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English-Jèrriais Dictionary

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English-Jèrriais Dictionary

2008 sees the appearance in print of the first handy-sized English-Jèrriais dictionary. It will be easier than ever for English speakers to use and appreciate Jersey's own language. The new Dictionnaithe Angliais-Jèrriais, produced by L'Office du Jèrriais and published by Le Don Balleine, is a companion to the popular Jèrriais-English dictionary published in 2005.

Based on the long tradition of Jèrriais lexicography, this 364-page paperback dictionary includes:

  • the contents of the 2005 dictionary, revised and cross-referenced to make translations as accessible as possible;
  • extra items checked against the authoritative 1966 Dictionnaire Jersiais-Français;
  • modern words collected from written and broadcast sources since 2005;
  • rare words from old Jèrriais literature collected since 2005 but unrecorded in previous dictionaries.

New entries are also included in a Jèrriais-English appendix, and for convenience a botanical appendix provides scientific Latin names for plants in Jèrriais.

The volume will retail at £14.95, but by reserving a copy from Le Don Balleine before 19th May 2008, purchasers can benefit from the special pre-publication price of only £12.50.

ISBN: 1 904210 09 0

Published: 19th May 2008 - Available now from the Société Jersiaise Online Shop »


This handy compact dictionary is the second edition of the first comprehensive dictionary of Jersey's own language to be produced for English-speakers. It is primarily intended to be useful, rather than over-scholarly, and to help as many people as possible use Jèrriais in the future as well as understand the wealth of literature written in the past.

This dictionary has not been recently created – it has been built on the long tradition of lexicography that has gone before. The bulk of the current dictionary is a revised version of the English-Jersey Language Vocabulary (Carré, 1972, in collaboration with Frank Le Maistre and Philip de Veulle). This in turn was based on the extensive research by Frank Le Maistre which culminated in the monumental Dictionnaire Jersiais-Français (Le Maistre, 1966), which included consultation of the Glossaire du Patois Jersiais, based on manuscript glossaries dating from the 19th century, and the work of Philippe Langlois, Augustus Le Gros and Thomas Gaudin and published in 1924; and the Glossary of Jersey French ( Spence, 1960). Other works consulted during our research were A Brief History of Jèrriais (Spence, 1993), Les Preunmié Mille Mots (Soc. Jers., 2000), Jersey Norman French (Jones, 2001), and Jèrriais: Jersey's Native Tongue (Jones, 2003).

In order to supplement the basic material imported from the English-Jersey Language Vocabulary and make it as useful as possible for Jèrriais-speakers and others in the 21st century, many of the English definitions have been revised and modernised and variant spellings have been listed separately for ease of use, and the following additional materials have been incorporated:

  • Items and definitions from the Dictionnaire Jersiais-Français that do not appear in the English-Jersey Language Vocabulary.
  • Words attested in literary texts, other written texts such as newspapers, and oral and broadcast sources that do not appear in either the Dictionnaire Jersiais-Français or English-Jersey Language Vocabulary.
  • Neologisms, new words developed after research and scrutiny and used in modern situations.
  • Place names, personal names, chemical, ornithological, botanical and ichthyological vocabulary.
  • Additional grammatical forms of verbs, nouns, adverbs conjugated regularly from lexis referenced in existing lexicographical sources.


The alphabetical listing is organised as follows:

  • Headwords are listed in alphabetical order without regard to apostrophes, accents, initial articles or prepositions. Parts of speech are ranked by alphabetical order. The feminine gender comes before masculine alphabetically.
  • The headword is given in bold with the gender (and number where necessary) given following the relevant word.
  • The part of speech is given in italics, followed by the definition or definitions in English.
  • Many definitions are followed by annotations, indicating either source of item or lexical category. Lexical categories indicated by annotations in the English-Jersey Language Vocabulary are retained here and have been supplemented by additional categories and annotations.
  • Unless otherwise annotated, all items are from English-Jersey Language Vocabulary. Items from other sources are marked as DJF: if they are taken from the Dictionnaire Jersiais-Français; as GJF: if taken from the Glossary of Jersey-French, and as Lit: if attested in a literary source (generally, an older text by a recognised author).
  • Items which are considered conscious neologisms are marked New: but this category is subjective and many of these words could be included within the category Add:.
  • Category Add: covers items attested in oral and broadcast sources, items attested in written sources not classified as literary, items from vocabulary lists and educational resources, and items that are derived according to standard grammatical rules from material already included in the word-base of the Dictionnaire Jersiais-Français.
  • Attested items are modernised and listed in the standard orthography in accordance with the principles of the Dictionnaire Jersiais-Français rather than the spelling of the original attestations.


In order to keep this volume to convenient size, it has not been practical to include everything that might be desirable. Although the complete English-Jersey Language Vocabulary (Carré, 1972) is included, not all items contained in Dictionnaire Jersiais-Français (Le Maistre, 1966) have been incorporated.

There is no pronunciation guide: users are advised to consult Lé Jèrriais Pour Tous (Birt, 1985) for pronunciation, as well as for conjugations of verbs and other grammar information.

No dialectological information is given: users requiring information on how words are spelt and used in different parts of Jersey are advised to refer to the Dictionnaire Jersiais-Français.

Simple definitions are given but are not exhaustive. No examples of usage in context are given, but again, readers are advised to consult the wealth of this information in the Dictionnaire Jersiais-Français.

No explanations are given except in cases where an item is so specialised that no simple equivalent can be found in English.

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