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Five questions about natural phenomena—Quick Quiz answers

We asked you to match some British dialect words for weather and other natural phenomena with their meanings. Here come the answers!

Here are the words:

  1. A feadan is e. a small stream running from a moorland loch. As you might guess from the spelling, this is a Gaelic word from the Isle of Lewis.
  2. A pirr is d. a light breath of wind, such as will make a cat’s paw on the water. This word comes from Shetland. (For those of you who got this right, can you tell us hand on heart that the mention of cats didn’t influence your choice at all?)
  3. A smeuse is a. the gap in the base of a hedge made by the regular passage of a small animal. This is an English dialect word that’s particularly common in the North Midlands.
  4. A grumma is c. a mirage caused by mist or haze. Back to Shetland again—this word is of Norse origin.
  5. Kimmeridge is b. the light breeze which blows through your armpit hair when you are stretched out sunbathing. But only if you believe Douglas Adams and John Lloyd, who included the word in The Meaning Of Liff, their brilliantly funny compilation of invented definitions for place-names. (The actual Kimmeridge is on the Isle of Purbeck peninsula on the Dorset coast.)

And the answer to the bonus question:

  1. What is the more commonly used word for what is also known as an aquabob, clinkerbell, cancervell or shuckle in various parts of the country?
    They’re all dialect terms for icicle, from Kent, Hampshire, Exmoor and Cumbria respectively.

(Quiz inspired by an article in The Guardian, Saturday 28 February 2015)

How did you get on? Why not let us know?

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