1) Spellings recorded elsewhere include ‘swally’ and swilly’, so they may derive from the dialect pronunciation of ‘swallow’, in the sense of a hole. In west Yorkshire it refers to a hollow place in the coal stratum, often filled with water.

The word is used here in conjunction with ‘dike’, since both hindered normal productive working: 1714 your field of coal … is a Crabbed and uncertain works by that reason of so many Dikes and Swellies, and the coal lying partly Rigg and Furr, Colsterdale. Greenwell described it as a depression in the strata, where the seam of coal might be thicker.

places Colsterdale
dates 1714

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