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A Great Big Talkative Loaf


  1. Pleasant; outspoken; honest; genuine; straightforward; generous.
  2. A small oatmeal loaf.

‘The people of Lancashire were jannock… and they wanted any Government that they might support to be jannock also.’
– Manchester Guardian (1897).

I’m struggling to think of a word with two definitions more different. On the one hand, someone who is straightforward. On the other, a loaf of bread. The bread came first. It came from the Old English word ‘ianock’ and that was a type of bread in Lancashire, in northern England. Specifically, an oatmeal loaf. This type of bread was seen as the food of fair and strong people. Tall, honest, genuine northerners. Over time, this became the definition. And it’s how we’ve ended up with two very different meanings. And a part of one meaning is outspoken. Something I’m not. I’m not given to blowing my own trumpet…

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