Butty, dingle, gongoozler: chances are you'll hear utterings of these strange words if you spend long enough on the towpath, but what do they mean? Introducing the first in our two-part glossary of the waterways…
A to L
Width of a narrowboat, determined by its widest cross section.
Short for butty-boat; a unpowered freight narrowboat towed behind a narrowboat with an engine. Butty is also Welsh for 'mate' or 'buddy'.
Boaters' term for canals because they were literally cut out of the land.
A tree-lined hollow through which a canal proceeds.
A person who enjoys watching activities on the canal, particularly at locks.
Long rake kept at docksides for removing debris from the lock. It looks a bit like a bent garden fork.
To leg (legging), verb
The act of propelling a narrowboat through a tunnel (without a towpath) by lying on the vessel and 'walking' along the roof of the tunnel.
A person employed to maintain a section of the canal, especially the water levels.
Words: Abigail Whyte
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