Mudcat Café Message Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Shirley Help: 'GUTTLE' (word from Poverty Knock) (45) RE: Help: 'GUTTLE' (word from Poverty Knock) 09 May 14

Starving is from an Old English word meaning to die and is probably related to the word stiff. The idea of staving from cold is recorded from the 14th and from hunger from the 15th Century.

The retired weaver is probably right when he says the word "guttle" is a miss-hearing of "cuttle", meaning to fold a piece of cloth across its full width in order to remove it from the loom.

"Guttle" has been recorded as meaning to gorge one's food since the 17th Century. But surely, if the weaver was on piece work, he would take five minutes for a drink, a bite and a pee before setting up the next job, so "guttle" would fit the context happily too?

When I first heard this song in the mid 1970s in Leeds the line was definitely "Gaffer's t' skinny t' pay."

We sang the song up tempo trying to match the rhythm of the looms and with two quick knocks after each word "knock". It's a jolly song, designed to cheer people up. But I doubt if it was ever actually sung in a weaving shed as it would have been far too noisy there.

Post to this Thread -

Back to the Main Forum Page

By clicking on the User Name, you will requery the forum for that user. You will see everything that he or she has posted with that Mudcat name.

By clicking on the Thread Name, you will be sent to the Forum on that thread as if you selected it from the main Mudcat Forum page.

By clicking on the Subject, you will also go to the thread as if you selected it from the original Forum page, but also go directly to that particular message.

By clicking on the Date (Posted), you will dig out every message posted that day.

Try it all, you will see.