Thursday, 24 April 2014

Up And Down


In Fowler's, this phrase refers mainly to geographical terms: down south, up north. Growing up in Cornwall was somewhat insular and we referred to everything that was placed northerly to us as being 'up country.' Only when you are a mere infant it is more 'Upcountry,' as though it forms a different land. 
If you go Upcountry, they'll put allsorts in, call it a pasty, 's a disgrace.
And, if there is an up and a down, who says the earth is flat?
Stuff is simple and yet puzzling when you are four.
On a tilted link, then; sliding into childhood language; here are some words I use that I rarely remember are dialect:
Addled (broken)
Cack (poop)
Cakey (feeble, from the saying 'put in with the cakes took out with the buns')
Chacks (cheeks)
Cheel (child, usually a girl)
Furze (gorse bush)
Gawky (stupid)
Heller (naughty)
Kiddlywink (unlicensed beer shop, also I love 'kiddly broth' for cheap soup)
Mind (remember)
Scat (hit)
Smeech (smoke from burning fat)
Tacker (toddler)


And ones that I do remember are dialect but are pleasingly distinctive:
Backalong (a while back)
Better way (it would be better if you did)
Crib box (lunch box, not a euphemism btw)
Cuss (curse, as in swear)
Dreckly (not immediately)
Emmet (tourist, from the word for 'ant')
Knockers (underground spirits)
Maid (girl or female friend)
Oggy (a pasty, a proper one!)
Pisky (pixie)
Proper (good, suitable)

Some of these have been scooped up into general usage, carried along: others, set down in time, ring archaic down the steep old streets.



Castle Beach, Falmouth: The childhood haunt :-) 


3 comments:

  1. Here, knockers are not, erm, spirits. But I like the spirits better!

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  2. Had some wonderful oggies at a pub in Mevagissy many years ago. There is a local Scottish bakery that makes and sells them here, they are pretty good, but I guess to you "up country".

    Loved Cornwall, spent my honeymoon there.

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  3. Hehe!! Knockers have more than one meaning in British English too, causes some amusing confusion. Our Knockers live in mines and if they like you will tap to help you find tin ore. If not, they lure you away to be lost and die. They like nice folks so we'll be fine :-)
    Mevagissey is a lovely spot, Jo. 'Best pasty' discussions can go on for years- nice to hear there's a Scottish contender! I grew up in Falmouth so anything from mid-Cornwall onwards was Upcountry to us. Scotland was a country beyond Upcountry, but full of fellow Celtic types!

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