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A.B.C 65 
A.D 63 

George 71 
Giles' Trip, Author of 4 

A.G.D 38, 41 

A.J.G 41 

Alpha 63 
Andrews, Herbert ...72,86 
Arch Labourer, An ... 81 
Ayers, E. T 73, 84 

H.B 16 
HetVarke ... 30,78,87 
Hewett, E 69 
Holland, J 72 

Hotson,W.A. ... 88 

Baker, 8. E 75 

Barker, W. 8. ... 36 

B.B 66 

J.C.S. .. 60 

Bird, M. C. H., 19, 34, 48, 73, 

J.H 71 


J.L 92 

B.O.P 18 

Joskin 28 

Bor 14 

J.E.B 22, 32 

Bussey, Chas 23 

Bussey, L. A 85 

Kendall, E 73 

C. ... 95 

C.C 16 
C-H 4, 13 
Clarke, S. T 40 

Lawk-a-daisy-me ... 60 
Literary World ... 102 

Clemence, J. L. ... 26, 80 
Clericus 89, 99 

L.J 72 

Mollie 95 

Daisy Dimple 85, 88 
Da vies, Christopher ... 78 
Davison D 70 

Norfolk East ... 67 

Doweii, E. w."/. ;;; 49 

Norfolk Dumpling, A. 15, 94 
Norfolk Farmer, A. 23, 25 
Norfolk, A Lover of 18 

E 60 92 

Norfolk, North ...39,92 

E.E.M. '.'.'. '.'.. '.'.'. 71 
E.s 99 

Norfolk, Old ... 39,90 
Norfolk Swimmer, A 74 

E.S.B. ... '... 97 

Norfolk, West ... 24 

Ex-Under-Sheriff ... 65 

Norfolk Woman, A... 54 

N.S 15 

F.G.S. ... .. 86 

Forster, F. R.... 27, 34, 41 

Octionary 5 

F.W.B 36 

One Interested ... 24 




Patterson, A. ... 

49, 52, 100 



J4, 100 

Perkins, J. P. 


Tew Chaps 


Pitcher, J. 


T.P.S. ... 


Pomeroy, E. B. 




Tucker, R. G. W. .. 
Tuxford, E. R. 





... 65, 88 


... 67, 71 

Verdant Green 




"Watson, "W 










Shaw Leest, \V. 

"W.H.C. 17, 20, 27, 



'.'.'. 88 



Skinner, E. ... 
Southwell, T. 





Suffling, E. R. 





The articles and letters in this pamphlet 
have been re-printed almost literatim et 
verbatim as they originally appeared in the 
columns of the Eastern Daily Press. " Broad 
Norfolk " as a subject for discussion was first 
broached in that journal on the last day of 
1892. Throughout January of the present 
year a peculiarly animated correspondence was 
maintained from day to day, and when the 
topic had practically spent itself there remained 
perhaps the most remarkable accumulation of 
provincialisms ever collected in any county in 
the kingdom. A complete index has been 
compiled of every curious word and phrase 
occurring in these pages. Hence it must not be 
imagined that the tabulated lists represent 
terms in common use in Norfolk alone, or even 
in East Anglia alone. Still, it can be said of 
them with safety that the words they contain 
form part of the colloquial dialect quite 
recently, if not at present, in use in the 

Eastern Counties. To determine to what 
extent these usages are peculiar to Norfolk 
must be left to the philologist upon whom 
the mantle of Forby may fall. For myself, 
I need only express the pleasure it gives me 
to have been the indirect means of preserving 
in this form the scores of little ''natives" 
which in all human probability the Board 
Schools will have killed in a generation. 


Eastern Daily Press, 





Reprinted from the "Eastern Daily Press. 





Napping or Knap- 










. 77,82 











Nip along 


Noah's Ark 


Rafe-boards ... 

.. 15,77 




.. 35 








.. 25,28 





Rear, In the ... 




Respectable . . . 






Other some 


Riffle ... 

Out abroad 



O ut for, who is the bell 


Right consistent 


.. 25,68 







Rise ... 










Parts, To put on his ... 


Rodger or Sir Roger 





'7, 82, 95 



Roky .. 

.. 2,63 




... 19,21 
... 100 



Rouding-time ... 


Perse wance 






Rumbustious ... 





.. 27,84 











Sadly ... 




late, :v. :; 

26, 33, 59 


39 82 





Sammucking .. 


Pogram 11 


Sammy, play .. 

... 54,62 




... 54,65 

Popples , 


Sars o' mine ... 













Scamel 74, 

78, 93, 94 












Scrog .. 







... 52, 90 



8new 4. 

52, 59, 61 





To see to 


Solid .. 


Sele of the day 


... 29,98 




'.'.'. 84 

Sowse ... 

... 22, 66 

























Shanks' pony ... 



... 40,53 






... 23, 59 



Shepherd's flock 

... 84 



Shiffinhisself ... 







Shortening 22 
Shrubs, herbs, &c., a 
list of 101 

Stammed ... 7, 


23, 70, 79 

Shug or Shig . . . 


Stand up 

... 13, 16 



Stingy or Stingey 

... 14,25 

Sib'bits ...11,17, 

18, 19, 26, 73 






... 5, 29 

Sidus ... x ... 

... 22,59 

Stroke, Some ... 



5, 59, 87 





Stukey Blues ... 



... 66,90 










Snnkets, Stmketing 








12, 38, 59 



Slackbaked ... 

... 34 



Slammakin ... 


Scaling .. .. 

... 59,66 


... 55,97 




.. 56 





S wared... 




Swidge ... 


... e, 39 







... 40,59 



Slussy hound ... 

... 94 





S wiving 



... 80, 94 



Snaast '.'.'. ".'. 

... "' 6 


... 41,74 


12,32,38 Tang 





3 Hackering 







... 8,14 

Half -rock 



77, 81 

Hallo largess ... 




Hampered to get hold 





Fresher or Froschy 

7, 30, 38 

Hample ".'. 


Fiammicating ... 
Frowey ... ... 








. i3, 57 

Full-flopper ... 


Harwich, Ketched 
all up at 




Hasel ... 

... 3,25 




... 61,77 






14, 19, 41 







Fve 3,17,87,98 
Fysty 27,58 

Hen's polly ... 

3, 15, 22 

Hick-up, snick up 













... 7,30 



Hike ... 


Gain and Ungaia 



Hind . 

12, 25, 33 

Gan (for given) 



9, 23, 70 










27, 37, 54 

Hodmandod ... 

... 7.30 



Holger-boy 33 


27, 35, 73 
... y,74 

Hoppen-toad ... 
Hotch-potch ... 

... 7, 29 












Hovelled ' .'." 

.'.. 14 
... 19,77 

Gorn sim your body 

3, 6, 15 

Howsomever ... 


Go-tu-meetin clothe 

s 56 





Hulkin'"' ".' 

.'.. 5,29 








... 24,58 


... 28, 3li 


... 12,53 









Gum-ticklers ... 







If so being you can' t go 







Loke . 

... 3,53 













Jack up 












Jiffey ... 
Jiffle or Jidgett 



Main, in the ... 
Mala-hacked ... 




84, 86 



... 74,93 



Keeler 22 
King Harry 


Miel-banks ... 
Mifflin ... 

... 100 
14, 19, 58 
... 5, 16 
7, 29, 57, 62 

'.'.'. ' 70 

Kipper ... 







... 76,84 



Lamming 77 
Lamper-along ... 34 
Larrup 27 
Lash 61,68 
Layer 37,54 
Lay forrard 34 
Lay Over Meddlers 9, 28, 33 
Lether 63 
Lief 24 

Morfrey 56 
Mort 39 
Mouse-hunter 99 
Mother 53 
Moultry 25 
Mow, old sea 60,93 
Muck-crome 3 
Muck- wash 97 
Mucky ...17,18,21,25,30,78 
Muddle 21,92 













... 19,68 



Nab-the-rust ... 


Living upright 




i nsr ID IE 











Acabo, that would 

Bufflc, hull him in a .. 
















Bunny 7, 


Arms and legs . . . 

72, 83 












Caddow .. 








Call, no 










Barleycorn, Ho John. . . 


Carpenter's Soda 












Catched him a rum'un 



28, 75 

Cedar Pencil 





Being one's share 


Chaiiev, play the 
Cherubidin . 


Betty Martin, That's 



all me eye and . . . 













Birds, East Anglian 41 to 52 
Bish-a-barneybees... 35,82 



















Bor 5, 

38, 77 





Clung 41 












Colder ... 28,73,77,79 





Do ... 25, 

27, 37, 52, 63 



Doatedtree ... 





... 7,30 




... 24,29 


.. 5,22 

Donkey-legs ... 



A 73, 77 

Don't ... ... 

... 25,27 

Corker ... 


Don't ought 

... 53,63 




.. 84,85 






... 8,57 


... 40,68 




... 23,58 




... 41 








Draw-latchin' ... 

r iO 



Dreep, on the ... 



... 5,21 



Crow-keepers ... 







16, 18, 19, 21 




... 58 




3, 15, 20, 63 




... 84 

Cum-harley ... 

,. 12,22 

Dumplindust ... 


Cirm-hether ... 

... 8,12 









... 14,29 

Dwil3 !.. '.'.'. 

... 22,29 


... 77 








... 2,74 

Daices-headed ... 

... 85,94 










... 24,58 








... 27, 99 

Dardle dum due 



... 14,25 




Da' say 



'.'.'. 27 

Dead-a-Bird ... 

... 2,90 








... 6,21 

Ferry-fake . 






Deke 2, 10,15, 17, 




24, 31, 35, 36, 39, 
Denesquittin' ... 

67, 75, 94 




... 8,20 


... 62,77 

Dickey-shud ... 

.. 36,53 























Wadges 55 
Wake 33,94 
Walentin' Good Mor- 










Wanten"" ".' 



Titty totty 
Toad in the hole 
Tom and Jerry shop 


Wednesday, Won't get 
further than 




Top sawyer 


Wheesh 12,38,57 
Wimple-trees ... 



Triculate ..'.' '.'. 



Without 27 
Wittery 94 
Woorree 8 
Woosh 22,23,52 
Wort, over 22 



T winters 


Yard of Plum Pudding 







OUR English language, in virtue of its being 
a living language, is periodically importing 
fresh words into its vocabulary as they become 
fashionable, and is gradually getting rid of 
useless and cumbersome terms. Illustrations 
of the latter process will occur to everybody. 
Examples of terms of recent importation now 
generally adopted as good English are such as 
embarrass, chagrin, grimace, repartee, all of 
which, according to one of Dryden's plays, 
were considered affected in the latter half of 
the seventeenth century. Provincial English is 
often treated with the most unmerited contempt, 
and no one seems disposed to go to its rescue. 
Yet after all, what are commonly sat down as 
vulgarisms, are to a great extent, only terms 
used in more or less remote part? of the country 
by people who have not kept abreast with the 
advance of the language. The man who speaks 
broad Norfolk, for instance, is at once stamped 
as below the mark in intelligence ; but the 
genuine Norfolk countryman is justly entitled 
to boast that he is never guilty of the un- 
speakable vulgarism of the townsfolk, who are 
seldom so happy as when they are running 
amuck amongst the h's. Oar own county of 
Norfolk can boast of a prolific vocabulary of 
provincialisms ; types, for the most part, as 
philologists tell us, not of bad but merely of 


antiquated English. Several illustrations 
suggest themselves to me ; scores of others no 
doubt will readily occur to readers who have 
seen the inside of a farmyard or come across a 
typical agricultural labourer. 

The words dag, smur, and scud, employed to 
mean a driving drizzle of rain, are all provincial, 
if they are not peculiar to Norfolk. Dag, it is 
worthy of note, once signified a dew, whilst 
scud, in its legitimate sense, refers solely to the 
actual clouds. To speak of roky weather implies 
thick, foggy weather. The word evidently is 
connected with reek (to steam), but its use, 
though common enough in this county, is 
not confined to Norfolk. Again, thongy, a 
thoroughly Norfolk term, describes the oppres- 
sive heat which often occurs between two 
summer showers. Noah's Ark is a singular 
name given to three lines of cloud stretching 
overhead from the S.W., and supposed to indi- 
cate fine weather. 

Pulk-hole denotes an open cess-pool. Water- 
del/ is used of an ordinary drainage 
hole by the roadside, the suffix obviously being 
from the root delve, to dig. Hull is a popular 
word, meaning a wide ditch of water. Possibly 
it is a contraction of hollow, used by Addison 
to indicate a channel or canal. Deke a bank, 
and has nothing to do with ditch (cf. the Dutch 
dike] ; it is one of the commonest of Norfolk 
terms, but its origin is obscure. 

Bird, in sporting parlance is a partridge. It 
is interesting to note that deer in the same way 
once meant any animal ('* Rats and mice, and 
such small deer "). However, I don't suggest 
that bird is ever likely to have so exclusive a 
meaning as- deer now possesses. What is the 
force of together in " spreed yarselves out 
together," a direction I have heard given to 


beaters by a head gamekeeper ? And what, 
too, is the history of the word duller in 
" Howld yew yar duller,' 1 '' addressed to a noisy 
" dorg?" 

Wheatsel is a pretty word, meaning " Wheat 
drilling." Thus, " We've finished wheatsel " 
" all our wheat is in." Here the idea is " seed- 
time," but in haysel, for instance, the notion 
conveyed is that of harvest. 

Pn't/, stitch are both used to describe the space 
between two double furrows. 

Didfin a halter. " Fetch a dutfin and show 
the animal off " is a common expression. 

Tussock is an excellent 'Old English term for 
a tuft or a sod of grass. It is obsolete so far as 
the national vocabulary is concerned, and is 
obsolescent even in remote rural districts. 

Heiyn (heighten) to raise wages. 

Gotch jug. 

Loke a " blind " lane. 

To hank up a gate to sneck or fasten it. 

Fosey over-ripe. 

Lim to suck. E.g., of a bifcoh, the pups 
wil Urn her to deed cause her death by sucking. 

Tumbler, for tumbrel. Since the word is 
used of a cart made so as to tip up, " tumbler" 
is more logical than "tumbrel." Yet " tumbler " 
is hardly considered respectable. 

Muck-crome is a capital word, but is entirely 

Lit stain. This occurs in an old saying, 
" There's not a blot but will lit" The word 
or the proverb is said to be early Danish. I 
don't know whether anybody has met with it 
outside this county ; at any rate, it is a note- 
worthy survival. 

Fye to dress corn. Thus, to go a-fyin, 
might mean to run wheat through the dressing 


An odd vowel change may often be observed. 
As, for instance, 

e for o in sneiv for snow^ 

i for e in /ma-bird for hen-bird. 

o and even eu for au in thow or tlieiv for 

for a in fond for land, sond for sand, and 
grovel-hole for gravel hole. 

1 think it is Trench who has pointed out how 
much richer, at least in rural terms, the 
English language would be if it adopted freely 
from its country dialects. C-H. 

LONDON, " (fee.) 

The first half of iny life was passed in 
the southern parts of Suffolk, and the 
latter half has been passed in Norfolk. So far 
as the provincialisms made use of in the two 
counties are concerned, I think there is not 
much difference. There is, however, a great 
contrast in the style of speech. Suffolk 
speaks in a kind of sing-song ; Norfolk in a 
more broad and sustained tone. There is 
nothing in Suffolk to answer to the way in 
which the a in certain words is pronounced in 
Norfolk. Here we say pauper and baaker, the a 
being drawn out at extraordinary length. This 
peculiarity does not exist in the sister county. 
Neither d the people in Suffolk say rume for 
room, or glumy for gloomy, as we do here. 
Neither do they drop the h, as the inhabitants 
of many parts of Norfolk do in some words. A 
Mid-Norfolk man will say, and even 
write, for instance, trow for throw, tree 
for three, troat for throat, and so on. 
Many of the provincialisms are, as I have said, 


commoii to both counties. I will run over a 
few of them, merely premising that I shall 
give none which I have not myself heard in 
the cottages of the peasantry and in the roads 
and fields. 

The terms applied by men and women to 
each other are interesting. A gi~l is 
called a mawther, which, in addressing her, 
becomes maw. " "Where have you been, 
maw ? " But she is also called a 
fine strappen mawther. A lad is 
addressed as " bor," and he is said 
to be a great huddren fellow, or a loose hufkin* 
rascal. If boys or girls are large or jolly they 
are said to be $ivac\~en ; if they are awkward 
they are called gawky; when out of temper 
they are runty ; and when they are half-witted 
and shiftless they are described as gutless. 
There are many terms to express their doings. 
They lollop or lummuclc aoout, or they sarnter 
in the lanes. In the winter time girls and boys 
pample in the mud, and at all times 
clamber up walls or trees. The girls 
cop balls, the boys cail stones, and both of them 
hull all sorts of things about. A man will 
hull on his coat, and a women will hull on her 
bonnet. A man will give directions to hull a 
scuppet into the barrow and crowd it up the hill. 
The scuppet, of course, is a shovel, and to 
"crowd" is to drive or push. I have even 
heard of a man who went into a chemist's shop 
in North Norfolk and asked for " a punno' o' 
pills to hull a wummen into a sweat." One boy 
will give another a clip o' the head or a soivse o' 
the skull, and I once heard a fellow say he had 
given another a sisserara. 

There are a good many terms used inside the 
cottage which are expressive and peculiar. If 
you go in when the baby is sleeping, the 


mother will probably hold up her finger and 
say, " Don't make a deen," which means 
don't utter a sound. The wick of the candles 
which at one time were burned in every cottage 
was called a snaast, which the snuffers were used 
to trim, but if they should not be at hand, 
the finger and thumb of the father or of one of 
the boys would do the work. The girl would 
be sent with a gotch to the well, and if she 
should spill any of the water on the floor, she 
would be ordered to clean up the sividge. If 
she was disagreeable and put herself into 
tantrums, or begun to winnock (i.e., cry), she 
would perhaps be cut off with only a hunch 
of bread, with maybe an ingen (onion), 
for her dinner. If the mother happened 
to be ill she would perhaps tell you that she 
was tired of sorzhs, the slops which the doctor 
ordered her, and add that they were nothing 
but culch. Sometimes she would tie a hand- 
kerchief around the neck of one of the boys so 
tightly that he would cry out that he was being 
greened. I used to think about the meaning of 
this term when I was being greened myself, 
and thought it might mean that the tight 
tying would produce a green hue on the skin 
similar to the colour of a bruise. I expect, 
however, I was wrong. But even the cottagers 
had at times their luxuries. Occasionally they 
would get fried chitterlings (the intestines of 
pigs), or have a dish of frummety, which was 
wheat boiled in milk, or some guseberry-fuh, 
which consisted of gooseberries stewed with 
milk and sugar. Sometimes they would get 
puddings with gobs of fat in them. I remember 
a song in which the Christmas puddings of the 
" workhus" were thus celebrated 

Great gols of fat they did put in 
As big as my tew thumbs. 


But one of the most charming distresses of the 
housewife was when she was making a batch 
of bread and happened to " ming the miller's 
eye out." Many a time have I heard this dole- 
ful complaint when the good woman has used 
more water than her flour would carry. She 
would then proceed to a neighbour's cottage 
with a basin for a supply sufficient for her 
needs. Her wise husband would perhaps be 
flammed that she should be so careless, 
when she might retaliate by asking 
him how he came to lose one of 
his mittens (gloves with thumb hole but no 
finger holes), and express the wish that he 
wasn't such a 'struy for Jiighlows, the name 
given to the rustic's thick lace-up shoes. There 
are many other domestic terms to which I 
might refer, but I must pass on. 

The fields and the woods are responsible 
for many provincialisms. What strange 
names are applied to the living creatures. 
A snail is a doclman or a hodmandod, 
and the boys on capturing one would say, 
" Hodmandod, hodmandod, pull out your 
horns," &c. A toad is a hoppentoad ; a young 
frog, such as is found in marshes, is a fresher. 
A boar is a braivn, and a rabbit a bunny. As 
for birds, a thrush is a mavish, a goldfinch a 
Kiii;/ Harry, and a wood pigeon a rinydow, 
while their nests are neesen. By the bye, I 
may add in a parenthesis that in Suffolk houses 
are called housen, which is doubtless the old 
Saxon form. There is one little bird the wren 
or the tomtit which was called the puddenpoke, 
from the pudding-like shape of its nest. As 
for that patieizt creature which in the 
Scriptures is called an ass, in London a 
moke or a neddy, and in polite circles a 
donkey, it is universally styled in Norfolk 


and Suffolk a dickey. To have a dickey and 
cart is a state of affluence for a countryman. 
A pet lamb is a cosset and a guinea fowl is a 
comeback in consequence of the peculiarity of 
its cry. In the fields the men talk strangely to 
the horses. When they want them to go to the 
right they say "woor-ree," and when they 
want them to go to the left they say 
" cumhether." I assume woor-ree means 
" wear to the right," and cumhether 
" come hither to the left." But I have 
heard a man say ' ' Woor-ree cumhether wool 
ye ? " all in a breath. Any horse or other 
animal which was quiet and gentle was said to 
be toivard. At four o'clock in the afternoon in 
those days the men in the harvest field had 
fourses or lever, which consisted of a 
"beverage " (which I take to be the derivation 
of the word) of ale drunk from horns, with 
harvest cake. What a treat was it then to 
hear the men " hallo largess." Many a 
time have I heard them in the distance, 
and the remembrance even now has in it a touch 
of romance. The ' ' lord ' ' would ascend a tree and 
cry aloud "Hallo lar hallo lar hallo lar," 
then all the men standing round would add in 
a low base voice long drawn out gees. The 
effect on a quiet autumn evening just at twi- 
light was remarkable, and I shall never forget 
it. The remembrance is as a dream of Arcady. 
But I must draw these remarks to a close. 
The expletives, or the mild swearing terms 
that were adopted by countrymen in my 
young time, are noteworthy. I refer 
thus to what things were in the 
past because, by the influence of the Board 
schools, everything has been changed, or is 
rapidly changing. They would dang their 
jackets, or darn their buttons, or cry out, 


"What the mendin' du yew mean?" Of the 
origin of this last phrase I know nothing. 
Every reader will recollect that Dickens 
was puzzled to think of all that 
might be involved in Mr. Peggotty's 
great oath, " I'll be gormed," which 
however, is nothing like so common as " B y 
goms." One can see the origin of these terms, 
as well as why it is said that a thing is nation 
or tahnation big or ugly. Barnt was a 
favourite phrase for giving effect to any state- 
ment. I knew a woman from Peasenhall who 
always desired to be barnt everlastingly if she 
did not speak the truth. If you asked her a 
question she might say, " Barnt if I know," or 
she might end a long tale by saying, " There, 
that's true, barnt if it aint." 

In conclusion, it is a common thing to say 
that a person lives up hinder or down yinder, 
and boys and girls are told when they are 
inquisitive about anything in the house- 
hold of which they should be kept in 
ignorance, that it is lay-over-meddlers. 
This is the form given in Moor's " Suffolk 
Words and Phrases," published in 1823. I am 
convinced, however, that it should be "La' o' 
the meddlers, you are the first." This is " Shame 
on the meddlers, you are the first of them." Mr. 
Moor's suggestion is ridiculous. He thinks it 
refers to layovers or turnovers which might some- 
times be made of medlars instead of apples. 
By the bye, I was very near forgetting the 
extraordinary use of the word "together" in 
both counties. In Suffolk as I have heard 
scores of times, and as I have myself doubtless 
personally exemplified a friend meeting two 
or three companions will say in the pleasant 
sing-song of the place, " Where are yew going, 
together?" " Together " is evidently used as a 


noun applied to the persons addressed. I 
think, however, what it really means is this, 
4 ' "Where are you going, you who are here to- 
gether?" With this suggestion I close my 

It is a mistake to imagine that dialects are everywhere 
corruptions of the literary language. The real and 
natural life of language is in its dialects. Even in 
England the local patois have many forms which are 
more primitive than the language of Shakespeare, 
and the richness of their vocabulary surpasses on many 
points that of the classical writers of any period. 
Max Mutter. 

An interesting and useful question iu con- 
nection with this discussion would tarn upon 
whether it is within the range of possibilities to 
rescue from the fields and villages a few of the 
fine, forcible terms which the established 
language of literature has long since rejected. 
Until now all efforts to reinstate any of these 
evicted words have nearly always been in vain. 
As a matter of fact the word clever 
is almost the only instance of an East 
Anglian dialectic colloquialism rising into 
classical English. To facilitate the revival 
and preservation of the worthy localisms 
that have fallen into disrepute let us hope 
will be the result of this rustic symposium. 
" What is a deke " is a question which, it will 
be seen, has raised a good deal of disputation. I 
originally suggested that the word is used in 
Norfolk to mean a banked up hedgerow rather 
than a ditch or water- course for draining wet 
land. Opinion, however, seems equally 
divided amongst the correspondents. Thus 
it is tolerably clear that deke and dyke in 


different localities of the county are almost 
interchangeable terms. That curious word 
usually spelt sibrits, but commonly pronounced 
sibbits, is, I believe, generally derived from the 
Anglo-Saxon cyb, meaning "a blood relation." 
The ubiquitous " plain person " would venture 
to ask "What have marriage banns to 
do with blood relations?" Bann is not 
connected with "bind," but comes from the 
Saxon word bannan, to issue or display a pro- 
clamation. Hence the suggestion I heard the 
other day that sibbits is merely a corruption of 
"exhibits" seems to be a reasonable, as well 
as an ingenious, explanation. It is true that a 
majority of the common country colloquialisms 
can be traced from the recognised language of 
earlier times, but all the same for that, Nor- 
folk yokels are not to be held altogether inno- 
cent of smothering or mutilating the Queen's 
English. Such words as backus (backhouse), 
ollnst (always), and ashup (ash-heap) are 
mysteries outside East Anglia. 

A characteristic peculiar to rural folk is their 
habit of keeping up a conversation between 
themselves, no matter how far they may be off 
each other. So long as they are within ear- 
shot it does not occur to them to approach one 
another. Labourers (and the old women too) think 
nothing of gossipping ("having a mardle") 
across a ten-acre field for instance. Depend 
upon it, the country folk are clinging to their 
old forms and usages tenaciously enough, but 
it is to be feared, as Trench has remarked, 
they cannot resist the moral and material 
forces which are gradually rendering obsolete 
all their picturesque phraseology. 

Now for one or two additional illustrations 
of Norfolk speech. Everybody knows that a 
pogramite or pogrimite is a contemptuous term 


for a Dissenter. It would be interesting to 
know the derivation of this word. Somebody 
has traced it to Elijah Pogram, the 
senator in "Martin Chuzzlewit," who was 
always imagining that the English had a 
grudge against his free and enlightened 
country ; as if the word was not widely in use 
at least a century before the time of Dickens. 

A snasty fide with half a tile off interpreted, 
denotes a snarlish fellow weak in the head. 

If a woman burnt her finger when cooking 
apple-jacks (apples baked in thin pastry) or 
swimmers (light dumplings), she would put a 
hutkin on it, and in case she was particularly 
neat and tidy she would triculate it up like, s 
that the in j ured finger might present a respect- 
able appearance. Anybody with a game leg 
(sore leg) would probably be said to go himpin 
about instead of " limping." 

To be in one's bighes, a phrase I heard used 
a day or two ago, seems to imply being in a 
good mood for the time being. 

The list of terms in vogue upon a farm is 
well-nigh interminable. Besides the large 
number already given, here are several more : 
Haze, a term used of corn when, under the 
influence of sunshine or a breeze, it is drying 
after a shower of rain. The directions teammen 
give to their horses vary in different districts. 
Cup bear, meaning come here, i.e., to the left, 
is of course merely another form of cum hether 
or cum harley. Weesh or woosh, a command to 
bear to "the right," is actually said to be 
derived from the French gauche, which signifies 
"the left! " 

Quicks (foul grass) comes from an Anglo- 
Saxon word with exactly the same meaning. 

Skutes parts of a field of unequal lengths. 

The appearance of a rodger (a whirlwind on a 


small scale) is regarded as a sure sign of fine 

It would be easy to give whole columns of 
quaint superstitions, such as the old charm, 
"Hick-up snick-up, Three Drops for aHick-up" 
or in the condescending injunction of Middle 
Age to Youth to "eat another yard of plum 
pudding first," but if I made a serious start 
in this direction, I should hardly know where 
to stop. C-H. 

Perhaps your versatile contributor " C-H." can 
tell me something about a phrase with which I am 
perfectly familiar, and which I believe to be entirely 
indigenous to Norfolk. " To stand up " is frequently 
used in the sense of " to shelter," thus, " Let us stand 
up out of the wet." lam a yokel bred and born my- 
self, and have used, and heard others use, the expression 
times out of number. So many authorities, however, 
have expressed themselves entirely ignorant of it that 
I am tempted to seek further information through 
your colamus. R.W.C. 

It was with much interest that I noticed an 
article in your issue of last Saturday on " Broad 
Norfolk," since your journal seems the natural medium 
for placing on record some of those East Anglian 
terms and phrases which admirers of vigorous expres- 
sion will not willingly let die. Few people could 
remain for any length of time in contact with the rural 
labourers of this district without remarking that they 
retain the use of many a term obsolescent, no doubt 
but yet indicating in a single word an idea 
which would require a lengthy sentence to 
express with equal accuracy. It is generally 
adn itted that all local glossaries at present 
published possess the defect of including a large 
number of words which are certainly not limited in 
their use to the Eastern Counties, as well as the more 
serious fault of omitting many which as certainly are 


part of our dialect. An adequate discussion of the 
subject in your columns would do much to enable our 
future lexicographer to steer clear of both the rocks 
which I have indicated. 

Among the local terms which immediately occur to 
me is that singularly complete class of wo'rds which 
indicate th different conditions of corn when lodged 
by wind or rain. Thus the crop may be said 
to be " shackhd," " kti'ckltd," or " hovelled," accord- 
ing to the state in which the storm has left it. 

To "riffle," i.e., to disturb the surface with a 
plough; it shares with "rifle" the indication of 
shallow grooves. 

One of the first popular expressions which strikes a 
stranger to Norfolk villages is the frequent use of the 
phrase, " It dew fare." "It dew fare wonerful stingy," 
says the rustic, when the wind is in the east. 

' Foursei " is the afternoon harvest meal, which the 
labourer takes at 4 '30 in the neighbourhood of 

A man who pottered over his work was said by a 
farm steward dead now, poor fellow to be " pakin\ 
fussickin\ and detiesquittiri 1 about," which at least 
sounds a good day's work. 

Plckcheesin 11 has much the same meaning. 

I have heard a slow-witted countryman told not to 
" stand a garpin* theer, bor, like a duzzy maivkin." 
A stranger to the dialect might wait for more explicit 

Many such expressions must occur, especially to 
those of your readers who reside in districts remote 
from the larger towns. BOB. 

Your correspondent " C-H.'s" excellent article 
upon this subject should evoke an interesting cor- 
respondence in your columns, particularly among 
rir country readers, many of whom will doubtless 
able to add to the list of" quaint words and sayings 
alluded to in the article. 

A foreigner visiting this county would think the 
dialect highly euphonious, particularly if he overheard 
such an expression as " My master say if I du as I 
oughter du, I shouldn't du as I du du." 

Some of the expressions alluded to by 


"C-H." call to mind instances in which 
similar words have been heard by me, parti- 
cularly the word " gotch," which recalls the 
f ollowiug thoroughly Norfolk sentence, ' ' Polly she 
tumbled over the trostle (threshold) and broke the 
gotch." The word " heign " is by no means confined 
to "wages." I have often heard a bricklayer talk 
about " heigaing a wall." The "o" for "a" is very 
apparent in the pronunciation of the word "rand" 
(a marsh bank or wall) which is universally called a 
" rond " in the broad district. One of the 
most amusing instances of Noifolk ignorance 
as well as dialect was one I heard some time 
ago, when one of the North Norfolk railways was 
first opened. A Norfolk labourer had never seen a 
train, but was at work in a field near a bridge over a 
cutting through which the nesr line ran. A friend 
passing ?aid 

" Have you seen a train yet, bor ? " 

" No, bor, I ha'int." 

" Well just yew run up tew the bridge and yew'l 
see one." 

The rustic proceeds to the bridge. Train passes 
under, whistling. Rustic returns. 

Fri>nd ' Well, did you see the train? " 

Rustic" Well, I see suffiu, but as sune as that see me 
that shruck, and rushed into a burra ! " 

I could give many other instances, but my time and 
your space will not allow. A NOEFSLK DUMPLING. 

Referring to the interesting paper on " Pro- 
vincial Language," I would suggest that the word 
duller, like many other obsolete words, comes to us 
from the French douleur (Latin dolor), and is an ex- 
pression of mental or bodily pain. N. S. 

I think "C.-H.," in his very interesting paper 
on our Norfolk dialect is in error as to the meaning 
he gi ves to the word deke or dike. 

He says, "Deke a bank, has nothing to do with 
ditch." 1 am inclined to think that it is more nearly 
allied to ditch than bank. It is a narrow channel of 


water on marshes, or by the side of roads when there 
are no hedges. We constantly hear of the deke's 
mouth, i.e., where the dike joins the river. Then 
again we hear of Oulton Dike or Deke, Kewlal Beke 
(at the latter in many places there are no banks at all 
only reed beds), and b-.atiug men will remember 
many other dikes or dekes. In Holland a dyke or 
dike is, undoubtedly, a raised bank, but a deke in 
Norfolk is a water channel, and when a roadway has 
a deke on both sides it is called a caruser. C. C. 

For the benefit of your correspondent "K. W. C." 
let me say I have travelled over the greater part of 
the United Kingdom and have found the expression 
" to stand up," used in the sense of " to shelter," very 
general, especially in Kent and Sussex, and, on this 
side of the Thames, in Essex and Cambridgeshire. 

H. B. 

As a native, I have read with great interest what 
has been written on this subject. Allow me to suggest 
that instead of " Broad " it should be " Pure " 
Norfolk. In this part of the county we have many 
expressions which have not yet been catalogued. 

Dudder, to shake, or tremble. For example a 
drover, a Norfolk man, and two of his neighbours, who 
were in Essex at the time of the earthquake which 
occurred a few years ago, were once explaining to a 
Cockney their experience of the phenomenon. All 
proceeded pretty well, until one said, " Why, lor, bor, 
we tree kinder duddered," which, to the knowing 
young gentleman from the Metropolis, was not very 

Being is a genuine Norfolk word for a home. Mr. 
Peggotty is anxious " to purwide a bein' for the old 

Mawthcr. Is not Norfolk pre-eminently distin- 
guished in the use of this word, with its abreviation 
" mor," which, if not particularly elegant, is, in my 
opinion, quite as good as " wench" of north country 
folk any day ? 

Kinder is in universal use, meaning rather. I sup- 
pose it is a corruption of " kind of." 


"Norfolk Dumpling" speaks of "trostle" for 
threshold. I never heard it so our way ; but " tros- 
hold" is familiar. 

To ask a stranger to hang the kettle on the hake 
and rake up the hyvers would puzzle him. Is not hake 
a pure Flemish word ? 

To muny is used as meaning to knead dough. 

Mucky is often used in such a phrase as " mucky 
action," is one of a disreputable nature. 

ew for oo. " The man in the mune came down to 
sune, to ask the way to Norwich," we have known all 
our lives. 

fFforV, as wittles (victuals), wezatious, &c. 

There is a word in use amongst us which I should 
much like to have explained. I have asked several, 
but cannot get a satisfactory definition. When banns 
of marriage are "asked" we hear of so and so's 
" sibbits " being read. 

Outsiders may laugh at " our language." We are 
not ashamed of it. Is it not infiuitely better than the 
cockney English of our friends, the Yarmouth Beach 
singers. We can laugh at the young gentleman as he 
pensively warbles the 

Hardent wish of 'is art. 
Ho kerry me beck to my oairae ogoain, 
Ho kerry me beck once mower. 

Althow this du fare kinder rum to us dumplins, we 
kinder laarf , bor, when we heer them theer fules, and 
think our old frind Giles, when he went up to Luunon, 
wsi-nt any more of a fule than them theer chaps on 
Yarmouth Beach. What about 'Arry and 'Arriet, hay, 
bor ? W. H. 0. 

As one much interested in Norfolk vernacular, 
may I say a word or two on the subject. I think your 
correspondent " C. C." is wrong in assuming that 
" deke " does not mean a bank. It is certainly used 
for both ditch and bank. As he says a narrow water 
course through a marsh is a " mashe deke," and a 
road between two " dekes " is a " carnser " (cause- 
way) ; but a bank is a "deke " for all that. Witness the 
expression, " deke'? hpll." Deke is the tank 
and " holl " is the ditch (the hollow) adjoining. 
" Fyeing out a holl " is good Norfolk for cleaning 
out a ditch. I hope this correspondence will continue, 


and should occasion serve, I shall be glad on a future 
occasion to give your readers several good old Norfolk 
words that I have not yet seen mentioned. ' ' Dannock," 
a hedger's glove without fingers, is one. , 


As a north countryman I have been interested 
in the correspondence on this subject, and I should 
like to say a word or two. First, I agree with that 
correspondent who says that " stand up " in the sense 
of "shelter " is not confined to Norfolk. I have often 
heard it in other counties. 

As to " dudder," my acquaintance with Norfolk is 
not of sufficient length to permit me to express an 
opinion, but the Lancashire word that has an exactly 
similar meaning is "dither, "as I have heard jelly 
jokingly termed by Lancashire people "that stuff that 

I hardly think that "mucky" is confined to 
Norfolk. It is often used elsewhere in the sense of 

The word "buskin," and the expression " to put on 
his parts," strike me as somewhat peculiar to Norfolk. 
Perhaps some of your correspondents will give their 

As an outsider I can assure you that I do not laugh 
at your language. As a matter of fact I think it is 
extremely pretty and euphonious. B. O. P. 

I feel little doubt that sibrit, sibrede, or sibbe- 
ridge (various forms of a provincial appellation of 
the banns of matrimony) are connected with the old 
English, or so-called "Anglo-Saxon " word sib, 
meaning a relation or companion. We find the same 
stem in the derivatives sibless (without kindred, 
deserted), sibman (a relative), sibness (relationship), 
with the old word sibrede, which is synonomous with 
the last-mentioned. I presume, therefore, that the idea 
of the banns as preparatory to thie new " relationship," 
gives rise to the name. Or were the " sibrits " for the 
purpose of bringing to light any kinship or affinity 
within the prohibited degrees ? 



For the edification of neighbour " W. H. C." : 
S-bbits Siberet Sybb-rit Syb rede banna [Prompt. 
rarv.] When the banns have been published for the 
third time, the parties are said to have been "out 

Jlyrers, or Hovers, not only means peat, or turf cut 
for burning, but also a floating reed-bed, where, 
perhaps, from the nature of the " soil," hovers might 
f>e procured. The island in the midst of Scoulton 
Mere, which might, in parts at any rate, bear 
this title, is, however, termed the "hearth." Suggested 
derivation tor a "hover " is because it hovers between 
wind and water ! A novice might appreciate the 
explanation when first experiencing the sensation of 
the ground for yards around, quivering under his 
hesitating footsteps. 

Holl a ditch, particularly a dry one (Forby) and 
so used at the present time, as opposed to 

Dekc a \vet-thatis a water ditch. 

We have not yet had the derivation of " Roly poly." 
Is it from its shape and make a rolled psle ? 

M. C. H. BIED. 

Well, Bor, an wot d'ye think ou't now. 
All mauder of stuff they'ie talkiii 
Abeout "Broad Norfolk," when they know 
No more'n my old mawkin 
Which I shuv'd up to frite them bahds 
Wot play sich mazin capers, 
In f ussicken my baanes and paas, 
Likewise my arly taters. 
If I could nab them knowin chaps, 
I'd make 'em keinder dudder, 
For laarfin at ower Norfolk tongue, 
Why I shud like tu smudder 
Sich fules as haint the sense tu know, 
They says thay're clever, rawther; 
(That's how they say that word, old man) 
Yow shud a heer'd my mawther, 
She say, yow heer them London chaps 
Wet sing on Yarmouth Beach, 
Then yow will see and werry suite 
Which is the rummest speech. 


Yars, or them cockney chaps wot cum 

And kick up such a duller, 

In murderin that poor letter H. 

Yow'l sune see they are fuller 

Of cheek than sense, so let 'em laarf . 

Doant it seem mazin funny 

If we're fules tbey care tu cum 

And glad tu take ower money. 

So doant you mind a titty bit 

As yow stand theer a garpin, 

But let 'em know ower Norfolk tongue 

Will stan theer jeers and larfin. 

Tell 'em, old man, if we're slow 

We arnt at sich a pass, 

To brake all rules, and be sich fules 

To call our Dickey Hass. 

Ower temper's smuthe, we'll stan theer grins, 

An put up with theer crumplin, 

We'll hang the biler on the hake 

And stick tu NOEFOIK DUMPLIN. 

W. H. C. 

I have read the version of " C.-H." on the word 
deke; he is much more to the point in its use and 
meaning than "C. C." You will frequently hear the 
following expression in the country in reference to the 
word : " Let's get out of the holl and sit down on the 
deke." Or when one is jumping over a deke (that is 
a bank) a caution will be given you" icarr (for 
beware) the holl on the other side." The Norfolk 
fences separating fields are frequently called "dekes." 
Having had residing experience in Holland, I must say 
I never heard a dyke is the name given to a "raised 
bank." There are various dykes named by " C. C." 
as tributaries to the river, and there are also mill 
dykes and marsh dykes, which are outlets to drainage 
mills ; but a deke in Norfolk is not necessarily a water 
channel. W. S. 

Your correspondents have afforded much interest 
and amusement with their various contributions. 
The cases cited have beenmostly rural words and idioms, 
many of which one never hears in the city. But there 


are several words which strike the ear of a stranger as 
peculiar. The first which misled me for the moment, 
was " sadly " used in the_sense of ill-health, rather 
than of mental condition. " Others were " tempest " 
for "storm," "coarse" for " rough " weather, and 
especially the word "muddle" which is a favourite 
word of Norfolk house-wives, the real English mean- 
ing of which is by no means their habit. To a stranger 
it is very curious to hear methodical industrious people, 
who seem to have everything in order at the time, 
describe themselves as " in a muddle." 

"B. O. P." cites the word " dudder," which is 
thoroughly Norfolk. The corresponding word "dither," 
used in other places, is not a dictionary word, but it 
is not provincial, for you hear it in the Midlands, as 
well as in Yorkshire and Lancashire. Its meaning is 
" slight trembling all over with cold." 

I should say " mucky" is essentially a northern 
provincialism, and one only rarely hears it in Norfolk. In 
muddy weather it is ever on the people's lips in Lanca- 
shire and Yorkshire. 

" Here t' be " I never heard save in this county, 
and perhaps Suffolk. The use of the word " shy " 
I have never heard explained, but its Norfolk sense is 
exactly the opposite to its ordinary meaning. 

I think " M. C. H. Bird " is right as to the deriva- 
tion of " roly poly." It appears to stand for " rolled 
pole," and its diminutive suffixes arose from some 
maternal desire to give a favourite dish for children, a 
popular name among them. In this rhyming manner 
words are better remembered by our juveniles. 


The correspondence now appearing in your columns 
is very interesting. Here are a few words I have 
not yet seen mentioned ; and I should like to know if 
they are confined to Norfolk? They are constantly 
used amongst us. 

To crowd (past crud). To thrust or push, as " Git 
the mawther to crovd the barra'. She crud it 
yisterdaay ! " 

Decn (for din?) Strangely enough, this does not 
mean a loud or continued noise, but the slightest 
possible sound, as 

" Now, yow mussent maak a deen, bor ! " 
meaning that one must be absolutely quiet. 


To imitate. To attempt, as " I shawn't d'ut, nor yit 
imitate t' d'ut, bor." 

Cooshies. Sweetmeats. Is this ever heard out of 

Kindling. Firewood. 

Shortening. Lard or butter for pastry -making. 

J. E. B. 

Your correspondents have by no means exhausted 
the list of Norfolk provincialisms, and have hardly 
touched upon the many funny terms we use upon our 
farms and in our country houses. Here are a few : 
A " holl " means a ditch, a. " deek " means a dyke, a 
" keeler " means a shallow tub, " kindling " means 
firewood, a " boiler " means a small tin with a lid, a 
" dwile " means a house flannel, a " push " means a 
boil, " over wort" means across, " soshing " means 
askew, " sidus " means a sloping, " cop " means to 
throw, " hain " means to rise (vide the Rev. W. 
Hudson's " Norwich Chronicles.") 

Then there are no end of miscalled words. For 
instance, a tumbrel is called a " tumbler," a bin \*. 
called a" bing," a shovel is called a " bhuloe," a head- 
land is called a " hidlond." bran is called " brun," 
a marsh is called a " mash," and curiously enough we 
still talk of going down to " mash," and giving a horse 
a " brun marsh." 

The language we address to our cart horses would 
puzzle the carters of other counties. When a horse is 
wanted to go to the right we say " woosh," to the left 
" cum harley." When he is is stop we halloo " way." 
A team of horses is called a " teaiuer," and the carter 
a " teamerman." 

I once cautioned an ostler to be careful how he took 
out my mare, whereupon he patted her on the neck 
and said '' She fare toward like tho." A London 
friend I was driving was sorely puzzled at the remark, 
and I had to translate it " Notwithstanding what you 
say the mare appears to be quiet and gentle." The 
same gentleman was also surprised to hear a labourer 
at an agricultural show remark, upon looking at a sleek 
black pig, that it put it put him ' ' mazen in mind of a 
moll," which we need not say meant that the pig very 
much resembled a mole. I can remember, when a 
child, hearing some old folk use the word " Frenched " 


(violent anger), and the "ham" with which many 
places ended was always " gim," as " Gimmingim," 
but they are extinct, as also "silly bold "for im- 
pudence; but "dicky," " dodmaii," and other rustic 
names still survive. Many of your readers may re- 
member the picture of two Norfolk boys in Punch and 
one exclaiming, " Hinder come a dow," which had to 
be rendered into the Queen's English thus, ' ' In the 
distance a wood pigeon is coming," The number of 
old Xorfolk phrases and miscalled words are still 
almost endless, but the Board schools will possibly 
eradicate most of them in the next generation. 


Will one of your philological correspondents give 
the origin and ideal meaning of the teamman's 
(Norfolk for " teamster," never heard " teamster " 
used) " hait " and " woosh " ? I don't suppose these 
are exclusively Norfolk words, but I know they are 
indispensable to the Norfolk ploughman, and with 
" u~ae " are among the best understood by our farm 

If I say " hait " my horse turns to the left," ivoosh " 
and he turns to the right. Why? and whence come 
these words ? 

I have my theory, but wish for a scholar's opinion. 

I think your correspondent " W. H. C." will 
find that the use of the vowel "z" for "0" is 
restricted to East Norfolk. One never hears of " mune," 
" spune," and"butes" in West Norfolk. I append 
a few more Norfolkisms which I have not at present 
seen mentioned: The heron is very often called a 
" harnser," whilst the wood pigeon is a " dow," as 
illustrated in the thoroughly Norfolk . sentence of 
" Hie into the holl, bor ! hinder <vuin a dow." 

You may perhaps also hear a farm steward threaten 
a sheep-boy with a " clink" or a " clout " of the head 
if he does not properly attend to his " yows " 
(ewes) . 

The word " romant " takes the place of the verb 
" imagine." " Shann " is to shout ; " starmed" means 
amazed; and "hull 1 ' and '-cop" both mean to 


I think that although there is something to be said 
on both sides with regard to the word " dcke" mean- 
ing either "bank" or "ditch," in sound it most ap- 
proaches the latter, and in this district certainly is 
always used for " ditch." Fen men also would under- 
stand " deke" to be a channel of water, and iu 
Lincolnshire their " doike" is the same. 


There are one or two phrases which have been 
omitted, although doubtless they are well known to 
your correspondents, viz. : " That dew rain a sirffin.'* 
"I gin her a funny mobbin." " There ain't enow " 
(for enough). " He's sammucking alongcr his 
mawther " (strolling aimlessly). Upon inquiring after 
a person's health, one is often told that " He's nicely 
thank ye." When a horse is fresh he is said to be 
"gaily." TEW CHAPS. 

The interesting letters appearing in your col- 
umns aneut words and phrases peculiar to Norfolk 
and Suffolk have not yet exhausted the list, for I do 
not recollect seeing any mention of the following : 

"A good tidy lot," a great many; "all naander of 
what," a very miscellaneous collection of article?, 
notably such as might come out of a boy's pocket ; 
htilvcrs, for holly bushes ; gaffer, an old man ; and 
doke, a hole, such as might be made by pressing the 
hand into a featherbed. ONE INTERESTED. 

Not Norfolk born, I notice many forms of ex- 
pression unfamiliar, though whether or not peculiar to 
Norfolk, I cannot say. The intonation is certainly 
peculiar, and the Norfolk man is undoubtedly a wit. 
He nearly always takes pains both to nod his head in 
the general direction of anything or place he may be 
referring to, and also to express himself somewhat in 
the way of parable. For example, a man said to me 
of one in feeble health, " He won't carry old bones." 
Doubtless many of their forms of expression are 
archaisrrs, and quite as correct as her Majesty's 
Inspector's pattern English, such as lief and enow. 


The Norfolk man is essentially cautious, and for 
him to say it is moderate means not good, aud that 
there were several means a great many. Surely it is 
sufficient explanation of mucky that manure is muck. 
Perpetually he speaks of imitating ta do, that is attempt- 
ing or professing. He always lays instead of lying ; a 
horse himpx, not limps ; the soil should be tnotiltry ; a 
mess is a certain quantity ; a pool is a swish of water ; 
supports his wall with a spore not a shore ; if better, 
he is gettiri 1 on the round, he sets not sows his seeds ; 
has a hasel and a barksel ; and in the littir a pitman. 
If frightened he is only astonished : he riahtsides his 
boy or his dog ; things may be illconvenicnt ; he may 
have a rare cold, rare being superlative in any direc- 
tion ; the east wind is stingey, the windows may 
rattick, or the fire squinder. Though the present tense 
is never favoured with its final " s, " yet it always is 
with a strange perversion : " It don't matters," and 
"it don't seems to." He knows no distinction in 
Furrin parts ; so to "go to Jericho " is the same as to 
"go to Bungay." 

"Duyu let them chickens put, and she'll troll 'em 
to dead," was a piece of advice once tendered to me 
in favour of keeping the old hen in a coop. One with 
a "screw loose " is shanny, not quite rocked, or won't 
(/et further than Wednesday. Curious and ingeniovis, 
and probably grammatically defensible, is the hypo- 
thetical use of the word do, which is commonly 
observable, as for example in such a sentence as this 
"He don't fare to be a-comin," do that don't 
matters," where 'do' supposes the fact that "He do 
fare to be a-comin' " Such points I have commonly 
observed when, such sentiments would be expressed 
<l So fashion." E. G. W. TUCKEB. 

On coming from church yesterday (Sunday), 
I heard a holly bush called a Christmas 
tree ; that it was a slow thow ; that the frost fare to 
forgive ; and later on, that the old yovvs mauled- their 
turnips better. And this morning, as a sort of mild 
swearing, " Gorn sim your body, bar ! " 


For the "edification" of " W. H. C." and 
Mr. Bird and all others whom it may concern, 


probably a very numerous class, I bave looked up the 
following: Nathan Bailey's Dictionary, 1722, says: 
Sib (Saxon) kindred Sib'd, a-kin, as no sole sib'd 
nothing a-kin, North Country ; and Sibbered and 
Sibberedge from Sybbe (Saxon) kindred The banns of 
matrimony, Sttff. 

Headers also of Sir Walter Scott may perhaps 
remember the following passage in the Antiquary : 

" By the religion of our Holy Church they are ower 
sib together. But I expect nothing but that both 
will become heretics as well as disobedient reprobates, 
that was her addition to that argument and then, as 
the fiend is ever ower busy with brains like mine, that 
are subtle beyond their use and station, I was un- 
happily permitted to add, ' But they might be brought 
to think themelve sae sib, as no Christian law will 
permit their wedlock.'" " Waverley Novels," 1854-, 
vol. 6, page 157. 

But Nail in his " Dialect and Provincialism of East 
Anglia" perhaps gives the fullest description of the 
word. He ?ays it is one of Sir Thomas Browne's words, 
that it occurs in an entry of the old Assembly books of 
the Yarmouth Corporation during the reign of 
Charles L, where the parson is entreated 
in consequence of the increase of poverty to 
forbear to take aiiy banns, ask any cybredds, 
or marry any poor person either with or with- 
out license. Nail's work is a very excellent one, and 
contains most of the words which your correspondents 
have sent you, aud those who with for further infor- 
mation about sibbits would do well to consult it, as 
also Bailey. JOHN L. CLEMENCE. 

Permit me to submit to your notice a few more 
specimens of the above. 

Tisxicken, irritation, irritating. I have a " tissicken " 
in my throat, a tissicken cough. [Phthisicking .~\ 

Kane, water at low tide between the outer sand 
bank and the beach. " I shall bathe in the kane." 

Pawk, to search. Persons searching for anything cast 
upon the beach by the waves are locally known as 
" pawkers." What are you " pawking " after. 

Swop, to fall heavily. " I fell down ' swop.' " 

Say, to weigh down. 

Closes, fields with a footpath through them. 


PigJttle, a small field. 

Back Stalk, the back of a low hearth. 

T'jtear or To year, " Have you dug any potatoes ' to 
year ' " is a very common expression. 

Par Yard, cows or bullocks' yard. 

Hen's Polly, a hens' roost. 

Dingle, make haste and don't " dingle." 

Larrup, a small quantity. " Well ! there's a larrup to 
bring." W. H. C. 

If there is yet space in your columns on this 
subject permit me to add some words and peculiarities 
at present, I believe, unnoticed by ydur various 

Squezen'd, overcome by heat or nearly suffocated. 
Quackled, having one's breath momentarily taken 
away. Golder, to laugh in defiance. T/ipe, to drink 
a quantity at one draught. Trape, to trail (as a dress 
upon the ground). Jowl, to peck at (as birds do at 
any hard substance). Spiarr, to spread or sprawl. 
Tdo, a fuss. Gay, a picture of any kind. 
F'lwny, a ring. Fang, to clutch. Pakenose, an inqui- 
sitive person. -Z/'<7, a heavy load or burden. Fro icy 
(also Fysty), spoken of food when going bad or 
mouldy. Shug (also Shig) , shake. Run, to leak or 
become liquid. Comforter, a scarf or muffler. Dingle, 
to travel slowly. Refuge, to put in a place of shelter 
(spoken in reference to cattle). Out abroad, outside 
the house. 

There is also a peculiar use of such words as Crumb, 
Duty, Good, Do and Don't, Time, and Without, as the 
following examples will show : 

"Cut me a crumb o' beef." "What's his 
vni'j (occupation) ? " " Hull it out abroad ; 
that's no more good (no further use)." " You 
aru't old euousrh dit (or) you might a tried." 
" Shet that gaate, bor, don't (if not) yar old sow'll 
girrout." " Wait outside time (while or during the 
time) I'm gone in." "Don't doit without (unless) 
you're sure about it." 

I may say I can personally vouch for all I have 
written. FUED. R. FOESTEE. 

The correspondence on the above subject is proving 
niDst interesting, but, lor my own part, I should 


like to see something more stated as to the 
source of these words and terms. Here are a few 
others that I have not yet seen mentioned : 
" Dowshie," a large hoe used for scraping roads ; 
"Piece," instead of field ; "scald," the highest part 
of a hilly field; "rattiker" a footbridge ; " rattick," 
to shake or knock about; " grup," for ditch 
or dyke; and "beck," generally supposed to be 
obsolete, is still used in Norfolk to denote a small 
running stream. " Colder " is a word that has two 
meanings ; in the county it is understood to mean the 
husks of wheat or chaff of some kind, while in the 
city bricks' ends and other rubbish from old 
buildings is what is meant. The term, " lay-over- 
meddlers," used in the article of this morning, 
is rather different from what I have myself heard. 
When too inquisitive as to certain things I have been 
informed they were "lar-o'-for-meddlers, and you 
are the first." " Kub ba-hoult" is used every day 
by the Norfolk teamman, but I could never quite 
make out its meaning. 

An Irishman would be known by his "brogue" in 
any part of the world, but we do not so often hear of a 
Norfolk man being thus recognised, there- 
fore the following may be interesting : A 
young man, a native of Norwich, was a,t 
work in Canada. Whilst walking along a road 
one cold morning he was accosted by a stranger with 
"Sharp morning, this!" He at once replied in true 
Norfolk style, ''Ah, bor, you're right." The stranger 
stopped, looked sharply at him, and said, " What part 
of the world do you come from ? " The young man was 
somewhat surprised, butsaid he came from England. The 
stranger did not seem satisfied with this, but asked for 
the particular part of England, and gave, as his 
reason for being so inquisitive, that he had never 
heard the word bor used outside a certain district. The 
young man at once gave his address, and then his 
name, whereupon the stranger grasped his band, and 
said, " That's the masterbit ; I used to live next door 
to yer father, and I ha' nussed you many a time when 
you wor a nipper." JOSKIN. 

Tt is most useful to preserve the fast-vanishing 
relics of old country dialects, and, therefore, all 
the more necessary to guard against recording as local, 


words which are widely current. May I give a few 
instances from the interesting article on " Broad 
Norfolk " by the author of " Giles's Trip to London" 
in your issue of the 9th instant ? 

Bunny For rabbit, is, I believe, used throughout 
England, certainly in all the Southern counties. 
Chitterlings This word is used in London and the 
south generally. Clamber Is universal. Dang and 
Darn Are of daily, nearly hourly, used in Surrey 
and Sussex. Gawky Maybe heard all over England. 
Hoppen toad Surely 'is merely hopping toad. 
Hulkin and strappen Anywhere in these isles one 
may hear of hulking lads and strapping lasses. 
Tantrums Are not peculiar to East Anglia in word or 

Neither the word nor the bird mnvis is peculiar to 
East Anglia, as all may know who have heard the 
pretty Scotch song in which occurs the couplet 

" I heard the mavis singing 
Her love song to the mora." 

The word is in Chaucer, and its origin is interesting. 
Tn early Latin texts this poetic bird was termed 
mah'itiiis, from mal/im, bad, and rids, a vine, it being 
very harmful to the vines. In Germany it bears a 
name of similar meaning. The transition from 
mah-itius to mavis is of course easy. 

Of one local word I should be very glad to know 
the proper meaning and derivation the word carder. 
The Rev. G. S. Barrett asked for information as to 
this in January last year, but none seems to have ap- 
peared. The word may be seen on new notice boards 
on land about Catton. The words olf, a bull-finch, 
doke, a trench, and duzzy, strange or devilish, are 
of some interest. 

1 am afraid to encroach too much on your space, but 
perhaps you will permit me to say that George Borrow 
(whose memory Norfolk would do well to cherish more 
warmly) used many localisms in his works. Did he 
not say that it is " in Norfolk where the people eat the 
best dumplings in the world, and speak the best 
English ? " Borrow frequently gives the sole of the 
day, sometimes insists on beiiiy his /share in paying for 
the good ale his soul loved, and says Go you there, see 
you here, and so on. He uses the following words, 
hastily selected, which are, I believe, genuine 
East Anglian, viz.: Crome, driftway, dwile, freshets 


(perhaps misprint for freshers), highlows, shack, staithe, 
and tumbril. I am not sure whether spuffling is a practice 
peculiar to East Anglia. The word 'dodman, or 
hodmandod, is found in old plays, and occurs in 
Christopher Anstey's New Bath Guide : 

So they hoisted her down just as safe and as well, 
And as snug as a hodmandod rides in his shell. 

The vigour of English literature owes a good deal to 
dialects, and the English language is a grand mosaic. 
As an old lexicographer says, " beautified and enriched 
out of other tongues, partly by enfranchising and 
indenizening foreign words ; partly by implanting new 
ones with artful composition, our tongue is as copious, 
pithy, and significative as any other in Europe." 

I, for one, hold that in the wide world you may 
search in vain for so noble a mother tongue as is ours, 
welded and wrought in the sinewy strength ef a race 
builded and compounded of the best blood the earth 
has ever borne. 

If this be so, Mr. Editor, you cannot regret that 
your columns have been opened to discuss the history 
and the vitality of one strand in the glorious web and 
woof. " HET VAEKE." 

I have been much interested in the letters and 
articles appearing in your paper with reference to 
the Norfolk dialect. Before you bring the closure to 
bear, I should like to have a word or two on the 

In the first place I would point out to the author of 
"Giles's Trip" that the word housen is not peculiar 
to Suffolk as it is in frequent use in Norfolk. The 
Saxon form of denoting tiie plural number is still 
extant in such words as "oxen" and "children." 
The Rev. J. P. Perkins is also wrong in supposing that 
the word mucky is not common in this county. 
Presumably he has never heard of " muck spreeding " 
or known of a man being called a "mucky slink," a 
term of reproach, which is often used. This brings to 
my mind other words used to denote some mental 
failing in the individual, such as diizzy fule, silly chump, 
shanny brain, and cranky. The latter word, no doubt, 
is derived from " crank," but I fail to see why it 
should be used in the sense commonly 
understood. In visiting a small farmhouse 


you enter over the troshold and are invited by the good 
lady into her keepin rume, a name peculiar, I think, to 
this county, given to the room most generally used by 
the family, the " parlour " being only u-ed on high 
days and holidays. I have also heard the expression 
used even in Norwich. There is one charge that can- 
not be brought against the local dialect, and that is 
the wrong use of the aspirate. Norfolk people know 
how to sound their " H's." VEEDANT GKEEN. 

I have been greatly interested by the letters in 
your paper on "Broad Norfolk." As a native 
of East Norfolk, in which part the broadest of 
the broad is used, I recognise nearly all the words as 
being used when I was a boy in the district for many 
miles round Stalham. To a Londoner the Norfolkese 
was an unknown language, and I have frequently had 
occasion to act as interpreter bet veen my London 
friends and some of the older natives (the i very long 
please) . 

There appears a doubt as to the use of the word 
deke, as to whether it is applied to an earth bank or a 
narrow watercourse. In East Norfolk it certainly is 
used in both senses thus : " My ol 1 dickey clambered 
over the deke into Cubit's pightle last night, and jampt 
his mansrels about arummen ;" or, " My little mawther 
Sukey (pronounced Suker) hulled my velvet frock 
(velveteen sleeved waistcoat) into Riches's deke last 
night : lor, bor, that wor in sum mess of a pickle when 
I switched it out with the muck rake I was a-usin." 
Usually in my part they prefix the liquid deke with 
the word " water," and speak of it as a water deke. 

In my book " The Land of the Broads," on pp. 
249-254, I give a list of about 130 obsolete words, 
sufficient as I thought at the time, for the purpose of 
calling the general readers' attention to our fast dis- 
appearing Norfolkese, but I fancy with a little 
thought I could bring the total up to 250. My book, 
after going through three editions, is now out of 
print, but doubtless a copy is to be seen in the Norwich 
Free Library. (If not I shall have pleasure in presenting 
y on hearing from the secretary). 
hile on the subject of Norfolk peculiarities, may I 
mention the curious custom (one thing leading to 
another) of nearly every man and boy in East Norfolk 

a copy o 


being known by a "nickname." This custom apper- 
tains so far in Yarmouth, among the fishermen, that 
very few of a crew are ever known by their real 
names. Some of the names are given because of 
personal peculiarities, while others are perfectly 
enigmatical in their reference to the individual indi- 
cated. Here are half-a-dozen I think of as I write. 
Two- Skull (Thompson), Lightskin (Hewett), Punks 
(Wiseman), Rollabotj (Mason), Phantom (Cubitt), 
Whale (Williams), iScc., all of them known to me as a 
boy. If you go aboard a Yarmouth lugger to seek a 
certain man, it is quite necessary that you should first 
know his cognomen, or one stands a very poor chance 
of finding one's quest. BEHEST B. SUFFLING. 

Shortly, from the information given by your 
various correspondents, it will not be difficult to collect 
materials for the basis of a respectable glossary of 
Norfolk words, corruptions, and queer phrases. I 
think, however, that we have not yet heard if a person 

out it nahther. A rare piece of tcitrrk is a disturbance 
or quarrel, and a juvenile old lady is a kidgy old 
wumman If we go in search of an article we hyke it 
up, and in fardenter, haypcr, panncr, shillinter, the 
er or ter i^ equivalent to "worth." To jamb on is to 
tread upon. I heard a genuine Norf olkman eay once 
to a lad who had had the misfortune to graze his nasal 
organ, Warm yow done f yar nooze bor ? Blundered 
down anjamped on ' ? J. R. B. 

Your correspondent "West Norfolk" points out 
that the use of the vowel "u" for "o" is re- 
stricted to East Norfolk and the author of " Giles's 
Trip ' ' remarks upon the different style of speech and pro - 
nunciation here and in South Suffolk. The same 
thoughts struck me on reading the earlier contribu- 
tions on the above subject. In fact, I said " this is 
broad Norfolk indeed,'' most of the provincialisms 
quoted being now at any rate peculiar to the " broad " 


I am sorry to say that hallowing larges (the double 
"s" was never pronounced) is a thing of the past, 
although the " haller holder or holger boys " at haysel 
and harvest are as vociferous as ever. With respect to 
the dtke and dejce controversy, I have heard a raised 
bank with a ditch on each side of it spoken of as a 
fosse several times within the past four years. The 
only word in which the letter " h" is added wrong- 
fully to my knowledge is in hilder, meaning the elder 
tree (Sambucus uiger) . 

Pograinite. Is this a corruption of Pilgrim and Pro- 
gress, a pogramite having in early days to make a 
long pilgrimage to his meeting-house ? I knew an old 
lady in Essex who used to lock up her cottage and 
walk seven miles every Sabbath to meeting. When 
accompanying two men rabbiting some twenty years 
ago, a ferret " laid up ; " one man told the other to 
put a second ferret in, whilst doing so he observed 
"go in Pilgrim and search out Progress." It had 
been a dull morning, when at length the sun began to 
break out the same man saluted him thus, "here come 
little Phoebe." 

Rodger's blast, alias Sir Roger, may be a corruption 
of Sirocco, as rattick is of rickety. 

A man who himps, and especially if he uses a cratch, 
I called a hop and go one, or a dot and go one, the dot 
being the mark made on the ground by his crutch. I 
have never heard " kane " used as mentioned by 
"W. H. C.," a small lake left by the receding tide 
being usually termed a "low." Has the term " to sag " 
any connection with the Greek sar/cne ! A net makes 
a bag where it " sags." 

Wake. An open piece of water when the rest of the 
Broad is "laid," has its Norwegian equivalent 
" wak." 

When I used to ask what a parcel contained, and it 
was thought unnecessary for me to know, I used to be 
told "Rare o^s for medlers, a box o' the ears for m- 

Why should " God bless yer " be said to a person 
when sneezing ? 

One need not go abroad to get to "furrin parts." 
The " Sheers " were far enough removed from Broad- 
land until " Puffin Billy " opened up the district. 

I once, as a " draw," asked a man what he thought 
of the Education Act, and so many cubic feet of air 
being required for every child, &c., a new 


schoolroom being in course of erection near by. 
" Well," he said, " yow can get 100 cubic foot 
o' air into a worry small space, yer know." 
When told that one of a pair of soles which he offered 
for sale did not match in size, he answered, "Well, 
now yow cum to mention it, dale me if I dew think 
they fare to corroborate." Another old salt observed 
the preparations for trying the new life-saving rocket 
apparatus in majestic silence ; when the rocket was 
fixed he drew near, and eyeing it suspiciously for a 
moment or two, took off his sou' wester, scratched 
his head, and thus soliloquised, " I think I'll give that 
there rume," meanwhile retreating to a respectful 
distance. That man had braved an Arctic winter, but 
here on his own native sands thought discretion the 
better part of valour. I have modified his language 
just a trifle ! M. C. H. BIED. 

While thanking you for inserting my yester- 
da> 's letter, I should like to supplement it by adding 
a few more phrases that have since occurred to me. 
Bread, when coming from the oven underdone is 
described as slackbaked. If a person denies the state- 
ment of another he is denounced for tellin' me to my 
hid '(was a story, A foremost person in some assembly 
is reckoned a " kinder hid-se-ray." If an unusual 
number of people are met together there is bound to 
be, on first seeing them, stiffiti 1 the matter. 
One who has a well -supplied table at meals is said to 
" live like old Pamp." Should the fumes from burning 
garden refuse assail the nasal organ there is i( a quick- 
fire somcicheic." When a person has little to do and is 
asked to go somewhere with a message, &c., he is in- 
formed it will be all honest your time. To " rip and 
slash abouV is to drive furiously. To seem insincere 
and smooth tongued is to keep a carneyin'. Taking 
big strides when walking is to lampcr along. Goods 
being sent abroad &ie gain 1 forrin' . To hasten work un- 
usually in preparation for something is to lay forrard. 
I do not know whether this final example is peculiar 
to Norfolk, but it is very prevalent hereabouts. For 
instance, after two or more persons have been en- 
gaged in a lengthy argument, one of them caps the 
whole thing by ejaculating that encouraging phrase, 
Jf'ell, there 'tis ! Beyond this statement in a case of 
that kind it seems (to me) impossible to go ! 



All interested, . in the preservation and record- of 
our Norfolk dialect must feel greatly obliged to you 
for the very entertaining and valuable help you 
are now according the subject. As I have had some 
opportunity in- various parts of Norfolk of noticing 
the many peculiarities of our phraseology and pro- 
vincialisms, may I add a few to the list of words fast 
becoming obsolete in our 'county ? 

As to dele, might I suggest that when used for dyke 
or hoH the derivation comes from the Anglo-Saxon die, 
connected with the German ici-h a pond ; and when 
used as synonymous with bank, it comes from the 
Dutch tKjk. or dike, the "i" having the usual "e" 
sound peculiar to Norfolk. 

Now for a few Norfolkisms which I have not yet 
noticed in your paper. Amongst verbs we have shruck 
for shrieked ; scriggle, to turn about worm -like ; 
ffoldcr, to laugh noisily ; to hoice, for to hoe ; thotct, 
past tense of think. 

Amongst food names everyone says rows and milches 
for roes and milts ; the baked skin of pork is cracktey 
or skruzzle ; long suet puddings are donkey-leys ; pork 
cheese is su-ared ; and the cartilege in beef i&pax-icax. 

The nicknames of animals are often very pretty ; 
winkles become pinpatches ; ladybirds are llnh-a- 
barney bees ; and the stickleback is a stannlclc. A 
little animal of the dormouse kind I used to hear 
called a ranny. A common expression for a bad boy 
is an aahifcr or nomter ', while one who is inured to 
hardships is a hard-icoolled-iin. 

A number of our provincialisms are of course 
onomatopoetic in character, as instance krlnkle, 
slammakin, swack, and the terms for crying, such as 
slobber and blare. Norfolkers, as well as other people, 
have a habit of transposing consonants, as in mips 
for wasp, ax for ask, &c. One wonders why a lad 
who " truants," your yokel would say is said to 
play the Charley, or play Sammy. It is easier to see 
why the boy, if in hiding, is told to keep squat, or- 
close and quiet ; and doubtless he'd be all o' a molt 
for fear of getting summit of a hiding were he found in 
hiding by his feyther. 

A woman's ejaculation is often " Sakes alive," or 

" sars o' mine." I see one of your correspondent's, 

says a wash tub is a kccler, but is it not oftener 

called a killer. What is a swap- tub ? 

Some of your readers may not know that Bartlett 



in his " Dictionary of Americanisms " says, " Those 
parts of Great Britain which have contributed most to 
our provincialisms are the Counties of Norfolk and 
Suffolk, and the Scottish Borders."^ And Elwyn, in 
his " Glossary of Supposed Americanisms," thinks one 
would find more true Saxon and Anglian words in the 
New England States than even in England itself. 
It would be a splendid thing were someone with the 
time and ability to revise and supplement our local 
works on East Anglian dialects, of which even the 
leading works, like the Rev. Rob. Forby's "East 
Anglian Glossary," Major Moor's " Suffolk Words," 
and Nail's "Dialects and Provincialisms of East 
Anglia," are very imperfect. A very amusing speci- 
men of Norfolk language is "The Song of Solomon," 
written by the Eev. E. Gillett (of Runham) for Prince 
Louis Bonaparte's collection of English dialects. The 
10th verse of chapter vi. reads " Who's she as star out 
as the mornen, feer as the mune, shear as the sun, and 
frightful as a army wi banders." W. S. BABKEB. 

In view of the very interesting correspondence 
on this subject, perhaps some of your readers may 
be glad to know of a local variation of usage in two 
of the words which have been much discussed, viz., 
dike and deke, or deck. 

Here ia Lynn and the neighbourhood the word dyke 
is invariably used for a watercourse or drain, and the 
last few weeks everybody has been skating on the 

In my native village, less than twenty miles from 
here (in the neighbourhood of Hunstanton) the word 
"deck" was always used to signify a hedge lank, the 
waterway being & ditch, or more commonly a 'ffntp." 
This was the case from twenty to thirty years ago, 
and for aught I know the same usage prevails now. 
" Now then, come down orfethat there deck together," 
would be a very common salutation to us youngsters 
if we got up to look over a hedge, &c. 

This would appear to be a corruption of the Dutch 
use of the word "dyke" for bank, which, notwith- 
standing what one of your correspondents feems to 
imply, has been immortalised in the great historic scene 
of the cutting of the dykes by William of Orange to 
drown out the Spanish armies. F. W. B. 


In the unique list of Norfolk terms you are giving, 
the following I think have not been mentioned : 
sicicing I remember being used when a " yunker " to 
mean mowing with a reap -hook. The words hample 
and u'lmple trees are often used of the poles con- 
necting horse traces with farm harrows or the like. 
We call bullfinches bloodulfs, and chaffinches spinks 
about here. If our wives make us heavy dumplings 
we complain that they are mastrous sumpy. But we 
don't often have to find fault with them. Bullock- 
tenders always call their baskets skeps. S. 

Under your heading " Broad Norfolk" you have 
started a most amusing subject of discussion. I 
have been waiting to see what would be said 
about the common and very curious use of what 
has come to be an adverb or adverbial particle, the 
word do, pronounced, of course, "dew." Two of 
your correspondents this morning, Messrs. Tucker and 
Forster, are on the right scent, the latter treating it as 
equivalent to " or," the former rightly explaining it 
as short for "if you do." This is simple enough, 
after negative propositions, such as prohibitions, e.g,, 
" Don't you do that again, dew I'll give you a hiding." 
But I have constantly heard it used after positive 
sentences, with the meaning, " If I or you don't or 
didn't." A good instance I remember when I was 
out shooting. Some birds having lighted in a bare 
clover field, and it being desirable to drive them back 
to turnips, the keeper peeps incautiously over the 
fence and the birds go wrong. "Peter," I say, 
"why did you show yourself ? Didn't you 
see the birds?" Peter replies, "Well, sir, I see 
somethin' in the olland, but I thought it was muck, 
dew I'd a bopped." That is, if he had not thought so 
he would have ducked his head, (flopped bobbed.) 
Mr. Forster seems to think don't would be used in 
such cases where "if not" is required. But do is em- 
ployed in both collocations, and may be said generally 
to be equivalent to " under changed conditions and 
circumstances" a brief and handy substitute. 

Olland in the above dialogue is old land where the 
clover has been twice mown or fed off, and so effete, 
ready to be ploughed up for wheat. It is more 
commonly called layer or lay, which I take to be the 
same word as lea. 


Let me make a remark or two on other words men- 
tioned in your correspondence this morning;. A qay 
is not only a bright picture, but a bright flower. 
"Can't you mow the aftermath in the churchyard 
before Sunday ?" " Not time enough, sir, but I'll cut 
off they gays" meaning conspicuous hemlock heads, 
dandelions, &c. , growing on the fence. 

Froschy is pure Anglo-Saxon, frosch being a frog in 

or again may be the German batir, which also sur- 
vives in boor. But some take it to be neighbour be- 

Snasty I take to be a sort of unconscious crasis, or 
combination of marling or sneering and nasty. Com- 
pare the phrase in Article XVII., " wretchlessness of 
unclean living." where I have always thought the 
compilers of that document had " wretched reckless- 
ness" in their minds and slurred the two words to- 

Let me add to Mr. Tucker's illustrations of a Nor- 
folk man's caution when you offer him something dis- 
tinctly good he never says he will be glad to accept 
it. "Will you come up to the house to supper to- 
night?" "Well, sir, I drtft mind." 

C-H's account of skute is hardly complete. It is 
an acute-angled triangle. "Lynn Scute" is a well 
known whin covert so shaped. There is a verbal form 
"That there piece go skuting away "meaning to a 

I hope somebody will give us the etymology of 
wheesh, used to turn a horse to the right. It cannot 
surely be gauche. A. G. D. 

I am glad to find the " Broad " Norfolk corres- 
pondence has " caught on" so well and is still 
flourishing. The same idea has struck me that has 
occurred to your correspondent, " M. C. H. Bird," 
viz. , that Broad Norfolk may mean the dialect of the 
"Broad " districts, and this idea is strengthened by 
your correspondeat from Swaffham who repudiates 
the use of u for oo, as in the words " bate, " " spune," 
" sunc" " mine" i!cc., in the West Norfolk district. 
It is certainly a most marked attribute of the Broad 
district dialect. 

Surely, sir, some of your correspondents must have 
a very imperfect sense of sound. I know very well 


the difficulty of phonetic writing, and of conveying 
sound by letters, but surely it is a little too much 
when we find the common teamman's words, " kep 
haa" (come hither), and tcoosh, made into "cum 
harley " and " worree" sounds which I venture to say 
were never heard in this part of Norfolk. 

Mr. Tucker gives us a " swish " of water. I think 
the phrase ought to be "swidge." 

I append two or three examples which I have not 
yet observed. 

. Tolc, to entice. The last time I heard this was in 
this wise. I lent a man a young dog for snipe shoot- 
ing. He got on very well till he had to cross a river. 
He tried to tole the dog into the boat, but he declined 
to be tolced, and came off home. 

Another good old word which will probably soon 
become extinct is goaf, corn stacked in a barn. " Git 
on to the goaf, bor, and hull down some ' shoves.' " 

Plancher or planchard, a chamber floor, is still 
frequent, and till within the last forty years was 
commonly used by persons of some education. In 
" Webster " it is given as an obsolete word, meaning, 
1st, a floor, and 2nd, a plank, from which I infer it 
was used by our forbears to designate the wooden 
chamber floor ia contradistinction to the brick floor of 
the lower room. 

Turn to, in the sense of to set about a job, is a fre- 
quent expression in this part. 

I fear I have already trespassed too far, so must 
reserve any further remarks for a future occasion. 

To your very interesting list of words may I 
add that many years ago I heard more than once the 
word mot (, used for illness i.e., "I am very mart 
to-day? " 

Has the strange word been given of spoat, for short- 
grained wood ? 

I think deke certainly means a hedge bank about 
here, but then there are no water ditches. 

I may add that though many strange words are in 
constant use about here (the Cromer district) , yet it is 
easy to know any countryman from inland by his far 
stronger accent. N. NORFOLK. 


I have been much amused by the letters and 
articles which have appeared in .your paper on the 
above. There is one word (there may be many) which 
I have not seen ; that word is sunkets or sun he tin ff. 
It is applied in this way. Say a man has been on tne 
fuddie or boose for a week ; he naturally feels rather 
shaky, and in order to get himself back to his 
normal state he takes all sorts of niceties 
i.e., sunkets; or he is said to \& sitnketting himself. 
It is not peculiar to Norfolk, as I have heard it in 

As to the Norfolk dialect being recognised in far off 
climes, I can fully bear out your correspondent, 
"Joskin." Some years ago I was an officer on a 
barque lying in Valparaiso Bay. One day I took 
the ship's gig and four hands to fetch the captain, 
who had gore on a visit to another ship. 
On approaching it I gave the order for the men to lay 
in their oars. A man who was leaning over the rail or 
bulwark immediately called out, " Come on, bor, 
you're a toicney of mine ; you're Norfolk." When we 
got into conversation I found he was like me a 
Yarmouth man. S. T. 

I have read with considerable interest the 
" Broad Norfolk " correspondence, and offer a few 
more words of that language. Lock, a bunch ; 
u-haskiny, a beating ; mm, funny : spoilt, brittle ; 
gai'vel, a bundle of hay ready for cutting ; douse-a- 
bit, how-so-be-it ; lork-a-masser, Lord have mercy ; 
snob, shoemaker : nip along, run fast ; a frosty day is 
called a good steward ; hobby, pony; shorn t. shall 
not ; gainer , handy. W. L. 

"With this, my " third time of asking " your 
permission to insert some iurther provincialisms, 
I close the list so far as I am concerned, at the same 
time thanking you for the indulgence shown me. 

To be brief the thing m't is this here : A sploddiri* 
all in the slugs and not lookin' what he was arter, 
that there little brudle-r tumbled down and made his 
clothes in a rare pass, for his coat wi' the daarrt dried 
on to't fare as tho' t' would *ta' al-ne o 1 muck. 
Wot the plague d'yow aiJ, bor? Well, mor, I don't 


feel up to d sight. Don't ye ? I noticed yesterdaay. 
thinks I, he rarely well keep a pinylin' over and 
champin' his wittles ; sure/// he ain't a goin' to the 
moid country ? Less 'ope 1 ain't got the dine, mor ; 
I spooze I shall het-a-git a bottle o' stuff from the 
doctor's, for I don't want to keep a taki-H? on a' this 
manner. Wot, fussickin out agin, Maria ? Yow 
look as if yow a got a takin' 1 job. You're right, I 
thoict I did heer the door knock. "Well you a now 
ketched me all up at Harwich, so I doant like 
to arst ye in, beside I ain't got nothin' for tea only a 
little salary wot's right clung ; why, lawks, the fire is 
nearly out for want of a chife o'coal, and I ain't had 

which, but yow jest lerrim off the striug, mine is all 
rip and tare' while the t'other is a drawlatchin" 1 sort 
of a customer ; hae ? well, thankee we're all kinder 
mirldUn\_ baaby annall ; only my husband he felt like 
a doicnpin when he gorrup ; hoicsomerer he managed 
to eat a little saumple for his brakfest and yow know 
he on't give up till he's fooss'd to 't ; well there we 
fare to stan' here litfe num" 1 cnaance, so we do. 


Can any of TOUT contributors to this most 

interesting corresoondence give the origin of the 

term main. "Lor bor, I conn't ate my maate 

so, I likes it in the main." I was dining in a 

restaurant in Norwich recently and drew the waiter's 

attention to the fact that some beef he brought was 

nearly raw : to which he replied. "I'll change it if 

you wish it is rather in the main" A. J. G. 

In the 'inain means the same as in the rear, and is 

applied to underdone meat. "We believe people 

ask for it in the main because in the main means " in 

the middle," where the meat is likely to be least 

cooked. Meat well cooked is said to be home-done. 

ED. JN'.V. 


I am anxious to collect the various local names by 
which our British birds are known, and therefore, with 


your kind permission, will take advantage of the 
present correspondence to give those which I have 
culled fron various sources. I have affixed authors' 
names to those words which I have not myself heard 
used, and sha.H be very glad to receive any additions to 
the lish. So long as" the word is now used in East 
Anglia to desciibe a certain bird it need not, for my 
purpose, be restricted to the county. In fact I doubt 
whether the following list contains a purely Norfolk 
word at all. Even " Pudden-ppke " is used in Suffolk, 
and according to Johnson's Dictionary, poke means " a 
sack in the north of England, Camden ; pocca, Sax. 
poke, Icel." Olf or ulph is also common in the sister 
county, and "Harnsei" is only a shortened form of Hern- 
shaw. Arps, Scamels, and Mows I have not met with, 
nor can I find a derivation for. The term Beed Pheasant 
still survives in Essex (Miller Christy), and the Norfolk 
Plover is known as such elsewhere, and breeds as 
frequently perhaps in other counties as it does with 
us. It will be noticed that the names given to some 
birds are descriptive of their peculiar make or 
markings, note or nest, flight or food, habitat or time 
of arrival. Those people who talk of May Birds and 
Danish Crows are no believers in the lately revived 
theory of the hibernation of birds (c.f. " Migration of 
Birds," Charles Dixon, 1892) , although some restrict the 
limits of the seasonal flight of the last mentioned, 
and dub him only Kentishman. It is remarkable how 
very few birds are distinctively known by our villagers 
except in the neighbourhood of a Grammar School ; 
birds' eggs there finding a ready sale. Some of the 
marshmen, professional punt-gunners, and "paulkers" 
are among the most practical of naturalists, 
being able to distinguish " fowl " at any rate, 
not only by their note by day, but their 
wing sound at night. Numerous causes have 
combined to render many avian provincialisms obso- 
lete. The high price of corn some fifty years ago 
caused much waste land to be drained, enclosed, and 
broken up (dibtance only lends enchantment, &c., to 
those "good ' old times). [A plan was formed for 
turning Hickling Broad into corn fields.] Game 
preserving has cut both ways; acting deleteriously 
upon raptorials, but affording the sanctuary of the 
coverts to smaller birds generally. The scarcity, even 
as occasional visitants, of such birds as the Avocet, 
e.g., which used to breed in Norfolk, has caused their 


"proper" names to be forgotten. The ten-shilling 
license has increased the number of shooters, and the 
spread of education and accompanying knowledge of 
natural history popularised through the Press has 
increased the number of collectors and taxidermists. 
The scientific title is duly given to every specimen, and 
its price has " riz accordin'." 

The impossibility of distinguishing "a hawk 
from a harnser " (on the wing at any rate) 
will soon be a pardonable ornithological offence from 
the very dearth of individuals upon which to excercisa 
our powers of observation. 

Alexandra Plovers Kentish Plover (E. T. Booth). 

Arps Tufted Ducks (D. Girdlestone, South well.) 

Bird A partridge, " Ha' you many bads te year r" 
English Birds and French Birds, meaning English and 
French Partridges. 

Slue Hawk Hen Harrier, male. 

Bilh/ Whit The Barn Owl The bird of wit or 
wudom ; also Willie Whit and Billy Wix. 

Butcher Bird Red-backed Shrike -From its habit 
of killing and " spitting " small birds and insects. 

Barley Bird Nightingale (Forby), Siskin (Miller 
Christy) arriving about barley sowing time. 

Black Cap Black Cap, and more usually the Mai sh Tit. 

Bottle Tom Lougtailed Tit, Featherpoke. 

Bramble Finch Brambling. 

Bloodolf Bullfinch. 

Blue Rock, Rock Dow The Stock Dove, Rock Dove 
not occurring in Norfolk. 

Baldie Coot Coot. 

Black Goose Beruicle and Brent Goose, or Brant. 

Bargoose and Bargander Bar, Sheld, Patched, male 
and female Sheldrake. 

Black Duck Scoters. 

Black and White Pokers Both Immature Golden 
Eye and Tufted Duck. 

Black Poker Tufted Duck. 

Bluegill Scamp Duck, also Greybacks, c.f., "Trans, 
of Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists Society," 2, 397. 

Blue Darr Black Tern (Dar-dart?) 

Bitte icren Bittern . 

Black Curlew Glossy Ibis. 

.Baw/oiiK-Spoonbill (A. Patterson). 

Caddie Jackdaw (Jack '. Cade ? ! !) Caddow. 

Chit-Perl Chit, small, Lesser Tern ; Sea Swallows 
and Mackerel Birds. 


Cobs Any of the larger Gulls. 

Come-back Guinea fowl. Female only calls 
" Come back ! " 

Cow Bird Ytllow Wagtail, from frequenting cows 
at marsh for the purpose of insects attracted thereby. 

'Coy Ducks A small and loquacious breed of 
domesticated Ducks used for decoying purposes. 

Crow Rooks generally, I have actually heard 
" whose rooks as those crows?" c.f., " crow scaring. 

Draw-water King Harry, or King Harry Diaic- 
water The former from its being taugat in captivity 
to draw water for itself with a thimble and chain. 

Derellng or Deril Bird The swift, from its 
blackness and uncanny tout ensemble. Its note is a 
weird cry, and only as night approaches does it fly 
low enough to be specially noticed. It inhabits, for 
roosting and nesting purposes, high and lofty places 
(frequently church towers), and never alights upon 
the ground. 

Doddy WrenThe Wren doddy, diminutive - all 
teeney, tiny things are familiarly addressed and re- 
spected inNorfolk parlance, c.f., " little old," old being 
a term of endearment, pitman, the petman, &c. 

Dickey Eirdo* Sea fie Oyster Catcher. Dickey 
c.f. t slang for shirt-front. The black and white on 
breast being conspicuous in its uniting. 

Di</fyM>< Guillemot, Willock (E. F. G.). 

Dobchick Little Grebe or Dabchick. 

Englishman English Partridge. 

Fulfer The Missel Thrush, but indiscriminately 
applied to the Redwing and Fieldfare as well. 

Felt Fieldfare. Not common (felt, to flock). 

Firettnl Redstart, synonymous. 

Ittzhackcr (Haccan, Sax., c.f., hacker, a stam- 
merer) Made to do duty for Stone and Whinchat. 

French Linnet Tvfite (A. Patterson). 

Frenchman French Partridge, also Red Leg. 

Goldtn Eagle This is the name given to the im- 
mature White -tailed Eagle? that from time to time 
occur in East Anglia. 

Game HawkThe Peregrine. 

Guler, Goolie, and Goldfinch -Yellowhammer. 

Greenelf Greenfinch, Green Linnet, Greenie. 

Goat Sticker or Xight Hawk Xightjar. The 
former name is dependent upon a popular fallacy, and 
the second is derived from its hawk-like flight. 

Golden Golden Plover. 


Grey Goose Grey Lag, Bean and Pink-footed 

Golden Eyes Tufted Ducks, immature. 

Grey Gulls, Grey Cobs Immature Black-backed or 
Herring Gulls. 

Hay Jack Whitethroat, Nettlecreeper. 

Hedge Betty Hedge Sparrow and Hedge Spike 
(spidzo to chirp). Its note is said to betoken rain. 

Herring Spink Golden Crested Wren, from its some- 
times alighting upon boats engaged in herring fishing 
during the period of autumnal migration. 

Hoodie Grey Crow, also, Norway Crows, Danish 
Crows^ Kentishmen, and Carrion Crows. 

Harnser or Frank Heron Crane Common Heron, 

" I ha seen the rooses blume, 
I ha seen the wiolet blow, 
I ha seen the harnser fly high, 
But I ha seen northin loike yow." 

(Love sick swain to his inamorata). 

Hart Duck or Grey Duck - Gadwall ^Ste^enson, 
Southwell, Lubbock ; Grey Duck also female of Mal- 

Half Fowl I, Teal and Widgeon ; 2, DivingDucks. 

Holland Goose Solan Goose or Gannet, evidently a 
corruption of the former. 

Jacks Jack Snipe. 

Kitties Any of the smaller Gulls. 

Laughing Goose White-fronted Goose. 

Little Mealy 2)w7,--Longtailed Duck, female (E. T. 
Do well, Southwell;. 

Little Rattlcwing Morillon (Bewick), immature ; 
Golden Eye (Paget, Yarmouth, 1834). 

Loon Loen, Dutch, Great-Crested Grebe, also 

Mesh Herrier Marsh Harrier and Montagu's ditto. 

Mavish Thrush. The "h" is pronounced, 
especially in plural. 

Mudlark Rock Pipit. 

Mai/bird, Titterel Whimbrel, Jack Curlew. 

Molberries Skuas (E. T. Booth). 

Norway Thrush Redwing, not common. 

Nope Bullfinch [Ray], W. Rye, Dray ton. 

Norfolk Plover Thick-knee, Stone Curlew. 


Ostril or Orstril Clearly a corruption of " Osprey," 
sometimes called the Fish Hawk. 

Oxeye The Great Tit. 

Oxbird or Stint Dunlin, the smaller waders are not 
often excluded. 

Pudddipokf', Ground Oven, Oven Tit, Ovcnbuilder 
Willow Wren and Chiffchaff from shape of nest. That 
these two birds and their nests should be confounded is 
excusable since externally they are so much alike. 

Pickcheese Blue Tit, sometimes "Beebird" and 

folly Wash Dish Pied or " Penny " Wagtail. 

Pyii-ipe Pewit, Green Plover. 

Pigmies Curlew Sandpiper. 

Pintail Smee Pintail Duck. 

Poker, Sandy Head, or Sandy Headed Pokers 
Pochard, male sometimes called Redhead drake ; 
female ditto, " Dunbird." 

Perl Perl, purl (:) to turn over, c.f., he came a 
purler. Common Tern. 

Ringtail Hen Harrier, female. 

Reed Pheaant Bearded Tit. 

Reed Sparrow Reed Bunting. 

Red Linmt - Gammon Linnet. 

Ring Dow Wood Pigeon. "Drop down the deke, 
bor, hinder come a dow ; " deke may be a wet ditch or 
a dry one, but dike is always a wet one. Deke may 
also mean the bank, that is the earth thrown out in 
making the dike. 

Red Leg- Redshank ; also the French Partridge. 

Red Knots Knots in summer plumage ; grey ditto 
in antumn, or immature. 

Runners Land and Water Rails. 

Rattlemng Golden Eye, adult. 

Rattle Wings Golden Eye, from the noise it makes 
in flight. 

Shepherd's Bird Wheatear (A.. Patterson). 

Sedgebird Sedge Warbler ) Sometimes not distin- 
Keedbird Reed Warbler / guished inter se. 

Snow Fleck Snow Bunting, fleck-flake, from its 
mottled plumage, and coming at snowtime. 

Scribbling Finch Corn or Common Bunting and 
the Yellowhammer, from the pencilling of their eggs. 

Spink Chaffinch, phonetic (wine, ancient British) 
spidzo, to chirp. 

Spurrer Sparrow. 

Snakebird, Cuckoo's Mate Wryneck. Snakebird 


from its hissing note when disturbed on its nes<", and 
Cuckoo's Mate because it arrives about the same time 
a the Cuckoo. 

Stone IttmntrRing Dotterel. 

Summer Snipe Common Sandpiper. 

Summer Lamb Common Snipe, from its " drum- 
ming " or lambing in summer. 

Sko'-el Duck Shoveller, Shovelbill- drake. 

Summer TcW Gargauey. 

Smee -Widgeon, Smeeth Duck ? 

Sea Phaysant Pintail (Sir T. Browne, Southwell) ; 
Longtailed Duck (E. T. Dowell, South well). 

Since or Smew The Smew, Weasel Duck (C. A. 

Sdicbiil Merganser and Goosander, generally the 
latter, which is also called by its proper name, with 
emphasis on second syllable. 

Sprat Loon Ked-throated Diver. 

Scotilton Cobs or Pint Black-headed Gull, Mow. c.f., 
Mow Creek, WeUs (Colonel Fielden). 

Titlark or Ground Lark Meadow Pipit. 

Turkey Buzzard or Buzzard Hawk or " Great Old" 
The Rough-legged, Common, and Honey Buzzard, 
not generally distinguished. 

Turtle Duw Turtle Dove. 

Tufted Golden Eye Tufted Ducks, mature. 

Te uke Curlew, Whimbrel, and Godwit but usually 
the Redshank on the coast. 

Windhover The Kestrel. 

Widgeon At Blakeney, the Golden Eye (E. T. 
Do well). 

Weasel Duck Smew (Mustek variegata), Sir T. 

White-Eyed Poker Ferruginous Duck. 
Woodcock Oicl Short-eared Owl So-called because 
it arrives here about the same time as the Woodcock. 

Words connected with above subject : 

Dutch Nightingale Frog (Spur) W. Eye. 

Egging Bird's nesting, especially applied to taking 
eggs of game, 

Fen Nightingale Frog {Forby). 

Fat-hen Gocse grass,- Chenopodium album. The 
seed of this weed is a favourite food of game birds and 
wild fowl, &c. 

Gobbler or Stag Cock Turkey over a year old. 


Gay bird Any bright-coloured bird the male of 
any species. 

Hopping Toads Frogs, E. T. Booth ; perhaps 
Natterjack Toads ? (M.C.H.B.) 

Htiddle-me- Close- Sidebone. 

Little Bads Fried Mice, given to children for 
whooping cough, and so called to deceive them. 

March SirtU or Marsh Birds Frogs. 

Nest Gulp The smallest and weakest of a brood of 
nestlings (Forby). 

Skipjack The clavicle, merry thought, or wishing 

Up A bird is said to be " up," or have his " bloom 
up," when in full breeding plumage. 

M. C. H. BIRD. 

The thanks of all local naturalists are due to 
the Eev. M. C. H. Bird for putting into such a 
portable compass the " Broad Norfolk " nicknames of 
our Norfolk birds. As there are a few others which 
might be added, it may not be thought superfluous to 
mention them. 

Cuckoo's mate Wryneck, " 'cause he comes with the 

Cute Coot. " There' ve been a body of cutes on 
Breydon since the Broads ha'/nz." 

JJarelin Swift, pronounced as if an " r " had a right 
to come between the " a " and " v." 

Dottrel Ring Plover, and I have heard it described 
as dodlin. 

French mavish Eedwing. Indeed, many folks really 
believe he left that excitable Republic to spend the 
winter with us. 

GullchaserSkuii. ' ' Tha's all he is." 

Hornpie. Lapwing. He carries a crest or horn ; and 
is pied to boot. 

Mussel duck'Bleicls. Scoter. "The mussel ducks 
allers lay off the North Beach in the dead of winter." 

Sandlinnct and Sandlark Sanderling. 

Scotch goose. Brentgoose. "The old Scotch geese 
allers show up in hard frost, but 'aint they shy ! " 

Shoe-horn and Cobbler's awl Avocet. 

Shovel-bill and Spoonbill-duck Shoveller. "Lor', 
aint they a treat, when nicely cooked ! " 


SnotvmanSnow bunting. Birdcatcher : "I copt 
a mcaff of snowmen yesterday, and some tidy white 
'tins among 'em." 

Stints Dunlin, "there's a rare mess of stints on 
Breydon sometimes " 

Water-hen Moorhen, often pronounced with an " i " 
instead of " e." 

Wil-ducks Guillemot and Bazorbill. " Can't they 
skive under water when they want tu ! " 


Allow me to send you a list to supplement that 
which appeared in your issue of yesterday signed 
" M. C. H. Bird" of local names of shore birds of 
the North Norfolk coast, which he omits. 

Blue dar Black Tern (E. Norfolk.) 

Clinker Avocet. 

Cam brief ye Godwi t Greenshanks. 

Cream-coloured How Irani, of Glaucous, or Iceland 

Dipeere Tern . 

Didopper Grebe. 

Grey Mallard- Gad wall. 

Green Plover, Pywipe Peewit. 

Loon or Lowan Red-throated diver. 

Mud Plover Grey plover. 

Magloon Great Northern Diver. 

Mow Gull (in general.) 


Rattlewings Adult Goldeneye. 

Stint Dunlin. 

Seap ie Oy stercatcher. 

Spoonbeak Shoveller duck. 

Steeldttcktos imm. merganser. 

Stone Runner Einged plover. 

Skeleton, Mud Snipe, Martin Snipe - Green rand -piper 

Scammell, Pick God wits. " I'll fetch three young 
scammels from the rock." Caliban, in " The 

TanqlePicker Turnstone. 

Willie- Guillemot. 

I have spelt these words phonetically, knowing no 
other way. It is worth noting how most of these 
local names point to some peculiarity in the habits, 
plumage, or voice ; but for skeleton, scammcll, stint, 
and moil- 1 can assign no reason. E. W. DOWELL. 


It would be very interesting if some person 
with the necessary leisure would make as com- 
plete a list as possible of the local names used by our 
Norfolk gunners and beachmen, many of which, al- 
though very expressive and even poetical, are fast 
dying out ; the names also applied to many of the land 
birds are equally interesting. I have from time to time 
noted such as I have met with, but I am sorry to say 
not with any degree of industry. One great difficulty 
is the uncertain way in which these men pronounce the 
names of birds, and if any attempt is made at getting 
a more distinct utterance the result is always con- 
fusion ; it thus happens that the phonetic 
spelling varies considerably, and sometimes there 
is quite a family of similar names, all 
evidently of the same origin. Thus the 
Black Guillemot is known as the tyste, taiste, toy at, 
and tysty. Referring to Mr. Dowell's list, I notice 
the same thing. " Dipeese " I have always interpreted 
" dip-ears " a very appropriate name for the terns, 
which are also called " Shrimp pickers." "Magloon " 
(probably the prefix means " large ") is applied to the 
Great Northern Diver, which is also known as the 
Herring Loon, to distinguish it from its smaller 
relative, the Red-throated Diver, or " Sprat Loon." 
Scammell and pick for Godwits certainly are rather 
puzzling. The term "Pick " may refer to its mode of 
feeding. Thus the Turnstone is known as the " Tangle 
Picker," but that Scammell has any connection with 
the my stenou 8 Scamel which Caliban promised to procure 
from the rocks I much doubt. Godwits do not breed 
on rocks but in marshes, and if we can imagine a 
printer's error (a not unfrequent occurrence even now- 
a-days) by which the letter " c " was made to do duty 
for "e" we have ' ' Seamels " or Sea-gulls, which 
would seem to clear up the whole matter. I have heard 
many very pretty and descriptive names derived from 
the habits or notes of birds ; thus the Snipe is known 
as the "Air Goat," "Heather Bleater," and " Summer 
Lamb ; " the Little Grebe," Dive-an-dop ; " the Night-- 
jar, " Razor-grinder, " " Scissor- grinder, " and 
Churn Owl; the Quail, "Wet-my-lip" (from its 
note) ; the Mistletoe Thrush, " Storm-cock," from its 
habit of singing in rough weather ; the Kestrel, 
"Windhover," " Windfanner, " highly descriptive of 
its graceful hovering flight ; the Green Woodpecker, 
" Reunbird:" the Sheld-duck, " Burrow Duck," from 


its nesting in rabbit burrows ; the Pintail Duck, "Caloo," 
or " Coal-and-Candlelight," from a fancied interpre- 
tation of its singular cry ; the Lapwing, " Flapjack," 
and many others. 

I do not think the following -occur in either of the 
lists you have published : 

Bottley Bump, Bottle Bump, Bitour Bittern. 

Coll* Kird or Cobble Bird - Hawfinch (Sir T. Browne) 
. Clod Bird, JJtuit Lark Common Bunting. 

Coney Chuck, White Rump Wheatear. 

'I)unnrjck Hedge Sparrow. 

Hobby Bird Wryneck (Sir T. Browne). 

Mealy Bird Longtailed Duck. 
.' -Me&lin Bird- Fieldfare. 

Home Hau-fc, Woodcock. Owl Short-eared Owl. 

Popeler Shoveller (Le Strange Household Book). 

Sedge Mari ne Sedge Warbler (F. Norgate). 

Sea Dove Little Auk. 

Shovelard Spoonbill (Sir T. Browned. 

Spoice Whimbrel (Le Strange Household Book). 

Stag Common Wren. 

Stone Falcon Merlin. 

Summer Teal, Crick - Gargany Teal. 

As specimens of broad Norfolk I remember years 
ago in a village near Lynn hearing a woman tell her 
daughter to " put the gotch 'er the winden." A 
virago in the same old town was peculiarly inventive 
in her threats to her children, and I have heard her 
exclaim, " Yow maw Haryet, come yow hare ; I'll 
pull yar liver-pin out for yow." Poor Harriet! on 
such occasions I have not unfrequently heard the blows 
inflicted with the "short brush." " Go on" is 
frequently used as an expression of surprise. ' ' Why, 
go on, bor !" or it may in some cases be interpreted, 
"leave off," much depends upon the inflection. 


I do not remember noticing in the "Broad Norfolk" 
bird names any of the following : 

Com. Sandpiper S/t richer, on account of its note. 

Fieldfare French Fxlfer. 

Goldfinch King Harry, Thistlejinch, and according 
to differences in throat markings Peathroat and 

Grey Plover Full-eyed Plover, from its large eyes. 


Green Sandpiper Black Sandpiper ; looks so when 

Grey-leg Goose Home-leg Goose 

Missel-thrush English Fttlfcr. 

Partridge Short, on account of its build. 

Stonechat and Whifichat- -Furzechucks. 

Starlisg Chimney-pot-plover (good reason for 
why ! ) 

Scaup (male) Grey-lack ; correctly so. 

Scaup (female) White-noted Day-fowl, from its 
white-handed forehead. A. P. 

In the list of Norfolk birds given by Mr. Bird, 
and supplemented by Mr. Southwell, no mention 
is made of "The Spotted Fly-catcher, called " Wall 
Bird," common in the neighbourhood of Norwich, and 
very noticeable both from its note and its peculiar 
method of darting out from a branch or rail to seize its 
prey; nor of the "Nuthatch," commonly called 
' Creeper " or " Free Creeper." Mr. Bird gives the 
Norfolk name for Whinchat as "Fuzhacker." I have 
not heard it so called, the name I am familiar with is 
" Furchuck," which I take to be a corruption of Furze 

Can any of your readers tell me whence certain 
specimens of the common domestic duck obtained the 
crest or " top-knot " which adorns their heads ? I 
have from time to time seen various individuals so 
distinguished, but have never seen or heard of any 
breed to which it is peculiar, unless it be the Wild 
Crested Duck. Here are one or two additional speci- 
mens of Broad Norfolk. SnecJc, a door-latch ; Warik, 
usually used in half contemptuous, half good 
humoured way as, " What, did you do thab for, you 
wank, you." I am sorry no one can explain " Woosh," 
my own opinion is that it is a " missing link," a sur- 
vival of the language once common to horses, bipeds, 
&c. J. PITCHEE. 

May I be allowed to add a line on the much 
vexed question of the meaning of the word do, 
used in opposition to the former clause of a sentence '; 
It is simply another form of the word " though," and 
answers to the German dock. " Js there a rake on the 


premises?" I asked of the daughter of the farm- 
bailiff in whose house we were lodging. " Do Father 
has got the key," was 1he reply, evidently equivalent 
to ' Father has got the key, though ! " implying that 
it could not he had without his permission. And in all 
sentences, however apparently ungrammatical, this 
will apply. 

_ Spoull means brittle. The nurseraaids used to put 
vinegar into " tuffey" (tough enough, no doubt, with- 
out it) to make it^poult. Wood too old or dry is apt 
to be spoult, and unfit for working. 

Clmuj is used for fruit or vegetables which have 
been kept so long as to be flaccid ; a malady most in- 
cident to cucumbers and gooseberries. 

Mother appears on pickles and jams as a sort of 
whiteness on the top when fermentation has set in 
called also a hough, and applicable to the appearance 
in certain cutaneous diseases. 

Rokej reek, and wrack are all forms of the same 
word, indicating steam or cloud ; Shakespeare alludes 
to cloud-capped palaces, dissolving into thin air, and 
" leaving not a wrack behind." 

Your correspondents do not seem to be aware that 
the Yorkshire and Lancashire divisions of the fields 
are made of dry stones and called dykes. Whin dykes, 
too, are heard of. I knew a small lane, or loke, 
leading from a farmyard inclosed on both sides with a 
stone wall, and called " the dickey." This was near 

Don't ought is a favourite expression ; but pur people 
do not generally adsl "to." Don't ought to is used in 
many counties, and it is good Anglo-Saxon never- 

The reply of a friend's coachman who was remon- 
strated with for certain irregularities may be 
amusing. " Well, ma'am ! the truth is, I am like St. 
Paul. What I ought to do I don't do, and what 1 do 
do I don't oiight." 

A Yorkshire friend coming to reside in Norfolk was 
attracted by the sound of a continued tapping in his 
garden, and, inquiring the cause, was told, " It is 
northin, only the mavishes napping (or knapping) the 
dodmans." " But what are mavishes and what are 
dodmans ? " was his reply. He recognised "knapping " 
from "kuappeth the spear " in the Psalms. 

I have not observed malahackcd and jamtmick 
amongst your correspondents' lists. I heard of a 


donkey purchased for little money on account of 
some injury ; but it was not so malahacked as to be 
jammucked for all that." 

Has any one heard now-a-days of a popular remedy 
for whooping cough, namely, pills made from the hair 
cut off the dark brown mark on the donkey's back, 
and called Balaam's smite, made up with butter or 
-dripping, I believe ? Also fried mice, always pro- 
nounced meece, or dragging a. child through the space 
formed by a bramble grown at both ends. Four moles' 
feet, tied up in a bag, and worn round the neck are 
good for rheumatism, but it must be the forefeet 
which are to be worn in case of rheumatism in the 
arms, and hindfeet for the legs. Hoping I have not 
been too garrulous, A NOEFOLX WOMAN. 

I notice that " A, G. B." in his letter to-day 
refers to an olland being frequently called a layer 
or lay. This is not quite correct. A layer or lay 
is the term applied to grass growing for hay from the 
tin-e the barley is cut till it is well grown and almost 
ready to cut ; and the term olland is applied to the land 
after the second crop of hay has been taken off. 
Amongst the words I have not yet seen 
in your paper are the following: Sanni- 
ken, silly, foolish ; jumble, porter and beer mixed ; 
danks, tea leaves. A man once explained to me of 
two main drains in a heavy laud field that ?one come 
_sarshen, father one go yin. I have heard a wedding 
favour, i.e., rosette, called a gay as well as flowers and 
pictures. I have also by me many letters from work- 
jng men, which, as lessons in phonetic spelling, are as 
good as one can wish for, and I once received a letter 
on the envelope of which was written, 


Having been much interested in reading your 
correspondence on "Broad Norfolk," permit me 
to contribute my quota, and to observe that our 
Norfolk peasantry have been the conservators of 
many words that have been handed down since .East 
Auglia was peopled by Saxons, Danes, and Norman 
invaders. 4., the other day! asked a person who 
was long in arrears to me when it would be convenient 


to pay, at which he rather tartly told me I was not 
" Jarmeck^ Some friend will perhaps interpret. 

Another, a tenant in trade, told me that business 
was so down that he should " Jack j." 

A Norfolk man may generally be spotted by his 
brogue ; for instance, I was once at an inn-room in a 
small town in Scotland, where sat a solitary 
gentleman eating his dinner. He suddenly arose 
and rang the bell. Waiter put in his appearance, 
a dirty napkin on his arm. "Waiter, have you got 
any tetters ? " I interrupted, " Bor, yew are Norfolk." 
Aud the stranger replied, " So are yew, bor." After 
further confab he informed me that he "did in the 
beut and shue line, and hailed from Norwioh." 

Eustic ignorance, too, is conspicuous. I was walking 
near Sandringham on a -sketching excursion, and 
trying to depict some ruins. A boy tending some pigs 
was near me. On asking the youth in what parLsh 
the ruins were he, pitying my ignorance, informed me, 
" Don't yer see they beant in no parish ; they be in a 

I know Forby's " Vocabulary of East Anglia " is an 
authority, but something in the shape of an addenda 
would be of value to preserve these quaint old words. 

W. C. S. 

The curious expressions appearing in the Press 
under the heading of " Broad Norfolk " have been 
numerous, yet some have escaped the notice of previous 
writers. Some people may look upon this corres- 
pondence as a lot of squit and slaver (nonsense), but 
they need not look "as sour as u-adges" about it. 
Having^;; (given) us the opportunity of " airing our 
lingo," which we haa'nt (have not) had lately, "7'fe 
git ire it (I will get through) mine in a.j\Jfey (a short 
space of time). There seems to be such a cholder 
(quantity) of these phrases, but I think we true Nor- 
folk j/iaps (fellows) will gie you: all onem in time. 
When I went to school the boys brought 
their skran (dinner) with them. Some would 
have schu-ad (pork cheese or brawn). But I won't go 
on in this fashion. Flop2)ed is a word in common use, 
meaning thrown down. Crinkk>/ erankky^ like is 
explained by the compound word " zig-zag." 
Children jtffle or jidgctt about, and you might as well 


" gape aginst a red hot oven as to stop em." If in- 
sinuating, I have been asked " what are yer minten 
at " this may mean hinting. In buying herrings I have 
heard Norfolk people ask for either " miltz " or dotts, 
the latter probably owing to the formation of the roe, 
which appears to be made up of specks or dots. I find, 
however, that the use of u for o and oo as in lutes, 
soii)ie,&c., is more marked in Norwich than outside of 
it. T. P. S. 

Verily we shall soon have a recorded language 
peculiarly our own. In order, as we say, to 
keep the pot a bi'.in, I sei^d a further list of words in 
daily use (in East Norfolk). 

Slew, slewed, this word doos not (with us) mean a 
departure from temperance principles, it is used thus : 
"Let's slew the elevator round." 

Ferry fake, impudent prying. What are you ferry 
f aken arter ? 

Gulcher, to fall heavily. " It came down a gulcher. 

Morfrey, an hermaphrodite agricultural carriage, 
such as tumblers for instance. 

Huttress, an implement used by blacksmiths for 
paring hoofs of horses. 

Meetiners, Protestant Dissenters. 

Go tu meetin clothes, the Sunday or best suit. 

Titty totty, extremely tiny. 

Titty-ma-tortcr, a see-saw, or a see-saw action. 

Sunk, ill cooked food. "Here's a sunk to sit down 

An old man once addressed his master, a shopkeeper, 
who was busily engaged in putting the price to some 
goods, with the following request " Mar hum tru ? " 
" I am," said the employer. " Yes, sur," said Jemmy, 
" but mar kum tru, sir ? " After a little " argerfymg '' 
it turned out that the inquiry really was ' ' May I 
come through ? " that is, pass by the counter, and not 
" Mark them true." At prayer meetings I have some- 
times heard expressions that would puzzle theologians. 
One good old man always asked that he might be 
" blowed up like a grain o' mustard seed," which we 
somehow imagined was a desire that his spiritual graces 
might bloom (blow) with the celerity of the seed 
mentioned. It was only the other day I heard an irate 
rustic, with infinite scorn, express it as his opinion that 
if he " warn't much of a,rithmetickerer he knowed wot 


tu and tu wos." Possibly lie had heard much of arith- 
metic from his grandchildren attending the Board 
" schule." W.H.C. 

If you are not surfeited with " Broad Nor- 
folk " I offer the following. Many of the so-called 
"Broad Norfolk" words which have been referred to 
in your correspondence are proper words, and in 
general use throughout a great part of the Kingdom, 
but somewhat corrupted in pronunciation. 

/, Harnser, for Heron (pron. Hern}. The 
former is the scientific name of the tribe of which the 
Heron is a member. Anser fat is said to be an infallible 
cure for incurable diseases, probably from the fact that 
the Heron is nothing but skin and bone. In this 
respect it is akin to pigeon's milk, so much in request 
on the 1st of April. 

Mavis, a thrush, called a grey bird in Devonshire, 
where the blackbird is sometimes called a black 

Cosset, Cocset, a lamb, &c., brought up by hand 
Spenser. [Bailey.] 

Cub-baw. A young Frenchman many years ago 
came to England, and applied himself to the study of 
the language and idioms. He heard a Norfolk farmer 
shout " Cub-baw ! " to his lad, who was slow in 
bringing his horse. The pocket dictionary was brought 
into requisition without effect. " What did he say ? " 
says the Frenchman to a friend ; " I've looked through 
C and K and can't find anything like it." This was 
the first occasion that M. du Maurier (for he it was) 
heard the Norfolk pronunciation of " Come boy." 

Caddow, a Jackdaw, or chough, Norf. [Bailey], 
sometimes called " Gadder.'' 1 I suppose you have heard 
the tale of Bishop Stanley and " Jim Crow's cadders." 
Cupbear, should be " Come hither," or " Come hither 
tci' ye" When a teamman leads his horse he is on 
the left, or near side ; therefore the expression would 
mean "turn to the left." Whisk, or whosh, a 
frightening sound, to drive the horse to the right. 
" Come hither wi' ye " is used in the west of England, 
but I have never heard " ivhish " out of Norfolk. 

Contain is sometimes used for "detain," e.g., "I 
won't contain you." 
Dartff, darn. The first word seems to be Norfolk, 


ftie other is heard in other places. Both words may be 
as near an approach to a great big D as politeness 
would permit. 

Dow, dove. This is in use in tlie north of England 
and in Scotland. 

Deficiency, for sufficiency. Heard at a village tea 
meeting, "Do 'ee have another .cup of tea, Mr. 
Lemon." [He had already had 18.] "Nothank'ee 
marm, I've had quite a deficiency." 

Enow, plural of enough [" Walker's Dictionary."] 
Used elsewhere. 

Fysty, foisty. Spoken of food whea going bad or 
mouldy. Fust, a strong smell, as that of a mouldy 
barrel. Fustiness, mouldinesa, stink. Fusty, smell- 
ing mouldy. [Walker.] 

Keeler, a shallow tub query from " Cooler." 

Huh-er, for holly (hulfere, holly, "Chaucer") 
"Query, wholly green, always green, wholly-vert. A 
Bhmb that is green in wiuter and summer. 

^ Half- rucl\ hall- w. 
Un:7.l,>, Ttiiakin, <i>'t-ry 

_ hoodkin, dim. of hood ; a 
cevering for a cut finger. . 
Gii/e>; good father, Saxon, use* all over the 

', Mentle, Mantle, a working apron. 

Mawkin, a figure set up to scare birds. Malkin (of 
Mall, contrac. of Mary, and 'kin, or mannikiri), a sort 
of mop or shovel for sweeping an oven. [Bailey], 
" Malkintrash," one in a rueful dress, enough to fright 
one [Bailey]. " Crimaikiii," lie. a grey malkin ; an 
old cat [gray, and malkin, a dirty drab, a corruption of 
Moll or Mary. fi Chambers's Dictionary."] Dudman, 
Tnfl.11rin > or scarecrow, a hobgoblin, a spright 

Plantain, plantation. 

Pig h tie, alias Picle, Pictellum, a small parcel of land 
.inclosed with a hedge, which the common people of 
.England do, in some places, call a Pingle, and may 
perhaps be derived from the Italian word Picciola, i. 
jmrvus ["Dr. Co wel's Dictionary, 1708]. 
' Paick, poke (?) 

Pakenose, an inquisitive person, pokenose (?) 
'' Pulk hole. Pulla, a pool or lake of standing water, 
- whence a pulk is a small pond or hole of standin^ 
'water. ["BlometieldV Norfolk," vol. III., p. 271. 
.Title, "Pulham."] 
1 Romant, a corruption of romance, a suggestion that 


the person who has "romanted" has drawn on his 

Skarm, Shawm (?). From its sound it would 
seem to infer a noisy instrument ; but I believe 
the shawm was a stringed instrument. 

Swelling, a candle wasting from draught. "The 
candle was swaling in the wind." 

SJ;ide, a part of a field in the shape of a shield (?), 
from scutum (Latin), a shield. 

A Sis.wrara, does this refer to a blow such as 
Jael dealt Sisera? 

Sag, to hang down on one side. [Bailey.] 

Sidus, sideways. 

Theiv and sneiv. An old shepherd once said to me, 
" First it blew, then it anew, then it thew, and thfn it 
turned round and friz." E. B. POUEEOY. 

Among the words not already mentioned may 
be included shall, which, as well as cail, means to 
throw, more especially, I think, a missile at any living 
creature ; and jannick, fair or candid, as, for instance, 
" I hope he will be jannick, and tell the whole truth 
about the matter." Is jannick a corruption of 
genuine ? EAMBLEE. 1 

Though rather late in the day, I venture to send 
you a small contribution on this subject. When 
a boy I constantly heard a curious expression which I 
find it somewhat difficult to describe. It was a prefix 
like the word " saint," only pronounced short, thus, 
"Don't s'nt antickin like that, don't." The word* 
" mischievous " is commonly pronounced mischecvous, 
with the accent on the second syllable, and I have 
heard it used in the sense of active and restless, as 
"I'm a mischeevous sort of man, and must be doing 
something." The word terrify is, I believe, often 
used in the sense of tease, as "The flies terrify the 
hoss." I was pleased to see the word slitss in one of . 
your correspondent's letters, as it seems to me to be the 
true Nortolk pronunciation; but the word maris, . 
mentioned earlier, I have always heard called marisli, 
and come-arther and whoosh seem to my recol- 
lection the sounds of the guiding words of 
the driver of a waggon to his horses. I 


once heard the gable end of a house called the gavel 
end, and this struck me, as there is a mountaiu in 
Cumberland commonly called Great uable, but de- 
scribed in a guide book as Great Garel, the explanation 
of the name being that it is like the gable end of a 
house. What is now called Boxing Day was in my 
young time called Offering Day, and as their Christmas 
boxes are said to have originally been religious gifts, 
there may be a trace of this origin in the name of the 
day. There is one other point I should like to men- 
tion. I have often noticed that strangers to this 
county have a tendency to pronounce names of places 
enoing with " ham " as if they ended with "sham." 
Thus they call Aylsham ^iyl-sham, instead of Ayls- 
ham, as it should be, and as I believe it would be 
called by natives of the place, unless they have been 
"educated " out of it. This is of some importance, 
because the new pronunciation destroys the historical 
value of the name. E. 

The following expressions struck me as being 
peculiar to Norfolk when I first came to reside ia the 
county. For instance, when the church bell is tolling 
for the dead, I have been asked, " Who the bell is out 
for ? " Do you know so and so ? "I know him to see 
to." For next morning you often hear "next day 
morn." J. C. S. 

I don't remember having seen the following odd 
words in your interesting correspondence. I have 
heard them used in different parts of this county all 
my life. A man went fhhiug and caught a corker and 
a tchopper, meaning a large fish ; another shot an old 
sea mow. A gardener told me one day, " I see our old 
missis this mornin', and she was right yipper, meaning 
in good spirits. Othei phrases are to go fribbling and 
famick'm or grubbing about for noic't, to be trapen about 
when it smurs of rain, and then go home and have a 
feu- gruel or broth to keep the cold out ; to have a hot 
dannock for tea (a piece of dough baked in the frying 
pan as you would a pancake). There appears to be no 
end of these odd expressions, but a country village 
amongst the old folk'is the place to hear them. 



On consulting my note book, in which I jot down 
such little matters of personal observation, I find 
a few phrases which may not yet have appeared in this 
correspondence. Several of the so-called words that 
have been given are combinations, and ould never 
rightly appear in any vocabulary. 

I observe a few common words with an unusual 
application, such are know used as a noun, as " to lose 
one's know;" rise, in the sense of "raise;" might, 
as a noun, as in "a might of corn;" welt, to 
droop ; fence for hedge ; gain and imgain, convenient, 
fcc.; lash, cold, raw ; clutch, a seat of eggs ; andjfe, as 
in " flat milk." The word Jumble may be merely 
slang. A little girl came running up to mo one day, 
and with intonation and accent that can never be 
expressed on paper, said, " Oh ! I have had such a ride 
in Mr. Blackburn's dickey caat, that went so fast, that 
it jumble right up agen the deke." 

Also a few peculiar words ; such are ringe, meaning 
a row or ridge ; scocker, a verb expressing the break- 
ing or bursting of the bark of a tree ; snew, a noose ; 
shacking, turning out pigs to gather stray ears in a 
harvest field. 

One might notice also such expressions as perk for 
perch, and u-anten for wanted. "Fosse," mentioned 
by one of your correspondent;, is familiar in Lincoln- 
shire. E. G. W. TTJCKKE. 

I don't know if my explanation will be satis- 
factory to your correspondent "M. C. H. Bird," as I 
am prepared with no proof. I may say, however, 
that when a lad my father informed me that in his 
young days the three Miss Pograms were prominent 
characters in a novel much read at the time. They 
were Nonconformists af a very sanctimonious type; 
hence, in ridicule, it is to be feared, Dissenters came 
to be spoken of as Pograms, and their chapel as a 

Amongst the instances of Xorfolk expressions I 
have not noticed in your coloumns ttaicky, a harvest 
frolic. If I mistake not I have met with this term in 
Bloomfield's " Farmer's Boy." "W. N. 

Your various CDrrespoudents are getting to- 
gether quite a copious vocabulary of the words and 


phrases peculiar to our own and our sister county, 
Suffolk. So far, however, I have not noticed any 
allusion to two words in very general use onede-' 
scriptive of a fretful baby, who is said to be> 
' sannicking," and the other of a handyman in 
amateur carpentering, &c., who is coinplimentarily 
referred to as a good "jimpsener." I spell both words ^ 
phonetically, not being acquainted with any other 

More than one- of the letters published under this 
heading give mavis as a Norfolk word. This is cer- 
tainly good Lowland Scottish as well as Norfolk. 
Witness the adorer of "Bonnie Mary of Argyle," 
who used to hear 

The n-.avis singing 
It's love-song to the morn. 

Scott also commences one of his minor lays with 
"Tis merry, 'tis merry, in good greenwood, 
"When mavis and merle are singing 

and many other references to the thrush under the 
name of " mavis " might be quoted. 

The distinguishing characteristics of East Anglian 
patois, however, are the suppression of the letter " r " 
when it comes after a vowel, and, less frequently, of 
the " g " final. For instance, in the " Cairn" Hall on 
any Saturday one is not unlikely to be made the re- 
cipient of a communication somewhat in this strain : 
" Sam ' Pouter's' coV bolted this ' maunin,' and broke 
the ' hahness " and smashed the '-caht.' " 


If your space will admit I shall be glad if you wiil 
insert the following instances of "Broad " language 
which I have not already seen mentioned in the corres- 
pondence on the subject : 

Bishimer or fshiincr, the ant. 

Unsensed, rendered insensible. 

Kicking up a row, talking loudly to the annoyance 
of others. 

Springy, a little the worse for dnnk. 
FUet, of little depth, as "a. fact dish.' 

Heel, remains of tobacco left in a pipe after smoking. 
Click, to throw as "I'll click .a. stone into tLe dog. 
I gathered myself up, I rose up (after being thrown 
down on the ground from any cause). 


Grained. The author of "Giles's Trip to London " 
calls this "greened,'' 1 but "grained " I hiive always 
heard in this district. 

My cold is breaking a bit refers to convalescence 
after a cold. I heard an old lady ask fora "deceit" 
the other day, meaning " a receipt." 

Some pronunciations of scientific terms are peculiar. 
Carbonate of soda becomes Carpenter's soda, and 
Iodine, Arradeen. " ALPHA." 

Has anyone noticed the Norfolk peculiarity of 
using more verbs than in any other counties, 
especially as regards do, did, and have ? Thus " he 
didn't ought to do it ; " " he didn't ought to have done 
it," &c. f f Many persons supposed to be educated make 
this mistake as well as uneducated people, who pro- 
bably would say " C?M, he didn't ought to have done 
it." A. D. 

I have not seen in your very interesting cor- 
respondence reference yet to the word stove, meaning 
to fumigate. As for the word dullah, I once heard it 
used in the following expression : " If you don't leave 
off that ther dullah I'll cop you into the deke's holl 
and leave you there to blar ! " There were the words 
of a sister to her little brother. Have you had the 
tword lether, meaning ladder ! I heard it once used in 
this way" Haiir the lether." T. T. 

-, I have been very much interested in the cor- 
'respondence on this subject in the Daily Press. lam 
_a Norfolk man, and iave livtd in West, South, 
and North Norfolk, and have noticed varieties of 
dialect peculiar to each division of the county. On my 
return to the county, after many years' absence, I 
. listen with renewed delight to the old expressions, many 
of which I had almost forgotten. Thirty years ago I 
. could have giveu you a formidable list of them. I have 
- not noticed that any of -your correspondents have men- 
tioned the use of the word happined as signifying 
"met." " I Ii<i l j 1 j.:,iel with him at ,,/ine," or "I met 
him at my house." Here we have the French " chez- 
iious." " He often come to /ni/i?, olliis of a Sunday." 


I heard a keeper say many years ago of a wounded 
partridge, " There-a-go, chenibidiii 1 along." 

Norfolk people are fond of using long words of 
which they do not know the meaning, as one of your 
correspondents illustrated by the use of the word 
"corroborate" instead of " correspond." 

The Norfolk oath takes various forms, always sense- 
less, but probably derived from the same origin. A 
keeper had put a ferret into a rabbit's hole, and after 
listening at the mouth of the hole for some minutes, 
jumped up ejaculating as he brushed his ear, "JiinsanH 
them there pishmires /" or " Confound those "Ants'." 
which had got into his ear. " You don't want to do 
so-and-so," or "you've no call to do this or that," 
for " you need not," &c. " Put on parts " for "give 
himself airs." " Don't act," for "don't play tricks." 

The voicel is nearly always put in the wrong place, 
or altered. "Woilet" for "violet," "sakele" for 
" seakale," " lebarneum " for " laburnum." 
"laloch" for "lilac," " Christmas anthems" for 
" chrysanthemums," and " midsummer anthems " for 
" mesambrianthemums." V is always changed to W. 

A woman speaking of her husband, who was an 
invalid, said, " He've no appetite to speak on (for of), 
but he can eat anything that cum of a noplush-]ix.&" 
or "unexpectedly." A Norfolk person is never u-ell, 
but "middlin," or "nicely," or "good tidily." 
Titles are incomprehensible, and can never by 
any means be made intelligible to a Nor- 
folk labourer, or even the more or less 
educated middle class. A peer of the realm, 
or a baronet, or a knight makes no difference ; they 
cannot understand, and always speak of them as Mr. 
"Mr. Lord So-and-so." A squire's wife they will 
often dub as " Lady So-and-so," because they consider 
she ought to have a higher title than themselves. 

The teamman often says " Gum-hare whoo,sht 
holt" (or stop) all in one breath, as the horse moves a 
little too much to the right or left. Vowels I 
have said are altered. " Herbert " is pronounced 
" JJarbert." It is impossible to write the pronuncia- 
tion of "now" or "dow" (for dove) phonetically; 
you cannot express the contraction or mincing of the 
vowel. "Tree threes" for "Three trees" is quite 

No other peculiarities occur to me at this moment, 
but if you will allow me, I will write again. Lady 


Augusta Noel (daughter of the late Lord Albemarle) 
has some beautiful genuine Norfolk stories in her 
various charming books, not only correct in expression, 
but idiom ; indeed, I recognise many old friends in 
her stories, picked up no doubt when visiting the poor 
in the neighbourhood of Quidenham. KECTOB. 

We het to trosh a wate stack to-morrow, so our 
master sa he ha seen the chaps abou rit. So help ma 
tater, yiuder she come some stroke down our loke. 
Thirs the byler, drum, and funky (a term for the three 
parts, engine, barnworks, and elevator). You must 
get the chaps to come that are hulling the slus and 
mud put of the holl agin the mash deek, as we must 
trosh in the morning. As sune as we start the straw 
must be hulled and chucked about the yards, cause 
they are in a woful state, and you be sure dont lave 
the gate undun, as them old hogs will hike out and 
sune stale into the garden and 'stry no end of roisbery 
canes and bushes and rute up the taters like hunting. 
That I know ont sute the old chap (master), whose 
temper is as short as picrust, and will sune nab the 
rust when things go ungain. A. B. C. 

Some years ago when I was acting as Under -Sheriff 
of the County we had in the witness-box a marshman 
whose dialect so puzzled Lord Chief Justice Cockburn, 
that he requested me to stand by his side and translate 
the evidence in order that he might get his notes 
correct. Going home with his lordship in the 
carriage, I ventured to suggest that the witness referred 
to seemed to be quite unintelligible, and asked his 
lordship what he thought of the Suffolk dialect. His very 
characteristic reply was I always call Suffolk " Norfolk 
set to music." AN EX-UNDEB-SHEBIFF. 

One of your correspondents the other day said 
he had heard a thorough- going Norfolk man talk 
about a certain drain, which he said came sarshen, 
meaning, I suppose, its course took a slanting direc - 
tion. I have heard what no doubt in reality is the 


same word, pronounced sosh, used, for example, when 
a field of corn (probably because of its being laid) has 
to be mown from one corner across to the other, in- 
stead of in a direction parallel to the hedge rows. 
" Soshen," I dare say, is "broader" than 
"sarshen." I have heard an order given to "throw 
the old deke down and use the thorn-bulls for 
firing," "bulls " denoting live or dead stubs. A very 
curious word which you might hear in the South 
Walsham neighbourhood is si-inker, the equivalent for 
which seems to be "a distributer." Thus, supposing 
anybody brought a can of beer into a harvest field and 
poured the ale out for the men, some " dry " labourer 
would very likely chaff him with the remark, " Come, 
bor, you are a slow skinker." After the usual share 
has gone round any beer that remains is called 
" skinker's 'lowance." Crick is another word, meaning 
water-dike. A day or two ago a rustic was describing 
to me the habits of the gulls or sea-kitties. He used 
the phrase " swaling and twizzling about" to express 
the strange pitching and tossing of these birds terms 
which at the time I thought far more vivid than 
words we should naturally have employed. An odd 
phrase oft used in Norfolk is ThaCs all me eye and 
Betty Martin, denoting the speaker's decided dissent 
from any desire or opinion expressed. B. B. 

At the risk of troubling you I beg to 
forward a few more specimens in daily use in East 
Norfolk. I do hope the outcome of this most interest- 
ing correspondence will be that you will publish our 
language in its entirety in book form, so that it 
may be preserved : Singles for hinges, " The door is 
blowed off the hingles." If your correspondent 
" Wes-t Norfolk" wishes to hear the East Norfolk u 
for oo in all its purity let him listen to an old parish 
clerk our way give out the following hymn : 

As pants the hart for culin streams. 

Another word is used by this official which is most 
common amongst us, faut fault. In the Confes?icn 
Billy gives us the pure native, " Speer thou them 
which cornfess theer fauts," and also " ere " for " are," 
" Restore thou them that ere penitent." Amongst 
trades we have kiddier, a pork butcher ; knacker, a 


harness maker. In London, as I am aware, a knacker 
is a horse slaughterer. Is not a Tom and Jerry Shop 
a general shop with a beer license ? W. H. C. 

As a native I have been much interested in the 
correspondence on the above subject ; but after all I 
think a stranger could form no idea of the beauty (!) of 
our dialect unless he coull hear and see a native of 
each district talk it. There are words used in one 
locality quite different from another. As to the word 
deke, I can quite understand a man gittin' up a' th' 
deke to luk over the hedge inter th' holl a' th' tother 
side. I fancy some of the correspondents are not very 
well up in their subject, as one says, " a conversation 
is often carried on across a ten acre field." I wonder 
if he knows how far that would be. I 
should say across a two acre pightle would 
be a fair distance to carry on any sort 
of conversation. Another says, ' ' Have you dug any 
early potatoes t'year? " In broad Norfolk it would be 
" Ha yow tuk up na' airly taters t'year ? " " No, mi 
ould wumman gmbb'd sum owt a' wun rute, an' 
thay're hardly fit." I have heard Aylsham called 
Els-ham, El-sham, and Ailsliam, and Foulsham 
Foul-sham. In many cases the yokel knows what the 
words are in dictionary English, although he speaks 
them in broad Norfolk. I have been in different parts 
of England, and in many places I have heard the 
Queen's English murdered more than it is in good old 

The expression " dare say_ " is pronounced da 1 
say, and, curiously enough, is made to signify the 
exact reverse of its usual meaning, for. most persons 
when they hear some intelligence which they quite 
expected to hear, exclaim, " Ah ! I dare say ; " while, 
on the other hand, if you impart some very surprising 
news to a Norfolk villager, he will most likely hold 
up his hands in amazement and cry, " Why ! da' say! " 
I believe this is also common to Suffolk. R. L. 

May I venture to point out a few localisms 
which I think have not been noticed in the 


" Broad Norfolk " correspondence. " Solid, bor, 
solid!" meaning in one's usual health ; " That would 
puzzle Acabo ;'' "If I ha'nt a kilt hir;" " If-so-oein' 
yow carnt go ;" " I'll sune rightside ye " (to a dis- 
obedient child) ; " The grass is lash" applied to young 
pasturage in spring; teUed for told ; "Look-a-haar ;" 
"I'onthet!" (I won't have it) ; "D' yow dut" (do 
it). Dtise-a-bit is not from " How-so be it," as one of 
your correspondents thinks, and as a line in the follow- 
ing will show : 


lake to git merried ? "Well, yessir, I a-bin a-thinkin' about 

That is, if Sairey '11 ha' me, but sometimes I kinder doubt it. 
Wot's that you're a-takin' yar pen out for .' Yow're arter 

writin' a taale ! 
Will I drink yar health? Well, thank ye, I doant mind a 

a glaarse o" aale. 
You hamt sin Sairey 1 Well, bor, I'd like you to see har, 

tha's all ; 
She's a laady bred, though on'y a nuss, up yinder there, at 

the hall ; 
And -when we are out o" Sundays you shud see my Sairy 

an' I, 

Why, I fare like a fule beside har, she cany harself so high ! 
Can I put my trust in Sairey 1 Well, you see, 'tis like this 

There's a coachman chap at our paaison's, he abin there only 

And he's kinder sweet upon Sairey ; but lor, sir, that aint 

no use; 
I"or she like a chap that can talk an* he carn't say bo tu a 


But there's suffin about his looks. I don't see what it can be ; 
And Sairey du garp at him sometimes, though she know 

that doant suit me. 
Well, I met the sawney, and nabb'd him by the collar o' kis 

An", ses I, " Yew ort to be quaggled with a halter round var 


The duse-a-bit, yow are winkin' an' maakin' mouths at Sal, 
Yow 'n I'll fall out i' ye du, bor, for I'm goin' to merry that 


And a fule wi a buzzle-hid like yais now, doant yow dar me 

Mv munkey is up, I tell ye, an' yow'U girra lift with my 

For yar hid is tu hard for punchin';" but he kinder larfed, 

and sed, 
"Go oa, you're a jokin', Johnny yow dussent punch my 

Ix>r, I up and c*tch'd him a rum'un ! I reckon his hid wuz 


Least-ways, he haint bin cotnin' his tricks wi' Sairey no 

And I think, if ever she fancied him, when Sairey cum 

to see 
How I luther'd his hide, she'll repent on't, and git harself 

spliced to me. 

For Sally is none o' yar dollops, she aint no dawdlin' slut, 
"With bar faace all a-muck an' untidy like a sow an" nine 

pigs in a rut ; 

She's a slap-up mawther, I te'l ye, and lawk-a-daisy me ! 
I well might be torken about her, for, dang it why, haar 

she be ! E. HEWETT 

The articles and letters in your recent issues 
on " Broad Norfolk " are most interesting, and 
I should like to say a word on the point raised by 
<( Joskin" in list Tuesday's paper, where he says 
that we do not often hear of a Norfolk man being 
recognised by his brogue. This arises, I am inclined 
to think, more from the circumstance that such events 
are not recorded rather than that they do not occur. 

I am myself a native of the " City of Gardens," but 
left it thirty-eight years ago, and have only been there 
once since, viz., at " Festival " time, 1863. During 
the interval I have,in consequence of my connection with 
one of the departments of our Army, lived at many 
different places, both at home and abroad, and I think 
I am right in saying that in every one of them I have 
been recognised as a Norfolk man simply from my 
speech. The last instance may suffice, which was that 
shortly after my joining my present station, I was 
introduced to the Town Clerk. Almost as soon as I 
spoke he said, "Pardon me, but from what part of 
Norfolk do you come? "he himself, I found, having 
been born in Surrey Street, Norwich. Now, 
as I may, without vanity, lay claim to be 
considered a well - educated man, and thus 
not given to "provincialisms," and as my experience 
is some what cosmopolitan, I think that the incident 
above mentioned may be worth recording (and I doubt 
not there might be hundreds, or thousands, of similar 
ones), as showing how one's early associations with 
the East Anglian capital still cling around us, although 
two-thirds of our life have been spent away from the 
old city ; indeed, the problem is as interesting as those 
your chess editor gives us week by week, only that I 
am unable to solve it so easily as I can the latter. 
W. SHAW " 


j. v *n.v me school Board came into operation. 
Treu at the age of seven or eight years were sent 
into the fields to scare birds or to gather stones at so 
much per bushel, without ever having had the oppor- 
tunity of learning the alphabet, that they should call a 
potato a "tater" and tobacco "bacca," &c. I am 
glad to think that many of your correspondents have 
had the advantage of a grammar or School Board 
education, and know how to avoid the errors which 
the poor and uneducated Norfolk and Suffolk labourers 
have fallen into. L. J. 

" Car woo ! Car woo ! Here come the clappers 
to knock ye down backards and halle car 
woo." About fifty-five years ago I resided at 
Thetford. It was the custom round about there to 
have boys in the corn fields to frighten away the birds. 
They did so by shouting out the above words, and at 
the same time using the clappers, which consisted of 
thin pieces of wood fastened to a handle, which when 
shaken caused a loud rattling noise. The boys were 
called " crow keepers." 

Should you consider the above quoted example 
sufficiently broad Norfolk, kindly insert it. 


The following eccentricities will probably 
interest your East Anglian readers : Roaches 
signifies sweets (this word is far more popular than 
cooshiesj ; arms and legs home-brewed beer (this term 
implies that this beer has no body in it) ; ear handle ; 
kit milk can ; luaesn ; hildje&st ; jangle to 
argue ; ftulkio clean a rabbit or hare. 1 join with 
many other readers in hoping that you will produce a 
pamphlet on the above subject. 


The articles and correspondence in your columns 
on this subject have been most interesting to me 
and many friends, and I hope when they are con- 
cluded you will publish them in a reprint. 

Another kindred subject is comprised in the names of 
fields, roads, &c., containing veritable "mines" of 
historical and traditional information. The names of 


fields were well treated of in a recent number of the 
Norfolk and Norwich Archaeological Society's publica- 
tions, but by no means exhaustively, and I hope you 
may see ycur way to make your columns the means of 
rescuing from oblivion the wealth of history and 
tradition represented in these names. 


While fishing close to Barton Broad with a 
friend, I happened to let my line drag along the 
bottom, when to my surprise a countryman near gave 
me the advice " You shud fleeten yar fut line, bor." 
This I presume meant not to fish quite so deep. 


" Het Varke" asked the other day for the 
meaning of carder, but gave no context, or example 
of the way in which the word was used. I have never 
heard it myself, nor can I find it " registered " any- 
where. We have a cord of faggots, but this does not 
appear to be a purely East Anglian expression, for 
Evelyn used it in Surrey for " a quantity of wood 
supposed to be measured with a cord (chorda, Latin). 
It is just possible that "corder" may have been 
written in mistake for " golder " loud laughter, or 
Gord a'mercy or Gord ' a'mighty or "colder" 
rubbish. A friend suggested si vis or si velis as the 
derivation of " sibbits ; " but we have the true stem 
occurring in the now perverted "gossip" which 
originally meant a God parent (God sibj. Perhaps 
the most loquacious inhabitants of a parish used 
most frequently to stand proxy. But although 
Shakespeare used the word gossip in a bad sense, 
my Johnson's Dictionary reminds me that Spenser 
used it in a good one. The term " idiot " has passed 
through a similar change of meaning. Once implying 
a private gentleman, it now conveys the idea of one 
deprived of his reason. Please allow me to thank 
those who publicly and privately have written me 
about bird names subsequently to your kindly 
publishing my list. M. C. H. BIED. 


As the correspondence now appearing in your 
columns is very interesting, here are 'one or two words 
I have not yet seen mentioned. Shy-tcannicking ; as 
wherey yow bin shy-wannicking tew. Upon inquiring 
after a person's health, we hear, " Oh, I'm tolerable, 
kinder arter the ould sort." 


Kindly allow me space for a word or two anent 
the patois of Norfolk. Once upon a time, as the 
story books begin, I owned an Irish cob that 
was a confirmed biter, and on going to see a 
friend at Eeepham I told his factotum of the 
cob's vicious propensity, but notwithstanding 
this he attempted to clean him without 
either putting on a cradle provided or tying him up 
short. The result was that the old man soon came 
trembling to my friend, and said, "By gom, master, he 
very nearly /lingered me." 

It strikes me the following is somewhat " broad " : 
" I never rid sich a boss. Well there, bor, he kin go. 
When we got to the tree acres, where the owd yowsare, 
he was all of a malt. There was a heavy day afore 
breakfast, and strus as I'm alive I just felt a tpit o 
raiu, so I must see arter them woats else our master'll 
be nation riled, and them calves '11 be blaring for 
their wittles as they allus du if they are kep waitin a 
minit. My missus ha' scrushed har little nnger good 
tidily and had to go to the chetnisters for some stuff, it 
finely ache and take on. T. G. S. 

In common with many of your readers, I have 
been a pleased observer of the correspondence 
which has taken place in your valuable paper on 
" Broad Norfolk." Being especially interested in 
" M. C. H. Bird's " capital contributions, I was some- 
what surprised to see the " Scamel " omitted from tha 
list of peculiar names applied to the birds of Norfolk. 
The sweet bard of Avon makes the lick-spittle Caliban 
to address the drunken Stephano thus : 

I prithee let me bring thee where crabs grow, 
And I, with my long nails, will dig thee pig nuts, 
Show thee a jay's nest, and instruct thee how 
To snare the nimble marmozet. I'll bring thee 
To clustring filberts, and sometimes I'll get thee 
Young scamels from the rock. 


One of our mast eminent ornithologists tells us that 
the gunners of Blakeney, Norfolk, still call a bird of 
the Godwit type by this name, a fact which I can 
confirm. An old taxidermist showed me a specimen 
there some four years ago. Some of Shakespeare's 
commentators have been dubious in accepting this bird 
as the one referred to in the text, one of the chief 
objections being that there are no rocks at Blakeney. 
The beautiful pebbly beach at this seaport, how- 
ever, points to there being some substance 
of a very hard nature in the far off 
ages, and the number of eggs still laid among stones 
which are beyond the reach of the waves, and the 
number of young ones reared would surprise many of 
your readers. 

I venture to express a hope that some handy publi- 
cation on this subject may be the outcome of this cor- 
respondence, in the compiling of which a distinction 
should be made between words of purely Saxon-cum- 
Norfolk origin and those phrases which murder the 
English language. Some of your correspondents hav 
failed to make this distinction. 

The following are such good specimens of how Nor- 
folkers can mutilate the Queen's English that I hope you 
will find room for them. A youth was once asked by his 
schoolmaster to account for his absence on the pre- 
ceding day. " It snewed and it blewed and of course 
I couldn't corned," was the answer. Before the Educa- 
tion Act, in the "good old times," when the endow- 
ment of nearly every village school was used for 
the purposes of secondary education an unnamed 
pedagogue had, well to put it mildly, the temerity to 
label his "Dotheboys Hall" as the "Commercial 
Academy." An old fisherman was struck " all of a 
haaps " one morning by this notice, and after looking 
at it for some time to decipher it he 
was heard to mutter as he jogged along : "Com- 
i-cal Ak-e-denay: what the dickens is that?' 
A native who has not been schooled always says 
"each" for itch. Villagers call a prop a promp, the 
running stream is still called the beck, while the island 
on which the alder grows has itself become the alder. I 
wish to confirm what has already been stated on one 
side in reference to the term "deck" or "deke." In 
North Norfolk it is never used to designate a holl or 
ditch, but refers to the banks of the hedges. 

Koughton. S. E. BAXEB. 


As the correspondence now appearing in your 
columns is very interesting, here are one or two words 
I have not yet seen mentioned. Shy-wannicking ; as 
wherey yow bin shy-wannicking tew. Upon inquiring 
after a person's health, we hear, " Oh, I'm tolerable, 
kinder arter the ould sort." 


Kindly allow me space for a word or two anent 
the patois of Norfolk. Once upon a time, as the 
story books begin, I owned an Irish cob that 
was a confirmed biter, and on going to see a 
friend at Reepham I told his factotum of the 
cob's vicious propensity, but notwithstanding 
this he attempted to clean him without 
either putting on a cradle provided or tying him up 
short. The result was that the old man soon came 
trembling to my friend, and said, "By gom, master, he 
very n&atyfimgetvd me." 

It strikes me the following is somewhat " broad " : 
" I never rid sich a hoss. Well there, bor, he kin go. 
When we got to the tree acres, where the owd yows are, 
he was all of a malt. There was a heavy dag afore 
breakfast, and strus as I'm alive I just felt a spit o 
raiu, so I must see arter them woats else our master'll 
be nation riled, and them calves '11 be blaring for 
their wittles as they allus du if they are kep waitin a 
minit. My missus ha' scrushed har little finger good 
tidily and had to go to the chemisters for some stuff, it 
finely ache and take on. T. G. S. 

In common with many of your readers, I have 
been a pleased observer of the correspondence 
which has taken place in your valuable paper on 
" Broad Norfolk." Being especially interested in 
" M. C. H. Bird's " capital contributions, I was some- 
what surprised to see the " Scamel " omitted from tha 
list of peculiar names applied to the birds of Norfolk. 
The sweet bard of Avon makes the lick -spittle Caliban 
to address the drunken Stephano thus : 

I prithee let me bring thee where crabs grow, 
And I, with my long nails, will dig thee pig nuts, 
Show thee a jay's nest, and instruct thee how 
To snare the nimble marmozet. I'll bring thee 
To clustring filberts, and sometimes I'll get thee 
Young scamels from the rock. 


One of our most eminent ornithologists tells us that 
the gunners of Blakeney, Norfolk, still call a bird of 
the Godwit type by this name, a fact which I can 
confirm. An old taxidermist showed me a specimen 
there some four years ago. Some of Shakespeare's 
commentators have been dubious in accepting this bird 
as the one referred to in the text, one of the chief 
objections being that there are no rocks at Blakeney. 
The beautiful pebbly beach at this seaport, how- 
ever, points to there being some substance 
of a very hard nature in the far off 
ages, and the number of eggs still laid among stones 
which are beyond the reach of the waves, and the 
number of young ones reared would surprise many of 
your readprs. 

I venture to express a hope that some handy publi- 
cation on this subject may be the outcome of this cor- 
respondence, in the compiling of which a distinction 
should be made between words of purely Saxon- cum - 
Norfolk origin and those phrases which murder the 
English language. Some of your correspondents have 
failed to make this distinction. 

The following are such good specimens of how Nor- 
f oikers can mutilate the Queen's English that I hope you 
will find room for them. A youth was once asked by his 
schoolmaster to account for his absence on the pre- 
ceding day. " It snewed and it blewed and of course 
I couldn't corned," was the answer. Before the Educa- 
tion Act, in the " good old times," when the endow- 
ment of nearly every village school was used for 
the purposes of secondary education an unnamed 
pedagogue had, well to put it mildly, the temerity to 
label his "Dotheboys Hall" as the "Commercial 
Academy." An old fisherman was struck " all of a 
haaps " one morning by this notice, and after looking 
at it for some time to decipher it he 
was heard to mutter as he jogged along: "Com- 
i-cal Ak-e-demy: what the dickens is that?' 
A native who has not been schooled always says 
"each" for itch. Villagers call a prop a promp, the 
running stream is still called the beck, while the island 
on which the alder grows has itself become the alder. I 
wish to confirm what has already been stated on one 
side in reference to the term "deck" or " deke." In 
North Norfolk it is never used to designate a holl or 
ditch, but refers to the banks of the hedges. 

Eoughton. S. E. BAKEE. 


Our attention has been called to the following letters 
which appeared in the " Gentleman's Magazine" in 

It is a common saying amongst the common people 
in this place (Norwich), when a person does not seem 
to recruit after a fit of illness, or when he does not 
thrive in the world, that such an one does not moise. 
Now, sir, I have ransacked several of our English 
dictionaries, both ancient and modern, but can find no 
such word, nor indeed any word that this is likely to be 
a corruption of ; and, as I never heard it used anywhere 
else but here, and can find no one acquainted with its 
etymology, I thought, perhaps, some of your ingenious 
correspondents might be able to trace its original ; or 
if not, thai it might possibly be an addition to the 
long catalogue of nondescripts with which Mr. Croft's 
Dictionary is to abound. M. 

The subjoined appeared in reply: "M," in p. 
1022, wishes to know the meaning of " He does not 
moise," a Norfolk phrase when a person does not 
seem to recruit after a tit of illness, or does not thrive 
in the world. It appears to be the verb belonging to 
moison, which, with some of its family, is still found 
in French. Jloison has been in our language. Chaucer 
uses it, and Tyrwhitt's " Glossary " explains it, 
"harvest," " growth," Urry's, from Skinner, " ripe- 
ness." Moise moison had the same relation, perhaps, 
as grow- growth, succeed success, $c. 

The dictionary of the gentleman whom " M " 
mentions is likely to tnoise, 1 hope ; and will, perhaps, 
go to press this winter with more than 20,000 words 
which are not in Johnson, supported by authorities. 
" M " will oblige Mr. C. very much by communicating 
to your magazine or your printer any other provincial 
phrases, all of which will turn out, perhaps, not to 
be corruptions (as "M" supposes moise}, but the 
language of our ancestors, and the seeds of our own 
language. H. C. 

N.B. The dictionary referred to above, which was 
to have been entitled, "The New Dictionary of the 
English Language," by the Hev. Herbert Croft, 
LL.B., London, 1788, was for some reason never 


I hasten to reply to the Rev. M. C. H. Bird as 
regards the word carder. In my first communication I 
stated that it appears on notice-boards at Catton. It 
is in the shape of a warning" Corder must not be 
thrown here" and no doubt is the same as the word 
colder, instanced by Mr. Bird. Dr. Murray, who is 
editing that magnificent work, the "New English 
Dictionary," asked me long ago about "corder," and 
remarked that someone had said it should be colder. 
Professor Furnivall, in 1864-, noted the word " corder" 
on a Norwich notice-board. What is the origin of 
these words ? 

Allow me to join with others in the hope that the 
correspondence on " Broad Norfolk" maybe re-pub- 
lished in pamphlet form. 

The spelling of the East Anglian dialect words is 
evidently very unsettled. One of your correspondents 
writes of a, hawkey, bloomfield and others who used 
the word wrote horkey, and I believe Dr. Jessopp 
writes baw instead of the more familiar "bor." 

Among Sorrow's localisms quoted in my former 
letter I should have included lash. He writes of the 
grass being " lash and sour." 

Rodger 1 s blast, or rodges-blast, is a puzzle. I think 
the suggested derivation from sirocco is too far- 
fetched. As a fact, does anyone call this windy visita- 
tion Sir Roger } A possible etymology is from, the 
Anglo-Saxon rogge, to shake, used by Chaucer. 

With your permission I will add a few more local 
words -.BaWmy, a local mode of fishing ; bauley- 
loats, Harwich fishing smacks ; boulders, clumps of 
fldgs ; carrs, low copses in marshes ; dams, drained 
marshes ; dydling, cleaning river bottoms with a 
scoop ; fleet, a shallow; frails, straw baskets ; gloat, 
a species of eel ; hover, a floating island ; 
lamming, bleating of snipe ; llggers, bundles 
of reeds to which fishing lines are attached ; 
loaders, herring of specially beautiful tints ; miel-banks, 
banks of sand blown up by the wind and consolidated 
by the marum grass also called " meal-banks" ; pulks, 
miniature broads which open off rivers ; putty, mud on 
river bottoms, &e. ; quant, a boating pole perhaps 
derived from Latin contits, a pole; rands or ronds, reed- 
covered banks ; rounding time, spawning time ; swiping, 
raising old anchors for an Admiralty reward ; water- 
cynd, sea smoke, a dense vapour from the sea. 


These examples are all from Mr. Christopher Davies' 
work on the "Norfolk Broads" (Blackwood, 1884.) 

[Other illustrations Mr. Christopher Davies has men- 
tioned to me: When a marsh is covered with water 
it is said to be bright ; a lead pencil is usually called a 
cedar pencil. C-H.] 

I have asked in vain for an explanation of the word 
coquilles, which Mr. Rye, in his " History of Norfolk," 
calls " our Norwich coquail." I do not know his 
authority for this strange spelling. It may be con- 
nected with cockell bread, or kichell cakes. The 
latter were given by godfathers and godmothers when- 
ever their godchildren sought a blessing from them. 
Perhaps when godchildren ceased to ask for these 
blessings, kichell cakes also became obsolete. 

The word scamel has a special interest from 
Shakspeare's use of it. Not long since there was a 
leaderette on the subject in the Daily News, which I 
cut out, but cannot now find. 

I fear the interest of the subject is leading me to an 
inordinate trespass on your hospitable columns, but I 
should just like to state that the Greek word from 
which we derive idiot was not specially applied to 
gentlefolks, but rather t the " dim common popula- 
tions," for, no doubt as Mr. Bird is aware, our earliest 
versions of the Bible have " the idiotes heard him 
gladly" i.e., the common people, a Greek idiot being 
any private, ordinary person, having no official status. 
Just as the common people became idiots, so did the 
holy people become silly selig, holy, and as the dire 
Gehenna, the ever-burning rubbish heap outside 
Jerusalem, has dwindled amongst infidel Frenchmen 
into gene, a bore ! 

I don't know why muck should be claimed as a 
native word of these parts. Lord Verulam, sometimes 
wrongly called Lord Bacon, said " Money is like muck, 
not good except it be spread." HET YAEEE. 

Before closing the interesting correspondence on 
this subject I should like, with your permission, 
to make one or two suggestions. The Rev. M. C. 
H. Bird and Mr. A. Patterson having given us 
the local nicknames by which the feathered tribes of 
East Anglia are known, would it not be equally 
interesting if some one would do the like for the 


weeds and wild flowers, trees, and shrubs of the same 
district ? In the building trade amongst labourers and 
artisans a great number of local terms are used which 
are not found in any architectural dictionary such as 
Jimmies or Jimmers for hinges, Pamments for pave- 
ment tiles, colder for brick rubbish, &c. A list of all 
which provincialisms would be very valuable. 

The suggestion to reprint these contributions in book 
form is good ; but to be of use they should all be re- 
cast in alphabetical order, and at the same time it 
would be as well to annotate the present collection 
with Halliday, Moor, Faby . Nail, Isaac Taylor, and 
the "East Anglian Notes 'and Queries," which last 
contains a great number of provincialisms not be 
found elsewhere. 

Every district and county in England has its peculiar 
dialect, though making use of many word which are 
common to several, or even all ; but with the School 
Board in full operation everywhere they will probably 
in the course of a generation or so entirely disappear 
and be lost. This would be a great pity, and therefore 
before such a catastrophe takes place, would it not be 
well for the leading daily paper iu each county to open 
its columns for correspondence on the subject, and so 
make collections similar to the one you are now making, 
which will be priceless hereafter. 

How this is to be brought about I do not know. 
Possibly the " Philological," " Folk Lore," or other 
societies might see their way to undertake it ; but it 
appears to me it should be done through the 
newspapers, and not by the different archaeo- 
logical journals. Their circulation is not 
sufficient, and they do not reach the class which would 
be likely to forward the matter. Every one takes the 
newspaper, and the response which has been made since 
" C-H." first threw down the gauntlet on the last 
day of last year has been simply astonishing, one feels 
wholly stammed to find such a large body of informa- 
tion forthcoming in so short a time. No less thau 91 
letters from 75 different writers have appeared from 
December 31st, 1892, to January 18th, 1893, iiiclu- 
a period of nineteen days only ! It is worth while 
contrasting this with the twenty years gatherings 
of a local archaeological journal upon the same 
subject simply to show without any disparage- 
ment whatever to the journal the superior 
collective power of the daily Press, its extensive 


publicity and far-reaching ramifications. The "East 
Anglian Notes and Queries," commenced in 1858 by 
by the late Mr. Samuel Tymms, F.S.A., and continued 
to the time of his lamented decease in 1870, re- 
commenced in 1885 by the Rev. Evelyn White, and 
continuing to the present time, has only published 
fifty-nine communications from forty-five writers upon 
this subject, and very many of these letters have been 
discussions upon single words only. It will, therefore, 
be seen at once the superior agency of the daily Press in 
forwarding this work all over the kingdom, and to be 
of use it should be done at once. 

I was sorry to see the letter of your correspondent 
" L. J." in this morning's issue. It is the only jarring 
note that has been heard, and is calculated to damp 
others. " L. J.," if not bilious, is unreasonable. He 
should remember that a newspaper is like a fishing net 
it gathers everything. The fisherman does not 
reject the whole of his " haul " because it contains 
some "rubbidge" he very wisely separates the one 
from the other as the farmer does " the 
wheat from the tares " and the " sheep from 
the goats." Let him listen to the Eev. Isaac 
Taylor, " Nineteen-twentieths of the vocabulary of 
any people lives only in the literature and the speech 
of the cultured classes. But the remainder the 
twentieth part has a robust life in the daily usage of 
the sons of toil, and this limited portion of the national 
speech never fails to include the names of those objects 
which are the most familiar and the most beloved. 

I have been much interested in the articles 
and correspondence in your paper concerning 
provincial words more or less peculiar to the Norfolk 
dialect, and if not too late I should like to mention an 
incident from my own experience. A fisherman on 
Cromer Beach once remarked in the course of a con- 
versation " The sea is a smoultin now." and further 
explained this by saying that " it gits kinder smoother 
when the tide is goin' out." It is a well known fact 
that in stormy weather the sea becomes calmer during 
the ebb tide, and " smoultin " appears to be the 
colloquial expression on the Norfolk coast which 
describes this phenomenon. AETHTTE W. WISEHAN. 


Now we ha got our 'lotments we can grow 
greens, grains, and taters, and roisberries and guse- 
berries tu, which is suffin new ; and a good help 'tis to 
find wittles for our housen. Besides, now larning is 
gan in, and since wages is hained to what they warr a 
few year back when Joe Arch axt us all to jine the 
Union and pull straight we ought, afore long, to be a 
heap better to do than the old uns wore, who had to 
live on dry brade. They wore nowhere then no wage, 
no 'lotments, no edication. Just you come and pake 
round my 'lotment and see my nuvering (manoeu- 
vring), and I will show you what the lond will 
grow. I ha got a rum funny lot of taters ; 
they are some bigness, and rare good 

ating into the bargin ; besides parsnips and 
carrots and the like, which help to stop a gap where 
you have a lot of kids to find wittels for. I keep a 

pig in the sty now, John bor, and he ate up all the 
cayed taters and other refuge that we het to grow that 
would be 'stried. Lately my missus have been 
tending him on male and fine brun, and being a good 
grubber is right fit for the knife ; which (hold your 
whip) will come in for rent, which hev allus been a 
puzzler for us iver since we heb been spliced. What 
do make me so fidgety when the gals and chaps fall 
out is that they soon get from words to blows about 
nothing. There is such a duller made with them 
mawthers. You can hear them blubbering, blaring, 
and mobben, when I het to go arter them and square 
em all, they du fare such duzzy f ules. I say, together, 
you ha got what a good many hant, a place to antic 
in. You can all muse yarselfs and play tit a ma torter, 
and hub ma grub, and the likes. Therefore sattle 
down and let us hear no more of your squalling and 
squaking. AN AECH LABOUEEE. 

"Het Varke" and other correspondents have 
pointed out how difficult is the orthography of 
dialectic pronunciation. This accounts for " corder," 
"colder," &c. A few such instances occur in the words 
quoted by " Het Varke " from Mr. Da vies' "Norfolk 
Broads." Frails I have always heard of as "Flail 
baskets ; " the former gives the meaning but the latter 
is the provincial term. Gloat becomes " glotts " or 
"glutts." Hove should be "hover" or "huvver." 


Miel banks is never used in E. Norfolk, but always 
" hills " or " sandhills." Quant approaches its Latin 
equivalent more nearly when pronounced, as it some- 
times is, " quont." Although the rudd are here called 
roud, yet all Broadland fishes are said to be on the 
roud (not round) when spawning. I did not intend to 
use "gentleman" in its present restricted sense, 
in my last communication, as the latter part 
of the sentence in which it occurred shows, 
for both a gentleman and a scavenger are equally liable 
to lose their reason. Even this "gentleman" has a 
better provincial meaning than is usually conveyed by 
the term. Here it means " generous," not necessarily 
" one as lives right up," but "you're a gentleman" 
means you're a real one. Whenever I have heard the 
Broadland sirocco spoken of it has always been as 
" Sir Epdger." Perhaps it happened thus : A boat- 
man might have heard a yachting gent say, "Why, 
that was a regular sirocco." There is no doubt that 
many modern Norfolk words are corruptions from 
some such repetitions and hurried readings. The pre- 
sent correspondence is very useful, because it shows 
what words are now in use, and several almost obsolete, 
" plaucher" and " goaf," e.g., have been brought to 
light and life. Mr. Clemence made a good 
suggestion when he said that individuals 
should become specialists, and make separate 
collections of terms used in special branches of what 
shall I say " work and play." A builder's list would 
have given us colder, and a coleopterist's collection 
should contain a " Bishop -Barnabee " (Bishop pro- 
nounced Bisher). With the same idea in my head I 
wrote to Mr. Patterson to give us a catalogue of 
piscatorial nick-names. These he sent to me instead 
of to you, as I suggested, thinking in his native 
modesty that they would not be sufficiently interesting 
for publication. Marshall's " Rural Economy " (1795) 
contains some 300 provincialisms connected with agri- 
culture, collected by himself in two years. It was 
more easy for him to " spot " such things then, 
for he was a stranger amongst us, whereas we 
who have been accustomed to hear these words 
and phrases from our youth up fail to 
notice some of them. Moreover, there was 
not so much "slang" in those days, nor had books, 
papers, and railways reduced the mother tongue to 
such a dead level as now. " Herbert Andrews " calls 


homebrew " arms and legs." I once heard something 
like it applied to the much maligned, but muchly 
imbibed, brewer's " stuff." TTpon asking at a village 
pub. for some of their " best and mildest " to take on 
to the broad, a man in the bar said ' ' Tangle leg, you 
mean." " What do you mean by tangle leg ?" said I. 
"Oh, what get inter yer legs, and make yer legs fly 
about afore it get inter yer heead," says he. We have 
a curious custom surviving in this little village, that of 
the children going r und and hollering (singing) 
" Good Morrer, Walentin," in expectation of 
some trifling recognition of their good wishes, 
which in order to perpetuate the harmless 
amusement I make a point of reciprocating. What 
is the origin of the children of Horning hollerin, " Ho 
John Barleycorn " to river passengers ? Does any 
such custom prevail elsewhere ? I wonder no reference 
has been made to superstitions, charms, and witchery, 
but I must desist or I shall have some bodies, 
"Sprites" perhaps, " over -looking " me to-morrow. 
~ M. C. H. BIBD. 

P.S. I was glad to see this morning in the 
Eastern Daily Press that a suggestion of mine was 
likely to be acted upon, viz. , that the local Mutual 
Improvement Society might with pleasure and profit 
discuss Broad Norfolk. Will "An Arch Labourer" 
tell us how he plays "hub ma grub ?" 

I venture to trouble you with a few words 
which I have been accustomed to hear in common 
use. I think they are fresh to your interesting 
collection. I should like also to see a collection of 
Norfolk sayings and superstitions. 

Beetle, a wooden mallettused with wedges to "rive" 
up timber ; baulks, ridges for sowing mangold ; bile, 
the bale or handle of a pail ; betsy, a teakettle ; barm, 
yeast or leaven, beer tasting of " yist " is " barmy ; " 
barmy, a, soft person, a "Susan;" brumble, bramble 
or blackberry bush. 

Cosh, the chaff or husk of wheat, also a stick; 
chummy, a sparrow and a soft felt hat ; clates,hee\ irons 
on boots ; cobble, the stone of fruit, lime, and paving- 
stones ; church-hole, a grave, a term used to frighten 


lioss or Dossett, a hassock for kneeling upon ; dump, 
a term in brickmaking, a short, fat person is called 
"a little dump; " daft, demented; dibbling, using 
dibbles for " corn droppers," mostly done by women 
walking backward ; dumplin dust, flour. 

Faut for fault ; full flopper, a full-fledged nestling ; 
flight of bees, a swarm, not being the first one from the 

Hod, as coal hod, brick hod, mangold hod, etc.; 
hotch-potch, Irish stew (also a legal term); hind, a term 
of reproach, a scoundrel. 

Jill, a two-wheeled carriage for timber, one with 
four wheels is a drug; jot, part of the inside anatomy 
of a pig. 

Litonn, a garret window. 

Pollard, a tree that has been " topped and lopped ; " 
posset, a mixture of treacle and milk for a cough 

Quick-set, ycung white thorn-plants. 
Rafe -boards, on v 

wagons ; also applied to high shirt 
collars ; run, a brook of water. 

Scrog, to cut field beans with a sickle or 
hook ; shanks' a pony, one's own legs ; shepherd's 
fock, white fleecy clouds, indicative of fine weather ; 
Sally, a hare ; settle, a high-backed seat used in 

Ting, to beat a shovel with a key when bees swarm ; 
tttpp, a rani ; tang, the tongue of a buckle or " Jew's 
harp;" top-saicyer, " the boss ;" toad-in-the-hole, a 
batter pudding baked with a piece of meat in it. 
Wap, flog or "trounce." 


" Moise " I have frequently heard used by 
nonscoring partners at whist or bowls. One will 
remark, "We don't seem to 'moise,' partner." 
Snatchet is a word I have heard frequently when 
somebody has done what he thought a clever thing, 
but got defeated in his object. " You thought you 
had done a snachet." It seems to refer to some kind 
of sharp practice. I hear occasionally dentists referred 
to as gum ticklers, and organists as wind jammers, but 
are these terms confined to Norfolk ? 



It is with no small interest that I have read the 
numerous letters on "Broad Norfolk." Although 
so large a number of words and sayings have 
been inserted in your columus, I believe the following 
have up till now been omitted. The word doss (mean- 
ing a hassock) , and bunny (a swelling caused by a blow 
on the head), as well as cussy for a rap on the hand, 
are all pure Norfolk words. Then there are expressions 
such as ; "There mor doan't stand ther' star garping 
at me, but go inter shud aud git the biler, and doau't 
forgit to bring the leed, and look here, bor, if yow 
twilt him I'll twilt yow, so mini yer that." The latter 
expression I heard (no later than last month) used by 
an old lady to a boy who had been " t wilting" (fight- 
ing) her grandson. DAISY DIMPLE. 

I should like to tell you I have seen the feeten 
of an old hin amun the pelanders (polyanthus), 
and to drive her out of the garden hive said Hush, 
Httush, many times. Is not " Huush " another form 
of " Woosh" go from me ? L. A. BUSSEY. 

I have read most of the correspondence in your 
paper respecting "Broad Norfolk." The majority 
of the words dealt with I have heard spoken in. 
that part of Norfolk which lies between Wroxham and 
North Walsham. A bannock is a word in common use, 
meaning a cake baked in a French oven. When a 
labourer has had one of these for his morning meal he 
tiridges off to work on the farm. If the man is a 
stupid fellow he is called by his comrades a. " duke's 
headed fule ; " if he is occasionally the worse for 
drink, and not to be depended upon, they say he has 
no persayvance over hisself. I have heard this word 
used hundreds of times in the parish of Tunstead, 
Norfolk. W. W. 

I am glad to hear that the highly entertaining 
correspondence on this subject is to be gathered 
together in a pamphlet. Such a volume will form a 
really valuable Norfolk dictionary, and must prove 
curious and interesting to many in city and county. 


May I be allowed to add one or two strange localisms 
which have escaped notice hitherto? 

In many parts of the county the phrase, "That'll 
hull him in a buffle," is often heard, which, being in- 
terpreted is, " That'll put him in a difficulty, or a 

When the crescent moon is in a certain position it is 
said" the mune lays water-shutin'." As soon as it 
has passed "full " it is said to be on the dreep. 

Some in the country districts will perhaps remember 
that ripe gooseberry pie is known as thape pie. 

F. G. S. 

In perusing an edition of the Staffordshire Advertiser 
of March, 1815, I found several words differently 
spelt, as " Smoak " for smoke, "compleat" 
for complete, "chuse" for chose, "tythe" for 
tithe, " chissel " for chisel. A gun was advertised as 
a " fowling piece." Another paragraph contained 
" And tools of every 'denomination.'" A man was 
advertised as a draper, mercer, dealer, and chapman ; 
also another, including, " three cows, three ticinters, 
and two calves." Can anyone please inform me what 
is meant by " chapman " and " twinter." The plural 
of shoe was shoeses, as in : " My wife and myself and 
the muses, with forty -five pair of new shoeses." Can 
anyone please inform me where "Cockey Lane," in 
which Brown & Barker were hatmakers, was in 
Norwich, as published in an old publication of the 
Norfolk Chronicle, November, 1809. TV. L. 

The following words and expressions occur to 
me at the present moment as being peculiar to 
Norfolk : Jot, a heavy article of any description ; 
tremble, pork cheese ; limpsy. loose, flabby ; vardlt, 
bottom hinge of a gate. The 'famous Stiffkey cockles 
are always called "Stukey Blues." 


If your correspondent " W. L." had been in the 
habit of reading old books he would know that 
compleat, smoak, and tythe were quite correct 
spellings not long ago. It is a great pity that more 
people do not read Chaucer and Spenser, in whose 


writings they would find plentiful examples of common 
words in their infancy. Chapman, a merchant or 
trader, is of very common use in Chaucer, and by no 
means uncommon to this day. Borrow uses the word 
in " The Gypsies of Spain," 1872, page 137. 

" T winters " is an abbreviation of two -winters, and 
means cattle two winters old. 

Ei'eck districts are, I think, only so described in the 
Eastern Counties. There is a full account of them in 
Stevenson's "Birds of Norfolk, Vol. I.," Introduction 
p. 6. 

Gaggles and skeins of geese are referred to in vol. iii. 
of that work ; no doubt Mr. Southwell can say if they 
are local terms. From the same work I learn that 
when swans have nested the marshmen say that they 
have timbered. 

"Whether Cob and Pen, for the cock and hen swan 
are local words or not I cannot say. 

The word susserara, or sisserara, I believe occurs in 
the " Vicar of Wakefield," and has proved a hard nut. 
It ;,iay be connected with poor Sisei/a's experience, but 
the derivation is unlikely. The sound reminds one of 
the Latin sussurrtis, a whispering. 

To answer Mr. Bird's inquiry as to saying " God 
bless you " to a person who sneezes would take 
me far afield. The custom is general all the 
world over. Years ago in the wilds of Brazil 
I hardly ever heard a person sneeze without the ready 
exclamation from the bystanders, " Dios guarda vossa 
mcreed /" God preserve you! A legend on the 
subject was that one of the Popes was choked and 
died through sneezing, hence the prayer. But the 
custom dates back far beyond Popes. There is an 
instructive article on the subject in " The Comet" for 
the 14th inst. HET VABKE. 

Since my letter of the 20th I have thought 
of a few more words (contained in the follow- 
ing) which are peculiar to the people of Norfolk : 
"Hallo, narbor, yow look kinder riled this mornin'. 
"Wo's up wi' yer ? " "Bor, I'm nearly off my nut. 
That old sweep ha' been here to fye my chimbly out, 
and I'm blow'd if hehaiut/w/cerf the sut all over the 
place. The backstork (back stove) is chock f ull, and 
my backus is smuddered wi't, and if that ain't enough 
to make a parson swear I don't know what is, du 


yow ? " The word stuttering is called hackering, and 
hands are termed dowries in such sentences as " Tha's 
right, me little darlin', clap your dannies ; " and I 
may add in closing that by very " broad Norfolkers" 
an umbrella is a dickey-shud. DAISY DOEPLE. 

I have been trying to remember Norfolk phrases 
not hitherto mentioned by your correspondents, 
but, alas ! my memory fails me. However, I do not 
think the following peculiarities have yet been 
noticed : 

' Without a chance," for " without a doubt." 

1 Like to be," for " likely to be." 

' I'm hampered to get hold of my breath," for " I 
find it difficult to breathe." 

' Fatagued," for "annoyed." 

' Eight consistent" to do something, for "quite 

' Can't-a-bide," for "dislike." 

'Pick-cheese," for "tomtit." 

Many of the Norfolk gentry talk " Norfolk " quite 
unwittingly, and can easily be recognised by other 
Norfolk persons in all parts of the world. EECTOB. 

Perhaps I am late in the field to give one or 
two expressions which have occurred to me while 
travelling in various parts of Norfolk on the iron 
steed. I have been asked, " Isn't it rough travelling 
abroad, master?" Frequently "abroad" is spoken 
only to mean outside. We have been directed to keep 
straight on till you come to a heater, and take th^ road 
to right or left, according to where we were bound 
for, a heater meaning where two roads meet, forming 
the apex of a triangle. Many other phrases crop up 
to the observant cyclist, and words which to many are 
quite foreign in meaning. W. A. HOTSOX. 

Look yow here, bor, don't yow mailer writ ; if 
yow get a pint of allers inter yow, yow don't know 
now to fare. If yow want a thackin or a smack o' 
the chaps dew yow dnt. S. J. W. 


In the "vulgar tongue," to change one's 
linen is to " shiffen oneself." Many years ago a 
curate-in-charge was appointed to a parish where I 
myself had been formerly curate. He was the first 
clergyman of that parish who had ever preached in 
his surplice. One day, when driving through the 
parish, I called upon a singular old couple, who 
used to be constant attendants at the church in my 
day. Quoth the old man, " Du you know our new 
pareson, sir ?" On my answering in the affirmative, 
he replied, " Wall, for a dark man, he is the prettiest 
little man I ever see in my life." My friend was evi- 
dently not an admirer of dark men. 

The old lady now chimed in, and said in a confidential 
tone, " Du yow know, he never shiffen hisself all 
thro the sarvice," by which she meant me to under- 
stand that he preached in his surplice, and did not sub- 
stitute a black gown for a white one. CLEEICTJS. 

At the risk of being called bilious or un- 
reasonable by your correspondent "John L. 
Clemence," I must say that to a large extent I agree 
with " L. J." that a lot of nonsense has crept into this 
Broad Norfolk correspondence. I take it, sir, that your 
original intention in starting the correspondence was to 
rescue from oblivion certain archaic words and phrases 
that are fast disappearing from the vocabulary of the 
county, and also if possible to ascertain their derivation. 
Many of the letters you have published centain little 
else than mispronounced or misused words : 
" Harbert " for Herbert, " labarueum " for 
laburnum, the use of " contain " for detain, 
" deficient " for sufficient, tc. What these and such 
as these can have to do with " Broad Norfolk " I 
cannot see, and I trust when you bring out your 
glossary you will eliminate all such words, and, 
as I before suggested, submit the list to a 
competent tribunal of old Norfolkeis before publica- 
tion. I am quite suie when it does come out it will be 
a most interesting compilation, and wiil be eagerly 
sought after by many. 

Tree is the common pronunciation of " three," but 
surely no one ever heard of '' tree threes " for three 


Skinker is a capital old word still used in this 
district. I should very much like to know its root. 

Sneck, a door latch is in common use here, but I 
question whether it is distinctively Norfolk ; an old 
dictionary gives it as Scotch. 

Dead-a-bird, with an indescribable pronunciation of 
the last word something between "bird" and 
"bud" was in common use when I was a boy, 
meaning nearly dead or dying. 

Daisy Dimple's, " twilt," is a good specimen of 
Broad Norfolk. OLD NOEFOLK. 

Allow me to add a few words to the list 
of Norfolkisms which have already appeared in your 

A spline, i.e., a thin strip of wood. 

A lower, used for a lever. 

Rumbustious, used of plants when growing rank. 

Living upright, i.e., living on one's means, not 
having to earn one's living. 

Sales, for hames, part of the harness of a horse. 

Fed, a hamper. 

To have a great slight for clothes, i.e., to wear them 
out very quickly. 

To buy a thing off a person is also a very common 

It is also exceedingly interesting to notice how much 
more nearly our Norfolk pronounciation of many 
words approaches the German rather than the English 
pronounciation when the words are similar in the two 
languages ; instances are fire, butter, post, pain ; to 
give a person a "dressing" or " troshing," cf. Ger- 
man, dreschen, gedroschen. We have also a few 
instances of a plural in-n, so common in German, as 
nezen for nests, housen for houses, meezen for mice. 
These instances are interesting as showing that the old 
Saxon language, the language of the Teutons, has not 
quite died out in Englaud. P. E. D. 

As "Broad Norfolk" is to be republished in a 
more permanent form, with your permission cxplebo 
rtumcrum of your correspondents and letters on the 
subject, reddesque teiicbris. The following words 
and quaint local expressions I have not yet 
seen recorded. SquacWe, an old parishioner once 


said to me, on being asked how she was 
Well sir, no matters, only pretty middlin, 
a tissicking cough has troubled ine a good deal, and 
last night I was nearly squackled ! (Compare this 
with " quaggled " under E. Hewett, Eastern Daily 
Press, January 16th.) 

Gruttling" I heard a gruttling (queer noise) up the 

Swang " Swangon to him," i.e., give him a good 

Slippy " Look slippy," i.e., be quick. (Is this 
Norfolk ?) 

In Eastern Daily Press, January 16th, "Rector "says 
" Norfolk people are fond of using long words, of 
which they do not know the meaning." Now had he 
said fine words I should have been at one with him, 
but Norfolkians as well as John Bull in general hate 
long words, and cut them short as they can, as in 
'bacca, 'cayed, 'taters, &c. Sometimes they will 
divide them into two, as chrysanthemums into Christmas 
anthems ; and sometimes in a waggish spirit 
they will call China asters Chinese oysters. 
We shorten words much as a Norfolk bucolic tops and 
tails a turnip, cnly with this difference: We are 
thrifty, and save our tops and tails for use. Thus maw 
for rnawther (as cab for cabriolet), bor (not baw) for 
neighbour ; and so mums for chrysanthemums and 'bus 
for omnibus. 

It certainly seems odd that no explanation or 
derivation has been found for wheesh (or woosK) 
except that which Forbey gives, and he says it certainly 
comes from gauche (left), whereas it means " go to the 
right." If so the word, like the rule of the road 
itself, is a paradox. 

The rule of the road is a paradox quite, 

For as you are driving along, 
If you go to the left you're sure to go right, 

If you go the riyht you go wrong. 

We have in our language another word ivhist 
parallel to wheesh and very like it, especially if it is 
pronounced icheest ; and for neither of them has any 
explanation or derivation yet been found. In all 
probability these words were originally spelt hicecsh and 
Jiwist, and this possibly may suggest some solution. 

W. F. 


The following broad Norfolk words are con- 
stantly used in the parish of Tunstead and neigh- 
bourhood: Traimce, a great deal of walking to no 
purpose ; icanklin, a delicate child ; and bunker, one 
who fails to face danger. W. WATSON. 

I fear your very interesting list of Norfolk 
words will be coming to an end, and am therefore 
much pleased with the proposal that they are to he 
printed in a pamphlet. Before the list is concluded I 
venture to add some words which I believe have not 
been included. 

Slov (from slovenly) "She did fare to slov." 

Poppks For willow trees (from poplar?). 

Eider-er Pork butcher (.local). 

Doatcd tree A dying tree (local). 

Has the following expression been given: "That 
tree da fare to have a muddle head \ " 


As it seems likely that there may be some 
permanent outcome of the present correspondence I 
venture once more to trouble you for the purpose of 
mentioning one expressive word I do not remember to 
have been noticed. The word is popple. " There, 
there don't popple "means don't talk nonsense. To 
me the word is very suggestive of sound without sense. 


As a west countryman, and therefore in 
Norfolk parlance a "furriner," may I be allowed to 
mention one or two words that I have not noticed in 
the correspondence on this subject, viz., sicad, pork- 
cheese ; frimmlcating or frimmocky, one who is 
particular as to dress ; and tMMMOCfc, sloven ? On the 
road to Cossey I once asked a labourer what the time 
of day was, and he informed me, " A little arter tree, 
and a good deal." J. L. 


In the list of local bird names I said that 
I could .not find a derivation for "mow." I don't 
know how it was that I did not think of it at the 
time, but the word is evidently a corruption of " mew," 
a term of general application to all the smaller gulls, 
probably from their " cry." TheEev. E. W. Dowell has 
kindly written me as follows : " Mag loon " or " lo wan ' ' 
is, I take it, given to the northern diver because of its 
greater size compared with the red throat, as the large 
plaice trawled in the North Sea are called mag plaice, 
when caught among the smaller ones of the harbours 
and estuaries (query, magnus). There is no surer find 
for scammells and picks in autumn than the " rocks " 
(as they are called at Cromer, and " scalps " at Hun- 
stanton), i.e., large stones with sandy water courses 
between, where small molluscs and crustaceans abound. 
Andrew .Lang asked what Shakespeare meant by 
" Scammells from the rock " in the Illustrated London 
Neics a few months ago, and seemed satisfied when I 
told him of the Norfolk meaniug of the word. The 
gunners used to distinguish the " scammells," that is, 
the large female go i wits from the "picks," the smaller 
males and young birds." From the above quotation, in 
which the prefix " mag " is applied to both fish and 
fowl, there can be little doubt as to the meaning or 
derivation of the term. The only locality in which I 
have met with godwits frequently, or in any quantity, 
was at the mouth of the Thames. There the deep black 
mud is stoneless, and so the explanation of scammells, 
as scr-mells had not hitherto occurred to me. Moreover, 
I thought that Caliban's words referred to seme birds 
bred, upon the rocks, and therefore thought, as Mr. 
Southwell suggested and many footnotes to the passage 
have explained, that " sea" was a misprint for " sea." 
There yet remains the"mell" to be derived. Porby 
gives " mell " to swing or wheel round, to turn any- 
thing slowly about, from resemblance to the motion "of 
a mill. Such " tumbling" or headlong flight 

g" or headlong flight would 

e more appcae o the dipping and shailing of 
gulls than the far steadier flight of godwits. 

When helping a man to " shove" a punt along the 
ice into a " wake" one day last week he exclaimed, 
whilst resting a moment to get wind, " This here is fit 
to malt yar blood," malt or molt being the provincial 
for perspiration, a mere corruption of melt ; in 
fact, we speak correctly when we talk of 
molten lead. On January 19th Mr. Wiseman wrote, 


" The sea is smoultin' now," that is, melting away, 
only " smouldering " after passing through the process 
of "smelting" during the storm. "Wake" as used 
above is an open piece of water in the midst of a 
broad, the remaining surface of which is " laid " or 
frozen over. " Wak" is the Norwegian term for the 
same. (Lloyd's " Game Birds and Wildfowl "). 

M. C. H. BffiD. 

P. S. Harting in his Ornithology of Shakespeare 
quotes the passage from Tempest, Act II., Scene 2, as 
" Sometimes I'll get thee 
Young sea-mells from the rock." 

He remarks : i( It is evident that the eea-meli, sea- 
mew, or sea-gull is intended, the young birds being 
taken before they could fly." Harting does not so 
much as suggest that scameh was the reading of the 
Old copy. Johnson suffered scamels to stand because, 
as he tells us, somebody had observed that limpets 
are in some places called scam*. 

Here are still a few more words : 

DardledumdueA. person without energy or knack. 
" She's a poor dardledumdue." 

SidetciperA. blow on the side of anything with a 
stick. "I gave her such a side -wiper." 

Pilcochta-A. thrashing. "I gave him pilcochia." 

Dakes-headed 6 ' You great dakes-headed thing," 

Slttssy -hound One fond of drink. 

Gaddy-wentin 1 Gossiping. 

FlareupK row. 

The compiler of the coming pamphlet cannot do 
better than consult three or four agricultural labourers, 
and I hope he will ask them particularly whether they 
know a deke from a holl, as one writer maintained that 
a deke was a holl ! I quite agree with all " Old 
Norfolk " says in your Monday's paper. 


Before you close the interesting correspon- 
dence on Norfolk words will you allow me to give 
one, which I do not think has already appeared, i.e., 
" witter y" meaning weak, frail. A feeble puny child 


I have heard described thus, and also as a " witterer." 
I have never seen the word written, so can only spell 
it phonetically. C. 

Kindly allow me to add a few words to 
your very interesting correspondence on " Broad 
Norfolk," which, after all, is not more broad than 
Lincolnshire, where they speak of girls as " wenches." 
The other day I overheard the following : " Chuck a 
snowball inter owd Biller ;" to which Billy replied, 
" Bor, yow batter nut dut, du I'll woller yer. 


I see that your correspondent " C. H. Bird " 
suggests that the term Sir Roger, as applied to 
the squalls which are encountered in Broadland, may 
have had for its origin possibly some remark addressed 
by a yachting gentleman to his subordinate describing 
one of the squalls as a " sirocco," and which the afore- 
said subordinate perhaps laid hold of as Sir Roger. 
But long before the yachting gentleman ever aired his 
resplendent rig out or his siroccos in the presence of a 
gaping and prehensile waterman, these heavy gusts of 
wind were called Sir Roger's blasts. The sudden 
and mysterious manner in which (on an otherwise per- 
fectly still and calm day in summer) they come sweeping 
and whistling over the reed and sedge clad country, 
bending the rushes to the surface of the water as if 
compelling their proud and feathery heads by one 
rough blow to make obeisance, filled the heart of the 
lonely countryman in days gone by with superstitious 
fear. Not because some wiseacre had alluded to them 
as "siroccos," which in itself would be calculated to 
cause sensations of alarm in the mind of the average 
marshman : but because tradition had handed down to 
him that the icy breath of the restless spirit of Sir 
Eoger Ascham fanned his cheek, causing him to 
tremble like one who (according to his superstitious 
notions) shudders only as he steps across his own 
grave. Details of the legend I am unable to give, 
having forgotten them ; and the work on Folk Lore of 
Norfolk, which I take as my authority for the origin 
of the appellation of "Roger's blast," has unfortu- 
nately been mislaid. 


I have not noticed amongst the words already given 
as peculiar to Norfolk, the word pit for pond. A 
youth invariably requests the pleasure of the company 
of a friend at a select sliding party by couching his 
invitation in the following graceful language: " C'e on 
booy les we goo on't pit." 

I am not aware whether the omission of the final " s " 
in the third person singular, present tense, is confined to 
Norfolk and Suffolk, but it certainly is more marked 
in these two counties. As examples, perhaps the 
following will be sufficient to explain " He hev," "he 
do," " she say." The last is the most common of all, 
and the odds are very heavy indeed against anyone 
passing or overtaking a bevy of factory girls without 
overhearing them (chiefly by the reiteration of the 
three words " soo she say") pulling to pieces, after 
the manner of all womankind, some lady of their 
acquaintance, who has apparently, from the fragments 
of invective that you catch, been guilty of piracy in 
her conquests. 

There is no doubt that the Norfelk labourer has his 
full share of original wit, as anyone will discover who 
discourses with him. Moreover, there is also some 
mysterious fountain head of standard wit from which 
each one in the county draws his supply of repartee, 
and with which each is fully equipped. The efficiency 
and universality of this was distinctly proven by a 
cleric who ventured to indulge in a political discussion 
with certain knights of the most ancient arid honour- 
able order of the ploughshare. The first one was 
polite enough until he suspected that some expressions 
beyond " his know " were introduced with the object 
of enticing him out of his depth ; then he spee<lily 
payed out his cable and let go his sheet 
anchor, retiring from the contest by remark- 
ing, in measured tones, " Howsomdever my 
politics is, and yerl excoose me, but I allus say les hev 
more pigs and less parsons." This had such a chilling 
effect on the ecclesiastical politician that he did not 
feel sufficiently recovered to resume his interviews 
arriving in the t>ext parish, and even then he 
deemed it expedient to approach "number two " with 
caution, liberally served up with melted butter. 
" Well, my good man" (every man below a certain 
status in society a parson considers to be strictly his 
own property) "Well, my good man; it's very fine 
weather for your work." "Thas jest wer yere wrong, 


bor ; cum, and yew try it, and see if that a<'nt a goin to 
hull ver in a muck wash ! " Such familiarity por- 
tended evil, and the ecclesiastic wished himself out of 
it. A fleeting smile of a sickly nature o'erspread his 
features, and he resolved to make one more attempt. 

" Well, my good man," the reverend gentleman 
essayed again, with a very third-rate attempt to 
combine conciliation, pleasantry, and banter in one, 
" I'm sure a fine, healthy, strong fellow like you has 
no distorted views on politics. You'll go and vote 
for the right candidate to-night, won't you ? " Never 
try to draw an agricultural labourer by flattery or 
banter. Before you can wink the other eye he 
twigs what you're up to. Straightway came 
the answer back No, 'twas not Excelsior, but 
" Gorstreuth, hold ye yer slaver dew, my politics is, and 
yerl excoose me" butthatwasall his audience having 
vanished, his politics were not revealed, although they 
may perhaps be guessed at. 

This preference which the toiler on the land shows 
for the porcine race over the clergy accounts in a great 
measure for the "lapsed masses," so far as rural 
districts are concerned. 

Slaver is applied to any mode of speech which may 
be of a soapy nature, or any continued nagging which 
may be considered to require a copious flow of saliva to 
support its protracted deliver/. TLICEC. 

In the interesting correspondence in your 
columns, I believe reference has not been made to a 
peculiar characteristic of the Norfolk peasant, which 
at once strikes a stranger to the county, namely, the 
apparent inability to give a decided "Yea, yea," or 
" Nay, nay." The true Norfolkiau commits himself to 
nothing. There are three answers I received to the 
question, " Do you think it will rain to-day ? " "I 
don't know as it won't." "It nia'ay and it 
mayn't." " I don't know but it will." I 
am a native of Somerset, and have been 
much amused to hear that county (with others) 
habitually alluded to as " The Shires, "and the dwellers 
therein as foreigners. Why are all Norfolk verbs in 
the singular number only? The phrases, "I like 
myself," and " I made a purposed journey," strike on 
the foreigner's ear as being quaint, but they explaia 
themselves. Has botti/, meaning impertinent, been 
given? E. S. B. 


Although not Norfolk or Suffolk born, I have 
spent the greater portion of my life in East Anglia first 
in Suffolk, and later in South Norfolk, where I heard 
words unfamiliar to me while living in Suffolk. Some 
of these have been referred to in the " Broad Norfolk " 
correspondence, viz., mardle, hutkin, draimt. 

A servant astonished me one day by the following : 
" I saa, 'm, 1'a had a rare fye out on that 
back staircase (now unused) and there was a load 
o' spiders." A Suffolk servant once scared her 
mistress with " O, ma'm, you're got a great crock on 
yer face." Her mistress a Norfolk woman had 
never hpard the word, and in a fright, thinking it was 
some noxious creature, begged the girl to take it off. 
It was a " smut " from the kitchen stove. 

In a Methodist chapel some years since a good old 
local preacher of the labouring class said in the course 
of his sermoii, " Dare frinds, ef ye arn't learned in the 
skule o' Christ ye might as well be fules.'' I heard 
this myself, and it made a lasting impression upon me. 
I have'been much interested in "Broad Norfolk," and 

trust it may be published in permanent form. 

S. E. A. 

Seal of the day I have always thought a rather 
poetical expression ; it is applied to the greeting of a 
casual acquaintance " Do you know so-and-so, John ? 
Is he a friend of yours? " " Wall, sir, he ain't much 
of a frind ; but I give him the ' seal of the day ' when 
I meet him." 

The word ridiculous is used in the sense of shameful. 
" I never heerd of such conduct. I call it right down 

The coroner is, of course, called the "crowner." A 
man named King died rather suddenly.The villagers were 
perplexed as to whether the coroner ought to be sent 
for, or not. One of them went to a Guardian with the 
remark, " Old King be dade, and we are all on the 
averdupois (uncertain in our minds) as to whether 
he ought to be ' crowned ' or no." 
J Crush is Norfolk for gristle. 

Mocking the Church is a curious expression. The 
villagers have an idea that if after the banns of mar- 
riage have been duly published the couple refuse to be 
married they must pay a fine for ' ' mocking the 


Pensey, fretful ; applied to children. Ah ! the child 
ain't well ; she is a poor " pensey little thing." 

Clung is an almost untranslatable word. A shrivelled 
apple is not tough ; it is clung. To my mind no other 
word conveys the exact meaning of " clung." 

The word respectable is used not si much in the 
sense of worthy of respect as to convey the idea that 
the person to whom the epithet is applied is a little 
superior in position or circumstances to the speaker. 
A man who had recently been released from Norwich 
Castle, once said to me that I should be surprised if I 
could see how many respectable people there were 
among the criminals. 

"Some du say so ; other some don't." In Acts 
xvii, 18, we read, "And some said, what will this 
babbler say ? other some, he seemeth to be a setter 
forth of strange gods." 

I wouH say, in conclusion, that, although a stranger, 
after a few years' residence in the county, would 
have no difficulty in understanding the Norfolk dialect, 
he would never speak it like a native. As a Norfolk 
man, bred and born, I think that I have accomplished 
that art, or perhaps it comes to me naturally. Doubt- 
less, when I am often least conscious of the fact, my 
speech betrays me. ULEBICUS. 

Here are a few more Norfolkisms : 
Sake, the body of a wagon or cart. 
Dabster, an adept, good hand. 
Hobby-lantern, a " Will-o'-the-Wisp." 
Fan, a large basket for holding corn, used on a 
threshing floor. 

Mew or muir heart, faint hearted. 
Nag, to " jaw." 

Numm chance, a speechless stupid. 
Riddle, a sieve. 

Rockstaff, a tale, " an old woman's rockstaff." 
Stub, to grub up tree roots. 
Wamp, to splice, as on a boot. E. S. 

I send you a few sundry and fishy items used 
hereabouts. The weasel is called a mouse-hunter ; the 
stoat is a foumart ; porpoise, a sea-pig. In fishing lore a 
teller is a counter ; a shot net is one when put over- 
board ; waist, side of a vessel ; warp, a rope ; warp of 


hem'Dg, four in number ; stuff, herring, e.g., "salt 
stuff,'' &c.; s-will, a herring basket holding 500 herring; 
maund, a basket into which the herring are counted : 
holds 100 : a long-tale hundred is really 132 ; a last of 
herring, 13,200 ; Jish-/ioi<se, curing-house ; spit, a stick 
containing 25 herring; cob, a pile of herring ; cob, a roe 
herring ; horse, rack on which spits of herring hang to 
drain; struck, the passing down of cured herring; 
kipper, a split smoked herring. 

The above terms are but a few of those used in 
connection with the herring fishery. A. P. 

I have not seen in your correspondence upon above 
the word bullverin (cumbersome) nor rootling (burrow- 
ing), as for example, " A rat has been rootling in the 
garden." T. G. S. 

It has been said that, prior to the advent 
of the School Board, among the poorer folk of East 
Norfolk a vocabulary of irom 800 to 1000 words 
formed their entire range of speech. Possibly this 
may be a correct estimate, and, if so, it is easy to 
understand why their speech was difficult to be under- 
stood by persons not acquainted with the dialect, as 
probably one - third of their words were either pro- 
vincial words or the ordinary dictionary words dis- 
guised with such a brogue as to be unrecognisable in 
the singular accent of the natives. Persons who happen 
to live for a year or two in almost any part 
of England can acquire the emphasis, accent, and 
inflection of the dialect of the district, but there is 
something so extremely puzzling with our Norfolk 
brogue that but few can imitate it with any degree of 
accuracy. Actors whose faculty for mimicry is 
frequently their strong point can imitate the burr of 
the north-countryman, the brogue of the Irishman, 
thepafois of the Scotchman, and the phrasing of the 
Cornish-man, but I have never yet heard one who 
culd successfully carry on a conversation in the East 
Norfolk dialect. Their attempts were usually very 
feeble and transparent, they may use Norfolk word* 
but there is something in the mode of delivery that is 
the birthright and heir-loom of the native-born man 


Another notable point to be observed is the per- 
sistency with which their accent and way of speaking 
clings to them through life. I have often spoken to 
men who have been in London twenty, thirty, and 
even forty years, but a very few sentences will serve to 
proclaim the county of their birth. Some men will 
forget the local words of their childhood (so far as 
never using them in their coversation) , but the Nor- 
folk way of pronouncing attaches itself to the ordinary 
words of speech they use, and so betrays them. 

I notice that several of your correspondents have 
been very busy in compiling a list of birds with their 
Norfolk names ; may I add as an addenda a few- 
Norfolk names of various herbs, shrubs, &c. 

Buddie Corn marigold. 

Cankerweed Common ragwort. 

Clote Coltsfoot. 

Cocksheads Plantain ribwort or ribgrass. 

Dindles Corn or sow thistles. 

Gargut Root Bear's-foot. 

GladdonL&rge and small catstail. 

Goose Tansey Silverweed. 

Hogiceed Knotgrass. 

Muck Weed or Fat-hen Common goosefoot. 

Needleweed Shepherd's needle. 

Otvl's Crown Wood cudweed. 

Pickvurse or Sandwecd Common spurry. 

Quicks Couch grass. 

Eedwecd Bound smooth -headed poppy. 

Smartweed Biting and pale -flowered persicarias. 

Suckling White clover. 

Winterweed Ivy-leaved speedwell. 

Wret (or Wart) tveed'&wa. spurge. 


A writer in the Literary World, under the signature 
of *'T. Le M.D.," refers in learned and appreciative 
style to the " Broad Norfolk " correspondence recently 
published in the columns of the Eastern Daily Press. 
He remarks : 

_ "The popularity of the Norfolk Broads as a de- 
lightful holiday resort has recently, by some mental 
association, turned the attention of the people of the 
county to their own ' Broad-Norfolk ' variety of 
English ; and the Norfolk News has wisely opened its 


pages to any and all who are able to contribute to the 
knowledge of the dialect. In the number of that 
journal now before us nearly six columns are 
occupied by contributions, comprising towards 
thirty letters, a poem, and two set articles, 
one of the two being by the author of ' Giles's 
Trip to London.' It is impossible not to be struck 
with the interest in their subject shown by the con- 
tributors, and with their zealous eagerness to add to 
the general stock of knowledge. As outsiders it would 
ill become us to go poaching upon their preserves, or 
to appropriate their collected spoil, although they can 
scarcely value it more highly than ourselves. In case, 
however, pur public spirited contemporary should con- 
template issuing a ' Norfolk News Glossary,' or any 
other collection of East Anglicisms, we will offer one 
or two brief critical remarks upon points that struck us 
as we read along. 

" And, firstly, the local contributors in most in- 
stances seem to us almost too local ; i.e., however well 
they know ' Broad Norfolk,' they are not fully aware 
of modes of speech outside the county, and hence 
many of the words cited are not specially East Anglian. 
Thus, in Mr. Giles's ' article alone we find clamber, 
tantrums, ingen (=otiiori), pig's chitterlings, gobs (of 
fat, cf. Spencer's gobblets raw), mittens, highloics, 
bunny, mavis (== thrush), and that word of queer 
history, sisserary, spelt also sasserara, and in other 
ways : One boy will give another ' a clip 
o' the head,' or ' a souse 6' the skull ; ' and 
I once heard a fellow say he had given 
another a sisserary evidently a rather astonishing 
blow. The word was, in fact, in use, though rarely, 
among our eighteenth-century writers, and we our- 
selves heard it used not infrequently in London, now, 
alas ! about forty years ago ; it then meant a thunder- 
ing rat -tat-tat at one's front door. In the letters before 
as we iind game leg, shortening (for pie-crust), gaffer, 
(contracted from grandfather, just as gammer from 
grandmother, a t do, keep squat, pax-wax, play the 
Charley, flack-baked, feyther (as in Lancashire), a tidy 
lot, and others, which will be familiar to our readers. 

"Secondly, some of the contributors' conjectural 
explanations do not quite suit. Thus, Mr. ' Giles's 
remaks that 'in Suffolk houses are called ftousett, 
which is perhaps the old Saxon form ' ; but it isn't 
the old Teutonic plur. of hus was hiisa, and the final 


a dropt off in Anglo-Saxon, making sing, and plur. 
alike. The abnormal en-plur. sprang up much 
later, and was formed by assimilation to other 
en -plurals, like eyen, oxen, &c. So again he 
speaks of troat, tree, trow, &c., for throat, 
three, &c., as caused by dropping an h ; but 
the h in th is only a part of a clumsy contrivance for 
representing a simple sound ; what really happens is 
that the ' South Folk ' substitute the tenuis or hard 
closed mute for the related open spirant: there is no 
separate /* in speaking. As a similar substitution has 
taken place in modtrn Scandinavian dialects, it is a 
very interesting question whether Scandinavian in- 
fluence may not have aft'ected the Suffolk pronuncia - 

" From the many genuinely local *vords cited we 
will refer to two or three only : Hutkin (a ' finger- 
stall ' or ' cot ' put over a sore or cut may mean ' a 
little hat or cap ' ; it has an oddly German look (as 
\i=Hnt plus sufnx-chen). Snaasty may perhaps throw 
light upon our unexpliined nasty ; it means ' nasty- 
tempered.' Lastly, fare and toward (saw toiv'-ard, 
'well-disposed,' &c., the opposite oifro-ward) are 
cited by several correspondents. Says one : ' I once 
cautioned an ostler to be careful how he took out my 
mare ; whereupon he patted her on the neck, 
and said : " She fare toward like tho," which 
the writer translates as ' She appears to be quiet 
and gentle.' Fare, therefore, as it seems to us, 
may be for/rt'er, from/av'r = favour fcf. our e'er, for 
ei-er\ poor, Chaucer's pore for porre, French pauvre, 
Latin pauper-em) ; and fare for favour, would mean 
to be like, look like ; as in Lancashire, ' He favours his 
feyther,' &c. ; the ostler's answer would thus strictly 
mean, ' She looks like a toward ani-ral.' One should 
trace the history of the word, however, if possible, 
before pronouncing a decision. 

"'We can at present say no more, except that the 
Norfolk Xews and its contributors are earning the 
thanks of all dialect investigators."