Durham & Tyneside Dialect Group
/ Word Lists / Alnwick ca.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 - oak