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A Glossary of Provincial Words & Phrases in use in Somersetshire   By: (1822?-)

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First Page:

PHRASES IN USE IN SOMERSETSHIRE

Transcribed from the 1873 Longmans, Green, Reader & Dyer edition by David Price, email ccx074@pglaf.org

A GLOSSARY OF PROVINCIAL WORDS & PHRASES IN USE IN SOMERSETSHIRE.

BY WADHAM PIGOTT WILLIAMS, M.A., VICAR OF BISHOP'S HULL ,

AND THE LATE WILLIAM ARTHUR JONES, M.A., F.G.S.

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY R. C. A. PRIOR, M.D.

[Picture: Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society emblem]

LONDON: LONGMANS, GREEN, READER, & DYER. TAUNTON: F. MAY, HIGH STREET. 1873.

PREFACE

It is now nearly six years ago that the Committee of the Somersetshire Archaeological Society asked me to compile a Glossary of the Dialect or archaic language of the County, and put into my hands a valuable collection of words by the late Mr. Edward Norris, surgeon, of South Petherton. I have completed this task to the best of my ability, with the kind co operation of our late excellent Secretary, WM. ARTHUR JONES; and the result is before the public. We freely made use of Norris, Jennings, Halliwell, or any other collector of words that we could find, omitting mere peculiarities of pronunciation, and I venture to hope it will prove that we have not overlooked much that is left of that interesting old language, which those great innovators, the Printing Press, the Railroad, and the Schoolmaster, are fast driving out of the country.

WADHAM PIGOTT WILLIAMS.

Bishop's Hull, Taunton, 7th September, 1873.

INTRODUCTION.

The following paper from the pen of Dr. Prior was read at a Conversazione of the Society at Taunton, in the winter of 1871, and as it treats the subject from a more general point of view than is usually taken of it, we print it with his permission as an introduction to our vocabulary:

On the Somerset Dialects.

The two gentlemen who have undertaken to compile a glossary of the Somerset dialect, the Rev. W. P. Williams and Mr. W. A. Jones, have done me the honour to lend me the manuscript of their work; and the following remarks which have occurred to me upon the perusal of it I venture to lay before the Society, with the hope that they may be suggestive of further enquiry.

Some years ago, while on a visit at Mr. Capel's, at Bulland Lodge, near Wiveliscombe, I was struck with the noble countenance of an old man who was working upon the road. Mr. Capel told me that it was not unusual to find among the people of those hills a very refined cast of features and extremely beautiful children, and expressed a belief that they were the descendants of the ancient inhabitants of the country, who had been dispossessed of their land in more fertile districts by conquerors of coarser breed. A study of the two dialects spoken in the county (for two there certainly are) tend, I think, to corroborate the truth of this opinion.

It will be urged that during the many centuries that have elapsed since the West Saxons took possession of this part of England the inhabitants must have been so mixed up together that all distinctive marks of race must long since have been obliterated. But that best of teachers, experience, shows that where a conquered nation remains in greatly superior numbers to its conqueror, and there is no artificial bar to intermarriages, the latter, the conqueror, will surely be absorbed into the conquered. This has been seen in our own day in Mexico, where the Spaniards, who have occupied and ruled the country nearly four hundred years, are rapidly approaching extinction. Nay, we find that even in a country like Italy, where the religion, language, and manners are the same, the original difference of races is observable in different parts of the peninsula after many centuries that they have been living side by side... Continue reading book >>




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