A glossary of words used in the neighbourhood of Sheffield/A

A glossary of words used in the neighbourhood of Sheffield by Sidney Addy

Glossary: A


A, indef. art. used instead of an before a vowel, as 'a egg,' 'a apple.'

'If she be a idle ill-temper'd gossip.'—Bywater, 134.

A or EH, pron. what; used in asking questions. Pronouced like the a in May.

'Where have you been to?' 'Eh?'

A, adj. one.

'They're just about a size.'

ABBUT, conj. but, yes but, aye but, eh but.

'Abbut o'm not goin' to work for nowt.'

ABIDE, v. to endure.

'I can't abide him.'

ABOON, prep. above.

The word occurs in a Hallamshire couplet, in which the heads of a family generally held in respect in Sheffield (the Bridges) in the early part of the last century are thus characterised:
'Gentleman Thomas t'foot aboon t'cross,
Prodigal Robin and slovenly Joss.'
Hunter's MS.

ACK, v. to attend, to notice, to listen.

'Ack thee, Tom, what's that?'
Apparently a variant of hark.


'A piece of arable lying upon acre hill.'—Harrison.
Harrison mentions a field called 'the Acre,' containing one acre and sixteen perches, in Ecclesfield.

ADAMFIELD, near Horsley gate, Dronfield. O.M.

Possibly called after a person. Adam occurs amongst the names in the Liber Vita, p. 2.

ADDERFIELD, in Ecclesall, anno 1807.


ADDLE, v. to earn.

'An old man, summoned for depositing parts of putrid fish on a vacant piece of land, said he removed the fish for a dealer, and he thought he was "addling a bob"'—Sheffield Petty Sessions, 1877. L.

ADLAND, sb. a headland in a ploughed field.

AFEARD, adj. afraid.

'Although this word is not yet obsolete, the form now more frequently heard is afreead (sometimes shortened to freead), which appears to be not so much a corruption of afraid as a cross between the two different words.' L.

AFORE, prep. and adv. before.

AFTER-CLAP, sb. an unexpected stroke.

'Something ensuing on an action when it was thought that the deed itself and all its consequents were over; generally used of that which is primitive.' —Hunter's MS.

AGATE, adv. a-doing.

To get agate is to get to work: 'The washing is agate;' 'The brewing is agate;' 'He is always agate o' teasing me.'

AGATEARDS, adv. on the way with.

Hunter describes 'going agatewards' as 'the last office of hospitality, and necessary in many cases both for guidance and protection when the high-way lay at some distance from a friendly grange in an uninhabited and almost trackless country amidst woods and over morasses.'

AGDEN, in Bradfield.

'A sheep pasture, called Agden, containing 346 acres.' —Harrison.
Aykeden in 10 Edward III. Eastwood's Ecclesfield, p. 65. The meaning is Oak Valley. Stunted oaks are numerous about Agden.

AGEAN [ageean] or AGEN, prep. against, by the side of, in an opposite direction to.

'There is a peculiar provincial application of this preposition which I am not aware that any writer has noticed. It is used in the sense of close to, by the side of. If a blundering cricketer were to ask "Weer's t' bole?" the answer might be " Woy, clooas agen thi foot, mun."' L.

AGEE [ajee], adv. ajar, like a door. Hunter's MS.

AGGERHEADS, sb. pl. loggerheads.

'He's an aggerheaded fellow' means he is a dull, stupid fellow.

AGIST [ajeist], v. to take cattle in to pasture for hire. See JISTE.

AHR [ar] pron. our.

AHRS [ars], pron. mine.

'Tha should see ahrs' means you should see my husband.
'Ahrs is gone to t' ale-us.'
I cannot ascertain that the husband speaks of his wife in the same way.

AHT [art], adv. out.

AKKER [acker], sb. an acre.

AKRAN [acran] or AKKARIN, sb. an acorn.

ALABLASTER, sb. alabaster.

'Albastre, Alleblaster.'Cotgrave.

ALDWARK, near Rotherham.

A.S. eald, old, and weorc, worc, work.

ALE FIELD, in Ecclesfield.

Harrison mentions 'the great Ale field' and 'the little Ale field.' This was the scene of the old 'church ales' and 'bride ales,' &c., in Ecclesfield. In the accounts of the churchwardens of this village for the year 1527 mention is made of 'the Kyrk Ayll.' (Eastwood's Ecclesfield, 170.)
See GAMS CROFT and MARTIN PYTLE. A field at the end of the town street of the village of Crookes is called 'Ale Croft.' From its position it would be very suitable for village games. A feast, or wake, is still kept up at Crookes on the first of May. See the Introduction.

ALEGAR [alligar], sb. malt vinegar. The g is hard.

'Owd Dame Squarejoint's putten allegar in it.'—Bywater, 35.
A little field in a hole at Dore containing sour grass is called Alegar sick.

ALE-POSSET, sb. warm milk and beer sweetened.

ALE-SHOT, sb. a reckoning at the alehouse.

ALE-US, sb. an alehouse.

ALL, adv. quite.

'He fell down and all dirtied his brat.'

ALLADS, interj.

'Allads, Dicky!'—Bywater. 265.

ALL-ALONG, adv. in continuous course.

'You have all along been my friend.'

ALL ALONG OF, prep. owing to.

ALLEY, sb. an alabaster taw used by boys in the game of marbles.

'"T'alli" is pre-eminently an inscriptionless tombstone opposite the chancel door of the Sheffield Parish Church, over which it was a favourite amusement of the Charity School boys, when the churchyard was used as their playground, to leap.' L. The stone was of alabaster. For the tradition as to this stone see Leader's Reminiscences of Old Sheffield, second edition, pp. 73, 169.

ALLEY LANDS, fields in Bradfield. Harrison.

ALLICAMPANE, sb. the herb elecampane. The accent is on the last syllable as in 'champagne.' The first syllable is sounded as in alley. Some verses were sung in which this word occurred, but I cannot now recover them.

ALL THERE, adv. of competent understanding.

'He's not all there' means that he is not quite in his senses.

ALLYS, adv. always.

ALMS HILL, near Whirlow. O. M.

Mr. Furness, of Whirlow, tells me that he has always known this place as Holms Hill. Alms is a modern corruption. There is a brook at the foot of the hill.

AMANG, prep. among.

AMANG-HANDS, prep. and adv. amongst or between ourselves; also between whiles.

AMERICA, the name of a field in Dore, and also in Cold-Aston.

The one in Cold-Aston is said to have been so called on account of its remoteness from the village.

AN', conj. and.

AN' ALL, adv. and all, also.

Hunter quotes a stanza from James Montgomery without giving the reference:—
'Recovering he found himself in a warm bed,
And in a warm fever an' all.'

ANGER, v. to vex, irritate.


'Great Angerum wherein are coale pitts,' in Ecclesfield.—Harrison.
'Angram Close and Barn,' in Ecclesall, anno 1807. There is Hangeram Lane near Whiteley Wood. William Ingram of Bradfield is mentioned in the Poll Tax Returns for 1379, p. 34. Cf. Angram near Kettlewell, in the West Riding. Stratmann gives angrom, 'angustia,' a narrow place. See INGRE DOLE.

ANKER, sb. the tongue of a buckle.

ANLEY MEADOWS, fields in Sheffield. Harrison.

ANNIS FIELD, in Ecclesfield.

Harrison several times mentions 'Annis field' and 'Annat field' in Ecclesfield, and as both forms occur there can be no doubt that the herb anise or dill is intended, 'the two carminatives being originally confounded' (New English Dictionary}. Dill was formerly much used in medicine. See Cockayne's ' Saxon Leechdoms,'passim
'The wonder-working dill he gets . . .
Which curious women use in many a nice disease.'
Drayton, Folyolbion xiii. (1613).

ANPARSY, sb. the symbol &, signifying et or and.

This symbol used to follow the letter Z in the alphabet, so that a child when repeating it would say 'X Y Z, anparsy' The accent is on the penultimate. The meaning 'and per se' is explained in the New English Dictionary under the letter A.


'In the afternoon we made four trenches in another barrow, situated on a neighbouring eminence, called Anthony Hill.'—Bateman's Ten Years' Diggings, p. 81.

APPLE TREE YARD SICKE, a field in Ecclesfield. Harrison.

Cf. Appletrewick in Burnsall, near Skipton.

APPREN, sb. an apron.

ARBOR THORNE HURST, a place in Sheffield. Harrison.

ARCHER FIELD, in Ecclesall, anno 1807.

ARGIFY, v. to argue.

ARK, sb.

Hunter explains this word thus: 'The large chest in farm houses used for keeping meal and flour. The arks are usually made of strong oaken planks, which are sometimes elaborately carved, and are often very capacious, so that an instance might occur like the affecting story of the Italian bride. They resemble the chests found in churches containing the parish books and papers ; such a chest in the church of Ecclesfield is especially called an ark in 1527, as I am informed by the Rev. Mr. Eastwood. Many of these articles of household furniture are evidently of high antiquity. The making of them must have constituted in early times a distinct occupation as is evident from the existence of the surname of Arkwright.'—Hunter's MS.
I believe that these chests were mostly intended for home-spun linen; they are often called 'dower chests,' and being filled with linen were the presents which the spinster-daughter of the yeoman or little squire brought to her husband on marriage.

ARLE, v. to earn.

'I might as well arle a penny.'

ARLES, sb. an earnest penny.

'The giving of an arles succeeds the shaking of hands in concluding a bargain. . . . It is written erles in Ecclesfield parish register, where it denotes money given to a clergyman when first engaged.'—Hunter's MS.

ARRAND, sb. an arrand.

'Furst chap at comes e ahr hahce uppa that harrand.'—Bywater, 28.

ARRIAN or ARRAN, sb. a spider.

The Cath. Angl. has erane. Hunter gives the word as arren.

ARRIDGE, sb. a ridge, or edge.

See Arris in New Eng. Dict.

ARRIDGE, v. to smooth the edge of a furrow. See HARRIS.

ARSTON, sb. the hearthstone.

'He were a farantly man uppo' t' arston'

ARTOW or ARTA, v. art thou.

ASHES WOOD, near Norton Lees.

ASH FURLONG HEAD, a field in Dore.

ASHING. 'Item Ashing acres (pasture) lying' in Stannington. Harrison. He mentions a field called 'Flat ash' in Ecclesfield.

See FLAT. Cf. Ashgate near Chesterfield.

ASH-KEYS, sb. pl. seed vessels of the ash tree.

'The fruit of the ash-tree called Keys, perhaps merely from some resemblance to the instrument so called. Superstitions have gathered about this tree and its fruit. I remember to hare heard an old farmer in Fullwood many years ago affirm that there were no Ash-Keys in the year in which King Charles was put to death.'—Hunters MS.
Of the ash it is said in this district :
'Keep me either wet or dry,
The heart of oak I do defy. '

ASK, adj. harsh, tart, sour. Said of sour plums, &c.

'Harske or haske, as sundry frutys. Stipticus, poriticus.' Prompt. Parv. It is sometimes pronounced arsk. I have heard both ask and arsk. The east wind is called a 'cold, ask wind.'

ASKER or ASKARD, sb. a newt.

ASKY, adj. husky.

ASLOPP FARM, a farm once adjoining the town of Sheffield.

'The ford that belongeth to Aslopp farme Harrison. The farm house adjoined the street. 'Alsop Fields' occurs in Gosling's map of Sheffield, 1736. They lay between Norfolk Street and Pond Lane. 'Aulsope Farme,' 1624.


ASS, sb. pl. ashes, cinders.

'Coke ass,' coke ashes.

ASSIDUE, sb. 'Dutch metal.'

Workmen speak of it contemptuously. They say 'as thin as assidue.'

ASS-MIDDEN, sb. a heap of ashes.

ASSNOOK, sb. the place where the ashes fall under a fire-place.

ASTA, ASTOW, v. hast thou?

AT, conj. and pron. that. M.E., at, that.

'At for that as a conjunction and a relative pronoun. One of the test words of the Northern English class of dialects. Sheffield seems to be on its southern boundary, for at Chesterfield, only twelve miles further south, it is quite unknown.' L.
'That at is dry the earth shall be.'—Towneley Mysteries, p. 2.

AT, prep. to. 'What will you do at it?' for to it.

AT-AFTER, prep. and adv. after.

'For after both as adverb and preposition, but in reference only to time, not to place.' L.
'Thah kno's they're better at-after for it.'—Bywater, 195.

ATHER [aither] or OTHER, adj. or pron. either.

ATHINT [atint], adv. behind. Used in the expression 'to ride athint' i.e., to ride behind another person on the same horse.

ATKIN HOLME, a field in Bradfield. Harrison.

ATOMY, sb. a skeleton; an anatomy. Hunter's MS. See NOTOMY.

ATOP, prep, on the top.

ATTERCLIFFE, sb. a hamlet in Sheffield parish. Atteclive in Domesday.

ATTRIL or ATTREL, sb. a cluster, mass.

A farmer complaining of the way in which his clover was growing said, 'It wur all in a attril,' meaning, as he afterwards explained it, that it grew in a thick mass, entangled together, and not uniformily as in his opinion it ought to have done. It also occurs as ottrel, meaning a scar or cicatrix with a rough surface. A man with a pimpled face from drinking is said to have his face 'all in a ottrel.'

AUNCETRES, sb. pl. ancestors. 'This word may be heard, though rarely, for ancestors.' H. I have not heard it.

AX, v. to ask.


People are said to be axed out after the third and concluding publication of the banns of marriage. The phrase occurs as out axed in Evans' Leicestershire Words. (E. D. S.)