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Rod Neep
27-05-2006, 1:58 PM
An interesting early reference to the term "twitchell".
This is a local dialect term still in use in Nottingham to describe a narrow passage or alley.


From the records of rental of common lands in the town:

"Also ye Comons has a twychel yat lyges on ye norht' syd ye
Fleshusse taward ye est end, betux ye sayd Fleshusse and ye hussus
yat Magod, draper, dwels in"

Also, the Commons has a twychel that lies on the North side [of] the
Flesh-house toward the East end, between the said Flesh-House and the houses that Magod, draper, dwells in.

* Flesh-house is The Shambles

The reference dates to 1435
Language doesn't change!

Mythology
27-05-2006, 2:14 PM
Live and learn. :)

My sister lives on a houseboat which is normally moored at Nottingham Marina (yes, we're all crazy in our family ;)), but it's not a city that I've really *visited* myself much - mostly just trotted from the railway station down to the bus station to catch a bus to some obscure village or another.

I hadn't come across "twitchell" at all - ancient or modern!

busyglen
27-05-2006, 2:22 PM
I must say that I hadn't heard of it either. It was strange that I managed to translate it quite easily, before I realised that Rod had put the translation underneath. But then, once you have got the hang of translating old Wills etc. in the old language, it's surprising how easy a lot of it is. Having said that...I still didn't know what a `twitchell' was. ;)

Glenys

Rod Neep
27-05-2006, 2:31 PM
It is a term that is in very normal use in Nottingham today. I grew up with it.

Interestingly, an "alley" (narrow pathway), has various dialect words in different parts of the country.

Ros

Peter Goodey
27-05-2006, 2:40 PM
I'm not really familiar with Nottingham other than a genealogical interest in the county so it's no surprise that this one's new to me.

I've come across the term "gennel" (various spellings) used about some places in Nottinghamshire eg "1823 - Portland Row, Selston built, which was a continual row of 47 terraced houses with no jennels. (Demolished in 1966)" on the Jacksdale & Westwood site. I'd vaguely assumed that gennel - which I'd met before in Sheffield - was the general term used in Nottinghamshire.

I'll make a note of "twitchell"! Incidentally, to me it sounds a bit similar to "twitten" which is used in Sussex and thereabouts to mean much the same sort of thing.

Rod Neep
27-05-2006, 2:46 PM
Yes, gennel and twitten are dialect examples of the same thing.

I have always found it strange that there are extant dialect verions for that one thing throughout England and Scotland.

Neil Wilson
27-05-2006, 3:06 PM
An interesting early reference to the term "twitchell".
This is a local dialect term still in use in Nottingham to describe a narrow passage or alley.Not heard of this word for at least half an hour :)
Neil
in Nottingham

Peter Goodey
27-05-2006, 3:36 PM
I don't know if I'm interpreting the OED correctly but... "a1889 Notice (Bedford) in N. & Q. 7th Ser. VII. 275/2 All persons passing by this twitchel are requested to go up or down directly".

If that's referring to the town of Bedford, usage must be more widespread than I thought :o

MarkJ
27-05-2006, 3:49 PM
I just mentioned it to my wife, who hails from Nottingham - she knew what a twitchell was!
Her grandmother always advised her to be careful going up the twitchell when going down the alley.

Mythology
27-05-2006, 4:09 PM
"I've come across the term "gennel" (various spellings) used about some places in Nottinghamshire ..."

I wonder if, way back, this has the same origin as something Cornish that Mark may be familiar with - "gunnies".

William Pryce, in "Mineralogia Cornubiensis" (1778) has, at the back of the book, a seventeen page "explanation of the Cornu-technical terms and idioms of tinners", including:

GUNNIES - means breadth or width. A single Gunnies is three feet wide; a Gunnies and a half is four feet and a half; and a double Gunnies is six feet wide. The former vauts or cavities that were dug in a Mine, are termed "The old Gunnies;" and if they are full of water, they are sometimes called "The Gunnies of water;" yet more commonly "A House of water.

[The end quote mark is missing in the original, not a typo of mine]

get2BJ
27-05-2006, 9:53 PM
I found this website a few years ago - International Pedestrian Lexicon, which refers to the snickets and snickleways of the north of England (notably York)

BEFORE you go there, see if any of you can guess what Mutzig Waves, Truncated Domes and Bostals are!

Many other interesting terms for street furniture, worth a quick visit!

Brenda

astapo
27-09-2008, 1:36 PM
I was born "up the gennel" Bestwood colliery village Nottm. There it refers to the alleyway between the backs of two parallel rows of houses with walled back yards. It was wide enough for the dustbin lorry to drive down and empty the middens that were accessed either side of the gennel via a wooden door set half way up the wall for each house. I understood that a Twitchel was a wide usually hedged alleyway as was a gitty, but more narrow. Whilst an "Entry"was the narrow passage in the middle of a row of terraced houses leading to the backs of the houses, the rooms on the first floor either side covered it over the top making it like a tunnel.

Penny Gallo
28-09-2008, 7:11 PM
Hence someone with bandy legs being, "He couldn't stop a pig up an entry" ;)

There used to be beautiful twitchell in Mansfield called "The Lurchills". It was said to have been created so that tramps and vagrants could be diverted (or possibly avoid, as most Edwardian postcards depict a Police Constable on duty there!) the market place.

babygirl101
29-09-2008, 4:43 AM
Hence someone with bandy legs being, "He couldn't stop a pig up an entry" ;)

There used to be beautiful twitchell in Mansfield called "The Lurchills". It was said to have been created so that tramps and vagrants could be diverted (or possibly avoid, as most Edwardian postcards depict a Police Constable on duty there!) the market place.

Now there are some names I haven't heard for a very long time, being from Nottinghamshrie myself. As others have said 'twitchell' is in every day usage, and I remember 'The Lurchills' in Mansfield very well from my school days. Thank you for refreshing my memory. Another terms along similar lines was 'gitty' (not sure how it was actually spelt - the G pronounced as in gin).

BG

Penny Gallo
29-09-2008, 9:45 AM
My Mum is Archivist of the Old Mansfield Society, so I can immerse myself in nostalgia of what this once attractive town used to look like. I expect you too, BG, have had a look at the photos stored on "www.picturethepast.com" (sorry, don't know how to highlight a website yet) - it has loads on the town pre-ringroad, pre-shopping centre, pre-1970s Brutalism.
I would also say jitty, interchangeable with jennel. xxx Penny

BeeE586
29-09-2008, 6:20 PM
There was a gennel at the back of our house in Blackpool, but I'm not sure if it was a local term or what my Derbyshire grandparents called it. Another term used was 'jitty' - at least that is how I remembered it.

Eileen

Rod and Myth - nice to see you back, both sorely missed.

SearchingSadler
30-09-2008, 9:05 AM
A twitchell to me is normally a little 'cut through', a pathway.

A gennel is the same, but I've always thought more of an entry between houses, in other words another pathway between houses

but then thats nottingham for ya lol, ya darnt tork like wot we does rand ere

Davemiles
26-01-2009, 11:04 PM
Should you happen to wander the town centre of Long Eaton you will stumble across "The Twitchell" pub. So named as it now stands on what was once a stretch of alley it now describes.

tony vines
27-01-2009, 9:30 PM
Eileen

I think that if you examine the dates on this thread you will see that Rod last contributed in 2006!

regards

Ken McDonald
15-04-2009, 11:11 AM
Twitchell is also used in parts of Essex and Hertfordshire to mean an alley or footpath, for example where I live in Stansted.

Twitten is used in Sussex to mean the same thing.

In the Netherlands, Tussen, which means 'between' is also used in the same way.

I wonder if there is a common derivation way back.

comqpq
26-09-2011, 10:00 AM
Very interesting - I was just googling for "Twitchell" having transcribed an old notice on a twitchell in Shillington, Beds (down the left side of the Old School opposite the church). Very old weather-beaten wood, so the photo needed enhancing to read properly - but my aunt remembers reading it when she came to her Grandmother's as a girl (early 1930s)
51°59'32.36"N 0°21'52.18"W
Unfortunately, not vidsible from Google StreetView photos.

"All persons passing by this Twitchell are
to go directly up or down without loitering,
collecting together so as to create obstruction,
committing nuisances, wrecking fences etc."
with a metal plaque added:
"REPLACED BY
JOAN M. WILSON
PARISH CLERK
1996"


I don't know if I'm interpreting the OED correctly but... "a1889 Notice (Bedford) in N. & Q. 7th Ser. VII. 275/2 All persons passing by this twitchel are requested to go up or down directly".

If that's referring to the town of Bedford, usage must be more widespread than I thought :o

Colin Price
02-04-2013, 3:47 AM
In Loughborough, both "jetty" and "jitty" now appear on street signs (Fearon Jitty, but Pinfold Jetty). The term was in common use in Loughborough, and I have since heard of it as far south as Bedworth (Warwickshire), and as far north as some villages outside Nottingham (Lowdham, Bingham, Bulwell) but "twitchell" seems to be used in Nottingham itself.

Waitabit
02-04-2013, 5:51 AM
Now there's a post from the past.

malcolm99
02-04-2013, 6:25 AM
Now there's a post from the past.

Great stuff. I’ve just been reading this as a mini-blizzard falls from the skies in Nott’num Town centre (and SearchingSadler caught the local way of talking beautifully!).



but then thats nottingham for ya lol, ya darnt tork like wot we does rand ere

Mitch in Notts
03-04-2013, 8:48 PM
Think some of it is a generation thing. There is still snow in our Jitty when I walked past this evening, just confirming what an elderly customer who had walked through the twitchell earlier had told me! Whether there be owt there in the morrow remains to be seen!

malcolm99
03-04-2013, 8:56 PM
:smile5: