Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 11.djvu/413

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11 S. XL MAY 22, 1915.] N OTES AND QUERIES.


403


ROCHDALE DIALECT WORDS OF THE FIFTIES.

(11 S. xi. 295.)

LIKE MB. BBIERLEY, I was astonished to read that the word " tundish " had passed out of vise, because until I left Rochdale, about eight months ago, I had never heard any other word applied to the article called n " funnel " in some parts of the country. Apparently one never knows when a word may suddenly and mysteriously disappear that is, if one takes all one reads as gospel. Among the many words quoted by MB. BBIEBLEY as having been in use in Rochdale in the " fifties " there is quite a large number still to be heard. Some, however, have gone never to return.

To his kitchen utensils should be added the

    • blower," a piece of sheet iron about eighteen

inches by twenty-four, with a handle fixed a little above the centre. It was placed on the " top bar," thus covering up the chimney opening, and thereby causing an extra draft through the fire. The " posser " is also called a " dolly " ; and the was}] tub (an Americanism, If ear) a " dolly-tub." Dough from which bread is made is called " dofe," and a dull, sleepy person is " dofey." Of eatables, besides " tharcake " arid other things referred to, there are such savoury dishes as " Owdham browis," " frog-i-th- hole pudding," " barm-bo'?," " crap -cake,"

  • ' potato - cake," and " greensauce - cake."
  • 'Backstorio muffins " can be had anywhere,

but nowhere except in Rochdale did they ever make " Blackwayther mowfins."

Speaking of the use of " spindles," MB. BBIEBLEY says he drove them into his boots ; he was never a " gradely Rachda lad " if he did not wear clogs for " warty " (weekday), at least. Many a good clog " has been split by the use of "spindles"; still, the writer found skating much easier to learn on "spindles" than on real skates. The word "' boots " was seldom used ; the phrases were " low-shoes" and " high-shoes," mean- ing shoes and boots respectively.

Games are being forgotten as rapidly as archaic words. The indiscriminate kicking of a ball is about the only tiling the boj s understand. It is quite unusual now to see any of the following games played : "kings," 4t shep come out," " trinil," " Dick, prick,


callamanker, Jack or little Tom," " footing- horseshoe," " buck and billy," and " touch my cock who dar," to mention no more.

Some games were plaj'ed with " blood - knots," and there were various ways of making these murderous implements. Per- haps the most popular were made out of paper. Brown paper was folded up and turned through the rollers of a mangle until a solid little ball about two inches in dia- meter was obtained. " Bant " (twine) was wrapped round the paper very securely, and a strong piece about a yard long attached to it. Applied to the right spot, and skilfully wielded, the well-made "blood -knot" left a painful impression.

The hard glossy " nebs " which are still to be seen on the caps of our postmen were called " breyrls," and the word is still used by pigeon- keepers, who speak of the little board fixed in front of the hole by which the birds enter their cote as a " pigeon -breyd." A pigeon, which strays from home and enters anotner cote is a " strag."

In many ways it is a pity our dialects are dying out, as they contain words for which sjnrionyms are lacking in the standard speech. For instance, the verb " to deg," meaning to sprinkle water as in watering a garden, or laying dust on a road, with its derivatives" "degging-can," " degging- cart," &c., has no corresponding word in classical English, and many such could be quoted.

Manv dialect words are used by Lanca- shire people without the users knowing that they are not the standard words, and many will, for this reason, survive which otherwise would not.

In The Rochdale Observer for 10 April, 1915, in the report of a police-court case, I find one of the counsel asked a witness," Was your mother subject, to ' mazy ' bouts ? " This illustrates the present -d a y use of one of MB. BRIEBLEY'S words.

I always read with pleasure any tiling MB. BBIERLEY has to say on subjects like this, and hope that his fund of anecdotes relating to Lancashire life will sometime appear in more permanent form.

F. WILLIAMSON. Derby.

The following list gives some interesting words in regular use in Mid - Derbyshire sixty -five years ago, and also some which [ still use "in the ordinary way. When a donkey was heard to bray " rort " was the descriptive word the remark was, "Another