Old Lancashire Words And Folk Sayings: Parish Of Saddleworth (1940) by Ammon Wrigley

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Froman oil painting by Hlarry Rutherford, London.

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HERE are people who say that Saddleworth is a mongrel sort of parish, neither one thing nor another. When I hear it, I always say that Saddleworth is no mongrel, but it has to help Yorkshire, sometimes not very willingly, and I cannot imagine how that shire could carry

on without it.

Yorkshire takes every yard of Saddleworth ground, and nearly every penny of its money. When Wakefield has been through the parish pocket, there is precious little left, and to try and get something returned, would be like trying to get butter out of a dog’s throat. Some people believe that Saddleworth would have no Christmas Day if Yorkshire could take it and leave no clue.

Lancashire takes the water, including that from the sewage works. It also serves a part of Saddleworth with domestic water. If it didn’t, many people would have to wash them- selves in the brook. Its people speak, and have ever spoken, the Lancashire dialect. The Schofields’, Buckleys’, Gartsides’ and other well rooted families, came chiefly from Rochdale, in the 16th century. So that Saddleworth is a Yorkshire parish, with a Lancashire population. The great barrier of moorland serves to keep the, “‘Joa Lad,’’ dialect on the other side of Stanedge. It has never got through the Deep Cut-

ting to stay and never will.

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Modern educational forces and influences ride roughshod through the dialect, and I believe the school miss calls it slang. Yet philologists, the people who know, tell us that the Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, Danish and other ancient dialects form the bedrock of the English language. I have read somewhere, that if Ioo0 words were taken from the works of great English writers, 70 to 80 could be traced to Anglo- Saxon sources. An examiner of schools asked a Delph lad what the berries of the hawthorn were called, and he imme- diately replied ‘‘haigs.”” The examiner told the school- master how delighted he was to hear that old word. A modern school miss would raise her hands in holy horror if one of her scholars gave that answer.

To the dalesman the dialect is a language in which he can express himself with ease, directness and force, and that is alla man needs to do with words. In its simplicity it is akin to Biblical language. It contains no long jaw rending words, that sometimes merely ape profundity. From it we learn to speak and write the simple English that, like the Bible, is said to make the greatest appeal. The dialect is without veneer that ‘‘Oft-times outshines the solid wood.’’ It is the plain mother tongue that children learn to speak on the hearthstones of home, and in after years may be carried to the farthest corners of the earth.

I do not know how it affects other people but when I hear a Lancashire or Yorkshire dalesman speak the dialect well, the fresh, clean countryside seems to come from his tongue. In his voice and words there are sounds that make me think of streams splashing over boulders in hillside cloughs and wind blowing through green hawthorn hedges. Something stirring and pleasant to hear. I wonder what he hears in a townsman’s voice?

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In making this compilation, it has not been my purpose to give the English for ‘“‘theau, neaw, ceaw,’’ and every word in the Saddleworth dialect. So, herein, I have given the old words that may be the first part of the folk speech to fall into disuse. Some I have not heard for years, others but rarely, and in the next generation they may have become obsolete. It is now rare to hear young folks use them, at least that is my experience.

In compiling the two lists, I have trusted to my memory and my dialect sketches, and it is more than probable that words have eluded me, to be remembered after this booklet is published. It will be noticed that I have omitted ‘“‘gradely,’’ “Yannock.’’ and other old words that are now found in a dictionary. I have also excluded old proverbs used in Saddleworth, as ‘‘penny wise and pound foolish,’’ ‘‘a roll- ing stone gathers no moss, me

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a wild goose chase,’’ “‘many a slip between cup and lip,’’ and many others that have a national vogue.

In 1546, “‘when ale’s in wit’s out,’’ ‘‘Mad as a March hare,” and others; in Ray’s time, 1660, “Every dog’s its day,’’ ‘“‘The more the merrier,’’ and ‘“‘The game won’t pay


for the candle,’’ and others were common proverbs.

Austerlands. A. W.

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‘ ‘ADDLE’ 3 ‘‘Afterings’’ ‘é ‘Agate’ >

“‘Allockin’’ ‘Ancliff’’ ‘“‘Arranweb’’ ‘“Awlus’’


‘“BAGGIN’’ ‘“Bagged’’ ‘“Ballisprpes’’ “‘Ballybant’’

‘“Banglin’’ ‘ ‘Bant’ > ‘“‘Banterin’’

¢ ‘Bat’ 3 ‘““Beast’ © ‘“Beatneed’’


‘“Bellweather’’ ““Billy”’

To earn, also unfruitful, an addle egg. The last milk from a cow.

Working. ‘‘He’s agate of his wark. Also

to go agate or accompany someone on a way.”’

Idling. Killing time. Ankle. Spider’s web. Always.

To attempt. He ne’er awsed to do it.

Tea. ‘‘Come to thi baggin.’’ Discharged. Also sacked. The vocal organs.

A man’s waist belt. Also applied to the belt of a horse. Idling. ‘‘Banglin abeaut.’’ String, twine. Beating down the price of anything. ‘“‘Aw bantered him deawn.’’ A blow. ‘‘Aw’ll gie thi a bat.’’

Milk from a newly calfed cow.

One who occasionally assists another person.

A crazy dish of liver, black pudding, onions and other seasoning. A noisy woman.

A spinning machine of about 100 spindles for making slubbings, now discarded.


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‘“Bleb’’ ‘‘Blobmeauth’’ ‘“Blubber’’ ‘“*Blurt’’

‘‘Boakes’’ ‘‘Bogblinders’’ ‘“Boose’’ ‘‘Brad’’ ‘‘Brast’’ ‘‘Brat’’ ‘“Brawson

‘‘Breadfleck’’ ‘‘Brewis’’

‘‘Breyd”’ ““Brock’’ ‘“Brogged’’

““Buckle’’ ‘““Bullirag’’ “Bullock

‘Butty’ ?

A pinafore. When I went to school the children in the lower classes brought their school pence tied or stitched in a corner of their bishops and the teacher was busy on a Monday morning cutting the stitches loose.

A blister. A loud mouthed gossip. A bubble. Also blubberin or crying. To speak loudly and suddenly. To blurt it eaut. Beams. Barn boakes. Limewashers. A goblin. Cow stall. Spread. Burst. A child. An apron. Very lusty, much too fat. Once used for drying oatcakes. Oatcake, beef dripping, pepper and salt and a little hot water. <A one time favourite supper dish. A shelf. The insect in the froth called cuckoo spit. Broken up. He’s brogged hissel op wr drinkin. To do something. ‘‘Buckle to thi wark.”’ To abuse a person with the tongue. To insult. To bully. Pantry. There is, I believe, little (if any) farm butter churned in Saddleworth to-day. At one time nearly every farmer made his own butter for his milk customers and also for shop- keepers. A dishonest contest.


‘‘He brad his sel.”’

““A butty do.”’

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c ‘Cappel’ > “Capt” ‘“‘Cauvelicked’’

““Cayther’’ “‘Chag’’ ““Chockful’’ ‘‘Chompin’’ ‘‘Chovin dish’’

‘““Chuck’’ ‘““Chuntin’’ ‘‘Churngetting’’ ““Claggy”’ ‘““Clemmed’’ ““Cob’”’ ‘“Cockstangs’’

‘‘Cockstride’’ ““Coddle’’ ““Cogley”’ ‘Coil’ “‘Cotter’’ ‘“‘Crachinly’’ “‘Cranky’’ ‘‘Cripplehole’’

‘“‘Croddy’’ ‘‘Croot’’ ‘‘Cronked’’ ‘‘Crope”’

Children talking saucily to their elders. A piece of leather on the toes of clogs. Surprised.

The hair parted on the wrong side of the head. A cradle, sometimes called a sorrow box. A small branch of a tree. Quite full. Chewing vigorously. An old holed bucket filled with hot cin- ders and placed under a handloom in winter to warm the warp so that there would be fewer broken threads. To throw. ‘‘Aw chucked it away.”’

Murmuring sulkily. A feast after the haytime. Sticky, pasty. “‘It clagged i’ mi meauth.”’ Not enough to eat. To throw, cobbing a pigeon.

Two poles used for carrying cocks of hay to the barn.

A short distance. To nurse. Rough, stony, a cogley road. A small cock of hay. To kick. ‘‘Aw’ll cotter thi weel.’’ Weak, feeble. [ll-tempered. ‘‘Cranky side eaut.’’

A square hole left in a high wall for sheep to go through.

A feat. ‘‘Aw’ll set thi a croddy.’’ Crooked.

Sat down. Crept.

‘‘He’s cronked i’ th’ corner.’’ Also crappled.


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““Clompin’’ ““Cruckle’’


‘DAB’ > ‘‘Dade’’

‘‘Damprate’’ c¢ Deg’ ? ‘“Deet”’ ‘“Devilskin’’

‘‘Dither’’ ‘‘Doaf’’ “Dollop’’ ‘““Dree’’ ‘“Drooty’’ ‘““Dych”’


‘*Eccles’’ ‘“Edder’’ ‘‘Editch’’ ‘‘Eem’’


““FADGE’’ ‘““Fagend’”’ ‘‘Farrantly’’ ‘‘Feart’’

Setting the feet down heavily.

To sink down. ‘‘He cruckled to th’ floor.”’

Curdled, congealed milk.

Clever, active. ‘‘A dab hand at a game.”’

To help, to assist. ‘‘Aw daded him across th’ road.’’

An imprecation. To sprinkle. Dirtied. ‘‘Theau’s deet thi bishop.’’ A clownish fellow, full of tricks.

A blow. ‘“‘Aw dinged him 1’ th’ yed.”’ Also ‘‘Aw dinged him op.’’ Up- braided him. To tremble.

Dough. A large quantity. Tedious. A dree sarmon. Dry weather. A heaped up hedge.

‘‘A dollop o’ stones.”’ A dree road.

A stranger. Icicles. The dragon fly. Grass grown after the mowing.

‘“‘Aw connut eem to do it, Aw havn’t time.’’ A large hole under the fire ot some 2d Saddleworth houses to hold the ashes.

A small load of coal. The tail end. Decent, respectable. Afraid. ‘‘Awm noan feart o’ muck.’’



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“‘Feaberry”’ ‘‘Feffnicute’’

“‘Fettle’’ *’Flabbergasted’’ “*Fleet’’ **Flite’’ “*Flunter’’


““Fob”’ “‘Foomart’’ “Frap”’ “*Fratch’’ “*‘Freetened’’ ““Frisgig’”’ ‘““Fuddled’’ “*Fussocks”’ “‘Futter’’


**Gallus’’ “*Gam’’

“‘Gauby”’ “Gawmless” **Gawpin’’ ““Geawl’’ *‘Gird’’ ““Gloppened’’ “*Golsh’’ *“Gosterin’”’


A kind of hypocrite, one who blows hot or cold to suit the moment.

In good health, in good form. Speechless with surprise. Skimmed milk. To scold. ‘‘Aw flited her ’’ Out of order, not working properly, also ailing. ‘‘A foace un’’ is one who believes that he

has all the wit and can see more than his fellows.

A pocket. Polecat. A short quarrel. A noisy quarrel. Frightened. A silly young woman. Drunk. A fat, idle woman. Busy doing nothing. at?’’

““A bit of a frap.’’

‘What arto futterin

Cattle racing madly about a field. Also gadding off on a holiday. Braces. Crooked, or disabled through injury. A gam leg. A fool, clownish. Without sense. Staring with the mouth open. Discharge from weak eyes. A sudden pain in the bowels. Greatly surprised; stunned. To belch or eject wind from the mouth. Making a raucous noise.


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‘‘Grindlestone’’ ‘‘Grout’’


“HACKLE” *“Haginow’’ ‘““Haigs’”’ ““Heck’’ ‘“Heggled”’ ‘*Helder’’ ‘*Hide’”’ “Hig” ‘*Hippings’’

‘‘Hooined’’ ‘““Hopple’’ ‘*Hud’’ ‘*Huffed’’ “Hug”?


‘“Hugeginbund’’ ‘““Hugegins’’ ‘‘Hutch’’ ‘““Hutherin’’ *“Huzz”’

“TLL” ‘‘Insense’’ ‘“Tthert’’

A grinding with the teeth as when biting through celery.

A grindstone.

Washings from an ale tub after home brewing. Sinews. “ Hoo’s ratched her guiders:’’ To drink.

In rare form. ‘‘In good hackle.”’ To skulk about imposing on people. Berries of the hawthorn. Oh heck, an exclamation. Badly off; harassed. Rather. ‘‘Aw’d helder not go.’’ To thrash. A good hiding. Vexed; in a temper. Stepping stones over a stream. There used to be public hippings over the brook at Rasping Mill, Delph. Poor and ill fed. To walk badly. Hide. Offended. To carry. To conceal. Hipbound. Hips. To move. ‘“‘Hutch op, mack reawm. A loud, roaring wind. A humming noise.

‘‘He’s huffed at summat. ’

“Stiff in the hips.”

To cover. ‘‘Ill me up.”’ To make understand. Dirty. ‘‘An ithert neck.’


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“JATTERT”’ ¢ ‘Jenny’ 3

6 ‘Jib’ “Tifty” “‘Jiggered’’ “‘Jorum”’ ‘‘Jowting”’


““KKALE”’ “Kalling’’ “‘Kecking’’

‘Kegley’ 3 ‘*Kelter’’ ‘*Kem’ ?



é ‘Keyney’ ? 6 ‘Kibe’ > ““Kist’’

é “LACE’”’ “‘Lag’’ ‘‘Laithed’’ ‘ ‘Lant’’


A cottage spinning machine of 50 spindles once common in Saddle- worth.

The chin. “‘Stick thi jib eaut.’’ Quickly, in a jiffy. Weary, tired out. A number of people. Jolting. Also “Jow’—‘“ Aw'll jow thi yed.”’ An accident of anv kind.

To take another person’s turn. Idling and gossiping. Said of a young woman who is showing off with her head in the air. Put- ting on airs. Shaky. Kegley on her pins (legs). Money. To comb. ‘‘Kem thi yure.’’ Combing. A ‘‘kemming com’’ was lost at a Stanedge inn and a traveller found it in some potato pie he was eating. When the house flagstones become damp it is said to be a sign of fine weather. Left-handed. To draw the mouth crooked in contempt. A clothes or other chest.

To thrash. ‘‘Aw gav’ him a good lacing.”’ To loiter. To lag behind. Invited. Urine. I remember the time when a large lant jar stood near the door of many a cottage in and around our village.

I know a row of houses that had a lant jar standing just across the road


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‘“‘Latching’’ ““Lether’’ “‘Lief”’ ‘“‘Lippent’’ ‘‘Litheing”’ ““Loaches’’ ‘“Lobscouse’’ ‘‘Logging’’ “‘Loldering”’ ‘““Lungus’’ ““Lutching’”’

‘“*\MARLOCKING”’ ¢ ‘Meg’ ? ‘‘Melch’’ ““ Meterley”’ ‘‘Mezzeled’’

‘‘Miss Nancy’’ ‘““Mizzy’’ ‘‘Moance’’

‘““Moangy’”’ ‘“Mooed eaut’’ ‘‘Moorpeep’’

in front of each door. Every few weeks a man went round with a barrel cart and collected the lant and conveyed it to a mill where it was used to scour greasy woollen pieces. At Christmas each jar _ holder received two shillings from the mill owner. In the 17th century, Lanca- shire folk put urine in their Ale to make it strong.

Infectious, catching. To fight. ‘‘Aw lethered him.’”’ Rather. ‘ Aw’d as lief be hanged.” Expected. ‘‘Aw lippent he’d come.’’ Meal added to stew to thicken it. Pieces of meat in stew. Potato hash. Pulling the hair. To sing in a slow, sleepy tone. Rough, coarse. A throbbing pain.

Merriment, playfulness. A halfpenny. Moist. ‘‘A melch morning.’’ Moderately. A face painted red and purple by brewery ale. An affected young woman. A quagmire. An, untidy, careless person;

unfortunate happening. made a moance o’ that.’’

Going about sleepily and shiftless. Full, a crowded room. The twite.


also an ‘‘Theau’s

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‘‘Mollycot’’ ‘“‘Mowdiwarp”’ ““Mullock’’ ““Mullycrushed”’ ““Mump’’ “‘Mydered’’

¢ ‘NAB’’ “Naiging”’

“‘Nangnail’”’ “‘Nattle’’ “‘Neb’’ ““Neetrake’’ “‘Neplin’’ “‘Nesh’’ “‘Nethercrop’’

“‘Noddle, also Napper’’ “Nominy”’


“‘Oppenchops’’ “Ottymotty”’


““PAN’’ ““Paxwax’’ ‘‘Peawchin’’ ‘‘Peyl, also Poal’’ “Peylin”’

An effeminate womanish man. The mole. A dirty, slovenly person. Hopelessly ruined, beyond repair. To strike. ‘“‘Aw mumped him.’’ Worried, upset, ill at ease.

‘‘Aw nabbed him.’’

A constant pain. A naiging tooth, also to continue pestering. ‘‘Gie up naiging


me. Ingrowing toe nail. Easily angered. The front of a cap. One who stays out late at night. A small cob of coal. Tender. ‘‘As nesh as a boiled turnip.’’ The spider.

To seize.

The head. A folk specch for special occasions.

Opposite. chapel.’”’ A gossip. Perplexed, in a state of suspense. fere i’ ottymotty.’’ Clownish.

lives oeranence yon


To make fit. ‘‘It’s just panned eaut.’’ A tough white tendon in meat.

Crying. ‘‘What arto peawchin for?’’ To strike to beat. ‘‘Aw poal him i’th’ yed.”’

Striking, also moving. ‘‘He’s gone pey- lin deawn th’ road.’’


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c ‘Peyth’ ? “Pike’’

‘““Pikel’’ ‘“Pindert’’ ‘*Pinot’’ ‘*Pleck’’ ‘*Plutcherin’’ ““Poke’”’ ‘“Ponmark’’ ““Pote’’ ““Potter’’ ‘*Pottert’’ ““Poverty


‘““Powfagged’’ ““Powing’”’ ‘6 ‘Prout’

‘*Provven’’ ‘“Provven



‘‘Rafflecoppin’’ ‘“Ramshackle’’ ““Rapscallion’’ ‘‘Reeap’’


A slight, tickling cough. To goaway. ‘‘He’s just piked off.’’ Gone, A long hayfork. Thin, wizened. The magpie. A place. Pilfering, stealing. A sack. A dirty mark round the neck. Large iron pan set on feet. To keep pushing the feet out. Poker. <A fire potter. Worried, upset.

A handloom weaver. A ragged, dirty, slovenly person. Cutting the hair.

A word of reproof to a setter dog when making a false set at a non-game bird.


One who refuses good food, wants better.

A door mat made from old canvas.

An iron bar and a hook in the chimney on which to hang a posnit above the fire.

A careless, roystering fellow. Anything made up of odds and ends. A mischievous youngster. Stretching,

To revive or recall something against a a person. ‘‘To reeap it op.”’ Smoke.


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‘“‘Reisty’’ “Rhism’’


“Rig”? ‘““Roange’’ ‘““Rops”’ ‘‘Rumpus’”’

**SAM”” ‘*Scitter’’ **Scrannil’’ “Scrumpled’”’ ‘Seawkin’’




““Shepster’’ “‘Shepsterin’’ ‘‘Shive”’ “‘Shuttance’’ “‘Shuttered’’ ‘‘Sidled’’ ‘Singlet’ ‘‘Skellied’’ ‘‘Skenning’’ “Skew” ‘‘Skrikin’’ ‘‘Slart’’


Rancid, reisty bacon.

A small piece. ‘‘Aw havn’t a rhism 0’

The smallest of a family, or of a litter of young pigs. Rubbish.

The shoulders. ‘‘Get it on to thi rig.’’ To shout angrily. The entrails, bowels. Bother, a row.

To pick up. ‘‘Aw sammed it op.”’ A slight fall of snow or rain. A thin person; underfed. Ruffled. creased. Sucking. Sinew grown stiff for want of use.

Pretending to work or do something, and also idling.

Feet. ‘‘Shift thi greyt shammocks.’’ The starling. Waiting on a lying-in woman. A slice of bread. Left, gone away. ‘‘Good shuttance.”’ A fall. ‘‘A wall’s shuttered deawn.’’ To go away. ‘‘He’s sidled off wom.’’ A waistcoat. The coat was a doublet. Browned and blistered by heat. To look obliquely. To twist round. I Crying loudly. To spill or throw liquid. him wi’ wayter.’’ To spill.

“‘Aw slarted


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‘*Sleck’’ ‘‘Slither’’ “*Slifter’’ ‘*Sluttered’’

¢ ‘Slur’ 3? ‘‘Smeawch’’ ‘‘Snaffle’’ *“Sneck’’ ‘“Snicksnarls’’ e 23 nig c ‘Snod’ > cc Snye’ > ‘‘Soeal’’ ‘*Sollit’’

“‘Sope, also Slat’’

“‘Soss’’ ““Spack’’ ‘“‘Spavined’’ ““Spiffin’’ “Spirrings’’

“*Splutter’’ ““Stang’’ ‘'Steawnge’’ “‘Steelhole’’ ‘Steyl’’ ‘‘Stoop’’ "*Stowed’”’

To quench a thirst, or ‘‘sleck’’ a fire out. Silly talk. A crevice, a crack. To slide. ‘‘He sluttered eaut o’ chair.” To slide. To kiss. To talk down the nose. A door latch. Formerly a sneckbant. Tangled, confusion. To pull quickly or jerk. Smooth and sleek. To draw up the nose scorniully. Fastenings for cattle in the shippon.

Quiet in company, nothing to ‘‘What’s op theau’rt so sollit?’’

A small quantity of a liquid. Farmers generally give a slat of milk over the actual measure.

To fall with a heavy thud. To settle at a place. A strained horse. Fine, gaudily dressed. The banns of marriage; also to spir, or question. In great haste. A pole. A person rushing about, always in a hurry. A dull pain. A stile. A handle. A brush steyl. A post. ‘‘A gate-stoop.”’ Stopped. When a horse refuses to go it is said to be stowing.




‘““Off in a splutter.’’

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‘*Stracklin’’ “Strap’’ ‘*Stroddlin’’ ‘*Suddler’’

‘‘Swack’’ “Swap’’

‘‘Swarthin’’ “*Swat”’

““Sweal’’ ““Swelted’’


““Swipper’’ “‘Swither’’

““Teaw’’ ‘“Teem’’


‘*Thibble’’ ‘‘Thodden’’ ‘“Thole’’


A rough, careless fool. Gsoods obtained without paying for them. Standing with the legs wide apart.

A wooden implement for suddling or twirling clothes about in a tub ona washing day. It may be still in use. To fall. ‘‘Aw fell swack 0’ mi back.’’ To exchange. Swinging about on a road from one side to another.

To sweat. Also ‘‘He’s awlus in a swat.’’

To burn.

Over-heated. ‘‘Awn fere swelted i’ this reawm.”’

To shake a liquid in a vessel till it dashes over.

Strong, active, nimble. To burn fiercely. Warped, crooked.

In a passion. To work hard. To pour. ‘“‘It teems deawn wi’ rain.’’

To attend. Tent or shut the door. Also in hay tenting. A good yard dog is said to be a rare tenter.

Parkin. It was a custom on the country- side to bake tharcake on the 5th of November.

A porridge slice or spoon.

Solid. A thodden cake was made with plenty of fat.

To afford. ‘‘A shillin’ is o’ Aw con thole.’’

To argue, to dispute. 18

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‘*Threshin’’ ‘*Throos’’

“‘Thrung’”’ ‘*Thrutch’’ ““Thunge’’ ‘*Titivate’’ ‘“Tooting’’ “Toppin’’ ‘“Touchus’’ ‘*Treaunce’’ ‘“frig’’ ‘*Trindle’’ ‘“Tupshinned”’

““Twamp”’ ‘““Twang”’ ““Twazy”’ Clock’’ ‘‘Twitcher’’


‘“WACKERT ‘‘Walloper’’ ‘‘Walt or Wote’’ ‘“Wang’’

‘ “Wapt’ 2

‘“Ware”’ ““Wastril’’ ‘“Waytertomes’’ ‘“Weatherpeg’”’

Laboured walking.

Big stones built in a wall to bind the little stones together.

Very busy. To push. To fall with a loud noise. To make tidy. Spying about suspiciously. A tuft of hair on the forehead. Easily disturbed and annoyed. A long, tedious journey. To walk with a kind of trot.

The wheel of a barrow.

To kick the heels towards each other when walking.

To tnrash. ‘‘Aw twamped him.’’ To walk crookedly. Also dialect speech. Nasty tempered. A large beetle. A keen bitten person. I

The hedgehog.

Weak, tottering. Large. ‘“‘A walloper of a pig.’’ To topple over. To overturn.

To throw violently. ‘‘Aw wanged it at his yed.’’ To move quickly. th’ corner.’’ To spend.

Ache, Yedwarch. A man of no character; a waster. Sick fits.

The nose.


‘“He wapped reaund

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‘ ‘Welly’ ““Welt’’ ‘“‘Whangby”’ ‘“Whewtin’’ “Whysty’ ? ‘“Wirkened’’



‘*Witchert’’ ‘“Worritin’’ ‘“Writhen’’


‘“Yessins’’ *“Yawnooked’’ ““Yedweshin’’

John Ray,

Nearly. A blow. ‘‘Aw’ll gie thi a welt.’’ Coarse cheese. Whistling.

Draughty. A whysty reawm.

A choking sensation with drinking too fast.

A long row of raked-up hay. Now called a clothes horse. Wetshod. ‘‘Mi feet are witchert.’’ Troubled. Upset. Irritable, petulant.

Making a noise with the lips when want- ing something. Hair. The eaves. Crooked.

A celebration at a birth.

280 years ago, heard in Lancashire and

Cheshire, ‘‘Swilk,’’ ‘“‘Insense,’’ ‘‘Boose,’’ ‘‘Threap,’’ ‘‘Deet,”’ “‘Ding’’ and other words, that are still in use.


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Saddleworth is rich in folk sayings and they appear to have a greater vitality than old words and there is no telling how long they will live. Many seem to have the grit of the country side in them.

‘‘Wark’s good physic, but bad takin.”’ “Aw know him by favver like Marsden folk know their sheep.’’ ‘‘A mahogany berrin’’—(Crown bowls at a Saddleworth funeral). ‘‘He’s played wi’ th’ cat till it’s scrat him’’—(Done some- thing risky). ‘‘He’s cut his nose off to spite his face’’—(Made things Worse). ‘‘A bone in his back ’t willn’t bend’’—(Idle). ‘‘Mi fingers are o’ thumbs’’—(Clumsy). ‘‘Thin as cat papper’’—(Tissue paper). ‘‘Beggar macker shops’’—(Alehouses). ‘‘Leatheryed broth’’—(Brewery ale). ‘“‘He’s let on his feet’’—(Fortunate, doing well). ‘‘Aw’ll tack th’ bull bi th’ hurns’’—(Face danger). ‘‘He’s bitten off more nur he con chew’’—(in difficulties).

“‘ Fe’s had meyt put in his meauth an’ wouldn’t chew it.” (Missed his chances).

> 99

‘‘O’or noan or noan at o’ ’’—All or nothing).

foace as a weasel wi’ its een bored eaut.’’


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‘“‘Thungin o’ th’ pluck’’—(Stomach crying for food). ‘‘Noan o’ thi soft soap’’—(Flattery).

‘‘Sowd a horse an’ bowt a donkey’’—(Come down in the world).

‘“Happy as pigs 1’ muck.’’ ‘Dunno poo thi butterprint’’—(Said to a crying child). ““He’s flyin’ his kite’’—(Cutting a dash). “‘There’s no love lost between em’’—(Unfriendly). ‘“‘Aw’ll stond th’ drop o’ York first’’—(Said when a person refuses to do something). “‘Sollit as box—(Quiet, silent). his finger an’ thumb’’—(Under his control).

‘““He’s clogged agen’’—-(Recovered from an illness). ““Mack an’ marrow.”’

““Yo’ connut chet an’ owd chetter.’’ ““Good seeker but a poor finder.’’ “‘Aw dreawnt th’ when a woman has put

too much water in her flour before kneading). ‘“Stondin’ i’ his own leet.’’

“‘One tale’s good till another’s towd.”’ ““When there’s no edders (dragon flies) it’s a poor haytime.’’ ‘Let thi meyt stop thi meauth’’—(Talking at meal times). ‘‘Aw getten th’ seck an’ th’ bant to tee it op wi.’’ or nettle’’—(Taking a risk). “It’s tune o’ th’ old ceaw deed on.’’ ‘Aw connut tell th’ tone fro tother’’—-(One from the other).

‘‘Thoose ’at do th’ mooist are least thowt on.’’ ‘‘He hasn’t wit to know he’s beaut.’’ ‘fAs silly as a boathorse.’’

‘‘Whistle-belly vengence.—(Poor ale). “It looks as if th’ cat had kittled on it’’—(Ruffled, creased).


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lives bi his losses like farmers.’’ ‘“‘Neet brings crows wom’’—(Said to late comers). “‘Nobbut foos an’ horses work.’’ “It never rains but it pours’’—(Excessive). and enough’’—(Plenty of porridge). “It macks mi teeth shoot breet wayter’’—(The smell of a hunting stew or a good dinner). ‘‘Ne’er meddle between th’ bark an’ th’ tree’’—(Between husband and wife). ‘‘The best gowd fro’ under th’ flockbed’’—(The flockbed was the bygone farmer’s bank). ‘“‘Lump it as dogs do dumplings’’—-(Take it or leave it). ‘Yo’ connut put an owd yed on young shilders.”’ had his tail pinned op’’—-(Checked when going too fast). ‘‘A month o’ Sundays’’—(Suggesting a long time). “One to’ mony at th’ porritch pon.’’ ‘‘As nice a whistler as ever cocked a lip.”’ ‘‘Aw connut keep th’ bant i’ th’ nick’’—(Out of favour). th’ cat’s away, mice are at play’’—(Said when children have been in mischief). ‘‘Go rub thisel. There’s more stone woas nur flitches o’ bacon to rub agen’’—(Said when a person is difficult to please). ‘“‘Aw met as weel whistle as toak’’—(Said to heedless children). ‘“‘They’re thick an’ threefowd’’—(Very friendly). ‘Nar akin an’ farther in’’—(Said when one relation has defrauded another). ‘‘Hoo never lays chowl’’—(Never rests her tongue). ‘‘He shakes a loase leg’’—(Unmarried, freedom).


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‘“‘Torein on’’—(Ailing a long time). ‘‘Aw live at wom like Bill Haigh’s dog’’—(A good home). ‘“‘Childer mack a mother’s arms warch when they’re little uns, an’ her heart warch when they’re big uns.’’ ‘Their own’s their own, but if sich like wur to sell we

shouldn’t buy em’’—(Said when children have turned out badly).

‘‘Shut thi meauth an’ oppen thi een an’ theau’ll sce more.’’ ‘‘There’s noan as blind as thoose ’at winnot see.’’

“‘There’s no cock een eaut’’—-(Said when the chances are equal. Or when a cock had not lost an eye in a fight). ‘‘Hoo’s off i’ th’ best bib an’ tucker’’—(Fully dressed). ‘‘Theau’s weshed reaund thi moon’’—(Just washed the face). ‘““What connut be helped mun be bided.’’ “‘As fine a lad as ever broke th’ edge of a cake.’’ ‘“‘He’s livin’ fro’ hont to meauth’’—(Just existing). ‘‘He’s livin i’ clover’’—(Living well). luck nur good management.”’ “‘Gapin’s catchin an’ hangin ’s ratchin.”’ “‘Dunnot oppen thi meauth to fill other folks’’—(Don’t tell something that you should keep to yourself).

jow arranged that does not take place).

‘“‘Aw’ll weet mi whistle’’—(Drink). ‘“‘Hoo’s supped at Owd Tome (Old Tame) speaut’’—(In the sulks). ‘‘Gravel Rash’’—-(A scarred face after a fuddle).

‘“‘Theau’s a stepmother’s blessing’’—A piece of loose skin near a finger nail).

‘‘Six o’ one an’ a hauve a dozen o’th’ t’other.’’ ‘‘Here to-day an’ gone to-morrow’’—(Sudden death).


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‘‘Every tub stonds on its own bottom.’’ ‘‘L for leather’’—(Meaning great haste). “‘Wur nor a clockin’ hen’’—(Said of a garrulous woman). “Mi belly thinks mi throat’s cut’’—(Said by a hungry person). ‘‘As scabbed as a cuckoo’’—(Is a cuckoo scabbed?). ‘‘There’s enuff to ding dogs ith’ yed wi’’—(More than sufficient). “It’s a lame tale, a creep eaut’’—(A poor excuse). ‘Do good an’ good ’ull come on thi.”’ ‘‘An owd dog for a gate’’—(Craftiness). ‘‘As nice as ninepence.”’ ‘‘His een are hungrier nur his belly.”’

‘‘As harmless as a mad dog.”’ ‘‘He’s lading an’ teeming’’—(In financial difficulties).

“Far fot an’ dear bowt’’—(Better bargains near home). ‘‘Hoo’s a slutterin hobgob o’ rags an’ tallocks.’’ ‘As sad as liver.”’ fat as mud.’’ ‘‘Good shuttance o’ bad rubbish.”’ “Poor but hearty, like a parson’s pig.”’ ‘‘Wrung’s no mon’s reet, nobbut th’ pinder’s’’—(Keeper of the pinfold). ‘‘He’s mending a cake at a meal.”’ “He toaks an’ ses nowt.” ‘‘Hoo’s been knocked abeaut fro’ piller to post.’’ ‘‘Aw met as weel bi hung for a sheep as a lamb.”’ ‘‘Brag’s a good dog, but holdfast is better.”’ ‘“‘He’s gone o’er to Ailse bridge’’—(The bridge at Weakey leading to the workhouse). ‘‘Aw’m fere i’ otty motty’’—(anxious, in a state of suspense). “‘He’s stuffed a red stocking’’—(Committed suicide).


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‘‘Theau wants boath th’ hawpenny an’ th’ gingerbread (Avaricious). ‘“He connot see to th’ end of his nose’’—(Mentally short- sighted). ‘‘Women, like cats, look th’ best at wom.’’ “*Collar wark’’—(Uphill work). “‘Cats are o’ a colour i’ th’ dark.”’ ‘“‘As feaw as a push-plough’’—(Coarse featured). The push-plough, was a primitive kind of plough that was used by the small farmer. It took two men to use it. A rope was fastened to the lower part of the plough for one man to pull, and the top part of the shaft rested against a wooden brattice that was fastened round the chest of the man who had to push the plough. No doubt at one time thcre would be many push-ploughs in Saddleworth. There is one at a farm near Rochdale. ‘“‘He’s tean his pigs to a bonnie market’’—(Failed through his own fault). “It'll be weel afore theau works’’—(Said to a youngster with a cut finger). ‘Th’ first cock o’ hay fears th’ cuckoo away.”’’ ““Pecked bi a good hen’’—(Said by a henpecked husband). ““Worchin for th’ deaud horse’’—-(Working for nothing). ““He’s a nose like a Halifax dur hondle’’—(Prominent). “They’ve lids to their een i’ Marsden.” “‘He hasn’t as mony brains as would grease a gimlet.”’ ‘They’ ve mixed sugar and sand’’—(Adultery). ‘““He’s ceaunted his chickens afore they wur hatched.’’ keeps her back bare an’ her teeth cleaun’’—(Not a model husband). ‘‘He’s noddin’ at th’ saxon’’ (sexton)—(Seriously ill). ‘“Th’ saxon’s thrut his spade at him.”


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‘‘He’d be wur, if he ailed howt’’—(Shamming sickness). ‘‘As brazent as a brass knocker.”’ ‘‘As fine as a fiddler’s foo’ ’’-(Gaudily dressed). ‘fA big as bull beef’’—(Said of a lusty person). ‘A lie’s good enough for a spirrer.”’ ‘‘He’ll spir thi een eaut, an’ skin off thi teeth.’’ ‘‘Awlus sing low in a bad tune.’’ ‘‘Rest on th’ bone is as good as cloth on th’ beam’’—-(Said by handloom weavers during a bunting spree). ‘As idle as Ludlem’s dog that laid it deawn to bark.’’ ‘‘He hangs his yed like a pown heaund.”’ ‘‘He connot see a hole through a ladder.”’ ‘‘He’s as ragged as a robin.’’ ‘‘He’s three sheets i’th’ wind’’—(Not sober). ‘‘Hoo’s as straight as a yard 0’ pump wayter.”’ ‘‘There’s most thrutchin where there’s least reawm.”’ ‘‘Bakin i’th’ neet makes doafy bread’’—(Staying up late at night). ‘‘Hoo’s supped sorrow bi spoonsfuls’’—(Had a sad life), ““Better the day and better the “Fair play’s bonny play.”’ ‘“‘Aw’m short o’ that stuff thi buy pigs wi.”’ “ They’re o’ akin, like Mullion’s whelps.”’ ‘““Cliver clogs winnot mack fine ladies.”’ ‘‘A blind man on a galloping horse will never see it.’’ ‘‘Aw’ve a crow to poo wi thee’’—(Something severe to say). “‘Aw’ll put dar (dare) at back o’th’ dur.”’ ‘‘He mun ha’ a lung spoon that sups wi’th’ devil.”’ ‘“‘Aw’m grooin deawnert, like a ceaw tail.’’ ‘He lets th’ gress groo under his feet’’—(Lazy). ‘‘He’s gone op th’ ceaw lone’’—(Died and gone up the milky way to heaven).


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‘*He’s put his foot into it’’—(Got into trouble). ‘“‘Hoo hasn’t a idle boan in her body.’’ ‘“‘The dule’s thrown his club o’er his heause’’—-(Said when accidents or misfortunes occur). ‘“‘As hard as hell’s hobstone’’—-(Said by stonehewers). “‘He’s hit reet nail on th’ yed.”’ ‘“‘Hoo’s o’ her marbles i’th’ taw’’—(Her hands full of work). ‘“‘A miss is as good as a mile.”’ ‘‘He goes tail first, like Donegal ducks.’’ ‘““He’s an eautcumblin’’—(A stranger). “‘He’s like a bell, he nobbut wants hanging.’’ ‘‘As sharp as a cat on a hot backstone.’’ “It’s a bad bargain when both sides rue.’’ “IT wouldn’t hang a cat on his word.”’ ‘““Hoo’s like Dan’s heifer, hoo’s beef to th’ ankle.’’ begged like a cripple on a bridge.’’ “‘He noather does nur dees.”’ ‘“‘Hoo’s better lost nur fund.’’ “It winnot pay at pit.’ ‘‘He looks very deawn i’th’ meauth’’—(Depressed). ‘Thi hannot mich to tack to’’—(Poor). ‘““He’s noan as green as he’s cabbage looking.”’ ‘‘As lousey as whisper.”’ “Yo connot mack a poncake on a gridiron.’’ ‘‘There’s more killed wi o’er keep nur under keep.’’ ‘“‘There’s nowt lost among honest foak.’’ ‘“‘He looks as if butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth’’ (Innocent looking). “4 Heemoor berrin is merrier nur an Uppermill wedding.” ‘‘Never mack flesh 0’ one an’ fish of another.’’ ‘‘When there’s leet hay there’s good weather.’’


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“One pound o’ June hay is worth four pounds o’ August hay.”’ ‘“‘Let’s have noan o’ thi donkey looks’’—(Sulky). ‘Th’ owder an’ th’ madder.”’ ““A Setterday flit is a short sit’’-—(a short stay). ‘“‘He wants to know fro’ thread to th’ needle an’ th’ hare an’ th’ hare gate’’—(inquisitive). ‘“‘Tell the truth an’ shame the devil.’’ “Tell ha’ to suck th’ hommer’—(Suffer for wrong doing). ‘‘Foak connot keep dur oppen wi’th’ wind. ‘‘Hoo’s gone through th’ wood an’ sammed a cross stick op at last’’—(Said of a woman who has married badly). ‘‘He’s doffed his shoon before he wur deeud’’—(Said of a man who hands over his possessions and lives to regret it). ““He’s a cock on his own midden.’’ ““Hoo clems her bally to feed her back’’—(A proud woman). ‘“‘A hawpenny yed an’ farthing tail’’—/(Ill-assorted dress). “Gie um an inch an’ thi’ll tack a yard.’’ ‘“‘He’s measuring a peck eaut of his own seck’’—(Judging another man by your own standard). th’ mon an’ bigger th’ mark.’’ ‘“‘He’s heaund bred’’—(Said of a man with long ears). “‘As wammock as a cardin’’—(Weak and shaky). ‘‘As mich as theau con put i’th’ ee an’ see no wur for it.”’ ‘‘Hoo’s in a churn milk study’’—(In a day dream). ‘‘As hearty as a hare, but noan quite as swift’’—(In good health). : ‘““He’s as full o’ devilment as an egg’s full 0’ meyt.”’ ‘‘He’s bin coad o’er th’ coals’’—(Reprimanded). ‘‘Hoo’s capped the natives.’’


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‘‘There’s never a fine face but there’s a fine fancy to match it.”’ ‘‘God never sends meauths but he sends meyt.’’ “It’s o’ day’s wark.”’ ‘‘Bowt (bought) wit is best. ‘‘Aw’ll gie thee bell tinker’’—(A good beating). ‘‘He’s same as mi aunt Kate, he’s no man.’’ ‘‘He’s deawn i’th’ dumps’’—-(Low spirited). ‘“‘He’s run his country’’—(Disappeared). “‘Gan stuff awlus stinks.’’ ‘“‘Hoo’s as stiff as if hoo’d swallowed th’ poker.’’ ‘As snod as a mouse back.’’ “He’s hung his hat op at back o’th’ towards a wedding). ‘‘Where there’s reech there’s fire.’’ ‘‘He wants to be th’ first fiddle.’’ ‘““Hoo’s set her cap at him’’—(Said when a woman has designs on getting a lover). ‘‘Hoo’ll shove her nose in’’—(An impudent woman). getten th’ whip hont’’—(Master). ‘‘As supple as a S link.”’

‘‘He’s o’ his bant off’-—(As much as he can do). ““He shines like a berrin cake.’’


‘“‘Fine days and feaw days are nee together i’ Saddleworth’’ (Changeable weather).

‘“‘A brunning shame.’’ ‘“He trails a leet harrow’’—(No care). “If wishes would bide, beggars would ride.”’

‘At th’ back o’ beyond where th’ mare foaled th’ fiddler.’’ ‘‘As reet as a trivet’’—-(A knur stick).

‘‘Toak abeaut th’ devil an’ he’ll rattle his chains.’’ ‘fA liar should have a good memory.”’


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‘‘As hungry as Harrop Edge’’—(Hungry ground). “Gie the devil his due.” ‘“‘One dog one bone’’—(Fair play). ‘‘Childer should be seen an’ not heard.”’ ‘‘He toaks off th’ back of his hont.”’ ‘‘He’s slept i’th’ field wi th’ gate oppen’’—(Got a cold). ‘‘He’s tarred wi’ th’ same brush.”’ ‘‘There’s no gress till th’ ash gets leaves.”’ th’ cuckoo sings i’th’ rain it’s a grooin day.” ‘‘He’ll noather lead nur drive.”’ ‘As fast as a thief in a mill.”’ ‘‘Every mon knows his own knew.”’ ‘‘He’s killing hissel to keep hissel’’—(Overwork). grumbled wur nur a bear wi a sore yed.”’ ‘‘There’s another owd weighver deeud’’—(Said when a donkey brays). ‘‘He’s secked two men to strengthen th’ team.’’ ‘‘No bird con sing beaut seed.”’ ‘‘As queer as Dick’s hatband that went twice round and wouldn’t meet’’—(Difficult to please). ‘“‘He’s a finger i’th’ pie’’—(A meddler). meyt’s no choice’’—(Compulsion). ‘“‘Her tongue wags at both ends’’—(Said of a gossiping woman). ‘‘He’s warming th’ owd broth up’’—(Patching up a broken- off courtship). ‘“‘He’ll heyt a mon off his horse’’—(Said of a hungry lad). ‘‘He connot see th’ wood for trees. boughs hang so low’’— (Said of a dull-witted person). ‘‘He’s jiggered op rump and stump’’—(Bankrupt). ‘“‘A Sunday saint and a Monday devil.’


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“Tf thi connot turn, thi connot spin’’—-(Said of a man who has found a way out of a difficulty). “Yo mun expect a grunt caut of a pig’’—(Said of foul- spoken men). ‘“‘Theau’rt a better dur nur window’’—(Obstructing the light). ‘“‘As soon said as a child’’—(Of a yielding nature). ‘“‘Pooed his hurns in’’—(Withdrew). ‘“‘Least said, soonest mended, nowt said needs noan.’’

“‘As flat as a batterill’’—(A flat piece of wood used by a laundress).

“‘As feaw as sin.’’ “His bark’s wur nur his bite.’’ ‘““He’s getten th’ dog to hold.’’ “He’s better nur porritch’’—(Said of a person with means). “Yo connot get butter eaut of a dog’s mouth’’—(Said of impossibilities). “Tll weed will op’—(Said of thriving children). ‘As Irish as pigs in Shudehill.”’ ‘“He keeps living an’ looking feaw’’—(Said of a long ailing man), beawn o’ shank’s pony’’—(on foot). ““Bi degrees as lawyers go to heaven.’’ “‘He grins like a hungry bull at a haystack.’’ ‘“‘Ginger for flirting.’’ ‘‘Short and sweet like a donkey’s gallop.’’ ‘‘As damned as Cain’’—(Said of mischievous children). ‘“‘He thinks he’s th’ world in a bant’’—(Said of a haughty, overbearing person). ‘‘As simple as a hawpoth o’ traycle in a bant can’’—(Out of place). ‘‘As queer as two cross sticks’’—(Tll-tempered).


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‘‘There’s better days at back o’ these’’—(A hopeful outlook). ‘“‘He’s getten th’ cowd shoulder’’—(Ignored, treated with contempt). ‘“‘An empty barrel makes a greyt seaund’’—(A boaster). ‘“Hoo twangs an’ shales like a sheep leause’’—(A bad walker). thi wind to blow thi porritch’’—(Said of one who is talking too fast). “Little pigs have greyt yers’’—(Do not let children hear what you have to say). ‘‘He connot tell a B fro’ a bull’s foot’’—(Ignorance). ‘“‘He sings innardly like Gud o’ Jamie’s throstle’’—(Said of a quiet person). ‘‘There’s a screw loose somewhere’’—(Something suspicious). ‘‘There’s no foo like an owd foo.”’ ‘‘A hearty mon’s a lucky mon.”’ ‘‘Soon ripe, soon rotten.’’ ‘‘He’s liked as weel as a cat likes mustard.”’ ‘‘Eaut o’th’ seet, eaut o’ mind.’’ ‘‘As nimble as a cow ina cage.”’ ‘‘Every man should know where his shoe pinches.”’ ‘As th’ owd cock crows, young cock larns.”’ ‘‘Let um a be an they’ll pair o’ thersel.”’ ‘He stare’t like a stuck sheep.”’ ‘‘What th’ ee never sees th’ heart never grieves.”’ ‘‘As big a wastrel as ever woaked o’ two legs.”’ pitcher that goes to th’ well too oft comes back brokken at last.’’ ‘“Wi guess eggs when we see ‘‘He wears like an owd hurn button.”’ ‘‘He’ll never be killed wi wark beawt it tumbles o’th’ top of him.”’


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‘“‘As thick as inkle weighvers’’—(Inkle, a coarse tape for shoe bands). ‘Yo connot get white meyl eaut of a coal seck.’’ ‘‘There’s more clout nur pudding.’’ ‘“‘Lying’s next dur to steyling.”’ ‘‘Hungry dogs are fain o’ dirty pudding.’’ “It’s lay overs for meddlers.’’ ‘‘He’s acting th’ owd sodier’’—(Shamming). “‘As bain as a trout’’—-(Lithe, active). ‘‘Hoo’s th’ white hen that never laid away’’—(A person who professes to be faultless). “To dream abeaut dead foak is to be bothered wi’th’ wick.”’ ‘“‘Truth comes eaut of a child an’ a drunken man.”’ ‘“‘Dunnot reych fur nor yo con poo back.’’ play for nowt nor worch for nowt.”’ ‘His cake’s baked an’ buttered o’ boath sides’’—(Well off). ‘“‘Everything has an end, and a pudding has two.’’ “It’s o’ snick snarles’’—(Tangled, confusion). ‘“He’s getten off th’ wrung side o’th’ bed, an’ he’s th’ cranky side eaut.”’ ‘‘Most haste and worst speed.’’ “Fle’s made a rod for his own back.”’ ‘“‘There isn’t a lie in a thousand true.’’ ‘“‘The devil tacks care of his own.’’ ‘“‘A brunt child is feart o’th’ fire.’’ ““As mad as Shay swine.’’ ‘‘He’s mad enough to run sheep.”’

‘“‘There’s nowt con lick owduns nobbut younguns.’’ ‘‘As stubborn as a pown mule.”’

‘‘Droot beawt sun is dirty droot’’—(Said on a washing day). ‘‘She woaks like a cat 1’ cockle shells.’’

‘‘As pindert as a yerrin’’—(Thin and wizened).


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‘‘Eaut o’th’ frying pon into th’ fire.”’ ‘‘He’s a good winner, but a bad loser.”’ ‘“‘He’s more nor nits an’ lice in his yed’’—(Said of a good scholar). ‘‘As powfagged as a rabbus’’—(Meaning worn, dirty, and ragged as a door mat). “Like wayter off a duck’s back.’’ “Tloo's teed a knot wi’ her tungue that hoo connot loose wi’ her teeth’’—(Got married). ‘“He’s goin’ deawn like dych wayter’’—Failing in health). ill to brun, and too ill to rake th’ fire wi’.”’ ‘‘He connot poo th’ cat fro’ th’ bacon’’—(Weak). ‘‘There’s fat i’th’ fire an’ rags o’th’ hob’’—TIll-feeling, quarrels). ‘It’s no use crying o’er slattered milk.’’ ‘‘Those who live longest see most.’’ yed ‘ull ne’er save mi legs’’—(Said when a person has been an errand and forgotten something). ‘Yo con trust a thief better than a liar.’’ ‘‘He’s awlus at th’ heel o’th’ hunt’’—(Always behind). “Th’ civil sow eats o’th’ draff’-—(Beware of quiet people). ‘‘He’s nobbut cratchinly, but a creaking gate swings long’’— (Said of a person who has been long ailing). ‘‘As slow as th’ fifth wheel of a coach.’’ ‘‘Too slow to go to a berrin and walk last.’’ ‘‘Warm an’ weet, like Owdham brewis.”’ ‘‘He’s more irons i’th’ fire nor he con kale’’—(More work than he can do). ‘‘He’s two stummacks for meyt an’ noan for wark’’—(Said of an idle person). ‘Yo mi go far an’ fare wur.’’ ‘“His cloas fit where they touch.”’


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‘‘Ceawer quiet, like thi do i’ Birstall.’’ ‘‘Thoose that huds con find.’’ ‘‘Hoo’s waited 0’ boots wol clogs winnot have her’’—(Said of a woman who meant to marry above her station). ‘‘As tender as Yebby’s windows, that breyk an’ never speyk’’—(Said of a bad warp in a loom). ‘‘Aw’ll trust him as far as aw con swing a bull bi th’ tail.’’ ‘‘A cowd hont an’ a warm heart.”’ “‘He’s bowt th’ pig i’th’ poke.”’ “‘A strid to-day an’ another to morn’’—(Lazy). ‘“‘As thrung as Cheddle Wakes.”’ cocks his ee op like a duck at thunner.’’ “Live an’ larn, an’ dee wanting.’’ “‘He con lie as fast as a horse con trot.’’ “‘Aw’m noather sugar nor sawt.”’ “‘Tack to steylin’, it’ll bring more in’’—(Said to a liar). ‘‘Hoo’s ready for th’ green cart’’—(Said of a silly woman).

‘“‘As wacken as a scopperil’’—(A spinning top or teetotum). ‘‘A change is as good as a rest.’”’

‘“Merry neets mack sad mornings.”’ ‘“‘Mich would ha’ more, an’ more would ha’ it o’.”’ ‘““Hoo’s wur nur soot an’ soor mixed’’—(Disagreeable). ‘“‘He’s too greedy to thole th’ reech off his porritch.’’ ‘We shall ha to fly op wi’th’ hens’’—(Feeling the pinch of

hard times). ‘‘As knocked as a warkheause pot’’—-(Bearing evidences of ill-usage). ‘“‘He’s been hit i’th’ yed wi a flannel hommer’’—(half- witted).

“He skens wur nur a wisket o’ whelps.”’

day go day, and God send Sunday’’—(Indifferent to whatever happens).


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‘‘As thrung as Throp’s wife who tried to hang herself with the dishcloth’’—(Working hard and doing nothing).

‘‘Howt that comes o’er th’ devil’s back goes under his belly’’ —(Ill-gotten gains are ill spent). ‘One by one, like Johnny’s Ringo’s sheep.’’ connot speyk connot lie.’’ ‘‘He’s letten th’ cat eaut o’th’ bag’’—(Divulged a secret). ‘‘A belling ceaw soon forgets its cauve’’—(Loud grief is soon over). ‘‘A whistling woman an’ a crowing hen will fear the devil eaut of his den.’’ ‘‘Beggars shouldn’t be choosers.”’ ‘He licked Donnicker an’ Donnicker licked the devil’’—(Said of a man who is difficult to get over). “It’s like th’ kettle coin th’ pon brunt bottom.”’ ‘‘He’s cocked his toes’’—(Died). “ They arn't o’ thieves that dogs bark at.” “More rain more rest’—(A haytime saying). ‘‘As big a liar as ever oppent a meauth, he con lie th’ fire in an’ eaut.’’ ‘“‘As ragged as a filly foal.’’ ‘‘He’d weary a grooin tree’’—(Said of a bore). ‘‘He’s deawn o’th’ heel’’—(In poor circumstances). ‘‘He’ll say howt hobbut his prayers, an’ thoose he’ll whistle.’’ ‘‘As feaw as a ceaw’s fayther.”’ ‘‘He took it breast hee’’—(Angry over nothing). “ We’st live wol wi dec if th’ dogs dunnot worry us.” ‘‘Wur feart not hurt.’’ ‘‘Aw’m in a bonny stew; aw’m in queer street wheer there’s no back dur.’’ ‘‘He’s gone through th’ smo sieve’’—(Hardship}. ‘He'll have it if it’s noather too wot nur too heavy’’—(Keen bitten). 37

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‘Aw should forget mi yed if it were loase on’’—(A bad memory). ‘‘Mi skin’s nar mi shirt.”’ ‘‘He’s macking ducks an’ drakes of his brass’’—(Reckless spending). ‘“‘He’s slipped off th’ catch’’—(Died). ‘‘There’s more wed nor does weel.’’ ‘‘Aw’m awlus i’th’ fielt when aw should be i’th’ lone’’—(In the wrong place). ‘Willing horse mun draw’’—(Said when a man is doing more than his share of work). “Too mich of howt is good for nowt.’’ ‘He runs with th’ hare an’ hunts with heaunds’’—(Said of a,man who is playing a double game). ‘“‘As he macks his bed he mun lie in it.’’ “If hoo knows nowt hoo’ll tell nowt’’—(Said of a gossip). ‘“‘He’s wrung sow bi th’ yer’’—(blaming the wrong person). “A lick an’ a promise’’—(Trivial things). “A blind whelp’’—(A steak pudding). “It’s no use keeping a dog an’ barking thisel.’’ “They’re wur nur th’ cat an’ th’ dog.’—(Quarrelsome). ‘Thoose that buy beef buy boans.”’ ‘A fine face winnot fill a buttery.’’ ‘“‘He larns what beef is a peaund’’—(Said when a man gets married). “Tt tacks a wise mon to mack a foo.’’

‘“‘Tackin back an’ givin is th’ owd lad livin’’—(Said by children),

‘‘Tell tale tit, born beawt wit.’’

‘““Gie mi a pin to prick my chin, an’ carry mi legs to London.”’ ‘“‘Chet an’ cheese ull prove.’’


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“It’s to’ late to spare when all’s spent.”’ ‘‘T’ll noather be bed nur bolster.’’ “Feedin’ th’ fat sow’—(Giving to people who have plenty). ‘“He’s ragged an’ fat like Ratchda foak.’’ ‘“‘A wink’s as good as a nod to a blind horse.’’ ‘“‘Save a friend from hanging an’ he’ll cut thi throat.’’ ‘fA dark night is as black as umber, as black as the dule’s

hoof, as black as the devil’s nutting poke, as black as ten o’ club’s, as dark as ballis.”’

A County Court judge could make nothing of the Saddle- worth dialect. ‘‘How much milk did your cow give?’’ he asked a farmer in a case of cow warrantry. ‘‘Eight quart an’ a slat,’’ the farmer replied. ‘‘What’s a slat?’’ asked the judge. ‘“‘A sope,’’ returned the other. ‘‘Soap,’’ said the judge, ‘‘nonsense; I won’t believe that cows give soap; judgment for defendant.’’


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