- APTYCOCK: A quick-witted or intelligent young man. (SW England)
- BANG-A-BONK: It might not look like it, but this is a verb meaning “to sit lazily on a riverbank.” (Gloucestershire)
- BAUCHLE: A name for an old worn out shoe, and in particular one that no longer has a heel—although it was also used figuratively to refer to a pointless or useless person. (Ireland)
- CLIMB-TACK: A cat that likes to walk along high shelves or picture rails is a climb-tack. (Yorkshire)
- CLOMPH: To walk in shoes which are too large for your feet. (Central England)
- CRAMBO-CLINK: Also known as crambo-jink, this is a word for poor quality poetry—or, figuratively, a long-winded and ultimately pointless conversation. (Scots)
- CRINKIE-WINKIE: A groundless misgiving, or a poor reason for not doing something. (Scots)
- CRUM-A-GRACKLE: Any awkward or difficult situation. (SW England)
- CRUMPSY: Short-tempered and irritable. Probably a local variation of “grumpy.” (Central England)
- CUDDLE-ME-BUFF: Why call it beer when you can call it cuddle-me-buff? (Yorkshire)
- CULF: The loose feathers that come out of a mattress or cushion—and which “adhere to the clothes of any one who has lain upon it,” according to Wright. (Cornwall)
- CURECKITYCOO: To coo like a dove—or, figuratively, to flirt and canoodle with someone. (Scots)
- DAUNCY: If someone looks noticeably unwell, then they’re dauncy. Originally an Irish and northern English word, this eventually spread into colloquial American English in the 19th century. (Ireland)
- DOUP-SCUD: Defined by Wright as “a heavy fall on the buttocks.” (NE Scots)
- EEDLE-DODDLE: A person who shows no initiative in a crisis. Also used as an adjective to mean “negligent,” or “muddle-headed.” (Scots)
- FAUCHLE: Fumbling things and making mistakes at work because you’re so tired? That’s fauchling. (Scots)
- FLENCH: When the weather looks like it’s going to improve but it never does, then it’s flenched. (Scots)
- FLOBY-MOBLY: The perfect word for describing the feeling of not being unwell, but still not quite feeling your best. A Scots equivalent was atweesh-an-atween. (Central England)
- HANSPER: Pain and stiffness felt in the legs after a long walk. (Scots)
- INISITIJITTY: A worthless, ridiculous looking person. (Central England)
- JEDDARTY-JIDDARTY: Also spelled jiggerdy-jaggardy. Either way it means entwined or tangled. (NW England)
- LENNOCHMORE: A larger-than-average baby. Comes from the Gaelic leanabh mor, meaning “big child.” (Scots)
- LIMPSEY: Limp and flaccid, often used in reference to someone just before they faint. (East England)
- MUNDLE: As a verb, mundle means to do something clumsily, or to be hampered or interrupted while trying to work. As a noun, a mundle is a cake slice or a wooden spatula—to lick the mundle but burn your tongue means to do something enjoyable, regardless of the consequences. (Central England)
- NAWPY: A new pen. (Lincolnshire)
- NIPPERKIN: A small gulp or draught of a drink, said to be roughly equal to one-eighth of a pint. (SW England)
- OMPERLODGE: To disagree with or contradict someone. (Bedfordshire)
- OUTSPECKLE: A laughing stock. (Scots)
- PADDY-NODDY: A long and tedious story. (Lincolnshire)
- PARWHOBBLE: To monopolize a conversation. (SW England)
- PEG-PUFF: Defined as “a young woman with the manners of an old one.” (Northern England)
- POLRUMPTIOUS: Raucous. Rude. Disruptive. Polrumptious. (Kent)
- QUAALTAGH: The first person you see after you leave your house. Comes from an old Celtic New Year tradition in which the first person you see or speak to on the morning of January 1, the quaaltagh, was interpreted as a sign of what was to come in the year ahead. (Isle of Man)
- RAZZLE: To cook something so that the outside of it burns, but the inside of it stays raw. You can also razzle yourself by warming yourself by a fire. (Yorkshire/East England)
- SHACKBAGGERLY: An adjective describing anything left “in a loose, disorderly manner.” (Lincolnshire)
- SHIVVINESS: The uncomfortable feeling of wearing new underwear. Shiv is an old word for thick, coarse wool or linen. (Yorkshire)
- SILLERLESS: Literally “silverless”—or, in other words, completely broke. (Scots)
- SLITHERUM: A dawdling, slow-moving person. (East England)
- SLIVING: A thin slice of bread or meat, or a splinter of wood. (Yorkshire)
- SLOCHET: To walk with your shoes nearly coming off your feet. Or to walk with your shoelaces untied. Or to walk slowly because your shoes are too big. (SW England)
- SPINKIE-DEN: A woodland clearing full of flowers. (Scots)
- TEWLY-STOMACHED: On its own, tewly means weak or sickly, or overly sensitive or delicate. Someone who is tewly-stomached has a weak stomach, or a poor constitution. (East England)
- THALTHAN: Also spelled tholthan, a thalthan is a part-derelict building. (Isle of Man)
- TITTY-TOIT: To spruce or tidy up. (Yorkshire)
- UNCHANCY: Sometimes used to mean mischievous or unlucky, but also used to describe something potentially dangerous, or, according to Wright, “not safe to meddle with.” (Northern England)
- VARGLE: Means either to work in a messy or untidy way, or to perform an unpleasant task. (Scots)
- VARTIWELL: The little metal loop that the latch of a gate hooks into? That’s the vartiwell. According to the OED, it probably takes its name from an old French word for the bottom hinge of a gate, vervelle. (Eastern England)
- WEATHER-MOUTH: A bright, sunny patch of sky on the horizon flanked by two dense banks of cloud is the weather-mouth. (Scots)
- YAWMAGORP: A yawm is a yawn, and a gorp is a mouth. So a yawmagorp is a lounger or idler, or someone who seems constantly to be yawning and stretching wearily. (Yorkshire)
- ZWODDER: The last entry in the English Dialect Dictionary describes “a drowsy, stupid state of body or mind.” It’s probably related to another word, swadder, used to mean “to grow weary with drinking.” (SW England)
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DOG STAR NYC IS A CREATIVE ARTS GUIDE | ART + THEATER + CHEAP DATES + POP CULTURE + FREE EVENTS + CITY LIVING + DESIGN + MUSIC + PHOTOGRAPHY + SPORTS + VIDEO + FILM + STREET LIFE + WRITING + POETRY & LOTS OF FUN + MAKE ART OUT OF YOUR LIFE!
Image above: Vik Muniz
A Bar at the Folies-Bergère after Édouard Manet, from the Pictures of Magazines 2 series, 2012.
Out of the refuse of modern life—torn scraps of outdated magazines, destined for obscurity—Muniz has assembled an ode to one of the first paintings of modern life. Édouard Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, painted in 1882, explores the treachery of nineteenth-century Parisian nightlife through the depiction of a bartender attending to a male patron reflected in the mirror behind her. Muniz plays on Manet’s style, replacing Manet’s visible brushstrokes with the frayed edges of torn paper and lending the work immense visual interest.
“Thank you for DogStarNYC, in general. The site speaks to so many kinds of interests; it discerns which qualities will appeal to many different tastes in a tremendous number of activities. I love how it encourages young people to pay attention to the unusual.
In New York we let so many teens walk around the periphery, mildly shell-shocked by life, while the information that they need to make sense of their world sits in the center of the room. DogStarNYC welcomes them into the middle of the room; the blog tells them how to walk there. ” - Stacy L.
DOG STAR is the creation of a high school English teacher in New York City. This blog began in 2008 as an online community for a journalism class and has since evolved into a curated site on the creative arts, arts-related news and a guide to free and low-cost events for teens. Our mission is to offer teens real-life options for enjoying all the creative arts in New York City. May wisdom guide you and hope sustain you. The more you like art, the more art you like!
Thursday, January 8, 2015
50 Old British Dialect Words to Incorporate into Conversation