M - Buckinghamshire Vocabulary
The following list of words are quoted from three articles published in the "Records of Buckinghamshire" by Alfred Heneage Cocks, M.A, between 1897 and 1909 (some editing has been used to produce a unified list). See the introduction for further details..
MAG, TO, or NAG, or probably should be spelt KNAG, to scold ceaselessly; to pester, tease, torment by words, etc., much like the slang word to rag. "Bless ye, booy, I on'y said that to mag ye." A NAGGER or KNAGGER, a shrewish woman. Halliwell gives the former as, to chatter, scold (various dialects), sometimes, to tease or vex.
MAGGLED, flushed and feverish with heat.
MAGPIE-YAFFEL, the Greater Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopus major). Doubtless applied to the Lesser species also.
MAKE OFF, TO, to make out, understand, comprehend. Also to pretend. "I couldn't make off what he meant." "He tried to make off as he never done no sich thing."
MANY-LEGS, a centipede (Arthronomalus), or a millipede (Julus). Used for both.
MASSY, mercy. "Massy on us!" "Lork-a-massy me!"
MASTERFUL, liking his own way, domineering.
MASTERPIECE, is not reserved for the principal work of an artist, architect, etc., but is in constant use to express anything in the least remarkable in any action of everyday life on which it is desired to comment (frequently in a more or less unfavourable sense); "That's a masterpiece, that is". Used in much the same sense as "That licks me altogether."
MAUL, TO, to lop (as willows).
MAWL, explained by Halliwell, to make dirty, to cover with dirt. "I bean't a'gooing to run mawling about arter them ship."
MAY-BUG, the cock-chaffer (Melolantha vulgaris).
MAY-BUZZARD, also BUZZARD, BUZZART, a cockchaffer (melolontha vulgaris). Evidently from its buzzing.
MAYGRUMS, for megrim, but usually meaning "the blues." "She's poorly, like; she's got the maygrums."
ME-UP, for mayhap = perhaps. "Me-up 'e wooll, me-up 'e wun't."
MEND, to rise; in the expression: "The water's mending very fast" = The river is rising very quickly.
MID, for might. "He mid did so."
MIDDLING, "in somewhat indifferent health," or "in fairly good health," according to the tone of voice.
MIFF, offence. "He soon took miff." Halliwell gives it as, displeasure, ill-humour, generally in a slight degree.
MIGHTY, extremely, very. "I were mighty sorry!" "I liked it mighty"
MILKMAID, the Common Bitter Cress (Cardamine pratensis).
MILKY, half-heartedly, timidly. "I wun't play milky win or lose."
MIRABLE, miry. "That there getway were that mirable."
MISCHIEFUL, MISCHEEVOUS, mischievous.
MISSUS, "the missus" or "my missus", = my wife.
MISTLETOE, the missel-thrush (Turdus visivorus).
MIZZLER, the Missel-Thrush (Turdus viscivorus).
MIZZYMOZZY, state of confusion (always mental). "my pore 'ead's all of a mizzy mozzy, what wi' one thing and t'other."
MOBBLIN'S GANG, a rowdy company. "there's a reg'lar mobblin's gang of 'em going down town."
MOLD, or MOULD, often used, and more correctly, for mole (Talpa europaea). Swedish Mullvad; Danish, Muldvarp (see Zoologist, 1895, p. 104).
MOLL-HERON, or, MOLL-HERN, or MOLL-'ERN, a Heron (Ardea cinerea). In composition, heron by itself is generally a dissyllable; but when following moll -, a monosyllable -. Mr. Gurney says that it often means a female heron.
MOLLY-PEART, lively, pert, etc.; for malapert. "That there colt's a good deal better neow, that it be; 'awever, that's gittin' quoite molly-peart."
MOMINIT, for moment, as WESTMINISTER for Westminster.
MOMMERED, dazed, confused in mind, "flabbergasted." MOMMER (verb), "When I tole, 'im that, that mommered 'im" Halliwell gives it as an Oxfordshire word, meaning worried.
MONEY-SPINNER, a species of spider (Aranea scenica).
MOONDAISY, the Oxe-eye, or Michaelmas Daisy. Also called DOG-DAISY.
MOOR-HEN, a Water-hen (Gallinula chloropus). This name for the water-hen is by no means restricted to the Thames Valley, and is given by Mr. Howard Saunders, in the 4th Edition of Yarrell's British Birds, as the common name for the bird. I mention it here chiefly to call attention to the apparent misnomer of a bird which is essentially a water-hen being named a moor-hen Mr. Saunders (loc. sit.) explains it - "Morish, or moorish, was formerly used for marshy, thus Spenser:-
"'The morish Cole and the soft-sliding Breane.'
Faerie Queene, bk. iv. c. xi. st. xxix.
And again -
"'A huge great serpent all with speckles pide,
To drench himself in Moorish slime did trace.'
In Buckinghamshire and Berkshire the word moor, either by itself or as a suffix, more often than not, must be understood in this sense; while the suffix -mer, on the other hand, often signifies a moor, or upland.
MORE-SHARPER (comparative in form, but superlative in meaning) = with considerable quickness, with surprising celerity. "I gin 'im a bit of a highst (hoist), and up he went more sharper."
MORT, a great quantity.
MORTAL, A, perhaps = a wretch; a creature. "Those mortals of cats." "What a frit mortal you are;" = a timid person.
MOSSEL, = morsel. "You're laughing!" - "Not a mossel." "Did you 'ave any grub?" "Not a mossel."
MOST IN GENERAL, generally, mostly; see also Most-neen. It may be mentioned here that the characteristic pronunciation, which betrays a native of Oxfordshire instantly, is the altering of the termination - ly of adverbs into - lee; e.g., mostlee, likelee; and all s's into z's. In my undergraduate days at Oxford I and one or two friends used occasionally to go out snipe-shooting with a poaching "worthy" as guide; he talked Oxfordshire dialect to perfection, and during the years I knew him one or other of us was constantly asking him what he fed his dog on, in order to have the pleasure of eliciting the - as constant - answer: "Garbage, moztlee, zur."
MOST-NEEN, generally. (Halliwell gives most-an-end, continually, perpetually, mostly,generally.)
MOTE, a moth (rare).
MOULT, TO, to smoulder.
MOUND-IN-FLECK (probably for mountain-fleck). A small white or blue flower coming out on the chalk-downs in July. Query, Milkwort (Polygala vulgaris).
MOURN, TO, for to moan, to groan, or complain.
MOZE, to burn slowly, without flame.
MUCK, dirt, manure. "A muck of sweat," a state of profuse perspiration. Adj. MUCKY. In addition, muck can mean; to bungle anything. The more usual form in this sense is MUCKER. To go or come a mucker is to have a bad fall, or metaphorically, to get into a scrape, or to act as a spendthrift, etc. MUCK-SWEAT the same as "a muck-of-sweat" loc. cit. "Law! I be all of a muck-sweat."
MUDGIN, the internal fat of a pig. "Liver and mudgin."
MUG, the face, physiognomy. ? Cockney slang.
MULLOCK, rubbish. "Our house is all of a mullock" = all littered up. Halliwell gives it as a mess, blunder, dilemma, an ill-managed affair.
MUNGY, muggy, close and damp.
MUSIC, generally = a musical instrument, and not the sounds produced, and never the score. If anyone is asked if they have brought their music, it is understood to mean their jew's harp, violin, concertina, etc., but never their portfolio. A MUSICKER, a musician; his occupation is termed MUSICKIN'.
MUSS, TO, to dig and fuss about rat or rabbit-holes, said of dogs.
MUV, for moved.