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Folklore/language: Of snickets and ginnels

Anne Lister 27 Apr 14 - 06:31 AM
GUEST,Morrisman68 26 Apr 14 - 01:57 PM
Anne Lister 25 Apr 14 - 04:35 PM
IanC 25 Apr 14 - 10:24 AM
GUEST,Morrisman68 25 Apr 14 - 10:00 AM
IanC 16 Aug 13 - 03:36 AM
GUEST,eldergirl 15 Aug 13 - 07:20 PM
GUEST,Bodian 15 Aug 13 - 02:26 PM
Michael 11 Jan 13 - 06:04 PM
The Sandman 11 Jan 13 - 12:28 PM
Paul Reade 10 Jan 13 - 01:08 PM
ripov 09 Jan 13 - 03:44 PM
Will Fly 09 Jan 13 - 04:56 AM
Rumncoke 08 Jan 13 - 10:13 PM
Dave Hunt 08 Jan 13 - 07:59 PM
GUEST 08 Jan 13 - 12:41 PM
GUEST,Seayaker 08 Jan 13 - 12:29 PM
ripov 08 Jan 13 - 07:50 AM
GUEST,SID 08 Jan 13 - 04:36 AM
GUEST,henryp 07 Jan 13 - 06:56 AM
Uncle Tone 07 Jan 13 - 06:44 AM
selby 06 Jan 13 - 06:06 PM
Michael 06 Jan 13 - 05:43 PM
Paul Davenport 06 Jan 13 - 02:37 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 05 Jan 13 - 10:38 PM
GUEST,John Foxen 05 Jan 13 - 06:01 PM
redhorse 05 Jan 13 - 05:10 PM
GUEST,John Foxen 05 Jan 13 - 12:42 PM
redhorse 05 Jan 13 - 11:06 AM
Rob Naylor 05 Jan 13 - 04:03 AM
Rob Naylor 05 Jan 13 - 04:01 AM
GUEST,ripov 04 Jan 13 - 08:59 PM
Manitas_at_home 04 Jan 13 - 07:33 AM
ripov 03 Jan 13 - 04:12 PM
Peter the Squeezer 03 Jan 13 - 02:20 PM
GUEST 03 Jan 13 - 12:38 PM
Michael 03 Jan 13 - 05:18 AM
Will Fly 03 Jan 13 - 04:07 AM
GUEST,Colin Holt 03 Jan 13 - 03:08 AM
Rob Naylor 03 Jan 13 - 02:44 AM
Rob Naylor 03 Jan 13 - 02:38 AM
foggers 02 Jan 13 - 08:32 PM
ripov 02 Jan 13 - 08:16 PM
Geoff the Duck 02 Jan 13 - 07:53 PM
Geoff the Duck 02 Jan 13 - 07:43 PM
Rumncoke 02 Jan 13 - 07:03 PM
GUEST,BrendanB 02 Jan 13 - 04:16 PM
Valmai Goodyear 02 Jan 13 - 02:11 PM
GUEST 02 Jan 13 - 01:09 PM
GUEST,Richard 02 Jan 13 - 12:42 PM
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Subject: RE: Folklore/language: Of snickets and ginnels
From: Anne Lister
Date: 27 Apr 14 - 06:31 AM

You pronounce tuyau as twee-oh, so no that wouldn't explain chewries or tueries.


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Subject: RE: Folklore/language: Of snickets and ginnels
From: GUEST,Morrisman68
Date: 26 Apr 14 - 01:57 PM

That is very interesting and thought-provoking. But I am still at a loss to explain Alcester's tueries and Witney's 'chewries', other than as corruptions of tuyere. It wouldn't be the first case of mispronounced French, would it?

Didn't someone eminent once remark that English was largely badly pronounced French? Oh, someone eminent and French, naturally!


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Subject: RE: Folklore/language: Of snickets and ginnels
From: Anne Lister
Date: 25 Apr 14 - 04:35 PM

And the word "tuyere" comes, sans doute, from the French word "tuyau" meaning a pipe.


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Subject: RE: Folklore/language: Of snickets and ginnels
From: IanC
Date: 25 Apr 14 - 10:24 AM

Guest: Tuyere (pronounced Tweer) is commonly used in English to denote the pipe through which air is blown into a blacksmith's forge. An uneducated english person would almost certainly know this and so wouldn't make that mistake.

The word itself is, anyway, specifically used for a pipe or nozzle from which air is blown.

:-)


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Subject: RE: Folklore/language: Of snickets and ginnels
From: GUEST,Morrisman68
Date: 25 Apr 14 - 10:00 AM

I grew up in Witney in Oxfordshire, where older folk would speak of 'chewries' instead of alley-ways. I never saw the word written down and suspect it has fallen out of use there. I theorised that it might come from an uneducated English rendering of tuyere, a 'nozzle'.

So I was both startled and delighted to discover a tuery in Alcester. A local thought that the local history society had suggested a connection with abbatoirs, but I thought not. So I was very interested to search on tuery and find this thread.

Ben


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: IanC
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 03:36 AM

The woolly jumpers called "ganseys" (almost universal round the English coast) are Guernseys.

:-)


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: GUEST,eldergirl
Date: 15 Aug 13 - 07:20 PM

Peter K, the ice cream cornet called a "poke" would have been bought from the "hokey-pokey man" who was probably Italian, and said "ecco e poco" as he handed you your little glass dish of ice cream..(see Oh, oh, Antonio, that ancient music hall ditty.) My old English teacher was a whiz on word derivations.
And our route to school from the bus station went through a twitten.


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: GUEST,Bodian
Date: 15 Aug 13 - 02:26 PM

Lonning - Cumberland & Westmorland (or lonnin)
Loaning - further east towards the Pennines (or loanen).
Lane in old north Lancashire (now Cumbria).

All mean the same thing - an old vehicular / cart track between walls or hedges.

Tickleberry Lonning is one I remember....


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: Michael
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 06:04 PM

'Alleygater' is a scheme operated by many local councils to do just what you describe Paul.

Mike


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 12:28 PM

in nottingham they were called twichells


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: Paul Reade
Date: 10 Jan 13 - 01:08 PM

Where I grew up in Lancashire I remember some ginnels / alleys had street signs like "Passage no. 3" and seemed to lead into a courtyard of back-to-back terraced houses, long-since demolished.

The council here has been erecting gates across ginnels / back streets as a security measure. They call them "alley gates" which raises an interesting question ...



Are the people who erect them "Alligators?"


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: ripov
Date: 09 Jan 13 - 03:44 PM

I think there's definitely a connection, Will. Quick googling revealed a "snicker-snee" or large knife, so perhaps these snickets were cut through the english jungle of olden days, by a "snicker-snee" going "snicker-snack" and maybe accidentally rendering the Jabberwock extinct?


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: Will Fly
Date: 09 Jan 13 - 04:56 AM

I wonder if there might be some connection between 'snicket' and 'cut' - perhaps representing the concept of a passage cut through housing...

To snick something with a knife is to cut it.


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: Rumncoke
Date: 08 Jan 13 - 10:13 PM

Wider ways are alleys - there are side alleys and back alleys.

When my family were on holiday in Whitby over 50 years ago there was a storm and the harbour was full of fishing boats and other vessels which had taken shelter there. At the age of seven I went off alone to the harbour to see them all lined up wall to wall.

I think that they were probably mostly dutch, and the town was full of burley men in ganseys (woolly jumpers). They spoke to the locals in their own speach, and the locals spoke English, and both sides were able to understand the other well enough - at least to be able to buy foodstuff and find an engineer for a broken engine.

I suppose that over the years a few words were picked up, not enough to speak the other language, but to be able to get the sense of what was said to them.

When I went to the sweet shop and found it crowded with fishermen I was rather shy, but when one said to come in, I understood - 'comb innen misie' no trouble.


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: Dave Hunt
Date: 08 Jan 13 - 07:59 PM

In the part of the Black Country where I came from, the passageway between houses was 'the entry' I now live near Broseley in Shropshire, and it's the only place round here that has Jitty's (Tilers Jitty, Old Jitty, etc)


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Jan 13 - 12:41 PM

Also in Whitby there are 'yards', narrow footpaths between terraces of houses leading off at right angle to the main street


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: GUEST,Seayaker
Date: 08 Jan 13 - 12:29 PM

Where I was brought up in Kenilworth, Warwickshire they were called "Jetties"


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: ripov
Date: 08 Jan 13 - 07:50 AM

Maybe, in the days when obstructions to movement were woodlands and heath rather than houses and car-parks, paths, or snickets, were cut (or nicked) through them with snickersnees, which, like vorpal blades, went "snicker-snack"?


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: GUEST,SID
Date: 08 Jan 13 - 04:36 AM

In Chorley, Lancashire, "entries" are narrow 4ft wide passages between terraced houses which then split left & right to give access to half a dozen back yards. They are regarded as private and are entered through a door from the street. Ginnels, snickets, alleys (and jiggers in Liverpool) are public footpaths / shortcuts. To add to the confusion, we have a "Peter Wink" in Chorley town centre which is a flight of steps linking Market Street and Peter Street. The "Wiends" in Preston are wide enough to get a vehicle (horse & cart)down.


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 07 Jan 13 - 06:56 AM

"And 'Wynds' in Scotland and the North becomes "Wents" in Kent and Suffolk."

Lancashire also has 'weinds', though I think they'd be called ginnels today.


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: Uncle Tone
Date: 07 Jan 13 - 06:44 AM

I asked around in Whitby over the weekend. Snickets and ginnels are pretty much interchangeable there whether covered over or not.

Tone


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: selby
Date: 06 Jan 13 - 06:06 PM

I always thought Cuts where Canals


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: Michael
Date: 06 Jan 13 - 05:43 PM

And they still are tenfoots in Hull Paul.

Mike


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: Paul Davenport
Date: 06 Jan 13 - 02:37 PM

My Grandmother referred to the one next to her house as a 'cut' but then she was from Jersey so I guess she had an excuse. We called them tenfoots. This was in HUll in the 1950s and 60s.


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 05 Jan 13 - 10:38 PM

Jitty seems to prevail over ginnell/snicket in north Notts villages. John, in Norn Iran a poke is an ice cream cornet. (An ice cream wafer sandwich is a slider.)


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: GUEST,John Foxen
Date: 05 Jan 13 - 06:01 PM

Down south we have a better class of snicket ;-)


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: redhorse
Date: 05 Jan 13 - 05:10 PM

I think if you could get a car through, it's too wide to be a snicket (:-))


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: GUEST,John Foxen
Date: 05 Jan 13 - 12:42 PM

I'd not come across the word snicket (except in the Lemony Snicket books my kids used to read) until my musical partner Margaret used it. She's from Ilford and had picked up the word from her sister who lived for a time in Selby where it seemed to be used in the same way that redhorse mentions. Like redhorse Margaret hthought it sounded like a "sneak-it" and now uses it to refer to any little short cut. When we're driving to a gig if I'm told to "take the snicket on the left" I know I have to look out for a little alleyway rather than a main road.
I find this thread so intriguing we might have to work it into one of our songs: "Through snickets and through ginnels/I lately took my way..."


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: redhorse
Date: 05 Jan 13 - 11:06 AM

I grew up in Worcester, and recognise "snicket" as a narrow cut-through between streets.
I suspect it has a common root with "sneak": any etymologists out there?


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 05 Jan 13 - 04:03 AM

As a totally irrelevant aside, I was amused to discover that "gift", the Norwegian word for "married" also means "poisoned"!!!


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 05 Jan 13 - 04:01 AM

Hence the street names common in towns and cities that were once part of the "Danelaw": Highgate, Towngate, Coppergate, etc....uit's amazing how many northern dialect words come from Old Norse....when I moved to live and work in Norway for a few years in 1983 I found it relatively easy to pick up Norwegian, as so many of the words, and grammatical constructions, were familiar.

Words like "beck" and "fell" immediately come to mind, but then "shaw" meaning woodland, as in "Birkenshaw", a village near where I was born...any Norwegian would translate that as "the birch wood". although Norwegian for "woodland" is now probnounced "skog", most would jknow that the Old Norse pronunciation was close to "shaw". Then there's "laik" as in "is thy Robert laikin' aht?", directly from "lek", "to play", in Norwegian. It gets more obscure when talking about it "silin' dahn" (raining hard in Yorkshire) but understandable when you know that Norwegian for pouring something through a sieve is "sile"!


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 04 Jan 13 - 08:59 PM

As does "gate", from Norse "gata", (and I imagine related to German "gehen", to go) which only later acquired the meaning of the thing that closed the (passage)way


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 04 Jan 13 - 07:33 AM

'Wantz' in parts of Essex/East London but we're told it means 'way'.


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: ripov
Date: 03 Jan 13 - 04:12 PM

And "Wynds" in Scotland and the North becomes "Wents" in Kent and Suffolk.


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: Peter the Squeezer
Date: 03 Jan 13 - 02:20 PM

In Leicestershire the word for a footpath in a town / village (ie between buildings)is "Jitty"


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jan 13 - 12:38 PM

'Lokes' presumably from latin 'locus'=a place. A couple of them in Walsham, also Norfolk, e.g. 'Bank Loke'. In the Midlands this might be 'Bank Passage'.

'Loke (loc?)' is in common use on the railway for the site of trackside equipment, probably here short for 'location', but ultimately from the same source.


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: Michael
Date: 03 Jan 13 - 05:18 AM

Where I grew up in North east Derbyshire it would have been written 'jennell' and was (and still is) the passageway between blocks of terraced houses.

Mike


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: Will Fly
Date: 03 Jan 13 - 04:07 AM

Snicket in my native Lancashire - ginnel when I lived in Leeds - twitten down here in West Sussex.

Do "lokes" count? Many years in Norwich, in the Bere Street area, there were narrow passages of the street, and these opened out into central courtyards, often with workshops overlooking the yards. An elder brother of of one of my Suffolk great-grandparents had a coach works in one of these lokes in the late 19th century.

Any other places have lokes?


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: GUEST,Colin Holt
Date: 03 Jan 13 - 03:08 AM

Hi
My recollections coming from Morley near Leeds, A Ginnell was a kind of alleyway between houses, usually covered. A snicket was more a pathway usually between rows of hedges etc, and more often than not a short cut somewhere.


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 03 Jan 13 - 02:44 AM

Foggers: sweets were "spice" in and around cleckheaton. Except for licorise, which was always called "spanish".

And a VERY local term for "cowshed" was "mistall". Never heard of anyone from outside the Cleckeaton-Wyke-Halifax triangle who had any idea what it means.


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 03 Jan 13 - 02:38 AM

Snickets and ginnells where I'm from (near Cleckheaton). But both were passageways rather than lanes...ginnell with a hard "g" and roofed or covered, snicket not.

They were both narrow....you could invariably touch both walls (of both types) with your arms outstretched (even as children). Many of the twittens I've encountered down here since moving to the Kent - Sussex borders are too wide to be called either ginnells or snickets where I'm from....they'd just be lanes, back alleys or "dubbel raws" (narrow back or side lane between two rows of houses).


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: foggers
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 08:32 PM

Ooo good thread! I mainly grew up in N Derybshire where the term for the tunnel between two terraced houses was gennel with a soft G. Then I went to be a student in Sheffield and encountered the term ginnel with hard G. In mid Derbyshire only a few miles south of my home town the term twitchell was used, which others on this thread associate with the neighbouring county of Nottinghamshire.

Now, what about generic terms for sweeties? In Chesterfield I grew up calling them "spice" but just a few miles south in Tibshelf/Alfreton its "tuffees".


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: ripov
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 08:16 PM

If ginnels have a roof perhaps there's a connection with kennels?
In the midlands "twitting" is making fun of people. Don't know how this could fit.


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 07:53 PM

I was trying to log in.



new android tablet not behaving on mudcat


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 07:43 PM


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: Rumncoke
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 07:03 PM

The ways called ginnells, g as in good, around my first home in Barnsley now in South Yorkshire, were the ways between double hedges, often worn down with use so they were in effect an 0 shape, with the branches meeting overhead, or any narrow lane with the same over arching.

A snicket was a way through - as in - Tut School? Well - if thas driving its up t'ill, reight at top and on a bit tut gates, but if thah's walkin tha goes straight on that way and there's a snicket bit'ween t'ouses, wi rails on't coursey edge, tha can't miss it. It cums art ut side on't school, and tha gooes rand tut left.


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: GUEST,BrendanB
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 04:16 PM

Never heard of a ginnell with a soft 'g', 'though I have heard it used in Northumberland, Yorkshire and Coventry. Loads of Fenkle streets in Northumberland and Tyneside, I'd love to know what it means.


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 02:11 PM

Yes, these are twittens in Sussex and Lewes has a network of them, like a secondary nervous system. When we have our own social medium it should probably be called Twitten, in fact. Getting round the town on the main streets is inevitably slowed down by meeting people you know, but if you're in a hurry you use the twittens because they are always empty. Most of them have flint walls stitched with brick courses.

I'm told that the name is related to the German word 'zwischen', meaning 'between'.

There are some splendid pictures of Lewes twittens among these by the local artist Peter Messer.

Valmai (Lewes)


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 01:09 PM

In Salford we called them entries


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Subject: RE: Of snickets and ginnels
From: GUEST,Richard
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 12:42 PM

With regard to RoyH, "causeway" is derived from "Causey way" (however you spell it), not the other way round. I looked it up once, but can't remember where1 Might have been Chambers' dictionary.


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