Durham & Tyneside Dialect Group / Word Lists /


Francis Grose's Provincial Glossary of 1787 contains some clear definitions and examples of word-use, and contains a good deal of Northern material, but does not consistently distinguish the area a word comes from. 'N' in the list below represents Grose's 'North', suggesting that to some extent he thought in terms of a general 'Northern' speech. Other tags represent various counties. Untagged words relevant to North-East dialect are also included here.

aboon - above (N)
aey - yes (N/S)
aftermaths - pasture once mowed(N/S)
agest, agast - afraid (N)
to look agye - to look aside
aixes - an ague(Nb)
alegar - wine vinehar (Cd)
amell - between
anauntrins [perhaps] (Nb)
anent - opposite (Derby & N)
arain - spider
arders - fallowing or plouwing of ground (N/S)
art - 'Ise arf' I am afraid
argol - lees of wine (N/S)
ark - large chest (Nd)
arles or earles - 'an earles penny' money paid to bind a bargain
arsewards - backwards (Cd)
arsy-varsy - head over heels (Devon & N)
arvill sipper - a funeral supper
ash trug - a coal scuttle (Cd)
ashler - large free stone (Cd)
ask, asker - newt
asley - willingly (Nd)
astite - anon; shortly; as soon as
aud - old
audfarand - old fashioned, old like
aum - elm (Nd)
awf - an elf, a fairy (Derby & N)
awns - the beards of wheat or barley
awnters - peradventur, in case; 'he is troubled with awnters' scruples (N)
aye - always; 'for ever and aye' (Nb & N)

bain - willing
bairn - child
bairn-teams - broods of children
to ban - to curse
bar-guest - a ghost, all in white with large saucer eyes, commonly appearing near gates or stiles, there called bars (Y)
barr - a gate of a town or city
bauk - ...a pole or beam, such as are used under the roofs of small buildings; land left unplowed, to divide the property of different persons in common or open fields (Nb)
beck, beek - a rivulet or brook
beclarted - nesmeared or bedaubed
beeld - shelter
band-kitt - a sort of great can with a cover (Nb)
big - barley (Cm)
big - to build (Cm)
birk - a birch tree
bizend, beezen, bison - blind [sic] (Nb)
blake - ywllor of butter and cheese
blashy - thin: 'poor blashy milk or beer' (Nb)
bleare - to roar and cry
bleb - a blister, also a bubble in the water
blee - blueish, pale, blue
bleit, blate - bashful
bloacher - any large animal (Nb)
bluffe - to blinfold (Nb)
boggart - a spectre: 'to take boggart', said of a horse that starts at any object in the hedge or road
boggle, boge - a ghost
boll of salt - two bushels of salt (Nb)
boor - parlour, bed-chamber, inner room (Cm)
boose - an ox ro cow stall
bore -tree - an elder tree
boun / unboun - dress / undress (Nb)
bowke - to be ready to vomit... to belch, sometimes pronounced boke
bout - without (Nb)
bouted-bread - bread made of wheat and rye (Nb)
brant - steep: 'a brant hill' (Nb)
brash - a fit or tumbling about (Nb)
brat - a coarse apron (Lincs.)
brauchin -a horse collar made of old stocking stuffed with straw (Cm)
brawn - boar (Cm)
breade - to spread or make broad (Nb)
breeks- britches
to brian an oven - keep it alight by a fire at the mouth of it (Nb)
brigg - bridge
brock -a badger or grey
brucke - to make dirty (Nb)
brusle - to dry: 'brustled pease' (Nb) French brusler
bubbly - snotty: 'the bairn has a bubbly nose'
buer - a gnat (nb)
bull-stang - a dragonfly (Cm)
bummel or bumble-kite - a bramble or blackberry (Cm)
bunnel - a dried hemp stalk, sued by smokers to light their pipes (Cm)
burne - a brook, a small stream of water
burtle - a sweeting (Nb)
bur-tree - an alder tree
bus - to dress
byer - a cow-house (Cm)

ca - to drive
callar - fresh, cool: 'callar air'
calleting - scolding: 'a calleting housewife'
canny - nice, neat, housewifely, handsome (Newcastle, Nb & N)
cap, cob - head, chief, master (Cb)
carle - a clown, an old man... a carl cat
car-hand - the left hand
Carling-day or Carling-Sunday - The second Sunday preceding Easter, when parched peas are served up at most tables in Northumberland
carre - a hoolow place in which water stands (N); also a wood of alder or other trees, in a moist, boggy place
casing, cassons - dried cow-dung used ofr fewel (Nb)
cats-foot - ground-ivy (Nb)
cat-with-two-tails - earwig (Nb)
cavels - lots; casting cavels - casting lots (Nb)
chare - to stop or turn: chare the cow
chase-but - avoid (Nb)
claity - dirty (Cb)
clam'd, clem'd - starved: I am welly clem'd
clamps - andirons, creepers, or dogs (Nb)
clarty smear'd - sticky
cleam - to glue together (Lincs.)
to clever or claver - the endeavour of a chld to climb up anything
click - to catch, or snatch away (Cb & N)
clock - a dor or beetle
clocking or clucking hen - a hen desirous of sitting to hatch her eggs
cloggs - wooden shoes (Cb)
clough - a valleybetween two hills (Nb)
cloughy - a woman dressed in a tawdry manner (Nb)
cobbs - testicles (Cb)
cobble - a pebble; to cobble with stones - to throw stones at anything (Nb)
cole, keal or kail - pottage or broth made of cabbage
cocket - brisk, apish, part (Nb & N)
cod - a pillow or cushion
conny - brave, fine, the same as canny
cope, coup - to chop or exchange, used by the coasters of Norfolk and suffolk, and also Yorkshire, probably from the low dutch word, copen, to buy, sell or deal
corby - a crow
cotter, cottril - a linch pin, a pin to fasten the wheel on the axel-tree
coup, coop... a lime coop - a cart or wain made close with boards to carry anything that would otherwise fall out
cow-scarn - cow-dung (Cb)
crack, crake - to boast (Norfolk)
crake - a crow
cranky - ailing, sickly, from the dutch crank, sick
crevizes - cray fish
cricket - a small three legg'd stool
crowdy - oatmeal, scalded with water and mixed up into a paste
crowse - brisk, lively, jolly: as crowse as a new washen house
cushets - wild pigeons (Yorkshire)

dad - a lump
dau, dow - to thrive: he neither dees nor daws
deeave - to stun with a noise
desse - to lay close together [trans.], also cutting...hay for a stack; in Cb to put in order
didder, ditler, dather - to quake or shiver
dig: to dig is with a mattock, to grave with a spade (Yorkshire)
dight - to clean: dight the snivel from your neb
ding - to beat: Ise ding him, I shall beat him (N)
diting - whispering
dovening - a slumber
dowley - melancholy, lonely
drope - a crow (Yorkshire)
drumley - muddy or thick water
dub - a pool of water
dudds - rags (N), also clothes...

eam - uncle, also friend
eckle or ettle - to aim, intend or design
eddish - roughings
een - the eyes
elding - wood and sticks for burning

farand - disposition: fighting-farand
farn-tickled - freckled
farrantly - neatly
fash - to trouble or tease: donne fash me
feal - to hide: he that feals can find
feaws - ragged beggars or gypsies (Nb)
fell - a hill or mountain
fend - to shift for...
fettle - to set or go about any thing; to dress or prepare
flacker - to flutter [sic]
flaid - afraid
flaite - to scare
flaun - a custard
flay - to fright
flit - to remove: two flittings are as bad as one fire
fluck - a flat fish
flyte - to scold or brawl
foist - fusty
fondly - foolishly
foutnart, fowmart - polecat
frem'd, fremt - far off, not realted to, strange or at enmity with
fuzz-ball - a species of fungus
fuzzen, fuzen - nourishment

gan - imperative mood of the verb to go
gand - to go, to wolk: 'gang your gait'
gare - to cuase or force: 'I'll gar, or gar him to do it' (Nb and Scot)
garth - a yard, a backside, a croft
garzil - hedging wood
gate - a way or path
gavelock - an iron bar to make holes for fixing stakes
gin - if
gliff - a fright
gob - the mouth
gowk - a fool, also a cuckoo
gowping or a goppen-full - as much of anything as can be held in both hands
greathely - handsomely
grey-bird - a thrush
griet - to weep
grosers - gooseberries
guizend - of tubs or barrels that leak through drought
gully - a common knife

hack - a pick-axe, a mattock made only with one end, and that a broad one
it haggles - it hails
hag-worms - snakes of all kinds (Yorks)
happe - to cover for warmth
harl - a mist
harns - brains
haver - oats
haver-meal - oatmeal
haver-bread - oatmeal bread
hause, hose - the throat
heald - to pour out: 'to heald the pot'
heck - the door, also a latch: 'steck the heck - pull the latch'
hind - an husbandry servant
hinny - my honey, a term of endearment: 'my honey bairn'
hippings - clouts for infants
hoit - an wakward boy
holly - tenderly
howdy - a midwife
howking - digging
howlet - an owl

jimmers - jointed hinges
ingle - fire or flame
ing - a common pasture or meadow
ju-um - empty

kale or keal - pottage
kale-pot - pottage-pot
kelter, kilter - condition
ken - to know, as also to observe at a distance: 'out of ken'
kenspecked - marked, or branded for distinction
kep - to reach or heave...also to catch a ball
kern-baby - an image dressed up with corn, carried before the reapers to their mell-supper or harvest-home
keslop - the stomach of a calf
Kesmas - Christmas
ketty - nasty
kickle or kittle - uncertain, fickle
kink - laughter; to kink, as spoken of childrem when their breath is long stopped, through eager crying or laughing. Hence the kink-cough
kit - a milking pail, like a churn, with two ears and a cover
kittle - to tickle
kive I - quoth I
knack - to speak finely, or affectedly
kye - cows
kyrk - church

lait - to seek anything hidden
lake - to play
lass - a girl or young woman
lave - the remainder or leaving
le-ach - hard work, which causes le-ache in the workmens joints, frequently used by the northern miners #cf. Kennet
lease - cow pasture
lib - to castrate
lick - to beat (N & S)
lig - tolye: 'lige ye down there'
limmers - a pair of shafts
ling - heath, heather
lonning - lame [error for lane]
lop - a flea
lope - perfect tense of leap
loppered-milk - sour curdled milk
lowe - flame: 'to make a lowe' to stir the fire in order to make it blaze
lowk - to weed: 'to lowk corn'
luggs - ears

mab - a slattern
maddle - to be fond of: 'she maddles after that fellow'
marrow - a fellow or companion (Exmoor); a pair, matches: 'this pair of gloves or shoes are not marrows' (N)
mauks - maggots
mell or maul - a wooden mallet or beetle
mell-supper - harvest-home
menseful - comely, graceful, creditable
mickle - much
midden - a dunghill
midge - a gnat
mistecht - that has got an ill-habit: 'a mistecht horse'
mizzy - a quagmire
moulde-rat - a mole (Bedforshire)
mould-warp - a mole (N)
mun - must: 'I mun go'

nab - the summit of a rock or mountain
nay - no
neb or nib - the nose. Also the beak on a bird
neeve or neiffe - a fist
netherd - starved with cold
nook - a corner
cor - than
note - to push, or gore with the horns, as a bull or ram
nought - nothing
nowt - cows and oxen

omy - mellow (of land)
ousen - oxen
octer - the armpit

paddock or paddick - a frog (N & S)
paigle - a cowslip
pate - a brock or badger
ploat - to pluck
plodge - to plunge
poke - a sack or bag
pubble - fat, full, usually spoken or corn or fruit

quy-calf - a cow-calf

rack - to care: 'never rack you'
rasps - raspberries
ready - 'to ready the hair' to comb it
reckling - an unhealthy child, pig or lamb; the nestling, or smaller bird in a nest
reckans - hooks to hang pots on
redd - to untangle, or separate
reek - smoke: 'reeking hot'
reesty - rancid
renty - well-shaped...of horses or cows
rive - to rend or tear
roop - a hoarseness
rowt, rawt - to lowe like an ox or cow
runches - charlock

sackless - innocent, faultless
sark - a shirt
scadding of peas - a custom in the North of boiling the common grey-peas in their shell
scarre - a cliff or lone rock on the dry land
scumfish'd - smother'd
seaves - rushes
sel - self
sen - since
seugh or saugh - a wet ditch; also a subterranean vault or channel, cut through ahill to drain a mine
shale - to slide down the side of a bank
shool - a shovel (Exmoor)
shippen - a cow-house
shuggy-shew - a swing
sike - a little rivulet
skelping - full, bursting, very large; also a hearty beating
slake - very small coals
slape - slippery
sleck - small pit-coal
slockened - [quenched]
to smittle - to infect smittleish - infectious
sneck - 'sneck the door' latch the door
a snithe wind - cutting orpiercing
snod and snog - neat, handsome; as, 'snogly gear'd'
snurles - nostrils
so, soa - a tub with two ears, to carry on a stang
soncy - lucky, fortunate
spancel - a rope to tie a cow's hinder legs
spink - a chaffinch
stang - a wooden bar
stansions - iron bars that divide a window
stee - a ladder
steg - a gander
stithe - strong, stiff e.g. stithe cheese
stot - a young bullock or steer
sturk - a young bullock or heifer
swache - a tally, that which is fixed to cloth sent to dye, of which the owner keeps the other part
swale - windy, cold, bleak
swale, sweal - to singe or burn, as to sweal a hog. Also to waste or blaze away, as, the candle sweals; 'a sweal'd cat' a cat whose hair or fur is singed off by sleeping in the ashes

tang - to sting. Tang also signifies a sting
tasrill - a cunning rogue
team - to pour out, to lade out of one vessel into another
temse - a small sieve
tew - to work hard, etc.
tewfet - a lapwing
thack - thatch
theak - to thatch
threap, threapen - to blame, rebuke, reprove or chide
thropple - the windpipe; to strangle (Yorks)
throstle -a thrush
tider, tidder, titter - soon, quicker, etc.
tike - a dog
till - to
tip or tup - a ram
toom or tume - empty
tome - a hair line for fishing (Cm)

urchin - a hedge-hog

vokey - moist

wain - a waggon
walch - insipid, waterish
wankle - weak; limber, flaccid, etc.
wang-tooth - the jaw-tooth
want - a mole
waps - a wasp
warch or wark - to ach
wark - a pain
wee - little
weekey - moist
weel - well
whangs - leather thongs
whee, whi or whey - an heifer (esp. E.Yorks)
wheen-cat - she-cat
which - quick, lively
whins - furze
white - to requite
white, wite - to blame
whiz - to hiss like hot iron in water
wealk - a wilk
why-calf - a female or cow-calf (Cd)
win- or wind-berry - a bilbury or wortleberry
wizzle - to get anything away slily
wonne or wun - to dwell #Kennet

yane - one
yance - once
yate or yeat - a gate
yetling - a small iron boiler
yets -oats (Nb) yowl - to cry or howl
Yu- or Yule-tide - Christmas
yuck - to itch (Lincs.)