Download The Disappearing Dictionary: A Treasury of Lost English by David Crystal PDF

By David Crystal

Anyplace you pass within the English-speaking global, there are linguistic riches from instances earlier waiting for rediscovery. All you'll want to do is opt for a place, locate a few previous records, and dig a little.

In The Disappearing Dictionary, linguistics professional Professor David Crystal collects jointly pleasant dialect phrases that both offer an perception into an older lifestyle, or just have an impossible to resist phonetic attraction. Like a reflect picture of The that means of Liff that simply occurs to be precise, The Disappearing Dictionary finds a few attractive previous gem stones of the English language, dusts them down and makes them dwell back for a brand new generation.

dabberlick [noun, Scotland]

A mildly insulting means of speaking approximately a person who's tall and thin. 'Where's that dabberlick of a child?'

fubsy [adjective, Lancashire]

Plump, in a pleasant type of way.

squinch [noun, Devon]

A slim crack in a wall or an area among floorboards. 'I misplaced sixpence via a squinch within the floor'.

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Extra info for The Disappearing Dictionary: A Treasury of Lost English Dialect Words

Sample text

A backsyforsy side of something would be a rear view. The origin seems to be baggage, which developed the sense of ‘rubbish’ during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, echoed today in such expressions as emotional baggage and intellectual baggage – ‘undesirable beliefs or experiences carried around in one’s head’. It’s a playful mock-Latin coinage, with the ending seen in such other colloquialisms as cockalorum (‘a self-important little man’) and jiggalorum (‘a trifle’). Baloo was recorded on its own, meaning ‘uproar’, in places as far apart as Devon and Northamptonshire.

Evidently, up north, if you’re good at defending yourself, you’re likely to be resourceful in other ways. When people visit Hay-on-Wye, which has lots of bookshops, they go ferreting – but I like the sound of ferricking better. The word may well have spread in Anglo-Saxon times, when the Danes were numerous in eastern England, and developed its wider meaning. That’s probably where the meanings began: a general notion of ‘flabbiness’ led to an associated sense of ‘laziness’ and then to the somewhat less associated (but presumably often encountered) sense of ‘crabbiness’.

The trunk. In the Lakes area this was then applied figuratively when making a fence: if some branches were laid in to fill up a gap and some of them stuck upwards, the fence was said to be cock-throppled. It’s probably a word where the sound echoes the sense, like jiggle and joggle. The same Latin source turns up in take cognizance of. There is a link with the general colloquial use of diddle, ‘cheat’. The source may be an Old English verb meaning ‘deceive’, but a playful origin (as with doodle and doddle) can’t be ruled out.

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