Letter G - 1892 Mid-Antrim Glossary

Author: ‘F.L.’ (William James Knowles)

Date: 1892

Source: Nine lists of local (mid-Antrim) words and sayings, with notes, published in the Ballymena Observer between April and August 1892. See 1892 Ballymena Observer (Mid-Antrim) Word Lists for original articles (USLS/TB/Hist/1800-1899/012).

Comments: This serialised ‘glossary’ was compiled in response to a letter published in the Ballymena Observer, 19 February, 1892, from P W Joyce, whose book, English as we Speak it in Ireland, was in preparation. Dr. Joyce was appealing throughout Ireland for help in amassing a record of Irish Dialect, including words of Scotch origin. The first response from the readers of the Ballymena Observer was a significant glossary of local words by ‘F.L.’ on April 8. This word list began with an appeal for other readers to “add to it and throw light on meanings which they will see are rather obscure to me”. Further word lists introduced by ‘F.L.’ then appeared on April 22; April 29; May 6; May 27; June 17; July 1; and August 18. The identity of F.L. as William James Knowles, MRIA (1832–1927), a distinguished antiquarian from Cullybackey, was confirmed by Joyce when English as we Speak it in Ireland was published in 1910. Numerous entries sourced from this ‘Ballymena Observer’ glossary were also published in the English Dialect Dictionary (1898) and the Scottish National Dictionary (1929–1946). A complete A–Z ‘merged’ glossary has been created from these entries, and appears as the ‘1892 Mid-Antrim Glossary’ in this website.

Doc. ref. no.: USLS/TB/Hist/1800-1899/013-g

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Ganch – To stammer.

Gant – To yawn.

Gar – Compel, as If you don’t do so-and-so A’ll gar you.

Geck – To mock, to make sport of. Formerly used in English with a different shade of meaning. Now obs.

Get – A bastard.

Gigin or Geegan – laughing and making sport, I suppose a corruption of geckin.

Gimp –.Short, small, scarcely sufficient, as gimp measure.

Girn – grin.

Glakes – an instrument used to lighten the work of churning. It is usually attached to a beam and has one projecting end to attach to the churnstaff, and another to act as a lever.

Glam – Trying to grab something with one or both hands, as He made a glam at her.

Glammery – A spell, as He threw his glammery over her. After halloweve the divil throw his glammery owre the blackberries.

Gleed – A glowing coal. Used by Chaucer, but now obsolete. Still continues as a local word, as There’s no a gleed o’ a fire.

Gleg – Gossiping talk. Gie me nane o’ your gleg.

Gloit – A blockhead of a young fellow.

Glow – (the ow is pronounce as in now). The same meaning as gleed.

Glumph – another nickname, which would be applied to a sheepish sort of youngster

Glundy – An awkward clownish person.

Glundy – an awkward unhandy fellow. I suppose only a nickname.

Glunter – stupid.

Goak – the cuckoo.

Gokey – (Query meaning). A gokey-hole.

Gomeril – a nickname for a foolish fellow constantly making mistakes.

Gomey – A gawkey, a simpleton.

Gopen – The full of the two hands, or the space formed by uniting the two hands at the finger tips, as A gopin o’ pratis, The full o’ my gopen.

Gorb – Used in the sense of glutton, as one who eats more than his share, leaving too little for another, would be called a greedy gorb.

Gouf – a blow on the ear by way of correction.

Goupin – Throbbing, as A hae a sore heed (headache). Feel hoo it’s goupin.

Gowl – A yell.

Grawl – a young growing person; as, He’s but a grawl o’ a fellow

Grays – a kind of champ with vegetables such as young leeks or scallions mixed with the potatoes.

Greenin’ – A longin’ for some kinds of food by women in the family way.

Greeshagh – The ashes full of hot embers immediately surrounding the fire on the hearth.

Greth – A general name for all the articles required to put on a horse when yoking him to the cart.

Griddle – girdle.

Groak – A child who keeps waiting at meal time expecting something to eat.

Grog – whiskey mixed with water.

Groof – As, He was lying on his groof. I think with his face downward.

Groop or Grape, perhaps Gripe – the gripe or drain-like part behind cows in the byre.

Grounds – sediment, as the grounds of the coffee pot.

Grulsh – a short fat person or animal; as, A fine grulsh o’ a wee pig.

Grummel – sediment that falls to the bottom in liquids, as the grummel of the coffee.

Guffaw – a coarse laugh; as, He let a guffaw oot o’ him.

Guipe – An awkward uncouth fellow.

Gulder – A loud scolding shout. The noise made the by a turkey cock is called guldering.

Gullion – A hole near the house containing liquid manure.

Gunk – To spite to disappoint.

Gye has the force of very, a good deal, as The roads gye an saft, that is very wet and dirty.

Gyly – Fairly well, as Heth A’m gyly.

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