Listen: A linguist shows us how to correctly pronounce 13 of Norfolk’s trickiest place names

PUBLISHED: 16:28 17 March 2016 | UPDATED: 09:15 18 March 2016

Signs on the B1136 Hales to Haddiscoe road. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Signs on the B1136 Hales to Haddiscoe road. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY


After our Australian journalist struggled to pronounce some of Norfolk’s trickier place names, we asked a professional to step in and show us how it’s done.

Norfolk-born linguist and EDP columnist Peter Trudgill has dedicated his life to the study of language.

Listen as he shows us how to correctly pronounces the names of the 13 Norfolk locations listed below and reveals the origins of place names such as Haddiscoe and Deopham.

• Tacolneston

This village in South Norfolk has a particularly awkward spelling and is actually pronounced “Tacklestone”.

• Ingoldisthorpe

Sadly there isn’t actually any gold to speak of in the village of “Inglesthorpe”.

• Postwick

A silent ‘W’, causes Postwick to be pronounced as “Possick”.

• Costessey

This is one place name that always manages to confound visitors - it’s said as “Cossey” and not Costessey. Take no notice of the extra letters it’s spelled with.

• Happisburgh

We will never, ever, understand the spelling of “Hazebro”.

• Stiffkey

There’s always been much debate surrounding the proper pronunciation of “Stewkey”.

• Wymondham

We’re not sure how “Wymond” becomes “Wind” when pronouncing “Windum” but somehow it just does.

• Fulmodeston

This North Norfolk village is in fact pronounced “Full-mes-ton”.

• Haddiscoe

Some say there’s no “i” to pronounce but Peter says “Hadisco”.

• Deopham

Just ignore the ‘O’ in “Deepum”.

• Mundesley

The coastal village of “Munzly” is probably one of the more logical place name pronunciations on this list.

• Tasburgh

You can’t really go too far wrong when saying “Taysbur”.

• Reepham

This market town’s spelling must be read phonetically as “Reefum”.

Peter began his career by studying modern languages at King’s College before obtaining a PhD from the University of Edinburgh in 1971.

Since then he has written several books and taught at various universities across the globe, including the University of Lausanne in Switzerland and La Trobe University in Melbourne.

He is also an honorary professor at UEA and is currently president of the Friends of Norfolk dialect society, all of which makes him the perfect candidate to assist with our Norfolk place name pronunciations.

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