2 The Sussex Dialect.
although they have long ago become obsolete among their superiors in education, are nevertheless still worthy of our respect and attention. Like the old coins which he so often turns up with his plough, the words of the Sussex labourer bear a clear stamp of days long past and gone and tell a story of their own.
The fact that I have lived for several years in a village spelt Selmeston and pronounced Simpson; within reach of Bright-helmston, pronounced Brighton, and next to the village of Chalvington, called Charnton, will, I think, be considered sufficient excuse for the direction my studies have taken. My daily intercourse with persons speaking the purest Sussex dialect has enabled me to add from time to time many fresh words to the excellent list published by Mr. Durrant Cooper in his "Glossary" (which must always be the guide book for all who take an interest in the subject); and when I found that I had added as many as a thousand words to those which he had already published, I thought I might venture to take the next step forward in making known the Sussex dialect among Sussex people by the publication of this book. I had called it a dictionary of the Sussex dialect before I was aware that my friend Mr. M. A. Lower had stated in an article published in the Sussex Archaeological Collections that there is no such thing as a Sussex dialect at all. I should be sorry to appear to set up my opinion in opposition to one whose authority on all matters connected with the antiquities of our county is so generally recognized; but I am sure that he will allow me the use of the word to indicate a form of speech, which in words and pronunciation is strictly denned by geographical boundaries, and frequently proves completely unintelligible to strangers who hear it for the first time.
So far as a distinct collection of words can be called a dialect, it may be said that there are three dialects in use in the County of Sussex, the East Sussex, Mid Sussex and West Sussex; and it will be observed that I have marked this distinction in the following pages by affixing to most of the words the initial of the