Well, come supper-time the woman said: 'Go you, and get one o' them there pies. I dare say they've come again now.'

The girl went and she looked, and there was nothing but the dishes. So back she came and says she: 'Noo, they ain't come again.'

'Not one of 'em?' says the mother.

'Not one of' 'em,' says she.

'Well, come again, or not come again,' said the woman, 'I'll have one for supper.'

'But you can't, if they ain't come,' said the girl.

'But I can,' says she. 'Go you, and bring the best of 'em.'

'Best or worst,' says the girl, 'I've ate 'em all, and you can't have one till that's come again.'

Well, the woman she was done, and she took her spinning to the door to spin, and as she span she sang:

'My darter ha' ate five, five pies today.
My darter ha' ate five, five pies today.'

This content is from "Tom Tit Tot" in English fairy tales. Could you teach the meaning "the woman she was done, and she took her spinning to the door to spin"?

1 Answer 1


The fairy tale is about spinning, making thread from fibres, and a pact with the Devil.

the woman she was done

"Done" could mean when the woman was finished speaking / arguing with her daughter or it could mean the woman was upset (because she now had no pies since her daughter ate them all).

she took her spinning to the door to spin

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Not to be confused with

enter image description here

and began to sing about her daughter, at which point the King overhears the woman singing...

  • Thank you for helpful answer. I misunderstood spinning as verbal noun of "spin". And Is "she" in "the woman she was done" the same person as "woman"? May 13, 2016 at 21:10
  • 1
    Yes, it is. You realise that this is not in standard English?
    – Colin Fine
    May 13, 2016 at 21:20
  • No, my English level isn't high enough to be able to judge whether this English is standard or not. May 13, 2016 at 21:45
  • @ColinFine is right: The colorful passage you quote is highly stylized. The passage stylistically represents (not faithfully reflects) rustic usage and rustic pronunciation at a certain place and time. Few readers whose native language is not English could make sense of this passage. Indeed, many readers whose native language is English would have trouble with it. The writer did not write this for foreign eyes to read! It is rather abstract, really.
    – thb
    May 14, 2016 at 2:43
  • I think the tale refers to hand spinning as shown here rather than wheel spinning, which you illustrated. Hard to get up and walk to the door with a wheel.... May 14, 2016 at 9:04

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