Forest of Dean - Glossary

Anyone visiting the forest is likely to come across some unusual local words, place names, etc.. These are mainly to do with the local geography, history and archeology. They are listed here with their meanings, as I come across them. If you can add to this page, please use the contact button! In particulat, my own thoughts on the subject are iemphasisd: comments welcome!

A note:(HGN) means this is as explained by H. G. Nicholls in his book "The Forest of Dean" published in 1858 and now available via Project Gutenberg.

Awre
yellowish (HGN). I suspect HGN thought this is a corruption of ochre.
However, the Institute for Name-Studies at University of Nottingham inform me
The spellings are difficult, but most scholars agree that this is probably in origin æt alre 'place at the alder tree'. Ochre is first recorded in English 200 years after the Domesday Book record of Awre.
Anunt
opposite (HGN).
Dean
woodland (HGN).
Delve
Mine. Usually open-cast coal working.
Kymin
Chemin (HGN), French for road. The Kymin is a National Trust property across the river Wye from Monmouth
Meend or meand
mine (HGN). Site of old working. Institute for Name-Studies at University of Nottingham inform me
probably Middle English munede = 'forest waste'
Mesne
As in Clifford's Mesne. Same as Meend. Apparently it was spelt Meene at an earlier date, but the original OS map of 1831 marks the place as "Clifford's Mine".
Pill
e.g. Bullo Pill. Pill is Welsh and means a tidal inlet,
Sallow Vallets
Institute for Name-Studies at University of Nottingham inform me
Sallow Vallets is Old English salh 'willow, sallow' and fællet 'copse with felled trees'.
Scowle
Derived from old English "crowll" meaning cave. A natural feature of water-eroded limestone in the area. Many Scowles have accumulated water-deposited iron which has been mined as high-quality ore. Some of the best examples are at Puzzlewood.
Slade
Spout
spring.
Spract
lively, sprightly (HGN).
Teart
sharp (HGN).
Tump
small hill or mound
Twich
touch (HGN).
Walk
Yat
gate (HGN). E.g. Symond's Yat.

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Page first published: Thursday the 7th of January, 2010
Last modified: Wed, 29 Nov 2017 16:31:13 GMT
Written by and © Richard Torrens.