[from A Vocabulary of the Anglo-Manx Dialect, 1924]


B. The Rev.
T. E. Brown.
C. Miss
Josephine Kermode (‘ Cushag ‘).

 [please note phonetics still to be corrected]


A [æ,ê ], the indefinite article, used before vowels and consonants.

A one can’t do that, and a one can’t do this—that's her cry, i. e. her cry is that she is not allowed to do as she chooses. It ‘s like atin a one’s money with a knife and fork.

A, HA [a], have’.

It’d a been well (B.), i. e. it would have been well. I cud ha done it aisy (with ease).

ABACK [aba’k], in addition.

Twenty sheep through a gap,
Twenty more aback o’ that,
Six, seven,
Ten, eleven;
Three and two—how much is that? ( Answer : Five.)

[fpc: a correspondent emailed me to say "There is a possibility that the answer in the rhyme about the sheep is wrong. A shepherd counting sheep would be counting in scores. If one score has passed through the gap then he would start counting again with the second score. The sheep would pop through the gap in 2s or 3s - they rarely go in singles apart from the leader. Therefore, 11 + 3 + 2 =16. In my view the answer could be either 1 score and 16 through the gap, or 4 remaining aback the gap. The simpler answer of 5 to the line 3 + 2 does not tie in with the sheep counting system."]

ABLE [êbl, aebl, aevl].

 Deiney abyl (Mx.), able men ‘, grown up men arrived at full strength.
He ‘s not able yet but houl’ on till he ‘s a man. He put his son to walk the houses before he was able, i. e. he set his son to beg from house to house before he was of strength.

ABURRIM, ABOURRIM [êbùrêm, êbou'rêm] ‘about him’. The final t , of ‘ about ‘ is often replaced by r ‘ when the next word begins a vowel or h’.

I don’t know nothin aburrim. I’m not lis’nin to no newses abourrim.

ABURRIT, ABOURRIT, ABURT [êbù'rêt, êbou'rêt, êbê'(r)t], about its.

Get up and tell me all aburrit (B.). I dun knaw nothin abourrit. Jus’ pitendin aburt they are.

ACHREE [êxrî] (Mx. Y chree ! lit. O heart ‘), My heart ‘, a term of endearment.

Lif’ me up, achree (B.).

ACQUENT [êkwe'nt], acquainted’.

Eddart and me is well acquent (B.).

ACTYALL [aktšal], ‘actually’.

He’d be laughin back at them, actyall ! yes, he wud (B.).

ADAM AND EVE [adêm ên iv], a name for the tubers of the Spotted Orchis, Orchis maculata. These tubers are found in pairs. When they are placed in water one of them sinks and is called Adam, the other floats and is called Eve.

It is perhaps hard to imagine Adam and Eve in a bog, though one of the orchids so abundant there is popularly called Adam and Eve’ (B.).

Put Adam-an-Eve in a basin o’ water and watch Adam sinkin and Eve swimmin.

ADMIRAL [admêrêl, admê(r)l], the fisherman who has charge of the herring fleet is so called. His chief duty is to see that the legal regulations touching the fishing are carried out.
Oul’ Admir’l Quirk, aw, he ‘s the man!
His head the size of a brewady pan.

ADMIRALTY COURT, the Water-bailiff’s Court, which had full jurisdiction in all maritime affairs between high-water mark and three leagues from the shore.
Wha ‘s that ye’re axin about the Admir’lty Coort?

AEQUAL [ëqwêl], ‘equal’.

Hapes gettin more love till they’ve got any use for, and others aequal goin without (B.). He ‘S middlin smart, but he isn half aequal to his father.

An instance of E pronounced as AE ; another example is:

AESTHARD [ësþê(r)d], eastward’.
To the aesthard (B.).

AGAINS [êgens], against ‘, in turn with.
He hevn gorr as much as two peer o’ stockins to weer, one agains’ the other.

AGATE [~g~t], busy with ; on account of, also Lanc.
She ‘s out agate o’ the priddhas (B.). The child ‘s screwed agate o’ the teethin (B.). She got in trouble agate of her work.

AGGLAGH [aglax, ãgl3x] (Mx)., fearful—used intensively. You’re busy to-day ! Aw, busy agglagh-agglagh, aw busy agglagh show!

AGHAUE, N’AGHAUE [3hãu, n3hãi.ij (Mx.), hemlock, Conium maculatum.
A poulthice of n’ aghaue is good for any hard swellin. I’ve seen na-how goin a gather’n and bruisin for powlthices.

AGHIN [ãx~n] (Mx.), a petition, to plead.
Aghin, Illiam, aghin ‘, said the wife, i. e. go to law, William.

AHERNT [aãhe(r)nt]. A cry used by children when playing,
Ahernt, I spy ‘.

AIGLE [ëgl], eagle’.
Like an aigle took to be friends with a pay-cock (B.). In Aigle and Child. (Armorial bearings of the Stanleys.) One time I found an Aigle-an’-Child penny in a turnip ridge.

AIR [ë3(r), i~(r)], a whiff. See Eer.
There ‘S a nice lil air o’ win in. I gorr an air o’ what ‘s goin on at them, i.e. I got to know something of their proceedings.

AILEY [ëlja(r)J (Mx.), a fishing-ground. A place where anything is found in profusion.
What ailey were you on ? I know a good ailey for primroses.

AIRH-HALLOOIN [ë~(r) hàlu(d)n] (Mx., lit. earth.gold ‘), yarrow, Achillea milefolium.

Airh-hallooin is a flower right gud for a coul', make tay of it.

AISIER [ëzia(r)], easier ‘, cheaper.

Can’t you do it any aisier ? i. e. can not you make it any cheaper?

AL, AHL [ãl] (Mx. aggle, ‘ fear ‘), dreadfully, fearfully, used in-tensively.

She was stuitt al, i. e. she was dreadfully stout. I’m busy ahi, i. e. I am fearfully busy.

ALL [p1, al], quite. Many speakers substitute the deep unrounded [àl ‘for the rounded [~] in words ending with the letters -all’, ‘-awl’, and ‘-aul’.

The poor thing was gettin all a confuse (B.), i. e. quite confused. He ‘s all as ruch as her, i. e. he is quite as rich as she.

Gin or brandy, port or sherry—all as one (B.), i. e. just the same. It’ll be all as well to lave it alone.

He was there on Sunda, and there again on Monda all as well, i. e. also.

Aw, the singing was gran’ all out, i. e. the singing was extremely fine. She ‘s the nicers (nicest) woman all out. ~ She giv him all sorts, i. e. she gave him all kinds of abuse. I seen all tha ‘s in, i. e. I saw everything. He was gerrin all through others, i. e. he was becoming very confused.

All to that, in addition, everything else, &c. :—In the country with cows and all to that (B.). And nice it is to see a friend and all to that (B.).

For all, although, however :—It was good of him, for all, i. e. it was good of him, however.

Where all we got to I can’t tell, i. e. where ever we got to I do not know. It was done all to the full, i. e. completely.

All to, except —The eggs is sowl’, all to three, i. e. the eggs are sold except three. Our ones is goin to chapel, all to me.

ALMANAC [olm3nakl, a prophecy resembling the predictions of evil given in certain almanacs.

Is it makin an almanac you are ? i. e. are you foreboding ? If we were talking of or fearing an unpleasantness, my mother would say ‘ Don’t be always making almanacs’.

ALTOGETHER [~ltegað~(r), ~lð~gada(r)], quite. As big as two—aye big altogether (B.).

ALUNG [3lo~], ‘along’.

He ‘s a lieny and he ‘s a teef alung with that, i. e. he is a liar and he is a thief besides.

AMN [amnl, am not’.

Who’s to spake if I amn ? (B.).

AND, AN’ [an]. In Anglo-Manx the final d of and is always dropped in pronunciation although usually retained in writing.

Queen Beth-sheeva built a ship,
And in that ship a lady sat,
And I’m to tell her name,
And I’ve toul’ it three times over.
(Riddle. Answer : Anne.)

In certain idioms reproduced from Manx Gaelic and takes the place of being ‘, ‘ when ‘, ‘ although ‘ :— I h’ard them words often and me a lii boy, i. e. I often heard those words when I was a little boy.

It is in fact the translation of a Gaelic idiom which is frequently found in the Manx Bible. Thus in i Corinthians, vii. 22 : Son eshyn ta er ny cam ayns y Chiarn, as eh ny harvaant (For he that is called in the Lord, and he a servant), the English version is being a servant’.

It was harvest time and terrible warm, and me a shearin on the Lheargy farm (B.).

ANOTHER [enoð~(r)], different.

But the evenin was another pair of oars (B.), i. e. but the evening was a different thing. That's an apple off another tree, i. e. that is a different thing.

ANT [ant], aunt, in phr. I wouldn’t call the queen my aunt. I seen the day I wudn call the Queen me ant, i. e. I was once independent of everybody.

ANTY [anti]. A term of familiarity or respect applied to elderly women.

Anty, as I called the woman I was helping, said to me, the nex’ web that’ll come will be thine, big or little.’ She ‘s no ant o’ mine but still we’re callin her Anty ‘cause she's kin’ and gud to us.

ANY [eni, ani], at all.

He can’t sing any, and I can’t hardly sing any nether.

A-OO [~u] (Mx., lit. Ah ! thou ‘), used as an exclamation of ridicule to children.

A-oo ! big babby.

ARD LODHERA [a(r)d 1odar~] (Mx. ard-losserey, lit. chief herb ‘), the ground-ivy, Nepeta Glechoma.

Ard-lodhera is good for cl’anin the blood, and for coughs.

ARE [a(r)]. Are ‘, or its contraction ‘re ‘, is said after pronouns in the plural nominative, but is ‘ is said after nouns in both numbers and after disjunctive pronouns.

We’re in very great disthress (B.). You’re wantin to hear about them two? (B.). Here ye are (B.). The way they’re traitin the ones they’re lovin, it ‘s more like Latin (B.). The gulls is flyin thick here, ‘deed they are ! The Manx is awkward ! Yes, they are I (B.). You and us is of the one age, ar’n we?

AREN [a(r)n], are not’.

And aren you dead ? (B.). No we ar’n (B.).

ARGUE [a(r)g~], in phr. Argue the toss.

He kep’ arguin the toss with us that it wasn’ diphtheria.

ARKAN SONNEY [a(r)kan sona] (Mx. lit. lucky urchin ‘, ‘ plentiful little pig ‘), hedgehog.

The name of a fabulous animal. The old people said that if you caught it you would always find a silver piece in your pocket.

You mus’ a met the arkan-sonney, bhoy.

ARNIS [a(r)n~s], earnest ‘ money. Money given to bind a bargain on hiring a servant. A luck penny.

An’ would they take arness ‘! (B.). Wheer ‘s yer arnis?

ARR [a(r)], air’.

Jus’ whistle the arr o’ the tchoon to me, and I’ll hey it sthreit off.

ARRADAN [ar~e(d)n] (Mx.), the cow-parsnip, Heracleum, Spjiondyl. hum.

This is the word used in the north of the Island, fanain (which see) being the word used in the south and west.

Arraddans are good to make cows milk.

ARRAG [arag] (Mx. earrag), a pullet.

That lii arrag’s eggs is so small they’ll sink urro sight in the egg-cup.

ARR &G.VOOAR [arag vii~(r), arag wii~(r)] (Mx., lit. big pullet ‘), the Great Northern Diver, Colymbus glacialis.

I heard the quisle (whistle) of the arrag-vooar.

ARRIN [ar~n], errand ‘.

Runnin arrins, jobbin lek (B.).

An instance of E pronounced as A. Other instances are:

(a) Arror, adhor [ar~(r), ad~(r)], error’.

I’m convarted, and me arrors is all forgiv. Lurd shaw me the adhor o’ me wayss!

( b) Aver, avar, avvar [avo(r)], ever.

As sollum as aver ye seen (B.).

ARRINAW [aran~], I do not know’.

Arrinaw is he gone or no.

ART [a(r)t], artfulness ‘, cunning.

The art that was at them boys (B.). And the thricks and the arts of her was batin all.

ART [a(r)t], airt ‘, point of the compass, direction.

Comm in from another art, about Nor’ Wes’ (B.). Drew to the art where his love is (B.).

ARTICLE [a(r)tikl], a term of contempt for an oddity.

Did ye avar see such an article of a man ? I wudn weer such an article of a bonnet, I wudn put such an article on me head.

ARYM [~r3m, aram] (Mx.), figwort, Scrophularia nodosa.

Some is callin arym the fig-weed ‘. I’m toul that arym is good to cure the roig, i. e. good for curing scrofula.

ARYS, ARRYS [ar3s] (Mx.), repentance.

He tuk arrys, though, and turned back.

AS [as, az, ~zl, used for so before an adjective.

Some as hard you couldn break them (B.). And the captain as proud and ale like a fool (B.). She could sing as high it would take yer breath away listnin to her.

As the man said : this is a typical expression in common use. The object is to place the responsibility of the statement on an undefined individual instead of the person who makes it :—Beggars can’t be choosers, as the man said.

Old Jemmy, if he picked up a fine turnip, would say, That ‘s a fine turmot ass the man said ‘. Sometimes he would vary it and say, Them ‘s mortal priddas, ass the Irishman said, and so on all round the nationalities, Ass the Scotchman said ‘, ‘ Ass the Englishman said ‘. (B.)

ASHORE [3Ço~(r), ~Sii~(r), stranded, bankrupt. A boat ashore is said of extravagant living.

They’re ashore, and’ll be gettin sould up. He married a second wife, a young wqman, and she had parties and companies every day ; my father used to say—’ Aw, boat ashore dy chooilley laa [a boat ashore every day], it wont las’ long ; and it didn neither, for they had to get mortgage after mortgage in the farm till it was sold from them.

ASIN [asn], asking’.

A queer thing to be asin (B.)

ASKAID [askad(j)] (Mx.), a boil.

If you say ‘ God bless the new moon ‘, when you see it you’ll never have any mamms, askaids, or gurrins, i. e. you will never have blains, boils, or pimples.

ASS [as], ask ‘. ‘ Ass is considered more refined than ax’.

Go an’ ass wheer she ‘s purrit.

ASS HENE [as hi(d)n] (Mx., lit. out of itself’), beside one’s self, out of one’s mind.

He ‘s talking like a man tha ‘s ass.hene.

ASTHARN [asj,a(r)n] (Mx. ass-tayrn, lit. pull out ‘), a rush-candle case.

Gerra rushlight urro the astharn.

AT [at, et, st], (I) among, (2) by, (~) doing, (~) on the part of, (5) possession, (6) scolding, (‘j) the matter with, (8) to, (~) with, (Io) about, in, (ii) importuning, (12) from, (13) of.

1. There waš talk to put him off the plan at the Methodists (B.).

2. It's dane forgot at me. Gettin whipt at his mother (B.). Nothin done or said at Nessy to him (B.).

3. What in the world is them two at ! He ‘s hard at it all the day, i.e. he works hard all day. They’re at it even on.

4. But just a little sort of spit at Harry (B.). And a sort of cooin goin at him (B.).

5. And a house at him, maybe ten stories high (B.). I never knew the like was at him afore (B.).

6. She ~5 at the childher all day, jawin and cloutin. She mus’ be at some-body.

‘7. Bless me ! what ‘s at ye I (B.).

8. A hook at it.

9. I’m comin, I’ll be at you torec’ly.

10. I believe the pazon knew what he was at (B.).

11. The beggers is at him for coppers.

12. We got lave at the misthress.

13. It isn raisonable at you (B.). Lies with a stink at them (B.).

Several of the above usages of at are a direct translation of the Manx Gaelic preposition ec ‘ (at) which in connexion with the verb to be ‘ denotes possession ;—‘ Ta thie ec y dooinney ‘ (lit. a house is

at the man), the man has a house. This is reproduced in Anglo-Manx, There ‘s a house at the man’.

When at ‘ is followed by the indefinite article, or by a pronoun beginning with a vowel, the final t is often changed to a trilled r’;

but when the following pronoun is stressed the t ‘ remains unchanged.

Pronouns stressed. Pronouns unstressed.

at me [et ml] [atmi]

at thee [et dji] [atth]

at him, arrim [et him] [ar3m]

at her, arrer [et h3(r)] [ar o(r)]

at it, arrit [et it] [ar3t]

at us, arrus [et ùs] [aros, arùs]

at you, at ye [et jc] [atj3]

at them [et dèm] [atd~om, atð~om]

AT ALL, ‘T ALL [at ~l, ot~l, t~ll, in the least, whatever.

An’ never a dhrop was there at all. Wha ‘s doin on ye at all ? I don’t know at all, at all.

I dun knaw ‘tall wha ‘s he afther.

AT LONG LAST [et los] las, et lùi) las], at the very last.

He ‘s gorrit finished at long last. It ‘s done at me at-lung-las’.

AT OUTS [et.outs], at enmity.

Him and her is at outs together now, but they’ll soon be in with one another again.

ATCHIM [ãtS3m] (Mx.), terror, used intensively.

I was tuk at her—gud atchim ! She was atchim nice to me.

ATE, AIT [ët], eat (present tense). The past tense and participial

form ate ‘ is pronounced ett ‘ [et].

You’ll praise the mait
Before you ait,
And when it ‘s ett
You’ll sthreight forget. (Said to an ingrate.)
It ett on his mind till he went foreign.

ATHAG [adag, að~g~ (Mx. assag), stoat, weasel.

He ‘s as boul’ as an athag.

AUGH AUGH [~x h~~] (Mx.), a spell.

Aw, he’ll put the augh-augh on ye. He said the lil people (fairies) had put the augh.augh on me for not atm what they had lef’ for us.

AVERICK, ARICK [avor~k, arak] (Mx.), Affrica ‘, a female Christian name, now out of use but found in parish registers.

Averick Steane, buried, the 17th June 1598.

Ye’re hardly avar hearin now them gud oul’ names Arick and Perrick (Patrick) and the lek.

AW[~],’O’, ‘Oh’.

Aw, isn he gud ? (B.). Aw, Tom ! says Betsy ; Aw, Betsy ! says I (B.). Wharr are ye Awin afther now ?—there ‘s nothin wondherful in it. Aw, my ! an instance of o pronounced as AW.

Other instances are:

(i) AWE [~l, owe’.

He denied that he awed me for ‘t. She’ll awe and navar pay what she ‘s awin—a chate she is.

(ii) AWGH, AUGH, OGH [~xl (Mx. ugh, ogh), ‘ Oh ‘, an interjection of sorrow or disappointment.

Awgh, no, he’ll navar be able to put his two legs undher him again. Awgh, awgh ! is that the way he is?
Augh man, how are ye so stupid over it?
Ogh, ogh, ogh ; ogh-a-nee,
My little brown jug, how I love thee.

(Refrain of a song.)

(iii) AWGRE [~g~(r)], ‘ogre’.

She was freckenin the boy urrov his senses with stories about awgres that would ate people up like priddas.

(iv) AWKER [~ko(r)], ochre ‘.]

She was reddenin the steps with awker. I’ve h’ard of gels puttin a slick of awker on their cheeks for to make them rosy.

AYE [all, yes. The cumulative phrase, Aw-deed-yes-faith-aye ! expresses the strongest possible affirmative.

Aye, man, aye (B.). Just a mossel higher—aye ! (B.).

AYRE, AYREE [~G(r), ~ri], a term used in the north of the Island for a sandy waste left by the sea, such as that extending from Jurby Point to the Point of Ayre.

We used to go to the Ayre to pull bent, but now we have to buy it. I was out at the Ayree near Sulby yesterday.


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