Norfolks Words Baffle Linguists

Whether your from Caister, Hembsy or Great Yarmouth Norfolk’s famous accents and sayings can be heard all over the place.

Yet now linguists are beginning to study many words, that have been put together by the public, at the British Library in central London. The language experts will look at how local dialects have changed, and in particular obscure words, their meanings and how they came about.

Norfolk is a great place to visit, with thousands of tourists agreeing with this each year. Many say that the county’s strong accent is welcoming and instantly friendly. Yet it seems some words may go straight over people’s heads.

‘Bisybarnabee’ was recorded as a Norfolk word, meaning ladybird, originally thought to be from the 16th Century. Bishop Edmund Bonner, nicknamed ‘Bloody Bonner inspired the phrase as he was known for his persecution of heretics.

Other words include ‘Dodderman’, a name for a snail and ‘Tittermatorter’ which means see saw. But it’s not just Norfolk being recorded for it’s wacky words.

Below is a small list from around Britain with their meanings:

  • Baffies— slippers (east coast of Scotland)
  • On the box— off sick from work (Black Country)
  • Twitchell— alleyway (Nottingham)
  • Gopping— unattractive (Manchester)
  • Bobowler— large moth (Birmingham)

So whether your planning a trip to Norfolk to have fun on the Tittamorter’s or to come and see the local Bishybarnabee, don’t be a Dodderman, get on down this summer for some confusing fun!

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