‘He galloped joyfully down a field of arrish, or stubble.’

A word now enclosed in a shrinking field of dialect use, describing stubble or a field of stubble.

The OED mentions a former meaning of grass or clover or other aftergrowth following mowing.  In this sense, as I look up from typing, I see plenty of arrish on the grass-clover-dandelion-daisy lawn already overdue, after spring rain and sunshine, for another mowing.

It can wait another day, today I will do like Tarka, and gallop joyfully through the arrish.

The word, in various forms (e.g. eddish, earish, earsh, ersh…), can be modified by the particular crop that has just been mowed.

Source: Henry Williamson, Tarka the Otter: His joyful water-life and death in the two rivers, illus. C.F. Tunnicliffe (Harmondsworth: Puffin Books, 1976 (1927)), p. 188


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