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Has anybody ever heard of the term 'the slang' meaning a small plot of land?

2 replies

RustyBunny · 13/04/2009 15:48

We were looking at some old photos of the area where DH used to live (Hereford/Welsh border) & DH referred to one being of 'the slang' - a small unoccupied bit of land between two gardens.

I've never heard of the term & DH doesn't know if it's a family word, a corruption of the name the land used to go under or a regional term - DH's mum was from Manchester & his Dad from West London, so it could have been either of those.

Anyone ever heard of it?

OP posts:
singleWhiteMale · 14/04/2009 19:45

Hadn't heard it myself, but it's in the OED:


[Of obscure origin. Some dialects have the form sling; further variations are slanget (slanket) and slinget (slinket).]

A long narrow strip of land.
The precise sense varies a little in different localities.

1610 HOLLAND Camden's Brit. I. 715 There runneth forth into the sea a certaine shelfe or slang, like unto an out~thrust tongue.

1764 in Rep. Comm. Inq. Charities XXVIII. 145 Two slangs of ground.

1804 J. EVANS Tour S. Wales 300 Formerly the lands of this district [near Fishguard] were divided into very narrow slangs, which were unenclosed.

1839- in dialect glossaries (Northampt., Shropsh., Heref.).

1885 Field 4 Apr. 426/2 He struggled across a couple of grass fields into the slang adjoining Brown's Wood.

RustyBear · 14/04/2009 21:55

Thanks for that - the 1839 reference is interesting - it's in Herefordshire.

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