From gormandise and yewcums, in an attempt to remind people of words we have lost, broadcasters from across the country have decided to adopt some lesser known British regional words in a bid to protect them from extinction.
The full list of 25 words - which you can read below - are all centuries-old regional words and phrases which have been identified as being on the brink of extinction.
The words have been derived from the authoritative Survey Of English Dialects and the British Library’s sound archives, and are thought to have almost completely disappeared from common use. In a bid to save the words, broadcasters from up and down the UK are going to start using the words again in their podcasts.
So, just what are the 25 endangered words, what do they each mean, and how can you listen to the podcasts where they will be used? Here’s what you need to know.
What are the 25 endangered words and what do they mean?
These are the 25 endangered words, where they are from, and what they mean.
- Beggared: adjective meaning exhausted from Shropshire
- Blatherskite: noun meaning ‘a gossip’ from from Durham
- Dateless: adjective meaning silly from Yorkshire
- Dominie: noun meaning ‘a teacher’ from Northumberland
- Dotherum-shakums: noun meaning tremors suffered by a person who cannot keep still from Westmorland
- Forby: adverb meaning besides, not to mention or as well as from Fermanagh
- Gallock: noun meaning left hand or a left-handed person from Yorkshire
- Golder: verb meaning to laugh from Westmorland
- Gormandise: verb meaning to gobble food from Lancashire
- Hangman: noun meaning a malevolent spirit or goblin invoked by parents as a warning to children against bad behaviour from Yorkshire
- Hoddy-dod: noun meaning a snail from Essex
- Howd: verb meaning to sway or rock from side to side from Banffshire
- Jimmy: noun meaning a human mouth from Suffolk
- Jumbles: noun meaning sweets from Gloucestershire
- Kelt: noun meaning money from Lancashire
- Old Dutch: noun meaning wife from Middlesex and London
- Paddocked: adjective meaning thirsty from Lancashire
- Peerie: adjective meaning little or tiny from Shetland
- Peevers: noun meaning hopscotch from Ayrshire
- Petty: noun meaning an outside toilet from Gwynedd
- Progger: noun meaning a snack from Kent
- Scrammed-up: adjective meaning very cold from Devon
- Slithag: noun meaning a slice of bread from Isle of Man
- Truggan: noun meaning a bridge from Isle of Man
- Yewcums: noun meaning hiccups from Devon
What is the Survey of English Dialects?
The Survey of English Dialects is a language study originally conducted between 1950 and 1961 by dialectologist Professor Harold Orton. It was an attempt to build a linguistic atlas of England and Wales, taking recordings of across 313 localities of local people.
Why are the broadcasters starting to use the words?
To celebrate the launch of Steady, a newly-launched membership platform that helps creators to monetise their content, in the UK, the company challenged the British podcasting community to revive these previously used words. They each agreed to take one of the words listed above and use it during their podcast.
Which podcasts will be using these endangered words?
Jonnie Robinson, Lead Curator for Spoken English at The British Library, said: “The languages, accents and dialects of the UK are constantly evolving and continue to express our sense of individual and shared identities. This wonderful set of words from 20th century surveys celebrates this extraordinary diversity and it will be fascinating to know how many are still recognised today. You can listen to voices from across the UK through the
British Library’s sound archives on the British Library Sounds Archive.