A Dictionary Of The Sussex Dialect - online book

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

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A Dictionary of the Sussex Dialect.                     81
o.
Oast-hair. A hair sieve used in oast-houses.
Oast-house. A place for drying hops.
With respect to the origin of this word, Mr. Durrant Cooper gives the following explanation,
"As hops were introduced into England from Flanders, probably persons who understood the culture and cure of the article were brought with them; hence the word heuse, a house, was applied by these foreigners to the building where the hops were dried; subsequently heuse was corrupted into haust, or oast, and the word house very improperly appended by those who did not know the import of the Original."                                                  Sussex Glossary, pp. 63-64.
I think, however, that Rev. J. C. Egerton, of Burwash, has got nearer to the true derivation of the word. He informs me that, in Dutch, August is called oogst-maand, the harvest month, and tracing a connexion between oogst and oast, he is of opinion that oast-house is nothing more than oost-haus, the harvest-house, and that a close similitude may be found in the words August, aout, oogst and oast.
With respect to this suggestion, Rev. W. W. Skeat considers that oogst is more likely to be connected with the Latin, Augustus, and that the meaning of harvest is quite secondary. He is of opinion that oost in oast-house is a . mere corruption or dialectic variation of the Dutch eest, a drying kiln.
Obedience. [Obeisance.] A bow or a curtsey.
Ocklands, m. (See Hocklands.)
Oils, w. The beards of barley.
Old Clem. A figure dressed up with a wig and beard and pipe, and set up ever the door of the inn where the blacksmiths held their feast in honour of their patron Saint on St. Clement's day (23rd November).
Old-father, m. The person who gives away the bride at her wedding.
Among the labouring classes in Sussex it is not the custom for the bride to be accompanied to church by her father. The bridal procession is very simple, and consists usually of
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