Wisty Witchs Stew for Two: Count and Rhyme From 1 to 10 (Childrens Halloween Picture Book)

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By: Paul Freeman. Banished from his homeland, a warrior of the Northern Clans grows weary of life in a harsh alien land. End of the Line. By: Lara Frater. The Child Thief. By: Melissa Snark. Valkyrie Victoria Storm has werewolf hunters hell bent on revenge trying to kill her. Outside the Dome. By: Arline Todd. By: Richard McChesney. Monkeys Wearing Pants. People said then : book-craft for literature ; star-craft for astronomy ; father-slayer for parricide ; deed-beginner for perpetrator of crime ; together-speech for colloquy ; old- speech for tradition; well-willing for benevolent, O.

Sometimes again we have replaced the old compound by a more concise but less picturesque synonym. For lore-house we say school ; for dim-house, prison ; for again-coming, return, O. In the spoken dialects we have the natural develop- ment of a living tongue, practically untouched by what are Homespun Compounds 19 called the learned influences; hence, where in the literary language we should use a word of Latin origin, we frequently find a homespun compound used by dialect-speakers.

We shall see in a later chapter to what a large extent these com- pounds are figurative and metaphorical ; the few here quoted belong only to the simplest type : beet-need n. What a rip-stitch that lad is! They purtend avore the justices how they 'adn never a-zeed wan t'other avore, but lor! He's gleg i j the uptak [quick in understanding].

Fine shades of meaning are often expressed in the dialects by some slight variation in pronunciation which to our ears might sound purely arbitrary or accidental, and also by the distinctive use of one or other of two words which from a dictionary point of view are synonymous.

For example, drodge and drudge both mean a person who works hard, but the difference is this : a drudge is always kept working by a superior, a drodge is always working because she cannot get forward with her work ; the word drodge implies blame, and C2 20 Some fine Shades of Meaning drudge none. Geeble g soft , gibble g soft , jabble Bnff. The word geeble contains the notion of contempt and dissatisfaction.

When there is a small quantity and greater contempt and dissatisfaction indicated, gibble is used, and when a larger quantity, jabble is used. Muxy and puxy Som. A boy may take a piece of pie from his mother's larder, and he will have slanst it, but if he did the same thing from his neighbour's place he would have stolen it.

Words like this would never be confused by people accustomed to use them in everyday life. This would of course be much more easily done if we could at once write down on paper what we have heard, and then stake it off in sections, like the cryptic word which the Kentish woman wrote to the village schoolmaster, to explain the absence of her boy from school : keptatometugoataturin, which became quite clear when divided up thus : kept-at- ome-tu-go-a-taturin, that is, kept at home to go a-harvesting- potatoes.

For instance, what sounds like oogerum Yks. The sentence always quoted as the classic puzzle of this type is : ezonionye-onionye, which being interpreted means : have any of you any on you? Another catch specimen of Yorkshire dialect is fweet maks'm pike'm, the wet makes them pick themselves, used of fowls cleaning themselves after rain.

Then further, many of the com- monest words have by the unhindered action of the laws of living speech become so worn down, that we hardly recognize them in this their dialect form, though we are using them every day ourselves in the standard language. Take for example such a sentence as : I shall have it in the morning, which has been pared down to : as-et-it-morn Yks.

Our forefathers a thousand years ago would have said : Ic sceal hit habban on deem morgue, every single word of which remains firm and intelligible in its skeleton shape of : as [I shall]- et [have it]- it [in the]- mom. Add to this an enor- 22 Difficulties of the Vermicular mous vocabulary of words non-existent in literary English, it is no wonder if sometimes the accents of a country rustic sound in our ears like an unknown tongue.

A story is told of a Yorkshireman who went into a store of general wares in London and asked : What diz ta keep here? Oh, everything. Yorkshireman : Ah deean't think thoo diz. Hes- ta onny coo-tah nobs [pieces of wood that secure the tie for the legs of cows when being milked]? But to illustrate more fully what has been stated above, I will here give some specimens culled promiscuously from various dialects : cost dibble tates?

Nobbut a whiskettle o' wick snigs Chs. Aw, they zeth he'th got a pinswill in 'is niddick Dev. Why, it donks an' dozzles an' does, an' sumtimes gi's a bit of a snifter, but it never cums iv any girt pell Cum. An old man having an order for some gravel was asked whether it was ready. He replied : Naw, Sur, but we've a got un in coose, we must buck [break] et, an' cob [bruise into small pieces] et, an' spal [break into yet smaller pieces] et, an' griddle [riddle] et twice, an' then et'll be fitty Cor. A Cornish girl applying for a housemaid's situation was asked : What can you do?

I can louster and fouster, but I caan't tiddly ; I can do the heavy work, and work hard at it, but I can't do the lighter housework. Sometimes a request for an interpretation of mysterious words only draws forth more of the same nature, for in- stance : Mester, that back kitchen's welly snying [swarming] wi' twitch-clogs. What do you mean by twitch-clogs, Mary? Whoi, black-jacks Chs. But ' Mester ' was still in blissful ignorance of the presence of black-beetles in his back kitchen.

The following conversation is reported from Somersetshire : I wish you would tell me where you get your rennet. Why, I buys a veil and zalts'n in. A veil!

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Don'ee know hot a veil is? Why a pook, be sure! Dear me, I never heard of that either ; what can it be? Zome vokes caU'n a mugget. I really cannot understand you. Lor, mum! Well, to be sure! I s'pose you've a-zeed a calve by your time? Of course I know that. Well then, th' urnet's a-tookt out of the veil o' un. Some one who had never heard the word gouty as used in Cheshire to mean wet, spongy, boggy, asked : What is a gouty place? A wobby place. What's a wobby place?

A mizzick. What's a mizzick? A murgin. A judge at the Exeter assizes asked a witness : What did you see? Witness : A did'n zee nort vur the pillem. Judge : What's pillem? Witness : Not knaw what's pillem? Why, pillem be mux a-drowed. Judge : Mux! What's mux? Witness : Why mux be pillem a-wat [mud is wet dust]. An assault case came before a magistrate in a Yorkshire Police Court. Magistrate to plaintiff : Well, my good woman, what did Dialect in the Sunday School 25 she do? Plaintiff : Deeah? Why, sha clooted mi heead, rove mi cap, lugged mi hair, dhragged ma doon, an' buncht ma when ah was doon.

Magistrate to clerk : What did she say? Clerk slowly and decisively : She says the defendant clooted her heead, rove her cap, lugged her hair, dhragged her doon, an' buncht her when sha was doon. Sometimes the inability to comprehend is on the side of the country rustic. At a school in Wensleydale a South-country inspec- tor, examining a class on the Bible, said : Neow tell me something abeout Mouses. Cats kill 'em, was the prompt rejoinder.

A lady reading Exodus ix. Afterwards she discovered that an ant in Cornwall is called a muryan. A similar story comes from Sussex. A lady who had been giving a lesson on Pharaoh's dreams was startled to find that all the boys supposed that the fat and lean kine were weasels. In Surrey, Kent, and Sussex a weasel is called a kine, or keen.

An old labourer reading the Book of Genesis came to this verse : ' And Israel said, It is enough ; Joseph my son is yet alive : I will go and see him before I die ' chap. There's a hatch zomewhere in this story, vor however could wold Jacob zee hes zon Joseph if hee'd ben yet alive?

If he'd ben yet up alive, or dead, how could there be any of 'en left vor his father to zee? That's what I wants to know I. It must have been a more highly educated person who understood the coroner's question : Did you take any steps to resuscitate the deceased? Yes, sor, we riped [rifled] 'ees pockets Nhb. An old woman once asked a neighbour the meaning of the word Jubilee. Why, 'tes like this, if yiew an' yieur auld man 'ave ben marrid fifty years, 'tes a Golden Wedden', but if the Lord 'ave took un, 'tes a Jewbilee.

A local preacher ex- pounding the Bible to a rural congregation in North York- shire told his hearers that the ' ram caught in a thicket ', Genesis xxii. The ' Ye mun begin an' aikle nai ' [you must begin and get dressed for going now] was the signal given by an old dame who kept a school near Wrenbury to her 4 little bench of heedless bishops ' that lessons were over for the day.

But now Dan Phoebus gains the middle skie, And liberty unbars her prison-door ; And like a rushing torrent out they fly, And now the grassy cirque han cover'd o'er With boist'rous revel-rout and wild uproar. Shenstone's old dame kept a ' birchen tree ' from which she cut her ' scepter ' ; he does not mention the other weapon of torture wielded by these female tyrants, which was the thimble.

The poor children were rapped on the head with a thimbled finger, and the operation was known as thimble- pie making. The old dame that I remember, who must have been one of the last of all her race, was of milder mood than these. Her name was Mrs. Price, and she dwelt in a remote and picturesque corner of Herefordshire called Tedstone Delamere. I cannot call it a village, or even a hamlet, for the houses were so very few and far between.

Price's scholars were mere baby creatures, old enough to run about and get into mischief, or court danger, and yet too young to be sent to the parish school with their bigger brothers and sisters. So busy mothers were glad to pay a trifling sum An old Village Dame 27 to have these little ones tended by a motherly old widow- woman for a few hours every morning.

But the time came when age and infirmity debarred her from even this light task, and her cottage no longer resounded with those noises which 4 Do learning's little tenement betray '. I found her one day sitting all alone with an open Bible on the table beside her, and her spectacles lying idle in her lap. She looked tired and dispirited, and said her eyes were so bad that she had been obliged to stop reading, and sit doing nothing.

Naturally I offered to read aloud to her awhile, and I inquired what had been engaging her attention. Price evinced such satisfaction over the prospect of yet another Plague, that I had not the heart to cut a long story short. At last when Pharaoh had finally bidden the Israelites 4 be gone', I closed the Bible, and as I did so, the old lady exclaimed, ' Ain't that nice readin'! There are in the dialects numbers of words which can only be regarded as corruptions and mispronunciations of literary English, but considered relatively to the whole vocabulary the proportion of them is very small.

Many even of the most obvious are not without a certain interest as examples of popular etymology, or of practical word-formation, as, for instance, when smother and suffocate are blended into the useful word smothercate Not. Some apparent corruptions are in reality old forms which can be found in the literary language in the earlier stages of its existence. For example : abuseful Yks. The word fancical gen. Druggister Yks. Latin Phrases taken into the Dialects 29 Squinacy Sc.

French squinancie, quinsy. But I shall reserve the treatment of historical forms such as these for a later chapter. A few Latin phrases have made their way into the dialects, where they have assumed curious forms and meanings. For example : hizy-prizy Nhb. It is used to signify any kind of chicanery or sharp practice, or, used as an adjective, it means litigious, tricky ; and in the phrase to be at hizy-prizy, it means to be quarrelsome, disagreeable.

The plural form momenty-morries Nhb. IV, in. The Latin nolens volens appears as nolus-bolus Wil. A mother sending off an unwilling child to school will say : Oilins-boilins, but thee shall go. Nominy Nhb. It means : 1 a rigmarole, a long rambling tale, a wordy, tiresome speech; 2 a rhyming formula or folk-rhyme. A knitting nominy used by girls in Northamptonshire is as follows : Needle to needle, and stitch to stitch, Pull the old woman out of the ditch.

If you ain't out by the time I'm in, I'll rap your knuckles with my knitting-pin. Paddy-noddy, or Parinody Yks. The form non-plush many dials. I was taken all on a non-plutch. Vady Sus. The French rendezvous appears as randivoo, randivoose Dev. He went a rumsey- voosing down the lane to meet his sweetheart. Jommetry is interesting for the sake of its meaning. It is used in Gloucestershire in the sense of magic ; anything sup- ported in a mysterious and unknown manner might be said to hang by jommetry i the phrase all ofajommetry means in pieces or tatters.

Lattiprack Wil. Hapsherrapsher Cum. Forms like solintary Nrf. Skelet Sc. Pronunciations such as : chimbly var. Hantle Sc. A story is told of a Scotch minister who alluded in his sermon to the fact that a number of his flock had joined the Baptists, thus : I thocht till ha'e gethered ye under my wings, as a hen gethereth her chickens, but a hantle o' ye ha'e turn't oot to be deuks, an' ta'en to the water.

Occasionally one literary word is mistaken for another, and adopted in its place, as, for instance, information Lin. A farmer having been asked if he would A ' nice Derangement of Epitaphs ' 31 clean out a pond, replied : No, sir, I can't undertake the job ; there's a sight of sentiment in that there pit. Profligate Shr, Dev. I remember my old nurse, when she took to minding chickens because we had outgrown the need of her daily ministrations, telling me that she had collected a ' sitting ' of a certain kind of eggs, because she thought it would produce c a profligate hatch '.

This is paralleled by the use of reprobate for pro- bationer. The Vicar's daughter asked a young girl if she had joined the parochial Guild. The reply was : Oh, yes, Miss! Last week I were took in as a reprobate Lin. A youth writing home from Canada to his father the village black- smith, in describing the Coronation festivities in the city where he dwelt, wrote : The soldiers fired three volumes.

A rheumatic old woman, who had been taken with several others for an excursion on a very hot day, said to me : Have you heard what a very nice exertion we had yesterday? Quite recently too, I was told of a man who had been 4 crossed in love ' in his youth, that he had been a woman- atheist ever since. One is constantly reminded of Mrs. Malaprop and her ' nice derangement of epitaphs '. Unction Sc. The use of persecute for prosecute may be merely the result of confusion of prefixes, as in : discommode, dismolish, mislest, perdigious, preverse.

For instance, unpossible occurs in all the dialects in Scotland, Ireland, and England. Other examples are : undecent many dials.

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The three last were once good literary forms, and may be found with quotations from learned authors in Johnson's Dictionary. Beside unconvenient there 32 Curious Prefixes and Suffixes exists in many dialects the useful compound ill-convenient. Unhonest for dishonest, though now a dialect form, occurs in literature of the sixteenth century.

Sometimes the prefix un- is a superfluous addition, as in : unbeneath n. But on the other hand, un- is used in the formation of practical native words, for which the standard language substitutes words of foreign extraction, for example : uncome Sc. Ungone n. In the hybrid form unheeastie n. It would be easy to collect together a large number of words with curiously assorted suffixes, and many of these words are decidedly effective. To quote a few examples : affordance Cum.

Corruptions not infrequently are due to the blending of one word with another; for instance, champeron Oxf. Battle-twig Yks. Closely akin to these are the corruptions due to what is called popular etymology, where an unfamiliar word or syllable becomes converted into a familiar one. Occasionally it is possible to trace some association of meaning to account for the change in pronunciation, as when week-days becomes wicked-days w.

Illify Lakel. The common example given to illustrate this change is the standard English word belfry. Johnson states the case thus : 4 Belfry, n. Madancholy must therefore rank with the great majority of corruptions due to sound-change, typified by the hack- neyed form sparrow-grass for asparagus. Jerusalem arti- choke for girasole artichoke is recognized as standard English, so also is gooseberry. Johnson has : 4 Gooseberry, n. In Marshall's Rural Economy of Yorkshire we find the form gross- berry, and this gross- is the same as the element gros- in French groseille, a gooseberry.

The Scotch form is groset. The pronunciation cowcumber gen. Years ago years and years and donkey's ears, as the saying is when motor-cars were yet unborn, and when even tram-cars were unknown to country children, I can remember my father trying to explain to the little carol-singers at Christmas- time, that they had introduced a corrupt reading into the text of their carol, when they sang : The moon and the stars Stopped their fiery ears, And listened while Gabriel spoke. This error is the invention of non-philological people who speak standard English.

It could not have been propounded by any one who uses the word lake, nor by any one who understands English philology. Idcan would have given in standard English, and in most of the above-men- tioned dialects, a form Ioke 9 and under no circumstances could it hav acquired the r. Apparently to lark is a verb made from the substantive lark, the bird. Idcan has died out, but its Scandinavian cognate O. A remark often heard in Ireland is : Well, I have the price av me supper now, an' God is good for the brukwust.

Dacious Lin.

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Of all th'daacious lads I iver seed oor Sarah's Bill's th'daaciousest. Demic Yks. Obstropolow, a corruption of obstreperous, and obligate for oblige, are in general dialect use in Scotland, Ireland, and England. Numbers of words used by Chaucer and the early Middle English poets, by Shakespeare, and by the translators of the Bible, which are now treated as archaisms to be explained in footnotes and appendices to the text, still live and move and have their being among our rural population to-day. The three principal words have disappeared from the literary language, and to give an exact rendering of these two brief sentences we should have to paraphrase them something like this : The snow, full keenly cold, blew on the biting blast, which pinched the deer with frost.

But if we turn to the dialects, there we find all three : snitter Sh. The difference between snart and snar is accounted for by the fact that it s a Norse word. An adjective in Norse takes a t in the neuter, and this t not being recognized on these shores as an inflexional ending was sometimes adopted into English as if it belonged to the stem of the word, as for example in the literary words scant, want, athwart, cp. Many a delightful old word which ran ' After cop 9 and 'Bairn' 37 away from a public career a century or two ago, and left no address, may thus be discovered in its country retreat, hale and hearty yet, though hoary with age.

It is hard to make a choice among so many, especially where the chosen must be few, but the following may perhaps serve as representa- tives of the remainder : attercop Sc. This was in Old English attorcoppe, a spider, from dtor, attor, poison, and coppe, which probably means head, the old idea being that spiders were poisonous insects.

In the M. Wyclif has : ' The eiren [eggs] of edderes thei to- breeken, and the webbis of an attercop thei wouen,' Isaiah lix. Bairn or barn Sc. Owing to its use among educated Scotch people, this word has gained some footing in our colloquial speech, and it has always had a place in poetical diction, but its real stronghold is Scotland and the North.

Perhaps no other word breathes such a spirit of human love and tender- ness as this does. How infinitely superior is the barns to our commonplace the kids ; or a bit bairn, or bairnie to that objectionable term a kiddie! Pillow-bere Irel. Yks, Chs. We read of Chaucer's ' gentil Pardoner ' that Prologue, The word also occurs in several of the wills published in W ells Wills, by F.

Weaver, , as, for instance, in that of Juliane Webbe, of Swainswick, dated Jan. We retain the word in the compound charwoman, and in a 38 Charming the Bees disguised form in ajar, which literally means on the turn. An old proverbial saying runs : ' That char is char'd, as the goodwife said when she had hanged her husband. Charm gen.

Ow the birds bin singin' this mornin', the coppy's all on a charm. It is also used of the sound of many voices. A Herefordshire farmer's wife writing to me about her five children under seven years of age, added : ' You can guess what a charm they make. Palsgrave has : 'I chitter, I make a charme as a flock of small byrdes do when they be together. Lost, iv. The phrase to charm or cherm bees belongs here, and has no connexion with the ordinary word charm, of French origin.

To charm bees is to follow a swarm of bees, beating a tea-tray, or ringing a stone against a spade or watering-can. This music is supposed to cause the bees to settle ; but another object in doing thus is to let the neighbours know who owns the bees, if they should chance to settle on adjacent property.

Har, or harr Sc. Chaucer, in describing the ' Mellere ', tells us : Ther nas no dore that he nolde heve of harre, Or breke it at a rennyng with his heed. Hulk n. The ' lodge in a garden of cucumbers ', Isaiah i. The word is found in the Promptorium Parvulorum c. Mommet n. It is the same word as Mahomet, Arab. The form in Shakespeare is mammet : a wretched puling fool, A whining mammet. In Wyclif 's Bible it is mawmet : ' And thei maden a calf in tho daies, and offriden a sacrifice to the mawmet,' Acts vii. Quag gen. This word occurs in The Pilgrim's Progress, in the description of the Valley of the Shadow of Death : ' behold, on the left hand there was a very dangerous Quag, into which, if even a good man falls, he finds no bottom for his foot to stand on : Into that Quag King David once did fall, and had, no doubt, therein been smothered, had not he that is able plucked him out.

Yet another word with the same meaning is mizzy n. Rise gen. Stanza ix. Another instance of the use of the word may be taken from the old carol The Flower of Jesse c. Stanza vii. Steven Cum. Hence, to set the steven, a phrase meaning to agree upon the time and place of meeting, O. The phrase ' at unset stevene ' occurs in Chaucer's Knightes Tale, 1. In the Cokes Tale we read con- cerning ' Perkin Revelour ' and his friends : And ther they setten steven for to mete To pleyen at the dys in swich a strete. Shep Cum. This form is familiar to us as occurring in the opening lines of Piers Plowman : In a somer seson whan soft was the sonne, I shope me in shroudes as I a shepe were.

Survivals of old Substantives 41 Toll-booth Sc. Matthew, according to Wyclif , was 4 sittynge in a tolbothe ', Matt. Thwittle n. Simkin, the miller of Trumpington, had one : A Sheffield thwitel baar he in his hose. Reves Tale, 1. The word is a derivative of thwite Sc. Eidechse ; bree Sc. L , a kind of sandal made of undressed skin with the hair outside, O.

It would be possible to produce samples of these retired English words categorized under each of the various parts of speech, but it will be sufficient here to keep to the most important categories, namely, nouns, adjectives, and verbs. Not but what many interesting words will thus perforce stand neglected, for even the humble adverb is often worth a glance. Take for example the modest form tho Dor. This is the regularly deve- loped lineal descendant of O. Knightes Tale, 1. The common dialect adverb nobbut, only, nothing but, lit. When Sir Gawayne is looking for ' j?

But to come to our second category, namely, old adjectives now disused in standard English, examples are : argh Sc. Germ, arg , ' His hert arwe as an hare,' Rob. Brantwood on the eastern margin of Coniston Lake, the residence of Ruskin, was so called from the brant, or steep wood which rises behind it.

Dern Sc. This too remains in the dialects as sib Sc. Oor Marmaduke's sib to all the gentles in th' cuntry, though he hes cum doon to lead coals. Fenny Ken. Lief, dear, beloved, is obsolete as an adjective even in the dialects, but as an adverb it is common throughout the country, so too is the comparative form liefer, more willingly, rather, M.

Piping hot gen. Milleres Tale, 1. Punch Sc. Lycidas, 1. In many of the dialects the word is found in the compound rathe-ripe, coming early to maturity, for the use of which we have evidence as far back as the seventeenth century, in an epitaph on two little children who died in and : Such early fruites are quickly in their prime, Rathe ripes we know are gathered in betime ; Such Primroses by Death's impartiall hand Are cropped, and landy'd up at Heaven's command. Another familiar Miltonic word is scrannel Yks. And when they list, their lean and flashy songs Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw.

Lycidas, Sackless Sc. Germ, selig. She leuk'd sackless and deead-heeaded, an we put her intiv a gain-hand garth te tent her, i. Span-new gen. Span is the O. Tickle gen. A word of almost the same meaning is wankle Sc. Swipper Sc. Lear, empty, hungry, O. Icere cp. Germ, leer , is found in almost all the Midland, Southern, and South-western counties. A curious relic of an obsolete verb is the participle forwoden n. Oor apple cham'er is fair forwoden wi' rattens and meyce. It is the same word as O. This brings us to the third category, the time-honoured verbs, and truly their name is legion.

Dow Sc. Germ, taugen , M. Patience, Time-honoured Verbs 47 This verb contains the stem from which comes the adjective doughty : If doughty deeds my lady please, Right soon I'll mount my steed. But even this is now archaic, and the verb has wholly disap- peared from the standard speech, whilst it remains in various forms and meanings in the dialects. It is a saying in York- shire that : They never dow that strange dogs follow. Another current expression, ' He'll never dow, egg nor bird,' occurs amongst Ray's Proverbs, Dow occurs as a substantive meaning worth, value, in several phrases, as : to do no dow, to be of no use or value, e.

A whussling lass an' a bellering cow An a crowing hen'll du nea dow. Dree Sc. In a description of the building of the Tower of Babel, given in the Cursor Mundi c. To dree one's weird, to endure one's fate, is a phrase now practically confined to Scotland, though this was not the case in the earlier periods of the language. Flite Sc. King Horn, Piers Plowman, B. A healer is a receiver of stolen goods, a common word in the proverb : the healer's as bad as the stealer.

The verb is also used in the sense of to cover, to wrap up, to tuck up with bed-clothes. The allied verb hill n. Rolle of Hampole, Ps. Another verb of the same meaning is hap gen. York Plays, c. Edited by Lucy Toulmin Smith, p. Hish Sc. Lout Sc. Latch n. An , to catch, lay hold of, O. Iceccan, M. In a poem called Patience, written by the same author as Cleanness and Sir Gawayne and the Green Knight, the word occurs in a striking and curiously realistic description of Jonah inside the whale : 4 Lorde!

Lasamon's Brut, Nim Sc. Cleanness, 1. In this sense the verb is obsolescent in the dialects, but it is still used in the sense of to walk with quick, short steps, to walk briskly and lightly, or mincingly. Probably this meaning is a development of the earlier uses of the verb in the phrase ' to take one's way ', and hence simply, to go, cp.

Sanne he nimeiS to kirke. Bestiary, 1. The standard adjective nimble is related to this old verb, so too is that apparently meaningless word nim in the old nursery rhyme said or sung to a baby on one's knee : The ladies they ride nim, nim, nim ; The gentlemen they ride trim, trim, trim ; The farmers they ride trot for trot ; An' the hinds they ride clot for clot ; But the cadgers ride creels an' aa, creels an' aa. One is glad to give a local habitation and a name to a friend of such tender associations!

Quop Lei. Ill, 1. Whom dredende Tobie criede out with a gret vois, seiende, Lord, he asaileth me. Ream Sc. Pearl, Speer Sc. Gower, Confessio Amantis, Bk. VIII, Shale Dur. Morte Arthure, Snib Sc. Chaucer, Prologue, I. Swink Sc. Prologue, 1. Development of standard English ' Wont ' 51 The form swinked, oppressed, tired, also occurs, reminding us of Milton's :. Comus, Thole Sc. Moral Ode, Won Sc. A Schipman was ther, wonying fer by weste. But in many districts this is said to be obsolescent in the dialects of to-day.

The past participle of this verb, O. Clerkes Tale, 1. From this was developed the standard English form wont, which ought to be pronounced wunt, but the graphic o has been taken for an original o, and the spelling has influenced the pronunciation. Wont occurs in a few of the Midland dialects as a verb meaning to familiarize, to domesticate, accustom, e. If you tek the cat, you'll hev to butter her feet to wont her, an' then it's chanch if shay doon't coom back 'ere agen Lei. Welk Sc. Genesis and Exodus, Yawl Sc. The more common verb in this sense is yowl gen. The majority of the verbs given above are of such frequent occurrence in Old and Middle English, that to give just one quotation, chosen more or less at random, is apt to be mis- leading, yet space forbids any more exhaustive treatment.

There are hundreds of these verbs still existing in the dialects, which could be illustrated from our older literature down the course of several centuries before they disappeared from the standard language. A few further examples are : greet Sc. It is interesting to note how many of the archaic words of our Authorized Version of the Bible can be found remaining in the dialects.

For example : blain Sc. Some of these old words and expressions have become so common that they must now be counted as colloquialisms, as, for instance, the phrase away with, meaning to endure, put up with : 4 The calling of assemblies I cannot away with,' Isaiah i. Another now commonplace word is ado, which has been immortalized by Shakespeare's use of it in the title of one of his plays. It occurs in Mark v. In the same way most of the obsolete Shakespearian words can still be traced in the dialects.

The Shakespeare- Bacon theory, if not too dead and gone to be worth further combat, could easily be completely overthrown by any one who chose to array against it the convincing mass of evidence which proves Shakespeare's intimate acquaintance with the Warwickshire dialect. Numbers of the words and phrases which Shakespeare used, and which we have since lost, still exist in his native county, and in the other counties bordering on Warwickshire. Some of them were at that date part and parcel of the standard vocabulary, and might be put by Shakespeare into the mouths of his highest personages ; others again must even then have been regarded by him as dialect, and natural only to the speech of lower folk.

It is Corporal Nym who says shog for move, jog : c Will you shog off? It is a serving- man who uses the phrase to sowl by the ears : ' He'll go, he says, and sowl the porter of Rome gates by the ears,' Cor. IF, n. But to classify after this sort all the old words in Shakespeare would entail a Biggin, Bolter, Blouze 55 classification of all the characters in the plays, and would thus be outside the scope of this book.

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I cannot therefore do more than give examples massed together irrespective of the question whether they were literary words or not in Shakespeare's time : Bavin, a bundle of brushwood, a faggot, cp. Bawcock, a semi-mocking term of endearment, a foolish person ; biggin, a nightcap without a border : Yet not so sound and half so deeply sweet As he whose brow with homely biggen bound Snores out the watch of night. IV, iv. The word also denoted a child's cap, hence : From the biggin to the nightcap, signifies from childhood to old age.

It is worth noting that this is the meaning which Dr. Johnson assigns to the word cp. A child's cap ' and he gives as the sole illustration the above quotation from Shakespeare. Where's the cowl-staff? Carry them to the laundress in Datchet-mead ; quickly, come,' Merry Wives, in. Callow, to frighten ; geek, a fool ; grize, a step ; haggle, to hack, mangle ; inch-meal, little by little ; inkle, an inferior, coarse kind of tape : 4 He hath ribbons of all the colours i' the rainbow,.

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Tale, iv. As a simple word, inkle is dying out now, but the compourid inkle-weaver is very common in the phrase : As thick as inkle-weavers, very friendly or intimate together. Insense, to cause to understand, to explain, inform, literally to put sense into.

The word is usually spelt incense in Shakespeare editions, so that it becomes mixed up with incense, to enrage, incite, but insense is clearly the right spelling in such a passage as : Sir, I may tell it you, I think I have Incensed the lords o' the council that he is For so I know he is, they know he is A most arch-heretic. VIII, v. Jance, to knock about, expose to circumstances of fatigue ; kam, crooked, awry, e.

It's clean kam, an' nowt else Lan. VIII, i. IV, n. An Irish recipe for the cure of kibes is as follows : The person suffering from kibes must go at night to some one's door and knock.

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Moble, Muss, Nook-shotten 57 When any one asks ' Who's there? I be reg'lar mated Oxf. Ther's a deal of foaks is badly, an' its all thruf this melch weather Lin. The word is con- nected with Du. Minikin, small, delicate, effeminate ; moble, to muffle the head and shoulders in warm wraps : First Play. But who, O, who had seen the mobled queen Ham. The mobled queen? That's good ; mobled queen is good. Muss, a disturbance, uproar, squabble ; neeze, to sneeze : And then the whole quire hold their hips and laugh, And waxen in their mirth and neeze and swear. V, in.

Nay-word, a by-word ; orts, remnants, scraps, especially of food ; peat, a term of endearment, a pet ; pick-thank, a flatterer, a tale-bearer, a mischief-maker ; plash, a puddle, a small pool ; pink, adj. Reechy, smoky, begrimed with smoke, dirty ; reneague, renege, to refuse, deny ; rivelled, wrinkled, puckered ; shive, a slice of anything edible, especially of bread ; skillet, a small metal vessel used for boiling liquids : ' Let housewives make a skillet of my helm,' Oth.

Tetchy, peevish, irritable ; trash, a cord used in checking dogs, a long slender rope fastened to the collar of a young pointer or setter if headstrong and inclined to run in : If this poor trash of Venice, whom I trash For his quick hunting, stand the putting on, I'll have our Michael Cassio on the hip. Trencher-man, a term applied to a person with a good, hearty appetite ; urchin, a hedgehog ; utis, noise, confusion : fc By the mass, here will be old utis,' 2 Hen.

Among interesting expressions of Shakespeare's date still existing in the dialects are : to burn daylight, to light candles before they are wanted ; figuratively, to waste time : Mercutio. Come, we burn daylight, ho 1 Rom. Nay, that's not so. I mean, Sir, in delay We waste our lights in vain, like lamps by day. Make a coil. Be in a taking 59 To make a coil, to make a stir, confusion, or fuss : ' I am not worth this coil that's made for me,' King John, n. Shrew, v. I told him to his head that I wouldn't have such goings on in my house any more Sus.

To be helped up, used ironically : to be in a difficulty, e. What with the missis bad, and him out of work, they're well helped up War. You're prettily holp up, is a common expression of derision, cp. To be in a taking gen. Wives, m. F, HI. For my state Stands on me to defend, not to debate. Lear, v. A thing of nothing, a trifle, next to nothing, e.

He bought a lot o' taters for his cows, and got 'em for a thing o' nothing Chs. The king is a thing Gull. A thing, my lord? Of nothing, Ham. Beside this 60 Shakespeare s Knowledge of Dialect exists also the parallel expression ' a tiling of naught ', in the dialects now, a thing ofnowt : 4 You must say " paragon " : a paramour is, God bless us, a thing of naught,' Mids.

Worth a Jew's eye, of great value, e. Hoo mays a rare weife, hoo's wo'th a Jew's eye Chs. The Quartos and Folios read ' a Jewes eye ', which is now considered the better reading. The expression the varsal world only differs by a normal change in pronunciation from Shakespeare's ' versal world ' : ' I'll warrant you, when I say so, she looks as pale as any clout in the versal world,' Rom. Opinions differ as to the precise meaning of the second element in cock-shut, twilight, the close of the day, used also in the phrase cock-shut time : Thomas the Earl of Surrey, and himself, Much about cock-shut time, from troop to troop Went through the army.

Ill, v. More sacks to the mill is a game played in Oxfordshire and Berk- shire. It is a rough-and-tumble boys' game, in which as many boys as possible are heaped together, one above another. As each successive boy is added to the heap the boys shout : More sacks to the mill! O heavens, I have my wish! Dumain transform'd! The ancient game of loggats has died out, but the term is still used to denote the small sticks or pieces of wood used in playing trunket and other games.

Another Shake- Dr. Johnsons Testimony 61 spearian game is the Nine Men's Morris, also known as Merills : ' The boyish game called Merils or five-penny Morris ; played here most commonly with stones, but in France with pawns or men made of purpose and tearmed Merelles,' Cotgrave, cp. Hunt's up is an old pipe tune especially used by the waits on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning : Hunsep through the wood, Hunsep through the wood, Merrily goes the day, sir ; Get up old wives and bake your pies, To-morrow is Christmas Day, sir.

From the derived sense of tumult, outcry, has been developed a verb used in the Lake District in the meaning of to scold, rate, abuse, e. He'll hunsip thi fer thi pains. But, lest this list become wearisomely long, it shall close with the time-worn inter jectional phrase : Adone, cease, leave off, cp. Shrew, in. Johnson bears his testimony to Shakespeare's know- ledge of dialect and colloquial speech in the Preface to the Dictionary : ' If the language of theology were extracted from Hooker and the translation of the Bible ; the terms of natural knowledge from Bacon ; the phrases of policy, war, and navigation from Raleigh ; the dialect of poetry and fiction from Spenser and Sidney ; and the diction of common life from Shakespeare, few ideas would be lost to mankind, for want of English words, in which they might be expressed.

Six Essays on Johnson, by Walter Raleigh, p. Johnson, therefore, though he incorporated this ' diction of common life ', did not hesitate to sit in judg- ment upon it when he thought fit. Take for example the phrase to make bold, which appears in the Dictionary thus : 4 to make bold. To take freedoms : a phrase not grammatical, 62 Johnson's Dictionary though common. I have made bold to send to your wife ; My suit is, that she will to Desdemona Procure me some access. Or again : ' To have rather. In the early days of Dictionaries a lexicographer impressed his work with the stamp of his own personality in a way which is impossible in modern times when Dictionary-making ranks among the abstract sciences.

It is not surprising, therefore, if we find in his treatment of dialect words some points of biographical interest. Certain of his views with regard to literature and language are plainly given in his Preface to the Dictionary : ' I soon discovered that the bulk of my volumes would fright away the student, and was forced to depart from my scheme of including all that was pleasing or useful in English literature, and reduce my transcripts very often to clusters of words, in which scarcely any meaning is retained ; thus to the weariness of copying, I was condemned to add the vexation of expunging.

Some passages I have yet spared, which may relieve the labour of verbal searches, and intersperse with verdure and flowers the dusty desarts of barren philology. That many terms of art and manufacture are omitted, must be frankly acknowledged ; but for this defect I may boldly allege that it was unavoidable : I could not visit caverns to learn the miner's language, nor take a voyage to perfect my skill in the dialect of navigation, nor visit the warehouses of merchants, and shops of artificers, to gain the names of wares, tools, and operations, of which no mention is found in books ; what favourable accident, or easy inquiry brought within my reach, has not been neglected ; but it had been a hopeless labour to glean up words, by courting living information, and contesting with the sullen- ness of one, and the roughness of another.

Just as it can be shown from the internal evidence of their respec- tive Dictionaries that Skinner belonged to Lincolnshire, Levins to Yorkshire, and Cotgrave to Cheshire, so it could be proved that Johnson belonged to Staffordshire, even if we had no other testimony outside his Dictionary. Some of the most striking of these evidences are as follows : ' Lich. A dead carcase ; whence lichwake, the time or act of watching by the dead ; lichgate, the gate through which the dead are carried to the grave ; Lichfield, the field of the dead, a city in Staffordshire, so named from martyred Christians.

Salve magna par ens. It is used in Staffordshire both for hemlock, and any other hollow jointed plant. A thicket ; A small wood. A tuft of trees near Lichfield is called Gentle shawS ' Tup. This word is yet used in Stafford- shire, and in other provinces. For example : 4 Huff. So in some provinces we still say the bread huffs up, when it begins to heave or ferment : huff, therefore, may be ferment. To be in a huff is then to be in a ferment, as we now speak],' cp.

The two parts of the foot of beasts which are cloven-footed. It is a country word, and probably corrupted from claws,' cp. It represents O. A hot glowing coal. A provincial and obsolete word,' cp. Raw ; half roasted ; half sodden. A provincial word. O'er yonder hill does scant the dawn appear, Then why does Cuddy leave his cot so rear? A large wooden vessel with hoops, for holding water ; a cowl. A pump Johnson's Scottish Assistants 65 grown dry will yield no water ; but pouring a little into it first, for one bason full you may fetch up as many soe-fills.

More' Cp. To be in the Suds. A familiar phrase for being in any difficulty. To pry ; to peep ; to search narrowly and slily. It is still used in the provinces, otherwise obsolete. I cast to go a shooting, Long wand'ring up and down the land, With bow and bolts on either hand, For birds and bushes tooting. Spenser's Past. To run idly and sluttishly about.

It is used only of women,' cp. One striking example of accurate knowledge of a word belonging only to a very limited locality is the entry : ' Sarn. A British word for pavement, or stepping stones, still used in the same sense in Berkshire and Hampshire,' cp. The word otter Johnson introduces on the authority of Skinner : ' Atter. Corrupt matter, A word much used in Lincolnshire. The information concerning words then current ' in the northern counties, and in Scotland ', was probably supplied by Johnson's assistants.

Out of his six amanuenses, five were Scots. Glad; merry; chearful ; fond. It is still re- tained in Scotland in this sense. To re- move ; to migrate. In Scotland it is still used for removing from one place to another at quarter-day, or the usual term.