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Sayings collected at the Friends of Cradley Library meeting on Saturday 25th January 2019

Having a gossip – Chewing the fat, Canking, Kanking. Canking Row- Mapletree Lane.

Muriel had various sayings about the weather- wait till two and see what it will do.

                                                                                     Rain before seven, fine by eleven.



If you can see enough blue sky to make a sailors shirt the sun will come out.

Black over Bill’s mothers, rain on the way.

If she saw a large truck or a lorry, that’s a big thing and a thank you.

I don’t know if I’m on this earth or Fullers (Fuller’s Earth) Confused

I’ll go to the foot of our stairs.

Going to bed; Off to Bedfordshire, or up the wooden hills to sleep.

Yo’ con get where Vasaline or Castor Oil can’t.

Much wants more and the devil wants it all.  Greedy

Your eyes am bigger than your belly.

Not getting married again. One box of ointment was enough, or One lick of the pan was enough.

Eat your crusts for curly hair

Carrots make you see in the dark.

I’m not as green as I’m cabbage, more intelligent than I look

Put wood in th’ ole. Shut the door

The Glory hole- ash box at the bottom of the fire grate that had to be emptied before the fire was lit.

Or the Glory hole that cupboard or drawer where all the oddments were kept.

If yo cor find somet goen have a brevit in the Glory Hole.

Snug as a bug in a rug – tucked up warm and cosy

He ay very gain – a bit clumsy






Over several sessions, early meetings at Cradley Library in the 1990’s, the Then & Now members all contributed to our list of words and there meanings. Here for posterity are the results.



A


Aerl             Beer

Ahviers       Equal Share, ‘Go ahviers’ go halves (local)

Aive           Heave, lift. Easter Monday was ‘aiving day’ when women lifted men.

                   After dinner the custom was reversed. (local)

Axen          To ask. “He axed her” (Anglo Saxon)

B

Babby            Baby

Backrapper    An explosive firework-jumping jack.

Bat                 Slate-like open cast coal (local)

Bay                Am not.”Ah bay a gooin”

Belloil           A thrashing, good hiding, could derive from belabour.

Beltin             A good thrashing, or something very good, as in a beltin pint.

Beween          Between

Bibble            Pebble, stone.

Bile                Boil, both noun and verb, ‘to put the beans to Bile’ means to put up the banns    

                      of marriage (local)

Bin                Are or been “We bin a gooin” “We bin theer already”

Bist                Are you? “How bist?”

Blautin          Crying.

Blenchen       To flinch- blanch to go pale, Anglo-Saxon.

Blether          Pig’s blabber used as a ball, ballon or to talk rubbish.

Bonk             Hill or Bank. Pit Bonk

Bogey           Head lice or nits, or bogey up the nose.

Borry            Borrow.

Bostin           Really good, Bostin Fittle.

Bosted           Broken, “Yo bosted that”

Bow              Fireguard

Bowgen        Good meal “We ad a right good bowgen.

Brevit            To look for something.

Bull yed        Tadpole, (local)




C


Caerk                  Cake

Cag-mag             Poor quality meat, but in some parts of the Black Country means gossip.

Caggy                  Left-handed.

Cank or Cantin    Gossip, as in Cankin’ Row

Chunter                Grumble or complain

Clack                  Throat

Clam                To be hungry. Clammed t’jeth. Expresses independence.”I’d clam till I bost”

Closit                Toilet

Cod/kid             To joke, to play a practical joke.

Code                  Cold.

Codge               Roughly make or repair. “Yom a mekin a right codge modge o’that.”

Cognogger        Big slice of bread.

Cogwinder        Hit hard. “ her gid ‘im a right cogwinder”

Con                    Can “Con I borry”

Coose                Bad-tempered, out of sorts. “Er a arf coose fust thing”

Cor                    Cannot. “Yo cor dew that”

Cort                   Ca you not?

Cost                  Can you? “Cost elp me?”

Cowty             Used only in expression”Cowty blow”- the blow that provokes a fight

                         between schoolboys.  

Cuff                 Cough, Chinn cuff, Wooping cough.


D


Dishele           Cup as in ‘a dishele o’ tay.’ Tea originally drunl from a dish, tea sometimes

                        tipped into saucer to cool then drunk from saucer.

Dolly Martin   A  Swift (bird)

Drap                Drop. “Do drap the babby.”

Dummucked up  Tired out


E


Eicky down   Squat

Ess miskin     Ash-pit

Ess ole           Ash-pit


F


Fake                Cigarette

Fettle               Condition, fine fettle

Fittle                Food

Fode                Back Yard, swill the fode when the washing was finished.


Forby               Near (Anglo Saxon)

Franzy              Irritable, especially children.


G


Gale hook        Hook to hang kettle over the fire.

Ganzy              Thick undervest worn by  chainmakers/ workmen

Gillivor            (soft G) Wallflower Gillies (Anglo Saxon)

Glede  Gleed    A glowing ember, burnt piece of coke.

Gob                  A piece “a gob o’caike” or mouth  gob-stoppers.

Goo-stops         Traffic lights

Gos’under         Chamber pot see  also Po

Grace                Grease

Grorty Pudding  Traditional stew for Bonfire night made with groats, meat and vegitables.


H


Hissen               His

Hersen               Hers

Hoppin              Hop-pickeng, Hoppen box

Housen              Houses

Hommer            Hammer


I


Ike                    To beckon forward.

Ivver-ovver       To dally or hesitate


J


Jack Bannock  A minnow (fish)

Jeth/  Jed          Death/Dead


K


Kench             To sprain or pull the back ‘Kench y’back’


L


Lampen        A good thrashing

Lezzer           A meadow, Leasowe

Licken/Licker  Gravy from bacon or meat, ‘licker ye bread’ Dip bread in gravy


M


Mawkin       A guy or badly dressed person. Children’s game “Owd mon mawkin”

Mek             To make

Mither          Worry

Modge          Mess or mixture, to modge, to make a mess.

Mucker         Confusion “allof a mucker” “all of a muck-sweat.

Munch          To hurt, illtreat, (sly munchin’ surrepyitious pinching)


N


Naer un          Neither one

Nineter           A really awful boy.

Night soilers   Men who came to empty the ashpits and collect the night soil.

Nisgul             Small, puny, smallest

Nit nuss          Nurse at school who checked your head for head lice or nits.

Noggen           Stupid, noggen-yedded


O


Ockard            Awkward

Obstrocolus     Deliberatley being awkward.

Ommuck          Large piece of cake ofr bread

Ood                 Wood. “Put ood in ‘ole.” Please be so kind as to close the door.

O’thisnin          In this way.

Owarn              My husband.


P


Pettle dick        Thrush, bird.

Po                     Chamber pot see Gos’under.

Podge            To make rug with hook and rags, or to jump the queue,“Her podged the

  queue.”

Powk/stye      Eye infection.



R


Razzel     Night out on the Razzel. Steps at bottom of Drews Holloway known as the Razzel.

Rodney    An idle fellow, “having a rodney” having a rest when there was work to be done.

Riffey      Dirty, grimy.


S


Sawny      A simpleton.

Segs          Bullrushes.

Scratchings Small pieces of crisp hard fat left after rendering pork.

Slake         To slash with a whip, or to quench thirst.

Sleck         Small pieces of coal and coal dust used to bank up fire at night.

                  Some varieties of potato go sleck (soft) in the water when boiled too long.

Socced       Sprained ankle or wrist.

Sord           Rind of bacon.

Splod         Flat-footed, treading awkwardly.

Suff         Drain (noun/ verb)”down the suff’ole”down the drain.Also chimney “up the suff.”

Swank       Bragg

Swill        Quick wash, or to swill the fode after washing or brewing

Swopson    A heavily built woman.


T


Tacky-bonk    A pit mound

Tannsellin      See Tannin

Tannin            A good hiding, “I’ll tan your backside.”

Tater/tatties     Potatoes

Tetnul             A type of small pear.

Tizzickey        Having an irritating dry cough.

To dout           To put out light or flame.

Tranklements   General term  for useless lumber, sometimes children’s playthings,

                        (Middle English Trunclements- Armour.) “Brevit through the tranklements.”

Tummy          Miners name for mid morning snack.


W


Wek Tay       Weak Tea, cured everything, also drunk cold by chainmakers.

Wiouton         Without.

Wum              Home.


Y


Yaa               Exclamation of doubt or surprise. A sentence in itself, the meaning depending

                    on the inflection. “ You don’t say.”

Yawl-yawp    To bawl or shout loudly.

Yed               Head.

Yowk           Yelp, as in a dog.



Cradley dialect

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