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Introduction to the 1771 Tyne Flood Papers

Glossary of dialect words

Note; Most of the words in this glossary are taken from Northumberland Words, by Rev Oliver Heslop, London: English Dialect Society/ Kegan Paul Trench, 1892). Quite a number of other words in the text, however, are not in this book, presumably because they had gone out of use between the 1770s and the date it was compiled. Additional information on other words would be welcome.

Beatment 'a measure holding a quarter-peck. It was formerly in general use in the district, especially in the retail sale of vegetables and coals. The measure was commonly made of wood staves hooped, with a division so placed that at one end a beatment could be meted and at the other half-a-beatment... At Hexham the measure was double the size of the Newcastle beatment; hence the proverb, 'Hexham measure, heaped full an' running ower.' (Heslop, p.44)

Boll, [also spelt bol, or bowl], 'at Hexham, a boll of barley or oats, five bushels; of peas, rye or wheat, four bushels; at Newcastle, two bushels' (Heslop, p. 76)

Esh, Ash tree (Heslop, p 267)

Fog, [also spelt fogg], 'the clover, or second crop, that follows a hay crop.... Also moss or lichen growth. When mosses are in excess the pasture is said to be full of fog.'  (Heslop, p. 297)

Fother,  'of coals, one-third of a chaldron; about as many coals as a one-horse cart will contain... The word has come to be applied to a cart-load of anything in general.... The fother differs from the load, the latter being as much as can be carried on the back of a pack horse.' (Heslop, p 300)

Fudder  may be another spelling of Fother

Happin [also spelt happing], a coverlet (Heslop, p. 360)

Harn, 'a coarse hempen cloth. The name is sometimes applied to a coarse thread' (Heslop, p. 362)

Lint, probably flax

Load, see Fother, above

Pow, meaning unknown

Quick,  young hawthorn plant for planting hedgerows (Heslop, p. 538)

Shoemack, meaning unknown

Stirk  'a young beast, ox or heifer.... but formerly was applied to the male animal specially' (Heslop, p. 694)

Strickle, 'the strike or straight roller used for passing over the top of a measure of corn in order to strike or level it evenly.'(Heslop, p. 702),

Thratched, probably threshed.

Thrave, Threave,  'a measure of corn or straw; applied also as the term for a portion of tillage land (query, as much as produced a thrave of corn). A thrave of straw equals two stooks of twelve sheaves each, that is twenty-four sheaves, ninety-six pounds in weight.' (Heslop, p. 729)

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