Author Topic: Obscure or Obsolete Caving Terms  (Read 1975 times)

Offline mikem

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Re: Obscure or Obsolete Caving Terms
« Reply #25 on: July 08, 2020, 01:21:28 pm »
They are certainly related (the Tie Press in Sidcot being longer than it is wide).

Ruckle is used twice in this northern description from 1989:
https://www.braemoor.co.uk/caving/penyghent.shtml
The difference being that there is a route through a ruckle, whilst there isn't through a choke.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 01:44:59 pm by mikem »

Offline langcliffe

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Re: Obscure or Obsolete Caving Terms
« Reply #26 on: July 08, 2020, 01:25:52 pm »
Could "flattener" be a literal translation of something like "press" eg the Cheese Press?

Mary Wilde, our esteemed librarian, has come up trumps with this.  The original French in Escalades Souterraines was laminor  terminal. Laminoir is the French for a bedding plane passage, so flattener is an uninformative translation.

Offline mikem

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Re: Obscure or Obsolete Caving Terms
« Reply #27 on: July 08, 2020, 01:28:50 pm »
& in Google translate "laminoire" is a rolling mill, so yes! It's obviously also related to our laminate.

(I guess it's more informative to the layman, that the books were being translated for, than the more technical alternatives).
« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 01:41:46 pm by mikem »

Offline langcliffe

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Re: Obscure or Obsolete Caving Terms
« Reply #28 on: July 08, 2020, 02:01:47 pm »
The difference being that there is a route through a ruckle, whilst there isn't through a choke.

I can understand your logic, but in common caving parlance, I'm not convinced. The latest Northen Caves, for example, describes the Notts II to Lost Johns' connection as: "Beyond here is involved route rising through a complex choke for 140 m to emerge at the top of boulder choke at end of Lyle Cavern High Level Series".

Offline zzzzzzed

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Re: Obscure or Obsolete Caving Terms
« Reply #29 on: July 08, 2020, 02:14:23 pm »
According to Google 'flat' comes from the old Norse 'flatr'.  Then I Googled it again and it said it came from the Scottish 'flet' (which could have come from the Norse I suppose).

Flatteners are used in the glass and steel making industries.

So it would be understandable for anyone who had worked in those industries to refer to a tight flatout crawl as a flattener.

That's just me guessing though.

Offline aricooperdavis

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Re: Obscure or Obsolete Caving Terms
« Reply #30 on: July 08, 2020, 02:16:37 pm »
The difference being that there is a route through a ruckle, whilst there isn't through a choke.

This was my understanding too; I'd expect a choke to be "choked" with boulders and therefore obstructed whereas a boulder ruckle is just... ruckled...

What happens when you find a way through a choke? Does it become a ruckle?

Offline mikem

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Re: Obscure or Obsolete Caving Terms
« Reply #31 on: July 08, 2020, 02:26:31 pm »
Down here we have Flat Holm & Steep Holm (Holm being Norse for island, although steep apparently is proto Germanic), one being wide & low, the other narrow & tall (cliffs), both have caves...

It seems that flat has come from Norse, whilst Scottish meant the floor of a house (hence its use for blocks of flats), & platform is also related, but is from Latin & French.

The difference being that there is a route through a ruckle, whilst there isn't through a choke.

I can understand your logic, but in common caving parlance, I'm not convinced. The latest Northen Caves, for example, describes the Notts II to Lost Johns' connection as: "Beyond here is involved route rising through a complex choke for 140 m to emerge at the top of boulder choke at end of Lyle Cavern High Level Series".
But was that route obviously open originally, or was it engineered? I agree that cavers aren't very good at differentiating all sorts of things!
« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 02:45:46 pm by mikem »

Offline Duck ditch

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Re: Obscure or Obsolete Caving Terms
« Reply #32 on: July 08, 2020, 02:45:31 pm »
Although you might name something a hall or gallery, I’m assuming most say they have entered a chamber.  Americans say a room even though it’s the same language (ish).   A pit not a pitch. Has anyone in the uk called themselves a spelunker?

Offline mikem

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Re: Obscure or Obsolete Caving Terms
« Reply #33 on: July 08, 2020, 02:53:24 pm »
Chambre being French for room...

A gallery was originally a higher level walkway along the side of the room, where minstrels might play, or lined with paintings - hence an upper decorated passage. But now used for any space where art is displayed.

Offline Fjell

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Re: Obscure or Obsolete Caving Terms
« Reply #34 on: July 08, 2020, 03:01:15 pm »
Flatholm or very commonly flatholmen, is a frequent island name in Norway. Always the same shape, usually with a varde on top to be helpful.

Swarth Fell near here is really Svart Fjell - Black Hill, which is obvious when you go there.

The thing about Norse names is they tend to be pretty literal. Even all the troll ones, once you believe in trolls. And who wouldn’t? All those power lines, it’s terrifying when you know the truth.




Offline mikem

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Re: Obscure or Obsolete Caving Terms
« Reply #35 on: July 08, 2020, 03:20:23 pm »
As are many European names, even English (although we tend to have lost the meaning, in the mix of Anglo Saxon, French, Latin, Norse, German & Celtic that makes up our language).

The video won't play embedded, but does if you go to YouTube.

Offline Fishes

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Re: Obscure or Obsolete Caving Terms
« Reply #36 on: July 08, 2020, 05:24:39 pm »
Gallery is also used to describe horizontal (or nearly horizontal) passages in mining

Offline Duck ditch

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Re: Obscure or Obsolete Caving Terms
« Reply #37 on: July 08, 2020, 05:43:41 pm »
Aven too.  Probably from mining.  I thought french too but wiki says an aven in French is a swallow hole.  Which then brings in swallet.  Not many of those oop north.

Offline Subpopulus Hibernia

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Re: Obscure or Obsolete Caving Terms
« Reply #38 on: July 08, 2020, 06:23:26 pm »
Gallery is also used to describe horizontal (or nearly horizontal) passages in mining
Mining terminology is a whole other kettle of fish...

Aven too.  Probably from mining.  I thought french too but wiki says an aven in French is a swallow hole.  Which then brings in swallet.  Not many of those oop north.

I've always been intrigued by the word aven - especially since i found that in French it means a shaft, as seen from above, whereas in English usage it means a shaft, as seen from below. It's a curious inversion...

The etymology is strange too - it originally meant river in old Celtic languages. So the same root as the River 'Avon'. The word is still in use in Irish as 'abhainn', and Welsh as 'afon'. And from there to meaning swallowhole in French.

Like you I'd always assumed that the word was then borrowed from French, but is there really a case that it came into caving from an earlier mining term?
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Offline mikem

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Re: Obscure or Obsolete Caving Terms
« Reply #39 on: July 08, 2020, 06:35:33 pm »
Possibly avenir "to come up to", presumably same source as avenue.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 06:46:28 pm by mikem »

Offline Andy Farrant

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Re: Obscure or Obsolete Caving Terms
« Reply #40 on: July 08, 2020, 07:01:23 pm »
As far as I understand it, a ruckle is a  term borrowed from the peat industry, a 'ruckle' being a pile of peat turves (peat 'bricks') stacked up for drying. These 'ruckles' could be a couple of metres tall. So, there is a similarity between a stack of peat turves and a pile of boulders.  Willie Stanton used the term in many of his papers and articles. See https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/woman-completes-a-ruckle-of-peat-in-somerset-news-photo/3267045

Offline Pie Muncher

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Re: Obscure or Obsolete Caving Terms
« Reply #41 on: July 08, 2020, 07:11:38 pm »

What happens when you find a way through a choke? Does it become a ruckle?

We call it a break through  ;)
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Offline JasonC

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Re: Obscure or Obsolete Caving Terms
« Reply #42 on: July 08, 2020, 08:37:31 pm »

What happens when you find a way through a choke? Does it become a ruckle?

We call it a break through  ;)

A chuckle?

Offline Subpopulus Hibernia

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Re: Obscure or Obsolete Caving Terms
« Reply #43 on: July 08, 2020, 08:59:33 pm »
Another term for boulder choke that I've seen is 'Boulder Jam'

I think I read it in J.C. Coleman's Caves of Ireland (1965).
Born Salzburg 1691. B.Phil. University of 's-Hertogenbosch 1718. Personal assistant to King Frederick of Liechtenstein, 1803-1857. Speaker of 35th Upper Silesian Parliament (fl. 1904-5). Owner/operator, Bridgend Underwear Factory, 1973-present.

Offline aricooperdavis

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Re: Obscure or Obsolete Caving Terms
« Reply #44 on: July 08, 2020, 10:15:33 pm »
Americans say a room even though it’s the same language (ish).   A pit not a pitch.

I'm not sure an American pit is equivalent to a British pitch, I think it might be closer to a British pot?

Offline mikem

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Re: Obscure or Obsolete Caving Terms
« Reply #45 on: July 08, 2020, 10:38:14 pm »
Do they bother breaking them into pitches?

Offline Subpopulus Hibernia

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Re: Obscure or Obsolete Caving Terms
« Reply #46 on: July 08, 2020, 11:10:42 pm »
Possibly avenir "to come up to", presumably same source as avenue.

Possibly, but it would be odd that the French 'aven' and the English 'aven' would have completely different etymologies to describe almost the same thing.
Born Salzburg 1691. B.Phil. University of 's-Hertogenbosch 1718. Personal assistant to King Frederick of Liechtenstein, 1803-1857. Speaker of 35th Upper Silesian Parliament (fl. 1904-5). Owner/operator, Bridgend Underwear Factory, 1973-present.

Offline mikem

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Re: Obscure or Obsolete Caving Terms
« Reply #47 on: July 08, 2020, 11:25:25 pm »
It will have the same root, but isn't necessarily from Avon / afon. May just be that we already had a word for an open vertical shaft, so used it for closed ones.

Offline shotlighter

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Re: Obscure or Obsolete Caving Terms
« Reply #48 on: July 08, 2020, 11:58:37 pm »
Creep hole was one used in the 1950s this comes from a  Sheffield star newspaper article concerning the discovery of a cave during the construction of the taddington bypass, sadly the cave is lost.
I've also come across "creep hole" in some of Nellie Kirkhams write ups. IIRC she  used the term to describe some small passages in the very early bits of Ecton. 

Online RobinGriffiths

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Re: Obscure or Obsolete Caving Terms
« Reply #49 on: July 09, 2020, 12:36:43 am »
Sounds a bit Enid Blyton does 'creep hole'. Mind, she used to have a cave or mine in most books.

 

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