Research into the lost dialect and proverbs of Kent
Listed below are some publications which may help in researching the Kentish dialect. Many of the older books can be read or downloaded at the Internet Archive, Project Gutenberg or Google Books websites.
History and Antiquities of the Isle of Tenet in Kent, Rev. John Lewis, London, 1736
A Glossary of Kent Dialect Words in Common Usage during the Year, 1811, Francis Grose (Edward Jeffery, Pall Mall, London, 1811)
Dick and Sal at Canterbury Fair – various editions
Kentish Tales in Verse and other Humorous Poems, Edward Nairn, Sandgate, 1824
The Dialect of Kent in the 14th Century, Richard Morris (Reprinted from Archaeologia Cantiana Vol. VI, 1863)
Dr Pegge’s Alphabet of Kenticisms and Collection of Proverbial Sayings Used in Kent. Communicated by the Rev. Walter W Skeat, (Archaeologia Cantiana, Vol. IX, 1874)
A Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect and Provincialisms: in use in the county of Kent, W.D.Parish and W.F.Shaw (Lewes, Farncombe, 1888)
Memories of Malling and Its Valley, Charles Henry Fielding (Oliver, 1893) Chapter XIII. Kentish Proverbs.
The English Dialect Dictionary, being the complete vocabulary of all dialect words still in use, or known to have been in use during the last two hundred years, Joseph Wright (1898)
English Dialects from the Eighth Century to the Present Day, Walter W. Skeat, 1911 Cambridge University Press.
“The Dialect of Kent”, Frank C. Elliston-Erwood (Invicta Magazine, Vol.3 No.4, December 1913)The Dialect of Kent: Being the Fruits of Many Rambles, F. W. T. Sanders (Private limited edition, 1950).
Kentish As She Wus Spoke, Alan Major (S B Publications, 2001)
Kent Dialect, Ian Howe (Bradwell Books, 2012)
Kent Archaeological Society has
two downloads available:
The Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect and Provincialisms in use in the county of Kent by W. D. Parish and W. F. Shaw was published by Farncombe & Co., Lewes in 1888.
A Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect
A KAS publication containing material from four sources including W. D. Parish and W. F. Shaw’s dictionary
There is a Kent Life page – “Voices of Kent” which has a discussion of the Kent accent and some Kent words.
A BBC regional news page has a discussion of accent and language in the south-east of England.
The Kent Online Parish Clerks website has a section Kent Family Garden with a feature on Kentish dialect, a copy of “Dick and Sal” and a short dictionary.
The comprehensive English Dialect Dictionary compiled by Joseph Wright is composed of six volumes and gives definitions for many English dialect words.
Vol. l. A-C, Vol. 2. D-G, Vol. 3. H-L, Vol. 4. M-Q, Vol. 5. R-S, Vol. 6. T-Z, Supplement, Bibliography, Grammar
This site on walks in Kent has an interesting page on the derivation of Kent place-names
Some notes on the dialects of Middle English.
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