Norfolk Island Language

Fletchers Fate

When the Bounty mutineers and their Polynesian wives were thrown together on Pitcairn. they took elements from one another's languages to develop a new one. They brought this amalgam of 18th century English and Polynesian with them when they migrated to Norfolk Island in 1856. To this day, when they are amongst themselves, they use this language, now called simply 'Norfolk'. All residents still speak perfect English and they are delighted to hear tourists attempt to speak with them in the Norfolk dialect. The below words and phrases offer an example of some of the expressions you might hear.

Defintions of Words & Phrases

Bussup - Broken in pieces
Carfoot - Don't know why
Car-do - No Good
Deffy - This way
Daffy - That way
Do-mine - Never mind
Dem - Those
Dar-de-way - That's the way
Dars-et - That's it
Estolley - Untrue
Foot nort - Why not
Fuwa - Why
Gurret - Angry
Gwen - Going
He-he - Periwinkles
Hilli - Lazy, dopey
Ho-ya - Peculiar
Hattay - Here it is
Ippy - A silly person
Itty - Consumption
Lub-be - Leave alone
Lubbe side is - Leave it where it is
Larn - To tell
Mahone - Always ailing
Morla - Tomorrow
Moosar - Nearly
Nasey - Mischievous
Nor gwen - Not going
Nufka - Kingfisher
Nawe - To swim
Oolie - Often
Poo-oo - Green
Plun - Banana
Porpay - Red Guavas
Pilly-pilly - Stuck together
Pul-loo - Burley
Sullun - A person
Sorlun - Finished
Suff - Waves (sea)
Sink suff - Low tide
Tulla me - Tell me
Tull-story - Untruth
Tayte - Potatoes
Tin-a-hi - Begging
Unay - Isn't it?
Umer-oo-lar - Clumsy
Uclun - We (all of us)
Whaa - What
Wusser - Worse
Wylie - Tangled up
Yallar - Annoyed
Yorlyee - All of you
Wut a way you? - How are you?
Whatawee - How are you?
Webout you gwen? - Where are you going?