Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

An illustrated appreciation, of the most interesting districts in Sussex.

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I
406                                  SAXON PERSISTENT                             chap.
shaul and strike. Lot 100. Rick borer. Lot 143. Eight knaves and seven felloes. Lot 148. Six dirt boards and pair of wood hames. Lot 152. Wheelwright's sampson. Lot 174. Set of thill harness. Lot 201. Three plough bolts, three tween sticks. Lot 204. Sundry harness and whippances. Lot 208. Tickle plough. Lot 222. Iron turn wrist [pronounced turn-riced] plough. Lot 242. 9-time scarifier. Lot 251. Clod crusher. Lot 252. Hay tedder." From another catalogue more ram = alogues, these abrupt and active little words might be called, butt at one. As " Lot 4. Flint spud, two drain scoops, bull lead and five dibbles. Lot 10. Dung rake and dung devil. Lot 11. Four juts and a zinc skip." Farm labourers are men of little speech, and it is often needful that voices should carry far. Hence this crisp and forcible reticence. The vocabulary of the country-side undergoes few changes; and the noises to-day made by the ox-herd who urges his black and smoking team along the hill-side are precisely those that Piers Plowman himself would have used.
Another survival may be noticed in objurgation. A Sussex man swearing by Job, as he often does, is not calling in the aid of the patient sufferer of Uz, but Jobe, the Anglo-Saxon Jupiter.
A few examples of Sussex speech, mainly drawn from Mr. Parish's Dictionary of the Sussex Dialect will help to add the true flavour to these pages. Mr. Parish's little book is one of the best of its kind; that it is more than a contribution to etymology a very few quotations will show.
Mr. Parish lays down the following general principles of the Sussex tongue:
a before double d becomes ar; whereby ladder and adder are pronounced larder and arder.
a before double / is pronounced like o; fallow and tallow become foller and toller.
a before / is expanded into ea ; rate, mate, plate, gate, are pronounced rear, meat, pleat, geat.
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