La Section de la langue Jèrriaise

D'A à Z

There's such un amas (a lot) of great Jèrriais words in the Dictionnaithe (dictionary) that it's (hard) to chouaîsi (choose) favourites, so né v'chîn (here's) one for each letter of l'a,b,c (the alphabet):

Aheutchi (to stammer or hesitate) is something you might do when trying to find an English equivalent of bédoulphe (a bubble on the surface of bread dough), but not something you do if you're inclined to chaûbidanser (put on airs, swan around). If you get your clothes drenched in seawater, what you'll have to do is dêsausser (soak them in fresh water to remove the salt). The improbable word endgèrdgichonner has a specialised veterinary meaning, but if referring to people it signifies to kill with kindness. Eune fouâteunme is a cloud of dust and des gofiches are odds and ends. Argy-bargy or a row is du hèrtchîn, which is something that might kick off if one's beer or cider was too ieauseux (watery). But if your drink is stronger you might end up with a tendency to jobelinner (wobble). The letter k isn't common in Jèrriais but computer users can never have too many kilobouochies (kilobytes) of memory. Lîncreux means slimy, a word you wouldn't apply to un milsoutchi (a rich person) if you were hoping to get some money out of him.

I'm now halfway though this niolîn (nonsense), but we've come to the word ongliet, which is a really useful term to describe the nick in the blade of a penknife you use to open it out with your fingernail. Stuff which has been trampled on is d'la pilvâqu'sie, but over the sound of stamping feet you might hear some birds queûqu'ter (cheep). If you shake a bag to settle the contents, that's rempoutchi – and talking of quantities, souôb'ser means to weigh something up in one's hand. If someone's touîndgi, then they're dressed up or perhaps overdressed. And ûssel'lie is the action of opening and shutting doors, or coming in and out – something you might do if you can't make your mind up if you're dressed up or over-dressed! If you can't be bothered to dress up or go out or do anything, you could be described as un vadleûthant (a loafer).

Wace never wrote about whisky or wigwams so w is not common in Jèrriais: we use ou instead as in the word ouodgi which means to turn right, usually only referring to horses. X may mark the spot, but words beginning with x are hard to spot in Jèrriais – we might have to subject the dictionary to some x-raiethie to find some, and we wouldn't find much with our yi (eye) alone.

But here we are finally, j'sommes à z (we're at an end)!

Geraint Jennings


La Section de la langue Jèrriaise
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