Thursday, 15 December 2016

Scraping for Nookings : More More More on the Lincolnshire Dialect

"Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit, And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes". Polonius, Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 4, Line 92-3

It's great to see that my international blogging audience enjoys a bit of amateur dialectology when it involves good old fashioned humour and wit! So here's a few more Yellowbelly words and phrases for your delectation! 
A "Lickspittle" or Common House Boggart (Thanks to Catherine Cavendish)

  • Anker after =  If you are staring at the sapphire and diamond ring poking out of the window display of your local jewellers, your Yeller-Belly boyfriend may say you are "ankering after (lusting after) that slab of rock".
  • Backard = In the Victorian era, a middle class child who dropped their books on a regular basis or failed to grasp the "Three Rs" before the age of 7 or 8 would be referred to as "backard" or backward and banished to an asylum for incarnation thinly disguised as "treatment".
  • Boggart or Boggard = A hobgoblin with a malevolent nature. Bogles are the Fenland version of the boggard.
  • "Bunny in a blanket" is a bit like Lincolnshire's version of "toad in the hole"; it's a rabbit pie.
  • Clapperdatch = When politicians mention policies that won't necessarily affect Yellowbellies such as HS2, they could be accused of clapperdatch, or "worthless chatting".
  • Doggerybaw = Nonsense; something Donny "Wannabe Your Pressy" Trump knows a lot about. His chattering tweets against people he's never even met might show him off as a bit of a Doylem = Fool/Idiot!
  • Gallivanting = Young labourers would often visit neighbouring farms and indulge in harmless flirting with daughters of the farmer.
  • Gleg = If you've ever clocked your brother coming in at 5am in the morning claiming he's not had a few drinks at a friend's house post pub closing hours, then you'd look at him in a gleg way (slyly and with a bit of tuttery).
  • Gruft = When farm labourers came in from cultivating the harvest, their wives would often notice "a bit a gruft" or dirt on their skin and ask them to go into the tin bath to get clean before supper.
  • Hackering = So you know Julian Assange and his trigger-happy hacking WikiLeaks crowd. Well in Lincs dialect their act of gaining access illegally into government database could be confused as an act of "Stammering" across the information.
  • Harr = Sea mist (down Grimsby way) that usually occurs between April and September due to the warm air passing over the cold North Sea.  
  • Hobby-herse = Lincolnshire is full of dragonflies during the summer season and children would notice them hopping about across the lakes and streams, hence their nick name "hobby-herse".
Funky Hobby-herse strutting his stuff in a Lincs field
  • Holler = If a farmer wanted to get the attention of his son from across the field to remind him to milk the cow to get ready for butter churning, he'd holler to him. These days you're more likely to holla at your bud to ask them to get a round in after you've bought the last 3 rounds in!
  • Jabber = During WWII, there was a famous "Careless talk costs lives" poster campaign splattered across the streets of Lincoln. My Great Great Uncle Edwin, my adopted Grandma's stern Great Uncle would always say to passers by who were talking aimlessly that they needed to "stop their jabbering". Jabber is essentially senseless or careless talk. 
  • Jiffling = Opening presents on Christmas morning you have to be careful not to be heard jiffling about or your parents might tell you off and give you coal instead of chocolate coins and candy canes!
  • Kelch =Grandma can remember her Great Uncle Edwin kelching down the stairs after a night of drinking whisky very near to Christmas. He'd tripped on a toy that'd been left by her brother George which the maid had forgotten to put away. Edwin had such a violent fall that he was hospitalised for 3 months. Grandma never touched a drop of alcohol after witnessing Edwin's accident. She said that her mother always said that if Edwin had bought any whisky from the shop that he'd been buying "Peeve" which was her pet peeve. In parts of Lincolnshire, Peeve referred to any form of alcohol but mostly beer because that's what working class men mostly drank when at the pub. Edwin just had expensive tastes.
  • Maungey = If you forget to wash the dog before your grandparents come to visit, they may say that your dog looks maungey or unkept! Better get the dog swilled (washed)!
  • Mosker = Too many churches and stately homes were left to mosker or decay in Lincolnshire until organisations such as the National Trust stepped in and saved them from ruin.
  • Nookings = My Mum's often looking for her keys at the nookings or bottom side of her handbag!
  • Petty = A Yellowbellow name for the Privvy or toilet! Grandma told me that her mother thought that the term "Petty" was vulgar and that they should refer to the toilet as a "vin". If Grandma ever needed to ask to go to visit the toilet at a friend's house, she had to say that she needed to "powder her nose" so as to not offend her hosts! When visiting a grand house in Surrey Grandma forgot once and asked the master of the house if she could "visit the loo" which made his wife gasp and her mother frown. She lost her desserts for a week as punishment for impropriety!
Typical Lincs Petty
  • Pottle=Small pot/ tankard (comes from Middle English) Also refers to a person that is small or cute!
  • Scrimmage = Labourers would often scrimmage with each other to try and win favour with the local farmer's daughter. The fight would be lighthearted but there would be occasional bloody noses and cut lips. Today the only real scrimmage you'd see happen is at the January sales!
  • Smouch = Planting a smacker or smouch on your boyfriend or girlfriend or partner under the mistletoe at Christmas is still a fairly popular tradition in the UK.
  • Teem= When coming back from the Christmas sales, make sure you teem (unload) the car carefully otherwise your glitter bodycon dress that you picked to pull your rugby playing boss on NYE might get scuffed up.  
  • Thrave = When studying English accents and dialects as part of an A Level English Language course, you must thrave yourself to go out into your local village/town/city and record dialogue in action. That way you'll hone the skills you learned whilst in class!
  • Titivate = On Sundays it was imperative that everyone dressed up ready to attend church. Even labourers would buy a suit to be their "Sunday Best" so they didn't embarrass themselves by having a shoddy appearance when being observed in the pew by Rector Smith. "Cleanliness is next to Godliness" was a popular saying used to remind people to titivate (make themselves look proper).
  • Tuvla = Cigarette ...any brand that happened to be smoked whilst in the presence of friends and colleagues alike.
  • Twag = Even when schooling became compulsory up to the age of 10 in the 1880's children were encouraged to twag from school to help their parents bring in the harvest. Making sure there was enough food in to survive the winter was seen as more important as being able to read and write. Gradually attitudes began to change and by the 1920s instances of twagging at Harvest time were minimal.
  • Varmit =  Grandma said that you must be careful to clean up left over crumbs in the kitchen or it'd attract the Varmit (Vermin) in.
Finally, three interesting phrases:
  • "You may as well pee in yer ear as do that" = Something that was a waste of time or ineffectual.
  • "He couldn't hit a barn door with a snowball" = Somebody who was a bad shot.
  • "It's like trying to push smoke up a donkey’s a**e with a knitting needle" = An impossible task.