Describing the discomfort of a tiny piece of wood getting stuck in your finger unveiled a kaleidoscope of expressions. The prevailing term was splinter, which was used by 79% of survey respondents. This word stands as the universal choice in the majority of the south of England, with the northern part of the country offering more regional variation.
The word spelk was shared by 6% of respondents, the majority of who grew up in the northeast. The word continues to be used across all generations, bar those aged under 11. People described a spell across a range of regions, including Middlesbrough, Hull, North Lincolnshire, Sheffield, and across the Pennines into Huddersfield, Manchester, Blackburn and Burnley, and up through to Cumbria. Spell is, however, less common amongst young people than amongst their older counterparts. Meanwhile, if you venture into southern Lincolnshire and the northern Fenlands of East Anglia, your finger might be victim to a shiver.