I dunaw bout the vokes down in Zouth Debm, but up were I come
vrum in Kirton (Crediton) 'intentines' (specially ones vrum
pegs) wuz cawd chitlins. We also 'ad 'hugs puddns', which
be zumthin I wish I 'ad a gert plaatvul uv right now. Hugs
Puddns wuz maad vrum groats an bits o' peg's mait, aw wrapped
up in peg's intestines. The last one I ate was thirty years
ago but I can still remember the taste, the smell, the texture,
everything. They were good! By the way, to us, the word 'viddy'
always meant 'well' (as in, not sick). If we were feeling
unwell, we would say we were not feeling 'very viddy'. I believe
Jan Stewer, in his song about his car, Ole Biskit, reckoned
that the bonnet wouldn't shut viddy.
Land - South Victoria, Australia
Being an exe Devonshire Boy I like to keep on hand a copy
of "Ole Biskit" by Jan Stewer, a most enjoyable read when
you have that yearning for the Devon life. The glossary is
most useful to interpret some of the words even though the
spelling may differ from John's. I am not sure if this book
is still puplished, but if it is I would recommend it for
the avid Devonian. Happy reading. Be-as-'twill.
Burge - Oakvile, Canada
My grandfather used to say thickie instead of this. in context,
look at thickie. with the th pronounced the way you start
the word "the" instead of the way it sounds when you say "thick",
its kind of a cross between theckie and thicky Also you
have to include "tother" pronounced "tuther" devonshire for
"the other" I can remember a few other old sayings that
were unique to dawlish, such as," goin down bottom" meaning
going to the beach. In context, "where be goin?" - "i'm
goin down bottom" Also, I can remember my father saying
"ark at ee jacko" when someone was bullshitting. But i think
that may have originated with an adge cutler song.
Wills - Canberra Australia
Hi John, While poking around on the Net I came across your
site and the request for any words beginning with the letter
M. Although I now live in Vancouver, "Oi be er Debbun lad"
and grew up in Sidmouth. Since I retired I spend some of the
summer months in the old home town and it has been quite a
reverlation to me as to how much of the old accent and words
have now disappeared from everyday use as compared to my childhood
days, doubtless due in many ways to the advent of the media
and TV in particular. I can remember some of the old farm
labourers whose speech would almost be considered a foreign
language nowadays. In my youth a girl was always called a
maid "Er be er purty lil maid" - She's a pretty little girl.
"Thikky thar" for that and under M "Mazed" was in common use
for daft "Er be mazed" - he's daft. I am doubtless teaching
grandma to suck eggs in writing to you like this.One of the
small pleasures, for me at least, when I was in Sidmouth,
was spending an evening talking to a neighbour, John Hawkins
by name (and you can't get a more Devon name than that). John
was a painter and decorator by trade and spoke in a slow manner
with a beautiful old Devon accent as we talked of days long
gone. Sadly, John has now departed this mortal coil and now
rests in the local churchyard in the good red earth from which
he sprung " Ar, John, ee cum frum over Yarcombe way " Well,
enough of this, I have probably bored you to tears by now,
but I will be checking this site from now on. Best Wishes,
Sture or Stewer - young bull. It's the root of my surname.
Dear Lloyd Family Hello my Boodies Thank you for your e-mail
regarding natlings, natlins which ever way you like to spell
it? Natlings, Natlins is an old Devon word for Intestines,
Jan Stewer refers to this in one of his books by referring
to " 'ees natlins 'n kidleys". Hope this is of some help to
you and thanks for contacting me, if you have anymore I would
love to hear from you. Uz'l zee 'ee Dreckly
Is anyone able to give any information about the Devon dialect
word "natlins" - possibly nattlins or other spelling. This
word was used in the context of - "have a hot drink to warm
your natlins" as in cockles etc.
family in Newton Abbott
Dear John Germon
I gather, from listening to Murray Laver's tape and people
I know in North Devon, that there are two versions of 'master',
viz - (1) pronounced 'maaestr' (the vowel like the standard
English 'ea' in 'bear'), which means the boss, or someone
(2) pronounced 'maastr' (the vowel like a slightly elongated
version of the standard 'a' in 'far', often with a distinctly
nasal tone), meaning great, very creditable, as in 'twuz a
maastr gude frawzay', perhaps omitting the 'gude'.
Do you know of the same people using both pronunciations in
those different senses, or perhaps in other senses ?
One or two other things :
My granny in Tamerton Foliot used to say 'Ah've gudda bawn
in me laig' if she was feeling a bit arthritic. I'm going
back 50 years.
Was that unique to her ?
In your [proposed] compilation, will you be distinguishing
between regions - eg north, south and east Devon ? ('Rawborough'
or 'Rewborough' for Roborough)
How is it that, in my home village of Dolton, long-term residents
untutored in standard speech may speak quite differently from
one another ?
In about 1959 the late Fred Folland of Upcott (Dowland) told
me he was 'voordy-vaave' (45), while his neighbour Peter Jones,
at any rate today, would say 'vordy-voive'.
Perhaps the difference is at least partly to do with the passage
of time ? In about 1962 my late great-uncle Tom Enticott,
in Uffculme, said to me when I called to see him after a long
absence, 'Ah be bleaized d'zee ye.' There was (I thought)
a distinct 'y' in the last word, so that it was not a shortened
Is my memory playing tricks with me ?
My son and I have been enjoying your dialect comments. It
sounds like Texas talk. My dad has always said "Be back dreckly"
- In Texas we say we are 'a fixin to'(do whaterever)as in
'Ah'm a fixin to go to work. We might also say we are 'fixin'
supper'(cooking the evening meal) We 'warsh n arn' our clothing
and then we are either 'tard' or 'tuckered out' We 'boll'
our eggs and put 'ol' in the car! When our visitors leave
we say "y'all come back, heah?"
Smith - San Antonio, USA
late father often recalled a Devonian rugby match in the course
of which a large banner was displayed on which was writ the
legend "Usllbuggerem". I believe that this meant "We shall
grandfather always used to use the word VIDDY to describe
things which were pretty or picturesque - for example he always
said that Widecombe was a viddy little place. He was born,
grew up and died in Torquay.
Backwell - Devon
Mother ran the Crabtree Inn, Laira all through the war. As
a little girl, I often used to hear the expression "erm proper
batchy" meaning "she's got bats in the belfry" or is a little
mentally challenged. (Not about my Mother, of course!!!!
Gomm -Victoria, Australia
maid be prapper 'mazed"
Translation: "My daughter is off her head/ confused/silly"
Longridge - Starcross, Exeter
favourite words, EVIL, a dung fork
Dayshul, a thistle
Milky dayshul,milk thistle
Chop,exchange or swap
Mandrels or emmets,ants
Aitken - Southway, Plymouth
gert moot" my grandfather's description of a large old tree
stump. and "ware be gwain biuy" [where are you going] - my
Auntie Dorothy in Modbury - Mrs Perring, 80 this coming 4th
August, is still with us, at Brooke House, Galpin Street.
A little 'deefe' but still pure "de'mshur dialeck". I understands
'er and 'er understands me. Very few of us do!
"Doughnose" meaning 'a bit thick, or not very bright'
Summers - Yealmpton
friend of the family would often say "WOLLEE CAWL IT" - what
do you call it, when he could not think of the name for something.
Eddy - Chelston, Torquay
friend of mine would say, "bain't he groot!" when she saw
me in a filthy state when I was a kid. She also called roots
Mawers (spelling may not be right, but thats what it sounded
like) as in, "bain't ee groot, digging round them mawers."
Marshall - Jamestown, USA
already have a master list of Devon-Speak. Here it is.
AREE GAWN? Are you going?
AVEE? Have you?
AVEEDUNUN? Have you taken the necessary steps to complete
your course of action? AVEEGOTUN? Have you found what you
AVEESEENUN? Have you seen that for which you seek?
AWRIGHT 'N AREE? All right then are you? BETTERGOGITUN I had
better depart and fetch the article for which I was sent
BINUNDUNUN I have been and carried out my allotted task
BOROWUN KANEE? Can he borrow him/her/it? CAIN TELLY I cannot,
or will not, give you the information you seek
COSTY MUCH DIDA? Are you prepared to tell me how much it cost
CUMUZ ON NOW Let's go!
DEAROVIM or DEAROBM How nice of him
DIDDY ABM? Did you have it?/ Did he/she have it?/Did anyone
DIDDY NAWN? Did you know the person of whom we speak?
EAVYIZZA Heavy is it?
EDGE Hedge or wall
ELLYDOINOV What are you doing/trying to do?
EZYAU I am in agreement with you on this matter EZYAW (see
FAITHURGOTUN My father has that which you seek
FARIZA? How far away is it?
FERCRISAEIK For goodness sake!
GAWN AREE (see AREE GAWN) GIBMEREMIT Give the item to me for
a short while GIBMTHABOY Give it to the boy/Delegate the job
to the boy
GOTUNAVEE (see AVEEGOTUN)
GOYNARY? Are you going?
G'SONUPANGIDDEN Please go up and get it for me
GUSSON I don't see your point, get on (your way) HOFFICER
(Police) Officer, no other Cornish dialect word start with
IDN Is not / hidden e.g. IDNIZZA = hidden is it or IDNIDNIIZZA?
It isn't hidden is it?
ILLY Extremely steep or mountainous
IZZA Is it / are you
IZZE (see IZZA)
IZZUN (see IZZA)
KILLUN DIDDY? Did you terminate his/her/its existence? also
used for all animals
LEEBM DIDDY? Did you leave him/her/it?
LEEBM LAWN Leave him/her/it alone
LIKUN DIDDY? Did you like him/her/it, see previous LIKUN DOEE?
Do you like him/her/it? MUMSMAIDDUN It was made by my mother.
MEENUN DOEE? Do you mean it?
MENTUT DIDDY? Did you mean it?
MYGAR Good heavens above! / Good gracious me! NAWN DIDDY?
(see DIDDY NAWN)
NAWTHUN WIDDEN Nothing with him/her/it e.g. Whisky,
NAWTHUN WIDDEN OLLER TUEN DIDDY? Did you try to attract their
attention by calling? OWAREE? How are you?
OWAREE PARD? How are you, friend?
PALLY WIDDEN IZZY? Is he a friend of yours? PALLY WIDDEN WAZZA?
Were you a friend of his?
PARD Close friend/acquaintance/stranger of either sex.
PIZEN DAWN Heavy rain
PURDY IZZA? Is he/she/it beautiful?
PURDY SAPICHER Pretty as a picture
PURDY WANNA? Wasn’t that beautiful?
RONG WAZZA? Were you incorrect?
RUFAZRATS Feeling poorly, also used to describe anything not
SEENUN AVEE? Have you seen him/her/it? STAYLUN Borrowing something,
with no intention of returning it!
TEEON IZZA? Is the tea on? (could also be TEEON IZZE or TEEON
TELLUN DIDDY? Did you tell him/her/it? TOSSNEER Will you thrown
it to me?
ULLON YAW Hold on you! e.g. "ULLON YAW" ZED HOFFIZER PENBURTHY
ULLONAMINIT Please wait a short time VELLEN Those which HOFFIZERS
WERZETOO EN? Where is he/she/it? WOZELIKE? How are you, How
is it, also used when someone has done something silly WOZMAR
WIDDEN? What’s wrong with him/her/it? WOTEEGOYNDOWIDDEN What
are you going to do with it?
WURZTOOEN Where is it, then?
ZED Said e.g. EZEDUN - He said it
Allen - Walton on Thames
thought you could add this to your Devon dialict list;
Come vor yur! hey? wot de zay? Im gain baid im tay`erd. dam
ole jasper(wasp) sting me rait on the haid! I got a bad vut!
(Foot) Yur Tiz. Hey wot de Zay? im def as a bat and daft as
a brish!! Brush.
Sanders - Highampton Beaworthy Devon
Tis nort but orts " ( Mucked up Food)
Brimbles = ( Brambles )
Dashies = (Thistles)
Be you gain Holszry? ( Holsworthy)
Lansen (Launsten) Dreckly?
Being born and bred in Devon we use these slangs all the time,
but it doesn`t half sound funny when you hear someone else
saying it back to you.
Zee ee dreckly if not morra (Tommorrow) and if i dont zee
ee i wait to yur from you.
Sanders - Highampton Beaworthy Devon