[From Manx Dialect, 1934]


Pack. Herring-nets are said to ' pack ' when two head-corks drift towards each other, thus bunching and slackening the nets, and causing so much 'sling ' or ' bight ' that they hang deeper than is intended. (See also Roeder, Manx Notes and Queyies, page 138.)

Paddag, a patch, smear. " A paddag o' grease on me " (Kneen, Gool' on the Cushags).

Pallag, a small knob, boss or lump on a hill as seen from the sea, used as a fishing-mark in association with other distant objects. There are, for example, three pallags on the Calf by which, when they are brought into line, a certain fishing-spot is found. ' Pallag Lheie Gyle,' the Pallag of Gale's* Fishingplace, is also in Rushen. This word is doubtless the same as ' pellag,' which is used ashore ; see Mona Miscellany, ii, 327, and V.A.D., " Pellag."* ' Gyle ' may not be a personal name. Kelly has other meanings for the word.

Pank, to make a tapping or knocking sound. " I h'ard a tremenjous pankin' noise wis a hommar " (Rydings 110).

Panmug. This word for a large basin or bowl, though generally used in the Isle of Man and the North of England, seems to be unknown in the Southern counties.

Parlour, the sleeping-room in the old cottages. " The house 'vided in two halves wis boards, and the parlour side, as you may say, was parted wis a streng across and an oul' bed-quilt hung " (Rydings 95). See also " Cooillee."

Patent. ' The patent ' is the usual abbreviation for ' patent manure,' fertilizer. " Schaemin', dodgin', workin' the patin' " (Brown 477). Making full use of it, that is to say.

Patlag, an outlandish, nondescript article of apparel or floor-covering (Kneen, A Lil Smock).

Pearn, part of a spinning-wheel.

" The country folk from labour hard retire And form a circle round their kitchen fire, The lads bring in the reedy hemp to peel, While lasses pass the band around the wheel, And well adjust the peg of crooked kern Within the fly that spins around the pearn." (Kennish, Mona's Isle.)

' Kern,' mountain-ash wood. The Scotch ' pirn ' is the bobbin of a spinning-wheel.

Pelt, to run hard : " Away with him as fast as he could pelt." Also as noun: "Away full pelt" or " belt " ; " I heard them coming at a great pelt." Any energetic action : " He went arrit full belt, hammerin' the furrim " (Rydings 113). ' Furrim,' form, long seat.

Penny-wedding (obsolete). At a penny-wedding every guest put a penny in a dollan (tambourine-like vessel) by way of defraying the cost of their entertainment,when the married pair were in poor circumstances.

Pick, a hoard, especially money-savings. " Thou know I have got a lil pick in the bank " (Shimmin, Illiam Kodhere's Will, page 14). " There'll be a bit of a pick at her in an oul' stockin' some place ; " i.e., she's sure to have money hidden away somewhere in an old stocking. " They're sayin' oul' Mylecharaine kept his pick down in the Curragh." Not in the Manx dictionaries, but the Gaelic pioc is a bit of anything, and piocach means thrifty.

Piece, a moderate degree or portion, a bit, as in the accepted definition, but used in special ways. " What's o'clock ? A piece past twelve " (Caine, The Deemster, chap. xxii). " He was a piece bothered." " That end stack's beginning to heel over a piece." Often used of distance. " I want to go from home a piece," and " It's a piece to go " (Morrison, Manx Fairy Tales, page 39). " Some of the boys came a piece of the way with me " (Roeder, in Manx Tales, page 39).

Piggin, a small wooden domestic vessel. " i cann and piggin " occur in the kitchen of Castle Rushen (Inventory of 1694). " The first course of a Manks feast is always broth, which is served up . . . in wooden piggins, every man his mess " (Waldron, Isle of Man, 1731). The piggin is probably obsolete. Kermode in Manks Antiquities (1904), page 107, identifies it with the noggin, but the piggin must have been much more capacious, approximating to the goggan if not actually the same thing.

In Shetland it is a ' pig,' otherwise an explanation of the word might have been found in the English ' pipkin,' a small earthenware vessel. For Ireland, Dinneen has pigin and peigin, " a piggin," evidently taking it to be an English word, as does P. W. Joyce. In the Highlands a pige is an earthenware jar.

Pirriagh or Pirreagh, pitifully, painfully. " The wet weather is trying me pirreagh " (Shimmin, Illiam Kodhere's Will, page 16). " He said they wor pirreagh hard up for a lil chapal to meet togathar in ov a Sunday " (Bill Billy, " Outwitting the Devil "). Still heard, but ' pirriful ' is commoner. ' Pirriagh,' though not in the Manx dictionaries, probably represents one of several similar Scottish and Irish Gaelic words.

Placket, " small common white oats " (Quayle, Manx Agriculture, 1åZ2). " Plaggad : oats, from the time it is in ear till threshed " (Cregeen) ; but it is questionable whether it is a native word. Goodwin, First Lessons in Manx, page 57, defines it as " oats as a plant." The word is now obsolete. It is not in N. E. D. or E. D. D. ; what are its affinities ?

Plentiful is used personally, in the sense of ' wellsupplied.' " Are ye plentiful in pins, Miss Geargie ? " (Cushag, " Kate Cowle Skeerce " (scarce) for the opposite.

Ply, to wrap up, enfold. " The clothes he died in The corp was plied in " (Brown 21).

Podhan (nearly obsolete), a small flock or herd, or a portion of one. " Theer was a fine fleet of cows at the oul' man, an' a podhan of sheep runnin' on Barrule." Manx possan, a collection of living creatures of any species.

Point, a sheep-mark. See " Animal-words," page 149.

Poltag, a dunderhead. " That great polthag-more lek a Fenoderee till a man ! " Manx the same ; primarily a species of gurnard.

Poor. A ' poor arm ' or ' poor leg ' is one that is withered or paralysed. The affliction may be due to natural causes, or to supernatural causes such as the fairies or bewitchment. "She said that if she'd touched it (the fairy lamb) she'd have had a poor arm ever after."

A ' poor mouth,' on the contrary, is often a very vigorous member. To 'put a poor mouth on' one's affairs, or to make, or have, a poor mouth about them, is to complain excessively, to make the worst of them.

Pot-luck (in sea-fishing), means bad luck ; i.e., a poor take of herring, only enough, figuratively, to make a potful for the crew's breakfast.

Pot-oven, a cooking utensil formerly used in conjunction with the open clay hearth. " A pot-oven baked as well on the top of the turf-fire as under it ; the lid was made flat so as to hold fire on the top. Nothing in these days can cook a bit of meat so well and sweet " (Roeder, Manx Notes and Queries, page 105). Hall Caine (Manx Quarterly, No. 27) refers to the old Manx 'oven-pot.' E.D.D. has ' Oven-pot' for a bread-baking pan or metal pot, in Dumfriesshire only. This was used in the same way as the Manx utensil.

Presently. The following passage shows ' presently ' used in its archaic English sense of ' as a result ' :-A man in the company of fairies sang out " Shee Yee oyyim, to mee Botch " (God bless me, I'm caught !), " and presently he was left by all the company in the dark in a moment " (Roeder, Lioay Manninagh, iii, 146).

Pretence is used in a special way by children in their imitative games. " Let's play pretence, Boy-beg " , 'tence I'm the Phynodderee " ; " let's 'tence we're the Fayries " (Cushag, Rosy Basins, page 14). ' Pretence ' was probably 'pretends,' and came to be used as a verb. ' Silence ' in the game of Knucklebones should similarly be ' Silents,' in conformity with the plural names of all the other movements.

Price. ' A price ' is any sort of money payment, not necessarily the cost of a purchase. At a dance the Master of the Ceremonies would sometimes " put the wrong pairs together ; for that he would get a price (bribe) " (Clague, Manx Reminiscences, page 17). " She gev him a good price for bringin' back her puss " (purse) ; i.e., a good reward.

Print, exact likeness. " Grew to be the very prent Of the skipper " (Brown 215).

Prog, possessions laid by. The same word as ' sprog,' for which see V.A.D., under " Sprog" and " Kishtey." Manx prug.

Prog. This English slang word for food is not only used in the Manx dialect in that sense but has cognates in the Manx proghan, stuffing, and proghanagh, swallowing greedily. Dinneen gives Pyogaidh as a word used in Donegal in calling a calf-presumably to its food.

Proghan, crusts soaked in buttermilk ; any food which is more ' filling ' than tasty. " An' for breakfast thou'll be sayin', ' Aan't theer nawthin' betthar than proghan ? ' " (Gaelk, " The Taffy Spree," Examiner cutting, 1908.) See " Prog " No. 2.

Pulled, distressed. " Jack was pull't Very sore in his heart " (Brown 583).

Purr as a dialect word doubtless became obsolete with the practice to which it related. Purrs were a small breed of swine that were allowed to run loose on the mountain lands and keep themselves, thus becoming half wild and, according to legends, dangerous. Strabo mentions the same practice in Gaul. A tithe of purrs is specified in the Spiritual Laws and Customs, 1577 (Statutes), and they are noticed in later times by the Manx historians. The word is probably derived from the Irish Pore, a pig, hog, pork (Dinneen). ' Purk ' is the Manx pronunciation of ' pork,' and the tendency is to soften a final guttural.

Put-on, pretence, dissimulation, affectation. " To see the ' put on ' of that gel quhen wis her mothar was su'thin' marblous " (Rydings 126). Also as verb: " She was only putting it on."

Putthag, a short ridge and its furrow, in ploughed land. " Crossed a low, putthag ridge " (Quarrie, " Jemmy from Jurby "). Cregeen spells it more correctly bhuttag - i.e., a smaller butt than the others.


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