Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Starvin in Londonderry

A wheen o weeks ago I wus haen a yarn wae a freen o mine fae Londonderry aboot tha hamely tongue. An he came oot wae a sayin, I hae'd nivir herd befur. Yin that must nivir o made it iver tha glenshane. Whun a Derry man iz coul he's, no foundered he's, Starvin or

Starvin wae tha coul.

I still haenae got mae heid roon that yin. Ye must hae tae bae fae Derry.

Interestingly, since then, I have found this 'aul sayin' in these two historical documents. Washington Irving gives the following account in his book The Life of George Washington,

 The winter set in early, and was uncommonly rigorous. The transportation of supplies was obstructed; the magazines were exhausted, and the commissaries had neither money nor credit to enable them to replenish them. For weeks at a time the army was on half allowance; sometimes without meat, sometimes without bread, sometimes without both. There was a scarcity, too, of clothing and blankets, so that the poor soldiers were starving with cold as well as hunger (Washington Irving, The Life of George Washington, vol. 1 (NY: The Cooperative Publication Society, 1858, 263-265).

And this example, from the Encyclopaedia Perthensis 

1 comment:

  1. "Starvin coul" - oh aye, A heerd it aa tha time whan A wus a wean.
    A mine yin day A brocht a schuil-freen intae a nighbors hoose whan the' wur makkin denner. 'C'mon in oot o the rain' sez she, 'sit doon at the fire, A'm sure yis'r starvin'.
    'Well,' said my freen lukkin intae tha pot o prittas on tha range, 'Only if ye have enough to go round'.
    She lukked at us as if we were frae anither planet!