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The utility of a PROVINCIAL GLOSSARY to all persons desirous of understanding our ancient poets, is so universally acknowledged, that to enter into a proof of it would be entirely a work of supererogation. Divers partial collections have been occasionally made, all which have been well received, and frequently reprinted; these are, in this work, al! united under one alphabet; and augmented by many hundred words collected by the Editor in the different places wherein they are used; the rotation of military quarters, and the recruiting service, having occasioned him to reside for some time in most of the counties in England.
Provincial or Local Words are of three kinds, the first, either Saxon or Danish, in general grown obsolete from disuse, and the introduction of more fashionable terms; and, consequently, only retained in countries remote from the capital, where modern refinements do not easily find their way, and are not readily adopted.
The second sort are words derived from some foreign language, as Latin, French, or German; but so corrupted, by passing through the mouths of illiterate clowns, as to render their origin scarcely discoverable; corruptions of this kind being obstinately maintained by country people, who, like the old Monks, will never exchange their old mumpsimus for the new sumpsimus.
The third are mere arbitrary words, not deducible from any primary source of language, but ludicrous nominations,
from some apparent qualities in the object or thing, at first scarcely current out of the parish, but by time and use extended over a whole county. Such are the Church-warden, Jack-sharp-nails, Crotch-tail, &c.
The books chiefly consulted on this occasion were Ray's Proverbs, Tim Bobbin's Lancashire Dialect, Lewis's History of the Isle of Thanet, Sir John Cullum's History of Hawstead, many of the County Histories, and the Gentleman's Magazine: from the last, the Exmoor dialect was entirely taken. Several Gentlemen, too respectable to be named on so trifling an occasion, have also contributed their assistance.
In selecting the words, such as only differed from those in common use, through the mode of pronunciation, were mostly rejected; nor in the arrangement, except in a few instances, are they attributed or fixed to a particular county, it being difficult to find any word used in one county, that is not adopted at least in the adjoining border of the next; they are therefore generally arranged under the titles of North, South, and West country words, distinguished by the letters N. S. and W. Words used in several counties in the same sense, are pointed out by the letter C. to express that they are common; and sometimes these are distinguished by the abbreviation Var. Dial. signifying that they are used in various dialects. The East country scarcely afforded a sufficiency of words to form a division.
With the present edition has been incorporated (for the first time) the Supplement by Samuel Pegge, Esq. F.S.A., Author of the “Curalia,” “ Anecdotes of the English Language,” &c.
The WESTMORLAND DIALECT, in four Familiar Dialogues,
in which an attempt is made to illustrate the Provincial Idiom of that County, by Mrs. ANN WHEELER. To which is added, a Collection of Poems, Songs, and Tales, written in the CUMBERLAND DIALECT, by J. RELPH, I. Ritson, M. LONSDALE, EwAN CLARK, J. Stagg, and R. ANDERSon, with an extensive Glossary of Words peculiar to both
Counties, post 8vo. elegantly printed, 68 An Exmoor SCOLDING; in the Propriety and Decency of
EXMOOR LANGUAGE ; also an ExmooR COURTSHIP: a new edition, with Notes and a GLOSSARY, explaining uncouth Expressions, and interpreting barbarous Words and Phrases, post 8vo. 18 6d
1839 A Poem written in the Essex DIALECT, by CHARLES CLARK, Esq. of Great Totham Hall, Essex, post 8vo. 1s
1 839 SUFFOLK WORDS and PHRASES, or an attempt to collect the
Lingnal Localisms of that County, by EDWARD Moor, F.R.S. F.A.S., post 8vo. scarce, 12s