« ForrigeFortsæt »
CLAM (D. klemme, G. klemmen, to pinch), to starve, or suffer hunger.
GRADELY (Fr. grade, a degree), regular, applied to anything by way of approval: “gradely bread,” “gradely weather,” a “gradely soft un,” etc.
MOIDER, to tease, to bother. Probably allied to bother, H. C. bodhar, deaf.
Oss (Fr. essayer, to try), to make an attempt, to try, to offer to do. “He wur hawsin to shoot summut,” said of a statue. Welsh osiaw. The Welsh language had no means of forming this word. Cf. Lancashire wag, to play truant, Lat. vago, I wander, vagabondize.
SHIPPEN (G. schuppen, a coach-house, a shed), a cow-house.
WELLY (H. C. uile, all), almost, all-like. Cf. G. misslich (misslike), doubtful. “Like” is of frequent use in Lancashire : “What did he
FOREIGN WORDS :
CLASH (H. C. cleas, play, Fr. clas, to toll a bell, E. clash), to gossip.-G. klatsche, a gossip.
Fasa (Fr. fâcher, to vex), to trouble.
FRATCH (H. C. freagair, to answer, Fr. fracas, a noise), to scold.
JALOOSE (Fr. jalouse, jealous), to suspect.
of the forms of words are not very numerous, and are in most cases easily recognised. Allyblaster, Architaker (as if a taker of arches) are known at once to be alabaster, and architect. Grandidier and speckets present no difficulty. Scumfished (stifled), and shed (excel) are in all probability discomfitted, exceed. Powsowdie and scrow
molly, if from posset and scramble, as the meanings seem to say, are very remarkable metamorphoses. Mense appears to be E. amends, and is much used in very nearly that sense.
" What will be my mense?" or recompense. It likewise bears the signification of good manners, which is easily derivable from amends. The change of form is not more remarkable than pode for uphold. Shilly-my-gig, the Irish Sheela-ni-gig (Cecilia O'Gig), a mythic person of not very reputable name, deserves mention, though not in common use, as well as Hash-Wednesday, the false pronunciation of which has produced the custom of celebrating the day by having a hash for dinner. When the foreign element is not altered in form, it very
frequently is in sense,-a phenomenon chiefly owing to the peculiar character of English, which consists so largely of unintelligible words from remote sources. “ Lang-nebbed," or dictionary words are not very tenderly dealt with in any of the provincial dialects, but besides these we have many of a simpler kind curiously tortured from their proper meanings. Gay is used in many senses on which it has no claim : “it's a gay way”-considerable way“ he's a gay decent chap." Banish stands for simple forbidding, or sending away,—“He banished the nephew”-sent him out of the house. Fearful loses its terrors, and becomes very, or even a term of general approval : a fearful body” is a person whose activity and address are commendable. Gather signifies the taking of anything up and away: an old woman looking for her cat, was afraid somebody had “ gathered it up.” In small tenements of two apartments, the inner or bedroom is styled the parlour ; the outer or living apartment is the house. The writer once had occasion to call at the house of a man whom he wanted to see, and was informed that he hadn't landed, that is to say, reached home; and when he did “ land,” the cause of delay proved to be that he had lamed his eye.
The tourist of the Penny Magazine some years ago, remarked the extraordinary application of words properly foreign to the Westmorland dialect, and tells an anecdote of two men who had been at a fair, one of whom said in high approval, “ It was a most
serious, grand sheep indeed !" Superannuated is used in a more general sense than the English language warrants, imbecility of mind, whether proceeding from age or other causes, being its nearest equivalent. “He is quite superannuated” perhaps means that he has been leading so irregular a life that he is no longer fit for business. Answering—the sense in which this is used can hardly be described : “ answering this time last week,"--at the corresponding time, “ answering he comes ”-provided he comes. Pistol—“ Thou’rt a bonny pistol” is anything but praise. They disease me t'gang,” so said an old woman whom her friends were urging to emigrate to America. Disannul is a favourite word, and besides other meanings, has that of disperse. “There had been some difference of opinion between a leading man in a certain parish and the other parishioners, and one of the latter, in speaking of the difference, said, “Me and two mair ev our toonsfolk were just talkin it ower amang oorsels, when he cum up til us, as doncen mad as a steg on a het backstan, en twotally disannul’t us.'
Liberties of various kinds have likewise been taken with proper names, principally, however, in regard to pronunciation. Joany (Johnny) is the familiar appellation for a farm-servant: “ the Joanies” are not generally considered an enlightened class, hence
a Joany” carries with it half the meaning of simpleton. Joan Ha', whatever has been its origin, completes this sense, and a
regular Joan Ha’,” in other words, one who is so by name as well as by nature—what can be expected from such a person? The provincial pronunciations furnish many instances worthy of note; the following are some of the most remarkable :-Grisenthwaite is converted into Grislefoot, Bradshaw into Bradget, and Stockdale into Stoggles. Ferguson is contracted into Fargie“ the Fargie folk,” the whole family of the Fargies and all their family connexions—and Kirkbride is reduced to Kirky. Kirkoswald invariably receives the pronunciation Kirkuzld, and Longwathby that of Langaby. Carlisle is contracted to Carl, and Ravenstonedale
* Rev. J. Simpson at the Kendal Natural History Society.
DECLINE OF THE DIALECT.
to Russondale. Alterations of this class must be considered late, seeing that they have not affected the orthography. They are, therefore, not destined to endure, and in all such cases the old form of the word will be restored from the written language.
The peculiar vocabulary of the Cumbrian dialect cannot be of much longer duration. Even now the rising generation, as far as it has been to school, begins to be ashamed of it; and many words have become obsolete in the memory of persons living. There is no doubt that with a little more extension of education, the dialect will become one of the things of the past. Yet a considerable portion of the people will continue for some time, with respect to the dialect, bilingues. Many persons have daily occasion to speak of “ ladder” to one class of people, and of a stee to another. Thus the dialect begins to resemble Homer's language of the gods. At the same time there is to be lamented an unwillingness to communicate on the subject, and an anxiety as much as possible to avoid Cumbrianisms. In such cases an angry or earnest temper is most favourable for bringing out the dialect, and it is this that children are most disposed to obey. A country lady was sending out a boy and girl to exercise on the same pony, and ordered the former to " get up behind.”
This arrangement seemed to be objectionable, for they left the gate, and two or three repetitions did not induce obedience. “ Get on ahint” followed in a more peremptory tone, and produced immediate compliance.
THE GRAMMAR AND IDIOMATIC PHRASES.
We have as yet no means of forming an estimate of what the grammatical laws of a mixed people should be. It is certain they are not dependent on the state of the vocabulary. Foreign words may be imported into a language, without the introduction of a single grammatical rule, as French and Latin into English, Arabic into Persian. On the other hand, the tendency of a mixed people to alter its language, is nowhere more visible than in the grammar, the abrasion of the most perfect state of flexion being an inevitable consequence of absorption. Particles and position of words take upon them the work of grammar, and the little flexion remaining appears only as a slender auxiliary to these. Cumbrian has had its changes; the ancient laws by which it was successively governed became gradually obsolete, English rules obtained an ascendancy, and left nothing but a stray phrase or idiom to tell of its former state.
Amongst the terminations in the names of places are some that could not be classed with the compounds in the glossaries. In, as in Newbiggin (D. bygning), the new building, Talkin, is a participial ending eq. E. ing. We have also the later form ing in Workington, Helsington, Killington, Harrington, though some cases of this kind may possibly contain D. eng, a meadow. The original form of this ending, it must be observed, was ig, and it has frequently been added without any appreciable change in the meaning. En and on frequently occur. They appear generally to be a plural termination, to the formation of which there is a marked tendency in the dialect,