Norfolk Slang

11 terms


a lunatic vagrant.—Norfolk.


a garrulous person, so called from the rattle formerly used by vagrants to make a rattling noise and attract attention.—Norfolk.

⁂ A common proverb in this county is, “your tongue goes like A baker's clap-dish ,” which is evidently a modern corruption of the beggars' clap  or clack-dish  mentioned in Measure for Measure. It was a wooden dish with a movable cover.


good-tempered, drunk.—Norfolk.


an expressive designation of one whose head is both wooden and hollow.—Norfolk.


A sham shirt.
a donkey.—Norfolk.
An ass. Roll your dickey; drive your ass. Also a seat for servants to sit behind a carriage, when their master drives.
bad, sorry, or foolish; food or lodging is pronounced dickey  when of a poor description; “very dickey ”, very inferior; “it's all dickey  with him,” i.e., all over with him.
formerly the cant for a worn-out shirt, but nowadays used for a front or half-shirt. Dickey  was originally “tommy” (from the Greek, τομή, a section), a name which was formerly used in Trinity College, Dublin. The students are said to have invented the term, and love of change and circumlocution soon changed it to dickey , in which dress it is supposed to have been imported into England.


to dole up, to give up a share.—Ibid.
a lump or portion.—Norfolk. Anglo-Saxondale dole.


sociable, fair dealing.—Norfolk. Generally now jonnick , which see.

Kick the bucket

To kick the bucket: To die. He kicked the bucket one day: he died one day. To kick the clouds before the hotel door; i.e. to be hanged.

to die.—Norfolk. According to Forby, a metaphor taken from the descent of a well or mine, which is of course absurd. The Rev. E. S. Taylor supplies the following note from his MS. additions to the work of the East-Anglian lexicographer:—

“The allusion is to the way in which a slaughtered pig is hung up—viz., by passing the ends of a bent piece of wood behind the tendons of the hind legs, and so suspending it to a hook in a beam above. This piece of wood is locally termed a bucket , and so by a coarse metaphor the phrase came to signify to die.”

Another correspondent says the real signification of this phrase is to commit suicide by hanging, from a method planned and carried out by an ostler at an inn on the Great North Road. Standing on a bucket, he tied himself up to a beam in the stable; he then kicked the bucket  away from under his feet, and in a few seconds was dead. The natives of the West Indies have converted the expression into “kickeraboo.”


the lower lip—properly a dripping-pan; “to hang one's latchpan ,” to pout, be sulky.—Norfolk.


unsteady frolicking.—Norfolk.