The Sussex Dialect. 9
I had to choose from,—
1. Words found only in some parts of Sussex;
2. Words found in Sussex only; and
3. Words found in Sussex, and also in other Counties.
With respect to the first two classes of words there was no question beyond that of identification, and as regards their identity as being actually in use in the county, I may say that I have by myself, or upon the authority of friends on whom I can rely, personally identified almost all of the eighteen hundred words which will be found in this collection. But the reader will easily understand that my chief difficulty has been in dealing with provincialisms unquestionably used in Sussex, but also in such common use elsewhere as apparently to deprive them of a distinctive character. The rule of my selection has been to include any provincial word not likely to have been adopted from a book, which I found in constant use among people who, as far as I could ascertain, had never been out of the county; and lest any of my readers should be inclined to complain of the admission of many words not distinctly belonging to Sussex, I have guarded myself in the title of the book I offer to their perusal, which is not only a dictionary of the Sussex dialect, but also a collection of provincialisms in use in the County of Sussex.
I have also endeavoured to illustrate the use of the words by specimens of conversation, most of which are taken from the life verbatim, and will serve to indicate some phases of character and thought which find frequent expression among our people. When the opportunity has occurred I have added examples of folk lore and proverbial philosophy which are rapidly becoming obsolete, and if not recorded may in another generation be entirely forgotten. Many of them point to superstitions, which are remarkable from the very fact they should exist at all in the presence of our advanced civilization, and many more are connected with old customs already passed away.