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the colonisation of Cumbria, and the present distinctions between Norse and Danish cannot be much relied on for etymological purposes. There are several that may be classed under this head, and the following are given as best illustrative of the argument:
BOTCHY (N. bokki, a stiffnecked man, a he-goat), a short, stiff man. Probably E. buck, a beau.
BISEN (N. bysn, a warning), an example in a bad sense. “ Thou'll be a shem and a bysen to a’ th' parish.” Erroneously supposed to be E. by-saying. The derivation of byen is clearly from by, a town; and it is probably an apocopated form of D. bysnak, a town's talk (D. snak, talk). Cf. Russ. znak, a sign.
DRAFF (N. draf, pig's food), grains from the brewery.
DURDOM (N. dyradomr, a door-doom), an uproar or loud noise, a noisy scolding. 6. What a durdom !” said an old woman when she first saw a railway train in motion. This origin has been suggested in a recent work :* 66 We have a curious record of one of the judicial proceedings of the Northmen in our word .durdem,' or • durdom, common also to some part of Yorkshire. I take this word to be from Old Norse dyradomr, thus explained by Mallet: • In the early part of the (Icelandic) commonwealth, when a man was suspected of theft, a kind of tribunal composed of twelve persons named by him, and twelve by the person whose goods had been stolen, was instituted before the door of his dwelling, and hence called a door-doom; but as this manner of proceeding generally ended in bloodshed, it was abolished.'”
HIRPLE, to limp or walk lame, the prov. form of E. cripple.
KIPPERED (N. kipra, to shrivel, kippr, delay), partially preserved by artificial drying. Kippered herrings are still sold in summer, being partially saved by a chemical application.
CHARACTERISTIC WORDS :
AMACKILY, in some fashion. Mack (make), a kind; a' macks, all kinds ; thence a' macki-like, in all ways, or in some way.
* The Northmen in Cumberland and Westmorland, by R. Ferguson.
ANGNAIL (Old High G. ungnagle, Lat. unguis), a nail that grows into the flesh. Nagnail (D. nage, to bite), is synonymous. Nangnail seems to have arisen euphonically from both.
ARLES (Goth. arniba, certainly, D. ärlig, faithful), the earnest given to servants when hired. Radically identical with E. earnest, but probably proceeds immediately from H. C. iarlas, earnest.
BENSEL (Goth. bania, a blow, a wound), to beat, a blow. It has gone through two derivations, adjective and verb. Cf. E. bane, destruction.
BOOTED (D. baade, gain, profit), booted bread, mixed with inferior flour. Cf. E. boot, addition made to an exchange.
DAL (H. C. diabhul, the devil)! a common exclamation.
DONNET (D. due, to be of use), dow-nout, the devil, a worthless person. Lancashire phrase: “He called me everything that's nout,” that is, all sorts of names.
Dow (D. due, to be of use), “nought at dow," nothing that is of
any use. FEUTLETH (D. fodled, a joint of the foot), four pounds of butter,*
“ feutleth of salt.” Now obs. This word can have no other origin, and must once have been a measure.
Few (G. fügen, to join, dispose, fügen sich, to betake one's self to, A. S. fegan, D. foie sammen, to put together), to attempt, to arrange. “He fews badly," he gives no promise. “I'll few it for you,” arrange it so that
will be able to get on, said to persons who are unskilful at their work.
GEESY (D. grüs), a pig, used in calling. “Geesy pig" is in common use, like pussy cat. “ A swine" is the modern name for a pig.
GEORDIE (E. George), pr. Jwordie, little George, brown bread made of rye and barley. Dim. like the Lancashire jannock, little John, bread made of soured oat meal.
LAN! an exclamation expressive of great astonishment or surprise. What the lan! “ Lan! hinny, but thou hes mead a sessions o'
* Cumberland and Westmorland Dialects, Russell Smith.
theesel !" Probably a curious transformation of lord into land, after the loss of the r. Cf. my lud, still used to judges of assize.
LUMP (G. lumpen, a rag) a piece (of cloth).
MAN-KEEN (mad kine), furious animals, generally applied to bulls and horses, and in such a way as to make it seem as if provincially understood to mean “keen (desirous) of man.”
OWNED (D. aand, a spirit), spirited, fated, destined. It has its origin in the belief of a spirit appearing before a person's death, as that of the fetch, banshee, etc.
ROTTEN MAD (E. ranting mad), very mad. “Great rot,” great rant.
SAUNTER (G. sinnen, A. S. sinnan, to think), a tradition, that is, something called up from the memory. From this comes sonn, to meditate.
SNEEVIL (E. snivel, D. snive, the mucus of the nose), a snail. Driving sneevils," said of boys who loiter.
TAGGY-BELL (D. täkke, to cover), the curfew or eight o'clock bell, still rung at Penrith and Kirkby Stephen. Cf. Fr. couvre-feu, cover-fire, the Norman curfew. Taggy has been used in modern times to frighten children; if out after eight o'clock, “ Taggy would get them.”
THEW (N. thia, to tire), to labour hard, to tire.
TITE (N. teitr, glad), gladly. “I'd as tite have a glass o' rum as a pint o' yell.” Comparative titter.
WADITTER, wad (lead)-eater, india-rubber.
WELKIN (A. S. wolcen, the sky, G. wolken, clouds), “ the door was welkin wide open ”-open as the sky.
There are many words, besides the above, deserving of note, some of which have been curiously misunderstood as to their origin, whilst others have assumed an independent meaning that cannot be accounted for from any of the allied languages. The following are a selection, and may be called
REMARKABLE WORDS :
ARVAL (D. arv, an inheritance, arvelig, hereditary), a funeral, properly the bread and ale distributed as refreshment to persons
attending a funeral. There appears to be some superstition connected with the origin of this word, as if of a bequest from the deceased to ward off the danger of evil grudges.
BAGGIN (D. bage, to bake), food, in Lancashire properly restricted to the tea, or four o'clock meal. The hot cake baked for tea in these counties, is called a “singing hinny," and generally in the north there is no tea (considered as deserving the name) without cakes baked expressly.
BANDYLAN, banned the land, an outcast, an opprobrious epithet applied to a woman.
BLAINED (D. blegne, to turn white), half-dried (linen).
BRIDEWAIN (D. vane, a custom), the custom of contributing at a wedding money, furniture, etc. to assist the new-married couple at their outset in life; the wedding at which such contributions were made; any piece of furniture, etc. contributed at the wedding. Erroneously interpreted into bride-waggon.
CADE (D. kaade, wanton) a pet (lamb). Cowdy, of indelicate meaning, is from the same origin.
CAP (D. kappe, to cut short), to beat, to excel. “That caps me."
“ That caps a' print.” Scotch,“ to cap the water," to stop it at its source.
COPE (N. kaupa, to purchase), to exchange. Horse-coupers, well known on the Borders, persons who trafficked in old, worthless horses.
CRANKY (N. krankr, G. krank, sick, distempered), chequered, “ cranky neck-cleath.” It is also the name of a particular kind of stuff formerly manufactured, woven irregularly of various colours, and used for chair-covers, etc.
CROWDIE (Lat. crudus, E. crude), a mess of raw oatmeal mixed with hot water, also in Scotland with cold water.
GULLY (Lat. gula, Fr. goulet, E. gullet), a particular kind of knife strong and pointed, used for cutting brown bread, and for rough work generally. Properly, the butcher's or slaughtering knife.
HARDEN-CLOTH (D. hör, flax), the coarse cloth used in wrapping
bales. The Cumberland clergyman of former times received as part of his remuneration a “sark of harden cloth.”
HEMPTON (Old E. hempton, made of hemp, a "hemton halter), a succession of fairs, principally for horses, held at Carlisle between the first of October and Martinmas. It has been thought these fairs were so called because corresponding to certain Hampton fairs in the south, but probably without foundation.
INGLE (H. C. aingeal, fire, Corn. engil ; Swed. ugn, D. ofn, a stove), the fire. “ An ingle of sticks,” a bundle of sticks.
KELD (N. kelda, a marsh), a phenomenon observed on lakes and rivers, described as a still place that has the appearance of oil poured on the water. The oily appearance is common enough on the pools of marshes.
KURNWINNING (D. korn, corn, vinde, to get), the harvest home, or feast at the close of harvest. Misinterpreted into churnwinding, which gave rise to the custom of having cream at the kurn supper. Applied generally in some northern counties to the feast at the close of any kind of husbandry, as the turnip-kurn.
LOCK, a small quantity or number, a lock of meal, a lock of folk, etc. Picks (D. pig, a point), the diamonds of cards.
SONSY (D. sands, sense), good-looking, jolly. “Tamar’s a sonsy lass." * Ay, and a sonsy weight too." The distinction between the two uses of the word, is that of sensual and sensible.
THRANG (D. trang, pressed upon), busy.
WHITTLE (E. victual), a dinner, or pocket-knife, once the general instrument for all purposes. The whittlegait of the Cumberland clergyman a century ago, one part of his remuneration, was the liberty of using his whittle at his parishioners' tables in rotation. The Sheffield whittle was famous in the time of Chaucer. Cf. gully. “We haven't a stick to whittle”-to cut up for amusement.-
not found generally in the district are yet used to some extent in the south of Westmorland. The following are the principal: