St Mary Bourne Revisited


A Glossary of Provincial Words used in North Hampshire

In framing a short glossary of the local words in use among the peasantry of St. Mary Bourne, and the district immediately surrounding it, I have adhered to such as have from time to time come under my own observation. Many of the words comprising the list range over a large area outside of the county, and have probably been introduced by labourers and others, who have come out of other counties and settled in Hampshire. It is difficult to understand whence some of these provincialisms have been derived; but they have probably come from several sources, Saxon, Danish, and in some cases from Celtic roots. By passing through the mouths of illiterate people the original words have under-gone such corruptions as to be scarcely discoverable. I refer to them as I have understood their meaning among North Hampshire people. Some of the words are slang, and others are vulgarisms of well known words.



Aish,...stubble "oat-ash"   

Bout, a pause in wrestling.   

Brashy,... applied to rough, pebbly soil.

Bungersome,...clumsy, Berkshire.  

Caddle, hurry.   

Chaff, make fun of.   

Cotton, beat, as "I'll cotton him"  

Dawnt, frighten,   

Deedy,..."peering", or looking into.  

Dew-bit,...early breakfast,  

Dished,...deceived, "he has dished or done me".  

Dizend...dressed fine.  

Dout,...extinguished, as "dout the candle"  

Dummul,...dull, Berkshire.   


Featish,...Middling in health.   

Fleck, tear hair or fur out.   



Galley beggar,...a scarecrow.  


Green meat, food for horses.   

Hopperty boy,...a clumsy, overgrown lad.  

Hunch,...a big lump of bread.  

Keever,...a fermenting tub.   

Knacker, old horse.  

Lear, colour.  Ye'es,...yes.

Leasing,...picking loose corn.


Lumper, stumble.

Maur,...a tree stool, root.


Mazzard,...a face.

Measter,...Master, Berks.


Moke,...a donkey-gipsy's term

Muckle,...straw half dung.


Nabbet,...4 o'clock meal.

Oller, call out.

Piggin,...a small pail.

Poke,...a sack "pig in poke"

Quad,...slang for prison.

Rap, exchange, "swop"

Roak, reek, as "roak with sweat".  


Swipes, swankey, "small beer".

Tallot,...a hay loft.

Tommy,... slang for bread.

Trapes,...a slatternly woman


Wherret, worry.

Yea,...ewe, a female sheep.

Yeath,...the earth.


Hampshire carters often say "Toward," when it is intended to turn horses to the left, and "Vrammard," when they should be turned to the right. The very illiterate use "V" strongly, as "vor-has" for fore-horse, "varrard" for forward and vlee-away for fly-away. They call vermin varments; and I have sometimes heard boys apply the term Callow-wabblers to unfledged-sparrows. (Dr.Joseph Stevens)

The above list of words are about half of those listed in the Doctors book. (Kevin Holdway)