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||confused|
|all for heat||miserable day in summer|
|all front||all show (of person)|
|babaloobies||pebble/weathered stone copings|
|cobnobble||chastise, knock on the head|
|cockalorum||wand used by charmers/faith healers|
|empting||pouring with rain|
|en, un||him, it|
|enough blue sky to make a pair of drawers||signs of weather clearing|
|scaddly pluck||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:
|cardydwyn||small person (pron. Ker-did-win)|
|clegyr||big stone (pron. Kleg-ar)|
|cluster||smack around ear (pron. Klis-ter)|
|heck / hercan||to limp|
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:
|slop||gap in hedge|
Among many words of West Country origin are:
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