Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Let’s be clear, I’m from Birmingham.
Well, not Birmingham exactly. The Black Country actually, which is an important five miles or so away from Britain’s second city and distinguishes us in the same way that living in Hethersett means you’re not really from Norwich.
But Brum will do to make my point.
And that point is that I have only a theoretical interest in the latest Uncyclopedia dialect list doing the rounds on Facebook at the moment. It’s an A-to-Z glossary of “Naaridge” words and phrases, spelt out phonetically and a gentle, self deprecating pee-take for those of you born and bred in the Fine City. Norwich people on the social media site seem really tickled by it from the Facebook comments I’ve seen, in the same warm way that you’d be embarrassed by your dad on the dance floor, but proud of him really.
It’s just the very tiniest bit country bumpkin if you’ve not seen it.
Catch up here
If you couldn’t be bothered to do that, allow me to give you a flavour:
Carra Rud – a place where Naaridge people go to watch their football team beat Ipswich. Another place like this is Portman Road where Suffolk people go to watch their football team being beaten by Narridge Ci’ee.
B an Coo – Hardware store, a bit like Hum Base
Curls – a department store in Naaridge ci’ee long since renamed Debnums (but news travels slowly in Naaridge!)
That’s only from the A-to-C section – there’s plenty more to give you a nostalgic giggle, and I really would recommend you take a look. My most endearing, and enduring, memory of the Norwich twang is when I first moved here at the age of 14, kicking on for 50 years ago. I’d been warned about the “He say”, “Hooge bootiful voo” stuff, and I knew how to pronounce Wymondham, Costessey and Happisburgh. But nothing prepared me for a customer in the corner shop I was working in as a Saturday boy, just a few weeks after moving here.
“Haya got any tins of cuckoo?” said the customer as I knelt, stacking baked beans.
Now even at my tender age I knew that normal people did not eat cuckoos. Fresh, dried, tinned, vac-packed, marinated. It didn’t matter. Cuckoos were not on the menu for right thinking people. What sort of hell had I been delivered to?
She started to get angry. “If yew hint got cuckoo, haya got any hot chocolate?”
Oh, thank you, God. And, overall, thank you for bringing me to Norfolk.