Written in Black and Wight: J - Answers

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Answers time!


Quite a quiet, modest letter that curiously doesn't seem to have inspired much poetry, so this week's answers only really has dictionary definitions, I'm afraid...

Isle of Wight

You Know Jack All

Now for the answers to these name-based phrases:

Jack-A-LanternWill o' the wisp
JackassenBeing busy but doing nothing useful.
Jack In / Jack UpGive Up
JackragAn individual in a larger group
Jenny JonesChildren's singing game
Joe BenGreat Tit
JoeyWeak piglet
Johnny CrapaudFrenchman
Johnny FortnightlyRegular visiting packman or peddler.
Johnny LentScarecrow

Main Round

Isle of Wight

Did You identify which of the three meanings is the correct one for the words below?


  • The first month of the year.
  • Jaundice.
  • Jars to put jam in.

Yes, Jaundice, a condition in which skin becomes discoloured and yellow. Long provides the following example of it in context:

I met we wold Gladdis last Monday, you, and a toold me his wold dooman had the yaller janders miserable bad.


  • Insect found in marshy ground.
  • A song that is stuck in your head.
  • Maggots found inside jars of homemade jam.


  • Word said before the words 'whiz Batman'
  • To give – possibly to give someone some jam.
  • To get on well with and/or agree.

Yes, this word meant to agree – or at least that's what Long believed, when he wrote,

They don't sim to jee together noohow.

However, Long was quoting A Glossary of Isle of Wight Words by Major Henry Smith and Charles Roach Smith (1876), in which the spelling was 'gee'. Jack Lavers a century later didn't seem to jee with Long either, though, as he too felt that the word was 'gee' with a soft 'g'. Confusingly, 'gee' with a hard 'g' as found in words like 'gravel' or 'gravy' means 'give', which can get confusing.


  • Blue, slippery clay.
  • Someone who says 'I like the cut of your jib'.
  • Sauce, juice, syrup or gravy. Or the jam in a doughnut.

Yes, the various liquid found inside food. Long provides the example,

Mind what thee bist dooen wi'the skimmer, thee'st lat all the jipper out of the pudden.


  • A measure of spirits and/or jam.
  • Cattle dealer.
  • The Hutt crimelord who ruled Totland Bay.

Primarily someone dealing with cattle, although this also included other livestock. For example, Long states,

Wold jobber Snow wanted to zill me a hoss. I never zid sich a wold raames1 in my life: I toold'n I wouldn't hay 'en in a gift. That wold jobber wanted to git they pigs out o' me terbul bad, and wudden't he
jest about windy2 over it; but 'twas noo good, I could zee droo it, he was too flitch by half.

Curiously Long also mentions jobber Snow giving fair doos with a young pig equalling four sacks of potatoes, so I do wonder whether these conversations were based on real people and experiences. If so, I feel sorry for all the animals that are mentioned as, hens excepted, they don't seem to live long and happy lives.


  • Medicine.
  • Lollipop made out of jam.
  • Flag showing the skull and crossbones.


  • Someone who bumps their head when walking into something lower than they are tall.
  • Foolish, silly person.
  • Someone jilted at the altar when their intended accidentally says someone else's name.

What I really enjoy about old Isle of Wight dialect is that it provides an almost infinite variety of insults to call people. Long loves providing examples of foolish fellows. This is the story of a boy who was a carter's mate

When I used to be keerter at Messon, a good many years agoo now, I had a gurt jolterheaded bwoy vor mayet wi'me; a was a regular zotey. One day a was gwyne into Nippert vor zummet or nother, and wold meyaster zed too'n, 'Call in at buttcher Lock's and bring back a lig of mutton wi'ye.' Zo away a went and got t'other zide o'Blackwater, and then all at once a swealed round, a back a come as hard as a could pelt. 'I zay meyaster,' a zed, 'which be I to bring, a vore lig or a hind one? 'Thee tell buttcher Lock what I zed to thee, and 'twull be all right,' zays wold meyaster, 'thee bist about as clever as Betty Moorman's caaf, what run dree mile to zuck the bull.'


  • Being arrested.
  • A gin and tonic ordered by someone who already has had several.
  • Honest, trustworthy fellow.

Do you want another example from Long? Why not. How about this one,

He acted very jonnick about it.


  • Someone, often female, who adds herbs and other natural ingredients to home-made jam in order to create remedies for various ailments.
  • Someone from the West Country and/or a country bumpkin.
  • Someone who rudely pushes those around them out of their way.

Yes, Joskins was a name given to West Countrymen who came to the Island looking for work at turnip hoeing time and harvest, but later was used to describe country bumpkins, conclusively proving that Caulkheads aren't bumpkins. A Glossary of Isle of Wight Words by Major Henry Smith and Charles Roach Smith (1876) adds that a Joskun or Jawskin is a long white smock frock.

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


28.08.17 Front Page

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1Half-picked bones found on a joint of meat.2Wheedling or deceitful.

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