1 : Numbers
Well, numbers as they are spook -
a not unimportant aspect of speech!
Common (urban and rural) forms are :
- 2 - begins with an unhappy letter, so a
Norfolk person (in any practical situation)
will always ask for a couple.
- With 3 - tough !
But you may just - IF (on the day),
the "avoidance-mechanism" isn't working,
hear it as tree.
N.B. The Cockney practice, of replacing
th with f, is definitely NOT accepted.
- As for 4 - no contest! : it must, for a son
of the soil, rhyme with sour and flour.
- 7 - In rural areas you may well hear seeven
(as in even).
noin - as in German neun;
*Dozen and score, respectively, are used
levven (just ignore the first letter) ;
twalve* - as for bell etc.
(see C.8) ;
tha(tt)een - as for turn etc.
(see C.10) ;
hundre(t) (as German hundert).
in preference - to avoid more t s !
Now for an important fraction : 1/4 = kor(t)er.
Imperial measurements include (predictably)
poin(t) [liquid, not decimal] & stoon [ "mid-u"];
(less predictably) airca, for acre.
[Similarly, Acle village is Aircl, not Ackley]
Plurals exist (?), but Norfolk measurements
are always singular, as in present-day Dutch :-
two foo(t), twalve yard, eigh(t) moil,
A large number is a mort
six airca (and, I bet, fower litre!).
(Icelandic fishermen derivation?)
Historical footnote :
a farthing was farden (as in garden).
2 : Time, Gentle-Persons
Wooss the clock?.Lastly, replacing (as ever) the word needs :
Maybe . . . a kor(t)er parst; or . . .
Thass 'alf ar(t)er fower.
Tha(t) wan(t) a kor(t)er ter foive.
The clock's owner replies :
Accordin'lie-a the clo-o-ock, tha(t)
ha' gone foive a'riddy, he say.
Dorn' you pay noo regard-a tha(t) there
clo-o-ock, tha(t) gi(t) !
The alternative, of course, is : tha(t) lose !
The word time itself, as we see elsewhere,
means while OR when; in a similar fashion
to Northerners' use of while meaning until.
Time is money, both in short supply in the
Norfolk backwoods. The worst poverty
(the old Norwich yards or Yarmouth rows)
may have gone; but local people can be
every bit as "careful" as the Scots.
Words for money (not general slang, like
spondulicks ) include cu(t)er (or kew(t)er).
Having ready money
(not being skun(t))
is to hold :
Do [= if] you (h)owld  , Bor,
The amount "held" may be minimal : a
then we'll goo-a the pub.
latch-lifter i.e. just enough to get them
through the door.
Then they would probably have to "Go Dutch" :
in Norfolk an Elsham Trea(t). (Aylsham).
 - NOT as in Oi dorn' (h)owld wi' drinkin'.
3 : Consonants
So far, all the emphasis has been on
Students of other European languages
will know that consonants can shift, too.
For example, the famous d -to- t shift,
as between English and German; and
the latter's difficulty with the v-sound.
Norrigers nowadays have no problem with
wicked or very (or very wicked?), but
it has been traditional in Norfolk to render
these words as wicke(t) and werry
(actually more like werra).
Firstly, and bizarrely, the t is (of course) silent;
so the change from d is largely to be inferred !
Secondly, a wherry has (for centuries) been
a very important trading vessel.
To avoid confusion (and a bit of Teutonic
tongue-twisting?), and to lend even greater
emphasis (at times), the word wholly is
much prized and heavily utilised.
Of course, it is quite removed from holy
(a true double-o used here), so our
old friend the "mid-u" triumphs again.
Usually written as whully or maybe hully,
it is best as (w)hoolly - reminding one of
cosy winter jumpers.
Another example is wittals for food.
The word (wittles/wittals) is found in Dickens,
who knew more than a little about Yarmouth.
Those unaware of what a Licensed Victualler is
(most?) will not know the actual word - victuals.
The orthodox pronunciation for LV is vittler.
A weather-vane is a wane.
Heyya bin upta the wicarage?
4 : No Tea, Wicar?
(E say, less goo 'oom agatha . . .)
Norfolk fully aligns itself with the, apparently,
worldwide aversion to the letter T; including
leading-t's and those in the middle of words.
This is bound to affect the important words
to and too, which lack the softening effect of
th, as in - this, there, that, then . . .
A drastic "it-type" solution (compare A.8 )
is employed for too : change the word !.
Actually the word-count doubles, which would
be very inefficient - but for the joining-up.
Thus : and-all = anall
(best written as anorl, for anatomical reasons).
Sure, the syllable-count still doubles;
but you can't have everything . . .
E give [gave] me a cup-a drink an'
Note : and therefore occurs twice; in fact
a free straw anorl.
he had a filled cup, a straw and
nothing else (no ALL).
For the word to, full advantage is taken of its
status as a conjunction i.e. it is seldom found
at the beginning of a sentence.
(To be or not to be?)
It can thus be reduced to a suffix, as in
our standard phrase : a-gorn-a goo.
The suffix is little more than a grunt.
Only contextual help is available for
those unable to decipher grunts . . .
See 7. below Concatenation : the conjunction
of is just as easily relegated :
E talk a lood-a squi(t)!
The useful words something and nothing
are always difficult second-half-wise.
The former is abused in much the same way
as in London (suthin' /suffin').
Oddly [because of fewer letters?] the latter
does not become nuffin (or nuttern ).
(See some earlier references to the soft-O)
5 : Putting It All Agatha
Two important words (at least; one of them
highly favoured in these parts) begin with to.
The prized case can be relied upon to be
buried inside a sentence (apart from political
perorations); so the first syllable can be treated
casually, as for the said conjunction.
Hence agatha - who may be a lady but
must have her SECOND syllable accented.
She is also a victim of the (soft) e-to-a shift.
There is no good reason not to write agather :
most English folk pronounce -er words minus
the r : down-grading the e accordingly.
Gratuitous re-spellings (e.g. orl ) revisited!
5 : Putting It All Agatha (contd.)
Even bogus languages have been invented
e.g. Australian Strine, of which the only example
I can recall is :- 'Tiger peera spargly guys'
(Take a pair of sparkling eyes).
If the occasional invented word does no harm,
here is our other important "to-word":-
Amara (stressed second syllable),
Norfolk (and the rest of England) indulges in
as in Chair-ioo, seeya amara.
cf. armada pronunciation.
plenty of "skating-over" in the French manner.
We have mentioned -er endings; and the
-ow ending in the last example is also
"swallowed" or grunted.
In most UK dialects, even the vital word you
gets the skating-over treatment.
Another example :-
Hi-ya! Cen Oi bara a couple-a quid?
6 : Come All Ye
The Norfolk together is prized, as I have said,
because its social use is quite distinct.
It means -
"All you members of my current audience".
Members may number as little as two,
as in Yarn Q; or even just the one!!
A group of lads, on a pub-crawl, may be
urged-on by their leader thus -
Come you on agatha, thass nairly cloosen-toime!A Norfolk toast to the assembled company is
(Accordin'lie they ha(tt)er gi(t) a-gorn)
"an' hair uz moi opinion on yer, agatha".
Two other words which acquire a special gloss
in the County are rare and treat.
Rare may be used in all its normal contexts,
but has the (more frequent) use as
extreme - extreme anything; or extremely -
Thass a rare good hoss!
Treat (but not as in treating something seriously,
or in a legalistic sense) is the Norfolk word
for anything good, impressive or enjoyable.
Yure done tha(t) a trea(t) ; tha(t) look a
The mind boggles at the state of excitement
trea(t) ; thass comin-on a trea(t) [i.e. well]
built-up when the words are used in conjunction:-
Thass a rare trea(t), tha(t) tha(t) is !!
An actual treat, involving food and drink,
is termed a lush-up.
7 : Say, Mate, Let's Concatenate
Although the word is unknown hereabouts,
the natives have mastered the methodology.
They have raised it to the art-form found
in French (see 5. above - not Dutch, for once).
We have noted how conjunctions, like
to and of disappear into mere grunts.
The same fate often befalls you.
Even the ultra-important word have
can be affected.
This is when it is used, subordinately, as part
of the past/conditional-tense; hence is
"buried" within a sentence. For example:-
E would-a go-o-on [have gone]
[ N.B. no use of an permitted ]
but (h)is moo-er conked-ou(t).
E tal me they a-(h)ad a brairk-in or
E a-(h)ad a operairtion.
Oral Exercise for students :
Say "a-ad" for "have had".
Hev is, in truth, only its Sunday face.
"Tops and Tails" count, otherwise grunts only.
Heyya go(t) any [enna]? - Yis, we 'ev
The modus operandi seems to be -
(or, for emphasis) Yis, tha(t) we hev!
"shove everything agatha, and let the
context take the interpretive strain !"
8 : Raising The Ire
We highlight a special case, where have lies
"too near the front" for contextual comfort,
as in "I have done it".
In practice, this short sentence starts with
I-a, which comes across phonetically as Ire.
Given that Oi is a bit nearer than "I",
the effect is very similar to Our -
a potential cause of confusion.
A difficult question might be met with :
Our go-o-o(t) noo oidare! ( = I, not we).
Similarly, he has = he have = Here,
phonetically; similarly, also Sheer.
So the examples in 7. are better written as :
E tal me there [they have] 'ad a brairk-in . . . .
Ear [He has ] 'ad a operairtion.
(not necessarily on his ear !)
Also e.g. : Where go-o-o(t) some atoom
(We have some at home).
Yure (for You-a) is virtually a mono-syllabic
word, indistinguishable from you're (you are).
It is not yewer, nor yore (your).
 Are yure gorn' ?
 Yure go-o-o(t) one, incha??
A bus-driver told a travelling colleague that -
Our jist 'ad a couple-a weeks orff.
Aya?!, replied the colleague, by way of
In Coronation Street happen means perhaps.
In Norfolk, it has the more usual meaning;
but still in relation to a chance occurrence -
like meeting somebody in the street.
To come upon somebody (by chance) is to
the past tense normally
being used : Oi hapt-on 'em.
Alternatively rendered as :
(h)appened acrorst 'em.
9 : Painting Pictures
If you can't count, and can't even read
(the case for most Norfolk inhabitants until
"modern times"), you may get some information -
as well as enjoyment - from pictures.
Illustrations in books were known as gays :
a term completely overtaken by the technology
of publishing, and other (social) factors.
If a gay consists of a mixture of colours,
badly faded or in uncommon pale shades -
so as to be beyond simple description -
it is dumduckerdumer.
More perplexingly, a picture can
also be known as a cut.
It is a little doubtful if this would have been
accomplished just with a cedar (pencil) !.
A mental picture, of some colourful nature,
is painted by the word arsle, which means
to move or wriggle backwards.
A less appealing picture is given by the word
clag : which means to clean or comb-out matted
hair (claggy meaning sticky or lumpy).
Very enticing, on the other hand, is a hotpot
(pronounced without any t's, of course); either
as the stew we all know and love, or as the
Norfolk variety : warmed ale with spirits
(commonly "old ale" and gin).