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A-Z of old Devon dialect

Some of the words
The list of old words and sayings in north Devon date back generations

Here is a list of some of the words and sayings used in north Devon for generations and contained in the glossary in Local History of Charles by EJ Cotsford.

David Squire from Barnstaple sent the pages of dialect to the BBC Devon website to help "keep the words out there" for generations to come.

The list was quite lengthy - here are just a few of the more quirky sayings.

A

Angletwich = a fidgety child or quick moving creature

Apple drain = a wasp

Achuucked = thirsty

B

Sloe berries - aka bullums

Back se fore = wrong way round

Blid - a poor person

Bullums = sloes

C

Cawtch = a mess

Chaynee-eyed = squinting

Clat = lump of earth

D

A bumble bee - or drumbledrone

Drumbeldrone = bumble bee

Dranget = a crowd of folks

Dummon = wife

E

Emtin cloam = drinking

Eval = dung fork

Elfs = handles for tools

F

A fleece of wool was called flass

Flass = fleece of wool

Flink = to sprinkle

Folshid = cheated

G

God's cow = ladybird

Gakeing = day dreaming

Gurt noodle = acting silly

H

Pea pod, or hudds

Hollee = to shout loudly

Hooskey = hoarse

Hudds = shells of peas or beans

I

Idden = not

J

Jit = slight push

Jannie fortnight = commercial traveller

Jibber = horse that won't go

K

Top of a hedge = kone

Kiffy = left handed

Kone = top of a bank or hedge

L

Lent rosums = daffodils

Leary = hungry

M

A scarecrow = mommet

Mascalls = caterpillars

Maze as a brush = being silly

Mommet = scarecrow

N

Nomye = no

No nort = not having much sense

O

Oodwail = green woodpecker

Oof = cough

Ort = anything

P

People's face = phizog

Phizog = a person's face

Pinswell = a festering boil

Palsh = walking slowly

Q

Querking = grunting

R

Raim = to get up and stretch

Rimy = damp cold

Raymes = a skeleton

S

Pots and pans in a band = sheerebell

Snishums = sneezing

Sheerebell = band playing with pots and pans

Steeved = numbed with cold

T

Tatie trap = the mouth

Tea drinkers = a pair of soft best boots

Tid'n Vitty = ill fitting

U

Ulking = big and heavy

Umby = later in the evening

Ulking = big and heavy

Ump = 'enough to drive me maze'

V

Vake = sulky temper

Vamp dish = a font

Vitty = a job well done

W

Monty Python. Nonsense = witpot

Weest = sickly

Witpot = nonsense

Wipswile = now and again

Y

Yessle or yessling = fidgeting

Yawning = lambing time

Z

A plough = zule

Zart = daft

Zule = plough

Zummit = something




SEE ALSO
Passing down old Devon dialect
05 Mar 10 |  History

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