A North Yorkshire Glossary – Flora

Inspired by Robert Macfarlane’s wonderful book, Landmarks, here is part two of a North Yorkshire glossary. Most of these words were collected by Richard Blakeborough, Rev. Atkinson & M. Morris in the mid-late nineteenth century.


Awm – Elm. Beeaf – The bough of a tree. Benty – Wiry, blue looking pasture. Bessy-bainworts – Daisies. Bigg – Barley with four rows of ears on one stalk. Blarberry – Bilberry. Birk – The birch tree. Bleea – The inner bark of a tree. Bobblekins – The water buttercup. Boll – Trunk of a tree. Bottery, Bore-tree, Bur-tree – The alder tree. Brassic – Wild mustard or charlock. Breear – The briar. Breeking – That part of a tree where the stem breaks into branches. Brown-leemers – Brown or ripe nuts. Bullace – The wild plum. Bull feeaces, Bull fronts – Hair grass. Bumm’l-kites – Brambles. Burr-thistle – Small headed thistle. Busk – A small bush. Cat hawes – The fruit of Hawthorns. Cats and eyes – Seeds of the ash tree. Cat-trail – Root of valerian. Cat whins – The dog rose. Chatt – A fir-apple. Cheese-cake Grass – The common bird’s foot trefoil. Clot bur – The burdock. Corr’n-berries – Red or white currants. Cowstripling – The cowslip. Cramm’ls – The gnarled twisted boughs of trees. Crashes – Watercress. Cup or cock rose – Common poppy. Cushia – Cow parsnip. Daffy down dilly – daffodil. Deeaf nettle – The blind or hemp nettle. Docken – The dock plant. Dog-choops – Rose hips. Eak – Oak. Flags – Yellow iris. Floss Docken – The foxglove. Floss-seave – Cotton grass. Fog – The grass which grows after hay has been harvested. Fog field – A field that has been left for a second growth of grass. Fuzzball – Puffball. Goldens – Charred stems of burnt heather. Gowland – The corn marigold. Hag – A wood or coppice on wild broken ground. Hag berry – Wild cherry. Hag-snare – The stump left after coppicing. Horse-knops – Black Knapweed. Kelk – Fool’s parsley. Kitty-kels – Seeds of the ash tree. Lingberry – The seed capsule of heather. Mauls – The marsh mallow. Palms, Paum – Catkins. Sap tree – The rowan tree. Scrogs – Stunted bushes or shrubs. Sea-tang – Seaweed or wrack. Seggrums – Common ragwort. Sour-docken – The wild sorrel. Tangles – seaweed. Traveller’s joy – Stags-horn club moss. Whins – Gorse. Wickens – Couch grass. Yackron – Acorn.


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