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    #1

    Devon dialect, Peter Pindar

    I can't understand the following stanza from Peter Pindar's The Royal Visit to Exeter.
    The queen, she showed zuch wive-leek care
    Zo kind upon un zo to stare;
    To whisper'n, and all that!
    And, faggins, people leeked it much,
    Zo pleased to zee her love vor'n zuch—

    To watch'n leek a cat.
    The whole text is here. The stanza is on the next page.

    What does "un" mean? What does "'n" stand for?

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    #2

    Re: Devon dialect, Peter Pindar

    un = one

    'n = ing ending
    Last edited by susiedqq; 12-Mar-2011 at 15:39.

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    #3

    Re: Devon dialect, Peter Pindar

    Thank you.

    I wasn't clear enough. I highlighted red the parts I couldn't get. I still don't understand them, even with your explanation. Do you mean that "to whisper'n" means "to whispered"? It doesn't make sense to me.

    Could you please explain what the red parts mean?

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    #4

    Re: Devon dialect, Peter Pindar

    It may not make sense; it is written in an ancient dialect.

    The best you can do is to try to get the message.

    z = s

    wive = wife

    leek = like

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    #5

    Re: Devon dialect, Peter Pindar

    Quote Originally Posted by susiedqq View Post
    It may not make sense; it is written an ancient dialect.

    The best you can do is to try to get the message.
    I get the message, but I wanted to understand it completely. Thank you for your help!

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    #6

    Re: Devon dialect, Peter Pindar

    Quote Originally Posted by susiedqq View Post
    z = s

    wive = wife

    leek = like
    I got these. The problem is that these words don't seem to make up sentences... I understand that the general meaning is that the queen was nice enough to endure the staring and the whispering. But the grammar is a riddle to me... I have also no idea what "figgins" could mean and "vor'n". The author clearly replaces some f's with v'z so "vor'n" should be simplified to "for'n", but it doesn't help... Could it be "for them"?

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    #7

    Re: Devon dialect, Peter Pindar

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    I can't understand the following stanza from Peter Pindar's The Royal Visit to Exeter.
    The whole text is here. The stanza is on the next page.

    What does "un" mean? What does "'n" stand for?
    I can't make much of lines 3 and 4. OED has not met 'faggins'.

    'un' and 'n' can represent various pronouns, including 'one', 'us', 'him' and 'them' - apart from the ''ing' reading for ''n'. My guess for the rest is

    The queen, she showed zuch wive-leek care The queen showed such wifely attentiveness
    Zo kind upon un zo to stare; ......................It was so kind* of her to look at us
    To whisper'n, and all that! ??????????
    And, faggins, people leeked it much, ??????????
    Zo pleased to zee her love vor'n zuch— .......[We were] so pleased to see such love for him in** her

    To watch'n leek a cat. [that she] watched him like a cat [does to someone about to feed it!]

    'kind' may well have included some sense of 'belonging to a family'; it may even be a pun on the two modern senses of 'kind' (adj and noun).

    **This preposition isn't justified by the text; the 'n' in my 'in' is entirely accidental. I could think of no other way to convey the original's 'her such love for him'.

    But as susiedqq says, it's a very old and obscure dialect.

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 12-Mar-2011 at 17:09. Reason: Correction - "she" for "he", and '-ness'

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    #8

    Re: Devon dialect, Peter Pindar

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    ...The author clearly replaces some f's with v'z so "vor'n" should be simplified to "for'n", but it doesn't help... Could it be "for them"?
    You're right about f/v (which mirrors s/z) And it could be 'for them'*, but I think the context favours my interpretation.

    b

    PS In the days of the Milk Marketing Board, there was an advertisement for Devonshire clotted cream that featured the line 'Give un a gert big dollop' - in which 'un' meant 'them' and 'gert' was a metathetical form of 'great'.

    PPS 'girt' corrected to 'gert' (which occurs in the fifth stanza: 'both gert and small') - which makes the metathesis more obvious.
    Last edited by BobK; 12-Mar-2011 at 17:18. Reason: Added PPS

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    #9

    Re: Devon dialect, Peter Pindar

    Thank you, Bob.

    You seem to understand the stanza differently from me. Throughout the poem much is said about how people wanted to see the king and the queen, and how it drove them crazy. I thought the staring and the whispering must have been done by those people, not by the queen!

    [that he] watched him like a cat [does to someone about to feed it!]
    Who would be the two hes?

    And I thought I would be able to understand the whole poem if I thought long enough...

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    #10

    Re: Devon dialect, Peter Pindar

    My guess is that the poet is admiring the obvious love the queen showed for the king. I have guessed that 'faggins' is an expression of surprise, admiration, or something of that sort.

    The queen, she showed zuch wive-leek care .The queen showed such wifely attentivess,
    Zo kind upon un zo to stare; ......................So kind (of her) to stare upon him so,
    To whisper'n, and all that!.......................... (So kind of her) to whisper to him and all (things like) that.
    And, faggins, people leeked it much, ...........And, oddsbodikins, people liked it so much
    Zo pleased to zee her love vor'n zuch— .......[They were] so pleased to see her love for him such (=so strong)

    To watch'n leek a cat. .............................. (how sweet) to watch him like a cat [looks at its master]
    Last edited by 5jj; 12-Mar-2011 at 16:58.

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