Glidder

Glidder

‘It was low tide, and the water ran below glidders, or steep muddy slopes.’ Williamson has a helpful habit of using unusual words and then immediately providing his definition of them.  Here he defines ‘glidder’ as a steep muddy slope, which...
Yarr

Yarr

‘Deadlock yarred through his bare teeth.’ ‘Between his teeth the hound yarred…’ A word now apparently limited to dialect, but feel free to revive it more generally.  If anyone snarls or growls at you, you can tell them to ‘Stop...
Glidden

Glidden

‘… to where the banks were glidden into mud smothered by the sea.’ An English dialect word meaning to ‘glaze over’ or cover with ice. Source: Henry Williamson, Tarka the Otter: His joyful water-life and death in the two rivers, illus....
Mazzard

Mazzard

‘… under the mazzard orchards growing on the northern slope of the valley.’ According to the OED, mazzard is a ‘small, dark, sweet cherry of Devon origin’, the fruit or tree of a wild cherry, Prunus avium. It sounds perfect for making the...
Croodle

Croodle

‘Where pigeons sat and croodled.’ A cooing cosy word for a bird, but also meaning to snuggle up, nestle in, cuddle or crouch, for love or warmth. Source: Henry Williamson, Tarka the Otter: His joyful water-life and death in the two rivers, illus. C.F....
Goyal

Goyal

‘… and mossed trees in the goyals.’ A dialect word for a trench or ravine, also spelled goyle or or goile and presumably related to ‘gully’. Source: Henry Williamson, Tarka the Otter: His joyful water-life and death in the two rivers,...
Juggymire

Juggymire

‘He lay still in sleep, and they forgot that he was there, and flew down to find worms by pushing their long bills into the juggymire.’ Another Williamson word which doesn’t show up in the OED’s 600,000 word hoard.  I can only imagine...
Clitter

Clitter

‘Tarka gave chase to a rabbit during the next night, bolting it from a hillside clitter of rocks in a hollow at the head of a cleave.’ This seems a variant of ‘clatter’ and you can imagine rocks and scree pattering and clattering down the hill...
Skirl

Skirl

‘The owl was hearkening, however, for the prick of the claws of mice on leaves, and when it heard these tiny noises, it stared until it saw movement, and with a skirling screech that made the mouse crouch in a fixity of terror sailed to the ground and clutched...

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