Tuesday, 28 February 2012
The expression itself in a country sense means the small, light or undersized grains in a sample. In this case, it refers to country sayings in the magazine The Countryman, which I collect back issues of. I found one from 1965/66 at the car boot sale last weekend, and for 50p it came home with me.
I thought I would share the examples of colloquial chat with you, as such things seem to be a thing of the past these days (they were gradually lost to The Countryman magazine too, so one assumes not enough were submitted by readers to keep the page going). Anyway, enjoy:
Farmer's wife, of sick husband who has lost much weight: ''Couldn't hardly find him in the bed. He were just like a crease in the blanket."
Hampshire farmer, of bearded student: "'E looked jus' like a rat peepin' through a besom."
Lancashire woman, to visitor inquiring for her aged mother: "'Oo's sittin' round t' speer. 'Oo's as faust as a boggart.' (She's sitting behind the partition. She's as cunning as a hobgoblin.)
Gloucestershire postmistress, of husband's appendix operation: "'E's 'ad a bit of 'is chitterlin's out."
Kentish farm worker, searching for his lunch bag: "I 'ung a bit of a scran bag 'ere 'smornin'. 'Pears summun's snuk it."
Orra man on Fifeshire farm, bringing news of arrival of laird's first=born: "Naebody tell't me. I saw the hippens hingin' oot. What mair wad ye hae?" (Hippens - nappies).
Yorkshireman, to vet who left medicine for dog: 'Ah give it 'im an' locked 'im oop, an' a couple of hours after 'e was as frisky as a cat an' fit ti roon a mile an' scream murther."
Wiltshire farm worker, describing feverish symptoms of his seven-year-old daughter: "She's all redded up as if she's busting to lay."
Scots straphanger in bus slewing round corner: "Guidsakes, Ah'm bein' ca'ed aboot like a birlie." (Child's hoop).
Herdsman's wife, of husband's employer: "'E's that mean 'e dreads milkin' time an' 'is cows gettin' a feed."
Veteran singer in Lancashire chapel choir, to nervous new member: "Tha'll be aw reet, lad. When Ah guz opp tha guz oop, an' when Ah guz doon, tha guz doon."