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Northern folk - did Jinny/Ginny Greenteeth make your childhood scary?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by magic surf bus, May 18, 2019.

  1. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    No, not another inane influencer thread - honest.

    I'm currently involved in some local history research involving caves, overhangs, and other rocky nooks and crannies in our part of the northwest. I'm reasonably certain that local folklore ascribed bogeyman/woman names to selected places to scare children away from them, and I recently heard of a cave being named after popular northwest bugbear Jinny (or Ginny) Greenteeth.

    It is well known that J/Ginny was more typically ascribed to water-related hazards, or might have been used to describe duckweed to stop kids from treading on it.

    So my question to the northern branch of the TES collective (or those with northern connections) is this: Was J/Ginny ever a part of your childhood nightmarescape, and if so, with which foul place or deeds was she connected?
  2. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    Morning, MSB!

    Nope, never heard of her, I'm afraid. In fact, I don't remember any names given to the bogeyman who might 'get you'.
    magic surf bus likes this.
  3. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

  4. cariadwch

    cariadwch Established commenter

    I had a copy of John Rhys' Welsh Cave Legends, may be an interesting read for you. A lot of Northern English folklore has ancient Celtic origins and some of the stories are rooted in the Old Welsh North (Yr Hen Ogledd) , the north west lands between the Mersey and the Clyde.
    magic surf bus likes this.
  5. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    Never heard of her.
    But in Cornwall, when I was a child, I overheard someone threaten their child with Boney. I think this referred to Napoleon, rather than a skeleton. This was in the early seventies.
    magic surf bus likes this.
  6. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    When Mike Harding did stand up comedy in the 1970s he had a short routine about Jinny Greenteeth living down grids (drain covers for those outside the NW region) in Crumpsall, where he grew up. In an urban setting drains would be a hazard if kids got too curious about them. It could be an older generation thing.
  7. Ivartheboneless

    Ivartheboneless Star commenter

    Grids are drain entrances for letting the water in, drain covers are solid. No never heard of Jinny thing, and I am from the heartland of t'mills in SE Lancashire.
    The area you mention is not strictly Welsh, but Britons, who of course mostly became the Welsh as the Anglo-Saxons pushed them west. One of the heartlands of Ancient Britons, so I have read was Elmet, which seems to have been a roughly undefined area of the pennines in West Yorkshire and North Lancashire (including Pendle area famous for the witches, who were nothing of the sort, at least not in the way fiction depicts them). There is, or was a huge amount of folklore handed down right up to the 1960s, but I fear sadly it is gone now.
  8. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    I have heard of her, though not as a child, most probably in the Mike Harding routine mentioned.
  9. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    My undergraduate room-mate from Urmston used to describe lifting grids as a malicious child so peoples' bikes would snag their wheels in the exposed holes. My use of drain covers is a trifle innaccurate there I accept.
  10. cariadwch

    cariadwch Established commenter

    That is correct as Wales didnt coalesce into a political and cultural entity until the 8th century. It is believed that the Brythonic dialects of the Old North (Cumbric) were very similar to early Welsh and the territory contributed a great deal to early Welsh literature and in within Wales the Northern geneologies, stories and legends, like Y Gododdin, and Taliesin were written down. Sadly there is no surviving written record of actual Cumbric.
  11. Ivartheboneless

    Ivartheboneless Star commenter

    There isn't much evidence of "Lancashire dialect" either. I live in Wales but have very little knowledge of the language (I don't think I have enough spit!), I was always rubbish at language at school, no latin ever stuck and I got chucked off the French O level course. Interesting stuff.
  12. Jude Fawley

    Jude Fawley Star commenter

    I was born in the village of Euxton in East Lancashire in 1960. We lived on the edge of the river Yarrow about two metres from the back door. I was born in Pincock Street near the mills. Alongside the Yarrow were pools full of 'Jenny Greenteeth'. We said 'Jenny' not 'Ginny'.

    Another saying that was prevalent and came as an outburst was 'friggin hell'. My sisters said it all the time. I grew up at a time when everyone had 'handles' or nicknames 'Old Joe Goldsworthy', 'King Ale Jimmy', 'Blind Joe', 'Joe Bummy', etc. We had our hair cut by an old fella in his kitchen. 'Nelly Bolton' delivered the milk and we helped out. It was a village of large extended families with grandparents living at home with the family. It was also a Catholic stronghold.

    We had places like 'Devil's Drop' in the woods. We would slide down 'Devil's Drop' on beer trays in the snow. We were told a certain pond was bottomless. It was called 'The Merle'. There were flooded quarries and old viaducts and a big sand quarry.

    Past the old Royal Ordnance Factory (the ROF) was Euxton Lane where older men told us they could reach 100 mph on a motorbike or in a car.

    It was a golden time of small hut cafes and corner shops and as of seven o'clock on Saturday night you couldn't buy anything until Monday 8 a.m. at the petrol pumps. Car batteries were trickle charged at the garage and you'd go there to get your bike innertubes repaired.

    It was bliss.

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