Some lost words of the North


Bink – A stone bench. Bishops foot – when something has been burned to the pan when boiling. ‘The bishop has set foot in it or ‘it’s been bishopped’. Bizon – shame or scandal. Black bowwowers – brambles. Blaze – to take a salmon at night using a three pronged barbed dart called a Leister. Boothaler – robber. Byspelt – mischievous person. Carling – An old shrew. Chance bairn – an illegitimate child. Chaugh/Chaff – The lower jaw. Choller – double chin, Curse of Scotland – the nine of diamonds. William Duke of Cumberland was said to have written his order for the battle of Culloden on the back of the card. Crocket – a small wooden stool. Cutty – a short knife. Dag – a small gun. Delf – a pit from which ironstone has been dug. Derwentwater lights – the Aurora Borealis. Deuse – the devil or evil spirit. Donfron – Labourers afternoon drinking. Drunkards cloak – a large barrel. Elflocks – tangled hair. Ell Mother – stepmother. Fairy money – found treasure, the location must never be disclosed. Fause – cunning, sharp, clever. Fendy – clever at providing for oneself. Flay – to frighten. Flesher – a butcher. Fout – a spoilt child. Frim – handsome. Fuddle – to intoxicate fish whilst poaching. Gadger/gauger – an exciseman / customs officer. Gantree – a stand for ale barrels. Gavelock – a crowbar. Ged – a pike. Girngaw – the cavity of the mouth. Gowpens – handfuls. Greybeard – a stone or earthenware jug. Greyhen – a large stone bottle. Gully – a large sharp knife. Hair – a small quantity of anything. Half Marrow – a middle sized lad. Half rocked innocent – a fool. Hammie – a coward. Hause – neck or throat. Hidlins – done by stealth, secretly. Hob Collingwood – The four of hearts – unlucky. Jennick – true and proper. Joskin – a masons labourer. Keed – to peep. Keslop – the belly or stomach. Kirok – a large pile of stones. Kisting – a funeral. Kite – the belly. Kitty – Jail. Lamb – to beat soundly/leather/lather. Lashy – cold/wet. Lig – to lie down. Lob cock – a sluggish person also Lurdane. Mab – to dress carelessly. Maunderer – a tedious, weary speaker. Mere stone – boundary stone. Merry dancers – Aurora Borealis. Muck worm – a miser. Mugger – a hawker of pots. Old Bendy/hooky/scratch/nick – the devil. Old Peg – inferior cheese. Old trot – old woman. Pickatree – woodpecker. Powsoddy/pansoddy – a pudding placed under a roast. AKA Yorkshire pudding, Auld Wife’s Sod, Cinder catcher. Purdy – a thick set fellow. Pyrray Dancers – Aurora Borealis. Reckling – The last child. Rummleduster – Unruly. Scab Andrew – A worthless fellow. Skadely – a sly thief. Skew the dew – a splay footed person. Smartle – to melt or waste away. Snot – the burned wick of a candle. Sough – to sigh like the wind. Stevin – To rant. Sunderland Fitter – the Knave of Clubs. Taplash – bad small beer, dregs. Thruff stone – a flat tomb stone. Thruntu – stout, robust, strong built. Trapes – A slattern,a draggletail trollop . Threeskin – three weeks since. Unlicked cub – an ignorant, unpolished youth. Vaig – to roam. Vamp – to pawn an item. Wain – a cart drawn by oxen. Wame – the belly. Wankelly – uncertain weather – vairable. Wark – Seaweed. Wet-hand – drunk. Windy wallets – a noisy fellow. Yuck – to itch


Airt – direction point of the compass. Aither – furrowed ground. Balk – A strip of land. Bale Hill – Smelting place or slag heap. 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. Brant – Steep. 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. Goitstead – An old watercourse. 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. Hirst – a woody bank. Hipping steeans – Stepping stones. Holl – A deep depression in the land. Holm – Land which is at times surrounded by water. Hope – the head of a valley. 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./the still part of a river. Knap – the brow or projection of a hill (nab). Knowe – top of a hill. 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. Rone – a thick covering of bushes/whin. 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. Wharrel – a quarry Wath – A ford. White flint – A hard, sedimentary rock found on the moors and used for road stone. Wheal – the deepest part of a river. Wyke – A small bay on the coast. Yowden – a fissure in a rock or the earth.


Arran web – a cobweb. Ask, Esk – Newt. Attercop – The spider. Back-bearaway – The Common Bat. Beeas, Beeos, Beeast – An ox. Bessy-ducker – The water-ousel. Bike – The nest of the wild bee. Billy-biter – The blue tit. Black-clocks – Black beetles. Bloacher – any large animal. Borril – The gadfly. Bramlings – red worms used for fishing bait. Buer – The gnat. Bull spink – The chaffinch. Bull stang, Bull teng – Dragon-fly. Butt – The Halibut. Buzzard – A large moth. Chaudy-bag – Stomach of an animal. Cheeper – A young partridge or grouse. Cleg – Horse-fly. Clow or Coo clags – Dried dung on the back of an animal, in sheep they are called ‘doddings’. Clubster – A stoat. Cooscot – The ringdove. Crake, Creeak, Cruke – Carrion crow or Rook. Crowping – The croaking of frogs or toads. Cuddy – A donkey or a hedge sparrow. Cuvvins – Periwinkles. Dakky – A pig. Dappers – Birds ready to leave the nest. Daupee – The grey headed crow. Devil screamer – The common swift. Dicky ass – A donkey. Dodded – Hornless. Doddings – The matted wool on the hind quarters of a sheep. Doody cow, Dundy cow, Dowdy cow – Ladybird. Dowp – The carrion crow. Draker-hen – Corn Crake. Fat Hen – a goose. Fleeing ask – The dragon fly. Fleking eather – a large dragonfly. Flesh fly – The common bluebottle. Flither – The common limpet. Flittermouse – The common bat. Fluke – A maggot. Forking robin – The earwig. Foulmart, Fumart – The polecat. Frog-fry – Frog spawn. Fussack – A donkey. Gangeril – A toad. Gawk – A cuckoo. Glead – The kite. Goldie – The yellow hammer. Golly – A newly hatched bird. Gorocock – red grouse.  Hagworm – The adder. Hairy Worm – Any hairy caterpillar. Hay chat – The whitethroat. Hoomer – The grayling. Hoss teng – The common dragon fly. Jagger Galloway – a pony with a saddle for carrying lead in Teessdale. Jagger is Scots for a peddler. Jinny spinner – The crane fly. Jinny-ullot, Jenny Howlet – Tawney owl. June bug – Ladybird. Kead, Ked – Sheep tick. Kelk – Single fish egg. Lairock – The lark. Lenny – The linnet. Lobsterlouse – The wood louse. Mawk– A maggot. Meadow drake – Corn crake. Meggy money legs – a millipede. Mennem, mennad – The minnow. Mole rat, Mowdywarp – The mole. Moor titling, Moor taalin – The meadow pipit. Nanpie – The magpie. Needer – The adder. Nullet, nullot, Ullot – The owl. Nias – A young hawk. Ninnycocks – Young lobsters. Owee – The ox. Piet – The magpie. Pinnies – Fish just hatched. Pissimire – The common ant. Porriwiggle – The tadpole. Pricky-back otch’n –The hedgehog. Rack rider – a small trout. Rain Bird – woodpecker. Raun – Fish spawn. Ressil – The weasel. Riggot – A horse with only one testicle. Seg – A gelded mature bull. Sheep cade – Sheep Tick. Ship-starnel, shipster – The starling. Skelly– the Dace/chubb/roach.  Sneck-dog – A lurcher or greyhound. Spanker Eel – a Lamprey. Spink – The chaffinch. Spraints – Otter dung. Stang-fish – The weever fish. Streamers – minnows during spawning. Steg – A male goose. Teufit, teeafit, tewit – The Lapwing. Three-thrums – The purring of a cat. Throstle – The thrush. Yaud/Yawd – horse.


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. Fusba / 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 hogs – A common plum.  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. Nep – Hazel. Palms, Paum – Catkins. Quicken tree – mountain ash.  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.


Backendish – Winterly. Blashy – wet weather. Brissling – Brisk blowing wind. Brough – a faint luminous ring around the moon. Cock-leet – Dawn. Cockshut – Twilight. Dank – Damp, moist. Dagg – Drizzling rain. Drooty – Very dry weather. Droopy – Long continued rain. Faffle – A light intermittent wind. Fair up – to cease raining, becoming fine. Griming – A light covering of snow. Grow-day – A mild warm day after showers. Hen-scrats – Small cirrus clouds also known as Filly-Tails. Hag – A thick white fog which when followed by frost forms frost hag. Harr – A thick fog. Hing for rain – Rain is probable. Holl – The dead of night. Ice-shoggles, Ice-shogglins, Ickles – Icicles. Moy – Muggy. Nisly – Showery. Ower-kessen – Overcast, cloudy. Pash – A heavy fall of rain or snow. Peerching – A cold, biting wind. Pit Murk – A very dark night. Rack – Fleecy clouds driven by wind. Roke, rawk – Thick fog. Roving – Wild unsettled weather, likely to be stormy. Shy – A piercing wind. Slathery – Wet rainy weather. Snaw broth – melted snow. Sob – To sigh as the wind does on the approach of calmer weather. Steeping rain – Heavy rain. Stoury – Weather, characterised by driving dust or snow. Summer-colt – Undulating vapour near the surface of the ground on a hot summers day – haze. Teeave – to wade in snow.  Turf-graving time – Autumn. Waft – A slight puff of wind. War-days – All days but Sunday. Weather Breeder – Unseasonal fine weather. Weather gaul – An incomplete rainbow, a sign of rain. Weather Gleam – A clear sky on the horizon – spoken of objects seen on the ridge of a lofty hill, so as to appear as if in the sky. ‘A man looks gigantic, he seems to be clad in radiance, like one of Ossian’s departed heroes’.