Last Thursday the lovely people at the Bookcase bookshop in Lowdham gave me a wonderful dictionary of Derbyshire slang called Ey Up Mi Duck. I have, of course, devoured like a dipso with a crate of Armagnac. It's filled with delights like scrawk (scratch frantically), scroddy (puny), and scrozzle (grope along).
But my two favourites were idle jacks and twairtle. Idle jacks are the little bits of loose skin around your finger nails: something that I've often had, but never before named. And to twairtle is to fiddle with something. This means that in Derbyshire it must be possible to twairtle with your idle jacks.
One curious thing about the book is that it talks of a "well-known ditty" that goes:
Ah'm a Derbyshire man born and bred,
Strong i'th'arm and wick in the head.
The book explains that wick here is a variant of quick. Now, I do know that ditty. I've heard it for years. But I've always heard it as:
Derbyshire born, Derbyshire bred,
Thick in the arm and thick in the head.
And that version I learnt in Derbyshire.