Norwich Dialect – Karen Bocking

by | May 31, 2021 | Creative Writing, Keepsake

As someone who has lived in Norwich for most of my life, I have often been told I have a traditional Norwich accent. I listened with great interest to a recent feature on BBC Radio Norfolk about the differences between the Norwich and Norfolk dialect. 

I was born in the last of Norwich’s tenement flats, on June 30th 1957 situated on Wild Road off Angel Road, I guess you could say I’m a ‘Wild Angel’! We moved to the new Heartsease Estate when I was 4 years old. The Estate often called ‘Artsease’, as we’re known for not pronouncing our H’s, was named after the tiny wildflower Heartsease (Viola Tricolor) a wild pansy that grew in profusion there. Sadly it is rarely seen now. 

Having failed my 11-plus exam between the years 1968 and 1972, I went to the Heartsease Secondary Modern. The Radio presenter went to the Hewett (Ewet) School, which at the time was a Grammar School. My grammar is appalling, perhaps if I went to the grammar school it would be better! 

I got married in Saint Augustine’s Church, pronounced ‘Cint’ rather than ‘Saint’ and we pronounce ‘Norwich’ like ‘Porridge’, as the well-known limerick goes:

The man in the moon came down too soon

And asked his way to Norwich

He went to the South and burnt his mouth

By eating cold pease porridge

Do you have a favourite Norwich or Norfolk phrase or a fun limerick to share? Email


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