History of the Village of Stoney Middleton

By Thomas E. Cowen (1910)

Transcriptions by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2003

History of the Village of Stoney MiddletonDIALECT OF THE PEAK


“A Fragment on the High Peak”, contributed to the Reliquary of 1861-2 by the Right Honourable Lord Denman, has been used with some alterations and addition:

TUN, TON; A.S. A fence or fenced place. It was originally applied to a plot of ground fenced round or enclosed by a hedge - a fortified place. Later it was the name of a town, farm or dwelling. In Scotland a farmhouse is still spoken of as the toun. In some parts of England the rickyard is still called the barton, i.e., the enclosure for the crops which the lane bears,

Middleton would appear to be a town with other towns on each side of it. Dr. Wrench, of Baslow, however, thinks Middleton takes its name from the township being in two parishes with a boundary in the middle.

SHIPPEN is a shortened form of Sheep-pen. This is a small barn, and is used in connection with a cowhouse or ox-stall.

PUND is the Anglo-Saxon form derived from the Latin pondus, weight, and, pondo, to pound. The word punch denotes the use of the fists, but not infrequently it is applied to a 'kick in the ribs'.

PINFOLD is a contracted form of Pen-fold. It is a place in which cattle are enclosed or penned. Another name for it was the Pound, which was kept by the Pound-keeper or Pinder. This is doubtless the origin of the surname Pinder.

TOR is a Phœnician word for a rocky hill, Raven Tor, High Tor, and Steeple Tor occur in Middleton Dale.

LOMB implies a fall of water. Part of what was once the Lomb is included in the New Road, and the Waterfall is close at hand.

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LUM; Welsh Llumon; a chimney. “It means a narrow ravine where the light enters from above as it did in the roof of a Saxon hut, for the escape of smoke from the fire in the centre”. Burns speaks of a “reeking lum”. This is often corrupted into Love Lane; Lumb Lane etc. (Dr. Wrench).

LOWE, bleau or law Gothic, a hill, heap, tomb or barrow. This occurs in Blakelow or Bleaklow. In the Ordnance Survey of 1878 the sites of tumuli, human remains, cist and cup are marked.

LOWE. A flame. A “Lilly lowe” is a flame or blaze.

CUPEL; Latin, cups, a tub; is a melting pot.

CUPOLA or CUPEL-LOWE. Lord Denman thought it ought still to be written in the latter form.

Cupel-lows was a Saxon word for a wind furnace for smelting ore, i.e., a smelting house. There were formerly two such furnaces in Middleton Dale.

'As they came from the moorlands, from heath and bent, The Jagger and horses half frozen and spent; Hit hard, and their loadings all covered with snow, 'Twixt the wild mountain crags by the old Cupel-lowe.'

Jagger was the name of a pack-horse driver.

BELLAND was the complaint caused by imbibing vapour or particles of lead on grass or in water. The animals were said to be bellanded.

CALC (Latin, calx lime) was the name of chalk or limestone. Calc spar is obtained in Middleton.

CROZZIL means to harden. When it is used as a noun it means a coke or cinder. People frequently say, “The coal crozzils well”. A gnarled stick is said to be crozzled.

NESH (Saxon, nasc, tender) means to make tender.

WHO is constantly used in place of she, as the Feminine Personal Pronoun, e.g.:-“Who is a good lady, who gives food and clothing to the poor, and who visits them at their homes”.

[Ed: I can't let this one go! The sound is more like 'ow' than 'who', and from its sound, and my understanding, I believe it derives (in this context) from 'her' - in other words, ‘Her is a good lady’.]

“FETCH BAG” is often used for “If you please fetch the bag”. “Had dinner, and at after walked” is employed instead of “I had my dinner and afterwards walked”.

HOW ART TH' is used for How art thou? Lord Denman thinks “people in the cold North pronounce their words

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rapidly and frequently leave out the article and shorten every word. They scarcely open their mouths lest the cold air should enter.” In Yorkshire we often hear ‘Who art ta?’

CANNA, SHANNA, WUNNA, SHOULDNA, HANNA is constantly used for Cannot, Shall not, Will not, Should not, and Have not.

BOWN is a contracted form of bound.

NOUGHT occurs in the sentence, 'It means nought' I (it matters little).

WELLY means well-nigh, nearly, almost. This is a common word in Staffordshire.

OSSE implies to offer, to aim to do. It occurs in the following, “The landlord talked of repairs, but did not osse to do them”.

TIT (Icelandic titte, a little bird) is applied also to a small horse. It occurs in compound words, as in Titmouse, Titlark, Titling (the hedge sparrow), and also in phrases. e.g., ‘Tit for tat’ (an equivalent in return), ‘Tit-bit’, ‘Tittle tattle’ (idle trifling talk).

SUP, to drink little by little; e.g., “Let's sup”.

GIMMER is a young sheep.

WHOKE, WHOTES are merely broadened forms of Oak and Oats.

POTTER, doing something to kill time, such as “What are you doing?” On pottering about.

OWN is colloquial form of oven.

CLAM, to starve, occurs in the following, “She was welly clammed to death”.

THRONG, very busy. “I am very throng just now”.

SAM UP, to finish. This is applied to collecting tools, etc., e.g., “You 'ad better sam up your tools and go”.

CAWK or Sulphate of Baryates is a heavy white mineral.

JENNEL (Latin, Janua, a door) is a channel, passage, or doorway, A porter or door-keeper was called a janitor.

JAMB (French, jambe, a leg) is the side-post or side of a doorway.

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PUDDLE (M.E., podol, a pool) is the term applied to the washing of the lead ore; to work with water to a thick paste. The man who performed this work was called a puddler.

AGATE means doing, or “in the act of”. This occurs in the sentences, “He is agate of mending a road”; “What are you agate of?”

GAINER, nearer, such as “Which is the gainer road?”

End of Chapter XIX: => PLACE NAMES

OCR/transcript by Rosemary Lockie in February 2003.

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