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Tuesday, 4 August 2015

A Question about Essex Dialect


Dear Essex Society for Archaeology and History,


My name is Stephen Howe. I am an associate professor at a university in Japan but was born in East Anglia (in the Isle of Ely).



In spring, I gave a talk at Cambridge University on the words 'jearse' and 'dow' - emphatic words for 'yes' and 'no' - used in the Isle of Ely and some other parts of East Anglia. These words are not included in the Oxford English Dictionary; however, we still use ‘jearse’ and ‘dow’ in the Isle of Ely today.



I wonder whether it might be possible to ask you whether people in Essex know and use these words? I would be very interested to see how widespread they still are and how they are used. I am writing a book chapter on 'jearse' and 'dow' to be published next year.



If you are interested, I would like to know these questions:
- Do you say 'jearse' and 'dow'?
- How do you use them?
- Where do you live?



I have set up a web page where people can fill in information on 'jearse' and 'dow', if they wish. The page is at http://stephenhowe.info/survey/



I would be most grateful for any information you could give.



Yours sincerely,



Stephen Howe

Reply:

I have not encountered these terms myself and they are not recorded in Gepp's Essex Dialect Dictionary.  I shall post the web page on our Twitter account.


John Hayward, Secretary, ESAH




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