[From Manx Dialect, 1934]


Say-so. See " Dy-ghra."

Scape, an abbreviation of ' scapegrace.' The celebrated Christian Lewaigue was, I have been told, " a bit of a scape in his 'arlier days "- like some of the other saints. I say " other," for Ewan Christian, the revivalist and blue-ribbonite, was just the type of man to have been canonized, if he had lived a thousand years earlier.

Schoopit. " Tom was schoopit pirriful over the jub "-job (" The Ranther's Wedding "). Perhaps only a mispronunciation of 'stupid ' ; ' shippert ' (adjective), and ' shipperts ' (noun), occur in dialect verse relating to Borrowdale, Cumberland, in Word-Lore, iii, 42, with, apparently, the meaning of ' stupid.' There are, however, no similar spellings in the E.D.D. or such Cumbrian glossaries as I have seen.

Scob (noun and verb). A lump or strip cut off (see " Sheep-marks " at end of this section). To cut about, hack, mangle. Manx, but not in the dictionaries. Cregeen has scobbey, with the derivatory meaning of a snack, repast.

Scorrick, a morsel, minute portion. " Not 'atin' one scorrick more mate than a mouse " (Quarrie, " Jemmy from Jurby "). Also in the diminutive ' scorrickeen.' " Theer wasn't a scorrickeen of a heart left at me " (Kneen, Yn Blaa Sooree, page 23). From the Manx. Kelly gives eight words formed on the stem scary-, all having a general sense of dividing, separating, dismembering, but neither his dictionary nor Cregeen's contains a noun scayrit or scoyrit. County Armagh uses ' scorry ' for a dwarf-like person or an object of small dimensions.

Scraveen, the smallest imaginable bit. Used by Shimmin in The Third Boat. Either meant for ' scaveen ' or the same word as ' screwveen '-both of which are in the V.A.D.

Screeblagh, a puny, wizened child or infant. Equivalent to the Scotch ' sharger.' " That's a poor screeblagh of a Chile, sure enough ! " Manx ; literally, the result of scraping out a pot or pan, from screeb-, scrape.

Screech, a call, a shout. " If you want me, Miss Corkhill, give a screech and I'll come with the poker " (Shimmin, Luss ny Graih, page 16).

Screevagh (sometimes modified to 'screevy'), meaning scabby or mangy, is used chiefly of animals, but not exclusively. " There was a two-three screevy headed brats thrailin' at her heels." ' Sloc-ny-CabbylScreevagh,' Cliff (or Pit) of the Scabby Horse (Moore, Place-names) is explained by an inhuman (or characteristically human) practice which is the subject of an item in the Charge to a Great Enqucst jury in 1577 or shortly after : " You shall enquire if there be any Manner of Person or Persons that keep any scabbed Horse or Mayre, and if there be any such, the Coroner ought to bring them to the next Hough, and cast them down there " ; the owner to be fined 3s. 4d. for not having previously done so, and the Coroner paid 12d., or fined 3s. 4d. if he neglects his duty.

Scregs, " sods of turf rolled up, two inches thick, and laid under the thatch " when roofing the old type of house (Roeder, Lioar Manninagh, iii, 133). Manx scraaghyn. Sometimes written ' scrass.' St"+~ RA N s .

Screw (used privatively), small coin. " The hand in the pocket . . . and divil a screw " (Brown 331).

Screwed-up, overwrought, strung-up with pain. " A child screwed up agate o' the teethin' " (Brown 330).

Screwnyee, the smallest imaginable amount or degree; a jot, particle. " 'S norra screwnyee of good " (Quarrie, " Nell a' Vris"). Probably developed from the stem screeb-, scrape.

Scrooge, to wriggle, squirm ; to insinuate one's-self by wriggling. " And scroogin' and nudgin', and the elbers goin' " (Brown 257).

Scruff, a rough skin, rind. " There the soil is heavy stuff, And here the soil is only a scruff " (Brown 477). Not the scruff of the neck, which should be 'scuff,' but probably a Northern metathesis of ' scurf.' The Manx scryss would translate it exactly.

Scrunch, to crush together, crowd. " We can get in without such jingin' and scrunchen' " (Rydings 63). The same word as ' crunch ' (q.v.), with intensive ' s.' ' Jingin ', squeezing ; see " Jung." Brown, page 132, uses ' scrunch ' to mean ' tear.' " She tore, And ripped, and ragged, and scrunched away, Aw, hands and teeth," destroying Tom Baynes's best shirts.

Scush, to ' shoo,' but used intransitively. " The people scushed, lek under their breath," to drive away the pigeons that attended the funeral. (Brown 604).

Serve. Wooishleeyn (pennywort) put in ' serve ' is a cure for erysipelas (Roeder, Lioar Manninagh, iii, 173). A mispronunciation of ' syrup ' ?

Shape (verb intrans.). To develop, take shape. " Cast an eye on Marg't, for I'm not plazed at the way she's shapin' at all " in health (Cushag, Mylecharaine, page 20). " It's shapin' for a wet day". Also Scottish and Northern English.

Sheeney, the strike-off, ' bully-off,' in starting or restarting a game of cammag (primitive hockey). " Whose sheeney was it ? " (Quarrie, " Old Times"). Also as verb, to ' sheeney off.' (See " Cammag.")

Sheet, to run hard. " The hitter sheets like blazes " at trap-ball (Quarrie, " Old Times "). Otherwise ' to give sheet,' for which see V.A.D., "Sheet." Obviously a sea term.

Shillary. The poachers " don't think nawthin' of takin' a man's reapers and grubbers to pieces and sennin' the wheels full shillary down the brews into the river " (Newspaper article in Lonan dialect, source unknown). Meaning uncertain ; probably related to Manx shilley, to shed, spill. If so, 'full shillary' is equal to ' helter-skelter.'

Shlute, keen-minded, wide-awake. " He's shlute for the money " (Kneen, A Lil Smook). Manx sleeut, sharpened, whet, ground.

Shot. i. A man's or a crew's debt at an ale-house or shop ; ' tick.' As soon as a fishing-boat was ready for sea, the crew " chose some particular public-house to start the shot, that is, the drink they got was on credit. Every one of the crew or his wife was at liberty to go in there and have his pint of jough or glass of rum . . . the whole thing would be settled at the latter end of the season " (Cashen, Manx Folk-lore, page 35). ' Shot,' a form of ' scot,' payment, as in ' scot-free.'

2. The catch or ' take,' in sea-fishing. " A light shot," " a heavy shot."

3. In the phrase ' get shot of.' See Part III, sec. g.

Show. Anything remarkable in an unfavourable sense is ' a show.' Bill Quayle had never been farther to sea than ' at the herrings,' " but the yarns he spun was a show " (Quarrie, " The Melliah "). " The scent she had on her was a show-you could smell it across Parliament Street." Emphasized in the common phrase ' a show to the living.'

Shy (verb transitive). To be shy of, to avoid, a person or thing; collectively, to send to Coventry. " They're sayin' a scalt cat shies the chiollagh " (hearth). " The fellow who was once liked by everybody was now shied as a man-slayer " (J. R. Moore, Mannin, No. 6).

Side, to make a place tidy, put things to one side. " Are you goin' to side the house at all to-day ? " (Cushag, The Lazy Wife, page 3). " Side thee things a bit while thou're waitin'," said Teare Ballawhane to the tailor (Morrison, Manx Fairy Tales, page 40). In use in Lancashire also.

Sight, a look at, a look round, is used idiomatically in such phrases as " We've been puttin' a sight on Granny," " I'll take a sight up the glen." " He's been sailing foreign, and he's home for a sight " (Shimmin, Illiam Kodhere's Will, page 24).

Sit is not restricted to living creatures. Anything temporarily resting on anything else is ' sitting ' on it. A coat sits on a hedge. A chimney-stack sits on its roof. A woman comes into the comprehensive village shop and points to a loaf of the three in the window " I'll have the wan tha's sittin' on the singlet."

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

Skate. " ' But,' said Pete, looking up at the sky, ' the long cat-tail was going off at a slant awhile ago, and now the thick skate yondher is hanging mortal low' " (Caine, The Manxman, part 3, chap. ix.). Explained in E.D.D. as a bank of cloud, on the strength of this example. The usual dialect meaning is a rent, split, tear. Doubtfully Manx, in any case.

Skeet, news, information. " I cudn't make out what they wor after, for I was jung that much thar I was too freckened to get the skeet " (Billy Billy, " The Fairies' Victim "). ' Freckened,' frightened. 'Jung,' hemmed in (by the fairies). "Toget the whole skeet " (" Anglo-Manx Recitations," Examiner, May, 1905). For skeet Cregeen has only " a creeping, sneaking fellow." Wanting in Kelly.

Skelthar, a hasty retreat. " If I was to woman I would give to skelthar " (Juan Noa, Manx Yarns, page 7).

Skeogh, spruce, smart. " Thou're a skeogh birrov a woman too " (Kneen, Yn Blaa Soorce, page 23). Manx skeogh.

Skew, an acute angle, twist or bend. " A skew on it like a fiddler's elbow " (V.A.D., " Fiddler "). Used in standard English, as a noun, only in architecture.

Skitters. A contemptuous epithet discharged by country children at Peel children in the rhyme " Peel town skitters Goin' to gather flitters "-limpets (V.A.D., " Flitter "). See " Bonkans."

Skreigh, to shriek. " What the devil is the use of other people ' skreighin ' ? " (Brown, Memorial Volume, page 19q). To shriek with laughter, in this instance.

Skute. In the E.D.D.'s list of words reserved for further information ' skute ' is illustrated by the phrase " a skute in his mother's arms " (Caine, The Deemster, chap. xxii), and a note is added, " meaning unknown." Besides its literal meaning of ' squirt,' given in V.A.D., skute is applied to a jet of light or flame, and figuratively to other slender objects. " Never giving a skute of your little eye to them drapers and druggists from Ramsey " (Caine, The Manxman, part i, chap. ix). " And out the very first skute of light, For that's the time the divils'll bite " (Brown 196). " Skutes of fire " from the eyes (Brown 480). The primary sense of the word, a jet of water, is seen in the Maughold place-name, Gob ny Scuit.

Skylid, a skylight, roof-window. Perhaps not a mispronunciation but by confusion with the shape and position of such windows. A woman " looked out of her skylid one moonlight night and saw three lights like little stars go up . . . out of the churchyard " (A Manx Scrapbook, page 483).

Slab, to slop, spill.. " His jaw was all drabbin' And slabbin' " (Brown 456). " Don't slab it all over the flure, chile." Compare " Slap " and " Slob 3."

Sladdhan, a small mallet or beetle formerly used for pounding clothes when washing them. The fairy washerwomen of the Isle of Man were seen and heard to wield this obsolete implement. The legendary prophetess called the Calliagh ny Ghueshag, the Old Woman of the Spells, or Prophecies, is said in the North of the Island to have foretold changes of a seismic nature ; not only would ships anchor at Ballure farm' street,' but the Point of Ayre and Bradda Head (or more usually the Mull of Galloway) would come so close together that the women would be able to hand the sladdhans to each other on washing-days. ' Sladdhan ' is the Northside pronunciation of the 'sladdhnn' of V.A.D. From Manx unchanged.

Slake. See " Sluggane."

Slant. 1. (Verb.) To make off. " ' But lave us, Harry.' So Harry slantit " (Brown 585). (Noun.) A stroll. " Let's take a slant up the road." Also in such expressions as " a slant of rain," a shower ; " a slant of wind," a breeze ; " a slant off the land," about the length of a tack, perhaps.

2. An innuendo. " This was a slant at himself " (Quine, The Captain of the Parish, page 89), in which sense it is archaic in England.

The ordinary English use is not unknown. " An angel comin' Down on a slant " (Brown 408).

Slathers, a large but undefined quantity, a superfluity. " Slathers of countries " ; " slathers of ancient graves."

Sleepy-Head, the inedible stalk of an edible seaweed, alaria escule;zta. (See V.A.D., " Bob-y-lane.")

Slick. 1. (Verb), to lick. " And slicked his lips like slickin' a label " (Brown 312). (Noun), a lick. " We'll give the ' Nellie ' a slick of paint, an' she'll houl' togathar for the visitors." Also a wash, a clean-up. " A Manxman would have done his slick arrim before now " (Rydings 23)

2. (Verb with adverb), to do a thing smartly. " Garrat was callt in, and slicks them all in in no-time in theer proper places "-the wheels of the clock (Rydings 88). (Adjective), smart, skilful. " There's thee as slick at the housework as any woman " (Kneen, The Magpies). Also colloquial English, in the last sense.

Sliddher, to slide, glide, slip along. " And the hand goin' sliddherin' under her chin " (Brown 304). " He bowed very low, the sliddherin' snake " (Brown 357). Nora's voice could " come sliddherin' down again to alto " (Rydings 29). Also to slip accidentally, as on mud or ice. " Keer yer feet that ye don't sliddher." ' Sliddher ' comes nearer to the obsolete English ' slidder ' than to the current colloquial English ' slither.'

Sling, the sag or hang of a fishing-net. (See " Pack.")

Slink, a deceitful person, a sneak. " Says she, ' you slink ! ' " (Brown 131).

Slipe, a length of rock split off or loosened for breaking up small; a miners' and quarrymen's term. " A slipe in the laval he was workin' in fell on him " (Rydings 53). Used in Cumbria also.

Slish, to slop, spread a liquid. " The whitewash done a power of good, And slishin' it everywhere they could " (Brown 371). Much the same as ' slush,' q.v.

Sloak. See " Sluggane."

Slob. 1. An ungainly person. " She used to call him an awkward big slob " (Juan Noa, Manx Yarns, P. 17).

2. The sound of a heavy bump. " Theer was a sluddhar and a slob I couldn't make out until the door open', and our Thobm-beg came in draggin' our Thobm lek a sack of spuds " (Rydings 83). (See " Sluddhar.")

3. Sticky mud, soft snow. " Navar min' the slush and slob, stamp yer feet in the poarch " (Rydings, " Our Kerree "). Slob is less liquid than slush.

Slope (adj.), expert, proficient. " You're so slope to it that I'm getting 'spicious it's not the first time you've had your foot on a cradle " (J. J. Kneen, Ann).

Slowan, a term of contempt or abuse. " I could take a stick to Alfred Ernest for a stupid slowan as he is " (Cushag, Mylecharaine, page 24). The E.D.D. says this is an obsolete Scottish and Northumberland word for an indolent, good-for-nothing person, and suggests ' slow-hound ' as its derivation. ' Sloven ' might perhaps be worth considering ; Cregeen has slibbin as the Manx for ' sloven,' but Kelly ignores slibbin.

Sluddhar, the sound of a heavy object being dragged along. (See " Slob 2.")

Sluggane, a species of seaweed. " The coast supplies laver, which they term sluggane " (Feltham, Tour, Mx. Soc. edn., page 174). " Sluggane : seaweed, called sloak " (Kelly). " Slaggane : slake or sloak " (Cregeen).

Slughing and sloughing, splashing about, wallowing. ' Sloughing ' rhymes with the Scottish ' laughing,' laughing. " They're sayin' they war hearin' them slughin' an' sloughin' In every dub an' curragh an' loghan " (Juan Noa, Manx Yarns, page 9). The Tarroo-ushteys to wit.

Slush. i. (Verb transitive and intrans.) To pour freely down or out ; used of water, tears, or any other liquid ; to flood, flush. " The big tears slushin' into the can " (Brown 377). " I'm jus' slushin' the straw With the tears " (Brown 24).

2. (Noun.) Soft soap for scrubbing a deck. The slush-tin is more in requisition with owners of pleasurecraft than with fishermen, for it is not (or was not) lucky to have your boat quite free from the remains of previous catches-" for a surt of a joinin' on, lek." Continuity should not be broken.

Smergrainya, a species of blackberry. " Tha bes' place in tha livin' worl' for smergrainya blackb'ries " (Quarrie, " Tittle-whack "). Manx snaeyr-greiney, ' sunblackberry.'

Smoother, a hearty kiss. " There were always a smoother or two before the gels went up to the singin' " (Juan Othigill, Manx Quarterly, No. 9). An English dialect word also.

Smull. To breathe heavily (V.A.D., " Fashion "). Manx smugfial, to snort.

Smull. 1. The black wick of a candle. Kelly has smayl with this meaning; Cregeen attaches the idea of ' sparks' to cognate Manx words. The former sense is preferable, as ' smull ' has a secondary meaning in the dialect of ' a scowl, a black look.' Irish and Scottish Gaelic smdl, candle-snuff.

2. 'The sulks.' " So the lil fallas hev tuk the smull . . . an' they can be a bit devagough quhen they're offended " (" Anglo - Manx Recitations," Examiner, May, 19o5). ' Lil fallas,' the fairies. ' Devagough ' (for ' debejagh '), perverse.

Smuir, greasy-looking patches on the surface of the sea, understood to indicate the presence of herringone of the ' signs ' that were looked out for. Manx smuir, slime.

Smuttering. " He has only a smuttering of Manx " -a subtle blend of smattering and muttering, with a suspicion of stuttering, which I have heard but once, of course in Peel. It may have been only a personal coinage, but it is worth keeping in circulation.

Sneg, a door-latch. " I used to go to bed and lave the door on the sneg " (V.A.D., " Stime "). " Something fumbled at the sneg of the door " (Morrison, Manx Fairy Tales, page 1i). The Scotch form 'speck ' is also in use.

Snifter. In addition to the meanings given in V.A.D., a 'snifter' is an odd job. " Doin' lil snifthers for our meat " (Douglas, The Widow's House).

Snug, a push, poke, dig with the elbow ; a light butt from an animal. " The Missis kep' given' me lil snugs, for me not to spit before the pa'son." Also as verb: "The calf came pushin' and snuggin', an' knocked the goggan clane urrov me han'." ' Goggan,' a wooden pail. ' Snug ' is the pronunciation in the South of the Island; ' snog,' or even ' snawg,' in the North, where vowels are broader. Manx snug, noun; snuggal, verb.

Soddhag-rheynney, ' dividing-cake,' was a small cake of which a share was scattered at night for the fairies' benefit. (See " Customs and Observances " chapter in A Third Manx Scrapbook.)

Soddhag-valloo, 'dumb-cake,' was made at Hollantide (November Eve) for divination. For details, which were much the same as in England, see Kelly's Manx Dictionary, s.v. Baal-Sauin, or Moore's Folk-lore of the Isle of Man, page 125. The Manx name survived in dialect speech so long as the custom lasted.

Sogaraugh (variously spelt), easy-going, comfortloving, kindly. " Shlown an' sogaraugh Tommy Gale Came soldierin' " (Quarrie, " The Melliah "). ' Shlown,' smooth, oily. " A sogragh married man, with a young growing family at him " (Shimmin, Luss ny Graih, page 9). Manx soccaragh.

Soldiering, idling about. "Tommy Gale Came soldierin' an' pushin' the gels " (Quarrie, " The Melliah "). Sometimes used of inanimate objects. " The boom, d'ye see, That was soulgerin' about in the trough of the sea " (Brown 296). An English slang word of nautical origin, expressing the sailor's opinion of the military as passengers.

Soncy, plump, bonny. " May I take thy arm, Mary ? It's feelin' so soncy an' strong" (Faraker, "The Fisherman's Coortin'," Examiner, Feb., igo8). Also Scotch and Irish.

Soohaun. See " Suggane."

Soon. A clock or watch which is ahead of the correct time is said to be ' too soon,' or ' five minutes soon.' ' Late ' for the opposite, but not ' too late.'

Soost, a flail. The implement has been obsolete for well over a generation, but its Manx name ('flail' was not used) is still remembered by elderly countryfolk.

Soother, to coax, cajole. " Sootherin' an' persuadin' him to put dacent duds on himself " (Cushag, Mylecharaine, page 6). See " Sowther."

Souljering. See " Soldiering."

Sowins, a beverage which consisted of oatmeal soaked in water for two or three days, strained through a sieve, and boiled with new milk. Joyce, English as we speak it, page 331, says this word, which is current in Ireland also, is merely the Irish Samhain, the first day of November, when the dish was customary there.

Sowther. " Just go to the fair, you'll sowther him there. Give him all he'll ask for his cow " (Quarrie, " Tittlewhack "). The rest of the context, so far as it is intelligible, does not suggest that this word is the same as " Sowther, to make up a quarrel, reconcile ; from ' solder.' Northern " (E.D.D.). Perhaps the same as ' soother,' q.v.

Spang. I have heard this word only in the expression ' spang-new,' equivalent to ' brand-new.' A similar expression, with innumerable but recognizable variants of ' span g,' is general throughout the British Isles. "

Sparch, to spirt, sputter, sprinkle. Though not in the E.D.D. this is given in the N.E.D. as a rare variant of ' sparge ' with a similar meaning, and an example is cited from The Manxman, part 5, chap. iii:-- The net-boiler sparched drops of hot water at intervals." Of another meaning, ' to scorch,' the N.E.D. gives a Manx example also :-" The oatcakes crackled and sparched and went black " (The Manxman, part 3, chap. ix). I am not aware of this use of the word in the Island. The sentence is omitted from recent editions of the novel. ' Sparch ' for ' spirt ' is in common use without any consciousness of its being a rare or dialect word. The Revd. S. N. Harrison translates ' Glion y Spreeagh ' as " the sparebing glen," from the spray of its stream (Lioar Manninagh, i, part ii, 76). In the V.A.D., under " Sell," the authors explain the phrase " the porridge pot is sellin' needles " by " when boiling porridge sparches."

Speeching, public speaking. " There wor a big fuss an' gran' spachin' at them " (Juan Othigill, Manx Quarterly, No. 8).

Speekeen (stress on last syllable), a rocky point on a ridge. Used, especially in Rushen parish, generically as well as in place-names. A Manx dictionary word for a small peak or spire. See " Spigeen."

Speelo, a boys' game ; according to George Quarrie it was invented in Kirk Bride and was peculiar to that parish.

" Now Speelo was a game, I think home-made.
A stick laid 'cross a stone for Speclo's wanted.
The stick is flat, each end is aisy canted ;
A mellad or a wabbeen of some sort,
And strinth to hit, is wanted in this sport ;
The ball on one end of the stick now sits,
The player on his ban's puts several spits,
The swings the wabbeen, an'-Tai yee kin flumj !
Down on that stick it comes a mighty thump
Up flies the ball so high we only watch it;
' Speelo ! ' we shout, and run, but rarely catch it." (Quarrie, " Old Times.")

" A mellad or a wabbeen," a mallet or a heavy stick. " Mi Yee kin flump," My God, what a thump!

' Spiel ' (also German) is Scottish for a game or a player's turn in a game, especially in curling ; and ' spielick ' is a smart blow or tap in a game. In knurr-and-spell the 'spell' is a trap-board with a spring which throws the ball up. (Trap-ball was played in the Isle of Man under the name of ' long-ball.') The name ' Speelo,' however, may relate to running after the ball; N.E.D., under " Speeler," says " perhaps from Northern dialect ' speel,' to run quickly (of a horse)."

Spench. A man was whipped at Douglas in 1699 for breaking open a ' spench-door ' (Records). Probably the archaic English ' spence,' a larder or buttery, the place from which food was dispensed. Cregeen has Spinch, a scullion. In Cornish cottages to-day a cupboard under the staircase is called a spence.

Spigeen or Spigane (stress on second syllable), is a hurdle or other obstruction-the head or foot of a discarded iron bedstead is much favoured-fixed on top of a sod hedge at its junction with another, to prevent sheep from getting over or walking along. (J.T.I.) I spell the word as it is pronounced in Patrick, whence the information comes, but it is evidently the same as " Speekeen " above, which is a diminutive of speek. Speek is applicable to an object that stands up sharply against the skyline. Manx.

Splutter, a state of excitement or panic, without reference to speaking. The fairies " were in the splutter to get away" when the woman woke her husband (Blanche Nelson's MSS.) Mrs. Nelson was Irish, but here she is telling a tale as she heard it in Rushen.

Spout. " Hev another spout, man " (Juan Noa, The Rafoymah) ; i.e., another pour, some more tea in your cup.

Spret, a convulsive kick or spring. " No bhoy bogh hobbles at the sides, Nor sthroogin' out of tune in slides, With ugly sprets, and shame besides, At being wrong " in his dancing (Quarrie, " The Melliah "). ' Sthroogin,' dragging his feet. An animal gives a sudden spret, or a dying spret. Manx.

Standard. An old and respected resident is often alluded to as " an oul' sthandard," especially when he dies. The expression " old standard " is used in newspaper obituaries.

Starch (verb) is used as a threat. " I'll starch her if she dares to lay a hand on my things ! " (Cushag, Mylecharaine, page 5). Presumably 'lay her out stiff ' is the idea.

Steer, used personally, is to regulate, manage. " A passel of oul' turmits is all you would be puttin' the bross if I wasn't here to be steerin' you " (Cushag, Mylecharaine, page 7). ' Bross,' broth.

Stermagh, stormy. " Sthirrmagh w'ather Seemed breaking on his starboard bow " (" In the Days of the Dooinney Moylley," Ramsey Courier, 23/12/1898). Manx stermagh or steyyymagh, Irish stoirmeach.

Sthaaga or Sthaager (noun and verb). Physical effort ; to struggle physically. " At long las', after a deal of sthaaga, they managed it "-i.e., to get the horse in the cart ; and " We wor . . . forced to sthaager over the hedge through the briars and goss " (Bill Billy, " The Fairies' Victim "). In the present participle " It took a lot of stheagin to get a plateful apiece " (Thossie Beg, " A Pancake Spree," Examiner cutting, 1908) ' Sthaager ' is also used for ' stagger,' according to the V.A.D.

Sthreddins, a cobbler's waxed-ends. " The boys are shoutin' for their shoes, So get your sthreddins ready " (Ramsey Courier, 12/8/1893). Manx streng, Gaelic strang, a string.

Stiff-cart, a country cart without springs. Quite common, but I do not remember seeing it in print, unless in newspapers.

Stitch, pleurisy. " Thomas Kinread bury'd in Kk. Xt. Lezayre ye 27th July. He was the first yt died of the Common Distemper of Stitch of [or ?] Pleurisy this year "-1723. Then follow the names, with ' S ' prefixed, of thirty-one others who died of ' the Stitch ' in Andreas that year. It is not noted in any succeeding year. (From the Ven. Archdeacon Kewley.)

Stoagh. " An awful shtoagh position " (" In the Days of the Dooinney Moylley," Ramsey Courier, 23/12/1898). Glossed 'stupid ' by the pseudonymous author of the ballad.

Stob. In addition to its uses given in the V.A.D., ' stob ' was a name for the stalks of standing grain. " The remaining ears on their stobbs Stood manfully up " (Quarrie, " The Melliah "). Altered to " clods " in the second edition to improve the rhyme.

Stobby, adjective derived from the foregoing. " He's as stobby (prickly) as a bunch of hollin " (V.A.D., " Hollan," holly).

Stocking is used by Tom Baynes as a familiar term of address to the sea. " Come on, ould stockin' ! do your worst ! " (Brown 216).

Stook. A stook consists of sheaves of corn set on their butts and leaned one against another in two rows, usually from four to six sheaves in each row. " The stooks might rot in the fields for quhat he keerd " (Rydings, " Our Kerree "). Also as verb, to set up sheaves in a stook. " If he can't do that, ler him help to stook " (Quarrie, " The Melliah "). " Stouckes of Corne " are mentioned in the Deemsters' delivery of Breast Laws in 1499 (Statutes). " The Tenth Stoke " was Ecclesiastical tithe (Spiritual Laws, 1610, in Statutes). The word is in use in the North of England and South of Scotland. See also " Brimmin."

Storker, a cowman. " In harvis' the storker was loblolly-boy " (Quarrie, " The Melliah "). ' Loblolly-boy,' man-of-all-work. ' Storker ' is unknown to the E.D.D. Irish store, a bullock, a large animal (Dinneen), and Scotch ' stirk,' a bullock, may be concerned.

Straam (noun) is a term of reproach, sometimes serious, sometimes playful. " Look at the house the man has got ! Ye big straam ! I'd be ashamed of people to see it " (Shimmin, The Charm, page 12).

" Boots ! I got a new pair for that Tommy of ours a fortnight last Saturday . . . and that straam of a Tommy has kicked the toes out already " (Shimmin, Luss ny Graih, page z4 ). The V.A.D. has " Sthramlag, an awkward thing or person." Stramlag in Cregeen, with a similar definition, and in Kelly as a Manx equivalent for ' sloven,' but as Tromlag in his Manx-English section. The ' s ' is merely intensive as in ' camsthram,' q.v. The idea of heaviness is present in all these words, ' lag ' being an adjectival postfix.

Straits. ' The Straits ' is a name for the Mediterranean in general, from its entrance, the Straits of Gibraltar. " Isn' he like them things up the Straits ? Them picthurs the Romans has got in their chapels ? " (Brown 116).

Strange, fresh and interesting in the way of news. " Is there anything strange in the paper ? " when one is seen reading it. " Well, Willie, an' what's strange with you to-day ? " is a common form of greeting among the Athenian-minded Manx. " Anything strange going on in Peel ? " (Shimmin, Illiam Kodhere's Will, page 24).

Strap, the rope or cord used to tether an animal. " Take the goat off the sthrap an' let her travel the garee "-the common.

Streeling. " Sthreelin' off his golden stockings "i.e., the sun (Brown, Letters, i, 124). Otherwise unknown to me as a verb with this meaning, which is obviously 'stripping.' The V.A.D. has " Sthreel, a person of untidy and trailing attire," which agrees with the Manx dictionary definition of that word. Joyce's definition of ' streel ' (English as We Speak it in Ireland, page 336) is similar.

Streevaugh, a loose woman. " The colts took the Dog-mill road like streevaughs " (Quarrie, " The Melliah "). Manx streebagh.

Stripper, a young girl of marriageable age ; literally, a heifer. " And see the. Gels, those strippers rare. . . . They foot it lightly " (Quarrie, " The Melliah ").

Strull, to rinse, cleanse. " Can I hev the lend o' thy big pot, Colcheragh's wife ? I'm wantin' to strull a few things " (Kneen, A Lil Smook). Manx strulley.

Subject, continual, chronic. "The cough was subjec' to her, Aw, teerin', teerin' still " (Cushag, " The Gable of the House ").

Suction, food for the emotions, fascination. " Aw, it was suction for the gel ! Suction, I tell you ! " " Well, that's the way it was-like suction, Didn' I say ? And's been the destruction Of many a gel " (Brown 375, 376)

Suggane (stress on second), a rope of straw or hay used in the hayfield, also to retain thatch in its place, and, formerly, to make creels and horse-panniers, chair-seats and cradles, as well as for various other purposes. The female harvest-workers had to jump over it at the Melliah games: " Soghane was set like a loob, with power To send them rowlin' head over heels " (Quarrie, " The Melliah "). That the fairies tied people up in suggane and ran off with them is suggested in the old song " Arrane ny Feyrishyn."

Another use for suggane : " It is said that when two farmers were desirous of making a boundary-fence where none existed before, they set poles at a distance apart on what they considered the line of boundary, and they took a ball of straw rope and tossed it from one pole towards the other, and the way that the rope lay on the ground they built their boundary fence. That would account for the crooked fences " (Cashen, Manx Folk-love, page i1).

Suggane is woven by two persons. One stands slowly twirling the end which is hooked to the crosspiece of a rake or the blade of a sickle, while the other operator, stepping backward as the rope lengthens, supplies the hay or straw, carefully keeping it continuous at the right thickness. In the days before coir largely replaced suggane a special instrument called a ' thrower ' or a ' twister ' was used by the man who twisted. A shorter rope, the' suggane-corrag,' thumb-rope, made by one man who used his thumb as a twister, came in useful for halters. Such a halter made by a ' fairy doctor' and left on a sick cow till the straw wore through, was sometimes part of the cure.

In Rushen parish the word is pronounced more like ' soohaun,' and is applied also to a spider's web or filament. The ' stealing ' of people by the fairies in their suggane, mentioned above, and this secondary meaning of ' gossamer,' may perhaps be associated, in respect to a Welsh anecdote told under the heading of " The Ropes of the Fairies " in D. E. Jenkins's Beddgelert, page 157. A man who fell asleep while watching the fairies was bound and covered with gossamer by them, so that he became invisible to his friends seeking him. Next evening the fairies released him ; he woke up, but wandered lost till the cock crew, when he found he was quite near home.

The name ' suggane ' appears to be derived from the action of the twister of the rope in stepping backward and drawing the material towards him-Gaelic sughaim, ' I draw in.'

Sumner (Summoner), was the Bishop's officer, whose duties, as specified in the Statute Laws, ranged from arresting delinquents and collecting tithes down to expelling dogs from church on Sundays.

Sump, a marsh; Sumpy, wet (ground). I have heard these words used in Cregneish. In the Gallovidian Encyclopedia ' sump ' is defined as a great fall of rain ; ' sumped ' as 'to be wet.' Cumbrian " sump or sumph, the puddle about a midden. Dan. sump, mire or puddle " (Ellwood, Lakeland and Iceland, sx.) The 'sump' beneath a motor-car engine holds the lubricating oil.

Sup (noun) is used in other connexions than that of drinking, especially for light rain. " There's a sup of rain doin' " means that it is drizzling. " Pinched the sup of water there's left in the river itself " may be said in a long drought ; i.e., hardly a drop.

Swaddler is a nickname for a Wesleyan Methodist. " If thou'll call me a Ranther I'll call thee a Swaddler " (V.A.D., " Ranther "). ' Ranter,' Primitive Methodist. These terms are now out-of-date.

Swagging, questing from side to side, prowling. " Swaggin' about a lil, to see if I could ger a sight on the Devil " (Quarrie, " Tittle-whack "). Jamieson's Scottish Dictionary defines it as " moving from one side to the other." ' Swag,' obsolete as a verb in English, meant to hang swaying.

Sward, the rind of bacon or pork. Kelly, s.v. " Sward " and " Lhiannag," takes it to be standard English in this sense. In use in Northern English dialects, from which it may have been recently adopted in the Isle of Man, as it is not universally known there.

Swee. " From the ' swee,' or crane in the chimney, hung the big family pot " (Quarrie, " Tittlewhack ") ; i.e., the bar from which the cooking-pot hung over the fire ; the same implement as a ' rackentree,' q.v. The word has the same meaning in Scotland, and may be the English ' sway.' In Cumberland, however, the chimney-crane is a ' swape.'

Sweetleaf was a plant grown freely in cottage gardens up to 30 or qo years ago, but it seems now to have become quite extinct, and though it has been described to me by several persons I cannot say for certain that it was the plant known in England as Sweetleaf or Sweet-amber-the large-flowered St. John's wort, Hypericum Androsaemum, according to the N.E.D., s.v. " Sweetleaf." Sc r : t c%

Swift, a winder used with the queeyl-mooar, the big wheel on which flax was spun. " A 'swift' was required for winding the balls off into hanks, which were then ready for weaving into linen " (Miss Crellin, Lioar Manninagh, ii., 266).


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