Wovember Words #2

Seeing that we’re talking about growing wool here at Wovember at the moment, here are some words relating to lambs. All three words have been carefully hand-picked from the Oxford English Dictionary by Wovember friend Liz Ashdowne. She got rather enthusiastic, so there will be some more lamby words tomorrow!

chilver, noun

A ewe-lamb: commonly chilver-lamb noun. Also chilver-hog. (Found in Old English, and still common in southern dialects, though not evidenced in the intervening period.)

1883 W. H. Cope Gloss. Hampshire Words (E.D.S.) 15 Chilver-lamb, a ewe-lamb.

cosset, noun

A lamb (colt, etc.) brought up by hand; a pet-lamb, cade-lamb. Also attrib. as cosset lamb.

1579 Spenser Shepheardes Cal. Nov. 42, I shall thee give yond Cosset for thy payne.

1614 W. Browne Shepheards Pipe i. sig.C6, The best Cosset in my fold.

1626 N. Breton Fantasticks Apr., The cosset lamb is learned to butt.

cuckoo-lamb, noun

A lamb born between April and June.

1749 W. Ellis Shepherd’s Guide 73 All lambs yeaned in April or May are called with us, in Hertfordsire, the cuckoo lambs, because they fall in cuckoo time.


picture © by Clare Gardiner, submitted to the Wovember Gallery 2013.