The words in our language reflect our daily interactions with the world that surrounds us.
For instance, today in our sedentary indoor environment of global communication, we use multiple verbs to short-hand the posting of an image on social media, so we can tweet it, facebook it, snapchat it or instagram it.
It’s an astonishing thought that these different words are internationally known by hundreds of millions of people.
But go back a century to when language was localised, regionalised and diverse. Terms back then were there to describe lives that were lived mostly outdoors, within the elements and the local landscape.
With farming, where much of the working day is still lived outside, you find there is still a need for an array of words to describe differing light and weather conditions.
So it’s been a joy to research and discover the old local sayings and descriptions.
They add colour, richness and dare I say it more meaning to our daily vocabulary.
We talk about the provenance of taste, the certain terroir of an environment, but unique language used to characterise a location and its conditions is equally important. It too celebrates the unique meaning and nature of a place but also it’s relationship with its inhabitants.
So here are some of our old localised climatic and atmospheric descriptions that we work in.
Dimpsey– the time of twilight, dampness in the air, bird song fading away, colours in the sky changing
Candteening – inky dusk when the light truly fades and enters night.
Plum day – soft velvety overcast light in winter, a damp soft atmosphere with no wind
Glidder– slippy-slidey-shiney black ice
Avvore– frozen patterns in ponds or on windows
Ammil– thin film of ice that lacquers all twigs and grass blades
Spearing– the sound of hail stones hitting the surface of the sea.
Graving clouds – clouds moving contrary to the wind below
Flerk – a turn of bad weather
Blaw– a gale
Tearing – a storm
Gorming– a loud storming roaring, also means shouting
A foxey day – meaning a deceitful day, the lull in the middle of a storm
Braging – raging sea
Broken – cliffs being smashed by the sea
Bruise – cliffs being pounded by the sea
Scroff – foam from the sea
Tender – applied to unsettled sky
Lambs wool sky – clouds that mean rain is on its way
Houdery – cloudy overcast day threatening rain
Ragging – the blowing of the wind just before it begins to rain , ragging the rain.
Skeat– a cloudburst
Scrubber to flame – is a light passing shower with a rainbow at the end of it.
Scat – a heavy sharp passing shower, also means a slap in the face.
Pilmar– sudden downpour of rain on a grey day
Entin (emptying) down – pouring down all day.
Corfilly day –foggy or misty weather lasting all day.
Vady –damp wet heavy fog
A Mystery or A Deceit– a very thick sea mist that masks a familiar landscape.
Fer att– mist off the sea in summer
Miztle– mist and drizzle
A larry up the river –mist that forms in river valleys
Luer – a mist that rises at night.