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250 Words For Slater

Min Bannister

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https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-53308981

Fascinating study that has found over 250 words for a small multi-legged crustacean in the UK. Most of the words come from England and it is thought this might be because they have a form that rolls into a ball when touched which makes them more interesting to children.

Many people in Scotland would call it a slater, or maybe a woodlouse.

It is a tiny land-dwelling crustacean, with a segmented flattened body and seven pairs of jointed legs.

Researchers have been carrying out a survey of the regional variations in names for the garden-dwelling creature.

And they have already recorded 250 different names.

Granny grey, cheesy bob and chucky pig are among some of the titles it is given.

What do people know them as here?
 
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-53308981

Fascinating study that has found over 250 words for a small multi-legged crustacean in the UK. Most of the words come from England and it is thought this might be because they have a form that rolls into a ball when touched which makes them more interesting to children.



What do people know them as here?
Wood lice, or for certain species pill bugs. There’s also hog louse but normally only see that for the freshwater version.

And they’ve changed it to “what”.
 
In Cornwall, when I was young, they were known as "sowpigs".

When we had an infestation of them in an old house we were renting when we first got married, my wife called them "woody bloodlice".
 
Woodlice! They seldom arrive in singular form. They are attracted to damp spots, so they may be an evil omen.

I find them quite horrible; luckily, ant-powder is effective. They do not hesitate to dine on corpses of their own kind, even when the corpse has been poisoned! :actw:
 
I was brought up calling them Woodlouse .. maybe because my Nan was Scottish ..
 
Are those the roller ball ones? Because they make a pill shape?
Yes and because they were eaten as a cure for acid indigestion - calcium carbonate of the carapace cancelling out the excessive acidity of the stomach.
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When I saw '250 words for Slater' I immediately thought of former Aussie cricketer Michael Slater. As for woodlice, well, we call them woodlice 'round 'ere in the West Country!
 
Woodlice .....very much in the same category as silverfish.....haven’t seen either of them for years! I did recently see a devils coach horse though....great looking critters!
 
Woodlice .....very much in the same category as silverfish.....haven’t seen either of them for years! I did recently see a devils coach horse though....great looking critters!
I have lots of silverfish you can have...
 
Growing up in the States we called them pill bugs or sow bugs. "Sow bug" may have derived from the "hog louse" that gordonrutter mentioned.
 
Woodlouse and when I was a kid the older folk used to call them pigs. I do wonder where the association with pigs or sows comes fom as they don't look like them. But then neither does the hedgepig/hedgehog.
 
Woodlouse for me - born and bred in Warwickshire. Lived in Sussex for 20 years and everybody here calls them woodice too.

An ex-girlfriend of mine from Surrey called them 'cheesy bugs'.
 
Well it’s Woodlouse isn’t it?
Earwigs had more local names. Oop north, we called them Twitchy-bells but Survey of English Dialects has such delights as Battle-Twigs, Cat-O’-Two-Tails, Forking Robins and Harry-Wiggles amongst other names.
 
In Cornwall, when I was young, they were known as "sowpigs".

When we had an infestation of them in an old house we were renting when we first got married, my wife called them "woody bloodlice".
I'm on the Cornish side of the Cornwall/Devon border, and we called them "chuggy pigs"

Interesting! I (Southern English) call them 'woodlice', and the only alternative I know of is 'pillbugs'. I remember Ray Mears saying you can eat them, and they taste like prawns.
They are crustaceans, so that meakes sense.

I quite like them, unless they're in one on those mass conglomerations, but I'm quite fond of crustaceans; I used to keep freshwater shrimps, which I think are very cute, and we have a crayfish, called Ziggy Stardust, of whom I am inordinately fond!
 
Well it’s Woodlouse isn’t it?
Earwigs had more local names. Oop north, we called them Twitchy-bells but Survey of English Dialects has such delights as Battle-Twigs, Cat-O’-Two-Tails, Forking Robins and Harry-Wiggles amongst other names.
My Mum calls them 'forkytails'.
Years ago, we made our own wine from grapes that were overrun with earwigs. I made a wine label with the name 'Chateau Forquetaille' on it.
 
Woodlouse/Woodlice, I've only ever heard them called anything else on forums like this one when someone asks "What do you call these", or in books about local dialects. (BTW I'm from Lancashire if that makes any difference to the naming of these creatures.)
 
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Woodlouse, but I have heard pill bug and I knew that they are known as slaters in some parts so I knew immediately what this thread was about.

They have been on my mind recently as my strawberry patch is being attacked by woodlice. They seem to have a real taste for them. It isn't the birds either as the plants are protected by net. It is definitely the woodlice.
 
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