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Introduction to the 1771 Tyne Flood Papers

Glossary of dialect words

Note; Most of the words in this glossary are taken from Northumberland Words, by Rev Oliver Heslop, London: English Dialect Society/ Kegan Paul Trench, 1892). Quite a number of other words in the text, however, are not in this book, presumably because they had gone out of use between the 1770s and the date it was compiled. Additional information on other words would be welcome.

Beatment [also spelt beachment, beackment or batement] 'a measure holding a quarter-peck. It was formerly in general use in the district, especially in the retail sale of vegetables and coals. The measure was commonly made of wood staves hooped, with a division so placed that at one end a beatment could be meted and at the other half-a-beatment... At Hexham the measure was double the size of the Newcastle beatment; hence the proverb, 'Hexham measure, heaped full an' running ower.' (Heslop, p.44)

Boll, [also spelt bol, or bowl], 'at Hexham, a boll of barley or oats, five bushels; of peas, rye or wheat, four bushels; at Newcastle, two bushels' (Heslop, p. 76)

Chaff, husks of corn or other seed separated by winnowing or threshing, used as fodder and also for filling mattresses. (Oxford English Dictionary online)

Codd, a pillow (Heslop, p 175)

Deal (also spelt deel), a plank of wood

Delf, earthenware pottery with an opaque white glaze with an overglaze decoration, usually in blue (Dictionary.com online)

Esh, Ash tree (Heslop, p 267)

Fathom, A measure of length, 'an arm's stretch, or six feet....A fathom of rope is measured off by seizing the end in the right hand and passing it through the left across the chest. The stretch by an average man is six feet, and ropes are in this way measured off most rapidly and with great accuracy.' (Heslop, p 272)

Felly, the exterior rim or a segment of the rim of a wheel supported by the spokes (Merriam-webster.com, online)

Fog, [also spelt fogg], 'the clover, or second crop, that follows a hay crop.... Also moss or lichen growth. When mosses are in excess the pasture is said to be full of fog.'  (Heslop, p. 297)

Fother,  'of coals, one-third of a chaldron; about as many coals as a one-horse cart will contain... The word has come to be applied to a cart-load of anything in general.... The fother differs from the load, the latter being as much as can be carried on the back of a pack horse.' (Heslop, p 300)

Fudder  may be another spelling of Fother

Happin [also spelt happing and happen], a coverlet (Heslop, p. 360)

Harn, 'a coarse hempen cloth. The name is sometimes applied to a coarse thread' (Heslop, p. 362)

Hog(g), a young sheep

Kibble, a small tub, containing about twenty gallons (Heslop, p. 423)

Kit, [also spelt kitt] a small wooden barrel or pail (Heslop, p. 425). Cat-kit unknown - perhaps the right size to hold a cat?

Lint, flax; lint-wheel, spinning wheel used for flax (Dictionary of the Scots Language)

Load, see Fother, above

Loarping, not known (not found in dictionary)

Peck, 'a measure of capacity. At Alnwick and Wooler the peck is equal to one-third of a bushel Winchester. At Newcastle a peck of barley and oats is equal to five forpits or quarterns'. (Heslop, p. 528)

Pow, meaning unknown

Quick,  young hawthorn plant for planting hedgerows (Heslop, p. 538)

Riddle [also spelt riddel] a coarse sieve of large mesh (Heslop p. 576)

Shoemack, meaning unknown

Shot, a young pig (Heslop, p. 636)

Skeel, a wooden tub with a handle, containing about 6 gallons, wider at the bottom than at the top to give balance when carried on the head. (Heslop, p 646)

Stirk  'a young beast, ox or heifer.... but formerly was applied to the male animal specially' (Heslop, p. 694)

Strickle, 'the strike or straight roller used for passing over the top of a measure of corn in order to strike or level it evenly.'(Heslop, p. 702),

Thratched, probably threshed.

Thrave, Threave,  'a measure of corn or straw; applied also as the term for a portion of tillage land (query, as much as produced a thrave of corn). A thrave of straw equals two stooks of twelve sheaves each, that is twenty-four sheaves, ninety-six pounds in weight.' (Heslop, p. 729)

Tomple, not known (not found in dictionary)

Weather (also spelt Wedder or Wether), a castrated ram (Heslop, p. 778)

Winchester bushel. 'Winchester' measures were standardised measures of quantity defined in an Act of Parliament of 1696-7 (though their history goes back to Anglo-Saxon times). See the Wikipedia article on the subject for more information

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