Observations on Some of The Dialects

 in The West of England - Somerset Particularly

The following glossary was copied from a book of the above title by James Jennings

who was born at Huntspill, Somerset in the latter half of the 18th century.

He became Honorary Secretary of the Metropolitan Literary Institute, London.

In 1825 he published this book that also contains poems and other pieces that exemplify the dialect,

included also are descriptions of various objects.

Some definitions I have added to with more contemporary clarity.




AThis letter signifies two purposes; one (Adjective) means YES the other (Pronoun) means HE.
AbbeyThe great white poplar; one of the varieties of the Populus Alba
Abbey-lubberA lazy idle fellow
AboughtSee VAUGHT..
AbroodWhen a hen is sitting on her eggs, she is said to be this. (Adjective)
AddleA swelling with matter in it. Like a boil or pimple.
AddledA egg in the state of putrefaction. (Rotten)
Afore - AfornBefore (Preposition & Adverb) - afore, Chaucer
Again/AginAgainst (Preposition)
Agon - AgooAgo -from the verb to go (goo) - agoo, Chaucer
AhSpoken by a person when referring to himself or at times, others - i.e."Ah went to town - I or he/she went to town"
Alas-a-dayA-lack-a-day (Interjection)
AleA liquor, brewed with a proportion of malt from about 4 to 6 bushels to the hogshead of 63 gallons; if it contains more malt it is called Beer; if less it is usually called Small Beer
AllerThe Alder tree
AllonceAll of us - pronounced [all-ones] ie, Let's go allonce - Let us go, all of us (Pronoun)
All o'sSame as 'Allonce' (Pronoun)
AlostLost - ylost, Chaucer
AmangAmong (Preposition)
Amawst - AmooastAlmost (Adverb)
AmperA small red pimple
AnbySome time hence; in the evening (Adverb)
Anear - Aneast - AneoustNigh to; (Preposition) - Aneast en - near him
AnpassyThe sign '&', corrupted from and per se
ApastPast (Preposition) - apast, haucer
ApricockAn apricot
AspThe Asp tree - populus tremula
ApsenMade of wood from the Asp tree; belonging to the Asp (Adjective)
To ArgTo argue (A verb or noun)
To ArgufyTo hold an argument; to argue (A verb or noun)
AscrideAcross or Astride (Adjective)
AslenAslope (Adverb)
AssueWhen a cow is 'let up' in order the she may calve, she is said to be assue - not for milking
AterAfter (Preposition) - Goo ater'n - Go after him.
AthinWithin (Adverb)
AuverdroTo Overthrow
Avaur-Avauren-AvaurnBefore (Preposition)
AvraurFrozen; stiff with frost (Adjective)
AwakidAwake - awakid - Chaucer
To AxTo Ask (Verb) - ax; Chaucer
AxingAsking - axing Chaucer


BacksidA Barton [Farmyard] or more commonly - The Back-side of something
BaginetA Bayonet
Baily A Bailiff; A Superintendant of an estate
BalletA Ballad
BallribA Sparerib
BalliragTo abuse with foul words; to scold
BanTo shut out; to stop
BaneTo afflict with a mortal disease; Applied to sheep (See also Coathe)
Barenhond/BanehondTo signify intention; intimidate. (Used chiefly in the 3rd person singular) - See Note 1
BanesThe Banns of Matrimony
BanninThat which is used for shutting out or stopping
BannutA Walnut - Used mainly in the north of the county.
Barrow-pigA Gelt Pig
Bawker/Bawker StoneA stone used for whetting scythes; a kind of sand-stone.
BeeasBeasts [Cattle] - Applied only to the ox tribe and not to sheep.
Becall'To Censure, Reprove or Chide
Bee-but/Bee-lippenA Bee Hive
BeedyA chick
Beedy's-eyesPansy, love in idleness
BeerSee Ale
Begirdge/BegrudgeTo grudge or envy. See Note 2
Begorz/Begummers(Interjection) See Note 3
BegrumpledSoured; Offended
BelgTo cry aloud; To bellow
Bell-flowerA Daffodill
BelshTo cut off dung etc, from the tails of sheep
BeneptLeft aground by the recess of the spring tides
BengeTo remain long in drinking; To drink to excess
BennetLong coarse grass
BennetyAbounding in bennets
BerrinA funeral procession
BeskummerTo foul with a dirty liquid
Bethink'To  grudge
BettermostThe best of the better; not quite amounting to the best
BetwattledIna distressing and confused state of mind
To Betwit'To Upbraid; Repeat a past circumstance aggravatingly
BibbleTo drink often; To Tope (Get Drunk)
BibblerOne who drinks often; A Toper
BillidDistracted; Mad
BillyA bundle of straw
BimebyBy-and-By; some time hence; later on
BinBecause; probably corrupted from being; been
BinnickA small fish; minnow. (Cyprinus phloxinus)
Bird-battinThe catching if birds with a net and using lights at night-time. See Note 4
Bird-battin-netThe net used to  catch birds
BirchenMade of wood from the birch tree; Relating to the birch tree (Adjective)
BiskyA biscuit -
BisgeeA rooting axe. (The letter 'g' is pronounced hard) See Note 5
BiverTo quiver; To shake
Black-potBlack Pudding See Note 6
BlackymoorA negro
Blackymoor's BeautySweet scabious; The Musk Flower
BlankerA spark of fire
BlanscueMisfortrune; An unexpected accident
BlatherA Bladder - See Note 10
BlechyBrackish; Saltish - as applied to water. (Adjective)
Blind-buck-and-DavyBlind Man's buff. Note 7
BlissomBlithesome (Adjecttive)
Blood-suckerA Leech
Bloody-WarriorThe Wall-flower
BoarThat peculiar head or first flowing of water from one to two or more feet in height at spring tides, as seen on the river Parret ansd some other rivers. See Note 11
BobbishIn good spirits and health - (Pirty bobbish) - Pretty Well!
BoothBoth; "Boo'th o' Ye" Both of You; (Pronoun)
BorridA sow is said to be 'borrid' when she wants the male [In Season-Ready to mate] (Adjective)
BowA small arched bridge over a stream or narrow river, which allows the passage of small water craft and/or barges etc,.
Boy's LoveSouthernwood; A question of mugwort (artemisia abrotonum) See Note 8
BraveWell; Recovering (Adjective)
BranA Brand; Tree Stump or other irregular and large piece of wood, fit only for burning. Hence doubtless the origin of "Bonfire" a fire made from Brans, see also the following entry.
Bran-vierA fire made with brands. The supposed origin is 'Bon' meaning 'Good Fire', and hence usually spelled bon-fire, is evidently erroneous; it should be Branfire or Brandfire!
BrandisA semicircular implement of iron, made to be suspended over the fire, on which various things may be prepared, much used for warming milk. The fire refers of course, to the olde method of warming the house also for cooking.
BrashAny sudden development; Brittle
Brickle/BricklyNot coherent; Brittle (Adjective)
BrimmleA Bramble
To Bring gwain[To Bring going] - To Spend; To accompany some distance on a jouirney.
To BritTo Indent; To make an impression, as applied to solid bodies.
BrockAn irregular piece of peat dried for fuel; A piece of turf; A nickname for a Badger
Bruckle/BrucklyNot coherent; Easily separable, as applied to solid bodies. See also Brick'le.
BrucklenessThe state of being Bruckle
To BuckTo swell out - (There are other more modern meanings that may or not relate to this early meaning?)
To BuddleTo suffocate in mud
To BulgeTo indent; To make an irregular impression on a solid body; To bruise; It is also used in a neuter sense
BulgeAn indentation Etc,. as above
BullenWanting the Bull (Adjective)
BullinsLarge black shoes; a variety of the wild plum.
BungeeAnything thick and squat. (The 'G' is pronounced hard) See note 9
Bunt/BuntingBolting Cloth; Bolting-Mill
To BuntTo separate flour from the bran
BurcotA load
BussHalf grown calf
ButA conical & peculiar kind of basket or trap, used in large numbers for catching salmon in the river Parret. This term would seem to be a generic one, the actual meaning of which the writer does not know; it implies however, some containing vessel or utensil like Bee-But - Also applied to beef, and more commonly: Buttock.
Butter-and-EggsA variety of Daffodill
BwyeBye; Adieu. This, as well as bye and good-bwye, is evdently corrupted from "God be With You" - God-be-wi'ye, equivalent the the French ὰ Dieu: To God. Bwye, and good-bwye, are, therefore, how vulgar soever the may seem, more analogous than bye and good-by.


CallyvanA pyramidal trap for catching birds
Carriter Character
Cassn/Cassn'tCanst not, as in: (Thee cass'n do it - Thou canst not do it)
Catch CornerAn amusement correctly designated by its title.
CatterpillarThe Cockchafer; Scarabeous melolontha
ChatyCareful; Nice; Delicate
To ChamTo Chew - (Maybe from the Irish food dish - 'Champ'?)
ChmerA Chamber
ChangeA Shift; the garment worn by females next to the skin
ChayerA Chair; Chayer from Chaucer
ChineThe prominence of staves beyond the head of a cask. The word is well known ro coopers throughout England, and ought to be in our dictionaries.
ChissomA small shoot; A budding out
ChitterlinsThe frills around the bosom of a shirt
ChoorA Job; any dirty household work; A troublesome job.
Chooer/Choor-womanA woman who goes out to do any kind of odd and dirty work; hence the term - Char or Char Woman Etc;
To ChooryTo do any kind of dirty household work
ChubbyFull, Swelling, as chubby-faced.
ClapsA Clasp
To ClapsTo Clasp or Hold
Clavy/ClavypieceA Mantelpiece See Note 13
Clavy TackThe shelf over the mantelpiece.
Clear-and-SheerCompletely - Totally
Cleve-PinkA species of Carnation which grows wild in the crannies of Cheddar Cliffs; A variety believed to be of the Dianthus Deltoides and has an elegant smell.
Clim/ClimmerTo Climb; To Clamber
ClinkersBricks or other earthy matter run into irregular shapes by the agency of heat
Clinker-BellAn Icicle
ClintTo Clench; To Finish; To Complete
ClitTo become perfectly fermented, as applied to bread
ClittyImperfectly fermented
ClizeA place or drain for the discharge of water regulated by a valve or door, which permits a free egress, but no ingress of water. See Note 12
CoatheTo Bane; applied to sheep
Cob-WallA Mud wall made of clay mixed with straw, in some instances cow dung was also used for better adhesion
Cock-LawtA Garret; Cock-loft. Originally a place most probably where the fowls roosted.
Cock-SquailingA barbarous game, consisting in tying a cock bird to a stake (usually a bantam cock) and throwing a stiock at him from a distance, so as to destroy the bird. (In the writer's day this so-called sport had not wholly disappeared from the west country, despite it being against the law)
Cock-and-MwileA jail
ColleyA Blackbird
CollogueTo associate in order to effectuate some improper purpose; thieves collogue together in order to carry on their depredations effectually.
ColloginAn association for accomplishing some improper purpose.
Colt aleLiterally, ale given by a person who enters upon any new office or employment, to those already in it; but, generally, money paid to be spent in liquor for such purpose. Sometimes called 'Footing'
ComicalOdd, singular.
CoopA word used, very generally, to attract fowls in order that they may be fed.
ContraptionContrivance, management
To CorkTo make a horse's shoe so that when passing on ice, or on a frozen road, he will not slip up.
To CountTo Think; To Esteem
Cow-babyA coward, a timid person
Crap/CrappyTo snap; To break with a sudden sound; To Crack
CraupTo Creep
CreemSudden shivering
CreemyAffected with a sudden shivering
Criss-Cross-LainThe alphabet. So called in consequence or its being formerly preceded in the (Horn-Book) by a - - which was no doubt, devised by some of the sons of the church to remind us of the Cross of Christ; hence the term " Christ-Cross-Line", ultimately came mean nothing more than the alphabet.
CrockA bellied pot, either of iron or other metal, for the purpose of boiling food.
CroomA crumb; small bit.
Crowd-StringA fiddle string
Crowdy KitA small fiddle
CrownerA coroner
To be crownedTo have an inquest held over a dead body by direction of the coroner.
CrowstyCrusty, Snapish, Surly.
Crub/CrubbinFood, particularly bread & cheese.
CuckoldThe plant burdock
To CullTo take hold round the neck with the arms
Cubby HoleA snug confined space; like there would under the stairs!
CuttySmall, diminutive
Cutty/Cutty WrenA Wren


DaddickRotten wood
DangThis word is always followed by some noun or pronoun: Dang it; Dang 'em; Dang ye. Sometimes preceded by 'Od' - Od dang it See Note 14
DameThis word is of course French for 'Lady' as we all know, but in this dialect it means: Mistress; Old Woman. See Note16
DapTo hop, To rebound or turn. Also 'To know the Daps of a person' is to know their disposition, habits or peculiarities.
DapsterA proficient
DavisonA species of wold plum, superior to the billin
DawzinUsing a divining rod to find water, usually made of a bent hazel branch or twig.
Desperd[Corrupted from desperate]
DewberryA species of Blackberry
Digence[Letter 'G' is hard] - The evil one; Devil. In some 18-19th century publications the word is spelt "Dickens" for what reason is not known? - One thought could be that it was used in a questioning expression "What the dickens....? instead of What the devil?"
DiddlecombeHalf-mad; Sorely vexed
DirshA Thrush
DirtenMade of dirt; Dirty
DockA Crupper
To DoffTo put off. (Doff is also used to raise ones hat or cap in a salute to a person, more usually a lady)
To DonPut on
DonninsDress; Clothes.
Dough FigA fig so-called, most probably, from it feeling like dough!
To DoutTo extinguish; Put out
To DownargTo contradict; Contend with
DowstDust; Money
DraffitA vessel to hold pot-liquor and other refuse aliment from the kitchen, for pigs.
DrangA narrow path
To DrashTo thresh
DrashedThe threshold; A flail
DrasherA thresher
To DreanTo drawl in reading or speaking
DreanDrawling in speaking or reading
To DringTo throng; To Press, as in a crowd; To Thrust
DringetA Crowd or throng
To XDroTo Throw
To DroolTo drivel
To DrowTo Dry (Usually used when referring to hay being dried or not)
DrowthDryness; Thirst
DrowthyDry; Thirsty
DroveA road leading to fields, and sometimes from one village to another, derived from its being a way along which cattle were driven.
To DrubTo Throb; To Beat
DrubbinA Beating
To DruckTo Thrust down, To  Cram; To Press
Dub/Dubbed/DubblyBlunt; Not Pointed; Squat
Duck-an-MallardThe play of throwing slates or flat stones upon the water , so that they may rise, striking the surface several times, before sinking. Also know as 'Skimming' See Note 15
To DudderTo deafen with noise; To Render the head confused
DudsDirty Clothes
DumbledoreA Humble Bee; A Stupid Fellow
DurnsA Door Frame


Do Not


ElmenOf or belonging to Elm; made of Elm
ElverA young eel
Emmet BatchAn Ant Hill
To EmptTo Empty
EnHim; "a zid en" I saw him
To EveTo become damp; To absorb moisture from the air
EvetA Lizard
ExAn Axle


FagsTruly; Indeed (Also means in modern terms: cigarettes or a young lad at boarding school who has to work for an older pupil)
To FellTo sew in a particular manner; To Inseam
FesterAn inflammatory tumour
Few/VeoMore commonly pronounced - veo - Little; as a "Few broth"
Figged PuddingA pudding with raisons in it; Plum Pudding
FildfareA Fieldfare (Bird)
FiltryFilth; Nastiness; Rubbish
Fitch/FitchetA Pole-Cat
Fitten/VittenA Feint; A Pretence
Flap-JackA fried cake made with batter, Apples Etc., A Fritter
To FlickTo pull out suddenly with some pointed instrument
Flick Tooth CombA comb with coarse teeth for combing the hair.
FlookAn animal found in the liver of sheep, similar in shape to a flounder.
FlushFledged; Able to fly. (Applied to young birds)
FooterA| scurvy fellow; A term of contempt
ForrelThe cover of a book
ForweedHumoursome; Difficult to please. (Applied to children)
French NutA walnut
To FrumpTo trump up
To FurTot Throw
FurcumThe Bottom; The Whole


GaleAn old castrated bull
GallibaggerA Bugbear (From gally and beggar)
To GallyTo Frighten
Gallanting/GalligantingWandering about in gaiety & enjoyment; applied chiefly to associations of the sexes
GambrilA crooked piece of wood used by butchers to spread, and by which to suspend a carcase.
Ganny CockA turkey cock
Ganny Cock's SnobThe long membranous appendage at the beak, by which the cock turkey is distinguished
GareThe iron work for wheels, wagons Etc., is called ire-gare; accoutrements
Gate ShordA gate way; a place for a gate
GafferAn old man
GawcumA simpleton; A gawkey
To Gee[With a soft sounding 'G'] - To agree; To go on well together
To Gee[With a hard sounding 'G'] - To Give
To G'aufTo go off
To G'auverTo go over
To G'inTo go in
To G'onTo go on
To G'outTo go out
To G'underTo go under
To G'upTo go up
Gibbol[With a soft sounding 'G'] - The sprout of an onion of the second year
Gig'letingWanton; Trifling. (Applied to the female sex)
GilfawferA term applied to all the kinds of flowers termed Stocks, also a few other varieties.
GimmaceA hinge
GimmacesWhen a criminal is gibbeted, hung in irons or chains. Probably because the apparatus swings as if on hinges.
To GlareTo glaze earthenware
GoldThe shrub called Sweet Willow or Wild Myrtle
Gold CupsA species of crow-foot or ranunculus growing plentifully in pastures
To gooTo Go
Good HusseyA thread case
GraintedFixed in the grain; difficult to be removed; dirty
GribbleA young apple tree raised from seed
To GripeTo cut into gripes
GripeA small drain or ditch, about a foot deep, and six to eight inches wide.
Griping LineA line to direct the spade in cutting gripes
GroaningParturition; The time at which a woman is in labour.
GroundA field
GrozensThe green minute round-leaved plants growing upon the surface of water in ditches; duck's meat (Duck Weed()
GruffA mine
Gruffer/GruffierA miner
To GuddleTo drink much and greedily
GuddlerA greedy drinker; one who is fond of liquor
To GulchTo swallow greedily
GulchA sudden swallowing
GumptionContrivance; Common Sense
GumpyAbounding in protuberances
GussA Girth
To GussTo Girth


HackThe place where bricks newly made, are arranged to dry
To HainTo exclude cattle from a field in order that grass may grow, so that it may be mowed
HallantideAll Saint's Day
HamA pasture generally rich, and also unsheltered, always level land. (Also short for Hamlet)
Hame/HamesTwo moveable pieces of wood or iron, fastened upon the collar, with suitable appendages for attaching a horse to the shafts of a wagon or cart etc,.
HandyNear; Adjoining
HangeThe heart, liver and lings etc., of a pig, calf or sheep
HanglesThe iron crook etc., composed of iron teeth, suspended over the fire, to be moved up or down as required for the purpose of cooking.
To HapperTo Crackle; To make repeated sharp noises.
To HapsTo Hasp
HapsA Hasp
HardFull Grown. (Hard People - Adults)
HarmAny contagious or epidemic disease not distinguished by a specific name
HartA haft; A Handle
Hathe"To be in a Hathe", is to be set thick and close like the pustules of the small pox or other eruptive disease; To be matted closely together.
To HaveTo Behave
Hay MaidensGround Ivy
Hayty TaytyWhat's Here!
In HaydigeesTo be in high spirits
Hea'ram-skearamWild; Romantic
To HeelTo Hide; To Cover
HeelerOne who hides or covers
To HellTo Pour
HellierA person who lays on the tiles of a roof; A Tiler
HelmWheat Straw prepared for thatching; Also the green growth of potatoes
To HenTo Throw
To HentTo Wither; To become slightly dry
HerenceFrom this place; Hence
HererightDirectly; In this place
To HetTo Hit; To Strike
To HickTo hop on one leg
HickA hop on one leg
To Hick offTo go away; To go off (Used generally in a bad sense!)
HinePosterior; Relating to the back part
To Hire TellTo hear tell; To Learn by report; To be told
Hippety-HoppetyIn a limping and hobbling manner
To HirnTo Run
To HitchTo become entangled or hooked together; To Hitch up; To hang up or to be suspended
To Hitch upTo suspend or attach lightly or temporarily (Also means tying up a horse to a rail used for that purpose)
To Hofor/HawvorTo provide for; To take care of; To desire; to wish for
HobblersMen employed in towing vessels by a rope, as they would along a river or canal. Also refers to men working in  the docks for tying up ships Etc,.
HodA sheath or covering (Perhaps from HOOD?) also means a tool for carrying bricks
HogA one year old sheep; An adult pig
To HoleTo wound with horns; To gore
Hod'mededShort; Squat
HollarHollow; Halloo
To HollarTo Halloo
HollabelooNoise; confusion; riot
HolmemMade of holm
HoltHold; Stop
Ho'mescreechA bird which builds chiefly in apple trees; thought to be the Missel Thrush
Honey-suck'HoneysuckleThe Woodbine
Honey-SuckleRed Clover
HoopA Bullfinch
HornenMade of horn
Hornen BookHornbook
Horse StingerThe Dragon Fly
Huck'muckA strainer placed before the faucet in the mashing tub
HudA Hull or Husk
Huf-capA plant or rather weed, found in the fields, and with difficulty eradicated
HugThe Itch - some times applied to brutes
Hug WaterWater to cure the Hug
To HulderTo Hide; Conceal
HullyA peculiarly shaped long wicker trap, used for catching eels. (Common to the river Parret in Somerset)
To HulveTo turn over; To turn upside down
Hum'drumA small low three-wheeled cart, drawn usually by one horse; used occasionally in agriculture
Hunt-the-SlipperA well known play; a family game


Inin Onion
Ire-gateSee Gare
IseSee Utchy


Jack-in-the-Lantern and Joan-in-the-WadThis meteor usually called "A Will with the Wisp"
To JeeTo go on well together
JodThe letter 'J'
JorumA large jug, bowl etc., full of something to be eaten or drank
To JotTo disturb in writing; to strike the elbow


KeckerThe windpipe; The trachea
KeeveA large tub or vessel used in brewing. A mashing tub is sometimes called a Keeve
To KeeveTo put the wort in a keeve for some time to ferment.
KeffelA bad and worn our horse
To KernTo turn from blossom into fruit. The process of arriving at this state is called "Kerning"
Kex/KexyThe dry stalks of some plants such as Cows-Parsley and Hemlock are called Kexies.
KillA Kiln
Kingbow or a-kingbowImplying a bow with as keen or sharp angle. Modernly - Kimbo or Akimbo.
KircherThe midriff; the diaphragm
KitA tribe, collection or gang.
Kittle/Kittle-smockA smock frock
KnottlinsThe guts of a pig or calf prepared for food by being tied in knots and then boiled.


Lade-pailA small pail with a long handle, used for the purpose of fillings other vessels.
LdeshridesThe sides of a wagon which project over its wheels
Ladies-smockA species of bindweed - See also Withy-Wine
Lady-cowA lady bird
Lady's-holeA card game.
LaiterThe thing laid; the whole quantity of eggs which a chicken lays successfully
LamigerLame, crippled or laid up.
Larks-leersArable land not in use; such is much frequented by Larks; any land that is poor and bare of grass.
Lart/LawtThe floor. Only applied to wooden floors and stairs, never to stone floors.
LongfulLong in regard to time.
LugA heavy pole or long rod. Today's terminology it means to carry a heavy load or a type of worm found on sandy beeches
Lug-lainFull measure; by the lug or pole
LumperTo lumber, move heavily or stumble


MallardA male duck
Manche/MuncheMuch or Chew
To MangTo Mix
Mang-HangleMixed in a wild and confused manner
MawkinA cloth, usually wetted and attached to a pole to sweep clean a baker's oven.
May-be/M-bePerhaps: Modernly 'Maybe'
May Game/M-gameA frolic or whim
To MeechPlay truant; to be absent from school
MeecherA truant
MellMeddle; Touch
To Mess/MessyTo serve cattle with hay
MessinThe act of serving cattle with hay
MidMight or May
To MiffTo give a slight offence; to displease!
Miff A slight offence or displeasure
MigProbably means Mead, the West Country drink made from honey -  a common simile is "As sweet as mig"
MiltThe Spleen
MinA low word implying contempt, addressed to the person to whom we speak, instead if of Sir! (I'll do it Min)
MommacksPieces or fragments
Mommet/MommickA scarecrow or dressed up to impersonate a human being
Moor-cootA Moorhen
To MootTo root up
MootA stump or the root of a tree
To MoreTo root; to become fixed by rooting
MoreA root
Mouse-snapMouse Trap
MuggetsThe intestines of a calf or a sheep
To MultTo melt


NanUsed in reply, in conversation or address, the same as Sir, in polite company when you do not understand!
NapA small rising or hillock
NtionVery, extremely as "Nation good or Nation Bad"
NawlA Awl or The Navel
Nawl-cutA piece cut out of the navel; a term used by butchers
Nestle TripeThe weakest and poorest bird in the nest; applied also to the last born, and usually the weakest child of a family; any young, weak and puny child or bird.
Niver-the-NearTo no purpose; uselessly
New-qut-and-JerkinA card game
NillA Needle
Nist/NuostNigh or near
NonationDifficult to understand; not intelligent; incoherent or wild
NorationRumour or Clamour
NortheringWild, incoherent or wild
NortNothing (West of the Parret)
Not-sheepA sheep without horns
NotThe place where flowers are planted, is usually called a (Flower Not or perhaps a flower knot) - a flower bed.
NottlinsSee Knottlins
NummetA short meal between breakfast and dinner; luncheon
To NuncleTo cheat


OddmentsOdd things or offal
OfficeThe caves of a house
Old-qut-and jerknA card game
To OnlightSame as "To Alight" meaning to get on or off something like after riding a horse
OntWill Not ( I ont - I won't; He ont - He will not; We ont - We will not; They ont or Th ont - They will not.
OolWill. As in "I will"
OpeAn opening - the distance between bodies arranged in order.
OrnEither (Orn o'm - Either of them)
OrtAny thing
To OvergetTo overtake
To OverlookTo Bewitch
Over-right-Auver-RightOpposite; Fronting
OversThe perpendicular edge, usually covered with grass, on the sides of salt-water rivers.


To Payze To force or raise up with a lever
To PeachTo inform against or Impeach
PeelA pillow or bolster
To PeerAppear
PenninThe enclosed place where oxen and other animals are fed and watered; any temporary place erected to contain cattle
Pigs-HalesHaws, the seeds of the white thorn
Pigs-loozeA pigsty
Pilch/PilcherA baby's woolen clout
Pill-coalA kind of peat, dug most commonly our of rivers; peat obtained at a great depth, beneath a stratum of clay
PilmDust or rather a fine dust, which readily floats on the air
PinkA Chaffinch
PipA seed; applied to those seeds which have the shape of an apple seed or cucumber etc., never too round or minute seeds
To PitchTo lay unhewn stones together, so as to make a road or way. Not synonymous in the West of England with "To Pave"
Pitisiteous; exciting compassion
Pit'holeThe grave
To Pix or PixyTo pick up apples after the main crop is taken in; to glean, applied to an orchard only
PixyA sort of fairy or imaginary being
Pixy-ledLed astray by Pixies
To PilmTo swell; to increase in bulk
PloughThe cattle or horses used for ploughing; also a wagon and horses or wagon and oxen.
Pock'freddenMarked in the face with small pox
To PogTo thrust with the fist; a push; an obtuse blow
Poh!An expression of contempt
To PomsterTo tamper with, particularly in curing diseases; to quack
PontedBruised with indentation.
PookThe belly; The Stomach; A Vell
PoppleA Pebble; that is, a stone worn smooth and more or less round, by the action of the waves of the sea. (On Steart, much of the peninsular is composed of these Popples which, in the past, have been gathered by enterprising lads from Burnham in small boats, and put for sale to the holiday makers!)
Pottle-belliedPot Bellied
To Poot or PoteTo push through any confined opening or hole.
Poot Hole or Pote HoleA small hole through which any thing mat be pushed with a stick; A confined space
To PrayTo drive all the cattle into one herd in a moor; [To Pray The Cattle - to search for lost cattle]
PudThe Hand; The Fist
Pulk or PulkerA small, shallow place containing water
Pull-ReedA long reed growing in ditches and pools, used for ceiling instead of laths
PumplePumple Voot;  A Club Foot
PutA two-wheeled cart used in husbandry, and constructed as to be turned up at the axle to discharge the load. Used mostly for taking bales of hay to the cattle in the field or carrying cow dung (muck) to the filed for spreading
PuxieA place on which you cannot tread without danger of sinking in it. Applied most commonly to places in roads or fields where springs break out.
Pwine-End or Pwinin-EndThe sharp pointed end of a house where the wall rises perpendicularly from the foundation
PyerA wooden guide or rail to hold by, in passing over a narrow wooden bridge


QuareQueer; Odd
QuarrelA square of window glass
To QuarTo raise stones from a quarry
Quar ManA man who works in a quarry
QuineCoin; Money; A Corner
To QuineTo Coin


To Rake UpTo cover or bury
RamesThe dead stalks of potatoes, cucumbers and such plants; A Skeleton
Rams-ClawsThe plant called Gold Cups
RamshackleLoose; Disjointed
RampingDistracted, Obstreperous - Ramping Mad, Outrageously Mad
Randy-RandinA merry making; riotous living
RangeA Sieve
To RangleTo twine or move in a irregular or sinuous manner. Rangling Plants are plants which entwine round other plants, as tha woodbine or hops Etc,.
RangleA Sinuous Winding
RastryRancid; Gross; Obscene
To RawnTo Devour Greedily
RawnyHaving little flesh; A thin person whose bones are conspicuous.
To RayTo Dress
To ReadTo strip the fat from the intestines; to read the inward
ReadshipConfidence, Trust or Truth
To ReamTo widen; To open
ReamerAn instrument used to make a hole larger (Wider)
ReballingThe catching of eels with earthworms attached to a bal of lead, suspended by a string from a pole (More common in ponds or lakes)
ReedWheat Straw prepared for thatching
Reen or RhineA water-course; an open drain (More commonly known in Somerset)
To ReeveTo Rivel; To draw into wrinkles
RemletA Remnant
RevelA Wake
To RigTo climb about; To get up and down a thing in wantonness or sport; To Dress
RipA vulgar, old and unchaste woman
Robin RiddickA Redbreast (Robin)
RodeTo go to rode means: Late at night or early in the morning, to go out to shoot wild fowl which pass over head on the wing.
To RoseTo drop out from the pod or other seed vessel when the seed are over-ripe
Round-DockThe Common Mallow - Malva sylvestris
RozimA quaint saying; A low proverb
RudderishHasty, Rude Without care
RufA Roof
RumpusA Great Noise
RungsThe round steps of a ladder


 The sound of the letter 'S' is very often pronounced by west country folk as the letter'Z' - Thus many words such as "Sand - Seed - Silk - Soak" are pronounced "Zand - Zeed - Zilk - Zoak" Etc,.
Sand TotA Sandhill
To SarTo Serve; Earn as: (I can sar but sixpence a day)
SarrantA Servant
ScadA short shower
ScholardA scholar
To ScottleTo cut into pieces in a wasteful manner
ScrawfRefuse (Rubbish)
ScrawvlinPoor and mean like Scrawf
ScreedA shred
To ScrunchThe act of chewing a biscuit Etc., and making a noise doing so or the sound of snow being walked upon
ScudA Scab
Sea-crowA Cormorant
Seed-lipA vessel of a particular construction, ib which the sower carries the seed
SeltimesSeldom; Not often
ShabThe itch; The Hug (Applied to brutes only)
Shab-waterA water generally prepared with tobacco, and sometimes with the addition of some mecurial, to cure the shab
ShabbyAffected with shab (Hence the meaning of shabby, mean or paltry)
ShakleA twisted band
ShalderA kind of broad flat rush that grows in ditches
SharpA shaft of a wagon Etc,.
ShattnShalt Not
SheerA sheath
ShillithA shilling's worth
To Shride or ShroudTo cut off wood from the sides of trees; to cut wood off of trees generally
To ShugTo Shrug; Scratch or rub against
ShuttleSlippery, Sliding - only applied to solid bodies
SilkerA Court card
To Sim (Zim)To seem or appear - this verb is used instead of "It seems to me" Etc,.
Sim Like ItSeems like it (Ironically, for Very Improbable)
SineSince or because
Single GussThe plant Orchis
Single StickA game, sometimes called Backsword - apparently in the 18th century was a discredit to the West and still too well known!
To SkagAn accidental blow to the shoe heel so as to tear the cloth or flesh; to wound slightly
To SkeerTo mow lightly over; applied to pastures which have been summer eaten, never to meadows. In the neuter sense; o move along quickly and slightly touching.
Skeer-DevilThe Black Martin or Swift
SkeeringsHay made from pasture land
SkentinWhen cattle, although well fed, do not become fat are called this
SkenterAn animal which will not fatten
To Skew or SkiverTo skewer
Skiff HandedLeft handed; awkward
Skills or SkittlesThe play called nine pins
SkimmertonTo ride Skimmerton, is an exhibition of riding two persons on a horse, back to back; or of several persons in a cart, having skimmers and ladles, with which they carry on a sort of warfare or gambols, designed to ridicule someone who, unfortunately, possesses and unfaithful wife. See Note 17
To SkramTo be numb with cold; awkward-stiff
Skram HandedHaving the fingers or joints of the hand in such a state that it can only with difficulty, be used
To SkrentTo Burn; Scorch or scorched
SkummerA foulness made with a dirty liquid or soft dirt
To SkummerTo foul with a dirty liquid or daub with soft dirt
SlaitAn accustom; To make quick Lime in a fit state by throwing water on it; To Slack; An accustomed run for sheep, hence the place to which a person is accustomed is called - Slait
To SlatTo Split; To Crack; To Cleave
To SleezeTo separate, To Come Apart; Applied to cloth when the warp and woof readily separate from one another
SleezyDispose to sleeze; Badly Woven
To SpittleTo move the earth lightly with a spade or spitter; Spiteful; Disposed to spit in anger
To SpringTo Moisten; To Sprinkle
To SpryTo become chapped with cold
SpryNimble - Active
To SquailTo fling a stick at a Cock or other bird See Cock Squailing
To SquotTo bruise; To Compress i.e. To Squat!
SquotA Bruise; A Squeeze
Stake HangSometimes called just a hang, it is a kind of circular hedge made of stakes, forced into the sea shore, and standing about 6 feet above it, for the purpose of catching mainly salmon but also other fish
StangA long pole
StenA| large jar made of stone ware
SteningA ford mad of stones at the bottom of a river
SteepleInvariably means a Spire
SteertA Point
StemA long round shaft, used as a handle for various tools
StickleSteep [Applied to hills] - Rapid [Applied to water] A stickle path is a steep path - a stickle stream is a rapid stream
SticklerA person who presides at backsword or singlestick, to regulate he game; an umpire; a person who settles disputes
StichTen sheaves of corn set up on end in the field after it is cut; a shock of corn
To StiveTo keep close an warm
To StiverTo stand up in a wild manner like hair; to tremble
StodgeA very thick liquid mixture
Stonen/StwonenMade of Stone or consisting of stone
StomachyObstinate; Proud; Haughty
StookA sort of stile beneath which water is discharged [Also used to describe the piles of the sheaves of corn]
StoutA gnat
Strad A piece of leather tied around the leg to defend it from thorns Etc,.
StritchA strickle: A piece of wood used for striking off the overcorn from a corn measure.
To StrouteTo Strut
StrouterAnything that projects; A Strutter
To StudTo study
SuentEven, smooth, plain
SuentlyEvenly, Smoothly, Plainly
To SulshTo soil or make dirty
SulshA spot or stain
SumA question in Arithmetic
To SummyTo work by arithmetical rules
Summer-voyThe yellow freckles in the face
To Suffy/ZuffyTo inspire deeply and quickly. Such n action occurs more particularly upon immersing the body in cold water!
To SwankumTo walk to & fro in an idle manner
To Swell/ZwellTo Swallow
To SweetortTo Court; To Woo


TackA Shelf
TackerThe waxed thread used by shoemakers
Taety/Tatty/TattieA Potato
TaffetyDainty-Nice. Chiefly used in regard to food
TalletThe upper room next the roof; used chiefly of out-houses, as a Hay Tallet
To TangTo Tie
Tap and CannelA spigot and faucet
TaytyA Hayty-Tayty See Note 18
Teesty-TostyThe blossoms of cowslips collected together, tied in globular form, and used to toss to and fro for an amusement. Sometimes simply called "A Tosty"
TeeryFaint; Weak
TemtiousTempting; Inviting
ThaufThough; Although
TherewnceFrom that place
Therevor-i-saytThat is my argument; Therefore I say it
ThorenMade of thorn; Having the quality or nature of thorn
Dird the NeedleA Play, Thread the Needle
TiffA small draught of liquor
To TileTo set a thing in such a situation that it may easily fall
TiltyTesty; To Offend
Timmer Timber; Wood
TimmersonFearful; Needlessly uneasy
To TineTo Shut or close
To TipTo turn or raise on one side
TipA draught of liquor, hence the word TIPPLE because he cup must be tipped when you drink
To TieTo Weightr
TiteWeight - The Tite of a Pin - The weight of a pin
TodA Bustle; Confusion
To Toll To Entice; To Allure
ToorThe Toe
TostySe "Teesty-Tosty"
ToteThe whole
To TottleTo walk in a tottering manner, like a child
TouseA blow on some part of the head
TowardsThis is in Somerset, invariably pronounced as a dissyllable, with the accent on the last: - To-Ward's
TowerA square elevated building, usually placed at the west end of the church
TrampA Walk; A Journey; Someone who has no home and thus "Tramps" the world
To TrapesTo go to and fro in the dirt
TrubagullyA short, dirty ragged fellow, accustomed to perform menial offices
To TruckleTo Roll
TruckleA round piece of wood or iron bar, placed under another body, in order to move it from place to place
TrucklebedA small bed placed on truckles, so that it may be readily move about.
TunnegerA Funnel
TurfTurves. Peat cut in pieces and dried for fuel
Turn-stringA string made of twisted gut, much used in spinning
To TussleTo struggle with; To Contend
TutA Hassock. Used mainly in church for persons to kneel on
Tut-workWork done by the piece or contract and not work by the day.
TutherThe other
Tutheram/TuthermyThe others
TuttyA Flower or Nosegay
To TwickTo twist or jerk suddenly
TwickA sudden twist or jerk
TwilyRestlee; Wearisome
TwiripeImperfectly ripe


UnketDreary; Dismal; Lonely
To unrayTo Undress
To UntangTo Untie
To UpTo Arise
Uppin StockA Horse Block.
UpsidesOn an equal or superior footing
UtchyIt is manifestly, a corrupt pronunciation of Iche or Ich, pronounced as two syllables, the Anglo-Saxon word for I.  


Vage-VazeA voyage, but more commonly applied to the distance employed to increase the intensity of motion or action from a given point.
To VangTo Receive; To Earn
VareA species of weasel
To VareTo bring forth young; applied to pigs and some other animals
VawthA bank of dung or earth prepared for manure
To VayTo succeed; To turn out well; to go. Probably derived from the French verb Aller meaning to go.
To VazeTo move about the room or house, so as to agitate the air.
VeelvareThe bird "Fieldfare"
VeelA Field; Corn land uninclosed
VellThe salted stomach of a calf used for making cheese; A Membrane
VeoFew; Little
To VessyWhen two or more persons read verses alternately.
VesterA pin or wire to point out the letters to children learning to read. A Fescue
VirFire. Some of our older writers make this as two words : - "Fy-er"
VinnedMouldy; Humoursome; Affected
VitiousSpiteful; Revengeful
VittenSee Fitten
VittyProperly; Aptly
VlareTo burn wildly; To Flare
VleerA Flea
VlotherIncoherent |talk; Nonsense
VocatingGoing from place to place in an idle manner
To VollyTo Follow
VollierSomething which follows; A Follower
VoothForth; Out
To VooseTo Force
VornFor Him
VorerightBlunt; Candidly rude
VouseStrong; Nervous; Forward
To VugTo strike with the elbow


To WallupTo Beat
To Wammel/WambleTo move to and fro in an irregular and awkward manner.
WarBeware! Take Care! War-whing Take Care of Yourself. Also used for the preterit of the verb To Be: I War-He War; We War Etc,. I Was; He Was; We Were Etc,.
To WardTo Wade
To Warnt/WarndTo Warrant
Wash-dishThe bird known as The Wagtail
To Way-zalt[To weigh Salt] To lay at the game Wayzaltin
Way-zaltinA game or exercise, in which two persons stand back to back, with their arms interlaced, and lift each other up alternately.
WeepyAbounding with springs; Moist
Well-apaidAppeased; Satisfied
Well-at-ease/Well-at-EasedHearty; Healthy
WetshodWet in the feet
WevetA spider's web
To WhackA loud blow
To WheckerTo laugh in a low vulgar manner; To neigh
WherewiProperty, estate; Money (Wherewithal)
Whipper-snapperActive, nimble, sharp.
WhipswhileA short time; the time between the strokes of a whip.
Whister-twisterA smart blow on the side of the head
To WhiverTo Hover
WhizbirdA term of reproach
To whopTo strike with heavy blows
WhopA heavy blow
Whosay/HoosayA wandering report; An observation of no weight
Widver A widower
Willy A term applied to baskets of various sizes, but generally to those holding about a bushel. So called from their being made commonly of willow! Sometimes called also Will-basket.
To whimTo winnow
Wim-sheet/Wimmin sheetA sheet upon which corn is winnowed
Wimmin DustChaff
Withy WineThe plant Bindweed
Wocks The card called Clubs - most probably from having the shape of an oak leaf; Oaks
WontA mole
Wont HeaveMolle Hill
Wont SnapA Mole Trap
Wont WriggleThe sinuous path made by moles under ground
Wood QuistA Wood Pigeon
WorraA small round nut or pinion, with grooves in it, and having a hole in its centre, through which the end of a round stick or spill may be thrust. The Spill and Worra are attached to the common spinning wheel, which, with those and the Turn String, form the apparatus for spinning wool Etc,.
To WrideTo spread abroad; to expand
WriggleAny narrow sinuous hole.
WrineA mark occasioned by wring cloth or folding it in an irregular manner.
To WrumpleTo Discompose; To Rumple
WrumpleA Rumple


Yalhouse An Alehouse
Yarm Arm
YelAn eel
Yel Spear instrument for catching eels. [Eel Spear!)
YesAn Earthworm


  See also the observations that precede the letter 'S'
Zatenfare Softish: Applied to the intellects
To ZamTo heat for sometime over a fire, but not to boil
Zamsod/ZamsoddenAny thing heated for a long time in a low heat so as to be in part spoiled is said to be this!
Zandy Sandy
Zand Tot A sand hill
To Zee To See
Zid Seen
Zeed Seed
Zeed-lip Seed-lip; Which See!
ZelOne's self
ZenvyWild Mustard
ZilkerSee Silker
ZogSoft, boggy land; moist land
ZoggyBoggy & Wet
To Zound/ZoundyTo Swoon
To ZuffySee To Suffy
ZuggersDefinition unknown - (May be an interjection of some sort [By Zuggers!] - Ed.)
ZullThe instrument used for ploughing land; A Plough
ZummetSomewhat; Something
To ZwailTo move about with the arms extended, and up & down.
To ZwangTo swing; To move to and for
To ZwellTo swell, To Swallow all see To Swell
ZwodderA drowsy and stupid state of body or mind

.......... Fine ..........


1. These words are in very common use in the West of England (at the time when this glossary was compiled) - It is curious to note their gradation from Chaucer, whose expression is, Beren hem on hond or  bare him on hond; - implying always, it appears to me, the same meaning as I have given to the words above. There is think, no doubt, that these expressions of Chaucer, which he has used several times in his works, are figurative; when Chaucer tells us he beren hem in hond, the literal meaning is, he carried it in, or on, his hand so that it might be readily seen. "To bear on hand, to affirm, to relate." - Jamieson's Etymological Scots Dictionary. But, whatever be the meaning of these words in Chaucer, and at the present time in Scotland, the above is the meaning of them in the West of England.

2. Lord Byron has used the verb bedrudge in his notes to the 2nd canto of Childe Harold.

3. It is not easy to define the meaning of these words; they indicate some determination of mind; and are, most probably, oaths of asseveration. The last appears to be a corruption of by godmothers. Both are thrown into discourse very frequently:         [Begummers I ont tell; I can't do it, begorz.]

4. This practice was widespread throughout England at one time, partly due to the abundance of sparrows that ate large quantities of grain, and were also a menace to vegetable & fruit growers, but has been illegal now for many years.

5. A rooting axe is a tool specially made for cutting out tree roots.

6. Black pudding is made with pig's blood, pork fat and cereal (oatmeal and or barley) - usually eaten at breakfast time.

7. "Blind-buck and Have Ye" - is no doubt the origin of this appellation for a well-known amusement.

8. This species of Mugwort has been used medicinally for many years including the encouragement of menstruation, hence the origin of this dialectic name. See also this Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menstruation

9. The word became used for a sporting adventure, details of which can be seen at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bungee_jumping

10. Has the same spelling as the Scots word which initially has a different meaning:- To talk fast and, in consequence generally nonsensical; and so fast that foam (Bladders) form at the mouth.

11. This word is used by Todd in his work Johnson, and is therein spelt 'bore'. I (Jennings) prefer the above orthography, because I believe that the word is derived from the animal so called, in consequence of the noise, rushing and impetuosity of the water. Mr Todd's definition, notwithstanding the authority of Mr Burke, is not applicable to the boar to be seen in the river Parret. With this phenomenon I have been familiar from my childhood. [Jennings goes on to site several sources including a French dialogue that is too long for this purpose]

12. Also spelt 'Clice' - on the levels of Somerset where the river Brue and the King's Sedgemoor Drain meet the sea, a Clice is set up to control the levels' water drainage. These consist of gates that can be opened or closed, according to the level of inland water, they also stop the ingress of sea water, one is at Highbridge the other at West Huntspill near the sea wall.

13. The term 'Clavy' was, most probaly, given to that piece of wood, or other material, which is usually laid over the front of the fire place, because, in most houses of any consideration, even country farm houses, the keys were formerly, and, indeed, now very often (c.19th century) - suspended on pins or nails driven into it; hence from 'clavis'  - Latin for a key, is derived the term 'Clavy', the place where keys were hung. [Why keys were hung over fireplaces is another question, but one supposes that as they were prone to rusting, being hung in this fashion would stop that from happening?] RLDC

14. It was formerly a kind of imprecation, implying 'God Hang It';

15. This gave rise to the ode: "Hen Pen; Duck-an-Mallard; Amen"

16. 'Dame' as used in this dialect, is never used in the sense of  'Lady', nor is it ever applied to persons in the upper ranks of society, nor to the lowest. When a female is referred to as Dame Bennet or Dame Cox etc,. we mean the wife of some farmer or sometimes a school mistress. It is rarely, if ever, applied to a young woman!

17. This practice "Skimmerton Riding" was used at Huntspill, Somerset and is recorded in the Parish Registers when a certain woman was recorded as having had to go through this procedure!

18. Derived most probably from "Highty-Tity" - Height & Weight - A board or pole, resting, in the middle only, on some elevated place and balanced so that two persons, one sitting on each end, may move up and down alternately by striking the ground with their feet. It is sometimes called simply "TAYTY" - this in addition to the alternative description of "Hayty-Tayty"!!



Page Last Updated: - 29/12/2013