About Kent Places
have been taken from two sources; Pegge’s Alphabet of
Kenticisms and Chapter XIII of Fielding’s Memories of Malling and its
Valley with some additional material from Kentish As She Wus Spoke.
Some are very derogatory and probably are indicative of local town
whilst other refer to the weather and geography of Kent. Some spellings
changed, which I have attempted to indicate and several sayings include
the historic boundaries of Kent before the expansion of Greater London.
know if any are still in use, I have never heard any said.
start, here are some of the less flattering:
lazy Lewisham. little Lee,
Dirty Deptford, and Greenwich free
lazy, lousy Lewisham.
this saying was conferred on Lewisham by James I, and preserved rather
alliteration than being founded in truth.
for mutton, Kirby for beef,
South Darenth for gingerbread, and Dartford for a thief
is said to refer to the fertile meadows along the Darenth Valley and
the fair at
Dartford which was notorious for robbers and pick-pockets. I have
however come across an interpretation which attempts to put a better
light on Dartford which proposes that the "thief" is the poll tax
collectors who provoked the rebellion led by Watt Tyler, a resident of
Dirty Dartford, peculiar people,
Bury their dead above the steeple
rhyme is explained by the town burial ground being on East Hill above
the church which sits in the valley by the river Darent.
Rob'em, and Cheat'em
Rochester and Chatham
Sometimes you may see Stroud instead of Strood, an old spelling)
that rides in the hundred of Hoo,
Besides pilfering seamen, will have dirt enoo'
Charing lies in a hole,
It had but one bell and that was stole
Ashford, proud Wye,
And lousy Kennington lieth hard by
Ashford, surly Wye,
Poor Kenninington hard by
Wingham, wicked Ash, and lazy Sandwich
any silly way of playing
is drowned in Sandwich Bay (or Haven)
was a local tale of a woman wanting a groat's worth of mackerel. The
fisherman took her groat, and bade her take as many as she would for
it. She took
such an unconscionable amount, that provoked by her unreasonableness,
"is that your conscience?” then I will throw it into the sea. So he
the groat into the water and took the fish from her. Hence it came
commonly to be said; ''Conscience is drowned in Sandwich haven”
A story from the 16th Century relates that a dispute
once arose between the monks of Rochester and the people of Stroud
where the latter hired some men from Frindsbury armed with clubs to
and gave the monks of Rochester a severe beating.
As a penance they were required to commit to
a yearly procession to Rochester on Whit Monday with their clubs.
on anyhow, as they do at Rainham
seems to refer to how poor the people of Rainham were as another saying
quoted along side it;
you've only two sticks and a piece of paper, like a
Proud town Malling, poor people;
They built a church to their steeple
The highest ground, the lowest steeple,
The smallest church, the poorest people
reportedly of St Oswald's church at Paddlesworth, but falls down from
the start because it is does not stand on the highest ground in Kent.
sayings are of a moral nature.
be married at Finglesham Church
church at Finglesham, but there was a chalk-pit known for casual
therefore this refers to people living together who are not married.
down Ryarsh Sandpits
that the person is illegitimate.
some are quite bizarre and it is difficult to determine a meaning.
got no calves to your legs like the Pluckley girls,
and are obliged to wear straight stockings
glass breeches where rats run on tiptoe
to Monk's Horton,
Where pigs play on the organ
Rochester portion: Two torn smocks and what Nature gave