The Disappearing Dictionary: A Treasury of Lost English Dialect Words

dabberlick [noun, Scotland] A mildly insulting means of conversing approximately anyone who's tall and thin. 'Where's that dabberlick of a child?'

fubsy [adjective, Lancashire] Plump, in a pleasant type of way.

squinch [noun, Devon] A slim crack in a wall or an area among floorboards. 'I misplaced sixpence via a squinch within the floor'.

at any place you pass within the English-speaking international, there are linguistic riches from instances earlier waiting for rediscovery. All you should do is opt for a situation, locate a few previous records, and dig a bit. the following, linguistics professional Professor David Crystal collects jointly pleasant dialect phrases that both offer an perception into an older lifestyle, or just have an impossible to resist phonetic allure. The Disappearing Dictionary reveals a few stunning outdated gem stones of the English language, dusts them down and makes them stay back for a brand new generation.

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Pross (noun) Durham, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire A chat, gossip. The word was widely used, especially across the North Country. From Lincolnshire: ‘Come and smoke a pipe, and we’ll have a little pross’. To hold pross would be to have a familiar talk with someone. If you were a conversational type of person, you were prossy. The origin is an adaptation of prose. puckeration (noun) Lancashire State of excitement, vexation. ‘It’s no use gettin into oather a tantrum or a puckerashun abeawt an accident o’ this sort’. In Yorkshire it was puckerment; and pucker, in the same sense, travelled the world, including America and Australia. The source is puck, a name made famous through the fairy of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but much more widely used in the sense of a mischievous or evil spirit. Its value as an expression of annoyance is well illustrated by its intensifying use, which of course has its echoes in other expressions today. From Derbyshire: ‘Why the puck don’t you let her out? ’ purt see apurt pussivanting (noun) Cornwall, Devon An ineffective bustle. From Cornwall: ‘This ’ere pussivantin’ may be relievin’ to the mind, but I’m darned ef et can be good for shoe-leather’. The source is thought to go back to the fifteenth century, when King Edward IV sent messengers to stop certain sea-captains levying excessive taxes. The messengers, called pursuivants (‘pursuers’), weren’t very successful, hence the later dialect meaning, with its folk pronunciation. There were variants elsewhere, such as Wiltshire, where it turns up meaning ‘a flurry’ as pussyvan or puzzivent. puzzomful (adjective) Devon, Lancashire, Yorkshire Poisonous, noxious; filthy, infectious; piercing, very cold; spiteful, mischievous – in short, a very negative word. The origin is a local pronunciation of poison. From Yorkshire: a dose of unpleasant medicine is called ‘puzzumful stuff’; the weather has ‘puzzomful winds’; someone is described as having ‘a puzzumful tongue’. Q quabble (noun) Herefordshire Confusion. ‘My head’s all of a quabble’. To quob or quop was to tremble or throb. There are echoes of other imitative words, such as wobble and quiver. We find quaggle used in a similar sense further south. qualmified (adjective) Norfolk Sickly-looking. ‘The mawthers [girls] all look so qualmified’. It’s clearly from qualm, in its sense of ‘sudden fit of nausea’, a word that came to be adapted to any situation which might give rise to a feeling of faintness or sickness. In Northamptonshire, close or sultry weather was said to be qualmy. quank (adjective) Cheshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire, Worcestershire Still, quiet. From Shropshire: ‘As quank as a mouze’. There was a verb use too, meaning ‘subdue, quieten’. From Warwickshire, about a restive horse: ‘You must quank him, or he’ll master you’. Someone who settled disputes was a quanker. Further south, the word appears as quamp. From Gloucestershire: ‘As quamp as a mouse’. queechy (adjective) Leicestershire, Somerset, Staffordshire, Warwickshire Sickly, ailing, feeble.

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