Written in Black and Wight: H

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Welcome to the eighth 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 H. We've had 101 words to date and we're a third of the way through the alphabet2 already.

To quote Percy Goddard Stone in his Legends and Lays of the Isle of Wight (1911), 'An Islander never leaves out his h's,' though he puts them in before words beginning with r'. This meant that traditionally words like 'rough rabbit' would become 'hrough hrabbit', although this trend is dying out today.

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?

HackerTo spit
HalpedTo be tangled up or confused
Hard DoesTo stammer
HarlBad times
HawkSentinels watching for invasion
Hoss StingerSmall maggots found in bread or cheese.

Main Round

Isle of Wight

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


  • Icicles
  • Small crones.
  • Knots tied at the end of shoelaces.


  • V-shaped frame covered in fabric that is a small, basic glider.
  • A villainous rascal.
  • The sort of hangover experienced the night after drinking a gallon of beer.


  • Someone who hides needles in haystacks.
  • A worthless person
  • Using straw to create a path over a muddy field.


  • Feeling that there's no place like home, there's no place like home.
  • Women's high-heeled shoes.
  • Small amount of drink left in the bottom of a glass.


  • What Ventnor is compared to Newport.
  • A garden centre.
  • A roofer who does not use thatch.


  • Punishment given to someone who says Jehovah – not to be carried out by women wearing fake beards.
  • Scrubbing the deck of a man 'o war.
  • Using stone from the dissolved monastery of Quarr Abbey as a building material.


  • Something done carelessly.
  • Seductress who uses her charms to pick gentlemen's pockets.
  • Someone in a pub who makes his pint last twice as long as everyone else.


  • Gate or fence made out of oysters.
  • Tortoiseshell colour.
  • Falling off slippery rocks when crabbing.

Click on the picture for the answers!

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

Back Issue Page

1Others include A Glossary of Isle of Wight Words by Major Roach and C 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).2Although 'H' is the 8th of 26 letters, I'm not counting X and there are other letters I have my doubts about…

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