Bottom   :  Chapter L   :  Full Contents

Norfolk Talk

Cloacal Humour

Read at your own risk

2. In The Field   :  4. Other Folk

1. : Govt. Health Warning

As hinted in Chapter L, many Norfolk expressions
depend upon  faeces  (animal or human) for their
. . . err . . . pungency, and shock-value.
This is unsurprising in a county which has
not  relied exclusively upon arable farming.

However, other peoples' sensibilities
are  not  always ignored.
A Norfolk farm-hand is quite prepared to use a
common euphemism, such as 'lavatory' or 'toilet',
to describe his beloved  shit-house[1].
Moreover, the more genteel term
"muck-spreading" is in general use;
although most people are[2] clear as to
the origins of the said  muck.

We have already noted that  getting hold of the
wrong end of the stick
  is a common expression
throughout the country.
Needless to say, the word 'wrong' is  replaced
by 'shit' in our rural community; whose
members would have actually used a large stick
in the field or farmyard for various unsavoury
purposes - and  do  need to
remember how to pick it up !.

[1] Normally a separate structure, some way
      from the dwelling; albeit on a relatively tiny,
      square ground-plan.
      Hence hefty, bulky, 'solid' persons are often
      described as -  built like a brick shit-house.
[2] Rather - were, prior to artificial fertilisers.

2. : In The Field

Apart from sticks, shovels are often used :
to clear heaps of one kind or another.
Animal dung, especially when wet, is difficult
to retain on the shovel for long. Persons
performing a task ultra-speedily are said to
go like shit off a shovel.

The said dung can be found in all parts of a field,
if not devoted to arable produce. A sharp-witted
or industrious person who is (colloq.) "all about"
is  like shit in a field.

A farmyard animal, falsely accused of being
dirty, is the pig.
They are intelligent and friendly creatures; hence
the description of somebody very happy (in their
work or leisure) -  happy as a pig in shit.


3. : Domestic Woes

Unwanted excreta within the home comprise an
even more unpleasant subject. A person suffering
from diarrhoea is said to  shit over nine edges.
Sadly, I am quite unable to explain what
the nine edges are attached to; nor why
there are 9 of them (i.e. not a biblical 7).

Particularly unfortunate is an involuntary
excretion which occurs in  bed,  especially when
old-fashioned woollen blankets are implicated.
These are infamously difficult to clean.
Any similar recalcitrant substance or immovable
item is said to stick like shit to a blanket.

By the same token, a person turning up  early
for work in the morning is asked :
"Have you shit the bed?".

4. : Other Folk

A colleague or friend, who is unresponsive and
looking very miserable, may be said to have
'Got out of the wrong side of the bed'.
An alternative Norfolk question can be put
to him/her, to attempt to lift the mood :
"Who has shit in your path?".

A person appearing to be in a very dismal mood
is described as -  "...looking lke a basket of chips
going to Hell to be burnt"

A particularly stupid person may be  sorft as shit;
while a more unwelcome one is -
as ignorant as pig-shit and twice as nasty.

Somebody telling tall tales, or
making unlikely promises,
can be told :- "I have heard ducks fart before".

The matter of ducks has been mentioned
elsewhere.  Of course, 'rectum' was, in practice,
delivered as  arsehole.

A bright new object is said to -
Shine like a shilling on a sweep's arse.