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Yorkshire glossary of old words

This Glossary is now divided into four parts: A -C , D-H, I-P and Q to Z (this one).

 

The words in this glossary were extracted from Langdale's Topographical Yorkshire Dictionary by Ron Long (USA) and from the Bulmer's History and Gazetteers of the East and North Ridings of Yorkshire by Peter Nelson (USA) and consequently have a "slant" towards Yorkshire, however some of the words are universal throughout England. The meanings for the words from Langdales YD were produced by Beryl Thompson (Australia) and myself (England). The meanings for the words from Bulmer's were produced by Liz Agar (Australia) who adds: All definitions unless noted otherwise were obtained from Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary or the Oxford English Dictionary (the complete OED was used where the word was not in Chambers' or the Shorter OED).

Although the context, from which the current instances of these words were taken, may indicate a particular meaning, where a word has multiple meanings the others may be included. The word may appear in other text with one of the other meanings.

The two glossaries were combined by my wife Pauline, and those words with (yd) following them are taken from Langdale's Yorkshire Dictionary, the remainder from Bulmers.

Colin Hinson, 2nd August 1999.


quarters of grayne (yd)
quarters of grayneThe old quarter of grain was 3lbs 8ozs, the more modern and better known quarter is 28lbs. (quarter of a hundred-weight (cwt.))

Quatrefoil (yd)
Quatrefoil in achitechture) a carved ornament having four foils arranged about a common centre.

Querns (yd) Querns and stone instruments
Querns Millstones used for grinding grain etc..

rack-rents
rack-rent, n. A rent stretched to the utmost annual value of the thing rented, exorbitant rent. vt. to subject to such rents, -n. rack-renter, one who exacts or pays rack-rent.

rampire
rampire, 1. Rampart. b. A dam, barrier. 2. A thing or person resembling a rampart 1567.

reaving
but some of them seem to have followed the ungentlemanly occupation of reaving, and were hanged for house-breaking.
reave, v. To commit spoil, rob, plunder, pillage, take forcibly from another.

rectory (yd)
rectory, (Church) Residence of the incumbent parish clergyman or rector.
Riding (yd)

reese
"...100 quails, 1,000 egretts, 200 reese, 1,506 hot venison pasties, 4,000 cold venison pasties,..."
reese, Plural form of ree (a variant of reeve). A female bird of the
sandpiper family. The male bird is the ruff, distinguished during the
breeding season by a ruff and ear-tufts.
 

Riding From the old English word thriding = a third part. Yorkshire is/was divided into Three Ridings, East Riding, North Riding and West Riding. Originally from the Norse word 'thrithing'.

roadsters
It is now the property and residence of T. B. Jackson, Esq. Prospect House is occupied by Mr. Joseph Drewery, farmer, and noted breeder of roadsters. Mr. Walter Gilby's "County Member," winner of several prizes at Islington and other shows, was bred by him.
roadster, n. A horse for riding (or driving) on the road.

rood loft
rood loft, n. A gallery over the rood-screen.
rood-screen, n. An ornamental partition separating choir from nave in a church.

rullies
rulley
This month a party of unhappy nomad foreigners, known in their unwelcome visits to various parts of the country as "The Greek Gipsies," left Hull with the intention of pitching their tents upon Westwood; but the rullies laden with them were met by police superintendent Knight, and turned back.
rulley, n. A flat four wheeled wagon used for conveyance of goods, a lorry. A rulley could be a horsedrawn wagon or a railway wagon.

sacrarium
sacrarium, n. A place where the Penates or other holy things were kept; the presbytery of a church.

sacristan
sacristan, An officer in a church who has care of the sacred relics, vessels, vestments and other movables of a religious house or church; (obsolete) the sexton of a church.

sainfoin
sainfoin, n. A leguminous fodder-plant (Onobrychis viciaefolia). Also saintfoin.

sally-port
From hence was the entrance to the cellar, and also a sally-port leading into the "cock pit."
sally-port, a gateway for making a sally from a fortified place: a large port for the escape of the crew from a fire-ship.

sardonyx (yd)
sardonyx (a gem stone) a variety of chalcedony with alternating reddish-brown and white parallel bands. (Chalcedony is a form of quartz crystals arranged in parallel fibres).

scutcheon
a scutcheon, over the mayor's stall, bears an enigmatic device
scutcheon, form of escutcheon

scutching
scutch, v. To dress (fibrous material, flax, hemp, cotton, silk, wool) by beating.

seat (yd)
seat rural seat = country home.

seised
Bathurst was seised of the manor of Arkingarthdale
seise, An old spelling of seize, still used legally in the sense of to put into possession of.
shipshusband
of

se'night (yd)
Monday se'night before Christmas-day
se'night Seven nights (a week).

sedilia
sedilia, n. pl. Seats (usually three, often in niches) for the officiating clergy, on the south side of the chancel: -sing. sedile.

seigniory (yd)
seigniory A feudal domain. Also to have power or authority over, as sovereign lord.

sepulture (yd)
sepulture to do with sepulchres (and the rights thereof); the rights to a tomb(s)

sequestrator (yd)
Context: James Pennyman, Esq in the time of Charles I. raised a troop of horse in support of the royal cause; and to defray the sum of 700L. levied on him for his loyalty by the sequestrators in the civil wars, he was obliged to dispose of a part of his estate at Ormesby, which was sold to Mr. Elwes, for 3,500L. It was re-purchased after divers alienations by the late Sir James Pennyman for 47,500L. Graves. ....... he was on the wrong side and was assessed a penalty. -RL
sequestrator Person who officially appropriates enemy property

serjeant (yd) (various spellings)
serjeant Court or Municipal officer with special duties.Military Non-commissioned rank.

shew (yd)
shewed (yd)
shew shewed Old word for show or showed, "to show ".

shipshusband
ship's husband, An owner's agent who manages the affairs of a ship in port.

Shooting-Box (yd)
Shooting-Box A shelter, usually on the moorland which provides cover (a screen) for grouse and deer shooters. A hunting lodge or cottage is the accommodation, normally on a private estate, which the shooters (hunters) use during the season. (The "season" being the time of the year the grouse and deer can legally be shot).

Sidesman (yd)
Sidesman an assistant to a churchwarden

siever (yd)
siever one who sieves IBM punched cards :-) (meaning given in the main text!)

signalise (yd)
signalise to make noteworthy.

sign-manual
assumed by sign-manual the additional surname and arms of Sidney
sign-manual, 1. An autograph signature (especially that of the sovereign) serving to authenticate a document. 2. A sign made with the hand or hands. 1841.

sike
that the boundary went "direct from White Birks to the water of Hell Gill, and so up the said water to the first sike (on the east side thereof),
sike, syke A small stream of water, a rill or streamlet, especially one flowing through flat or marshy ground, and often dry in summer; a ditch or channel through which a tiny stream flows.

sinecure (yd)
Context: (under Osmotherley) The prebendaries of Osmotherly being mentioned on the records in the time of Edward I. some have thought this to have been a collegiate church; but it seems rather to have been a rectory, divided into three distinct parts or portions, and it is so rated in the Lincoln taxation. But it was afterwards of [three sinecure portions], and a vicar endowed. Yet in the archbishop's certificate of all hospitals, colleges, &c. anno 37, Henry VIII. there is "the three prebends simpters within the parish church of Osmotherley, the yearly value 18L" -Tanner. ....the definition doesn't get me through this. -RL> ....nor me, but the definition is correct! -CH)
sinecure Church benefice to which no spiritual charge is attached, i.e. no cure of souls.

sinodals
sinodal, synodal, A payment made by the inferior clergy to a bishop, properly on the occasion of a synod, and hence at an episcopal or archidiaconal visitation.

Socinian
Why are you not a Socinian?
Socinian, pertaining to or following Laelius (1515-1562) and Faustus (1530-1604) Socinus, Italian Unitarians,

socman
soc, n.( law) The right of holding a local court. ns. socage, soccage, tenure of lands by service fixed and determinate in quality; socager, socman, sokeman, a tenant by socage; soke, soc: a district under a particular jurisdiction; sokemanry, tenure by socage; soken, a district under a particular jurisdiction. [O.E.socn, inquiry, jursdiction]

soke (yd)
soke the territorial jurisdiction of a court

sprats (yd) (sproits)
sprats a small fish of the herring family

standage
In 1280, Archbishop Wickwane, in the first year of his office, granted to the burgesses, upon an annual fee-farm rent of half a mark, the Butter Dings, from which he had, no doubt, received the usual standage tolls, and which was known then as Bishop Dings.
standage, 1. Arrangements or accomodation for standing. Also a charge for permission to stand. e.g. "Setting the standage for crops." "The object is to give a firm standage for cattle drinking at the pond." b. A standing, stall e.g. at a fair. 2. A reservoir used for mining.

stile of dean. (yd)
stile of dean. title of dean

stoup
stoup, n. 1. A pail or bucket; also water-s.. Now only Sc. 2. A drinking-vessel; a cup, flagon, tankard. Also as a measure of a definite quantity, as gill, pint, quart s. Now Sc. and north. and as a literary archaism. 1452. 3. A vessel to contain holy-water; often a stone basin set in a wall or against the wall of a church-porch, or within the church close to the entrance-door 1500.

stowers
ten stakes, ten strut stowers, and ten yedders to be cut by you,
stower, A stake.

style (yd)
style to name, to call, to designate.

standeth (yf)
standeth modern= stands

straggling (yd)
It is a straggling place
straggling Scattered, spread out irregularly. (usually lengthwise - the place would have few houses, but all on the road side with a lot of space between them).

succentorship
succentor, n. A chanter who takes up the chant after the precentor (choir leader or director), or who presides over the left choir.
succentorship, n. The position of succentor.

superannuated (yd)
superannuated A person in receipt of superanuation (a pension), privately funded, not normally government assisted.

sulphur Spaw (yd)
sulphur Spaw sulphur Spa

sustenation (yd)
sustenation sustenance

estate tail
the premises called Nunhouse Grange were granted in estate tail to King's College
tail, (law) Limitation or destination of a freehold estate or fee to a person and the heirs of his body, or to some particular class of such heirs, on the failure of whom it is to revert to the donor or his heir or assign.


tares
tare, n. A weed; a vetch of various kinds, esp. of the lentil-like group. 2. the weight of a vessel, wrapping, or container which subtracted from the gross weight gives the net weight.

teazle
teasel, teazle, n. 1. A plant of the genus Dipsascus, comprising herbs with prickly leaves and flower heads; esp. Fuller's T., D. fullonum, the heads of which have hooked prickles between the flowers, and are used for teasing cloth. 2. The dried prickly flower-head of the fuller's teasel used for teasing or dressing cloth.. 3. A mechanical substitute for the natural teasel in cloth-working 1835.

temp. (yd)
temp. tempore (latin - in the time of)

Templar (yd)
Knights Templar
Templar
A member of a military order (Knights of the Temple of Solomon) founded by Crusaders in Jeruselem around 1118; suppressed in 1312. (See History, - The Crusades - where King Richard was in the time of Robin Hood).

tenure (yd)
tenure .
tenure in chief for Knight's service The land holdings, properties etc; a Knight held in return for military service, and the provision of men and arms to the Crown.
The terms upon which a man held land (that is the services or payment which he provided to his lord) constituted his "tenure" and he was a tenant. "Tenants-in-chief" were men who held their land from the king in return for services, perhaps to provide the king with a number of knights. A tenant-in-chief provided land to his retainers in return for their military services (so that the tenant-in-chief could provide knights to the king). These retainers were lords of the manor and known as mesne lords, since they owed allegiance to a superior level. A mesne lord might in turn provide one or more of his manors to his own retainers in return for their services. Below mesne lords were tenants of each manor who actually worked the land. So a "mesne lord" was the tenant of another mesne lord or of a tenant-in-chief. He provided land to a mesne lord or to a tenant. So a "tenure-in-chief" is the set of terms and conditions by which a tenant-in-chief held his land direct from the king.
Tenures also were classified according to the type of service rendered to the lord. A "tenure of knight's service" was a tenure in chivalry whereby a tenant was required to provide a number of armed horsemen to his lord. Hence tenure-in-chief for knight's service was a specific case whereby a tenant-in-chief was required to provide military service in the form of a number of armed horsemen or knights to the King.
(derived from."Ancestral Trails" by Mark D. Herber)

tenant
tenant, A man who held his land from a lord according to his tenure.

tenant-in-chief
tenant-in-chief, (feudal) One who held his land directly from the sovereign according to terms and conditions known as tenure-in-chief.

tenure
tenure, The terms and conditions upon which a man held land from his lord. These could be services or payment which he provided to his lord.

tenure-in-chief
tenure-in-chief, The terms and conditions upon which a tenant-in-chief held land from the sovereign.

tenure in chief for knight's service (yd)
tenure-in-chief for knight's service, A specific case whereby a tenant-in-chief was required to provide military service in the form of a number of armed horsemen to the Crown (King).

tenure of knight's service
tenure of knight's service, A tenure in chivalry whereby a tenant was required to provide a number of armed horsemen to his lord.


tergiversation
Whilst fixity and integrity of principle marked the conduct of Belted Will, tergiversation characterised the actions of his great grandson.
tergiversation, 1. The action of 'turning one's back on', i.e. forsaking, something in which one was previously engaged, interested or concerned; desertion or abandonment of a cause, party, etc.; apostasy, renegation. 2. Turning in a dishonourable manner from straightforward action or statement; shifting, shuffling, equivocation, prevarication. 3. The turning of the back for flight; flight, retreat.

terrene (yd)
terrene of the earth, worldly, mundane.

terriers
Few towns have upon their terriers a list of charitable gifts and bequests so long as that of Beverley.
terrier, n. A register or roll of a landed estate; an inventory.

tesselated. (yd)
tesselated. A type of coloured tiling, e.g mosaic.

thorp, thorpe (yd)
thorp, thorpe a small group of buildings in the country

thrave
thrave, threave, n. Two stooks of (usually) twelve sheaves each: two dozen: a good number.

thuribulates
In 1391, when the statutes of Arundel were written, the collegiate establishment comprised nine canons, a preceptor, a chancellor, a sacrist, seven parsons, nine vicars, seven chantry chaplains, nine canons' vicars, a preceptor's clerk, seven parson's clerks, two thuribulars, eight chorister boys, two (three or four) sacrist's clerks, two vergers, and a clerk of the cemetery.
thurible, n. A vessel in which incense is burnt in religious ceremonies; a censer.
thuribuler, -ar, n. An acolyte who carries a thurible.

toft
toft, n.. 1. originally A homestead, the site of a house and its outbuildings; a house site. Often in t. and croft, the whole holding, consisting of the homestead and attached price of arable land. 2. Apparently inluding the croft, or applied to a piece of land larger than the site of the house 1440. 3. An eminence, a knoll or hillock in a flat region.

towne (yd)
towne Town; a collection of houses larger than a village, smaller than a city. Originally a walled or fortified place.

township (yd)
2 hamlets, which being united form a township
township A civil (non military) division of a parish, which used to be a separate area for levying the poor-rate. It had it's own constable, an earlier term was "Vill".

translated (yd)
in 1714 translated to the see of London
translated To bear, carry or move from one place to another (not promoted)

trefoil window (yd)
trefoil window A window of Clover leaf design.

trencher (yd)
trencher wooden board on which food was served.

tups
tup, 1. A male sheep; a ram. b. Applied to a person 1653. c. The head of a forge-hammer or steam-hammer.


common of turbary
The district is very level, and was, little more than a century ago, waste land or common, known as Bishopsoil, from being within the Bishop of Durham's manor of Howden, on which the owners of certain adjacent ancient farmsteads had right of common of pasture for all their cattle, levant and couchant, and also common of turbary.
turbary, n. 1. Land , or a piece of land, where turf or peat may be dug for fuel; a peat-bog or peat-moss. 2. Law. In full common of t.: The right to cut turf or peat for fuel on a common or on another person's land (1567).

tumulus (yd)
tumulus A mound, e.g. a grave.

twopenny (yd)
twopenny Two pence.

untoward. (yd)
untoward. (in this case) awkward, perverse.

upwards (yd)
upwards - see glossary intro.

utfangtheof
that the ancient Earls claimed the high prerogatives of "Infangtheof and Utfangtheof
utfangtheof, see outfangthief

vapory (yd)
vapory Vaporous, full of vapours.

valetudinarian (yd)
valetudinarian a person who is chronically sick.

vallum (yd)
vallum a rampart or earthwork (usually Roman).

vestigia (yd)
vestigia Trace or sign; mark of something that has been.

verderers
The Babthorpes were a family of some distinction, and were verderers of the forest between Ouse and Derwent, where they had the charge of the king's deer.
verderer, also or, 1541. "A judicial officer of the King's forest..sworn to maintain and keep the assises of the forest, and also to view, receive, and enroll the attachments and presentments of all manner of trespasses of the forest, or vert and venison" (Manwood)
vert, n. Green vegetation growing in a wood or forest and capable of serving as a cover for deer.

viands (yd)
viands (singular) a type of food especially a delicacy.
viands (plural) provisions (as in food).

villeins (yd)
villeins farm servant (slave)

Vicar (yd)
Vicar A member of the clergy in charge of a parish. Has same ecclesiastical status as a Rector, but can be sacked (fired) - normally the Rector cannot be fired.

vicarage (yd)
vicarage The benefice of a Vicar, or the residence (HOUSE) in which the vicar lives.

village (yd)
village A group of houses or cottages, smaller than a town.

viz. (yd)
viz. Meaning namely, to wit. and read as so.

votary (yd)
votary a devoted adherent to a cause, religion etc.
votary a person bound by a vow or promise

waifs and wreck
They had the usual manorial privileges of the assizes - of bread and ale, - with tumbril and pillory to punish the fraudulent; waifs and wreck with park and free warren;
waif, A piece of property which is found ownerless and which, if unclaimed within a fixed period after due notice given, falls to the lord of the manor.
waifs, wreck and strays, Often lost property collectively, or the right of the lord to such property.
waifs and wreck with park and free warren: Rights to lost or abandoned property, the grant of a park and the right to keep and hunt game in that park.

wapentake
wapentake, n. a name given in Yorkshire and certain other shires to a territorial division of the county similar to the hundred of southern counties. [Late O.E.wæpen(ge)tæc, O.N. vapnatak, lit, weapon-taking, assent at a meeting being signified by brandishing a weapon.]

warper
warper, n. One who winds yarn in preparation for weaving; one who lays the warp for the weaver.

warrant (yd)
warrant To give power, or right to do; legal permission to act.

warren, free warren (yd)
a charter of free warren for all his demesne lands
warren, A piece of land enclosed and preserved for breeding and preserving game (e.g. grouse, rabbits etc), or the part of a river or stream for breeding or preserving fish). Now usually a piece of uncultivated land in which rabbits breed wild in burrows
free warren, The right to preserve and hunt in a stated area anything furred (rabbits etc)or feathered (grouse and similar), but not deer or boar. "The right of keeping or hunting beasts and foules of warren. Beasts and foules of warren are these, Hare, Connies, the Pheasant and the Partridge".

warrener (yd)
warrener Keeper of the warren, or coney warren. See coney-warren and warren above

waywarden
waywarden, n. A person (later one of a board) elected to supervise the highways of a parish or district.

west-division of (yd)
west-division of west part of

whilom
The cause assigned for her appearance is a lady's having been whilom murdered in the wood,
whilom, formerly, once.

whitesmith
whitesmith, n. a. A worker in `white iron', a tin smith. b. One who polishes or finishes metal goods, as distinct from one who forges them; also, more widely, a worker in metals.

Whit-Tuesday (yd)
Whit-Tuesday Whitsuntide, a Christian festival seven weeks after Easter.

wight
He preyed upon their flocks, and carried off for a dainty morsel any unlucky wight that might fall into is clutches
wight, 1. A living being, a creature. b. Originally and chiefly with (good and bad) epithet applied to supernatural, preternatural, or unearthly beings. 2. A human being, man or woman, person. Now archaic or dialect (often implying contempt or commiseration). 3. In adverbial phrases, qualified by no, any, a little, or the like: (A certain) amount; for (any, a little, etc.) time or distance.

Wolds (yd)
Wolds The (only) range of hills in the East Riding of Yorkshire (known as the Yorkshire Wolds).

yedder
ten stakes, ten strut stowers, and ten yedders to be cut by you,
yedder, yether, A bunch of willow (osiers), especially those used to make the Penny Hedge. [Arthur Kellett, The Yorkshire Dictionary]


yeoman (yd)
yeoman, n. A man owning and cultivating a small estate; a freeholder under the rank of gentleman; (loosely) a countryman of respectable standing, a farmer. A servant or attendant in a royal or noble household, usually ranking between a sergeant and a groom, or between a squire and a page. An attendant or an assistant to an official.

Yorkists (yd)
Yorkists See English History, - The Wars of the Roses.

[© 1999, Elizabeth Agar, Beryl Thompson and Colin Hinson]
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