1 : Exceptions Rampant
I almost suffered premature apoplexy in my
(early) schooldays when (regularly) told that :
"The Exception proves the Rule".
Later, there was more than enough 'proving'
to be done on the infamous irregular verbs.
However, I don't recall the phrase
We shall have to spend quite some time (and
space herein) dealing with those very beasts.
Of course, many will involve our favourite vowel.
N.B. This is not to say that our beloved County
(non-conformist though it is) has much more
irregularity than Standard English, with its
stupid gone, done, bone etc.,
as already highlighted (C.4).
2 : Hope Springs
We have observed (with hev and hin't) less
pre-disposition to drop aitches in rural speech.
So, rurally, you are more likely to hear hope
with its first letter and, therefore, its "mid-u"
sound (little chance of confusion with up ??).
In the City area, however, it is a firm double-o
(as if to "start" the word).
Remember the "hula-hoop" craze?.
We had ula-upes too.
But it is oope which springs eternal(ly??).
It would not be too unfair to generalise that the
Norwich dialect takes the (alleged) "laziness",
of Norfolk speech, to new heights!.
A Norfolk greeting might well be "Halloo",
with an end-of-word double vowel.
This then equates to D'ye Ken John Peel.
In Norwich, however, it would be "Allow",
but not as in that actual word (wrong sound) -
try the sound of hallowed.
We have mentioned (A.7) know for no,
but only in the City and only this Century.
3 : Hum Sweet Hum
October may well acquire a double-o in the
middle, where the emphasis falls; but I suspect
that the "mid-u" sound would be heard in
deepest Norfolk, as it is in November
(first syllable unaccented).
The art of hoeing places its exponents in a
quandary (what's the e doeing there?);
so we have hoo, on the one hand,
but harn ( = howing) on the other.
[ see sewing (F.2) ].
There's always some difficulty, which is a good
way of introducing always -
which is ollust.
When you can find somebody to
explain why, please let me know.
In my opinion, the usual spelling allust can
give the wrong idea . . . the al- portion should
be rendered in the American way
(they do it to all. . . anorl ).
More surprising still is that the word, as often
as not, retains the new-found final letter
(compare great below).
We are not alone in being occard (awkward).
4 : Double Shuffle
Having persevered thus far, you must have
the mettle to tackle a vowel-shift of
It may not be the only case,
but here we are referring to GREAT.
Its importance, again, is in direct proportion to
its popularity; which is whoolly great anorl.
Shift 1 - already done for us :We seem to have arrived at the
the E is totally ignored;
Shift 2 - just as for grate, imposes the
Viking shift to grairt.
(or restores the E, if you prefer);
Shift 3 - "squeezes" or "clips" the sound
drastically, leaving I rather than A.
the same word as grit.
Grit, however, is a humble substance; and so
will ollust lose its final letter. Not so with our
Grit Owl Waad.
Read the section on Tautology, by all means,
then forget it.
Something really big will be gri(t) big;
more likely grit (h)uge /(h)uge gri(t).
Huge is, of course, pronounced as ooj.
The t is retained too in grit owl(d) or grit ow'd;
i.e. depending on whether the following letter
is a vowel.
This is all just (jist) a ooj ploy to avoid using
the awkward word very (werra).
5 : Only The Lonely
Not forgetting the old and the poor . . .
Old should really (by the "rules") be ool
(the d long since lost, somewhere in the USA),
but tends towards owl -
not as in the bird, but as in the bird-bowl.
As previously hinted, the -d may sometimes
return (at the end of a sentence?). When it does,
happily, there is no conflict with owed,
which = ewe.
Poor might have become pure (as in Scotland).
Luckily, it has become pore instead. This can
help if you are trying to close the door
(to keep out the poor?)
We have seen (A.7) that a soft-o can be quite
unexpectedly firmed-up, as in orff and orfen.
The latter case also loses one of its consonants,
but as it is a mere t, there is zero surprise!
The word only, only(!) 4 letters,
is chock-full of surprises:-
(a) It loses the 'n' from the combination
This underlines the importance of sounding
(compare after, often);
(b) It has a [weakened] "mid-u" sound,
despite the commencing 'o'
which constitutes a broken rule (F.1);
(c) It is an -ly word which is commonly
used (to be fair, not a typical adverb).
the h at the beginning of (w)hoolly/(w)hooly;
although, for emphasis, this probably happens.
Now we have the terrible twins :
(w)hoolly and oolly.
Be sure to tell them apart!
Yure go(t) three, whereby
Our oolly go(t) a couple.
Pore owl me!. Oi'm feelin all aloon.
(not lonely; and with the "mid-u" sound).
Ple(tt)y is another word which loses its 'n'
- plenty of people know that.
6 : DON'T Say...
Superficially, don't and won't are two,
almost identical, mono-syllabic words.
As such, the single-o sound should (always)
become a "mid-u" in Norfolk.
It does too (more often than not);
but there is more to things than that . . .
To begin with, each is (as we know)
a pair of words : not prefixed by do or will.
This revelation would permit don't to carry
the double-o sound doon(t); which is indeed
taken (mainly in present-day Norwich) as a
But commonsense says "due" becomes
"due not", thence "dewn't".
It is left, as an archaeological exercise,
to the Reader : to determine if the letter o
was substituted "backwards" (i.e. because
posh-speech - see F.2
again - prefers
an o to sound like ew).
Another problem with the word don't is
the letter n.
As in the previous paragraph's examples,
it may get omitted - esp. in Norwich.
E do do that, dor(nt) E?
7 : Won't Say
No such questions with won't, which is
an artificial word (like ain't).
Norfolk speech accepts that fact - and has NO
alternatives to the "mid-u" sound, even when
emphasis is needed :- Noo, tha(t) Oi (w)un(t)!!
N.B. The leading-w is very seldom evident
(oon't and ain't thus getting closer !),
so as to avoid confusion with wasn't.
(See Chapter C : The Soft A).
Only one way with won't, then;
but a total of three options for don't !
Presumably for the said reasons of emphasis,
the version dorn(t) is very commonly used :-
Oi dun(t) know whoi, tha(t) Oi dorn(t) . . .
This seems to have nothing in common with
gorn (double-o modified by the following i ).
Conversely, there may be
avoidance strategy at work.
Consider how worn't would relate to want,
with the lengthened vowel-sound of the latter?.
8 : Can't Say
Oi rarely car(t) say . . .
Ample evidence has been given for Mardle's
assertion that - "we swallow our consonants
and do strange things to our vowels".
We (Norfolk) are, once again, not alone :
have you heard a Cockney attempt to say
bottle, using only the first two letters?!
In Standard Eish the word would has its
second vowel changed and (Cockney-like)
its l omitted.
The result, we know, is just the same as wood.
This (in its negative form) presents a further
difficulty for the Norfolk tongue, which already
has trouble with wasn't and won't.
Now all three items collide **
This reinforces the perceived need for won't
to lose its first letter; there being little hope of
distinguishing between the other two :-
1. Oi woon(t) do tha(t) if Oi wooz you!
2. Tha(t) woon(t) a werra good oidare,
Rurally, you may hear the second with a rather
softer o-sound; but this, in turn, tends to conflict
with want (the 's' having been swallowed) -
a word greatly needed (see M.5) in Norfolk!
** Our final Chapter M attempts to summarise
the confusing situation.
Para. 5. has witnessed the neglect of letter n;
which partly, nefariously, comes to the rescue :
in the event that the phrase want to occurs
(i.e. very often) : Oi wo(tt)a gi(t) one-a them!
The potential conflict with what are
or what have has been
resolved (C.5) :-
You wo(tt)a gi(t) some woo(t)-a cheaper.
There is a tendency, outside Norwich, to drop
Some onnem woo(t)-a go(t) brook
wo(tt)a be replairced.
BOTH t's in the phrase "wouldn't it?"
(Norwich : woont-a). Using an
unbelievable duplication of the shunned
letter, a fine example of native perversity is :-
Tha(t)-d be good, woon(t)n(t)?
9 : In The Dark
When it is getting dark, it is
shuttin'-up-toime in Norfolk.
It's a great pity so few (only Georgian?)
houses still have wooden shutters . . .
Of course, as Winter approaches, this sad
juncture occurs ever sooner; or, as we say,
tha(t) gi(t) lair(t) aarlier.
[another good example of a Norfolk oxymoron].
Artificial light, until comparatively recent times,
meant candles. A wick is a key component of
your average candle; which may explain why
tiresome people gi(t) onya wick,
instead of nerves. 
A long wick, on a burning candle, can be
wasteful; and is called snaste.
Such flames can often attract morths, and the
mingins (gnats, midges) so prevalent at dusk.
After dark you may wish to hank-up
the door, using the snack .
You may also be less inclined to go off
on your travels i.e. goo strammackin'.
However, the cat might start scrabbin' or
scrorpin' [scratching] at the door - to get out!.
See Story F
 In my family, that behaviour might
gi(t) onya chimes.
 This is instead of latch;
but is more onomatapoeic!.