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Villagers: 750 Years Of Life In An English Village



A - F

A-crawss  from one side to the other, e.g. ‘om never come a-crawss anyfin like thut afore’

A-dewin  performing an act, e.g. ‘waddever yew a-dewin now?’

Aaabertslee  small Cambridgeshire village  

Aaaraplane  a flying machine

Aaarland  piece of land surrounded by water

Aahlzee  a village in Bedfordshire, previously home to a mental asylum, e.g. ‘yawl end up in Aahlzee’

Aal  a lubricant derived from petroloeum

Aar-a-knee  figure of speech, often used to highlight an incongruity

Acker-puncher  treatment for ailments using needles to puncture the skin

Ackr't precise, exact

Add up  prosecuted by the police, e.g ‘yawl gid add up dewin thut in public’

Affledicks  sports that require physical skill or stamina

Agin  once more, anew, e.g. ‘tullus agin, om forgot a-ready’

Aincher  question, often robustly expressed

Ain it real?  response to an unexpected, usually bad, happening

Air  mammal with long ears; or threadlike pigmented filaments growing from follicles under the skin, e.g. 'yaw letter gitcher air cut, thus tew l'ng'

Ale  meteorological phenomenon

A-limpicks  sporting competition held every four years

Allwus  without fail

Amblents  vehicle for conveying patients to hospital

Andle  a German composer

Ansom  good, esp. of crops, e.g. ‘thussen ansom bidder Primo’

Ardyfishel  fertisiliser

Are  Have, e.g. 'are y'dun with thut paper?'

Arf-sharp  dull-witted, e.g. ‘yew ainer ’bove arf-sharp’

Arftruck type of vehicle with cut-down rear section used for carrying market garden produce

Arn  ferrous metal; heated appliance for pressing wrinkles out of fabric

Arp  large stringed instrument

Arpus  thirty minutes past the hour, e.g. ‘thus arpus stew’

Arrert’n  a Cambridgeshire village

Art  an organ of the body

Arternewn  the hours after midday

Atlee  any one of three neighbouring villages

Awdeppens  undecided, e.g. ‘wull, thut awdeppens’

Awstin  make of motor vehicle

Awt  nil, zero. e.g. ‘Gamgy won free awt’

Ayetullian  native of Italy

Ayetullick  sloping type

Axxerd’nt  an unforeseen incident, e.g. ‘dint mean it, ref, thut wore an axxerd’nt’


Baackerds  in reverse, facing the rear

Baarb-wahr  type of wire fencing with sharp spikes  

Ban Collar Day  a national day off

Barrert’n  village in Cambridgeshire

Baydovan  German composer, e.g. ‘Baydovan were st’n deaf’

Be  by, e.g. ‘four be tew’

Beeyemdubbleyew  type of German automobile, e.g. ‘never adder Beeyemdubbleyew behind us that dint warner be in front’

Bedder  an improvement

Berminnem  city in the English midlands

Be-trewt  vegetable with a bulbous, dark-red root.

Bewdiful  attractive, good looking, e.g. ‘thusser bewdiful bidder brussells’

Bewdy  possessing the qualities that give pleasure to the senses

Bewgle  a brass musical instrument

Bewts  heavy-duty footwear

Bid  small portion, degree or amount

Bigglezid  nondescript Bedfordshire town

Billdin  the construction industry, e.g. ‘Ullen works on the billdin’

Billy Dew  a love-letter

Bin  past tense of ‘to be’, e.g. ‘weir yer bin?’

Black Brie  the fruit of the bramble; type of mobile phone

Blew  a colour

Blewbul  woodland flowering plant

Blewn  a flexible bag inflated with gas or hot air, designed to float in the atmosphere

Bluss  a benediction, e.g. ‘wull bluss my sammy-oh!’

Blustid  a mild imprecation, e.g. ‘me blustid oss lorst onner foder-finish!’

B'nged up  blocked up, esp. the sinuses

Bobbertew  large sum of money, e.g. ‘thut muster cawst a bobbertew'





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Bonfar  a large pile or heap of combustible materials

Bore  young man, e.g. ‘chuckus the Chroniggle, bore, warner light the far’

Bra  prickly bush, esp. the wild rose

Braarms  German romantic composer

Braarn  male Christian name

Brock  style of art, music and architecture popular in the eighteenth century

Brook  out of funds; not working, e.g. ‘wunt goo coz it’s brook’

B’sewn large woodwind instrument

Buddercup  meadow plant with yellow flowers

Bugger mar rags  an oath

Bul-alike-her  triangular stringed instrument from Russia

Bulch  to release wind from stomach via the mouth

Buljum  European country

Bulkernee  platform projecting from a building usually surrounded by railings or a parapet, e.g. ‘jew see the Queen on her bulkernee at Bucknem pulliss?’

Bul’lence  equilibrium

Bult  to strike hard

Bulter  enthusiastic description, often regarding size, e.g. ‘thut marrer’s a bulter’

Bust  punctured, e.g. ‘the tar’s bust’

Buthdee  anniversary of one’s birth


Caaafy  restaurant where food is served at a counter

Caarful  attentive to danger; mean with money

Call  say, e.g. ‘I call, yew are a tool’

Canner  may one?, e.g. ‘canner evver canner beans?’

Carncher  are you unable?

Carl  Kyle, a male Christian name

Car-pit  a type of floor covering, e.g. ‘weir godder car-pit in the tore-lit'

Cawjit  type of baby marrow. e.g. ‘yew dunno a cawjit from a zewkeenee’

Cawst  price, e.g. ‘thut’ll cawst a tunner money’

Chank  talk, gossip or chat, e.g. ‘specked she’s bin chanking t’Sully agin’

Charf-inch  small garden bird

Chawk-tup  a singular action that should be made more widely known, e.g. 'thut order be chawk-tup!'

Cheer  a seat, e.g. 'pull upper cheer'

Chimble  to break something into small pieces; to crumble

Chinks  name given by Potton people to The Cinques prior to the Second World War

Chinkite someone from The Cinques

Chocklit  a sweetmeat made using roasted ground cacao beans, e.g. ‘me wife likes thut French film ‘Chocklit’

Chroniggle  the Biggleswade Chronicle, a local weekly paper, e.g. ‘there’s nayink wuth readin in the Chroniggle agin’

Chuller  large stringed musical instrument

Chullinge  invite to take part in a contest, e.g. ‘We allwus watch Yewneyversity Chullinge on tully’

Chullis  a cup or goblet

Chulp  to talk back or argue

Chulsy  expensively-assembled football team in west London, e.g. ‘Chulsy’s cawst thut Abraaammervitch a bobbertew

Cinder kit  a number of people joined together to undertake a specific enterprise

Claacton  holiday destination in Essex

Claarnt business term for a customer

Clanker  of a size worthy of admiration, e.g. ‘thut pike I cort wore a clanker’

Claw  rush or hurry, e.g. ‘yew doan efter to claw about woman, the bus ain’t gooin till twenny arter free’

Clawth  piece of fabric or material

Clew  hint, e.g. ‘dunno - yaw letter gizzer clew’

Collchister  garrison town in Essex

Come yew ear  an order to advance towards the speaker, e.g. ‘come yew ear this instant!’

Compewder  data-processing electronic device

Cord I say!, e.g. ‘cord, thut were a l’ng, l’ng while agoo!’

Crawss  angry, upset

Crawss, The,  Gamlingay crossroads

Crews  holiday taken on board a ship, e.g. ‘weir gooin onner Meddytrainyin crews’

Cullender  a receptacle with holes in for drainage, used in the kitchen; also a table showing the days, weeks and months of a specific year

Cangerew  A large marsupial, e.g. 'godder lodder cangerews in Orsetrailyer'

Culler  appearance of objects in terms of one’s perception of their hue, brightness and saturation, e.g. ‘thusser muller yuller culler’


Cullibray  a type of broccoli with blue-green flower buds

Culkyewlaider  small electronic computing device

Cullyfornyer  famous holiday resort on the Norfolk coast

Cump-knee  business organisation

Customer  a wag, e.g. ‘ease a customer, ainee?’


Dartmoor  North Lane, the Cinques

Dead as a nit  used to describe something that has died, e.g., 'this injun's as dead as a nit'

Dear-oh-pray  a heartfelt lament, e.g. ‘dear-oh-pray, man, is thut the best chew can dew?’

De Bewcy  French composer

Deck-rating  refurbishing a home

Dew  to perform  deed or action

Dewks  clenched fists, e.g. ‘putcher dewks up!’

Dewplick’t  an exact copy

D’g  domesticated animal

Did?  expression of surprise, e.g. ‘oh did?’

Died upright  a reaction to a huge surprise, e.g. 'Wull I nearly died upright'

Dincher  question, often rhetorical, e.g. ‘yew see us, dincher?’

Dinner  question, often rhetorical, e.g.

I ad me dinner, dinner?’

Dint  failure to perform an action, e.g.

‘we dint goo in the end’

Divullup  to evolve, grow or elaboarate

D’nky  an ass, e.g. ‘thut osser yawns a d’nky’

D'nky aaarland  Gamlingay Heath

Door-ter  one’s female offspring

Driiiy  lacking water, e.g. 'th'oll ground's ser driiiy'

Driv Past tense of to drive, e.g. 'we driv to the sewpermaarkit yisty'

Dullickit  easily broken or damaged, e.g. ‘feelin a bit dullickit arter larss night’

Dulligate  to transfer power to someone

Dully  City in India

Dutt’rend  the eastern end of Gamlingay village

Dulve  to search deeply


Eddake  a pain in the head, e.g. 'weirs them eddake tablitts when yer warn em?'

Edge-yew-cayshun  schooling, learning

Eevanjullickle  marked by an ardent or zealous enthusiasm for a cause, e.g. ‘one o’them eevanjullickles come round an warnid t’chank about the Booker Dewderonomy fer free ours’

Eftew  must

Emsby  Norfolk holiday resort

Ennus poultry shed

Enny  being the only one, e.g. ‘om enny godder quid’  

Erdy-gerdy  medieval stringed instrument

Ev  to be in possession of, e.g. ‘waddle yer ev?’

Ew  which or what person?, e.g. ‘ew the uller yew?’

Eye up  a greeting (informal), e.g. ‘eye up, mole duck!’

Ezzertate  delay, e.g. 'ee 'oo ezzertates is lorst'


Fairy nuff  an equitable statement or solution

Far  a conflagration, e.g. ‘cummen sidderside the far’

Far Injun  a large truck that carries firemen and equipment to the site of a fire

Farmer-Suit-Tickles  drugs or medicines

Far work  pyrotechnic device

Febrewairey  second month of the year

Fenks  an expression of gratitude

Fergit  unable to remember, e.g. ‘I fergit when it wore’

Fink  to reflect or ponder

First  a longing for liquid refreshment

F’k  people or villagers, usually specific to a place, e.g. ‘Graansd’n f’k are p’kewlyer’

Flarn  moving through the air

Flew  influenza

Flewent  able to write and speak well in a foreign language

Flewt  woodwind instrument

Flossifee  any set of ideas or beliefs ending in ‘ism’

Flossiffer  one who follows an idea or belief that ends in ‘ism’, e.g. ‘Play Dough were a Greek flossiffer’

For-chewn  more than £1

Forty fits  Potential reaction to a piece of unexpected news, e.g. 'Iffy did, I'd ev forty fits!'

Frayed knot  unfortunately, no

Froat anterior portion of the neck, e.g. 'Om godder saw froat'

Fust  the number one; foremost, e.g. 'Thus the fust o'Jewn terday'