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Anglo-Manx Dialect

by Bernadette Weyde

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.

[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.”



“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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