Potwalloper

Potwalloper

‘… potwallopers grazing marsh.’ This is a variant of ‘potwaller’, a curious and arcane English method of deciding who gets to vote in a borough.  According to the OED: ‘A male householder or lodger with his own separate fireplace on...
Whippering

Whippering

‘… the whippering cries of golden plover.’ This seems to be a Williamson coinage to describe the cry of a bird.  I haven’t found it in the Big Fat OED, source of all (English) words.  See also ‘stitter’ and ‘chitter’....
Crackey, ackymal and ruddock

Crackey, ackymal and ruddock

‘The crackeys and ackymals and ruddocks – Devon names for wrens and tomtits and robins …’ All words for birds, delightful Devon names of which only ‘ruddock’ appears in the OED.  Glad to feature the other two lest they fall into...
Chakker

Chakker

‘… other noises were mingled with the chakkering.’ In this form, I couldn’t find this word in the OED, but assume it might be related to ‘chack’ and ‘chacking’, a mainly Scottish verb meaning: ‘To snap with the...
Chitter

Chitter

‘Hearing them, an ackymal that had been searching the streamside hawthorn boughs for green caterpillars flittered to the islet and chittered beside the crackey.’ An alternative to ‘twitter’, ‘chirp’ or ‘chatter’.  I...
Pobble, schmobble

Pobble, schmobble

‘Below the stone setts and pobbles of the wall’s apron …’ Couldn’t find this ‘pobble’ in the 600,000 words of the OED, until I realized it must be referring to ‘setts and cobbles’.   A ‘sett’ is a...
Stitter

Stitter

‘Robins ticked at him, wrens stittered.’ Perhaps another sound imitation coined by Williamson?  His slim account of an otter’s joyous life and valiant death has a number of words evoking bird and otter sounds, several of which don’t occur in...
Quap or quop

Quap or quop

‘At the time of capture the drake had been trying to swallow a frog, by quapping with its bill, which held one of the legs.’ Lovely word this, though not for the frog (or the drake, who was quapped in turn).  Another fine sounding verb which seems to be...

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