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Help: 'GUTTLE' (word from Poverty Knock)

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POVERTY KNOCK


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Poverty Knock (68)
Chords Req: Poverty Knock (8)
Tune Req: poverty knocks (9)
Lyr Req: Tommy Daniels songs (1)


GUEST,VINCE 01 May 02 - 08:03 AM
greg stephens 01 May 02 - 08:07 AM
GUEST 01 May 02 - 08:19 AM
Anglo 01 May 02 - 11:44 AM
RoyH (Burl) 01 May 02 - 01:00 PM
Paul from Hull 01 May 02 - 02:23 PM
Dave the Gnome 01 May 02 - 04:49 PM
Willa 01 May 02 - 06:42 PM
greg stephens 01 May 02 - 06:59 PM
GUEST 02 May 02 - 02:11 AM
Mark Cohen 02 May 02 - 02:46 AM
GUEST,macca 02 May 02 - 02:59 AM
GUEST,VINCE 02 May 02 - 08:07 AM
Dave the Gnome 02 May 02 - 02:09 PM
The Walrus 02 May 02 - 05:36 PM
Dave the Gnome 03 May 02 - 04:52 PM
katlaughing 03 May 02 - 05:14 PM
pavane 16 Jul 10 - 05:10 AM
semiotic 16 Jul 10 - 05:27 AM
Gurney 16 Jul 10 - 07:44 PM
Mr Red 17 Jul 10 - 05:08 AM
Mr Red 17 Jul 10 - 05:11 AM
GUEST 18 Jul 12 - 08:41 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 18 Jul 12 - 09:54 AM
r.padgett 19 Jul 12 - 04:15 AM
BobKnight 19 Jul 12 - 06:15 AM
Dave Hanson 19 Jul 12 - 06:49 AM
r.padgett 19 Jul 12 - 11:31 AM
Dave Hanson 19 Jul 12 - 02:30 PM
GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler 19 Jul 12 - 08:09 PM
MGM·Lion 20 Jul 12 - 12:02 AM
Dave Hanson 20 Jul 12 - 03:45 AM
GUEST,Eliza 20 Jul 12 - 04:39 AM
johncharles 20 Jul 12 - 07:06 AM
GUEST 17 Oct 12 - 07:34 PM
Roger the Skiffler 18 Oct 12 - 09:37 AM
GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler 18 Oct 12 - 06:36 PM
MGM·Lion 19 Oct 12 - 09:53 AM
r.padgett 19 Oct 12 - 12:13 PM
GUEST,Big Al Whittle 20 Oct 12 - 06:03 AM
GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler 20 Oct 12 - 07:34 PM
GUEST,Shirley 09 May 14 - 10:46 PM
GUEST,Jack Sprocket 10 May 14 - 03:46 AM
GUEST,Raggytash 10 May 14 - 07:54 AM
GUEST,Eliza 10 May 14 - 01:15 PM
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Subject: 'GUTTLE'
From: GUEST,VINCE
Date: 01 May 02 - 08:03 AM

Ello, does anyone have a deinition of the word 'Guttle' in the song 'Poverty Knock'?

'....i know i can gutlle when i here me shuttle go....'

Ta


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE'
From: greg stephens
Date: 01 May 02 - 08:07 AM

EAT


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE'
From: GUEST
Date: 01 May 02 - 08:19 AM

\Guttle \Gut"tle\ (?), v. t. & i. [From GUT, n.] To put into the gut; to swallow greedily; to gorge; to gormandize


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE'
From: Anglo
Date: 01 May 02 - 11:44 AM

It's the opposite of "clem." I once thought of "guttle" as simply Lancashire/Yorkshire dialect, but looked it up in an American dictionary. There it was (though it's not in all of them, and I regret I forget which one I referred to).


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE'
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 01 May 02 - 01:00 PM

Greg Stephens is correct. 'Guttle' means, eat. If the shuttles are operating that means somebody is in work, therefore gets wages, therefore can 'guttle' - eat. 'Clem'(Clam in some parts of England) is to starve. 'Starving' is also a dialect word for being cold. My parents would say 'I'm starved' or 'I'm starving', meaning they were freezing. This was in the East Midlands.


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE'
From: Paul from Hull
Date: 01 May 02 - 02:23 PM

Ah! Had always assumed it was 'eat', but never known for sure until now.

Paul (who's in Yorkshire, of course, but 'Ull is a long way from any of the Woollen Mills!)


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE'
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 May 02 - 04:49 PM

Starving can mean the same here in Lancashire as well, Burl. I'm not sure of the meaning in John O'Greenfields ramble though.

Both clemin' and starvin', bout e'en a farthin...

I guess in context it could be either!

On the original topic I must say I am very interested. I often wondered myself and must admit that for ages I assumed it should have been 'Shuttle' rather than 'Guttle'. Born and bred in Lancs I thought I would have come across it before but it certainly wasn't common around the Salford/Swinton area. But then again it always amazes me how such a small area can produce such a wealth of different 'languages'!

Thanks for the info all and to Vince for bringing it up.

Cheers

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE'
From: Willa
Date: 01 May 02 - 06:42 PM

Yes, guttle is eat (and 'starving' meaning hungry is used here in Yorkshire too).


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE'
From: greg stephens
Date: 01 May 02 - 06:59 PM

The song was collected in Batley,Yorks (by Tony Green from Tom Daniel) if that helps to localise the dialect (mind you,the song writer may not have been from Batley). I lived in nLancs for 20 years where people did say clemmed,(and "starved" for "cold"), but I've never heard anyone say guttle, outside of that song.As to what they say in Yorkshire...who knows? Not me


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE'
From: GUEST
Date: 02 May 02 - 02:11 AM

Re John o'Greenfield

A few searches of the Bodley collection turned up the following titles, but the images are still not working. They all seem to be JOAN- any relation to the above-mentioned john?

A new song, called Jone o' Greenfield's lamentation
Jon o' Grinfield turned tee-totaler
Joan o' Grinfilt's visit to Lunnun, to see what the state doctor intends
Joan o' Grinfield
Jone o' Grinfilt
Jone o' Grinfield
Jone o' Grinfield
Joan o' Grinfilt's visit to Mr. Fielden, with a petition to the queen
The original Jone o' Grinfield
Joan o' Greenfield & bailiffs
Jone o' Greenfield turned stone craker


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE'
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 02 May 02 - 02:46 AM

Speaking of "Poverty Knock", I've always assumed that in the line "The landlord's too skinty to pay" that "skinty" meant "cheap" or "miserly", and that it derived from a contraction of "skinflint". Which, of course, begs the question of the derivation of "skinflint". Then again, I might have heard the word wrong to begin with! Any enlightenment out there? (I know, I know, enlightenment comes from within...)

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE'
From: GUEST,macca
Date: 02 May 02 - 02:59 AM

Don't know about "guTTle", but I vividly recall "guddle" (well, that's what it sounded like anyway) as meaning : to dither about or shilly shally aimlessly, usually where water was concerned... a bit like plowter, but more pointed (eh?) That was around central Scotland, below Forth. Oh, and "guddling" was a technique used to tickle fish such as trout when engaged in the piscatorial art... without a licence. God alone knows what that'll do for the context of the song though.


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE'
From: GUEST,VINCE
Date: 02 May 02 - 08:07 AM

Cheers all for the replies, made fascinating reading, i suppose nowadays the song would read....'I konw i can guttle (eat) when i hear my keyboard go clittety, clittety click'.....p'raps not! tek care all.


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE'
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 May 02 - 02:09 PM

Just put it down to th'owdum accent, Guest. I have heard lots about 'Joans' goings on and believe me - they have always been pronounced John around here. Mind you - we are 10 miles from Oldham!!!

As to Greenfield, Grinfield, Grinfelt, Grinsmadly - don't get started on that one;-)

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE'
From: The Walrus
Date: 02 May 02 - 05:36 PM

One question. When singing this song does anyone try it with the exagerated mouth movements of the original singers?
The mills were, it seems, excessively noisy and he mill workers tended to exagerate their mouth movements ("mee-mawing") to facilitate lip-reading (somewhat akin to practice in engine rooms, I understand), this practice was carried over into everyday speech outside the mill. As Geoffrey Moorhouse points out (in "Hell's Foundations"), it was "... one of their most noticable caste marks."

Regards

Walrus


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE'
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 03 May 02 - 04:52 PM

Hilda Baker was the main one who helped put 'mee-maw' in the public eye I think

She knows, you know with great exaguration of the mouth movements was a great one of hers (as well as 'I must get a little hand for this watch' of course).

I think it would be quite a laugh to do it song as well - I don't think I could master it myself but I would love to see someone try! Would need an appreciative and intimate audience though. Any volunteers to try it at Swinton?

Good idea anyway Walrus.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE'
From: katlaughing
Date: 03 May 02 - 05:14 PM

Great thread!


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE'
From: pavane
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 05:10 AM

Just a small clarification:

Re: "A new song, called Jone o' Greenfield's lamentation or the unfortunate poverty knockers"

John or Joan?

The text makes it clear that this is JOHN, as he (Jone) has a wife!

Jone o' Greenfield's lamentation


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE'
From: semiotic
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 05:27 AM

Just come across this thread so...Mark Cohen asked (eight years ago!
"I've always assumed that in the line "The landlord's too skinty to pay" that "skinty" meant "cheap" or "miserly", and that it derived from a contraction of "skinflint""
I had the line as,
"Gaffer's too skinny to pay"
and I've heard 'skinny' used for 'mean' in various parts of the UK thus
"The boss is too mean to pay the proper rate"
I suppose Mark that in the intervening years since you asked the question you have either sound the answer or stopped caring! However....


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE' (word from Poverty Knock)
From: Gurney
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 07:44 PM

I've always heard it as dialect pronunciation of 'Go until' pronounced "Guh 'til."
Just assumed the loom made the Poverty Knock noise as it stopped.

Makes as much sense as any other explanation. To me. Unless shuttles are a part of the northern diet:-)


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE' (word from Poverty Knock)
From: Mr Red
Date: 17 Jul 10 - 05:08 AM

Sknity

I always heard it as "skinny 't pay", with the northern glottle stop it would sound conflated and maybe the singers accentuated/misheard too.

Pete Coe always refers to the alleged author. He is convinced he knows who wrote it, and within living memory.

Any takers?


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE' (word from Poverty Knock)
From: Mr Red
Date: 17 Jul 10 - 05:11 AM

here you go, fairly complete explanation


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE' (word from Poverty Knock)
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 08:41 AM

Y'know what? I for about 45 years thought 'guttle' was a misspelling of 'cuttle' which means to remove your 75-yard 'piece' from the loom by folding or cuttling it onto the frame of the loom. Now I discover that it means something completely different. Thanks for the info.
Retired weaver.


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE' (word from Poverty Knock)
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 09:54 AM

All the definitions above are fine. I'll just add the OED dates for them:

guttle (= to eat/guzzle food) 1654
skinny (= miserly) 1833 (So, it got that definition just in time!)


And for Mark skinflint, ca 1700, = one who was so miserly they would try to skin a flint to save something.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE' (word from Poverty Knock)
From: r.padgett
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 04:15 AM

Once again the writer/rememberers of this song were Mrs Fawthrope senior (mother of Dorothy Fawthrope) and Tom Daniel

I was told this many years ago at a folk meeting at Pudsey by Mrs F herself who was an elderly lady at the time!

Pete Coe also asked Andy Mullins (of Westfield Music) who knew Tom

Others who may shed light are:
Wendy Price, Mick Haywood, Trevor Charnock, Bob Auty, Colin Cater

I am convinced many of the verses were made up by the mill lasses from their experiences. Mrs F must have been a "Poverty Knocker"
a term given to female mill workers and remembered by Mrs F and Tom Daniel

Tom has many songs that he wrote and I have no doubt he "tweeked" Poverty Knocks. He played ukulele!

Note: Poverty Knocks (not knock) and Tom Daniel (no s)

Chorus two knocks compulsory!

Sorry don't like many newer interpretations (sorry Pete)

Ray


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE' (word from Poverty Knock)
From: BobKnight
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 06:15 AM

Guddle - meaning to fish using your hand - you wait with your hand in the water until a fish swims by, and throw it onto the riverbank.

"Starving," also meant cold here in the north east of Scotland, but has largely fallen into disuse.


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE' (word from Poverty Knock)
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 06:49 AM

I'm with Pete Coe and Martin Carthy on this, in an interview on BBCs
' Countryfile ' many years ago, Martin said that in the chorus, every time the audience did the, knock knock on the table or whatever it turned a cry of pain into a joke.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE' (word from Poverty Knock)
From: r.padgett
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 11:31 AM

Totally utterly disagree Dave H

The knock was the sound of the bloody machine, nothing to do with anyone crying with pain ~ from what Dave? and what joke!

Just becaused Messr Carthy and Coe did not like others joing in and quite appropriately to the spirit intended by Tom D does not make their views correct, does it?

Ray


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE' (word from Poverty Knock)
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 02:30 PM

It's not a cheerful jolly song Ray, but the knocking turns it into one, it's a song about suffering, not having bit of a laugh.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE' (word from Poverty Knock)
From: GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 08:09 PM

I remember Tommy Daniel. He used to sing this quite cheeerfully! He also wrote a song to the same tune called "Eighteen Pence on The Bed" - I was so young and innocent I had to ask him what a Knocking shop was!


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE' (word from Poverty Knock)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 12:02 AM

You are right UTAP, Dave: but remember Bert's axiom that people have always sung best when they have had least to sing about. This strikes me less as a song of true complaint than one intended to cheer oneself up in the face of hard & tiresome labour ~~ cf The Wark O' The Weavers. So a bit of rhythmic physical support in the form of imitating the loom's knocking, taking up the theme of the song's word 'knock' & inducing a smile all around at that point, doesn't seem to me so entirely out if place as you appear to believe.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE' (word from Poverty Knock)
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 03:45 AM

You could be right Michael.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE' (word from Poverty Knock)
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 04:39 AM

Just a small and not terribly relevant point, but the word 'skint' means 'having no money' here in the south. I think it comes from 'skinned', rather similar to having been 'fleeced', meaning having one's money taken illegally. (Nothing to do with 'skinny' meaning 'mean' of course.)


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE' (word from Poverty Knock)
From: johncharles
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 07:06 AM

The Houghton weavers version of the song does feature knocks but they are subtle and remind one of a shuttle not comedy knocking on the table

poverty knock


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE' (word from Poverty Knock)
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Oct 12 - 07:34 PM

what doase poverty knock mean?!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE' (word from Poverty Knock)
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 09:37 AM

It's what a ventriloquist keeps his gear in...

RtS
OK,OK,I've got me coat


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE' (word from Poverty Knock)
From: GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 06:36 PM

The old Dobbie loom made a rhythmic sound like "poverty knock". It's as simple as that! But by all means search all the threads on this subject here to get many other opinions! Bless you my child.


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE' (word from Poverty Knock)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Oct 12 - 09:53 AM

Undoubtedly true, Ebor. But surely the reason these words were chosen by the operatives to represent the sound, rather than, say, 'Bompety tom' which would do just as well, was a consciousness [or perhaps half-consciousness] of the representational significance to their situation, with poverty figuratively knocking on the door all the time. Hence its use in the song?

~M~


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE' (word from Poverty Knock)
From: r.padgett
Date: 19 Oct 12 - 12:13 PM

There is another thread on this and from memory Guttle is to eat quickly per Mick Pearce rather than to drink (a lot) and has an affinity probably with Gluttony (if I have spelt this right!)

I am looking for more Tom Daniel's songs (see www.yorkshirefolksong.net ) for those already collected from Mick Haywood

"Long Tom" is one and I I not sure about The Cock and the old woman's ass (care with search engines please!!)

Ray


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE' (word from Poverty Knock)
From: GUEST,Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Oct 12 - 06:03 AM

I always assumed it was an obscure sexual practice, done by people in cloth caps....


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE' (word from Poverty Knock)
From: GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler
Date: 20 Oct 12 - 07:34 PM

You've caught us out!


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE' (word from Poverty Knock)
From: GUEST,Shirley
Date: 09 May 14 - 10:46 PM

Starving is from an Old English word meaning to die and is probably related to the word stiff. The idea of staving from cold is recorded from the 14th and from hunger from the 15th Century.

The retired weaver is probably right when he says the word "guttle" is a miss-hearing of "cuttle", meaning to fold a piece of cloth across its full width in order to remove it from the loom.

"Guttle" has been recorded as meaning to gorge one's food since the 17th Century. But surely, if the weaver was on piece work, he would take five minutes for a drink, a bite and a pee before setting up the next job, so "guttle" would fit the context happily too?

When I first heard this song in the mid 1970s in Leeds the line was definitely "Gaffer's t' skinny t' pay."

We sang the song up tempo trying to match the rhythm of the looms and with two quick knocks after each word "knock". It's a jolly song, designed to cheer people up. But I doubt if it was ever actually sung in a weaving shed as it would have been far too noisy there.


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE' (word from Poverty Knock)
From: GUEST,Jack Sprocket
Date: 10 May 14 - 03:46 AM

Skinny- two separate (but related) meanings in the song:

mean, miserly. Gaffer's too skinny to pay.

cf
Copper on the corner, eating apple pie,
I asked him for a skinny bit and he hit me in the eye

(kid's song, Salford, Lamcs 1950s).

Thin, meagre, underfed She used to be skinny, now look at the pinny..

cf
Skinny Lizzie is the 'arem queen
(Mike Harding song)


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE' (word from Poverty Knock)
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 10 May 14 - 07:54 AM

"Skinny Lizzie is the 'arem queen". Surely from the Oldham Tinkers, Oldhams Burning Sands, mind you having said that I don't know who wrote the song


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Subject: RE: Help: 'GUTTLE' (word from Poverty Knock)
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 10 May 14 - 01:15 PM

When we were getting a bit hungry as children, just before dinner time, and started to hiccup with empty tums, our mother (Irish) used to say, "Ah, that's The Hunger Knock!"


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