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To invert a vessel in order to cover over something. From Yorkshire: ‘I whemmeld dubler [a large bowl] owr’th meat, To keep it seaf and warm for you’. The word was widely used in an enormous number of spellings (whomble, wimmel, wummel . . . ) in many parts of the country, especially the Midlands and North. Further south, we find a similar word, whelve, with the same meaning. It’s from an Old English verb which gave rise to whelm (as in overwhelm), ‘upset, turn upside down’. The l and the m have been transposed.

Found in: Cork, Kerry, Waterford, South Tipperary, Kilkenny, Carlow, Wicklow, Fingal, Dún Laoghaire?Rathdown, South Dublin, Dublin, Clare, North Tipperary, Laoighis, Offaly, Westmeath, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim, Meath, Louth, Monaghan, Limerick, Kildare, Wexford, Roscommon, Longford, Cavan, Cumbria, Central Bedfordshire, Bedford, Luton, Durham, Gateshead, North Tyneside, Newcastle upon Tyne, Sunderland, South Tyneside, Peterborough, Rutland, Lancashire, Blackpool, Sefton, Liverpool, Knowsley, Halton, Warrington, Trafford, Stockport, Tameside, Manchester, Rochdale, Oldham, Bury, Salford, Wigan, Bolton, Blackburn with Darwen, Leicestershire, Leicester, Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire, Northumberland, North Yorkshire, York, East Riding of Yorkshire, Doncaster, Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley, Kirklees, Calderdale, Bradford, Leeds, Merseyside, Wakefield, Kingston upon Hull, Darlington, Stockton-on-Tees, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, Hartlepool, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire, Highland, Moray, Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen, Angus, Dundee, Perthshire and Kinross, Stirling, Clackmannanshire, Fife, Inverclyde, North Ayshire, South Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish Borders, South Lanarkshire, East Ayrshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, East Dunbartonshire, North Lanarkshire, Falkirk, West Lothian, Edinburgh, Midlothian, East Lothian, Argyll and Bute, West Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire, Eilean Siar, Milton Keynes,

About The Book

Wherever you go in the English-speaking world, there are linguistic riches from times past awaiting rediscovery. All you have to do is choose a location, find some old documents, and dig a little.

In The Disappearing Dictionary, linguistics expert Professor David Crystal collects together delightful dialect words that either provide an insight into an older way of life, or simply have an irresistible phonetic appeal. Like a mirror image of The Meaning of Liff that just happens to be true, The Disappearing Dictionary unearths some lovely old gems of the English language, dusts them down and makes them live again for a new generation.

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