And here are answers to the F-ing quiz dedicated to words in the Isle of Wight's dialect that began with the letter F. These have been preserved in publications including A Dictionary of Isle of Wight Dialect by WH Long (1886) and Isle of Wight Dialect by Jack Lavers (1988)1.
The quick-fire round listed words and phrases that I think are well-known off the Island and so shouldn't be in the dictionary. Here are the definitions next to the right word, along with an example from either of the dictionaries listed above of their daily use.
|Fair Doos||Fair dealing||I got to gi'n vour sacks o'taters, and then 'twull be about fair doos booath zides.|
|Figgy Pudden||Plum pudding eaten at Christmas||Now bring us zome figgy pudden|
|Fist||Make a mess of something||He maade a praaper fist o' planten the flower-knot|
|Fend Off||To protect yourself from someone||I'll fend off and zend thee furlen if thee comes anearst me.|
|Fitten||Proper, correct||To my mind it don't sim fitten|
|Four o'clock||Meal eaten in the afternoon2.||The mug contained his four o'clock, a modest potation of beer.|
|Flop||Fall down flat.||She come indoors and flopped down in a chair. I vell down bout house flop.|
|Fling||Kicking like a horse or to throw||Mind the wold mare don't fling at ye, meyat.|
- Emotion felt when you just can't get the toilet to flush.
- To be scared, frightened, confused or agitated.
- Completely losing count of something after getting to quite a high number.
Long gave the following example,
It putt me into a regular flustration about it.
- To scratch and/or fidget.
- What a prim and proper young lady would never do on a first date, no matter how flirtatious her escort.
- According to an old Isle of Wight legend, the name of the captain of the Isle of Wight ferry who boldly went where no man had gone before3.
Another easy one, with Long giving the example,
That dog keeps on firken vorvlees.
'vorvlees' is of course 'for fleas', with two substituted 'F's. A Century later it appears that the dog's fleas have bitten the farmer's wife, as Lavers records a different example; 'She'm always on the firk'. In his introduction to Legends and Lays of the Isle of Wight (1911), Percy Goddard Stone wrote,
Though many similar words and idioms are to be found throughout Wessex, on the other hand, many are peculiar to the Isle of Wight. What modern English can so well express the verbs to shuffle, to startle, to scratch, as our local scuff, scart, and firk, or the pangs of hunger as leer?
- A mermaid.
- A pipe filled with dried seaweed instead of tobacco.
- A fishwife.
Yep, a fishwife.
Oh, you want a quote to go with it, eh? 'Fishfag = fishwife' not good enough? Oh fine, okay then, here's a quote. Not from the Isle of Wight Dictionaries, mind, but from the Beatles. 'Cos it's my quiz.
Crabalocker fishwife, pornographic princess, boy you've been a naughty girl, you let your knickers down.
- I Am the Walrus
- To be embarrassed in public by your elderly relatives.
- To start a fire with sparks ignited by hitting flint together.
- To get revenge by splatting someone in the face with a custard pie.
- To flourish or brandish
A word unique to the Isle of Wight. Long gives the example,
He's out there by the barn door, flanyeren about wi'a sparrod4.
- When you are trying to sneak home late at night in a not entirely sober state after being out with the lads only for the noise of your un-oiled gate to give you away.
- To open a door only to be surprised to unexpectedly see someone on the other side.
Another word unique to the Isle of Wight.
Forest House Puddens
- Fir cones.
- Food made from flour and suet and nothing else.
- Prisoners staying at Her Majesty's Pleasure in Parkhurst.
Since the 18th Century Parkhurst Forest has been the site of the Workhouse as well as Parkhurst and Albany Barracks, which later became Parkhurst and Albany Prisons. A Forest House Pudden was plain, flavourless food served in the workhouse at weekends. Long records,
At a tumultuous meeting in favour of Reform5 held in the Corn Market, Newport, in 1831, some farmers from Gatcombe who were vehemently opposed to the popular cause were saluted with derisive cries, 'Dree cheers vor the Forest House puddens.' One of them in surprise asked, 'Why be we Forest House puddens?" "Because ye ha'nt got no raisins6 in ye" was the answer.
Gee Whiz, next week is the G Quiz - Same Bluebottle Time, Same Bluebottle Channel – or more specifically, the island between the Channel and the Solent.