Written in Black and Wight: F

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Welcome to the F-ing entry in the quiz series dedicated to the Isle of Wight's dialect, 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.


This week is words beginning with F. On the Isle of Wight, F was often substituted by 'V'. So 'Flea' became 'Vlee', 'Fetch' became 'Vetch', 'Folks' became 'Vokes' and so on. Yet despite not being one of the more glamorous letters of the alphabet, there are a fun few words that deserve to be in more common usage.

Isle of Wight

Quick-Fire Round

Words and phrases found in these Isle of Wight dictionaries often includes ones that I think are fairly universal and don't really belong there. We've already seen how words such as 'Doughnut' have been included. If you ignore minor spelling alterations to allow for local pronunciation, many words are well known not only throughout southern England, but probably anywhere English is spoken.

This quick-fire round has listed examples of words and phrases that I think are well-known off the Island and so shouldn't be in the dictionary, along with their definitions. Inexplicably, however, the definition has become all muddled up, so that the correct meaning isn't next to the right word2. Can You correctly identify the correct meanings of each of the words below?

Fair DoosMake a mess of something.
Fend OffFair dealing.
Figgy PuddenMeal eaten in the afternoon.
FistTo protect yourself from someone.
FittenFall down flat.
FlingProper, correct.
FlopTo kick like a horse or to throw.
Four o'clockPudding eaten at Christmas.

Main Round

Isle of Wight


  • 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.


  • To scratch and 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.


  • A mermaid.
  • A pipe filled with dried seaweed instead of tobacco.
  • A fishwife.


  • 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.


  • 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.
  • Blustering
  • To open a door only to be surprised to unexpectedly see someone on the other side.

Forest House Puddens

  • Fir cones.
  • Food made from flour and suet and nothing else.
  • Prisoners staying at Her Majesty's Pleasure in Parkhurst.

Click on the picture for the answers!

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


The Bluebottle Archive

24.07.17 Front Page

Back Issue Page

1Others include A Glossary of Isle of Wight Words by Major Henry Smith and Charles Roach Smith (1876), The Encyclopedia of Isle of Wight Words, Placenames, Legends, Books and Authors by Edward Turner (1900) and The English Dialect Dictionary ed. Joseph Wright (1906).2How did that happen? 'Tis mystery all.3Warsash in Hampshire.

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