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An obsolete word for provisions put in store.
dates 1287-1288 1318-1319 1456-1457

Alluvial soil deposited on land flooded by a river.
places Winterton Thorne
dates 1698 1798

A workman who prepared the yarn for weaving.
places Laycock
dates 1602

Of uncertain meaning but a process in the preparation of skins for the fur trade.
places York
dates 1582

A textile term, the vat in which the warp could be placed, probably for sizing.
places South Cave
dates 1572 1611

spellings woake
A wooden frame on which yarn was wound to form a warp, ready for weaving.
dates 1639 1678 1680 1690 1691

Flood water is said to 'warp up' property when it deposits earth and stone on the river banks and the buildings located there.
dates 1686 1697-1698 1712

A rope attached to a fishing net.
dates 1391 1530

The right to ‘warren’ was the liberty granted to a landowner to hunt birds and animals on part of his estate.
dates 1498 1519 1524 1599-1600 1602 1612 1654 1726 1732

A girth for a horse.
places York
dates 1452

spellings wesh
This was one of several words for human urine.
dates 1588 1589 1716 1762

To cover with a coating of precious metal, a term regularly used by coiners.
places Halifax Hatfield
dates 1680 1696

In early inventories 'towel' was a word with a wide range of meanings, used of a piece of cloth which could serve as a table napkin, a communion cloth or the covering for the altar in church.
places Hedon York
dates 1509

A soft leather, usually of split sheepskin, dressed to imitate chamois leather. ‘Wash’ seems likely to refer to a process in the production and not to the article’s function.
places Southowram
dates 1730

A place in a brook where sheep might be washed.
dates 1307 1647

Originally a salutation, offered when presenting a guest with a cup of ale or wine. It came to be associated with the festivity and then with a particular celebration.
places Woodsome
sources YAS manuscripts
dates 1697

A light blue colour, although sometimes a material of that colour.
dates 1485 1556 1596 1633-1634

In Yorkshire this was the usual word for a river, beck or brook.
dates 1422 1485-1486 1531 1582 1640 1649 1675 1706

A reinforcement of the river bank, made with wooden piles, a weir wall.
dates 1546 1664 1716 1717-1718

An early device for pumping water onto a fire so as to extinguish it.
places Wakefield
dates 1732

The OED has examples of this word from the sixteenth century, in my sense of ‘waterproof’, but in coal-mining it was used occasionally of a pit or gallery that could not be worked because it was flooded.
dates 1701 1710

A husbandry practice which involved flooding meadows early in spring to promote the growth of the grass (CA45). A weir had to be built across the brook so that water could be run off and distributed via channels.
places Ovenden
dates 1783

The suffix ‘gate’ is important in this case for it could have two meanings. In the sense of ‘barrier’ or ‘door’, it was a contrivance that had to be opened if water was to pass through, in the sense of ‘road’, it referred to a water course or channel.
dates 1340 1368-1369 1458-1459 1579 1638 1659

A ‘gin’ operated by water power, that is by a water wheel.
places Sheffield
dates 1713

A ‘head’ driven to serve as a watercourse, although it might also provide ventilation.
dates 1633 1702

A place where livestock could take water from a pond, stream or river.
places York Tong Beeston
dates 1507 1620 1650

A carrier who made his living by transporting water for sale.
places Scarborough York
dates 1252 1346 1411 1455 1503

Possibly a design in the shape of the leaf of an aquatic plant.
places Beverley
dates 1444

A mariner, or more usually a sailor working on the inland waterways, with examples principally from Beverley when it was a port.
places Beverley
dates 1520 1561 1586

A rare term, probably an alternative word for a sump in a coal-mine.
places Horsforth
dates 1728

A water-filled depression or shallow area between two stretches of rising ground.
dates 1200-1299 1270 1329

Wood which was more water-resistant.
places Ruswarp
dates 1497

spellings wath-stead
‘Wath’ is a word of Scandinavian origin which means ‘ford’, and it is especially common as a place-name element in Yorkshire and Cumbria.
dates 1310 1486 1604 1610 1655 1697

Stakes or rods interwoven with twigs or branches, used in house building and to make hurdles and fences.
dates 1454 1457-1458 1663

As a verb it may be linked with ‘waive’ in the sense of setting aside, for it was used when a wood was being felled, identifying those trees which were to remain standing.
dates 1527

At the end of the coppice cycle, when the trees were felled, a certain number were allowed to remain, in order to provide a later crop of timber trees. These were called standards, or more commonly in Yorkshire ‘wavers’.
dates 1390 1462 1548-1549 1719 1720 1763

spellings weaver (2)
A pool, pond or trough, especially a common water supply.
dates 1416-1417 1436-1437 1556 1584


A measure of weight, equivalent to twelve stone.
dates 1302-1303 1401 1458 1508 1580


To grow, to become.
dates 1428 1483 1642 1685

In coppicing this was a young oak tree left standing when the surrounding trees were felled, an alternative spelling of ‘waver’.
places Lepton
dates 1640

A measure or sheet of lead.
dates 1457 1476 1538 1568 1576

A whole piece of cloth, woollen or linen.
dates 1494 1578 1580 1598

A band of woven material, especially those used on pack animals.
places Whitby
dates 1395

The blade of a weapon or carpentry tool.
places Ilkley
dates 1676

A regional word for a weaver.
dates 1379 1504 1634

A short and solid piece of metal with a thin edge at one end and the other much thicker. They were used by stone-masons.
dates 1371 1569 1706 1708 1713 1754

Used of cattle, presumably having wedge-shaped horns.
places Conistone
dates 1685 1694 1719

spellings wadset
An alternative spelling of the legal term ‘wadset’, that is to pledge land.
dates 1440 1505 1541

In the Huddersfield area, this was a word for human urine.
dates 1672 1751 1883

A beam of wood or iron used with a pair of scales and weights, a regional term.
dates 1410 1485 1493 1543 1614 1676

spellings wear wer (1)
A weir is now most commonly thought of as a dam, placed across a river to restrict and control its flow rather than stop it altogether. Formerly, it had several meanings connected with river defences and these can be linked with bridges and the strengthening of river banks. Most commonly, it referred to an embankment reinforced by piles.
dates 1340 1422 1512 1558 1581 1598 1626 1701

Of uncertain meaning, but possibly a ‘fence’ suspended above a stream, which served to link the walls on each bank.
places Shelley
dates 1759

The site of a weir or waterbank.
places Dewsbury
dates 1579

Weirs were initially reinforcements to an existing river bank, formed of piles, but the need to heighten and strengthen the defences resulted in the building of stone walls, often but not always linked to bridges. The verb 'to weir’ was used in such contexts.
dates 1718 1839

Photo by Kreuzschnabel CC BY-SA 3.0