skip to main content

A Guide to Understanding Broad Norfolk

Published date: September 2020

A Guide to Understanding Broad Norfolk

The Norfolk dialect which is also known as Broad Norfolk has some fantastic words and phrases unique to this part of the country. Norfolk folk can get a little cross when people try and imitate their accents, often talking more like someone from the west country rather than someone who is Norfolk born and bred!

The following is a simple guide for those visiting Norfolk, so that you can familiarise yourself with some typical words and phrases that may be heard when in the county.

Some must-learn phrases for when in Norfolk:

‘Oid rarely loike a bear’ – ‘A pint of your finest beer please old chap’.

Oh dare, oi hit a dare’ – ‘Unfortunately I seem to have hit a deer with my motor vehicle’.

‘Keep yew a troshin, moined ow yew gooo’ – ‘Look after yourself’.

‘Bor, thassa lud a ole squit’ – ‘Fellow, what you have just said is a load of nonsense’

‘Afta a fooo bears I wuz on the huh’ - ‘Too many beers left me feeling awry’.

‘I driv all way a Cromer an on way back tha snew’ –‘ I drove my motor vehicle all the way to Cromer and on the way back it snowed’.

‘Come yew hair, a’yer got a light boi?’ – ‘Would you mind coming here so I could trouble you for a match to light my cigarette?’

‘Ar yer orrite bor?’ ‘Hello, how are you?’

‘Co ter heck, thass a rum un’ – ‘My goodness! How very strange!’

Norfolk vowels dictate that a bear and a beer sound the same. The same goes for pear, pair and pier. For example, ‘I ate a pear on Cromer pear, followed by a pint of bear whilst holding my granddaughter’s teddy bear’.

Some fascinating Norfolk dialect words and their meanings:

Bishy-barney-bee - ladybird

Botty - fussy

Brawk - to belch loudly

Chimley - chimney

Coshies and cushies - sweets

Cuckoo - cocoa

Erriwiggle - earwig

Floater/swimmer - Norfolk dumplings

Furriner - someone who is not from Norfolk but from furrin (foreign) parts

Haller - to shout loudly

Hedge Betty - hedge sparrow

Hold yew hard - hang on a moment/listen a moment

Mardle - to chat/gossip

Mawkin - scarecrow

Mawther - woman or girl

Muckwash - sweat profusely

Old Year’s Night - New Year’s Eve

Pingle - to play with one’s food

Pollywiggle - tadpole

Sluss and slusspot - alcoholic beverage and someone who drinks too much

Smur – drizzle/fine rain

Squit - nonsense

Stewkey blews - cockles with a blue hue that are caught at Stiffkey

Titty-totty - something that is very small

Yisty - yesterday

If you would like to learn more about the Norfolk dialect, the following website has a wealth of interesting information:

Have you got a business that’s worth shouting about? Advertise with us for FREE

There are several advertising options available, these include:

  • Simple business, accommodation or restaurant listing - FREE
  • Full page business listing advertising your brand, accommodation, restaurant
  • Full page article
  • Bespoke banners

Contact us for options available and costs

Get started