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The site of an abbey.

A misunderstanding of the word 'Naples' in the phrase 'fustian of Naples'.
places Calverley
dates 1498

The adjective was used of items that were of a good standard.
dates 1519 1533 1534 1628 1642 1649

As a verb it was used of an apprentice or stranger being declared fit to practise his trade.
places York Selby
dates 1410 1472

The north-country form of ‘above’, often meaning on the upper side of.
dates 1420 1422 1489 1517 1525

A spelling of ‘above’.
dates 1200-1299

The place where projecting ends meet, particularly the solid part of a pier or wall against which an arch abuts.
dates 1485-1486

spellings ayser
The French word for steel.
places York
dates 1404

A kind of stone, found in nineteenth-century West Riding township accounts.
places Huddersfield
dates 1854

This was originally a piece of arable land, not a definite measure.

spellings acregarth acrewall
A name for a fence which acted as a boundary between cultivated land and the open hillside in upland parishes.
dates 1100-1299 1200 1334 1354 1444

This was a way of reckoning taxes, based on the amount of arable land a person held.
dates 1579 1583 1638 1674

To earn.
dates 1551 1561 1696

spellings addlings
What had been earned, earnings.
dates 1619 1722

An adze.
places Selby
dates 1678

This could formerly be used to express outraged surprise.
places Stainland
dates 1727

spellings monish
To advise or warn, to put a person in mind of something.
places Malham Elmswell
dates 1598 1642

The patronage of an ecclesiastical office, the right of presentation to a benefice or living.
dates 1288-1289 1381 1482

spellings affeerance affeeror fearer
To ‘affeer’ was to fix the amount of a fine or an amercement, and the word was much used in manor court proceedings.
dates 1432 1542 1711

An individual's relations, generally used for those through marriage or godparents.
dates 1483 1535 1537 1574 1576

Before, earlier in time.
dates 1484 1487 1488 1527 1535

Behind or ‘to the aft of’, in contrast to ‘afore’. It was used commonly with regard to boundaries and fences.
dates 1527 1623 1659 1693 1778

A later or second crop.
dates 1562 1579

An archaic form of ‘along’.
dates 1433 1606

places Elmswell
dates 1642

Said to have developed from ‘on gate’, it means on the move, ‘going’ or ‘working’.
dates 1709 1758

To go agatewards with somebody was to accompany them part of their way home.
places Thurlstone
dates 1648

spellings agistment
The right to allow cattle or other livestock into an area for the purpose of grazing, especially into woodland or forest, subject to an agreement and fixed payment.
dates 1269 1321-1322 1499 1520

Originally, it is said, this was the metallic tag on the end of a lace which made it easier to thread through an eyelet.
dates 1486 1544

An archaic form of ‘ago’.
places Quarmby
dates 1677

A square wooden tube used to convey air into the face of a single drift, or into a sinking pit.
places Masham
dates 1736

In west Yorkshire this was the name given in the nineteenth century to a passage driven through the coal for the purposes of ventilation.

Generally a pipe through which air might pass. In coal-mining it had to do with ventilation.
places Beeston
dates 1651 1754

The earliest use of this word for a ventilation duct is recorded in Westmorland.
places Beeston
sources Denison papers
dates 1754


A tunic of white cloth, one of the vestments worn by priests.
dates 1435 1472 1540

spellings alcomy alkaymyne
Spellings of ‘alchemy’, used of a base alloy that resembled gold, and from which domestic items were commonly made.
dates 1557 1636 1644 1677 1692 1707 1715

spellings aller
A tree related to the birch which prospered in wet places [Latin alnetum for a place where alders grow].
dates 1289-1306 1424 1543 1616 1619-1621


A festival at which ale was drunk.
dates 1540 1544 1595 1648

A seller of ale; an ale-house keeper.
places York
dates 1779

This was really ale allowed to acidify, a similar product to vinegar and often used instead of that word by dialect speakers.
places Snaith Wakefield
dates 1680 1762

The usual vessel for holding ale, often noted as a brew-house item.
dates 1301 1459 1533 1558 1559 1567

spellings ale stake ale wisp
In the early history of the alehouse, probably before signs were generally in use, a pole or rod was set up in front of a house to indicate that ale was sold there.
places Methley Coxwold
dates 1465 1498 1613

The ale-taster was a manorial official appointed via the court leet to taste or test the quality of the ale within his jurisdiction.
dates 1301 1332 1533 1626 1632

An eel spear, used in Marshland by the tenants of Crowle in the fourteenth century.
places Selby
dates 1372

The passage between the pews in a church.
places Halifax York
dates 1535 1540 1576

spellings ally
An alliance was a group of people united by kinship or friendship.
dates 1499 1534 1535 1541

spellings almose almosse alms
Typical alternative spellings of ‘alms’.
dates 1444 1488 1548 1555

A term for payments made for completed work, found in early Latin texts.
dates 1304-1305 1442 1456-1457 1490 1518 1567 1841

A kind of light armour that was made with overlapping plates, sliding on rivets (OED).
dates 1545 1565 1570 1586

spellings aluring
An ‘alure’ was a walkway behind the parapets of a castle.
dates 1260 1379-1380 1394 1412 1422

Photo by Kreuzschnabel CC BY-SA 3.0