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Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers

GUEST 22 Oct 14 - 03:46 AM
GUEST 21 Oct 14 - 05:26 AM
GUEST,Mike B 27 May 14 - 05:54 AM
GUEST 27 May 14 - 05:18 AM
GUEST,Guest John 24 May 14 - 05:40 AM
GUEST 13 Mar 14 - 03:32 PM
GUEST,Frances Pritchett, Lower Willingdon, Eastbo 12 Mar 14 - 03:34 PM
Jim McLean 09 Feb 14 - 12:19 PM
GUEST,Eliza 08 Feb 14 - 12:48 PM
GUEST,Lord Suggs 08 Feb 14 - 12:35 PM
YorkshireYankee 18 Oct 13 - 09:32 PM
GUEST 14 Oct 13 - 03:38 PM
GUEST,`Guest - Sue 15 Aug 13 - 10:41 AM
GUEST,Joolz 08 Sep 12 - 12:42 PM
Pete Jennings 22 Dec 11 - 11:29 AM
GUEST,Merrie 22 Dec 11 - 07:58 AM
GUEST,many moons ago 27 Dec 10 - 11:24 PM
Roger the Skiffler 08 Aug 10 - 03:42 AM
stallion 07 Aug 10 - 06:04 PM
fat B****rd 07 Aug 10 - 03:22 PM
Wyrd Sister 07 Aug 10 - 03:18 PM
GUEST,Northener 07 Aug 10 - 03:03 PM
buddhuu 21 Jul 10 - 05:28 AM
GUEST,Jiggerwill 21 Jul 10 - 03:20 AM
Young Buchan 20 Jul 10 - 02:07 PM
RTim 19 Jul 10 - 10:40 PM
GUEST,Marg 19 Jul 10 - 10:04 PM
GUEST,Jim Martin 21 May 10 - 07:50 AM
GUEST,Ray green 21 May 10 - 12:02 AM
GUEST,Pete 19 Apr 10 - 01:14 PM
Stu 19 Apr 10 - 10:33 AM
RamblinStu 19 Apr 10 - 09:41 AM
GUEST 19 Apr 10 - 07:14 AM
GUEST,Bob from Bedford 19 Apr 10 - 06:21 AM
GUEST,Ali K 05 Apr 10 - 11:10 AM
GUEST 22 Mar 10 - 03:02 PM
Boston Bass 22 Mar 10 - 04:31 AM
Dave the Gnome 21 Mar 10 - 01:26 PM
Newport Boy 21 Mar 10 - 01:05 PM
vectis 20 Mar 10 - 05:27 PM
greg stephens 20 Mar 10 - 03:22 PM
Rusty Dobro 20 Mar 10 - 02:20 PM
GUEST,Vannda 20 Mar 10 - 01:22 PM
Mrs_Annie 17 Jul 09 - 02:24 PM
GUEST 17 Jul 09 - 11:20 AM
GUEST,carol jones 15 May 09 - 12:21 PM
GUEST,Edthefolkie 05 May 09 - 10:39 PM
GUEST,glueman 05 May 09 - 09:18 AM
RoyH (Burl) 05 May 09 - 09:14 AM
TenorTwo 05 May 09 - 08:29 AM
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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 03:46 AM

I say, its looking a bit black over Wil1`s mothers. I got it from my Grandad born 1900,Cobham, Surrey


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Oct 14 - 05:26 AM

Would it have come from a music hall song? I found this rhyme that seems to suggest it may have-
Hurricane Bill, that 'twas its name, It brewed up dark and stormy,
And as he watched the weather charts It put the wind up Normy.
'Tie down your kids' in vain he cried, But not because of weather,
They were getting on his nerves, Bikes racing hell for leather.
'Advise your wives' he shouted out, To wear something less floating,
The wind will catch her fair and square, And flight times we'll be quoting.'
'Take down your flags and lower your masts, Whatever be their colour.
Turn off your fairy lights and lamps, Sure life will be much duller.'
'For we must ride this great storm out, And all come through the weather,
'Cause when you camp at Lower Treave, We're all in it together!'
'But wait' cried Norm, 'the chart is wrong, This weather's for another,
This hurricane won't come to us, It's going to Bill's Mother!'

Hence the saying 'It's looking black over Bill's Mother's!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: GUEST,Mike B
Date: 27 May 14 - 05:54 AM

Well, I'll goo ta Brierley'ill. ood evera thunk that "Looking Black over Bill's Mother's" cuda staired up such a commotion?
Any road up, gotta goo an' see a mon abart a dog now, so I'll say Tarraa !         All common Black Country sayings.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: GUEST
Date: 27 May 14 - 05:18 AM

The West Croydon version I grew up with (1945 0nwards ) was

"Looking black over Will's Mums".

I still use this today.

Much more frequently of late ..what with the weather this year.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: GUEST,Guest John
Date: 24 May 14 - 05:40 AM

Was used on Sussex/Surrey borders by my parents in 1940s.

Seems wide spread if not used much anymore


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 03:32 PM

I used to work with a lad from Manchester and he used this "Black over Bill's Mother's" phrase regularly.
I love these local quirky sayings.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: GUEST,Frances Pritchett, Lower Willingdon, Eastbo
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 03:34 PM

Both my Grandmother and my Mum used the phrase It''s black over Wills's mothers' and I still use it today - I am 68 so it has been going for a long time but I am not sure of its origin. Who, I would like to know, was Will's mother?!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: Jim McLean
Date: 09 Feb 14 - 12:19 PM

I come from Scotland an my wife is from Durham but neither of has ever heard anything remotely like this phrase. I'm intrigued to learn there is a different way of pronouncing "mother" and "brother".


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 08 Feb 14 - 12:48 PM

Here in Norfolk it's a very common remark. "Cor, thass roit black ooover Will's mother's, en't it bor?"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: GUEST,Lord Suggs
Date: 08 Feb 14 - 12:35 PM

My Grandad 92yrs is a born and bred Man of Kent (as opposed to a Kentish Man) he and friends down the British Legion use the phrase " Its black over Wilfs Mothers" when I asked many years ago who Wilfs mother was he said its just a direction, instead of saying out at sea, over the woods, Canterbury way etc you just used Wilfs Mothers and pointed at the clouds/rain/crap weather!!!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: YorkshireYankee
Date: 18 Oct 13 - 09:32 PM

"It's a bit black over Bill's mother's."

According to my husband, a common expression when he lived in Wiltshire (near-ish Swindon) as a child about 30 yrs ago, but not in Surrey or Sussex.

WRT "Well, I'll go to the back of Bill's yard" - Something I've heard more than once in the Sheffield area is "Well I'll go to the foot of our stairs!" - also as an expression of surprise/amazement.

Would love to know the derivation of that one; think I'll start a new thread...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 03:38 PM

as an hampshire hog   over our wills mothers was used my my mum meaning that it looked as though it was raining hard a short way ago and would probably be here soon


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: GUEST,`Guest - Sue
Date: 15 Aug 13 - 10:41 AM

Also used in Surrey - my Mum (now 89) has always used it since she was a child so probably picked it up from her Mum. It has always been 'Will's mother' in our family. Reigate born and bred.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: GUEST,Joolz
Date: 08 Sep 12 - 12:42 PM

Dunno if this one is still going.... but

My mother and father used the expression "black over Will's mother's" a heck of a lot in the 1950s/60s. They were born and bred (!) in Peterborough (originally Northamptonshire, then Cambridgeshire, now it's own county - the "Soke of Peterborough". Unrelated - maybe - I don't think my father actually knew my mother's name - she was always known as "duck"....


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: Pete Jennings
Date: 22 Dec 11 - 11:29 AM

The Mrs (and her mum before her - both from West Bromwich) says "it's black over Grimleys".

Another saying with reference to Bill (in the Black Country) is "Well, I'll go to the back of Bill's yard", normally said in response to something slighly unbelievable but true.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: GUEST,Merrie
Date: 22 Dec 11 - 07:58 AM

In my family in Worcs. it was Bill's mother's.They used it when the neighbours started arguing! Never heard it in reference to bad weather. I read somewhere that it was originally a reference to a smokey kiln in the potteries known as Old Bill but I can no longer find that reference. Some of my ancestors come from the SW Brum area so I'm assuming they brought the saying with them.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: GUEST,many moons ago
Date: 27 Dec 10 - 11:24 PM

my dad would take his weekly bath on late sunday afternoons for his visit to the crown for his mild and bitter infusion.that was in the late fifties in east Herts.when us kids asked where he was going, he would always say he was going to see old Wills mothers. mum would give him the evil eye and off he would go. good job the pubclosed at 10,oclock,


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 08 Aug 10 - 03:42 AM

It was certainly common in my family (Birmingham) and my wife's (Coventry, Wolverhampton, Buckinghamshire & Scotland) so I suspect wherever it originated it might have been spread by reference on a radio show, possibly ITMA during WW2, unless its provinance was much earlier.

RtS


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: stallion
Date: 07 Aug 10 - 06:04 PM

I think it was first mooted on a test match special broadcast from old trafford when someone ,maybe bumble (as a player not a pundit) said that the head groundsman would say if there were dark clouds over Bill's mothers house there would be rain at old trafford.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: fat B****rd
Date: 07 Aug 10 - 03:22 PM

I've lived in Lincolnshire, Durham and Fife and never heard the expression. I shall, of course, use it in fututre.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: Wyrd Sister
Date: 07 Aug 10 - 03:18 PM

Thanks folks - I do keep checking back. Amazing how such a saying is so widespread - our basic poetic nature, I think. It's much more interesting than "It looks like it's going to rain"!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: GUEST,Northener
Date: 07 Aug 10 - 03:03 PM

I always understood Bill was william of Orange and his mothers was Holland so Here on the east coast weather far out at sea was 'a bit black oor Bill's Mothers'


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: buddhuu
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 05:28 AM

Luton beds: I recall my parents, grandparents and others from the 1960s onwards using:

"It's looking black over old Will's mother's."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: GUEST,Jiggerwill
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 03:20 AM

In North Shropshire this is a common expression along with "It's looking dark over Annie's"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: Young Buchan
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 02:07 PM

It was greatly popularised by the TV commentators on Test Cricket. There would regularly be a shot of dark clouds in the distance, and one of the commentators would be sure to say it was looking dark over Bill's wife's mother's.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: RTim
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 10:40 PM

I said it this afternoon, "It's black over our Will's mothers" - to my wife, here on Cape Cod!!

It then poured and poured!

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: GUEST,Marg
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 10:04 PM

Its a bit black over Wills mothers - my mother used to say this when a storm was approaching - Croydon, Greater London, Surrey


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: GUEST,Jim Martin
Date: 21 May 10 - 07:50 AM

I always thought they were from the Cheshire Gap!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: GUEST,Ray green
Date: 21 May 10 - 12:02 AM

Weather patterns in the Midlands tend to come from the direction of Stratford upon Avon. The Bill in question is Shakespeare


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: GUEST,Pete
Date: 19 Apr 10 - 01:14 PM

My parents used the "Our Bills mothers" version and they were both born and raised in Portsmouth,(like me). Well to the south of England.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: Stu
Date: 19 Apr 10 - 10:33 AM

The guest before RamblinStu's post was me, no cookie for some reason.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: RamblinStu
Date: 19 Apr 10 - 09:41 AM

It was definitely spoken of as, "It's looking black over Will's mother's" in North Essex, fifty or so years ago

Interestingly there is an expression used in Barbados that states, "It's looking black over the breadfruit trees". Perhaps this is because they can see neither Bill nor Will's mother's property from Barbados

Stuart Pendrill


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Apr 10 - 07:14 AM

Will's mother's in Brum when I was growing up, although my mum said it and she is Welsh.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: GUEST,Bob from Bedford
Date: 19 Apr 10 - 06:21 AM

My family were from Northampton and Bedford. The expression "All around Will's Mothers" was in common use and generally denoted taking a long way round to get somewhere.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: GUEST,Ali K
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 11:10 AM

"It isn't half black over Will's mother's."

Surrey.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Mar 10 - 03:02 PM

'Wilf's mother' in Hampshire/ Dorset border


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: Boston Bass
Date: 22 Mar 10 - 04:31 AM

The current Mrs Bass brought from her South Lincolnshire farming family..
"It's a bit black o'er Jacks tates"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 Mar 10 - 01:26 PM

Definitely in use in this part of Lancashire - Swinton.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: Newport Boy
Date: 21 Mar 10 - 01:05 PM

My father used 'black over Will's mother's' in South Wales - 1940's on. He always said this looking from our window NW towards Twmbarlwm (our 'mountain'). I always assumed it was Uncle Will's mother's - Will lived in Rogerstone, just below Twmbarlwm.

Seems from the discussion that his father might have brought the phrase from Shropshire when the family moved down in 1886-88. There was a big influx of steelworkers from Hadley, Shropshire when Nettlefolds opened a new works in S Wales.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: vectis
Date: 20 Mar 10 - 05:27 PM

Definitely not heard on the Isle of Wight before I left in the early 1970s.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: greg stephens
Date: 20 Mar 10 - 03:22 PM

Taking a broad look at the spread of people here, there seems to be a pretty clear division(as regards north south): the expression is known in Cheshire, Staffs, Black country, Brum, but not in Lancashire or Cumbria. The north/south dividing line in the east seems to go through Sheffield.
This is just as regards the Bill/Will variants. Other people's mothers can be found north of the border I have identified.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: Rusty Dobro
Date: 20 Mar 10 - 02:20 PM

On the Suffolk/Norfolk border, 1950's: 'Tha'ss wholly black over Will's mother's!'


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: GUEST,Vannda
Date: 20 Mar 10 - 01:22 PM

Hi, we use this here in Leicester, but friends in Manchester had never heard of it.....something to do with William Shakespear - Stratford Upon Avon.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: Mrs_Annie
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 02:24 PM

'black over Will's mother's was often said by my mum who is North Herts born & bred.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 11:20 AM

"A bit black over Will's mother's" was used by my father and my grandparents in South Lincolnshire.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: GUEST,carol jones
Date: 15 May 09 - 12:21 PM

A bit black over Will's mother's was used by my parents in Norfolk and I still use it today.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: GUEST,Edthefolkie
Date: 05 May 09 - 10:39 PM

I can confirm Burl's posting about the saying being common on the Notts/Derbys border and the pronunciation of "mother". And it were always "black" ovver theer. I suppose we're including DH Lawrence country here and I used to hear it all the time in Eastwood, along wi' a lot of theein' and thaain' me duck.

I wish I could remember more of my maternal grandparents' local pronunciation (Beeston/Long Eaton)- I do remember my grandma pronouncing the city of Derby like the US hat rather than "Darby".


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 05 May 09 - 09:18 AM

My mother, Staffs moorlands origins, born in WW1 said, "It's black over Bill's mothers" to describe dark cloud in the distance. She recalled her mother saying it so it's Victorian at least.

Another interesting Midland saying is 'a monkey's wedding' meaning rain falling in bright sunshine. The only official time I've heard the expression used was on Test Match Special for describing the same conditions.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 05 May 09 - 09:14 AM

I grew up on the Notts -Derby border. This saying was commonly used in our house, and by my wider family and neighbours, to signal the approach of rainy weather. We said 'It looks black over Bill's mothers', usually pronouncing 'mother's' to rhyme with 'bothers'. Burl.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dark over Bill's mothers
From: TenorTwo
Date: 05 May 09 - 08:29 AM

Here on the southern edge of Suffolk, "that's black over Bill's mother's" - and, today, it is. As for "all around ...", here that's "All round Ipswich to get to the Cornhill", a usage which predates the one-way system but is now truer than it ever was, and can either mean physical distance or taking a long time to get to the point of a story.

T2


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