A Common Tongue

Long John’s Showbar, Great Yarmouth, UK } Google Maps

He was a beef of a man, broad as a London bus with a jutting jaw. He eyed the tourists perched at the hightop across the pub. “What you think they be on about?”

“Americans.” The bartender shrugged. “Jollificeartions is me guess.”

The man nodded, brow asquiggle. “Putting on parts is me guess.”

“Aye, could be.” Both men turned to eye the three ladies.

“I got this,” the big man said at least. He lumbered toward them.

At the ladies’ table, his ale sloshed in the glass. “Ar yer orrite bor?”

The blonde’s mouth dropped open. The redhead turned to the brunette, whispering, “What did he say?”

The brunette squared her shoulders and shot him a bold look. “You want to shoot the breeze, fella?”

“Oy,” he said. He took a step back, then pivoted for the bar.

“Wha’d they say?”

“Cor blast me, brother. Was a loada ole squit!”

150 words

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt, click here.

To understand this story, you might need this:

Norfolk dialect translator




  1. A valiant attempt at the Norfolk dialect. That’s probably better than I can do. I can understand it, but Norfolk bred though I am, I don’t really speak it. I can manage: Hev yor fa gotta dickie, bor? Which means, Hace your father got a horse?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. LOL, I would never have guess that by reading it. Thanks for your kind words. It was fun learning about different idioms that get lost in translation. Thanks also for the suggestion this week!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m not sure I actually suggested it. I thikn it was more a joint thing. BUt I’m glad you went ahead with it. 🙂


      2. Okay so maybe I forced you in to it, but I’m glad you let me.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I wouldn’t say foce. Did I say force? We discussed it.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Okay well good I’m glad you don’t feel like I did. It was a delight by the way.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Yea, I’ve enjoyed it. Interesting to see everyone’s take. 🙂


  2. Love it. We may speak the same language but that doesn’t mean we understand each other.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Indeed! I had no ideal how little we might be understanding 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank goodness you included the dialect translator or I would have been baffled! And how funny, that he was just as confused by the tourists’ dialect as they were by his: good one!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Joy! Yes, some of those phrases were mystifying. Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah, so true – divided by a common language! And not just the words themselves but our upbringings, our points of reference, our humour. We might be able to understand the gist of what the other is saying, but the subtler references are lost. Nicely humorous touch throughout, Karen

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Lynn. You are so very right about all the differences–disguised by what we believe is the same. It’s a wonder we manage. Thanks for reading. I hope you have time to pen a little tale this week! Also hope your editing is going well.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. My pleasure. The differences are huge, but it’s wonderful to find likeminded people on the other side of the world. The editing on TRD has stalled temporarily. I’ve got a short story and a serial I want to write and am beta reading for someone, but will get back to it soon and then hopefully send it out to agents. We’ll see what happens then. How are your own big projects going?


  5. lillmcgill

    Seems like this is the way a lot of conversations go.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, I’m glad you liked it.


  6. This made me smile! Thanks for including the “translation.” I have a friend who went to England YEARS ago and was totally confused by the conversations at the bar. But, she came with a charming husband.


  7. It’s so hard to do dialect in a story. You do a bang-up job here.

    Liked by 1 person

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