Letter J - Glossary of Words in the Counties of Antrim and Down

Author: William Hugh Patterson, MRIA

Date: 1880

Source: A Glossary of Words and Phrases used in Antrim and Down (London: Trübner & Co., for the English Dialect Society)

Comments: In the introduction to his Glossary of Words and Phrases used in Antrim and Down, William Hugh Patterson provided an historical account of the Scottish settlement of east Ulster from 1607. From these origins he observed that the words and phrases of the local population ‘will be found in the main to be of Scottish origin, and many of them have already found a place in Jamieson’s dictionary’. He acknowledged difficulty in spelling many words ‘because I only had them as sounded’. William Hugh Patterson (1835-1918) was the son of a famous naturalist, Robert Patterson, whose book on Birds frequenting Belfast Lough was also published in 1880. Many of the local names for birds in the glossary were sourced from his father. As he was also a collector of phrases and proverbs, Patterson’s glossary remains a unique record of Ulster-Scots in the 19th century.

Doc. ref. no.: USLS/TB/Hist/1800-1899/006-j

Home | Introduction | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

J. This letter is sometimes called jaw.

Jabble, sb. a sea with small broken waves.

Jack in the box, sb. the wild arum.

Jacks, (1) sb. parts of a loom. (2) sb. a children’s game played with five white pebbles, called ‘Jack stones.’

Jag, (1) sb. a prick. (2) v. to prick. ‘A wee bit o’ spruce fir jagged me in the sight o the eye.’

Jap, Jaup, v. to splash water.

Japs, sb. splashes or sparks of water or mud.

Jaw, (1) v. to talk in an offensive way; to give saucy answers. (2) sb. saucy talk. Same as Back talk.

Jaw tub, Jaw box, sb. a scullery sink.

Jay, sb. the missel thrush is called the jay here. The jay does not occur.

Jeesey, adj. juicy.

Jennerwerry, January.

Jig, (1) v. to dandle a baby. (2) v. To jig for herrings is to catch herrings by means of an apparatus composed of a number of wires with fish-hooks attached. The jig is lowered into the sea where the fish are numerous, and is jigged up and down. Any herrings that come in contact with the hooks are caught and pulled into the boat.

Jigger, sb. a sail that projects over the stern of a boat, set on a short mast called the ‘jigger mast.’

Jing-bang, sb. a number of people. ‘I don’t care a pin about the whole jing-bang of them.’

Jingle, sb. gravel.

Jinnys. ‘A pair of jinnys,’ a pair of callipers.

Jirging, sb. creaking, as shoes.

Job of work, anything to do. ‘I hav’n’t had a job of work this month.’

Jog, sb. a push or nudge.

Joggle, v. to rock; to be unsteady.

Joggles, sb. the projecting pieces of wood left at the ends of a wooden cistern, or at the end of a window-sash.

Johnny Nod. ‘Johnny Nod is creeping up your back:’ said to children who are very sleepy, but who don’t wish to go to bed.

Joiant, sb. a giant.

Joice, sb. a joist.

Join, (1) sb. a number of farmers, generally from eight to twelve, who join together for the purpose of making cheese. “Each join has vats, tubs, pans, and the like implements, which are kept up at the expence of the whole.” — Hist. Carrickfergus, 1823. Also a number of persons who join together for the purpose of purchasing drink for a carouse. (2) v. to commence work.

Jotther, sb. a small quantity or dash of a liquid, i.e. ‘a jotther o’ whisky.’

Joult, Jolt, sb. a lump. ‘A joult of meat.’

Juke, v. to stoop the head suddenly, so as to avoid a blow; to turn off quickly when running away; to hide round a corner. Same as Duke.

Jukery, sb. roguery.

Juke the beetle, sb. a lump in stirabout, or in ‘champ.’

Jump, v. to make a hole in stone for blasting purposes with a Jumper (q.v.). The steel bar is jumped up and down, or is struck with a hammer, till the hole has been sunk the required depth.

Jumper, (1) sb. a kind of maggot in meat. (2) sb. a bar of steel or iron used at a quarry for boring a hole in the rock to receive a charge of powder for blasting.

Jump jack, sb. the breast-bone of a goose made into a child’s toy, with cobbler’s wax, a string, and a stick.

Jundy, (1) sb. a push. (2) v. to jostle; to gush.

Jurr, sb. a cart-load of flax offered for sale, which it is suspected is not the genuine production of the farmer, but has been manipulated by some unscrupulous dealer, is called a jurr, or a jurred load.

Jute of tea, sb. a small quantity of tea.

Home | Introduction | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

Tags: xxx xxx


The Ulster-Scots Academy has been an integral part of the Ulster-Scots Language Society since 1993. The name "Ulster-Scots Academy" is registered to the USLS with the Intellectual Property Office.

Ulster Scots Academy


A new edition of Michael Montgomery’s From Ulster to America: The Scotch-Irish Heritage of American English recounts the lasting impact that at least 150,000 settlers from Ulster in the 18th century made on the development of the English language of the United States. This new edition published by the Ulster-Scots Language Society documents over 500 ‘shared’ vocabulary items which are authenticated by quotations from both sides of the Atlantic. A searchable online version of this dictionary is now also available here.


The Ulster-Scots Academy is currently working on the digitisation of Dr Philip Robinson's seminal Ulster-Scots Grammar and the English/Ulster-Scots part (with circa 10,000 entries) of a two-way historical dictionary of Ulster-Scots. These projects are planned to be completed and available on the site in 2016.



This site is being developed on a purely voluntary basis by the Ulster-Scots Language Society at no cost to the taxpayer. USLS volunteers have been involved in preserving and promoting Ulster-Scots for more than 20 years. All donations, however small, will be most gratefully received and contribute towards the expansion of the project. Thank you!

This site is being developed by the Ulster-Scots Language Society (Charity No. XN89678) without external financial assistance. USLS volunteers have been involved in preserving and promoting Ulster-Scots for more than 20 years. All donations, however small, will be most gratefully received and contribute towards the expansion of the project. Thank you!

(Friends of the Ulster-Scots Academy group)