Letter T - 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-t

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Tack – butter is said to have a tack when it is rancid.

Tammock – a small rounded elevation in grazing land covered with moss. It has generally a boulder in the centre.

Tantrums – fits of bad temper. He broke that in one of his tantrums.

Tappy – a fowl with a tuft of feathers on its head. Did you see the wee tappy hen.

Targe – A bold scolding woman.

Tartles – fringe like projections from an old and torn garments.

Tathery – uncombed; as, Your tathery pow – your uncombed hair.

Taws – a few strips of leather tied to a shaft, which boys use in spinning tops. Schoolmasters formerly used a similar instrument for correction.

Teemin – raining heavily.

Thole – to bear; as, A can hardly thole the pain o’ my finger.

Thraft – thwart.

Thrapple – the windpipe.

Thraveless – simple, simple looking. A wus jest thraveless at him, meaning that he (the listener) did not believe a story someone told, and was just simple-looking, or in the nature of a simpleton from astonishment.

Thraw-huck – a bent rod used in twisting straw ropes.

Thrawin’ – cross grained, crooked ; as, As thrawin as a dug’s hin’ leg.

Threep – to argue forcibly; as, A didna get speakin’ a word, as he threeped, or threp, it doon my throat.

Thud – the sound made by the fall of a heavy body to the ground. It fell wi’ a great thud.

Thummack – a pinch with the finger and thumb. Rather thummackful, I think.

Tig – to strike one lightly with the fingers. A game of children.

Timus – early; as, A’ll be up gye an timus in the mornin’.

Tirlin’ – the overturning of thatch in a storm.

Toom – to draw water off; as from potatoes boiling; to empty; as, Toom the potatoes; Toom them up

Totter – the smallest rag of cloth. He had hardly a tatter on him.

Totteration – destruction. He cursed and sent us a’ tae totteration.

Touslin – tossing. Whut ir you touslin’ my hair for?

Tove – to praise, to fill with conceit; as, He toved him up; He’s a tovey fool.

Towsy – uncombed; as, Your towsy pow.

Trake – a long wearisome journey.

Trinket – an open sewer. You’ll get it lying in the trinket.

Trokey – a woman untidy and wanting in smartness.

Trollop – an untidy woman.

Tug (pronounced somewhat like tyug.) – A suck or pull at the breast.

Tukey – the familiar name of the common hen. Used in calling her. Frequently used as a nickname.

Twitter – something small and trifling. She thocht hirsel nae twitter.

Twittery – of no strength or substance.

Tyuck – a blow with the fist or a stone. If ye daeny let me alane A’ll gie ye a tyuck that you’ll feel.

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