Down To The Last Slice

breadI heard a comment about the names people have for the end slice of a loaf. An inane sort of topic one might think.

Lots of answers were being given, such as  Heel, Bite, Crust, Dobie,  but none used the word that I grew up with.

My father always called the end slices of a loaf  the ‘Noggy-ends’, and this was the term I used in my turn.  I had no idea where that came from. Pop was brought up in south London but his parents were a Geordie miner and Oxford farmer’s lass respectively, so it could have come from anywhere.

As a writer I am often researching old expressions for various everyday items for stories set in a particular time frame. It adds verisimilitude (I hope).

Given that Noggy-end is a term I have not heard for some years I thought I would look it up.  Twenty five different online slang dictionaries later (yes, I am that sad)  I had found just 4 references.

ref 1 = London: slang – end of loaf.

So far so good.  But… I also found:

• American slang Noggy : term used offshore to refer to a Norwegian person – Englishman is a limey a Norwegian is a Noggy.
• Australian slang: Noggy: term used 1950s – for Vietnamese or similar asian person
• Black country/Birmingham : slang for outdated or old fashioned.

Granted these last four were all ‘Noggy’ and not ‘Noggy-end’ but it is food for thought.

Given that ‘Noggy-ends’ appear to be drifting off into the mists of time, and that ‘Noggy’ has numerous possible meanings,  will it re-emerge sometime in the future as a slang term used in mid to late 19th century for all of these things?

I have to wonder – how accurate are the slang dictionaries that we writers are using now?

Should we be logging these vanishing words and phrases now for posterity?

More food for thought.

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