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.

Don’t you know the difference between quackle and twizzle? – well you will by the end of this page!

As well as those, there are plenty more for you to gets to grips with – but before you get yourself all in a slarver I’d take something for that tizzick if I wuz you!

Anyway, these should be plenty enough Norfolk words to be going on with for the minute and – hey! – there’s only one more page to go and there’ll be no more excuses for not sounding just like us in future, will there?


Dialect word(s) Meaning
Quackle To strangle or choke: “He wuz suffen raw – he put his hands around my neck so tight they were fit to quackle me!”
Queer Ill, sick : “I dun’t harf feel queer!”


Dialect word(s) Meaning
Rabbit To cut a groove, rebate, in carpentry.
Rafty Damp , raw weather.
Rare Anything unusual: “Thass a rare fine pheasant yew’ve got there, bor!”
Raw Angry, displeased: “Maw wuz hoolly raw wi me for duttying up her troshall.”
Reasty Rancid.
Rent Tear: “I blundered down in the street an’ rent me trousers.”
Rimer Hoar frost: “Blass me, thass a right ole rimer this mornin.”
Ruck To crease: “What hev yew bin doin now, my mawther? Yar skut’s orl rucked up!”
Run To leak: “Dunt yew use that there kittle, corse that run, that dew!”
Run on (go on) To exaggerate, to grumble: “For Gawd’s searke, gi yar tongue a rest an stop goin on about the wather – yew do run on, yew do, an’ thass a fact!”


Dialect word(s) Meaning
Sadly Unwell: “He took tuh his bed, corse he wuz so sadly.”
Screws Rheumatic aches and pains.
Shannock A native of Sheringham; born of true Sheringham stock.
Shanny Scatter-brained.
Shiver A splinter: “I're gotta shiver in me finger.”
Shuck An untidy person. Also Old Shuck, the phantom hell-hound that roams the cliffs looking for his dead master.
Shruck, shrook Past tense of shriek: “She shrook out when she saw Old Shuck and took to har bed.”
Shud Shed.
Sight A great (or small) number: “There wunt a sight onnem there, there wunt – I thort there woulda bin a sight more than that!”
Slarver To drool or dribble; also, to talk rubbish.
Slop A fisherman’s smock worn over his gansey.
Sluss, slusspot Alcoholic drink, one who drinks too much.
Smur Fine rain, drizzle.
Snew Snowed. “That snew an' snew all day!”
Snob Shoemaker or cobbler.
Sorft Silly: “All the squit yew come out with, yew must be sorft!”
Sosh (on the) Uneven, slanting, out of true: “On the sosh.”
Splar, splaar To spread out: “Dunt she splar her feet out when she walk?”
Spuffle To waffle, speak pompously: “He do spuffle, dunt he?”
Squit Norfolk nonsense: “He talk a load o’ squit.”
Stewkey blews Cockles caught at Stiffkey.
Stingy Mean, cruel, cold: “Ony sixpence pocket money was a bit stingy.” Or: “That wuz stingy ole weather yisterday.”
Swimmers Norfolk dumplings.


Dialect word(s) Meaning
Ta, ter The, this, that or it: Ter year.
Tempest Thunderstorm.
Thack Thrash or thump: “He wuz rude ter my sister, so I hoolly thacked him aside the lug.”
Tidy Good, fair: “Thass a tidy step to the busstearshun.”
Time While: “I hed a sleep time Maw cooked the dinner.”
Titchy Touchy, irritable.
Tittermatorter See-saw.
Titty-totty Very small.
Tizzick A tickly cough.
Tricolate To spruce up or repair: “He tricolated the shud suffin masterous.”
Trosh To thresh.
Troshel, throshel Doorstep, threshold.
Truck Anything to do: “He ent yar sort – yew dunt watta hev any truck wi him!”
Twizzle To rotate, spin or twist rapidly.

How did you get on? Are you ready for the final selection of Norfolk dialect words and their meanings? Click the link to U–Z to complete you lesson in Broad Norfolk.

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