The Devonshire Dialect Dictionary – Bibliographic resources

Introduction · References · Bibliographic resources · Chronology · Guide · The Dictionary

This is a select list of sources relevant to the study of the dialect of Devon. See the References page for works referred to in the Dictionary.

ADAMS, Mary: A collection of Devonshire dialect words in use or “called to mind” by Bigbury families and friends [with Mary HOOPPELL and Mrs T. WOODMASON]. 1969.

ALLEN, N.V: Exmoor Place-Names. Minehead. 1986.

BAIRD, Alexander: “Death of a Dialect: Historical Implications of Sound Change in a Devon Family”, in English Historical Linguistics: Studies in Development, University of Sheffield, 1984, edited by Blake, N.F. and Jones, C.

BAIRD, Henry see HOGG, Nathan

BARNES, William: A Glossary of the Dorset Dialect with a Grammar. Dorchester: M & E. Case. 1886. London: Trubner. 2nd ed. St Peter Port. Toucan Press. 1970.

BIDDULPH, Joseph: In Search of Old Devonian. Pontypridd. 1987. (Contains a reconstruction of “Devonian-Brythonic” on the basis of “Middle Cornish” and “Middle Breton”.)

BJORVAND, H & LINDEMAN, F.O: Våre Arveord. Etymologisk Ordbok. 1999. rev. ed. 2000–7.

BLOME, Bertil: The Place-Names of North Devon. Uppsala. 1929.

BOHMAN, H: Studies in the ME dialect of Devon and London. Gothenburg. 1944.

BOSWORTH, J & TOLLER, T.N: An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary. 1898. suppl. 1921. Online at

BOWRING, Sir J: Language, with special reference to the Devonshire dialects. n.d.

BOWRING, Sir J et al: Devonshire verbal provincialisms. 1909.

BRAY, Anna Eliza: A Description of part of Devonshire bordering on the Tamar and the Tavy. London. 1836.

BRITISH DRAMA LEAGUE: Dialect records. Side 2. Devon. 1960(?).

BURNETT MORRIS INDEX at the Devon Heritage Centre, Exeter: a card index of DIALECT items, including Devon Notes and Queries and TDA.

CAPERN, Edward: Ballads and Songs. 1859
––– Devon Provincialisms. 1864.


CHAMBERS, J.K. & TRUDGILL, Peter: Dialectology. Cambridge. 2nd ed. 1998

CHAPPLE, William: A Review of Part of Risdon’s SURVEY OF DEVON (originally 1638 MS, pub. in pirate edition by Curll 1714). Exeter. 1784.

CHOPE, R.P: The dialect of Hartland. London. 1891. 123pp. Kraus reprint 1965.

CLEASBY, R & VIGFUSSON, G: An Icelandic-English Dictionary. 1874. Online at

COCKS, J. V. S: An outline history of the afforestation of Dartmoor. [Typescript] 1957.


COTSFORD, E.J: Local History of Charles (with list of Old Devon Words and Sayings). n.d. South Molton.
––– Local History of East Buckland. n.d.

COURT, Rev. Dr. N: The West Saxon Language. pub. Society of Somerset Folk. 1970.

COURTNEY, M.A. & COUCH, T.Q: Glossary of Words in use in Cornwall [West & East]. London. EDS. 1880.

CROSSING, W: Folk Rhymes of Devon. Chatto & Windus. London/J.G. Commin. Exeter 1911. [First appeared in ‘Devon Evening Express’, 17th July, 1902 and ‘Devon Notes and Queries’, 6.].

DANIEL, H.J: A companion for the Cornish Thalia, being original humorous pieces in the Cornish and Devonshire dialects. Devonport. 1869.

DARBY, H.C. & FINN, Welldon: The Domesday Geography of South West England. Cambridge. 1967.

DAVIDSON, J. B: Bibliotheca Devoniensis: A catalogue of the printed books relating to the county of Devon. Exeter. 1852. plus Supplement c.1860
––– Notes on the Antiquities of Devonshire which date before the Norman Conquest. Exeter. 1861.

DEARSON, G. J: The Phonology of the Devonshire Dialect: Past and Present. MPhil diss. University of Exeter, 2000.
––– Pronouncing Dictionary of the Devonshire Dialect. 2021. Part I, English to Dialect; Part II, Dialect to English. (PDF files hosted on this website)

DEVON COUNTY COUNCIL: Devon in Figures. Devon Books. Exeter. 1985.

DEVONSHIRE ASSOCIATION: Reports and Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 1862 to date.

DEVONSHIRE DIALECT: (in four parts) pub Wood. 1950. Listed ExBib. but not stocked.

DEVON DIALECT SOCIETY: (now defunct) has holdings partly at WCSL, partly at Barley House, Exeter.

DOMESDAY BOOK: Compiled by direction of King William I. Winchester. 1086. repr. Phillimore. Chichester. 1985. Vol. 9. Devon. Parts One and Two, Eds Caroline and Frank Thorn.

DONN, B: A map of the county of Devon. 1765.

DOWNES, John: A Dictionary of Devon Dialect. Tabb House. Padstow. 1986.

EDWARDS, Joseph: Rhymes in the West of England dialect by Agrikler. 1872. 4th ed. c.1890.
––– Poems humorous and philosophical, by Outis; with which are included Rhymes in the West of England dialect by Agrikler. 1875.

ELWORTHY, F.T: The Dialect of West Somerset. 1875. pub. Trubner for English Dialect Society.
––– The Grammar of West Somerset. 1877. pub. Trubner for English Dialect Society. Dulverton.
––– Devonshire speech, the true classic English. 1880. 6pp. On the Devonshire pronoun “min” or “mun” meaning “them”. 1881. 11pp.

ELWORTHY, F.T. Ed: The Exmoor Scolding and Courtship. 1876. [1879] [glossary pp.116–176] Ed. SKEAT. 7pp. offprint, 1880.

ENGLISH DIALECT SOCIETY: Glossaries of words used in the Isle of Wight, North Lincoln, etc., [not Devon], with a list of Devonshire plant names. 1881–2. [see also FRIEND, H.]

FALK, H & TORP, A: Etymologisk Ordbog over det Norske og det Danske Sprog. 1903-6. facsimile ed. 1991.

FISCHER, A: Dialects in the South-West of England: a lexical investigation. Berne. 1976. [PhD thesis].

FOWLER, H.W, COULSON, J & ONIONS, C.T: Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. 1933, 6th ed. 2007.

FOX, A: South West England (3500 BC to 600 AD). Thames & Hudson. 1964.

FRASER, Robert: General View of the County of Devon, with Observations on the means of its Improvement. London. 1794. 75pp.

FRIEND, H: A Glossary of Devonshire Plant Names. EDS. 1882.

GEORGE, Dr Ken: Gerlyver Kernewek Kemmyn. (Cornish-English Dictionary) The Cornish Language Board. 1993.

GOODRIDGE, D: Devonian dialect from words gathered 1916 – 1934: English – Devonian: some West Devonian sayings. [Typescript] n.d.

GOODRIDGE, D. & K: A Devonian-English glossary. 1950–1970. [typescript] n.d.

GOVER, J.E.B, MAWER, A. & STENTON, F.M. Eds: The Place-names of Devon. 2 vols. 1931–2. EDS. publications 8 & 9.

GPC: Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru. 1958. Online at

GREGORY, A.T. Ed: Devonshire verbal provincialisms. pub. author. 1909.

GRIFFITH, Frances: Devon’s Past: an aerial view. Devon Books/DCC. Exeter. 1988.

GRIFFITHS, Bill: A User-Friendly Dictionary of Old English. 1989. 5th ed. 2005.

GRIGSON, Geoffrey: The Englishman’s Flora. 1958.

HARRIS, W. Gregory: Sketches of the West Countree. 1905. [cited MARTEN, p.7]
––– Westcountry volk (with introduction on dialect).London. 1923.

HARRIS, Martin B: The Phonology and Grammar of the Dialect of South Zeal, Devonshire. PhD diss. University of London. 1967.
––– Demonstrative adjectives and pronouns in a Devonshire dialect [South Zeal]. Trans.Phil.Soc. 1968. repr. TRUDGILL & CHAMBERS, 1991.

HEWETT, Sarah: The Peasant Speech of Devon. 1892.

HODGE, Pol: The Cornish Dialect and the Cornish Language. The Cornish language Board. Hayle. 1997.

HOGG, Nathan [nom de plume of] Henry BAIRD: Letters and Poems tu es brither Jan. S. Drayton & Sons. Exeter. n.d.

HOLE, Rev. William: The Exmoor Scolding and Courtship. pub. The Gentleman’s Magazine. 1746. Author Archdeacon of Barnstaple in 1744. [see ELWORTHY, F.T.]

HOLLOWAY, William: A General Dictionary of Provincialisms: written with a view to rescue from oblivion the fast fading relics of by-gone days. Lewes. 1839.

HOSKINS, W.G: Old Devon. London. 1966.

HUGHES, A. and TRUDGILL, P: English Accents and Dialects. London. 1979. 3rd ed. 1996.

JAGO, Fred W.P: The ancient language and the dialect of Cornwall. 1882.

JENNINGS, J: The Dialect of the West of England, particularly Somersetshire. London. 1825. [2nd rev.ed. 1869].

JOLLY, & TUGG: Rick Jackspeak: the Pusser’s Rum Guide to Royal Naval Slanguage. Culdrose. 1982. 336pp.

LAMPLUGH, Lois: Four Centuries of Devon Dialect. Young. 1999.

LAVER, Dr Murray: The Devonshire Word-list, 3 vols. 1992.
––– Dialect Tape 1. 1993.

LEXILOGOS: Frisian Dictionary. Online at

McINTOSH, A. and SAMUELS, M.L: Linguistic Atlas of Late Medieval English. 4 vols. Edinburgh/Glasgow 1989.

MARSHALL, Mr: The Rural Economy of the West of England: including Devonshire and parts of Somersetshire and Dorsetshire and Cornwall. London, 2 vols. 1796. “Glossary of Provincialisms of West Devon” in Vol 1, pp.323–332.

MARTEN, Clement: The Devonshire Dialect [with tape recording]. Clement Marten pub. Exeter. 1973 rev. 1974.

MILES. Roger: The Trees and Woods of Exmoor. Exmoor Press. 1972.

MOORE, S., MEECH, S.B. & WHITEHALL, H: “Middle English Dialect Characteristics and Dialect Boundaries” in Essays and Studies in English and Comparative Literature, Ann Arbor. University of Michigan. 1935.

NANCE, R.M: A Glossary of Cornish Sea-words. Federation of Old Cornwall Societies. Marazion. 1963.

NORTH DEVON JOURNAL: North Devon Journal. 1824 to date.

ONIONS, C.T: The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. 1966. repr 1982.

ORTON, H & DIETH, E: Survey of English Dialects, 1962–71. Univ. of Leeds.

ORTON, H, SANDERSON, S & WIDDOWSON, J.D.A: Linguistic Atlas of England [LAE]. Croom Helm. 1978.

ORTON, H. & WRIGHT, N: A Word geography of England. Seminar Press. 1974.


PALMER, J.F: A Dialogue in the Devonshire Dialect; (in three parts); by a lady; to which is added a glossary [pp.25–99]. London. 1837.

PALMER, Mary: A Devonshire Courtship in Four Parts; to which is added a glossary [pp.63–74]. Devonport. 1869.

PARTRIDGE, Eric: The Penguin Dictionary of Historical Slang. Penguin. Harmondsworth. 1937, repr.1972.

PHILLIPS, K.C: Westcountry words and ways. David & Charles. Newton Abbot. 1976.

PHILLIPPS, Rev. John: A Devonshire Dialogue in Four Parts: to which is added a glossary [pp.65–85]. London. 1839.

PODE, J.D. and C.A: Some Descriptive Notes on the Parish of Cornwood and its inhabitants from Prehistoric times to the beginning of the Twentieth Century. 1918. n.e. circa 1966. 47 pp.

PORTER, H.M: The Saxon Conquest of Somerset and Devon. 1967.

PULMAN, G.P.R: Rustic sketches: being rhymes on angling and other subjects illustrative of rural life &c. in the dialect of the West of England, with notes and a glossary [pp.61–78]. London. 1853

RAY, John: A Collection of English Words not generally used: with their significations and original, in two alphabetical catalogues, the one of such as are proper to the Northern, the other to the Southern counties. London. 1737. New ed. by W.W. SKEAT, London. 1874.

RISDON, Tristram: Survey of the County of Devon. c.1632

REYNOLDS, Stephen (Sidmouth author): [Devizes and Roundabout. Bournemouth. 1906.]
––– A Poor Man’s House. Bodley Head. 1908.
––– [The Holy Mountain (early work). Bodley Head.1909.]
––– Alongshore. Macmillan. 1910.
––– Seems so! Macmillan. 1911.
––– How ‘Twas. Macmillan. 1912.
––– [The Lower Deck. Macmillan. 1912. (The plight of naval ratings)]
For location of all books see TDA. vol 111: 56–7.

ROGERS, Norman: Wessex Dialect. Bradford-on-Avon. Moonraker Press. 1979.

ROWE, J. Brooking, Ed: The Two Widecombe (Withycombe) Tracts, 1638, giving a Contemporary Account of the Great Storm (of 21/10/1638). Original author Harford, R. London. 1638.

SELLMAN, R.R: Aspects of Devon History. 1962. 2nd ed. (rev’d & extended) Devon Books. Exeter 1985.

SIMMONS, Jack: A Devon Anthology. [The Devon Library Series, No.1] Macmillan. London. 1971.

SKEAT, W.W: English Dialects from the Eighth Century to the Present Day. Cambridge. 1911.

SMITH, A.H: ‘English Dialects’ in Trans.Phil.Soc. 1936: 76–84.

SMYTH, W.H. & BELCHER, Edward: The Sailor’s Word: A complete dictionary of Nautical Terms from the Napoleonic and Victorian Navies. Fireship Press. Tucson. 2007

SNELL, F.J: A Book of Exmoor. Methuen. London. 1903. 2nd ed. 1923.

STEWER, Jan, (A. J. COLES): Agatha’s heaven (3 act play). London. 1933.
––– In a Devonshire carrier’s van. 1906. repr. from the ‘Illustrated Western Weekly News’.
––– In chimley corner. London. 1927.
––– Jan Stewer at home and abroad. Plymouth. 1920.
––– Jan Stewer’s Devonshire book. 3rd ed. Exeter.1915.
––– Lias and Betty. London. 1938.
––– Ole biskit. Exeter. 1925.
––– On the moor of a night. London. 1949.
––– “Out come mother and me” (song). 1923.
––– A parcel of ol’ crams. London. 1930.
––– Rules and regillations of the new milk and dairies order, according to Jan Stewer. Exeter. 1928.
––– The shop with two windows. London. 1952.
––– Uncle Tom Cobleigh (cuttings from the Devon & Exeter Daily Gazette, 2/3/1900 – 23/2/1906).
––– “What about a little drop o’ cider” (song). London. 1926.
––– “When mother and me joined in” (song). London. 1930.
––– Yap. London. 1931.
––– “Jan Stewer” audio-cassettes, recorded by John Sage and Tony Beard

SULLIVAN, Anthea: Phonological change and lexical diffusion, with reference to glottalization of voiceless plosives and loss of postvocalic /r/ in the speech of some Exeter adolescents. MA diss. Exeter. 1990.
––– Sound change in progress: a study of phonological change and lexical diffusion, with reference to glottalization and R-Loss in the speech of some Exeter Schoolchildren. Univ. of Exeter Press. 1991.

THORNTON, Revd W.H: Devonshire Scripts and Stories: Mainly concerning the Moretonhampstead Neighbourhood. (Cover title “Short Devonshire Stories”) Exeter. 1915.

TOULSON, S: The Moors of the South West (1. Ancient Trackways). Hutchinson. 1983.

TLFi Trésor de la Langue Française Informatisé. 1971-1994. Online at

TROTTER, David et al: AND. Anglo-Norman Dictionary. 1947 to date. Online at

TRUDGILL, P: The Dialects of England. Oxford. 1990.

VICKERY, Roy: Devonshire Plant Names. 2022, rev. Feb. 2023. Abstracted with the author’s permission from his Plant name bibliography. Dec. 2022 by Geoffrey Dearson. (PDF file hosted on this website)


VON RICHTHOFEN, Dr K.F: Altfriesisches Wörterbuch. 1840.

WAKELIN, Martyn: Patterns in the Folk-speech of the British Isles. Athlone Press. 1972.
––– Language and history in Cornwall. Leicester U.P. 1975.
––– English Dialects: an introduction. Athlone Press. 2nd ed. 1977.
––– Discovering English Dialects. Shire Publications. Aylesbury. 1978. 2nd ed. 1979.
––– The Southwest of England. Amsterdam: Benjamins. 1986.
––– Focus on the Southwest. Amsterdam: Benjamins. 1987.

WEEKS, William: Bits o’ broad Devon. William Pollard. Exeter. 1900.

WELLS, John C: Accents of English, 2: The British Isles. London/C.U.P. 1982.

WILLY, Margaret: The South Hams. London. 1955.

WILTS, Ommo: Basiswörterbuch Deutsch-Friesisch. 1998.

WORLIDGE, John: Systema Agriculturae: the mystery of husbandry discovered. 4th ed. London. 1687. pp. 309–326 “Dictionarium rusticum, or the interpretations and significations of several rustick terms used in several places of England”.

WORTH, Richard N: Suggested identification of the Domesday Manors of Devon. [proof copy] n.d. [1880s?]

WRIGHT, Joseph: English Dialect Dictionary. 1898–1905. Online at
––– EDD resources for the West of England, edited by Geoffrey Dearson. (PDF file hosted on this website)

YULE, Henry & BURNELL, A.C: Hobson-Jobson. The Anglo-Indian Dictionary. 1886, repr. 1996. Wordsworth Editions, Ware, Herts.