This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Nuts and Bolts: Sussex mud.

People are still arguing about whether or not Eskimo people have a surprisingly large number of words for snow (I'm not an expert, but I'm pretty sure that they have a lot more words for snow than the Tupian languages of the Amazon rain forest).

On the same principle, the dialect of Sussex, on the clay soils of the southern coast of England, has a lot of words for mud.

I'm indebted to the completely fascinating book Wilding by Isabella Tree (strongly recommended) for alerting me to this interesting fact - and to Wikipedia for this list.

Smeery: mud with a wet surface
Clodgy: wet mud, especially on a path
Stug: watery mud
Slurry: mud so wet it won't drain
Stodge: mud like a pudding
Slob/slub: thick mud
Slab: even thicker mud
Pug: yellow mud
Swank: mud forming a bog
Slough: mud in a hole
Ike: messy mud
Gawm: smelly mud
Gubber: mud full of rotting plants
Sleech: mud used for manure
Stoach: mud trampled by cattle or in a harbour

I must now find out about the dialects of Arabic spoken in Saudi Arabia and their words for sand.

Word To Use Today: mud. This word probably comes from the Middle Low German mudde. Interestingly, the Swedish word modd means slush.

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