Tuesday, 30 October 2012
Grockles or Emmets?
What you call a tourist in the West Country depends on where you live. In Devon they are Grockles (and in Dorset and parts of Hampshire too, and Somerset too I believe) but go across the Cornish border and they become Emmet. An emmet (in Hampshire) is a red ant. Apparently the mass movements of tourists are not unalike those of ants, hence the term. My good friend J has found me this: However the use of 'emmet' to mean ants is actually from the Cornish dialect of English and is derived from the Old English word �mete from which the modern English word ant, is also derived (compare Modern German Ameise [ant]).
The little guide I bought in Hay-on-Wye had a few interesting dialect words. I'd never heard of "ANCHOR" used in any other than a maritime sense, but apparently it is to dawdle or potter . . .
BIGETY - stuck-up - high and mighty.
A CHATTERBAG is a gossip. Love that word!
PURDLE is to cause to fall over or spin round - to PURDLE ALONG is to go at a good rate.
SCAMMISH is clumsy or awkward.
TOMMY is food, especially when taken to work, or a loaf of bread.
A WANT is a mole. Thus a WANT-HEAP is a mole-hole; and a WANT-WRIGGLE is a mole trackway.
Just a few words for you to enjoy.