IT SOUNDS like a foreign language, but when we asked members of the We grew up on the Isle of Wight Facebook group about the local dialect words and phrases they used when they were growing up, this is what they remembered.

The Facebook post attracted more than 100 answers, with lots of people remembering nipper, gally-bagger, jasper, caulkhead and mallyshag.

Know your jasper from your mallyshag? Scroll through our gallery of pictures above to see more...

The origins of caulkhead — the name for an Islander — were discussed and were thought to be connected to caulking, which is a ship-building term.

Isle of Wight County Press: Isle of Wight sayings and dialect

Gurt can mean large or great, but there's no mistaking the mallyshag!

Lots of people also mentioned nammet - or lunch - and in days gone by labourers would have carried their nammet in a scran bag and if they were working in the fields shortly after dawn, they may have had dewbit - or a morning snack typically of bread and cheese - too.

When something is lost, Islanders often comment that it will probably turn up in Outer Mongolia (anyone know why?), while many people also remembered saying they were going ‘dayn Cayes’ — or Kayes — when they were heading for Cowes, even though Cowes is at the northern tip of the Isle of Wight, so you would be travelling upwards on a map.

One possible theory about this is that you are heading for sea level, so you are going down to the sea.

The devil’s dancing hour — or midnight — was mentioned, as was ferkin — or to firk — which means to fuss around continually, as someone might when searching for something, or a dog might when scratching.

Collecting wiggle-waggles, which are the seeds of the totter grass, were also remembered by members of the We grew up on the Isle of Wight Facebook group.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Inside W.H. Long's dictionary of Isle of Wight dialect, which was first published in the 1880s.

There are lots of books on local Isle of Wight phrases — including A Dictionary of the Isle of Wight Dialect and of Provincialisms Used in the Island by W. H. Long, which was originally published by George Brannon of the County Press in the 1880s and is still available in print or online from Forgotten Books.

This edition has a list of subscribers within it, which reads like on old Isle of Wight Who’s Who, plus a Christmas boys’ play, the Isle of Wight Hooam Harvest, old peasantry songs and an amazing description of Bargain Zadderdays, which were the fixed times of the year for hiring yearly farm servants and generally ended in revelling in long-gone Newport pubs.

Do you like reading stories about the Isle of Wight in bygone days? Click here to visit our Looking Back section.

Have you got lovely memories of your time on the Isle of Wight? Click here to visit the We grew up on the Isle of Wight Facebook group and join in the fun!

Do you know lots of local Isle of Wight words and phrases? We would love to hear more! Email them to