Skobby

Skobby

Another word for ‘chaffinch’, though it seems obsolete.  Not that this should prevent our reviving it, it has a charming, affectionate sound. Source: Dorothy Wordsworth, The Grasmere and Alfoxden Journals, ed. and introduction by Pamela Woof (Oxford:...
Need some negus?

Need some negus?

A hot drink of port, sugar, lemon and spice, named after Colonel Francis Negus (d. 1732), who invented it, may he rest in peace.  In Dorothy Wordsworth’s journal, it seems to have been used medicinally, along with broth. A delicious sounding toddy for a...
Fretted

Fretted

This use of ‘fretted’ seems to mean worn or damaged by weather, and ‘teazed’ is an old spelling of ‘teased’, here apparently meaning pulled or damaged. I know what she means about the weeds… we have bad hair days, bad garden...
Clapping linen

Clapping linen

This seems to mean something like smoothing out and folding linen, though it would baffle people now. ‘Mary walked to Ambleside for letters, it was a wearisome walk for the snow lay deep upon the Roads & it was beginning to thaw.  I stayed at home &...
Pulling apples

Pulling apples

Wordsworth uses this term several times – apparently an obsolete term for picking or gathering apples. ‘We pulled apples after dinner, a large basket full.’  Sunday 12 October 1800. Source: Dorothy Wordsworth, The Grasmere and Alfoxden Journals, ed....
Flowering and marking

Flowering and marking

Dorothy Wordsworth refers to ‘flowering and marking’, meaning to embroider identification signs on linen.  I recently bought some wonderful, secondhand and fine quality bedlinen, with flowers and monograms beautifully embroidered along the top edge of what...
Syke (or sike)

Syke (or sike)

Scottish & N. English: Alternative spelling of ‘sike’ meaning a small stream or rill, typically one that flows through marshy ground and is often dry in summer. Source: Dorothy Wordsworth, The Grasmere and Alfoxden Journals, ed. and introduction by...
Of tea and stars

Of tea and stars

A charming juxtaposition of homeliness and magnificence – people drinking tea but noticing a sky sprinkled with stars. ‘I found them at Tea.  There were a thousand stars in the Sky.’  Thursday 12 November 1801.   Source: Dorothy Wordsworth, The...
The moon shone upon the water below

The moon shone upon the water below

I liked this expansive moon-scape and the detail of Wordworth keeping his curtains open to see it. ‘The moon shone upon the water below Silver-how, & above it hung, combining with Silver how on one side, a Bowl-shaped moon the curve downwards – the white...

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