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20/02/2014 at 09:59

I've been reading one of my favourite poems by John Clare, 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3yCRbArVKs  - one line goes 'how lovely are the pingles in the woods'  

I used to know what pingles are - I think they're primroses, aren't they?  Does anyone know?

Think it's an old name for them in the Cambs/Northants/Beds area. 

KEF
20/02/2014 at 10:04

I only know the crunchy things in tubes

20/02/2014 at 10:14

I'll let you off, just 'cos it's your birthday 

20/02/2014 at 10:14

I know the word paigle for cowslip.

Maybe there are regional variations.

20/02/2014 at 10:24

Or those patterned jumpers for playing golf in

Edd
20/02/2014 at 10:34

Pingles is an old English word meaning a small area of enclosed land or a water meadow. I think it might be a northern colloquial name as i remember when i was a kid, that there was a pig called Pingles in the field out the back. The farmer said it was named after the pigsty it was going to live in. Lovely name for a pig.

Not sure it has the same meaning in this poem.

Regards

Edd

Edd
20/02/2014 at 10:46

Best i can find.

"pingle : a small enclosure of low shrubs, or underwood, or gorse; the word occurs constantly in local awards of the early part of the century; in Marshland, Norfolk, pightle is used in much the same sense, but generally there are trees in a pightle, when there need not be in a pingle (Egar); pingle : 1. a close, small meadow; 2. a small spinney; pingle close : a small meadow (Clare, RPD); cf.spightle, also pyghtle : a small grass paddock (Egar)"

Like Nut says, I think there will be regional variations.

20/02/2014 at 11:25

I wonder if Clare uses it to mean the little open spaces - glades - in the woods - that would make sense wouldn't it?

20/02/2014 at 11:43

We live on 'Pingle Lane' and a local told us that it is used (in Lincolnshire) to mean a sheep track.  Whether or not he was on the right tracks.......!

20/02/2014 at 11:50

Kef and Fleurisa,  childish snigger he he 

Sorry Dove  

20/02/2014 at 11:51
Busy Bee2 wrote (see)

We live on 'Pingle Lane' and a local told us that it is used (in Lincolnshire) to mean a sheep track.  Whether or not he was on the right tracks.......!

So he might have been talking about flower-strewn country lanes - sheep tracks 

Are you in Lincolnshire  Oh yes, so you are  so is OH's mum 

20/02/2014 at 17:04

I think 'poggles' are cowslips?

20/02/2014 at 17:15

These all sound like regional variations don't they? I wonder where the origin is

20/02/2014 at 17:22

I know paigle for cowslips and oxslips, but I've not been able to find it's origin - I'm fascinated by etymology - Melvin Bragg's The Adventure of English is one of my mostfavourite books ever.

20/02/2014 at 18:11

To add to what I said before, I have also noticed a road called 'Pingley Lane' up here, as if the word could somehow convert from noun to adjective, and I think sometimes it is used in place of the word 'road' so you get '(Something) Pingle'.

20/02/2014 at 18:15

Thanks Busy Bee - it gets more and more interesting.  Next time I go to John Clare's cottage http://www.clarecottage.org/  - one of my favourite places - I'll see if anyone there has any info 

20/02/2014 at 18:31

Dove, I am also fascinated by the way we use language and the way words develop. I love the fact that such 'English' words as settee and bungalow come from India. And that we say 'faux pas' because we don't have an English version, and the French say 'le weekend'

I think the poggle mentioned above comes from Hertfordshire.

I will try to read the Melvin Barge book, even though I am allergic to him

20/02/2014 at 18:55

Artjak, one thing that always interested me (as an English teacher) was the fact that if you go through the dictionary, practically every word beginning with 'k' is an import from another language.  Kayak, karaoke, kangaroo, kilt.  And the funny thing about dialect words is that you learn them (along with all the others) and aren't aware they are dialect, until you go somewhere else.  Like the time I talked about 'little tykes' in Manchester, and nobody had heard of tykes.  I had no idea what they meant when they invited me to leave a bike in the 'ginnel' either!

20/02/2014 at 19:13
artjak wrote (see)

Dove, I am also fascinated by the way we use language and the way words develop. I love the fact that such 'English' words as settee and bungalow come from India. And that we say 'faux pas' because we don't have an English version, and the French say 'le weekend'

I think the poggle mentioned above comes from Hertfordshire.

I will try to read the Melvin Barge book, even though I am allergic to him

I too was deeply allergic to him until I heard some of the radio progs that came from the book - he's now one of my heroes (as long as I don't have to watch him on tv) 

20/02/2014 at 19:14

BB2, what is a ginnel? In Glasgow, they kept talking about the 'area', it was, I think, the steps to a block of flats. And are there really no words beginning with k in Middle English or early English?

The thing that staggers me the most about our language though, is when they asked 4,000 American University students where the English language came from; they didn't know

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