A DEVON DIALECT

A Selection Taken from 'The County of Devon' by G.A.Cooke
(written ca. 1816-1820)

A vocabulary containing, for the most part, such provincial words as are current among the common people of Devonshire (i.e. at the turn of the 19th century). The letter A is seldom pronounced open, but close......Thus it is salter not saulter; halter not haulter.

ACKER (Sax.), acre.
AFFEARD, afraid.
AGEEST, afraid/astonished.
AGO, just gone, nearly dead.
AGGING, egging on, raising quarrels.
AKETHER, quoth he.
ALKITOTLE, a silly elf.
ALL ABROAD, open ("the door is all abroad").
ALLER, a pinswell, whitloe.
ALLERNBATCH, an old sore.
AN, than. ("more an zo" - more than so).
ANEEST, near. ("I wont go aneest en").
APRILL'D, soured, or turning sour.
APURT, sullen, silent, with a gloating.
ANSNEY, to anticipate, look, bad news.
AQUOTT, squatted, weary of eating.
ARG, to argue, dispute.
ART, eight; ARTEEN, eighteen.
ASLAT, cracked (like a pot).
ASNEGER, an ass.
AVROAR, frozen or frosty.
AGOON, soon.
BAK, to beat.
BARRA, a gelt pig.
BARTON, a large demesne.
BATE, to quarrel.
BED ALE, ale brewed for a christening.
BEING/BIN, because.
BELLYHARM, the colic.
BEE LIPPEN, a bee hive.
BETWIT, to upbraid/repeat a matter.
BESCUMMER, to foul with dirty linen.
BIBBLE, to drink often.
BILLID, distracted/mad.
BOTE, part, and past tense of to buy.
BRACK, flaw.
BIVER, to shake/quiver.
BLID, blood.
BLOGGY, to be sullen.
BOOSTERING, to labour busily so as to sweat.
BOWERLY, blooming ("a comely bowerly woman").
BUCKLE, a struggle.
BUDDLED, suffocated.
BULHAGGLE, a scarecrow.
CAAL/CAALING, a call.
CAWBABY, an awkward timid bod.
CHAM, I am.
CHAVE, I have.
CHELL, I shall.
CHETS, kittens.
CHILBLADDER, chilblains.
CHURN, a bad woman.
CHUPS, cheeks/chops.
CLATHERS, clothes.
COB/CLOBB, mud, loam and straw building.
COCKABEL, an icicle.
COCKHEDGE, a (quickset) hedge.
COCKLEERT, when cock crows.
COLE, any kind of cabbage.
COMBE, a hollow between two hills open at one end only.
COMMERCING, as "conversing".
CONDIDDLE, to waste/convey away secretly.
CONDUDLE, conceit.
COPPER FINCH, a chaffinch.
CLOPPING, lame, limping.
CLUME BUZZA, an earthenware pan.
COALVARTY, a bed/to warm a bed with a warming pan.
CORNIWILLIN, a lapwing.
CORROSY, a grudge or ill-will.
CORT, caught.
COTTEN, to beat soundly.
COUCH PAWED/HANDED, awkward/left-handed.
COURTLAGE, the fore or backyard of a house.
COWAL, a fish-woman's basket.
COZING/COOZING, loitering/soaking.
CRAZED, cracked.
CREWDLING, sensible of cold.
CREWNTING, grunting/complaining.
CRICKS, dry hedgewood.
CRICKLE TO, to bend.
CHRISEMORE, an unchristened child.
CROPEING, stingy.
CRUEL, very.
CLEVES, cliffs.
CLEAR AND SHEER, completely/totally.
DAB, an adept.
DAGGLE, to run like a young child.
DAPS, the exact likeness of.
DAVER, to fade like a flower.
DAWCOCK, a silly fellow.
DEEF, rotten/corrupted.
DIMMET, the dusk of the evening.
DINDER, thunder.
DISHWATER, water wagtail.
DIZZEN, a dozen.
DO, to be done ("to be do").
DOAN, wet, damp bread.
DESPERD, very/extremely.
DIDDLECOME, half-mad/sorely vexed.
DIRSH, a thrush.
DUDDER, to deafen with noise.
DOATTIE, to nod the head in sleep while sitting up.
DOLL, to toll (as a bell).
DON/DOFF, to put on/off.
EART, sometimes.
ELLEM TREE, elm tree.
ELONG, slanting.
ELSH, new.
EN, him ("I told en").
ES,ISE,ISH, I.
EUTE, pour out.
ETH, earth.
FADGE, to fare ("how d'ye fadge?")
FITTY, clever.
FLICKETS, flushes in the face.
FORE-RIGHT, honest (person).
FUMP, essence of.
GANMER, mistress/an old woman.
GATFER, an old man.
GRAMMER, grandmother.
GRANFER, grandfather.
GUDDLE, to drink greedily.
GUIT, a joint.
HOOP, a bullfinch.
HULDER, hide or conceal.
HULVE, to turn over.
HELL, to pour.
HEND, to throw.
HATCH, fancy wish.
LIE A BIER, lie dead.
LEW, sheltered/defended from storms.
LIDDEN, a tale/theme/subject.
LONGFUL, long in regard to time.
MANG, to mix.
MEECH, to play truant.
NUMMET/NUNCH, lunch.
ORT, anything.
RAY, to dress.
READSHIP, confidence, trust.
SHORD, a gap in the hedge.
SUENT, even, smooth.
SWANT, proper.
TAFFETY, delicate on the palate.
TANG, to tie.
TILBY, testy.
TINE, to shut/close.
TUT-WORK, piece-work.
TWILY, troublesome, irksome.
TRAPER, a slut.
UPSETTING, Christening.
UNRAY, to undress.
UNKET, dreary, dismal.
VANG, to receive/earn.
VAUGHT, fetched.
WARD, to wade.
WASHDISH, a wagtail.
WANT, a mole.
WHOP, a heavy blow.
WOODQUIST, wood-pigeon.
ZAT, soft.
ZAUNDY, to swoon.
ZIT, sit.
ZO, so.
More information about the Devon dialect can be found at the BBC's site.

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