A History of Brown Edge, a Staffordshire Moorlands Village

We all probably use them but local sayings contain a wealth of history. For example “She has more faces than Bucks clock”  You need to know that this relates to Bucks Jewlers (now closed) and that it had a clock on the ourside of the building with two faces.  I am told that inside the shop there was a glass timepiece with four faces.

Another local saying is “Leos for meddlers and crutches for lame ducks” (sometimes said as crusses for laying ducks)  I havent got a clue where that comes from.

My dad always said something was “Spon new”.    I heard this again the other day and it caused me to look up its meaning.  Somebody said that a car was “spon new”. I am sure most of you are familiar with that but the origin is fascinating.  A spon is a sliver of wood cut by an axe or blade. It is Saxon in origin, that is to say about 1500 years old. spánnýr or spánn = ‘chip’   If you think about it a freshly cut sliver of wood is clean and new and indeed looks and smells fresh.   Most people use the word spon without recognising its ancient origins when they say something is “spic and span and shipshape”  A spic is again Saxon for what’s left when the spans have been taken away! Ie a spike or a spoke!

If you have any local sayings then please add them in the comments section below.  I am sure other readers will find them fascinating.


One Response

  1. leo for meddlers is one of the most travelled and changed mysterious sayings.. in the USA i’ve heard layovers for meddlers, or layovers catch meddlers, or layos catch meddloes etc.. mostly changing because it’s mostly a spoken saying said to curios children. leo’s or layovers are traps/trouble that you’ll get entangled in for meddling curiosity.

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