Written in Black and Wight: E - Answers

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And here are the answers to this week's quiz.


This week; words beginning with E and friends.

Isle of Wight


  • East, but can also mean 'Sunrise' and 'morning'.
  • A worm.
  • Fleece, clothing made from fur or animal hair.

Yes, this means a worm. If I may quote from the same poem I quoted last week, Mrs Moncrieff's 'A Dream of the Isle of Wight', first published in Charles Roach Smith's article Isle of Wight Vernacular in The Gentleman's Magazine (1863) about a family of ducks:

Fate hangs on a moment, while going they stood,

A waddling, clamorous pair and their brood,

From the dwyes of the withy-bed brook where they dived,

For a feast on the long earth-bread eaces arrived:


  • A handful of straw used for thatching.
  • Properly meaning deer skin, but also used to refer to parchment that is used to record legal documents.
  • A woodsman or lumberjack, particularly presumably those who sleep all night and work all day.


  • Helmet worn by labourers in brick works or limestone quarries.
  • An ant.
  • Someone who is special and/or unique.

An Emmet is not only a construction worker with a destiny in The Lego Movie, but is also an ant. I like to think of the character Emmet in that film as being like an ant, starting off as an anonymous and unforgettable worker only to discover he is special, after all. Both Lavers and Long use the following example of the word in dialogue:

I zay, you, zummer's come - here's a emmet.

Yet for a more poetic approach, we'll turn again to Mrs Moncrieff, who seems to dream about insects quite a lot.

I dreamt of thee, Vectis, and thine as of yore:

Joy thou in thy change as I mine deplore.

My dream was of seeking for emmets again,

For my pheasants in nooks made soft by the rain.

I was climbing the shute at the top of the butt,

But the path by a founder of hummock was shut:


  • To foresee events in the future.
  • Course cloth used to make rope and fishing nets.
  • To empty.

Yes, 'empt' means to empty or pour out, with Long giving the example,

Look sharp and empt the willey, meyat.

With 'willey' being a basket for chaff, and 'meyat' being 'mate'.


  • More than normal.
  • To anger or annoy.
  • Except and exclude. So 'Dogs extry' means 'no dogs', 'open extry Zundays' means 'not open on Sundays'.
  • Coastguard, armed Customs and Excise men charged with arresting/killing Island fishermen who supplement their meagre incomes with a spot of harmless smuggling.


  • To be frightened.
  • To avert and avoid or to have an aversion.
  • To be greedy and/or eager.
Afeared o' that dog? Not I! If I onny gits 'long side on 'en wi' my nubby Joe, he'll zoon be afeared o' me.

'Afeard' or 'affeard' means 'afraid', oh and a 'nubby Joe' is a walking stick. 'Afeard' is certainly not unique to the Isle of Wight. In fact Shakespeare once wrote,

Be not affeared, the Isle is full of noises.

- The Tempest Act III, Scene 2

He must have been over for the Festival.


  • Something very similar.
  • Something that is annoying, a nuisance.
  • Something that is amusing.

Yes, this means something very similar, and Long gives an example that is anewse to:

I was down at varmer Taalor's yesterday, you, and zid that gurt Sall Jooans there. She do goo on, I can tell 'ee, jest as if she was missus. D'ye think the wold man’s married to her?

I dunno, but I louz 'tes anewse the saame, you.


  • Water-filled bucket used to keep fish in on fishing boats.
  • A granary or storehouse that is resting on corner stones above ground level to prevent rats from entering is 'astrout'.
  • Something stretched out either stiff or frozen.


  • Suffering unexpected pain or injury, especially by a child; that hurt.
  • Across.
  • An earwig.

Athert means 'Across', but in the sentence 'Be you gwyne athert today?' 'across' means to cross the Solent to the Mainland. The word Athert is also used in Percy Stone's poem 'Keerter's Mayet (The Carter's Mate)', about a carter's mate who 'luvs a maade —t' prattiest maade, as iver i' Wight wuz barn'. This was published in Legends and Lays of the Isle of Wight in 1911. I'll quote from halfway in, after the carter's mate regrets not having the 'gift o' gab' with which to let his feelings known to her, or as she says, 'niver hev vound a tongue to tell the news to I'.

Now thet's a gift I hevn't a got,

Tho' at els I med be bresh,

An' mumchance by her zaide I walked

Athert t' barley esh2.

'Art veared uv a little vly laike me,

Thou gurt big Dumbledore?'

Then I ketched she hround t'waaste I did

An' kissed her lips vor zure.

I love a happy ending, and the poem ends with the carter's mate and his maade planning to ax (have the bans read) and marry somewhen, as soon as the carter's mate becomes a carter.


  • Without milk and dry.
  • Lop-sided, not straight or level.
  • Bright blue, the blue of the sky (not the sea).

This usually refers to cows no longer being in milk, with Long giving the example,

I went up to varmer Baker's to zee if I could git a drap o'milk to make a traykel posset wi', for the wold dooman's coold. 'Noa', a said, 'I wants moor milk than I got vor the pigs, ver near all the cows be gone azew.'

Just when you thought Mrs Moncrieff's 'A Dream of the Isle of Wight' was all about ducks, ants and worms, I can reveal that she also dreams of cows too, including 'cowed milk' which means 'hot, straight from the cow'.

...I lopped o’er the fence to a ramshackled shed,

Where cattle was foddered and mud-calves were fed:

For good cowed milk, thought I, this will do;

But the kittle was empty, the cows were azew.


  • Bottom or buttocks.
  • Outdoor privy, also public convenience.
  • Farmyard behind the house.

It is very important that you know that a Backside is the farmyard behind a farm house before you read the following sentence, provided by Long, as otherwise you might get a strange image in your head:

Playse Mister Newman, father toold me to come up and ax you if you'd lett'n putt hes keert into your backside till tomorrow mornen.


  • To have an insect fly into or brush against your face.
  • To spend a lot of effort digging to little reward.
  • Pike or poleaxe weapon that looked suspiciously like an agricultural billhook on a longer staff than normal carried by members of the Isle of Wight's militia.

Bee Butt

  • Meaning 'This is my daughter', if you were the proud father of a girl called 'Lulu' you would introduce her to your friends with the words, 'Bee butt a' Lulu, she's my baby'.
  • A beehive.
  • A bee or wasp etc stinger.


  • To bellow like a bull.
  • Campanology; bell-ringing, either church bells or a ship's bell.
  • To dig by the seashore, also to dive at sea for oysters and other seashells.


  • Someone born on the Isle of Wight.
  • The bung used to seal a barrel.
  • A chalk cliff or promontory.

Yes, someone born on the Isle of Wight is called a 'Caulkhead'. This term was originally used by the people of Portsmouth and Southampton to refer to Islanders who would come athert in the winter after the seasonal farm work had finished. They would work on caulking - making watertight - the ships' hulls that were laid up in port until spring. Caulkheads have proudly made this term their own. To this day the Isle of Wight has a high level of seasonal employment, with work in the agricultural and tourist sectors typically being for the summer season only.

Thanks for reading this week's quiz, next week we'll have an extra-special bumper edition that is, well, it's going to be shorter. So in many ways it'll be the opposite of a bumper edition. Now what's the opposite of a bumper? A collision, I suppose. Hmmm... Well, in that case, I hope you look forward to being overthrode by my F-ing Quiz!

Map of the Isle of Wight in words.A reader of the h2g2 Post
The Bluebottle Archive


03.07.17 Front Page

Back Issue Page

1I was down at Farmer Taylor's yesterday and saw Sall Jones there, she does go on, I can tell you, just as if she was married to him. Do you think the old man's married to her? I don't know, but I allow it's all the same to you.2Esh or ash means a stubble field after the crop has been cut.

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