“It was a real scaut getting ready for Christmas”.

All would agree with that statement, but how many are familiar with the word ‘scaut’ or perhaps ‘scaught’.

It is frequently used in this county, perhaps more by older people. It means to dash around or to work hard to finish a task, extra effort being needed to get a job done.

I have never seen the word in print and it is not in the Oxford Dictionary.

Having been questioned about its meaning today, I wondered how many other Gloucestershire words are used by us but not recognised elsewhere.

The most common is ‘daps’. These are the black lace-up items of footwear we all did PE in. Perhaps trainers now make this word obsolete, but I still hear it used.

‘Scud’ is much less common. It means a short shower of rain. The rain it brings is minimal as the phrase ‘it is only a scud’ implies.

None of these words are to be found in a dictionary, but the use of the word ‘starved’ to being very cold is.

Coming in from the cold you would say ‘it is starving out there’.

I have not heard the word used this way for some time and was surprised to see it in my dictionary.

Cicester is an alternative name for Cirencester, although that is dying out.

A maths teacher to whom I

did not warm would correct anyone who used the modern name.

Her name was Polly Holgate and her smiles were rare.

I thought of referring to our town as Corinium just to see her reaction, but bottled it.

If you knew her you would commend my wisdom in so doing.

I think we have Shakespeare to blame for Cicester. He often ended scenes with rhyming couplets and in one of his Henry the Fourth plays ends the scene with these words:

“The rebels have consumed with fire our town of Cicester in Gloucestershire”.

If he used ‘Cirencester’ it would not scan.

Readers may have other local words and I would be glad to hear any of them.

We are not talking dialect, but rather vocabulary.

Both need preserving and as a Cotswold veteran I am worried we are losing too much. I wait to hear from you all.

Mrs Light has just been rambling on about a ‘wally’ telling me it is something she expects with every ploughman’s lunch.

I am none the wiser. Help in this area would be appreciated.