By Eric Streeton
Ham strung Rabbit. To slit the lower part o a rabbits hind leg,
and to pass the other hind leg through it. Used for carrying purposes.
Handballing. Work done by hand, with out any mechanical aide.
Happen I will happen I won’t. I may or may not.
Harbour duck or shark. A Rye Harbour man.
Harping on. To keep on about something. (Don’t keep harping
on about it)
Has the Vicar been. A cup of tea that is not filled right up.
Having a head like a bushel basket. Having a severe hang over, it
could be a reference to taking a bushel of Hops but in liquid form.
Hedge brishing. Cutting a hedge.
Hedge Brishings. Hedge cuttings.
He’s in a bad liver He’s in a bad mood.
Hodgie pig. Hedgehog.
Hog wash. Some one talking complete and utter rubbish. (Talking
Hop dog. Metal bar for removing hop poles
How yer diddling. How are you. (Reply to how are you.) Bit better
than worse off. ( Could be better). Or, Not to dusty. (not to
Howe’s his liver to day. How’s his mood or temper today.
Idden-it. Isn’t it
Jack it in. Terminating your own employment. Or stopping work.
Jasper. A wasp.
Kettle broth. Bread in hot water with pepper and salt. (I
promise you that this dish really did exist, and I live to tell the
tell) Kettle wedges. Fire wood.
Kifer. Girl or Woman, Who was that bit of Kifer I saw you with
you last night.
Kindling. Fire lighting wood.
Lapsy Lazy, Slow.
Larruping. A good hiding.
Latcherty. Unsteady or not working properly.
Layed up. Unwell and in bed.
Lay up. Hiding.
Lazy wind. A strong cold wind that feels as if it’s blowing right
through you, rather than going round you.
Lew In shelter from adverse weather.
Little Man. Wooden tool shaped like a Electricians bolster, made
of wood. Used to clean sticky soil or clay from, a spade, graft,
Lob To throw.
Lodged Stuck. My kites got lodged up in that tree.
Long net. A net for catching rabbits. (Favoured by poachers.)
Long tail. Pheasant.
Looking like a bit of scolded pork. Severe sun burn.
Mort or Mault. Older woman.
Mudlark. Rye Fisherman.
Mung. To cadge
Mutton westkit. (waist coat.) Mutton cloth on a sheep’s carcass.
My ole dogs aint arf barking. My feet are hot and throbbing.
Navvies wedding cake. Bread pudden (pudding.)
Nah. Disbelieving No.
Nettle rash. Reference to any severe rash.
Nitty gram. Avery small amount.
Nifty. Good or nice.
Pug. A ferret.
Pugging. Catching rabbits with the aid of ferrets.
Pun. To compact soil.
Punt. Open decked fishing boat (Hastings.)
Raw throat. Sore throat.
Raggedy arse. A Rye man.
Rake. A lot of something.
Rides. Iron gate hinges.
Rook. Vicar or parson.
Rooning. Picking mushrooms.
Sart-er-noon. This afternoon.
Set. Obstinate. He’s very set in his ways.
Sham lock or locked. A padlock giving the appearance of being locked
but in reality it is not.
Shant. Drink of beer.
Sheep treadles. Sheep droppings.
Shite Hawk. Seagull.
Slake. To quench.
Slaughter. Mass termination of employment. (Building trade.)
Smorning. This morning
Spaddle. Walking on a clean floor, making it dirty.
Pea measure. A container filled to capacity.
Slips. Small Soles.
Spile. Fence post.
Shell. Coffin used by undertakers to collect a corpse immediately
She’s got more now than my ole Grandmother died with. Description
of a young lady with ample proportions.
Splines. Prongs on a fork.
Snatch. Undertakers collecting a corpse.
Snatched. Being very cold.
Starter. Baby rabbit.
Stab. Where a doe gives birth, not a borrow,
Standing twenty minutes before casting a shadow. A skinny person.
Stalker. Fish too small for market.
Strod. A Y junction in young wood. A catapult strod, a clothes
Stretch it’s neck. To break a Rabbits neck. (To dispatch a
Stuffing your kite. Eating.
Stun. A stone in weight, 14 lbs.
Shelve it out or up. To tip something out of a wheel barrow for
instance. Shelve it out there.
Shucky. Unsettled weather.
Swimey. Sick or giddy.
Swapping turds for a baked potato. Some one who wants something
Tin tan. Unsteady – rocking about.
The channel. The river Brede.
The sun’s casting long shadows now. On-set of Autumn.
The love of a good woman, will draw you further than gunpowder will
The sound of Rye’s Quarter boys, will draw you further than gunpowder
can blow you.
Thick of hearing. Slightly deaf. Are you listening to me, or
are you a bit thick of hearing.
Thistle spud. Tool for removing thistles.
Trashed. Scared – Frightened.
Tree Rat Squirrel
Truck. Backchat. Don’t put up with any of his ole truck.
Trucking. Rabbiting with a ferret.
Truss. Part of the tomato plant that the tomatos grow on. (Now
called a vine)
Twang. Unpleasant taste.
Twittering on. Relentless chatter.
Web. A long net.
Webbing. Rabbiting with a long net. Favored by poachers.
Westkit. Waste coat.
You will never have money as long as you have a hole in your back
side. I remember my Father telling me as a young man, that I was
a bad manager of money.
Last but not least is this one. I have seen this in print, but my
very first employer on leaving school was Bob Collins at Winchelsea
and very often quoted this one to me. One boy is a boy. Two boys
is half a boy. Three boys is no boy at all.
Foot-note: I got a lot of pleasure putting this little lot together,
and will be putting together a small selection of Building Trade Words
for a future edition. Eric