Tier 2 (Day 9) Norwic

Who added the ‘h’ to Norwic? East Angles were happy to keep the name for this entrepôt in the north of their kingdom to six letters. Sometime along the way the ‘h’ was added. Down in Sussex there are many places with the “wick” suffix, (e.g. Gatwick: goat market). So a little difference between Angles and Saxons is identifiable in their language.

A little bit of Internet dabbling comes up with the fascinating discovery that “wić” in Polish means osier, a word we use for basket weavers. Anyone spending a few moments wandering the riverbanks of the Yare in this city will not go far before coming across willow trees suitable for the basket making craft.

Basket weaving and market trading would seem to be a good mix of talents, coupled with the first rise in the land above what we now call The Norfolk Broads, making Norwich a cracking place to settle for the early migrants of northern Germany and Denmark, so why would those people not also have travelled from Poland too? Poland is another northern European nation that in Gdansk has a major seaport easily accessible to North Sea / German Ocean.

In the languages of Norwegian, German and Danish I have found no modern equivalent of wic relating to market trading, so what is the connection between wic and market in English? Wić in Polish has meanings. It means ‘twig’, ‘hair’ or ‘strand’, ‘string’, so is Norwic the northern home of basket weavers?

In Norfolk there are many migrants from Poland. Many Polish originally came into the area during the late C20th to work in the vast fields of East Anglia, but over the past forty years or so Poles gradually became essential workers in all aspects of the economy of a county with a previously aged population. Have these young, industrious emigrants from the north of Europe simply followed a path previously trailed over 1,500 years ago by their ancestors? Are East Angles and the modern Polish citizens of Norwich one and the same?

That would be an interesting dish to set before the ignorant bigots who so proudly claim Anglo-Saxon heritage and wave the flag carrying the cross of St George so vigorously in their advocation of “Brexit”. Duh! Are most of us more closely related to the Polish than the Norman barons who invaded and carved up the lands here only 1,000 years ago, setting landowners against the workers in such a way that established England as the class riven society we still now today when considering land ownership?

Other than this Internet dabbling, I had two pleasant conversations while out in the fresh air today and did some desk work once I had warmed up afterwards.

Goodness it was cold out! I will not sit in a café or restaurant until I have had a vaccination. Not everywhere in Norwich provides heaters for outdoor seating. I expect there is a shortage of the heaters too, as well as the gas that powers many of them.

Oh yes, I got both angry and fed up with the bullshit being continually spouted by Buffoon Johnson (heritage AmericanTurkish) who is determinedly dragging England and the three other nations of the UK into the economic mire.


CLP 10/12/2020