A North Yorkshire Glossary – Landscape

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

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Airt – direction point of the compass. Aither – furrowed ground. Balk – A strip of land. Bargh, Barugh, Barf – A hill forming part of a low ridge. Beck – Small stream. Beeld, bield, beild – A shelter from weather. Bladdry – Soft splashy mud. Blashment – Melted snow or soft mud. Bleb – Air rising in water. Blue-flint – Whinstone from the Cleveland Dyke. Blutherment – Puddle or slush. Boddums – Lowest ground. Bounder-stoups – Upright boundary stones. Bow-bridge – A packhorse bridge. Brigg – a natural promintary into the sea or bridge. Brae – The overhanging bank of a river. Brant – Steep. Cam – The sloping bank from a hedge bottom. Carr – Low-lying boggy ground. Causer, caus’ay – A paved footpath. Cinder Hills – Ancient slag heaps. Cleugh – A narrow ravine. Clum – Sodden heavy clayey land. Coo-yat – Cow pasture. Coo-grip – a channel to carry off urine. Covin-scar – A low, flat expanse of rock. Cross gang/gate – A crossroads. Crow-ling – Heath. Dale – A valley. Dale-end The end or widest part of a dale. Dale-heead – The upper and narrowest portion of a dale. Dike – A ditch. Dike-back – The bank forming one side of a ditch. Dub – A large pond. Dump – Deep hole in the bed of a river. Faugh – Fallow land. Fold Garth – Farmyard. Foss – A waterfall. Gain-way – A shorter path. Garth – A small enclosure of land. Gate – a way, road or street. Gessing-land – Grassland. Gill – A narrow valley or ravine. Gimmal – A narrow passage. Gote – A narrow natural ravine. Griff – A deep narrow valley. Grip – A channel or small ditch. Hag – A broken rugged bank. Hays – Enclosure fence acting as a boundary. Head rig – The part of a field where the horses and plough turn. Hipping steeans – Stepping stones. Holl – A deep depression in the land. Holm – Land which is at times surrounded by water. Hoss trod – A bridle road. Hottery – A bumpy, uneven road. Houe, Howe – A Hill. Hossocks – Coarse tufts of grass. Ing – low lying pasture. Intak – Enclosed land from a common for cultivation. Kansh – A hard ridge of gravel or a rock in a river, dangerous to navigation. Keld – A spring of water. Liberty – The parish or township. Lits – A spring or source of a stream. Loning, loaning, lonnin’, lo’nin – A narrow lane. Marrish – Low lying ground liable to flood. Mere, mere-stone – A boundary mark or stone. Moor stone – A large exposed stone embedded in the soil of the moor. Nab – A hill, rocky point, headland. Ness – A projecting headland. Neuk – a corner of a field. Out-end, out-gang, out-gaat – An exit, way out. Owergait – A gap in a hedge. Plother, plodder – Soft mud. Rack – a bend in a river. Ramper – The sloping side of a raised footpath. Rands, reeands – The unploughed edges of a field. Rein – The sides of a field overgrown with brushwood. Riding – An open space in a wood. Rigg – A long narrow hill. Rook, ruck –A pile, a carefully made heap of stones/turf. Scau’p – Bare spots of rock and stones on a hillside. Skaff, skeeaf – A rough, steep, broken bank. Slack – The hollow part of an undulation in the ground. Sloke – The scum or slime on stagnant water. Smout-hole – An opening at the bottom of a wall to allow hares or sheep to pass through. Snake-stone – An Ammonite. Spout – A waterfall.Sprunt – A steep hill. Strand – The beach. Sump – A bog or marsh. Swang – A boggy stretch of land. Swarth – The quality and quantity of grass upon the land. Swidden – Part of the moor cleared by burning. Syke – A small stream. Toft – A small grove of trees. Trod – A footpath. Upgang – A pathway up a hill. Warp – Alluvium. Wath – A ford. White flint – A hard, sedimentary rock found on the moors and used for road stone. Wyke – A small bay on the coast.

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