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The surprising origins behind 9 modern slang expressions



A yowe-tremmle – usually an "Ewe Tremble" – is an old Scottish dialect word for a week of unusually cold or rainy weather that starts in the last few days of June and is literally cold enough To make the fresh sheared sheep of the season "tremmle" or shiver.

Depending on the weather, this is the perfect word to add to your vocabulary. But even if you're enjoying a sunshine or a sudden downpour, the darkest corners of the English language have just the words for you.

. 1 Armogan

Presumably derived from an even older French dialect word, Armogan is a name from the 1

9th century marine jargon for good weather – especially the perfect weather for travel or the start of a journey.

2. Bengy

This word, "Benji", is an old Southeastern English dialect word that means "covered" or "threatening rain". According to one theory, it could be from an earlier word, benge . means "to drink too much".

. 3 Blenky

Until Blenky means "very light snow". It is probably derived from Blenks an earlier word for ashes or ashes from the 18th century.

. 4 Bows of Promise

Rainbows were called "Bows of Promise" in Victorian English, alluding to the story in Genesis.

. 5 Cairies

Cairies are fast moving clouds. An old Scottish dialect word, it comes from cairy (a Scottish pronunciation of "carry"), a local name for a load or load to be carried.

. 6 Drouth

This is an old Irish-English word for the perfect weather conditions for drying clothes. Presumably related to an identical Scottish word for an insatiable thirst (or for an insatiable drinker), Drouth was incorporated into American English in the 19th century, where it eventually became another name for a drought.

7. Flenches

When the weather comes in it looks like it might get better later but never does.

. 8 Foxy

According to Oxford English Dictionary the weather foxy is then "misleadingly bright" – in other words sunny and clear, but ice cold. 19659003] 9. Gleamy

On the other hand, if the weather is brilliant then it is temporarily sunny, or as a 19th century glossary says, "imperfect and uncertain".

10th Gleen

A Gleen is a sudden burst of warm sunshine. It probably dates from the 17th century (if not earlier) and is probably related to a previous Scandinavian word glene for a clear sky.

. 11 Halta-Dance

The term halta-dance does not just mean "running around" but also a heat-haze.

12th Hen-Scartins

This is an old Nordic English word for long, thin cloud strips that are traditionally used to predict rains. Literally it means "chicken scratcher".

. 13 Hunch-Weather

Hunch-Weather is an old eighteenth-century name – like drizzle or strong wind – that's bad enough to bend people when walking.

14 Lawrence

There is an ancient myth according to which St. Lawrence of Rome was burnt on a glowing rust. While it is doubtful whether this is true (a probable explanation is that the Latin announcement of his death passus est "he suffered") was misread while assus est "he was roasted "), the cruel death of Saint Lawrence has long been the subject of folk tales and works of art, not only that, but he is now considered the patron saint of cooks and restaurateurs (for obvious reasons), while the boy's name Lawrence has been an American dialect word for a shimmering heat veil since at least the beginning of the 20th century.

15th mares 'tails

Mares' tails are cirrus clouds – long, thin clouds that are high in the sky and which are said to indicate fair weather.

16. Messenger

A single ray of sun breaking through a thick cloud can also be considered as Messenger to be designated .

17th Mokey [194559004] Moke is an ancient Nordic English word for the mesh part of a fishing net from which the word mokey is derived, which describes dull, dark or hazy weather conditions.

18th Monkey wedding

In South African slang, a monkey wedding is a "sun shower" or a period of alternating (or simultaneous) sunshine and rain. No one is quite sure where this expression comes from: a theory claims it could have come from an earlier sentence monkey wedding breakfast which means "a state of confusion" or it could be a vague translation of an even older one Portuguese proverb, casamento de raposa – usually "the wedding of a vixen" – was also called a sunny rainstorm.

19 Moonbroch

This is an old word from the far north of Scotland for a hazy cloud cover around the moon at night, which is said to indicate bad weather.

20 Queen's Weather

In 1851, Charles Dickens wrote: "The sky was cloudless; a glorious sun gave this cheering character, which – after the happiness that Her Majesty experiences when she travels or appears in public – has become a proverb. "The" proverb "in question is actually the Queen's Weather a nickname for nineteenth-century sunshine, derived from the call of Queen Victoria, who always seemed to expect good weather during her official visits.

21st Pikels

Pikels are heavy drops or rain. The word pikel itself is an old Lancashire dialect name for a pitchfork, while the local proverb "Pikels raining with the tines down" means that it is actually raining heavily.

22nd and 23. Smuir and Blind Smuir

This is an old Scottish word meaning "choke" or "smother". This word was later also used to refer to thick, suffocating hot weather. A blind Smuir is a snowdrift.

24th Sugar-Weather

Sugar-Weather is a 19th-century Canadian word for warm days and cold nights – the perfect weather conditions for the juice to flow in maple trees.

25th Sunblink

This is a 17th century Scottish word for a single sunshine …

26. Sunwade

… and Sunwade is an old Yorkshire word for a cloudy veil around the sun.

27th Swullocking

This is an old southeastern English word meaning "humid" or "humid". When the sky looks swullocking a thunderstorm seems to be on its way.

28th Thunder-Head

Herman Melville used the old English word Thunder-Head in Moby-Dick (1851). It refers to a thick, round cloud on the horizon, which usually indicates that a storm is on its way.

29th and 30. Twirlblast and Twirlwind

Both Twirlblast and Twirlwind are ancient names for eighteenth-century tornadoes.

31st Water Dogs

These are small rain clouds that hang over a single bank of clouds below.

32nd Wethergaw [194559004] Gaw is an ancient word for a drainage channel or gutter, whose U-shaped cross section is the likely origin of the word Wethergaw – an Old Scot nickname for a rainbow.

This post was first executed in 2015.


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