Welcome to Longmead House

Devon Sayings , Phrases and Dialect 

Having lived here for the past few years we have become aware of the local dialect and phrases from the South West, and some of them we were a bit confused by and have had to research them to ensure that we got the gist of the conversation. The South West Dialect is very distinctive and you can often hear unfamiliar words and phrases spoken by the locals especially when you visit Devon and Exmoor's more rural communities.  You may have heard some of these phrases when you have visited and are unsure as to what they mean , whether you are being welcomed, or cursed by the locals.  Devon dialect is a mixture of Anglo-saxon, Celtic and Old French, all mixed up with a drop of Cyder. We have put together a few of the more familiar phrases with the odd unfamiliar ones in our Devon Sayings quiz below. Why not have a go and see how many you can get right.  Next time you visit you will be better prepared to smile or respond appropriately when you have a conversation.

1 Dimpsy

 A     A bit dim

B     Cute looking

C   Or a description of the fading light at the end of the day

2 Proper job- -

A    Well Made

B    A term of agreement / OK 

C     A professional worker eg accountant 

3  Alright, me ‘andsome! Awrite me Luver

A   An old Devon chat up line

B   Hello my good friend /Hello dear

C  A welcome to an old friend

4   Wasson?

A    A colloquial term for the surname Watson

B    A Question -What is going on?

C   A Question – where is the local pub?

5   Where’s it to?

A  A Question Why are there two of those?

B   Where can I find that?

C    Which way do I go ?


A    Reverse when driving

B    Times past in previous times

C   Refers to your back

7  Snishums

A  A cuddle with the one you love

B   A sneeze

C   A marshmallow sweet


A  See you soon / sometime soonish 

B   Drive straight on

C   Someone who has lots of freckles

Gurt noodle

A   A floating seaweed strand

B   Somebody acting silly

C   An Italian Pasta

10  Idden

A  Something you can’t find

B   The devon way of saying ‘is not’

C   A small dwelling that houses pigs


1 Dimpsy 

The origin of dimpsy is not certain but it describes the light fading at either the beginning or end of the day. One theory is that it may be derived from dim - and dimmit is another word from the south-west of England meaning dusk.

2 Proper Job 

Basically this is a term of agreement, or affirmative: “Shall we go down the pub now?” “Proper job!”

3 Alright my andsome or Awrite me luver

This quaint greeting translates to something like “Hello, my good friend!”. it can be used by men or women and can mean anything from "alright mate" to "hello love".

4 Wasson?

If you want to know what to do on your first night out in Devon then you need to ask the locals "Wasson?" It's short for “What’s going on?” and can be used to ask a person or group what they and others are doing. This phrase is more reserved for people who are at least acquaintances, but you can blend in with the crowd if you follow the dialect with phrases like this.

5 Where's it to?

Where is that then? Where can I find that?

6 Backalong 

Others might say 'back in the day' but in Devon this is how we refer to times past.
Example: "Didn't we visit that beach backalong?"

7 Snishums 

The word Snishums is used by Devonians to refer to a Sneeze.

8 Dreckly

When someone says they’ll “see you dreckly”, it means they’ll see you soon, but at an unspecified time. Will it be 30 minutes from now, or will it be several hours? It could even be a few days or weeks. The only way you’ll know is by asking the person, and they still may not give you a direct answer!

9 Gurt Noodle 

Gurt is great - as in big. And a gurt noodle is somebody acting silly

10 Idden 

The Devon way of saying isn't or not

How did you get on ? We hope you are now more familiar with these words and phrases and are more prepared to hear them when you next visit us. Remember you may still be confused when you hear these said with the wonderful South West drawl.  Don't worry we still look a bit blank faced when we having a conversation with the locals especially after a few glasses in the pubs their accents somehow seem more concentrated.  

Dont be a Gurt Noodle and Come and stay Dreckly, If you have stayed with us Backalong or are a new visitor then check out Wasson and wander up to the Valley of Rocks for a beautiful Dimpsy. If you can work out what that means then you are ready to come and stay with us. Lush