Written in Black and Wight: O

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Ahoy-hoy, we have now come to the letter O in this, a quiz series dedicated to the Isle of Wight's dialect, as preserved in various publications1. What better way is there to symbolise we are now in the back half of the alphabet than by seeing the back of a smiley's head?

Back of head

O

This week we have words brought to you by the letter O. We have already seen how the letter O was often substituted by 'Au', so a word like 'Overthrow' has become 'Auverdrow'. In order to symbolically demonstrate how popular the letter O was in comparison with the letter A, here is a little table in which the letter A is represented by a normal smiley, and the letter O's use in contrast is represented by the second smiley2:

Letter ALetter O
smiley - smiley
Microscopic

Quick Fire: Odd One Out Round

The word 'odd' has had a lot of odd uses on the Island, especially as it was said as a contracted form of 'God'. Local phrases include Odd rot it, which meant 'God rot it !', Oddzookers is a contraction of 'God succour us!' and Oddzounderkuns hauw was an expression used to find fault3.

Can You correctly identify which is the correct meaning for these odds and sods below?

WordDefinition
OddsStrange or not local
OneOutdo by talking
OutDirection of returning home
Out at elbowsSkint, bankrupt
OutdaciousOffended, also scruffy
Out EndExtinguish a candle
OutlandishDifference
OutlongImpudent
OuttaakA

Main Round

Isle of Wight

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

Oben

  • An oven
  • A dozen
  • A haven or sheltered harbour.

Obstropolus

  • Headstrong
  • An obstacle course.
  • An oboe player.

Off the Reel

  • A fresh line-caught fish.
  • Straight away and at once.
  • To attend a local dance.

Okkepashun

  • Occupation.
  • A cowman or farmer who works with oxen.
  • Someone who has hiccups.

Ole-fashioned

  • Clothing that is rags and tatters, or an object that is broken.
  • Obsolete.
  • Sheepish.

Ore-weed

  • Straw.
  • Seaweed.
  • Urine when used in tanning.

Ourn

  • An hour
  • Ours
  • An urn

Overner

  • Cricketer
  • Someone from the mainland.
  • Poultry farmer and/or egg seller.

Outraajus

  • Outrageous.
  • A raging anger.
  • Outhouse or privy.

Oxlays

  • An oxcart.
  • Welder, someone who uses oxy-acetylene.
  • Meadow used to keep oxen.

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
M - N - O
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1These include A Glossary of Isle of Wight Words by Major Roach and C 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).2No-one will ever suspect that I'm using the Written in Black and Wight series to sneakily get the smileys I drew for h2g2 back in 1999 uploaded.3Roach and Roach Smith give the example, Oddzounderkuns hauw, what dost do that vor?

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