Mashing the tea.

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Mike Sales
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Mashing the tea.

Postby Mike Sales » 20 Dec 2019, 8:59pm

As an English exercise at school we had to describe how to make a cup of tea. To the consternation of the teacher I used the word "mash" where "brew" might be expected. It was the word we used at home.
Does anyone remember using this word? And can anybody locate it in an English region?
I have a little book somewhere about my childhood dialect called "Ey up,mi duck".

buryman
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Re: Mashing the tea.

Postby buryman » 20 Dec 2019, 9:03pm

Bradford in the 50s we mashed tea.

Toffee
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Re: Mashing the tea.

Postby Toffee » 20 Dec 2019, 9:13pm

Always used mash for letting the tea brew. Sunderland since the 60's

D363
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Re: Mashing the tea.

Postby D363 » 20 Dec 2019, 9:15pm

You were right to use the term and the teacher was reacting in ignorance of the varied meanings of the word. Even in standard English, to mash is to steep and as such the term is apt for making a cup of chugga.

In the brewing trade it's used to describe the process of soaking the malted barley in hot water to extract the sugars. At a later stage this is brewed to make alcohol.

People still mash tea in parts of Yorkshire and the Midlands, maybe elsewhere too.

Is ay up me duck Staffordshire?

Could it be due to the prevalence of breweries in the Midlands that people talked of mashing tea? In other words they knew that particular meaning of the word, and that it was applicable to making tea? Edit: apparently not, clearly everyone was at it!

Mike Sales
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Re: Mashing the tea.

Postby Mike Sales » 20 Dec 2019, 9:20pm

D363 wrote:You were right to use the term and the teacher was reacting in ignorance of the varied meanings of the word. Even in standard English, to mash is to steep and as such the term is apt for making a cup of chugga.

In the brewing trade it's used to describe the process of soaking the malted barley in hot water to extract the sugars. At a later stage this is brewed to make alcohol.

People still mash tea in parts of Yorkshire and the Midlands, maybe elsewhere too.

Is ay up me duck Staffordshire?

Could it be due to the prevalence of breweries in the Midlands that people talked of mashing tea? In other words they knew that particular meaning of the word, and that it was applicable to making tea? Edit: apparently not, clearly everyone was at it!


He was a teacher I liked and respected, even so.
The brewing connection has occurred to me too.

Polisman
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Re: Mashing the tea.

Postby Polisman » 20 Dec 2019, 9:23pm

My old boy always said he was going to 'put a good mash on', when brewing up. Bradford born and bred, railwayman all his days. So he knew a thing or two about a good brew. :lol:

Mike Sales
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Re: Mashing the tea.

Postby Mike Sales » 20 Dec 2019, 9:27pm

Ey up, mi duck is about the dialect of Pinxton, a pit village a few miles north of Nottingham. "Mash" is the word used there.

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Cugel
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Re: Mashing the tea.

Postby Cugel » 20 Dec 2019, 10:52pm

Mr 363 identifies the correct word as "mash" for making tea. The leaves are soaked in hot water to extract their stuff. The liquor so-extracted is not poured off then then stood about to perform some biochemical transformation process (brewing) with yeast or otherwise.

Mind, being a refined petit bourgeois myself, the word "make" is used in wor hoose. I make a pot or a cup of tea. Naturally I sips it only from a bone china cup with a nice saucer and never put sugar or milk in it. Mashers will sup it, sometimes from the saucer instead of the cup, the rascals! Or from a large ugly mug.

483 years ago, when I were a lad, bus conductors and others taking work-breaks had enamelled canteens in which they mashed tea until it was like brown glue. They could only drink it by watering it down with sterilised milk, which together with the brown gloop made the most disgusting drink ever thought up by humans. Well ... unless you know of a worserer one. Perhaps this is where "brew" comes from? Gawd knows what chemicals were produced by that gloop + sterilised cowjuice + sugar + the crust of old goo lining the canteen.

Cugel

Tangled Metal
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Re: Mashing the tea.

Postby Tangled Metal » 21 Dec 2019, 12:48am

English language not dialect. Mash is steeping often in water. Nothing dialect about that. However regional language trends mean brew or mash is the preferred word.

To my mind this isn't dialect

D363
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Re: Mashing the tea.

Postby D363 » 21 Dec 2019, 8:45am

Tangled Metal wrote:English language not dialect. Mash is steeping often in water. Nothing dialect about that. However regional language trends mean brew or mash is the preferred word.

To my mind this isn't dialect


Those regional trends are exactly what dialect is though. In this case the term is also correct as standard English, but paradoxically many who speak what they would consider neutral or standard English don't realise that, as with the teacher above.

Even today, many reasonably educated people see mash as a local exoticism in its application to making tea.

Mike Sales
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Re: Mashing the tea.

Postby Mike Sales » 21 Dec 2019, 8:54am

D363 wrote:
Tangled Metal wrote:English language not dialect. Mash is steeping often in water. Nothing dialect about that. However regional language trends mean brew or mash is the preferred word.

To my mind this isn't dialect


Those regional trends are exactly what dialect is. In this case the term is also correct as standard English, but paradoxically many who speak what they would consider neutral or standard English don't realise that.

Even today, many reasonably educated people see mash as a local exoticism in its application to making tea.


Quite. Most, if not all dialect words have a long provenance and their roots in one of the regional forms of English which grew into Modern English, or perhaps the languages that contributed.

Mike Sales
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Re: Mashing the tea.

Postby Mike Sales » 21 Dec 2019, 9:28am

Mike Sales wrote:
D363 wrote:
Tangled Metal wrote:English language not dialect. Mash is steeping often in water. Nothing dialect about that. However regional language trends mean brew or mash is the preferred word.

To my mind this isn't dialect


Those regional trends are exactly what dialect is. In this case the term is also correct as standard English, but paradoxically many who speak what they would consider neutral or standard English don't realise that.

Even today, many reasonably educated people see mash as a local exoticism in its application to making tea.


Quite. Most, if not all dialect words have a long provenance and their roots in one of the regional forms of English which grew into Modern English, or perhaps the languages that contributed.


Is the disdain for dialect words rooted in the process by which the dialect of south east England became predominant over other regional forms?

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100%JR
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Re: Mashing the tea.

Postby 100%JR » 21 Dec 2019, 9:41am

I thought everyone mashed Tea?
Never heard anyone say "brew" the Tea!?
Brew Beer.
Mash Tea :mrgreen:

Mike Sales
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Re: Mashing the tea.

Postby Mike Sales » 21 Dec 2019, 9:55am

100%JR wrote:I thought everyone mashed Tea?
Never heard anyone say "brew" the Tea!?
Brew Beer.
Mash Tea :mrgreen:


But, as pointed out above, "mash" is a word used for part of the beer making process.

"Drum up" is a term I have come across in a cycling context, for stopping on a club run and putting the kettle on and making tea.

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Spinners
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Re: Mashing the tea.

Postby Spinners » 21 Dec 2019, 10:09am

Mike Sales wrote:I have a little book somewhere about my childhood dialect called "Ey up,mi duck".



When our head office was in Alfreton (Derbyshire) I'd often hear that charming welcome.

I've heard of 'mashing the tea' but never in my home area of South Wales or where my other family members are from (Middlesbrough & Bristol).
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