Written in Black and Wight: G

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Welcome to the seventh 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 G. If you have a mobile phone you'll have heard of 3G and also even 4G. Put them together and you get this very quiz – issue 7G.

G is another letter that was often originally dropped, so words ending in 'ing' were pronounced 'en' instead. Last time we saw how 'Pudding' became 'Pudden' and 'Fitting' became 'Fitten'. Curiously more recently the accent has changed so that instead of being dropped at the end of words, the letter G is substituted by the letter 'K' so that words like 'something' and 'anything' become 'somethink' and 'anythink'.

Isle of Wight

Quick-Fire Round

This round has examples of words and phrases, but the correct meaning isn't next to the right word. Can You correctly identify the correct meanings of each of the words below?

GaakTo be dressed in an unusual fashion.
God A Mighty's CowA heavily-pregnant woman during her accouchement2.
GoggleTo stand and stare
GollopTo snatch
GrabbleTo swallow greedily
GristyShaking and wobbly
Groanen TimeForesight and common sense
GumpshunA ladybird

Main Round

Isle of Wight

Identify which of the three meanings is the correct one for the words below:


  • Large groups of stars, often spiral in nature.
  • Thick, hard skin found on knees during harvest time.
  • Braces.


  • A scarecrow.
  • A woman fond of stargazing.
  • Local variant on 'Tallyho'.


  • A legendary dinosaur-like monster that threatens to rise out of the sea and stomp over Ryde.
  • The ale brewed by the monks of Quarr Abbey.
  • A shipwreck


  • A glowworm
  • A rumour that causes everyone who hears it to stop what they are doing to stare at the gossip's focus.
  • You know when you see a bright light and then look away, but you still see a bit of the bright light for a few seconds even though you're not looking at it any more? Well, that.


  • Wife.
  • A cowardly technician on the Red Funnel ferry who, according to legend, can only be described as a smeg head.
  • Spending time with a man after midnight.


  • Type of school which teaches you how to naughtily run through corn fields.
  • Grandmother
  • Old-fashioned hand-cranked record player.


  • One thousand pounds.
  • 'Granfer Pony' is an ancient role-playing board game the aim of which is to steal people's pony carts and ride them through Newport, completing various missions along the way.
  • Grandfather


  • Husband or family's main wage earner
  • Someone who catches mealworms to use as bait when fishing.
  • Workhouse.


  • An unexpected chewy bit in a sausage that you're probably best off not knowing what it is.
  • A pork steak.
  • A dance move popular in the 1960s when people would be grisken the night away in Ryde's ballrooms.

Click on the picture for the answers!

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


31.07.17 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).2Heavily pregnant women (who could afford to) were expected to undergo a complete withdrawal from society in the latter stages of pregnancy until their baby was a few months old. Isolation and confinement in the home was believed to reduce the risks of childbirth and infant mortality.

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