‘‘A few months before you were born—on her trip to Australia—at Mola or Molo something or other. It took me three evenings to get it all out.’

‘Ay—mother’s suspicious of questions,’ said Miss Henschil to Conroy. ‘She’ll lock the door of every room she’s in, if it’s but for five minutes. She was a Tackberry from Jarrow way, yo’ see.’

This is from "In the Same Boat " by Rudyard Kipling.

I don't understand the meaning of--- a Tackberry from Jarrow way

I am glad if someone would kindly teach me.

1 Answer 1


Miss Henschil is telling Conroy these things:

(1) her mother's surname before she was married (Tackberry)

If a woman called Miss Tackberry married a Mr Henschil (and adopted his surname), it would be old fashioned, but still common, to say that she 'was a Tackberry'.

(2) the town or area where she was born (at or near Jarrow in North East England).

From the way Kipling represents her speech it seems that Miss Henschil speaks in North East dialect ('Ay' for 'yes', 'but for' for 'only for', 'way' after a place name, and 'yo' for 'you'). Miss Henschil tells this to explain to Conroy that people from Jarrow are famously suspicious by nature, which is why her mother was reluctant to answer Conroy's questions.

  • Michael, thank you very much for your precise and helpful answer! Jan 19, 2022 at 23:54

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