Professor Peter Trudgill's Column


Professor Peter Trudgill is one of the most outstanding sociolinguists, a well-known authority on dialects, an academic and author. He studied modern languages at King's College, Cambridge and obtained a PhD from the University of Edinburgh in 1971. Before becoming professor of sociolinguistics at the University of Essex, he taught in the Department of Linguistic Science at the University of Reading. He was professor of English language and linguistics at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, where he is now Professor Emeritus of English Linguistics. He is Honorary Professor of Sociolinguistics at the University of East Anglia, in Norwich, England. On June 2, 1995 he received an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Humanities at Uppsala University, Sweden. He also has honorary doctorates from UEA, and La Trobe University, Melbourne.


Peter Trudgill's weekly columns on language and languages in Europe are published in The New European  


You will also find a new article by Professor Peter Trudgill, by his courtesy, each week on our website.


This week's text: 14.06.2018 Solving the Bergamot puzzle


Some of the previous texts, also those published in Eastern Daily Press (till 23rd January 2017), to be found below.


2018.05.24: Why it's Istanbul not Constantinople

2018.04.26: The tangled word web spanning from stews to brothels

2018.04.12: Rambling Moors who added spice to our language

2018.03.28: Hipsters and their feminine roots

2018.03.22: What's in a name for Europe's football clubs?

2018.03.15: Steppes forward.. How language moved on from its roots

2018.03.01: How nothing came out of something

2018.02.22: The whey of the world

2018.02.15: Europe's ongoing shame over the silencing of languages

2018.02.08: Irish mysteries

2018.01.25: Lost causes: how our language is missing out

2018.01.18: Turkic delight

2018.01.11: The mysterious origins of girls and boys

2018.01.04: Imperial march of the spoken word


2017.12.21: Tastes that travel: surprising origins of our food names

2017.12.14: Dual meaning: when two doesn't become one

2017.12.07: There's something in the water to find origins of language

2017.11.30: Time to make four into one

2017.11.23: Finding the roots of Fizz

2017.11.16: The places so good they names them twice

2017.11.09: In the name of the father - Europe's ancient ID code

2017.11.02: The sequence of stringing sentences

2017.10.26: Why a good burgundy comes from further north than you might think 

2017.10.19: Being definite about the definite article

2017.10.12: The Minoan mystery

2017.10.05: The common language fallacy

2017.09.28: A pithy history of the word orange

2017.09.21: Eureka moment in study of language

2017.09.14: Language, lexicon and lollipops

2017.09.07: When it comes to greeting and eating, European do it better

2017.01.23: Lennon's wordplay reveals different meanings of have

2017.01.16: Yorite? Here's a short history of popular greetings

2017.01.09: You may not have known origin of the word till until now

2017.01.02: Unique way of looking at how illogical language can be


2016.12.26: Human languages are as varied as our societies

2016.12.19: Origins of some place names are not what they seem

2016.12.12: Smart-alecs scornful of Paxman show total ignorance

2016.12.05: On the trail of how Snailgate became Calvert Street

2016.11.28: Christmas advert finally treats Norfolk accent with respect

2016.11.21: Intelligence shows in what you say, not your accent

2016.11.14: Confused by American pronunciation? I’ll explain why

2016.11.07: The Maori language may be alive – but it is not well

2016.10.31: It's quite understandable why some Americans might find the use of this word rather confusing

2016.10.24: A hamlet in north Norfolk with a very interesting name

2016.10.17: Where English is being replaced by a native language

2016.10.10: English has hunted other languages to point of extinction

2016.10.03: Believe it or not, English was once a minor language

2016.09.26: Different spellings and questions of house style

2016.09.19: Beware our 'faux friends' in the world of language

2016.09.12: Why do we pronounce these place names differently?

2016.09.05: Be careful which experts you believe to tell the facts

2016.08.29: Banter - or just plain rude. It depends on the situation

2016.08.22: Why Norfolk folk can be confused with Australians

2016.08.16: If it's alright with you, it's alright with me... if that's alright?

2016.08.08: You can speak the language – but can you speak headline?

2016.08.01: The ins and outs of using ‘then’ and ‘than’ in our language

2016.07.25: He right – he knows just what he talking about

2016.07.18: Discriminating by accent is a prehistoric way to do business

2016.07.11: How the meaning of words has changed over time

2016.07.04: Julian's message shows just how English has changed

2016.06.27: Saying it with words - and they were often confusing

2016.06.20: OK... so just what are the origins of this quirky word? 

2016.06.13: Does being nice aggravate you? Well it upsets some

2016.06.06: Speaking freely in your native language is a basic right

2016.05.30: How the early railways helped bring Cly to Clay

2016.05.23: The meaning of duzzy is still intact after 1,200 years

2016.05.16: What's in a name? A lot more than you might think

2016.05.09: Ditching a vowel - and its effect on the Norfolk dialect

2016.05.02: Look at Bunyan, Defoe and Coleridge– that’ll learn you

2016.04.25: Wesker knew you can speak Norfolk and be eloquent

2016.04.18: There’s no need to apologise – what you say is quite OK

2016.04.11: Here’s the reason why it’s better to say best

2016.04.04: There is no reason why infinitives cannot be split

2016.03.28: It takes two to make a word – but that W still remains

2016.03.21: Have you noticed the name’s the same in several places?

2016.03.14: Sure thing, Shirley and surely are pronounced the same

2016.03.07: Is that a weak cup of tea? You can take it as red

2016.02.29: If you prefer to say Peking rather than Beijing – that’s fine

2016.02.22: Sometimes clues to the past are all in a name

2016.02.15: In the ever changing world of words there’s a lot to take in

2016.02.08: We’re moving away from synthetic to analytical speech

2016.02.01: Mawther – a word associated with region for centuries

2016.01.25: So, are you a Scot called Inglis or a Britain from France?

2016.01.18: A name that defies all attempts to find common ground

2016.01.11: Author enjoyed Norfolk but that doesn’t make him an expert on the dialect

2016.01.04: It’s more than just bridges that link Scandinavia


2015.12.28: It’s a long way from warehouses to chic bedrooms

2015.12.21: Hey guys! Are you aware of the adopted American words?

2015.12.14: Our schools should reflect our local historical legacies

2015.12.07: When using the wrong word is just not quite right

2015.11.30: Those who think wong isn’t an English word are wrong

2015.11.23: Language and national borders do not always coincide

2015.11.16: Ridiculous theory on Aussie accents should be forgotten

2015.11.09: It’s what you say, not how you say it, that matters

2015.11.02: When City and Town fans shared a sense of solidarity

2015.10.26: ‘They’ are plural – but ‘they’ are also singular read on

2015.10.19: Anti-semitic? You had better mind your language

2015.10.12: Wee dram of whisky flows through one of our rivers

2015.09.28: I’m sorry readers but I am right about the word ‘none’

2015.09.21: Languages can be an opportunity – not a barrier

2015.09.14: You may be singularly confused by this explanation...

2015.09.07: Yes or no... help us shed light on two little words

2015.08.31: A flock of seagulls, or should that be gulls? Discuss...

2015.08.24: The past is another language when we think about it

2015.08.17: I’m taking a punt on the origins of the word ‘quant’

2015.08.10: How did our fine city get its name? It’s all about directions

2015.08.03: What’s in a Christian name that can be used for either sex?

2015.07.27: Dialect would be welcome if I was minister for education

2015.07.21: I’m laying it on the line – how our language is changing

2015.07.13: The letter that has seen a change in pronunciation

2015.07.06: Keeping us on our mettle over the spelling of words

2015.06.29: Have you fathomed the roots of our measurements?

2015.06.22: What’s in a word? Well, it all depends on the sentiment

2015.06.15: To stress or not to stress? It used to be so easy in the past

2015.06.08: Logic can put eager learners on the wrong track

2015.06.01: Different words might mean a different outcome for us

2015.05.25: With dialect it’s not what you say – it’s how you say it

2015.05.18: There’s nothing wrong with writing like what we talk

2015.05.11: Can’t see the wood for the baum, boom and tre

2015.05.04: How familiar place names have evolved over centuries

2015.04.27: The ‘unseethroughableness’ of our English language

2015.04.20: You don’t have no need to worry about double negatives

2015.04.13: Traumatic means by which Norfolk village was named

2015.04.06: The long journey of a surname to his part of the world

2015.03.30: O my.... those Normans do have a lot to answer for

2015.03.23: Familial words suggest there was parent language

2015.03.16: Ignoring foibles of speech would make us happier

2015.03.09: The times they aren’t a-changin’ for Norfolk dialogue

2015.03.02: Remarkable scientific discovery leads to toilet closures

2015.02.23: Just speaking English is not enough in the world we live in

2015.02.16: Maps show changing importance of towns and villages

2015.02.09: It’s what you know and what you say, not how you say it

2015.02.02: Such a small word with such a big story behind it

2015.01.26: The demonic dog with a name that is all East Anglian

2015.01.19: We’ve all got an accent, however much we say we haven’t...

2015.01.12: Some so-called ‘rules’ are just made to be broken

2015.01.05: There’s ple’y to like about the way we pronounce words


2014.12.29: The story of how this word washed up in our region

2014.12.22: Blame the prejudice – not the words that are used

2014.12.15: Speak out loud and proud if you have a Norfolk accent

2014.12.08: Borrowing words offers plenty of food for thought

2014.12.01: We may speak with a Norfolk accent but we aren’t stupid

2014.11.24: Like a circle in a spiral like a wheel within a wheel

2014.11.17: As the ancient Romans said It’s all Greek to us

2014.11.10: I stand by my views on local place name pronunciations

2014.11.03: Speaking ‘properly’ isn’t necessarily speaking correctly

2014.10.27: Language changes around us - there is no right or wrong

2014.10.20: Smelly city drains made unpleasant news 120 years ago

2014.10.13: Let me tell you the mysterious tale of Wiveton bridge

2014.10.06: Learn another language... but maybe not Mandarin Chinese

2014.09.29: Local dialect can overcome communication problems

2014.09.22: Why we put the ‘great’ in so many of our place names

2014.09.15: What’s in a name? A whole world of difference

2014.09.01: Our dialect is just as moving and lyrical as any other

2014.08.25: Don’t blame the Americans, this is all our own fault

2014.08.18: Set apart by their language as well as their religion

2014.08.11: Children should not feel insecure about natural speech

2014.08.04: Strictly speakin there is no G to drop when you’re talkin

2014.07.28: Nil desperandum – Americans are adopting Briticisms!

2014.07.21: Speak out loud and be proud of your Norfolk accent

2014.07.14: How do you tell the difference between men and women?

2014.07.12: Putting the accent on the way we speak can be a stressful matter

2014.07.06: Being able to enjoy a mardle is quite a new concept

2014.06.30: Why is ‘on’ used for ‘of’ in Norfolk and Suffolk dialect?

2014.06.23: Marvellous memories of a special day in Swardeston

2014.06.16: So, Mr Gove, do you really know what an adverb is?

2014.06.09: Countries at odds with one another have similar languages

2014.06.02: We’re not lazy... dropping syllables in pronunciation is correct

2014.05.26: Our place names should be given the respect they deserve

2014.05.19: Pronunciation problems are now a part of Norfolk life

2014.05.12: The history of this ancient street is a piece of cake

2014.05.05: So, just what does it mean to eat fruit in the afternoon?

2014.04.28: It may be in the past but it still matters how you say it

2014.04.21: Thetford shares a lot in common with the Germans

2014.04.14: The only crime here is the attack on native dialects

2014.04.07: Remember your vowels... that’s a, e, i, o, u and schwa

2014.03.31: The day I thought mum was talking a load of ‘tosh’

2014.03.24: How our Norfolk dialect makes grammar clearer

2014.03.17: Father’s art reminds me of prejudice he faced

2014.03.10: Dialect names for a donkey avoid the rather ruder word

2014.03.03: We East Anglians really are a diverse bunch of folk

2014.02.24: Time for radio presenters to get their pronunciation right

2014.02.17: Tracing our county’s past links with the Roman Empire

2014.02.10: Olympic venue has a link to a language of the past

2014.02.03: I’m sorta kinda like explaining the use of these words

2014.01.27: A shame to see dialect words suffer from ‘lexical attrition’

2014.01.20: Fings ain’t wot they used to be with the use of English

2014.01.13: River names show difference in Anglo-Saxon dialects

2014.01.06: Five reasons to make you more cheerful about change


2013.12.30: Iwan has a way with words as well as with a football

2013.12.23: Wonderful grammar is something to be celebrated

2013.12.16: It’s all in a name – and there are so many variations

2013.12.09: Language death is biggest cultural tragedy of modern age

2013.12.02: And there are rules. But I don’t know what they’re for

2013.11.25: Continuing lessons in the art of talking Correct Norwich

2013.11.18: Well, these discourse markers can mean a lot of things

2013.11.11: Strictly speaking, Tess, it takes two to tango

2013.11.04: Come on, use your loaf and take a butcher’s at this

2013.10.21: A world of many flags but English is the world language

2013.10.14: Punctuation is more important than spelling or grammar

2013.10.07: Can words ending in ‘man’ apply equally to women

2013.09.30: Norfolk dialect could make English grammar clearer

2013.09.23: Clue to impressive performance lies in the upbringing

2013.09.16: Most of us go with the flow when it comes to pronunciation

2013.09.13: Ve fing is... vis language has gone frough some changes

2013.09.02: What you say and what we hear makes a big difference

2013.08.05: From squatters to landowners... this name has a story

2013.07.22: Why there should be more chances to use the word 'less'

2013.07.01: Dewin’ diff’rent about swingletrees and eddish

2013.06.24: Having a nose for what a word means from its sound

2013.06.17: 'Hair it is' – all you need to know about word merging

2013.06.10: Mate can be the most appropriate way to address a man

2013.06.03: If in doubt, leave out the problematic apostrophe

2013.05.20: Togetherness is different here – youse can believe it

2013.05.13: We’ve all forgotten our weskets from our waistcoats

2013.05.06: Rules of pronunciation taught at Urt School

2013.04.19: Historical boundaries of place... and speech

2013.04.08: I k-now they’re doing what comes g-naturally

2013.04.01: So... what exactly are the rules of English

2013.03.26: Our vowel habits set us apart from the rest

2013.03.20: Decline in local accent is a sign of the times

2013.03.11: Norfolk and Romany? Now that IS a rumm’n

2013.03.04: To ‘t’ or not to ‘t’? Tha’s a Norfolk question

2013.02.20: What’s in a name? Well, quite a lot, actually

2013.02.13: Why we still ‘dew different’ after all these years

2013.01.30: Confusion created over ‘me’ and ‘myself’

2013.01.14: A sense of humour that’s not for outsiders

2013.01.04: Strangers who made our great city what it is


2012.12.26: How’s this for a Norfolk quadruple negative?

2012.12.17: Some names are just not meant to change

2012.12.05: The real meaning of words – ass a rumm’un

2012.11.27: Those coastal folk really knew their sanfer

2012.11.21: It’s right up our street to talk like this

2012.10.24: 'Our' words crop up all over the country

2012.10.17: Stay alert or we'll go the way of Ipsidge

2012.10.10: Pronunciation problems keep getting worse

2012.09.18: memories

2012.09.12: Norwich and Norfolk accents are quite different 

2012.08.29: Norfolk has its own grammar – yes it do...

2012.08.21: They don’t know their Rs from their elbows

2012.08.13: Championing the use of our local dialect

2012.06.23: Perhaps what we need is more local dialect, not less!


Autor: Kinga Lis
Ostatnia aktualizacja: 20.03.2020, godz. 22:40 - Kinga Lis