Released: March 2014
Publisher: Bradwell Books
Size: 180 x 110mm
Author: Louise Maskill
This book will help you understand the unique and ancient Suffolk dialect and have you talking like a native in no time. The book includes a dictionary to help you develop an altogether new vocabulary, plus a wonderful collection of tales and anecdotes, all chosen to illustrate different aspects of the delightful local dialect.
Although dialects are still evident in everyday speech from different parts of the country, they are nowhere near as common or as diverse as they used to be. This gradual extinction has been noted and mourned by writers and antiquarians over many years, and huge efforts have been made to capture the colloquial speech of men and women from various parts of the country.
The Icenian dialects of the eastern counties (as they were described by Robert Forby in his 1830 book on The Vocabulary of East Anglia) are rich and vivid, but the Norfolk and Suffolk dialects are often lumped together in popular consciousness (along with Somerset) into a kind of generic rural vernacular. They are clearly similar, but there are distinct and significant differences between them; my childhood in Norfolk meant I was familiar with a lot of the terms you will find in this book, but there are many that are new to me, or which are used in different ways.
The first part of this book is an A to Z of words and phrases arranged with their meanings and a few examples of usage, while the second part contains a collection of anecdotes, stories, rhymes and curiosities, all arranged by theme. Some of the words in the A to Z are now in common use in everyday English, but the aim is to indicate their provenance in the old Suffolk dialect. The anecdotes may be long or short, complicated or simple, but all contain genuine examples of Suffolk dialect as gathered by myself or recorded by historians and collectors over the years.