Northumbrian Language Society

Word List Alnwick 1870

THE ALNWICK LANGUAGE ca. 1870

Extracts only.
The copy of John Lamb Luckley’s The Alnwick Language in Newcastle Central Library comprises cuttings pasted in from a unidentified periodical (Luckley also edited the Alnwick Journal). It does not seem to have been published as a whole, and may never have been completed by Luckley, though gaps in this compilation are filled in by an unidentified contemporary hand. Such additions are indicated below by italics.

ahint – behind

airt – the point from which the wind blows: ‘The wund’s the wrang airt’

aller – the alder tree

alley – a marble made of alabaster

April Gowl – an April fool

arrnut – earthnut: ‘H’es been howking arrnuts…’

ax – to ask: ‘Gan an’ ax the maistor’

bad – invited: ‘he’s bad to the funeral’

badly – sick, ill barley – to speak for, claim: ‘Barley haff!’ [when a coin is found] Fr. parler

beastin’ – the first milk of a cow after calving: ‘beastin’ puddin” – plus beestlings or beestings

beeldy – warm, sheltered from wind: ‘a beeldy place’

bin or bing – a space or wooden receptacle for corn in a stable

bizon – a scandal

black-bowowers – blackberries – plus bumbly kites

blaring – crying peevishly: ‘You’r blaring like a calf’

blether – bladder, empty talk

blibe – a blister

Bo-lo – a nursery ghost or hobgoblin: ‘Gan to bed therecklies or aw’ll bring the bo-lo!’

brattle – the noise of a peal of thunder: ‘what a brattle o’ thunner that was!’

breeks – breeches

brock – a fox 

bubbly – snotty: ‘a bubbly nose’

bubbly jock – a turkey cock

bummler – a humble bee: ‘a bummler byke’

bummler-box – a small box for holding bees and insects

byke – the nest of a bee or wasp

ca’, caw – to turn, to drive: ‘Tom, come an’ caw the grinstone’, ‘Ca’ the mangle, hinny’

caller – cool, fresh

cam – clayslate…used for slate pencils

can-kils – icicles

canny – kind, gentle, etc… apparently derived from the Scotch

car-handed – left-handed

carlins – grey peas steeped in water for a time, then ‘bristled’ and mixed with butter and sugar; they are eaten on the Sunday before Palm Sunday

casket – the stalk of a cabbage

caud – cold

cavilled – divided into ridges, spoken of a common field held in ridges

chep – a customer

chimla – chimney

chow – a quid of tobacco; also to chew

chowk – to choke

chucks – a game among girls played with shells; also the shells themselves

clag – to stick: ‘she clagg’d a bit wax on his nose’

claggum – treacle made hard by boiling

claise – clothes

clarts – soft mud: ‘She’s fa’en i’ the gutter and myed her frock a’ clarts’

clarty – dirty: ‘gan an’ wesh yor clarty fyece’

clash – to throw violently, to strike: ‘clash the door’, ‘Aw’ll clash yor lugs’

click – to clutch: ‘click haud o’ the rope, Cuddy’

clocker – a cockroach or other large beetle; also a hen with chickens

clog – a lump of wood: ‘put a clog on the fire’ W[elsh]. cleg, clog, a lump

clogs – shoes soled with wood

cockle – a quantity of spittle: ‘Tom spat a big cockle’

coggly – unsteady: ‘a coggly tyebble’

coup – to barter: ‘Jim coup’d his vine for two roasted taties’

cowp – to overturn: ‘Bella cowp’d the hyesty-pudding on her new goon’

cowp the creels – turn somersault

cracket – a low three-legged stool

craw – a crow

crowdy – oatmeal and boiling water stirred together till thick, and then ‘supped’ with milk, treacle, dripping, or beer sweetened with sugar

cuddy – an ass

cundy – a covered drain, a conduit

cushat – a dove

cushy cow – [childish name for a cow]

[much of D to H are present only as handwritten entries]

dad – a stroke or blow
daver – to stun or stupefy
dean – a narrow rather steep valley, especially with water…[and] often wooded’
deave – to deafen
deef – barren or empty
dike – a fence, commonly applied to one covered with sods
ding or dung – to dash violently: ‘They dung doon the ppep show’
dinna – do not
div – to do: ‘what div I knaw?’
docken – a dock [plant]
dottle – the unburnt remains of tobacco or a pipe, also the dung of some animals
drucken – drunken
drumly – muddy, turbid: ‘aw cuddint drink’t, it was sae drumly’
ducket – a dovecot
datil-man – day-tale-man, a person employed by the day

efter – after
elshin – a crooked awl used by shoemakers
esh – an ash tree
ether – an adder

a fairing – a present on a fair-day
fand – found
farnytickled – freckled
fash – to trouble: ‘Aw canna be fashed wi’ that aud goose’
few – a quantity: ‘Will ye hev a few broth?’
find – to feel / fand – felt: ‘O, mither, find how caud my toes is’ [more properly = find out?]
flannen – flannel
flig – fledged, feathered: ‘There’ a blackie’s nest amang the whuns and two ‘o them is flig’ [?flown]

fornenst – in front, over against: ‘He leeves right fornenst us’

fozy – soft and spongey, generally applied to frosted turnips

freet – a fright

fresh – a flood; mild weather in winter; rather intoxicated; hale and healthy

full – houseleek

feal dyke – a turf fence
fog – the aftermath or second growth after cutting for hay

gavelock – an iron bar used for putting up hurdles
galloway – a small saddle horse
gimmer – a female sheep between first and second shearing
Gocks – a pitman’s expression of astonishment: ‘Maw gocks, what a cull ye ar”
graip – a three-pronged dung fork
gar – make: ‘he gar you do that’
[grozers – gooseberries; entered s.v. mebby]

hain – to save: ‘Thor grass fields are a’ hained for the cows to gan in’
haulm – the stalk of pease, beans, etc.
hemel – hovel, a shed for cattle
hind – a yearly farm servant
hog – a one year old sheep
hoven – swollen
[‘howking dandelions’ from s.v. wark]
hummel – to ‘shill’ or take the outer cuticle off barley
havers – airs, a presumption of dignity

in-by – in general applied to the innder chamber of a house: ‘Had away in-by, man, an; hev a few broth’

jap – to splash with a liquid; to agitate a fluid in a vessel

jenny howlet – a sort of owl

jenny spinner – an insect; a feathered seed of the dandelion tribe, flying about

joggle – to shake gently: ‘joggling the table’

kail, kyel – broth or soup, especially when made with potatoes or fish: ‘Will ye hev a few tatie kail…?’

keek – to peep: ‘Keek, keek, hidy-ho-seek!’

keel – ruddle or red chalk

ken – to know: ‘Aw divvent ken’

kep – to catch: ‘he cuddint kep the ball’

kern – to churn; also the churn itself

kersen – to christen

Kersenmiss – Christmas

kist – a chest; commonly applied to a large box holding clothes

kit – a small wooden vessel, generally with one handle but often without: ‘Put the weshins int’ to the kit’

kittle – to tickle violently

kitty – the house of correction

knaw – to know

kye – cows

lad – a male sweetheart: ‘Tom Cubberson’s maw lad’

lairn – to teach, to learn: ‘Aw’ll lairn ye to myek sic a wark aboot nowt’

lass – a female sweetheart

lead – to carry, harvest: ‘leadin’ cwols’

lee – a lie

leet – to light; a light

leet on – to meet, fall in with, find: ‘Aw cuddent leet on’t. though aw sowght it ever sae lang’

lick – to beat, to conquer

limmer – the shaft of a cart

loan – a place for milking cows: ‘the cow loan’

loanin’ – a lane

lopper – to coagulate

lough – a small lake

loup – to leap

lowse – to loose: ‘Lowse the horses’

lug – the ear

maister – master

Mally – Mary

mammy – mother

mair – more

marrows – fellows: ‘Nanny bowt a pair o’ stockings an; they warrent marrows’

masselgem – mixed meal

maw – my

mawk – maggot: ‘the sheep was a’ mawks’

mawky – magotty

me – often used for ‘I’: ‘Me and Meggy’

mebby – maybe

meggy-mony-feet – a centipede

mell – a mallet: ‘Bring the mell, an’ drive the post farther doon’

mennim – a minnow

midden – a dunghill, an ash heap

midge – a gnat

mind – remember: ‘Dee ye mind thon place…’

morn – tomorrow: ‘Tom’s gan t’ gether taties the morn’

moudiwort – mole

muckle – great, large: ‘a muckle pair o’ clogs’

mugger – a travelling dealer in crockery

ned kyek – a cake kneaded with butter, etc.

neeve – the fist: ‘He doubled up his neeves, an’ hat us on the nose’

nor – than… Gael. na

nouse – nothing: ‘it’s nouse to talk aboot’

oo, ool – wool

or – before: ‘or Setterday’

oswe, out – ought, anything

oxters – the armpits

paddock – a frog

paddock-styul – a toad-stool

pant – a fountain of water for public use

paste-egg – an egg boiled hard, and ornamented in various ways, used at Easter: ‘Are ye gan t’ the Pasture t’ thraw yer paste-eggs?’

pee-dee – a miniature marble; on the Tyne…a small boy

peenge – to utter low fretful cries: ‘what’s the bairn peenging aboot?’

peth – a road with a steep ascent, a path

pipe-stopples – pieces of broken tobacco pipe tube

plash – fall: ‘a plash of rain’, ‘he’s plashed up tiv the neck’
plash a hedge – to prune the thorns by cutting upwards

pload – to wade in water

ploat – to pluck feathers

poke – a sack or bag: ‘ a poke o’ cwols’

poot – an unfledged bird

prog – to prick

proggly – prickly

punch – to kick about with the feet in bed in a restless manner: ‘Lie still an’ dinna punch us that way’

puzzin berries – the red berries of the mountain ash

quey, whey – a female calf, stirk or two year old
quickens, whickens – couch grass – twitch – the long creeping roots of weeds[sic]

range – to rinse: ‘range oot the skeel’

ratten – a rat

rax – to stretch: ‘rax that blether an’ we’ll myek a foot ball’

reesty – applied…to bacon when it is rancid

red – to put in order, to right: ‘ye shud red up yer place’, ‘red yor hair’

reek – smoke, vapour

rice – dead thorns fixed to form a fence

ripe – to rifle or search: ‘Aw catch’d him ripin’ maw breeches pocket’

rive – to tear

rolly – a low waggon, a truck used in coalpits

rooped – hoarse: ‘He’s roop’d wuv a sair throat’

rozzle – resin

saim – hog’s lard

scammle – to scramble

scart – to scratch

scooter – a squirt or syringe

scrab apples – fir cones

scranch – to grind a hard or crackling substance between the teeth with a noise

scrounge – to crush or squeeze toegther, as in a crowd: ‘What are ye scroungin’ us for?’

scrudge – nearly the same as ‘scrounge’

scumfish – suffocate: ‘Aw was half scumfish’d wi’ the stoor’

see’d – saw

seugh – syke – a dtich or small watercourse, generally of slow current

shaw – the haulm or leafy stalk of potatoes

shive – a large slice

shuggy shew – a swing

shull – shovel: ‘bring the shull an’ git the cwols in’, ‘shull away the snaw, Bob’

sic – such

skaling – spreading manure on grass land

skeel – a wooden vessel with a handle at one side, used for carrying milk or water

skelp – to slap with the hand

skep – a receptacle, especially for bees or oatmeal

slip – a sort of child’s apron

slippy – slippery

slush – a greedy eater or drinker

sned [no definition]

soft – damp, drizzly: ‘it’s a very soft day’

soom – to swim

soss – a clumsy, heavy fall: ‘he tumbled soss into the gutter’

spelk – a small splinter of wood

stang – sting

stirks – young cattle

stoor – dust disturbed

stot – rebound

stot – castrated oxen of two years old and upwards

sumph – a pool

sweer – averse, unwilling

tata – good-bye, a childish farewell

taty – a potato

tawry – the name of a favourite marble…called taw in the south

taws – a leather strap partly cut into long strips, tails or tags

ted – to unravel: ‘he’s teddin oot the hank’

teem – to pour out: ‘teem oot the milk’

theak – thatch: ‘he was theakin’ a hoose…’

the day – to day

thivel – a stick for stirring hasty pudding

thonder – yonder

thrang – busy, much engaged: ‘ye better come back the morn, hinny, wor very thrang the day, ye see’

thraw – twist: ‘aw’ll thraw yor neck”

thur – those: ‘Wully bowght a’ thur haddocks’

till – unto: ‘he did nowt till her’ tinkle tankle – icicle

tod – a fox

tormit – turnip [elsewhere in the text, turmit s.v. fozy]

tues – labor, fatigue: ‘he had sair tues to git it oot’

twull – a quill

twult – a quilt

twutchbell – an earwig

u’m, u’h-hum – an indifferent way of assenting

upsides – quits, even with: ‘Aw’ll be upsides wi’ ye for that’

vast – a great deal: ‘a vast o’ bonny ribbons’

vine – a cedar pencil

wag – to shake: ‘Wag hands, Wully, man’

wairsh – insipid: ‘she hezzent put ony salt i’ the breid, an’ its as wairsh as waiter’ also weak, wishy-washy: ‘wairsh port’

waiter – water

ware – expend: ‘divvent wear a’ yor money at the fair’

wark – employment

[wark – fuss, bother, see s.v. lairn]

warse – worse

waw – wall

wear – to keep off: ‘wear the sheep oot o’ the turnips’

well! – this word is very commonly used as an expletive introduction to a sentence: ‘Well, Tom, how ye come on at the hirin’?’

weshin’s – slops and kitchen leavings, used for feeding pigs

whaings – leather thongs for tying shoes

whee – who

Wheest! – hush

whickens – the long creeping roots of some weeds, especially of couch grass

whuns – furze or gorse: ‘whuns on the moor’

whussle – [a] whistle

whye – cf. quey

wise – to leave or let go: ‘open the gate, an’ wise oot the kye’

wor – our: ‘wor hoose’

wrack – seaweed thrown on the shore by a storm

wrang – wrong: ‘[the] clock’s a’ wrang agyen’

wuv – with

wull – will: ‘he says he wull’

wunna – will not: ‘aw wunna hev barley breed’

yammer – to complain in a fretful manner: ‘give ower that yammerin”

yark – to thresh or sap: ‘aw’ll yark yor hide’

yate, yet – a gate

yell – ale

yesty kyek – a cake made with yeast

yettlin – a hemispherical metal pot with three legs and a bow handle, much used for boiling porridge and potatoes’

Yule doo – a small image made of dough, with a couple of currants for eyes

yek – oakgate

yell – ale

yesty kyek – a cake made with yeast

yettlin – a hemispherical metal pot with three legs and a bow handle, much used for boiling porridge and potatoes’

Yule doo – a small image made of dough, with a couple of currants for eyes

yek – oak

 

The above material reproduced by kind permission of Tom Richardson.

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