Glossary of Terms

On reading inventories which often accompany Wills, it can be very difficult to decipher many of the words, especially as some would be in local dialect and with odd spellings. Here are some of the words you may come across.

Acare (ackare, acker, accor, anakr)– acre
Addle– to earn
Ale– all
Andirons (end irons)– horizontal bars on 3 short feet with upright pillar in front.  They were placed on each side of the hearth to support burning wood
Apern (aporn apranne)– apron
Apparayle (apparel, aprel, reparele)– clothing
Aule– hall
Ax– to ask
Backsyde– the buildings and yard behind the house
Bacyn (basene)– basin
Auld– old
Bage– bag
Balandes (balances)– scales
Balde (bareyne)– barren
Ballies (balles, ballaysses, balwys, bellis)– bellows
Bearing cloth– christening robe or shawl
Bease (bese)– beasts
Beddys (beede)– bed
Bed hilling (berydynd)– bedding
Besse– bees
Bink (benk, binche, benche)– bench
Boetts– boots
Boke– book
Boket (bowkitt)– bucket
Bolokke– bullock
Bord close (bord hillings)– table cloths
Boute– without
Branches– chandeliers
Bruse– brush
Bucking cooler (bucking tub)– washing tub
Cafes– calves
Caples (caplyes, capuls, capolles)– horses
Caye– cows
Caytie (cetle, keytell)– kettle (an open cooking pot)
Charys (chers)– chairs
Chaunlor– candlestick
Chiste ( cheess, Kyste, chiest)– chest
Chechin– kitchen
Clock– cloak
Close– clothes
Deigest (dext)– desk
Ewre / Ewer (youre, owre, ure, yer)– pitcher for carrying water
Filids– fields
Foole (fawlie, foulle, foyle)– foal
Gakett– jacket
Galland– gallon
Geys, goys, gousse– geese/goose
Gonne– gun
Hallfer, heckfer– heifer
Hey, hye– hay
Hinde– farm worker
Hobby– pony or small horse
Hode– old
Husband– a husbandman, one who works the land
Husbandry gear– farm equipment
Husslements– minor household goods of little value
Jack– device for turning the spit when roasting meat
Koo, Kyne– cow(s)
Lathe, laithe– barn
Maunger– manger/feeding trough
Mazer– deep plate or bow
Meden– maid servant
Mester– master of the house
Mullock– rubbish
Nappery– household linen especially tableware
Nellys– nails
Pattens– overshoes or clogs which raised the wearer an inch or two above the mud
Peges– pigs
Pelowes– pillows
Pond– pound
Pullen– poultry
Rement, rayment– clothing
Saue– saw
Seeing glass– mirror
Selvar– silver
Sevand– servant
Sherne– churn
Sheytes– sheets
Soe– a large tub
Soope– soap
Sot sellares– salt cellars
Stewe– vessel for cooking
Stithie, stethe, stiddy– anvil
Tack– tenancy of land, a lease
Taverne– a cellar
Touled– towel
Tumbler– drinking cup with rounded bottom so that it could not be put down until empty
Tup– ram
Twilt– quilt
Unguents– ointments
Urchin– hedgehog
Waght– weight
Wenche– a girl, maidservant or baby girl
Wessing– washing
Woddinge– wooden
Woll– wool
Writings– legal documents
Wyesel– vessel
Yate– gate
Yoyne– young


Webmaster and Committee Member. In my spare time I run other websites including: The Friends of Beckett Street Cemetery, The Friends of Lawnswood Cemetery, Yorkshire Indexers and Yorkshire Burials.

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