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Tiffling acrorst

The Suffolk Poetry Society  organised an excellent event called ‘Soundings’ on  June 25th 2011,  under the leadership of Cameron Hawke Smith.  It considered the variety of ways that words can sound in different languages and in dialect.  Catalysed by this approaching event my Suffolk origins encouraged me to write this poem about weed control in farming, but setting it before the discovery of pesticides when weeds were pulled by hand and when the Suffolk dialect was commonplace.


 Rye grass in a wheat crop – HGCA image


Hoad yew hard bor!
Yew hint no one hoss race.
The end of this row
hint gowan no place,

Tiffle about bor!
There’s nawthen more
til six weeks arter
the dawg rose flower

Yar sorft in the hid bor
if you believe that squit
that the money start to coom
when the snipe begin to drum.

This fild’l bait us bor!
Thas alus fare fulla tare
att’l pay us a tidy bit,
wal – do at don’t at did.

Let your maul miss bor!
We marnt claw ‘old of all
now trod that one in –
haps att’l coom agin.

Thas wholly roight bor!
Suffen gotta gew in
for us ta git suffen out.
Bank acrorst the fild bor
roight under gaffer’s snout.

Leave a comment


  1. Ar, bor, but that thar pome dew remoind me a them good ol’days afore Oi gone furren. Oi in’t niver bin able ter make up a good loin with “dew ‘at don’t ‘at did” in’t noither – tho’ I ‘member ‘et bein’ said many a toime – so yer hev moy amiration thar.

    Oi’m very glad to discover this whole soite, tew: dew Oi vis’t et enough Oi moight git moy owd accint back agin, an’ the pomes int ‘alf bad neither.

    Dew you keep et up bor.

    John (ex-Ipswich, 30 yrs in Texas, and 20 more in a whole lot more places).

  2. I’m rite pleased to git yor little messige, thas whooly good you can read, so many of us ole boys niver learnt proper. Dew yew keep on a coming onta moi site, mostly I’m writin posh, but yew’ll git the drift bor, as loike yor old hid’l smart a bit, but there int no jiggery pokery – like in that furren talk.


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