‘Snap’ and The Whiffler

Pen and Pension

‘Snap’ the Norwich Guild-Day Dragon Castle Museum, Norwich‘Snap’ the Norwich Guild-Day Dragon
Castle Museum, Norwich The museum in Norwich Castle holds a strange model dragon, larger enough for person to get inside and carry around, snapping the jaws at people. What was it for? Then, on the northern outskirts of Norwich, to one side of the Ring Road, is a pub called “The Whiffler”. I have often wondered what on earth this odd name meant. In fact, both refer to the same event: the Norwich Guild Day, held on St. George’s Day in April.

Thanks to this entry in “THE VOCABULARY OF EAST ANGLIA; An Attempt to Record the Vulgar Tongue of the Twin Sister Counties, Norfolk and Suffolk, as it existed in the last Twenty Years of the Eighteenth Century”, written by Rev. Robert Forby and published in 1830, I understand who the Whifflers were.

WHIFFLER: one who goes at the head of a…

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