lexicon

piecewerk perambulates the bounds, an emergent vocabulary

commoning

Verb: a social practice. A web of cooperative relations. Self-organisation to meet people’s needs and desires. A political strategy.

enclosure

The violent elimination of customs, practices, social bonds and modes of life within nature that stand in the way of monetary profit. The creation of hierarchies built upon gender, race and class to mobilise certain bodies for certain labour.

glean

To gather information or material slowly, bit by bit. Historically, gleaning is the custom of gathering left-over grain or other produce from the field after the reaping of the harvest.

go-slow

A form of industrial action in which work or progress is deliberately delayed or slowed down.

idle

Taken from the Germanic word for worthless, to be idle is to squander something that could be turning a profit. The inverse of improvement.

improvement

To do something for profit, especially to make profit from land. In its original meaning, to improve meant to raise rents and an improver made land productive and profitable.

making shift

To make shift is to hack. A survival strategy under strained circumstances.

neighbour

A person living on adjacent or nearby land; a person situated adjacently or nearby; anything (of the same type of thing as the subject) in an adjacent or nearby position. One who is near in sympathy or confidence. A fellow human being.

open-field

The prevalent agricultural system in much of Europe before the rise of capitalism. Associated with the commons and common ownership, land was held in long thin strips and after the harvest was used for common grazing. Physical openness; a landscape devoid of internal hedges or fences.

perambulating the bounds

To walk or travel through or round a place or area, especially for pleasure and in a leisurely way;​ ​to officially assert or record boundaries by swatting local landmarks with branches to maintain a shared​ ​mental map of parish boundaries, usually every seven years.

piecework

A type of employment where a worker is paid a fixed rate for each piece produced or action performed regardless of time spent working. Over the centuries many women have been​ ​employed in this way, taking in extra, textile-based work as a way to supplement the household income.

pissing while

In contemporary slang to ‘piss’ around or about is to indulge in childish activities or time wasting. ‘Pissing​ ​while’ speaks to moments of distraction, spells of idleness, and time spent indulging in things that are not​ ​‘useful’.

ply

Verb: to use or wield steadily, to practice or perform steadily; to keep furnishing or supplying something to; to​ ​travel regularly on, over or through a particular route or between two particular places; to twist together.

Noun: the folds, layers or threads that make up something.

potter

To occupy oneself in a desultory but pleasant way; to move around without hurrying.

refuse

Trash/discard; unwillingness to accept or grant something.

remainder

A portion left over; the right to the remainder. A key practice of pre-capitalist moral economies rooted in the ethic of redistribution.

spell

To take a rest from work. To have a turn.

waste

Abundance; shared surplus from the commons; a system of reciprocal relations and obligations, entailing modes of life free of dependence on capitalist markets; subsistence; commonwealth.

woolgathering

To engage in idle or aimless daydreaming, speculation; contemplating things without purpose; mind-wandering. Historically, woolgathering referred to the act of gathering loose tufts of wool caught on bushes and fences as sheep passed by.