While new settlers colonised South Pembrokeshire, plying their trades, setting up towns and villages and enclosing fields, the native Welsh remained in the north, beyond a ‘frontier’, labelled the Landsker Line in the early 20th century. The name of this ‘frontier’ comes from the Norse term for boundary being ‘sker’.
This divide is apparent to a degree today, with South Pembrokeshire English being heard in Narberth, and Welsh just three miles away in Clynderwen.
So the dialect of South Pembrokeshire is quite unique, being based on a bedrock of native Welsh, seasoned with Norse, to which, after the Normans arrived, was added a large helping of West Country English and some Flemish.
Here are some splendid words and phrases perhaps unique to the area:
|all to clush/in a caffle
|all for heat
|miserable day in summer
|all show (of person)
|pebble/weathered stone copings
|chastise, knock on the head
|wand used by charmers/faith healers
|pouring with rain
|enough blue sky to make a pair of drawers
|signs of weather clearing
|scramble e.g. for sweets
…and many more, far too colourful for this webpage!
We also have surviving dialect words from the Welsh, which include:
|small person (pron. Ker-did-win)
|big stone (pron. Kleg-ar)
|smack around ear (pron. Klis-ter)
|heck / hercan
From the Vikings
Who harried the area from the ninth to eleventh centuries we have:
From the Flemings
The time they spent in England before they arrived in Pembrokeshire, coupled with intermarriage led to the early decline of their language. A few words are still in use:
|gap in hedge
Among many words of West Country origin are:
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