A Dictionary Of The Sussex Dialect - online book

A Collection Of Provincialisms In Use In The County Of Sussex.

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4                                     The Sussex Dialect.
Besides this, every amateur etymologist, who fancies he has made a fresh discovery, is led to make a series of wild shots at derivations, forgetting that it is the history of a word, and not the similarity of it to another in form or sound, which determines the source from which it is derived; so one mistake leads to others, and the confusion becomes every day worse confounded.
Still, I am aware that after all that can be said, word collectors will never be satisfied with merely collecting without deriving, and many of them will be at first inclined to resent any restriction of their liberties; therefore I hope that the English Dialect Society will take an early opportunity of buoying the dangerous channels of etymology, and give a few clear and distinct directions whereby we may be able to steer a safe course within certain defined limits.
The dialect of the Sussex people has been affected by the geographical position and the history of the county. It may be traced chiefly to Anglo-Saxon, Old Dutch, Old Welsh (or British), with a dash of 14th century French, and a little Scan­dinavian, the latter due to the sea-coast, which has for many generations invited hosts of friendly invaders to our shores, and has twice witnessed the landing of armies destined to influence the history and language of the whole country.
When the Roman legions landed on our coast they left an evidence of their appreciation of the Pevensey shrimps, which remains to this day in the word pandle, derived from the Latin pandalus, which is in constant use in this part of the county.
The arrival of the Normans, and the foundation of their large monastic establishments marks a very distinct phase in the history of our vocabulary.
But it will be observed that most of our words now in common use, denoting agricultural and domestic implements, are either to be traced to an Anglo-Saxon derivation, or actually retain their original Anglo-Saxon names in all purity of spelling and pro­nunciation. From this source also nearly all the Sussex surnames
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