Keeping ‘Broad Norfolk’ alive

Who Are We?

What Do We Do?

How Can We Help?


Who are we?

Friends of Norfolk Dialect (FOND) was founded in 1999, dedicated to conserving and recording Norfolk’s priceless linguistic and cultural heritage, thus keeping Broad Norfolk alive.

Our aim is to record as many of our county’s traditional words as possible, together with placenames, sayings, stories and songs. Friends of Norfolk Dialect seeks the help of other organisations and experts in building up an archive of literature and sound recordings some of which appear on this site for your delight!

What do we do?

  • We campaign for the recognition and teaching of ‘Norfolk’ as an authentic English regional dialect.
  • We assist film and TV Producers to achieve the correct accent in drama productions set in Norfolk.
  • We produce information packs and assist with projects for schools
  • We also publish a quarterly newsletter called The Merry Mawkin.

Several times a year we organise social and fundraising ‘Dews’, culminating in an ever-popular seasonal ‘Panto’ – in dialect, naturally!

How can we help?

There are several ways FOND may be able to help you:

  • PRONUNCIATION – We are very lucky to have Professor Peter Trudgill as our President and, as an expert in languages, he can advise on derivation of words and pronunciation.
  • SCHOOLS – We want to encourage youngsters to keep the dialect alive. We are happy to help teachers and we’ll come into school if required.
  • TALKS –If you have a group that would like to hear about the dialect, we have members who will give light-hearted talks.
  • EVENTS – If you are organising ‘dew’, preferably indoors, we are willing to attend events around the county.

Keith Skipper MBE, DL, Founder of FOND

A FOND welcome to yew, my bewties!

DUNT TIME FLY when yew’re dewin’ suffin’ useful!  It seems like only yesterday when a FOND dream started to come true with a passionate meeting in Yaxham Village Hall. In fact, it is over 26 years since a band of enthusiasts decided it was high time to put our dialect fight on an official footing.

I accepted the role of chairman with pride and optimism and noted in my diary for Sunday, October 3rd, 1999: “A day for celebration. A day I hope future generations will salute with gratitude.

Friends Of Norfolk Dialect is now a highly-regarded and flourishing organisation as the battle continues to preserve and promote such a vital strand of our cultural heritage. There have even been examples of television, radio and theatre drama producers trying that little bit harder to get the sound right – but there are still many acres to plough in this field of enlightenment.

FOND must carry on pointing out that Norfolk is not a strange little place in darkest Mummerzet, wedged somewhere between Devon and Dorset. And there are enough members of the acting profession with proud Norfolk roots to spread the message in places where it really counts.

Links with the Norfolk Record Office and local schools are growing stronger while social gatherings, known famously as FOND-dews, are staged successfully in all parts of the county.

FOND president Peter Trudgill, an internationally renowned linguistics expert, waves the flag colourfully and defiantly for his native Norfolk. We have some leading local citizens on board as vice-presidents, including Sir Timothy Colman, a former Lord Lieutenant of the County.

The Merry Mawkin, our regular newsletter crammed with features both light-hearted and serious, is the perfect platform from which to help spread that true message of defiance. Don’t be shy. Have your say.

I recall a good old Norfolk boy coming up for a quick mardle after that historic get-together in October, 1999. He has long-since gone to the Great Norfolk Snug in the Sky, but his words live on along the fertile furrows cultivated by FOND and its supporters.

He said: “I hope yew lot ent a’gorn ter sit abowt clackin’ when there’s helluva lot more ter be done. Yew’re gotta dew suffin’ ter mearke a diffrunce.”

I think we’ve taken his homely advice to heart.

FOND Archive Fearvruts

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  • Allan Smethurst, The Singing Postman, was almost as famous as the Beatles in the 1960s' writing and singing songs in his native Norfolk dialect. Hev a listen!

  • A list of recommended Norfolk Dialect reading compiled by Keith Skipper, by no means comprehensive but a useful starting point for any enthusiasts.

  • A nostalgic visit to Rookery Farm to see the wheat and barley being harvested the old-fashioned way with tractor and binder... Poetry too...