[From Manx Dialect, 1934]


Wabbeen, any stout stick or club. " A mellad or a wabbeen of some sort, And strinth to hit, is needed at this sport " (Quarrie, " Old Times Mellad,' a mallet. Manx wappin, a weapon.

Wanton, a lock of hay twisted so as to be easily carried under the arm. The word is in use to-day in the Dalby district. (J.T.I.)

Warners. " Some of the Braddhan Church warners sed a goss-bush woss good enuff for a boundary fence in Baldhyn " (Newspaper article, source unknown). Perhaps for ' wardens ' ; Cumberland dialect speakers say ' church-wardners ' (Sullivan, Cumberland and Westmorland, page 94).

Wart is a common term among fishermen for a small submarine bank near the coast. There are several which are called simply 'The Wart,' and I have heard it said in Peel that " the ground is very warty all round the West side." ' Wart ' is a word for a fishingplace in Shetland and East Anglia, but the resemblance to the Manx word may be accidental. The name ' Heward ' in certain old maps for a bank off Kirk Michael may be an error for ' The Wart.' No such bank is now known.

Wearing-clothes is the usual term for working clothes, as distinguished from one's Sunday best. " It's allis their wearin' clothes the'er seen in, jus' as when alive " (Morrison, Lioay Manninagh, iv., 16o). The expression obtains in Yorkshire also, and perhaps elsewhere in the North. In the Isle of Man ' wearingboots ' and other articles of week-day attire naturally follow.

Weed. In a game resembling rounders, "If between the dens he'll get a weed, His han' is out, he's lost, for all his speed " (Quarrie, " Old Times "). Meaning unascertained. By the rules of rounders it would imply being hit by the ball.

Weeds (or its pseudo-Manx equivalent Weedyn) is a Peel nickname for the Port Erin and Port St. Mary men. It is adopted into Manx in the satirical ballad " Madgyn y Jiass " (Manx Ballads, pages 182, 3).

Wef, a hint, an inkling. " Well, well, tha Reddies is mortal good,' said Dan, 'give us a wef, ya, when they're goin' " (Quarrie, " Tittle-whack "). Is this the English 'waft' or 'whiff'? ' Reddies,' Readypenny potatoes. ' Ya,' interjection used in addressing a woman or girl; 'la' to the male sex. ' Goin',' being shared out.

Weighs, the balance-scales used by shopkeepers and merchants. " All the weighs in Strand Street isn' lek twin brothers."

While. A 'while' (rhyming with 'mile') is a place where fish are expected to be plentiful and the nets are shot accordingly. Probably the Manx word oayll, a haunt, a place of resort.

Whum, muddle, confusion. "You're all in a whum." Used in the South.

Wicked is occasionally used as a noun. " There's of'en wickads roun', Who'd take advantage of a stranger " (" In the Days of the Dooinney Moylley," Ramsey Couyier, 23/12/1898).

Widow. 'Widow-man' and 'widow-woman' are used as in Ireland and formerly in England-perhaps still in some districts. " I've been a widowman for fifteen years " (Shimmin, Luss ny Gyaih, page 18).

" An oul' widow-woman tormented for money " (Cushag, Mylecharaine, page 16). 'Widow' was a noun of the common gender, like 'witch.'

Wild, angry. " At Ballakilpherick a Glashtin was living, and my father was wild at him, and wanted to kill him " (Roeder, Lioay Manninagh, iii, 138). ' Glashtin,' a supernatural being.

Winch (of a horse), to shy, rear, buck. " The same with hosses-kick and bite And winch away-all right, all right ! " (Brown 245). From the English 'wince ' ?

Witto-Witto-Wee, a game in which boys joined hands and caught other boys until they were all joined in a long line. Known as " Shepherd's Warning" in the North of England. The Manx game called ' Stag' seems to have been much the same.

Woor. A woor is a low-hanging sea-mist that dims the light and chills the air. Supplied to me as a seafarers' word.

Word has sometimes the special meaning of ' charm,' ' spell.' " The charmer 'said the word ' two or three times, but the blood would not stop " ; " He then ' said the word ' over the cut herbs " (Clague, Manx Reminiscences, pages 125, 127). To 'say a good word ' is to repeat a prayer or Bible text, or to invoke the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost to ward off evil influences.

' A big word' is a swear-word. 'The Word' is, of course, the Scriptures.

Worth (adjective) has much the same force as ' fit ' (q.v.), and its dialect use is similarly limited to the negative. " It's well known Donald is hardly worth, he's so full of queer notions " (Douglas, The Master of Raby). Donald, that is to say, is not much good for the purpose specified-running the farm.

Wren-bush. See " Bush."


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