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Anglo-Manx Dialect

by Bernadette Weyde
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Some entries from A Vocabulary of the Anglo-Manx Dialect (1924) compiled by AW Moore with the co-operation of Sophia Morrison and Edmund Goodwin.


MHINYAG
[minjag] (Mx. minniag) – a pinch, a very small portion; a person of diminutive stature.

“I’ll take a small mhinyag of cheese if you plaze.”

“Here’s Quirk and his mhinyag (little woman).”

 

QUEELBARRA – wheelbarrow.

“Fit to charm the heart of a queelbarra!” (said in derision)

 

INDEED, ONDEED – certainly.

“Ye’re fine indeed to-day, as fine as flowers in May.” (said to a showily dressed person)

 

BLESSIN – Step-mother’s blessing, a name for torn skin at the root of the finger-nails.

“She’s got plenty of stepmother’s blessins on her hans.”

 

LEG – in a phrase.

“It’s a poor leg that won’t put a right shape on a wrong stockin’.”

Legs of Man’, the Manx arms of The Three Legs: 

“A Manxman’s arms are his legs.”

Legs-of-the-sun = sun-rays streaming from behind clouds:

“The legs o’ the sun was sthretchin’ out.”

 

MITCHOORAGH – mischievous, roguish.

“The Peel boys is terrible mitchooragh!”

“The mitchooraghyn (mischiefs) about is scan’lus.”

 

BLOB, BLAB – a babbler; to chatter secrets.

“Yandher blob can’t keep a ha’porth.”

“She’ll blob everything you tell her.”

“Clavar as ye are ye can’t say’ blab’ without movin yer lips.”

 

ISLES OF MAN

“The oul’ people said Isles of Man, and they were right – they used to say that the Isle of Man was only one of seven at one time. There’s St. Patrick’s Isle an’ St. Mial’s Isle, an’ the Calf Isle, and I forget the res, when you say Isles of Man, you take them all in.”

 

MOOSTHA (Mx. moostey) – to move, start.

“I mus’ be makin a moostha for I mus’ get home with me befoor dark.”

 

THORRISH-JOAR (Mx. toshiagh joarrey) – coroner, sheriff.

“Is it the thorrish joar thou’re thinkin theeself, and wantin to sell me up?”

“The thoshagh jore and the whole kit of them was there – the grubs!” 

“I don’t regard sumners and lockmans – no, nor the thoshagh jawra himself.”

 

BOY-DRID (literally,’ slow-trot boy’) – a messenger, errand boy.

“I was the boy-drid of the family and the measles had navar time to catch me!”

 

JERRUDE (Mx. jarrood) – forgetfulness, reverie.

“An’ lie be the hedge on a fine spring day, an’ fall in a jerrude.”

“He was walkin’ up and down the room in a jarrood.”

“He put the jarrood on me.” (he made me forget)”

 

LADY – a woman who does no rough work.

“Aw, a lady she is, jus’ sittin and puttin one tum (thumb) roun’ the other.”

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