HERE are two lovely Devon ladies, telling a naughty tale(not too naughty, don't worry). I just love their Devon accent.
Here' s another one - this time, farmers . . . Click on the writing to get the link each time.
I got led astray this afternoon, from family history to words and expressions some of my ancestors would have used. These are from the Report an Transactions of the Devon Association in 1878:
This comes from Teignmouth, but I know it (probably mentioned by dad) and I am sure it's still in common use: "You'm lookin' better than you did."
"Ax" for ask, as in, on an omnibus, "Jack run back and ax en ef es gwain" (of an old slow person) meaning run back and ask him if he's going by the omnibus. "Gwain" is going. This Torquay.
"Bide where you be" - stay where you are. Teignmouth.
Love this one "Between the lights" - Teignmouth again, as in "Yesterday I was sitting between the lights" - e.g. at twilight.
Near Kingsbridge (my great uncle plied the ferry across the river there), they only knew Valerian as "Bouncing Bess".
A native of Ashburton (I have several in the family tree), might say, when speaking of a book, "If you let that child have it, twill soon be "dabberdashed" - e.g. made dirty.
"Drownded" rather than drowned, was a common expression in many places - just like you hear today "Spayded" instead of "spayed" as of dogs or cats.
In Widdicombe (again a family area), they might speak of "Flour-milk" (we used to put this thin paste on a branch of gorse at Christmas, as we couldn't afford a tree) - anyway, it was used when cleaning out a muddy ditch by an old boy born in 1811 or so: "Maister it would make flour-milk" - meaning gruel made with flour instead of oatmeal.
Higher up in the county, around Hatherleigh, shingles was known as "girding".
They were way ahead of Wokery down in Devon, and even something like an appetite became genderised: "He is not very good sir, I feel sick to everything."
Likewise males and females were interchanged: "He's with pup, Sir".
Whilst my generations of Totnes ancestors would have used "Hole in the ballet" of someone who spent too freely: "I fear there will be a hole in the ballet before too long."
"God will learn us what to do" (as in teach). Yup, had this one in Hampshire too. We also used "He'll l(e)arn him" - meaning someone was going to get a walloping.
This sounds like it ought to be in general use: "Offering for rain" - as in 'It's been offering for rain all day' - meaning threatening to rain.
"He was that drunk" was also a (scandalized!) Hampshire expression.
Finally, I love this one. Hope I can remember it to use it: "I sim they watercresses are all wangery" - meaning withered. This one from Torrington, in the north of the county.
Hope this has kept you all amused.
I have managed to get some jobs done in the garden today. A Montana clematis which had been languishing in a planter (they really don't care for that) is now in a thinner bit of hedge, between the two tree stumps, and around it are some transplanted Welsh poppies which had been keeping it company.
In the planter it was in, there are tulip bulbs, discovered in the stables where I put them to "dry out" last year, and which wanted to grow again.
In two other big planters out front, emptied of Lily-family contents which were poisonous to cats, are now a nice selection from Tesco - a £5 box of Gladioli corms, a Dahlia, some Freesias, and seeds of Cosmos, Pot Marigolds and Cornflowers. It made up two planters, and I bought a lovely lime-green and white Dahlia from down the town to put in the centre of the 2nd planter.
I felt better for doing that.