Z is for Zennit, Zet Up and Zummat

Dorset Dialect

If you'd visited the Stour Valley before the 20th century, it's likely that you'd have heard people speaking in Dorset dialect. Lots of words that begin with a 's' were pronounced with a 'z'.

Zennit - seven nights - a week.

Based on the Anglo Saxon use of nights instead of days to refer to time. 'Fortnight' comes from fourteen nights.

Zet up - to make very angry

"E wer zoo a-zet up about it"

Zummat - something


Poet, William Barnes was famous for using Dorset dialect.

Blackmwore Maidens by William Barnes

The primwrose in the sheade do blow,

The cowslip in the zuin,

The rhyme upon the down do grow,

The clote where streams do run;

An' where do pretty maidens grow

An' blow, but where the tow'r

Do rise among the bricken tuns,

In Blackmwore by the Stour.

If you vrom Wimborne took your road,

To Stower or Paladore,

An' all the farmers' housen show'd

Their daughters at the door;

You'd cry to bachelors at hwome-

"Here, come: 'ithin an hour

You'll vind ten maidens to your mind,

In Blackmwore by the Stour."

An' if you look'd 'ithin their door,

To zee em in their pleace,

A-doen housework up avore

Their smilen mother's feace;

You'd cry-"Why, if a man would wive

An' thrive, 'ithout a dow'r,

Then let en look en out a wife,

In Blackmwore by the Stour."

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