THE SUSSEX DIALECT.
N almost every establishment in the country there is to be found some old groom, or gardener, bailiff, or factotum, whose odd expressions and quaint sayings and apparently outlandish words afford a never-failing source of amusement to the older as well as to the younger members of the household, who are not aware that many of the words and expressions which raise the laugh are purer specimens of the English language than the words which are used to tell the story in which they are introduced.
Every schoolboy home for the holidays at Christmas knows that the London cabman who drives him to the Theatre accentuates the word much more classically than the young gentleman who sits inside, who, if he had the audacity to pronounce Theatron with a short a in his next construe at school, would send a shudder through the Form amid which he would soon find himself in a lower place. So it is with our Sussex words; they sound strange to ears that are not accustomed to them; and by some persons they may be supposed to be mere slang expressions, not worthy of attention; but when they are examined, many of them will be found to be derived from the purest sources of our language, and to contain in themselves a clear reflection of the history of the county in which they are used.
Every page of this dictionary will show how distinctly the British, Roman, Saxon and Norman elements are to be traced in the words in every day use among our labouring people, who retain among them many of the oldest forms of old words which