La Section de la langue Jèrriaise

Viy'-ous? – Do you see?

Touos les ièrs né vaient pon d'eune sorte (all eyes don't see in the same way) as the old diton has it, and indeed beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Un yi is an eye, but if you've got eune pathe (a pair) of them, as I hope you have, then eyes in the plural is d's ièrs. If you're have a tête-à-tête, as one says in English, then in Jèrriais you're entre quatre ièrs (between four eyes). But if you've got a squint, then you've got un yi tchi dit m'luque à l'aut' (one eye which says drat to the other).

Blue eyes, comme dé raison (naturally enough) are des blius ièrs, but a black eye is un yi pochi - nothing to do with black at all.

La balle dé l'yi is the eyeball, la paûpiéthe is the eyelid (not to be confused with la paûpile which is the eyelash) and the eyebrow is la soucile. La preunelle dé l'yi is the pupil.

Un clyîn dg'yi is a wink and the verb to wink is faithe un clyîn. Blyîntchi (to blink) is easy to remember – you could do it with les ièrs freunmés (eyes closed)! Freunmer l'yi (to close the eye) means to have forty winks.

Bizarrely enough aver d's ièrs dé caûque-souothis (have the eyes of a bat) means to have good eyesight, as does aver d's ièrs dé moûque (have the eyes of a fly), but if you've got d's ièrs dé pîngouîn (eyes of a penguin), you're likely to look somewhat bleary!

In baby-talk, eyes are les cricots, and if you wear contact lenses, you can call them des cricots d'contact, but glasses or spectacles are les leunettes. Sunglasses are des néthes leunettes (black glasses) and you might use un vèrre d'apprèche (a magnifying glass) or eune longue-veue (a telescope) or des longues-veues (binoculars) to vaie (see) things which are otherwise à pèrte dé veue (out of sight).

But then again, chein qué l's ièrs né vaient pon lé tchoeu n'en sait rein (what the eyes don't see, the heart knows nothing about)!

Geraint Jennings


La Section de la langue Jèrriaise
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