spraid(e) [spreathe, sprayed, . . . -- Forum Mod.]

Discuss word origins and meanings.
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spraid(e) [spreathe, sprayed, . . . -- Forum Mod.]

Post by motjuste » Tue Mar 27, 2007 10:33 pm

I wonder if anyone else has come across this word, which I have never seen written (hence my guess at its spelling)? My late father always used it instead of 'chapped' to describe hands reddened and sore from exposure to the cold.
His family came from the Channel islands, so I wondered if it might be a patois word. Can anyone help, please? It's bothered me for years.
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spraid(e) [spreathe, sprayed, . . . -- Forum Mod.]

Post by gdwdwrkr » Tue Mar 27, 2007 11:52 pm

I guess it couldn't be 'sprayed'...out fishing in the freezing cold with that wind and those waves....
Sounds like a case of chilblains.
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spraid(e) [spreathe, sprayed, . . . -- Forum Mod.]

Post by Erik_Kowal » Wed Mar 28, 2007 2:19 am

Kathryn, using OneLook.com's reverse dictionary tool to look up 'chapped' led me to 'spreathed' at the online slang dictionary located at http://www.peevish.co.uk/slang/s.htm :

Adj. Sore through exposure to cold weather, chapped. [South Wales use]

Of course, the similarity to 'spraid' could be coincidental, but if your father lived in Wales for a while, or worked with Welshmen at some point, it is quite possible that he might have picked up the word along the way. The Peevish.co.uk entry gives no indication of pronunciation. I also tried to look up the word in the Cassell Dictionary of Slang, but it is not included there.

I then looked up 'spreathe' in Chambers 20th Century Dictionary, where both it and 'spreaze' are given as variants of spray (3). Looking up spray (3) yields the following:

spr#257;, spreathe, spreethe spr#275;dh, spreaze, spreeze spr#275;z, (S.W. dial.) vs.t. and vs.i. to chap, roughen -- usu. in pa.p. sprayed, spraid, etc. [Origin obscure].

(It seems that the forum does not support some of the accented characters in the Chambers entry, so I should explain that #257; is a long A and #275; is a long E, and 'dh' is Chambers' way of indicating a voiced TH, as in 'there'.)

So according to Chambers, gdwdwrkr was correct regarding the form of one of the word's variants, although its semantic content may ultimately be unconnected with the more familiar meaning of the word 'sprayed'.

We have one regular contributor to the forum who comes from South Wales, and who may have more to add in due course. In the meantime it is worth noting that both Wales, the Channel Islands and the south-west of England (which I take to mean an area roughly comprising Cornwall, Devon and Dorset) are all coastal regions, so it is reasonable to suppose that seafarers from those parts were likely to exchange vocabulary with each other, especially words or phrases connected with their work.
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spraid(e) [spreathe, sprayed, . . . -- Forum Mod.]

Post by Wizard of Oz » Wed Mar 28, 2007 3:31 am

.. but Erik has our one regular contributor to the forum who comes from South Wales recovered from celebrating his 60th coming of age to allow his mind to delve so deeply ??

WoZ
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spraid(e) [spreathe, sprayed, . . . -- Forum Mod.]

Post by Erik_Kowal » Wed Mar 28, 2007 5:07 am

That depends on whether he is more partial to the fruits of testamentology or tegestology. At the age of 60, I should think by now his course is set. ;-)
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Post by Bobinwales » Wed Mar 28, 2007 8:37 am

I'm still avoiding my children and that bath of olive oil. They have put a gas burner under it now...

Incidentally, I have discovered that hitting 60 gives you a headache and a bad stomach the following day, together with a distinct aversion to alcohol.

Actually, I have not come across spreathed before. I shall have a look around to see what I can find.
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spraid(e) [spreathe, sprayed, . . . -- Forum Mod.]

Post by Edwin Ashworth » Wed Mar 28, 2007 8:45 am

Are you sure it's the Welsh who start delving after they've stopped being minors, Wiz?
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spraid(e) [spreathe, sprayed, . . . -- Forum Mod.]

Post by Bobinwales » Wed Mar 28, 2007 11:16 am

I did find a Wenglish word “spreathe” here, but that left me with a problem. The Welsh words for chapped are ‘toredig’, ‘craciog’, ‘holltog’, none of which are in common use, and certainly do not relate to spreathe anyway. So the question is how the word got into Wenglish if is not a Welsh word?

I did find a reference from Somerset, and indeed with only the Bristol Channel between us I too would have expected sailors and fishermen to exchange words just as Erik said.

As I said, I have not come across the word before, and faced with having to pronounce it from the written form I would say “SPREETH” (th as in the), but I can also imagine “SPRAYTH”). That pronunciation in Welsh (if the word did exist) would probably be spelled “”SPRAIDD”, which could be a first cousin to Katherine's SPRAID, which is where we came in.

This is all highly speculative of course, it is just a train of thought with absolutely no proof.

I occasionally meet up with a Swansea trawlerman, I will speak with him about it when next we meet, and in the meantime I will circulate my friends in Wales in case they know the word, and how to pronounce it!
WENGLISH – the art of speaking English through the medium of Welsh, a sort of dialect
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spraid(e) [spreathe, sprayed, . . . -- Forum Mod.]

Post by gdwdwrkr » Wed Mar 28, 2007 11:39 am

In light of
http://papersky.livejournal.com/4601.html
I doubt the sprayed-fishing connection, unless
the term was borrowed.
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spraid(e) [spreathe, sprayed, . . . -- Forum Mod.]

Post by Ken Greenwald » Wed Mar 28, 2007 6:28 pm

Erik (et al), Good sleuthing. I tried but got nowhere. I had somehow never absorbed the fact that OneLook had a reverse dictionary even though I have opened that OneLook home page thousands of times – it really is a very valuable resource which I will be using in the future. Thanks for that tip.

I searched the Oxford English Dictionary for SPREATHE and the following was its only appearance (under ‘sprayed'):

SPRAYED participle adjective: Roughened or made sore by exposure to cold. [[from spray (also SPRY, SPREATHE, etc.), of obscure origin, common in south-western dialects, chiefly in the past. participle]
<1869 “It was much worse than Jamaica ginger grated into a poor SPRAYED finger.”—‘Lorna Doone’ by Blackmore, xxxi>

<1911 “For chapped and SPRAYED hands caused by wind and cold.”—‘Kingsbridge Gazette, 26 May, page 3/2>
So another vote for not being connected to the common use of the word spray and as a bonus we have added SPRY to the mix.
___________________

Ken – March 28, 2007
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spraid(e) [spreathe, sprayed, . . . -- Forum Mod.]

Post by Bobinwales » Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:41 pm

I did as I said, and circulated my friends.

Nil
Nowt
Zilch

Like me, no-one had heard of any of the words that were chucked in. I did find spreathe in a Devon dialect dictionary as I said earlier, and one of my contacts remembered his in-laws using SPREAVY when their hands were chapped. they were from the Malmsbury and Devizes areas.

Apart from those I have drawn an absolute blank.
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Re: spraid(e) [spreathe, sprayed, . . . -- Forum Mod.]

Post by laurence » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:22 pm

Spreathed.
In 19389 to 1941 I lived in the South of England, and (as a boy) in cold weather my feet were always wet.
This led in the winter to a spreathed condition.
My heels and ankles became inflamed and sore due to the weather conditions.
My Mum always called the condition 'spreathed'
Her cure was to hide a shovel full of snow and to plunge my sore heel into the snow in the shovel.
I can't remember if that helped but the cure so was so nasty I didn't complain any more!
I suspect chilblains could have been an alternative description.
Larry.
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Re: spraid(e) [spreathe, sprayed, . . . -- Forum Mod.]

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:45 am

Hello laurence. Welcome to the site, if this is your first visit. (But watch your step here - it's no good adopting modern capital-dropping and then letting on how old you are.)

Thanks for the anecdote. I remember chilblains too - one of the few things no longer readily available that I'm hopeful will stay that way. I assume you mean '1938/9 to 1941' (unless you've also let slip that you're a Time Lord).
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Re: spraid(e) [spreathe, sprayed, . . . -- Forum Mod.]

Post by Erik_Kowal » Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:35 pm

Hiding a shovel full of snow is not as easy as it sounds.

Unless it's outdoors, in which case it's more a case of merely hiding the shovel.
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End of topic.
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