Written in Black and Wight: M

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Hello, and welcome to the latest in the quiz series dedicated to the Isle of Wight's dialect, as preserved in various publications1.


This week we have words brought to you by the letter M, and so naturally the week's theme is Maggots and Mothers, that classic, classy combination.

Isle of Wight

Mum's the Word

Miss Smiley

MotheryDusk or twilight
MumShy or silly person sitting quietly
MumchanceFood cut unevenly
MummickThick drink or food full of impurities
MummyMonster used to scare small children
MumpokerSmall insect or louse

Slime and Snails and Puppy Dogs' Tails

Can You correctly identify which is the correct meaning of these words and phrases?

Snail Smiley

MaggotA maggot
MallishagA whim or mad fancy
MitMites and other insects found in food

Have I Lost My Marbles?

Which of the following words does not mean a marble or marbles?

  • Lob taw
  • Mariners
  • Marvul
  • Mivvies

Main Round

It seems that every week we encounter the words 'Maade', meaning daughter, young girl or lass, as well as 'Mayet' meaning 'friend' or carter's assistant, but here are some new words for you.

Isle of Wight

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


  • Native hairy elephant.
  • Someone who frequently says foolish things.
  • Breastfeeding.


  • Headache
  • Mystic fortune-teller.
  • Very big wheels.


  • To walk in a camp way.
  • A likeness or resemblance.
  • Gents loo.


  • A mechanic.
  • Ringing of church bells to signify French/Spanish/Dutch/Viking/German etc. invasion.
  • Dung Heap


  • Playing truant.
  • A wheel and/or top restaurant.
  • Michaelmas.


  • Something that is either tolerable, moderate, normal, exceptional or extraordinary.
  • Money bank guarded by a yellow griffin.
  • Very small person.


  • Someone who hoards money.
  • Extremely or very.
  • Small stool.


  • Someone lost.
  • Sailmaker
  • Oozing, slowly discharging liquid.

Month's Mind

  • Full moon.
  • Labourer's pay-day.
  • Strong inclination

Moonshun, also Moonlight

  • Eyes.
  • Smuggled alcohol.
  • Daydreaming and/or a foolish idea.


  • Calving cow.
  • Bottom or backside
  • Argument that lasts so long it has become pointless.


  • Rough scarf.
  • Phlegm.
  • Rotten straw.


  • Short and broken, especially straw.
  • Messed up and disordered.
  • A riverbank at low tide.


  • Someone without magical ability.
  • A rat, also mongrel animal.
  • A very heavy weight that is a difficult shape to carry.


  • Wearing black as a symbol of bereavement.
  • Sweating with hard work in hot weather.
  • Working uselessly.

Click on the picture for the answers!

Map of the Isle of Wight in words.
A - B - C - D - E - F
G - H - I - J - K - L
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25.09.17 Front Page

Back Issue Page

1These include A Glossary of Isle of Wight Words by Major Henry Smith and Charles Roach Smith (1876), A Dictionary of Isle of Wight Dialect by WH Long (1886), Isle of Wight Dialect by Jack Lavers (1988), 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). Other works include poem A Dream of the Isle of Wight by Mrs Mary Moncrieff (1863) and Legends and Lays of the Isle of Wight by Percy Goddard Stone (1911).

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