOW. 

th" clooas off him i' bed." 

POTINGER, s. a porringer or cup. 

From an inventory of property belonging to Margery Glutton of Nantwich, 
1611. Local Gleanings, Feb., 1880, p. 299. 

POT MARVILS, s. the commonest kind of boys' marbles made of 
unglazed earthenware. 

POTTER, v. to disturb or confound. W. 
POTTERED, part, confused, disturbed. W. 

POTTERING, part, fumbling, working without result. 
Used also adjectively, "He's a potterin owd chap." 

POTTLE, s. a measure of two quarts. L. 

Leigh gives as an old Cheshire saying, " Who would keep a cow when he 
can have z.pottU of milk for a penny?" 

POUND, s. 

A pound of butter used formerly to weigh eighteen ounces generally 
throughout Cheshire, but in certain markets the weight varied. 

POUND PEAR, s. an old-fashioned variety of pear. 

It was very large, very hard, and most excellent for stewing, but totally 
unfit for eating uncooked. A very old tree in my garden was blown down 
many years ago, and I have never seen one since. 


POUSE-DIRT, s. anything inferior or dirty. 
POUSEMENT, s. the same as POUSE-DIRT. 

POVERTY-WEED, s. the ox-eye daisy, Chrysanthemum Leucan- 
themum. L. 

POW, s. a pole. 

POW, . to cut the hair. 


POWER, s. a large quantity. 
"A. power o' money." 

POWERATION, s. a large quantity. 

The word occurs in a manuscript note in a copy of Wilbraham's Glossary, 
written apparently about 1826. Halliwell gives it as a west-country word, 
but it would seem to have been in use in Cheshire at the beginning of this 

POW-FAGGED, adj. (i) tired out, exhausted with work, either 

manual or mental. 

(2) applied, in a secondary sense probably, 
to bad, rough mowing, as if it were 
done by men who were tired out. 

POWK, s. a pimple or small pustule. 

POWLER, v. to ramble about, to prowl. 

"After a bit o' snow th' grass is sweet, and th' sheep powlern 
after it like annythink." 

Wilbraham has also POLLER, explaining it "to beat the water with a pole, 
and figuratively to labour without effect ;" and Leigh has POLER, to toddle 
about doing little things. 

POWSE, s. (i) dirt, filth, dregs. 

(2) also used in a semi-metaphorical sense to describe 

anything which is troublesome or destructive. 
" Rappits is wary powse." 

POWSELS AND THRUMS, s. dirty scraps and rags. 
POWSY, adj. full of powse, or dust 
PRAT A, s. a potato. 

PRATA-CLODS, s. tough sods cut from a peat bog, used for 
covering potato and turnip hogs to keep off the frost. 

PRATE, v. to utter the noise made by a hen before she lays. 

PRATTY, adj. pretty, handsome. 

A good-looking man is even called " a pratty mon." 


PREPARING THEIR BOBS. Said of fir-trees enlarging their 
cones, which swell as the spring advances. L. 

PRESBYTERIAN ROAD, idiom, passing the bottle the wrong 
way. L. 

PRESPERATION, s. perspiration. 
A very general provincialism. 

PRESS, s. (i) a coffin. 

Leigh gives this on the authority of Wilbraham, but I am unable to find 
it either in the 1820 or the 1826 edition, and I think it is an error. 

(2) a linen or clothes chest. 

PRICKED, part, fermented. 

Said of preserves in which a slight vinous fermentation has commenced. 

PRICKER, s. (i) a prickle or thorn. 

(2) salt-mining term; a tool used in charging a hole 
for blasting. 

It is a short iron rod inserted after the powder is put in, to keep an 
opening for the fuse. 

PRICK-MEET, adj. fastidious, exact, particular. 
PRICK NOTES, v. to copy music. 

PRICK THE LOAF, v. " is to make little holes on the top of the 
loaf with a Bodkin." Academy of Armory, Bk. III., ch. iii., p. 85. 

This refers to pricking bread before putting it into the oven, for what 
purpose I do not know. It is now generally done with a steel fork. 

PRIDE, s. to have a pride in his pace, or way of going, is a quaint 
ironical way of saying a man is lame. L. 

PRIESTS' PINTLE, s. the early purple orchis, Orchis mascula. 

PRISON BARS, s. the game known as Prisoners' Base. 

It used always to be played at Mobberley wakes in one of my fields, but 
has become quite obsolete for many years. 

PRI THE, inter/, pray. 

A lady of my acquaintance considered it best to feed her children at stated 
times, and never to allow them to eat between meals. This was rather con- 
trary to the Cheshire adage : " Eat when you're hungry, and drink when 
you're dry." A neighbour commenting upon the delicate look of one of these 
children gave my friend the following good advice: " Pri the, woman! 
dunna bring em up by rule ; you know 

' A child and a chicken 

Should always be pickin.'" 
This last is a very common Cheshire saying. 

PRIVATE, s. hatting term ; the particular mark by which a work- 
man knows his own work. 


PRIVILUS, adj. of little value. Mow COP. 

Perhaps from frivolous, though not used in quite the same sense. The 
word is used to denote a thing of little value a matter of small importance. 
It is never applied to persons ; so we never speak of a friirilus young woman, 
and we have no such word as privolity. 

PRIVY, s. privet, Ligustrum vulgare. 

" Set priuie or prim, 
set boxe like him." TUSSER, E.D.S. ed., p. 33. 

PROCKLEIN, s. old brown earthenware. DELAMERE. 

PRODIGAL, adj. (i) extravagant. 

A man sowing seed too thickly would be told by the farmer, " Dunna be 
so prodigal wi' that seed; it winna hode ite." 

(2) smart looking. WIRRAL. 

A gallows prodigal chap is a smart, conceited kind of man. 

(3) violent, impetuous. L. 

PROFFER, v. to offer. 

" forth came an old Knight 
pattering ore a creede, 
& he preferred to this little boy 
20 markes to his meede." 

"Boy and Mantle," 1. 83, vol. ii., p. 307, 

Hales and Furnivall ed. 
PROKE, v. to poke. 

"Proke th' fire a bit." 

PROKER, s. a poker. 

PRONOUNCIATION, s. pronunciation. 

An old joiner who had worked for three generations of my family was a 
great local preacher amongst the Wesleyans. On one occasion we were dis- 
cussing together something about Church matters, I forget what but 
amongst other things he informed me that he frequently went to hear our 
rector at church, and was very fond of listening to his sermons; "in fact," 

he continued, "I've learnt more from Mr. M than from anyone I 

know especially in pronounciation. 

PROSPERATION, s. prosperity. L. 

PROTESTANTS, s. a variety of potato ; almost, if not quite, lost 

PROUD, adj. pleased. 

" I'm sure I'm very proud to see you." 

PROUD CARPENTER, s. the plant Prunella vulgaris. W. CHES. 
PROVABLE, adj. said of corn that yields well. 

PROVANT, s. corn, chopped hay, and such like dry food given to 


PROVE, v. to prove pregnant, spoken of cattle. W. 
Misquoted by Leigh as "puve." 

PROW, v. to prowl. 

PROW ITE, PROW EAWT (prowl out), v. to seek food. MOB- 


Cows are said to prow ite when they spread over the fields in search of 
new pasture in the spring. 

PRUDENT, adj. chaste. 

PRUSSIAN ROCK, s. salt-mining term; the rock salt as got, 
large and small together. 

PUDDINGS, s. intestines. 

PUDDINING,/flr/. presenting an egg, a handful of salt, and a bunch 
of matches to a new-born infant. Leigh's Ballads and Legends 
of Cheshire, Note, p. 65. 

PUDGE, s. (i) a short, fat person. 

It is sometimes applied as a soubriquet. Many years ago a man of this 
build kept the "Bird in Hand" public house, at Mobberley, who went by the 
name of Pudge Graisty. 

(2) dirt, rubbish; often applied to bad mortar, or to 

loamy sand unfit for making mortar. 
" It's good t' nowt ; it's 

PUFF, s. breath. 

" Wait a bit, I'm out of puff." 

PUFFLE, v. (i) to swell. 

(2) to put one out of breath. 
" Going up \u\\puffles me." 
Also used intransitively, as, "I'm <\mtepuffled." 

PUGGIL, s. rubbish. Mow COP. 

The word is usually used to denote something bad or inferior in the shape 
of food. 

" It's nowt bat /*&" 

PU GORFIN, v. to make faces. L. 

PULL, s. advantage. 

" We desarven a///nye." As much as to say, "you've had the advan- 
tage hitherto ; now it ought to be our turn. " 

PUMMER, adj. big, plump. L. 



"Sheep Fummices is the Head, Heart, Lights, Liver and Wind-Pipe of a 
Sheep all hanging together. Lambs Pumices, is the same of a Lamb." 
Academy of Armory, Bk. III., ch. iii., p. 88. 

PUN, -v. to pound. 

PUNCH, T' t( 

The first form is used, I think, more especially on the Lancashire borders. 

PUNCH ROD, s. . 

"Is With or Wreathen Stick turned about the Head of a fire punch to 
hold it on the hot Iron while it is striking through or making a hole in it. "- 
Academy of Armory, Bk. III., ch, iii., p. 89. 

Enumerated amongst "Terms used by Smiths and Farriers." 

PUNGER, v. to puzzle or confound. 

A farmer in distress said, " I am so pungered, I know not which eaver to 
turn to." W. 

PUNGOW, v. PUNGOWING, part. Very much the same as 
PUNGER. To bother, bothering, wearing. 

" To lead a threppoing, pungowing life" 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. 

PUNISH, v. to cause pain. 

" This tooth does punish me above a bit." 

PUNISHMENT, s. pain. 

' ' Aw pinched my thumb i'th' durr, an it were awfu' punishment. ' 

PUNNER, s. a piece of wood used for pounding or beating in the 
soil when filling up a hole, as in setting posts and rails. Also a 
paviour's rammer. 

PUR, v. (i) to kick. 

(2) to beat or bang. ALTRINCHAM. 
PURGING FLAX, s. Linum catharticum. W. CHES. 


PURRED* \P art - P u ll g d down with sickness. 

PUSH-PLOO, s. a paring plough, worked by hand and pushed 
before the ploughman in order to pare off sods for burning. 

Paring and burning is prohibited in some old-fashioned Cheshire leases. 
Land which has been pared with one of these instruments is said to be 
"push plood." They are almost obsolete in Cheshire, but I have seen 
one at work, on reclaimed peat bog, within the last twenty years. 

PUT ABOUT, part, vexed, annoyed. 


PUTHERY, adj. hot, close said of weather. 

PUT IN, v. to rake up hay into windrows ready for leading. 

PUTTEN, part. put. 

PUTTER, v. PUTTERING, part, an unhealthy state of the body 
of cattle, when the skin feels as if it had paper under it L. 


PUTTIN ON, idiom, used substantively for a makeshift ; a tempo- 
rary supply. 

"It's not a livin; it's on'y a puttin on." 

PUT THE PEG IN, idiom, to put a veto upon anything 
When a shopkeeper will trust no more he puts the peg in. 
This expression has its origin in the method adopted to fasten an ordinary 
thumb latch which can be opened from the outside; or perhaps it had its 
origin before thumb latches became common, when a door latch was opened 
from the outside by means of a piece of string or a thong which passed 
through a hole in the door. By pulling the string the latch was raised. In 
other cases the latch was raised by pushing one finger through a round hole 
in the door immediately under the latch. The latch, however, can be 
effectually locked by putting a peg of wood above it into the carry latch. 

PYDIE, s. a chaffinch, Fringilla ccelebs. 

PYNCK, s. a pinch. 

" Aye pynckes is your paye. " Chester Plays, L, p. 126. L. 



QUAAK, v. to quack like a duck, but applied metaphorically, or 
derisively, to anyone who chatters and gossips. WILMSLOW. 
" He's allus quaakin abeawt." 

QUAKERS, s. quaking grass, Briza media. GERARD. 

Gerard says it "is called in Cheshire, about Nantwich, Quakers and 
shakers" but whether he intended this as one name or two I am unable to 
say. About Wilmslow it is called TREMBLING GRASS. It is also pretty 
generally known as QUAKING GRASS. 


QUALIFIED, adj. (i) able, capable. 

(2) in good circumstances. 
A rich man would be said to be qualified. 

QUALITY or QUALITY FOLKS, s. the upper classes. 

" Oo's bin from worn, an' bin visitin among th' quality" 

QUANK, adj. quiet. L., who probably copied it from Pegge, who 
gives it as a Cheshire word. 

It is now quite obsolete, if indeed it was ever in use. 

QUARREL, s. (i) a pane of glass. 

(2) a square flooring tile; also QUARRY. 

(3) apparently an old, and perhaps the original name 

for a stone quarry. 

Quarry Bank, a farm house in Morley, which takes its name from its 
proximity to a stone quarry, is called in the old township books of Pownall 
Fee, Quarrell Bonk; and it was so called by old people forty or fifty years 
since. Mr. Earwaker, in his East Cheshire, states that in the lease of the land 
on which Messrs. Greg's cotton mill stands, dated 1 778, the place is called 
Quarrell Hole. 

QUARREL PICKER, s. a soubriquet for a glazier. L. 

Apparently quoted from Halliwell, who does not state that it i: 

QUART, s. a measure, is pronounced to rhyme with Cart. 


QUARTER, s. (i) the fourth part of a cow's udder; pronounced to 
rhyme with Carter. 

When a cow, from any accident, ceases to give milk from one teat, she is 
said "to have lost a quarter." 

(2) a sawyer's term. 

When a log of wood is cut into four pieces right through the middle, it is 
said to be cut " on the quarter. " 

QUARTER, v. to drive a cart or carriage so that the wheels shall 
not run in the old ruts. 

It is spoken of as " quartering the wheels." 

QUARTER WOOD, s. a piece of timber, four square and four inches 
thick. BAILEY. 

"Quarter wood att the wiche howses" is mentioned in an inventory of 
property belonging to Margery Glutton of Nantwich, 1611. Local Gleanings, 
Feb., 1880, p. 302. 

It is stated in explanation that no coal was used in the salt-houses in 
Nantwich at that time, and there were laws regulating the amount of 
Quarter wood allowed to each wiche-house by the Rulers of Walling. 

QUEASY, adj. qualmish. MACCLESFIELD. 

QUEECE, s. a wood pigeon, Columba palumbus. 

Wilbraham spells it Queeze. 

QUEEN ANN, s. one of the names for a coloured butterfly. 

QUEENING, s. an old variety of apple mentioned by Randle 

" The Queening is a fair and striped Apple, and b'eautiful in its Season, 
being a kind of Winter Fruit" Academy of Armory, Bk. III., ch. iii., p. 48. 

QUEENING, part, an occasional pronunciation of Coining. MOB- 


" He's queenin money." 

QUEEN'S FEATHER, s. London Pride, Saxifraga umbrosa. L. 

QUEERE, s. a choir. Prestbury Church Accounts, 1572. 

Also frequently so called in the Chapter accounts of Chester Cathedral. L. 
This is still the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire pronunciation of choir. See 
E.D.S. Glossaries. Tusser uses the same word 
" The better brest, the better rest, 
To serve the Queere, now there now heere." 

five Hundred Points, E. D. S. ed. , p. 206. 
The modern pronunciation is Coir, and about WILMSLOW Queighre. 

QUEER STREET, idiom, a dilemma. 
" He's in queer street" 

QUEIGHT, s. a quoit. WILMSLOW. 


QUEIGHTIN, part, playing at quoits. WILMSLOW. 

QUEINT, adj. quaint. 

"A queint lad," a fine lad, used ironically. L. 

QUELL, v. to subdue; a word of very frequent use in Cheshire. 
" Yon mon's goin' mad ; see if you can quell him." 
"Th' feirehas getten sitch a yed, we shan ne'er be able to quell it." 

QUERK, s. (i) anything out of the square. 

"A nook shoten pane of glass, or any pane whose sides and top run out 
of a square form." Academy of Armory, Bk. III., ch. ix., p. 385. 

(2) a twist or quibble. 

"Aw's no' straight theere; there's a querk somewheer." 
"He wer axin him a quesht'n wi' a bit of a querk in it." 

(3) an ornamental pattern knitted in the ankle of a 

stocking. MACCLESFIELD, but not very commonly 

QUESHT'N, s. a question. 

QUEST, s. an inquest. 

QUICKS, s. young hawthorn plants for hedges. 

QUIFF, s. a dodge, a quirk. Mow COP. 

QUIFTING POTS, s. half gills, a measure for drink. L. 

QUILE, s. a small hay cock. The same word is used in the plural. 
About WILMSLOW pronounced queile. 

QUILE, v. to make hay into quiles. 

" They're agate o' quilin th' hay." 

QUILL, s. silk-weaving term. The bobbin of shoot or woof put in 
the shuttle. 

QUILLET, s. a small plot of land lying within the property of 
another proprietor, and not separated therefrom by any fence. 
Chiefly used in W. CHES. 

Of course the owner of the quillet has a right of road to his property. 
There is a piece of land called " The Quillet " which formerly belonged to 
the Marquis of Cholmondeley, but was surrounded by other land belonging 
to Sir Richard Brooke. 

" Lot 6. Nine pieces of land, being Quillets in Big Maes Ewlin." From 
particulars of Auction Sale by Messrs. Churton, Elphick, & Co., at Chester, 
Oct. 8th, 1881. 


QUILLET STONES, s. boundary stones to mark where one man's 
quillet ends and another begins. L. 

QUILT, v. to beat. 
QUILTING, s. a beating. 
QUIRKEN, v. to choke. L. 


There are many people in Cheshire who use this pronunciation in several 
words that begin with tw, as, for instance, 

Quig for twig, 

Quenty twenty, 

Quelve ,, twelve, 
but the rule is by no means universal. 

QUISTED, adj. twisted, spiral. MOBBERLEY. 

"Jeffrey Bray's getten some owd-ancient chairs wi' quisled rails.'' 

QUITE BETTER, adj. entirely recovered from sickness. 

QUYSION, s. a cushion. 

"It. vj quysions .... v 8 ." From an inventory of the property 
of Margery Glutton of Nantwich, 1611. Local Gleanings, Jan., 1880, p. 262. 



RABBIDGE, s. a rabbit. L. 
RABBLED, part, ravelled, entangled. 
RABBLEMENT, s. a rabble, a noisy crowd. 

RACCONALS, s. cowslips and oxlips, Primula verts and P. 
variabilis. BUTTON, near Frodsham. 

In use some forty or fifty years since, but now, I think, obsolete. 

RACE, s. (i) a series of anything, a row. 

(2) a track. 
A wheel race is the place in a corn mill where the wheel turns. 

RACHE, v. to smoke. 

" Chimley racAes." L. 

RACK, s. weeds, sticks, and rubbish of all kinds brought down by a 

RACK or RACK OFF, v. to pour off liquor from one cask to 

RACK O'TH' EYE, idiom, judging by the eye instead of by 

' ' Aw con tell by th' rack o'tK' eye as stack has abeawt fower ton 
in it." 

" He'd noo pattern; he made it by th' rack a'th' eye." 

RACK UP, v. to choke up, as a drain becomes choked with 

It is used actively, as " I doubt this drain '11 soon rack up;" and we also 
speak of a drain being "racked up." 

RACKED UP,/ar/. (i) choked up. 

(2) in difficulties, sold up. 

(3) brick or stone pavement is said to be 

racked up when the joints are filled up 
with gravel or grout. 

RADDLE, v. to beat. 

"Aw '11 raddle thi bones for thee." 



The old Cheshire buildings were framed with timber which formed 
squares. Long sticks were wound together between the timber, forming a 
sort of basketwork or raddle, upon which clay, and clay mixed with chopped 
straw, was plastered. This was the dobe, the whole forming a raddle and dobe 
house. See DAWBER. 

RADICAL, s. a very favourite variety of early potato. MOBBERLEY, 

I have known this " breed " for more than forty years, and I think they 
are still in existence. 

RADLING, s. a long stick or rod, either from a staked hedge, or 
from a barn wall made with long sticks twisted together and 
plastered with clay. W. 

RAFE, prop. name, this is always the pronunciation of Ralph in 
Cheshire, and occasionally it is so spelt. 

RAG, s. the tongue. 

RAG, v. to rifle. 

To rag a bird's nest is to rob it of the eggs. 

RAGGAMUFFIN, adj. idle, loose, scampish. 
" He's sitch raggamuffin ways wi' him." 

RAGGED ROBIN, s. the cuckoo-flower lychnis, Lychnis Flos-cuculi. 
RAG JACK, s. the goosefoot, Chenopodium album. ROSTHERNE. 

RAGMANNERT, adj. of rude manners. 

" He's a very ragmannert sort o' chap." 

RAIN, s. 

We have a very curious saying about rain, "Rain has such narrow 
shoulders, it will get in anywhere." L. 

RAINBOW, s. (i) it is said 

"A rainbow at night is the shepherd's delight ; 

A rainbow in the morning is the shepherd's warning ;" 

and, " If you run to the place where the rainbow touches the earth, you will 
find a bag of money." 

(2) the hairy caterpillar of the tiger moth is sometimes 
called a rainbow, and is said to portend rain 
when it crosses your path. 

RAIND (pronounced almost like rynd), adj. (i) round. 

Warburton in his Hunting Songs has RoiND. About Wilmslow it is 

(2) coarse. 
" Raind, or reawnd male" is coarse oatmeal. 


RAIND-ABAIT, adj. not direct. 

"A very raind-abait road." 


"To go reawnd-abeawt for th' next road " is a proverb applied when one 
attempts a short cut and it proves longer than the ordinary way. 

RAIND-HAISE or REAWND-HEAWSE, s. a lock-up or local 
prison. WILMSLOW. 

RAINIES, s. reins for driving. MOBBERLEY. 
RAIN-TUB, s. a water-butt 

RAISE ONE DOWNSTAIRS, TO, idiom, 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 over- 
looker. L. 

RAISE THE WEIND, idiom, to get means. 

RAKE-FIRE, s. used metaphorically for one who comes to pay a 
visit and stays very late. See RAKE THE FIRE. 

RAKELL, s. a thoroughly bad man. 

RAKER, s. (i) salt-making term; a piece of flat iron at the end of 
a long handle, used for raking the salt off the 
fires and to the sides of the pan. 

(2) a big lump of coal by means of which a cottage fire 
is usually kept in through the night. Mow COP. 

RAKE THE FIRE, v. to pile slack, i.e., small coal, upon the 
kitchen fire before going to bed, so that it may remain burning 
all night and save the trouble of lighting it in the early morning. 

This is a very general practice in old-fashioned farm-houses. There are 
many houses where the kitchen fire only goes out once a week that the grate 
may be thoroughly cleaned. 

In the neighbourhood of peat bogs turf hassocks are generally used for 
the same purpose. 

RAKINGS, s. the scattered corn raked up in a cornfield after the 
corn is stooked. 

They usually get a good deal dirtied with the soil, and are frequently 
weathered. They are mostly kept by themselves, and threshed at once for 
hen corn or pig- meat. The scattered hay raked up after the crop is carried 
is also known as rakings. 

RAKKUSIN, adj. noisy, boisterous. 

RALLY, s. a rush, impetus. 

"Go quietly, dunna go i' such a rally." 

"Th' waggon coom deawn th' broo wi' a rally." 

RALLY, v. to recover or revive. MOBBERLEY. 


REAM* f v ' to stretc ^ out ^ e arm as ^ to reacn anything, W. 

See RAWM, which is also given by Wilbraham, and which is the present 
pronunciation of the word. 

RAMMEL or RAMMIL, s. (i) broken bits of branches used for fire- 
wood, or any other rubbishy bits. 

" It. ffyve wayne loads of Coles, some JRamell, Kids, pooles (poles), & a 
stone trough." From an inventory of property belonging to Margery 
Glutton of Nantwich, 1611. Local Gleanings, Feb., 1880, p. 297. 

The broken bits of turf at the bottom of a stack are also called rammel. 

(2) stony or brashy subsoil. 
RAMMELLY, adj. partaking of the character of brash or gravel. 

RAMMY, adv. tasting or smelling strong like a ram. MOBBERLEY. 
A boar when he is killed " tases very rammy." 

RAMPAGEOUS, adj. boisterous. 

RAM PICKED, adj. a rampicked tree is a stag-headed tree. W. 
Those trees which die at the top are so called, 

RANDAN, s. the very coarsest flour, or rather the very finest bran, 
ground almost as fine as flour. 

RANDOM, adj. irregular. 

A random wall is one built of stones of various shapes and sizes, in con- 
tradistinction to a " coursed " wall, which is built of squared stones. 
Random flags are flags of all sizes, not ranked. 

RANGER, s. salt-making term ; a long poker used for stirring up 
the fires. 

RANGE STAKE, s. the wooden stake to which cows are tied in the 
shippon. W. CHES. See RATCH STAKE and RING STAKE. 

" She'd like the boose, but not the range-stake " is a Cheshire saying, the 
meaning of which is that a young woman who was courted liked the suitor's 
house and fortune, but not to be tied to him. 

Range is pronounced to rhyme with " flange." 

RANK, s. a " rank of flag" is a row all of one width. 

RANK, adj. vexed, in a passion. 

" He wer rank when he seed aw th' milk knocked o'er into th' 
groop behind th' keaw." 
See RONK and its compounds. 

RANSTIEST, superl. adj. difficult, hard. 

" It's the ranstiest job that au ever heard on." L. 

RANTING WIDOW, s. the plant Epilobium angustifolium. 

Very frequent in cottage gardens, and so called from its exuberant growth, 
at least so explained to me by a cottager. 

RANTIPOW, s. a see-saw. HYDE. 


RAP AND RING, idiom, scrape together. L. 
RAP-A-TAG, s. a name for a ne'er-do-well, a scamp. L. 

RAP OUT, v. to break out into bad language. 

It also rather implies that there has been a previous attempt to suppress it. 

RAPPIT, s. a rabbit. 

R APPIT IT, excl. a mild form of imprecation. 

RARE, v. to rear. 

RASE-BRAINED, adj. violent, impetuous. W. 

RASSERT, adj. (i) vexed, ill-tempered. 

(2) done up. WILMSLOW. 
" He con go noo furr ; he's rassert." 

RATCH, s. the space in a loom between the yarn-beam and the 

RATCH STAKE, s. the stake to which a cow is tied in the shippon. 

RATS-TAIL or RATS-TAIL GRASS, s. Phleum pratense. L. 

RATTLETRAP, s. the mouth, when foolish speech is uttered. 
"Shutthi rattletrap." 

RAUGHT, v. perfect tense of reach. W. 

RAW, v. to pull excessively. 

"JRawing}toss&\ to death." 

RAWM, v. to reach. 

A bricklayer trying to reach too high to his work would be told, " Get 
summat under thi feet, an' then tha con do it beawt rawmin." 

RAWMY, adj. rank, coarse. 

Applied to the sort of loose innutritious hay that grows about a hedge or 
under trees ; or to corn that has grown rank and leafy, and becomes laid. 

RAWNY, s. (i) a dead bough on a growing tree. 

" Chips and rawnies belong to the faller." Old Cheshire saying. L. 
This, however, scarcely seems to be a colloquial saying ; but a simple 
assertion of a fact that the chips and dead branches are the perquisite of the 
man who fells the timber. 

(2) a fool. 

RAWP, v. to scratch. Manchester City News, Feb. 26th, 1880, but 
not localized. 

RAW-YED, s. a soft fellow. 
RAYL, adj. real. 


RAYLLY, adv. really. 

There is a peculiar use and a peculiar pronunciation of this word in 
certain cases where it becomes emphatic ; there is then a very strong accent 
upon the second syllable, thus : ' ' Raylet, mon, aw could stond it no lunger ; 
aw were forced for t' spake." 

RAYTHER, adv. rather. 

RAYTHER OF GATHER, idiom, an imperceptible inclination in 
a certain direction. 

" Is your fayther mendin?" " Well ! aw con scarcely tell; bur aw 
think he rayther of oather gains strength." 

" Is yon waw plim?" "Aye, it's what you- may caw plim, th' 
bant beats o' th' line; but yet it rayther of oather batters." 

RAZZER, s. (i) a razor. 

(2) a small cop or hedge narrow at the top. Sometimes 

an adjective. L. 
" They didna stop for razzur cop. " Warburton's Hunting Songs. 

RAZZORED, part, enraged. L. See RASSERT. 

REAP UP, v. to recur to something, generally of an irritating or 
disagreeable nature. Mow COP. 

A woman said, " My husband never hit me but once, and I reaped it up 
so often, he begged me to let it drop. " 

REAR, v. (i) to bring up a young animal. 

(2) to mould the crust of a raised pie. 
REARING, s. (i) a calf which is being reared. 

(2) a supper given to the workmen who are building a 
house, as soon as the roof timbers are put on. 

REAWK, v. to ramble off for a gossip. 

" Go's allus reawkin eawt at neets." 

REAWKIN, s. a gossiping meeting. L. 

RECKON, v. to suppose, to conjecture, to conclude. 

RED BUTCHER, s. the red campion, Lychnis diurna, CREWE. 

REDDEN UP, v. to become red. 

" The hens begin to redden up." 
It is a sign they are going to lay, when their combs get a bright colour. L. 

REDDING COMB, s. a comb for dressing the hair. 

RED DRUMMER, s. a name used by the Cheshire and Lanca- 
shire working men naturalists for a coloured butterfly. White 
ones are called " butterflees." See FRENCH BUTTERFLEE and 


REDDY, v. (t) to comb. 

" Go's reddyin her hair." 

(2) to strip the rough fat from the intestines of a pig. 
" Reddyin rops." 

(3) also used as a sort of indefinite threat- 
"Aw'll reddy his rops for him." 

RED JACK, s. the red campion, Lychnis diurna. ROSTHERNE. 

RED KNEES, s. the plant Polygonum Persicaria. RED LEGS 
(W. CHES.). 

RED LINNET, s. the goldfinch. 

RED LONE, s. used idiomatically for the throat. 
"His money's aw gone dain th' red lone." 

RED RAG, s. (i) the poplar, so called from its red catkins. L. 

Populus nigra is probably the species intended, which produces a great 
quantity of red catkins. 

(2) a writ is occasionally so called. WILMSLOW. 

RED ROCKET, s. the lilac variety of Hesperis matronalis. Common 
in gardens. 

RED SOLDIER, s. the red campion, Lychnis diurna. DELAMERE. 

REDWEED, s. Geranium Robertianum. DELAMERE FOREST. 
Science Gossip, 1877, p. 39. 

REEAN or REEN, s. the furrow or gutter between two butts in a field. 

REEAN-WAWTED or REEN-WAWTED, part, a sheep or other 
animal is said to be reean-wawted when it gets on its back in a 
reea-n, and, as is often the case, cannot get up again without 

REECH, v. to retch, to vomit 

REED, s. (i) weaving term. A frame of flattened wires for sepa- 
rating the threads of the warp, and for beating the 
weft up to the web. 

(2) used metaphorically for state or condition. 

One lunatic speaking to another at an asylum, and receiving no answer, 
turned to my friend who stood by, and said, "Is yon mon i'th same reead 
as me ?" 

" To be in a poor reed" is to be in a poor condition. 

"What sort of bricks has he to sell?" "But middling; he's in 
a poor reed'yask. now." 

REEDIMADAZY, s. a child's first lesson book, called "Reading 
made easy;" but invariably pronounced by the children as I 
have written it. 


REEF, s. a rash on the skin ; the itch, or any eruptive disorder. W. 
REEN, s. (i) rain. W. CHES. 

(2) a furrow. See REEAN. 

REEST, s. the mould-board of a plough. 

REESTY, adj. rancid, said of bacon. 

" Through follie too beastlie 
much bacon is reastie." TUSSER, E.D.S. ed., p. 53. 

REET, adj. (i) right. REIGHT (WILMSLOW). 
(2) sane. 
" He's no' reel, poor lad." 

REEVE, v. to separate corn that has been winnowed from the small 
seeds which are among it ; this is done with what they call the 
reeving sieve. Academy of Armory. W. 

REMEDDY, s. remedy. 

The accent is always on the second syllable. 

REMEMBER, v. to remind. 

''Remember me for t' pay yo back; win yo?" 

RENDER, v. (i) to melt down, as lard or other fat. 
(2) to plaster a wall or ceiling. 

RENSE, v. to rinse. 

RENSINGS, s. rinsings, especially of milk cans. 

RESOLVE, v. (i) to dissolve. 
(2) to explain. 
"Aw canna mak it ait, yo mun resolve it." 

RESORTER, s. frequenter, an uncommon word found in Newes 
out of Cheshire of the new-found well, A.D. 1600. L. 

RETCH, v. (i) to stretch. 

" If a cawf retches when it gets up, it doesner ail mitch." 
(2) to exaggerate. 

REYNOLDS, s. a fox is frequently spoken of as Mister Reynolds. 

RHEUMATIZ, } * rheumatism. 

It is a very common idea amongst the country people, especially the older 
generation, that rheumatics and rheumatism are not quite the same disease. 
" Has yo're mester getten th' rheumatiz?" 
"Now, its no th' rheumatiz; its rheumatic." 

In the same way I have heard a distinction made between epilepsy and 


RIB, s. a wife. 

RIB GRASS, s. Plantago lanceolata. 

RIBBON GRASS, s. the variegated garden variety of Phalaris 

RICK, s. (i) a stack; an occasional word. 

Randle Holme describes a Rick as being different from a Stack. See 

(2) the noise made by a polecat or ferret. L. 

RICK, v. to chatter. WILMSLOW and the neighbourhood. 

" Oo ricks as bad as a jay " is said of a chattering or scolding woman. 
A polecat or ferret also make a noise which is called ricking. See RIKE 
and RIKERS. 

RICKING-RIPE, adj. dead ripe. WILMSLOW and the neigh- 

Applied to corn, probably because it then makes a rattling noise. See 

RICKKA or RICKKER, v. to rattle. WILMSLOW and the neigh- 

Many years ago there was an old weaver named Jacob Bradbury who 
lived in Morley who, when times were bad, was accustomed to go and ask 
for a few days work at the neighbouring farms, in the hope of getting better 
food than he was able to provide at home. Forty or fifty years ago farm men 
in Cheshire were fed with very coarse food. Raised pies made of brown 
flour, and filled with apples, or even crabs, sweetened with treacle, were not 
unfrequently set upon the table. They were extremely hard, and not very 
palatable, and these pies used to disgust old Jacob. He always called them 
"Crab Lanterns," and said that when he "picked th' poy up fro' th' table, 
and shak't it, he could hear th' app'es rickka i' th' insoide. " 

RID or RID UP, v. to clear out, or pull up. 

Applied to pulling up a hedge, or getting a tree up by the roots. 

RIDDLE, s. a coarse sieve. 

RIDE AND TIE, v. alternate walking and riding when two 
travellers have only one horse between them. 

The process is rather curious. A and B start together, A on horseback, 
B walking. A rides on quickly for, say a mile, and then ties his horse to a 
gate, and walks on. B, after a while, comes up with the horse, mounts him, 
and rides on quickly, passes A, ties up the horse a certain distance in advance, 
and walks on. Thus they continue to the end of the journey, performing it 
quicker than if they kept together, each having an equal amount of rest, and 
the horse likewise resting at intervals. I used frequently to hear of this 
method of travelling when I was a boy. 

RIDE-EAWT, s. a commercial traveller. 

RIDER or RYTHER, a stook of corn; generally made of ten 
sheaves; four on each side, and two "hudders" or covering 


RIDGE-POLE or RIDGE-POW, s. the topmost piece of wood in a 
roof; also the cross pole that supports a stack sheet. 

RIDGING STONE, s. the stone capping seen upon old roofs. 
Blue tiles are now used instead. 

RIDGE-UTH, s. the chain back band which goes over the saddle of 
a carthorse, and supports the shafts. 

Leigh spells it RIDGWITH, and a correspondent from the neighbourhood 
of Warrington spells it RiDGWORTH, but I have always heard it pronounced 
as I have spelt it. 


A summary mode of punishment adopted in cases of matrimonial 
quarrels, and more especially in cases of unfaithfulness on the part of either 
husband or wife. A stang, i.e., a pole, was supported on the shoulders of 
two men, and the culprit was made to sit astride of it, and was then paraded 
through the streets or lanes followed by a rabble of men and boys, who beat 
upon tin cans and made as much din as possible. The procession stopped 
at every corner, and also opposite the house of the culprit, where the misdoer's 
delinquencies were proclaimed. In later times a ladder was often substituted 
for a pole, and the culprit was represented by someone else, or even by an 
effigy. I have, on one occasion, known a cart to be used, in which the man 
stood who repeated the nominy. The custom, though dying out, is still 
practised. The last occasion that I remember was about twelve or thirteen 
years ago. 

RIFE, adj. commonly known or reported. 
" The news is rife." 

RIFF-RAFF, s. (i) offal. 

(2) metaphorically, the scum of society. 
RIFT, v. to eructate, 
RIFTING FULL, adj. full to repletion. 
RIG, s. (i) a quiz. L. 

(2) a strong blast of wind. 

The storms which usually prevail about the time of the autumnal equinox 
are called Michaelmas Riggs. W. 

(3) a male horse not fully developed, and which cannot be 


RIGGOT, s. a channel or gutter. 

RIKE, v. to gad about gossiping. Mow COP. 
" Hoo's all'ays rikin." 

RIKERS, s. gossiping women. Mow COP. 
RIMY, adj. white with hoar frost. 


RINER, s. a toucher. It is used at the game of quoits. 

A Kiner is when the quoit touches the peg or mark. A whaver is when 
it rests upon the peg, and hangs over, and consequently wins the cast. " To 
shed riners with a whaver " is a proverbial expression from Ray, and means 
to surpass anything skilful or adroit by something still more so. W. I think 
the word is not now in use. 

RING DAIN, v. when the church bell ringers increase the speed of 
the ringing preparatory to tolling the tenor bell for the last five 
minutes before going into church. 

"Look sharp, you'n be late for church ; they're ringin dain" 

RINGER, s. a crowbar. 

An iron or steel lever, usually about four feet long. In Plott's History of 
Staffordshire, ed. 1686, p. 153, is a description of the process of quarrying 
limestone. The rock is described as in horizontal layers, "broken up with 
iron wedges knock't in with great sledges (hammers), and prized up [with] 
great leavers with rings round them to stay the feet of the workmen who get 
upon them, whereof some weigh at least 150 Ibs." Cheshire Sheaf, 
vol. i., p. 322. 


"It. x potts of Ringe waye butter & some out of potts." From an 
inventory of property belonging to Margery Glutton of Nantwich, 161 1. Local 
Gleanings, Feb., 1880, p. 300. 

It is suggested that this is "Ring Whey -butter;" the ring being, probably, 
a press placed on the ivhey butter in the pots to exclude the air, so as to keep 
it good for a long time. 

RING STAKE, s. the stake to which the cows in a shippon are 

RINKS, s. circle, quasi ring. Part of Tabley Park is so called. L. 
There is a circle of trees in Talton Park called " the bull-ring." 

RIP, s. (i) a scapegrace. 

(2) an old, lean horse would also be spoken of as "a rip of 
a tit." 

RIP, v. to behave in a violent manner. 

We frequently speak of a man " ripping and swearing." 

RIPSTITCH, s. a harum-scarum person. 

RISEN ON, part, a peculiar swelling of the body of a cow, caused 
by a cold wind blowing upon her when she has been turned out 
of a warm shippon in winter. Such cases are sometimes fatal. 

RISK, s. a rush. W. 

"All the wyves of Tottenham came to see that syzt 
With wyspes, and kexis, and ryschys there lyzt." 

Percy's Reliques, ed. v., vol. ii., p. 23. 

RIT or RITLING, s. the smallest pig of a litter. Also applied to a 
puny child. 


RITE, part, arrived. WILMSLOW, MOBBERLEY, but almost, if not 
quite, obsolete. 

" If a'd had th' luck to have rite afore he went away." 


RIZZOM, s. the head of the oat. 

When oats are well-headed they are said to be vtell-rizzomed. 

ROAD, s. manner, way. 

" That's not th' reet road for do it, come an' 111 show thee." 

ROAD, v. to show the way. WILMSLOW. 

" Aw'll road thee heaw to manage him." 

ROADED, part, streaked with lean. Said of bacon. 

ROAST, v. to bake meat in an oven. 

If roasted in the orthodox way, it is specified as " roasted before the fire " 
or " in front of the fire." 


There is an old Cheshire saying, "Roast meat does cattle." L. (See 
DOE.) Which means that grass in a very dry season, half roasted, as it 
were, is more fattening than grass in a rainy season. 

ROBIN, s. hatting term. A coating of paste or pasted paper put in 
the angle of a hat crown to keep it in proper shape. 

ROBIN HOOD WIND, s. a cold, piercing wind from the south 
or south-east, which often accompanies the breaking up of a long 

This is generally spoken of as a " thaw wind," or, as it is pronounced, a 
tho wind ; but it has also received the above curious name ; and it is further 
added in explanation that "Robin Hood could stand anything but a tho 
wind." I have never been able to trace out any reason or any tradition to 
connect the celebrated outlaw, in the Cheshire mind, with a thaw wind. 

ROBIN RED-BREAST, s. the red, mossy gall which grows upon 
the branches of the wild rose. KELSALL. 

ROBIN-RUN-I'TH'-EDGE, s. (i) the ground ivy, Nepeta Glechoma. 

(2) Bindweed. L. 
ROCHE, s. refuse stone. W. 
ROCK-GETTER, s. salt-mining term; a rock-salt miner. 

ROCK-GETTING, part, salt-mining term; used for all the 
processes of working out the rock salt, either with tools or by 

ROCK HEAD, s. salt-mining term ; the surface of the first bed of 
rock salt 


ROCK MINE, s. salt-mining term ; the local name for a rock salt 

ROCK-PIT HOLE, s. salt-mining term ; a pit or hole formed by 
the falling in of rock salt mines. 

Such subsidences, not always caused by the falling in of a mine, but by 
the pumping of brine from beneath the earth, are of common occurrence at 
Northwich, causing the houses in the streets to be very irregular, some 
leaning one way, some another. 

RODNEY, s. a confirmed idler (Mow COP), but more generally a 
man who is notorious for any kind of nowtiness. 

At one of the " revival " services amongst the Methodists a man began 
to pray, but not being used to reverent forms of expression, he soon relapsed 
into his vernacular, and said, "Oh! Lord, have mercy upon me, for Thou 
knows I've been a rodney." 

ROG, v. to shake. 

A window or door rogs with the wind. L. Also ROGGER, which see. 

ROGER GARY'S DINNER, idiom, a -saying when the dinner is 
scanty, or " just enoo and none to spare." L. 

ROGGER, v. to rattle violently; to jolt. WILMSLOW and the 

" What art roggerin at th' dur for, when tha knows its lockt?" 
"Aw could hear th' cart roggerin on th' causey as far off as 
Knowles Green." 

ROGUE, v. to cheat. 

" Dost think aw'm gooin rogue thee?" 

ROMANCE, v. to make up a story; to " shoot with a long bow." 
"Tak no heed o' what he sez ; he's nowt bu' romancing." 

ROMBLIN, adj. restless. MACCLESFIELD. 
ROMPETY, adj. violent, restless; said of a horse. L. 
RONDLE, prop. name, the pronunciation of Randal or Randle. 
RONDLE, v. to pull the hair. 

RONGE, v. to reach, as cattle reach over a hedge to get at some- 
thing they are not intended to have. MACCLESFIELD. 

RONGIN, adj. rough, unruly. 

RONK, adj. (i) rank, keen, strong. 

" He were as rank a dog marchant as ever lived," i.e., he was as keen a 
dog fancier. 

"As rank a wick-sond as ever aw seed." 

(2) luxuriant in growth, as of wheat or potatoes. 


(3) fully, completely. 

" Rank ripe," i.e., fully ripe, said of fruit. 

(4) bad, cunning, mischievous. 

(5) man's appetens, said of a sow. 

(6) having a bad smell. 

RONKLE, v. to fester, to be inflamed. 

"Aw geet a prick i' my thumb, an' it's done nowt bu' rankle 
ever sin." 

ROOD, s. a lineal measure of eight yards. 

It is the foundation of all Cheshire land measurements, as the rod is of 
statute measure. Such piece-work as hedging and ditching, draining, putting 
up posts and rails, &c. , is done at so much per rood. Digging is done by the 
square rood of 64 yards. A rood of marl was formerly 64 cubic yards. Rood 
is the same in the singular and the plural. See ACRE. 

ROOF, s. salt-mining term; the top of a mine. 

As the salt is first got at the roof the process is called roofing. 


ROOF ROCK, s. salt-mining term ; the upper portion of rock salt 
in a working. 

ROOM, s. a quantity. 

"A room of water," i.e., a flood. L. 

ROOSLE, v. to dust their feathers as birds and poultry do, in sand, 
dust, or ashes. L. 

ROOT, v. to enquire into, to meddle with. 

ROOTS, s. the counterfoils of bank and other cheques. 

A Chester alderman lately, at an audit, refused to pass some cheque 
receipts, unless, as he said, the officers produced the roots. 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. L. 

ROPS, s. the small intestines of an animal. 

ROPY, adj. viscous. 

ROSAMUND, s. the wild garlic, Allium ursinum. L. 

ROSE NOBLE, s. the hounds-tongue, Cynoglossum officinah, NEW 
BRIGHTON, WALLASEY, where it is very plentiful upon the 

ROSE OF SHARON, s. Hypericum calycinum. 



ROSKERT or ROSCUT, adj. scabbed and rusty, said of potatoes. 
ROT, s.. a rat 

The plural is rottens. 

ROUGHED or ROUGHENED, part, horses are said to be roughed 
when their shoes are sharpened to prevent slipping in frosty 

ROUGH LEEAF, s. the second leaves of seedlings, especially 

"They're welly safe from flee, when they'n getten i' th' rough 
leeaf." ' 

ROUGH-NUT, s. the sweet or Spanish chestnut, Castanea vesca. 

ROUGH-NUTTING, part, going out to gather or pick up rough- 
nuts. L. 

ROUK, adj. rich, fertile. Very rich. 

"As rouk as th' Roodee." Old Cheshire Proverb. 

The Roodee, the Champ de Mars of Chester, naturally and artificially 
most fertile. L. 

ROVE, v. to disarrange, to tear in pieces. 

"It wur a rough.neet; th' wind's roved aw th' thatch off." 

ROVING, part, scattered. 

" It lies roving many a rood," said of a wounded or shot bird's plumage 
scattered over the turnip tops. L. 

ROWEL, s. a seton. 

Many farmers insert rowels in the dewlaps of their calves to prevent them 
being " struck." 

ROWLER, s. a roller. 

ROWLER-COVERER, s. a man who covers with leather the small 
rollers through which cotton is drawn in a cotton mill. 

ROWM, s. (i) a room. ACTON GRANGE. 
"We never usen that rowm." 

(2) room, in the sense of space. ACTON GRANGE. 
" No rowm for 'im." 


ROWS, s. 

The Rows of Chester are covered footways above the lowest story and 
under the third story of the houses. Some of the best shops are in the Rows. 
There are also shops in the lower story, level with the street. Thus the 
people who walk in the rows are walking over the ceilings of the lower range 
of shops, and under the projecting bedrooms or sitting rooms of the upper 
range of shops. 

RUBBING-STONE, s. a calcareous stone used for whitening kitchen 

It is sold by rag and bone men, who bring it round in carts and exchange 
it for rags, bones, bottles, &c. It is generally in blocks of about three inches 
cube ; but sometimes larger pieces are fixed at the end of a long handle, so 
that the person using them need not stoop. 

RUBBITCH, s. rubbish of any kind. 

Also used metaphorically for bad, low people. 
" They're nowt bu" rubbitch." 

RUBBITCHY, adj. poor, worthless. 

"They're a rubbitchy lot o' pratoes." 

RUBUB, s. rhubarb. 

RUBWORT, s. Geranium Robertianum. DELAMERE FOREST. 
Science Gossip, 1877, p. 39. 

RUCK, s. (i) a heap. 

1 ' Put it in a ruck. " 

' ' The devil always tips at the biggest ruck " is a saying about MIDDLE- 

(2) a large quantity, or number. 
"A ruck o' brass," i.e., a great deal of money. 
"A ruck o' childer," i.e., many children. 

RUCK or RUCK UP, v. (i) to make a heap. 
" Yo'd best ruck it." 
" We'n getten th' hay rucked up." 

(2) to get close or huddle together as 

fowls do. W. 

(3) shrivelled and withered, as flowers 

exposed to the hot sun. FRODSHAM. 

(4) to attack in a body. 

"They could do nowt wi' him single-honded, bu' they rucked 

RUCKLING, s. the least of a brood. W. 

RUCKS AN' YEPS, idiom, untidy. DELAMERE. 

" Wi me bein ait so mitch, missis, it's aw rucks an' yefs" meaning the 
place was untidy. 


RUD, s. (i) the roach-dace. MOBBERLEY. 

(2) spawn of toads or frogs. 
"Toad rud" 

RUD, adj. red. Rudheath. L. 

Rudheath is generally pronounced Ridheeath. 

RUE, v. to repent. 

A woman who married a widower with six young children said, " On th' 
first day aw weshed, an' aw skriked, an' aw rued." 

RUE-BARGAIN, s. a bargain from which the purchaser draws back. 

RUFFERS, s. hatting term, the men who put the nap on those 
hats known as " beavers." 

This branch of industry was superseded about thirty years ago by the intro- 
duction of silk hats, which are made by covering a stiffened calico body with 
a silk plush, and the men employed as ruffers had to seek other employment. 
About four years ago the beaver hat was again introduced for ladies' wear, 
and on account of the great demand, and small number of workmen then 
living who understood the work, great difficulty was experienced in meeting 
the demand. These men, who were all grown old, were eagerly sought out ; 
and many who had gone into the workhouses to end their days were fetched 
away and put in easy and lucrative employment. See RUFFING. 

RUFFIN, s. a ruffian. 

RUFFING, part, hatting term. The process of putting the nap on 
beaver hats. 

It is a more interesting process than many in the hat-making industry. 
After the hat body has been made and stiffened with a solution of shellac, 
the beaver or other material which is to form the nap is spread out and cut 
to the shape of the hat body flattened. It is then laid on the hat body in 
three folds, but between each fold being laid on, the hat has to be rolled in a 
cloth so as to get the nap to adhere. After the third layer or fold has been 
put on the hats are rolled for three hours, and frequently immersed in boiling 
acidulated water, the effect of which is to cause the nap to grow quite fast to 
the hat body. The fibres of the nap, having projections like teeth, pointing 
outwards, work into the body, and cannot be pulled out ; and if this rolling 
process were continued long enough the nap would work through the 
hat body, and come out on the other side. The third and last layer which 
is put on is mixed with cotton, which, being a vegetable fibre, will not felt ; 
and this prevents the nap from felting during the continuous rolling to which 
it is subjected. Only animal fibres will felt ; and it is remarkable that wool 
taken from sheepskins has not the same felting properties as wool which has 
been shorn from the back of the living sheep. 

RUINATE, v. to seduce. 

RUINATION, s. ruin. 

"Jack were the ruination o' Bill." 

RUMPUS, s. row, disturbance. 

RUN-A-BUR-JUMP, s. a jump where the impetus is gained by 
taking a run. See BURR (4). 


RUNAGATE, s. an idle person. 

This antiquated word is still in common use in Cheshire. 

RUNDLE, s. a small running stream. 

RUNGE, s. salt-mining term. A large tub or bucket used for 
drawing water or brine out of a rock-salt mine. 

RUNGEING, adj. savage, violent. FRODSHAM. 

A sow which was so violent that a man was unable to put a ring in her 
nose was described as " a great, big, rungeing thing." 

RUNNER, s. a policeman. Becoming obsolete, but quite common 
thirty years ago. 

RUNNER-DOWN, s. hatting term. A small implement with a 
groove by which a tight cord can be moved up and down the 
crown of a hat. 

RUN ONE'S COUNTRY, v. to abscond from creditors. 

RUN KYI, part, (i) impoverished; said of land that has been too 
heavily cropped, and not sufficiently 

(2) extinct. 
"Billy Green pratoes are run ait, there's none on em nai." 

RUNT, v. to hum, to whistle. L. 

RUSHBEARING, s. a custom of carrying rushes to the Church, 
still kept up at Lymm, Farndon, Aldford, Coddington, Tilstone, 
Shocklach, and probably many other parishes. 

Formerly the rushes were strewed on the floor, presumably for the 
purposes of warmth ; but now the custom takes the form of decorating the 
walls of the church with flowers and rushes, and laying rushes on the graves 
of departed friends ; hence the custom has also been called Rush-burying. 

The following details concerning the rushbearing formerly observed at 
Wilmslow is supplied by a correspondent : " I know from my grandfather and 
grandmother that there was formerly a rush-bearing at Wilmslow, with the 
accompaniment of Morris Dancing, &c. A Mary Massey, called Mary 
Lappinch, from the name of the place where she lived Lappinch Hall, on 
Lindow racecourse being the presiding genius at this Morris Dancing. I 
just remember the old woman. When 1 knew her she was very old, and I 
was only a child. From what I gathered from my grandparents this rush- 
bearing was for a useful purpose. The rushes were gathered some time 
previously by the swains of the parish gratuitously, and on the set day some 
of the farmers' teams would carry them to the Church with rejoicings. The 
rushes were then strewn all over the floor of the Church, for the purposes of 
warmth during the coming winter. I have often heard my grandmother 
speak of the great comfort these rushes afforded ; for these were not the days 
of hot water apparatus, &c." 

RUT, s. the dashing of the waves. HALLIWELL. 
RUTC H ART, prop. name. Richard. W. CHES. 


RUTE, v. to cry with vehemence, to strive as children do sometimes 
in crying, to make as much noise as they can ; to bellow or roar. 
W. The word is quite obsolete, I think. 

RYAL, adj. pronunciation of royal 

RYNT, ) 

ROYNT, \ v. to get out of the way. 

RUNT, ) 

lt Rynt thee," is an expression used by milk-maids to a cow when she has 
been milked, to bid her get out of the way. W. 

Ray gives " Rynt you, witch, quoth Besse Lockett to her mother," as 
an old Cheshire saying. 





SACKERS, s. salt-making term. Men who hold the salt sacks 
whilst they are being filled. 

SACKING or SECKING, part, salt-making term. When a sack 
is too full to stitch properly, the men jump it up and down, to 
cause the salt to settle more closely ; this is called sacking. 
Shaking corn in a bag to make it more solid is also called sacking it. 

SAD, adj. sodden, livery. 

Said of bread which is heavy. 

SADE, v. to surfeit, to tire. Mow COP. 

"Too much puddin ud sade a dog" is the local way of expressing the 
undesirability of too much, even of a good thing. See ^ilso SATE. 

SADED, part, tired. DELAMERE. 
" I'm quite saded out." 

SAFE, adj. sure, certain. 

" Safe to be drownded." " Safe to be hung." 

SAG, v. to swag. MOBBERLEY. 

A beam that drops in the middle is said to sag. 

SAGE CHEESE, s. cheese with the juice of sage mixed amongst 
the curd. 

It gives it a peculiar green-mottled appearance, and a flavour much 
relished by some. Occasionally the vat is half-filled with sage cheese, and 
filled up with plain cheese, so that when a wedge of cheese is brought to 
table one half is flavoured with sage and the other not, and each person can 
be helped to the kind he likes best. Very few sage cheeses are now made. 


SAID, part, advised, induced, deterred. 
" He winna be said." 

SAILOR, s. a long, black, coleopterous insect. 

There is a red one, very similar in shape, called a " Soldier." 

SAINT ANTHONY'S FIRE, s. erysipelas, 


SAIN YE, excl. a term of reprobation, an oath. 

SAKE, s. (i) a wet spot where the water oozes out on the surface of 
the land; a land spring. MOBBERLEY, and I think 

(2) surface water in contradistinction to water from a deep 

Thus a very shallow pump-well made to collect merely the water that 
drains from the surface of the land is spoken of as "only a sake," whilst a deep 
well would be dignified as "a spring." 

SAKE, v. to percolate, as water does either into or out of anything 
or any place. 

SALADINE, s. celandine, Chelidonium majus. 
SALARY, s. celery. 

SALLET, s. salad; formerly extended to pickles. 

"Sallet, is either Sweet Herbs, or Pickled Fruit, as Cucumbers, Samphire, 
Elder-Buds, Broom-buds, &c., eaten with Roasted meats." Academy of 
Armory, Bk. III., ch. iii., p. 84. 

At public dinners the country people still eat pickles with hot roast 

When grass is firm and good to mow the mowers say " it cuts like a 

SAMCLOTH, s. an old and apparently the refined word for a 

"A Samcloth, vulgarly a Sampler." Academy of Armory, Bk. III., 
ch. iii., p. 73. 

SAMMUL, prop. name. Samuel. 

SAMSON CLOTH, s. hatting term. A coarse cloth used in the 
early stage of felting. 

SAMSON-TRAP, s. a kind of mousetrap which kills the mouse by 
a block of wood falling on it. WILMSLOW. 

SANCTUARY, s. the herb Erythraa Centaurium, largely collected 
by the herb doctors and used as a stomachic, and, I believe, one 
of the ingredients of what is sold in the towns as "botanic beer." 


A curious custom originally peculiar to Knutsford, but now extended to a 
few of the neighbouring villages. On the occasion of a marriage the friends 
of the bride and bridegroom put sand before their doors in patterns, the most 
approved pattern being like scale armour. Mottoes are also written in sand, 
one of the most popular being 

"Long may they live and happy may they be; 

Blest with contentment to all eternity." 

The sanding extends about halfway across the streets from each house, and if 
the bride and bridegroom are favourites, or are people of distinction, almost 


the whole town is thus sanded, having a strange but pretty effect. The 
patterns are made by trickling the sand through a large funnel, occasionally 
sands of various colours being used. 

The origin of this custom is veiled in obscurity. There is, however, a 
tradition that it is not of very great antiquity, but that it was first practised 
about 150 years since, when the bell of the Chapel of Ease, which stood in 
the Lower Street, was cracked, and was too discordant to be rung at 
weddings, and the people exercised their ingenuity in devising this new 
method of testifying their joy. The tradition has not a genuine ring about 
it, and sounds very much like one invented to account for a custom of 
unknown origin. 

SANJEM, s. an early variety of apple, supposed to be ripe on St. 
James's day (July 25). 

Leigh has San Jam Pear, and explains it as the " Green Chiswell Pear." 
I have never heard this pear so called, and I think it must be an error. 

SANJEM FAIR, s. a very popular fair held at Altrincham on St. 
James's day. 

SAP, s. the soft outside part of timber. It is always spoken of as 
sap, not sap-wood. 

It is an old and common saying amongst joiners that " Sap and heart are 
the best of the wood," meaning that all parts of the timber are useful for 
some purpose or other. 

SAPPY, s. a soft, foolish person. 

SAP-YED, s. a soft person. 

SARMONT, s. a sermon. 

SARTIN, adj. certain. 

SARTIN SURE, adj. absolutely certain. 

SARVE, v. to serve. 

The assistant who hands the straw up to the thatcher, or bricks and 
mortar to the bricklayer, is always said to "sarve" him. 

SARVENT, s. a servant. 
SARVENT-WENCH, s. a female servant. 

SARVER, s. (i) a small, round, flat basket, used as a measure for a 
feed of oats for a horse. 

(2) one who serves a bricklayer, thatcher, &c. 

SARVE UP or SERVE UP, v. to litter and fodder horses and 
cattle before leaving them for the night. 
This is generally done about eight o'clock. 

SATE, v. to cloy, to satiate. See SADE. 
SATING, part. adj. cloying, satiating. 


SAUCE ALONE, s. the hedge garlic, Alliaria offidnalis. 

SAUGH, s. the sallow tree. W. Salix. 
I think now quite obsolete. 

SAVAGE, adj, rank-growing, luxuriant. 

Often applied to the dark green colour which indicates a luxuriant growth 
in plants. MOBBERLEY. 

Thus wheat or other plants are often said to be " of a good savage colour. " 

SAVATION, s. (i) saving, economy. 

(2) protection from injury. 

Old Mrs. Powell, who worked on a farm at Norton, always wore a pair 
of men's trousers. Meeting her one day with her petticoats tucked up so that 
the trousers were visible, I said to her, ' ' Then you wear the breeches, Mrs. 
Powell?" " Oh ay," said she, " they're a great savation to my legs." 

SAVER, s. the sides of a cart, removable at pleasure. L. 

SAVVER, v. to savour, to relish. Also to smell appetising. 
" Do you like that ?" "Ay, it savvers weel." 
" There's summat good i'th' oon, it sawers weel." 

SAW-FILER, s, the great titmouse, Parus major, whose note is like 
filing a saw. Cheshire Sheaf, vol. i., p. 322. 

SAW FITCH or FINCH, s. the larger tom-tit. L. Parus major. 
SAW GATE, s. the cut made by a saw in passing through timber. 

SAWING, part, a term used in the New Red Sandstone quarries 
about RUNCORN, HALTON, DARESBURY, and elsewhere. 

The process consists in cutting, by means of pick-axes, a deep, narrow 
groove behind a block of stone. When deep enough, the stone is detached 
from its becfby means of wedges. The usual price for sawing is about ijd. 
per square foot. 

SAWMIL, s. a great, clumsy fellow. WILMSLOW. 
SAWNEY, s. a soft fellow. 
SAWT, s. and adj. salt. 

SAWT-CART, s. salt-making term. A small two-wheeled truck with 
high sides, open at one end only for convenience of discharging 
or "tipping" the salt. 

They contain about five cwt. when loaded, and are handled by one man 
each by means of a small pair of shafts. 

SAWT-MAN, s. an itinerant vendor of salt. 

These men hawk lump salt all over Cheshire in small carts. 
SAY, v. to advise, induce. 

" Will nothing say the ?" 


SBLID, excl. an oath; by his blood. W. 

I am not aware that I ever heard this oath in Cheshire. I think it is 

S GABBLE, v. to square up large stones in a quarry with a flat-edged 

SCABBY-HEAD, s. the plant Torilis Anthriscus. DELAMERE. 
SCAFFLING, s. (i) a scaffold for building. 
(2) an eel HALLIWELL. 
SCAFFLINGS, s. stone chippings. 

SCALE, s. salt-making term. Incrustations of dirt or lime on the 
pan bottoms. 

SCALE, v. salt-making term. When a man allows salt scale to form 
on the fireplates, he is said to " scale his pon." 
The result of scaling is the burning through of the plates. 

SCAMP, v. to scamp work is to do it badly, or rather dishonestly, 
such as using bad materials when the contract is for good. 

SCAR, s. a rock. 

Often one overhanging a river. Overton Scar. L. 

SCAWD, s. sometimes hot tea is so called. 
" Wilt have a cup o' stawd?" 

SCAWD, v. to scald. 


In Cheshire a slaughtered pig is never singed as in many counties. 
Directly it is killed it is placed in very hot water, by which means the hair 
and scarf-skin can be easily scraped off. 

" He'd drink as mitch ale as would scawd a pig " is a sort of proverbial 
phrase applied to great topers. 

SCAWM, s. litter, dust, disturbance. L. 
SCAYBRIL, s. the field Scabious, Scabiosa arvensis. 
SCHARN, s. cow dung. W. 

SCHAYME or SCHEME, v. to plan, to arrange, to contrive. 
" Canna yo schayme it ?" 

SCHOLARD, s. a scholar. 

SCHOOLIN or SCHOOIN, s. education. 
" He never had no schoolin." 



SCOPE, s. a bowl with a straight wooden handle fixed to it. Used 
for baling or skimming. 

A flour-scope is of a different form, used for getting flour out of a sack or 
a bin. 

A midden-scope is a bowl at the end of a long handle, used for baling 
liquid manure on to a manure heap. 

In salt making a scope is a wooden bowl used for skimming the scum 
from brine. 

SCOPERIL, s. a term of reproach applied to a fidgetty person. HYDE. 

SCORE, s. (i) public pasture ground. 

The salt-marshes about Frodsham, where each farm has the right of so 
many cow-gates (which see), is generally called Frodsham Score. 

(2) the numerical score is in constant use in Cheshire in 
counting or in computing weights. 

The weight of animals is reckoned in scores, not in stones. Turnips, 
potatoes, &c., when got up by piece-work are paid for at so much per score 

SCOT, s. a Scotch beast ; but any black beast is often so called. 
I have heard a butcher say he was going to kill a Welsh Scot! 

SCOUR, v. to purge. 

SCOUVER, s. scurry, confusion. L. 

SCRAG-PIECE, s. (i) a carpenter's term for a useless bit of wood 
that cannot be employed. L. 

(2) a term of contempt. 
SCR ANN Y, adj. thin, meagre. W. 

SCRAPE, s. seeds or corn laid on the snow, in order to get a raking 
shot at birds. L. See SHRAPE. 

SCR APED AYTIONS, \ , , . , 

SCRAPE-DISH I s ' a carem ^ miserly person. L. 

SCR AT, s. (i) the itch. W. 

(2) an hermaphrodite. W. 

SCRAT, v. to scratch. 

" Th' ens have been i' th' garden, and scratted up everythink." 

SCRATCH, s. a hanging frame for bacon. L. 


SCRATCHERNS, s. the same as CRATCHERNS, q.v. 

SCRATTLE, s. (i) dispute, disturbance. Mow COP. 

(2) a precarious livelihood is called "a scrattle for 
a living." Cheshire Sheaf, vol. i., p. 83. 


SCRATTLE, v. to scratch as fowls do. W. 

SCRAUNCHERN, s. overdone fat meat. BREDBURY, near Stock- 

SCRAWL, s. a mean man. WILMSLOW. 

SCRAWL, v. to crawl. 

SCRAWM, v. to scramble, to gather hastily together. HYDE. 

SCRAWP, s. a scrape. Manchester City News, Notes and Queries 
column, Feb. 26, 1881, but not localized. 

SCREAK, v. to creak. 

SCREEN, s. (i) a wooden settee, something like a sofa, but with 
square ends and a perpendicular back. 

In some screens the back is low, in others it is high, reaching well above 
the heads of persons sitting on the screen.. The older specimens of both 
kinds are elaborately carved. The high-backed screens are often placed 
alongside the fire, so as to form a snug sort of chimney corner. 

(2) Sometimes a permanent wall is built out from the 

fireplace, and to it a fixed seat is attached ; and 
this also is called a screen, also a speer, q.v. 

(3) a large square sieve reared up in a sloping position 

for the purpose of sifting coals, gravel, sand for 
building, &c. 

The material to be screened is thrown against it, the small going through 
and the coarse falling at the front of it. 

SCREEN, v. to sift. 
SCREETCH, v. to shriek. 

SCREEVE, v. to ooze out, to exude moisture. 

An old woman in describing the appearance of the corpse of a relative 
who had died said, "Aw shanna go to see her again, for oo were badly 
swelled, an oo'd begun to screeve; for aw they'd putten a plate o' sawt on 

It is customary in Cheshire to place a plate of salt on a corpse to keep it, 
as is supposed, from swelling. 

SCRIBE, v. (i) to mark timber by means of a tool called a scribing 

(2) to mark a board with a pair of compasses so. as to 
make it fit an uneven surface. 

The straight edge of the board is placed against the uneven surface ; a 
pair of joiner's compasses are then fixed open a sufficient distance ; one point 
is drawn along the uneven surface, the other marks a line parallel to it on 
the board to which it is cut. The board then exactly fits the uneven surface. 

SCRIBING IRON, s. an instrument for marking timber. 


SCROOGE, v. to squeeze. 

SCROWE, s. row. L. 

SCRUB, s. a mean fellow. 

SCRUFF, SCUFF, or SCUFT, s. the back of the neck. 


SCUFFLER, s. a kind of garden hoe which the workman pushes 
before him. It has a sharp edge, and cuts the weeds off just 
below the surface of the soil. 

SCUFFLIN, adj. dirty, dusty. L. 
SCUFT, s. (i) a blow with the hand. 
(2) See SCRUFF. 

SCUFT, v. to seize a person by the back of the neck. 
"Scuff him." 

SCURRICK, s. (i) particle, scrap. 

" Not a scurrick shalt thou have." L. 

(2) applied to people to indicate the whole number, 
the whole band. HYDE. 

" Every scurrick of them." 
SCURVY GRASS, s. Galium Aparine. W. CHES. 

SCUTCH, s. (i) Triticum repens and other creeping rooted grasses. 
Also called SCUTCH-GRASS. 

(2) a blow with a whip or a switch. 

(3) a switch, a whip. 

(4) a bricklayer's hammer with two faces for cutting 


SCUTCH, v. (i) to whip. 

"Scutch behint, mester ; scutch behint," the boys shout to the driver of 
a carriage when a young urchin is hanging on behind. 

(2) to face blocks of stone by chipping the surface 
with a small sharp pick. 

SCUTTER, v. (i) to scramble away in a hurry. 

(2) to scatter anything which is to be scrambled for. 
Years ago they used to scutter money at weddings. 

SCUTTLE, s. a small piece of wood pointed at both ends, used at 
a game like trap-ball. W. 

I presume this is what is now generally called a cat. 


SEAL, s. a wart on a horse. L. 

SEAM, v. (r) to sear new cheeses with a hot iron, so as to close up 
all surface cracks, in order to prevent cheese flies 
from entering to deposit their eggs. 

(2) to sew a seam. 

SEAM-RENT, part, (i) (or SHEEAM-RENT), said of a shoe when 
the upper leather begins to part from 

(2) also used figuratively when one part of any- 
thing separates from another part. 

SEARCE or SEARCER, s. a peculiar kind of sieve described by 
Randle Holme. 

" The Scarce or Scarcer, it is a fine Sieve with a Leather cover on the top 
and bottom of the Sieve Rim, to keep the Dant or Flower of any Pulverised 
Substance that nothing be lost of it in the Searcing." Academy of Armory, 
Bk. III., ch. viii., p. 337. 

SEARCHING, /ar/. adj. penetrating. 

Goose grease is in great repute to rub on the chests of children when they 
have a severe cold, because " it's so searching." 

SEATH or SEETH, s. an old word, found in some legal documents, 
for a brine-pit. L. See SHEATH. 

SEAT-ROD or PUNCH-ROD, s. a smith's tool, mentioned by 
Randle Holme. See PUNCH ROD. 

Now called a set-rod. 

SEAVE, s. a rush. 

It is generally used for a rush drawn through melted grease, which in the 
northern counties serves for a candle. W. 

SECK, s. a sack. 

To " get th' seek " is metaphorical for being discharged from service. 

To "give th' seek a turn" is equivalent to the ordinary expression "to 
turn the tables." See SHUTTING. 

SEDCOCK, s. the missel thrush, Turdus visrivorus. MOBBERLEY. 


SEECH, SECH, SIKE, or SYKE, s. a spring in a field, which, 
having no immediate outlet, forms a boggy place. W. See 

SEECHY, adj. boggy. W. 


SEED, v. perf. tense of see. 

SEED-HOPPIT, s. a basket from which a sower sows his seed. 

It is slung round the neck by a strap, and has a wooden handle standing 
up from the outer edge, which the man grasps with his left hand. 

SEEING GLASS, s. a looking glass. 

Mentioned in an inventory of property belonging to Margery Glutton of 
Nantwich, 1611. Local Gleanings, Feb., 1880, p. 298. 

SEENY, s. senna. 

SEET, s. (i) sight. 

(2) a great number, or quantity. 
"A seefo' folk." 

SEET, v. perf. tense of sit. 
SEETCH, v. to seek. 

SEETLY, adj. sightly. Is generally used in the sense of handsome. 
' ' A seetly wench " is a handsome girl. W. 

SEG, s. (i) a lump of skin inside the hand, where it has been 
thickened by hard work. 

(2) a bull castrated when full grown. 

SEGGED, part, (i) hardened; said of hands when the skin is 
thickened by hard work. WILDERSPOOL. 

(2) castrated, but only applied when the operation 
is performed on full-grown animals. 


SEL, pron. self. 

Used only in the compounds mysel, yoursel, hissel, hersel, &c. 

SELL SHOP, v. to keep a shop. Mow COP. 

It is locally said of a trades-person that " he sells shop." 
SELT, s. chance, a thing of rare occurrence. W. 

SEN, v. plural of the present tense of say. 
' ' They sen so. " 

SENEVE, v. a corpse which begins to change is said to seneve; so 
is joiners' work, which begins to warp. W. 

SENNA, s. a sinew. 

SENNA-GREWN, part, stiff in the sinews, or rather having the 
sinews contracted. 

"Aw've getten th' rheumatics so bad, aw'm welly senna-groan." 


SERGE, s. any flaglike water plant, especially the bulrush. Typha. 

SERROP, s. syrup. 

SESS, s. a heap, a pile. Mow COP. 

SESS, v. (i) to soak straw with water in preparation for thatching. 

(2) to pile up boards for seasoning. 

(3) to pile up bricks or slates neatly. 

SESS-YED, s. a turf-getting term ; the face of turf which has not 
been got standing high up above the land from which the turf 
has been removed. 

SET, s. (i) a cutting of a potato or a small potato for planting. 

(2) salt-making term. When the crystals of bay-salt begin 

to form upon the strings and thorns, the pan is said 
to have a good or a bad set according as the crystals 
are large or small. 

(3) a blacksmith's tool for cutting into hot iron, it is held in 

the bend of a twisted hazel rod ; also called a SWAGE. 

(4) a place where carts are habitually loaded or unloaded. 
The raised platform in front of a mill is called the " mill-set." 

Carts are loaded at a coal-pit at the set. 

SET, v. (i) to harden. 

Mortar sets when it becomes hard, and jelly sets when it solidifies. 

(2) to let work by piece. 

(3) to let a house or land to a tenant. 

(4) to accompany. 

"I'll set you a piece of the way" means " I'll go a little way with you." 

(5) to plant. 

(6) to place a cart ready for loading or unloading at a raised 

platform, such as is seen in front of a mill. 

(7) to put together, a cheese-making term. 

Setting a cheese is mixing the evening's and the morning's milk in the 
cheese-tub, adding the rennet, raising all to the proper temperature, and in fact 
making all the preparations necessary for the coagulation of the curd. 

SET DOWN, v. salt-making term. To prepare. 

When a pan is prepared for making a particular kind of salt, it is said to 
be set down for it. In salt-makers' language a pan is spoken off as "she." 

SET IN, v. to put bread into the oven. 

SET-OFF, s. a projection in a building, or perhaps more correctly 
it is the portion of the wall which recedes that should be called 
a set-off. 


SET-OVER, s. (i) an application of manure to a field. 

When manure is freely applied, the farmer is said to be giving his field 
"a good set-over." 

(2) a projecting cover to the top of a wall. 

SET OVER, v. salt-making term. When a thin film is formed over 
the pan it is said to be set over. 

SET-ROD, s. a hazel stick twisted round a blacksmith's punch, 
with which it is held whilst punching or cutting red-hot iron. 

SETTING-STICK, s. a short pointed stick, used for planting 

Generally made out of a broken spade handle. 

SETTLE, s. (i) a long wooden seat; the same as SCREEN (i). 

(2) any bench or frame for supporting heavy weights. 
Thus a barrel of beer might be said to be stillaged "on a stone settle." 

SETTLE STONE, s. a hollow stone for washing on. L. 
SETTLINGS, s. sediment. 
SHACKUSSIN, adj. shambling. 
SHADE, s. a shed. 

SHADED, part, sheltered not only from the sun but from wind, &c. 

"Th' plants '11 grow weel uppo yon bed; its shaded from th' 
east wynd." 


SHEEDOM, \adj. surprising, strange, past belief. 


" It's shadow" 

SHAFFLIN AND HAFFLIN, idiom, undecided, shilly-shallying. 

" Go's shafflin and hafflin, and conna tell whether oo'll gie th' 
lond up or not." 

SHAGGY METAL, s. salt-mining term. Porous clay in the side of 
the shaft, which admits the ingress of fresh water. Also called 

SHAOUTJ* to shout ' 

SHAKE, s. (i) a raffle. 

" My mon won the picture in a shake." 

Raffles are very fashionable amongst the country people. Guns, watches, 
hens, geese, cheeses, fat pigs, and a host of other things are constantly being 
sold by this means. The throwing of dice decides the ownership. 


(2) a crack in growing timber. 

(3) a shivering fit. 

" I doubt oo's in a bad way ; oo's had a shake" 

(4) a permanent diminution of health. 

"He's not what he was last summer; that illness he had at th' 
back eend has gen him a shake" 

SHAKEBAG, s. a worthless, improvident fellow. WILMSLOW. 

SHAKEN, part. adj. (i) a tree of which the timber is cracked 

longitudinally is said to be shaken. 

(2) also said of a person wanting in intellect. 
SHAKERS, s. quaking grass, Briza media. 
SHAKING ASP, s. the aspen tree, Populus tremula. MACCLESFIELD. 

SHAKIT, s. a child's night dress. Manchester City News, Notes 
and Queries column, Feb. 12, 1881 ; but not localized. 

This seems a very unusual word, and I am inclined to think it a mis- 
apprehension of n\$A-jacket. 

SHALE, v. to clear peas or beans from their pods. W. More 
frequently SHULL. 

SHAM, v. to tread out a shoe on one side. 
SHAMMOCKIN, adj. ungainly, clownish. See SHOMMAKIN. 
SHANDRY, s. a spring-cart. 

phorically to signify that a person walks. 

" How did you come ?" " Oh ! uppo Shanks Galloway" 

SHANNA or SHONNA (before a consonant), SHANNER or 
SHONNER (before a vowel or h mute), v. shall not. 

SHAOUT, v. to shout. WILMSLOW. 

SHAOUTER O' GATLEY (Shouter of Galley), idiom, any loud 
spoken, boisterous person was formerly so called. WILMSLOW. 

SHAOUTERS, s. shouters. Applied to currants in bread or in a 
pudding when they are very few and far between. WILMSLOW. 

SHAPE, s. the pudendum of an animal. 

SHAPE, v. (i) to begin, to set about anything. 
To "shape for gooin" means to prepare to go. 

(2) to do a thing properly, to promise well. 

A young beginner "shapes well" or "shapes badly" as he begins his 
work well or ill. 

3 io 


SHARAVIL, s. a potato fork. COMBERMERE. 

SHARP, adj. (i) cold, frosty. 

"Its very sharp, this morning." 

(2) pungent in taste. 
" A good sharp cheese." 

(3) quick, active. 

" Now, look sharp," i.e., " Be quick." 

(4) quick-witted. 

" Go's a sharp little wench." 

SHARPS, 5-. (i) a very coarse quality of flour, frequently used as 
pig food. 

(2) metaphorical for needles, or perhaps more correctly 
an idiom meaning "at your own risk." 

"If you come on to (i.e., attack) me, you come on your sharps, as 
tailior said when he shewed his needle," is a sort of proverbial expression. 

SHATTERY, adj. hair-brained, giddy. W. 
SHAVER, s. a mischievous person. 
SHAW, s. a wood. L. 

SHAWM, s. a hautboy. 

The instrument was always so called by old people about Wilmslow fifty 
years since. 

SHEAR, v. to reap corn with a sickle. 
SHEARER, s. a reaper. 

SHEATH, s. (i) a part of a plough, described by Randle Holme. 

" The Sheath, is the Iron which holds the Beam and Throck together. "- 
Academy of Armory, Bk. III., ch. viii., p. 333. 

(2) salt-mining term; the old name for a brine-shaft. 

The street in Northwich where the old brine-shaft was is still called Sheath 

SHED, s. difference. 

"There is no shed between them " is a common saying. 

It is also used for the hair of the head falling to the right and left. W. 

SHED, v. to surpass or divide. W. 

SHEEAD or SHEED, s. weaving term ; the crossing of the bunches 
of warp through which the rods pass. 


SHEED, v. (i) to shed, to spill. 

Used both as regards liquids and dry substances. 

" the litle boy had a home 

of red golde that ronge ; 
he said, ' there was noe Cuckolde 

shall drinke of my home, 
but he shold ith sheede 

Either behind or beforne.' " 

"Boy and Mantle," Percy MS., Hales and 

Furnivall ed. 
"Th' curn's sheedin i' th' field." 

(2) to slope. 

SHELL BOARD, s. one of the parts of a plough, enumerated by 
Randle Holme. Academy of Armory, Bk. III., ch. viii., p. 333. 

SHELLCOCK, s. the missel thrush. See SEDCOCK. 

SHELL MARL, s. a shaly marl found between the upper beds of 
the new red sandstone. 

SHELLY, adj. (i) not thriving; applied to hide bound cattle which 
do not grow well. 

(2) salt-mining term. Applied to marl having flakes 
of limestone in it ; or which being foliated 
cleaves into flakes. 

SHEPSTER, s. (i) a starling. Sturnus vulgaris. 

(2) a worthless fellow. WILMSLOW. 
SHERCOCK, s. the missel thrush. See SEDCOCK. 

SHIFT, s. contrivance, handiness. WILMSLOW. 
" He's noo shift in him." 

SHIFT, v. to change the clothes of a sick person. 
" He was na shifted of a month." 

SHIM, adj. a clear bright white. W. 

SHINGLES, s. "laths or clefts of wood to cover houses with." 

Mentioned in an inventory of property belonging to Margery Glutton of 
Nantwich, 1611. Local Gleanings, Feb., 1880, p. 301. 

Probably the shingles mentioned in the inventory were broad laths upon 
which to lay thatch. 

SHIP, s. "so they call a great cistern by their panns sides, into 
which the brine runs." (NANTWICH, 1669) Philosophical Trans- 
actions, vol. iv., p. 1065. 


SHIPPON, s. a cow-house. 

SHIRT ONE'S-SELF, v. to put on a clean shirt for Sunday. 

It is customary for farm labourers, who live in the farmer's house, to have 
their washing done at their own homes, or at the house of some relative or 
friend. They go home on Saturday night, or on Sunday morning, and put 
on a clean shirt, leaving the dirty one to be washed against the next week- 
end. This is called " going home to shirt him." 

SKITTER OFF, v. to trickle off, as small coal or gravel would 
trickle off a cart when the backboard is removed. WILMSLOW. 

SHIVE, s. a slice. SHEIVE (WILMSLOW). 
SHOAF or SHOFE, s. a sheaf of corn. W. 

SHOAT, s. (i) a young pig between a sucker and a porker. 

(2) a term of contempt applied to a young person. 
SHOG, v. to jolt. WILMSLOW. 
SHOMMAKIN, adj. shaky. 

"Tha talks abite bein sober, bu' tha'rt desperate shommakin."- 


SHOO, s. a shovel or spade. 

"Th' sexton has shaked his shoo at him " is a Cheshire saying, meaning 
that a man is so ill he is not likely to get better. 

SHOO, v. (i) to shovel anything up with a spade; but not to dig in 

the ordinary sense of the word. 
To clean a ditch is to " shoo it ite." 

(2) to drive anything away, as hens from a garden. 
Generally accompanied with the exclamation, " Shoo! Shoo !" 

SHOO, excl. used when driving anything away. 

SHOOINGS, s. the scourings of ditches or of the sides of roads. 

SHOON, s. plural of shoe. 

" He'll dee in his shoon " is synonymous with saying that a man will be 

SHOOT. See SHUTE, which is the more correct pronunciation. 

SHOOTER BOARDS or SUITER BOARDS, s. boards placed 
between two cheeses in the press. NANTWICH. Local Gleanings, 
Feb., 1880, p. 301. 


SMOOTHER, s. a shoulder. 

"To put one's shoulder out " is an idiom meaning to take offence. 

I heard an altercation between a woman in Runcorn and the driver of a 
coal dealer's cart. It appeared from the conversation that the coal dealer 
had been charging too much, and the woman had bought coals cheaper from 
some one else, and that the original coal dealer was aggrieved thereby. The 
woman finished her harangue by observing, "There's plenty of coal for less 
money, and what'll pee one '11 pee another ; he's no need to put his shoother 
ite abite his coal." 

SHOOTHER, v. to shoother (or shoulder) a pig is to stick it clumsily 
so that the knife touches the shoulder. 

The portion so damaged does not bleed quite freely, and often will not 
take the salt. 

SHOOTHER-WARK (shoulder-work), s. any work that is con- 
tinuously hard. 

Used figuratively from a horse Drawing a load up hill, of which it is 
said, " It's allus uppo th' shoother." 

SHOOTS, s. salt-making term. Broken stoved salt. 
SHORING, s. a lean-to, or shed, built against another building. 

SHORT-BACK, s. a name given by slaters to a particular sized 
grey slate. See LONG-BACK. 

SHORT-TURN, s. hatting term, a treating given to workmen when 
in search of employment. 

SHORT-WAISTED, adj. applied figuratively to a short-tempered 

SHOT, s. an alehouse reckoning. 

SHOT-HOLE, s. the hole made in rock for blasting. 

SHOULDIER, s. a soldier. 

SHOUTING DEAF, adj. a person is called so who is so deaf that 
you must shout to him. L. 

SHOVERING, s. a shoring or penthouse. 

This is an old word found in Cheshire documents of the sixteenth century, 
but now obsolete, or contracted into shoring. Cheshire Sheaf, vol. ii. 202. 

SHOVES, s. broken pieces of hemp stalk. 

"Shoves, are the small breakings of the Hemp or Flax Stalks, which 
often sticketh in the courses! sort of them." Academy of Armory, Bk. III., 
ch. iii., p. 107. 

SHRAPE, s. corn or seeds laid for birds. WILMSLOW See SCRAPE 



A curious custom prevails about MOBBERLEY and ASHLEY. Everyone 
tries to eat as many pancakes as he or she possibly can. Anyone who is 
staiued, that is, who cannot get through his pancakes, is carried out by the 
rest and tumbled on to the midden. 

SHUDES, s. husks of oats, sifted from the meal. 

Bacon is often stowed away in a chest amongst shoods; it is supposed to 
keep it free from reest. Occasionally oat shoods are ground - up very fine for 
the purpose of adulterating oatmeal and other pig-meat ; but very few millers 
care to grind it, as it gets so hot that there is considerable danger of setting 
the mill on fire. A street in Manchester, occupied almost exclusively by 
cheese and bacon factors and wholesale provision dealers, is called Shude-hill. 
It is said to have derived its name from the shoods which were constantly 
being emptied out from the bacon stores ; but it is probable that the name is 
far older than the bacon and cheese stores, for the old manorial mill was 
situated just below Shude-hill, and it has been conjectured that the shudes 
were carted from the mill and spread on the road to make the hill passable in 
slippery weather. 

SHUF, s. (i) a shoe. 

(2) a shovel. HYDE. 

SHULL, v. to shell peas or beans. 

SHUPARIOR, adj. superior. 

SHUSY, prop. name, diminutive of Susan. MOBBERLEY. 

SHUTE, s. (i) a suit of clothes. 

(2) the weft or woof which is shot across the warp in 


(3) a spout for rain water. 

(4) diarrhoea in cattle. 

SHUTE, v. (i) to suit. 

A father came to recommend his daughter as a servant, and finished up 
the list of her good qualities by saying, " Th' place '11 shute her, an' oo'll 
shute th' place." 

(2) to have diarrhoea. 

(3) salt-mining term. To ignite the fuse in blasting. 
SHUTEABLE, adj. suitable. 

SHUTER, s. an animal that has chronic diarrhoea, indicating that it 
is unsound, or, as is commonly called, "rotten." 

SHUT OF, prep, free from. 

To get shut o/a. man is to get rid of him. 

SHUTTANCE, s. riddance from a troublesome person or thing. 


SHUTTING, s. a harvest custom which, since the introduction of 
reaping machines, is almost, if not quite, obsolete. 

This could hardly be called a harvest-A0/#i? custom, as it took place, not 
when the last load was brought home, but when the last field of corn was 
cut. Generally it was only those farmers who had finished in pretty good 
time who ventured upon a shiitting. Those who were very much behind- 
hand did not care to let their neighbours know they had been so dilatory. 
There was a sort of friendly rivalry as to who should finish first. The 
shutting took place in this wise : The men used first to come to their master 
and ask permission to go through the ceremony, which, being granted, they 
proceeded to the highest ground on the farm, or near the homestead, where 
their voices could be heard a long way off, and there formed a ring. One of 
them then acted as spokesman and gave out the nominy, which in the 
Cheshire language means an oration. The first nominy was as follows, and 
was always given in the recognised form : 

" Oh, yes ! oh, yes ! oh, yes ! this is to give notice 
That M ester 'Olland 'as gen th' seek a turn, 
And sent th' owd hare into Mester Sincop's standin curn." 

Then they took hold of hands, and, bending down, shouted at the top of 
their voices a prolonged and most unearthly " Wow ! wow-w ! wow-w-w !" 

Other nominies followed, varied according to the taste and oratorical 
powers of the spokesman, having reference to special circumstances, such as 
gratuities, donors, &c. After the shutting the men had an extra allowance 
of beer ; and in the evening a supper, to which their wives generally 
accompanied them. In West Cheshire the custom called " Cutting the 
neck " (which see) took the place of the shutting of the middle and north- 
eastern parts of the county. See also SECK. 

SHUTTING A PIT, part, is a marling term, and implies that the 
marlers have ceased to " yoe " marl out of that pit. L. 

SIBBED, adj. related to, of kin to. W. 

SIDE, adj. long, trailing. 

Used in Skinner's time ; e.g., " I do not like side frocks for lirtle girls. " L. 

SIDE or SIDE UP, v. to put away, to make a place tidy. 

To side up the kitchen is to arrange it and put away all that has been in 
use and is not required any longer. 

To side up the dinner things is to wash all the plates and dishes and put 
them away. 

The word is even occasionally used for burying a person. 

" My mother '11 come back, from Hale when they'n sided owd 

SIDE-BOARDS, s. boards to raise the sides of a cart. See CART. 
S I DE-RAZZERS, s. building term. The purlins of a roof. KELSALL. 
SIDE-RAILS, s. part of the harvest gearing of a cart. See CART. 

SIDLANDS, s. sloping ground is said to be "on the sidtands." 


SIDLE, v. to move sideways in a fidgety manner. 


SIFTINGS, s. salt-making term. The waste and large salt that 
passes over the sieves. 

Generally what passes through sieves would be called siftings. 

SIGHE, s. a sieve or strainer; also spelt SEICHE. 

From an inventory of property belonging to Margery Glutton of Nantwich, 

" Farmers still say 'sigh the milk,' i.e., strain it to take out the hairs, 
&c., that may have fallen into the can during milking." Local Gleanings, 
January, 1880, p. 265. 

SIGHT, s. a great number ; a great quantity. Also SEET. 
" A sight o' folks." " A sight o' butther." 

SIKE, v. (i) to sob. 

" Th' poor babby does nowt bu' sike" 

(2) to sigh. 

" What are you sikin for?" 

" Every time you sike, you lose a drop of heart's blood," is a Cheshire 

" on his bed side he sette him downe, 
he siked sore and fell in swoone." 

" Eger and Grine," Percy Folio MS., Hales and 
Furnivall ed. 

SILE, s, (i) soil (earth). 
(2) soil (a stain). 
SILE, v. to soil, to dirty. 


" Is a thick copped Cake or Loaf made of white bread knodden up with 
Saffron and Currans." Academy of Armory, Bk. III., ch. vi., p. 293. 

Simnels are still eaten on Mid-Lent Sunday in Lancashire, but have 
ceased to be a Cheshire speciality. 

SIMON, s. a log for a fire. WILMSLOW. 
SIN, prep, since. 

SINK-DITCH, s, a wide deep hole, or ditch, into which the drainage 
of a farm yard runs. 

The liquid manure which collects in it is soaked up with peat soil, sand, 
dead leaves, and any rubbish of that kind that will rot and also collect the sedi- 
ment. The solid contents are shooed out periodically for putting on the land. 

SINK-FENCE, s. a sunk fence. 

SINK IT, excl. almost equivalent to damn it. 

"Damn it an' sink it, mon, tha'll kill th' tit." 
Sink thi is also used. 

SIPPER, v. when ducks filter dirty water through their bills they 
are said to be sippering. MOBBERLEY. 


SIRRY, s. sirrah, a contemptuous term often used to dogs. W. 
SURRY is the word now more commonly used. 

SISS, v. to hiss. 
SITCH, adv. such. 

SITHEE, exd. look you ! 

Also very frequently used in setting a dog at anything. 

SITHERS, s. scissors. 

SITTEN,/tfr/. (i) stunted. 

" That tree will grow no more, its quite sitten." 
Also used adjectively, "its a poor, sitten thing." 

(2) burnt. 
"Sitten porridge." L. 

SITTERS, s. roots of trees left in hedges after felling timber. 

SIVE, s. a sieve. 

" Sives or Riddles." Academy of Armory, Bk. III., ch. viii., p. 337. 

SIX O'CLOCK, metaphor. 

" It's welly six o'clock with him ;" said of one evidently failing. L. 

SIXT, adj. sixth. 

SKAOO or SKEOO, s. school. 

SKAVENGERS, s. officers appointed in the seventeenth century by 
the lord's court of burgesses of North wich. L. 

I believe these officers are still appointed at most Courts Leet. 

SKEEACE, adj. scarce. W. CHES. 

SKEER, v. (i) to rake out, applied to a fire. 
" Sheer th' ess," i.e., rake out the ashes. 
" Skeer your own fire " is a sort of proverbial expression. 
(2) to frighten, to startle. 

SKEERED, part. adj. afraid. DELAMERE. 
" He's sheered like, i'th' dark." 

SKELLERT, adj. crooked, out of the perpendicular. 

SKELP, s. a sharp stroke. WILMSLOW. 

SKELP, v. (i) to leap awkwardly, as a cow does. W. 

(2) to strike sharply. WILMSLOW. 

(3) to pare off uneven surfaces. 

" Skelpin a stack" is raking the sides smooth, or, in the case of a corn- 
stack, cutting the rough ends of the straw with a scythe. 


SKEN, v. (i) to squint. 

(2) to look furtively, to peer. 
SKEP (HYDE), SKIP (MOBBERLEY), s. a hamper. 
SKERRY BLUES, abbreviated into SKERRIES, s. a variety of potato. 

SKEW or SKEWBALD, adj. spotted or piebald. WILDERSPOOL. 

In most places, however, skewbald is brown and white, in contradis- 
tinction to piebald, which is black and white. 

SKEW-UP, v. a builder's term. 

It means finishing off the brickwork of a gable after the roof timbers are 
put on, by building it up to the level of the spars. 

SKEW-WIFT, v. to place anything corner-wise. 

SKEW-WIFTER, s. an unexpected blow. 

" He gen him a skew-wifter wi' his left bond." 

SKILLET, s. a brass pan. 

SKIM, v. (i) to plough a very shallow furrow preparatory to cover- 
ing it with another and deeper furrow. 
The whole operation is called TRENCH-PLOUGHING, q.v. 

(2) to skim wheat is to soak it in brine or some chemical 
solution, by which means the germs of parasitic 
fungi are destroyed. The light grains, which are not 
likely to germinate, also float to the surface and are 
skimmed off. 

SKIM-BOARD, s. salt-making term. A peculiar piece of wood for 
skimming the flakes from the surface of a pan making bay-salt. 

SKIM-COULTER or SKIM-COOTHER, s. a small coulter 
attached to the front of a plough, which skims off and turns the 
sod preparatory to its being covered by the regular furrow. 

SKIM-DICK, s. poor cheese made in early spring before the cows 
go out to grass, generally of skim milk. 

SKIMMER, s. salt-making term. A kind of circular spade bent in 
a peculiar form and perforated, used for drawing the salt out of 
the pans. 

Also a wooden bowl at the end of a long handle used for skimming the pan. 

SKIMP or SKIMPING, adj. scanty. 
" Her dress is very skimp." 

SKIMP, v. to economise. 
SKINNY, adj. mean, miserly. 


SKIP, s. (i) a large square basket used in cotton mills for conveying the 
bobbins from the spinning rooms to the weaving shed. 

(2) a hamper. MOBBERLEY. 
SKIT, s. a joke. 
SKITTER, v. to scatter. 

SKITTERING, s. a scattering. 

" Au just gen it a leet skitterin o' muck." 

SKITTERWIT, s. a soft, foolish person. SKITWIT (DELAMERE). 

SKRIKE, s. a scream, a shriek. 

' ' Oo gen sitch a skrike. " 

' ' with that a grievous scrike 

among them there was made, 
& every one did seeke 

on something to be stayd." 

"Drowning of Henry the I.," Percy Folio MS., 

Hales and Furnivall ed. 

To be "awuppo th' skrike" is used idiomatically to express being in 
acute pain, as if one could scarcely restrain oneself from screaming out. 

SKRIKE, v. to scream. 

SKRIKE O' DAY, idiom, daybreak. 

SKUDS, s. the undigested pellets of hair, bones, &c., thrown up by 
owls, and found in quantities in places they frequent. L. Also 

SLAB, s. the outside board sawn from a log (either round or square) 
of timber. 

' ' Sawne slab let lie, 

for stable and stie." 
TUSSER (Five Hundred Points), E.D.S. ed., p. 33. 

SLACK or SLECK s. (i) small coal 

(2) a hollow place in a field. 
"A bit of a slack," A slight hollow. Used also as an adjective. 

SLACK or SLECK, adj. (i) hollow. 
"A slack place." 

(2) loose. 

"Yon rope's too slack; give it a poo." 

(3) scarce, scanty, in small quantity. 
"Slack water is when there is not sufficient water to turn a mill." L. 

(4) short of work. 

" Are you busy?" "Naow, we're very slack." 

SLADDERING DRAY, s. a small sledge, drawn by one horse. L. 


SLADE, s. a hollow with wooded banks. 

Found occasionally in place-names, as the Slade, Mobberley. 
"& when he came to Barnesdale, 

great heauiness there hee hadde ; 
he ffound 2 of his own fellowes 
were slaine both in a slade." 

"Guye of Gisborne," Percy Folio MS., Hales 
and Furnivall ed. 

SLAIN, fart, dried up, withered. 

Said of mowed grass after being exposed to the sun. 

Wet brush> 

'r' t0 P rotru( ^ e t ^ ie tor) g ue - 
SLAM, v. to shut a door violently. 
SLANCE, v. to cut and lay a hedge. W. CHES. 

SLANGING or SLANCHING, part, prying. Applied to a cat. 

' ' Th' cat is stanching into everything. " L. 

The meaning of this word, thus metaphorically used, can scarcely be prying, 
but making free with everything (in the shape of food), attacking it, "walking 
into " it, as a workman would slance a hedge. 

SLANGING HOOK, s. a bill for slancing or trimming hedges. 


SLANCINGS, s. the cuttings of a hedge. L. 

SLANG, s. a long, narrow tract of land. S. CHES. 

" 1 he Slang" is a frequent field-name in the neighbourhood of Comberrnere. 

BLANKER, v. to slacken pace, to saunter. Mow COP. 
" He danker" t behind." 

SLAPE, adj. (i) slippery. 

"Mind you dunna go dain, its very slape." 
(2) slimy, or mawkish to the taste. 
"Aw connot abide gruel, its sich slope stuff." 

SLARE, v. to slide. DELAMERE. 

SLASH, v. pruning a hedge that is trimmed and not laid. L. 

SLAT, v. (i) to scatter, to spill. Perhaps more correctly to throw 
away violently. 

"Aw'd saved it for him till he coom whom, an' after aw my care 
he slat it to th' dog afore my face." 

(2) to put the tongue out derisively. L. 


SLATE MARL, s. a shaly variety of marl, the same as SHELL 
MARL, q.v. 

SLATE OFF, idiom, not quite right in intellect. 

It is a common expression to say of a weak-minded person ' ' He's getten 
a slate off, and one or two unpegged." 

SLATERHOUSE, s. the slate roof of a house. 

"See ! there's a cat on th' slaterhouse ; chuck a stone at him." L. 

SLATHER, v. to slide. W. 

SLATTER, v. to spill or upset anything carelessly. Applied to dry 
materials rather than to liquids. 

SLATTERY, adj. applied to weather ; wet, sloppy. L. 
SLAUME, v. to smear, to deface. HYDE. 

SLAUMY, adj. wet and sticky, or slimy. 
Corn half rotted by wet is slautny. 

SLAVVER, s. spittle. 
SLAY, v. to dry up or wither. 

SLEA, v. to dry or wither. 

Spoken of corn exposed to sun or wind before it is gathered or bound. 
HALLIWELL. One of the forms of slay. 


SLECK, v. (i) to quench one's thirst. 

(2) to put out a fire by pouring water upon it. 

SLECK-RUCK, s. a heap of slack or small coal. 

" He's too good a mon to be thrown to th' sleek-ruck " is a figurative way 
of saying a man is too good, or clever, not to have his merits recognised. 

SLECK-TROUGH, s. the iron cistern attached to a blacksmith's 
forge, containing water used for damping the coals, or for cooling 

SLED, s. a sledge, an implement for drawing a plough from one 
place to another. 

It is formed of a slab of wood with the round side downwards ; and into 
the flat upper surface is driven a large square staple. The plough is then 
lifted bodily on to the sled, and the point of the plough suck put through the 
staple ; the whole thing is then drawn by a horse much more readily than if 
the plough itself were dragged upon the ground ; and there is no risk of the 


plough being broken. The horse is yoked to the plough, not to the sled. 
Thus the plough pushes the sled along. 

" A plough beetle, ploughstaff, to further the plough, 

great clod to a sunder that breaketh so rough ; 
A sled for a plough, and another for blocks, 

for chimney in winter, to burne vp their docks. " 

TUSSER (Five Hundred Points}, E.D.S. ed., p. 37. 

SLEEAD, s. a sledge. 

SLEECH, v. to scoop water with a bowl or bucket. MIDDLEWICH. 

SLEECHING-NET, s. a net fixed at the end of a long pole, for 
catching fish. MIDDLEWICH. 

SLEEVE, v. to cleave. 

SLEEVELESS, adj. purposeless, ineffective. MOBBERLEY, WILMS- 

" A sleeveless arrant " is a bootless errand. 

SLENCH, v. (i) to prune a hedge, the same as SLASH. L. 

Halliwell explains it "to cut one side of a hedge and leave the other 

(2) to quench. DELAMERE. 
SLEP, v. perfect tense of sleep. 

SLICKEN, adj. smooth. 

" Its a bad tree to climb, its so slicken." 

SLICKEN, v. to smooth. 

SLICKENED, part, made smooth. 

SLICK-STICK, s. a tool for smoothing the sole of a shoe. 

SLIMP, adj. slim, thin. Mow COP. 
" A slimp young chap." 

SLINK, s. (i) the untimely foetus of a cow. 
(2) bad language. MOBBERLEY. 

SLINK BUTCHER, s. a butcher of the lowest class. 

One who deals in "Keg-meg" meat ; cows that have been "killed to save 
their lives," and such like. They are so named from the supposition that 
they dress and offer for sale " slink veal," i.e., the untimely fcetus of a cow. 

SLINK-MEAT, s. any unwholesome meat not fit for human food. 

The inspector of nuisances at Leigh (Lancashire), a Cheshire man, wrote to 
me very lately "I must now be off to the market and look out for slink-meat.' 1 '' 

SLINK VEAL, s. veal from the untimely foetus of a cow. 

SLIP, s. silk weaving term. A hank of silk or yarn before it is 
wound on the quills or pirn. 


SLIP CAWF, v. to calve prematurely. The same as PICK CAWF. 

SLIPPING, s. a term used in the spinning of flax and hemp, 
mentioned by Randle Holme. 

"A Slipping is as much as is wound upon the Reel at a time, which is 
generally about a pound of Yarn." Academy of Armory, Bk. III., ch. iii., 
p. 107. 

SLIPPY, adj. (i) slippery. 

" Moind ye dunna faw, its very slippy.' 1 '' 
(2) quick. See LOOK SLIPPY. 

SLITHER, v. to slide. 

SLIVE, v. to cut off. 


SLOAMY, adj. applied to laid corn. L. 

Leigh does not define the meaning of this word, but no doubt it is the 
same as slaumy, which see. 

SLOB, s. (i) puddle. 

(2) sea mud, formerly much used as a manure in the neigh- 
bourhood of Runcorn. See GREEN SOD SLUDGE. 

SLOBBER, s. (i) saliva which dribbles from the mouth. 

(2) rain. 
" Cowd slobber," cold rain. L. 

SLOBBER, v. to dribble, to let the saliva run from the mouth. 
SLOB BRICKS, s. the thin bricks found in very old buildings. 

SLOBBER-CHOPS, s. an old kind of pear, so called from its 

SLOG, s. a slough. L. 

SLOMMAKIN, adj. slovenly. 

SLOOD, s. a cart rut. 

SLOP, s. a white linen jacket, used whilst working. 


SLOPPING-WAITER, s. water only used for swilling or cleaning, 
and not pure enough to drink. 

SLOPSTONE or SLOPSTUN, s. a sink. 

Generally made of a large flagstone hollowed out ; but earthenware 
slopstones are also becoming common. 

SLOP-TROUGH, s. the same as SLOPSTONE. 


SLOP-TUB, s. a tub of water in a brickmaker's table. 
SLOTCH, s. a great or greedy drinker. WILMSLOW. 
SLOTCH, v. to spill, to slop. Mow COP. 

SLOTE, s. a bar of a gate or hurdle. 

The cross-bars of a thrippa are thrippa-slotes. 

"The Slates, the cross-pieces (of a harrow)." Academy of Armory, 
Bk. III., ch. viii., p. 335. 

" The Slotes, are the vnder peeces which keepe the bottom of the Cart 
together." Ibid., p. 337. 

SLOTHER, v. to drag the feet. WILMSLOW. 

SLOTTEN, part, divided. 

When at the game of whist the honours are equal on each side, they are 
said to be sloven or slotten. W. See SLOVEN. 


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, cloven, still used by old people. 
SLUDGE, s. mud. Mow COP. 
SLUR, s. a slide. 

SLUR, v. to slide. 

Leigh gives as a Cheshire proverb, "To as much purpose as geese slur 
on the ice." 

SLUTCH, s. mud. 

SLUTCH, v. to clear away slutch. 

To "slutch a pit" is to clean out the mud from a pond. 

SLUTCHY, adi. muddy, 

SLUTHER, s. muck, dung; or anything of the same consistency as 
wet cow-dung. 

SMACK AT, v. to make a determined effort. 
" Come, smack at it." 

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 small-gang him. Upon the 
principle that union is strength, they watch or make their opportunity, and 
all at once, or by relays, fall upon the 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. 

SMARTEN, v. third person plural of the present tense of smart 
(with pain). 


SMATCH, s. a taste. DELAMERE. 

When anything contracts a flavour from another thing it is said to have a 
smatch of it or one thing is said to give another a smatch. 

SMATCH, v. to give a flavour. DELAMERE. 

"It winna do to put wood i' th' oon while mate's cookin ; it'll 
smatch it. 

SMATCHY, adj. having contracted a bad flavour. DELAMERE. 
"Th 1 butter's gone smatchy." 

SMAW, adj. small. 

SMAW STRAY, s. the garden warbler, Safaaria locustclla. 


SMOUCHJ* a klss " WlLMSLOW - 

SMEETH, v. to iron linen. L. 

SMELTING, part, running lime. 

Preparing lime by mixing it with water, and pouring it through a sieve to 
remove impurities. L 

SMICKET, s. a woman's shift. WILMSLOW. 

SMITE, s. an atom, a mite. 

"Aw winna gie the one smite." 

SMITING, adj. captivating. 

Said of a woman or a bonnet. 


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. (i) a garment made of very coarse linen, and worn over 
the clothes at milking time. 

(2) a woman's shift. 

A common prize at former merry-makings in Cheshire, for the best 
woman runner. In a notice of Bowdon Wakes, 2 1st, 22nd, and 23rd of 
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." L. 

"but then shee put of her peticoate 

with many a salt teare still from her eye ; 
& in a smocke of braue white silke 

shee stood before young Andrews eye." 

" Younge Andrew," Percy Folio MS., Hales 
and Furnivall ed. 

SMOCK-FACED, adj. smooth-faced, without whiskers or beard, 
like a woman. 


SMOOK, s. smoke. 

SMOSKERT, part, smothered. WILMSLOW. See MASKERT. 
" Lad, tha'll be smoskert if tha faws i' that trench." 


SMUT, s. the foetid fungus affecting corn, Tilletia caries. 

SNAG, v. (i) to bite. KELSALL. 

"Th" dog snagged at me." 

(2) to draw away by the hand branches of trees, also to 
cut off the lateral branches. W. (Spelt SNAGG.) 

SNAKE, s. and v. sneak. 

SNAPE, s. snub, rebuke. WILMSLOW. See SNEAP. 

SNAPSTALKS, s. Stellaria Holostea. 

SNAP THE HEAD OFF, idiom, to make sarcastic remarks, to 
take a person up sharply. 

' ' He welly snapped my yed off. " 

SNARLY, adj. (i) salt-making term. Applied to brine when it 
does not work freely. 

(2) thread when it gets entangled is said to be snarly. 

(3) snappish, ill-tempered. 

SNATCH, s. a sharp experience of anything. 

' ' A snatch of frost. " "A snatch of toothache. " 

SNATCH, v. to pull sharply at anything. MOBBERLEY. 

When a horse throws his weight into the collar in order to move some 
very heavy weight he is said to "snatch at it." 

SNEAP, s. snub, check, rebuke. Mow COP. 
SNEAPED, part, snubbed. DELAMERE. 
SNEATH or SNEYD, s. the handle of a hodding scythe, q.v. 
SNECK, s. the latch of a door. 

SNECK, v. (i) to close a door by latching it. 

(2) to shut with a snap. 

SNICKET, s. (i) a naughty female child, and term of reproach for 
a little girl. L. 

(2) a peevish woman (DUKINFIELD); a careless, im- 
pudent female (HYDE). 


SNIDDLE, s. any kind of sedge, Carex. 

The larger kinds used formerly to be collected and dried for putting 
under cheeses in a cheese-room. It was supposed that they did not heat 
like straw or hay. 

The name is extended to the tufted hair grass, Aira cczspitosa. 

SNIDDLE-BOG, s. the sort of marshy place where sniddle grows. L. 

SNIFTER, v. to sniff, or snivel preparatory to crying. 

An old farmer drove past a farm he had occupied some years previously, 
and during the interval the chemical vapours from St. Helens had devas- 
tated it. He told me, "Eh! when aw seed th' owd place, it made me 
snifter a bit." 

SNIG, s. an eel. 

Leigh gives the following as an old Cheshire saying relative to a restless 
child, which is said to " wriggle about like a snig in a bottle." 

SNIG, v. to drag timber along the ground. 

SNIG-BALLIED, adj. very thin. 

Said of an animal that has very little carcase. 

SNIGGER, v. to laugh in a sneering way. 

SNITE, s. mucus nasi. W. 

SNITTER, v. to creep or walk slowly. L. 

SNOOKED,/ar/. over-reached. 

" I'm snooked" i.e.. I am taken in, I am sold. L. 

SNOP, v. to bite the young shoots of a hedge, as lambs do. L. 
SNOTCH, s. a knot or notch. Gen. Mag., pt. L, pp. 126, 167. L. 
SNOTTY, adj. very pert, saucy, impudent. WILMSLOW. 

SNOWBAW, s. the Guelder Rose, the garden form of Viburnum 

SNUDGE, s. an intrusive, sponging fellow. L. 
SNUDGE, v. to " hang on " to a person. 
SNUFT, s. the snuff of a candle. 

SNURTCH, v. to snort. 

" Our lonlert's very stout, and he coom here shootin yesterday ; 
and eh ! how he did bu' pant and inurtch." 

SNUZZLE, v. to nestle. 

SNYE, adj. overrun. 

" The house is welly snyt wi' rotten," the house is swarming with rats. 


SOCK or, more commonly, SUCK, s. a ploughshare. 

SOD-DRAINING, s. a method of subsoil draining much practised 
in Cheshire before the introduction of draining pipes. 

Sod-drains were constructed in the following manner : The sod was 
carefully pared off and laid on one side. A trench was then cut to the required 
depth, leaving it about a foot wide at the bottom. Along the middle of the 
bottom a channel, nine or ten inches deep and four or five inches wide, was 
cut with a narrow rounded spade. A tool similar to those still in use for 
the bottoms of drains was drawn along the channel to level it for the flow of 
water ; and then this bottom channel was covered with the sod laid grass- 
side downwards, and the drain filled up again. These drains were very 
effectual and inexpensive. I can recollect a field being so drained about the 
year 1839 or 1840; the drainage was perfect, and remained effective for at 
least 30 years, but the drains are now completely worn out. 

Another method of sod-draining was to cut a quantity of sods the size 
and shape of bricks, and with them to build up a drain at the bottom of the 
trench exactly like an ordinary brick drain, covering them as in the other 
system with surface sods laid grass side downwards. 

SOD SLUDGE, 5. sea mud, used as a manure. L. 

SOE, s. the drainage from a midden. Cheshire Sheaf, vol. i., p. 322. 

SOFTY, s. one not over wise ; effeminate. 

SOG, v, to hit heavily. Mow COP. 


SOIVING, part, passing anything through a sieve. WILDERSPOOL. 

SOJER or SOJJER, s. (i) a soldier. 

(2) a red coleopterous insect. 
SOJERS, s. the red lychnis, Lychnis diurna. 

SOLE or SOW, s. (i) a kind of yoke formerly in general use for 

tying cows in the shippons. 
" Safes, fetters, and shackles, with horselock and pad, 
a cow house for winter, so meete to be had." 

TUSSER (Five Hundred Points), E.D.S. ed., p. 38. 
" Soles about the Cows Necks." Academy of Armory, Bk. III., ch. v., 
p. 243. See Sow. 

(2) salt-mining term. The bottom of the mine. 

SOLE CUT, s. salt-mining term. The lowest seam of workable 
rock salt, lying just below the bottom cut. 

SOLEMN, adj. mournful. 

" It's a very solemn winter." L. 

SOLID, adj. used for solemn. 

"I'll take my solid oath. " L. 


SOLIDS, s. salt-making term. The solid brickwork about the fires, 
on which the bars, bearers, and other ironwork rests. 

SOLSH, v. to flop down on a dry floor. 
SOND, s. sand. 

SOND-POT, s. a small bed of wet sand lying amongst the subsoil. 
Almost like a quicksand. 

Sand pots are very troublesome to drainers ; for when a drain crosses one, 
the wet sand is sure to run into the drain, which not only impedes the work 
but frequently causes the sides of the drain to fall in. 

SOND SCALE, s. salt-making term. A very hard, thin scale that 
forms over the fires. 

SONGER, s. a gleaner. CONGLETON. (Obsolete?) 

The substantive formed from the verb to songer should be songerer. I 
suspect the above is, or was, an abbreviated form of songerer. 

SONGER, v. to glean. DELAMERE. 

A little girl from the village took a present of wheat flour lately to a 
friend of mine at Kelsall, explaining, " Its what me and Annie songert." 

" To go a songering" is to go gleaning. 

To go sangowing is to go gleaning. W. See SONGER, 

SOO, s. (i) a sow. 

(2) a giddiness or swimming in the head. KELSALL. 
" My yed's aw of a soo." 

SOO, v. to moan as the wind does. 

SOOING, adj. moaning, said of the wind. 
" A sooing weind." 

SOON D ED, part, stunned. Mow COP. 
SOOPLE, adj. supple. 

SOPE, s. a sup, a drink. 

"Wilt 'ave a sope o' beer?" 

The act of drinking, however, is never called soping, but supping ; so 
that a Cheshire man would say, " Sup a sope, mon, it'll do the good." 

SOPE O' RAIN, idiom, a fair quantity of rain, a refreshing shower. 
" We'n 'ad a noice sope o' rain," 

SOPPETT, s . the same as FETTLED ALE, which see. MACCLESFIELD. 




SORD, s. (i) the rind of bacon. Also SORT. 

(2) the cross bars to which the boards of a door are nailed. 


(3) an upright piece of wood fixed to the front of a dung- 


It works through a slot in the front of the cart, or rather the cart when 
tipped slides up the sord. The sord has holes in it and a peg to fix the tilted 
cart at any angle, 

SORE, adv. very much. 

Richard Brereton, Esq., 1557, of Lea, near Middlewych, left "two pair 
of sore worn velvet breeches. " L. 

SORRY, adj. vile, worthless. 

SORT, v. (i) to beat. 

" Moi sake ! but oi'll sort yer." Cheshire Sheaf, vol. i., p. 322. 

(2) to tidy things away. 

" Come, Mrs., sort these things (tea-things)." Id., vol. i., p. 322. 

SOSS, s. a heavy or sudden fall. MIDDLEWICH. 

SOSS, -v. to sit down suddenly, to plump down. MACCLESFIELD, 
especially on something wet. 

SOSSENGERS, s. sausages. 

SOUGH, s. the blade of a plough. HALLIWELL. 

"The Sough or Suck is that as Plows into the ground." Academy of 
Armory, Bk. III., ch. viii., p. 333. 

SOUL-CAKE, s. a cake for All Souls' Day. 

SOUL-CAKERS or SOULERS, s. parties of men and boys who 
go round in the evening of All Souls' Day begging money, &c. 

They are fantastically dressed, and sing a song, of which various versions 
are given in the appendix. At this date also is performed the play of St. 
George and the Slasher, of which also a version is given in the appendix. 

The custom itself is spoken of as "Soul-caking "or " Souling." 



SOUND, s. a covered entry. WILMSLOW. 
"Slack's sound" 

SOUR DOCK s. Rumex Aeetosa and R. Acetosella. 

SOURING, s. (i) vinegar, or verjuice, taken with meat. 
About WILMSLOW it used to be pronounced Saherink, 

(2) Buttermilk put into cream to make it sufficiently 
sour for churning. MACCLESFIELD. 


SOUSE, s. collared pig's head. 

Also pronounced Sahse, almost like Sise. 

SOUSE or SAHSE, v. to cuff. WILMSLOW. 
"Souse his ears." 

SOW, s. (i) a wooden collar by which cows were tied in the 


Formerly in general use, and perhaps still to be found in out-of-the-way 
places. I knew one old farmer, about twenty years ago, who still used them. 
I cannot do better than give Randle Holme's description of the contrivance. 
"A Sow is a Wooden Instrument made half round, and the ends fastned 
in another streight piece, which may be taken off and put on the ends at 
pleasure. This Husbandmen used to put about their Cows and Oxen's 
Necks when they tye them to their Booses in the Cow-Houses, or such like 
places. " Academy of Armory, Bk. III., ch. vii., p. 327. See also SOLE 
and CASPE. 

(2) the size which cotton weavers use to dress their work, 
made of wheaten flour. WILMSLOW. 

SOW-BOW, s. a soft, clownish fellow. 

SPACT, adj. quick, comprehensive. Also in one's senses. 

" He is not quite spact" means he is under some alienation of mind. W. 

SPADGER, s. a sparrow. 

SPAN, v. to understand, to make out. 

" Au canna justly span what he means." L. 

SPANG-FEW, v. to jerk anything into the air with a lever. 

There is a cruel sport practised by boys, of balancing a strip of wood 
upon the top of a stump or a rail, then placing a toad on one end of the wood, 
and striking the other end sharply with a stick, by which means the toad is 
shot up many yards into the air. This is " Spang-fewing a toad." 

Leigh spells it Spank Flue, and Halliwell Spank Whew. 


SPAR, s. the small transverse timbers of a roof to which the laths 
are nailed. 

" Saue crotchis of wud, 
Saue spars and stud. " 
TUSSER (Five Hundred Points), E.D.S. ed., p. 73. 

SPARKLE, v. to disperse. W. 

SPARLING, s. a fish, the smelt. 

SPARRIB, s. the ribs of a pig cut from the side of bacon. 

SPARROW-BILLS, s. small, square nails for putting into shoe-soles. 

SPARROWFARTS, s. very early morning. 

" Tha mun be up by sparrowfarts or tha'll be too late." 


SPEAK UP or SPAKE UP, v. to speak loud. 
SPECKT BAW, s. a suet dumpling with currants in it. 
SPEEL, v. to spoil. MIDDLEWICH. 

SPEER, s. a partition built out from a fire-place. 

In old houses in which there were the large chimneys, the door was often 
at the same side of the room as the fire-place, and between the door and fire- 
place a partition was built, which served partly to keep out the draught, 
partly to support the chimney beam, and partly, perhaps, to prevent anyone 
who came to the door seeing everything that was being done in the house place. 
This partition was the speer. 

"As big a rogue as ever peeped at a speer" is an old Cheshire saying. 

Wilbraham describes the speer as " the chimney post on each side of the 
fire-place. " The same thing probably, and no doubt the post is the principal 
part of the speer; but it is most unusual to have a post at each side 
of the fire-place. In all old houses which I have seen, the beam on which 
the chimney is built is run into the wall at one side of the room and is 
supported on the speer at the other ; and as the chimney beam is always 
very low, the speer was a contrivance to prevent its being carried to the 
opposite wall, for if carried quite across the room it would have interfered 
with the passage to the outside. 

SPER, v. to question. HYDE. 

This is really a Lancashire word which has extended across the borders. 

SPERRIT, s. spirit. 
SPERRITFUL, adj. full of spirit. 
SPIER, s. the same as SPEER. HYDE. 
SPINNERS, s. a tool for twisting hay-bands. 
SPINNEY, s. a small plantation. MACCLESFIELD. 
SPIRE UP, v. to grow erect with one stem. FRODSHAM. 

SPIRT, s. the size that silk-weavers use to dress their work, made 
of glue or gum. 

SPIT, s. (i) the depth of a spade in digging. 
" You mun delve two spit deep." L. 
A very common word and scarcely to be considered local. 

(2) spittle. 

(3) likeness. 

" He's the very spit of his feyther." 

SPIT-SPARROW, s. pit-sparrow, from its nesting near pits or 
ponds the black-headed bunting, Emberiza sch&nidus. 


SPITTLE, s. a tool used by thatchers. 

It is almost like the blade of an oar, and has a cross handle, or cosp, by 
which it is held. It is used for raising up portions of hay on a stack roof, or 
portions of the old thatch on a house, and inserting the ends of the new 
thatch in the holes so made. 

SPLASHED, adj. slightly drunk. L. More often plashed. 

SPLATHER, v. to sprawl, to spread about. KNUTSFORD. 

A procumbent plant which spreads over the ground would be said to 
" splat her about." 


SPLENTER, s. a splinter. 
SPLICED, part, married. 
SPOKKEN, part, spoken. 
SPOO, s. a bobbin. 

SPOON, s. salt-mining tool. Used in charging the hole for 

SPOT, v. to fall in heavy drops, like rain which is premonitory of a 

SPREEAD,U. to spread 

SPRAG or SPRIG, v. to nail rails together. L. 
SPREE, s. a jollification. 
SPREED, v. to spread. 


The word was in general use, I am told, forty or fifty years ago, but is, I 
think, now obsolete. 

SPRIG, s. a small thin nail without a head. 

The kind which in many places is called a brad. 

SPRIG-BIT, s. an instrument for boring holes for nails in many 
places called a brad-awl. 

SPRING, v. (i) said of a cow when she begins to show signs of 
calving; but we more frequently use the participle 
than the present tense, and say " Go's springing 
for cawving." 

(2) to rise in offering a price. 

"He bid them 12 for goin across th' land, and they wanted more, but 
he wouldn't spring none. " This was for a right of road. 


SPRINGE, v. to throb, to shoot with pain. 

"My corns are springeing; its going to rain." 

SPRINGOW, adj. nimble, active. W. 

SPRINKER, s. a stick made of hazel or other pliable wood, pointed 
at each end and twisted in the middle, used for thatching. 

SPRIT, s. a sprout from the eye of a potato, or the young radicle of 
corn when it first begins to grow. 

SPRIT, v. (i) to sprout, said of potatoes and corn. 

(2) to put potato sets in a warm place to cause them to 

sprout before being planted. 

(3) to pull off the sprouts of potatoes which are required 

for market in the spring, so as to prevent them 
becoming soft and worthless. 

SPRITTING-BOX, s. a flat wooden tray in which early potato sets 
are stored, and in which they sprout before being planted. 

They are becoming pretty general throughout the country, but are more 
especially used in the early potato district between Warrington and Chester. 
A spritting-box is about two feet six inches long and eighteen or twenty inches 
wide, and the sides are about three inches high. The sides and ends are 
nailed to square blocks of wood, which project about three inches above the 
sides. The boxes are filled with potatoes, often carefully arranged with 
the eyes upwards, and are then piled one on the top of another, each box 
resting on the corner blocks of the one below it. By this arrangement a 
great number of boxes can be piled on the top of each other, and a large 
quantity of potatoes stored in a small space ; whilst there is a free current of 
air passing over the potatoes in every box. Of course they are kept in some 
building where the frost cannot reach them ; generally in the loft over the 
cows ; frequently even in bedrooms. The boxes are made for about eight- 
pence each, and farmers who grow early potatoes require many hundreds of 

SPRIZE, v. to prize ; to force anything open by using a lever. 

SPROZE, v. to boast. 

" What a sprozin chap you be !" 

SPUDS, s. potatoes. 

SPUR, s. (i) a piece of wood used for repairing a post which is 

broken near the ground. 

The spur is sunk in the ground alongside the post, and then the part 
which is above ground is nailed firmly to the post. 

(2) The thick root of a tree. Plural, SPURN. 

SPUR, v. (i) 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. 

(2) to repair a broken post by means of a spur. 


SPUT, v. perfect tense of spit. 

" She sput in my face." L. 

SQUANDERED, part, separated or dispersed. 

"Cat's feared th' chickens, an' they're squandered aw o'er th' place." 

SQUASHY, adj. (i) soft, unripe, immature. 

It is sometimes said of young, unripe potatoes, "they eat'n squashy." 

(2) also used metaphorically in describing young 
and foolish persons. Mow COP. 

SQUAWK, v. to squeal. 

SQUEEK, s. the swift. MIDDLEWICH. 

SQUIB, s. gunpowder moistened with water and worked into a pasty 
mass, used for smoking a wasp's nest. 

SQUOB, s. a sofa, generally made of oak. 
SQUOZ, part, of the verb to squeeze. 

SRIMP, s. a shrimp. 

The pronunciation of sJir is a perfect shibboleth to a Cheshire man. I 
recollect that at Mobberley Church one of the hymns began 
' ' Praise, oh praise the Name divine, 

Praise it at the hallowed shrine." 
The clerk used always to give it out 

" Praise it at the hallowed srine." 

And the singers used to sing it "srine," the effect being somewhat ludicrous. 
The same pronunciation is followed in all words beginning with sAra. very 
common provincialism. 

STACK-BOTTOM, s. beams of wood,, branches of trees, and such 
like, placed under a stack to keep the hay or corn from contact 
with the damp earth. 

STACK UPO' TH' KILL (Kiln), s. a rough game formerly 
played about MOBBERLEY and WILMSLOW. 

The game, if game it could be called, consisted in getting a man down 
on the ground and then others falling on. the top of him till there was a com- 
plete pile or stack of men. Of course it was extremely painful for the 
lowermost man, and deaths have even been caused by this foolish kind of 

STAGGED UP, part, done up. WILMSLOW. 

STAGGERING BOB, s. the name given by butchers to very young 

STAIKE, s. the handle of a jug. MORLEY, WILMSLOW. STIKE 
(Mow COP). 

STAIL (general), STEEL (W. CHES., also Mow COP), s. the handle 
of a broom, rake, fork, &c. 


STAIR, adj. steep, hilly. Mow COP. 
STAIR-HOLE, s. a closet under a flight of stairs. 

STAKE, v. to cause constipation of the bowels. STALK (DELA- 

" They'n staked their pigs wi too mich Indy." 

STAKED, part, constipated. 

STAKE TURF, s. an inferior quality of turf cut immediately below 
the Hassocks (q.v.) ; but both this and the hassocks themselves 
are used for fuel. 

On Lindow Common, near Wilmslow, there is occasionally, though 
rarely, cut a very peculiar kind of turf which would, I think, also rank as 
stake-turf. In the hollows near the old Wilmslow racecourse there are two 
small lakes, or, as they were locally called, laches, the Black Lache and the 
Green Lache. In very droughty summers these lakes become nearly dry, 
and then the sediment, solid and black, and composed largely of humus, is 
exposed. This mud is several yards in thickness, but is entirely destitute of 
vegetable fibres. It is of a soapy texture, and will not bear cutting into flat 
cakes like ordinary turf ; it is therefore dug out in square blocks. These are 
carried to the hard ground above the lakes, and are then chopped up into 
angular pieces and left there to dry. When dry they are used for fuel. 
They become very hard and black, and are hogged like potatoes, and 
covered with clods to keep them dry, and so retained for winter use. I 
believe none of this kind of turf has been got for many years. In or about 
the year 1838 a large quantity was got, and the holes from whence it was 
obtained were very deep. They have now entirely disappeared, being filled 
up by the same deposit; so that if the lakes were again to become dry, 
probably a new supply of this peculiar turf would be obtained. 


STALL, v. to jib. 

Used when the horse refuses the collar, or is too weak to spring into it. 
L. Cfr. STAWED. 

STAND, s. a small round table with one stem branching into three 
feet, frequently used to set beside the bed of an invalid. 

STANDARD, s. part of a cart. See CART. 

STANDING, s. salt-making term. A gangway or standing room 
alongside the pans, for the convenience of the workmen in 
drawing the salt. 

They are generally the depth of the rim of the pan below the hurdles. 

STAND ON, v. to be incumbent on. 

"It stands everyone on to take care of himself." W. 

Farmers' wives call it standing the market when they sell their butter, 
eggs, &c., in the open market instead of taking them to shops or from house 


STANG, s. a pole. 

A couple of stangs were frequently used for carrying haycocks to the 
stack. See RIDING STANG. 

STANG, s. to carry hay upon poles. 
STANK, s. a dam. W. CHES. 
STANK, v. to dam. W. CHES. 

STANSHON, s. an upright iron bar fixed in the opening part of a 
casement window to prevent the possibility of entrance from 

STARE, s. a starling, Sturnus vulgaris. SANDBACH. 
STARK, adj. stiff and sore. WILMSLOW. 

STAR-SLUTCH, s. the gelatinous conferva (Nostoc commune), which 
is frequently found upon timber or gravel walks after a shower 
of rain. 

From its sudden appearance it is supposed to have fallen from the stars, 
or to be the deposit of a falling star. A farmer from Utkinton lately went to 
see a friend of mine at Delamere who has an astronomical telescope. He 
spoke of Star-slutch as a natural phenomenon seen in that neighbourhood 
and connected with the stars. My friend had never heard of such a ghostly 
commodity, and suggested that he must be alluding to glow-worms. ' ' No, " 
said he, "its to be seen i' broad day-leet ; aw raind th' foot o' th' stacks it 
lies. It faws, aw reckon, mester." The man was evidently surprised at my 
friend's ignorance, and had an implicit belief in planets " rulin," as he called it. 

START, v. to begin. 

STARVED, part, perished with cold ; but not used in Cheshire for 
perished with hunger. 

Land is also said to be starved when it is cold for want of drainage. 

STAVE FOR, v. to plead for. Mow COP. 

STAVES, s. the rungs of a ladder, or the cross bars of a stile. 

STAWED, part, (i) impeded. 

When a cart is so heavily loaded that the horse cannot draw it, he is said 
to be stawed. 

(2) full to repletion. 
" Aw conna ate noo more ; aw'm fairly stawed," 

STAWTER, v. to stagger. 

STED or STEDE, s. the foundation, made of sods, for the drying 
wall in a brickfield. Also ACKSTED or ACKSTEDE. 

STEEL, s. (i) see STAIL. 

(2) the stalk of a flower. W. 

(3) a stile. 


STEEL MARL, s. salt-mining term. A hard bluish marl found 
below the sands and boulder clays in sinking a shaft. 

STEEN or STEEAN, s. a tall earthenware mug, black inside and 
glazed, used for collecting cream for churning or for keeping 
buttermilk in. 

STEEP, s. (i) rennet; an infusion of the prepared stomach of a calf, 
used to coagulate milk. 

(2) the liquid left in cheese when not properly pressed. 


(3) the act of soaking. 

To put a thing in steep is to put it in soak. 

STEEP, v. to soak, to immerse. 

STEEPLE DICK COPING, s. a coping for a stone wall, made of 

triangular pieces set on edge. RUNCORN, HALTON. 
The coping stones are long and short alternately. 

STEM, v. salt-mining term. To ram round the charge and fuse to 
make solid preparatory to blasting. 

STEMMER, s. salt-mining tool. An iron rod used for ramming 
powder into a hole for blasting. 

STEN, s. a stretcher in trace-harness. Morton's Cyclopedia of 

STEPMOTHER, s. (i) a small piece of torn skin by the side of 
the nail. MACCLESFIELD. 

(2) a kind of cold, blue clay. W. CHES. 

Land with this clay subsoil is said to be stepmothery. The clay is some- 
times called STEPMOTHER CLAY. 

STEW, s. a state of vexation or perplexity. 

STICKER, s. one who is persistent. 

A hard-working man would be called a sticker in contradistinction to one 
who is "off and on." 

About MOBBERLEY a person who calls on you and never knows when to 
go is said to be "a sticker." 

STICKING PIECE, s. the part of the neck of an -animal where 
the butcher sticks his knife in to kill it. 


STIDDY, adj. steady. 

" He's a stiddy chap." 


STIDDY, v. to make steady. 

"Thou mun tak another glass, it'll stiddy thi yed." J. C. 

STIFF, adj. difficult to deal with, inflexible, obstinate. 

A butcher will tell you "You're very stiff this morning" if you will not 
come down at all in the price of a beasl. 

STIG MONTH, s. the month in which a man's wife is confined. L. 

STILL UPON, conj. still, nevertheless. ANTROBUS, HALTON. 

"I was going to have done it, still upon if you'd rather I didn't, I won't." 

STILLYERDS, s. steelyards. DELAMERE. 

STINCH, v. to stinch it out is to stake or mark a thing out. 

From a manuscript note in Wilbraham's Glossary, written apparently 
about 1826. 

A field in Runcorn, now nearly built over, is called the Stinch. Perhaps 
it may have some connection with the above meaning. 

STINKING NANCY, s. the Devil's-bit Scabious, Scabiosa 
Succisa. L. 

STINKING ROGER, s. figwort, Scrophularia aquatica. 

STINK-O'-BRASS, s. a soubriquet frequently applied to an extremely 
rich man. 

I think it generally also conveys the idea that he is rather niggardly. 

" He's a reg'lar owd Stink-o 1 -brass." 
It is also used as a verb. " He stinks o' brass." 

STINK-SEEKER, s. an inspector of nuisances. MOBBERLEY. 

A highly expressive term which has, of course, arisen since the appoint- 
ment of those officers. 

STIR, s. an entertainment, any great doings, such as a wedding, a 
dinner party, &c. 

STIR, v. to plough land a second time across the original furrows. 

" The following May it is ploughed across the former furrows, which is 
called stirring." 

" In March the land is stirred across, and harrowed." Holland's General 
View of the Agriculture of Cheshire, 1808, p. 128, 129. 

STIR-ABOUT, or more commonly STURRA, s. thick oatmeal porridge. 

Leigh spells it Stirrow, and gives "As thick as stirroiv" as an old 
Cheshire proverb. 

Halliwell also has " STIRROW, a hasty pudding. Ches." 

STIRES, s. an old name for some kind of apple. 

The following note was sent me by Mr. J. P. Earwaker : " In a lease of 
a messuage and lands in Odd Rode, co. Chester, dated 17 June, 1699, there 


is a proviso that the lessor ' shall enjoy the two little parlours in the said 
messuage and one cockloft wherein her goods now lie and also one measure 
of apples or crabs commonly called stires and two measures of apples out of 
the orchard yearly when there is a great store of them. ' " 

STIRK, s. a young cow, between one and two years old. 
From two to three they are called heifers. 

STIR-UP SUNDAY, s. the Sunday before Advent, the Collect for 
which day begins with the words " Stir up." 

Leigh says it is popularly supposed to be a warning to housewives to 
prepare and mix and stir up the ingredients for mincemeat for Christmas. 

STITCHERS, s. salt-making term. Women employed in stitching 
sacks for salt. 

STITHE, s. an anvil L. 

I have never met with this word, and I suspect Leigh should have written 
stithy, which would be a very natural Cheshire pronunciation of stiddy. See 

STIVED UP, part, confined in a hot atmosphere. 

STIVING, part, stifling. 

"Dunna thee sit stivin' i'th haise so mitch." 

STOCK CARDS, s. standing or fixed combs for carding wool. 

"A payre of Stocke cards" From an inventory of property belonging to 
Margery Glutton of Nantwich, 1611. Local Gleanings, Feb., 1880, p. 301. 

STOCK, LOCK AND BARREL, idiom, the whole lot, everything. 
"They'n sowd him up, stock, lock, and barrel" 

STOCKPORT COACH or CHAISE, s. a horse with two women 
riding sideways on it is so called, a mode of travelling more 
common formerly than at present. W. 

Both the method of travelling and the name for it are now quite obsolete. 

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. L. 
STODGY, adj. thick, said of spoon-meat. 
STOMACH, v. (i) to relish. 

"It's aw fat, aw conna stomach it." 

(2) metaphorically, to believe. 
" Aw couldna stomach aw he said." 

(3) also metaphorically, to guess. 
" I stomached as much," I guessed as much. L. 


STOMACHER PIECE, s. an irregular, awkward shaped piece of 
land. L. 

STOND, v. to stand. 

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. L. 

STONED HORSE, s. a stallion. 

STONE MARL, s. a variety of marl, which is at first obtained in 
stony blocks, but pulverises by exposure to the atmosphere. 

STONSH, v. (i) to staunch bleeding. 

(2) to satisfy. 
" Stonsh his guts," i.e., give him his fill of food. 

STON-US, s. a lock-up. Mow COP. 

' ' They'n getten him i'th ston-us. " 

Of course this is simply a pronunciation of Stone House, but a brick 
building would also be so called. 

STOO, s. (i) a stool. 

(2) a brickmaker's table. 

"Is Bradley making many bricks this summer?" "Aye, he's 
getten three stoos at work. " 

(3) a log of wood. DELAMERE. 

" Clap yon owd stoo a' top o' th' foire." 

STOO-BING, 5. a place in the shippon where the milking-stools 
are kept. MIDDLEWICH. 

STOO-DRINK, s. ale given when they commence making bricks. 
STOOL, s. a number of wheat-stalks springing from the same root. L. 


STOP ON ' I v ' to remam m t ^ ie same service for another year. 

"I'm stopping again at Holland's." 
STORMCOCK, s. the missel thrush, Turdus viscivorus. 

STOUK or STOWK, v. to put ears or handles to such vessels as 
require them. L. 

STOUT, adj. (i) hearty, healthy; but never used in the sense of 
being fat. 

(2) staunch, plucky. FRODSHAM. 
"You're stout, mester, to work i' this hot sun." 

STOVE, s. salt-making term. A drying house generally heated with 
hot-air flues, for the purpose of drying fine moulded salt. Also 
called a Hot- us. 


STOVED SALT, s. salt-making term. All fine salts, which are 
dried in the hot-house or stove. 

STOW, s. an old log, or the stump of a tree left in the ground. 

STOW, ) 

STOW ITE, \v. to make offsets or young shoots. 


Wheat is said to stow when it tillers. A stem which is cut off close to the 
ground and sends out a number of young shoots, stows out. 

STOWK, s. stalk or handle of a pail. It is also a drinking cup 
with a handle. W. 

STOWN,/ar/. stolen. 

ST. PETER'S NEEDLE, idiom, suffering, or trial, any serious 
misfortune. NORTON. 

A man who became bankrupt, and was sold up, described it as having 
"gone through St. Peter's Needle.' 1 '' 

STRACT, part, abbreviation of distracted. W. 

STRANGER, s. (i) a film of soot hanging loosely on the bar of the 

It is customary amongst young people to clap the hands close to it so as 
to cause a slight puff of wind. As many times as the hands are clapped 
before the soot is detached, so many days will elapse before the stranger 

(2) a white mark on the nail is sometimes so called. 

STRAY, s. straw. Also STREEA, which see. 
STRAY, v. to strew, to scatter. WILDERSPOOL. 

STRAY-MOUSE, ) s. the nettle-creeper, Sa&aria loeustella. 

STREEA, s. straw. 

Wilbraham says one who goes out of the country for improvement, and 
returns without having gained much, is said to have left it " to learn to call 
a streea a straw. " 

STRET, adj. narrow, tight. 

STRET, adv. tightly. 

"Tee it stret" tie it tightly. 

STRET STAFF, s. a stretcher between the chains of a plough 

' The Strett Staffe, is the Staffe fixed between the Chains or Ropes to 
keep them from gauling the Horse sides." Academy of Armory, Bk. III., 
ch. viii., p. 339. 


STREVE, v. to stray. Mow COP. 

" Th' ky's streve 't off somewheer." 

STRICKLES, s. (i) the hone generally fastened to the scythe for 
sharpening purposes. L. 

(2) a stick for striking a bushel. 

"The Strickles, is a thing that goes along with the Measure, which is a 
straight Board, with a Staff fixed in the Side, to draw over Corn in measureing, 
that it exceed not the height of the Measure, which measureing is termed 
Wood and Wood." Academy of Armory, Bk. III., ch. viii., p. 333. 

STRIKE, s. (i) the black smut in corn, Uredo segetum. 

(2) (of corn) a common bushel of corn. W. 

STRIKE, v. (i) a brick oven is said to strike when it reaches the 
desired heat. 

(2) to give a sensation of heat. 

When one goes out of the cold frosty air into a hothouse we say "it 
strikes warm. " 

(3) to level the corn to the top of the measure. 
STRIKES, s. the handles of a wheelbarrow. MIDDLEWICH. 

STRIP, v. to take off one's outer garments preparatory to working 
hard or before fighting. 

" If yo will feight, strip." See illustration to SMOCK (2). 

STRIPPINGS, s. the last milk drawn from a cow. The same as 

STROGLET, adj. streaked, striped. Mow COP. 

STROKES, s. short pieces of iron used to form the tire of a wheel. 
" The Stroke, is the Iron Rim about the Felloes." Academy of Armory, 
Bk. III., ch. viii., p. 332. 

STROKINGS, s. the last milk that can be drawn from a cow. W. 
The same as DRIPPINGS. 

STRONOMIZE, v. to be in deep thought, in a "brown study." 


" What art stronomizin abeaut neaw ?" 

STROUT, v. to swell out. 

"The pasture maketh the Kines' udders to strout to the paile. "Ancient 
Account of Cheshire. The Generall of Great Britaine. Time of James I." L. 

STRUCK or STRUCK-WITH-HYENT (? iron), part, (used 
substantively) splenic apoplexy, to which young cattle are very 
subject upon some land. 

STRUG, s. a stray pigeon. 


STRUSHINS, s. abundance, plenty. 

" Is there any beer i'th' barrel ?" " Aye, stntshins." 

STRUSHION, s. destruction. W. 

STUB, s. a short twig of a hedge. 

" Then to the earth shee gott a thwacke ; 

no hurt in the world the pore man did meane ; 
to the ground hee cast the Ladye there ; 
on a stubb she dang out one of her eyen. " 

" Marke more foole," Percy Folio MS., Hales and 
Furnivall ed. 

STUB, v. to injure one's self with a twig or stub of a tree. 

I remember a man telling me he had "stubbed his eye" when he had 
accidentally bobbed it against a branch of a hedge, and half blinded himself. 

STUBBA or STUBBO, s. stubble. 

Wilbraham adds STRUBBOW. 

STUBBO or STUBBED, adj. thick, short. W. 

Leigh adds, on the authority of Wilbraham, "A rough head of hair, 
unkempt and bristly, is called a stubbory pow. " Wilbraham, however, gives 
no such illustration. At the present day the word is STUBBY. 

STUD, s. (i) an upright rib of wood to which laths are nailed in 

making a partition, or lining a wall. MOBBERLEY. 
A wall thus lined with lath and plaster is said to be studded. 

(2) a piece of iron, in form something between a nail and 
a wedge, used for nailing the tires on to wheels. 

STUMPERS, s. salt-making term. Sacks which are too full -to be 
stitched without sacking. See SACKING. 

STUMPING, part, hatting term. The last process of felting a hat 

STUNCH, v. to stake out. 

" To stunch it out " is to stake or mark a thing out. See STINCH. 

STUNNER, s. anything first-rate. 

STUNNY, s. numbness occasioned by a blow ; from the verb to 

From a manuscript note in Wilbraham's Glossary, written apparently 
about 1826. 

The word though explained as numbness is probably an adjective, 
meaning numb. 

STUPID, adj. obstinate. 
STUT or STUTTER, v. to stammer. 


SUB, v. to draw money in advance on a job. HALTON. 

The following was said of a veterinary surgeon who was in very bad cir- 
cumstances: " I knowed he were hard up, for when he come to my cow as 
was ill he subbed on th' job. " 

SUCK, s. the share of a plough. See SOCK. 
SUCKIE, excl. the call word for a calf, 

SUCKING GONDER, idiom, a term applied when anyone does or 
propounds something particularly senseless. 

" He's noo moor sense than a sucking gander 

SUFF, s. a drain. 


SULKY, adj. hard to work. Applied to inanimate objects, as 
rock which has no cleavage and is difficult to quarry, very cross- 
grained timber, &c. 

SUMMER AND WINTER, idiom, to summer and winter a person 
is to have known him sufficiently long to test his character or 
disposition under all circumstances. 

SUMMER-WORK, s. a summer fallow. 
SUMMERWORK, v. to summer fallow a field. 
SUMMUT, s. something. 

SUNDAY SALT, s. a salt-manufacturing term. The salt which 
crystallizes between Saturday and Monday when the fires are 

' ' The large grained flaky salt is made with an evaporation conducted at 
the heat of 130 or 140 degrees . . . Somewhat harder than common 
salt ... As salt of this grain is often made by slackening the fires 
betwixt Saturday and Monday, and allowing the crystallization to proceed 
more slowly on the intermediate day, it has got the name of Sunday Salt." 
Holland's General View of the Agriculture of Cheshire, 1808, p. 55. 

SUN-SUCKERS, s. streaks of light which are often seen radiating 
from the sun behind a cloud, or which stretch across the sky 
before sunrise or after sunset. MOBBERLEY. 

SUP, v. to drink. 

"John sent after his neighbors both, 
Hodgkine long & hobb of the lath, 
they were beene ath his biddinge. 
3 pottles of wine in a dishe 
they supped it all off, as I wis, 
All there att their partinge." 

"John de Reeve," Percy Folio MS., Hales and 
Furnivall ed. 


SUPPING or SUPPINGS, s. buttermilk or whey given on farms 
to day-labourers who bring their meals with them. 

In W. CHESHIRE breakfast and supper of bread-and-milk are given to 
the Irish labourers, and are called suppings. 

SUPPLEMENT, s. corrosive sublimate. MOBBERLEY, KNUTSFORD. 

A chemist, if asked for supplement, would perfectly well understand what 
was wanted. 

SURCEASE, v. to cease. 

"All civil mutinies shall then surcease" Chester's Triumph, 1610. L. 

SURFEIT, s. an attack of cold. 

It is difficult to say whether surfeit means an attack, or whether it refers 
to the disease itself, for one hears it said " he's getten a surfeit o' cowd," and 
as frequently, " he's getten a surfeit." 

SUSPICION, v. to suspect 

" I nupiciotudtani." 

SUTTER, s. a blow, of such a character as would be likely to send 
a person staggering. Mow COP. 

" I'll fetch thee a good suffer." 

SWAB, s. one of the many names for an oak " settle " or sofa. L. 

SWAD, s. (i) the shell of a bean or pea. 

(2) a boy's game, something like duckstone. WILMSLOW. 

SWADDLEDIDAFF, s. a term of endearment sweetheart. L. 

SWAG, v. to bend in the middle as a long beam sometimes does. 
Also SAG. 

SWAG BASKET, s. a pedlar's basket containing various kinds of 

SWAGE, s. a blacksmith's tool. 

An iron wedge held in a twisted hazel rod, used for cutting hot iron. 

SWAGE or SWAGE AWAY, v. (i) to reduce a swelling, such as 

a tumour, by fomentation or 
some external application. 

(2) to disperse the milk in the 
human breast or in the 
udder of an animal by 
rubbing with oil, or some 


SWALE, v. (i) to burn to waste as candles do when they stand in a 
draught. Also SWEAL (which see). 

(2) to deal in corn. 
There is an old Cheshire proverb, " Let every one swale his own wuts." 

SWALER, s. a dealer in corn. 
SWALLOWMASS, s. a glutton. L. 

SWANG, s. a small breadth of some second kind of crop in a field. 

" What is there in the four-acre?" "Well, mostly pratoes, but 
there's a swang o' turmits." 

SWARM, v. to climb a tree by clasping it with the arms and 

SWARTH, s. (i) the row of mown grass made by a scythe. 

(2) the whole crop. 

Thus we speak of a heavy crop being " a good swartk," even before it is 

SWARTH, v. to swarth a mower is to encumber him with the next 
cut of grass. NORTON. 

Now and then it is done in the hayfield as a practical joke, or to show off 
the prowess of the leading mower. When two men are mowing together the 
strongest man generally leads, and occasionally, to show his strength, he will 
push on faster than his mate can follow, and having come to the end of his 
cut, he will return and follow up the other till he catches him, and throws his 
swarth in his way. This is called swarthing him, and it is an indignity 
which is seldom forgiven. 

SWARY, s. " a swary of fields," fields lying together. L. 
SWAT, s. sweat (general). SWATE (DELAMERE). 
SWAT, v. to perspire. 

SWEAL, v. (i) to waste away, to melt. 

Any lump or swelling in the flesh of a person is said to be sweated away 
when, under the influence of rubbing with some paste or liquid, it gradually 
disappears. Mow COP. 

A lighted candle sweats away when it stands in a draught. SWALE 

(2) to tarnish or blacken by exposure to smoke. 

If a bright copper kettle were put on the fire and it became blackened 
and tarnished, it would be said to be sweated. 

A brick in a kiln that is black and not rightly burnt, is said to be only 



SWEAT, v. cheese is said to be sweating when it ferments in the 
process of ripening. Hay also is said to sweat when it heats in 
the stack. 

SWEE, s. a swing. 

SWEE, v. to swing. SWEIGH (Mow COP). 

SWEE-BED, s. (i) a block of ice about a yard square cut from the 
surface of a pond and left floating. 

It is a common amusement for boys to cut a number of these twee-beds, 
and then dare each other to run along the floating pieces. 

(2) a loose wet bog upon which the cranberry grows 
is also said to be a swee-bed. 

SWEE-POW, s. swing pole. 

The iron bars across the large old-fashioned open chimneys ; once common 
in cottages and farmhouses, and from which hung a few links of chain to 
hold the pothooks. On one of these the kettle or cast-iron pot was 
suspended. Cheshire Sheaf, vol. i., p. 322. 

SWEET-BRAT, s. an old variety of apple. MIDDLEWICH. 


" ' ' \s. the sweetbread of an animal. MOBBERLEY. 
o W jj 1 -r>KrLli,K, J 

SWEET CAKE, s. a sort of crumpet, but without the holes, toasted 
and buttered. MACCLESFIELD. 

The old-fashioned formula for toasting it was to turn it nine times. 

SWEETEN, v. to bid the lots up at an auction, not with the 
intention of buying them, but to raise the price. 

SWEET FLAG, s. the plant Acorns Calamus. W. CHES. 

SWEET NANCY, s. Narcissus poeticus. 

Both the single and the double forms so much cultivated in Cheshire 
gardens ; also called WHITE NANCY. 

SWEET WATER, s. a drink, apparently peculiar to Chester, in 
frequent use a hundred years ago. 

"At Chester the very lowest class of the people drink a kind of fermented 
liquor. At our sugar-houses, the molds in which the sugar is refined are 
immersed in water to dissolve what adheres to them after the loaf is taken 
out. The water, having served this purpose for a week, becomes impreg- 
nated with sugar, and is sold under the denomination of sweet water, at the 
rate of six gallons for a penny ; so that the very poorest may purchase it. 
This liquor, fermented with yeast, is drunk as small beer ; and 844 gallons 
are consumed every week. It is not so pleasant, however, but that many 
prefer milk or even water." Cheshire Sheaf, vol. i., p. 27. Quoted from 
" A medical Commentary on Fixed Air" (1779). 


SWELT, v. to swell. 

Rice is swelled by being laid in milk and subjected to heat before the eggs 
and sugar are added to it for a pudding. Wheat also is swelled (the same as 
creed) before being made into furmetry. 

SWELTED or SWELTERED, part, (i) swelled, as rice for a 


(2) oppressed with heat. 
SWELTERING, adj. very hot, said of the weather. 

" It's a sweltering day." 

SWENGLE, v. to separate flax after it has been beat. L. 
SWEP, v. perfect tense of sweep. 

SWIFT, s. (i) a weaving term. The one large barrel upon which 
the hank of weft is put in order to wind it on the 

(2) a sand lizard. DELAMERE. 

SWILKER, s. the motion of liquid in a vessel that is being moved. 
SWILL or SWILLINGS, s. pig wash, /.<?., liquid food for pigs. 

SWILL or SWILL OUT, v. to rinse. 

To swill a floor is to throw water upon it after scrubbing it. 

" Then Sir Tristeram tooke powder forthe of that box, 

& blent it with warme sweet milke ; 
& there put it vnto that home, 
& swilled 'it about in that ilke." 

" King Arthur and the King of Cornwall," Percy MS., 
Hales and Furnivall ed. 

SWILL-TUB, s. the tub in which buttermilk or house wash is stored 
for pigs. 

SWINGING, adj. very great. 

"A swinging lot " means a great quantity. 

SWINGLE HAND or SWINGOW HOND, s. an implement 
mentioned by Randle Holme amongst "things belonging to 
dressing and spinning of hemp and flax." 

"A Swingle Hand, corruptly a Swingow Hand: a thing like a Wooden 
Fouchion with a square hole or handle." Academy of Armory, Kk. III., 
ch. Hi., p. 1 06. 

SWINYERT, s. a dealer in pigs. 

SWIPPA or SWIPPO, s. the striking part of a flail. 


SWIPPO or SWIPPOW, adj. supple. W. 
SWITCH CLOG, s. a black beetle. L. 
SWOP, v. to exchange. 

SWOP AND SWARVE, idiom, to exchange in a capricious 
manner, as a man who is constantly changing his horse, &c. 
" He's ne'er reet ; he's allus swoppin an' sivarvin," 

SWOPPERY, s. exchange. 

" Swoppery's no robbery " is a frequent proverb. 

SWORD GRASS, s. Phalaris arundinacea. 
SYTCHE, s. a ditch. L. 



TABER, v. to tap with the fingers ; to beat time. MACCLESFIELD. 
TACK, s. (i) the term of a lease. 

(2) hold, confidence, reliance. 

There is no tack in such a one, he is not to be trusted. W. 

(3) a bad flavour. 

Ale which has been put into a musty cask is said to have a tack, or a 
tack of the cask. 

TACK, v. (i) to sew roughly together with very long stitches, pre- 
paratory to the regular sewing of a seam. 

This can scarcely be considered a Cheshire word, as it is, I think, common 
to most counties, but it gives rise, according to Leigh, to an old Cheshire 
proverb, "Dunna stitch thoi seeam afore thou's tacked it," which is equivalent 
to " Look before you leap." 

(2) to tack one's teeth into anything is to set about it 
heartily. W. 

TA'EN (pronounced tane\part. (i) taken. 

" Seuen times hath Janus tane new yeere by hand." TUSSER (Five 
Hundred Points}, E.D.S. ed., p. 151. 

(2) favourably impressed. 
" Aw'm no ta'en wi' him, aw con tell the." 

TAFFY, s. what is called coverlid. 

This is treacle thickened by boiling, and made into hard cakes. W. 

TAIL-EENDS, s. small corn ; the last and worst of anything. 

TAIL-SHOTEN SOKER ; also called TAILSOKE, s. a disease of a 
cow's tail. L. See WORM i' TH' TAIL. 

TAILYER, s. a tailor. 

TAIN (pronounced almost like fine), s. a town. TEAWN 

TAK, v. to take. Also TAY. 


TAK AFTER, v. to resemble, but applied to disposition rather 
than to feature. 

" He's a dree chap; he taks after his fejrther." 

TAK IN, v. to enclose land from the waste. 

TAKING, s. excitement, rage. 

A person who is very angry is said to be " in a great taking." 

TAKING, part. 

" The ice is taking" means it is beginning to freeze. 

TAK OFF, v. to mimic. 

TAK ON, v. to grieve excessively. 

TAK ONE'S HANDS OFF, idiom, to repudiate a bargain, or 
perhaps, more properly, to decline a bargain. ACTON GRANGE. 
" He was to have had th' farm ; but he took his hands off it, and 
then I took it." 

TAK TO, v. to become attached to anyone. 
" Au dunna tak to im, some'ow." 

TAK UP, v. (i) to become fine after rain. 

(2) to borrow money. 

(3) to take into custody.. 
TALKATION, s. a light discourse. WILMSLOW. 

TALLACK, s. a term of reproach applied to a woman. MIDDLE- 


About WILMSLOW it is not limited to the female sex. 

TALLANT, s. a hay-loft. KELSALL. 

TALL-BOY, s. a tall, narrow ale-glass standing on a stem. MAC- 


TALLY-WIFE, s. a woman who lives unmarried with a man. 


TANGLEMENT, s. a difficulty ; anything involved or confused. 

TANGS, s. (i) the teeth of a fork or pikel. 

(2) the principal roots or branches of a tree. 

TANGED, part, forked. 

" A two-tanged tree," "a lhio&-tanged tree." 

TANK, s. a blow, a rap. WILDERSPOOL, 
"Fetch him a tank o'th' maw." 


TAN-PIN, s. a plumber's tool for stopping a pipe temporarily. 
TANSY, s. (i) Tanacetum vulgare. 
(2) Achillea Millefolium, 

TANTADLIN TART, s. an open preserve tart. MOBBERLEY. 

I heard the word used in this sense at a rent dinner on February 24th, 
1882. A very old word in various forms. See HALLIWELL s.v., tantablin. 

The word is not always confined to tarts, but is sometimes used for all the 
small sweets at a dinner, such as cheese cakes, custards, &c., in contra- 
distinction to the more substantial roast joints and plum pudding. 

TANTONY PIG, s. to follow anyone like a Tantony Pig, is to stick 
as close to him as Saint Anthony's favourite is supposed to have 
done to the saint. W. 

TANTRUMS, s. outbursts of passion. 
Wilbraham also gives TANTRELLS. 

TAP, v. to re-sole boots or shoes. MACCLESFIELD. 

TAR-BANT, s. thick tarred string, used for tying sacks ; sometimes 
used for thatching. 

TARDY, s. a fine for being late. 

The accounts of the company of smiths, cutlers, pewterers, and card- 
makers at Chester contain many similar entries to the following: "Nov. 
u, 1679, received from Reignold Woods for a tardy, 3d." L. 

TARE, s. Vicia hirsuta. 

TAR FITCH, s. Vicia Cracca, also called BLUE TAR FITCH to 
distinguish it from Lathyrus pratensis, which is called YELLOW 

Palsgrave has "Tarefytche, a corne, lupyn." HALLIWELL. 

TARNATION, adj. an emphatic adjunct to a word; almost an 

TARPORLEY PEACH, s. 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. 

TARRAS, s. strong lime and hair mortar, such as is used for 
pointing slates. 

TARRIER, s. a terrier dog. 

TARR ON, v. to excite to anger or violence, still used in Cheshire. 
W. See TORE ON. 

TASSEL, s. a mild term of reproach for a girl. Also TASSEL-RAG 
(2), which see. 


TASSEL-RAG, s. (i) catkins of Salix Caprcea. L. 

(2) a word of half blame and half endearment. 
" Aw'll fettle yo, yo young tassel-rag." 

the waxed thread with which a shoemaker sews his shoes. 

More correctly it means only the ends of such threads to which the 
bristles are attached, after the shoemaker has used them as far as he can, and 
sometimes the meaning is thus restricted. 

" Mester Barrow, would yo gie my mother tatchin-eends to sew 
my buttons on wi' ?" 

TATER, s. a potato. 
TATER-TRAP, s. the mouth. 

" Shut your later- trap." 

TATNA (or TATTENHALL) GIRDERS, s. an old-fashioned pear 
much cultivated about Frodsham; or rather there are many old 
trees of the kind in that district. 

It is considered about the poorest pear that grows, but it is a wonderfully 
free bearer, good looking, and sells well in Warrington and the neighbouring 
markets. It also goes by the name of Winter Jargonelle, and if there is any 
difficulty about selling it, the market women give it the more complimentary 
name. It is, however, a good pear for stewing, and should always be used 
for that purpose. 

TAUNTY, s. human excrement. WILMSLOW. 

TAW, s. (i) a large marble. 

(2) a strange man. WILMSLOW. 
TAY, s. tea. 
TAY, v. to take. 

Wilbraham spells it Taigh. 
TAY-BOOART, s. a tea tray. 

TAY THY HURRY, idiom, do not hurry. 

It is as much as to say "What are you in such a hurry for? 
Cannot you wait a minute ?" 

TE, adv. than. 

"Greater te that." L. 
In reality this is merely an abreviation of Till. See TILL. 

TED, -v. to scatter the grass from the swarths ; the first process of 
hay making. 

" Go sirs and away, 

to ted and make hay. 

If stormes drawes nigh, 

then cock apace cry." 

TUSSER (Five Hundred Points}, 
E.D.S. ed., p. 121. 


TEDIOUS, adj. troublesome, wearisome. 

A cross child is said to be very tedious. A long lane that seems "to have 
no turning" is said to be a "long, tedious road." A long protracted harvest 
is " a tedious time." Often pronounced taygious. 

TEEL, s. tail. W. CHES. 

TEEM, v. to pour. 

Applied to either liquids or solids. You can teem water out of a can; or 
you can teem a lot of potatoes out of a sack. 

"It teems wi' rain," i.e., "it pours with rain." 

TEEN, s. (i) when any one is in misfortune or bad plight he is said 
to be in fow teen. W. 

(2) anger. W. 
TEEN, part, taking. HALLIWELL. 

TEENS, s. something above ten. Generally applied to money. 

"What did So-and-so get for his cow?" "Au dunno know, 
but it wur i'th' teens. " 

TEENY, adj. very small, tiny. 

Frequently reduplicated into TEENY-TINY. 

TEETOTALLY, adv. completely. 
A sort of superlative of totally. 

TELL'N, v. plural of tell. 

"We telFn yo that we winna do it." 

TENK, s. a small blow. WILMSLOW. 

TENT, v. (i) to look after, to attend to. 

" Tentingkye i'th' lone," looking after the cow in the lane. " Tenting 
th' hay " is attending to the making of the hay, tedding it, turning it, raking 
it up, but it does not include the operations of mowing or leading. The 
people who make the hay are called "hay-tenters." 

" it was a sore office, O Lord, for him 

that was a lord borne of a great degree ! 
as he was tenting his sheepe alone, 
neither sport nor play cold hee. " 

"Lord of Learne," Percy Fol. MS., Hales and 
Furnivall ed. 

Ray gives the following as a Cheshire proverb, "I'll tent thee, quoth 
Wood ; if I cannot rule my daughter, I'll rule my good. " 

(2) to watch. 

"Th' cat's tenting th' rat hole." 

(3) to scare or frighten. 

" Tenting crows" is scaring rooks off the newly-sown corn. 


TENTER, s. one who looks after anything. 

TERRIBLE, adv. excessively. 

Very constantly used without the slightest meaning of anything dreadful 
being attached to it. We should even say "I'm terrible glad to see you." 

DEVIL, s. (i) the Bitter-sweet Nightshade, Solatium Dulcamara. 
Boys about Frodsham chew the roots and say it tastes like stick liquorice. 

(2) Polygonum Convolvulus is also called TETHER- 

TETTER or TITTHER, s. a slight breaking out of the skin. 

TEWTER, s. an instrument for breaking flax, as a brake for hemp. 

TRACK, s. thatch. W. 
THACKER, s. a thatcher. 
THAH, pron. thou. 

THANDER, adj. yonder. 

" Wheer's our Dick?" "Crewdling in thander corner." Hiding away in 
yonder corner. L. 

THARM-ROPES, s. hay bands. WILMSLOW. But not common. 

THAT, adv. so or so very. 

"I were that vexed I did not know what I said." 


" As weet as thatch" is a common simile. The straw for thatching being 
partially rotted with water before it is put on a roof. 

THATCH-HOOKS, s. iron hooks, driven into the spars, to hold 
down the first layers of straw in thatching a house. 

THATCH-PRICKS, s. sticks sharpened at one end used in 


THAW-WIND or THO-WIND, s. a south wind which brings on 
a thaw. See ROBIN HOOD WIND. 

THAVE or THEAVE, s. a ewe of the first year, that has never had 
a lamb. L. 

THEER, pron. there. 


THEIRSELS, pr. themselves. 

THEM,/w. those. 

THEY'N, v. they were; an abbreviation oitheyweren. WILMSLOW. 

THICK, adv. friendly. 

THICK-YED, s. a stupid person. 

THICK AN' THREE-FOWD, idiom, very numerous, very frequent. 

"He's a bonny lot o' childer i' this short time; they'n com'n 
thick an' three-fowd." 

THIEF, s. a burning excrescence on the wick of a candle, which 
causes it to gutter. 

If it assumes a bright appearance it is sometimes called a letter, and is 
supposed to foretell the receipt of one. 

THIMBLE, s. the iron socket in which any pivot turns. Also the 
socket into which a bolt shoots. MOBBERLEY. 

THING O' NOTHING, idiom, a trifle ; next to nothing. 

" He bought a lot o' taters for his cows, and got 'em for a thing 
o' nothing." 

" This cask leaks. " Brewer: "Oh! its a thing o 1 nothing.'''' 
" Have you cut yoursel?" "Aye ; but its a thing o 1 nothing." 
Shakspeare uses this phrase. 

" HAM. : The body is with the king, but the king is not with the body. 

The king is a thing 
GuiL. : A thing, my lord ? 
HAM.: Of nothing: bring me to him." Hamlet, Act iv., sc. 2. 

THINGS, s. personal apparel. 

" Get your things on an' we'll goo." 

THINK ON, v. (i) to remember. 

(2) to remind. 
" Yo mun think me on, or I shall be sure to forget." 

THINK YOU ? v. do you think ? 

This form of the question is almost always used. 

THIN, adj. cold, piercing ; applied to a wind that penetrates to the 

One frequently hears it said, " My word ! but it's a thin wind this 
morning; it'll go through you before it'll go round you." 

Such a wind is also said " to make thin linings ;" that is, it makes one's 
clothes feel excessively thin. 

THIRL, v. to pierce ; a term used by colliers when they make an 
opening between a new and old working. Mow COP. 



THISTLE-TAKE, 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, suffered to graze or eat but a 
thistle. Bailey's Dictionary. 

The custom is very ancient, as appears from the following extract from a 
report on the Halton Court Rolls, published a few years ago by Mr. Beamont, 
of Warrington : "In 1375 there was an officer called the taxator, who 
was to take an account of the swine feeding in the lord's woods, and to 
receive the pannage due for them. This year the sums received for pannage, 
thistle-take, and the perquisites of the halmote were twenty-two pence for 
the pannage and thistle-take, and thirteen shillings and three pence for the 
Court perquisites." 

Blount in his Law Dictionary, a work of authority, explains thistle-take 
almost in Bailey's words. 

(Frequent enquiries having been made as to what has become of the 
Court Rolls of Halton, I may say that they are now lodged in the Public 
Record Office in London.) 

THODDEN, adj. close, heavy. 

Heavy bread is described as thodden. A waxy, watery potato is also 

THONK, s. a thong, a bootlace ; also THUNK. 
THORNBERRIES, s. fruit of Cratcegus Oxyatantha, occasionally. 

THOU, pron. is in constant use. 

Equals " thou and thee" each other, and superiors " thou" inferiors ; but 
inferiors always address their superiors as "you." Generally pronounced 
thah. Not unfrequently a superior will address an inferior in the third person, 
" Now he mun tak this letter to Mester , an' he mun wait for an answer." 

THOUSAND-FLOWER, s. Linaria Cymbalaria. L. 
THOUSAND-LEAF, s. the yarrow. Achilha Millefolium. MOB- 


Erroneously applied by Leigh to A. Ptarmica. 

THOWT, s. thought. 

"Next thowt "is a very common expression to indicate that you have 
suddenly remembered something that you had almost forgotten. 

" Aw'll go buey some baccy; bu' next thowt aw have na brass 
enoo. " 

THOWT, v. perfect tense of think. 

THRAMP-WITH, s. a sliding noose of withy or rope to fasten cows 
in their stalls. HALLIWELL. See FRAMPATH. 

THRAPE, THREEP, or THREEAP, to contradict, to main- 
tain an assertion. Often THRAPE DOWN. 

THRASKET, s. a flail or thresket. L. 

Probably misprints for thrashet and threshet. See THRESHATS. 


THRAVE, s. twenty-four sheaves of corn. 

The threshing machine has almost entirely superseded the flail, but when 
corn was threshed by hand, it was generally done by the piece at so much 
per throve. The farmer counted out two or three thraves at a time for his 
men to thresh, and each kept a record of the amount of work done. In 
threshing, four sheaves used to be spread out on the floor, head to head, and 
when threshed they were tied up into two battens of straw, thus a thrave of 
corn only makes twelve sheaves of .straw ; and this may, perhaps, account 
for Wilbraham's somewhat ambiguous definition of a thrave, "generally 
twelve, but sometimes twenty-four sheaves of corn." At auction sales corn 
is frequently sold by the thrave. 


THREE-LEGS, s. three larch poles fastened together at the top by 
means of a slightly curved iron pivot. 

The legs are spread open at the bottom, and a pulley is fixed under the 
apex, they then serve for hoisting timber or other heavy materials. Smaller 
ones are in use to hang scales to when potatoes are being weighed in a field. 

THREE-SQUARE, adj. triangular. 

THREEWICK, s. three weeks. 

We speak of "a three-wick in the singular number in the same manner as 
we speak of a fortnight. The pronunciation is rather peculiar, the first 
syllable being short. It sounds almost like threiv-ick. 

THRESHATS, s. pi. a flail, i.e., the handstaff and swipple joined 

Randle Holme calls them Threshalls. Academy of Armory, Bk. iii., 
ch. viii., p. 333. 

THRID, s. thread. 

THRIFT, s. growing pains. 

"What ails the, pooin thi face? It's nowt bu' th' thrift that 
tha's getten." 


THRILLS, s. the shafts of a cart. MIDDLEWICH. 

THRIPPA or THRIPPOW, s. the harvest gearing of a cart. 

Two thrippas, one at each end of the cart, constitute the harvest gearing ; 
they are movable, and are only put on when hay or corn are to be carried. 

THRIPPA or THRIPPOW, v. to beat. W. See RIPPER. 
THRIPPA SLOTES, s. the bars of a cart thrippa. 

THRIPPLE, s. the beating part of a flail. L. 
More commonly SWIPPA, which see. 

THRIPPOWING, part. adj. 

A thrippowing pungowing life is a hard laborious life. W. 


THROAT FAYVER (fever), s. diphtheria. MOBBERLEY. 

THROCK, s. Randle Holme enumerates this amongst the parts of 
a plough. 

"The Throck is the piece of Timber on which the Suck is fixed." Academy 
of Armory, Bk. iii., ch. viii., p. 333. 

THROLLY, s. a thrush, Turdus musicus. FRODSHAM. 
THRONG, adj. busy. 

THROPE, ) v. perfect tense and participle of the verb to 
THROPPEN, ) threap. W. 

THROSTLE, s. a thrush, Turdus musicus. 

THRUCK, s. the piece of wood that goes through the beam of 
a plough, at the end of which the suck or share is fastened. 

THRUFF, />?/. through, not common. 

THRUM, s. (i) a tangle or mess. KELSALL. 

A piece of tangled string is said to be " in a thrum." 

(2) a naughty child. Manchester City News, February 
26, 1880, but not localized. 


THRUMMELL, s. a large clumsy lump of a fellow. L. 

THRUMS, s. short ends of worsted, which can be bought from the 
carpet shops, and which used formerly to be much used for 
knitting into hearth rugs and door mats. 

THRUNK, adj. thronged, crowded. 

"As thrunk as three in a bed " is a common saying. Also "As thrunk 
as Cheddle Wakes, noo ream areat." 

THRUSTINGS, s. white whey, the same as thrutchings, q.v. 

"In the process of making whey butter, in some instances, the thrustings, 
or white whey, is set in cream mugs to carve, and acidulate tor churning." 
Holland's General View of the Agriculture of Cheshire, 1808, p. 261. 

THRUT, v. perfect tense and participle of the verb to throw. 

THRUTCH, v. to push, to squeeze, to thrust. 

A lad who was being pushed off the end of a form at a village tea party, 
by reason of so many other lads all crowding on to the same seat, said, " I'st 
be thrutched off here, I shall that; thrutch up a bit." 

A common proverb is " Where there's least room there's most 


THRUTCHINGS, s. whey which is thrutched or squeezed out 
whilst the cheese is under pressure. 

It runs out .nearly white, and is thicker than the first or green 

THUMBASING or THUMMASING, part, fumbling with the 
hands as if all the fingers were thumbs. Fumasing is used in 
the same sense. 

From a manuscript note in Wilbraham's Glossary, written apparently 
about 1826. 

There seems to be an idea, not in Cheshire only, but generally, that the 
thumb is an inferior organ to the fingers, and more clumsy ; accordingly, one 
frequently hears it said, " I can't manage it at all to-day; my fingers seem all 
thumbs." A good illustration of this occurred at a rent dinner at which I 
was presiding. The host of the inn where we were dining had recently lost 
his wife. His health was drunk, and the man who proposed it made some 
allusion to his loss, but hoped he would in due time find solace in a second 

helpmate. In returning thanks, poor O said he thought he should 

remain as he was, and he ended by saying that his late wife was so clever 
that whenever she took anything in hand, her thumb never seemed to be in 
the way. 

FUMMASING (which see) seems to be merely another pronunciation of 
the word, Th and F being, in some degree, interchangeable letters. We 
have an illustration of this in Thistle, which in Cheshire is very frequently 
pronounced Fistic. 

THUNDER BOLTS, s. the corn poppy, Papaver Rhceas. L. 

Probably Fapaver dubium is intended, P. Rhceas being extremely rare in 
Cheshire, if indeed, it occurs at all. 

THUNGE, s. a heavy blow. 

THUNGE, v. to strike a heavy blow. 

"What art thungin at th' durr for? Conna thee wait till a 
oppen it?" 

THUNGER, s. anything of unusual size. 
THUNK, s. a thong, a bootlace; also THONK. 

THUNKED, part, having a stricture. NORTON. 

" When the teat of a cow becornes knotted as if it had a thong tied round 
it, and her milk cannot flow freely, the teat is said to be thunked. 

THUNNER, s. thunder. 
THUNNER-BOWT, s. thunder-bolt. 
THURN, s. a thorn. 

THURN-BUSH, s. a hawthorn tree, Cratoegus Oxyacantha. 


TICE, v. to entice. 

"Tummy wer gooin to his work reet enough, bu' Jack ticed\nm 
off to th' wakes, an they booath geet drunk. " 

" if I may know after this 
that thou tice me, I wis 

thou shall have the law of the land." 

"Sir Triamore," Percy FoL MS., Hales and 
Furnivall ed. 

TICK, s. foot and mouth disease in cattle. MOBBERLEY. 
TICKLE, adj. (i) unsteady, top heavy. 

(2) difficult, delicate. 
" Au've getten rayther a tickle job here." 

TICKLE-STOMACHED, adj. squeamish. 
TICKLISH, adj. skittish, mettlesome ; said of a horse. 

TIDY, adj. in addition to the ordinary meaning " neat," the word is 
used on a variety of occasions to signify 

(1) considerable. 

"A tidy lot " is a rather large quantity. 
" A tidy distance " is a long distance. 

(2) good. 

" A tidy sort o' chap " is a good sort of a man. 

TIED BY THE TOOTH, idiom, a curious expression, ex- 
plaining why sheep and cattle do not break through fences, 
though they are bad, because the pasture is good, which prevents 
rambling. L. 

TIFT, s. a quarrel, a tiff. 

TIKE or TYKE, s. ( i ) a little dog. W. 

(2) an epithet applied to a person in mischief. 
" Come ite, yo tike ?" 
A cross child is often called " a cross tike." 

TILL, conj. than. 

TIMBER-TOED, adj. the toes turned inwards. 

TIME, s. season. 

" A dropping time " means a spell of wet weather. 

TIMERSOME, adj. timorous. 
TIN, adv. until. 


TIN or TINE, v. (i) to repair a fence. MINSHULL VERNON. 

(2) to shut. 
"7mthedur." W. 

(3) also TIND. 

To find the fire is to light the fire. W. 

(4) to lose one's temper. L 

TIN-LOAF?' \ s ' bread baked in a tin ' 

TINING, s. the dead wood used for filling up a gap in the hedge. W. 


In a deed of mortgage, 1637, the mortgagor gives the mortgagee leave " to 
take sufficient trouse and tynsel, growing or to grow, on the premises, for the 
fencing in and repairing of the hedges and heyment in and about the demised 
Close." Tynsel is evidently a synonym for brushwood. L. 

TIP, s. a heap of rubbish, or, perhaps, more exactly, faz place where 
rubbish is tipped or deposited. 

TIP, v. to discharge the contents of a cart or railway wagon by 
tipping it up. 

" The devil always tips at the biggest ruck " is an old Cheshire saying. 

TIPE, v. to tipe over is to fall over in a fainting condition. See 

TIPPING, s. a railway embankment formed by tipping wagons full 
of soil or stone. L. 

TIRING-IRONS, s. an old game with iron rods and rings. 
TIT, s. a horse. 

TIT-BACK, s. horse-back. 

" How was he travelling?" " He were on tit-back," 

TITMAUPS, s. a titmouse. L. 
TITTIMAW, s. a titmouse. 

TITTY, s. a mother's breast. 

To give a baby "its titty" is to give it suck. 

TIZACKY, adj. particular about food. Mow COP. 

T'N, adv. than. 

" I'm bigger t'n him." 

TOAD-FLAX, s. the corn spurrey, Spergula arvensis. 


TOAD-RUDD, s. frog-spawn. 

TOATLY or TOERTLY, adj. quiet, docile. 

TO-DO, s. fuss, bustle, outcry. 

" What ails him? he's making a great to-do" 

TO-DO, adj. amiss. 

" What's to-do wi' thee ?" 

TOFF, adj. tough. 


TOM AND JERRY, s. a beerhouse. 

TOMMY DODD, slang expression, salt-making term. 

A lever used for jumping or sacking the salt in place of its being done by 
men. The mouth of the sack is attached to hooks on a ring fixed at the end of 
the short arm of a lever. One man can thus work the lever and jump the sack. 

TOMORROVV-COME-NEVER, idiom, an indefinite time. 

Synonymous with the Parliamentary phrase "this day six months." 
Cheshire Sheaf, vol. ii., p. 27. 

TOM-TIT, s. a titmouse. Also TITTIMAW. 

TON or TONE, s. one, or rather " the one." 

" I met old Aspbury on the waste, and I said ' Our chimney wants 
sweeping, and there are no sweeps in Kelsall ; what must I do ?' And 
he says ' Get a hollin-bush, missis, or set it afire ! ton o'th' two. ' " 
A very common way of sweeping chimneys in Cheshire is to tie a holly- 
bush in the middle of a cart rope. One end of the rope is then weighted 
with a stone and passed down the chimney. A man at the top and another 
at the bottom then pull the holly-bush up and down until all the soot is 
dislodged. See TOTHER. 

TONGUE-FENCE, s. argument, talk. WILMSLOW. 
TOOKEN, v. perfect tense plural of the verb to take. 
TOOL, s. a draining spade. 

TOOL-BING, s. a small room amongst the farm buildings where 
tools are kept. MIDDLEWICH. 

TOOT, v. to pry curiously or impertinently into any little domestic 
concern. W. 

TOOT HILL, prop, name, a steep hill near Alvanley. 

There are many hills throughout the country which bear this name. There 
is generally the remains of an ancient camp in their vicinity, and the name 
either signifies "a look-out ;" or else, as has sometimes been suggested, it is 
connected with the worship of the Celtic deity Tot or Thoth. 

Halliwell has "Totehill, an eminence, Chesh." which is probably taken 
from Wilbraham, who says "a totehill is an eminence from which there is a 
good look-out." 


TOOTY POT, s. a hole in a road or pavement full of water. L. 

TOO VERY, adv. too. 

" Dunnot dig it too very deep." 

TOP O' TH' TREE, idiom, the highest position attainable. 

TOPPER, s. something very good. 

A highly popular man is sometimes described as " a topper." 

TOPPING, adj. noted, eminent. 

" He's a topping plooman." 

TOPS AND BOTTOMS, idiom, an expression relative to the cul- 
tivation of cottage gardens. Tops are fruit trees, bottoms are 

" Why do you not grow potatoes?" " Au canna have tops and 
bottoms as well, and tops pee best. " L. 

TOP-SAWYER, s. a first-rate hand; a great person. 


The top side of a tree is the side of the stem which has been exposed to 
the north when growing, and which some consider injuriously affects the 
quality of the wood on that side. Cheshire Sheaf, vol. ii., p. 27. 

TOP UP, v. (i) to finish off a stack. 

(2) to put the best at the top when fruit or any other 
article is for sale. 

TORE ON, v. to struggle through with any task. MOBBERLEY. 
" Have you welly finished ?" " No, bur aw'm taring on." 

TORT, ) , 
TOWART,F r ^ lowards - 


TOTHER, s. the other. 

Frequently used after TON. " One or the other " is " Ton or father ." 
" Wife, pluck fro thy seed hemp the fiemble hemp clene, 

this looketh more yellow, the other more grene : 
Vse ton for thy spinning, leave Mihel the father, 
for shoo thred and halter, for rope and such other." 

TUSSER (Five Hundred Points], E. D.S. ed., p. 123. 

TOUCH-ME-NOT, s. the plant Cardamine hirsuta, which shoots 
out its seeds when touched. MOBBERLEY. 

TOW-BAR, s. a turnpike. 

TOW-DISH, s. toll dish. A miller's toll measure. 

TOWER- WHEELS, s. salt-mining term. The wheels at the top of 
the towers on which \^& flat-ropes run. 


TOWLER, s. an instrument for breaking flax. L. 

TOWN, s. a village. Used often in place names. 

" Norton Town " is often spoken of, though Norton is an extremely 
small village ; and two bridges on the Bridgewater Canal, which runs through 
Norton, are called respectively "Norton Town Bridge," and "Norton Town 
Field Bridge." We have the "Town Lane" in Mobberley ; and in the 
same parish there is the " Town Field," a field which formerly consisted of 
a number of small allotments, cultivated conjointly, as it were, by the various 
inhabitants of the township. In an old deed relating to property in the village 
of Hal ton, an enclosure is named as " the yard at the end of the town." 

TOYPED OFF,/0rf. (i) fainted. 

(2) damped off, like an over-watered flower. L. 
TRADDLE, s. a treadle. 

TRADDLE-HOLE, s. (i) a hollow place in the floor under a 

loom where the treadles work up and 

(2) an old-fashioned variety of apple. 

The tradition is that a weaver found an apple pip growing in the trandle- 
hole under his loom, and planted it in his garden. In due time it bore fruit 
of good quality, and the variety was named Traddle-hole from the place 
whence the pip came. 

TRADE, s. a handicraft. 

The word has no reference to buying and selling, or keeping a shop. 
" He gave th' lad a trade; he put him to a shoemaker." 

TRADE, v. to tread. 

TRADE MORTAR, v, to mix lime and sand for mortar by treading 
it with the feet, a practice now almost obsolete. 

TRADESMAN, s. a handicraftsman. 

TRAMMEL, s. a builder's tool. 

In working circular work, a staff of the radius of the circle is a trammel. 

TRAMMLE, v. to trample. 

TRANSMOGRIFY, v. to metamorphose, to effect a visible change 
for the better. 

A jobbing tailor offered to transmogrify all my carpets when I was 
removing to a new house j meaning that he would alter them to suit the new 

TRANSOM, s. the cross piece of wood that holds up the log on a 

A back-transom is a spare one always kept under the log for safety. 

TRAPS, s. salt-making term. The holes in the floor between the 
hothouses and the lofts, up which holes the lumps are put. 


TRASH, s. an iron plate to lock the wheel of a wagon going down 

TRASH, also TRASHER, v. to shuffle, as one does with shoes 
down at heel. 

A woman who was summoned before the Frodsham School Attendance 
Committee for not sending her son to school, gave as an excuse that she had_ 
been unable to buy him a pair of boots, and added, "He'd nowt bur an owd 
pair o' moine as he had for t' trash abait in, an' ah couldna send him i' them." 

" His shoon are queit done; he's trashert em eawt" 
TRASHERT, adj. poorly shod. 
TRASHES or TRASHERS, s. old shoes or slippers. 

TRAUNCE, s. a tedious journey. 

" He led me a fine trautxe" 

TRAUNCIN, part, taking a tedious journey, without much result. 

"He said he were on'y goin to Helsby, but he kep me trauncin 
abait au dee. " 

TRAVIS, s. a place enclosed with rails, for shoeing an unruly horse. 

TRAYCLE TEAWN (Treacle Town), prop, name, a soubriquet for 
the town of Macclesfield. 

TRAYCLE TOFFY, s. sometimes called TOFFY STICKS. A very 
favourite sweetmeat amongst Cheshire school children. 

I am not acquainted with the exact mode of manufacture, but I suppose 
the treacle is thickened by boiling till it will draw out into sticks a foot or 
more long, which harden as they cool. The sticks are covered with strips of 
paper wrapped around them spirally. 

TRAYPSE, s. a long, dirty, tiring walk. 

" Eh ! bur aw've had such a traypse, an' aw for nowt." 

TRAYPSE, v. to walk in a slovenly manner, through mud and dirt. 
TRAYPSED, part, draggled, poverty-stricken. MIDDLEWICH. 
TREENE WARRE (treen ware), s. earthen vessels. 

From an inventory of property belonging to Margery Glutton of Nant- 
wich, 1611. Local Gleanings, January, 1880, p. 265. 

TREFOIL, s. Trifolium minus. 

TREMBLING GRASS, s. quaking grass, Briza media. WILMSLOW. 

TRENCH, v. to dig two spades deep, burying the sod at the 

TRENCH-PLOUGH, v. to turn over a very shallow furrow in 
the first instance, and then cover it by means of a second plough 
set much deeper. 



TRENTALL, s. a collection of thirty things. 

Lawrence Mainwaring in his will (1533, A.D.) leaves money to pay "for 
a trentalloi masses," i.e., thirty masses. L. 

TRIAL, s. a coarse sieve in a winnowing machine. 

TRICKLING, part, applied to the uncertain scramble of a wounded 


" I seed the hare a trickling along the deitch, through the 
brimbles under the boo of yon wicken." L. 

TRIG, s. a trot, between a walk and a run (not applied to a horse's 

" He's allus uppo th r trig." Always in a hurry. 

TRIG or TRIG OUT, v. to bedeck. 

TRIM THE JACKET, idiom, to beat. 
" Aw'll trim thy jacket for thee." 

TRINDLE, s. the wheel of a barrow. MIDDLEWICH. Also 

TRINKLEMENTS, s. nick-nacks, trinkets. 

TRINCUM-TRANCUMS, s. ornaments of dress, fallals. WILMS- 

TRIVANT, s. truant. WILMSLOW. 

" He ticed ahr Jacii o play trivant from schoo." 

TROLLOP, s. a slattern. 

TROLLY, s. a low, two-wheeled cart. MACCLESFIELD. 

TRON, v. to contrive something in joiner's work or the like. L. 

TROSSLE, s. making a trossle of oneself being slatternly or 
turning out disreputably. L. 

TROU, s. a small cart or drag. HALLIWELL. 

TROUSE, s. a thorn or bough, used to stop a gap in a hedge. L. 

TROWS, s. a steelyard. Mow COP. 

TRUCK, s. odds and ends which are almost worthless. 

"Th' sale begun at one o'clock, but they'll ony be sellin truck for 
an hour or so." 

TRUCK, v. to barter. 

" He conna sell th' tit ; he'll have to truck wi' somebody to get 
beawt it." 

TRUNDLE, s. the wheel of a wheelbarrow ; also TRINDLE. 


TRUNDLE-BOWL, s. a boy's hoop. 

TRUNK, s. the pipe which conveys the water under &plat. FRODS- 

TRUSS-WEIGHT, s. a rather curious and ingenious method of 
weighing hay for market. 

For market a ton of hay is cut into forty trusses, which are supposed to 
weigh 561bs. each. The hay-cutter cuts the truss as near the required weight 
as he can guess, and then weighs it on a steelyard (locally called drones], 
which is furnished with two long hooks to hook into the bands around the 
truss. The drones are hung to the stail (or handle) of zfikel (or pitchfork), 
the grains (prongs) of which are thrust into the side of the haystack, the 
other end of the pikel resting on the man's shoulder. Of course it very 
rarely happens that a truss weighs exactly 561bs., but whatever weight 
is under or over the 561bs. is recollected, and the underweight or overweight 
of each succeeding truss is subtracted from or added to the previous total 
under or over weight, until the whole forty trusses are weighed. In fact, a 
very ingenious mental Dr. and Cr. account is kept. An example will best 
illustrate the process. Suppose the first truss weighs 59lbs., this is 3lbs. 
overweight; truss two weighs 5Slbs., or lib. underweight; the lib. sub- 
tracted from the 3lbs. leaves 2lbs. overweight for the two trusses. Truss 
three may weigh only 5olbs., or 61bs. short; but there are already 2lbs. over; 
the balance therefore is 4lbs. short in the three trusses. When the errors are 
so small as these they are allowed to pass, but if the error is large, or the 
balance begins to get much too high or too low, 'some hay is taken from or 
added to a truss to equalize it again. When the last truss is weighed the 
whole ton may be a few pounds over or under, but cannot be more incorrect 
than a few pounds ; and this error is easily rectified in the last truss. See 

TRYING PLANE, s. a long heavy plane used for the careful dress- 
ing, levelling, and squaring up of timber after the first roughness 
has been taken off with the jack plane. 

TUB, s. salt-making term.* A square box of wood in which fine salt 
is moulded before drying. 

They are generally eighteen to twenty inches long and six to eight inches 

TUBBY, adj. round-bellied. 

TUB-GUTS, s. a pot-bellied man. WILMSLOW. 

TUB-THUMPER, s. (i) a cooper. 

(2) a ranting preacher. 

TUCKED UP, part, an animal having very little stomach is said to 
be tucked up. 

TUMBRIL, s. a dung cart ; smaller than an ordinary cart. 
"Horse, Oxen, plough, tumbrel, cart, waggon, & waine." 

TUSSER (Five Hundred Points}, E.D.S. ed., p. 35. 

TUMMLE, v. to tumble. 


TUMMUS, (i) prop. name. Thomas. 
(2) s. a toad. L. 

TUN-DISH, s. a funnel. 
TUNGLED, part, plagued. L. 
TUP, s. a ram. 
TUP CAT, s. a torn cat. L. 

TURF, s. peat dried for fuel. The word is never applied in 
Cheshire to a grass sod. 

Turf-getting is a peculiar industry carried on at most of the larger peat 
bogs, and notably at Lindow Common near Wilmslow. The turf is nicked 
out into parallelograms about 12 inches by 9 inches, and cut horizontally into 
cakes about 3 inches thick ; these are laid on the earth to dry ; afterwards 
reared two together ; then piled into -windrows, and lastly stacked in conical 
heaps for winter fuel. There are two qualities of turf, the grey and the 
black. The grey lies uppermost and is formed chiefly of white moss 
(Sphagnum) which is only very slightly decomposed. It dries spongy. The 
black turf is underneath, and dries very hard. 

TURF-GETTER, s. one who cuts and prepares turf for fuel. 

TURF-SPADE, s. a thin, sharp spade, made perfectly flat, so that 
it can be used either side up, for the purpose of cutting the turf 
blocks both perpendicularly and horizontally. 

TURMIT, s. a turnip. 

TURN AGAIN, v. to turn back. 

TURNED, fart, (i) past, as regards age. 
" He's turned seventy. " 

(2) sour, said of milk. 

TURNEL, s. a shallow, oval tub. 

Large ones are used for scalding pigs and are called "pig turnels." 
Smaller ones are used for various purposes, such as putting under a cheese 
press ; kneading bread, salting meat, &c. 

TURNING AND TYPING, idiom, contriving, so as to make 
things fit. WILMSLOW. 

TURNOVER, s. (i) a pasty made of a circular paste doubled over 
and the edges pinched together. It may 
contain fruit or meat. 
(2) an apprentice transferred to a new master. L. 

TURN OVER, v. to repeat. 

"Aw hears so many tales that are na worth turning o'er again." 

URN THEE, excl. said to a horse or cow when they are required 
to move to one side. 


TURN UP, v. (used metaphorically). 

"It winna 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. 

TUSH, s. a tusk. 

TWAN ABOUT, v. to go about aimlessly. MOBBERLEY, WILMSLOW. 

" What hast bin doin aw day ? Aw've seen the do nowt bu' 
twan abeawt, aw o'er th' place/' 

TWANG A BOW, v. hatting term. 

In "bowing" the materials for hat bodies the Bow (which see) is taken 
in the left hand, and the Bow Peg (which also see) in the right. The string 
of catgut is pulled by the end piece of the bow peg and then let go; the 
effect is to spread and open out the materials upon which it is laid. 

TWARLY, adj. peevish, cross. W. 

TWEEND, v. to wind round or twist. MIDDLEWICH. 

TWELFT, s. twelfth. 

TWELL, v. to twirl. WILMSLOW. 
" 7 well it reawnd." 

TWIGGEN, adj. made of wickerwork. 

"A twiggyn flaskett" (i.e., a wicker basket) is mentioned in an inventory 
of property belonging to Margery Glutton of Nantwich, 1611. Local Glean- 
ings, February, 1880, p. 298. 

TWIGGEN DICK, s. a coarse kind of cheese, with very little fat in it. 

Servants when not satisfied with the furnishing of the table used very 
frequently to repeat the following rhyme, and perhaps do so still, at 

"Browan bread, mahleypies, 
Twiggen Dick full o' eyes ; 
Buttermilk instead o' beer ; 
So I'll be hanged if I stay here. " 
At WILMSLOW the rhyme varies thus : 

"Barley bread, and barley pies, 
Twiggen Dick and full o' eyes, 
Sour milk and smaw beer, 
Maks me stop no lunger here." 

TWIGGERY, s. an ozier bed. 
TWIGS, s. oziers. 

TWIN, v. to divide into two parts, especially applied to a field, or a 

TWINK, s. a chaffinch, Fringilla ccslebs. FRODSHAM. 

TWIST, s. appetite. 

" Eh ! which a twist thou's getten." 


TWITCH, s. (i) a short stick with a noose of string at one end, 

used for holding a refractory horse. 

The noose is placed around the upper lip of the horse, and is twisted round 
until the lip is held tight. 

(2) couch grass, Triticum repens. 
TWITCH CLOG, s. a black beetle. 

TWITCH EL, s. a person whose intellect is so weakened by age as 
to become childish is called a twitchel. W. 

TWITCHEL, v. (i) to geld by means of a cleft stick. W. 
For description of the operation see Wilbraham's Glossary. 

(2) a dog is said to be twitchelled when it has a can 
tied to its tail. WILMSLOW. 

TWITCHINGS, s. "ends of Horse Shooe Nails cut off." Academy 
of Armory, Bk. III., ch. iii., p. 89. 

TWITE, v. to cut. L. 

TWIZZLE, v. (i) to twirl, to twist. 

A chicken is said to have its neck t-wizzled when it is slaughtered in that 

(2) to twine round. DELAMERE. 
The bindweed is said to " twizzle round the corn." 

TWO FOLK, idiom, at variance. 

"John an' James are two folk." 

TWO-FOOT, s. a carpenter's rule. 

" Han yo seen my two-foot?" 

TWO-FOWD, adj. double. 

TWOTHRY, s. two or three. Used also to express any indefinite 

Sometimes it means rather a large number; thus "a good two-thry 
glasses" would imply that a considerable quantity of drink had been imbibed. 

TVVYNTER HEIFER, s. a two year old (two-winter) heifer. 

Mentioned in an inventory of property belonging to Margery Glutton 
ofNantwich, 1611. Local Cleanings, February, 1880, p. 302. 

TYKE, s. see TIKE. 

TYNAN, v. to enrage, or provoke. L. 




ULLET HOLE or ULLERT HOLE, s. a hole left in the gable 
of a building to admit owls, which destroy an amazing number 
of mice in farm buildings. 


OUMBER, s. the shade. 

Corn does not ripen well if it is in the umber. W. 

UMBERELL, s. an umbrella. 

UMBRELLA RAIN, s. rain which comes straight down. KELSALL. 

UN, s. one. 

" That's a good un, any'ow." 

UNBARE, v. to strip, to make bare. 

" He'll unbare th' prato hog morrow morning if it does na freeze." 

UNBEKNOWNST, adv. unknown, clandestinely. 

UNBETHINK, v. to recall to mind. 

It invariably takes the accusative case of the pronoun after it. "Now I 
unbethink me;" and, as Wilbraham observes, it somewhat implies a change 
of opinion. 

" and unbethought him of awhile, 
how he might that wilde bore beguile." 

"Sir Lionell," Percy Fol. MS., Hales and 

Furnivall ed. 
Frequently pronounced umbethink. 

UNCO, UNCOW, or UNKERT, adj. awkward, strange, un- 
common. W. 

UNDENIABLE, adj. (i) excellent. 

It also has a meaning which, at first sight, appears almost the reverse of 
excellent, namely 

(2) unmistakeable, absolute. 
" He's an undeniable rascal." 

UNDERLING, s. a cow, pig, or other animal bullied by the others. 
" That's a little underling" said a farming man, pointing to a cow in a 
straw yard, " and the others run it." L. 



,V 1 v. to put new walling under a wall already built. 
UNDrl.Koii.1 , ) 

UNDER TH' WEATHER, idiom, in poor circumstances, down in 
the world. 

UNFACE, v. to expose. 

To "unface sand" would be to dig away all the soil so as to expose a 
face of sand. 

UNGAIN, adj. not handy, inconvenient. 
The reverse of fain, which see. 

UNGIVE, v. to give way, to melt. 

When glue does not stick it is said to ungive. When a thaw begins to 
set in, the frost is said " to ungive a bit." Salt ungives or becomes moist in 
damp weather. A lump of rock salt is often used as a barometer, being hung 
up by a piece of string to a hook in the houseplace ceiling. When it ungives 
and drips on the floor it indicates coming wet weather. 

UNHAIR, v. a tanning word, meaning to divest a hide of the hair. 

UNHUDDER, v. to take off the top protecting sheaves (hudders) 
from corn stocks preparatory to carrying them, so as to let the 
sun harden the corn which has been previously covered up. 

UNKEMPT, part, uncombed. Still in use. 

UNKIND, adj. unripe, or rather not able to ripen. 

" Unkind corn" is corn which, from some circumstance, such as being 
shaded with trees, does not come properly to maturity, and is ill-fed. 

UNLEVEL, adj. not level. 

UNLUCKY, adj. always in mischief. 

A boy who is perpetually in some scrape or another is stigmatised as "an 
unlucky lad. " 

A cow which has a propensity for breaking through fences is said to be 
unlucky, and is often blufted, or has a. yoke hung round her neck. 

When it was the fashion for country girls to wear veils, people used to 
say of them jokingly "Go's unlucky," in allusion to the blufting of a cow. 
See BLUFTED (i). 

UNPOSSIBLE, adj. impossible. 

UNTOWERTLY, adj. unpromising, unmanageable. 

A correspondent writes as follows : " I was a nervous, delicate child, 
and therefore very amenable to nursery rule, and she [the nurse] always spoke 
of me as "a taughtly little thing ;" whereas my sister, who utterly defied the 
powers above, was described as "an untvwertly baggage." 

It is rather remarkable that the two words toatly or tauutly and 
untowertly, which appear to be the positive and negative forms of the same 
word, and which certainly express two opposite qualities, are almost 
invariably pronounced differently, as indicated in the above quotation. 


UP, v. (i) to get up. 

" I upped and towd im." 

(2) to lift up. 

" I upped wi' my fist and fetched 'im a crack o'th' yed." 

UP AN' DAIN or UP AN' DEAWN, idiom, applied to a Lanca- 
shire method of fighting, where kicking, &c., is resorted to, in 
contradistinction to a Cheshire "stand up " fight. See LANKY (2). 

UPBRAITH, v. to upbraid. 

UP-EEND, v, to turn anything, such as a barrel, on its end. 

UPHOWD, v. (i) to uphold in argument; to assert, to maintain. 

(2) to certify, 
"What he says is true, I uphowdyo." 

UP I' YEARS, idiom, getting old, as applied to human beings. 
Often singly f years, without the prefix up. 

UPKECK, v. to upset. 

To upkeck a cart is to tip a cart up so as to shoot out the contents. 

UPPO, prep, upon, when the next word begins with a consonant. 
" Uppo th' roof." 

UPPO TH' NEEST, idiom. 

A woman is said to be "getten uppo (A' neest" when she is beginning to 
have a family. MOBBERLEY. 

UPSIDES, adj. even. 

To be upsides with anyone is to be even with him ; to pay him out. 

UPSTONDING, part. adj. (i) erect, tall and well grown, majestic- 
"A good upstanding crop." 

(2) sometimes it merely means standing 

"Aw drunk his health upstanding" 

UP TO THE KNOCKER, idiom, properly, in a workmanlike 

UP TO THE NINES, idiom, the same as UP TO THE KNOCKER. 

" There aren't more than two or three in Runcorn as can dress a 
cawf up to th' nines. " 

UPYEPT, part, heaped up. 

URBISH, v. to plague or tease. WILMSLOW. 

URBISHING,/0rt. adj. troubled, plagued. WILMSLOW. 

A man who is sorely plagued and troubled by adverse circumstances is 
said to have ' ' an urbishing time of it. " 


URCHANT or URCHIN, s. (i) a hedgehog. 

(2) salt-making term. Pieces of salt 
scale are so called when they 
have been allowed to form over 
the fires. 

A man is said to have "an urchant in his pan" when he has "scaled 
his fires." 

URR, v. to snarl. 

" What's th' dog urrin at ?" 

US,//v. (i) we. 

"Must us go now." 

(2) me. 

"Give us an apple." 

USED TO COULD, idiom, used to be able. 

"Aw used to could & done it, but aw think aw've welly forgetten 
heaw neaw." 

UTICK, s. (i) the whinchat, Pratincola rubetra. 

The note of the bird is " Utick, tick, tick," uttered very distinctly, 

(2) a term of reproach to a lad. 
" Tha young utick." 

UZSELS, pron. ourselves. 



VALLEY, s. and v. value. 

Wilbraham sub. v. Value says " amount as well in measure as in quantity; 
circiter, when you come to the value of five feet. " 

VAMP, s. the upper leather of a shoe. 
VARGING or BARGING, part, quarrelling. L. 

VARIEGATED NETTLE, s. Lamium maculatum, frequently seen 
in cottage gardens. 

VARIETY, s. a rarity. W. 

VARJUS, s. verjuice. 

VARMENT, s. vermin. 

VARMENT-LOOKING, adj. sporting looking. L. 

VAST, s. a great number. 

" Theer were a -vast o' folk." 

VEIL, s. a child's caul; supposed to confer safety, especially from 
drowning. KELSALL. 

" I had a uncle as had a charmed life ; he was born with a veil 
over his face. " 
Also called a COLT. 

VEMON, s. venom. 
VEMONOUS, adj. venomous. 

VEMONT, /0r/. venomed, poisoned. 
" He's vemont wi' a tooad." 

VENTER, v. to venture. 

VENTERSOME, adj. adventurous, or, perhaps more correctly, 
reckless of danger. 

VESSEL-CLEANER, s. an under dairymaid, whose business it is to 
clean the cheese tub, cans, and dairy apparatus. 

VESSELS, s. the various cans, tubs, &c., pertaining to a dairy. 

VEW, s. a yew tree, Taxus baccata. 


VIEWSOME, adj. commanding a good view. KELSALL. 

A house overlooking a very beautiful prospect was spoken of by someone 
who called as " a viewsome house." 

VILE, adv. very, exceedingly. 

' ' Aw'm -vile bad wi' th" toothache. " 
" He's vile nowt." 

VIRGIN MARY'S HONEYSUCKLE, s. Pulmonaria officinalis. 
Gardeners Chronicle^ 1873, P- 579- 

VIRGIN MARY'S THISTLE, or FISTLE, s. Carduus Marianus, 
not uncommon in cottage gardens. 

VIRGINS, s. a kind of apple. MIDDLEWICH. 

VIRTUE, s. strength; pronounced vertcha. 

" It's noo use puttin more wayter on th' tay leeaves, aw th' 
vertchcts gone eawt." 

VITRID, adj. angry, malicious, vicious. Mow COP. 
" Go's very vitrid at him." 

VIVERS, s. small roots, fibres. L. 
VIZARD, s. a mask. 

VOIDYERS, s. vessels for carrying table furniture in, knives, plates, 

Mentioned in an inventory of property belonging to Margery Glutton of 
Nantwich, 1611. Local Gleanings, February, 1880, p. 299. 



WACK, s. hatting term. A name given to materials which have 
been pilfered by workmen during the course of manufacture. 

WACKER, s. a shake. 

"Aw of a wacker," all of a shake, like a person frightened or cold. The 
same as DITHER. 

WACKER, v. to tremble. 

WAGE, s. wages. 

The word is generally used in the singular. 

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. L. 

WAIRIBREE, s. a large wart upon the body of an animal. 
Leigh spells it WARRIBEE, which I have never heard. 

WAIRY, adj. (i) weary, tired. 

(2) troublesome, vexatious. 
" Rappits are wairy powse." 

(3) disreputable. 

" He's a wairy rascal." 

WAKE, adj. weak. 

WAKE ROBIN, s. (i) Orchis maseula. L. 
(2) Arum maculatum. 

WAKES, s. the annual feast-day of a village or township. 

The Wakes are generally held on or about the Saint's day to whom the 
Church is dedicated ; though, as a matter of fact, I know of no wakes which 
are held at any other season than the autumn ; and I have thought that pos- 
sibly they may be survivals of some ancient pagan autumnal festival, which 
in Christian times was transferred to such Saints' days as occurred about the 
same season. The wakes are one of the grand events of the year from which 
dates are often reckoned ; and it is customary for friends from a distance to 
visit each other during " Wakes week." Leigh says the word is always used 
in the plural, but the country people seem to treat it as a singular word ; for 
they would say "I remember a score of Mobberley Wakeses." I have also 
very often heard people lamenting that the Wakeses are beginning, as it is a 
sure indication that winter is not far off. Bowdon Wakes are the earliest, 


I think, and they have given rise to a proverbial saying " When Bowdon 
Wakes is at Bowdon winter is at Newbridge Hollow." Newbridge Hollow 
is about a couple of miles from Bowdon. It is or was the custom (for such 
customs are fast changing) for farmhouse servants to be re-hired in Mobberley 
at the W T akes, though they did not actually change their places till Christmas. 

WAKKEN, adj. wide awake as regards intellect. 

" He's a wakken un" is said of a very cute lad. It also rather implies 
that the lad has a spice of harmless mischief in him. 

WALK, v. to walk a flag or heavy stone is to rear it on end, or as 
we should say in Cheshire, "to up-eend it," and then to move 
it along by advancing one corner at a time, the other corner 
acting as a pivot upon which to screw it round. 

WALK APRON, s. hatting term. The apron used by workmen to 
keep them dry when working at the kettles. 

WALK BECK, excl. Come ! That is, come nearer to the driver. 
Said to the first horse of a team. DELAMERE. 

WALK-MILL, s. a fulling mill. 

There is a farm called Walk-mill Farm in the township of Dodcot-cum- 
Wilkesley ; and in the parish of Wilmslow, where Dean Row joins Newton, 
there used to be a footbridge over the Bollin called Walk-mill Bridge. Many 
years ago it wore away and has never been replaced. No doubt, formerly, 
fulling mills existed at both places. 

WALK-PIN, s. hatting term. A round piece of wood thickest in 
the middle and tapered off at each end, used to press the water 
out of hat bodies. 

WALL, s. a spring of water. W. 

WALL, v. (i) ''wall, that is, to make salt." (NANTWICH, 1669) 
Philosophical Transactions, vol. iv., p. 1063. 

"The bank [is] accidentally raised by rubbish of long making salt, or 
walling, as they call it." Ib., p. 1061. 

Wall literally means to boil. 

(2) to put unburned bricks into a wall to enable them 
to dry. 

WALLER, s. salt-making term. A salt-maker or boiler. 

At present the men call boilers those who make staved va&. butler-salt, and 
the others wallers. Formerly they were all called wallers. 

Halliwell explains wallers as "women who rake the salt out of the leads 
at the saltworks at Nantwich." See LEAD WALLERS. 

WALLET or WALLY, s. a workman's bag. A word of very 
frequent use in Cheshire. 

A boy carries his dinner to school in a wallet; a shoemaker also carries 
shoes to his customers in a wallet. As a hatting term it is a workbag with 
the entrance in the centre and made up at each end. 


WALLING, part, (i) the old name for salt-making. 

(2) making walls of bricks in a brickfield, paid for 

at so much per thousand bricks. 
" What art doin i'th' brickfielt ?" " Why, aw'm walling.' 1 '' 

WALLOP, v. (i) to boil violently. MACCLESFIELD, occasionally, 
but I think imported from Shropshire. 

(2) to beat. 

WALL UP, v. to spring up as water does. W. 
WALM, s. (i) a bubbling or boiling. L. 

(2) a certain measure of salt after boiling. L. 

WALM, v. to seethe or boil. W. Used by Randle Holme. 

WAMMA (WILMSLOW), WAMMY (FRODSHAM), adj. feeble, faint 
from exhaustion, flabby. 

' ' He'd had nowt t'ate for aw day, an he're queight wake an 

A plant in a pot which was faded and flabby was said to be " weak and 

WAMMOCKY, adj. weak, feeble. L. 
WANGLE, v. to totter or vibrate. W. 

WANTEN, v. plural of want. 

" Hey ! mester; we wanten yo here." 

WANTING, adj. short of intellect, weak minded. 
" I think he's a bit wanting." 

WANY, adj. imperfect, deficient. 

The first few boards which are cut off a round log and are narrower at one 
end than the other, or have "feather edges," would be called "wany 

WAPENTAK SUMNANCE (Summons), idiom, a sort of vague 
threat of some kind of legal proceedings. WILMSLOW. 

WAPPOW or WEPPOW, s. railings placed across a brook to 
prevent cattle encroaching or entering the neighbouring fields. 

WAPS, s. a wasp. 

WARCH, s. ache, pain. See BALLY-WARCH. 

WARCH, v. to ache. 

" Moi bally wardies." 

WARD, s. world. W. 


WARD, v. to take care of, to watch. L. Scarcely local. 

WAR HAWK, excl. take care, beware. MOBBERLEY. 

WARK, s. work, is pronounced like " ark," though not universally. 

WARLD, s. world. 

Th' world's eend," the world's end, said sometimes of a very sequestered 

WARLOCK, s. a term used in binding straw on a wagon. 


The ropes, after being made fast, are tightened by being drawn together 
with another length of rope, or sometimes twisted with a peg. This peculiar 
method of tightening is called a warlock. The word is also used as a verb ; 
thus we speak of -warlocking the ropes ; or we say the load is warlocked. 

WARM, adj. is pronounced to rhyme with " arm." 

WARM, v. to chastise. 

" I'll warm thee, if thou doesna come in." 

WARRE or WORRE, adj. worse. W. 

WARTWORT, s. cudweed, Gnaphalium uliginosum. L. 

WARTY, adj. work-day; as "warty clothes" in contradistinction 
to Sunday clothes. HYDE. 

WASTE, v. to diminish. 

WASTRIL, s. (i) a good-for-nothing person, a spendthrift 

(2) an imperfect article, cast out as unsaleable, or 
sold at a lower price. 

Crooked plates and dishes are generally called "wastrils," and are sold 
very cheap by itinerant "pot-men." The word is also used adjectively as "a 
wastril plate." 

WASTY, adj. containing useless space. 

A house much larger than one requires would be described as " a great, 
wasty place." 

WATCH-GUARDS, s. Cytisus Laburnum. FRODSHAM. 

WATER AGRIMONY, s. the plant Eupatorium cannabinum. MID 

WATER LILY, s. the arum lily, Catta palustris. 

WATER PINE, s. Stratiotes aloides. 

WATER ROT, s. Hydrocotyle vulgaris. W. CHES. 

WATER SHAFT, s. salt-making term. A shaft sunk to collect the 
fresh water near the main shaft. 



WATTLE AND DOBE, s. the same as RADDLE AND DAUB, q.v. 

WAUNT, s. a synonym for a mole. Mentioned in the Prestbury 
Church accounts, A.D. 1720. L. 

WAUR DAY, s. week day, or perhaps work day, as opposed to 

WAUVE, v. to lean over so as to be unstable. 

" It's wauved o'er into th' deitch. " 

When the fine old tower of St. John's Church, Chester, fell in the spring 
of 1881, a man at Delamere, speaking of the circumstance, said "it were 
wauvin many a 'ear sin. " 

WAW, s. a wall. 

WAW-PLATE, s. a piece of timber placed on the top of a wall, to 
which the roof spars are nailed. 

WAW-ROBIN, s. the spotted Flycatcher, Muscicapa Grisola, which 
very frequently builds its nest in a hole in a wall. NORTON. 

WAWT, v. to overturn. 

Applied chiefly to the overturning of a cart or a carriage. When, how- 
ever, a sheep gets "cast " on its back, and cannot get up again, it is said to 

WAXEN KORNEL or WAXY KORNEL (Kernel), s. a swelled 

WAY, excl, said to a horse when he is to stop. 

WAYBREAD, s. the herb plantain, Plantago major. MOBBERLEY. 

WAY-GOOSE or WAYZ-GOOSE, s. an entertainment given to 
journeymen workmen. 

WAYTER, s. water. 

WAYTER-BAG, s. the placenta of an animal. 

WAYTER-TAUMS, s. the eructations of water into the mouth 
common in bad cases of indigestion. WILMSLOW. 

WAY-WIZER, s. a pedometer. 

WEAL AND WORSHIP, idiom, the closing toast at any Congleton 
festivities, intimating, it may be concluded, that welfare and 
religion should go hand in hand. L. 

WEANED, part, said of young oats that look yellow. 

When young oats or barley cease to obtain nutriment from the seed, and 
collect their food from the soil by means of their roots, they are in a very 
tender condition, and unless the weather is genial they frequently become 
yellow and sickly. The young plant in this condition is spoken of as "being 
weaned" or as "pining for its mother." 


WEAR, v. to spend money ; but conveying a sense of judicious ex- 

" What did yo -wear on it ?" 

WEATHER-BREEDERS, s. mare's tail clouds, and " henscrats " 
which portend rain, are said to be sure weather-breeders. 

WEATHERED, part, spoilt by exposure to the weather. Chiefly 
used with respect to hay. 

WEATHERING COURSE, s. bricks set out from the wall round 
the bottom of a chimney, to protect the thatch where it joins 
the chimney. 

Since the introduction of lead "flashing" these projecting courses have 
become unnecessary. Sometimes called WATER-TABLE. 

WED, v. perfect tense of weed. 

WEDDING-PROUD, adj. engaged in wedding festivities. HALTON. 

WEDGED, part, swelled and hard. 

When a cow's udder becomes gorged with milk and is hard previous to 
calving it is said to be wedged. 

WEEBROO, s. the plantain, Plantago major. HALTON. 
WEEK, s. the wick of a candle. 

WEEK END or WICK EEND, s. the space of time from Saturday 
to Monday. 

WEEKING, s. salt-making term. The wick of the lamp used in 
the pan -houses and hot-houses. 

WEET, s. wet weather. W. 
WEET or WET, v. to rain slightly. 

WEEZE, v. to ooze. 

"There's a spring of water weezes out from yon hill side." 

WEIFE (WILMSLOW), WOIFE (general), s. wife. 

WEIGHS, s. scales for weighing. 

WEIGHTY, adj. heavy. 

WELL, v. to weld. 

WELLER, adj. comparative of well. L. 

WELLING HEAT, s. (i) welding heat. The proper temperature 

at which iron will weld. 

(2) violent exertion, or rather the result of 
violent exertion. 


WELL UNDERFOOT, idiom, in good circumstances. 

A man who had failed said, " It's hard to have to work at my time of 
life ; I've been well brought up, and well underfoot." 

WELLY, adv. almost. 

" Look sharp, wench ; aw'm welly clemmed." 

WELSH MAIN, s. a method of voting. See MAIN. 
WELT, s. (i) a coarse seam. MACCLESFIELD. 

(2) a sharp stroke. 

(3) a weal, or raised mark on the skin, caused by a stroke 

from a lash or switch. 

WELT, v. to beat. 
WE'N, v. we have. 

WENCH, s. a girl. 

The women-servants of a farmhouse are spoken of as " the wenches" It 
never conveys the idea of a woman of loose character, but is simply the femi- 
nine of "lad." 

WERN, v. were. 

WERRIT, v. to worry, to bother. 
WESH, v. to wash. 
WESH-TUB, s. a washing tub. 

WE'ST, v. we shall. 

"Come on, we'st be i'th dark." 


WEVER, s. a river. HALLIWELL. 

I think there must be a misconception here ; Weaver is the name of a 
particular river which flows into the Mersey at Frodsham ; and, as far as I 
know, never means a river in general. In West Cheshire it is pronounced 
Weever, in Mid and North-East Cheshire, Wayver. 

WHABBLE or WHABBOCK, s. puddle. 

"The fields are aw of a whabbock" i.e., all of a swim. L. C/r.Vfov. 

WHANY, s. a blow. 

" I'll fetch thee a whany" I'll hit you. L. 

WHANY, v. to throw. L. 

WHARRE, s. crabs or the crab tree. 

" Sour as wharre." W. Pyrus Malus. 

WHAVE, v. to hang over. W. See WAUVE. 


WHAVER, s. a term used at the game of quoits. See RINER. 

WHAVER, v. to drive away. L. 

WHEADY, adj. that measures more than it appears to be. W. 

WHEAM, adj. lying near, convenient, ready at hand. W. 
" It lies wheam for me." RAY. 

WHEAMOW, adj. nimble, active. W., who apparently quotes it 
on the authority of Ray. 

Ray (North Country Words) gives the following proverb, but does not 
specify it as a Cheshire one : " I am very ivheamow, quoth the old woman, 
when she stept into the milk-bowl." Leigh gives it somewhat differently, 
as if he might have actually heard the proverb : "I'm very wheamow, as 
t'ould woman said when she stept into the bittlin;" and he explains " bittlin" 
as a milk-bowl. 

WHEEL, s. a whirlpool. L. 

WHEELBARROW FARMER, s. a very small farmer who rents 
two or three acres of land. WRENBURY. 

He is supposed to wheel his manure on to the land in barrow-loads 
instead of using a cart. 

"Uz wheelbarrow farmers pays more rent than big farmers, and 
we're obliged to grow twice as much on uz land." 

WHEELTENED, v. perfect of to wheel. 

" I wheeltened the snow away." L. 

WHEER, adv. where. 

WHEINT, adj. quaint. W. 

Ray gives this as a Cheshire word, "A wheint lad, q. queint ; a fine lad : 
ironice dictum. Also cunning, subtle." 

WHELLERS, s. extra stockings without feet, or haybands wrapped 
round the legs to protect them from wet. WILMSLOW. 

There is a good story told of one John Howarth of Lindow End, who 
called upon an old Quaker draper, of Stockport, to buy a pair of whellers. 
Of course the draper had only stockings. " Cut me the feet off," said John. 
The Quaker did so. " Naow, what don you want for th' whellers ?" " Same 
as for the stockings," replied the draper. " Aw'll gi the a shilling for th' 
whellers," said John. " Well," said the old Quaker, " thou canst take them, 
but thou wilt wheller me no more. " 

WHETSTUN, s. a stone for sharpening knives; also used, appa- 
rently, in a figurative sense to describe any hard swelling. 

Previous to calving, my cow's udder was not as much distended with milk 
as usual, and I remarked to my cowman that her "elder" was not very full. 
His reply was : " No, but I don't care for it being so whetslun." He was a 
man from Wistaston, near Crewe. 

WHEY BUTTER, s. butter made from the cream which remains in 
the whey in the process of cheese-making. 

If the cheese is well made there should be a very small quantity of cream 
left in the whey, perhaps yielding not more than half a pound of batter per 


cow per week ; but through carelessness in the handling of the curd there is 
frequently a good deal more. At any rate it is generally considered to be 
worth saving. Such butter has a somewhat peculiar flavour and is soft, and 
'not being worth so much to sell, is consumed at home, the real cream butter 
being sent to market. See WHEY CREAM. 

WHEY CREAM, s. the cream which remains in the whey. 

It is obtained in two ways. One process, the simplest, is to set the whey 
in pans, when the cream gradually rises to the top and is skimmed off. The 
other process is to raise the cream by boiling. See FLEETINGS. Such whey 
cream is also called CREAM FLEETINGS. 

WHEY HOUSE, s. a wagon shed. (?) 

From an inventory of property belonging to Margery Glutton of Nantwich, 
1611. Local Gleanings, February, 1880, p. 297. 

WHEY-SPRINGY, adj. said of cheese from which the whey has not 
been properly separated. 

It oozes out in wet spots on the surface, and such spots are liable to 

WHICH, pron. what. 

" Eh ! si' the' which a pratty horse." 
" Which a pratty little wench oo is !" 

WHIG, s. (i) whey. 

(2) any obstruction to a drain, like roots, &c. 
" The suff is welly racked up wi whigs." L. 

WHIMMY, adj. full of whims. 

WHIM-WHAM, s. (i) a whim, a new theory. 

A man who is always full of schemes, first trying one thing, then another, 
would be said to be " full o' whim-whams." 

(2) used idiomatically for a sort of " put off." 

Thus, should two elders be talking together, and a younger person come 
in between and ask, "What are you talking about?" the answer would be, 
" Oh ! a whim-wham from Yocketon." 

WHINSTONE, s. a coarse grained stone, toad stone, ragstone. W. 

WHIP, s. a subscription to be spent in drink, collected from the 
company assembled round a dinner or a supper table at any 
public-house entertainment. HALTON. 

If sixpence apiece is collected, it is called a "sixpenny whip;'' if a shil- 
ling apiece, a " shilling whip ;" and so on. I first became acquainted with 
this custom at a ploughing match supper at Halton, at which I was the 
chairman. As soon as the cloth was removed, a shilling whip was called for, 
and someone volunteered to go round the tables and collect the shillings. 
The amount was then handed to the innkeeper, who supplied each person 
with whatever he liked to call for, and continued to do so till all the money 
was expended. He then came and told me that all was spent, and a sixpenny 
whip was collected, which being spent the company broke up. 


WHIRLIGIG, s. a turnstile. MACCLESFIELD, or generally, anything 
that turns very easily. 

WHISKIN, s. a black pot. RAY. 
WHISSUN, s. Whitsuntide. 

WHISSUN-CAKE, s. a three-cornered cake of puff paste containing 
currants, eaten at the Knutsford Whitsun fair. 

I am afraid these cakes are becoming obsolete ; but when I was a boy 
they were plentiful, and, as I thought, superlatively good. This fair was 
instituted in 9 Edward III., under seal of the Exchequer at Chester, and is 
still held at the Higher Town, Knutsford (formerly called Knutsford Booths), 
on Monday and Tuesday in Whitsun week. 

WHISTLE, ?'. to sing, as birds do. 

A Cheshire native seldom, or never, speaks of birds singing, but always 


WHISTLE PEG FAIR, s. Whitsun Fair at Knutsford. 
WHITE or WHATE, excl the word used in calling ducks to be fed. 
WHITE, v. to requite, as, " God white you." RAY. 
WHITE BEECH, s. the hornbeam, Carpinus Betulus. 
WHITE ELLER (Elder), s. Viburnum Opulus, W. CHES. 

WHITE FROST, s. hoar frost. 

It is supposed that after three nights' white frost it is almost sure to rain. 

WHITE HORSE, s. a triangular framework of wood, painted white, 
and formed of three rails connected by iron rods at each end ; 
used to turn carts, &c., on to a newly-repaired road. L. 

WHITE MAYS, s. the plant Arabis alpina. 

This name was used in Mobberley by a girl whose parents came from 
Frodsham ; but I cannot find it in use at either place. I record it as it is 
probably current in some part of Cheshire. 

WHITE MERRY, s. a dwarf variety of Prunus Avium, growing in 


(2) there is a small stone building, with a 
pointed roof, built also of stone, which 
stands on the top of Kerridge hill. The 
whole structure is kept whitewashed, so 
that it is visible from a long distance. 
It always goes by the name of WHITE 


WHITE ROCK, s. (i) the plant Ardbis alpina. 

(2) a variety of potato. 
WHITE ROT, s. Hydrocotyle vulgaris. W. CHES. 

WHITES, s. salt-making term. 

"They take a quart of whites of eggs . . . mix them with twenty 
gallons of brine . . . and thus what they call the -whites is made." 
(NANTWICH, 1669.) Philosophical Transactions, vol. iv., p. 1065. 

WHITESTER, s. a bleacher of linen. W. 
WHITE-THORN, s. Cratcegus Oxyacantha. 

WHITE WHEY, s. whey which comes from the curd by pressure. 

It is thicker and whiter than that which simply drains from the curd in the 
cheese tub. See GREEN WHEY. 

WHITE-WOOD TREES, 5. all kinds of trees except oaks. 

WHOAVE, v. to cover. 

" Whoave th' hauf mizzer o'er it." 

Ray has the following proverbial expression : " We will not kill but 
whoave. CHES. Spoken of a pig or fowl that they have overwhelmed with 
some vessel in readiness to kill. " 

WHOM or WOM, s. home. 

" Go -worn wi thee." 

WHOOK, v. to shake. HALLIWELL. 

WHOOKED, part, broken in health, shaken in every joint. W. 
Apparently quoted from RAY. 

WHOR, pron. what, when used by itself as a query. 
In combination with other words what would be used. 

WHOT, adj. hot. 

WHO WHISKIN, s. a whole great drinking pot. 

Who being the Cheshire dialect for whole, and a whiskin signifying 
a black pot. RAY. 

\\l\prep. with. 

WIBROW, | s. the herb plantain. W. Plantago major. See WAY- 

Leigh gives WYBROW WORROW as one name. I think it is a misprint. 

WIB-WOBBIN, part, shaking. DELAMERE. 

WICH or WYCH, several place names in Cheshire have this ter- 
mination, indicating saltworks. 

WICH'US (Wych House), s. salt-making term. The pan house or 
house in which salt is made. 


WICK, adj. alive. 

" Well, Mary, how are you to-day ?" " Wei, mon, awm teighert " 
(tired). "What with, Mary?" " Wei, yo seen yon owd foo bowt 
some snigs, an' they'n wick when he geet em worn ; an' aw skinned 
em, an' they'n wick then ; aw cut em i' pieces, an' they'n wick then ; 
aw fried em, an' they'n wick i'th" pon ; an' eawr Jonathan's etten em, 
an' aw know they're wick in his guts yet." ( They'n = they were, 
an abbreviation of they wern.) 

WICKEN, s. mountain ash, Pyrus Aucuparia. 

The mountain ash is a sacred tree in Cheshire as elsewhere. It consti- 
tutes one of the most infallible charms for the cure of whooping cough. See 
CHIN-COUGH. I have also noticed an objection on the part of Cheshire 
labourers to cut one down. 

Leigh also gives WYCHEN and WICKEY. 
WICKET, s. a small, light gate. 
WICKS, s. (i) young hawthorn plants. 

(2) intestinal worms, maggots. 
WICKSILVER, s. quicksilver. 

WICK-WOOD, s. the hawthorn when planted in hedges. 
WIDDAL, s. a blade of grass. DUKINFIELD. 
WIDD'N, v. to widen. 

WIDOW, s. a widower. WIDOW-MON (Mow COP). 
WIDOW- WOMAN, 5. a widow. 
WIG, s. old, dead grass left on a pasture. 
WILBRANCH, s. stringhalt in horses. 

Leigh spells it WlLLMARANCHE. 

WILBRANCHEL>,/ar/. having the stringhalt. 

WILDFIRE, s. (i) the erysipelas, mentioned as one of the diseases 
cured by the new-found well in Cheshire, A.D. 
1600. L. 

(2) a small blue flame which is often seen running 
along the face of a coal in a fireplace. 

WILD GARLICK, s. Allium ursinum. W. CHES. 

WILD HOP, s. Polygonum Convolvulus. 

WILD VINE, s. (i) black briony, Tamus communis. L. 

(2) Bryonia dioica. W. CHES. 
WILL-JILL, s. an hermaphrodite. W. 


WILLOW HERB, s. Epilobium. 

WILT or WILT A, v. will you? 

WIMBERRY, s. the bilberry, Vaccinium Myrtillus. 

WIM BERRY BESOM, s. a broom made of twigs of wimberry. See 

WIMBLE, s. a gimlet. 

WIMPER, v. to cry in a subdued way. 

WIN, v. will. 

" Win yo do it ?" 

WIND-EGG or WIN-EGG, s. an egg without a shell. WINDLE- 

WINDERING, part, diminishing, lessening. L. 
WIND-FLOWER, s. Anemone nemorosa. 

WINDLE or WINDLE-STRAY, s. a dead stalk of grass left 
standing in the field. WINDLE-STREE (MIDDLEWICH). 


WIND-ROW or WIN-ROW, s. a long row of hay raked together 
preparatory to carrying it, or to setting it up in large cocks. 
Turf also is put in wind-rows. 

WING, s. the wing of a goose used as a dusting brush. 
WIN K-A-PEEP, s. pimpernel, Anagallis arvensis. 

WONNA, v. will not. 


When before a word beginning with a vowel or h mute they become 

WINNY, v. to neigh." 

WINSCUT, s. wainscot ; panelling inside a room. 

Joiners often call it bull winscutting when they are putting up stumps and 

WINSTRAYS, s. thin reeds, by pools. WILDERSPOOL. 

WINTER GILLIFLOWER, s. the wallflower, Cheiranthus Cheiri. 

" They flower . . . especially in winter, whereupon the people of 
Cheshire do call them Winter Gilloflowers." GER., p. 371. 1 am not 
aware that the name is in use at the present day. 



WINTER-PROUD, adj. said of wheat which, on account of a mild 
winter, is considered rather too luxuriant in the spring, and 
therefore more likely to be laid with heavy rain. 

WIRKEN, v. a term used in feeding infants, when food is given 
them too fast, so as to make them cough. L. 

WISHFUL, adj. desirous. 

" Near the south-east corner of the city walls at Chester, and forming part 
of the wall, as you turn northwards are a flight of steps called ' The Wishing 
Steps.' The religio loci is, that whatever wish may be formed at the bottom of 
these steps will, in the course of time, be surely fulfilled, provided the wisher 
can run to the top and back without drawing breath. Another version is that 
the aspirant must not only go up and down, but up again, . . . there are 
six flights of three steps each, with a landing of five feet between each 
flight." Leigh's Ballads and Legends of Cheshire, note p. 99. 


" It is thought in the neighbourhood of Gayton, that anyone who may 
here form a wish, and throw a stone backwards into the well, will ensure the 
realization of their desires." Leigh's Ballads and Legends of Cheshire, note 
p. 230. 

The Holy Well on Alderley Edge is also sometimes called the Wishing 

WISH-ME-WELL,'j. speedwell, Veronica Chamcedrys. W. CHES. 

WISKET, s. a common kind of basket used for carrying potatoes, 
or carrying "chop" to cows, &c., generally made of ash timber 
cloven into very thin layers, or of oziers. 

WITCH, v. to bewitch. 

It is related that formerly "a witch named Ailse Cawley, who lived in a 
low, thatched, white cottage on the Kelsall hills, kept a toad in a teacup on 
her bed, with which she witched folk." 

WITCHED, part, spell-bound by a witch. 

The following story was related by a woman at Kelsall not long since, 
showing that a belief in the power of witches still exists: "A woman 

named went to the cottage of a witch on the Kelsall hills one day, 

either to do some business, or to ask a favour. However, they came to 
words, and after that the child that she carried on her arm was supposed to 
be witched, for it went into a nottymaze and died." 

WITCH-HAZZLE, s. Ulmus montana. 

WITCH-PAP, s. a mole which hangs or projects from the skin. 

WITE, s. weight. 

"If you'll believe me, Missis, I've never taken the wite of a pin, " was 
the answer of a servant who had been accused of dipping into the jam-pot, or 
some such petty pilfering. 

WITHEN or WITHY, s. a willow. 



WITHERING, adj. strong, lusty. 

" A great withering fellow." 

WITHIN, prep, opposed to. 

" Well ! aw'm no' within givin him a trifle." 

WITTY, adj. knowing, clever. 

" He's a witty man about cattle." L. 

WITWALL, s. the green woodpecker, Picus viridis. Mentioned by 
Randle Holme (Academy of Armory, Bk. II., ch. xiii., p. 308). 

WIZZEN or WIZZEN AWAY, v. to fade or wither away. W. 
WIZZEN-FACED, adj. delicate looking. 
WIZZENT, part, withered, stunted, shrunken. 

WOB, s. shake. NORTON. 

When slaked lime is carried any distance in a cart, it gradually becomes more 
liquid, and shakes and splashes about ; it is then said to be " all of a wob." 

WOBBLE, v. to shake. 

Anything which is loose and ought to be fast is said to "wobble abeawt." 
A fat man's cheeks wobble when he rides in a cart. 

WO ! COME 'ERE, excl. said to a horse when he is to turn some- 
what to the left. NORTON and the neighbourhood. 

WOLE, s. the whole. 

WOLE MILK, s. unskimmed milk. 

WON, WONE, or WOOAN, v. to dwell. WOOANT did dwell. W. 

WOOD, WOODE, or WODE, adj. mad. 

" Hoo stamped and hoo stared as if hoo'd ben woode." Warrickin (War- 
rington) Fair, A. D. 1448. L. 

WOOD BETONY, s. the plant Stocky s Betonica. 

WOODEN SHUTE, s. a wooden suit (of clothes), metaphorical for 
a coffin. 

WOOD-FENT, s. a stack of firewood, also the place where firewood 
is stored. 

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. 


WOP, v. to beat. 

WOPPER, s. anything very large, or out of the common way. 

I have heard it said of a great lie, ' ' What a wopper /" and of a fat woman, 


WORK-BRITTLE, adj. diligent in work; but with a sort of 
implication that diligence is rather unusual. 

" My word ! but you're work-brittle to-day." 

Leigh spells it WORK-BRACCO, or BRACCON, and WORK-BRATTLE ; and 

WORM, s. a gimlet. L. 

WORM I'TH' TAIL, s. an imaginary disease to which cows are 
supposed to be liable ; or rather several ailments are attributed 
to the supposed presence of the worm. 

Near the extremity of the tail there is a spot somewhat softer than the 
rest, as if two of the vertebrae were slightly separated. This is supposed to 
indicate the position of the worm, and various methods are resorted to to 
dislodge it, as cutting the place with a knife. The belief is very widely 
spread, and is by no means confined to Cheshire. Called also TAIL-SHOTEN 
SOKER, q.v. 

WORTHING, s. an old word for dung. 

This word was probably in common use both in Lancashire and Cheshire 
in the 1 7th century, though I have not yet actually met with any Cheshire 
document in which it occurs. But the name Worthington is as common in 
Cheshire as in Lancashire, and is connected with the above word. The fol- 
lowing note by Mr. J. P. Earwaker, in reference to this name, appeared in 
Notes and Queries (6th S., xii., p. 286), and is very interesting : "The anns 
of the old Lancashire family of Worthington are Argent, three dung forks 
sable, and it has been frequently matter of conjecture how such curious arms 
should have been assigned. In recently examining a North Lancashire will 
I have found an expression which at once explains how these arms came to 
be given to the Worthington family. Margaret Spencer, of Hurstwood, 
North Lancashire, in her will, dated April II, 1602, bequeaths to one of her 
sons ' all my manure or worthinge,' showing that -worthing was an old word 
for dung, and that these arms are only another instance of the canting arms 
so well known in heraldry." 

WORTLE O'ER, v. to topple over. MACCLESFIELD. 

One of my correspondents illustrates this word by the following little 
episode : "Once I fell down in a faint, and in describing it to my mother, 
she (an old servant of the family) said ' hoo wur sittin upo' th' settle, and hoo 
gen sich a skrike, abbur afore I geet to her hoo wortlet o'er. ' " 

WORT-TURNEL, s. a mash tub for brewing. 

"A worte turnell & a brewinge stool." From an inventory of property 
belonging to Margery Glutton of Nantwich, 1611. Local Gleanings, January, 
1880, p. 265. 

The wort turnel stood upon the brewing stool when in use. 
WOSS, sometimes WOSSER, adj. worse. Mow COP. 


WOTTLE, s. iron skewers, heated to enlarge holes in wood. L. 

WOWND, s. and v. wound, always pronounced to rhyme with 

" My body's wounded, 
My heart is confounded." 

King George and the Slasher ; a mock-heroic play 
performed on All Souls' Day. 

WRANGLESOME, adj. quarrelsome. L. 

WRECK, s. rubbish, such as dead leaves, straw, sticks, &c., floating 
down a stream. 

WRITHE, v. to twist. 

WRITHEN, part. adj. (i) twisted, warped. 

(2) bad-tempered. 
WRITINGS, s. title deeds. 

WROSTLE, v. to wrestle, to struggle or fight. Also used to express 
the struggling with any difficulty. 

WRUNG, adj. wrong. 

WUN UP, part, literally wound up, but used metaphorically to 
express being "ready for action." 

A countryman being asked to sing will excuse himself on the plea of not 
yet being "wun up" if he has only had one glass. After another glass or 
two he will have more confidence in himself, and will then consider himself 
sufficiently " wun zip" to respond to the call. 

WUR, adj. worse. 

WUR AN' WUR, idiom, worse and worse. 

WUR, v. was. 

WUT-CAKE or WOAT-CAKE, s. oat cake. Seen still about 
Macclesfield, but not much used elsewhere, unless in the N. 
East corner of Cheshire. 

WUTS ' \s oats 

WUTS AND FITCHES, s. oats and vetches; sown together to 
mow green for horses. 

WUT THOU, v. wilt thou? W. 

Whatever it may have been in Wilbraham's time, this abbreviation is now 
used for " wouldest thou?" 

WYBIT, s. a name given by slaters to a particular sized grey slate. 


WYCHEN, s. the mountain ash. L. See WICKEN. 
WYCH- HOUSE, s. a place where salt is made. 

WYCH-WALLER, s. a salt boiler at one of the wyches in 
Cheshire. W. 

Leigh gives as an old Cheshire proverb, "To scold like a wych waller."" 

WYNDY, adj. wild, racketty. 

" He' a wyndy chap," 

WYNDY-MILL, s. a windmill. 

WYNT, s. breath. 

"Wait a bit, aw've lurst my wynt" 

WYNT, -v. to pause for breath. 

"Let th'tit wyw/abit." 

WYZEN, v. to consider ; to plan in one's mind. 

A farmer's wife said to her husband, who sat smoking longer than she 
thought proper, "Are you going to sit smoking all day?" His reply was, 
" I'm wyzening, wench ; I'm wyzening." 

WYZLES, s. the stems of potatoes. 

WYZOMES, s. an old form of wyzles. Academy of Armory. 



YAFF, v. to bark. 

A little favi yaffing cur is a little ugly barking cur. W. See YAPP. 

YAH, | 

YAI, \adv, yes. 


YAIL, s. an island. DELAMERE. 

YAIR,/n?#. your. W. CHES. 

"I think yair men are not very good ploughmen." 

YALLER, adj. yellow. 

YALLER FLAG, s. Iris Pseudacorus. W. CHES. 

YALLER-FLOWER, s. charlock. Sinapis arvensts, with which is 
included Brassica Napus. Also YALLER-WEED. 

YALLER RATTLE, s. Rhinanthus Crista-galli. W. CHES. 

YALLER ROD, s. the wild snapdragon, Linaria vulgaris. DELA- 

YALLER SANCTUARY, s. Chlora perfoliata. 

YALLER SLIPPERS, s. a name given by butchers to very young 

YALLER TAR-FITCH, s. Lathyrus pratensis. 

YAMMER, s. to hanker. 

A lamb newly weaned yammers after the ewe. 

YAPP, v. to yelp; to bark in the sharp way a small dog does. 


YAPPING, part. adj. yelping. 

" A little yapping cur." 

YARB DOCTOR, s. a herb doctor. 


YARBS, s. herbs; but more especially wild plants which are used 

The country people of Cheshire are great herb doctors, and there are 
plenty of people, especially in the manufacturing towns, who make their 
living by collecting yarbs in the fields. 

YARB-TAY, s. herb tea ; an infusion of various kinds of herbs used 
as a diet drink. 

YARLY, adv. early. 

Leigh gives as a Cheshire proverb, "It's the yarly bird as gollaps th' 

YARN or YORN, s. spun hemp or flax 

" Yarn is the single thrid of either Hemp or Flax." Academy of Armory, 
Bk. III., ch. iii., p. 107. 

YARNDLE, s. an instrument for winding yarn. 

" An instrument [for measuring] which is usually called a cross or square 
. . . . having an hole at the Center, like those things which here in 
Cheshire we call Yarndles, being used by Country Housewives in winding of 
their Yarn." Adam Martindale's Countrey Survey Book, 1682, p. 69. See 

YARR, s. hoar frost. W. CHES. 

YARRINGLE, s. an instrument for winding yarn, in use sixty or 
seventy years since. MIDDLEWICH. 

s. enumerated by Randle Holme amongst 
"Things belonging to Dressing and 
Spinning of Hemp and Flax." Bk. III., 
ch. iii., p. 106. 

YARRY, adj. covered with hoar frost. W. CHES. YERRY (Mow 

' ' A yarry morning. " 

" A yarry frost." 

" Th' edges are very yarry this morning." 

YERTH, \s. earth. 

YATE, s. a gate. W. 

y AWING, part, talking in a disagreeable, offensive way. L. 

YAWN, v. to cry. WILMSLOW. 

" What zrlyawnm for ? has somebody licked the ?" 
YAWP, v . to bellow. 

" Dunna stand yawping there." L. 



YAY, pron. you. W. CHES. 

" Now_yay men, come on." 

YEAN, v. to bring forth lambs. 

YEB, prop, name, short for Abraham. WILMSLOW. Also EB. 

YED, s. the head. 

YED-COLLAR, s. head collar. 

A kind of bridle which a horse wears in the stable, and by which he is 
fastened to the manger. 

YEDDERS, s. binding bricks or stones put in a wall with the heads 
or ends outwards. 

YEDDIN, s. literally heading. Weaving term ; the first beginning 
of a warp. 

YEDDLE, v. to earn or to addle. L. 
YEDMUNT, /w/. name, Edmund. WILMSLOW. 

YELD or YELL, s. a hill. DELAMERE. 

" It's a foine bad place for wayter, is yonder yeld." 

YELL, s.(i) ale. 

(2) a hill. See YELD. 

(3) weaving term. See HEALD. 

YELVE, s. a potato fork. DELAMERE. 

Randle Holme enumerates "The Parts of a Yelve." Academy of Armory, 
Bk. III., ch. viii., p. 335. 

YELVE, v. to dig, chiefly with the yelve. W. HALLIWELL also 
has YELF. 

YEOMAN, s. hatting term. The difference in size of a hat crown 
between the band or head part and the top of the crown. 

YEP, s. a heap. 

YERDS, s. tow. 

YERN or YARN, s. a heron. W. 

YERNUT, s. a pignut. W. Bunium flexuosum. 

YERRY-FROST, s. a hoar frost. Mow COP. 



YETH-NUT, s. the earth-nut, Bunium flexuosum. 


YETHURT, prop, name, Edward. WILMSLOW. 

" Yew pratoes." " Yew shoon." 

YEWKING, adj. YEWKINGLY, adv. having a sickly appearance. W. 

YIELD, v. (i) reward. 

" God yield you !" or rather, as it is pronounced, " God eeld you !" God 
reward you. W. 

(2) to produce a large crop ; or rather to produce plenty 

of seed in proportion to straw or husk. 

Thus we speak of a good crop of wheat as "yielding well," or peas which 
have many seeds in a pod as "yielding well." 

YIP YAP, s. an upstart. L. 

YO,pron. a frequent pronunciation of "you." 

YO or YOW, v. to hew. 

In the old marling days, digging marl was always called " yowin" marl. 

As a salt-making term "yowin" means breaking up the hard salt that 
forms on the flues in the hothouse. Also picking under or undermining the 
rock salt in a mine to loosen it. 

YOBBIN, v. to cry. 

"What vttyobbinin for? Thi mother '11 be back soon." 

YOBBINS, s. rows, uproars, yells ; always used in the plural. L. 

YOINGS (hewings), s. salt-making term. The hard salt hewed off 
the flues in the hothouse. 

YOKE, s. a long bar of wood suspended crosswise from an animal's 
neck, to prevent it creeping through hedges. 

Randle Holme enumerates amongst "Things necessary for keeping of 
Swine," " Yokes, to put about their necks to keep them from running through 
Hedges, and breaking them down." Academy of Armory, Bk. II., ch. ix., 
p. 181. 

I have never seen a pig yoked, but yokes are still in common use for 
cattle and sheep ; and I have, on one occasion at least, seen a number of 
hens all wearing yokes. 

YOKING, s. the time during which horses are at work. 

The word is chiefly used when we speak of "making one yoking." When 
a field which has to be ploughed is at such a distance from home that a con- 
siderable amount of time is lost in going to, and coming from, the work, it is 
often customary to remain working during the dinner hour, and then to leave 
off at three o'clock instead of at six. This is called " making one yoking." 

YON, adv. yonder, but used instead of the pronoun " that." 
" Yon mon," " Yon house." 

Of course it implies that the person or thing spoken of is at some little 


YO'N, v. you have. 

" Nah then ! ydn been an' done it." 

YONDERLY, adj. vague ; also applied to persons of small intellect. 

YORK, v. to gore, to puncture. WILMSLOW. 
"Th' keaw yorkt her hum into him." 

YORN, s. the old pronunciation of yarn in the days when our grand- 
mothers spun hemp and flax. MIDDLEWICH. 

YORNEY, s. a fool. WILMSLOW. 

YORT, s. yard. 

Grave-yort, church-yort, stack-j???, grvp-yort, &c. Almost obsolete, 
except in grip-yort. 

YO'ST, v. you shall. 
YOUNGST, adj. youngest. 

YOUNG YOUTH, s. a youth, a young man not of age. Mow COP. 
Youth is generally pronounced to rhyme with south. 

YOW. See Yo. 

YOWIN-KNIFE, s. the tool with which slates are trimmed. 

YOWL, v. to howl. 

" Th' Aogyowlt aw neet ; there'll be a death." 

YOY, adv. yes. 

YURE, s. hair. 

" Aw'll lug thy yure for thee." 

YURE-SORE, adj. (i) when the skin of the head is sore from any 
cause, as from a cold. 

It may sometimes be naturally tender ; at any rate yure-sore is looked 
upon as a real and almost incurable disease. 

(2) also applied figuratively to a man who is 
very touchy and ready to take offence. 



ZOWKS, excl. much the same as zounds. 

" Zmuks ! mon, tha munna mak sitch a din ; thou'll wakken th' 
babby, an' then th' owd woman '11 gie us what for. " 









XonDon : 











DIALECT STORY. By J. C. Clough ... 458 

A VILLAGE ROMANCE. By J. C. Henderson 473 

SEQUEL : A VILLAGE TRAGEDY. By J. C. Henderson ... 475 

A CHESHIRE RUNDLE. By John Hoole 478 

FETCHIN UP THE KEIGH. By John Hoole 479 


By R. E. Egerton-Warburton 481 



Chester Glove ... ... ... ... ... ... 495 

Cutting the Neck ... ... ... ... ... ... 496 

Funeral Customs ... ... ... ... ... 499 

May-Singing 502 

Pancake Bell ... ... ... ... ... ... 504 

Rush-bearing ... ... ... ... ... ... 505 

Souling or Soul-Caking 506 



[Words distinguished by the mark * have already appeared in the Glossary, but 
some additional information is given respecting them in this list.] 



I am informed by Mr. Hoole that this word was in frequent use at 
Middlewich thirty-five years ago. I had previously given it as a doubtful 
Cheshire word. 

ACKSTED or ACKSTEDE, s. a foundation of sods for the drying 
wall in a brickfield. Also STED or STEDE. 

ADAM'S ALE, s. water. 

In very common use throughout the county. 


"He lived aimer this way afore he took yon farm." 

ALLABLASTER, s. the general pronunciation of alabaster. 
ANGUISHOUS, adj. painful. ALTRINCHAM district. 
ASTEAD, prep, instead. 

AT ONE EEND, idiom, having a hand in anything having "a 
finger in the pie." 

" If he's not at one eend on it, it'll be done wrong." 

When a farmer's wife saw the master kissing one of the maids, she said, 
" 'Owd ! stop ! if there's to be anny o' that work goin on, aw mun be at one 
eend on it mysel." 

ATWIXT, prep, amongst, between. ALTRINCHAM. 
An old form used by Spenser. 

AWM, s. the handle of an axe or pick. MIDDLEWICH. 


AW MACKS, s. all sorts, odds and ends. ALTRINCHAM. 

In the Glossary this, which is in reality two words, is spelt Allmacks on 
the authority of Leigh. It is, however, pronounced as above, and is common 
in the Altrincham district. The following quaint illustration has come to 
hand : 

A tailor, who went out by the day to work at farmhouses, was 
praising the thrift of his wife. " Oo con mak a dinner o' a-w macks, 
oo con; oo con mak one aht o' a dish-clout." A labourer, who 
heard him thus boasting, quietly replied, "Eh ! mon ! aw've etten 
them macks o' dinners, an" aw mak nowt on 'em." 


BABBY (general), BEEBY (W. CHES.), s. a baby. 

BABS, s. pictures, especially illustrations in a book. ALTRINCHAM 
and district. 

BADLY, adj. ill. 

" How are you to-day, Mary ?" 
" Whey, aw'm badly" 

BAIT-IRONS, s, irons which fix into the shafts of a cart, and which 
support a piece of sacking to hold horses' food. 


BAMPED UP, part, done up to last for awhile; vamped up. 

BARRAGE, s. this word, which is probably now quite obsolete, 
appears to signify an allowance for beer given to a workman. 

" Given to the carpenter's two men, for their Barrage, 8d." 
" And to the smithes for their Barrage, 6d." 

Goostrey Churchwardens' Accounts, 1648. Communicated 
by Mr. J. P. Earwaker. 

BARREL FAYVER (fever), s. illness after excessive drinking. 

BAZZLE, v. to drink greedily. MOBBERLEY, WILMSLOW. 

"Dunna bazzle so mitch at that whey, it'll gie theth'bally-warch." 
See BEZZLE, which form is also used in the district though less frequently. 

BEGGEL, s. very small beer; treacle beer. MOBBERLEY, WILMSLOW. 
"This ale's good for nowt ; its noo mawt in it ; its nowt bu' beggel. " 


*BELLART. Add (2), a bull-ward; the man who looked after the 

town bull. MOBBERLEY. 

The man who looked after the Game Butt that was bated at Mobberley 
Wakes was also called a bellart, or perhaps bellert represents the pronuncia- 
tion more correctly. 

BELL-HORSES, s. children running races are often started by this 
rhyme : 

" Bell-horses, bell-horses, what time o' day ? 
One o'clock, two o'clock, three and away !" 

BELT, s. the rudder of a ship (?). 

Children repeat the following lines : 

" There were a mon i' Doubledeed, 
He sowed his garden full o' seed ; 
When the seed begun to grow 
'Twas loike a garden full o' snow ; 
When the snow begun to melt 
'Twas loike a ship withait a belt ; 
When the ship begun to sail 
'Twas loike a brid withait a tail ; 
When the brid begun to fly 
'Twas loike an aigle in the sky ; 
When the sky begun to roar 
'Twas loike a loion at my door ; 
When my door begun to crack 
'Twas loike a stick across my back ; 
When my back begun to smart 
'Twas loike a pen-knife i' my heart ; 
When my heart begun to bleed 
'Twas toime for me to doy indeed." 

*BELT, v. Add (2), to thrash a person. 

BELTING, s. a thrashing. 

"If tha' throws at th' 'ens, aw'll gie the a good belting" 

*BENCH is applied to many other things besides haystacks, e.g., 
marl, or turf. 

" A'wl tay th' top bench first, and th' bottom bench when the 
weather's drier." 

BEND, s. heather, Calluna vulgaris. DELAMERE. 

BENDIGO, s. a soft cap with flaps to cover the ears and back of the 
neck, formerly much patronised by the "fancy." ALTRINCHAM. 

BETWEEN-WHILES, prep, in the intervals of time. 

BIAT, or BIOT, s. (i) a name given to the old brine pit at Nantwich. 

"In Partridge's History of Nantwich (1774), there is at pp. 59-60, an 
account of the ceremony that took place in that town on Ascension Day, 
when 'that ancient salt-pit, called the Old Biat . . . was on that day 


bedecked with green boughs, flowers, and ribbands,' and 'a hymn of thanks- 
giving for the blessing of the brine' was sung. Pennant (Journey from 
Chester to London), 1811, p. 40, describes it as 'a very ancient pit, called 
the Old Brine;' but Platt (Hist, of Nantwich), 1818, p. 79, declares this to 
be erroneous, and to have been a term invented by Pennant himself ! It is 
somewhat remarkable that Hall, in his recent History of that place, affirms 
of this term Old Biot, 'Nowhere ... in any ancient deed or record 
that has come under my notice, has this local name occurred' (p. 252). 
Platt continues, 'The Old Biot is a word (as used in this part of Cheshire) 
of extensive meaning. But in this instance it more particularly means a 
support, or supporter. It is customary for the good old people resident in 
the neighbourhood of Nantwich to exclaim, "Give me my old Biot," 
"Where is my old Biot?" meaning the stick with which they support them- 
selves when walking. It is also certain that this brine-pit was called by the 
provincial name of Biot, as being the only support which the inhabitants had 
when the brine in the other pits was exhausted ; this being to them an 
inexhaustible source of that necessary article.' On the authority of Platt, 
therefore, the word Biot was formerly used in Nantwich (and was probably 
restricted to it), in the sense of support, and to have been derived from the 
name by which the old salt-pit was known. The absence of any notice of it 
in the local records, referred to by Mr. Hall, does not negative the 
probability of its employment as a popular term. I may add that no Glossary 
or Dictionary with which I am acquainted mentions the word in this sense. 
Halliwell has Biat, but with an entirely different rendering." T. N. 
Brushfield, M.D., in Cheshire Sheaf, Jan. 6th, 1886. 

(2) a walking stick (?) or any kind of support. 
BIERS, s. weaving term. Bundles of the warp. 
BIG, adj. pregnant. 

*BISHOPPED. About MIDDLEWICH when milk is burnt it is said, 
" Th' bishop's put his foot in it." 

BLACKSMITH'S EYE, idiom, anyone very correct in seeing and 
judging is said to have " a blacksmith's eye" a trained eye. 

BLACK-UNS, s. the blacks (?) ; a disease in fowls. 

BLASH, s. a sudden and short blaze. 

Light sticks would be said to be of no use for a good fire, " they only 
make a blash." 

BLATHER, s. (i) a bladder. 

(2) vanity, nonsense. ALTRINCHAM. 
"He's getten nowt nobbut pride an' blather." 

BLETHER-YED, s. an empty-headed person. 

BLIZZOM, s. a mild term of reproach for a young woman. 
" Oo's a bonny blizzom." 


" Better tell th' bellman then that blob-tongue" 


BLOOD LARK, s. the tit-lark (?). FRODSHAM. 

I have not been able to identify this bird with absolute certainty, but from 
the description of the boys who use the name, I take it to be the meadow 
pipet or tit-lark, Anthus pratensis. 

BLUE-UNS, s. delirium tremens. 
BLUNDER- YED, s. a stupid fellow. 

BLUNGER, s. a tool used at the flint-mill. MIDDLEWICH. 

It consists of a wooden handle about twelve feet long, with a triangular 
plate fixed at one end. Its use is to stir the slop-flint. See BLUNGE. 

BOFF, v. to balk. WILMSLOW. 

"Aw were just springin to jump, but he shaited ait suddenly an' boj/ft 

BOGGART-MUCK, s. the undigested portions of food cast up by 

*BOTTLE. The word is in use about MIDDLEWICH, where the 
common saying, " As bad as looking for a needle in a bottle of 
hay," is also in frequent use. 

BOTTOM DRAWER, metaphor, used for the imaginary receptacle 
where a girl is supposed to keep articles which she has prepared 
for future possible housekeeping. 

Thus, if a young woman were to buy a set of teathings, or a tablecloth, 
or what not, and were asked what use she had for such things, she would 
answer, "Oh ! they're to put in my bottom drawer." 

BOTWELL, s. a wicker basket for covering the end of the tap in a 
mash-tub. NANTWICH. Local Gleanings^ Jan., 1880, p. 266. 

*BOW, s. Add (2), a piece of flexible ash fixed over a cooper's 
lathe to which was fastened a rope connecting it with the treadle. 
The spring of the ash drew the treadle up again when it had been 
pressed down with the foot. This arrangement is now superseded 
by a wheel. 

BOWSTER-YED, s. an empty-headed fellow. 

BOX, s. weaving term. A frame that can be elevated at pleasure at 
one end of the lathe that holds the different shuttles. 

BRANDERT, s. an iron frame hung over the fire for a bakestone 
to lie on. 

From an inventory of the property of Margery Glutton of Nantwich, 
1611. Local Gleanings, Jan. , 1880, p. 264. 

Now called BRUNDRIT, which see. 
* BRASS. Add (2), impudence. 


BREAD-FLAKE, s. a wooden frame hung to the ceiling in front of 
the chimney to dry oatcakes on. ALTRINCHAM. 
See FLAKE (3). 

BREAST-BEE AM, s. weaving term. A beam in a loom which 
reaches up to the weaver's breast. 

BREWING STOO, s. a bench upon which the mash-tub is placed 
in brewing. See WORT TURNEL. 

*BRIEF, still in use. See BRIEF. 

" Smaw-pox ha'n bin very brief, and a meeny have deed." 
"Fleigh (flees) are very brief this whot weather i' these owd 
thatcht heawses." 

BRIZZING, part, cattle are said to be brizzing when they gallop 
about in very hot weather. MIDDLEWICH. 

BROKKEN PATTERN, s. weaving term. When the ordinary 
pattern of " crossover " weaving is varied by a broader stripe at 

The handloom weaving of this district was the making of cotton " cross- 
overs," or, as it was pronounced, " crosso'ers," that is the stripes went across 
the piece and not lengthwise. If the stripes went both along and across the 
piece it constituted a "check." The colours were always blue and white, 
and the material was chiefly used for aprons and bed-hangings. 

BRUCK, v. to clean out a brook. WILMSLOW. 
BULLYRAG, v. to blackguard, to abuse with the tongue. 
BULLYRAGGING, s. a violent scolding, a blackguarding. 

BULLYTHRUMS, s. frayed tufts; such as would be seen on a 
bricksetter's line after much usage. 

BUTTERMILK MON, s. an opprobrious name for a trooper of 
the Cheshire Yeomanry. ALTRINCHAM. 

BUTTER-MO WT, s. a butterfly. ALTRINCHAM. 

BUZZARD, s. (i) a moth. ALTRINCHAM district. 

(2) a cockchafer. ALTRINCHAM district. 

(3) a shortsighted person. ALTRINCHAM district. 



CABBITCH-LOOKING, adj. silly-looking. ALTRINCHAM. 

CADDOWE, s. some material mentioned in an inventory of property 
belonging to Margery Glutton of Nantwich, 1611. Local 
Gleanings, Feb., 1880, p. 298. 

It is suggested that as Bailey has " Cadew=an Irish mantle," the above 
may mean Irish linen for which Chester market was once famous. 

CADLIN, adj. delicate; applied to young girls. WILMSLOW. 

CAGGY, adj. sticky. 

Wheat that was ground too new was described as "caggy and damp, like." 

GAG MARL, s. marl that is not shaly but tenacious. W. CHES. 

CAMPERLASH, s. pert, saucy language. The same, probably, as 
CAPERLASH, which see. 

CANT, s. a gossip. MIDDLEWICH. 

" Oo's an owd cant, that's what oo is." 

*CANT, v. Add (2), to gossip. MIDDLEWICH. 

' ' Come i'th' haise, an' dunna stond cantin" theer. " 

CAT- LATHER, s. (i) an open slit in a stocking caused by dropping 

a stitch. See LOUSE'S LADDER. 
(2) a ladder placed perpendicularly against a 
wall in a shippon or stable for climbing 
into the loft; usually made of a plank with 
holes cut for the hands and feet. 

CAT-ROSE, s. Rosa arvensis, to distinguish it from the Dog-rose, 
J?. canina. 

CHARGER, s. a pewter plate. 

Mentioned in an inventory of property belonging to Margery Glutton of 
Nantwich, 1611. Local Gleanings, Feb., 1880, p. 299. 

CHEEVER, s. a cockchafer. ALTRINCHAM. 
CHETTERY, s. the act of cheating. 

CLAPPERGATE, s. an old-fashioned kind of stile, one end of 
which falls down, and rises up again when the foot is taken off it. 
ALTRINCHAM district. 

*CLINKER. Add (3), a peculiar nail for protecting the toes of strong 
shoes; much used by the boatmen on the canals. MIDDLEWICH. 


*CLIP-ME-DICK. Add (2), Polygonum Convolvulus. DELAMERE. 

CLOSSE BOLKES, s. dairy utensils mentioned in an inventory of 
property belonging to Margery Glutton of Nantwich, 1611. 
Local Gleanings, Jan., 1880, p. 265. 

It is suggested that these were "Closed Bowkes," i.e., "large wooden 
pails with an upright T-shaped handle, containing two 14 quart cans of 
milk, used for carrying milk from the shippons to the milkhouse. It is still 
a Cheshire saying, 'A good cow will give a bowke full of milk.' These 
were perhaps closed with a lid to keep the vessel clean." See BOWK. 

CLOTH-BEEAM, s. weaving term. A beam in a loom on which 
cloth was wrapped, worked by a wheel and a catch. 

CLUNTER, s. a big lump. 

CLUNTER-WEDGE, s. a big wedge. 

A large piece of cheese brought to table would be called " a great 

COAFER SCREEN or COFFER SCREEN, s. a screen the seat 
of which lifts up, forming the lid of a box underneath. 

The word occurs in the old township books of Pownall Fee, in 1773, in 
an inventory of goods sold to the overseers and churchwardens. See SCREEN. 

*COCAM. The word is in use about MIDDLEWICH, but the spelling 
which seems more correctly to represent the pronunciation is 
COCUM. A slow person is said to " have no cocum" 

COLLOP MONDAY, s. the Monday before Lent. ALTRINCHAM. 
CONSARN, s. and v. concern. 

COPPE, s. a tilt or waterproof cover of a cart. 

Mentioned in an inventory of property belonging to Margery Glutton of 
Nantwich, 1611. Local Gleanings, Feb., 1880, p. 299. 

CORBE LEADS, s. vessels lined with lead for cooling beer. 

From an inventory of property belonging to Margery Glutton, 1611. 
Local Gleanings, Jan., 1880, p. 265. 


The word counterfeits occurs in an inventory of property belonging to 
Margery Glutton of Nantwich, 1611. Local Gleanings, Feb., 1880, p. 299. 


"In The Shuttleworih Accounts (edited by J. Harland, Chetham Soc., 
1856-1858, p. 29) is the entry : 

' Towe Krennekes [? crannocks] and a halffe of salte at the North 
Wyche, xxxvj.' 

In other portions of the work, the word appears as crenneke, crenoke, crineoke, 
and crynoke. 

Crannock or crennock is rendered in Bailey's Dictionary, and in some 
others, as 'an ancient measure of corn,' but without any statement as to the 


quantity. A writer in Notes and Queries (2nd S., vi. 232) reports the 
word to be frequently found in the Rolls of King John, and quotes from a 
Close Roll of Henry III. (1218-9), where it was spelt crennoc. In the same 
periodical (2nd S., xi. 396), Mr. J. Morrin, of the Rolls Court, Dublin, gives 
an extract from the Memoranda Roll of 6 Edward II. (1312-3), containing 
the following interesting paragraph : 

' Six crannocks of wheat, each containing 8 pecks, and \\ cran- 
nocks of oats, each of 16 pecks.' 

Mr. Harland (pp. cit. p. 558) states, ' We have been unable to ascertain 
the quantity represented by this term, unless its English is the same as its 
Irish measure. In Edward I. an Irish measure of a crannock, containing 
two quarters, is mentioned.' Assuming the peck and the quarter of this 
period to have been synonymous with their present meaning as to quantity, 
the discrepancy between these two statements is very remarkable. 

In Ledwick's Ireland, p. 445, cronnog or crannacus is defined as ' a 
basket or hamper ... for holding corn, lined with skin.' This word, 
or a slight variant of it, appears to be a very inclusive term ; as in O'Reilly's 
Irish-Eng: Dicty. we find crannog signifies ' a boat, a pulpit, a hamper, a 
habitation,' the Irish crannoges being the well-known lake fortresses on arti- 
ficial islands. In the Manx tongue, crannog is a pulpit. All this points to a 
Celtic origin of the word, which has descended to us under various shades of 
rendering. I have already mentioned that the word is not found in our local 
Glossaries : the pages of Leigh, however, contain the following : 

' Cornoks : A corn measure containing four bushels. ' Mr. Holland has 
copied this entry, without adding any note. Leigh most probably obtained 
his information from Randle Holme's Academy of Armoury (bk. 3, ch. 8, p. 
337) > where a quarter of corn is stated to consist of '8 measures, or 2 cor- 
nocks.'' In several Dictionaries of the last century, as well as in Halliwell's 
and in Wright's Glossaries, it appears in the variant form of curnock (and in 
one as currock, an apparent misprint), which gives a clue to its pronunciation ; 
and in each instance it is defined to signify four bushels of corn. In Wor- 
cestershire a curnock of barley or oats = 4 bushels: of wheat 9 score 10 Ibs. = 
3 bushels (Old Country and Farming Words, by J. Britten, E.D.S., 1880). 
Crannock and cornock are therefore identical in meaning as signifying a 
measure of corn ; and according to Davies (Supp. Glossary) they are both 
used to denote 'the coomb, or half a quarter.' 

We find then from these data that the terms crannock, crennock, cornock, 
curnock were usually understood to mean a measure of grain varying (in 
England at least) from 2 to 4 bushels, and being different (less) in the case of 
wheat, from that of other grain. That the crannock of the Shuttlewortk 
Accounts was, to quote the authority of Mr. Harland, a measure used in the 
Salt Wyches of Cheshire in the sixteenth century is clear from the entries 
there, appears to be a tolerable certainty. It is, however, not equally 
certain, that it was a measure of similar capacity to that used for corn ; the 
evidence points the other way. The last entry in these Accounts in which 
mention is made of it, runs thus [June, 1591] : 

' Thrie crynokes and a halfe of salte, liiijs ; those that fechide the 
same at towe severall tymes, vs. zy'd. ; towle at the Wyche for the 
same vtijd.' (p. 66). 

Now 3i crannocks of four bushels each (corn measure)=l34 bushels. 
But as the cart had to go twice to the Saltworks to bring this amount away, 
it would imply that the crannock of salt was a far greater quantity than that 
of grain ; and would probably approximate to the Irish measure mentioned 
by Mr. Harland, viz.: two quarters. Moreover, the price paid, 54?., would 
indicate the larger quantity. 

My remarks have extended to a greater length than I had originally 
intended; but I was desirous of submitting fairly to the notice of your 


readers my reasons for not excluding the words descanted on from any 
Glossary of the County, and at the same time to elicit their opinions upon the 
subject." T. N. Brushfield, M.D., in Cheshire Sheaf, Jan. 2Oth, 1886. 

CRANSH, v. to crunch. ALTRINCHAM. 

CRAPPIN, s. the trimming of poplar trees often used for pea-sticks. 

CRAPPIN CLOGS, part, mending the soles of clogs with the heads 
of horseshoe nails. MIDDLEWICH. 

CRESSET, s. a lantern. 

From an inventory of property belonging to Margery Glutton of Nant- 
wich, 1611. Local Gleanings, Jan., 1880, p. 265. 

CRONKIN, part, grumbling, croaking. WILMSLOW. ' 

" He's lame an' conna get eawt o'th' heawse, but he sits cronkin 
i'th nook from mornin to neet. " 

CROSS-O'ERS, s. weaving term. A peculiar sort of heavy cotton 
goods, with blue and white stripes running across; formerly 
woven chiefly about Mobberley and Wilmslow. 

CUDS. s. the pellets of half-digested food cast up by owls. See 

*CUT. Add (4), weaving term. So much of cloth as was woven 
before cutting off. 

CUTBORD (cut-board), s. a board for cutting bread on. 

From an inventory of property belonging to Margery Glutton of Nantwich, 
1611. Local Gleanings, Jan., 1 880, p. 266. 

CUTTERIN,/ar/. talking confidentially. 

Two persons in company having their own private talk in a corner would 
be said to be cutterin. 


*DAFFOCK, s. a slut. ALTRINCHAM, on the authority of Mr. J. C. 
Clough. Leigh explains it as " a woman's dress that is too short ;" 
but I take it that Mr. Clough's explanation is the correct one. 

DAGS, s. daring feats. 

"I'll do thy dags" is the name of a boy's game provocative of all kinds 
of mischief. 

DANDY-PUFF, s. an interfering, meddlesome young person. 


DEE-I'TH'-MUCK, v. when a top has ceased spinning if it does 
not reel out of the ring it is said to dee-i'th'-muck. WILMSLOW. 

DEGGIN-POT, s. weaving term. A pot that holds water and a 
broom to deg or sprinkle the cloth. 

DENT, s. weaving term, the space between the wires of a reed. See 

DICKY, s. a shirt front. 

DICKY-PUG, s. the wren, Troglodytes vulgaris. FRODSHAM. 

DIEING, s. colouring for cheese (?). 

"Paid for dicing 8d." From an old farm memorandum book 
belonging to Joseph Birchall of Outwood, Stockport Etchells, dated 

DIET-DRINK, s. a tonic. 

DISH AND SPOON, idiom, everything, the whole lot. See 

DISTILL, s. a still. 

Mentioned in the Town's Books of Pownall Fee, 1 782, in an inventory of 
goods belonging to " Widow Dix." 

DITHER-A-WACK, s. a trembling or shivering. . 

" He's stood'n i'th' lone beawt cooert till he's aw of a dither-a- 

" Aw of a dither-a-wack, loike a new-baked custhut" seems almost a 
proverbial expression. 

volvulus. DELAMERE. 

DOGE, adj. moist, of a proper consistency. 

It would be said of mortar, " It works nice and doge, noather too weet 
nor too dreigh." Or of a piece of leather for a shoe sole, that has been 
soaked till it is nice and soft for working. 

DRAVING-IN HOOK, s. weaving term. A hook with which to 
pick the reed and put the ends through. 

DRAWING KNIFE, s. a " drawinge wood ky'fe " is mentioned in 
an inventory of property belonging to Margery Glutton, 161 1. It 
is suggested that it was a wooden knife used for drawing through 
butter in order to take out hairs, which adhere to the knife. 

DRESSING, s. weaving term. In applying the sow (which see) to 
the warp, which is done the whole length of the loom at once, 
the length so dressed is called "a dressing." 


DRESSING-BRUSHES, s. weaving term. Brushes for applying 
the sow. 

DRINKING CLOTH, s. a napkin tied to the handle of a silver 
goblet, which was used as the cup was passed round the company. 
From an inventory of property belonging to Margery Glutton of Nant- 
wich, 1611. Local Gleanings, Feb., 1880, p. 300. 

DRUMSTICK, s. the chaffinch (?) Fringilla Calebs. FRODSHAM. 
DUR-HOLE, s. a doorway. ALTRINCHAM. 
DUR-STUN, s. threshold. ALTRINCHAM. 

DYTCH, v. to clean out a ditch. 
"He's dytching." 


*EAM or EEM, adv. Still in use in MIDDLEWICH. 
EAR-RINGS, s. Cytisus Laburnum. FRODSHAM. 

EDDER WARE, s. wicker-work (?). 

" One medder Edder Ware o 4 o 

Ghorn Edder Ware o 5 o" 

From an account in the township books of Pownall 

Fee, 1767. 

Medder may possibly mean "a measure," and if so "one medder Edder 
Ware" would be a bushel measure made of basket work; but at the same 
time it is difficult to understand how a chum (if chorn means "churn") could 
be made of the same material. 

EMPTY, s. weaving term. The bobbin on which the pin is wound. 


I have omitted to explain that this is the plural form of the word ; in the 
singular it is pronounced enuf. Thus a farmer would say, " Aw'st ha' muck 
enuffor my graind, an' aw think aw'st ha' pratas enoo for set it." 


I am still at a loss to define the exact meaning of this word. In the 
following sentence it certainly does not mean " at the present moment," as I 
had previously given it, but rather "such a thing as" 

" Go an' see if tha con foind ever a. nail as '11 do, wilt ta, Sammy." 




FAYVER, s. fever. 

FEEACE, s. the face. 

FEYRE (E. CHES.), FOIR (general), s. fire. 

*FLAKE, v. Add (2), to romp, to be out on spree, ALTRINCHAM. 

FLASKETT, s. a wicker basket, also called in Cheshire a botwell, 
placed in a mash-tub to protect the tap. 

From an inventory of property belonging to Margery Glutton of Nant- 
wich, 1611. Local Gleanings, Jan., 1880, p. 266. 

FOUGOURD, adj. trumpery, worthless. KELSALL. 

A father, seeing his daughter doing some crochet work (then something 
new), said, " Put that fougourd thing away." See FOO-GAWD. 

*FRENCH BUTTER-FLEE is in very common use at MIDDLE- 

*FRESH. Add (6), a river is said to be " fresh" when slightly 

FRIZZENT, part, starved with cold, or rather very susceptible to 
the feeling of cold. 

FRO'RT, prep, from ; an antithesis to TO'RT (toward). 

" Poo to'rt the." 
" Yushfro'rt the." 

FULLOCK, s. impetus, force. 

"He coom off th' looad wi' a bonny fullock." 


GABBER, v. to chatter. WILMSLOW. 

GABBERING, part. adj. chattering. WILMSLOW. 
" He's a gabberin faoo." 

*GALLOWS. Add (2), the bands that lift the healds in a loom. 
GAME BULL, s. a bull kept for baiting. MOBBERLEY. 



This was formerly a soubriquet of the inhabitants of Morley, the young 
men were always spoken of as " Morley Gawbies." 

*GEARS. Add (2), weaving term. The yells, reed, and ropes, &c., 
connected with a loom. 

These were supplied by the weaving master. When a man ceased to 
weave "to" a "mester," he took in, that is, returned the gears ; this practice 
has given rise to a proverbial expression, "He has tay'n his gears in," 
meaning that he has finally ceased doing anything. Though weaving is almost 
a thing of the past, the proverb is still occasionally heard. 

*- a bi & soft lad " KELSALL ' 

GETS, s. wages. WILMSLOW. 

"He's a mon i' good gets," i.e., he is a man who earns good 

*GILLER about MIDDLEWICH means, not the whole fishing-line, 
but the short piece of gut or silk between the hook and the line 

GIMLET-EYED, part, having an eye with a bad cast in it. 
* GINGER. Add (2), frail, dilapidated. ALTRINCHAM. 

" Mind how yo sit yo dain, that cheer's very ginger." 

GIN-RING (the first g soft), s. the circle where a horse walks when 
working a threshing-machine or a pug-mill. MIDDLEWICH. 

GOB-A-GAW, s. a gaby, a lubber. KELSALL. 

GOBBIN or GOBLIN, adj. uncouth, lubberly. KELSALL. 

" Tha great goblin faoo." 

COLBERT, s. a smoke jack. 

"It. iij spits :& one payre of Colberts . . . vj." 

From an inventory of the property of Margery Glutton 
of Nantwich, 1611. Local Gleanings, Jan., 1880, 
p. 165. 

GOOD DOINS, s. good eating and drinking. 

" There'll be good doins when th' heir comes of age, for they'n 
kill a bullock an' give ale i' th' park. " 

GOOD HAND GOOD HIRE, idiom, payment according to the 
amount of work done (?), piece-work (?). 

The expression occurs in the Town's Books of Pownall Fee, 1787, in a 
record of an examination of one Samuel Thorneycroft before Charles Prescott, 
Clerk, and John Astley, Esquire 

[He] "saith since which he has lived in Stockport and worked 
sometimes on weekly wages, and sometimes good hand good hire, 
but was never hired for twelve months. " 


GOOD MATTER, s. reality, good earnest. 

" Art ony iokin when tha says tha'll gie me thi watch, or art i' 
good matter ? 

"He says he'll leather the if tha stops ait again, an' he meeans 
what he says ; he's i' good matter. " 

GOT THE FLAGGERS, idiom, having the bailiffs in the house. 
WILMSLOW. The same as GOT THE RATS, which see. 

GOWFIN, s. a soft fellow. WILMSLOW. 

" Tha great gowfin, tha never will have ony sense." 

GREW, v. to fur or become foul. 

"The teapot is a good one, it never grews." 

GRUTS, s. literally groats, but used metaphorically for property. 

" He's getten th' gruts, bur he hasna getten th' blood." That is 
he has got one of the ingredients of black puddings, but not the 
other ; the sense being that, though he may have plenty of money, 
he is not a gentleman. 

GUIDERS, s. tendons. 


HACKING KNIFE, s. a cleaver (?). 

From an inventory of the property of Margery Glutton of Nantwich, 
1611. Local Gleanings, Jan., 1880, p. 265. 

*HAMIL SCONCE. This, is occasionally in use, but is more 
generally pronounced HOMMIL SCONCE. Its primary meaning 
is a great tin candlestick hung up against a wall. 

HARD-BUN, adj. constipated. 

HATE or ATE, excl. said to a horse when he is to turn slightly to 
the right. MIDDLEWICH. 

HEETHENBERRY, s. the fruit of the hawthorn. MIDDLEWICH. 
HERIFF, s. the plant Galium Aparine. W. CHES. 

HETCHEWES, s. a tool to dress flax or hemp. See HATCHEL. 

Mentioned in an inventory of property belonging to Margery Glutton of 
Nantwich, 1611. Local Gleanings, February, 1880, p. 298. 


HEWIN, prop, name, Evan. 

HEWIN OR DICK, idiom, one thing or the other. 
" Come, be oather Hewin or Dick." 

HILL, s. the bed covering. 

" A hill t an' a fill, an' an o'er-neet" is an idiom meaning a night's lodging. 
Fill = a meal ; o'er-neet = a place to pass the night in. 

"Aw dunna know wheer he'll get a hill, an' a fill, an' an o'er- 

HOB-EEND, s. the hob of an old-fashioned fireplace. 

In the old Cheshire fireplaces, before iron ovens were common, there 
were grates made by the village blacksmith, which consisted of bars only, 
rounded at each end, with flags placed on brick pillars at some little distance 
from the ends of the grate. These were the hob-eends. 


A writer in The Cheshire Sheaf (vol. ii., p. 181) asks for information as 
to the meaning of this word. He quotes the following extract from a letter 
written presumably about 1780 : " Send me, I beg of you, one of your hog 
pipes, which cannot be got anywhere only in Chester." I cannot suggest 
any meaning ; but I record the word in the hope that some one else may be 
able to do so. 

HORSE-BITER, s. a dragonfly. 

HOUGHSHAKERT (pronounced HUFFSHAKERT), adj. lame, 

HOUSING or OUSING, s. a large semi-circle of leather that stood 
up above the collar of carthorses' gears. Seldom, if ever, seen 

HOWDIN STROKE, idiom. " with a howdin stroke" means without 
intermission. Mow COP. 

HOWLER, ?'. to shout out, to holler. 

*HULLACK. About Wilmslow no difference is made in gender 
between HULLACK and TALLACK; both are applied to either a 
man or a woman. 

HUSTLEMENTS, s. odds and ends. 

The word occurs in the township books of Pownall Fee, in an inventory 
of goods belonging to John Booth, which were bought by the Overseer and 
Churchwarden, December 1st, 1773. 

s. d. 
"In Lumber or Hustlements.... .026" 



INCOMPOOT, s. a nincompoop; a fool, a trifler. WILMSLOW. 
ITEM, s. a private hint. WILMSLOW. See NITEM. 


JOGGLE, v. to shake. ALTRINCHAM. 

"Th" Mobberley road's welly enuf to joggle you to bits." 


KEGLY, adj. unsteady. 

KID-FENT, s. a stack of faggots WYBUNBURY. 

KILL-SWEALED, part, blackened; said of a brick that is 
blackened with the smoke in a kiln, but is not rightly burnt. 


LANDIRONS, s. laundry irons ; box irons. 

From an inventory of the property of Margery Glutton of Nantwich, 
1611. Local Gleanings, Jan., 1880, p. 265. 

LEATHER-YED, s. a man with no brains, as if his head was made 
of leather. 

LICK ONE'S CAUF O'ER AGAIN, idiom, to do one's work 
over again. WILMSLOW. 

LIKE-I-GO-MAD, idiom, violently, with intensity. 
"He's swearin like-i-go-mad." 
" He's workin this morning after his spree like-i-go-mad.'" 

LINDERINS, s. weaving term. Cords fastened to the extremities 
of the warps to enable the weaver to weave up to, or almost up 
to, the end. 

*LISSOME. Add (2), pliant. ALTRINCHAM. 

"At after oo were djed, her jyntes were as lissome as when oo 
were wick." 




LOBSCOUSE, s. potato stew. 

LOOM-KNIFE, s. weaving term. A knife, with tweezers and hook 
to pick the cloth. 

LOOM-POSTS, s. weaving term. Upright timbers of the loom, 
like bed-posts. 

LOOM-RAILS, s. weaving term. Horizontal rails of a loom. 

LOOSE I'TH' HAFT, idiom, said of a man who is not to be 
depended on. 

LURST, v. lost. 

" Aw've lurst my knoife, lads ; ban yo seen it ?" 


MACK, s. sort, kind. 

" It taks aw macks to mak every mack." 

MAGGOT, s. a fidgetty child. ALTRINCHAM. 

" Eh ! tha unaisy maggot!" 

MART-CART, s. a market cart. 

"Mar. 14. Bo* a mart-cart at Thos. Henshall's sale for 
;o. 145. od." From an old farm memorandum book belonging to 
Joseph Birchall of Outwood, Stockport Etchells, dated 1787. 


The word occurs in an inventory of property belonging to Margery 
Glutton of Nantwich, 1611. 

" It. xiiij brasse Candlesticks & ij maslyn basens." Local Glean- 
ings, Feb., 1880, p. 300. 

MONKEY-HAT, s. the nasturtium. Tropaolum majus. ALTRINC- 

MOPPET, s. a term of endearment to a child. 

" It's a little moppet, it is; bless it little heart." 

MOULD WARP RAKE, s. a tool for spreading mole hillocks. 

The word occurs in an inventory of property belonging to Margery Glutton 
of Nantwich, 1611. Local Gleanings, Jan., 1880, p. 266. 

MOUNT AYNS, s. horse mounts or steps (?). 

" It. Tyle, Mountayns, shingles & pannels." From an inventory 
of property belonging to Margery Glutton of Nantwich, 1611. 
Local Gleanings, Feb', 1880, p. 301. 


MUSTER D WHIRLES, s. mustard seeds (?). 

" A bottom of musterd whirles" is mentioned in an inventory of 
property belonging to Margery Glutton of Nantwich, 1611. It is 
suggested that it was the bottom of a vessel in which mustard seeds 
were crushed. Local Gleanings, Jan., 1880, p. 266. 


NACKERS, s. testicles. 

NASH, s. weaving term. The course of the shuttle along the lathe. 

NICKER, s. the goldfinch, Fringilla carduelis. MIDDLEWICH. 

NOATHER EEND NOR SIDE, idiom, ambiguous; rambling. 

"There's noather e end nor side to his tale; aw con mak nowt on't." 


OCCAGION, v. to importune, to appeal to. WILMSLOW. 

A tramping shoemaker, asking a master unsuccessfully for work, would 
say, " I occagioned all the masters in the town, but could not get any work." 

*ORNARY. Add (4), ugly. 

OWD IRON, .y. weaving term. Pilfered weft sold to weavers in a 
small way who made their own cloth. 


*PARTLY-WHAT, is also commonly used in W. CHES. 
" He partly-what promised to stay." See PARTLY. 

PEEVISH, adj. petted. MOBBERLEY. 

A cow that likes to be petted, or a cat that likes being fondled, is said to 
be peevish. 

PICKER, s. weaving term. A small frame of buffalo leather fitted 
on the spindle which propels the shuttle across the yarn. 

PICKING-BANT, s. weaving term. The band from the picker to 
the picking-peg. 


The word occurs in an inventory of property belonging to Margery 
Glutton of Nantwich, 1611. Local Gleanings, Feb., 1880, p. 300, where it 
is also stated that pillow cases are still called in Cheshire pillow -beards. 


PIN or PIRN, s. weaving term. A bobbin of weft wound ready 
for use. 

PIN-WHEEL, s. weaving term. A wheel used for winding the 
bobbins, or pins of weft. 

POME-PECKERT or PAWM-PECKERT, part. adj. freckled. 

PROD, s. a blow with a pointed instrument 

PROD, v. to give a blow with a pointed instrument. 
" Moind tha does na prod my een." 

*PROW. Add (2), to probe, to sift evidence. ALTRINCHAM. 

' ' It were ne'er gradely prtnved ite, bur aw awways thowt he 
were th' guilty party." 

*PUGGIL, 5. small dust in coal, which is so rubbishy that it will 
scarcely burn. MIDDLEWICH. 

PUT EAWT, v. to give out work to a hand -loom weaver to be done 
at home. WILMSLOW. 

PUTTER-EAWT, s. weaving term. The servant of a weavin-mester, 
who gave out and took in the work of the operatives. 


RACK AND RUIN, s. complete ruin. 
RACKED Wr PAIN, part, in great pain. 

RADDLE, or perhaps more commonly RED-RADDLE, s. the red 
ochre with which sheep are marked. 

*RADDLE, v. Add (2), to mark sheep with raddle. 

RAITHE, s. weaving term. A frame of wood and wire through 
which the biers pass, and which keeps the warp evenly spread out 
whilst it is being wound on the yarn-beam. 

RANT, v. to rend. ALTRINCHAM. 

RIDGIL, s. an imperfectly castrated horse, or one which, not being 
perfectly developed, cannot be castrated. 


RIPPER, v. to beat. WILMSLOW. 

"They'rn i'th* orchart when aw geet worn ; bur aw rippert em 
eawt an' smartly." 

RUMP AND STUMP, idiom, a clean sweep. 
"He wur sowd up rump an' stump." 


SAUCY, adj. dainty as to food. 

SAUCY-HUNGRY, adj. not hungry enough to eat plain food ; but 
requiring the palate to be tempted a little. 

SAW-WHETTER, s. the greater tit, Parus major. MIDDLEWICH. 
SCALE THE FIRE, v. to clear the fire of ashes. ALTRINCHAM. 
SCORGE, v. to scorch. ALTRINCHAM. 
SCOTCHMAN, s. a very frequent name for a pedlar. 

SCUFFLIN, part, hurrying, scrambling. 

" Tha's been i' bed till brexfust toime, an' tha'll be scufflin aw 
mornin to get up wi' thi work." 

*SCUTTLE, s. Add (2), a conical basket. MIDDLEWICH. 
SECKIN, s. sacking. 

SECKIN-BOTTOMED, part, bedsteads are so called which have 
sacking from side to side, instead of cross laths. 

SHE-BROOM, s. the white broom, Spartium multiflorum, a 
Cheshire remedy for dropsy. 


" We'n have to draw short-cuts, aw reckon." See CUTS (2.) 

SHOWING OFF, part. It was the custom about MOBBERLEY and 
WILMSLOW, fifty or sixty years since, for a newly-married couple 
to appear at church the first Sunday after their wedding. This 
was always spoken of as " showing off." In those days the 
church music consisted of fiddles, clarionets, bassoons, &c., and 
the choir at Wilmslow Parish Church always sang on such 
occasions the "Wedding Anthem," the words being taken from 
the 1 28th Psalm, " Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine," &c. 

*SLICKEN, adj. Add (2), plausible. 

" Which Bentley dost meean ? dost meean slicken Bentley ?" 



SLOP-FLINT, s. ground flint lixiviated with water; one of -the pro- 
cesses in use at the Middlewich flint mill in preparing flint for 
the manufacture of pottery. 

SPANNER or SPONNER, s. a screw-key or wrench for screwing 
a nut. 

SPIT O' RAIN, v. to begin to rain. 

"It just spits o" rain, yo'd best wait a bit." 

STARV'N, adj. sensitive to cold. ALTRINCHAM. 
" He's very starv'n." 

STICK AND STUMP, idiom, the whole lot, everything. 

STUMPS, s. the heads of waste horseshoe nails. MIDDLEWICH. 

Much used to mend the soles of clogs with, the operation being called 
"crapping clogs." 

SWILK, v. to sweep off, to scatter. KELSALL. 

A girl in a farm kitchen, in throwing her cloak round her, nearly swept 
the things off the table. "Mind what your doin,'" said her mother, "or 
vou'll swilk them mugs off." 


TAGGELT, s. a rascal. ALTRINCHAM. 

*TAK IN. Add (2), or TAY IN, to carry home weaving that has 
been done at home. 

" Aw'd tayn it in afore he coom." 

The " weaving mester"/Mr eawt at the same time, that is, he gives out 
fresh work to be done. 

TEMPLES, s. weaving term. An arrangement of rods with pins in 
the ends, to keep the piece of cloth on the stretch as to width. 

THREATEN, v. to intend, to propose. 

" I've threatened to go and see him many a time: but I've never 
This peculiar use of the word is constantly heard in Cheshire. 

*THRUMS. Add (2), also lengths of silken thread, used for whip- 
cord, and tor gillers to fishing-lines. MIDDLEWICH. 

*TIZACKY. Add (2), asthmatic. 

" A tizacky cough." 

This is, of course, the primary signification; "particular about food," 
recorded as being in use at Mow Cop, is a secondary meaning. 

TOMMY NOWP, s. the blue tit, Parus carukus. MIDDLEWICH. 


TOO AD-BACK, s. a variety of pear. MIDDLEWICH. 
It is erroneously entered as LOAD-BACK in the glossary. 

*TRASH, s. Add (2), weaving term. The course of the shuttle 
along the lathe. 

TROWNCE, s. a tedious journey. KELSALL. 

TWISTING-IN, part, weaving term. Piecing the new warp to the 
old one that is in the gears. 


*URBISH. I find this word is also used in W. CHESHIRE 
(FRODSHAM) with, perhaps, a slightly different meaning; namely, 
that of plaguing, teasing, or troubling one's own self. 
"Dunnot urbish yoursel; I'll nurse beeby." 


WAFT, s. a current or puff of air. 

" Sitch a waft o' stinkin fish." 

WEAVING-MESTER, s. weaving term. A master weaver who 
gives out work to be done by the operatives at their own homes. 

WEAVING-RODS, s. weaving term. Rods put through the yarn at 
several places in the ratch, to keep it straight. 


*YARN. Add (2), a heron, Ardea cinerea. MIDDLEWICH. 

YEAL, v. to season an oven, or a boiler, or a frying-pan. WILMSLOW. 
See EEL. 

The old women used to yeal a frying-pan by frying potato peelings and 
some greasy matter for a time before putting in meat for cooking. 

YELL-HOOK, s. weaving term. A hook for putting yarn through 
yells and reed. 


YELL-YORN, s. weaving term. A peculiar sort of worsted yarn of 
which the yells are made. 

YELP, s. a short, snappish bark. 
YELP, v, to bark snappishly. 

YORN-BEEAM, s. weaving term. The beam in a loom on which 
the warp is wrapped. 

YOWLERIN, s. the howling of a dog. 


In compiling the following lists, I have to acknowledge the 
valuable assistance I have received from Mr. Thomas Hallam, who 
has not only supplied names and variants of pronunciation with 
which I was previously unacquainted, but has, also, in every instance, 
added the pronunciation in Glossic. The column of "Approximate 
Pronunciation" represents the sounds as closely as they can be 
expressed in ordinary spelling, and will, probably, be sufficient for 
the general reader ; but the addition of the Glossic equivalents will 
render the lists of much greater value to the scientific phonologist. 

These lists are, doubtless, very far from complete; but we have 
thought it better to confine ourselves to names of which the pro- 
nunciation was actually known to one or other of us. 

[NOTE. In the Glossic notation for the Place-Names and Family Names 

(1) [e] is substituted for [ae]; 

(2) [i] unaccented [i'] unaccented; 

(3) [u] unaccented ,, ,, [u'] unaccented. 

When unaccented [u] is final, [u] is used to prevent ambiguity. 

The substituted symbols will render the Glossic considerably easier for 
general readers. 

In complete Glossic, the Southern sound of short e in net, pen, &c., is 
represented by [e], and the Midland sound (including that of Cheshire) by [ae]; 
but as the Southern sound is not found in the Cheshire dialect, [e] can be 
substituted for [ae] without causing any confusion. 

In substituting unaccented [i] and [u] for unaccented [i'] and [u'J we dispense 
with many diacritics, as both these unaccented sounds occur very often. T. H.] 







Acton Bridge Ack'n Bridge [Aak-n Brij] 

Adlington Adlit'n [Aad'litn] 

Alderley Edge Awtherly Edge ... [Airdhurli Ej] 

(E. CHES.) 

Awdly Edge [Airdli Ej] 

The latter not often heard now, but frequent forty years since. 

Allostock Aw-lostuck [Atrlos'tuk] 

Alpraham Awperum [Airpurum] 

Awprum [Atrprum] 

Alsager Awjer [Airjur] 

Altrincham Awtojum [Airtujum] 

Awtridgum [Airt'rijum] 

Thrutchum [Thruch-um] 

The last pronunciation scarcely ever used now. 

Alvanley Awvanly [Airvunli] 

Ashton Ash'n [Aash'n] 

Astbury Assbery [Aas'buri] 

Astle Assl [Aas'l] 

Audlem Awlum [Auium] 

Baguley Baggily [Baagili] 

Baigly [Bai-gli] 

Barrow Barra [Baaru] 

Barthomley Bartomly [B:aa*rtumli] 

Bollington Bollit'n [Bolitn] 

Bosley Bawzly [Bavrzli] 

Boughton Bawtt'n [Bairttn] 

Bramhall Bramma [Braanru] 

Broxton Brox'n [Brok'sn] 

BucklowHill Bucklylll [Buk'li :!!] 

Very few names are aspirated in Cheshire. 

Budworth Budduth [Bhd'uth] 

Bunbury Bumbery [Biinrburi] 







... Buzly 

... [Buuz-li] 


... Cawkut 

... [Kairkut] 


... Caavly 

... [Kaa-vli] 


... Carrit'n 

... [Kyaaritn] 

Charles Head ... 

... ChulsYed ... 

... [Chuul-zy:ed] 


... Chedd'l 

... [Ched-1] 

Cheadle Hulme 

... Chedd'1-aoom ... 

... [Ched-1 6om] 


... Chelfurt 

... [Chel-furt] 

Cholmondeley ... 

... Chumly 

... [Chum-li] 


... Churmstun 

... [Chuurmstun] 


... Crislit'n 

... [Kris-litn] 


... Choona 

... [Chdo-nu] 


... Tlott'n 

... [Tlofn] 


... Coddit'n 

... [Kod-itn] 


... Cocksh'l 

... [Kok-shl] 


... [Kok-shul] 


... Comsta 

... [Konrstu] 


... Congert'n 

... [Kong-gurtn] 


... Cop'nul 

... [Kop'nul] 


... Cuddit'n 

... [Kud-itn] 


... Darsbry 

... [D:aa-rzbri] 


... Daynum 

... [Dai'num] 


... Dainpurt 

... [Dai'npurt] 

Dean Row 

... Dain Ro 

... [Dai-n Roa-] 


... Dallamer 

... [Daal umur] 


. . . [DaaHmur] 


... [DaaHmoour] 


... Dissly 

... [Dis-li] 


... Duck'nfilt 

... [Diik-nfilt] 


... Yarzic 

... [Y:aa-rzik] 

This pronunciation is not now heard much in conversation ; but formerly it 
was universal. There is, however, a local rhyme concerning the 
numerous family of the Wrights which perpetuates it : 
' ' Wrights o'th' farm ; Wrights o'th' mill ; 
Yarzic Hall, and Minshull Hill." 

Eddisbury Edzbery [Ed'zburi] 

Edgbery [Ej-buri] 


Approximate Glossic 

Name. Pronunciation. Pronunciation. 

Ellesmere Port Elzmer Port [El'zmur P:oa-rt] 

Etchells Etchez ,.. ( [Ecrruz] 

Farndon Farn .... [F:aa - rn] 

Frodsham Fradsum [Fraad'sum] 

Fratsum [Fraafsum] 

Frodsum [Frod'sum] 

The first and second pronunciations are still retained by a few old people ; 
but the younger generation employ the last. 

Gawsworth Gozuth [Goa'zuth] 

Goostrey Goostry [Goo'stri] 

Grappenhall Gropnal [Grop-nul] 

Gropna [Grop-nu] 

Halton Hautt'n [Hairttn], slight 


Handforth Honfurt [Horrfurt] , slight 


Hayhead Ay-yed [Ai - y:e'd] 

Hazel Grove Azz'l Grove [Aaz-1 Groa'v] 

Hollingworth Ollinwuth [OHnwuth] 

Holmes Chapel ... Aooms Chapil [6o'mz Chaap'il] 

Hough Uf [tiff] 

Hough near Alderley always has the definite article before it Th' Uf. 

Hough's Bank ... 

... Aooks Bonk ... 

... [6o-ks Bongk] 


... Utsfilt 
... Eyd 

... [tifsfilt] 


... Kegwidge 
By old people. 

... [Kyeg'wij] 


... Kelsa 

... [Kyel-su] 

Kettleshulme . . . 

... Kettlesum 

. . . [Kyet'lsum] 


... Nutsfurt 

... [Nufsfurt] 

Kermincham . . . 

... Kermidgum 

. . . [Kyermijum] 


... Linda 

... [Lhrdu] 

Lindow End 

... Linda Eend ... 

... [Lin-du Ee-nd] 


... Maxfilt 

... [Maak-sfilt] 


... [Maak-silt] 


... [Maak-slt] 










... [Mau -pus] 



... [M-aa-rpu] 



... [M:aa-rthu] 


Middlewitch ... 

... [Midiwich-J 

(W. CHES.) 

Middleweytch ... 

... [Mid-lweych] 

(E. CHES.) 

Middlewych . . . 

... [Midlwahych] 



... [MiHtn] 



... [Molitn] 



... [Naarrtwictr] 

(W. CHES.) 


... [Naantweych] 

(E. CHES.) 


... [Naairtwahych] 



... [Ness'n] 



... [N:airrdhin, 


North wich 

Nawth witch 

... [Natrdhwiclr] 

(W. CHES.) 

Nawthweytch ... 

.... [Nairdhweych] 

(E. CHES.) 

Nawth wych 

... [Nairdhwahych] 



... [Oa'kmae'r] 



... [Uuwlurtn] 



... [Uuw-ttn] 

Oversley Ford 

O'erzly Ford ... 

... [Oa-rzli Foa-rdJ 

Oozly Ford 

... [Oo-zli Foa-rd] 



... [Ovurtn] 


... [IJvurtn] 



... [P:aa-rtitn] 



... [Pee'vur] 

Plemondstall,now often 

spelt Plemstall 


... [Plim-stun] 


... [Plin-stu] 

Pott Shrigley 

Pot Sigly 

... [PottSig'li] 


Paaindswick ... 

... [PaaynzwikkJ 






Poynton . . . 

(E. CHES.) 

... [Peyntn] 

Prestbury ... 


... [Pres'buri] 



... [Rai'nu] 


. . . [Rai'nur] 



... [Ree-nskroft] 



Ramner ... 

. . . [Raanrnur] 

(S. CHES.) 

Ring way ... 


... [Rfrn-ju] 


... [Riirrji] 

Rostherne . . . 


... [Rost'urn] 

Sandbach ... 


... [Saarrbich] 

Shocklach ... 


... [Shok-laach] 

Shurlach . . . 


. . . [Suurlush] 



... [Sidh-itn] 

Sproston . . . 


... [Sproa-ssn] 

Stapleford ... 


... [Staap-lfurt] 

Stockport ... 

Stoppurt ... 
... Stya 

... [Stop-urt] 
[Stahy u] 


Swetnum ... 

... [Swet'num] 

Tarporley ... 


... [T:aa-rpli] 



... [Taatfnu] 



... [Taak-su] 

Thelwall .. 


... [Thel-wul] 



... [Til-ssn] 

Tintwistle . . . 


... [Tin-sil] 

Tiverton . . . 


... [Teeu-rtn, Ttee-urtn] 



... [Tor-kitn] 



... [Tidh-itn] 

Utkinton . . . 


... [frfkitn] 


... ... Wahrbutt'n 

... [W:aa*rbutn] 

The "a" 

is pronounced as in "far." 



. . . [Waar intun] 


... [Wer-itn] 

By a few old people, 

but nearly obsolete. 






Werneth Low .. 















Yarwood Heath 
Yeardsley ... 


Wahrtun ... 
Wairum ... 
Weverum ... 
Werny Low 

Wetna ... . 
Willock ... . 
Wimsla ... 
Winnit'n ... 
Wurrel ... . 
Wistiss'n ... 
Withit'n ... . 
Witfurt ... . 
Woodyed ... 
Wuth ... . 
Wimbery ... 
Yarrad Eeath . 
Yurdsly ... 





[Werni Loa-] 
















[Yaar-ud :Ee-uth] 




N.B. See note on the Glossic symbols prefixed to the list of Place-Names. 

The pronunciation of most of the Family Names is given as general, i.e., 
without being limited to any particular part of the county. Of a considerable 
number of these the pronunciation is, no doubt, confined to West, or West and 
Mid Cheshire. Generally speaking, names having the terminal syllables -ingtoii 
and -inson, would have the same pronunciation respectively in all parts of the 
county ; so, respectively, would the terminations -al, -all, -ley, -show, -worth. 

[In the case of those names which contain dr-, tr- ; or -der, -ter unaccented, 
pure </=[d] and /=[t] are given in the Glossic; but, should any of these occur in 
East Cheshire, dental </=[d'] and /=[t'] would be used in these positions. T. H.] 




























In the first approximate pronunciation given 

the initial A is to be pro 

nounced as in ' 





Aspbury ] 
Astbury J 

(W. CHES.) 















Bawmer ... 















... Barla 



... Baskerfile 


Basky (for short) 



... Bebbit'n 




[Baal 'is] 


... Bessick 






... Birchinuf 





... Bettles 



... Blatcha 


Bloor, or Blower 

... Blooer 



... Blundret 



... Booby 

[Boo -hi] 

(E. CHES.) 


... Boffy 



... Bo-er 



... Breskit'l 



... Bredbery 



... Bradsha 



... Breerly 



... Brisca 



... Brawthust 



... Brokk'lust 



... Bruks 



... Bruksha ... 



... Brewerton 



... Braain 



... Braainla 



... Cadnum (occasionally) 



... Caavly 



... Chaddick 





... Chaoott'n 



[Ch:au-rtn] . 



Approximate Glossic 

Name. Pronunciation. Pronunciation. 

Cholmondeley ... 

... Chumly 



... Coltluf 



... Cop'nul 



... Cockup 


Cumberbirch . . . 

... Cumberbetch 



... Damepurt 







... Dows'n (occasionally) 






... Daains 

L J 



... Drinkwayter 


(W. & MID CHES.) 


(E. CHES.) 


... Dumbil 



... Dunbabbin 


The name is also very frequently spelt Dunbabin. 

Eardley Urdly [:UuTdli] 

Earlam Ellam [El'ura] 


In the district around Norton, Runcorn, and Halton, Ellam and Ellam 
are very common names [El'um, El'umz]. 

Eden Aydin [Ai'din] 

Etchells Etchez [Ech-uz] 

Evans Ivvins [Ivinz] 

Fairclough Fairtluf [Farrtluff] 

Farrington Farrit'n [Faar'itn] 

Faulkner Fokener [Foa'knur] 

Fernyhough Ferniuf [Fuurni-uff] 

Gaskell Geskil [Gyes-kil] 

Cleave Dlaves [Dlai'vz] 

Goddard Gothert [Godh-urt] 

Golburn Goburn [Goa-burn] 

Golding Goo-din [Goo-din] 

Goodwin Goodin [Gud-in] 









Goodjer ... . 





V U^..* 







Graistv ) 

Gresty I 







Atfilt ... . 

.. ..: [Aaffilt] 






Hammond \ 

Ayman ... 


Hayman J 

Hayman ... 

.. [Hai'mun] 





Ankiss'n ... 


Hazelhurst ) 
Hazlehurst J 

Azzl'ust ... 






. rYelll 

Henshall \ 



Henshaw / 

Hensha ... 




. [Ernl 

Hern ... . 



Eskit ... . 



Iggis'n ... . 



Odgkis'n ... 



Howbruk ... 


Owbruk ... 








Hawt'n ... . 


Hoftun ... . 


Offtun ... , 

, [Of'tun] 


The pronunciation, 

TT 1- i / 

however, is very 

capricious. I know a 


Houghton (pronounced Hawt'n) whose father was invariably called 
"old Charles Hoftun." I suppose Houghton to be the original 



name; and that the idea is to give the "ough" the same labio-dental 
sound as in "cough," as, by the same rule, "dough" is pronounced 
"doff" in Cheshire. Another somewhat similar name, Offland, is 
very common, and there seems to be come confusion also between 
this and Offtun. 



The name is 
Jameson ... 
Jennings ... 
Joddrell ... . 







(E. CHES.) 
also spelt Hoose about Frodsham. 






(E. CHES.) 


(E. CHES.) 


... Jynes'n 
... Kelsa 


... Layt'n 
... Leea 

Legh j 

... Laythut 
. . . Lee 

Leigh 1 

. . . Lyde 


... Lummus 

Lomax ... ' ... 

... Lummus 


... Laaindz 



... Mattock 

Main waring 

... Mannering 
... Maykis'n 
... Mallis'n 


... Mullinax ) 
Mullino / 


[Uuwm or Uwm] 
[Uuwmz or Uwmz] 








[Lai -In] 












[Mul'inoa ] 
















Pearson or Pierson ... 
Perhaps merely from 




Moorz [M:oo*urz] 

Murral [Muurul] 

Murris [Muuris] 

Ewel (occasionally)... [Ydo'ul] 

Yewt'n (occasionally) [Yoo'tn] 

Okkes'n (occasionally) [Ok-isn] 



(E. CHES.) 





Peers (frequently) 


a confusion between the two names. 

Pennitent [Penitunt] 

(E. CHES.) 
Pinnington [Pin'ingtun] 

And in W. CHES. often so spelt. 


... Parsiva 

... [P:aa'rsivu] 


... Spines 

. . . [Spahynz] 



... Pawk 

... [Pau-kk] 



... Paaina 

. . . [P.-aa-ynu] 

Rathbone ... 

... Rayburn 

... [Rai'burn] 




... [R:ee'ud] 


... Richas'n 

... [Rich'usn] 


... Ridja 

... [Rij-u] 


... Robis'n 

... [Rob'isn] 


... Roska 

... [Ros-ku] 

Roughsedge "1 
Roughsage / 

... Roostidge 

... [Roo-stij] 


... Roobottom 

. . . [Rdo'botum] 


Approximate Glossic 

Name. Pronunciation. Pronunciation. 

Rowlinson Rollis'n [RoHsn] 

Royds Rydz [Rahydz] 

Roylance Rylance [R:ah'yluns] 

Royle ... Ryle [R:ahyl] 

Schofield Scowsel [Skuuwsul] 


This pronunciation was in common use formerly, but is now probably 

Shatwell Shatta [Shaafu] 

Shuttleworth Shuttle [Shufl] 

It is usually pronounced as spelt, but " Shuttle" is occasionally used as if 
to shorten a long name. 

Simcock Sinkup [Singk'up] 

Skelhorn Skellern [Skyel'urn] 

Somerville ^ Summerfield [Sunrurfeeld] 

SummervilleJ Summerfile [Sunrurf:ahyl] 

Southern Suthun [Sudh'un] 

Sproston Spross'n [Sproa-ssn] 

Stephenson 1 

h Steevis'n [SteVvisn] 

Stevenson J 

Stockton Stock'n [Stok-n] 

Stoddard Stothert [Stodh'urt] 

Stonehewer Stannier ... [Staan-iur] 

Stonnier [Ston'iur] 

Sumner Sunner [Smrur] 

A few old people use this pronunciation, but it is dying out. 

Swan wick Swannick [Swaan'ik] 

Swetenham Swetnum [Swefnum] 

(E. CHES.) 

Taylor Taylier [TaHiur] 


Thomason Tummas'n [Tunvusn] 

Thompson Thumston [Thum-stun] 


This was always the pronunciation at the beginning of this century. In a 

list of the inhabitants of Morley in the year 1800 it is even spelt 

















Vaudrey . . . 





[V:aa - rnum] 

Wain wright 



Walkden . . . 



Walthew ... 






Warhurst . . . 






The "a" 

has the same sound as in " parry." 







Watkin (frequently) . . . 


Whalley ... 


[Woli and ? Wairli] 








[W:ae - yty:aed] 

(E. CHES.) 

Whitlow ... 



Wilkinson ... 







L J 

Willock ... 







Woodfine ... 






The "a" 

having the same sound as in "star." 






... Oos'ncroft 




(E. CHES.) 




Worrall ... 

Yarwood , 



... Worra [Woru] 

... Wethit'n [Wedhitn] 

Wurthit'n [Wuurdhitn] 

... Reet [Rde-tt] 


... Yarrad [Yaarud] 


In the following list of proverbial expressions I have made no 
attempt at classification, for I found it would be, in many cases, 
difficult to place some of the sayings under their proper headings, 
as they, in fact, might be referred equally well to more than one 
class. I have, therefore, simply arranged them alphabetically. 
Those which I have extracted from Ray's collection are distinguished 
by the letter R. The letters W. and L. indicate that they are taken 
from Wilbraham's or Leigh's Glossaries. The rest I have either met 
with myself, or they have been actually heard by some of my 

Many of these sayings are, no doubt, like the words of the 
vocabulary, common to other counties; but even when that is the 
case, I think it will be generally found that there is some slight local 

Abacko' behind, like a donkey's tail. L. 

A dry March and. a wet May 

Fill barns and bays with corn and hay. MIDDLEWICH. 

There are several variants of this couplet which will be found in their 
alphabetical order. 

A face like a Buckley panmug. 

Said of a man with a red, coarse, blotchy countenance. L. 

Afraid of far enough. 

Of that which is never likely to happen. R. 

Afraid of him that died last year. R. 


Afraid of the hatchet lest the helve stick in's a . R. 

A green winter makes a fat churchyard. 

That is warm, and therefore, unseasonable weather in winter causes 
illnesses which are fatal to many ; a popular, idea which is by no means 
substantiated by the returns of the Registrars. 

A lean dog for a hard road. 

All on one side, like Marton Chapel. 

All on one side, like Parkgate. See PARKGATE in vocabulary. 

Always behind, like Mobberley clock. 
A common saying about WILMSLOW. 

An evil suspicion has a worse condition. 

An old thing and a young thing both of an age. L. 

This saying, which means that things must be considered old or young by 
comparison, becomes more intelligible when the story told by Leigh in 
illustration of it is read. A young girl of eighteen 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." 

Any, good Lord, before none. 

The proverb is said to have originated thus : A spinster of uncertain age 
was rising one morning, and was at her matutinal devotions by her bedside. 
Amongst other good things she prayed for a husband. It was an old 
thatched house, and a thatcher, who was repairing the thatch, just at 
that moment stuck his spattle into the thatch, and lifted a portion up 
to insert some new straw. Through the opening thus made he overheard 
the petition, and immediately asked, "Please 'm, would a thatcher do?" 
The good lady took it as a voice from heaven, and, in a spirit of humble 
resignation, replied in the words which afterwards became a proverb, " Any, 
good Lord, before none." 

A pretty fellow to make an axle-tree for an oven. R. 

A rainbow at morn , 

Is a sign of a storm ; 
A rainbow at night 
Is a shepherd's delight. 

A red pig for an atchern. 

A rolling stone gathers noo moss; but a tethered sheep winna get 

As aizy as fawin off a chair when yo're drunk. MOBBERLEY, 

As big a rogue as ever peeped at a speer. See SPEER in vocabulary. 
As blue as a wimberry. 


As broad as narrow, like Paddy's plank, too long at one end, and 
too short at tother. 

As clear as a bell. 

As crookit as a dog's elbow. 

As dark as dungeon. 

As deep as a draw well. 

Said of a shrewd fellow. 

As fair as Lady Done. R. See LADY DONE in vocabulary. 

As fause as a fox. 

As fine as a yew (new) scraped carrot. 

As fine as Phililoo. L. See FOIN and FILLILOO in vocabulary. 

As good as goose skins that never man had enough of. R. 

As hard as a north toad. 

This really means "as hardy as a north-country fox." Toad = tod = fox. 

As hard as brazzin. MIDDLEWICH. 

Miss Jackson, in her Shropshire Word Book, explains brazzin as "iron 
pyrites." Leigh, in his Cheshire Glossary, gives the above saying thus : 
" As hard as a brazil," and explains it as referring to a Brazil nut, which is 
excessively hard. A Brazil nut is pronounced Brdzzil nut in Cheshire, but 
I suspect the iron pyrites is what is really referred to as symbolical of 
excessive hardness. 

As hoarse as a cuckoo. 

As hollow as a keck. 

As hollow as an old shoe ; or, 

As hollow as a shoe when the foot's out. 
Said of a deceitful person. 

As idle as Dain's dog as laid it deawn t'bark. WILMSLOW. 
As lazy as Larriman's dog. MACCLESFIELD. 
As light as a fither. 

As long as Helsby Hill wears a hood, 
The weather's never very good. W. CHES. 

As much wit as three folk, two fools and a madman. R. 

As queer as Dick's hatband, as went nine times round and would na 
tee at last. 

As rotten as a pear. 


As rouk as th' Roodee. L. 

This proverb is given by Leigh under the word ROUK, which is explained 
as " rich, fertile." I have no doubt that " rouk " is a misprint for "ronk." 
See RONK (2) in vocabulary. The Roodee at Chester is a natural pasture of 
a remarkably fertile character. 

As rugged as a foal. 

As simple as a ha'p'orth o' soap in a weshin mug. 

That is, as ineffectual as so small a quantity of soap would be in so large 
a vessel of water. 

As soft as a biled turmit. 

Applied to weakness of character. 

As solid as a brick. 

Applied to stolidity of character. 

As sound as a atchern. 
As sour as a crab ; or, 
As sour as varjis. 

As straight as a yard o' pump wayter. 
Often said of a tall, lanky girl. 

As stupid as a jackass. 

As sulky as a bull 

As sure as a louse in bosome. R. 

As surly as a cow's husband. 

As thick as incle weavers. 

As thick as stirrow. L. 

See STIR-ABOUT in vocabulary. 

As thrunk as Cheddle Wakes, noo reeam areeat. 

That is, as crowded as Cheadle Wakes, no room out of doors. 

As thrunk as three in a bed. 

As well try to borrow a fiddle at a wakes. 

As wet as thatch. 

Straw is prepared for thatching by soaking it in water. 

As yaller as a meadow-bowt (Marsh Marigold). 

A thin wind, that will go through you before it will go round you. 

A wet and windy May 

Fills the barn with corn and hay. 

or, A wet May 

Brings corn and hay. FRODSHAM. 


A whim-wham from Yocketon. 

This is used as a sort of put off, like "layo'ers for meddlers." If a 
young person were inquisitively to ask what elder people were talking about, 
the answer would be, " Oh ! a whim-wham from Yocketon." 

A whistling woman and a crowing hen 
Will fear the devil out of his den. 

or, A whistling woman and a crowing hen 
Are neither fit for God nor men. 

Aw of a dither-a-wack, like a new-baked custhut. 

Bag and pump don't pay like bag and milk. 

Meal and water will not fatten like meal and milk. L. 

Be oather Hewin (Evan) or Dick. 

That is, be decided ; be one thing or the other. 

Best by hissel, like Lowndes's tup. 

Said of a disagreeable, quarrelsome fellow. 

Best first, best always. 

Better bad than bowt (without). 

Better marry over the mixon than over the moor. R. 

Beware of breed, /.<?., bad breed. R. 

Brought up at the plough tail. 
That is, uncouth, a peasant. 

But when, quoth Kettle to his mare. R. 

Cheshire bred, beef down to th' heels. 
Said of any very stout person. 

Clean heels, light meals. 

This proverb refers to the superiority of clay land over sand land for 
yielding milk. When pasturing on sand land, cows generally come up to be 
milked with clean feet ; but, on clay land, the gate places are often muddy, 
and the cows come home with dirt up to their fetlocks. 

Coal pit cale. 

Equivalent to " First come, first served." See CALE in Vocabulary. 

Counting the pothooks. 

When a servant goes to a new place, and does not quite know what to do 
with herself the first evening, and sits very quietly, it is commonly said 
that " Oos caaintin th' potooks." 

Curst cows have short horns. L. 

The same proverb, however, occurs in Herbert's collection published 
about 1633. 

Curst here means bad-tempered. 


Did you ever know the kitling bring a mouse to t'ould cat? L. 

Used in illustration of the reluctance of children to support their parents. 

Do chickens ever bring out to t'ould hen? L. 

Don't be bit twice by the same dog. 

Dunna stitch thoi seeam afore thou's tacked it. L. 

Dunna waste a fresh haft on an old blade. L. 
That is, do not throw good money after bad. 

Empty barrels make the most noise. 

Evening grey and morning red, 

Rain will come down on the traveller's head ; 

Evening red and morning grey 

Are sure signs of a fine day. 

Every knife of his'n has a golden haft. 

That is, everything he undertakes turns out well. L. 

Everything is counted six score to the hundred but men, money, 
and bricks. 

Far fetched and dear bought is good for ladies. 

Fawn peckles made a vow 

They never would come on a face that was fow. L. 

Febooary (February) fill dyke. 

Go fiddle for shives 
Amongst old wives. 
Shive = a slice of food. L. 

Go to bed and sleep for wit, and buy land when you've more money. 
Good to make a sick man sorrow, and a dead man woe. R. 
Hail brings frost in its tail. 

Hanged hay never does cattle. W. 

" Hanged hay" is bought hay, so called because it is weighed by hanging 
it on a steel yard. Presumably it does not feed, or doe, cattle because, being 
bought, it is economised too much. 

Have a little, give a little, let neighbour lick the mundle. 

Mundle=a stick to stir porridge with; and the proverb seems either to 
mean that "charity should begin at home," or that if you possess only a little, 
you should share it with those who are in want. 

He does na crack many deeaf nuts. 

Said of a person or animal that is fat and well-to-do. 


He has lost the leease. 

That is, he is completely "at sea" he cannot proceed any further. 

The proverb has its origin in a weaving term, leease, which is the crossing 
of the yarn up and down over the warp in regular order. If by any chance, 
such as burning, the warp is divided, the crossing or leease is lost, and the 
weaving cannot be continued. The weaver has come to a " dead lock." 

He has tay'n his gears in. 

That is, he has finally ceased doing anything. See GEARS in Supplement 
to vocabulary. 

He'll dee in his shoon. 

That is, he is born to be hanged. 

He'll never get a mile from a ess-midden. 

Meaning, he will never go about much for want of pluck or energy. 

He's allus backin' i'th' breechbant. 

Applied to a person who is never ready to go ahead. 

He's a velvet true heart. R. 

He's flown high, and let in a cow-clap at last. 

Said of anyone who has been hard to please in the choosing of a wife, 
and has made an ill-assorted marriage after all. 

He's gen th' seek a turn. 

That is, given the sack a turn; equivalent to reversing the order of 
things ; ' ' turning the tables. " 

He's more than nits an' lice in his yed. 

This elegant proverb is frequently said of a man who has " something in 
him ;" clever above the average. 

He stands like Mumphazard, who was hanged for saying nothing. R. 
He stares like a stuck pig. 

He's swopped his hen for a hullart (or hooter). NORTON. 

That is, he has made a bad exchange. 
Hullart and hooter are both names for the owl. 

He's turned a narrow adlant. 

That is, he has had a narrow escape. L. 

He that feals can find. L. 

Feal = to hide slily. 

He who marls sand 
May buy the land. 

Marl was formerly used to a very great extent as a fertilizer in Cheshire ; 
and the efficacy of marl as a manure is unquestionable. The saying means 
that a person is sure to grow rich who adopts so good a method of farming. 

He winks an' blinks like a duck i' thunner. 



Higgledy Piggledy, Mawpus shot ; let every tub stand on its own 

See HIGGLEDY PIGGLEDY in vocabulary. 

If a house had to be thatched wi' muck, there would be more 

taychers than raychers (teachers than reachers). 

That is, people are always more ready with their advice than with their 

If he were as long as he is lither, he might thatch a house without a 

ladder. R. 
If ice holds a goose before Christmas, it winna hold a duck at after. 

If oak is out before the ash 

There'll be a splash ; 
If ash is out before the oak 

There'll be a soak. 

If oo seeaks let her stay, but if oo slotches dreive her away. 

Supposed to be said originally of a sow drinking out of a cheesetub. 

If thou hadst the rent of Dee-mills thou would'st spend it. 

Dee is the name of the river on which the city of Chester stands : the 
mills thereon yield a great annual rent, the biggest of any houses about that 
city. R. 

If thou won't have me owd Shenton will. KELSALL, 

This is a sort of proverbial saying that is said to have had its origin thus : 
Many years back, two men came a-courting a servant-woman at a farmhouse. 
One evening, both coming at the same time, she put one into the brick oven, 
and being somewhat piqued at the slowness of the other, she said, " If thou 
won't have me, owd Shenton will." "Will he?" said old Shenton from the 
oven ; and ever since then it has been a saying in that neighbourhood. 

If you come on to me, you come on your sharps, as tailor said when 
. he showed his needle. 

That is, you will attack me at your peril. 

If you've graith and grout, you'll ne'er be without. L. 
Graith = riches ; grout = good breed. 

I'll tent thee, quoth Wood, if I can't rule my daughter, I'll rule my 
good. R. 

I looked at my oats in May, 
And came sorrowing away; 
I went again in June, 
And came away in a thankful tune. 

The explanation being that oats often look yellow and sickly in May, but 
have recovered their verdure during June. 

I must love you and leave you. 

Very frequently said on taking leave of a person. 


I'm very wheamow, as t'ould woman said when she stept into the 
bittlin. L. 

See remarks s.v. WHEAMOW in vocabulary. 

It rains, it pains, it patters i'th' docks; 
Mobberley wenches are weshin their smocks. 
Sung by Morley children when it rains. 

It runs i'th' blood, like wooden legs. 
Said of any family peculiarity. 

It's aizy howdin deawn t'latch when nobody poos at string. 
See LATCH in vocabulary. 

It's an ill bird that bedeets its own nest. L. 

It's aw along with Colly Weston. 

Used when anything goes wrong. W. 
See COLLYWEST in vocabulary. 

It's dym sarsnick with him. 

That is, he pretends not to hear or understand. See DYM SASSENACH in 

It's hard to get a stocking off a bare leg. 

It was used apropos of a debtor, as much as to say, " you cannot get 
more from a man than he possesses." 

It's time to yoke when the cart comes to the caples, i.e. , horses. 
That is, it's time to marry when the woman woos the^man. R. 

It taks aw macks to mak every mack. 

It would make a dog doff his doublet. R. 

Lads' love and lasses delight; 

And if lads don't love, lasses will flite. L. 
Flite = scold. 

Lads' love's a busk of broom, Hot awhile and soon done. R. 
Lasses are lads' leavings. R. 

Least said, soonest mended; but nowt said needs no mending. 

This is, in Cheshire, a sort of double proverb, or repartee to a proverb ; 
thus, if a person were to say, "least said, soonest mended," the rejoinder 
would be, "aber, nowt said needs no mendin." 

Let everyone swale his own wuts. 

Let everyone look after his own business, and not leave it to others. See 
SWALE (2) and SWALER in vocabulary. 

Like Goodyer's pig, never well but when he is doing mischief. R. 

Like one o' owd Matty Tasker's jarlers. WILMSLOW. 

Said of anything out of the common way; above the average in size. 
Who Matty Tasker was, I have no idea; but she appears to have been some 
person given to "shooting with a long bow." 




Like stopping an oon wi' butter. 

Said of any purely useless effort. See OON-STUN in vocabulary. 

Like the parson of Saddleworth, who could read in no book but his 
own. R. 

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. L. 

March borrowed twelve days from April, and paid them back in 

The saying originates in the fact that rough March weather is often con- 
tinued into April : and the rough weather is accounted for by our being 
"still in the borrowed days," alluding, of course, to the correction of the 
Calendar which took place in 1752. The latter part of the saying relates to 
the warm summer-like weather which often returns to us towards the end of 
October, and which is known as "Luke's little summer." 

Marry come up, my dirty cousin. 

An expression used to those who affect any extreme nicety or delicacy, 
whkh does not belong to them, or who assume a distinction to which they 
have no claim. W. 

Maxfield measure, heap and thrutch. R. 
The modern version is 

Maxfilt mizzer, heeapt an' thrutcht. 
T have also heard "upyept an' thrutcht." 

Mitch of a mitchness. 

More and merrier, less and better fare, like Meg o' Wood's merry- 
meal. See MERRY-MEAL ia vocabulary. 

More cost nor worship. 

That is, not worth the cost. L. 

Naught is counted six score to the hundred but old women and gorse 
kids. L. 

Naught's impossible, as t'auld woman said when they told her cauf 
had swallowed grindlestone. L. 

Nichils in nine pokes or nooks. 
That is, nothing at all. R. 

No more fleetings, thank you. 

Said when any one makes a pretence of not hearing or understanding 
what is said. 

The proverb is said to have originated thus: A bricklayer had been 
building a brick oven at a farmhouse, and after finishing his job was regaled 
with bread and cheese and fleetings. As soon as he went away the mistress 
of the house went into the oven-house, and saw that the oven had fallen in ; 
so she ran out, and shouted after the bricklayer, "Come back, mon; th' 
oon's faw'n." " Noo more fleetings, thank you," he cried, and kept on his 


No more sibbed than sieve and riddle, that grew both in a wood 
together. L. 

Sibbed = related to. 

Gather by Trugs i'th' Hole or by Brokken Cross. 

That is, I have only the choice of two alternatives, one of them must be 

The saying is common about WILMSLOW and ALDERLEY, and is said to 
have originated thus : Trugs i'th' Hole and Broken Cross both lie between 
Alderley and Macclesfield, but upon different roads. A man in that neigh- 
bourhood lay a-dying, and was visited by a clergyman, who, enquiring what 
were his prospects for the other world, asked him which way he was for 
upwards or downwards. The sick man knew he was on his deathbed, but 
utterly failed to see his friend's meaning, mistaking it for an enquiry which 
way he would wish his body to be taken to the burial ground ; so he carelessly 
replied that "he did na moind which; he rnun go oather by Trugs i'th' 
Hole or by Brokken Cross." 

One mon's mate's another mon's pison. 

One year's seed, seven years' weed. 

Oo'd swear the cross off a jackass's back. L. 

Oo likes the boose, but not the ring-stake. 

Said of a woman who marries for fortune, and who likes the plenty, but 
frets at the confinement and chains with which the plenty has been pur- 
chased. L. 

Ossing comes to bossing. R. 

Courting is soon followed by kissing. 

Owd Turn Dooley's note, booath barren and dreigh. WILMSLOW. 
Said of a cow both dry and barren. 

Peter of wood, church and mills are all his. R. 

Poor and peert, like the parson's pig. 

This saying probably arose from the poorest pig of a litter being chosen 
for the parson's tithe. 

Put another man's child in your bosom, and he'll creep out at your 

That is, cherish or love him, he'll never be naturally affected towards 
you. R. 

Quietness is best, as the fox said when he bit the cock's head off. 
Right master right, four nobles a year's a crown a quarter. R. 

Roast meat does cattle. L. 

The meaning of this is that cattle feed better in dry than in wet seasons. 

Robin Hood could stand anything but a thaw wind. 

A "thaw wind," that is, a cold wind that often accompanies a thaw, is 
called a "Robin Hood wind." 


" Roynt thee witch," said Bessy Locket to her mother. L. 
Sap and heart's the best of wood. 

She has broken her elbow at the church door. 

Said of a woman who, as a daughter, was a hard worker, but who, after 
marriage, became lazy and indolent. L., who says the proverb is as old as 

She has given Lawton Gate a clap. 

Said of a girl who, from misconduct, finds it convenient to leave the 
county Lawton being the boundary of Cheshire towards Staffordshire. L. 

She hath been at London to call a s,trea a straw and a waw a wall. 

This the common people use in scorn to those who, having been in 
London, are ashamed to speak their own country dialect. R. 

Skeer your own fire. 

That is, mind your own business. 

Sour as wharre. L. * .^ 

Wharre = a crab apple. 

Swoppery's no robbery. 

Taych your granny to suck eggs. 

Said to anyone who thinks he knows better than you do. 

Th'art like owd Mode o' Mobberley, that seed th' new moon i'th' 

morning. WILMSLOW. 
The bag mouth was open. 

That is, something had "come to light;" a parallel expression to "the 
cat has jumped out of the bag." " Aw never knew how things were with 
him, till the bailies were in the house, and then the bag mouth was open." L. 

The devil always tips at the biggest ruck. MIDDLEWICH. 

The mayor of Altrincham and the mayor of Over, 
The one is a thatcher, the other a doaber. 

Altrincham and Over are said to be the two smallest corporations in 
England, consequently the mayors may occasionally be working men. 

There are as many Leighs as fleas, and as many Davenports as dogs' 

Said of the county generally, where Leigh and Davenport are very common 

There's no law for a town's bull. 

A town's bull, being the common property of the parish, manifestly could 
not trespass within the bounds of the parish. 

There's only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it. 

The sexton has shaked his shoo at him. 

Said of one who is ill, and not likely to get better. 


The third time pays for all. 

They're pluckin their geese i' Wales, and sendin their fithers here. 
Said during a snowstorm. 

Th' owd lad has thrown his club o'er him. 
Said of a mischievous boy. 

Th' rain always comes eawt o' Mobberley hole. WILMSLOW. 
At Mobberley they say the same of Bexton. 

Three yarry frosts are sure to end in rain. W. CHES. 
To as much purpose as the geese slurr on the ice. R. 
To as much purpose as to give a goose hay. R. 
To be bout as Barrow was. R. 

To catch a person napping, as Moss caught his mare. W. 

Anent Moss's mare tke following rhyme is current about MIDDLEWICH : 

" Come aw ye buttermilk sellers that have buttermilk to sell, 
Ah'd have ye give good mizzer, an' scrub yo'r vessels well ; 
For there's a day o' reckoning, an' hell will have its share ; 
An' the devil will have yon nappers as Mossy ketched his mare." 

To come home like the parson's cow with a calf at her foot. R. 

To feed like a freeholder of Macklesfield, who hath neither corn nor 
hay at Michaelmas. R. 

To follow one like T' Antony's pig. L. 

To go round about for the next road. 

Applied when one attempts a short cut and finds it the longest. 

To grin like a Cheshire cat. 

See CHESHIRE CAT in vocabulary. 

To have got into Cherry's boose. 

Cherry being a favourite name for a red cow, which colour is among the 
country people the most esteemed for milking ; any person who is got into a 
comfortable situation is said " to be got into Cherry's boose." W. 

Of course this implies that Cherry, being a favourite, gets from the cow- 
man " the lion's share" of the food. 

To lick it up like lim hay. 

Lim is a village on the river Mersey that parts Cheshire and Lancashire, 
where the best hay is gotten. R. 

To look like a strained hair in a can, R. 

To-morrow come never. 
An indefinite time. 


Too too will in two. 

That is, strain a thing too much and it will not hold. R. 

To scold like a cut purse. R. 

To scold like a wych-waller. 

That is, a boiler of salt : Wych houses are salt houses, and walling is 
boiling. R. 

To shed riners with a whaver. 

That is, to surpass anything skilful or adroit by something still more so. 
W. (quoted from Ray, but not distinctly stated to be a Cheshire saying). 
See RINER in vocabulary. 

To throw the helve after the hatchet. 
Signifying despair. L. 

To wriggle like a snig in a bottle. 
Said of a restless child. L. 

Two's company, three's none. 
Ugly enough to wean a foal. 

Very likely, co John Platt. 

A common saying about WILMSLOW. Co = quoth. 

Well, well, is a word of malice. R. 

We will not kill but whoave. 

Spoken of a pig or fowl that they have overwhelmed with some vessel in 
readiness to kill. R. 

What comes o'er the devil's back goes under his bally. 
The proverb refers to ill-gotten gains. 

When Bowdon Wakes is at Bowdon, winter's at Newbridge Hollow. 

When the wakes begin we know it is fast drawing to the end of the year ; 
and Bowdon Wakes are the earliest on the list. Newbridge Hollow is about 
a couple of miles from Bowdon. 

When Candlemas Day is come and gone, 

Snow lies on a whot (hot) stone. 

Although after Candlemas Day the sun gets considerable power, and we 
have warm, spring-like weather, we must not be surprised if winter returns 
upon us with all its rigour, and even snow succeeds the bright sunshine. 

When the daughter is stolen shut the Peppergate. 
See PEPPERGATE in vocabulary. 

When the wind is in the east 

Its noather good for man nor beast. 

When the drink's in, the wit's out. 

Where there's least room there's always the most thrutching. 


Who would keep a cow when he can have a pottle of milk for a 
penny ? L. 

Pottle probably means a " pot-full," and does not refer to the " pottle " 
measure. On the same principle we have "baskettle," a basket full; 
" cantle," a can full ; " whiskittle," a whisket full, &c. 

You're always i'th' field when you should be i'th' lone. 

You been like Smithwick, either clem'd or borsten. R. 
That is, always in extremes. 

You cannot whip blood out of a post. 

You must look for grass on the tops of the oak trees. 

That is, the early foliation of the oak indicates a good grass year. 

You will play with the bull till you get his horn in your eye. 




[Reprinted by permission of the Author. All rights reserved.} 

[The following amusing story chiefly illustrates the dialect of the district between 
Altrincham and Knutsford, where the peculiarity of adding a "k" to words 
ending in "ing," as "gooingk," "fleyingk," for "going," "flying," is 
frequently, though not universally, heard. In most parts of Cheshire the 
"g" is dropped altogether, and we say "gooin," "floyin." 

In a letter addressed to me, Mr. Clough said that he had derived much 
of his knowledge of our dialect from conversations with the miller at New 
Mills, Mobberley. I knew old Burgess (for that was his name) well, and his 
talk was very characteristic ; and though, in the following story, there are a 
few words spelt somewhat differently from the orthography I have adopted in 
the vocabulary, I have not ventured upon any alterations ; for the folk- 
speech, the idioms, and the mode of thought of the people are represented, on 
the whole, with such marvellous accuracy that, whilst I read the pages, 
"owd Jud Bresskittle" and his "weife" seem to stand up before me as 
living personages. With respect to the spelling, Mr. Clough further explains 
that when he wrote this sketch he endeavoured to reproduce the dialect as it 
was spoken before the railway from Altrincham to Manchester was opened, 
say forty years since ; hence, probably, some of the orthographical differences 
between us. R. H.] 


"Whey? Moy weife lemme go to Thrutcham to th' Market 
to sell th' butther an' th' eggs ! By gum ! hoo'd welly be abayt 
thinkingk o' gooingk to th' owd mon fleyingk uppo th' eend o' a 
baysom stail afore hoo'd lemme goo agen ! Ah, bu' aw did go 
wunst, that aw did ! An' didna aw coom hwom soabur ! It's noine 


'eer sin coom Bowdon waakes sin then; ah ! bu' aw con welly hear 
th' owd lass shaoutingk at me a thissens, ' Jud Bresskittle, tha mun 
coom hwom soabur ! Thah gurt borsten gawpingk picked cawf ! 
Thah mun coom hwom soabur ! else aw'll may thi yed as maazy wi 
th' shippon stoo as tha has may'd it wi th' yell o' th' Axe an 
Cleaver ! Thah gurt borsten soo ! then tha sud coom hwom soabur! ' 
An hoo up wi th' cheer an' hoo gen me a gradely good un o' th' top 
o' th' yed wheyl th' sparks flew aht o' mi een for monny a wheyl at 
aftur ! By gum ! hoo's getten th' kink i' th' smaw o' her back, good 
luck to her for't, an aw'll go for aw that to Sanshum fair i' th' 
morningk, if aw dee for't, that aw will ! " 

So argid i' his own moind owd Jud Bresskittle, a farmer o' 
Ashley, th' neet afore Sanshum fair. 

Nah, Betty Bresskittle, his weife, were awful bad wi' th' rhoomatic 
i' th' smaw o' her back, an hoo sot theer i' th' cheer, chunneringk an 
as fow i' her temper as yoh ne'er heeard tell on i' ony Christen wim- 
men folks, aw'st be bahnd ! 

Hoo had an awfu' neet on it, an' hoo screetched welly wheyl tha 
met a heeard her to th' lone eend. 

So Jud thowt t' were a good toime to may a cleean brust on it, 
so he ses to her, ses he, 

" Betty, me wench, this cooms o' gettingk thi feet weet through 
not havingk ony pattens, but thah'rt aw ways agate o' chunneringk 
when thah mun lay aht a shellingk." 

" Heugh !" ses hoo, "thah's reet, aw welly think; it aw cooms 
o' that sarvent wench, th' brassy faaced hussey ! heugh ! oh ! oh ! 
slattingk mi pattens i' th' feyre, heugh ! oh ! an brunningk 'em ! aw 
welly think aw mun han a yew pair ! heugh ! " 

" Well, aw mun be gettingk a yew muck fork, an a peykil, an 
theer's Jud Drinkwaiter owes me for that wheyte cawf that coom off 
Cherry, an he ne'er osses pay me, an aw hearn foaks sen he isna 
gettingk on gradely reet, so aw'st just caw an ax for th' brass afore 
he goes to th' wa', an then aw'st caw an get thee a yew pair o' 
pattens as aw coom hwom ! " 

" Eh, mon ! heugh, oh ! but wilta coom hwom soabur ? " 
"Ah! that aw will!" 


"Then howd thi din; thah'st go if thah dusna meyther me !" 

So Billy sneck'd his maith up, an slep loike a top, an' Betty git a 
wee bit sleep at aftur dayleet. 

Nah i' th' morningk when Jud had getten his breksfust, an' his 
baggingk, he coom into th' hayse an git hissel clee'an, an his owd 
weife Betty were aw th' toime sot chunneringk i' th' cheer. Ah bu' 
when he were getten ready an were welly as " foine as a yew scrap'd 
carrot," as folks sen, an were just thinkingk o' puttingk th' tit i' th' 
shandry Betty baws aht : 

" Thah mun coom hwom soabur ! an sithee, sit thi dahn, aw 
mun trey an insense thee gradely abaht these pattens ! heugh ! oh ! 
bad cess to this kink aw've getten ! aw sud loike go an buey 'em 
mysel, aw rayally sud ! " 

" Aw wish thah cud, lass !" ses Jud, but he ne'er thowt it; "Aw 
wish thah cud, lass ! " 

" Arta sartin sure tha'll coom hwom soabur?" 

" Eh ! lass, thah'rt agate on me as if thah thowt aw cudna keeap 
my word." 

"Weel, then," says hoo, "thah mun fotch me a pair o' pattens 
fro Thrutcham, an thah munner gen moor nor a shellingk for 'um, 
an they munna be too heigh kecklingk, ner too low carkingk, ner too 
weide gawpingk, ner too narra laumingk, ner too lung pokingk, ner 
too shirt pinsingk*; an, sithee, if thah dusna bring 'em gradely reet, 
aw'll lug thi yure, wheyl thi yed gits as maazy an as meythert as th' 
weather cock uppo Thrutcham Taan Haw." 

Jud staared at her foinly loike a cawf wi aw his een, an he ses, 

" Lass ! aw've getten rayther a tickle job afore me, aw reckon. 
Lemme see ! they munna be too heigh carkingk, ner too lung 
kecklingk, ner too narra pinsingk, ner " 

"Jud Bresskittie, thah'rt a foo !" 


" They munna be too heigh kecklingk, ner too low carkingk, ner 
too weide gawpingk, ner too narra lawmingk, ner too lung pokingk, 
ner too shirt pinsingk ! Dosta hear?" 

* These directions were really given by the original of Betty Bresskittie when she wanted a 
new pair of pattens. J. C. C. 


" Ah ! aw've getten it nah, aw reckon. They munna be too 
heigh kecklingk, ner too low carkingk, ner too weide gawpingk, ner 
too narra laumingk, ner too lung pokingk, ner too shirt pinsingk ! 
By gum ! Thah'rt bahnd get a good shellingk's worth, aw'll swear." 

" Coom mon, thah hasna done yet ! An if thah dusna bring 
'em " 

" Oh, ah ! aw can tell thi ! an if aw dunna bring 'em gradely 
reet aw'll lug thi yure wheyl thi yed gets as maazy an as meythert as 
th' weather cock uppo Thrutcham Taan Haw." 

" Jud Bresskittle ! artna shaamed o thisel ! Thah's getten a yure 
o' owd Scrat in thi, that thah has, an thah shanna buey 'em for me, 
that thah shanna, for aw's buey 'em mysel, so thee just put th' cheer 
i' th' shandry an aw'll go wi thee. Thah'rt nobbut loike a gurt hob- 
bityhoy wi a beeard, aw conna trust thi aht o' mi sect !" 
"Ah bu' aw'st go, aw know !" 

" Ah lad, tha'st go, an aw'll tak good care on thi, aw con tell thi, 
that thah cooms hwom soabur ! " 

" Weel, weel, 

What conna be cured 
Mun be endured. 

So caw th' sarvent wench, an' get thi ready, wheyl aw go put th' tit 
i' th' shandry." 

So sayingk Jud Bresskittle geet off to th' staable weel content 
eneuf for th' fawse felly know'd varry weel that wunst at Sanshum 
fair his owd rhoomaticky weife cudna hinder him fro mitch fun. 

He wurna lung noather afore he'd getten th' shandry at th' door, 
an he teyed th' tit to th' eyren ringk i' th' wa' an git i' th' hayse to 
fotch th' owd lass. 

Eh, mon ! ha hoo did grunt an groen, poor owd wench ! wi' th' 
rhoomatic as they tooken howd on her to put her i' th' shandry ! 
Hoo welly repented her o' her bargain, that hoo did ! But they 
getten her landed saafe and saand at th' last i' th' shandry, an oop 
jumps owd Jud lest hoo sud awter her moind; gen th' tit a bit o> 
a switch wi' th' whip, an off they went, the dust fleyingk, th' owd 
woman shaouting "heugh !" an " ho !" an Jud cracklingk th' whip 
an agate o mayingk as mitch din as a dozen foaks when they'd 


getten th' last sheaf o' kurn led, an are agate shuttingk th' hare into 
other folks laand. 

When they'd getten a wee bit on th' rooad Jud tuk his toime, an 
th' owd woman didna caw an baw aht queyt so mitch. 

By an by Betty began to noatise that theer wer an uncommon 
ruck o' folks aw bahnd to Thrutcham, an hoo couldna queyt may it 
aht, till at th' last one owd body shahts aht to her, 

" Eh, Betty ! an so tha'rt bahnd to Sanshum fair, rhoomatic or 
no rhoomatic, art a?" 

" Sanshum fair !" ses hoo, "by golly, 'tis Sanshum fair to-day, 
an aw'd clee'an forgetten aw abaht it aw along o' this kink i' my back ! 
bad cess to 't, an bad cess to thee, Jud Bresskittle, wi thi muck fork 

an thi peykil an thi brass at Jud Drinkwayter's for th' wheyte cawf 
that coom off owd Cherry ! bad cess to thee ! aw'll tan good care 
tha gits no brass to-day for no cawf that aw will, for tha'd nor rest 
till tha'd spent it aw at th' jerry shop !" 

" Nay, aw wudna; aw've ne'er bin i' th' jerry shop i' moy loife !" 
ses Jud, switchingk th' tit wheyl Betty were welly fawingk aht o' th' 

" Whey, mon ! dosta want brak every booan i' my skin that tha 
dreyves a thatens ? Thah'll be fain eneuf when aw dee, aw'se 
warrant ! Aw amna so bleind but aw've seen thi a lookingk at th' 
sarvant wench ahint mi back, an aw dar varry weel sen thah's trod- 
den o' her toes under th' table ! Thah'll be fain eneuf when aw dee !" 

" Ah ! aw wish thah wud dee, lass ! mebbe aw'se be agate o' sum 
plum cake if thah will nobbut dee; for ne'er a beyte o' that an aw 
getten sin aw were at th' berryingk o' owd Billy Reyle at Bowdon, 
mebbe three 'eer sin. So if thah wants dee, thah'd better be agate 
on 't this varry minute ; thah'll foind cottages i' Peel Cosey clee'an 
eneuf to leye in ; so, owd lass, be agate o' deeingk, an aw'll buey th' 
plum caake o' owd Nance Wharton's i' Thrutcham. Coom, there's 
a wench Betty, dee, do, wench !" 

Owd Betty barst aht i' a flud o' tears. 

"Eh, Jud!" ses hoo, "th' toimes are changed sin thah used 
meeat me i' th' meadows uppo th' road to Bolliton, an sin thah used 
t' donee wi me uppo th' green at Rosterne Mare ; but aw've getten 


owd sin then, an thah dusna luv me no moor, that thah dusna ! Aw 
rayally wish aw were djed an laid i' th' church yard !" 

" Weel, Betty," seys owd Jud, a wheypingk his een wi his cooat 
sleeve, " thah's getten a tung as lung as ah, as lung as a beysom 
stail, an when thah'rt wunce agate o' thissens thah'rt as fow as a 
vixen wi a sore yed ! Thah taks aw wrung as ever aw does, an when 
thah'rt agate o' talkingk sitch loike fash, then aw conna help sayingk 
summat too ! so, lass, aw'll be mate if thah'll be marrow ! let's be 
mate an marrow ! " 

" Ah, Jud, that aw will, if thah'll nobbut luv me !" 

" Weel, lass, that's aw settled. Here we've getten to Peel Cosey; 
we'se soon be i Thrutcham !" 

When they did git to Thrutcham they druv reight to th' Market 
Plaace to th' Roebuck, which used to be i' th' middle o' th' market 
when George the Thurd were king an moi gronny were wick, an it 
were reight i' th' thick o' aw th' fun. 

Theer were shows, and fleyingk boats, an' dobby horses, an' merry 
go rainds, an' nuts to shoot for, an' spin um rainds aw prizes and no 
blanks, an fat wimmen foaks, an leean men, geyants, an dwarfs an 
aw th' rest. 

"Eh, wench!" ses Jud, "this is a mortacious foine sect! welly 
as foine as th' fair twenty ear sin when aw tuk thi i' aw th' shows 
an git th' prize for grinningk through th' horse collar! Eh, wench! 
it maks me yung agen ! it maks me yung, aw dunna feeal loike foive 
and forty, that aw dunna!" 

" Well ! well, lad ! tay th' tit aht, an lemme git i' th' Roebuck 
parlour wheyl tha bueys th' pattens and does thi wee bit jobs i' th' 
taan. Tha sees aw've forgen thi !" 

So owd Jud git her i' th' parlour and put th' tit i' th' staable, an 
at after he git to th'owd weife. 

Then ses owd Betty, "Ah bu' tha winna go buey th' muckfork 
baht me ?" 

Jud looked at her, and then he ses, " Now, aw winna !" 

" Then tha may go ; stop a minute ; tha'rt in a gradely hurry," 
ses hoo ; " an tha winna go buey th' peykil baht me !" 

Jud looked at her agen, an then he sez, " No, aw winna, owd lass !" 


"Then tha may go; stop a minute moor," ses hoo, " nah ! tha 
winna go git th' brass fro' Drinkwaiter's for th' wheyte cawf that we 
got fro' owd Cherry baht me ?" 

Jud look'd at her agen, an then he ses, 

" Now, owd lass ! that aw winna !" 

Jud was just off agen, when hoo caws him back agen. 

" Tell me, lad ! tha'll com hwom soabur, winna 't a?" 

" Ah, lass ! ah winna get drunk baht thee !" 

"Jud Bresskittle ! aw wunder at thi !" 

" It's aw reel, lass !" 

"Well, sithee then; tha munna forget mi pattens, an tha munna 
gen moor nor a shillingk for em, an they munna be too heigh 
kecklingk, ner too low carkingk, ner too weide gawpingk, ner too 
narra laumingk, dost a hear? ner too lung pokingk, ner too shirt 
pinsingk ! Dosta hear ?" 

"Aw hear ! art a gradely done nah ? eh, lass ?" 

"Aye ! aw've done !" 

" Then aw con go ?" 


Nah he'd getten leeave Jud started off into th' fair. 

" Aw munna buey th' muckfork, an aw munner buey th' peykil, 
an aw munna git th' brass fro Drinkwaiter for th' wheyte cawf that 
aw git fro Owd Cherry ! Whey ! there's nowt for me to do 'cept git 
drunk ! nay, mon, tha munna get drunk ! tha mun buey th' pattins, 
nay aw munna git drunk noather ! Hooray ! aw've getten nowt to 
do but buey th' pattins ! " 

" Eh ! Jud ! is that thee, owd lad ?" 

Jud turn't hissel, an who shud he see but Jonas Pricket. 

" Eh ! Jonas ! is it thee, lad ? What art agate on ? " 

" Oh nowt ! just lookingk raind loike ! Wilt coom an have a soap 
o' drink?" 

" Ah ! aw will ! Now ! aw munna git drunk, th' owd ooman ses, 
or awst git my yed purred." 

" Git drunk ! What art agate on, eh mon ? aw didna say owt 
abaht gettingk drunk ! Theer's a vast atween gettingk a soap o' beer 
aht o' a gill-pot, and soapingk a piggintle !" 


"Tha'rt reet, Jonas!" 

An so they git to th' Axe an Cleaver, an Jonas trated Jud, and 
then yoh know that Jud trated Jonas; an then Jemmy Reyle o' 
Sandyway coom in, an Jonas trated Jimmy and Jud, an Jud trated 
Jonas an Jimmy, an Jimmy trated Jonas and Jud ; and then in coom 
Jock Carter o' Runjer, an he trated em aw, an they aw trated him, 
an they aw trated one another ; an then they git agate o' a argiment 
abaht th' shows, when Jock Carter o' Runjer ses they'd getten th' 
best preize feighters i' aw Cheshire theer, to which Jud Bresskittle 
ses, "It's fawse!" So Jock axed whoa cud feight em? an Jud ses, 
"Aw con!" 

"Thah con?" ses Jock. 

" Ah, aw con !" ses Jud. 

" Nay, thah conna !" ses Jemmy. 

" Yea, aw con, an aw'll doo't !" ses Jud. 

" An if thah dusna doo't wilt a stond glasses o' brandy aw raind?'' 

"Yea, aw will!" 

" An aw'll stond em aw raind if tha does ! " 

So they aw tummelt aht o' th' Axe an Cleaver an git em into th' 
fair to th' feightingk show wi a girt black nigger wi th' gloves on, a 
challengingk aw Cheshire to coom up theer an feight him. An 
another mon, he were a wheyte 'un, were a knockingk as hard as 
he could upo a thingk that looked loike a girt copper freyingk pon, 
an makkingk din erieuf to meyther aw th' foak i' Thrutcham, an he 
were a bawlingk aht : 

" Valk hup, ladies and gennelmen ! valk hup ! honely von penny 
to see the great prize fight between Brassy Jack of Hoxford, that 
beat hall the stoodents hof the Huniversity, and Chicken 'Arted 
'Arry of London, that beat the Fightin' Cock o' Brummyghem, and 
knocked 'im hall to nuffin for two 'undred pound aside ! Vill com- 
mence in five minutes free gratis for nuffin for hall the vorld that 
pays the small sum hof von penny has haforesaid ! " 

Jud Bresskittle queyte forgit that th' show were just oppysit the 
Roebuck wheer his weife were, an so he shaouted aht, 

" Mesther Blackymoor ! const a feight ? eh, owd mon ? " 

" Valk hup, sir ! valk hup ! hand I'll send you hinto the middle 


of next veek, hall hin two minutes, free, gratis, for nuffin ! Come 
'ere, sir, give us yer 'and ! " 

Jud sprung upo' th'-stage leet as a buck an bowd as a dandycock, 
an' th' mon what were playingk th' drum (only it wer'nt a gradely 
drum) gen him a pair o' gloves. Jud began a sparringk, an th' foaks 
shaouted, " Hooray! Go it, owd Jud ! Tha'rt a gradely Cheshire 

Th' black felly next gen Jud a wee bit o' a bang i' th' reet ee, an 
Jud git as weild as weild, an hit reet aht, but some hah he couldna 
git a gradely bang at th' black mop. At aftur two or three minutes 
th' black felly knocked Jud dahn, an t'other chap coom and picked 
him up, an' touched Jud's faace wi' th' spunge everywheer wheer he'd 
getten a bang, but th' spunge had getten a gurt lot o' red ruddle on 
it so that it made gurt red blotches upo Jud's faace wheer it touched 
it ; an th' foaks shaouted an shaouted, " Hooray, Jud ! Owd mon ! 
at em agen !" An Jud let floy a good un, an th' mon wi' th' spunge 
had to pick th' blackeymoor up this toime an put th' ruddle upo his 
faace just at under th' ee. 

" Hooray, Jud ! hooray, owd mon ! " shaouted Jock Carter o r 
Runjer; " tha'rt game if tha'rt owd !" 

Just at that vary minit Jud's weife, bad as hoo were wi' th' 
rheumatic, pushed her roaad through th' folks an stood i'. th' frunt 
o' th' show. 

" Go it agen, Jud ! here's th' weife coom t' see hah gam tha art ! " 
shaouted Jonas. 

Jud turn'd rahnd an gurned at th' frunt o' th' show wi' his faace 
aw ruddle. 

"Tha girt borsten soo! I'll baste thi when aw get thi hwom, that 
aw will!" shaouted Betty Bresskittle ; "aw wunder tha artna ashamed 
o' thisen to stond theer a feightingk th' deevil hissel !" 

"Hooray! hooray! here's a bonny marlock!" shouted aw th' 
foaks as Betty shak'd her fist at Jud. 

" Sithee ! Jud Bresskittle ! as sure as tha'rt caw'd Jud Bresskittle 
aw'll mak it aw reet wi' th' milkingk stoo' when aw've getten thi 
hwom !" 

Bu' Jud didna seeam to loike it, so he slipp'd th' gloves off his 


bonds, an joomp'd off th' show, an off he cut through th' foaks welly 
loike a hare, and Jock Carter and Jonas Pricket an Jemmy Reyle an 
aw their chums at tafter. 

" Stop Jud ! Jud ! hoo isna a comingk ! " shaouted Jemmy Reyle. 

So Jud stopped, and sed, " Aw'd cleean fergetten hoo'd getten 

Then his chums aw shook honds wi him an sed: 

"Cheer up, Jud! tha mun tay a glass o' brandy to keep thi 
pekker up! Coom, lad!" 

And so they went into th' nearest public hahse, which were th' 
Unicorn, an shaouted for brandies aw rahnd, an maade Jud pay for 
th' lot cause he hadna threshed th' blackeymoor. 

Then Carter paid for brandies aw rahnd, an Pricket at tafter, an 
Jud were getten joost abaht jolly an nebburley. 

" Coom, lad !" ses Carter, " another glass '11 stiddy thi yed, an 
then tha const coom hwom an flare oop a bit loike; send th' owd 
lass to th' middle o' next ear if hoo osses start agate o' cawingk 

"It isna th' cawingk!" ses Jud, "it's th' puncingk my yed an 
pooingk my yure that aw moinds! aw conna foncy that, no hows! ;> 

" Then tha mun tay fourpenno'th o' brandy wi two penno'th o' 
whisky, rayal Eyrish in't, an then tha'll be i' good fettle, loike a 
shouldier nobbut th' red cooat !" 

" Bu aw munna ferget th' pattens, or noather lh' brandy nor th' 
whisky '11 do me a a'wpo'th o good ! Some on yo go get me a yew 
paar o' pattens for th' owd lass ! Me yed's getten aw o' a muddle !" 

"That aw'll do!" ses Jock Carter o' Runjer, "an aw'll get me 
aht o' this hole and doo't wheyl tha gets thi stuff soaped !" 

So wheyl Jud soaped th' brandy wi th' whisky, Jock o' Runjer 
fotched th' pattens, an when he were coom back he gen um to Jud 
wropped up i' papper. Jud put 'em i' his poke baht sayingk owt. 

"Nay, mon!" ses Jock, "tha winnat goo hwom baht gieingk me 
th' brass for th' pattens, wilt a? Thah'rt welly drunk !" 

" Eh ! mon ! awd cleean fergetten th' brass, th' owd lass that sits 
i' th' Roebuck threap'd me foinly, that aw sudna gie no moor nor a 
shellingk for em. So here, hasta a shellingk every awpenny on 't !" 


An he gen him a fistfu' o brass, which Jock tell't o'er, and then gen 
him noine pennies an foive awpennies back. 

" Hasta tan aw tha wants ?" ses Jud. 

" Ay, aw have !" 

" An they munna be too low gawpingk, nor too heigh kecklingk, 
ner too long pinsingk ! Dosta welly think they're gradely reet ?" 

"Ay, aw welly do! But dosta welly think tha const may thi way 
hwom baiht a meycrooscoop?" 

"Whur? What dosta sen, mon? tha maks me feeal aw overish 
loike ! Oh law ! oh law !" 

" A megnifeyingk glass is what aw meean, a glass that maks fleys 
welly loike cawves!" 

" Eh, mon ! aw've getten two megnifeyingk glasses i' mi yed 
awready, for here's this weife o' moine that's no bigger ner a fley has 
getten me under her thoom welly as if hood been a yolliphant, an 
aw winna stan it no moor, that aw winna, nor aw winna sit mysel 
dahn to it noather, coweringk i' th' chimbley nook wheyl hoo's agate 
o' chunneringk ! 

For aw's a jolly good felly ! 
An aw's a jolly good felly ! 
An aw's a jolly good fel-el-el-ly ! 

An' my naem's Jud Bresskittle, an aw's bahnd for Ashley, so aw'll 
jist get aht o' this hole wheyl aw'm wick, and if yo donna loike it, 
ye con let it baide ! " 

"Wheerbista bahnd?" 

" Hwom ! mon, hwom ! for theer aw've getten sitch a swate 
craytur o' a weife, so aw'll jist gang hwom wheyle aw'm soaber ! 

For aw mun gang hwom soaber ! 

Soaber, soaber ! 
Aw mun gang hwom soaber 
To leead a queyet loife ! 

By gum! ha th' street. rows abaht ! Aw welly think th' awminack 
proffeyside a yarthqueyke ! By gum ! ha th' Market Haw steeaple 
dodders ! 

An aw's jest bahnd for 'Stralier ! 

Bu aw at the Queen's expense !" 


An at tafter he'd sung this he donced welly loike wicksilver on th' 
top o' a drum yed, an talked to hissen a thissens : 

" Come, Jud, mon ! wheer's thi shandry?" 

" Oh ! aw'll fotch it in now ! Jock, tha dusna walk gradely reet, 
mon ! Tha artna soaber ! Eh mon ! aw reckon theer's been a good 
toothery glasses agate aw rahnd wheer tha's bin ! 

Here's to aw widders o' bashful sixteen, 

An' here's to yung wenches o' sixty, 
An' we'll get us a glass that's fit for a queen, 

An oather o' brandy or whisky ! 

Here, Missis Roebuck Inn, sithee lass! Wheer's moy shandry? 
Coom, lass, get a eshintle o' th' best Jock Barleycorn ! an' moind 
theer's no wayter in 't ! 


For aw con pleugh, an aw con sow, 
Aw con reeap, an aw con mow, 
An aw con to the market go, 
An sell my daddy's kurn an hay 
An yeddle my saxpence ivery day ! 

Theer ! mon, theer's th' shandry, nah aw'll get me hwom an get 
this mortacious fashious bizness o'er ! " 

So off goes owd Jud through th' fair as happy as happy, shaoutingk 
an singingk a thissens : 

" Thah should coom hwom soaber ! than gurt rakussingk scrag- 
peeace ! Aw'll raddle thi' bones for thee, that aw will ! 

Theer isna luck abaht the hayse ! 
Theer isna luck at aw ! 

No moor theer is when th' mon dusna coom hwom soaber ! So 
aw'll gang hwom wi' th' pattens an see what hoo's getten to saay ! 

" They munna be too heigh gawpingk, ner too lung kecklingk, 
nay, that isna it noather, they munna be too heigh kecklingk, ner 
too lung gawpingk, that's it nay they munna be too narra laumingk, 
that's it they munna be too shirt gawpingk Eh ! mon, tha's a foo ! 
an aw's welly gloppened that thah's forgetten aw as aw tell'd thee ? 
Eh ! that's it, mon ! forgetten ! forgetten ! Eh mon ! aw've forgetten 
sum mat ! Too heigh pokingk ! Aw shud a browt summat fro' 


Thrutcham! What have aw forgetten? Thah shud coom hwom 
soaber ! That's it ! 

Then thah shud coom hwom soaber ! 

Soaber! soaber! 

Thah shud coom hwom soaber ! 

When thah goes to Sanshum fair ! 

Sithee raon ! con'sta tell me what aw've forgetten ? Th' pattens 
munna be too low gaupingk, nor too lung pinsingk, nor too heigh 
kecklingk! Oh deary, oh deary, mi yed's aw ov a maaze! aw'se 
welly meithert ! Ah, bu' theer's a vast o' foaks is war than oi this 


Shud moi weife's pattens be forgot 
An never browt to min' ? 

Aw'll tak a gill for coomfort sake 
When aw get to the Wolf ! 

That's Bobby Burns wi' management in 't ! Eh, mon ! theer's th' 
Wolf! dang it ! but somebody shall tell me what aw've fergetten !" 

When owd Jud had getten to th' Wolf 't were welly dark, but he 
gets anuther gill an off he gangs hwom. 

Aw at wunst he stops th' tit and slaaps his hond upo his leg. 

" By gum ! that last gillfull has maade me soaber ! aw've forgetten 
nowt ! Jud Bresskittle, dusna thah moind that thah munna buey th' 
peykil baht me ! and thah munna buey th' muckfork baht me ! an 
thah munna git th' brass fro owd Drinkwaiter for th' wheyt cawf as 
coom off owd Cherry baht me ! Hooray ! 

" Aw welly think aw'd getten th' mill wheel i' my yed; for 

They munna be too heigh laumingk 

Laum, laum, laumingk! 
They munna be a laumingk 

My owd woife ahwom ! 
Thah shud coom hwom soaber ! 

Aw caares for nobody 
No not aw ! 

For nobody cares for me ! 

Aw wish it were to-morrow morningk, that aw do, an then aw shud 
a getten this fashious business o'er. Hooray ! aw've fergetten 
nowt !" 


An at last singingk and shaoutingk owd Jud git hwom. 

"An so yo're theer, are yoh?" said th' sarvant wench. 

" Yes, an aw've getten th' pattens here i' my poke for the owd 
lass; wheer is hoo?" 

" Isna hoo coom hwom wi' yoh ! Wheer is hoo?" 


" Isna hoo coom hwom ?" 


"Th' missis!" 

" Th' missis ! th' missis ! Oh law !" ses owd Jud, an he turn'd 
as wheyte as a sheet. 

"Ah! th' missis! "ses hoo, "yoh hanna tummelt her aht o' 
shandry an kilt her, han yoh ! " 

" Now, wench ! worser nor that /" 


"Now! now! worser nor that! worser nor that! aw'll never 
doo't agen as lung as aw live ! " 

"What han yoh done wi' her?" 

" Aw've fergetten her! Oh moi! Oh moi ! Aw know'd aw'd 
fergetten summat ! " An owd Jud cowerd hissel dahn, an welly 

At afther a wheyle th' owd lass hersen oppen'd th' dooer and 
coom in. 

" So th'art theer, arta ? Jud Bresskittle ! th'art theer, arta ?" 

" Aw winna doo't agen, that aw winna ! " 

' ' Aw know'd tha wert after that gurt brassy faced hussey ! hoo's 
getten eneuf brass i' her faace to mak a tay kittle !" 

" Ah ! bu' hoo hasna getten eneuf to mak a Bresskittle, hoo 
hasna !" 

" Dosta mee'an it?" 

"Ah! that aw do!" 

" Then aw'll forgie thi ! That is, till aw'm betther ! aw'll tayche 
thi to look at th' sarvent wenches wi' a baysom stail ! that aw will, 
afore a dee! Tha shanna get anuther Missis Bresskittle baht 
payingk for her, that aw con tell thee ! " 

" Aw've dun aw as thah's towd me !" 


"An thah's fergetten thi weife ! An if it hadna a bin for Johnny 
Brain o' Mobberley aw met a bin nah i' Thrutcham ! Bu' Johnny's 
weife's djed, an aw'll gang off wi' Johnny in now ! that aw will, as 
shure as moi naam's Betty Bresskittle! Thah gurt borsten soo! 
wheer are th' pattens? An if they arena too heigh kecklingk, ner 

too low carkingk, ner too Jud Bresskittle, th'art a born foo ! It 

aw cooms o' feightink wi' owd Scrat ! Thah'st getten bad luck top 
eend thah cumberlin ! an for aw thah tawks so grand baht beingk 
soaber tha'rt desp'rate shommakin !" 

" What's th' matter ?" 

"Thah gurt borsten drunken soo! What's th' matter? aw'll tell 
thee what's th' matter ! theer ! that's th' matter !" 

An hoo let fley wun o' th' pattens at his yed ! 

"Thah ruddle-faaced mawkin to coom thi marlocks uppo me, 

An hoo let fley th' tother patten at his yed. 

"Whur! By gum! what dosta meean? Marlocks? aw conna 
may it aht ! Aw've getten thi pattens !" 

"Pattens! fiddle as leike! Bu' aw'll mak it aw reet wi th' 
shippon stoo' !" 

An hoo let fley th' tally eyrons at his yed. 

" Dosta think aw'm a babby!" 

"A babby? Thah dusna hit leike a babby!" 

" A babby! Thah's nobbut browt me a paar o' babby's clogs!" 

"Babby's clogs!" 

Jud look'd at th' pattens, an for shure they're nowt but a paar 
of clogs for a babby toothree 'ear owd ! 

"Then thah shud coom hwom soaber!" ses th' owd lass wheyl 
hoo jowd his yed agen th' wa, "An as shure as thah'rt cawd Jud 
Bresskittle aw'll mak it aw reet wi' th' shippon stoo when aw've 
getten gradeley shut o' this kink i' my back, an tha shanna forgit 
Betty Bresskittle's pattens as lung as thah lives !" 


[I have met with very little poetry written in the Cheshire dialects. Our 
county has not, as yet, given birth to an Edwin Waugh or a William Barnes ; 
still I venture to think that the following selections will, at any rate, show that 
we have amongst us men with true poetic feeling and a simple love of nature, 
whose verses are by no means deficient in either imagination, pathos, or humour. 
R. H.] 


(Reprinted from The Spectator, October gth, 1886.) 

Aye, Nellie wur married to-day 
To Dick, up at th' farm on the 'ill; 

An' ye've 'eered nought abaout it, ye say? 
Why, mon, ye mun keep very still 

Not to know what's the talk o' the plaace 
An' fur manny a mile fur that matter, 

Fur Nellie God bless 'er sweet faa'ce ! 
Is loved, why yer teeth's all a-chatter ! 

'Ere, pu' yer cheer furder from th' dur, 
An' I'll mak' up the fire a bit; ' 

Theer's a draught comes along o' the flur, 
An' ketches ye just wheer ye sit. 

I wur talkin' o' Nellie aye, sure 
When 'oo comes 'ere to see me, I say 

'Er smile is as good as a cure 
To frighten th' rheumatics away ; 


'Oo'll sit o' this stool by the fire, 
An' chat away 'omely an' free 

By the hour, when I'm sure she mun tire 
Of a stupid owd feller like me. 

The childer as plays i' the street, 
When they sees 'er, all runs to 'er side, 

An' she's allus as bright an' as sweet, 
Why 'oo gin little Johnny a ride 

On 'er showldhers one day, an' the rest 
Runs shoutin' an' laughin' behind ; 

I see'd 'er myse"n, an' I'm blest 
If a lass i' the plaace is as kind ! 

I went up to th' church, an' I thowt 
Theer wur niver a prattier sight; 

Dick, 'e wur rare an' proud as 'e browt 
'Er away, tho' she seemed a bit white, 

An' niver looked up nur replied, 

When I gin 'er "good luck" as she passed ; 

I couldna help thinkin' a bride 

Shud 'a smiled 'stid o' lookin' downcast. 

Owd Sally said some'at las' neet, 
Abaout 'er not weddin' fur love, 

But I canna believe as she's reet 
Fur I'll warrant as Nellie's above 

Takkin' annyone just fur 'is gowd; 

Besides, "Dick's as proper a man 
As ye'll see annywheer. I've been towd 

'E's settled the 'ouse an' the Ian' 

On Nellie, if 'e dies the fust; 

But 'oo'd niver 'a tuk 'im fur that ! 
Folks allus likes thinkin' the wust, 

An' Sally's a good un at that. 


'Oo said theer were some other lad 

Come a courtin' o' Nellie las' year, 
It must be my memory's bad, 

Or else as I didna just 'ear, 

Fur I canna think on at 'is name, 

'E wur not o' this parish, she said, 
An' Sally, 'oo thowt t'were a shame, 

Eh ! mon, ye're as white as the dead ! 

What! Ye'n getten a chill? I'm afear'd 
It's a bad un, 'ere, stop ! well, I'm beat ! 

'E's gone out as pale an' as skeered 
As a ghost, an' is aif down the street ! 


(Reprinted from The Spectator, October i6th, 1886.) 

'Im yonder? Dick White, do ye meaan? 
Why 'e's not abo' forty year owd! 

It's th' trubble an' sorrow 'e's seean 
As 'as aged 'im a that'n, I'm towd. 

My missus 'ud tell ye the best, 
'Oo know'd 'im w'en 'e wur a boy, 

An' Nellie, 'at's gone to 'er rest, 

When 'er faace wur a' sunshine an' joy. 

Ye mi't 'a gone fur to 'a foun' 

A gradelier feller, she'll say 
Ef ye'd 'unted a' th' parishes roun' 

Nur Dick o' that bright summer's day, 


When 'im an' sweet Nellie wur wed, 
An' 'e stud by 'er side tall an' strong; 

The prattiest couple, folks said, 
As 'ad beean afore th' parson fur long ! 

Parson's wife thowt a power o' Nell, 
An' 'oo'd 'ad a fine breakfast prepared 

Up at th' Rectory, so I've 'eered tell; 
Nayther trubble nur munny wur spared; 

An' they'd drunk to the bridegroom an' bride, 
"Long life" to 'em both, an' "good luck," 

An' Dick 'e stud up an' replied, 

But stopped short, same as ef 'e wur struck ; 

Fur 'e see'd as all faaces wur turn't 
Tow'rt Nellie, 'oo set theer as white 

As a corpse, an' 'er eyes, they jus' burnt 
Like a fire, so glitt'rin' an bright. 

"Wot's fear't ye, my lassie?" 'e said, 

An' follered 'er eyes as 'e spoke; 
But 'oo 'eered 'im no more nur the dead, 

Starin' dazed like an' skeered, as theer broke 

Through the folks as wur stannin' aroun', 
A mon or a ghost an' stud still, 

Right facin' 'er, then wi' a soun' 

'Twix' a groan an' a laff, 'arsh an' shrill, 

'E wur gone like a flash through the dur, 

While Nellie spoke niver a word, 
But fell on 'er faace upo' th' flur, 

Saame as ef 'oo'd bin pierced wi' a sword ! 

Theer ! I'm soft now ! Aye, sure 'oo wur dead,- 

'Oo wur niver to ca' very strong; 
T'wur the shock as 'ad done it, they said, 

But Dick wouldna believe it fur long; 


'E threw 'isself down by 'er side, 

So Liz that's my missus 'ull say, 
An' ca'd 'er 'is "wife" an' 'is "bride," 

Till th' parson's wife got 'im away. 

'E shut 'isself up all alone, 

In 'is farm upo' th' brew theer, I'm towd, 
Seemed like as 'e'd turn't to a stone, 

In a year 'e wur feeble and bow'd. 

My missus 'ull cry like a child, 

Wen she sees 'im go by i' the street; 
'Oo says 'e's skeerce spoken nur smiled 

Sin' Nell died, an' I doubtna she's reel. 

Wot? 'im? t'other chap, do ye meaan? 

'Im an' Nellie wur' sweet once, they say, 
An' a quarrel, or some'at, 'ad beean 

The cause of 'is goin' away. 

'E niver wur 'eered on agen 

Sin' that day. 'E wur not o' this part, 
An' I canna imagine myse"n, 

'Ow 'oo cum fur to gin 'im 'er 'eart ! 

It seems as the rights o' the caase, 

Folks niver cud fairly cum at ; 
Theer wur a' soarts o' talk i' the plaace, 

Abaout weddin' fur munny an' that ; 

But Lizzie, 'oo said from the fust, 

They wur' doin' poor Nellie a wrong; 
T'wur a mystery, sure, but 'oo'd trust 

Eh ! theer she be, comin' along ! 

'Go's better at tellin' a sect, 

Fur 'oo know'd a' wot? canria ye stay? 
I thowt ye mi't like well, ye're reet 

It gits dark soon, gud day, sir, gud day ! 





Oi know a little run die side 

Wheer th' pimrose blooms i' th' spring ; 
An' theer the throssle from a boo 

Maks aw the valley ring. 
An' if yo could bur 'ear 'is sung, 

Oi'm sure t'would do yo good 
Ta 'ear 'im on that poplar tree, 

An' th' echo into th' wood. 

You'll also find alung that bruck, 

Wheer babblin wayters run, 
The 'azzle shows its smaw, red flowers 

Afore the spring's begun. 
An' when the spring is fairly come, 

When gress is tall an' green, 
The medda wheer that rundle is, 

Is th' nicest oi have seen. 

For theer the cahslops, sitch a crahd, 

Fair cover aw the grahnd ; 
An' th' lark, an brids o' many a sole 

Fill aw the air wi' sahnd. 
Bu' most of aw i' summer time, 

When th' djew lies thick an' deep, 
That medda is a bonny show 

Wi' horses, keigh, an' sheep. 

An' then as autumn sidles rahnd, 
When nuts are brahn an' full, 

The lads wi' many a merry laff 
The loaded branches pull; 


Till gigglin wenches, full o' fun, 

Gether the clustered prize, 
An' throw rewards to sweethearts theer 

From blue an' twinklin eyes. 

An' when lung winter neets wur come 

When th' fire wur bleezin breet 
An' th' candle flickert upo' th' stand 

Wi' dim an' glimmery leet ; 
The childer listened to the tales 

That th' owd folks towd wi' pride, 
Abaht the brids, an' flowers, an' nuts 

Alung that rundle side. 


Dahn by the weighndin river 

When the within trees wur green, 
As I stroll't alung the medda 

Just to see what could be seen ; 
Theer I met a wench as bonny 

As I ever did behold ; 
Hoo wur singin like a linnet 

A sweet, favorite sung of old. 
A laylock hood of cotton 

Hid her curls of jet-black hair, 
An' the short sleeves of her bedgahn 

Showed her strong arms, red an' bare ; 
Her bedgahn's bright pink body 

Matched her skirt of deepest black, 


An her white brat's snowy tape strings 

Hung like ribbins at her back. 
An hoo tripp't alung so sprightly 

Although brass-clasped clogs hoo wore, 
An, like some owd noss-tale fairy, 

In her hand a stick hoo bore. 
As we met, I said, "Fair maiden, 

May I ax yo wheer yo stray? 
What's yo'r arrant dahn the medda 

On this lovely summer day?" 
"Yo ax me what's me arrant?" 

(An hoo smil't an' look't so sleigh.) 
"Weigh, good mon, it's not an arrant; 

I'm just fetchin up the keigh." 
As hoo spok a merry twinkle 

Flash't upon me from her eye; 
Yet the blush upon her features 

Shamed the rose's deepest dye. 
But hoo praadly pass't on by me, 

An that flowery medda low 
Soon resahnded wi' the music 

Of that wench's sweet " Hou Oh ! 
Hou O, Hou O, Hou, Hou, Hou Oh!" 

Utter'd lahdly, filled the air, 
An' a drove of lowin cattle 

Gethered rahnd that wench so fair. 
Then hoo caw'd one "Bonny Pimrose," 

An' another "Pratty Jane" 
So hoo chatted wi' the cattle 

As hoo druv em into th' lane. 
Then I sidled up an' whispered, 

"Never mind em; talk to me;" 
But hoo said, " I conna bother 

When I'm fetchin up the keigh." 
"Well," I said, "then prithee answer 

When tha'll wawk wi' me alone; 


I've a burden in me bosom 

I con only tell to one." 
"Nahe, I towd thee not to bother, 

Dunna stond theer like a foo; 
Tak thi burden to thi mother, 

I've got summat else to do." 



Reprinted from Hunting Songs (Eighth Edition, 1887), by permission of the Author. 


"Owd mon, it's welly milkin toim, wherever 'ast 'ee bin? 
Thear's slutch upo' thoi coat, oi see, and blood upo' thoi chin;" 
"Oiv bin to see the gentlefolk o' Cheshur roid a run; 
Owd wench ! oiv been a hunting, an oiv seen some rattling fun. 


"Th' owd mare was i' the smithy when the huntsman hove in view, 
Black Bill agate o' fettling the last nail in her shoe; 
The cuvver laid so wheam loik, an so jovial foin the day, 
Says I, 'Owd mare, we'll tak a fling, and see em go away.' 


" When up, an oi'd got shut ov aw the hackney pads an traps, 
Orse dealers an orse jockey lads, and such loik swaggering chaps, 
Then what a power o' gentlefolk did I set oies upon ! 
A reining in their hunters, aw blood orses every one ! 



"They'd aw got bookskin leathers on, a fitten 'em sotoight, 
As raind an plump as turmits be, an just about as whoit ; 
Their spurs wor maid o' siller, an their buttons maid o' brass, 
Their coats wor red as carrots, an their collars green as grass. 


"A varment looking gemman on a woiry tit I seed, 
An another close besoid him, sitting noble on his steed ; 
They ca' them both owd codgers, but as fresh as paint they look, 
John Glegg, Esquoir, o' Withington, an bowd Sir Richard Brooke. 


"I seed Squoir Geffrey Shakerley, the best un o' that breed, 
His smoiling feace tould plainly how the sport wi' him agreed ; 
I seed the 'Arl ov Grosvenor, a loikly lad to roid, 
I seed a soight worth aw the rest, his farencly young broid. 


"Zur Umferry de Trafford an the Squoir ov Arley Haw, 

His pocket full o' rigmarole, a rhoiming on em aw; 

Two members for the cainty, both aloik ca'd Egerton ; 

Squoir Henry Brooks and Tummus Brooks, they'd aw green collurs on. 


"Eh! what a mon be Dixon John, of Astle Haw, Esquoir, 
You wudna foind, and measure him, his marrow in the shoir ; 
Squoir Wilbraham o' the Forest, death and danger he defoies, 
When his coat be toightly button'd up, and shut be both his oies. 


"The Honerable Lazzles, who from forrin parts be cum, 
An a chip of owd Lord Delamere, the Honerable Turn; 
Squoir Fox an Booth an Worthington, Squoir Massey an Squoir 

An many more big sportsmen, but their neames I didna larn. 



"I seed that great commander in the saddle, Captain Whoit, 
An the pack as thrung'd about him was indeed a gradely soight ; 
The dugs look'd foin as satin, an himsel look'd hard as nails, 
An he giv the swells a caution not to roid upo' their tails. 


"Says he, 'Young men o' Manchester and Liverpoo, cum near, 
Oiv just a word, a warning word, to whisper in your ear, 
When, starting from the cuvver soid, ye see bowd Reynard burst, 
We canna 'ave no 'unting if the gemmen go it first.' 


"Tom Ranee has got a single oie, wurth many another's two, 
He held his cap abuv his yed to show he'd had a view; 
Tom's voice was loik th' owd raven's when he skroik'd out ' Tally-ho ! ' 
For when the fox had seen Tom's feace he thoght it toim to go. 


"Ey moy! a pratty jingle then went ringin through the skoy, 
Furst Victory, then Villager begun the merry croy, 
Then every niaith was open from the owd 'un to the pup, 
An aw the pack together took the swellin chorus up. 


"Eh moy! a pratty skouver then was kick'd up in the vale, 
They skim'd across the running brook, they topp'd the post an rail, 
They didna stop for razzur cop, but played at touch and go, 
An them as miss'd a footin there lay doubled up below. 


"I seed the 'ounds a crossing Farmer Flareup's boundary loin, 
Whose daughter plays the peany an drinks whoit sherry woin, 
Gowd rings upon her finger and silk stockings on her feet; 
Says I, ' it won't do him no harm to roid across his wheat.' 



"So, toightly houdin on by th' yed, I hits th' owd mare a whop 
Hoo plumps into the middle o' the wheatfield neck and crop; 
And when hoo flounder'd out on it I catch'd another spin, 
An, missis, that's the cagion o' the blood upo' my chin. 


"I never oss'd another lep, but kep the lane, an then 
In twenty minutes' toim about they turn'd toart me agen ; 
The fox was foinly daggled, an the tits aw out o' breath, 
When they kilt him in the open, an owd Dobbin seed the death. 


" Loik dangling of a babby, then the Huntsman hove him up, 
The dugs a bayin raind him, while the gemmen croid 'Whoo-hup!' 
As doesome cawves lick fleetings out o' th' piggin in the shed, 
They worried every inch of him, aw but his tail an yed. 


"Now, missis, sin the markets be a doing moderate well, 
Oiv welly maid my moind up just to buoy a nag mysel ; 
For to keep a farmer's spirits up 'gen things be gettin low, 
Theer's nothin loik Fox-huntin and a rattling Tally-ho!" 



[The following account of the salt springs and manufacture of salt in Cheshire 
is extracted from Philosophical Transactions, vol. iv., p. 1060, the date 1669, or 
five years earlier than Ray published his account of the preparation of some of 
our minerals (see E.D.S. Glos. B. 15, p. 21); though Ray had, as he tells us, 
seen the manufactures many years before. 

Who the "learned and observing" Dr. William Jackson was, or whether he 
was at all recognised as a scientific man, I have not been able to discover; but 
one gathers, from many local words he uses, that he was a native of Cheshire, or 
at any rate had long lived in the county. 

The paper is reprinted in this volume, not merely for its antiquity, but 
because it is interesting as containing a considerable number of technical words 
connected with the making of salt, many of which are now, probably, obsolete. 

Some Inquiries Concerning the Salt-Springs and the Way of Salt- 
making at Nantwich in Cheshire; Answered by the Learned and 
Observing William Jackson, Dr. of Physick. 

i. What is the depth of the Salt- Springs ? The depths are 
various, in some places not above 3 or 4, yards. In our Town of 
Nantwich, the Pitt is full 7 yards from the footing about the Pitt ; 
which is guessed to be the natural height 6f the Ground, though the 
Bank be 6. foot higher, accidentally raised by rubbish of long making 
Salt, or Walling as they call it. In other places the Springs lye much 
shallower; for in two places within our Township the Springs break 
up so in the Meadows, as to frett away not only the grass, but part 
of the earth, which lyes like a breach, at least halfe a foot or more 
lower than the turfe of the Meadow, and hath a Salt liquor, ousing, 
as it were, out of the Mudd, but very gently. 


2. What kind of Country 'tis thereabout, where the Springs are, 
whither Hilly, ov. / and what Plants grow near them ? Our Country 
is generally a low ground, Witness the name given to it (the Vale 
Royal of England;) yet 'tis very full of Collicular Eminencies, and 
various Risings, to distinguish it from being all Meadow. We have 
also a peculiar sort of ground in this County, and some adjacent 
parts, which we call Mosses; and they are a kind of Moorish boggy 
ground, very stringy and fatt : which serveth us very well for Turfs, 
cutt out like great Bricks and dried in the Sun. And this kind of 
ground is so much here, that there are few Townships but they have 
their particular Mosses. In these is found much of that Wood we 
call Firr-wood, which serve the Country people for Candles, Fewel, 
and sometimes for small Timber-uses ; and this the Vulgar concludes 
to have layn there since the Flood. But generally these Mosses 
seem to be places undermined by some Subterraneous Streams, or 
by the dissolution of some matter, that made them equal with the 
rest of the ground formerly: In which conjecture I am confirmed by 
this, That near a place of My Lord Cholmondelefs, called Bilkely, 
about 9. or 10. years since, not far from one of these Mosses, without 
any Earth-quake, fell in, a piece of ground about 30. yards over, 
with a huge noise, and great Oakes growing on it fell with it together : 
which hung first with part of their heads out, afterwards suddenly 
sunck down into the grounds, so as to become invisible: Out of 
which Pitt they drew Brine with a pitcher tyed to a cart-rope, but 
could then find no bottom with the ropes they had there; Since, the 
Pitt is filled up with water, and now doth not taste Salt, but a very 
little brackish, a very small rindlet passing through it. The nearest 
Salt springs to this place are at Dartwich about 3. miles from it, 
belonging to the present Lord Keeper, and my Lord Cholmondeley. 

Some Hills we have, but no bigg ones, near our Springs, which 
generally lye all along the River Weever, as Hankillow, Hatherton, 
Osterson, Bartherton, Nantwich, Weever, Leftwich, Northwich: yet 
there is an appearance of the same Veine at Midlewich nearer the 
River Dane, than Weever ; which notwithstanding seems not to be 
out of the Line of the Weverish streame; and these lye all near 
Brooks and in Medowish grounds. 


As to Plants I could observe no singularity at all ; for where the 
Salt reaches the surface, it frets away all (as I said before) and upon 
the Turfe near the old decayed Pitts grows the very same, that doth 
in the remotest place of the Meadow : Only I observe, that, where 
the TurfFwas fretted away, Rushes maintain'd their station longest; 
yet they grow also in other moist grounds, so that they are no friends 
to the Salt-Springs, but I perceive, they resist them best. 

3. Whether there be any Hot- Springs near the Salt ones? and 
Whether the Water of the Salt-Springs be hotter or cooler, than other 
Spring-water ? The Water of the Salt springs here is very cold at 
the bottom of the Pitt, insomuch that when the Briners sometimes 
goe about to cleanse the Pitt, they cannot abide in, above half an 
hour, and in that time they drink much Strong water. 

There is not any Hot Springs (that I can hear of) nearer us than 
J3uckston-\ve\\, which is about 30 miles distant near Darby-Peak Hills. 

4. Whether they find any Shells about those Springs, and what 
kind of Earth it is ? I cannot hear of any Shells digged up, though 
of late several new Brine-Springs have been both sought, and found 
by sinking deep Pitts; yet none knows of any Shels, but rather a 
blackish Slutch mixt with the Sand, which infects the whole Spring 
(like the Scuttle-fish) black, when 'tis stirr'd; else the water runs 
very clear. 

5. How strong the Water is of Salt? Springs are rich or poore 
in a double sence ; for a Spring may be rich in Salt, but poor in the 
quantity of Brine it affords. Thus they have a rich Brine in their 
chief Pit at Midle-wich, which yields a full fourth part of Salt, like 
the rich Burgundian Springs mentioned in Kircher's Mundus Sub- 
terraneous ; yet this is so thrifty of its Brine, that the inhabitants are 
limited to their proportions out of it, and their quantity is supply'd 
out of Pitts that affords a weaker brine. Our Pitt at Nantwich yields 
but a sixth part; but then 'tis so plentiful a Spring, that, whereas 
they seldom e Wall, that is, make Salt, in above 6. Houses at a 
time, and there are or should be about 50. Wich-houses in the 
Town ; this Pitt is judged sufficient to supply them all : And this 
advantage would accrew over and above, that such quick Use of the 
Pitt extreamly strengthens the Brine, perhaps to a degree little less 


than that of Middle-wick Pitt : For I have tryed it myself, that a 
quart of Brine, when the Pitt hath been drawn off 3. or 4. days first, 
to supply 5. or 6. Wich-houses, hath yielded an Ounce and an halfe 
more of Salt, than at another time, when it hath had a rest of a week or 
thereabout. But I conclude, that the nearest conjecture, to be made 
of the strength of this Brine, is, to yield one pound of Salt for six 
pounds of Brine ; as I have severall times tryed without any opera- 
tion that might obscure the working : By which proportion you see, 
that six Tuns of Brine yield one Tun of Salt : which may be built 
upon; though in their ordinary way of working they make such 
variety of Additions, that 'tis impossible for any to be confident of 

To adde some particulars, concerning this point ; I shall tell you, 
that March 8. 1668. I weighed two pounds of distilled water in a 
narrow mouthed Glass-bottle, that I might make an exact marke 
for a quart. This Bottle being filled with our Brine to the very 
same mark, weigh'd (besides the tare of the Bottle) two pounds three 
ounces and five drachmes. This was taken up, when the Wich- 
houses but began to work, so that the Pitt was but little drawn. I 
fill'd up the Bottle with the same Brine, and it weighed just three 
drachms more. This Brine, boyled away without any addition or 
clarification, madejfcr ounces and two drachmes of Salt. Five days 
after, when the Pitt had been drawn all that while for the working of 
the Wich-houses, vid. March. 13. the same Bottle, fill'd to the Quart 
mark aforesaid with Brine then taken up, weighed, besides the Bottle, 
two pound/our ounces and one drachme : the same time the Bottle, 
filled as in the former Experiment, weighed just two pounds and an 
halfe, which is three drachms more than the quart mark before : 
which boyl'd into Salt made six ounces six drachms and two scruples, 
though the Brine exceeded the former in weight but four drachms. 

By which Tryall I confuted also a Tradition, which the Briners 
have amongst them, viz. That the Brine is strongest at times of the 
Spring Tydes, to wit, at the Full and Change of the Moon. For 
March 8th aforesaid was only one day past the Full, and then the 
Brine was weaker than it was the i3th day, when 'twas 6. days past 
the Full. So that I conclude, there could be no other reason, than 


that the much drawing makes way for the Salt-springs to come the 
quicker, and allows the less time for the admission of Fresh Springs. 

6. What is the Manner of their Work; or What Time of boyling 
the Salt water? Whether they use any peculiar thing to make it 
granulate, and if so, What that is ? Their manner of working is 
this : They have .formerly boyl'd their Brine in 6. Leaden pans with 
woodfire : upon which accompt they all claime their interest in the 
Pitt by the name of so many Six Leads Walling, by which they each 
know their proportion; but in the memory of many alive they 
changed their 6. Leads into 4 Iron-pans, something better than a 
yard square, and about 6. inches deep, still fitting the Content of 
these to that of the 6. Leads : and of late many have changed the 4 
Iron pans into two greater ; and some Wall but in one : But still the 
Rulers gage it to their Old proportions. Thus much seem'd neces- 
sary for understanding the several Operations. 

They use for their Fevvell, Pit coals, brought out of Staffordshire. 
These Panns are set upon Iron-barrs, and made in, on all sides, very 
close (that the flame nor smoak break through) with clay and bricks: 
They first fill their Pans with Brine out of the Pitt ; which corns to 
them in several Woodden Gutters : then they put into their Pann? 
amongst their Brine a certain mixture, made of about 20. Gallons 
Brine, and 2 quarts of Calves Cows and chiefly Sheeps bloud, mixt 
into a Clarret-Colour : Of this mixture they put about 2 quarts into 
a Pann that holds about 360. quarts of Brine ; this bloudy brine, at 
the first boyling of the Pann, brings up a scumm, which they are 
careful to take off with a Skimmer, made with a woodden handle 
thrust through a long square of Wainscoat-board, twice as bigg as a 
good square trencher: this they call a Loot. Here they continue 
their fire as quick as they can, till halfe the Brine be wasted, and 
this they call Boyling upon the Fresh. But when 'tis halfe boyled 
away, they fill their Panns again with New Brine out of the Ship (so 
they call a great Cistern by their Panns sides into which their Brine 
runs through the Woodden Gutters from the Pump, that stands in 
the Pitt) then they put into the Pann, 2. quarts of the Mixture 
following: They take a quart of Whites of Eggs, beat them 
thoroughly with as much Brine* till they are well broken : then mix 


them with 20. Gallons of brine, as before was done with the Bloud ; 
and thus that which they call the Whites is made. As soon as this 
is in, they boyle sharply, till the second Scum arise ; then they scum 
it off as before, and boyle very gently till it Corne ; to procure which, 
when part of the Brine is wasted they put into each Pann of the 
Content aforesaid about a quarter of a pint of the best and Strongest 
Ale they can gett: this makes a momentary Ebullition, which is soon 
over, and then they abate their fires, yet not so but that they keep it 
boyling all over, though gently ; for the Workmen say, that if they 
boyle fast here, (which they call Boyling on the Leach, because they 
usually all this time lade in their Leach-brine, which is such Brine, 
as runs from their salt when 'tis taken up before it hardens) if I say, 
they boyle fast here, it wasts their salt. After all their Leach-Brine 
is in, they boyle gently, till a kind of Scum come on it like a thin 
Ice ; which is the first appearance of the Salt : then that sinks, and 
the Brine everywhere gathers into Comes at the bottom to it, which 
they gently rake together with their Loots: I say gently; for much 
stirring breakes the Corne. So they continue, till there is but very 
little brine left in the Pann ; then with their Loots they take it up 
the Brine dropping from it and throw it into their Barrows, which 
are Cases made with flat cleft wickers, into the shape almost of a 
Sugar-loaf, the bottom upper-most. When the Barrow is full, they 
let it stand so for an hour and an halfe in the Trough, where it drains 
out all the Leach-brine above-said, then they remove it to their Hot- 
house behind their Works; made there by two Tunnels under their 
Panns, carried back for that purpose. The Leach-brine, that runs 
from the Barrows, they put into the next Boyling, for 'tis to their 
advantage, being salt melted, and wanted only hardening. 

This work is perform'd in 2. hours in the smaller panns, which 
are shallower, and generally boyle their brine more away; wherefore 
their Salt will last better, though it does not granulate so well, 
because, when the Brine is wasted, the fire and stirring breaks the 
Cornes. But this Salt weighs heavier, and melts not so soon; and 
therefore is bought by them, that carry it farr. But in the greater 
Panns, which are usually deeper, they are above halfe an hour 
longer in boyling; but, because they take their salt out of their 


Brine, and only harden it in their Hot-house, 'tis apter to melt away 
in a moist Air : Yet of this sort of Salt the bigger the grain is, the 
longer it endures; and generally this is the better granulated and 
the clearer, though the other be the whiter. Vpon which I rather 
think, 'tis the taking of the Salt out of the Brine before it is wasted, 
that causes the granulating of it, than the Ale to which the Workmen 
impute it. This kind measures profitably well, therefore much 
bought by them that buy to sell again. 

They never cover their Panns at all, during the whole time of 
Boyling. They have their Houses like Barns open up to the thatch 
with a cover hole or two, to vent the steam of the panns. Possibly 
Tiles may do better, but nobody is yet so curious as to try, but the 
steam is such, that I am confident, no plaister will stick, and boards 
will warp, and their nailes will rust so, as quickly to fret in pieces. 

7. Whether the Salt, made of these Springs be more or less apt to 
dissolve in the Air, then other Salt? And whether it be as good to 
powder Beef or other Flesh with, as French Salt? This Question I 
cannot well answer, in regard that French Salt corns not to us, to 
compare the efficacy of the one with the other experimentally ; but 
this I can assure for our Salt, that with it both Beef and Bacon is 
very well preserv'd sweet and good a whole year together; and I do 
apprehend this Salt to be rather more searching than French Salt, 
because I have often observed, that meat kept with this Salt shall be 
more fiery Salt to the midst of it, than I have observed, when I have 
eaten powder'd meat on Ship-board, which was probably done with 
French Salt, I then being on the South-side of England, and in a 
Dutch Vessel. 'Tis certain, Cheshire sends yearly much Bacon to 
London, which never yet had any mark of infamy set upon it; and 
hanged Beef (which others call J/a/Y/Vz-mass-Beef) is as good and as 
frequent in Cheshire, as in any place; so that I conclude, that this 
Salt is fully effectual for any Use, and as good as any other; and 
therefore hope, 'twill be prosecuted in the use, that so the Trade of 
our own Commodities may rather be advanced, than of forraign, 
especially this of Salt ; which if it shall please the R. Society to pro- 
mote, they will lay an obligation on all our Country never to be 


Meantime, if I have related here anything obscurely or imper- 
fectly, I am ready to answer any new Queries, that shall arise out of 
this obscurity, or give larger satisfaction to any of the Old, that shall 
be thought hereby not sufficiently explained. 

[Phil. Trans, iv. 1077.] 

To the Discourse concerning the Salt work, publisht in Numb. 53, 
communicated by tlie same Doctor Jackson, in a Letter 0/Novemb. 
20, 1669. 

Qu. i. Wliether those Salt springs do yield less water and more of 
the Salt, in great Droughts, than in wet seasons ? Ans. Our Springs 
do not sensibly alter in their decrease or increase in either dry or 
wet seasons; for, being plentiful Springs, we have always the Pitt 
full : Only this is observed by the Briners, that they make more Salt 
with the same quantity of Brine in dry, than in wet seasons : and 
more Salt of the same quantity of Brine at the Full of the Moon, 
than at any other time. 

2. How long before the Spring, or in the Spring, it may be, the 
Fountains break out into their fullest sources ? An. Tis not observ- 
able at all in our Salt-springs, that the Brine riseth more plentifully 
in the Spring-time, than at any other season of the year : neither is 
there any sensible difference in the quickness of the sources as to the 
times of the day. 

3. How much Water the Spring yields daily, or in an hour, 
ordinarily, or in great Droughts? An. Our Pitt is about 5 yards 
square or better, and of so plentiful a source that I believe it cannot 
be guessed ; and the rather, because it seems not to run much, when 
'tis permitted to come at its full guage, where a vent through the 
bank into the River is ; but being drawn much, so as to sink it below 
its usual guage, it so plentifully lets in, that 'twill serve all the houses 

n the Town to work, without falling much lower than ayard or two 
at most: so that I believe that, when 'tis full, it's own weight 


ballances much the influx of the Springs, which are much quicker in 
a low Pitt, than a full one. 

4. At what distance, the two richest Springs, of Nantwich and 
Droytwich are from the seal An. That of Nantwich is from the Sea 
about 30 Miles. Droytwich, being in Worcestershire, is not known 
to me. 

5. How near the foot of an Hill is to those Springs; and what 
height the next Hill is of? An. The nearest Hill (of those, that are 
worth calling Hills) to our Springs is about 7 miles distant from 
them : the Hill steeper, but not much higher, than High Gate Hill. 

6. Wherein consist the Distinctions of those sorts of Salt, which 
are called Catts of Salt, and Loaves of Salt ? An. As White Salt is 
that, deliver'd in my former discourse, and Gray Salt the sweepings 
of such Salt, as is constantly shed and scatter'd about on the floore 
without taking much of the Dirt, which occasions its grayness (which 
sells not at half the rate of the White Salt, and is only bought up by 
the poorer sort of People, and serves them in salting Bacon, course 
Cheese, &c.) So Catts of Salt are only made of the worst of Salt, 
when yet wettish from the Panns; molded and intermix! with 
interspers'd Cummin-Seed and Ashes, and so baked into an hard 
lump in the mouths of their Ovens. The use of these is only for 
Pigeon-houses : But Loaves of Salt are the finest of all for Trencher 
use. No difference in the boyling of these from the common way 
of the fine Salt ; but in the making up some care is used ; for first 
they cut their Barrows, they intend for Salt Loaves, with a long slit 
from top to bottom equally on both sides; then they tye both sides 
together with cords ; then fill this Barrow with Salt boiled as usually, 
but in the filling are careful to ramm down the Salt with the end of 
some wooden bar, continuing this, till the Barrow be fill'd to their 
minds ; then place it speedily in their Hot-house, and there let it 
stand all the time of the Walling ; Wherefore they prepare for 
these Loaves at the beginning of their Work, that they may have all 
the benefit of their Hot-houses ; and when these begin to slack, they 
take out the Loaves, and untye the cords, that fastned the Barrow, 
that both sides of the same may easily open without breaking the 
Loaf. Then they take the Loaf and bake it in an Oven where 


houshold-bread hath been baked, but new drawn forth. This they 
do twice or thrice, till they see it baked firm enough ; and this being 
plac'd in a Stove or in a Chimney corner, and close cover'd with an 
Hose of Cloth or Leather, like the Sugar-Loaf papers, will keep very 
white, and when they have occasion to use any, they shave it off 
with a knife (as you do Loaf-Sugar) to fill the Salt-seller. 

I must not omit telling you, that all the ground, where Salt or 
Brine is spilt, is, when dugg up, excellent Muck for Grazing Ground; 
and even the Bricks, that are thoroughly tinged with it, are very good 
Muck, and will dissolve with other Muck, and fertilize Land con- 
siderably (especially Grazing Ground) for at least four years : but of 
this I shall perhaps take occasion to say more in my Answers to your 
Queries of Agriculture. 


This section, like the earlier one upon Proverbs, comes, no 
doubt, more correctly under the head of Folklore than of Dialect. 
I have, however, throughout the whole of this volume endeavoured 
to infuse a little interest into what would otherwise have been merely 
a dry list of words, by describing the old customs of the county, 
and by illustrating, as far as I was able, the habits, the peculiarities, 
and the thoughts of its people. The following subjects have already 
been touched upon, but not fully described; a more exhaustive 
account of them than it was possible to give in the vocabulary may 
be of interest. 


Very little that i authentic is known as to the origin of this 
curious relic, or its early use. It is preserved in the Mayer Museum 
in Liverpool, where it is accompanied by the following note : 

"This Piece of Oak, better known in the city of Chester as 'The Glove,' 
has for many centenarys been occasionally hung out as an Indication of the 
Commencement of Each Fair. In Olden Times the glove was suspended from a 
pole in the front of -the Old Pentice, opposite the Cross. On the removal of the 
Pentice, in the year 1803 (in order to widen the passage into Northgate, near 
Watergate Street) the Glove afterwards was hung out at every Fair, from that 
period till the year 1836, from the South East corner of St. Peter's Church. The 
Glove has been many years in the care of one Peter Catharal, the clerk of St. 
Peter's Church, who received 35. gd. per year to recompense him for the trouble 
of fixing it up at the commencement, and taking it down at the conclusion, of each 
Tair. In October, 1836 (end of the first year of the Municipal Reform Corpora- 
tion), Catharal, the clerk, Presented the glove to the Mayor (an old custom) and 
claimed 35. gd. a customary fee for the charge on the glove. The Mayor took the 
glove and looked at it very minutely, seemingly much astonished at its age. After 
applying his knife to prove the soundness of this piece of old Cestrian antiquity, 
the Mayor threw it at Catharal and Exclaimed, 'I will not allow you 35. gd. for 
any such old foolish customs. You may do what you like with it !' It passed from 


Catharal to a person named Wilkinson, who sold it for two Pints of Ale at the 
sign of the Boot, in the city of Chester, on 2;th Nov., 1836." Charles T. Gatty, 
curator of the Mayer Collection, in Cheshire Sheaf, vol. ii., p. 326. 

Another writer in The Sheaf (vol. iii., p. 119) says : 

" I can offer a few observations on this historic emblem, which, though it is 
of no artistic form or character whatever, has found, I suppose, a permanent 
home in the Liverpool Free Public Museum. As the relic has literally nothing in 
common with Liverpool City, but represents, on the other hand, a distinct feature 
in the ancient trade of Chester, in which city the Glovers' was the staple article 
of manufacture ; perhaps when the New Museum shall have been built and got 
into working order, this unshapely emblem may be gracefully restored to its old 
home. Some of the particulars supplied by your correspondent, Mr. Gatty, do 
not quite agree with the story, as told to and known by myself at the time, say 
40 or 50 years ago. 

" I remember on many occasions in my boyhood seeing the ' glove ' dangling 
like an executed felon from a pole hanging forward from the roof of St. Peter's 
Church just over the spot where the fountain now stands ; and I was once taken 
indeed on to the roof to see it put out by the late Mr. Edwin Siddall, cutler, who 
was at that time Parish Clerk of St. Peter's ; and, as such, had charge of the 
glove, an4 received some slight annual allowance from the city for attending to 
that customary duty. Peter Cathrall, of the 'Bridgewater Arms,' who had for 
many years preceded him as sexton, in his tenure of the keys, had been porter 
also of the 'Glove,' and was one of the established ringers of St. Peter's 
melodious peal." 

This is all I am able to glean concerning the history of this 
ancient relic. I should suppose it to have been, originally, a sort of 
sign belonging to the Glovers of Chester, and perhaps hung out in 
the quarter where they carried on their trade, just as we still occa- 
sionally see a large wooden representation of a stocking hung in 
front of a hosier's shop. Why it should have been hung out to 
indicate the opening of fairs, and when that custom commenced, 
appear to be circumstances upon which local history is silent. 


The custom, modified according to locality, appears to be very 
ancient and very wide-spread. It likewise appears to be mixed up 
and connected, in some of its details, with the custom of "Shutting," 
described in the Glossary, as will be seen from the following extracts. 


Under the name of "Crying the Mare," Halliwell (Dictionary 
of Archaic and Provincial Words) writes as follows : " An ancient 
sport in Herefordshire at the harvest home, when the reapers tied 
together the tops of the last blades of corn, and, standing at some 
distance, threw their sickles at it, and he who cut the knot had the 
prize. Also called crying-the-neck." 

"Crying the mare," that is, offering to lend a mare to those who 
have been dilatory, is similar to "sending the hare," as we do in 
Cheshire into other people's corn. 

A writer in Notes and Queries (5th S., vol. xii., p. 492) thus 
describes a Dorsetshire harvest custom : 

"As soon as the company had partaken of as much beef and plum-pudding 
as was considered desirable, an adjournment was made to a large tree that stood 
near the homestead, where the following quaint custom, peculiar, I was informed, 
to the West of Dorset,* took place. 

"The men formed themselves into a circle, and each taking off his hat, and 
holding it cut in front of him, stooped to the ground ; then, led by one standing 
in the centre, chanted the words 'We have 'em.' The first word, 'we,' is- 
commenced in a very low tone the men the while slowly and gradually raising 
themselves up and so prolonged till they have almost reached their full 
height. They close the sentence by saying ' have 'em ' more quickly. This is 
done three times. They then shout 'huzza,' once. Again they stoop down, and 
go through the same performance, finishing up this time with two huzzas. This 
is repeated once more, and finally wound up by huzzaing three times. As soon 
as the men have finished, the women come forward and go through the same 
ceremony. This, when well performed, has a not altogether unimpressive or 
unmusical effect. The words, I believe, bear reference to the conclusion of the 
harvest and the sheaves of corn being satisfactorily ' had ' in." 

On the one hand, the Dorsetshire custom above described seems 
to be connected with our Cheshire "Shutting," by the men standing 
in a circle, and bending down in so peculiar a manner when they 
utter their cry. On the other hand, it is connected with the custom 
of "Cutting the Neck" by the use of the words "we have 'em," for 
in other counties when these words are used the question is asked, 
"What have you?" and the answer is "A neck, a neck." 

"In Herefordshire the harvest home cry is 'I have her;' 'What 
have you?' 'A mare, a mare.' In Cornwall the cry is 'I have her;' 

* The following foot-note is given : " It would seem to be somewhat similar, however, to 
the custom of ' crying the knack ' which obtains in Devon and Cornwall. (And see Brand's 
Pop. Ant., Hone's Every Day Book, and Chambers's Book oj Days thereon.)" 


'What have you?' 'A neck, a neck;' and the bunch of wheat, pro- 
fusely decorated, is hung up in the farmer's kitchen." (Notes and 
Queries, Series 6, vol. vl, p. 286.) 

The tying of the bunch of standing corn in Cheshire seems to have 
some connexion with the decoration of the sheaf in Herefordshire. 

Mrs. Bray, in her Traditions of Devonshire, describes a curious 
custom .formerly prevalent, and perhaps still known in that county, 
at harvest time. She says : 

"When the reaping is finished, towards evening the labourers select some of 
the best ears of corn from the sheaves. These they tie together, and it is called 
the nack. The reapers then proceed to a high place. The man who bears the 
offering stands in the midst, elevates it, while all the other labourers form them- 
selves into a circle about him. Each holds aloft his hook, and in a moment they 
all shout these words : ' Arnack (or ah nack), arnack, arnack, wehaven (pronounced 
wee-hav-en), wehaven, wehaven.' This is repeated three several times." (Notes 
and Queries, $th Series, vol. ix., p. 306.) 

Dr. Charles Mackay at the above reference seeks to derive the 
words arnack and wehaven from the Celtic language, translating 
them thus, "Husbandry! husbandry! huzza! huzza! huzza!" 
Another writer (Notes and Queries, 5th Series, vol. x., p. 51) con- 
siders the words to be Scandinavian, and thinks that "the term nack 
seems clearly to be another form of a root which appears in the 
modern literary dialect of Scandinavia as neg, and signifies, like its 
Devonshire parallel, a sheaf of corn." . . . "The exclamation 
'ahnack, wehavenj I therefore," he says, "take to be the expression 
of a wish for a bounteous harvest, or (to render the words literally) 
'rich sheaves of ears of corn,' and to be a linguistic relic, recalling 
the period of the ancient Danish settlement in our island." 

There seems to me to be no doubt that, from whatever language 
it may be derived, the meaning of neck or nack is simply a bunch, or 
sheaf of corn. And the words we-hav-en are merely the local 
pronunciation of "we have it," meaning that the harvest is secured. 

At the last reference, a writer from Cornwall says: " Here the 
custom is styled 'calling the neck.' The day on which the last of 
the wheat is cut is the one observed. A sheaf is taken and 
decorated with flowers; then, when the day's work is over, all the 
labourers assemble. One with the loudest voice takes the neck and 


calls out 'I have 'im,' three times. A second answers, 'What have 
ye?' three times. He is answered 'A neck, a neck, a neck,' when 
the whole assembly give three cheers. This ceremony is gone 
through three times, after which, in accordance with old custom, all 
the men retire to supper in the farmhouse." 

A similar, or nearly similar, custom is also described as taking 
place in North Devon, and in that locality the neck is suspended in 
the farmer's kitchen as an ornament till the next season. 

From the above extracts I gather that our two customs of 
"shutting" and "cutting the neck," which at the present time do 
not seem to have much in common, were originally connected, and 
were different portions of a very ancient ceremony. Miss Burne, 
however (Shropshire Folklore, p. 372), is of a different opinion. It 
seems to me probable that the whole ceremony is a relic of the 
worship of Ceres, or of some goddess who, in Scandinavian mythology, 
takes the place of the classical Ceres ; and not improbable that the 
sheaf of corn decorated with ribbons may be a sort of personification 
or symbolization of the goddess herself. 


Funeral cakes, funeral cups, and other matters connected with 
the burying of the dead, having been incidentally mentioned in the 
Vocabulary, it may not be amiss to describe the various customs 
which are practised at funerals, the more so as some of them are fast 
becoming obsolete. The customs I am about to describe are such 
as I remember to have been in vogue at Mobberley some thirty or 
forty years since, and I think they were pretty general throughout 
the county; though, doubtless, the funeral customs of various parts 
of Cheshire differed to some slight extent then, as they do still. 

The first thing, perhaps, that would strike strangers, and 
especially Londoners, as curious, is the apparent hurry exhibited in 
committing the departed to the earth. The funeral usually takes 
place on the third day after death; that is, only two clear days 
intervene between death and burial. The joiner who makes the 


coffin carries it to the house of the deceased in the evening, 
generally after dark. I have thought the reason of this is that there 
are, then, fewer persons about; for many Cheshire people have a 
strong objection to meet a coffin being carried home ; or even to 
meet a funeral. I have known some even turn out of the road, and 
go another way, sooner than meet one. Those who do chance to 
meet a funeral generally stand still and take their hats off as it passes. 
This is probably, now, intended merely as a mark of respect to, and 
condolence with, the mourners ; but it is not unlikely that the 
custom had its origin in a supposed means of averting the evil 
consequences attendant on the meeting of a funeral. The joiner 
and his assistant, having brought the coffin, place the dead body 
therein, and they expect an allowance of gin after the work is over. 
A bottle of gin and a wineglass are usually left in some conspicuous 
place in the room, and the joiner and his man are at liberty to help 
themselves. Woollen shrouds are in constant use; and woollen 
night-caps, tied under the chin, used to be also generally used ; but 
I am not sure whether the latter have not been almost discarded of 
late years. It is to be hoped so, for they were excessively ugly. A 
pewter plate (if obtainable, if not, an ordinary plate) of salt is placed 
upon the stomach of the corpse, to prevent, as is supposed, the body 
swelling ; though doubtless, the original object in using salt was to 
drive away evil spirits. Before the funeral the body is decorated 
with flowers, which are tastefully arranged in the coffin. Those who 
have no gardens beg flowers for the occasion from neighbours who 
grow them. 

The poorer classes usually bury about three o'clock or four o'clock 
in the afternoon; wealthier people earlier in the day, at eleven o'clock 
or twelve o'clock. Possibly this difference may arise from the fact that 
those who attend a funeral return to the house for a meal, in the 
case of the wealthier classes, to a sort of dinner ; but the poorer 
people, who cannot so well afford dinner, provide only tea for their 
friends. I am not at all sure that this is the real reason; but it 
seems the most natural way of accounting for the difference. 

Those who are invited to a funeral assemble at the house about 
an hour before the funeral really starts. They sit round the room, 


and cake or biscuits, wine and spirits are handed round. The 
females of the family, for the most part, do not appear until after 
the mourners have returned from the church. 

In the hall or lobby was generally a tray upon which were placed 
a number of sprigs of rosemary, the stalk of each sprig being wrapped 
round with a bit of white paper. Each person, as he passed out to 
join the procession, took a piece of rosemary and carried it with him 
to church, casting it into the grave as soon as the coffin was lowered. 
We seldom use the rosemary now. At the words " earth to earth " 
in the funeral service, each one picks up a small handful of soil and 
throws it on to the coffin. 

As soon as the funeral is over the mourners are expected to return 
to the house, where a substantial meal, a regular dinner it may be 
called, has been set out during their absence, to which ample justice 
is usually done. Sometimes the females of the family appear at this 
meal; sometimes the younger female members only act as waiters 
and look after the comfort of the guests. 

Formerly, on leaving the house, each person was presented with a 
funeral cake (see Vocabulary) and a funeral card, but the cakes are 
very seldom seen now-a-days. Cards are still universal, and the 
recipients set great store by them ; in many cases the poorer people 
have them framed, and hang them up on the walls of their cottages. 
Sometimes the cakes were distributed with the rosemary when the 
friends left the house to follow the funeral. 

The amount of bell-tolling depends on the wishes of the family, 
and the amount of payment that can be afforded. It is usual to toll 
the bell for a certain time the day before the funeral; and at 
Frodsham the peculiar custom exists of ringing the sex of the 
defunct after the tolling is finished; three strokes being given on 
each bell for a man, two for a woman, and one for a child. For 
a certain time before the funeral the minute-bell tolls until the 
procession appears in sight, when the bell rings much quicker till 
they arrive at the church gate. At Frodsham before the funeral, 
instead of the minute-bell, or as an occasional relief from the tolling, 
hymn tunes are played on the bells, if the friends desire it to be done 
and pay the extra cost, which is, I believe, sixpence. 




I never heard the May-singers anywhere but at Mobberley; 
though I do not suppose the custom of thus welcoming " the merry 
month" was confined to that locality. Even at Mobberley it is some 
years since I heard any May-singing, and I fear that the quaint and 
pretty custom is a thing of the past. The following are the words of 
the song, taken down at the time, as they were sung by a party of 
May-singers about thirty-five years since : 


All on this pleasant morning together we will go ; 

For the summer springs so fresh, green, and gay ; 
We'll tell you of a blossom here that hangs on every bough ; 

Drawing near is the merry month of May. 

Rise up the master of this house, you are the country's pride ; 

For the summer springs so fresh, green, and gay ; 
And turn unto your loving wife who lies down by your side ; 

Drawing near is the merry month of May. 

Rise up the mistress of this house, with gold upon your breast ; 

For the summer springs so fresh, green, and gay ; 
And if your body be asleep we hope your soul's at rest ; 

Drawing near is the merry month of May. 

Rise up the children of this house, so pretty and so fine ; 

For the summer springs so fresh, green, and gay ; 
And every hair upon your head like silver it should shine ; 

Drawing near is the merry month of May. 

Rise up the young man of this house, put on your coat of blue ; 

For the summer springs so fresh, green, and gay ; 
And to the girl that you love best, we hope you will be true ; 

Drawing near is the merry month of May. 

Rise up the fair maid of this house, put on your gown of silk ; 

For the summer springs so fresh, green, and gay ; 
You are deserving of a man with forty cows to milk ; 

Drawing near is the merry month of May. 

So now we're going to leave you in peace and plenty here 
For the summer springs so fresh, green, and gay ; 

And- we'll come no more a- May -singing until another year; 
For to drive the cold winter away. 



The last line of each verse is repeated in singing. The notes of 
the sojig, also taken down at the time, are given below; as well as 
another version of the tune which I copied from a manuscript book 
belonging to old James Wainwright, the principal bass singer of the 
Church choir. Which may be the original version I am unable to 
decide. The first has, at any rate, the merit of being the one which 
was actually sung; and I think the very peculiar method of changing 
from the key of C, in which I have written it, to that of F by 
introducing Bb into the melody in the fourth full bar, gives that 
version a sort of genuine traditional ring; though the greater sim- 
plicity of the second version has, no doubt, to a certain extent, an 
air of antiquity. 


_f ' 


I I 

J J 


v i~^ f 2 

> ! 






rn i i 



-\ * m 

^ i 

r i 


9 J 


* * r w 

i ' 1 

\y j 


- i m 

i ft 1 

1 i 

"T 1 ^ 

r j 






10 ~ ff r r 

1 f^ f 0--r--' 


* 4 

o r i 


j r r r 

II i 

/ 1 

1 i 

1 LJ LJ 

, (1 0~^ 


' 1 r ? , 


9 T~" 

c*. 1 




m i T 1 

r. I 







The ringing of the tenor bell at eleven o'clock on Shrove 
Tuesday morning is probably a relic of the times when the people 
were summoned to church for the annual "shrift." Now it goes by 
the name of the "Pancake Bell," and is supposed to be a reminder 
to the good housewives that pancakes must be prepared for dinner. 
The pancake bell is still rung at Tarvin, at Congleton at the Church 
of S. Peter ad Vinculas, and at Middlewich; or it was at any rate 
rung at Middlewich some few years ago; and probably at other 
churches in Cheshire. A complete list of parishes where the pan- 
cake bell is still rung would be of interest. 

The following lines were written by the late Rev. Charles O'Niel 
Pratt, when a curate at Middlewich. They can hardly find place 
here as a Cheshire poem, as Mr. Pratt was, I believe, an Irishman ; 
but they commemorate the ringing of the bell at Middlewich, and 
they are so graphic, that but little apology is needed for their 
insertion. I have extracted them from The Cheshire Sheaf (vol. ii., 
p. 46). 


" What sound is that which greets mine ear, 
As it sweeps along through the sky so clear ? 
Of millions of chickens it rings the knell, 
For I wot it is the Pancake Bell. 

Full many a farm-yard cock hath crowed, 
And tender love on his wives bestowed ; 
But over her brood has waved the spell, 
As sure as she hears the Pancake Bell. 

And many a hen her store has watched, 
And counted her chickens as yet unhatched ; 
For the farmer's wife those eggs will sell, 
As sure as she hears the Pancake Bell. 

And the housekeeper goes to the huxter's shop, 

And the eggs are brought home, and there's flop ! flop ! flop ! 

And there's batter, and butter, and savoury smell, 

While merrily rings the Pancake Bell. 


And with frizzle and fizz the condiment's tossed, 
And dished, and dusted with sugary frost, 
And the youngsters at home the fun can tell 
That follows the sound of the Pancake Bell. 

And into the batter will Mistress fling, 
That mystic token, the marriage ring, 
And the bosom of many a maid will swell 
With hope as she hears the Pancake Bell. 

For if smiles and loving looks be true 
Someone may whisper a word or two ; 
And when Lent is over, then Easter will tell 
Its old, old story the Wedding Bell." 


I extract the following additional information respecting this 
undoubtedly ancient custom from various contributions to the 
Cheshire Sheaf. As to its antiquity, the Editor of the Sheaf writes 
as follows (vol. i., p. 117): 

"Our earliest parish records in Cheshire do not go back beyond, say 1541, the 
year of the Reformation. It is almost hopeless, therefore, to seek for traces of any 
local customs of this class prior to that date. But whatever practices we find existing 
then, there is good reason for believing had been of long previous continuance. 

The first notices we have met with are in the Treasurer's Accounts of Chester 
Cathedral, and we give a few as samples of what are of annual occurrence down 
to the close of the i6th Century: 

'1546. For rysshes in festo Pasce iiijd. 

,, For ryngyng at Eester viijd. 

,, For rysshes at Wytsontyd vjd. 

,, ,, ,, Mydsomer viijd. 

1551. For ryshys in festo omn' sanctor' vjd. 

1552. For russhes against All Hallowtyde xd. 

,, For ryngyng on All Hallow's nyght xvjd.' 

These entries are in every instance associated with charges for ringing the 
Cathedral bells. 

A generation further on we come upon an entry of more than usual signifi- 
cance; significant in the last degree to the Dean and Chapter themselves, for it 
was to them the precursor of rapine and semi-ruin, inasmuch as it ended in the 
loss of much of their capitular property. It runs thus : 

'1584. To Edward Griffith for boughes, rishes, and 
other thinges, at what time the Earle of 
Leicester came hither xviijs . ijd.' 


In reference to this event, Smith, in the Vale Royal, says : 

'This year, the Earles of Darby and Leicester were received into Chester, 
and lodged at the Bishop's Palace very honourably.' 

It would have been a good thing for the Chapter of Chester if Robert Earl of 
Leicester had never been born ; it is impossible indeed to reprobate too severely 
his unprincipled conduct ; for while accepting their hospitality and confidence 
with one hand, he mercilessly robbed them and their successors with the other. 

One other quotation shall suffice, this time from an early MS. local 

chronology in our possession. The original leaf is imperfect at this spot, and we 

are therefore unable either to fully give or explain the words, which run as follows : 

'1606. A Rishe berrying set ... St. Bride's, Mr. Robt. 

Amery . . .' 

This is the very earliest local instance we are aware of of the actual term 'rush- 
berrying,' and it is a great pity the record should have survived to us in so 
incomplete a form. " 

Another writer (vol. i., p. 178) says: 

"This ancient custom is mentioned in Lysons' 'Magna Britannia' Cheshire, 
p. 463 ; but it is not necessary to quote the reference to it here, except that it 
' was attended by a procession of young men and women, dressed in ribbands, 
and carrying garlands, &c., which were hung up in the Church :' we saw these 
garlands remaining in several churches." 

In his History of Cheshire, Hanshall, p. 581, gives us the follow- 
ing extracts from the Parish Accounts of Congleton : 

"'1595. Gave for wine to the Rushbearers 0.3.5 

J 599- Gave for wine to those who brought Rushes 

from Buglawton to our Chapel 0.3-0 

1607. To the Rush-bearers, wine, ale, and cakes ... 0.6.0" 
I do not think the use of rushes to cover the floors of churches can have any- 
thing to do with the use of them to decorate the churches as mentioned by the 
Lysons, or yet the present practice of hilling therewith the graves of departed 
friends. As a covering for church floors, rushes would have to be brought several 
times each year, whilst Rushbearing occurs once a year only." 


When I was a boy, the customs connected with All Souls' Eve 
were generally called "Soul-caking;" but now, for the most part, it 
is abbreviated into "Souling." At Frodsham, however, and in the 
neighbourhood, the old word is still in use. 

As far as I can ascertain, several customs which were formerly 
distinct, and which took place at different times of the year, are now 


confounded together, and all take place at the same time of year. 
These customs were Soul-caking proper, which took place on All 
Souls' Eve; the performance of a mock-heroic play, which, I suspect, 
was originally performed at Easter, but which in many counties is 
now acted at Christmas; and the "Dobby Horse" performance, 
which I think may have been part of the Christmas mummings. 

The Souling used to consist of parties of children, dressed up in 
fantastic costume, who went round to the farm houses and cottages, 
singing a song, and begging for cakes (spoken of as "Soul-cakes"), 
dpples, money, or anything that the goodwives would give them. 
Brand, in his Popular Antiquities (though I am unable to give the 
exact reference), gives the following version of the song, as sung by 
Cheshire children : 

"Soul Day, Soul Day, Saul! 
One for Peter, two for Paul, 
Three for him who made us all. 
An apple, a pear, a plum, or a cherry, 
Any good thing that will make us merry. 
Put your hand in your pocket and pull out your keys, 
Go down into the cellar, and bring up what you please, 
A glass of your wine, or a cup of your beer, 
And we'll never come souling, till this time next year. 
We are a pack of merry boys all in one mind, 
We have come a souling for what we can find. 

Soul ! Soul ! sole of my shoe, 

If you have no apples, money will do. 

Up with your kettle, and down with your pan, 

Give us an answer and let us be gone." 

Now-a-days, the "acting," as it is called, is combined with this; 
but the actors still begin their operations by singing a souling song 
outside the door. The following is the version as sung at Halton : 

" Kind gentlemen of England we hope you will prove kind; 
With your ale and strong beer. 

And we will come, 

And we will come 

No more a souling 
Until this time next year. 


Go down into your cellar and see what you can find, 
If your barrels be not empty we hope you will prove kind ; 
We hope you will prove kind ; 
We hope you will prove kind, 
With your ale and strong beer; 
And we will come, 
And we will come, 
No more a souling 
Until this time next year. 

God bless the master of this house, the mistress also, 
Likewise the little children that round your table go ; 
Likewise your men and maidens, your cattle, and your store ; 
And all that lies within your house, we wish you ten times more. " 

The above was supplied me by a correspondent from Halton, 
who is accustomed to take part in the performance. From a Middle- 
wich correspondent I have the following version, which is very nearly 
like the one I have always heard in the neighbourhood of Mobberley. 
The exact Mobberley version, however, I am unable to recover. 

"We are two or three good, hearty lads, and we are all of one mind; 
And we are come out a souling, and we hope you will prove kind. 
We hope you will prove kind with your apples and strong beer ; 
And we'll come no more a souling until this time next year. 

Step down into your cellar, and see what you can find ; 
If your barrels are not empty, we hope you will prove kind. 
We hope you will prove kind with your apples and strong beer ; 
And we'll come no more a souling until this time next year. 

God bless the master of this house, the mistress also ; 
God bless his sons and daughters, that round his table go. 
We hope you will prove kind with your apples and strong beer ;- 
And we'll come no more a souling until this time next year. 

God bless his men and maidens, his cattle and his store ; 
And all that lie within your gates, we wish you ten times more. 
We wish you ten times more with your apples and strong beer ; 
And we'll come no more a souling until this time next year." 

The tune to which I have always heard the Mobberley version 
sung, and which also suits the above words, is as follows : 




^ = 

t 1 1 \- 

<rJ m m 

/L 4 m'P m 

m ? * 


1 1 . i 

r f i i 

i r 

a; d 

J J J -U 

C3^Z [ > 1 - - 

1 1 LJ- 

-i i ^ i 

9 J ' 

ft~^*t ' "~~^5 

J 1 f 1 

i j j 


-~P I I 

ff\ *T _' ! A ' 




J J 

viy *, ^ 



1 J * 

Cf 3fiL [^ ; 

f n^ "fr & + ^ & & 

It is a remarkable fact in connexion with this air that it is, note 
for note, the same as a certain portion of a march of which Handel 
claimed the authorship. There is also a song, "Let's drink and 
sing," published in The Convivial Songster of 1782, which is prac- 
tically the same air as the march. It will be found, with new words, 
and called, " Our swords are sheathed," amongst a series of Old 
English Songs and Melodies which was issued with the Illustrated 
London News in 1852, the musical arrangement being by the late 
Sir Henry R. Bishop. From its structure, I have very little doubt 
but that the version, as sung at Mobberley, is the original traditional 
tune; and that Handel, who, it is well known, appropriated and 
adapted any musical subject that took his fancy, having heard the 
song somewhere, worked up the melody into his march; and I think 
it probable that the song, "Let's drink and sing," would then be 
taken from Handel's composition. That our "Souling Song" is the 
original of the other two I cannot doubt; for it is extremely im- 
probable that country lads would adapt a march of Handel's to 
the words of a song used in one of their ancient customs. 

I have occasionally seen the play performed by young boys ; but 
as a rule children confine themselves to the souling proper, whilst the 
play is performed by young men. 

Having finished their song, the "actors" knock at the door, and 
beg to be admitted into the kitchen. Leave is generally granted, 
and all the family and servants assemble to see the performance. 


The words are entirely traditional, being handed down orally from 
one generation to another ; consequently many palpable errors have 
crept in, and the text varies in almost every village. When I was a 
boy the play was much longer than it is now ; but, unfortunately, I 
cannot remember all the old version myself, nor have I been able to 
meet with anyone who can help me to recall it. There is a small 
chap-book called " The Peace Egg, or St. George : an Easter Play," 
" printed for the Booksellers " by Messrs. Looney & Pilling, Spear 
Street, Manchester, which is more like the play, as I recollect it, 
than any other version which I have been able to obtain; still I 
think even this differs in some respects from our old Cheshire version 
of " King George and the Slasher." 






BELZEBUB (so pronounced). 



in Vocabulary). 

Old Woman. Open this door to let us in ; 

We have your favour for to win. 
Whether we sit, stand, or fall, 
We'll do our best to please you all. 

Room, room, ye brave and gallant boys ; give us room to rhyme ; 

We will show you a little of our activity before the Christmas time. 
Active youth, and active age 
The like was never acted on a stage. 
If you don't believe in what I say, 
Enter in, Knight George, and clear the way. 


Knight George. Here comes Knight George, from England have I sprung, 
Many a gallant deed, and nobler, to be done ; 
Many a long year, in close keep, have I been 
Kept out of that in a prison ; 
Left out of that in a rock of stone, 
Where there I made my grievous moan. 
I'll fight better here; I'll show my deadly weapon. 


Is there a man that will before me stand ? 
I'll cut him down with my iron hand. 
What art thou ? 

Turkish Champion. I am the Turkish Champion, from Turkey land I came, 

To fight the Knight George by name. 
I will cut thee ; I will slash thee ; and after that 
I will send thee over to Turkey to be made mince pies of. 

Knight George. What ! what ! thou black Morocco dog ! let me hear no more of 
that ; or if I draw my deadly weapon, I will surely break thy head. 

Turkish Champion. How canst thou break my head? 

When my head is made of iron, my body armed with steel ; 
My hands, feet, and knuckle bone, I challenge thee to feel. 

(They fight, and the Turkish Champion is slain.) 

Knight George. This man is dead, his blood is shed, 

And what will become of I ? 
He challenged me to fight with him, 

And how could I deny? 
A doctor ! a doctor ! ten pounds for a doctor ! 
Is there never a man to be found 
To cure this map of his deadly wound? 

(Wound is pronounced to rhyme with sound.) 

Enter DOCTOR. 
Knight George. Art thou a doctor? 

Doctor. Yes, I am a doctor, pure and good ; 

And with my sword I will draw thy blood; 
But if I this man's life am to save, 
Four hundred guineas I must have. 

Knight George. Cure that man, doctor ! 

Doctor. Here, Jack ! take a drop of this nip-nap 
Down thy tip-tap; 

(Pours medicine down his throat.) 
A drop of this bottle 
Down thy throttle. 
Rise up, Jack ! and fight the battle ! 

( Turkish Champion comes to life again. ) 

Knight George. How far have you travelled, doctor ? 


Doctor. Through hickity, pickity, High Spain and France, 

(Query, France and High Spain?) 
And now have returned to Old England again. 

Knight George. Any further, doctor? 

Doctor. Yes, from the fireside into the cupboard, upstairs, and into bed. 
Knight George. What have you seen in your travels, doctor ? 

Doctor. Houses thatched with pancakes, roads made of dumplings, windows 
made of matches, little pigs running about the streets with knives and 
forks in their backs, saying "Who will have a slice?" 
If you don't believe in what I say, 
Enter in, Belzebub, and clear the way. 

Belzebub. In comes I, Belzebub, 

On my shoulder I carry my club ; 
In my hand a dripping pan ; 
And think myself a jolly old man. 

A ring, ting, ting; a sup more drink will make the old kettle cry "sound." 
I saddled and bridled an old black snail, 
And made my whip of a mouse's tail, 
If you can't believe in what I say, 
Enter in, Little Jerry Dout, and clear the way. 

Jerry Dout. In comes I, little Jerry Dout, 

If you don't give me some money, I'll sweep you all out. 

Money I want, and money I crave, 
If you don't give me money, I'll sweep you all to the grave. 

(Sweeps whilst the dripping-ladle is handed round Jor contributions.) 
If you don't believe in what I say, 
Enter in, old horse, and clear the way. 

Enter HORSE led by DRIVER. 

Driver. When thou wast a young horse, and in thy youthful prime, 
Thy master used to ride on thee, and think thee very fine. 
But now thou hast grown old, and nature does decay, 
Thy master frowns upon thee, and these words we heard him say 
"Poor old horse ! poor old horse ! " "Poor old horse," says we. 

(Horse prances, and snaps its jaws.) 
When thou stood in thy stable, thy jacket it did shine; 
Thy clothing used to be of the best superfine; 
Thy feeding of the best corn and hay 


That grew in the fields and meadows so gay. 

But now thou hast grown old, and scarcely can scrawl, 

Thou'rt forced to eat the poorest grass that grows against the wall. 

( Horse prances, &c.) 

This is the horse that run so swiftly so many miles ; 
He could clear hedge, ditch, brook, or stile; 
He is healthy, wealthy, blooming, and sound; 
A better horse in Old England never could be found. 

(Horse prances, &c.) 

Behold how this horse stands upon the stones! 
He is short in the leg, but full in bone. 
He has an eye like a hawk, an ear like a dove ; 

As many wrinkles in his forehead as there is in an acre of ploughed 

( Horse prances, &c.) 
Behold, this horse has only three legs, 
And for his living he is forced to beg; 
And what he begs is very small, 
And that is obliged to serve us all, 

(Horse prances, &*c. ) 

Poor old Dick had a misfortune last week ; he fell down, and broke his 
cart; so open your hearts, and give a trifle towards buying a new 

(Exeunt o nines. ) 



v Preface, line 9 from bottom, for "Joseph E. Ward " read "Thomas Ward." 

i in prefatory note, "1880" is given as the date of the publication of Leigh's Glossary 

read "1877." 

28 s.v. 'BEVuv.tiyfbr "raise" read "rinse." 
33 fourth line from top, for " Old Blat" read "Old Biat." 
72 for "Cloutering " read 11 Clontering." 

no. for"Dfm Sassenach" read"'D'ym Sarsnick," which is the Cheshire pronunciation. 
132 s.v. FOWD (2), for "horses" read "houses." 
153 s.v. HAG, delete the word "Jag" and to the end of the sentence. 
191 s.v. KISSING SCAB, for "a girl (or boy)" read "girls or boys." 
208 for "Load-back" read "Toad-back." 
292 ROUK. I have no doubt that this word (quoted from Leigh) is, in his Glossary, a misprint 

for "ronk." 

358 s.v. THOWT. In the illustrative sentence, "enoo" should be " enuf," the latter form being 
used in the singular number, the former only in the plural. 

A. Ireland & Co., Printers, Pall Mall, Manchester. 




Holland, Robert 

A glossary of words used 
in the County of Chester