County Durham Words – 1810


At the end of the ‘agricultural’ epoch, a word list was made, as printed in the glossary to John Bailey’s General View of the Agriculture of the Country of Durham (1810).
This book shows considerable local detailed knowledge, and is unlikely to be based on previous work (e.g. shows little accord with John Ray); there is therefore no reason to doubt that it presents a valid (if gentlemanly and occasionally learned) summary of cuurent vocabulary in the County, or some part of the County, with a necessary bias towards terms of agricultural significance (likely anyway to be conservative/traditional). NB: at this time ‘stot’ was a two years old ox.
(An original note on p.374 relates to pronunciation: “A…is [often] sounded like yaw: as yal, ale; and where so sounded is marked a)

adlings – earnings
amel – between
arder – fallow quarter {ploughed land left fallow}
arles or earles – earnest money
arnut – earth nut

bain – ready, near
batts – islands in rivers, or flat grounds adjoining them
beck – a brook or rivulet
berrier – a thresher
bink – a seat of stones, wood, or sods, made mostly against the front of a house
blash – to plash [sic]
bleb – a drop
brake – a large harrow
braugham – a collar which goes round a horse’s neck to draw by. {braffen}
brent – steep
brissel – to scorch or dry very hard with fire
bumble-kites – bramble berries (fruit of Rubus fructicosus)
burn – a rivulet
buse – a stall; as cow buse, hay buse
buste – a mark set upon sheep with tar, &c.
bute or boot – money given in bartering horses, &c. to equalize the value.
byer – a cow house

carr – flat marshy ground
chisel – bran
choups – heps [sic], the fruit of briars
clag – to adhere or stick together
cope – to barter or exchange
cope or coup – to empty or turn out
coul – to scrape earth together
cow-wa – come away
crine – to shrink, pine
crying – weeping

daft – foolish, stupid, insane
darking – listening obscurely or unseen
dene – a dell or deep valley
dight – to dress, to clean
doff – to undress
don – to dress
dowp – a carrion crow
draf – brewer’s grains
drawk – to saturate with water
dreerood – a long and weary road
dub – a pool

an ear or a niere – a kidney
elsin – an awl
ennanters – in case of

fell – a moor or common
fettle – to make ready
flacker – to flutter or quiver
flaid – frightened
flit – to remove from one dwelling to another
fond – silly, foolish
forse – a cascade
froating – anxious unremitting industry
fusin – nourishment

gait or gate – a path, a way, a street
gait for cattle – the going or pasturage of an ox or cow through the summer
gaiting – a sheaf of corn set up on end to dry
gar – to oblige to do any thing
garsil – hedging wood
gear – stock, property, wealth
gears – horse trappings
gill – a small valley or dell
glair – mirey puddle
glif – a glance, a fright
glore – to stare
gob – the mouth
goping – as much as both hands can hold, when joined together
gouk – a cuckoo
grain of a tree – a branch
grape – a three pronged fork for filling rough dung
greeting – weeping
groats – shelled oats
grosers – gooseberries

hames, h’yawms – the two pieces of crooked wood, which go round a horse’s neck to draw by [plus a footnote: This is pronounced ‘yawmes’, with the aspirate H before it.]
haughs, holms – flat ground by the sides of rivers
haver – oats
haver-meal – oat-meal
hell or hail – to pour
heft – a haunt
hemmel – a shed for cattle, &c.
hindberries – raspberries (Rubus Idæus)
hipe – to rip or gore with the horns of cattle
hogg – a young sheep before it be shorn
hopple – to tie the legs together
howl – hollow
humbling barley – breaking off the awns {beards}, with a flail or other instrument
huse – a short cough

ings – low wet grounds
inkling – an intimation

kave – to separate with a rake and the foot the short straw from corn
kemping – to strive against each other in reaping corn
ken – to know
kenspeckled – particularly marked, so as to be easily known
keslop – a calf’s stomach salted and dried to make rennet
kite – the belly
kittle – to tickle

lake – to play
late or lait – to seek
leam – a flame
leif – rather
lemurs – ripe nuts that separate easily from the husk
letch – a swang, or marshy gutter
lib – to castrate
lig – to lie
ling – heath (erica vulgaris)
lingey – active, strong, and able to bear great fatigue
linn – a cascade
loach – a leach
lop – a flea
lop-loach – the leach used by surgeons to draw blood
lowe – a flame

mang – barley or oats ground with the husk, for dogs and swine meat
maugh – a brother-in-law
maumy – mellow and juiceless
meal of milk – as much as a cow gives at one milking
mel-supper – a supper and dance given at harvest home
mis-tetch – bad habits
moudy-warp – a mole

neive – the fist
neivel – to strike or beat with the fist
nolt or nout – neat cattle

piggin – a wooden cylindrical porringer, made with staves, and bound with hoops like a pail; holds about a pint
plenishing – household furniture
prod – a prick
pubble – plump, full: usually said of corn or grain when well perfected

quickens or quicken grass – a general name for all creeping or stoloniferous grasses or plants, which give the farmer so much trouble to eradicate

rated – approaching to rottenness
rice – hedging wood
rife – ready, quick to learn
rift – to belch; also to plow out grass land
rowting – bellowing of an ox
runch – a general name for wild mustard, white mustard, and wild radish

samcast – two ridges ploughed together
sare – much, greatly: as sare hurt, sare pained
sheer – to reap or cut
sipings – the drainings of a vessel after any fluid has been poured out of it
skeel – a cylindrical milking pail, with a handle made by one of the staves being a little longer than the rest
skelp – to slap, to strike with the open hand
skirl – a loud and continued scream or shriek
skugg – to hide
smash – to crush
snell – sharp, keen: as snell air
soss – to lap like a dog
spait of rain – a great fall of rain
spaned – weaned
spurling – rut made by a cart wheel
stark – stiff, tight, thoroughly
stee – a ladder
steek the heck – shut the door
steer – a three years old ox
steg – a gander
stell – a large open drain
a stint – in stocking grass land is equal to an ox or cow’s grass
stirk – a yearling ox or heifer
storkin or storken – to grow stiff: as melted fat cooled again
stot – a two years old ox
stour – dust
strippings – the last part of a cow’s meal, said to be richer than the rest
swameish – shy, bashful
syde – hanging low down
syke – a small brook
syles – principal rafters of a house

tawm – a fishing line made of hair
team – to empty a cart, by turning it up, to pour out
tewing – teazing, disordering, harassing
threave – 24 sheaves of corn, &c.
as tite – as soon
titter – rather, sooner
trod – a beaten path
twea – two
twibling – slender, weak

unletes – displacers or destroyers of the farmer’s produce

wankle – uncertain
wattles – teat-like excrescences which hang from the cheeks of some swine
whang – a leather thong
whig – soured whey with aromatic herbs in it, used by labouring people as a cooling beverage
whye or quey – a heifer
win – to get: as winning stones, to get stones in a quarry
wizened – dried, shrivelled, shrunk

yaits (aits) – oats; hence probably gaitings from yaitings, single sheaves of oats
yak (ayk) – oak
yal – ale
yammer – to cry like a dog in pain
yan (ane) – one
yance (ance) – once
yap – ape
yarnut – arnut, earthnut
yat – gate
yaude – a horse
yedders – slender rods that go along the top of a fence, and bind the stakes together
yerd – a fox earth
yerning – rennet
youl – to howl like a dog
yuke – to itch

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