Letter H - 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-h

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Haen – To save, as Haen your kitchen, that is to save your soup, beef, or whatever else you have got to eat with your potatoes.

Hag – To cut or hack with a hatchet.

Haght – A voluntary cough to remove mucous from the throat.

Hallion – An uncouth lazy fellow.

Hanch – to make a snap when biting as dogs do.

Hare-scart – Hare lip.

Harl – A rough worker, who will do a lot but do it badly.

Hartin’ – small stones put in to fill the centre of a wall, sheaves put in to fill the centre of a corn stack.

Hatterel – A series of scabs running into one another, for instance on children’s heads.

Haveril – A half-witted person.

Havil – a temporary structure made of wooden standards for a cart shed and covered with a stack of hay on the top.

Hearty – merry and jocular from taking a little spirituous liquid.

Heckler – one who prepares flax for spinning by combing it on toothed instruments called heckles. A person good at any operation such as fighting is called a heckler.

Hedgin’ – drawing back from a bargain.

Hefted – a cow prepared for market by not milking her for a day or more, so that her udder may appear very large.

Hench – to throw a stone with the arm hanging. Hoo far can you throw a stane by henchin’ it. To fling; as, A henched it tae him.

Hiddlens – Secretly, as Hoo did he get the whusky? Some yin has gi’en it tae him in hiddlens.

Hilch – To walk in a lame manner. Hilchy is the nickname for a lame person.

Hintin –.the hollow left in turning over the part plowed.

Hipel – A good for nothing sort of fellow; a lazy hipel.

Hirple – To hobble along.

Hirsel – A loose bundle, as A hisel o’ clothes. I think I heard the expression, A hirsel o’ weans, applied when there was a big family.

Hitch – an obstacle arising to prevent the completion of a bargain.

Hives – Red itchy spots on the skin.

Hize – to raise; as, Hize up the kert, as in the process of emptying.

Hoighel – a person who does work clumsily.

Hoister – A bundle of things put together without any order, as a hoister of clothes. A person who has no order in his working is called a hoister. Hoister has a different shade of meaning from harl.

Hoit – To induce one by persuading or goading to do something.

Hoke – To dig roughly. You hoke a hole by picking or digging it out roughly. Pigs hoke the ground with their noses.

Holis-Bolis – the whole lot.

Housil –.the hammer end of a hatchet.

Huggars, or Hogars – Stockings without feet.

Hulge – an irregular mass of matter, as clay falling or sliding down.

Hulk – As, A dirty lazy hulk.

Hum – food chewed in the mouth of the nurse and given to the child.

Hunkers – When in sitting posture but without a seat a person is said to be sitting on his hunkers.

Hurry-Burry – extra hurry with noise and confusion.

Hutherin’ – an animal or person crept together from cold or illness, It’s a’ gathered up an’ hutherin’-like.

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