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A narrow passage or lane between two walls, hedges, etc. The vowel varies greatly – sometimes drong, dreng, dring, drung – but in some form it was noted all over the West Country during the nineteenth century, along with drangway. It was sometimes also used for an open ditch or drain. In all cases, the common element is narrowness, and the notion of pressure – people passing through a narrow space – explains an etymological link with throng.

Found in: Cornwall, Devon, Plymouth, Torbay, Dorset, Poole, Bournemouth, Gloucestershire, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, Southampton, Portsmouth, Somerset, North Somerset, Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Bridgend, Vale of Glamorgan, Rhondda, Cynon, Taff, Merthyr Tydfil, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Newport, Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent, Monmouthshire, Ceredigion, Wrexham, Flintshire, Denbighshire, Conwy, Gwynedd, Anglesey, Powys, Bristol, Swindon,

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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© Pan Macmillan 2015