Flint and thatch... sparkling rivers and broads, rolling fields and meadows, Norfolk is far from flat... popular seaside resorts and harbours - and rich in local colour and dialect.

Here’s the first selection of Norfolk words – taking us from A to D – and arter you’ve mastered that we’ll cut along t’ the next selection.

So, come yew on, tergether, an’ make a start, an’ yew shoulda finished by dockeytime!


Dialect word(s) Meaning
Accordin-lie Accordingly: “Uhcordin-lie ter him”. With emphasis on ‘lie’.
Acrorst Across: “I wet acrorst the rud to the busstop.”
Afore Before: “Afore yew go, ole paartner, less hevva drink.”
Afreard Afraid: “My dawg wuz hoolly afreard o’' the dark, he wuz.”
Agin Again, once more, or against: “Thass cold agin, ent ut?”
Alonga me With me: “Dew yew come alonga me!”
Allus Always: “I allus cycle to wark.”
An’orl And all, hence: “An’ yisterday wuz wet, an’orl.”
Arly Early: “Heh’yuh got yar arly tearters in yit?”
Ar(t)er After: the ‘t’ is barely pronounced, at the back of the throat, more like: “ar-uh”
Arternune Afternoon: similar pronunciation to ‘arter’.
Atwin Between: “Atwin me, yew an’ the geartepust...!”

To ask: “If yew watta cuppa, yew hatta ax proper fur it.’’

Axed Asked: “Hev yew gotta loight, bor?” he axed.


Dialect word(s) Meaning
Backus Scullery or out-house.
Badly Poorly, or in ill health: “I fare badly terday, I dew, an’orl!”
Barney A quarrel, or falling out: “I hed a roight ole barney wi’ him nex' dor, I did.”
Beck A small stream: Beeston beck.
Bein’as Because of: “Bein’as th’ trearn dint come, I wuz learte hoome.”
Bishy-barney-bee A ladybird.
Blar Cry, or weep: “Stop yar blarin’, dew yew’ll mearke me blar an’orl”.
Blunder To fall over: “I hoolly blundered over in the rud, I did!”
Bolt Eat food too quickly, to ‘wolf’ it down without chewing.
Bop To duck down, lower one’s head to avoid being seen.
Bor Norfolk way to address males: “Hello, Bor, how’re yer gorn on, tergether?”.
Botty Fussy, particular: “She wuz a botty little mawther.”
Brawk To belch loudly after meals!
Burr Haze around the Moon.


Dialect word(s) Meaning
Caution Amazing or surprising news: “Well, ent that a caution – City won agin!”
Chimley Chimney: “Mollie Windley she smook loike a chimley...”
Claggy Moist or sticky.
Clam up Go quiet, shut up: “When I arrived, she hoolly clammed up!”
Clever Handsome or dexterous: “Thass a clever little gearte yew’re med, bor!”
Clip A quick cuff of the hand: “My Maw dint harf clip my lug.”
Clout A heavier blow: “I gev my thumb a clout with the hammer and it dint harf smart!”
Cobbles Round beach pebbles used for paving and building.
Cop To get caught out: “You’ll hoolly cop it when yew git home.”
Coshies, cushies Sweets: “Here’s thruppence fur some coshies, Albie.”
Crowd To push in: “Give me room – dunt yew crowd me so.”
Cuckoo Cocoa: “I like corfee, but my wife likes cuckoo afore bed.”


Dialect word(s) Meaning
Dast, dust Dare: “I dast yew to climb that there tree.”
Dassent, dussent Dare not: “No, I dussent do that, do I do, I might blunder down!”
Dawg Dog: “Clear yew orf, dew I’ll set my dawg onya!”
Dew A social occasion.
Dickey Donkey: “Heh yar fa’r got a dickey, bor?”
Ding A sharp blow, a cuff: “Mother dint harf ding my lug!”
Dint Didn’t, did not: “I dint dew that...”
Dockey A labourer’s dinner, kept in a dockey bag.
Dudder Shiver, to ‘dudder’ with cold: “I’m all on a-dudder!”
Dutty, datty Dirty, grubby: “Wipe yar dutty feet afore yew come inta my clean scull’ry!”
Duzzy Silly, stupid: “Yew duzzy waarmin, yew.”

How did you get on? Are you ready for some more, if so click the link to
E–H and do you get started!

Lost in Translation; read about the Norfolk Schools Dialect Project.
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