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Download E-books The Disappearing Dictionary: A Treasury of Lost English Dialect Words PDF

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

fubsy [adjective, Lancashire] Plump, in a pleasant kind 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'.

anywhere you move within the English-speaking global, there are linguistic riches from instances previous waiting for rediscovery. All you want to do is pick out a place, locate a few previous files, and dig a bit. the following, linguistics specialist Professor David Crystal collects jointly pleasant dialect phrases that both supply an perception into an older lifestyle, or just have an impossible to resist phonetic attraction. The Disappearing Dictionary reveals a few stunning outdated gemstones of the English language, dusts them down and makes them stay back for a brand new generation.

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Sklatch, sklum, skoll, skook, skorrick, skovey, skranky, skrink, skrunty see sclatch, sclum, scoll, scouk, scorrick, scovy, scranky, scrink, scrunty skurreboloo (noun) Westmorland A chase, stampede. ‘He gev it a regular skurreboloo fer aboot hofe an hoor’. The word is an interesting combination of two forms, each of which has a rhyming repetition (or ‘reduplication’) in its history. Scurry seems to be a playful formation based on hurry, as in hurry-scurry. Hullabaloo shows the reduplication of a hunting call – halloo-baloo. skype (noun) Scotland A mean, worthless fellow; a lean person of disagreeable manner and temper. From Selkirkshire: ‘If he durst I would claw the puppy hide of him! He is as great a skype as I know of’. The dialect meaning was presumably unknown to the founders of a well-known internet messaging service. slamp (adjective) Derbyshire, Lancashire, Yorkshire Soft, loose, empty, tottering. From Derbyshire: ‘As slamp and wobbly as an owd corn boggart [scarecrow]’. If you were clumsy you were slampy. Shoes were said to slamp, if you kept slipping on them. The word suggests a playful combination of slack and limp, but it could also be derived from slump. slawterpooch (noun) Cornwall A slovenly, ungainly person. ‘Now, a slawterpooch Lisbeth certainly was not, a neater trimmer woman could hardly have been found’. A clue to the word lies in nearby Devon and Somerset, where slatterpouch was a dirty worn-out bag full of holes. Slatter was used all over the country in a range of negative senses, and gave rise to such words as slattery (‘dirty’) and slattern. slench (verb) Cumberland, Durham, Lancashire, Westmorland, Worcestershire, Yorkshire To hunt about privately with a view to stealing food, as a cat or dog – and thus, to pry approximately. From Westmorland: ‘Wer olas hankerin [always loitering] an slenchan aboot’. A related word, slenk, suggests the origin: an Old English verb slincan, ‘slink’. From Lakeland: ‘He’s slengkt hissel off ta bed without weshen [washing]’. slod (verb) Norfolk, Suffolk To wade through mire, melting snow, etc. ; also, as a noun, the accretion of mud on one’s boots. The word is probably echoic of the sound made by heavy feet. Further north, people would talk about slodder and slodge in the same way, and of course sludge and slush are known in standard English. In Lincolnshire and Norfolk, fen-dwellers, whose lives must have involved a lot of wading, were called slodgers. slonky (adjective) Ireland, Kent, Northumberland, Scotland Having muddy places, wet hollows. From Northern Ireland: ‘That slonky road’. Slonk was widely used to name any sort of depression in the ground. There may be a link with the Old English word sloh, ‘slough’, but – as with slod, above – there’s probably an echoic element in the word, reflecting the sound of walking through mire. sloonge (noun) Yorkshire A heavy blow with the open palm. ‘Thoo’ll get a sloonge ower heead thareckly [directly]’. The origin is probably lunge (originally a term used in fencing for a thrust), with influence from such words as slap.

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