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taking of Boucher, which was not continued beyond the latter B; and the numerous glossaries of particular dialects, among which one of the last and best is that of Northamptonshire by Miss Baker. The “ Dictionary" by Mr. Halliwell, when we consider that it was almost new in its class, and that the author had many difficulties to contend with, which would not, perhaps, have existed now, was in every respect an extraordinary work.

In compiling the following pages, I have taken all the advantage I could honestly of the labours of my predecessors, in addition to a large quantity of original material which was placed in my hands, and I have added to this numerous collections of my own, especially from the dramatic and popular writers of the latter half of the seventeenth century, and of the earlier part of the eighteenth. I have also profited by lists of local words communicated from various parts of the kingdom, and among those who have contributed in this manner, I have especially to acknowledge the services of the Rev. E. Gillet, of Runham, in Norfolk. To make such a work perfect is impossible ; but I hope that, on the whole, the present will be found one of the most generally useful works of the kind that has yet appeared.


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h. often omitted where it ought to be inserted, or used superfluously.

i, y.

k, c, ch.

0, 00, ou, 26.

qu, wh, w.

S, C.

sw, squ, qu.


x, sh.

y, 9.

y. j.

2, 8.




A, the definite article, is a mere

abbreviation of an, which was
used before consonants as well
23 vowels, till a comparatively
recent period. The obsolete
modes of employing the article
are not very numerous. It is
sometimes repeated with adjec.
tires, the substantive having gone
before, in such phrases as, a
tall man and a good.” It is not
unusually prefixed to many, as
"2 many princes." It is also
frequently prefixed to numerals,
as a ten, a twelve.
And a pete bole therin, wbereof the
faze tane oute of. And aftyre a vj.
or vij. duyes, it aroose north-est, and so
baktere and bakkere; and so enduryd
e tij. ayghtes, fulle lytelle chaungynye,
goroze from the northi-este to the weste,
and some time it wulde seme aquench-
ede oute, and kodanly it brent fer-
rently agerne.

Warkworth's Chron. The Lynge and his counselle sent unto diverse ihat were with theerle of Oxen. förde presely there pardones, and probrede to them grote vertes and landes and zoudes, by the whiche dyverse of them were turned to the kynge ayens the erle; and so in conclusione the erle bue nejt passynge ane viij. or ix. menne that wolle boide withe hym; the shiche was the undoybge of the erle.

16. A is very commonly used as an abbreviation of oue, as Thre

A persones in a Godhede,” (three persons in one Godhead). Hir & schanke blake, hir other grare.

Ballad of True Thumas. It is used often as a mere expletive, generally at the end of a line in songs and popular verse. d, for on, or at, before nouns ; thus we have a place, at the place, a field, in the field. As representing on, it is frequently prefixed to words in composition, sometimes apparently giving intensity to the meaning, but in general not perceptibly altering it. Thus we have constantly such forms as acold, for coid, adown, for down, aback, for back, aready, for ready. It appears sometimes, chiefly when used before verbs, to represent the French preposition à, and was then no doubt an adaptation from the Anglo-Norman. Thus ado seems to represent the Fr. à faire. The following are the principal meanings of a as a separate word. (1) Always; ever (from the A.-S.); still used in this sense in Cumberland.

A the more I loke theron,
1 the more I thymke I fon.

Towneley Mysterics.


(2) Yes (a contraction of aye). Somerset.

(3) And. Somerset. It occurs in this sense not unfrequently in old MSS., perhaps an accidental abridgement.

(4) An interrogative, equivalent to what? Var. Dial.

(5) If.


(6) He. It is often put into the mouths of ignorant or vulgar people in this sense by the old dramatists, and it is not uncommon in MSS. of an earlier date. (7) They. In the dialect of Shropshire. In the western counties it is used for she, and sometimes for it. (8) All.

(9) Have. As in the common expression "a done," i. e. have done. (10) In. "A Latin," in Latin. "A Goddes name," in God's


4 that how, in that way or manner, e. g. I
shall do a' that how. Linc.
(11) An interjection; for ah!

A! swete sire, I seide the.
Piers Ploughman.

A per se.
A person of extraor-
dinary merit; a nonpareil. This
phrase was used chiefly in the
Elizabethan age.

The famous dame, fayre Helen, lost her hewe

When withred age with wrinckles chaungd her cheeks,

Her lovely lookes did loathsomnesse en


That was the A per se of all the Greekes. Turberville's Tragicall Tales, 1587. That is the 4 per se of all, the cream of all. Blurt Master Constable, 1602. The phrase is sometimes varied by an additional a.

In faith, my sweet honey-comb, I'll love thee, 4 per se a. Wily Beguil'd. AA. An exclamation of lamenting. It was asserted by the old popular theologists that a male child utters the sound a-a when it

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AAR, prep. (A.-S. ar). Ere, before. This form occurs in the Romance of Kyng Alisaunder. AARM, 8. (A.-S.) The arm. Wycliffe, Bodl. MS. Aarmed, for armed, occurs in Wyclyffe's version of the Testament. AARON, 8. (4.-S.) The herb wakerobin. Cotgrave. AAS, 8. (A.-N.) Aces. AAT, 8. (A.-S.) Fine oatmeal, used for thickening pottage. AATA, prep. After. Suff. AATH, S. (4.-S.) An oath. Yorks.

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part. p.(from A.-N· abaisser). Ashamed; abashed.



And unboxone y-be, Noulit abaissed to agulte God and alle good men. Piers Pl., p. 518. The soleyn cans the man astoneyd tho, That read he wax, abaischt, and al quakyng. Chancer, C. T., 6192. I was abaischite, be oure Lorde, Of our beste bernes. Morte Arthure. ABAKWARD, adv. Backwards. ÅBALIENATE, v. (Lat.) To alienate; to transfer property from one to another.

ABANDE, v. To abandon; forsake. Aud Vortigern enforst the kingdom to aband. Spenser, Let us therefore both cruelty abande, And prudent secke both gods and men

to please. Mirour for Magistrates. ABANDON, adv. (A.-N. à bandon, at discretion). Liberally; at discretion; freely, fully exposed. Aftir this swift gift tis but reason Ile give his gode too in abandon. Rom. of the Ruse, 2342.

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ABARSTICK, 8. Insatiableness. ABARSTIR, adj. More downcast. Myght no man be abarstir. Towneley Mysteries. ABASE, v. (A.-N. abaisser). To cast down; to humble. Spenser. Among illiterate persons, it is still used in the sense of debase. "I wouldn't abase myself by descending to hold any conversation with him.” Oliver Twist, ii, 134. ABASHMENT, 8. (4.-N.) The state of being abashed. ABAST, part. p. Downcast. See Abaised.

ABASTARDIZE, v. (A.-N. abastarder). To render illegitimate or base.

ABASURE, 8. (4.-N.) Abasement. ABASTICK, adj. Insatiable. ABATAYLMENT, 8. (A.-N.) Battle

ment. Sir Gawayne, p. 30. ABATE, v. (A.-N.) (1) To subtract.

Abatyn, subtraho. Prompt. Parv.
It was the technical term for the
operation in arithmetic.
(2) To beat down, or overthrow.

(3) To cast down, or depress the mind. Shakesp. (4) To cease.

Ys continaunce abated eny host to make. Political Songs, p. 216.

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