Translation Guide: Understanding West Country Slang

How to Talk the West Country Talk

Ward off those January blues with some ‘proper’ West Country dialect…

It is rumoured that the third Monday of January is considered the most miserable day of the year! Toad Hall Cottages felt duty-bound to cheer everyone up and help see off those January blues by way of a fascinating insight into some of the South West’s most authentic language.

‘Grockles’ enjoying the beach at South Milton

Have a scroll through our glossary of charming West Country slang words and brush up on your yokel dialect, the perfect remedy for your New Year doldrums.

Mr Toad’s Glossary of West Country Slang…

Ark at ‘Ee: To draw attention to someone’s comment with a touch of ridicule: ‘Well I’ll be. Would you ark at ‘ee’

Are ‘em: Aren’t they: ‘Those daffs are beauts are ‘em’

A-feard: To be afraid: ‘That spider under the sink ‘ad me proper a-feard’

Backalong: Sometime in the past: ‘I remember that song from backalong’

Brock: Badger: ‘I seen a brock t’other day that was larger than my wheelbarrow’

Bulorn: Snail: ‘They bliddy bulorns been at my lettuces ageen!’

Cakey: Soft in the head: ‘My cousin be proper cakey in the swede’

Cummus ‘zon: Come on then: ‘We best be off. Cummus ‘zon’

Didnus: Didn’t we: ‘Had a bliddy good larf at the village fete didnus?’

Dimpsey: Evening time or dusk: ‘I woz yomping the path home coz it woz fast gettin’ dimpsey’

‘Dimpsey’ in Dartmouth

Dreckly: Sometime in the near future: ‘I shall see ye dreckly’

Drumbledrone: Bumblebee: ‘I be walking a bit ginger on account of ‘aving just sat on the sharp end of a drumbledrone’

Fess: To be pleased as punch: ‘I was fessed right up with my new socks’

Fossick: To search by rummaging: ‘Just ‘ad a good fossick in the hay loft’

Gakeing: Daydreaming: ‘Are you gonna dig they tatties or just stand there gakeing?’

Grockle: A tourist or holidaymaker: ‘Sorry I’m late. Got stuck behind a grockle’ 

Gurt Noodle: Larking around: ‘I add too much cider and got gurt noodle’

Hoss-stinger: Dragonfly: ‘Change be in the air coz I just seen a hoss-stinger’

Janner: A person from Devon, particularly Plymouth: ‘Geddon ya Janner’

Joppety: Nervous or anxious: ‘Them bullocks are a bit joppety this morning’

‘Joppety’ bullocks in Slapton

Lippen: Wet and dreary: ‘It turned a bit lippen so I put on my coat’

Me ‘ansome: A friendly term used to address a close acquaintance: ‘Ello me ‘ansome. Tis loverly to see you’

Ramshacklum: Rubbish: ‘This holey bucket is ramshacklum’

Wasson: What have you got planned: ‘Wasson this afternoon?’

Where’s that to: Where is it. Can also be used with most pronouns: ‘Where’s ee to?’

Zummit: Something. A thing that is not exact: ‘Ere, did you just say zummit?’

Banish those January blues when you book a stay with Toad Hall Cottages in the wonderful West Country, famous for its golden beaches, sunny bays and endless rolling countryside. ‘Proper Job’