An Exmoor Christmas

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Ducks at Dulverton

Well it’s been a while.  I do hope you all had a lovely Christmas and a great New Year’s Eve!  I brought the in-laws to Somerset for Christmas, in particular Dulverton which (for those who don’t know) sits on the southern edge of Exmoor, almost on the border with Devon.  Which makes it very interesting from a linguistic perspective – how has the close link to Devon affected the accent, or is there no effect at all?  Certainly in the ‘Tantivy‘ shop in the town, most of the souvenirs refer to Devon, and not Somerset.  Perhaps there are closer ties with Tiverton further down the Exe Valley than there are with Minehead or Dunster further up on Exmoor?

‘Dew Snail’ in Exmoor. (image from ‘Spread The Slug’ on Tumblr – visit http://spreadtheslug.tumblr.com/)

As I’ll looking at Exmoor as part of my PhD, I’ve been looking into some of the towns in the Somerset part of the National Park.  The Exmoorian website has this rather intriguing collection of words and phrases that it says are particular to the towns and villages in the region.  Many, such as ‘Dimpsy‘ and ‘daps’ (trainers/plimsolls/gym shoes) are common all over Somerset – and in the counties surrounding, but others are not phrases I’ve heard too often, such as ‘culver’ (pigeon) and ‘dew snail’ (slug).

You can access the webpage with the full list here: http://www.exmoorian.co.uk/dialect.htm

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