Mee-mawing

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Coordinates: 53°49′N 2°16′W / 53.82°N 2.26°W / 53.82; -2.26 Mee-mawing was a form of speech with exaggerated movements to allow lip reading employed by workers in weaving sheds in Lancashire in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The noise in a weaving shed rendered hearing impossible so workers communicated by mee-mawing which was a cross between mime and lip reading.[1] To have a private conversation when there were other weavers present, the speaker would cup their hand over their mouth to obscure vision. This was very necessary as a mee-mawer would be able to communicate over distances of tens of yards. It was said that each mill had its own dialect.

"Stop mee-mawing at me!" means "Stop pulling faces at me or talking behind my back!"

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References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Freethy 2008, p. 123
Bibliography
  • Freethy, Ron (2008). Memories of the Lancashire Cotton Mills. Newbury,Berks: Countryside Books. ISBN 978-1-84674-104-3.