Can you tell your Knobsticks from your Muffins?

Adam Jacot de Boinod
Adam Jacot de Boinod is the author of The Meaning of Tingo and Other Extraordinary Words from around the World, published by Penguin Books and the Tingo App Game for iPhones on Interesting Words. Have any readers any examples of Staffordshire words that have completely fallen out of use? Better still, what the words mean too! We will forward them on to Adam who will possibly use them in future columns.
Adam Jacot de Boinod was a researcher for Stephen Fry’s BBC television series QI. He has collected and read the works of the various Victorian lexicographers who were very assiduous collectors of dialect and wrote a number of excellent glossaries. Here he sets us a “Call-My-Bluff Quiz” style for the Staffordshire dialect. Can you guess the correct answer for the definitions of the following words. Answers below …

(Questions set by Adam Jacot de Boinod)

1) Knobstick
A) foppish, conceited
B) a small cavity in a rock
C) a man who “does” another out of his job

2) Muffin
A) a lean deer not fit to hunt
B) a crude or brutish person
C) a plate about 8 inches in diameter

3) Kiggle
A) to wobble
B) to dig up weeds with a hoe
C) to tease

4) Sithers
A) fleshy, hanging cheeks
B) a pair of scissors
C) the frayed and unravelled ends of a rope

5) Senatucked
A) stiff, tight sinews; exhausted
B) of a free tiddly-wink that lands on another wink
C) plain to the last degree in looks

6) Lungeous
A) having a pearly lustre
B) full-bosomed; having a full, shapely figure
C) rough-mannered

7) Queedle
A) anything very rickety and unsafe
B) a see-saw
C) a needle with a broken eye

8) Launcing
A) staying out late with the boys
B) winning all the marbles of an opponent
C) feasting or living upon the industry of others


1C) a man who “does” another out of his job … 2C) a plate about
8 inches in diameter … 3A) to wobble … 4B) a pair of scissors …
5A) stiff, tight sinews; exhausted … 6C) rough mannered … 7B)
a see-saw … 8A) staying out late with the boys