Select one or more, then press search
Select one or more, then press search


A wooden vessel, used in mining to bale water out of the pit.
dates 1694 1713 1754 1762

A piece of lace or the like worn around the neck by women.
places West Riding
dates 1725


Two examples of the noun have been recorded in coal-mining contexts, one in the inventory of Charles Best of Landimer in Shelf.
places Farnley
dates 1570 1716

Originally a withe or withy, that is a tough, flexible but slender branch of a willow or osier, used as a tie or shackle, presumably attached to the ‘tug’ on a working horse. It was later applied to an iron chain which had the same function.
dates 1551 1559 1613 1675

A material such as canvas.
places York
dates 1509


To card wool by hand, in preparation for finer work and spinning.
places Holmfirth
dates 1734

A drinking glass which originally had a rounded or pointed base, so that it could not be set down until emptied.
places Denton
dates 1647

The OED offers several meanings for this term, and has examples from 1724 and 1795. It could be an outfall from a canal, river or reservoir; a weir, or even the pool into which water falls from a dam.

A dung-cart which could be tipped so as to discharge its load.
dates 1554 1561 1582


Usually a large cask, one to hold liquids.
dates 1379 1453 1471 1581 1618 1656

A small tunic, a type of vestment worn by some clergymen.
dates 1381 1435 1497 1518-1519 1558

A typical late spelling of tonnell.
places Stockeld
dates 1613


A male lamb from its weaning to its first shearing.
dates 1605 1617 1723

A small building in which to store the turves used as fuel.
places Langfield
dates 1579

Of a hat, furnished with a turn or cock.
places Knaresborough
dates 1558

spellings turfway
Access routes to the turf-pits.
dates 1317-1318 1492 1528 1570 1582 1640

A regional word for turbary, that is the right to dig for turves or peats.
dates 1313 1584 1624

A small building close to a dwelling-house where turf and peat was stored.
dates 1332 1570 1584 1706

A site where tenants of a manor had the right to dig turves or peat for fuel.
dates 1300-1350 1615

A spade designed to cut turf, described in 1887 as having a triangular blade of steel with one side turned up and sharpened in front and a long curved shaft with a strong cross-handle.
dates 1485 1559 1587 1692

spellings turkey carpet turkey work
Originally a carpet woven in one piece of richly-coloured wools and having a deep pile, imported from Turkey or woven elsewhere in imitation of the style: often a table covering. Later the word was applied more loosely to a variety of imitative fabrics.
dates 1568 1591 1620 1643 1656

spellings turn-sake well turn
A word with several meanings, but commonly a type of windlass used in coal-mining.
dates 1630 1655 1666 1687 1702 1710 1715

The occupational term had a number of possible meanings but usually referred to workmen who turned vessels on a lathe, working with wood, metal or bone.
dates 1227 1284 1329 1415 1416-1417 1554 1566 1596 1629 1657

A spiral staircase.
places York
dates 1548-1549

All the examples noted are in connection with working the ‘banks’ or coal face in a pit.
dates 1718 1730 1761

This was the word for an apprentice whose indentures were transferred to another master, for whatever reason.
dates 1640 1736

An instrument for pressing cloth, presumably using a screw mechanism.
places Halifax
dates 1545

A kind of light shoe.
dates 1773

spellings tuss
These are northern variants of ‘tusk’, used for stones which formed a projecting course on a building, one on which an additional structure might be built.
dates 1412 1704

A game resembling stoolball in which the tuts were the ‘bases’.
places Salton Bilton
dates 1519 1595

A kind of axe with two cutting edges, formerly used for making the mortise into which a tenon fitted.
places York
dates 1407-1408

A woven fabric with parallel diagonal ribs, used especially for towels.
dates 1400 1444 1498 1549

Woven with a twill.
dates 1423 1536

spellings twindle
Words for a twin.
dates 1528 1583

A regional form of ‘quilt’.
dates 1528 1559 1562 1578 1662

To turn, twist or wind.
dates 1619-1621 1642 1738 1758-1762

Thread with two or more strands.
places York
dates 1390

spellings trinter
A contraction of ‘two winter’, used of animals such as sheep and cattle which were two winters old.
dates 1362 1442 1446-1458 1541 1545 1619

A grazing right for a twinter on a stinted pasture.

A word formerly common over a wide area, said to mean a narrow passage or alley.
dates 1204-1209 1311 1376 1435 1568

spellings two handed
Wielded with two hands, as of a sword.
dates 1402 1429 1577

spellings alnage alnager
From the Latin 'ulna' meaning elbow or arm, a measure of length.
dates 1327 1469-1470 1474-1475 1558 1637

Probably 'ymbras', a spelling of yambrace.
places York
dates 1437

spellings umpire
From the mis-division of a noumpere; that is non-equal. An umpire was one who acted as an impartial third party in a dispute, making a decision on behalf of one of the contestants. The act of umpiring and the decision were referred to as umpirage.
dates 1343-1344 1490 1552

spellings unbun
In early inventories a variety of articles were said to be ‘bound with iron’, ranging in size from kettles and chests to wains and their wheels. The same items were sometimes said to be unbound.
dates 1542 1647

Denoting position at a lower level, perhaps even 'by the side of' or 'close by'.
dates 1545 1559 1652 1753

spellings underbitted
A north-country term for the cut or 'bite' on the ear of a sheep or other farm animal, which helped to determine its ownership.
dates 1539 1555

An obscure term, noted just once, in connection with the ear-marks on a sheep.
places Halifax
dates 1546

To underdraw a ceiling or roof is to cover the underside of exposed beams and joists, either with boards or with lath and plaster.
dates 1764

Most of the meanings given to this word emphasise its military or negative aspects, literally and figuratively. However, when used in some mining leases it could refer simply to a method of ‘winning’ coals underground.
dates 1580 1666 1683 1756

Photo by Kreuzschnabel CC BY-SA 3.0