Gonister, slift, wink, haslets, ronds and ranns


Senior Member
Russian, Spanish
Roy Campbell gave the following definition to the products found in one of the most popular meat markets in Europe, the Smithfields, though he seems to be using the "slang" of the butchers to refer to these products sold there, could you paraphrase or find the common terms in "ordinary" English for some of these? Not even nowadays butchers can tell me about the highlighted terms below, thanks:

"Here are a few of them: Gonister, griskin and ponies; slift and back tortoise; flaps and knaps; skink and wink; chucks and plucks; heartspoon and haslets; ronds and ranns. Some of these words are really magnificent."

in New Criterion, 1927 (summer), p. 47.
  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Haslet is in the dictionaries, Bloom. I know it as a sort of cooked herbed mincemeat, a bit like a faggot (in the BE sense of the term). Here's Wiki on faggots:

    A faggot is a kind of meatball. Faggots are a traditional dish in the UK, especially the Midlands of England. It is made from meat off-cuts and offal, especially pork. A faggot is traditionally made from pig's heart, liver and fatty belly meat or bacon minced together, with herbs added for flavouring and sometimes breadcrumbs.

    Many an American tourist has been tempted to try the Faggots with onion gravy on British pub menus.
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    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    slift: The fleshy part of a leg of beef.
    a1825 FORBY Voc. E. Anglia 307 The grand round of beef is the upper and under slift together. 1897 RYE Norfolk Songs, etc. 70 Nor is slift of beef preferred by Norwichers to sirloin.

    haslet: A piece of meat to be roasted, esp. part of the entrails of a hog; pig's fry; also, the ‘pluck’ or ‘gather’ (heart, liver, etc.) of other animals, as the sheep, calf, etc.

    rond/rand: A strip or long slice of meat.
    1735 B. N. DEFOE New Eng. Dict. (at cited word), A Rand of Beef, a long fleshy Piece of Meat, cut from between the Flank and the Buttock.
    1895 W. RYE Gloss. Words East Anglia, Rand..[seems] to signify any fleshy piece from the edges of the larger divisions of the hind quarter, the rump, loin, or leg.
    R. G. NOSEWORTHY Dial. Surv. Grand Bank, Newfoundland in Dict. Newfoundland Eng., Rans, strips of pork from the back-bone (of the pig) to the belly.

    The OED doesn't have the others.

    Thank you for reminding me about griskin/griskins :)


    Senior Member
    English English
    skink is a Scots word for a shin, knuckle or hough of beef which has developed the secondary meaning of a soup, especially one made from these. The word skink is ultimately derived from Middle Dutch schenke "shin, hough",[1], also the root of the English word shank.

    The haslet(t) Mr.T refers to is quite popular in NW England. It looks like this.
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    Senior Member
    English - England
    Pluck is in the OED:
    3. a. The heart, liver, lungs, and other viscera of an animal, as used for food.
    This is the meaning that gives us the word pluck meaning courage.
    one of the most popular meat markets in Europe, the Smithfields
    The market is called Smithfields, without the.
    It is not clear to me in what sense it is popular.
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